The Paris Disappointments

While I have never been to the “real” Paris, like the one not in the United States, I have been to 3 Paris towns in my life, all with varying levels of buzzkill for me.

Of the three Parises(?)Paris, Kentucky is my favorite. Lots of rolling hills and beautiful pastures as far as the eye can see. It’s very close to Lexington, KY, so thoroughbred horse farms are everywhere and it is breathtaking. The area itself is beautiful, but man did I have an interesting experience with some less than beautiful people. I went with a friend of mine that was “Racer One” (Murray States mascot) to be a part of some kind of alumni function. When we pulled into this estate you would have thought a prince lived there. Anyway, we were treated like servants, not offered anything to eat or drink all evening, and had to deal with a devil horse that tried to bite you every chance he got. All while maintaining a smile for the photo ops with the richie riches. The only reason we got any food is because an awesome lady (who obviously wasn’t like the others) made us some to go plates and sent us out the back door. But I’m not going to hate Paris, Kentucky just because of that night. I’m sure not everyone there is a rude snob.

I’m pretty indifferent about Paris, Tennessee. It hasn’t ever done anything bad to me, but nothing necessarily great either. It is known for having the worlds largest fish fry, and probably even better known for the Jason Aldean song. “Climbed a water tower, in Paris, Tennessee…” I don’t eat fish, I’ve never climbed the water tower, and the rodeo they have during the fish fry is always a muddy mess, so I don’t have a lot of love for that town. The one reason I do have some fondness for the town is because in college it was the closest place we could buy liquor. (I never bought any of the cheapest vodka ever made while in Paris, but I would ride down with my friends for THEM to get some.) Yup, MyFarmer and I went to college in a dry county. And yes, dry counties still do exist to this day in Kentucky. Anyway, I’ve had some fun times in Paris, Tennessee, so I don’t hate the place, but I’m not dying to go back.

Then there is Paris, Texas. By far the biggest let down of the 3 Paris’ in my life. And it didn’t have to be that way. But now it is. And we can’t change that.

My BFF AnnieLisa and I went on an awesome road trip last summer to go see DanaDoodle in south-central Oklahoma. The trip was amazing. Neither one of us had really been on a trip without towing horses, so it was nice to be able to travel at a leisurely pace and stop at all the historic landmarks in Northern Texas… and all the western stores. We stop at this killer western store just outside of Paris, Texas right before lunchtime…

We spend about an hour skimming through the store in awe. Cute clothes, tons a boots, some tack and jewelry. It was a winner of a store for two girls like us. As we were checking out the sweet lady was asking us where we are from, what brings us to Texas, etc. etc. and we told her that we were actually just killing time on our trip because we were running about 6 hours ahead of schedule. (Yeah, we were a little overzealous and excited to see Doodle.)

The sweet lady hands us a couple of Paris, Texas magnets and says with so much excitement that she can hardly stand it, “You HAVE to go see the Eiffel Tower! It’s HUGE! There’s a GIANT cowboy hat on the top! It’s SO COOL!” Hook, line, and sinker AnnieLisa and I are IN. The lady gives us “directions” and off we go with extremely high expectations. We pull down the road it is supposed to be on, and start excitedly looking to the sky. We couldn’t see it until we were literally in the parking lot, and the let down started to set in. There is was. Maybe a couple stories tall, with a big-ish cowboy hat. A couple stories tall of black metal. In the 10 minutes it took us to get there we had built up the excitement to a really unattainable level. And let me tell you that Eiffel Tower wasn’t even close to reaching the level we wanted it to be. As much of a disappointment it was, it was equally as hilarious. But hey we were there for the experience, so take pictures and enjoy the experience we did.

