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Archive for April, 2009

Dear Senator Brownback

April 29th, 2009 at 03:26 am

Senator Brownback,
I was happy to receive a letter from you dated April 16, 2009 in response to one I had in turn written to you regarding FOCA. In this letter, you assured me, and I am sure many other Kansans, that you would vote against any FOCA legislation and that you would work to promote a culture of life in your work as a Senator.

Today, I am dismayed that you could vote to confirm Governor Sebelius as HHS secretary. Sebelius has truly embodied all you formerly opposed, including, I believe, improperly shielding George Tiller from being prosecuted for frequently breaking Kansas law with regards to requiring an independent doctor agreeing the health or life of the mother was at risk for late term abortions, as well as vetoing many restrictions on abortions that the Kansas legislature has passed. Her ties, monetarily, legislatively, and socially, to this gruesome doctor should have had you screaming in the aisles of Congress to not appoint her as HHS secretary.

There is no way to reconcile this paragraph, which I take directly from your letter to me just a few short weeks ago, with this vote you cast today: "Truly, no gift is more precious than life. I believe that life should be cherished and protected. I will continue to work towards promoting a culture of life through my work in the Senate."

I am disappointed beyond words at your actions. Please take the 30 pieces of silver due to you for this vote and be sure in the knowledge that I will never vote for you again, not for Senate and certainly not for Governor.

cptacek

My dog, Bandit

April 16th, 2009 at 03:45 am

We have a Blue Heeler puppy, only about 5 months old, but 46 pounds! He is such a good dog. Doesn't bark, comes when we tell him to, was starting to help us chase cows until he broke his leg Frown He is about a month into having a pin in his leg, and should get it out in a week or two, and then we can keep working on him chasing cows for us!

We don't let him any further into the house than the back porch. We take our shoes off at the back porch so that we don't track as much dirt into the house, and for some reason, he likes to curl up on them:

Sometimes, DH just wants to play with him, but Bandit can't come into the kitchen...so here is the compromise:








And every now and then, we walk back to the kitchen sink and look over, and just have to call the other person back to look at what crazy position he is in now:

Up to 3!

April 11th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

Well, as you know, I'm starting to feed baby calves to try to earn some money on the farm. I started out with a Holstein bull calf (a milking breed) that I bought for $80. He was about 2 weeks old and already eating out of the bottle.

Well, a few days ago, the farmer that has been helping us out had a calf that was about a month and a half old that he had been bottle feeding all that time, and had recently started feeding grain. This is a good Angus heifer calf; the only reason he was feeding it was because it was a twin and the mom wouldn't take both. Nice big calf. I paid him $200 for it. We will probably keep feeding her until we wean the other cows and just stick her in with the group currently on cows. There shouldn't be any noticeable difference between her and any other calf nursing on a cow, and we should get paid more with her in the group than trying to sell her by herself.

For these two, I just have to mix up the milk replacer twice a day, morning and night, and stick it in a bottle, and they drink it down. Other than that, I have some free feed grain in a pan and some water, and they are taking care of themselves. The older calf should start just eating grain pretty soon, and the dairy calf will do that in about a month.

We got a call this morning from a friend of DH's who has a feedlot, and a cow that he is feeding had a calf last night. He can't let the cow raise it and he didn't want bother with bottle feeding it, so he gave it to me. (! Yeah!) It had already nursed on the cow last night and this morning, so it had its colostrum, so it was ready for me to take. I picked it up this morning and put her in a different pen than the first two calves. It is a little black heifer, but I don't know what breed. I fed it for the first time tonight, and now I know why some people don't want to bother bottle feeding them! Wow, you are all bent over and trying to teach this little thing to suck on a bottle, and they just don't want to cooperate! You get milk all over you, your clothes, the ground, the calf, everything! I eventually flipped a bucket over and kind of held her against the barn wall and got her to drink half a bottle. Their little stomachs can't take too much, so we'll try again tomorrow morning before church.

Up to three! We are thinking 10 at first, but we'll have to build some separate pens for them because right now we just have them in the corral. We'll need that corral for working cattle, so we'll have to move them somewhere else.

