Today all I did was help with the 4-H chicken noodle dinner fund raiser and play with my ducks. I even slept in. Tomorrow I get to go pick up my new Angora Buckling but I will get back late so don't look for pictures of him until Tuesday.....
What a week. First I got all my poultry entries into the Interstate Fair. It starts Aug 6th and I had to have them all entered before I left for Mississippi. Tuesday Mom and I went to bed at about 3pm after the Truck and Trailer were all packed. We got up at 1am, wrapped the horses legs and hit the road.
We drove all night in the cool night air to make it easier on Ice to adjust to the difference in Temps and Humidity. We got to Tunica about 9am and did all our check in paperwork and got Ice settled into his stall. He lost alot of weight on the trip but he did better then when he went to State. Progress in the hauling department is all we can expect and as long as it is getting better we can't ask for more. We let him have all the water and Hay he wanted to help get his weight back up.
We checked into our Hotel and found that some of the other contestants were staying at the same place we were so I left good luck notes on their trucks each night. I also took the time to make each person from Oklahoma a good luck sign for their stalls. I even made Ice is own sign about his name and how he got it.
I took time to take in some of the events. I saw all kinds of things from English jumpers to Horse Judging contests.
That evening I took time to ride and work Ice in the cool ...
The next day we had to get down to business. I practiced in the morning and fit in some more riding and then at 2pm my events started.
I think I Rocked the 4-H roping events because I was only one of 5 kids to catch all four head. This competition had almost 800 kids gathering from states that Included Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia. I was not only the underdog (one girl actually called me that to my face) when it came to my age but as it turned out I was also the littlest one in size in my events as well. On top of the heat and humidity I had to deal with the fact that some of the other Competitors were 19 yrs old and starting their freshmen year of College. Many people gave he encouraging words like "It's your first year and a tough competition, so just do your best." or "I didn't win anything my first year so don't worry just have fun" At the start of the competition no one really considered me or my little horse to be much of a challenge. At one point I just looked at Mom and said simply "I didn't come this far not to bring home a win for Oklahoma" With a Large 20 foot box and 170lb calves in the chutes it was any one's game and most of the competitors were flat out run before they even left the box. Knowing that I would have an accumulative time in both events I decided it was best to be consistant and take the extra steps and make sure I caught. I competed first in the Break away roping where due to placement drawing my two head where only 4 head apart not leaving time for me to even water my horse in between. All though I didn't take 1st through 3rd I did finished out the Break away with a very nice ribbon and the honor of being in the top ten in that event. When it came time to compete in the Tie down event everyone was hot and tired and having to work for every second they got. Again the size of the box and the calves were not in my favor but dispite everything, I managed to rope my next two head and bring home a nice ribbon and have the honor of placing in the top 10 again.
That night not only did I take part in the parade of states but I did it with my head held high and two top 10 wins under my belt for the Oklahoma 4-H. I would say I didn't do to bad. I had alot of fun and made a ton of new friends.
That night there was a dance and I had fun but I hit the hay early so that the next morning I could go visit a call duck breeder that lived only 2 hours away.
Today In honor of my Trip to Nationals, I started my own GoeCache so that everyone can track it and see how many of you come by. For those that don't know what GeoCaching is .... It is a world wide GPS treasure/scavenger hunt. Some Caches you have to be rock climbers or dare devils to find but the one at my Mom's work is simple so I thought I would do it too. Besides Find a goecache come visit me ... Same thing I think. I left the GeoCache and submitted it on http://www.geocaching.com I will be checking it and letting everyone know if and when people find it. Also I left a gift for each of you inside as well as for every other visitor we have. Now the catch. For the first one of you who finds the geocache and can leave a comment or email me what the gift inside is You will be the next winner of a Give-a-way. The winner will get either an ounce of roving or a skein of yarn from this falls harvest. The rules are simple. You have to contact me here when you locate it because only my followers are in the give-away. It isn't the first person to log a visit but it is the first person to contact me with the answer.... The name of the Geocache is RJ's QTs Stop and after it is reviewed it will posted to their site and you will have the GPS info to get the answer. Good luck ...
