Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Have Saturday Afternoon OFF

I know you are thinking big deal. Well it is a big deal. I never know when I will have another milking off or IF I will ever have another milking off. Because you know the cows have to get milked every day three times a day, and they don't care if you are tired and want to stare aimlessly at the wall, in the house, in a comfortable chair. It is a nasty cycle and it never stops. Hence the name "Married to the Cows" in case you were puzzled with the name.

The Outagamie County Fair starts tomorrow and runs through Sunday. Two years ago we took two calves to show in the open dairy show. Last year we were signed up to take two more but we ended up having second-crop hay to bale. This year we are milking three times a day and there is no way in heck one of us could be down at the fair. Taking care of two animals while the other one of us does chores at our place would not sit well with either of us. But I would like to take something next year...if we are not milking 3x it would be a huge possibility.

We are going Friday morning to watch open class dairy show which is a pretty big deal in our county. Whoever wins the show has to buy beer (1/2 barrels) for the party that night in the barn and everyone brings a dish to pass. The Holstein breeders provide hot ham sandwhiches. It is a great time. But sadly we will not be going and I think I'll get over it because I like my sleep and need it more. Saturday is our day to socialize and Maclayne will get to go on rides.

Saturday is the Kids and Calves show. Maclayne gets to lead a 3-7 month old calf which is nice experience for her. Besides the fact that she talks about this months before I wonder if she will want to show when she's old enough for the junior show which is when they are eight (I think). Haha...She still talks about the calf she showed last year.

Having someone milk for us seems so simple but sometimes it is so hard to find anyone. I am so appreciative that Kurt's brother is coming to milk Saturday afternoon. I am going to make him some chocolate chip bars and golden graham bars with marshmallows (like RiceKrispy bars). I am thinking about some puppy chow too or chex mix. He likes little candy bars so I am going to give him a pack of them. He told me he didn't want anything but I just want him to know we appreciate it. Being away for one milking is such a nice break and I am looking forward to more away (someday : ) ).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Temperatures here have been below normal so we have been eating meat and potato and casseroles. But this week we are suppose to have more normal (80s) temperatures, usually it is the complete opposite of last week. July has typically been a miserable, humid month. Right now the only thing the humidity would help is firing up a thunder storm. There are many chances this week. Our soybeans are choking that are along the rock ridge.
Monday-Leftover Swiss Steak
Tuesday-Smoked sausage, saurkraut, mashed potatoes, creamed corn
Wednesday-Going over to Kurt's friends place for a cookout. I am bringing Poke Cake and maybe finger jello or some type of cold salad or cheesey hashbrown casserole. Kurt's nephew who is Maclayne's age is allergic to nuts and eggs so my Poke Cake will be made the Weight Watcher's way with a can of diet pop.
Thursday-Tacos-I am so hungry for these!
Friday-I'm not sure. Normally we would eat at the fair this night because the Holstein Breeders have a party but we are not going. I am kind of in denial that we will be home waiting to milk at 9pm then to bed. I keep telling myself you have to get up at 5 and milk so get over it. You love sleep...that one works too!
Saturday-Fair food. We miss the party but we get to enjoy other things...post to follow after Saturday.
Check out Married to the Cows to see what's going on!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Taco Salad

It has been awhile since I had a recipe for the Recipe Swap. This recipe is easy to adapt to your own preferences and is very versatile. It's also a great dish to bring for a potluck or gathering.

Taco Salad

1 head of lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 pound of prepared taco meat (hamburger, turkey, veg)
Chopped onions, peppers, tomatoes-your choice
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 bottle Western salad dressing
1 can kidney or black beans, rinsed
1 bag Doritos or tortilla chips, crushed

Combine all of above ingredients together except for chips. If not serving for an extended period (more than four hours), do not add dressing either. Before serving, add crushed chips and toss along with dressing if not already added. I have seen many variations to this salad. Some people mix salsa and ranch dressing together. So be creative and enjoy your salad!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Second Crop Hay and Last Weekend

Earlier this year we found someone who was selling baled hay for a reasonable price. With our hay fields in need of reseeding and money being tight, we decided to plant more corn and seed down one new field of alfalfa. We had the hay tested and found out it was high quality baled hay so the price became extremely reasonable. As in we should have been paying 60 dollars more per ton than what we actually did. The problem with buying this hay was we needed to haul it back to our barn. The barn it was stored in was 20 miles from our place. With us buying 3000 bales and only 200 (give or take) roughly fitting in a wagon, that was going to be a lot of trips.

