Blog Archives

Of Cows And Such

Poppy had her calf very early this year. Not early for calving. Just early for her. About a month earlier than usual. She has had an April calf ever since she started having them. This time she barely missed my birthday. I lively, lovely bull calf with white on his forehead. They were both doing great.

A couple of days later she was down. She was not getting up and was not even interested in trying to do so. We stood and looked at her pondering what to do. I tried our vet, she’s nearly impossible to get on weekends. I texted a friend to see if she had ever seen this. Her best guess was that Poppy’s back was out from calving paralyzing her. A common problem when a cow has a large calf, but they usually go down during calving and this was the smallest calf Poppy had ever had.

I finally got a hold of a different vet. He didn’t pause, didn’t think about it, he declared it to be milk fever. I doubted him. I’ve heard of an know about grass tetany, a phosphorous imbalance when a newly milking cow goes out on green grass. No, that isn’t what this is I said. Not that, he was starting to get impatient, why call and ask if you aren’t going to believe. Seriously people. This is different, she needs some medicine into her belly. The words were going fast. They were foreign to me and flowed out from between my ears like water unable to grasp them. But he would put what I needed out down at the clinic.

Amidst words of doubt and dislike for this particular vet I left to get the meds. They put plenty of doubt and worry into my head. I would ask the vet when I got there. Get my questions answered. When I got there three large bottles of liquid medicine, a rubber tube, and needles where hung by the mailbox out front. In a Walmart bag. By themselves. No vet to be seen.

I called again on the way home and asked again for exact directions. Where in the abdomen? How do I find the right spot? Just off the back, between the ribs and hip bone. He was disdainful. Why did I need so much help for such a simple undertaking?

At home we left the kids parked on the couch refusing to move and went back out to Poppy, still in the same spot, still not even trying to move. We took our time getting ready. Pondering the where and how of it. Then, saying a brief prayer as I knelt over her, I stuck the needle in. My patient husband handed me the tube. With a little fumbling we connected the two and started the medicine pouring, slowly, into her.

It seemed to take forever as we took turns standing with our arms in the air letting it pour down into her. Once it was finally empty we left her and went back to make sure our children were alive. They were.

I went back out to check on her a little later. No change. Again after supper. Still no change. I went ahead and gave her the last bottle, sure and confident now in the needle placement. Her calf was there now wanting his supper. I grabbed her flank and pulled as hard as I could, trying to give him better access. Together we were able to get something for him to get a hold of and he got a light supper. I went home, nothing else I could do for the night.

The next morning, afraid of what they would find, I waited anxiously for word of her. Soon enough it came. She was up! She was up and her calf was right there with her! Everything was alright.

A week later The Father-in-law stopped by. One of his cows was down. Did we have any of that medicine left? We didn’t, having poured a probably excess amount into Poppy. So the cycle was repeated. I ran to the vet. No vet involved but a receptionist that was quickly charmed by The Goblin Child. We got a good stock of the large bottles. Back home we went along to see the cow laying, trying much harder than Poppy to get up. She would get her legs under her and stagger forward then collapse again.

I stuck the needle in. My cow hating husband, patiently handed me the rubber hose and we put two bottles into her. By evening she was up and going. I see her in the pasture once in awhile and nod to her. Thinking that she doesn’t share the feeling of kinship I do, but still, hello. Glad to see you still up and going.

 

 

Category: Cows  2 Comments

Frolicking Kids

We took Baa to visit a boy. We hope to have a baby. We took her down in the end Of January and picked her up early March. As the people who own the boy say they “fell in love” immediately then showed no signs of heat after that. A goats gestation period is five months. If everything goes right we should be expecting a baby, or two?, in July!

When we dropped her off and picked her up the very nice people let all of us see, and play with, their baby goats. It was so much fun watching all the kids frolic together.

 

Category: 8, goats, Goblin Child  2 Comments

Of Cars And Deer

Did I mention that I hit a deer in the car? Totally smashed the front end. Traumatized the kids. Cemented my darling husbands hatred of deer. he had a few choice and enthusiastic words for the deer. He never once said anything to me about hitting it just the deer for existing. He’s so sweet.

