Three way Skyping!

So thankful for modern technology: Skyped (3-way skyping, so cool) with daughter, Jessica Powell and son, Nathan at 8a this morning, so she could tell me about her first day teaching her kindergarten students (she teaches at GEMS Dubai American Academy, so is 9 hours ahead of us) and so we could both send Nathan best wishes on his first day at Northwest Missouri State University (first class at 11am is accounting).

Beats Pony Express and sailing ships!

Interesting class she has: 22 students representing Sweden, UAE, US, Canada, France, Jordan, Germany, and somewhere else i can’t remember. All speak English and some speak 3 or more languages! Kids these days…… Totally different than Tegucigalpa where the first several weeks were spent teaching English.

Cheers

tauna

Downtown Dubai, UAE
Downtown Dubai, UAE
Dancing fountains in Dubai
Dancing water and lights at the Dubai Fountain

CIDRs In, CIDRs Out, then AI

Big ranch outfits often do timed AI, but we’ve never done this, so quite the experiment for us.  There is a lot of time and cattle handling involved which translates, of course, to more labor costs.  Time will tell if all this is really worth it.  We have hired a professional AI technicial to insert the CIDRS and do the AI (artificial insemination).

18 August – Mustered the cows and replacements heifers for CIDR placement to begin at 7am along with a Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) vaccination.  Doug, the technician had a flat tire so was running about 30 minutes late.  Not a problem.  The cows sorted nicely and went through the chute with no problems.  We managed a pace of 67 cows per hour for a total of 3 1/2 hours from start of CIDR insertion to being finished.  Sorting of course, was started an hour earlier.  Weather was perfectly cloudy, cool, with rain starting after we finished!.

Allen was catching, Pat gave the shot, Doug AI'd with RIck preparing the straw and loading the AI gun. This was crucial in expediting the whole process.
Allen was catching, Pat gave the shot, Doug AI’d with RIck preparing the straw and loading the AI gun. This was crucial in expediting the whole process.  Dallas brought the cows quietly into the race.  I was sorting the cows from the calves (well, except for taking this photo!)

25 August – Mustered the cows and replacements heifers in again at 4:30 removal of the CIDRS in the cows which also received the lutalyse shot\.  Sorted off the replacement heifers and held in corral overnight.  A little warm starting here in the afternoon, but not too bad.  about 82F, but began to cool off quickly.  We were finished by 7:30p.

26 August – Removal of CIDRS in heifers at 7am. Also received a shot of lutalyse. Had a couple of calves to doctor, then let the whole mob down into the timber.

27 August – 6pm – went to muster the cows into the small lot by corral.  RIck had already unrolled 4 bales of good hay, but the cows had found their way out of the timber.  Took until 7:30 to get them in!  Note to self:  Leave the cows in the small lot with high quality hay rather than turning them out and having difficulty getting them back in.  My thoughts are that they are really tired of getting poked and prodded, so were quite reluctant to move back towards the corral and with all the hormones raging at this point, they are pretty distracted.

Doug Tenhouse, our AI technician is inserting the AI syring through the cervix and plunging the semen into the uterus.
Doug Tenhouse, our AI technician is inserting the AI syringe through the cervix and plunging the semen into the uterus.  This cow was being less than cooperative – normally, they stand up – there is no pain.

We finished about 12;30 pm and had AI’d 210 animals in five hours.  If I get 55% of the cows bred to Red Eddard, that’d be industry standard.  As expensive as this whole process is, I hope for better – only time will tell. The cows have all been inseminated with Red Eddard, a red Aberdeen Angus that was collected at Cogent and has been sold by Dunlouise Angus to another farmer.

AI 006
Four straws of Red Eddard were left over since there were a few cows that, for various reason, didn’t warrant the investment of being inseminated with expensive semen. These were put in Pat’s semen tank where we found we also had leftover Black Angus and Charolais semen from when we used to AI some 20 years ago. Maybe we’ll get it all used next year.

28 August – morning start at 7am with the cows; the heifers were held until last so that the timing is right for best chance of successful AI and conception for each group.  Cows should be AI’d 60-66 hours after CIDR removal and heifers about 54-60 hours.  Both receiving a second Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) shot.  A bit late getting started.  Cows were, not surprisingly, reluctant to go into the corral, but at last they made it.  We started about 7:30 am again.  Everything went very well today, however, and we finished about 12:30pm.

