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Diary of Cathy Minges - Week 3 - December 13-19

Published Dec. 20, 2010 | Discuss this article on Facebook

Monday, December 13, 2010

Allen up early for work to start another cold day. He did his usual morning chores before off to work. He is still at the zoo for a drilling job and may be down there until Christmas. I worked at the Farm Bureau office today. After work, Allen put out round bales for the cattle and checked all the bedding. With all the cattle at our place now, he puts out 2-3 bales every other day. Keeping the cattle fat and happy is a priority, especially in this cold weather. He checked the bedding, waterer and watering tanks. Even with this cold weather, no problems with the automatic waterer. I had to pick-up my car after work from the auto body shop and return the rental. Car looked great and met Allen at the license bureau to renew plates. Decided while in Harrison to eat at El Marachi's then off to grocery to get a few needed items. Not much fun with a crutch! This time of year is a slow time for us on the farm. February through November is when we are really busy, always something to be done with calving, breeding cows, crops, hay, weaning calves, moving cattle to pastures, shows at the fairs, getting new crop of calves ready for sales and harvesting. We try to wait until at least mid-September to have the calves up for sale. By this time they are around 450-500 lbs and looking pretty good. Allen halter breaks all the calves, which requires a lot of patience and muscle. Not sure how many more years he can keep this up. Our first calf for 2011 is due around the first part of February. He will start moving the pens around in the barn after the sale cattle are gone in the next few weeks to get ready.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Allen off to work, did his morning chores before he left. It takes longer to do the chores in the morning with the snow and cold weather. We have been lucky that all the cattle are doing very well and adjusting to this bitter cold winter weather. Allen would prefer when it gets cold that it would stay that way, instead of warm and cold, back and forth. The cold is easier on the cattle but not so great for him to be out in it all day. I worked at the Farm Bureau office today, a little late going in with the snow. I don't want to take a chance of falling with my hip so I came in after the snowplows had been through on our rural road and I can see traffic moving. We have a lot of steep hills out our way. After work, Allen picked up feed at the mill. This should be the last load for the sale cattle. He grinds his own feed for the cows when they start to calve. Finished feeding and other chores. Allen in the house around 6:30. Made chili for supper tonight, hit the spot. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Allen off to work, fed cattle and did other chores before he left. I did some cleaning, wrote out Christmas cards and laundry before meeting Scott to pick-up Cole at 8:30. Sheri was up all night with a stomach bug and not going into work. Cole and I worked on some gift projects for his mom and dad. He is so proud of the things he is painting for them. We'll see if he can keep it a secret. We will finish up and wrap them for him to take home next week. So far he has not spilled the beans. Scott picked up Cole earlier than usual. After work, Allen moved round bales up by the barn for easier access to them for feeding. He did not get in the house until 7:30 and was frozen solid! The skid steer has an open cab and no protection against the weather. Made a chuck roast with all the fixings for supper then cleaned up the dishes. We have been married 30 years and have never had a dishwasher, other than myself. I have never minded washing the dishes and never saw the need to have one. That may change someday!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow… and more snow! Allen got up a little earlier than usual to do his chores. After feeding he left for work around 6:00 and called just a few minutes later to tell me not to try to go to work. Several cars were off on the side of California Road and he was having a lot of trouble. He called when he made it there but said the roads were terrible. I stayed home and did laundry, wrapped gifts and cleaned. The cleaning seems like a never-ending job with the cold snowy weather. More dirty work coats and gloves and I can't seem to keep the mud-room floor clean with Allen in and out! The job at the zoo was canceled for the day since they couldn't get concrete trucks to the job site. Allen hauled a backhoe to Covington and was home early around 3:00. Allen cleared off snow around the drive and barns before starting his work. Put more hay out for the cattle and did all his other evening chores. Hauled more round bales up near the barn. Put out more cornstalk bales for bedding and scrapped the concrete to keep it clean for the cattle. Scott came out and helped his dad finish chores for the evening and settled up on some things and finish some paperwork. I made chicken and noodle casserole for dinner with greenbeans, rolls and some of my pickled beets. Friends of mine that I know from Farm Bureau raise beets for me in their massive garden. They know I love pickled beets. I call Bill Kestermann the "beet king" because he and his wife Doris raise the best beets around and I truly appreciate the beets they bring to me! We ended up with about 7" of snow today on top of the snow we already had. Enough snow!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Allen did his usual barn chores before work this morning. Back drilling at the zoo today. I worked at the Farm Bureau office today. After work, Allen put out more round bales of hay for the cattle since we will be gone until Sunday and finished feeding and watering. He has to make sure he drains all the hoses well that he uses for any of the water tanks or he will have big problems the next day with frozen hoses. Allen and I went Christmas shopping this evening. It was crazy…lots of cars and people!  Allen only goes to a mall once a year, I think he would rather have his toenails pulled off than do this!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Allen was up early and did his morning chores before he went deer hunting. Since working a job off the farm, he doesn't have the time he did when he farmed full-time for things like hunting. So he tries to go on weekends. We are leaving today to go to Carrie's house in Fairbanks, Ind. to celebrate Christmas with her and Wyatt. My dad stopped over to drop off gifts for Carrie and Wyatt for Christmas since they will not be driving in for the holiday. After Allen returned from hunting, he checked everything for the cattle before we left. Scott will feed for Allen tonight since he and Sheri are not traveling to Carrie's. Sheri had class this morning and still not feeling great. Scott has cows to breed early Sunday morning. We took Cole with us to visit and open Christmas gifts. The drive is about 3 hours and he enjoyed a good nap on the way. Went to Terre Haute later for dinner then returned to open gifts. He is such a well-behaved little guy and a joy to be around. I just love hearing him say "No thank-you." The "Hungry Hippo" game and remote control dinosaur Carrie gave to him was a huge success!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Enjoyed our visit with Carrie and Wyatt. Allen and Wyatt worked on plans for the cattle sale next week, making decisions on trucking cattle to Zanesville and getting all the supplies they will need there. Stopped on the way home in Terre Haute for lunch with Carrie then hit the road home. Wyatt has someone coming to look at cattle. We enjoyed a nice visit with them and will miss them on Christmas, but understand the long drive and cattle make it hard for them to come, especially Christmas with the cattle sale just around the corner. Wyatt and Carrie have 15 head of cattle in the sale to clip and get ready. This has been a slow week for us on the farm, a nice little rest before they push next week getting ready for the cattle sale. Our 2 cows, bred heifer and open heifer head will need to be washed and clipped before they leave on the 28th.  If you have any interest, this link http://www.primetimeagrimarketing.com/ will take you to the Holiday Classic Sale XVI catalog where our cattle are listed for the sale. Allen checked on the cattle when we got home and then left to go deer hunting over on my parent's farm. Finished feeding cattle and chores, in the house by 6:30. Hot ham sandwiches and soup for dinner. Watched the finale for Survivor, Allen's other favorite reality show.

I have included a family picture (minus Wyatt) from the 2008 Butler County Farm/City Tour in which we were the host for the beef cattle stop. Also a picture of Carrie showing our heifer at the 2009 Scarlet and Gray Midwest Showdown in Columbus, which sold in March at the Ohio Beef Expo Maine Anjou sale.

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