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Better Weather

The storm is over. The snow is mostly gone, melted by the next morning already. The calves are laid out in the shelter of the windbreak soaking up the warmth of the sun. Cows are happily filling their bellies with hay. Snow drifts are piled in twisting, curving formations. We are all resting and gathering strength, hoping the forecasts are wrong about the next one being on the way.

Did I mention that we have a hen setting? We don’t ave any idea when to expect chicks but are sure looking forward to it!

Category: Cows  One Comment

April Snows

It is snowing, hopefully it brings May flowers just as well as showers do. The wind howled all day yesterday and the day before. It rained all night, then changed to snow this morning. Fortunately the worst of it is East of us, unfortunate for them though.

Yesterday 8 and I ran out through the cows. They were already locked out of the pivot. Locked into the pasture to try to force them to stay behind a windbreak. Going across the pasture we saw a calf moving funny. Looking closer she was carrying a leg. It curled under her wobbling in a sickening manner whenever she stepped on it. It was broken. There was a blizzard predicted for the next day.

Deciding that through the wheat in the pivot would be an easier rout than through all the cows, down the lane, and round and round we headed her for the gate. The mama was a little high headed, the calf was managing to follow on three legs but it was hard for her. They finally went through the gate. The mama went the right way nicely from there, down to the corrals and the old horse barn. We went as slow as possible, following way behind so we didn’t rush them. She went right in the gate and we shut it behind her leaving them in the corral.

We had to wait for the father-in-law to get home to do anything with her. Once he did get back we went out to see what we could do. The mama stood back and watched while her calf was pushed to the old horse barn. The one that was falling down until they pushed it up with the payloader this winter, and tightened the cables holding it in a somewhat upright position. With the wind howling around us we crouched in the rickety old building out of reach of the mama and looked at the leg. It had broke just above the ankle. Swollen and floppy but not awful. Unless it moved then my stomach lurched and I had to look away.

We had found some old slats, a pair of The Goblin Child’s pants tossed in the rag drawer once they developed holes, and duct tape. Throwing the calf down and sitting on her we pulled the pant legs over her leg. Breaking the slat down to the right length we taped them to three sides of the leg. Once everything seemed secured we sent her back out to mom.

Overnight the rain set in, then blowing snow by morning. The horses were happy to be locked in the barn, warm and dry with lots of hay. The cows were fed up against the shelter of the windbreak. Calves bucking and playing in the snow. Coming back to check on the two calves in the pen I found the new born calf laid in an exposed corner with a snow drift building over him. The calf with the broken leg was shivering.
I got the snow covered calf up. he woke with a beller that brought his mom running. She didn’t eat me and I was able to push them back towards the barn from yesterday where both calves could find dry shelter, if only they would.
Hopefully the storm will end tonight and give the cattle some rest. Give the calves a chance to dry off and warm up. Give us a chance to start doctoring the ones that get sick from this. It is spring, the weather will warm up soon. Hopefully soon enough.

 

Category: 8, Cows  2 Comments

Show and Tell, Again

This time she took her horse. The lovely Princess Onna stood nicely as all the preschool children petted her nose and tried desperately to feed her treats. The whole thing was a little stressful though and she couldn’t handle eating too. The wind had picked up bowing a blizzard in and was whipping through the parking lot where we unloaded, stirring dust up into our faces. Princess Onna stood like the princess she is carefully not smashing any small children.

Tens

We did this years ago with The Goblin Child and her alphabet, and not so long ago with reading a book. I think that this accomplishment should be commemorated too.

Tooth Fairy

It finally happened! The Goblin Child lost the tooth that’s been loose and wiggly for the last couple of months. At first when she said she thought her tooth was loose I didn’t believe her. She was too young to be loosing teeth. Then she told me she thought she could feel another tooth behind it. Still doubting I looked and sure enough, there was a big girl tooth coming in!

She’s been slowly working at it, playing with it and wiggling it, trying to get it out. This morning at breakfast she bit into her biscuit and all but broke it loose. She didn’t finish her breakfast. We tried to get her to pull it then but she was scared. All day it hung there. Taller than the others. Barely maintaining it’s grip. We worried about her sleeping with it still perched there. She wouldn’t let us touch it. Wouldn’t let us tie a string to it and anything interesting. No cows, no cats, not even 8.

So we wrestled and tickled and jiggled her cheeks. She giggled and fought and with one last twist of her head against the carpet there it was. She leapt up excited, holding it, and ran to show her Lala. It hadn’t hurt like she was so afraid it would. And the excitement over the tooth fairy coming is nearly unbearable. We’ll have to make sure it’s something good!

Category: Goblin Child  2 Comments

Telling Stories

Late one night I sat on my computer looking at pictures of old houses. In one of them there was sign of a fire that had occurred many years ago. I noticed my mom was online too so I sent her a link. She should get to enjoy the pretty derelict old houses with me.  We started talking about the cause of the fire and began concocting stories to explain it. I loved our story too much to let it go there, so here it is. A very fictional (maybe) story of a ruin. With pictures!