While the Paris, Texas Eiffel Tower was a total let down, I do still suggest that you go if you’re in the area. In all fairness it really isn’t that lame… it just definitely isn’t as cool as we were led to believe. HA! Plus there is a really nice veterans memorial right next to it. The memorial totally made our hunt to find the tower with it. We also found a little diner that had amazing cheeseburgers close by. #winning

I hope that sometime in your life you can make a 24 hour round-trip road trip with your BFF. We had such an amazing time, and too many random stories that I could never share all of them. A couple highlights:

  • “Have we passed Memphis yet?” … As we were closing in on Little Rock.
  • The first time we saw a “Watch for Rattlesnakes” sign.
  • When a random loose heifer on a back road in North Texas called our bluff… in the truck.
  • Sleeping with a knife in the motel room because our door didn’t have a secondary lock.
  • The look you get when asking about the Clinton family in Bill Clinton’s hometown in Arkansas. (Hint… it’s not a good one.)
  • Exciting announcing “There’s a cactus!” every time we saw a wild cactus.
  • Trying on every single piece of clothing at the discount western store.
  • Laughing. Lots and lots of laughing.

A few pictures of one of the funnest weekends ever.

Stopping at all of the historical landmarks in north Texas was for sure a highlight of the trip. I’m kind of a nerd (as if you haven’t picked that up yet) so every sign we saw we would whip it off the highway.

That stupid Eiffel Tower. I hate it, but actually I love it.

The veterans memorial. Go there.

I’ll go to any Paris as long as these girls are there!

Laney

Pumpkins and Pups

The weekend before last we had our first “Pumpkins and Pups” event at Ruby Branch Farms and my goodness it was even more fun than I could have imagined! We had all kinds of pups come to the farm and over $400.00 was raised in one day for Abbi’s Barkery! Abigail is a local girl who has been diagnosed with epilepsy and has started selling homemade dog treats to raise money for a dog that will detect her seizures. She and her family are absolutely precious and we were so excited to do something that would help her cause! When Abbi has raised enough money for her dog she is going to keep the business going and help other families get dogs and other detection devices. If you are not local to the Franklin, KY area check out her website at  www.abbisbarkery.com and have them delivered straight to your pooch! My dogs LOVE the treats and I promise yours will too!

My awesome mother in law offered up her photography expertise for free, and all of the pictures were taken just for a donation to Abbi’s Barkery. Here are a few pictures from our fun day!

All photo’s by B. Snider Photography.

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I was super impressed with everyone’s well-behaved dogs (and cats!). We didn’t have to break up any fights and my recurring nightmare of a giant Doberman Pinscher running through the mum pad with reckless abandon didn’t come to fruition. If I were to take our 4 dogs to something like this it would have caused pandamonium. Ha!

This weekend (Oct. 1st and 2nd) we are kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Ruby Branch Farms with our first annual “Mums For Moms” event.  We have pink mums, pumpkins, t-shirts, totes and other goodies! A portion of all sales will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to help find a cure for a disease that takes WAYYY to many moms (and dads) away from us every year.

In other news, I could weep with joy just looking at the weather forecast this week. It’s September 26th and this is the first day of the year that it actually feels like fall. Tonights low is 46 degrees. It’s hoodie weather, y’all!

Have a great week!

Laney

Hello, I’m Right Here!

I had pretty much written Luke Bryan out of my country music playlist. It’s not that I didn’t like some of his stuff, it’s pretty catchy, but like all the other “bros” of bro-country, the cliché “country life” crap was starting to get on my nerves.

Then I got excited. I saw he had a new song out called “Here’s To The Farmer.” I thought, “Yes! Here is a redeemer song for my buddy Luke!” and hit the play button. Hey, this is pretty good, nice little groove, lyrics that don’t necessarily make me want to punch myself in the face. But alas, here comes the chorus, accompanied by the first little sucker punch :

Here’s to the farmer that plants the fields in the spring
That turn from green to that harvest honey
Hold one up for the banker downtown
That got him on his feet with handshake money
Here’s to the farmer’s wife that loves him every night

Okay, I do love MyFarmer every single day. But is the most important role that I play on this farm really just the fact that I supposedly, ahem, “love” him every night?  Good lord I hope not. And are we really giving the BANKER more credit than the wife here?

But you know, I’m still willing to give this video a shot. I’m not going to pull out my pitchfork for one questionable lyric. The song ends, I’m feeling pretty good about it. Then it happens. The music is over, the camera moves over to Mr. Bryan, and he says it.