Potential recip (recipient) cows. If all goes as hoped, 10 of these will become proud surrogate mommas of native Aberdeen Angus calves.
Potential recip (recipient) cows. If all goes as hoped, 10 of these will become proud surrogate mommas of native Aberdeen Angus calves.

I made my final selection of cows to use for embryo transplant work

and only ended up with 17 for 10 embryos.  Hopefully, enough cows will be in standing heat this coming week and none fall out for other reasons, so that each of 10 embryos will have a new home inside a momma’s womb.  AND remain viable.

ET cows were hauled home and now I spend time each day, all day checking for standing heat and writing down the time and the cow’s ear tag number.  All cows will be hauled to Trans-Ova in Chillicothe, MO on the 4th of September for ET.  HOPE, HOPE, HOPE i get some live calves out of those embryos.  It’s SO expensive.

Dallas and I dewormed the sheep in the late afternoon – had just done it 20 days ago, but sheep were dying!  I found out that the previous owner of these sheep had already put his own flock on an 18 day deworming schedule.  Add this to the growing list of reasons why i’m selling off the sheep – more work, more expense, more loss.

Shabbat Shalom!

tauna

Red Eddard - a native born Scottish Aberdeen Angus bred by Dunlouise Angus, Kingston Farms, Forfar, Angus County, Scotland
Red Eddard – a native born Scottish Aberdeen Angus bred by Dunlouise Angus, Kingston Farms, Forfar, Angus County, Scotland

Why did Jesus (Yeshua) come?

natsab

Like most who are raised in Christendom, I grew up believing that Jesus came to ‘save His people from their sins.’  And, I was only partly right!  Indeed, personal redemption is necessary for the Messiah’s mission, but it is not the primary focus of His prophesied ministry.

In recent weeks I have had the urge to go back and reread the Gospels with a new lens, that of Yeshua (Jesus) as the image

Restorer of the Tent of David.

Acts 1:6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

Over and over, the prophets foretold of a coming King who will sit on the throne of David and regather Israel, all 13 tribes, from the four corners of the earth.  That King will teach Torah and make Israel into a great and glorious kingdom…

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Repairing our Favourite Picnic Table

Our dear friend, Jesse Bright, built this eight-sided picnic table out of western red cedar  maybe 12-15 years ago.  He was still in high school, (another talented homeschooler), so it’s been a while.  Jesse is now a technical designer at Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill in Alameda, CA, specialising in making his companies’ skyscrapers sustainable and ‘green’ as is reasonable.

Since the table has been sitting directly on the soil all these years, the bottom boards finally rotted away.   So, today’s  task is to at least get all the boards cut.  Unfortunately, ragweed pollen is at extreme high allergy rate, so I can only spend a few minutes at a time outside before succumbing to maximum sneezing, mucuos production, swollen, itchy, red eyes.  😦

When my children were younger, this project of repairing the picnic table would be one of many math lessons.  (We just completed 13 years of home education).  Of course I did all the cutting and drilling until they were older.  However, by then they could manage the entire project.  Measuring, determining angles, planning the project, gathering the necessary tools and materials, determining if something needs to be purchased, then going to town to make the purchase or finding them out of our own inventory.  Time and financial budgeting included as well as problem solving (because you know nothing is as easy as it looks).   All skills needed to be successful no matter one’s career choice.

Finished just in time for Shabbat!

Shabbat Shalom!

tauna

Turned upside down in preparation for base board removal and measuring.
Most of the screws coule be removed with the cordless power drill, but some needed special attention.
Most of the screws could be removed with the DeWalt cordless power drill, but some needed special attention.
Using my small monkey wrench (visegrips), I could turn the stripped headed screws out fairly easily.
Using my small monkey wrench (Vise-grips), I could turn the stripped headed screws out fairly easily.
The boards had been glued down, so using a disk sander, I sanded off the old boards that had stuck to the glue and ripped off when I pulled off the old boards. Also, sanded off the old glue to make a smooth surface.
The boards had been glued down, so using  my Makita disk sander, I sanded the old boards that had stuck to the glue and ripped off when I pulled up the old boards. Also, sanded off the old glue to make a smooth surface.
Our local lumber store did not have Western Red Cedar boards, so i had to settle for treated 2x4s. Nathan went to get the boards and they sent him home with boards that are above ground grade! GRRRR. Nevertheless, I was ready to finish the project, so i used them anyway. Will treat them with a couple extra coats of boiled linseed oil when i have time. I used a skill saw to the cut the boards. Check out that short board with the 45 degree angles. I did that, too! I'm no carpenter, so that 's a big accomplishment for me.
Our local lumber store did not have Western Red Cedar boards, so i had to settle for treated 2x4s. Nathan went to get the boards and they sent him home with boards that are above ground grade! GRRRR. Nevertheless, I was ready to finish the project, so i used them anyway. Will treat them with a couple extra coats of boiled linseed oil when i have time. I used a Skilsaw  (our model 5250 is so old there is no web link!) to cut the boards. Check out that short board with the 45 degree angles. I did that, too! I’m no carpenter, so that ‘s a big accomplishment for me.
Thunder enjoying a cool morning and looking surprised! :-) Actually, he was just into a yawn.
Thunder enjoying a cool morning and looking surprised! 🙂 Actually, he was just into a yawn.

