Monthly Archives: April 2012

It’s a boy!

   Excitement had been gradually mounting around the Frazer home as our newest addition to the animal “family” neared her calving date. Mocha’s nine months of pregnancy were really showing.

cute cow yum!

   So far she had been an excellent cow – very gentle and laid back. One day, Evelyn took Amy along to do the chores.

feeding the cow taking out the manure

   At the beginning of April, Evelyn and I cleaned out the stall in the barn in preparation for the calf’s arrival.

dumping into the manure pile

   Finally, the big day came. Around noon, I noticed Mocha was acting agitated, but it wasn’t until late in the afternoon that I realised that what I was seeing was the result of her being in labour. When we realised that, we all became excited. A number of us wanted to see the whole procedure. Things didn’t seem to be progressing any too quickly, however, so around 7:00 p.m., we all headed inside for an early family time of listening to John MacArthur so that we could be back out in time to see the action. Well, Mocha had other ideas! Though we were gone not much more than half an hour, our return to the barn revealed that to be plenty of time for Mocha to calve! It had obvious just occurred.

as we found them trying to stand

Mocha didn't mind having us handle her calf.

   Notice the cell phone in the above picture – we immediately got on the phone with some dairy farming friends who walked us through what to do. Thank you T______ family! We would not be doing this without you!

   After helping to dry the calf a little, we carried it off to a prepared stall on the other side of the barn. The next step was to get something for it to eat which of course meant milking Mocha.  Mocha is turning out to be a really excellent cow.  Despite a huge influx of people in the barn on top of just going through the trauma of her first calving, she was amazingly quiet and gentle.

milking milking

   Feeding the calf was both fun and interesting. A number of us tried our hand at it.

still being dried off and rather unsteady on his feet surrounded by observers

   For the moment we seem only to have pictures of the girls with the cow and calf, the boys too have been involved. David helped feed the calf its first meal and he and Stephen did the milking this morning.

nice and comfortable trying to get up again

   There has been some discussion about what to call the calf. A number of suggestions have come up: Beef, Hamburger, Milkshake, Smoked Ham (that was vetoed). As can probably be devined by the edible, mostly meaty, nature of the suggestions, this bull calf is destined either to be turned into food for us or to be sold and turned into food for someone else. So, readers, don’t get too attached to the pictures of the cute guy! The most interesting suggestion came from David who said we should call the calf, Caffeine. Then, since Mocha is now de-calfed, she should be called Cocoa. We have not yet settled on a name for it, though. 

   The calf, though wobbly last night is energetic today – jumping around in the little stall we have for him. Though we left him loose for the first night, he is now learning all about tethers and managing quite well. He doesn’t seem to mind photographers…

I'm comfortable What is he doing over there? Going to check it out

   “Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.” Psalm 50:10-11

A house sold!

   OK, I know several people are looking for a post on Mocha and her calf. That post should be coming soon, however, there is another event I want to mention that takes precedence. (I love my brother far more than the cow! Smile) As many of you know, David is a real estate broker. One of his first clients was someone selling their house in Sherbrooke. Last week, that house sold! We are all thrilled for him! This morning he and I went out there to put up the “Sold” sign. It really didn’t take two people, but I wanted to get some pictures. Smile

   First we went by his office in Sherbrooke to pick up the sign.

the Sherbrooke office the office is actually in the basement returning to the car

   After that, we went out to the house to put up the sign. The man selling the house was happy to see it, saying that it felt more official with a sold sign up.

the house sold putting up the sign

   Congratulations, David! May the Lord continue to direct you as you walk the path He has laid before you.


   Yesterday was a day work in the basement. The step at hand was plastering. With a whole team of us on the job, work progressed quite rapidly. Nevertheless, it took all day to complete almost all of the first coat due to the fact that most of us are not very experienced plasterers. There was some question about whether the walls or the plasterers were more thoroughly covered at the end of the day!

a plasterer another plasterer taping

   With so many of us plastering at once, it took a full-time plaster mixer and another full-time bucket cleaner. Jonathan and Stephen made a good team. Thank you, guys! You did a great job of keeping us supplied.

mixing plaster and cleaning the buckets

   I have only done plastering once before and my efforts then were hardly worth seeing. (It looked all right after Nathanael fixed it!) I was, therefore, a little hesitant to put my “signature” on the apartment walls. So, I requested the task of working in the closets where my work would not be seen. Smile The photographer saw me, though.

hiding in the closet tapping in the closet


   Spring, in all its simple joys, arrived early in the Eastern Townships. My heart sings as I listen to the gentle breeze whispering among the trees, watch the unfolding beauty of buds springing to life, thrill at the sight of birds darting about, and relish the new life manifesting itself all around me.  Words are insufficient to describe the wonder of this joy-filled season.  Pictures do not do it justice either, however, they do capture a glimpse of it.

flower flower flower

crocuses daffodil

   This year the birds especially have come under the scrutiny of the camera lens…

song sparrow purple finch

pine siskin mourning dove

molting goldfinch many goldfinches another goldfinch yet another goldfinch

chickadee downy woodpecker chipping sparrow

Some birds do not like sharing the feeder very much…

Get out of here! knocked off Mine!

   Some of the birds we have seen have so far eluded the camera. The dark-eyed juncos, white-throated sparrows, and several others have yet to be photographed.  Perhaps I can improve my photography skills (or lack of them).

   “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

A busy day

   The weather Tuesday was so beautiful, that we called it an “outdoor project day.” Something that has needed doing in a while is painting the balcony. As the pictures show, the participants in this task were having a good time…

painting together Mommy Evelyn

   Some people had a little more fun than necessary…

red hair

   No, actually it was accidental. Smile Though frankly, it is no wonder with the strange contortions he made to reach certain spots:

difficult angle

   While some were out front painting the balcony, William was out back painting what was a dog house and is now destined to be a calf hutch.

painting the calf hutch

   At the same time, the garden was also being turned for the first time of the year. This is outstandingly early for this activity – usually the garden is either mud, or still covered in snow in April!

digging the garden

  Oh, I nearly forgot the picture of the inspector…