We are having issues with wild life around here. First I lost another show chicken. Today I went out and found where a coon has dug under the wall of the barn to get into the stall with the pens. Dad and I think we have fixed it. The Live trap is set and we used cinder blocks to block everything up so he can't get in. Also Tonight when I Let Ranger loss He acted funny. Kind of scared to tell the truth. Then Mom, Dad and I all watched a pack of Coyotoes come across the pasture next to the Goat pen. We put all the goats back together for the night in one Pen. We hope Statler is strong enough now to make it in the big pen. We Moved Tonto too and Hankie and Ranger met Nose to Nose for the first time. Our hope is that the two will work together to keep everything safe at the barn. Dad stay
Today Mom had to work and It was kind of a bad day for me. First Marshall the calf didn't make it. He passed in the night. At least he had a good meal or two and he was loved and wanted here. I guess in his short life those last hours were his best. That is about all anyone can do. When Dad and I went to do chores I found that a coon had killed Huey the Duck. Sometimes it feels like nothing goes right. I hate it when I start feeling this way. I am praying tomorrow will be better. To top off our night Cowboy Junction (our Church) Caught fire. We heard The resturant and the Church are total losses. Tomorrow is another day I pray it will be better.
Last night didn't go as planned. First on our way to VBS the Car started making a very awful sound. Turns out the Air Compressor or the Air Compressor klutch went out. Mom had to limp it back to town since all the pullys are on one belt. Dad came and got me so I wouldn't miss the last rodeo before Regionals. To bad I was late and missed step down because of a flat on the trailer. Everytime something happens Dad gets mad. Mom on the other hand says that these things that happen are just life and we have to learn to deal with them as life happens.
By Morning things were back to normal except Mom had to get a ride to work from one of her friends. Dad and I did chores before we headed to the sale barn. Everything went normal until there was a little 45lb calf that came through that no one wanted. The price dropped down to 10 bucks and I couldn't let it go. Every life is worth way more then 10 dollars. I ended up buying it and that made Dad mad, which made me up set so I called Mom. Mom told Dad that we would talk about it when we all got home. That turned out about normal and I had to laugh. First Mom got this look. It is one Dad and I know well. Then she talked. Dad didn't get to really say anything and Mom ended the way she always does when it comes to a difference of our Beliefs. "Have you forgotten God's job for humans?" That was it. Dad took one look at Mom with that look on her face and well, let's just say he remembered really fast who are and what we do. At that point Mom said Dad had two choices. He could help us or he could get out of the way and her and I would do it without him. After that Dad said he was looking at things wrong and asked what we needed him to do. Mom made him call around and find the parts for the car and get them ordered while her and I went to town to get everything we needed to save Marshall. (that is what I named the little guy) When we got back Mom made up one of her special mixtures and gave Marshall some shots and did all the stuff she just does in "Mom Mode" Even Penny got in on the act.
We ended our day with supper after putting the last of the hay bales in the barn before it rains tomorrow. I am so happy with my Calf and I know Mom will save him. World Please Welcome Marshall to the place.....
Today I worked all morning. First we found Statler down again so we moved him into the small pen with Tonto the little misfit goat. That way they won't be alone. Then I spent the day getting the irrigation system under control and back out in the pasture now that we are done baling. Then when Mom got off work we went to Granny's for the first time in weeks. I liked it and Mom had to catch up on alot of things with her. From there we got home and took Chief to VBS again. Tomorrow is our last day and he is learning to love riding as he gets treats. All in all it was a good day just busy doing nothing. As for Statler he did great today and had no problems but we will see what the morning brings. It seems that it is the night that gets to him.
Oh and I almost forgot to tell you. Ranger the pup is having his nights on patrol. We put everything up and he gets to patrol to keep the barnyard safe. This is how we trained Hankie so I am sure it will work with him too.
Tonight at 9:21 Mom closed the north gate. It is the first time in about two weeks that it has been closed. To most people that would mean nothing but to us it means alot. We picked up the last few bales from the pasture tonight and put it up in the barn. That means the pasture is done. Now it is time to get ready to start school full time. It is time for fairs and getting ready for winter. I know that sounds wierd but on a farm you are always getting ready for something. In the summer we hay and put it up for winter. In the fall we cut wood to have heat in the winter. In the winter we prepare and repair everything for spring. In Spring we are planting so that we will have a fall harest. Like I said always getting ready for the next season. With the north gate shut the only hay left to do is the right away. It can be done in about 3 days and then Our Summer is over.