“Thank you boys.”

Here I am, right here, on this farm, with the ability to do virtually anything and everything my male husband can do. But don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about me or any of the other 969,671 female farm operators in the United States*. I guess the 30% of farm operators that are female probably don’t do much anyway. It’s not like we can actually drive equipment. A woman in a combine? Goodness, don’t be ridiculous! And lets be serious, the only place a woman has on a cattle operation is in the kitchen making hamburgers. Can you even imagine a WOMAN being an agronomist or livestock nutritionist? Lord help us all!

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Here I am, NOT leading a farm tour of Ruby Branch Farms.
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And here, I’m certainly NOT running the tractor and grain cart. Beacause, ovaries.
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And here, I’m not putting out hay in the winter time. Women don’t get cold because they stand in front of the stove all day. 
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This is me, not picking sweet corn. Because if I’m wearing a contraption like this it better have a baby in it!

I’m not going to sit here and lie and say that I could hop in our combine or planter and take off no problem, but I personally know a bunch of women that could. But on that same token, if you asked MyFarmer when the last time the mums/kale/pansies/pumpkins were sprayed, what they were sprayed with, and the rate, he would say, “ask Laney.”

I’m so incredibly proud to be a farmers wife. I love MyFarmer and being married to him is such a fun ride. But I’m also proud to say that I am a farmer. I think as women we tend to just be proud of our husbands and settle for calling ourselves “famers wives”, but dammit, we are so much more than just wives, we are farmers in our own right. And it’s time we are recognized for what we do every day.

So, Mr. Bryan, I’m sorry that you don’t see us out here. Truth be told, you’re missing out on some pretty bad ass women. Your loss.

Laney, Owner/Operator, Ruby Branch Farms

 

*according to the 2012 USDA census

Pansies and Cow Poses

This weekend Ruby Branch Farms had the honor of being a stop on the Simpson County Twilight Farm tour, and man was that fun…even though I thought I was going to throw up before the bus got there. I’m not sure why in the world I was nervous. I’m one of those freaks that loves public speaking. I guess it was because I love my little mum ranch so much and I wanted everyone else to love it too. The tour went really well and I forgot to say a bunch of things that I wanted to, but that’s okay. If you were on the tour, I hope you enjoyed it! And if not, you should have been! This years tour started at Kentucky Downs racetrack where we toured Old Friends, their retired racehorse facility, and that was so fun for 2 reasons: a) because I’m a pony petter and even though I have horses at my house to pet daily if there is a horse in the area that I have not petted before it is going to be petted now, and b) because it is so awesome to see people meet a horse for the first time. People almost get a mystical look in their eyes like they are seeing a unicorn for the first time and it fills my heart with pony petter joy. After that we had dinner at the racetrack pavilion and everyone moved on to Ruby Branch Farms. Everyone listed to me yammer for awhile, then we moved on to a row crop farm, and sheep and cattle farm, and ended up at a commercial vegetable producer that raises produce both outside and in high tunnels. (They also happen to be the farm that raises pumpkins for Ruby Branch. That worked out nicely! 😉 ) If you don’t live in Simpson County, Kentucky, keep a look out for farm tours in your area. It is awesome to see what all gets produced just in your local area! I bet you will be surprised!

We are officially 19 days away from opening weekend at Ruby Branch Farms! (September 10th) As nervous as I was last year to open up I’m doubly EXCITED to open this year! The mums look amazing, we have all kinds of pumpkins, and our 2 new additions, pansies and ornamental kale, are all potted up and looking cute. (Yes, cute. I think my widdle baby plants are just too adorable – I should be medicated.)

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These precious little  babies are our two varieties of pansies we will have available. These little guys grow up really fast and go from this size (plugs) to ready to sell in 4-6 weeks!

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Ornamental Kale and pansies are an awesome fall pair. Why you may ask? Because after all your other weenie flowerbed flowers have decided it is too cold to be beautiful, these two wintertime powerhouses are still working. It’s common to see pansy flowers peaking up through the snow, and Ornamental Kale actually requires cold temperatures to develop their beautiful colors! We will have white, red, and purple varieties of Kale this fall.

