Friday, March 29, 2013

Corgi Friday!

It's time for a long overdue Corgi Friday!

For those of you that are new to my lil' ol' bliggity-blog, we have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Annie and she runs the farm. 

Dylan and Annie combing barley this last summer.
Annie is about a year and a half old and she is full of 'it'.  And by 'it' I mean...well I'm sure you know what I mean...

Annie also suffers from a common corgi syndrome called 'Corgi A.D.D.'.  Clinical signs show that if your corgi feels that there is a deficit of attention being paid to them, they will do just about anything to get your attention! And just about every corgi I have met is an attention hog and gets upset if they're not the CENTER of attention. Annie is no exception to the rule. The way Annie lets us know if we're not paying enough attention to her is attacking the springy door stop.  She started doing this when she was just a little puppy and she still does it!

These first three pics are when Annie was about two months old and she was attacking the springy door stop at my in-laws' house while we were eating supper and not paying attention to her.

And this is Annie a few weeks ago attacking the springy door stop in our bedroom (sorry for the blurry pics...she was being a wild woman).

She's such a goofy dog...and I love it! To back track a bit, when Annie was a little puppy we used to get a baking sheet pan, spread a thin layer of peanut butter over it, and let Annie lick the pan.  This was our way of keeping her occupied while we ate supper so we didn't have to listen to a rock concert of Annie playing the springy door stop, howling, and barking.  I learned that trick from my momma.  :) When my older brothers and I were little, my mom would set us in the high chair while she talked on the phone and feed us Cheerios one at a time to keep us quiet.  BUT...if it was a really important call or she wanted to talk on the phone for a long time, she would give us M&Ms! Ha! Any of you use 'techniques' like that to keep your fur-babies or real babies quiet? Or am I the only weird one? Never mind...don't answer that.

One thing for sure is that there is never a dull moment with a corgi around!  Those of you that have a corgi or have spent any amount of time around a corgi can probably attest to that!

Hope you are all having a fabulous Friday!  I had better go check on the expectant momma cows to see if we have any calves on the way!

Happy Easter from our farm to yours!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Springtime and baby calves

This first day of spring came with a lovely snow storm last week.  My husband and his dad had to make a trip to Wolf Point (about a 120 miles round trip from our farm) to do some paperwork, meet with our accountant, and...look at a new rifle. Boys...
But they also stopped by the greenhouse in Wolf Point and picked up some tulips and hyacinths (my favorite flowers)!  It definitely helped brighten my day with the dreary snowstorm going on outside!  I potted them in this cool old pot that used to be the 'random bolt holder' in the shop. And of's turquoise. I also added some cool ceramic eggs to give my house a lil' Easter decor. 
Then on Saturday, the whole fam damily (including Annie the corgi) braved the bad roads as a result of the snow storm and made our way back to Wolf Point.  My mother-in-law and I had our Bountiful Baskets to pick up and Dylan decided he wanted to buy the rifle that he looked at earlier in the week.  Here's what the roads were like most of the way to and fro...not ideal...but not horrible. :)
And here's what the wheels of one our pickups looked like after a trip into Lambert last Monday.
Our cows just started calving this past week and it's always fun to capture moments of the new little calves and the momma cows. I'm very thankful to have my iPhone along with me during these times to capture these moments, because well...quite frankly things can get a lil' western in a hurry!  It's much easier to run from an overprotective momma cow with an iPhone than a big fancy camera! That and...well there is a lot of icky, gooey, and smelly stuff during calving!
These are just some of the images from around our farm this last week.  We still have quite a bit of snow, but it has gradually been getting a little bit warmer during the day and has now began melting off.
Annie drift busting.
Traffic jam on the farm at feeding time.
The photo below was taken about three weeks ago.  This momma and baby jumped the gun on 'calving season' and this baby arrived extra early!  She was healthy and alive, but a tiny calf!  This lil' calf needed some help nursing on her momma, so we had to do a lil' coaching!  But after a few days of help, this baby calf got the hang of it and no longer needed us!
My father-in-law, Tim, helping the new baby calf learn how to nurse.
During 'regular calving season', we have all of our momma cows in a smaller pasture in front of my in-laws' house so we can keep a watchful eye on everyone. We let the cows have their calves out in the pasture so they can roam around a find a 'quiet spot' to have their babies. As soon as we see the cow going to labor, we make sure to check on them often (most of the time with from afar with binoculars) to make sure they're not having any problems while calving. Sometimes with heifers (that is a female cow that had not had a calf yet) and young cows, the calves are sometimes too big and the cows need assistance in having their baby. But most of the time the cow doesn't need our help at all!

