First Steps

This probably doesn’t seem like a big deal. It shouldn’t be. But for this calf, it is huge! This calf should be dead.

He was really sick when the guys found him. They doctored him and left him to his mom. The next day they checked on him and he was now blind. They hadn’t noticed anything like that the day before. We took him a bottle of milk and again left him for his mom. I called the vet, never heard back. I had to go in for milk replacer anyway so I drove to a different vet. She said Vitamin A deficiency with out hardly having to think about it from my description. She sent me home with a syringe.

We went out and found the calf in the pasture. His mom was there and she was not happy to have us touching the calf. We managed to hold her off long enough to give him the shot, slowly, in the muscle. That was a long shot. Then we decided to bring them both into the corral so he would be more protected from coyotes and she wouldn’t be able to leave him as far.

I snuck him a bottle of milk the next morning while she ate breakfast, making a mad dash for the fence when she noticed me there and came running. Then he spent the rest of the day laid out flat like he was dead.

I got the father in law that evening to come hold the cow off, or at least be there to call an ambulance if his mom should eat me, so I could give him an evening bottle. He said I could bring the calf up to the barn. I rode out in the bucket of the payloader with both kids in the cab with him. He lowered me down to ground level with her pawing and bellering not too far off.

I grabbed a leg and hauled as hard as I could. He was a BIG calf. The bucket started to g up with his head still hanging out. I gave a last tug and got him the rest of the way in. I hunched next to him for the ride back. He peed and pooped trying to fill the bucket and cover us both. I scooted as far away as I could while still keeping a hand on him. Not like he had moved all day but better safe than sorry.

At the barn I hauled him in the door and left him there, just inside. He was heavy! There was some straw there for bedding. He happily downed his bottle of milk. I spent the next few days rolling him from side to side, hauling in more and more bedding. He had a very healthy appetite even if nothing else about him was. He made huge messes. He stank and was usually covered in calf poop everywhere I had to grab hold of to turn him. Calf poop has a special kind of stink.

A couple of days ago I decided he was going to have to do something besides lay there and I hauled his huge hinney to his feet. He wobbled and swayed, shook all over and fell down. The next time I was out we did it again. The next feeding I propped him against the wall over my knee and he ate standing up! I moved him out the door to soak up some sunshine. Then it was back in again that night.

Then, this morning, he walked!! Just a little bit but so much better than me clinging to him to keep him upright. When I checked on him mid day he was not where I had left him. Tonight when I went to feed he didn’t want to eat. I pulled him to his feet and he took off! Well, for him this is taking off. He was so excited to be moving. He walked all around the pen checking out what there was to see.

See may not be the right word. Still not sure that he can. His eyes are no longer milky white but he holds his head like he can’t see. Only time will tell if he will really get better. He’s a bottle calf now, a sickly one at that, he hangs in precarious balance. He’s come so far though with such cheer and try. I will do everything in my power to make sure he sticks around!

 

Category: Cows  One Comment

Good Intentions

I keep meaning to go back and fill in all the gaps I’ve left over the last month or so. Somehow it never seems to happen. Maybe because it still hasn’t slowed down much.

There’s the usual calving, school, kids stuff. On top of that I am currently feeding four bottle calves! They are a lot of work and make me glad not to have any more children. I took over one calf who’s mom abandoned her at birth, then she couldn’t figure out how to nurse. I bought two others too. Now there’s a calf who went blind shortly after birth. My cow loving 😉 husband found him and doctored him then the next day found him again and he was blind. They hadn’t noticed anything the day before.

The next day he was down and couldn’t get up. I went to the vet and she said it sounded like he had a Vitamin A deficiency. She sent a shot home with me and said it should help and he might even get his sight back. We went to give him the shot and his mom tried to eat us. He ended up coming to live in the barn. He still can’t see or stand up but his head is up looking around and he loves to eat. We’ll see if he ever stands up but as long as he is happy I guess we’ll keep going as we are.

I’ve also been writing course material and training horses for our next horse training endeavor. The same group of friends, Jain and Ineke, and I are doing another one. The first one was so fun and went so well that we want to do many more! This one is an update of an ongoing class. The Horse Tricks Academy, where I started out learning how to train tricks is receiving an overhaul. Jain did all the original work. Ineke and I are adding new tricks and keeping the facebook group going. Looking forward to this getting started in the beginning of May!

