More fence with more juice.

Well we put up two more strands of fence and hooked it to the 110 charger instead of the solar charger. It has a lot more wallop to it now. I know, I touched it. So far they have stayed in two days. Hopefully it holds. We disconnected the bottom line that was buried in snow, but now the snow has melted. Oh Well. 🙂

Escape Artist

This is actually the “good” steer…he stayed in. After a week or so of Rudy challenging all barriers, Ryan spent some time yesterday putting some juice to the top wires…the bottom ones are buried. Hopefully this will stop the cattle chases and frustration.
Thanks for all your hard work, Ryan.

This is awesome


A confession, a testimony, and a lesson

As you all know we are pretty much buried in snow right now. We have not been successful in arranging to have the drive plowed for several days, and things have continued at an uninterrupted pace here at Big Oak Ridge; the snow just makes the work a little more difficult.

The confession:
Today’s big harassment was one of the cows (steer if you live in Ohio) getting out. The black one figured out that the fence wasn’t working, and because the snow is so deep he was able to just step over it, which he did. I was attempting to entice him into joining his fellows in the pasture when one of the grand kids, for reasons yet unknown, decided to let Danny out. The cow took off and I “popped a gasket” – yelling, cursing, running, trying to get the dog in, the kids out, the cow back on my own property, etc. etc. I asked Paula to get me a gun, which she wisely refused to do.

With the dog locked up, the terrified kids all back at the big house, and the cow 500 feet down the road, I finally paused and realized what I had done. I walked back up the road away from the cow and took some time to repent and ask God for help (there’s a novel idea, eh?).

The testimony:
The cow now was wandering up the neighbor’s driveway, but he stopped and looked at me; and I did something kind of weird. I just spoke to him in a firm voice and said “in the name of Jesus get back in the pasture. Now.” The cow/steer looked at me for a minute, and then took a tentative step in my direction. I said “In the authority of Jesus Christ I command you to get back in the pasture”. The cow took a couple of more steps toward me, and honestly he looked like he wasn’t sure why he was doing what he was doing. I was as astonished as he was, but I didn’t give up. I said “you have no right to refuse the name of Jesus. Lord, send some angels to give him a push.” Then I started speaking to the cow/steer in tongues. (I’m not making this up). I turned around and walked back to the pasture. I climbed into the fence with the other cows and started feeding them hay while I watched the escapee and prayed. The cow outside the fence continued toward the pasture; then he would stop and act like he was going to bolt back out onto the road, but it was almost like he couldn’t do it. It was pretty funny to watch, actually. Eventually, dancing and jumping, turning and writhing, he arrived at the fence and finally hopped over it. I was very humbled and amazed.

The lesson:
Cows/steer will not walk in deep snow; they know they will flounder. The reason the cow/steer got out is because he watched me coming and going up to the fence. We have been feeding the cows in a trough that sits right up against the fence, and the water buckets also sit right up against the fence – for our convenience. So the cows/steer have made a path right along the fence from their shelter to the feed trough and water buckets. With the snow so deep the cow/steer that got out just did the natural thing and continued to “follow the path” – out of the pasture and up to the driveway, from whence he had easy access to the road (but no easy access to get back except the way he came).

The new feeding rules are these:

  1. Don’t feed near the fence (now we know why on big ranches they feed the animals out in the middle of the pasture).
  2. Don’t water near the fence (see #1)
  3. ONLY approach the pasture at the gate; the cows/steer can’t jump the gate, and they will not get out of the pasture where there is no path to walk on.

I put up an extra strand of fence across the place where the path approaches the pasture, and I filled the old path in with snow. I moved the water buckets and a feed pan out into the pasture in front of the gate so that the animals have to walk AWAY from the fence to get to the feed and water. Hopefully that will be sufficient to discourage any more escapes.

Sunday Meeting, Calendar Updates

Just a few highlights:

  1. If you want to put a garden in here at Big Oak Ridge, you need to let us know as soon as possible. See the forum for discussion/rules/ etc. (look under “gardens 2009”)
  2. Check out the “calendar of events” on the forum – dates and planned topics have been shifting around a little bit to accommodate various peoples’ schedules, etc.
  3. You may also want to keep an eye on the Google calendar. (available through the “calendar” link on left, let me or Ryan know if you can’t see it).Those who wish to participate in gardening, etc. should watch the Saturday lineup. On Saturdays people are welcome to come and work; you should bring your own food for your own family for whatever amount of time you’ll be here, as Paula and I will also be working and we will not be “entertaining” on Saturdays (although we will be available to help/teach in areas as indicated on the calendar). As with Sunday meetings, we ask that you let us know in advance if you’re planning on being on the property on a Saturday.

Sunday’s meeting was good. Notes are posted on the forum. Thanks to all who came. Remember, if anyone feels led to bring a friend(s) that’s fine, just let us know in advance so we know how many will be present for lunch. Also, if you sign up for a Sunday and then can’t make it, please let us know with as much notice as possible so we can “cover” whatever you were going to bring for lunch. Even if we know Sunday morning we can usually make appropriate arrangements. Thanks everyone! Stay warm!


We got four eggs today…but it looked like one hen laid two at once and blew her guts out…pretty gross. She was still alive but beyond help, so now she is in the crock pot. Too bad, she was full of eggs and probably would have been a good little layer.

Got corn and straw this morning…

After yesterday’s 45* weather…16* is a bit chilly. It’s snowing again….

My snow pix

— Post From My iPhone

Good day!

28 inches + of snow on the ground. Made it to church (I am so thankful for four wheel drive). 14 people for lunch, 19 people for fellowship (had a couple of late arrivals).

The top picture was taken just a few days after Christmas when we had a picnic on our deck. The bottom picture is the same table today.

The home made granola was GREAT! Thanks, Paula.

One lesson: Granola works really well on an Airbake cookie sheet as opposed to a regular cookie sheet.

We had a good discussion about sacraments, which, Lord willing, will be continued.