Wednesday, December 31, 2008

~ Happy New Year ~

We wish you all a New Year filled with hope, health, happiness and prosperity.

The Tylerfarm Family

Deb, Steve, Tom, Ty & Dave

~ Final Wordless Wednesday for 2009 ~

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Squirt & Company

Our weather has been unusually warm here the last two days. No sun on Sunday but yesterday was a glorious day. Blue sky and brilliant sunshine.

We have taken full advantage of the nice weather. We hauled round baled hay for the cows and today we will refill the sawdust bin. The hen house has been cleaned and the hens are enjoying fresh shavings. They appear to be a happy bunch and the following was my reward at the end of the day.

I have five nest boxes in my hen house and 24 hens insist on laying in two boxes. I picked up 20 eggs yesterday. Not bad for beginners :)

With all the snowmelt we have ice everywhere. I haven't let Squirt out of the barn in the backyard for fear that she would slip and hurt herself. She's growing like a weed.

She loves people already and loves to have her chin scratched. She looks forward to the one on one time she gets when Jan is in the milking stall. Of course, who can resist that face ?

Remember when I posted that I wished Santa would bring me a bull? Well...............I did get my wish - sort of...


This is Gus - he is a Holstein bull calf that we picked up yesterday. Isn't he adorable? :) Jan is producing a lot of milk. Even though Squirt is still with her and eats whenever she wants, we simply cannot use all her milk. We have all we want, I skim for butter and I have milk customers but I'm still throwing out milk. I decided I could raise another calf with the extra milk instead of throwing it out. I just hate waste and I also love cows :)

Gus will be a week old tomorrow. He's been with his mother but he nursed from a bottle last night without a problem. He'll be a good companion for Squirt.

Winter is back this morning. An inch of snow on the ground when I let the dog out and very windy. They are predicting a few inches today and half a foot tomorrow. We enjoyed the early "January thaw" but knew it wouldn't last. Now it's back to reality.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Farming resumes..........

As the holidays wind down, we are back to business here at the farm. It was a splendid Christmas here as always. I'm always a little melancholy when it's time to put away my Christmas decorations and take down the tree and I probably will not until after the new year. Somehow taking down the tree isn't as much fun as putting it up and decorating it and my house looks empty and sad without it until we adjust.

As I prepared for the holidays, shopping and finishing up hand made gifts, minor farm chores were put on the back burner. Now it's time to get them done and get back on track. Of course, mother nature is planning on dumping more snow on us Wednesday and potentially a big storm on Saturday so we are preparing for that as well. It does feel good to back into a routine.

I'm squeezing in a little playtime as well. My very generous family gifted me with this fabulous camera for Christmas. It is a Canon Rebel. I was absolutely blown away when I opened it Christmas morning!! Never in my wildest dreams did I expect this.........I had hoped to upgrade my little digital at some point as I've had it many years and it has some quirks but certainly not to this. I've only skimmed the instruction manual. Holy cow - I need a college course to learn to use it. I would greatly appreciate any advise, tips, etc., on the use of this incredible camera. I'm so excited to start taking photos and to learn what I can do with it. Lambing season starts in just a few months :) Baby photos!

Wishing you all a productive week - tomorrow, another surprise :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

~ The day after...............

Can it be the day after Christmas already? Seems like it has all come and gone in a blur of hustle and bustle. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, however you spent your day.

Ours was magical, as always. Family and friends, way too much food and the generosity of others that never ceases to humble me. I am so greatful for the many blessings that I and my family receive every day of the year.

Today was a fairly quiet day. I swear I could have stayed in bed until noon. I've been bugged with a headache and just feel pokey but we went to the feed store after morning chores for a few items and went into town to take care of a few things. I'll explain more about that tomorrow :) Santa was very good to me!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

~ From our Home to Yours ~

" Banjo on Chistmas Eve"

All of us at Tylerfarm wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

~ A White Christmas ~

We spent the day digging out from our first nor'easter. The weather folks were right on with their predictions. We have 16 - 18 inches of new, white powdery snow. It started yesterday about 10:00 a.m and let up about midnight. At 9 p.m. it was thundering and lightening. Such a light show during a snow storm. I was on the road when it started to storm.....I couldn't believe how fast and furious the snow came down. A couple inches an hour. I was very glad to get home. We had at least 7 or 8 inches by the time we headed to the barn for chores last night. All the animals stay in the main barn during inclement weather. I love to listen to all of the different animal sounds as they eat, the wind whipping and the snow blowing around outside while all is warm and comfy inside.

This is our Kubota tractor with 6 foot snowblower on the front. We couldn't survive here without this tractor. I am thankful for this machine everyday. I started blowing snow before 6 this morning and finished about 1 p.m. I stopped long enough to milk. Thankfully the snow wasn't heavy and the blower handled it easily. We purchased this three years ago. I was so reluctant to make the investment - I'm grateful my husband talked me into it. Shoveling is minimal with the tractor other than gates and doorways. Between Tom and I we have our system down and clean up goes smoothly. If the truth were told, I probably wouldn't like snow so well if I didn't have our orange tractor :)

The wild birds were very happy to find the bird feeders. We tossed mixed seed out after we plowed for the ground birds. Such a variety of birds today. These morning doves stayed around for quite some time as well and the juncos and the blue jays. Tufted titmice and woodpeckers were after the suet feeders along with chickadees and nuthatch. The bird tree if completely covered in snow. Hopefully the weather will warm up slightly over the next few days and we can hang a few more christmas ornaments treats out for them.

