Monday, February 09, 2009

This and that....

You've heard that old saying, "Make hay while the sun shines," haven't you? Well, a couple of days ago we had temperatures in the 50's which is very warm for February in the north country. So Hubs & Sons had the idea to make some straw bales for the barn. This straw was originally baled into those big round bales that you can see in the background. The guys broke open about 5 big round bales and then pitchforked the straw up into our old square baling machine. This baler has been running since Hubs was a boy. It takes a little more TLC to operate it nowadays, but we only make just a few square bales now-and-then for the barn to be used when we are calving heifers or lambing the ewes.

Here are the bales coming out the back end -- all tucked and tied. The men made 100 squares and stacked them neatly in the barn. We'll begin getting baby calves in about 3 weeks time. The straw is used for bedding. Most of the cows have their babies in the pasture, but the heifers (first time mother cows) will be close to the house and we'll bring each through the barn to make sure everything goes well. They get extra care since it's their first calf.

I've been playing with scissors, paper, and paint this past week. I got the idea to make these paper heart chains over at Maya*made. She does the sweetest things by re-purposing newspapers into things like Valentine paper chains by using a little bit of red paint and the sewing machine to stitch them together. Click here for the instructions. I decided that I liked the potato stamped hearts best when the projects were all said and done, and it was much easier to do. I cut lots and lots of little stamped hearts and used some of them on my homemade Valentine cards too. I also saved the brown paper that covered my table and stamped it with the potato hearts to use for a gift wrap.

Picture excerpt: The Story of the Root Children

I've been browsing the children's section over at for some special books for a special Grandangel. I truly am the Book Fairy Grandmother and I'm constantly finding "new" old books that I love. First off, I just adore children's story books. Maybe it's because I never had any as a child. I borrowed and bought tons books for my own children growing up, some of which were so well-read that their covers were loved off. I also buy picture storybooks for myself sometimes, and now that I have a Grandangel, I have yet another excuse to linger amongst the children's book shelves. This adorable page above comes from a book entitled Story of the Root Children by Sibylle Von Olfers. And look at this sweet one called The Story of the Snow Children! **Squeal of delight** I can't wait for them to arrive in my mailbox!

One more's snowing again.
Big, beautiful, wet flakes of snow. It's warm-ish which makes snow much more enjoyable.


  1. Oooh, I'll squeal with you -- that snow children book looks absolutely delightful. I've taken note. ;-) I LOVE children's books and have way too many.

    Love the hay pics too. I've always been fascinated that those giant round bales don't rot with all the snow and moisture of winter!

  2. I envy you your life on the farm. Those are sweet childrens books. I also have a fondness for kid's books, especially old vintage ones.

    Cute hearts!

  3. Whoa, that is a seriously large pile of hay bales! I guess you can tell I've never been to a real ranch; I've only seen sporadic bales in Georgia pastures. I'm glad you got a respite from winter, even if just for a short while.

    And the books are just adorable! Isn't it fun to discover new children's books?

  4. Thimbleanna,
    If the bales are really well made (tight) and are made with the proper moisture levels, they don't rot too much. After a year or two or three, they do begin to decompose and rot.

    I'm glad you liked the hearts and books. We really do appreciate our ranching life, but it is a lot of hard work and constant.

    Our bales start out in the pasture like you've seen in Georgia and then they must be brought into the hay corrals for wintertime feeding so they are easily accessible. And yes, I do love discovering new children's books.


  5. Jody,

    First of all, I share your love of children's picture books. I frequent the library sales for them to add to my shelves. Sad that the library is getting rid of some of the classics--good that they are 'rescued' by me! I'm not familiar with Sibylle Von Olfers and so I'll have to check her books out. Thank you.

    Secondly, how much do one of those hay bales weigh when dry?

    Have a great day!


  6. Joyce,
    A big round bale will weigh about 1200 lbs (dry) and a small square bale will weigh about 75-100 lbs depending on whether it's hay or straw. Straw is alway lighter than hay.


  7. The Root Children, is such a special book, you will love it. Your garland turned out so sweet xoxoxo Clarice

  8. I can hardly wait for my turn to be a Book Fairy Grandmother !

  9. Wowsa! That's alotta hay! I agree with Kalona about envying your farm life. I know it's HARD work too! Always love hearing about your neck of the woods. Sweet, sweet books! Enjoy them.
    Glad you are enjoying the snow...also the music is Lovely! Thanks!

  10. I'm another lover and collector of children's books! As a famous man once said, “When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” – C. S. Lewis


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