Sunday, May 7, 2017

Tornado Update

My parents came up for a visit and my dad and husband got a bit more fencing done.  Roofers (finally) started today.  It has been a challenge to get going on the roof.  We had rain daily for over a week, then high winds, then back to more rain.  Today they started on the shingles.  The flashing was ordered, but did not arrive, and we still have to locate some siding to match our existing siding.  It was rather interesting that they found someones household heat/ac thermostat in the guttering.

We had a guy come look at the barn to figure an estimate, but we are still waiting for him to give it to us.  Another is coming to look at it tomorrow, and we have been given the names of 2 more who may also be interested in rebuilding it.

Mowing since the tornado has proven to be rather interesting.  First, I have to walk the area.  Then, I have to mow it at the highest setting, then drop the blades and go over it again.  Even by doing all this, I still am finding boards with nails and metal.  Tonight while mowing I found a glass salad cruet in the yard.  Last week I found a doorknob.  I think we will continue to find things for some time.  I still can not mow around the barn remains, there is still a lot of debris and since metal is still coming down with wind, its too dangerous.  We will probably spray to kill the grass, then go over it with a metal detector to get up all the nails that I keep finding.  So far, no flat tires on the mower.

Trees continue to come down in the tree line.  Tonight I noticed there is a hedge tree branch stuck in the weeping willow tree.  And, I think another tree in the back yard has died.  We have been letting people come cut free firewood-we just ask if they can cut a bit extra for us since we are supplying the wood.  We estimated we can probably heat about 12 homes this winter with the amount of wood that is on the ground.  About 5 or 6 have come and cut wood, and you can't even tell they were here.

Meanwhile, the Navy daughter is home for a bit, then she leaves to go to summer semester.  Her ship date falls during the fall semester, so she is going at least one session of summer school, possibly also the shorter accelerated session as well, if there are any classes offered that she needs.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Neat idea to teach fractions

I wish I had thought of this when I was teaching.  I used pizza and measurements when baking to teach my girls their fractions.  (That way we could eat afterwards!)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

We dug a post hole, and got a well

This afternoon we worked outside on more tornado clean up.  It finally quit raining on Thursday evening, so we can finally start to do a few things.

We finished hooking up the post hole digger on the tractor.  I went to fed a bale of hay, then noticed part of the post hold digger had come off.  It took us 45 minutes to locate the part that fell off (luckily I realized it so drove the tractor back to the house taking a different route, so I would not run over it).

So, we put the part back on and started in on fence work.  We took down the remaining fence and moved it all aside.  Most of it we can reuse, but one section I think is not usable.  Then, we had to pull up the t posts.  We used the tractor front loader to pull them up.  I thought after all the rain they would have come up easier than they did.  We originally put this fence in with t post, because we were not sure exactly where we wanted it.  This time, we moved it back some and now we know this is where we want it, so we are putting it in with wooden posts this time.

We dug our hole and set the first post, then we went to the other end and measured back and to set the corner post.  Then, the fun started.  As soon as the auger came out of the hole, I went to measure it to see where we were at.  When I looked into the hole, it was rapidly filling with water.  I looked 3 times, still more water coming in.  I told the husband he better get out of the tractor and come look at this.  I think he thought I found a snake or a body, because at first he did not want to get out.  Yep, we had hit water.  Not a water line, just water.  Water at 4 feet.  50 yards away is our well, which they had to drill 80 feet to find water.  When they dug the well, they told my husband that they had hit an underground river.  Not sure if this runs into that or what.  But, water at 4 feet was not what we were expecting to find.  It was literately bubbling out of the ground and into the hole.  We put the post in and out of it several times to mark how high the water line was.  The last time, it was up 7 inches.   I am thinking this may be a good place to put a willow or birch tree, since they like the water.

Even weirder, was, as it was filling up with water, these little tiny crawdad things came out of the dirt and started swimming in it--3 of them. Our farm has several springs on it, I think this must be another one. Wish it had been oil, or gold, or even a buried box of money (this is Jessie James country after all, maybe the outlaw did forget where he hid some?)  At least if there is a drought, we know where to find more water.




Tuesday, April 4, 2017

More rain

It has been raining almost every day for last 2 weeks.  Due to the rain, nothing has been done on the roof (other than the temp patching) and we now have a few leaks.  Nothing has been done to the barn.

Since the tornado, we have managed to get the downed trees out of the yard and easement up by the road and moved over to the treeline, for the wood cutters to cut; got all the debris picked up; and have gotten the new posts and fencing materials.  But, since it has been raining, can't cut wood, can't work on the house or barn, and its too wet now to dig the post holes.  We have to be careful we don't get the tractor stuck when putting out hay, let alone digging with it.