This morning Mom was waiting when the feed store opened and she got a new worm medication for Statler and we worked all the animals on the farm. By 10:30am we were on our way to get Ice's health papers replaced that were lost in the mail. By Noon the farrier was here to trim everyone's hooves. After that I was in the hay field until 5pm when Mom took me and Chief to VBS. We finished our day out in the fields and by doing chores. Busy day but tomorrow I am going to enter my Poultry in the Interstate Fair. As you can tell this is our busy time of year. And for those who have not heard ... I pick up my new Blue eyed Angora Buck the week I return from Regionals. Check him out ....
And you all know what comes next ... I am open to suggestions for a name ... What do you all think about John Wayne ... or the Duke?? LOL
Yesterday was a very rough day for me. I have never been so scared. It was a very hot day with no wind and here on the prairie that is very unusual. Not only are we used to the breeze but it also helps cool things down a bit. We always check the barnyard and everything in it 3 times a day and fill all the water troughs at those times. We have fans moving air in the chicken show pen and the sheep and goat shed. We are doing all the normal things we do in Oklahoma to fight the heat but to tell the truth this heat normally doesn't come until Aug or Sept. And Yesterday it turned out not to be enough. Anyway, on our regular trip to the barn yard to fill water troughs and check everything we found Statler laying on his side thrashing his legs. Mom got him up and noticed his Who-Ha was dirty. Scours!!! But how?? We didn't take time to figure it out. Mom said we had to act fast or this heat and scours combine would kill my babies. Instead we focused on all the animals. Mom went into Mom mode, as I call it, and we pulled everything that had dirty butts and drenched them with a mixture of Pepto and Electrilytes. We filled all the water troughs and then added electrolytes to them for everyone as well. Then Mom went to the house and set up our winter calf pen in the kitchen while Dad and I scooped Statler up and got him into the house. He got 2 shots of 12ml of Saline Solution under his skin an hour apart to fight dehydration (he would have gotten one every hour until we saw him pee but he peed within the first two hours), a shot of Penicillin to fight any infection he might have and alot of cooolll Air, topped off with all the Sericea Lespedeza he could eat. Sericea Lespedeza is a weed we use to control worms naturally. Goats love it and it works better then anything on the market. Will all the bases covered we kept watch and tried to figure out how this happened.
Upon examining the pen we could have kicked ourselves. It was our fault that this happened. We didn't do it on purpose but it has to do with the drought and the way we irrigate. We have an old well that was contaminated in the flood of 2007 and when the drought conditions set in (and the always do) we use it to irrigate our Hay crop and the pens to feed the animals. (It can't be used for anything else anyway so why not , right?) Without even thinking we did just like we always do and started the pump. We were fine until the mosture got to the goat and sheep pen. The mosture makes the grass act like spring, making it, what we call, HOT. Cattle can handle it just fine and we have never had any problems because they go to the pond and drink tons of water. The goats and sheep however are smaller and all it took was one to not drink enough and we have a problem. Yesterday that Problem was named Statler. He is my littlest guy and he is the weakest for that reason. Mom says she should have caught it but with Vacation and everything going on she just messed up. Mom can't think of everything, you know and since it has never been a problem before we just didn't think of it.
This morning Mom got us up early so we could take steps to fix everything for the sheep and goats. First the pump was shut off for now and the irrigation hose removed from the pen area. That will stop the hot grass. The Goats and Sheep where then put on a diet of Hay and water for the day time hours. Next Mom put in a sprinkler system in the goat and sheep shed. Sprinklers shouldn't harm the fleece due to the light misting it does but Mom says she would rather have live animals with bad fleece then great fleece from dead ones. She has a point and she is stubborn when it comes to animals so no matter what anyone says she says it is staying and that is that. The sprinkler will lower the temp in the shed by about 10 degrees and the shade it provides already keeps it cooler in there then the 100 degree weather outside. Don't forget the fan moving the air and all in all we are shooting for about 90 degrees or lower if we can get it (Mom wants it no higher then 80 but we will see, you can only do so much in this heat). Mom thinks all the stuff we have done will get the temp down to at least 90 easy. For now we are watching very closely to make sure all the Goats are out of the woods so to say.
I know it is not a great thing to see but here is Statler Yesterday. You can see he is in bad shape.
This morning Statler was the first one up and to the feed trough and Mom says that is a great sign. Here he is today. What a difference a day makes huh?? I think with Mom, Dad and me, we will be Good Shephards and now I know we can handle just about anything.
In closing, Chief and I are off to VBS to teach others about Being a Good Shephard and being one of God's Flock!!