I was at the vet the other day and his wife started talking about a new vet joining their practice. They are providing a house for him, and so they are remodeling it for him. I was kind of joking when I said "you need someone to paint it" because I have done a lot of that for when I sold my last two houses, and she said "yes!" So, I am painting the inside of an entire house for $10 an hour. But, if I need to help DH with something, that is ok as well. Woo hoo! $10 an hour! That is only less than 1/4 of what I was making, but that is $10 an hour more than what I am currently making Smile

I went in again today to get a third bottle for the new calf, and she asked me what I was planning on doing. She offered me a part time job at the vet's office for $8 an hour for the first 3 months and then $10 an hour after that. She might increase the pay and the hours if the new vet works out. I told her that if I found a higher paying job, I would quit right away, and she understood that. I don't know. It would be 8 a.m. - noon, and then I could come home and help DH swath and plant and other farm stuff. I guess it depends on if we can make more on the farm in those 4 hours a day than $40. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I don't know if I should take it or not.

I get to start applying for unemployment insurance next week. yippee, right?

How's this plan?

April 8th, 2009 at 05:57 am

Ok, I just need some other eyes to look this over...

I have four credit card debts that I am trying to pay off. Boo! They were from last year, farm start up costs...and I am really concentrating on paying them off. They started out at 0% interest, but that ship has sailed. So, the bad news:

Bank of America..$15,093 @ 13.24%
Capital One.......$1,882 @ 0%
Chase Visa #1:....$6,018 @ 9.24%
Chase Visa #2:...$11,130 @ 9.99%

The good news:
I am paying much more than the minimum, and haven't charged any to the cards for months.

The plan:
I have an offer for a 5.99% fixed APR for 2 years on Chase Visa #2, with 3% btf, in the form of a check. I have a $15,500 credit line on this card. At first I thought just to transfer ~$4000 something over to Bank of America because it has the highest interest. But, I just thought of something. I have $11,200 dollars saved up for the land payment due in June and the taxes due in May.

What if I pay off Chase Visa #2 with this money and then write myself a check for $14,850.
$14,850 * 1.03 = $15,295.50 (amount after btf)
$15,295.50 * ( 1 + (.06 * 2 / 12) ) = $15,448 (2 months interest, just to be safe)

Save the $11,130 for the land/taxes and put $3720 on Bank of America.

Doing this, I just dropped the interest rate on Chase Visa #2 from 9.24% to 5.99% for 2 years (and cut off their imminent plan to up the interest...I just know that will happen!) and dropped $3720 from $13.99 interest to $5.99% interest. I can't say I paid that off because that is really a balance transfer, but it does save me money.

Am I missing something? I have to do this in the next week or the offer will be over.

Get to write off a payment to elmothespaceman

April 6th, 2009 at 10:54 pm

I'm on my way to buying some baby calves, bottle feeding them, and then weaning them and graining them until they are about 500 lbs. Well, at least I got one! One little Holstein (a milking breed) bull calf I got from a dairy. When they get some more bull calves I'll go pick them up too, but they just don't have any more yet.

I would like to have beef calves instead, but they are expensive right now. It is calving season around here, so if a farmer loses a calf, they want to pick one up to put on the cow so they aren't carrying a cow for a whole year without her producing anything. I heard a few weeks ago, those were going for $300 a piece at the sale barn...I picked up my bull calf for $80! But, I figure here in a month or so, everyone will be taking their cows out to grass and no one will want to bottle feed their extra calves anymore, so I might be able to pick some of those up for pretty cheap.

Problem is, we don't have running water out on the farm, only a well that we pump each day with a gas powered transfer pump. So, no hot water heater, so no heat. Well, as my mind comes up with pretty fanciful ways to do things, I figured out that I could use a coffee pot to heat the water I pull from the well, instead of having to drive into town to get the bottle ready at night. We have a large 10 cup one we use in the house and only have the small 4 cup one as a spare. 4 cup would be enough for this one calf, but we want to get up to 10, so I figured, get something bigger. One of those big 36 coffee percolators, the kind you use at family reunions, weddings and such, are so expensive new. Over $80 for the ones I saw. But hey, it is going in the barn, so it definitely doesn't have to be new!

I found one on ebay for $5.99, with $13.52 in shipping. It is avocado green! Definitely from the 70's. But, it will work. So, for $19.52, I'll be able to heat the water out there. Won't mix the milk in the coffee pot, just heat the water and pour it into something else to mix the milk.

Anyway, I bought it from a guy who's screen name is elmothespaceman, and his email address starts with spaceport430! I just think it is so funny that that is going in my taxes file because I can write this off. If I get audited, the IRS agent will have to decide if an avocado green space coffee pot can be a legitimate business expense!