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Please allow me to introduce the newest member of Ranchy Ruby Cattle Co, Miss Faycee Mae. She is the result of a trade-off for Salvador Petrillo (Delilah’s bull calf born earlier this year.)

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She came out of the same herd as Delilah and they are probably related somewhere down the line. Faycee’s momma is known as “Funny Face” and she is the first calf out of Funny Face to leave the ranch. I feel very privileged to have her. She’s pretty darn cute.

Of course when I went to the pasture to get pictures of Faycee, Miss #delilahthediva was NOT going to go unnoticed.

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If that’s not a cow pose I truly don’t know what one is.

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Delilah really likes to get up close and personal with the camera.

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Like, really close.

Sometimes it bothers me that my cows selfie game is much stronger than mine.

Have a great Monday! We will see you soon at Ruby Branch Farms!

Laney the Pansy

This Year at Ruby Branch Farms

We are so excited to be starting another year at Ruby Branch Farms and we are ready to give you all a sneak-peak of what you will be seeing at the farm this year!

The first thing you’ll notice is “The Bin”. We were able to recycle this old bin from our grain farming operation and utilize it as our new sales pavilion!

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We are now just a couple weeks away from picking sweet corn! This year we are growing yellow and bi-color corn that will be available for quite a few weeks this summer. Sweet corn will be available for purchase at Ruby Branch Farms on Lake Spring Rd. in Franklin, KY and with Garden Spot Produce at the Franklin-Simpson Farmers Market. It will be on the honor system at the farm so you will be able to pick it up at any time! Be sure to like our page “Ruby Branch Farms” on Facebook and check back often to keep up with when we are picking!

We potted our mum plugs over the weekend, and it was quite the family affair! Along with MyFarmer and I, we had ScubaSteve, MyMaja, and 2 high school boys help us out. It ended up taking us a little over 6 hours, but we have almost EIGHT HUNDRED mums! This year we have 14 different color varieties that we know you all are going to love! Upon customer request, we have added an 8 inch pot to our line-up of 12 and 20 inch pots. We now have a size that will fit everyone’s mum needs! We can’t wait for you to see them all!

This fall we will have an even larger selection of pumpkins and gourds than we did last year. Whether your looking for the classic Jack-o-lantern or something more whimsical and unique, we will have what you are looking for. We can’t wait to see what all Garden Spot Produce brings us this year!

Just as last year we will have a large selection of indian corn, corn shocks, straw, and other fall decor items available!

NEW THIS YEAR

Mums for Moms – This October we will be taking part in Breast Cancer Awareness Month by having our first annual “Mums for Moms” event. Throughout the entire month of October a portion of the sales of pink mums will be donated to breast cancer research. #mumsformoms

Pumpkin Patch – We are very excited to have a pumpkin patch for all the kids (and kids at heart!) to pick their own perfect pumpkin. Opening weekend we will have a “ruby mine” game for all kids to win a free mini pumpkin from the patch!

Fall Pansies – they will be available in 6 packs and in decorative pots. They are sure to add some fresh color to your fall decor, and if planted will be there to greet you in the spring!

Ornamental Kale – these plants will keep color in your flower beds well into the gray winter months!

Frequent Flyer Discount – Since mums are only at their peak 4-5 weeks, we are giving you a discount to “refresh” your decorations! Bring your receipt back and receive $1 off per mum for your next purchase!

DATES TO REMEMBER

First week of July (ish) – when we are expecting our first crop of sweet corn to be ready – be sure to check back on the Ruby Branch Farms Facebook page to get exact days that we are picking!

August 20th – Ruby Branch Farms will be a stop on the Simpson County Twilight Farm Tour! This tour is free to anyone in the community and will be making 5 stops. Dinner and transportation will be provided. This will be a great event!

September 6th – I  will be on Farm and Home, a local TV show on WBKO promoting Ruby Branch Farms and sharing a couple fun crafts!

September 10th – OPENING WEEKEND!