Then maybe things will slow down a little? Or not! So many more things planned, plus the garden. farming, working cattle kids home for the summer. Aghhh!

You can click on the link below the video to see the registration page

Horse Tricks Academy

Category: Cows, Horses  Leave a Comment

SnowMan

I have a lot of catching up to do. Lots of things to catch up on. I will go back and fill in the blanks, hopefully.

We got lots of snow yesterday and the day before. Not as much as the big snow but worse than the foot of snow we got a week or so ago.

Today the sun was out again. The calves seem to mostly be ok but the children are going stir crazy.

So, they built a snowman. With their fathers help. It was a good snow man. Big and sturdy.

Then I had the bright idea that they could paint it! I mixed up some food coloring in water and grabbed some brushes. They started painting. It was a it challenging figuring out just how to go about it but they soon had the technique down. Making sure to use up all of the colored water they painted it up pretty.

That thing is freaky. Now I’m scared to go to sleep. It’s outside the window looking at us!

 

Family Vacation

I don’t have any pictures to go with this unfortunately. Guess I was too busy having fun.. Or something.

We had talked about going up to Rapid and spending the night for quite awhile now. First we were going to go before Christmas but that never worked out. Then we were going to go for 8’s birthday. The first attempt at that didn’t work out, so we tried again. We were going to stay the night, swim at the hotel, swim at Watiki, and do stuff.

I said that maybe we should shorten that a little. Perhaps we could just go up and do Watiki? The weather was looking decent. Snow, but not lots and relatively warm. So we went. I had been looking up hotels and Watiki on the internets. We got the feeding done and rushed to get up there in time for lunch.
HuHots was as delicious as always. The kids were even marginally well behaved! The Goblin Child loaded up on noodles and black beans. It didn’t seem to matter the sauce. As long as she was eating for once I guess it doesn’t matter how odd the food.

It was there that my poor husband who had never been thrilled about the trip to start with discovered that Watiki didn’t open until four that evening.

There we were finishing up lunch shortly after twelve with the hope of heading home around four. This made our plans a little more difficult. I hadn’t done my research very well. I had looked and looked at their website to make sure they were really open and see what all was included before we came up. It had never occurred to me that they wouldn’t be open all day and no hours had been evident. Great.

So we shopped. We went to the book store and introduced the children to the joys it help within. It was nice to see them enthralled. We looked at RV’s and all the accompaniments to see what is available to furnish the school bus someday. We went to Cabella’s before it turns completely to BassPro. The children were amazed by the taxidermy on display and we got fudge. Lots of delicious fudge. Finally it was late enough to head to the pool.

It was a Thursday evening in the middle of winter. I hoped we would have the place mostly to ourselves. It was packed! Probably it really was mostly empty compared to when tourist season is in full swing. There is NO way I would set foot in the place then. The toys were great. The kids ran off and climbed, sprayed, and slid for quite awhile as we sat watching, hoping it could go on like that. Of course it couldn’t.

Soon they wanted to explore beyond the kids playground.

We went down water slides, floated around the lazy river, and, finally, found a warm pool to heat up in. There were floating pads under a climbing net for them to run across. Over and over and over again. The Goblin child having been down one slide and deciding she didn’t like it wanted to spend the rest of the day there. 8 was more adventurous. He liked the slides and wanted to go again and again.

During all of this more and more people were coming in. Gross disgusting people. Half naked men  with huge man boobs. Bulging women scantily covered with clothing but well decked out in tattoos. Everyone was covered in tattoos and hair. Ugly cheap looking tattoos. If you’re going to get something drawn on you that is going to last for the rest of your life wouldn’t you want to save up and invest in a decent one?

The worst thing was that we were all soaking in the same water. It touched them and then touched me. I don’t seem to be able to go out in public anymore. I can’t handle being that much together with people.

Food and beer were also allowed! The gross people were eating in and around the water. Even better.

We finally dragged the kids out and went to get more food before driving home. Strangely enough Perkins has become a favorite when we get to Rapid. We ate way too much breakfast for supper then brought the kids cookies and a piece of french Silk pie for me home with us to finish up when we weren’t so full.