It left us with a decision to make. Try to fix our beloved Buick or find a new one. A newer one of the same make and color that is. Thanks to our older Buick in the same make and color we decided to and were able to repair it instead of looking for a new one. My hard working husband took the radiator and air-conditioning something something that had been destroyed by the deer off. Then he removed them from the old Buick, along with the hood. The old/new parts went on the newer old Buick and it was able to drive to the place to get the body work done.

The old hood hardly had any paint left on it but it wasn’t smashed. The front quarter panel was crumpled in the front corner. He straightened that out and painted everything. Now we have our Buick back, as good as new!

 

 

 

Category: Family  2 Comments

Happy Birthday 8!

He’s been telling us for a long time that his birthday was coming from over there, then pointing to let us know which direction it’s coming from now. We were afraid that when it finally got here it would be a let down. Especially after we couldn’t get reservations at the bouncy houses. Seriously people how can you just take that away after the children have come to depend on it? We did the next best thing and got the school cafeteria. Lots of room for kids to run and not in our house. We only invited a couple of friends but a couple of friends is a couple of families plus family. It’s just too many people to fit in our house!

We got there early and turned them loose to play in the pit while we got stuff ready. Then people came and they really went to playing. We had brought balloons and they ran kicking and throwing them the whole time. All the childrenĀ  ought to sleep good tonight. Then we ate cake. Played some more. Opened presents. And played a little longer as people started to file out the door and we cleaned up.

He was asleep long before we got home. What better way to end a birthday party than with a good nap.

 

Category: 8  2 Comments

A Day Of Many Firsts

Putting this up here for mom real quick so she, and anyone else who’s interested, can see the videos. We hauled the horses over to a friends indoor arena to ride with our good friend Paula who we don’t see nearly enough. I wanted to try Rusty somewhere besides home and start getting him used to being hauled.

The morning started out warm, as it was supposed to. We spent the morning playing outside and getting the horse stuff loaded. Ate lunch came back out and it had gotten cold, as it was supposed to. We all squeezed into the cab of the pickup and dropped my long suffering husband off so he could put in a couple of hours of work in town.

At the arena I decided there was no way I was pulling down to the arena, it didn’t look like we’d ever be able to get back out. We parked on the gravel far far away from the arena and started to climb out of the pickup. It was cold and windy. The horses were crazed the children were under foot. Paula had arrived by then and was the only reason we were able to accomplish it at all. She took the leads of two horses loaded with children and I followed with Rusty, helmets, hats, gloves, and treat bags.

There is a pen that needs to be gotten through on the way to the arena and it had horses in it. Paula gave me the other two to lead through while she kept the horses off of us. I abandoned my other baggage and concentrated on getting a crazed Rusty and two other enthusiastic horses through two gates and away from the other curious horses. We all lived.

In the arena Rusty immediately made it clear that he was NOT going to stand tied. Not without choking us on clouds of dust. Trying to get the children ready to ride for real, I forgot those pesky helmets earlier in the rush to get horses saddled before we froze, and into the arena where they could hopefully take care of them selves was difficult. Fortunately, once again, Paula took care of everyone and got the job done.

We had a good ride once everything got settled. 8 rode Coyote all by himself! I was so proud of both of them! The Goblin Child was a little pouty and wouldn’t really try to get Onna to go away from me but she still did pretty good. It was the same jumbled, mad rush to get back to the pickup. The kids were cold and tired and grouchy. It was colder and windier. Once everything was loaded, they hopped right in so nicely, good horses, the kids fell asleep almost immediately. It was a great ride and I for one can’t wait to do it again!

Little Horsemen

Those kids, I’m just so proud of them. They are getting to be such good riders. When I picked The Goblin Child up from the bus yesterday she really wanted to go ride. Who am I to say no to that? It was getting late though, starting to cool off, and saddling takes so long, so they got on bareback.

 

 

Of course they wanted to trot.

Playing With Cattle

We’ve been going out and walking through the calves that are still here. A small pen with the runts and our small group of heifers. The goal is to get the heifers used to being handled by and around people, quiet well trained cattle are always better than wild and crazy cattle. I am happy to see my theories on this holding out in the calves of our calves being right up there in the front to check us out when we go to see them.

The kids have been enjoying the process. One of them is a big help and is loving playing with them. The other not so much. He may also be the reason that quieting the chicks back fired and now they are instead twice as terrified. I was really enjoying watching The Goblin Child lure the calves in as close as possible, and very close was quite possible. The two calves with the green ear tags, 313 and 317, are our two heifers.

