When we sent The Goblin Child to preschool in the darkest depths of winter it was to give her something to do. She was bored sick in the house, it was miserably cold outside and we had all had enough. Strangely I am surprised at all that she learned. I know, people send children to school to learn, but the scope of the things learned was impressive and today on her last day I thought I would reminisce.
She learned about Cat in The Hat. Our night time reading will never be the same. We used to have a greater variety of books we were aloud to read but then The Cat in the Hat came to visit. She was enthralled.
Scrub a dub came to visit. Now she washes her hands regularly and with great intensity, using proper technique and time length. We have never spent so much time in public bathrooms. But her hands are sparkly clean.
She learned about the importance of wearing sunblock. They made really cool bracelets that change color in the sun, she showed it to everybody and the cousins oohed and awed appropriately. One day while getting ready to work cattle she ran back in the house for a minute and came out covered in sun block. Her face and hands were caked and white. She told me how important it was to protect your skin, I couldn’t argue. I could spread it out a little more evenly. I feared for the state of the kitchen but needlessly, she had only gotten it where it needed to be.
She made lots of new friends. One was a particular favorite, it worried us a little. She would come home and tell us all about how she liked him so much because he took really good care of her. Then the only other girl came back and her other friend was forgotten.
She learned to sing a beautiful rendition of Jesus loves me, without all the words but with movements.
And the absolute best of all was the time that as we sat down to supper she said that we had forgotten to pay. We went back and forth for awhile trying to figure out what she was talking about, things can be a bit confusing sometimes. She meant pray. We had forgotten to say our prayers. Not only did she remind us, she said the prayer. We asked if she had learned that from eating at her good preschool friends house, she had gone over for lunch a couple of times. No she said, she had learned it at preschool. They say their prayers at snack time. We didn’t send her to a church preschool planning on this being what she learned, just didn’t think about it, not that we didn’t want it, but we are so thrilled with all the knowledge she brought home.
They enjoyed a field trip to the park today. She loved it.
I was out taking care of Poppy and MC2. The radar showed a storm coming but the clouds were so much more impressive than a red and green blob on the radar. It was a wall cloud if I’ve ever seen one. Rolling blues and greys with that green back light that always spells trouble.
I ran and opened the gates to let the horses up to the shed after I finished the cattle. They felt the change in the weather and were running and bucking around their pen, stopping occasionally in that stillness that’s almost more vibrant and charged with energy than a run, heads thrown high in the air snorting and blowing. I was able to call them to the open gate and hoped they found the shed but I wasn’t staying any longer, I ran for the house.
I came in the back door and by the time I made the front door the wind had reached hurricane force. Hail followed shortly after.
Poppy took her own sweet time calving this year. She raised two calves for the last two years and it pulled her down a little. I was worried she hadn’t bred at all, but her stomach was getting pretty big then finally she started to show. We started checking her daily waiting, watching hopefully. The weather was bad for awhile, there was snow and windy wet days. And still she waited.
Finally she decided the time was right. On a warm clear evening she had him, a pretty little dark calf. Not red but not true black, with dark points. We watched him start hunting for food, then left them in peace.
I checked them regularly, the first day they got separated it took a bit to get them back together. He always seemed scrawny and I never did see him nurse. I decided to quit worrying he had some age on him and was perky, he must be eating. Then I got a call saying he was sick, my cow hating but devoted husband helped doctor him and we brought them both in to keep a better eye on him and so he could be inside and dry.
By morning he was gone. Good bye Little Poppy.
So we began the search for a new calf for her. About that time Milk Cow would have come in handy but the father-in-law unsold her to us when he decided he wanted her back. I had intended at first to get The Goblin Child a new pet calf but she had quit crying over Milk Cow and I was pretty soured on the whole bottle calf thing. So we searched.
The feed lot in Hot Springs almost always has calves for sale but the thought of the hour and a half drive each way, with a calf in the cab with us for half of that was daunting. So we searched for something closer. I called a friend, who called a friend, I have no idea how long that went on but in no time at all she called me back saying she had found a calf. Great friends like that are so awesome.
I told The Goblin Child we were getting her, and Poppy, a new calf. She was excited and wavered between Little Poppy and Milk Cow for names. Originality is not her forte. We met the guy and followed him out to the ranch, my worried husband was not thrilled. We were not kidnapped and murdered, always a good thing. It wasn’t a totally random or complete stranger, out here nobody is.
He roped the calf out in pasture off his fourwheeler and had it tied in seconds. He loaded it into the cab of the pickup and the troubles began. 8 was not happy. Cattle are big and kind of scary when they get close and this one was way too close. I was going to switch children and car seats around but when I got them unbuckled The Goblin Child decided she didn’t want any closer to that thing either. We were twenty miles away from home with no way to get back except on the highway or I would have let him sit on my lap and to heck with rules and car seats. The look of betrayal as I made him get back in his car seat was only surpassed by his screams of terror. On our own road I freed him. He got to ride on my lap. I know I shouldn’t admit to that but I couldn’t torture my poor child any longer, it was awful.
The Goblin Child was asleep by the time we got home. I pulled up close to the shed door and let 8 out then went around and hauled the big calf out of the cab. He not a baby calf, he’s as big as I am. When 8 saw me wrestling with the calf he came unglued, screaming again and ran towards us. Not a smart child. I had the calf mostly untied and it chose that time to try to stand. I had to hold onto the calf while trying to keep the child away. It was a little difficult but no one got killed and the calf ended up in the shed.
I can’t say that Poppy accepted him with open arms, or what ever, but we are working on it and he is getting his food. Hopefully she will come to love him like her own and it will be a done deal.
That pretty much covers it. 8 in his current quest to kill himself fell down the back stairs as well as off the play ground equipment and breaking all the glass over his head. He gets ibuprofen regularly for soreness as well as all the teething he’s doing. Not a happy boy.
They are planting corn using the GPS, and alfalfa and millet. Not that they need it but hey, apparently it sounded fun. The corn is being planted with it because when the guys come to spray for, what weeds?, they wont even try to drive down the rows, they drive at an angle across them. Unless they have the GPS, again what? settings? location? whats the right word? Last year it made him even madder than usual and thus the base station. My brilliant husbands base station is working beautifully, there is a couple of centimeters error most of the time. Now, I think, he needs someone else willing to try it.
We do love getting boxes from Grandma, she sends the funnest stuff. The only thing that would be better is her being here when we open them. Or just being here, we always miss her.
Here’s the next best thing. They loved the box, opening it was sooo much fun. Thank you Grandma!
Not necessarily in chronological order:
I had forgotten to put a horse away. Again. I do that sometimes, as The Goblin Child would say. When I realized it I was on my way to bed, it was dark and it was raining. So out I went me and my flashlight. The rain was gentle and not too cold. The horse was easily found, huddled against the fence wanting in.
I put him back and turned for my house, wanting back in too. The rain had let up and it was really a beautiful night to be out and about. The frogs were croaking in the distance and the air was still. From across the yard I heard a growl and a snarl and thought about Daisy, wondering what she had cornered now. As I thought that I glanced down at Daisy trotting along next to me. It was one of those times where it takes your brain awhile to catch up with whats going on. I did a double take and realized Daisy hadn’t been doing the growling. Then what had?
My first instinct was to run for the house. So I turned around and turned on my flashlight, shining it in the direction of the noise. Many eyes shown back at me from across the yard. Daisy was running for the house even if I wasn’t. I decided it was best to go with her.