I have tried to burn some of the brush that came down (and what I cut off of some of the trees), but the wood is too wet to burn.  So, I have about 1/2 of a small burn pile burned.

We just need about a week of dry sunny days.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Wow. Its been a year.

I'm bad.  It has been a year since I posted.  I will try to do better.

In that year, the youngest twins graduated from high school, I have had surgery, one daughter joined the Army and her twin joined the Navy.  One daughter moved from Ireland back to the USA and another left the USA to go to Poland then Germany.

The latest news, is last month, we got hit by a tornado.  As a result, we are getting half a new roof and half a barn.  The tornado came about a third of the way back across our property.  It took the back half of the barn off, and most of the house damage is to the back side.  It also took down a bunch of trees, carried off the little tykes climbers, slides, well house, fence and lawn furniture.  It moved a grill off the back kitchen deck, moved my rain barrel from the back of the house to the front, took the liners out of the feeders and into the pond, got a stock tank, damaged the horse stalls and quite a few things just blew away and still have not been found.

Our neighbors between the blacktop and us all got it worse that we did, one lost 1 entire barn, 2/3 of another and their house.  Others lost parts of their roof and barn.  The next farm down from us lost part of their barn roof, kids toys, lean to and shed and had a horse injured.   Friends of ours a few miles away lost 2 barns, top of a third barn and damage to their house and their fencing was all laid over.

Strange how tornadoes are.  They take the roof off of the barn, but leave the shelving and don't knock over oil cans sitting on the shelf.  They lift the house off the foundation, but leave the floor and the trophies sitting on top of the trophy case and leave the pictures hanging on the one remaining wall.








  be
For the first 4 days following the tornado, our barn was literately being held up by the tractor.  The first remaining undamaged truss was resting on the tractor cab.  We had to call JD's friend out who has a tow company with his big boom wrecker.  They had to rig up a bock and tackle system to lift the barn off the tractor, then pull away the debris so we could drive the tractor out.  I still don't know how we got it out without getting a flat tire (those tires are $1200 each).

The lab refused to sleep outside for a week following the tornado.  He was in the barn we think when it hit.  So, for 7 nights he slept in the house on his rug, and had bad dreams.  He is doing much better now, but won't sleep in the barn.  Instead, he now stays on the front porch.

So, we are now waiting for it to quit raining, so the roof on the house can be repaired and the barn.  In the mean time, we have been cleaning up the yard and moving the fallen trees out of the way.  Hey if your near us and want free firewood, come cut all you want!  Just leave us a portion of what you cut for the opportunity to take what you need.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Bottle Baby

Meet Norman. 



Norman is the newest addition to the farm.  His momma is a first time momma, and she really could care less about motherhood, and is totally ignoring the fact that she is supposed to be feeding and guarding her baby.  Instead, she chose to hide it and left.

Normally, if we go out to look at and check a new calf, the mothers ( the aunts, and sometimes even the daddy) get rather concerned that you are even within 6 feet, and will remind you to move along....However, this mommas attitude was more like, "take that thing away please-its not mine, can't be mine...."

After looking him over, and feeling him, we found he was not getting enough to eat. 








Momma was not even watching him, so, we loaded him up and moved him into the goat stall.  (so named as we are planning on adding 2 goats to the farm for weed control, and that stall is to be theirs.)



He would not take a bottle for me, but he did for Rebecca.  So, Rebecca is now the mother to Norman.  He calls out to her, and she answers in her best moo.  He follows her voice and comes to her.

We are thinking he may be blind, (or just clumsy) as he runs into the stall walls and people.  Time will tell on that one.

He is small (momma cow was a first time momma).  If he makes it through the week, I think he will have a fighting chance.  We have his feeding schedule all figured out.

Thank goodness she had him now, and not last week when it was below freezing.  Glad he was found by us, before the coyotes.

Just check this little guy out, he is so relaxed taking his first truck ride...  Just chillin.



Now, if you are not familiar with cows, this video will show you how it normally works when the mommas calve--here it is, straight from a momma cow.....


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Sunday, February 28, 2016

New Life Homeschool Coop at Excelsior Springs MO

NLHC pen to surrounding areas as well, but located in Excelsior Springs.

"New Life Homeschool Cooperative (NLHF) begins next Friday, March 4th, 2016.  We will meet at Excelsior Springs Baptist Church from 11:30-2:45 through April 29th.  Open House will be Monday, May 4th at 7pm."

If you want the contact info, send me a comment with your email on  here and I will forward it to the director.