The photo below is my flowering crab that was a gift earlier this summer. I use the covering on the base as a way to measure the depth of the snow. I wonder how long it will be before the snow is up over the white plastic? Another storm predicted for christmas eve and another for saturday - that's winter in the northeast for you :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

~Proud Parents ~

We had our first big snowstorm last night. 8 - 12 inches of beautiful, fluffy white stuff. Sorry - no farm photos. Spent most of the day blowing snow with the tractor while everyone else shoveled. We are expecting our first nor'easter tomorrow evening. They are predicting 18 to 24 inches! We are as prepared as we can be and I'm even a little excited.. I know, I'm somewhat of a sick person when it comes to winter :)

Between winter clean up this morning, Tyler had his advancement test to blue belt in Karate. He passed with flying colors......We are so proud of him, as always. The best part is he is very proud of himself and his accomplishments. A little over a year and he has advanced four degrees in his Karate.
Tyler with his Sensai and his new blue belt
Chores are done for the day. I made a big pot of fish chowder and friends are joining us for dinner. I'm looking forward to a relaxing evening.

Friday, December 19, 2008

~ A picture meme ~

I saw this picture meme on my daily visit to Northview Diary.
I have to go into Portland today, service the tractor and get the snowblower attachment put on before another six inches of snow arrives. Not going to have much time for anything else today.

The directions were to go to the 6th file in your pictures folder, choose the 6th photo and share the story about it. Tag 5 friends, notify them on their blogs that they have been tagged for this meme. It would be impossible for me to tag just five! If you would like to play along, please do :)

This is my beautiful Christmas amaryllis. It's the quickest growing amaryllis I have ever had. Only two blooms on this one but lovely none the less. I grow one every year and I'm never disappointed. I love the rich, red color although in previous years I've grown a pink and also a white with red stripes. All are gorgeous in my book.

~Wishing you all a wonderful Friday ~

Thursday, December 18, 2008

~ Christmas favorites...........

It is a winter wonderland here in the Northeast :) Everything smells so clean and fresh. The snow is crisp when you step on it and today was simply a beautiful day. Another storm headed our way for tomorrow and our first Nor'easter for Sunday/Monday. We spent a lovely evening on Wednesday decorating our Christmas tree. We have boxes of special ornaments that we have collected over the years. Of course, some of my favorites are sheep ornaments, gifts from family and friends. Below are photos of a few:

It's so much fun to carefully unwrap all the special ornaments each year, admiring them again as if they are new and hanging them on the tree :)

Speaking of ornaments, I'm wondering if any of my blog readers would be interested in an ornament swap? I've participated before and it's great fun to receive an ornament in the mail from a different part of the country from a new "friend". I was thinking we could have the date for receipt after the holidays, such as January 15th or later if it's more convenient. If any one has any interest, drop me an email at with ornament in the subject line. I would love it - it's great fun :)

~ Happy Holidays ~

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

~ Amazing Milk ~

Monday morning was the first day since Jan delivered her calf that I kept milk for the house. It is wonderful to have fresh milk again. It simply tastes pure.....I can think of no other way to describe it. I kept six quarts yesterday morning and another six quarts this morning. We are big milk drinkers and it will go fast. Tomorrow morning I will run the milk through the cream separator and start saving cream until I have enough to make a fresh batch of butter. I will continue to do that in the mornings until we need whole milk again for the house. In the evening I give milk to the barn cats ~ they lap it up quickly and I love to see them with their frothy milk mustaches :)
I have several butter customers and milk customers who buy whole and skim. Even so, there is always milk left over. I've been keeping my eye out for another calf to purchase to feed the excess milk to but have found nothing so far. Perhaps Santa will bring me one :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A picture perfect day ~

Isn't it wild how quickly things can change in life - yesterday we were in the midst of an ice storm. Brilliant sunshine greeted us this morning along with cold, crisp air. Everything smells so fresh and clean. The trees are still coated with ice and everywhere I look reminds me of a Hallmark photo. The ducks were very happy to get out of their duckhouse....they ran out as soon as we opened the door and slid across the ice, trying to get a foothold, quacking and squawking. They are always good for a chuckle first thing in the morning :)

Shane (orange jacket) and her roommate Meg, came out to get their christmas tree today. Tyler and I joined them on their trek along with Banjo and Shane's new dog, Poppy. We had a lovely walk and the girls picked out two cute trees, one for their apartment and one for Shane's parents home. The balsam trees smell so good right now -

"Banjo on our christmas tree search in the woods"


Our little "Squirt McGert" is growing like a weed. She met Banjo for the first time yesterday and had her first adventure just outside the back doors of the barn while Mom had a drink in the big cow tub. She's such a sweetheart and so much fun to watch. She ran and jumped and kicked up her heels in the alley of the barn. She really likes it when we clean her stall as Mom is being milked. She has the entire 10x10 room to herself and doesn't she race around :)

Tomorrow is supposed to be 50 degrees. If it's not raining I'll let her out in the back barnyard with Jan for a little while. Jan is giving a ton of milk and tomorrow I'll keep milk for the house. It will be sooooo wonderful to have fresh milk instead of buying it from the store. I am thoroughly enjoying milking again and will be making butter by wednesday. Christmas definitely came early for me!

~ wishing you all a relaxing sunday~