Me: How do you think the fire started?

Mom: I hadn’t noticed the fire. Maybe the fire place?

Me: No, the fire was by a window. Not to big of a fire but lots of smoke damage.

Mom: It does look like that. Wonder what happened. Your theory?

Me: Cigarette? Electrical outlet?

Mom: Mine was the fireplace…  Maybe someone hated them and threw a burning ball of rags through the window. Before it could do too much damage they found it, fought through the smoke, and extinguished it.

Me: (ever boring) Much more exciting. But the worst of the damage is directly between the windows against the wall, if they threw it through the window I would expect it to be more towards the middle of the room and in line with a window.

(I’m not completely boring though, just mostly) Still possible though. I say it came though the window to our left hit the side of the couch that was there against the wall and burned.

Mom: They didn’t throw it, they came on the porch. There were no screens back then, they poured the tar dipped rags through the window. No they didn’t pour it they pushed it through the window and to the side.

Me: Luckily the girl who had thrown him over heard a noise. When she awoke she laid there disoriented and scared until she came to enough to recognize the smell of smoke. She then woke up the rest of the family and they were able to put the fire out.

Mom: Sadly the man who started it got the burning tar on his hands. He was horribly scarred and disfigured. The girl did the only thing she could, she forgave him, married him, and loved him forever.

Me: She loved and forgave the physically and mentally scarred man and married him anyway, but the scars on his mind, the deep and insidious damage to his mind. From his difficult childhood, their tumultuous romance and the pain of his injuries continued to resurface. They moved into her house with plans to repair it but he would never let her touch that room. As his delusions grew worse he no longer let her leave the house. It slowly rotted into the ground around them. Their once beautiful love for each other collapsing into a rotting wreck taking them both down with it. Very symbolic all around.

Mom: Sadly their son and his wife bought a house in the country along a beautiful stream, in the hills, peaceful and beautiful. He had become so warped by his parents unhappiness that he lost his mind and, some say, killed his beautiful wife, burying her body in the basement. To this day no one wants to buy as they say it is still haunted by their spirits.

Me: Oh, I remember that one!

Me: (back to the original house) Then many years later the door to the house, normally sealed shut, was found open. Upon searching the house the lifeless body of a homeless man who had sought shelter within was discovered. He lay huddled in the pink room near where the fire had started. An autopsy revealed he had died of smoke inhalation. No new sign of fire was found.

It Happened One Night.

We were alone in the house, the children and I. My hard working husband was putting in a late night. He wanted to be home and was going to hurry back to us as soon as he could. Bedtime was near, children were tired, tempers flared. I may have yelled at them once or twice.

At the end of one yell the back door rattled loudly. Great I thought. He got home just in time to hear me yelling at the children. His hands must be full, he was going to bring us deserts after all, and he needs help opening the door. “It’s Lala!” I told the children “lets go let him in”! We dashed down the stairs, flung open the door, turned on the light.

No one was there.

I stood staring at the empty back porch in horror. I knew I had heard the door rattle. I knew it to the depths of my soul. That had not been my imagination. He, or anyone else, surely couldn’t have gotten out the back door already? Could they? The possibilities raced through my mind. None concrete, simple wisps of ideas, frightful and vague.

Then grasping for hope I thought of the cat. Where was that creature? Looking around I noticed The Goblin Child’s door was closed. Could it have been? I heard a door, not necessarily the back door. They are right next to each other. It could have been. Here I opened wide the door.

And there stood the cat, waiting patiently to be let out. Why had we taken so long. Hadn’t we heard it shacking the door off its hinges?

Small Set Backs

The Goblin Child fell off Princess Onna. It wasn’t her fault. It wasn’t either of their faults. A total and complete freak accident. The Goblin Child was zipping along, giggling and having a blast. She was happy as could be up until that exact second. Then Onna tripped over something and went down. She fell clear over on her side throwing T.G.C.  clear.

There was lots of crying but no real harm done. 8 was on Coyote behind me at the time and I had to get out from in front of him before I could get to her. Easier said than done. I left him there on Coyote while I picked her up and searched for injuries. Coyote stood wonderfully. So did Onna once she got up. We walked back to the corral from the hill by the windmill. Then she was settled down enough I thought I could put her back on. I couldn’t.

She was alright until I tried to set her on Onna then she started crying again. It wasn’t happening. I took 8 off Coyote and put him on Onna. She was willing to ride Coyote and I walked back to the house leading both horses. Once there I turned 8 loose to roam and took The Goblin Child off Coyote. And put her on Onna.

She was scared at first. Then calmed down as I led them around. She has been back on Onna a few times and they seem to be doing well together. I hope they can get back to their former level of confidence.

 

Horse Stuff

Some horse friends an I got together and did a thing. We had a blast doing it and it’s so fun to have friends from all over the world. There is also the couple from the north of England who farm. A mother from Canada. A young girl from Slovakia. And many others but it was fun to have people from two continents at least get together on a project. Showing off our horses and letting people know that you don’t need force and macho idiocy to train a horse.

 

Category: Horses  One Comment