Second Hand Saves

A child after my own heart!  Youngest son, college-bound Nathan, scored well at the second hand shops in Chillicothe today.  He has decided to spiffy up his wardrobe from jeans and t-shirts to a bit better dressed these past months.  Although his shoe purchases were high, there’s not much to be done with that.  He still did well buying new.  Honestly, he was in a shoe poor situation – everything he had is worn out and will be thrown away.

One dark blue classic styled 100% worsted wool, fully lined suit coat - $5.00.  The other is half lined and not as fancy at $3.00.
One dark blue classic styled 100% worsted wool, fully lined suit coat – $5.00. The other is half lined and not as fancy at $3.00.  Both made in the USA!
Three dress shirts: Calvin-Klein, Van Heusen, and Hathaway.  Cost of all three totalled $6.00.  Like new, maybe never worn.
Three dress shirts: Calvin-Klein, Van Heusen, and Hathaway. Cost of all three totalled $6.00. Like new, maybe never worn.
New backpack - $3.00
New backpack – $3.00

She’s Off! Again

These past two months have been such a blessing with our whole family together at home.  Daughter Jessica, returned in June from her two years in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, having taught kindergarten at The American School.  She made so many friends, both at the school and the US Embassy.  She had purchased a car and explored the countryside as much as possible on long weekends.  On longer breaks, she took in Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Ecuador.  She was able to come home for visits occasionally.  She will miss her classroom assistant, Ms Cuty, very much – she just loved that wonderful lady.  As she gave me a hug (the boys and i visited Thanksgiving 2013), she says to me, ‘in the classroom, Miss Jessica is my boss, outside, she is my daughter.’  I will never be able to adequately thank this wonderful lady!.

Read about her experiences in her blog at The Honduras Experience.

Now, she has just landed in Dubai, UAE via Delta Airlines for her next two year stint at teaching.  This time, she will be teaching kindergarten at Dubai American Academy, a world class private school.

Taking her to Kansas City International Airport yesterday was a difficult task for me.  Emotionally, i’m just a basket case.  Of course, i’m thrilled she has the courage, tenacity, and hard work ethic to graduate number one in her Central Methodist University class of 2013 with honors at age 21, then to apply for and obtain a foreign teaching job, then do it again, travel all over while she’s in those areas, but at the same time, I want her safe at home.  But she’s probably not in any more in danger on her travels than she is on our north Missouri farm.

Successful college career. Number one in her class, with honors and a 4.0 GPA Summa Cum Laude
Successful college career. Number one in her class, with honors and a 4.0 GPA Summa Cum Laude

It was certainly nice not to have to leave home at 2am to make the flight like it was for Tegucigalpa!  But it is now 23 hours from our house to her apartment in Dubai.

So, maybe i burst into tears occasionally because of the change?  my children are grown and leaving (left) the nest?  making lives of their own?  Geesh, those should make me happy!  What’s wrong here?  I am happy – just not ready.

Since it is Friday, we probably won’t hear from here until Sunday or Monday, when she is settled into her apartment and utilities are turned on.  What a difference in weather and culture!   It’s currently 93 feels like 107F in Dubai – not bad, we’ve been having that in  north Missouri, EXCEPT, it’s 1 am in Dubai.

Shabbat Shalom!

tauna

Rural North Missouri

“Planning and strategizing are OK, but most of life is in the trenches. It’s just a lot of hard work, commitment and you’re never done.”   Tina Reichert, Brunswick, Missouri

Rural Missouri County Among Best Places To Grow Up For Future Income Growth

AUG 5, 2015
Brunswick street
Downtown Brunswick, Missouri