Dylan checking on a momma cow and new born calf to make sure everyone is healthy.
After the cows have had their calves in the pasture we go out to them to make sure that the baby is breathing and healthy.  We usually wait until the momma cow has cleaned off her baby and had a chance to get acquainted before we start moving the pair to the barn.  We move the new pairs to the barn so we can get them out of the weather (the wind is always blowing here) and away from the rest of the herd.  This gives the cow and calf time to recoup from everything that has been happening.
On our first day of calving (minus our early arrival) we had a busy morning!  We had 3 calves born within an hour or so! Our maternity pens in the barn were getting full with new mommas and babies!  
Three new mommas and their babies tucked away in the warm barn.
We've had heavy fog the last two mornings (Remember what I said comes 90 days after fog?) so it has made for some neat pictures!
Replacement heifer waiting for her feed.

Dylan and a momma cow walking in a newborn calf born at dawn.

This calf in the picture below was born on Tuesday.  He's a cute lil' bugger! This morning Dylan and I put an ear tag in his ear that matches his momma's number.  We match the numbers so we can make sure everyone has the right calf!  Another thing we use our ear tags for is to 'sex' the calves.  An ear tag in the left ear means it's a steer (male calf with testicles removed) and an ear tag in the right ear means it is a heifer calf.  This helps us especially in the fall when we are sorting calves into steers and heifers in preparation for shipping.

Whitney (that's me!) and baby Hereford.
Speaking of new calves, I've been watching a cow while I was writing this and she just had her calf!  I best be off to go check on her and the new baby!

Happy trails!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Turn it up

I love music and I'm sure you do too! Here's some of the tunes that have me turning up the music loud and dancing around the kitchen!

This is one of my FAVORITE songs from The Raconteurs (which is made up of many great artists...including the amazing Jack White). And this version features the super talented Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe (before she was 'Hippie Annie' of the Pistol Annies).

Speaking of Ashley Monroe...she just released a new album, Like a Rose! Here's one of my favs from it!

And this one from Kacey Musgraves' new album, Same Trailer Different Park, is the one that's been playing over and over in the kitchen since Tuesday...

What kind of music gets you up and dancing around the kitchen? Or are you more of a dance party in the living room with your girlfriends type of person? I'd love to hear who your favs are! I'm always on the hunt for new music :)

Keep on rockin,

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Turquoise Tuesday!

Guess what?!?  It's an extra special day because it's Turquoise Tuesday AND National Ag Day! Yay! Oh and we're digging out from ANOTHER blizzard...

Today's Turquoise Tuesday, I am featuring some of my good friends who are amazing leather workers!  The husband-wife duo, Bryce and Megan Hardwick, are the owners of HARDWICK LEATHER.  They are based out Williston, North Dakota, in the heart of the Bakken Oil field. I met Bryce while we were in college at Montana State University (Go Bobcats!).  But I didn't meet his beautiful bride, Megan, until he brought her to mine and Dylan's wedding!

HARDWICK LEATHER offers chaps, chinks, headstalls, spur straps, belts, accessories (like beautiful earrings!), photo albums, wallets and much more!  Bryce also just finished making his first saddle!

And here is my personal collection of HARDWICK LEATHER earrings!

I just recently added the leather star earrings to my collection! And I love them so, so much!! Miss Megan is the creator behind the earrings and she's always coming up with new designs! Of course she knows I love turquoise and she sent me the floral carved turquoise cross earrings this last summer!  But she said I could only have them on one condition...if I modeled them in a photo for their calendar! ACK! I don't like to be in front of the camera...but I did it for the love of turquoise!  Here's one of the photos that my hubby Dylan took of me and Princess Annie.