October 29th – Boo-Fest Fall Festival on the square in Franklin, Kentucky

 

We’ll see you at the farm soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome Things

There are a lot of awesome things going on in my little world right now that I feel the need to share with the blogosphere.

  1. My precious little 4-H horse judging team WON STATE CONTEST this week. I’m so proud of them! That earns our team invitations to compete at Southern Regional’s in Perry, Georgia, Eastern Nationals in Louisville, KY and The All American Quarter Hose Congress in Columbus, Ohio.

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    These kids. They’re awesome. As a team they were 2nd in performance, halter, and reasons and 1st overall. I’m so proud to be their coach! 
  2. Barley Harvest has begun! I love the fact that we get to have 2 “harvest seasons” in Kentucky. We grow barley and wheat as cover crops in the winter (cover crops are great because they help prevent soil run-off and add extra organic matter back into the soil, among other things) and we will plant soybeans after the barley and wheat are cut. That’s called double-cropping for those of you interested in farm terminology. I KNOW you are here for educational purposes.

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    It’s the most wonderful time(s) of the year!
  3. Our sweet corn and Indian corn are looking AMAZING. I swear if you sit there and watch it you can hear it grow. Almost. Well, not really, but you get the point: it’s growing fast. Some of our first-planted will be tasseling in less than a week. Not much longer until we have delicious sweet corn! Oh, and if you’re wondering, the Indian corn struggle is still real. Growing that stuff makes me question life.
  4. The Florida State Seminoles softball team made it to the World Series again this year! GO NOLES! In case you’re wondering why I care about a softball team in Florida so much, MyFarmer’s brother, LaCraig, is an assistant coach for FSU Softball. So I’m contractually obligated to be a fan. HA!
  5.  Delilah, Daphne, and baby Salvador Petrillo Snider went to summer camp this week! The girls were very excited to see their sisters and cousins and Sal is going to have so much fun playing with the other babies. I do miss them already though! And every time I go by their empty pasture I have a moment of panic because the cows are not in there, and that’s usually not a good thing.
  6. MUM PLUGS COME IN NEXT WEEK! This year we have close to 800 plugs coming, compared to about 215 last year. It’s going to be a long week but I’m so excited!
  7. While we are talking about mums, lets talk about our latest addition at Ruby Branch Farms – “The Bin”. We took an old grain bin that we no longer use on the farm and converted it into our sales pavilion. I LOVE IT. I’m so excited to decorate it this fall!

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    I mean seriously, how cute is this little dude?
  8. My “baby sister” Juju got married and I was NOT emotionally prepared for it, apparently. I was a complete hott mess. I cried EVERY TIME I looked at her in that wedding dress. I wanted nothing more than to force her to be 7 years old showing DZ’s Rockin Reba in walk/trot again. But I am so happy for her and her new husband. Fun fact, my sister, Juju, and I all married farmers. What are the odds? Actually, if you know the three of us you would say the odds were probably pretty high.

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    *Holding back tears as I post this picture*
  9. Apparently I’m going to be on a radio show today to talk about a horse show that I am putting on for the fair board on the 25th. The text message telling me this was happening came through about 4 minutes ago. That should be fun!
  10. I have pumpkins growing! This year we are having a little pumpkin patch for the kids at Ruby Branch Farms. This is our first time with pumpkins so it’s going to be an adventure. More to come on that I’m sure. HA!

I hope you are having a great day, friends! And if you’re not, try writing down 10 awesome things going on in your life right now. Automatic great mood!

Laney

Happy Birthday, Sal

On Sunday (4/3/16) Delilah 4.0 made his appearance into the world. He is by a Hereford bull and out of the most amazingly beautiful and wonderful Corriente cow in the world… Delilah, of course.

I had been doing “baby checks” 4 times a day for over 2 weeks and had decided that Delilah was never going to calve and that I should give up, so I didn’t shoot right out to the cow barn when I got up on Sunday morning. Instead I chose to have coffee and watch some Golden Girls. At about 8am MyFarmer gets a call from his buddy StephonDeweewee(I’m not even making this nickname up, that’s actually what we call him on a daily basis) and he says, “did you know there is a calf down here?”

