Friday, November 13, 2015

Dollop & Scoop – No. 1015

All about October...

Halloween 2015

kids in Halloween costumes

Halloween is all about dressing up in costumes for us. Dan and Monika are lucky enough to go to a school that still lets kids dress up in costumes for Halloween, so they transformed into a witch and Spiderman for their class parties. Then, Monika cast a spell and turned Daphne into a frog on Halloween day. And since Halloween was on a Saturday, we could start trick-or-treating early, which meant that we were done trick-or-treating in time for me to help with the evening milking. That was the night's real treat.

Glen and I both dressed up for our Halloween party, too, but I'm not posting pictures of that. ;-)

carving pumpkins

Halloween wouldn't be complete without jack-o-lanterns, but more years than not, our pumpkins sit on our porch, uncarved. Partly because the project always looks too big to tackle, partly because I don't like the smell of pumpkin innards, and partly because our schedule is so full. But this year our porch was decorated with real jack-o-lanterns.

We had dinner with our friends in the Twin Cities and they asked if carving pumpkins would be a good activity for our kids after we finished our meal. I said, "Absolutely!" I knew my kids would be over-the-top excited, because every year they ask, "When are we going to carve the pumpkins?" (Talk about a full dose of mommy guilt!)

The pumpkin carving party was the perfect way to carve pumpkins! If anyone is interested in teaming up next year, let me know.

Last days on pasture

cow silhouettes at sunset

We had so many breathtaking sunsets in October. I like to think that it was Mother Nature's way of reminding us to pause and enjoy the last mild days of what has been a beautiful fall. This beautiful fall followed an incredible growing season; we were doubly blessed. But the grass doesn't stay green in Minnesota. The cows have been eating less grass and more of their mixed ration, which tells us that the grazing season is about to end. (As I write this, the grazing season has officially ended. We closed the pasture gate early this week.)

Beautiful new calves

newborn red and white calf

The beautiful fall weather was the perfect time for the birth of some beautiful new calves. In years past, we avoided births in July and August when the hot weather makes calving more stressful for the cows. That meant we always had LOTS of calves born in September and October. But Minnesota weather is unpredictable at best, so we often had hot Junes and Septembers. This year, we didn't cross July and August off the calving calendar, so we had a handful of calves born in each of the summer months. September and October had much more average numbers of births, too, which reduced stress levels for the farmers.

Sure, Daphne

Daphne and baby Jersey

Daphne enjoyed our balmy October weather and all the new calves, too. For Daphne, every calf is a "gril" (girl). She can often be found in the pen with the calves – barefoot, of course. (And, yes, that's an ice cream cone in her hand. Ice cream cones are year-round treats for us.)

Her animated expressions and stories have become a constant source of comic relief. And not just for us. She makes her grandparents and cousins laugh. She makes other shoppers at the grocery store laugh. The funniest thing she says right now is "Sure". If you ask Daphne to do something, she used to say yes or yeah. Now she says sure. Except her sure is a bit German or Russian in pronunciation so it sounds like "tchure". It sure cracks us up.

Enjoy the rest of your November, friends.