Kurt's big sell on buying our baled hay was we could load it up when we wanted and that the weather would be nice (not humid), blah, blah, blah. But with Kurt working every other weekend that really does not give you much choice. So we picked a weekend and went from there. Turned out we ended up cutting our own hay on Sunday and Monday and chopping it on Monday and Tuesday before our big hay hauling day. This was our second crop hay and typically second crop hay is baled up in either small squares or big or round baled. The first two are the preferred method for feeding dairy cattle.

We lined up two other guys who could haul wagons so we would be hauling three wagons at a time. Plus we needed a few more for unloading. Originally I had two young boys who love helping their grandpa out. Their dad decided the two older boys needed to come as well so they could see what kind of work their dad did as a kid. I had seven guys to feed and only planned for five. Not that should make a huge difference but it did. They cleaned up the brats and hotdogs I made them for lunch. I was kind of freaking out about what I could make them for supper when I remembered I had five freaking cans of Manwhich. Helloooo. I was wondering how in the world they were going to leave the shelf.

My friend Loree called because she was interested in helping unload hay, but I told her she would be the only girl. She sounded kind of disappointed that we didn't need her help but thankfully she decided to come visit with me. I liked that since I do not get to chat with her much anymore since I married Mr. Wonderful/Clean. She is also planning her February wedding so she's just a little involved with her busy life. She kept me company while I did the afternoon milking and my throat got a little sore from talking too much. Wierd how that happens if I milking by myself and someone is there to talk to. Maybe I should practice when no on is there so my voice is exercised because I obviously over exert myself when I have company. Poor me.

I love these pictures of Maclayne running this way and that way. This totally portrays a life of milking three times a day, husband with a part-time job off the farm, and a seven-year-old who asks each day, "What are we going to do today?" Happy times!
Final note. We had great weather last weekend for loading and unloading six wagons full of hay. Eighty degrees, partly sunny, and a nice breeze. Perfect now bring on the rain! Our fields are very thirsty.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday-Chicken parmigiana with spaghetti and garlic bread
Tuesday-Cheesy enchiladas with sweet corn
Wednesday-Crispy oven-fried chicken with potatoes and green beans
Thursday-Hamburgers, french fries, and baked beans
Friday-Swiss Steak, mashed potatoes, and veggies

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I Did It

Remember I threw a surprise 50th birthday two weeks ago? It was for our neighbor (and she's my FIL's first cousin) because she has two boys and a husband and I knew they would need my help. Sally's sister also helped me pull it off.

I know this is a bit far away but the expression on her face is sheer dumbfoundness! She told me later she saw the people who were there and they didn't match up with the people who would be coming to a party for Kurt and I. Duh, because they are your family and friends. Not that a few select wouldn't have been invited to ours if we would have had a party. haha...

We put a paper crown on Sally's head that said Birthday Princess. Once she realized the party was for her, did she ever laugh! That is what Sally does best. She is a laugher. Too funny and she was given many gifts and some not so nice gifts : ) Then there are the middle of the road gifts...12 pack of Mt Dew...too funny.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Did I mention I have been kind of busy? Running my little bean around to three different activities, making meals, laundry, watering my thirsty flowers, and milking a barn full of cows three times a day. I guess I forgot to report that we had a heifer calf born finally. It only happened a month ago. You must be wondering her name right? We name each heifer born here because we register our cattle and they need to have a name.

The first part of the name is our prefix which is something you okay with the Holstein Association because they are all unique. Ours is Lime-Acres. I'm not in love with it but Kurt picked it out way before I ever turned up in his barn door. The next part in the name is a reference to her sire barring there is room. You only are allowed 27 characters. Her sire's name is Alta Minister. Alta is the bull stud so it will be Lime-Acres Minister blah, blah, blah. Her name is the last part of her full registered name. Because her mom's/dam's name is Amber, any heifer calf she has will have a name that starts with A. I had a name picked out for this calf before she was born and I knew it was a heifer.

I'll tell you what it is. It's not that exciting but it fit in quite well when she was born. Kurt had to pull the calf which meant Amber needed a little help having her. To tell if it's a bull or heifer you need to look between it's legs or behind it's tail. If I have to spell it out for you, please email me and I'll have Kurt explain it : ) So I lifted her legs and lo and behold, "Halelujua," I exclaimed. Which I planned on spelling Alelujua or Aleluya and I just call her Alea-just like the beginning. Aleluya just fits the 27 characters, halelujua!!

Guess what. She is going to be sold August 24 at the dispersal of my friend's parents sale. Poor Maclayne there goes a little calf just her size. I am hopefully going to take the little lady with a lot of spunk to the county fair so Maclayne can show her in the kids and calves show. Hopefully Alea brings big money like 40-day-old Kween did back in April.