*Insert scrambling to find pants, accusations of lying, and pulling on boots while running out the front door here*

You know those air-filled arm flappy things that car lots use to get your attention driving down the road? That was me.

Sure enough, there is a steamy little red calf just learning how to use his legs right out in front of the barn. First thing I notice is all of the cute “chrome” (white markings) on this calf…then that little thing hanging between his back legs. Another bull calf. I am 100% happy as long as I have a healthy momma and calf, but there is always a little ping of disappointment when I know that he won’t be able to stay with me forever and ever like a heifer calf (most likely) can. I get crazy attached to all of the baby calves, but I also understand what their place is in our lives. I am a firm believer that cows were put on this earth for the purpose of being a food source, but it is our responsibility to give them the utmost care and respect that they most certainly deserve while they are with us.

It is always incredible to watch these baby calves in their first few moments of life. It’s like watching a miracle right before your eyes. I love to watch them take their first wobbly steps and know exactly where they need to go – to get that first meal! The first milk produced by a cow after she calves contains colostrum that is rich in antibodies and it is imperative that the babies get this milk as quickly as possible for two main reasons: One, newborn calves do not have a fully developed immune system, so the colostrum is giving him or her the immunity they need to be healthy, happy, growing babies. The second reason is that baby calves bodies can only absorb the immunoglobulins from the colostrum for a short amount of time. Every hour old the calf is decreases its ability to absorb the antibodies, and by the time the calf is 24 hours old the gut essentially “shuts off” it’s ability to digest the large proteins. Moral of this story, those baby calves are in a hurry to get to the udder!

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Enough of the boring jibber-jabber, let’s get to the real reason you clicked on this link.

BABY CALF PICTURES!

Lets have a look back on the 4 precious babies that Delilah has given us thus far!

Delilah 1.0: Trixie

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Corriente x Corriente 

Trixie was born on MyFarmer’s grandmothers birthday! We had just got home from town having her birthday dinner when I went to the barn to do a check and there was miss Trixie! She had somehow managed to get under the panel to where Delilah couldn’t get to her, so thank goodness I stopped to check when I did! Unfortunately Trixie ended up having an adverse reaction to the endophyte’s in fescue that caused her to have respiratory issues (not a common thing) and I had to sell her when she was a yearling.

Delilah 2.0: Sparky

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Black Angus x Corriente 

This little momma’s twin was born the same day MyFarmer had to deal with a field fire (hence the name). I was CRUSHED when I found out he was a bull calf since he looked just like my precious Delilah. But my goodness he was a cutie!

Delilah 3.0: Stanley Zbornak

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Black Angus x Corriente 

If you are a fan of The Golden Girls you will appreciate the last 2 calves names. Stanley was full of personality like his momma. The best part about him was that his ears just kept growing the older he got! We made jokes that he was going back to his deep Brahman roots! (Truth be told he got pretty goofy looking. Kind of one of those “so ugly he’s cute” deals.) Stan’s other claim to fame is that he was born on National Agriculture Day – that’s a pretty fitting birthday for a calf if you ask me!

Delilah 4.0: Salvador Petrillo

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Hereford x Corriente 

And that brings us to the present, little Sal. He is by far the smallest of the calves Delilah has had, and I cannot even handle how precious he is. He has that sweet butterfly on his head that makes my heart melt. I will enjoy every single moment I have with this precious little fella!

One cool thing that I didn’t intend on noticing going through the calf pictures was seeing how Delilah has changed over the past 4 years. Her horns will never stop growing and according to my vet there will be a “ring” on each horn (growth mark) for each calf she has had… and sure enough she has four rings! Pretty neat factoid.

This post would be complete without mentioning a VERY proud Aunt Daphne.

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Daphne came into our lives last year when CowboyRod did a trade with me for Stanley. My intentions for her was to NOT make her into a giant pet like Delilah because, well, one 1,000 pound cow running all you because she loves you is enough.

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“Excuse me ma’am, you seem to not be taking any pictures of me…”
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“Be sure to get my good side!”

She’s CLEARLY not a pet.

Love,

-The Crazy Cow Lady