The trip home was made through snow covered roads and fog. I hated it but was assured that they weren’t as bad as it seemed. 8 was sound asleep before we got out of Rapid. The Goblin Child made it slightly farther. Both of them slept all the way home so we got to listen to our book. They stayed asleep when we carried them in and we followed suit as quickly as we could.

It was a fun trip despite my various mistakes. I will not be pushing for another one any time soon.

Starting The Garden

We got the seeds started for this years garden.

By we I mostly mean my super gardener husband.  Calling what the rest of us contributed “help” is stretching thing a bit far. We were there though! 😉

Lots of petunias, my contribution. A variety of tomatoes, celery, egg plant, and probably peppers. We planted them last Friday and, the petunias especially, were coming up already by Monday.

They are a sign that spring may eventually come again. We are more than ready for it. February was cold.

 

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Getting Old

Now that he’s four 8 keeps telling us he’s big enough. it doesn’t matter big enough for what. He’s just big enough, he can do it!

I got him to come out with me to sort off a couple of head of cattle by promising he could help drive. I thought he could push the gas while I helped a little. Instead I accidentally put it in low and it was perfect.

We took off across the cornstalks with him in complete control. I wrapped my arms around his waist and held on while he drove. He zipped and zoomed. Not too fast though, because it was in low and couldn’t. He steered all over the place all by himself and generally did a great job. I drove while we brought the cows up, he wasn’t doing a great job of going slow behind them. Or following them.

In the corrals though he took over again. He pulled through gates while I opened and closed them and he helped chase cows where we were trying to get them. By the end he was done. It was cold. He was tired. He wanted to go inside! Where he promptly fell asleep. It’s hard working being all grown up.

 

 

Category: 8  One Comment

Happy Birthday!

We celebrated 8’s birthday this weekend with a cake and playing with the cousins. Just a little party ad lots of play. We went swimming last weekend at the pool in Chadron and are trying to get up to Rapid for to go swimming up there. That seems like more than enough celebration for one little boy.
We may never actually make Rapid. There hasn’t been a lot of snow this winter just enough mixed in with lots of cold to make it hard to travel. But we’ll keep trying!

Category: 8  2 Comments

The Archer

I always see pictures of beautiful women shooting bows off their horses. I see them and get very jealous. So when I saw a bow for sale the other day I made an impulse buy. It’s nothing fancy a cheap little youth archery set but I couldn’t resist the thought of teaching Rusty to let me shoot it off of him.

It was warm enough the next day to try it out. I lugged a couple of straw bales out and set the in front of a shed so we wouldn’t shoot any horses by accident. Then my new toy was stolen.

The Goblin Child was fascinated. She worked and worked until she had the basic idea down. As good as I do at least. Neither of us have figured out the aiming and that silly stuff yet 😉 She spent quite a while practicing and was able to mostly hit the bales before she wandered off.

I even got to shoot it once or twice before other duties called.

Category: Goblin Child  2 Comments

Winter Activities

There were hardly any children at the first Clover Buds meeting of the year. So we were able to sneak 8 in. He’s still a year or two too young. He stuck it out for a little while then left for Lala’s room and a computer to play on. Theo goal was to design a path to guide the little tooth brush head robots with vibrating motors to all the pants that needed pollinated. It was all about bees.

They has fun even if no plants got pollinated.

I have forced everyone kicking  and screaming out the door as often as I am able. They have fun once they are out there. What could be more fun than trapping your sibling under the sled?

For Valentines day and the hundredth day of school The Goblin Child got a shirt to decorate with one hundred things. They both got shirts of course, how could I let one decorate but not the other? I only got pictures of her because he chose one hundred fingers, which meant twenty hand prints. It got messy.

 

Kiwi Crates

They’ve been building up all summer. The children beg to work on them we tell them to wait until it’s not so nice outside. To wait until we aren’t so busy with other things.

Now is that time.

It’s cold and icky outside. They can only play the Tractor Game and Minecraft so much. In between they work on the Kiwi Crates. It’s a great family activity. For the rest of the family. My inability to read directions forces me to forgo this pleasure. So sad 😉

 

Category: Family  2 Comments