Some of you may know that Isaac worked for Texas A&M Agrilife and acquired some knowledge about gardening. So this year, we decided to plant our own garden. I am so excited! I have so many fond memories of my grandparents' garden. We lived far away from them, but if we went to visit during harvest time, we would set up a little table and sell cucumbers and other garden produce with our cousins. I remember picking the peas out of the snaps. (I probably was not a good helper at harvesting considering I would eat the veggies as I picked them.) When we were not visiting during harvest time, we could always count on a big box of sweet corn and cucumbers arriving in the mail. Oh, we treasured that corn! Homegrown food just tastes so good and I hope to create that tradition in my own family.
Well, since I have never "planted" a garden I am learning a few things from my husband Isaac. Let me just tell you upfront. THIS TAKES TIME. And, it is a workout!
First, we rented a tiller from Home Depot and Isaac "tore it up!" We actually ended up renting the tiller twice because the ground was so hard we didn't get very deep the first time. We soaked the area and then tilled again once it dried. So a piece of advice: water the area days before you till so you only have to do it once.
Isaac then shoveled the dirt to form these rows. (It sounds like I'm doing nothing. Hey, I'm the assistant so I, you know, hand him the shovel and the tape measure, bring him a drink, that kind of thing)
Wait, I forgot, I was helping! I was gathering...wait for it... horse manure. That's right. Finally, we have a use for that crap! Ha ha. Don't worry, I am laughing out loud right now at my own joke. I love puns!
We threw the manure in with dirt to use it as fertilizer. Don't worry, it wasn't the fresh stuff. I guess fresh poop is so potent it could kill your plants so you have to wait till it is dry and has broken down more.
Here are our beautiful rows!
And here is the crew. Here we have farmer Joe on your left and farmer Jane on the right.
And baby Wyatt. Wyatt was a great observer, though he seemed to focus more on my water bottle than anything else. Don't you just love how the strap on his hat accentuates his double chin?! Ha ha.
And here is the finished product! (As in finished planting)
Another view of our little garden
I will add more to this post as our little garden (hopefully) grows. We planted corn, tomatoes, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers (the Mucho Nacho variety, love that name!), bell peppers, squash, zucchini watermelon, and cantaloupe. So if all goes well, I might be setting up a little table and selling my produce just like I did at grandma's!
I always thought the term "soccer mom" would describe me driving my kids to a soccer game in my minivan. I never expected that I would join a soccer team after I had become a mother. My church has a large email group where people post community activities, church announcements, items for sale or for free, and ask various questions and favors. Well, one day someone had sent an email looking for someone to buy their soccer team membership because she was leaving town. I thought, I need something to motivate me to workout and this seems like fun. She said that the league was pretty laid-back and thank goodness because I haven't played soccer since the 5th grade! We lost the first couple of games and I even pulled my quad muscle pretty bad at one of the games. But, we won this last game and it was so exciting! I feel so youthful! Growing up is great but sometimes growing up can be sad because you often have give up some hobbies. I have really missed team sports. I loved playing field hockey and lacrosse as a kid. I really wish I could be on a field hockey team but field hockey isn't popular in Texas. But even though I can't play field hockey, I am having a blast playing soccer. And I am grateful to have Isaac and Wyatt cheering me on the sidelines. And yes, Wyatt cheers. He waves his little arms and makes his cute little noises. Oh, I love my little fan!
Here is a picture of me feeding Betty. Often you have to straddle the calf and hold the bottle
above it's head. This helps you get the closest angle to as if it were nursing from its mother.
Well, another one bites the dust yet again. We were sad when we lost Buttercup. Only a couple weeks later, Isaac brought home Betty. Betty seemed so promising. She sucked on her bottle a lot better and was much more active. However, Betty had no tail. By the time Isaac had found her at the feed yard, some coyote had already gotten her tail. Isaac doctored her up but I now wonder if she got an infection or lost too much blood.
Lubbock has CRAZY weather. The past couple weeks we have seen record highs and record lows. One day it will be 90 degrees and the next night it will be below freezing. Betty was our first ever animal sleepover. And let me tell you, she was a party animal, literally. She stayed in our "laundry room." It is really just a laundry area by the back door. I put down some newspaper to keep the area relatively clean. We also put up a board so that she couldn't escape.
Betty would get up and wobble around a lot in the night. She also peed everywhere. You may think, "that is gross!" but we all know that even people, well drunk people, behave this way so give Miss Betty a break! She actually has a legitimate excuse. Well as the days went on, Betty appeared to be gaining strength but we noticed that her eyes were turning cloudy and blue. Betty was blind. So sad! Well, one afternoon when I went out to feed her, she wouldn't eat and I noticed that she was lethargic. The next time we went to feed her she wouldn't even get up. I even lifted her up (usually the cow will straighten its legs and stand if you do this) but she just collapsed. A few hours later she was dead. I was so disappointed. I took consolation in that maybe it was for the best. I had read on the internet that blind cows need to be in a herd for protection or they would become prey to predators such as coyotes. Since we don't have a herd of cattle, she may have died a more tragic death in the future. Betty was so cute! She would use her hearing to follow us around. And bless her heart, she would wag that little stump of a tail trying to get rid of the flies that congregated around her bum. I'm gonna miss that heifer!
Another update: Isaac brought home another calf yesterday. From the beginning she didn't drink very well. I named her "Lucky" in hopes that the third time really is a charm. She also spent the night inside with us because this week we also had a freeze. Today she passed away. I felt sad and told Isaac that I might need a break from trying to keep these cows alive. When I asked him why we keep losing the calves he told me that most likely these calves aren't getting colostrum from their moms and sometimes they aren't immediately found by the cowboys. Well, someday we will get a cow that will make it. I just know it!
Here is a funny picture of Betty. Betty hung out a little bit with our dog Snax. I guess the grill is a hot hang out spot. When I saw her smelling the grill I chuckled and thought, "How ironic!" Oh Betty!