Meet Banjo

Meet Banjo.


He’s Peanut’s new puppy and, as we’ve been told many times, ONLY hers.


The farmer got him because sometimes it would be really handy to have a cattle dog around the farm. We don’t need horses because dairy cows are pretty docile, but sometimes you get stubborn ones. Banjo has shown himself to be a very willing student. I’ve been amazed at how easy he’s been to train. He’s still got a lot to learn, but I have faith. We’d like to send him to a professional so he can really be a productive part of the farm. So far, though, he’s been learning manners. Like “sit” “shake” “lay down” “stay”. We’re currently working on him not being a spaz any time we have visitors. That’s the only one he has some trouble with.

This is Ace.

This is Ace.

I was ok with a cattle dog because I grew to really like my dad’s Blue Heeler while we were building our house. I watched him snap snakes in half. I was sold. And sometimes, I’d get home from town on a cool day and Peanut would be asleep in her car seat. To get her out would have awakened her, so I’d leave her out there. Ace would always let me know she was awake by barking or acting panicky around the car. Peanut loved him, so it only seemed natural.

My canine nanny

My canine nanny

With Banjo, it’s just the same. She can’t wait to go out there to see him every morning. Here lately, though, she’s found an affinity for tying things up. She even pretends she’s a horse and ties herself up. She’d tie me up if I’d let her.

You can imagine my alarm  when I walked into the living room the other day and saw this.


Doesn’t look like this puppy fared too well. His tongue’s all hangin’ out and rigor mortis has set in.


We may need security detail for Banjo.


Have a happy Monday,

The Dairymaid

A Day at the Farm

Peanut and I hopped in the car Monday and took a little jaunt to the farm. I can’t pass up a pretty day spent there. We have so many projects going and I have so many plans that to not spend the day there feels like such a waste. Peanut absolutely loves it. She seems to thrive there and already acts like she owns the place. I’m sure as she gets older she will be the one to give any guest the grand tour and a crash course in the art of dairy farming. She now knows what a Holstein is and pretends to drive all the farm vehicles with a very capable air of authority. Mandy got stuck in the mud a few nights back while trying to load a bale of hay. After some unsuccessful spinning , Peanut, in a very superior tone, I might add, looks at Mandy and says, “Let me drive.” Apparently, she thought she was a little more capable of getting us out of a pickle than Mandy was.

We arrived at the farm and immediately, Peanut was ready to drive the tractor. Naturally, the farmer agreed. We drove up the road to my mother-in-law’s and visited with her for a while. In the meantime, my dear husband was working out in his head how to entertain me for the day. This usually consists of using me as free labor. Or I just end up following him around asking him if any of my random plans would even be possible. Most of the time, these questions somehow end up having to do with lighting things on fire.

There’s a reason for this, I promise. We have a lot of brush around the farm. A LOT of cleaning/clearing to do. I like the path of least resistance. Therefore, instead of possibly damaging machinery trying to push saplings out of the ground that seem to have a 10-foot root wad (trees that look like overgrown weeds….Titanic iceberg underneath), I just ask, “Can’t we just burn it?” Most of the time, I get answered with a “No.” But… on the off chance my suggestion gets a “Yes,” I keep asking. Persistence is definitely one of my virtues. And setting things on fire is basically my answer to everything.

The car won’t start?

Let’s set it on fire.

Shirt too tight?

Send it a’ blazin’!

Weeds in the garden?

Where’s my lighter?

We had a brush pile from when we cleared the site of our new little house, so my pyromaniac needs were met for the day.

Afterwards, it was time to start feeding. In the wintertime, it seems like this is all the farmer ever does. When he calls, I don’t even ask him what he’s doing anymore because he’s always “feeding.” I told him to lie the other day and come up with something exciting so I could live vicariously. He obliges me sometimes. Anyway, right before we took off on our feeding adventure, the farmer filled a couple of feed buckets and hung them on the front of the tractor. I had to take a picture cuz’ I thought it was ingenious!

My kind of heavy lifting!

We decided to let the dog tag along with us. The farmer got him as a puppy when we were dating. Since he’s a chocolate Lab, it only seemed right to name him Chip.

 These are our expecting mommas, also known as “dry cows”. We don’t milk them, therefore, they’re “dry.” As soon as they have those babies, they are “dry” no more. Here at Fox Creek Farm, maternity leave starts before you have the baby.

Then, it was time to go down to one of the bottom fields and get some hay for the milk cows. Chip trotted behind the tractor. Little did he know that they would look at him and decide that he needed to be immediately eliminated. They chased him everywhere and this is bad because he’s a very cowardly dog that runs to his masters and tries to hide behind them. If one of the cows have to come through us to get him, this doesn’t bother them one iota.

Chip’s right behind us in this picture. Nervewracking for this  little city girl. Most of the time, I’m quite comfortable with the cows. It’s wise to always to be a little cautious with animals, but normally we’re good. However, when they’re bellering and running at you, things get a little iffy.  Good thing the cows respect the farmer because there were a few times I felt the need to get behind him, too.

This is right before I let a cow through… (Next time, maybe he’ll think better of asking me to get the gate.) She was, of course, after Chip.

The farmer decided to wait until we came back through to put her back where she belonged, so we continued to drive towards the hay bales. We got almost there when all of a sudden, we heard “Pshhhhhhhhh.”

The front tire went completely flat.

“Well, honey, you know what this means…”

“What?” I ask.

“We’re gonna have to walk back,” he sorrowfully said.

“Noooooo! It’s all up hill!! I whined.  (Big blue bonfire, anyone?)

And there was still a crazed cow out there somewhere after Chip.

We walked until we got to the pond and Chip decided to go for a swim. If there’s water anywhere in the near vicinity, he’s in it. The farmer threw a stick for him a few times.

It never gets old.

Apparently, we looked a little dry.

Just like I told ya, she spotted us and started running towards us. She had an avid audience there in the background. Look at that face of  determination! I think we’ll leave Chip at home next time…

We managed to get her back in the field she belonged in without any problems by throwing a stick for Chip. Unable to help himself, he took off after it and she followed right after him. By doing what he was bred to do, he unknowingly became a cattle-working dog there for just a second. We then cut across another field to avoid the chaos he creates.

We made it back to the barn and that was the end of my part of the day spent there.

I’ll leave you with this.

Because if a puppy face isn’t a good end to this post, I don’t know what is.

P.S. Don’t worry ’bout your tractor, Uncle Harley. The farmer told me no.