 

 

Category: 8, Cows, Goblin Child  3 Comments

The Goblin Child Presents….

I was editing some video of Rusty and me playing and T.G.C. came to see what was going on. She wanted to add all kind of good effects, so I let her do one of her own. She rather randomly chose from the pictures and videos that were already there, maybe someday she can plan and direct a story of her own. For now here is her creation:

Proud Parent Moments

It ranks right up there with taking their first steps. I am so excited that I was able to get it on video! The Goblin Child opened her first gate horseback! She had been watching us, Coyote andĀ  I, do it and we had talked about how she would be able to someday. We had ridden through this gate yesterday and I told he it was an easy one to unlatch, in one way really hard because it’s in a corner though.

We got to go sort the bulls out of the cows today. She got to come along on Princess Onna. Off the lead rope even! She’s been doing so good I thought we could try it. Princess Onna always got overly excited when she and Tanna moved cows together so I was hesitant to let he try it on her own. But she’s been good about it with The Goblin Child so they got to go loose today.

After doing a wonderful job of helping, while poor 8 watched from the four wheeler, she wanted to go for a ride. We went up the lane to go out in the pasture. She walked ahead of us to the gate declaring her intent. I was thrilled to let her try and hurried to get my camera ready. It took a few tries to get lined up and bent into that corner but she stuck with it and together they managed to get it! What very good girls, the both of them.

 

Arts and Crafts

This winter The Goblin Child has discovered “projects”. From making homemade play dough, to paint, to slime, she wants nothing else. Every day she asks if we can do a project NOW?

She and her father got out a birthday present she got, clear back last summer. It has been great. They put together a robot out of wood blocks and pipe cleaners. They built a robot rabbit that follows a path they built out of foam paper stuff. The path gets rebuilt over and over again in different directions. We, and she I hope, liked it so much we got the subscription. every month now, the next three at least, she’ll be getting a box like it in the mail. Anybody we know with children may be getting Kiwi crates, or their proper age group equivalent, in the mail for future birthdays and Christmas presents.

Slime is apparently pretty popular right now. That makes me think we should find other things. But we’ll keep doing it, one in a while. It’s easy enough, glue, water, borax, who doesn’t have that on hand. They love mixing it. It last quite awhile to play on. There are so many variations to try, we’ll probably never get to them all. We’ve done regular slime and glitter slime. We haven’t done Fluffy slime yet.

Play dough was my favorite. We would make more but it lasts so long that we don’t really need anymore yet. It was quick and easy and softer than store bought. It has been interesting learning the things we should always have on hand to be prepared for this kind of thing, salt, baking powder, and food coloring are essentials. We also made salt dough, to bake into Christmas tree ornaments and the like. The difference in ingredients was small, they were both fun to play with despite their very different outcomes. Also in the play dough group should be my new favorite project, fizzy play dough!! Again small differences in ingredients major difference in outcomes. Back the the essentials again with baking soda. I misjudged our need of it and we were almost out, until I remembered the stash in the fridge. It needed replaced anyway. It was the simplest to make, mix baking soda with water, and food coloring is desired, until a doughy consistency is reached then play with it. When they’re done playing let them squirt vinegar, mixed with a drop or two of soap, over it. Squirt and squeeze until all that remains is foamy goo. What’s not to love?

We’ve done some others. We have a few books with science projects in them. They work with varying results, some good some not so much. Putting water in a bowl, sprinkling with pepper, then touching with a soap rubbed finger is pretty fun. Mostly because it is quickly and easily repeated. Filling a tray with milk, dropping in some food coloring, then dripping soap over, not so much. Not worth the wasted milk, messy and over with quickly.

I also finally managed to find the recipe for water color paint. It was a fun one that we used for the summer camp art class. It involves baking soda, vinegar, and food colors. Everything but salt. I like projects that take a long time to make, keeping the kids occupied for quite a while, and things that I don’t have to be hands on for the whole time. This is pretty hands on, I don’t get to get anything else done while we do it, but it does last for a very long time afterwards. I just threw away the paints from the last time we did this. they take a long time to dry but they painted with them wile they were still in liquid form and once dried the paints last forever.

This whole thing may have actually been an excuse to get all my links together in one place but we are enjoying the projects. It is snowing out and cold, I foresee another project coming up soon. I need to start looking for something.