Here are all of my HARDWICK LEATHER earrings up close and personal so you can see the craftsmanship and detail!

And my Bucking Horse Sale earrings!

The best part about these earrings is that they are so light and easy wearing!  So get on over to HARDWICK LEATHER's Facebook page and give them a 'like' and check out all of their leather goods! And while you're at it, 'like' the Dirt Road Dreamer page too!  But if you're looking to get some leather goods from the Hardwick's, you better get your order in quick because a lil' Hardwick buckaroo is going to be making his entrance into this world very soon!

Thanks for tuning in for another Turquoise Tuesday! Hope you're having a great week!


National Ag Day

Happy National Ag Day everyone!

I posted this photo on the Montana WIFE (Women Involved in Farm Economics) Facebook page. I am a member of this organization and also help manage the social media for Montana WIFE.  I'd love it if you'd stop on over and give us a 'like'! Also check out our ag calendar art contest!

But most of all I just want to say thank you to EVERYONE for supporting America's farm and ranch families! Without you, we couldn't do what we do!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Turquoise Tuesday {finally!}

Hello all! 

It's time for a very long overdue TURQUOISE TUESDAY! Yay! But first, a short lil' update on the happenings around the farm...

We've been busy digging out from a lovely March blizzard that came through Sunday and Monday! Which coincidentally is about 90 days after we had fog! Right on time with the ol' wives tales! This also means we should be getting some more precipitation later this week, because we had a long stretch of foggy days in December! Yay for precipitation!

I can't really tell how much snow we got, because the wind blew the snow around quite a bit. But as near as I can tell, we got a little less than a foot of snow! That's a lot of snow for us here on the prairie!

I'm sure glad we bought a snow blower last year (just like every other farmer and rancher in our area). The reason why so many of us bought snow blowers for our tractors is because the winter of 2010-11 was horrid. We smashed previous records for snowfall and low temperatures. There was still snow in the hills here until June, which is absolutely unheard of! This nasty winter just so happened to be happening at the same time that our house was being built! It made the process quite interesting! But more on that's time to talk TURQUOISE!

This Turquoise Tuesday a special one because these beautiful pieces of jewelry are made right here in good ol' Montana!

Kristin and her Etsy shop, Stone Creek Haven is based out of Bozeman, MT.  She learned her metalsmithing trade from a retired professor in Bozeman and I kick myself for not taking classes while I was in Bozeman too! But I digress...

Here's a lil' excerpt from Kristin's Etsy shop about her work: 
"I design and fabricate jewelry that is simple, timeless and sturdy. Because it is all hand built, please rejoice in its slight variations, much like life. The jewels can be dressed up or dressed down, complimenting your heart’s desire, as well as, your outfit. All items are handmade by me and I use fine metals and gorgeous gemstones. I really enjoy working with mixed metals! My jewelry has been field tested many times and the designs I craft are durable. I eat, breath, sleep, and exercise in all my jewelry. Because… if you aren’t lookin’ good, how can you be gardenin' good?"
I love the last sentence!  I try to explain this to my husband often because he makes fun of me if I wear some of my jewels while we're out working around the farm. I don't wear jewelry while working too often though because of the big safety hazard that comes with working with machinery and cattle! But if I know that I'm not going to be doing anything where my hand could get smashed, I wear some of my pretty rings! :)

Anyways...time to see some of the pretties!

Here is one of my favorite pieces from her shop (I'd buy it but I have big Norwegian wrists!)

I absolutely love the clasp! Don't you?!  And the rich color of that turquoise! Honey hush!

And now onto my next favorites! RINGS! These ones that I'm featuring have already been sold, but she's always adding new pretties to her shop!

And the back...

And look at these beauties!  I love the mix of metals. Gold, copper, silver, oh my!
I hope you'll stop by Kristin's Etsy shop, Stone Creek Haven, and take a gander at all of her pieces! She's a talented artist!

Happy Turquoise Tuesday everyone and always Carpe' Diem!