Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Exhausted, but rejoicing.

I'm sitting in my office, typing this.  My work day is done, and I'll be headed home soon.  To a husband I love, four dogs that are probably curled up in the back of Clint's work pickup keeping him company, beef stroganoff in the crockpot and a house that probably isn't as clean as it could be. 

Let's face it - my house will never be as clean as it could be.


It's calving season too, and if tonight is anything like earlier this week, the evening might also include;

Three sets of twins born during the day. 
The extra twins that were pulled off and grafted to new cows who needed a bit of extra coaxing to let them suck.
A first calf heifer who won't claim her calf.
New babies that need tagged, and weighed and shots given.


A heifer that had started to calve at 8:50 pm, so we gave her some space and time while we went to tag two calves, only to come back a few minutes later to see that she'd calved but hadn't stood up.  A cow that's just calved needs to stand up so the sac will break....a calf can't live long when the sac is over it's head and it can't breath.  But a heifer won't usually lay down and calve with us standing watch over her.
A cuss word muttered under the breath.
We keep our frustration under wraps as the cow dutifully licks her now lifeless calf, her mothering instincts kicking in too late.
We finish tagging the rest of the calves in the field, and then head to the barn to tag.


A barn that was empty this weekend and is now filled except for one stall.
We wonder why?
The guys try to make sure the heifers are in good condition, get fed right and are bred to bulls that promote calving ease.
And yet even with a 60 pound calf, heifers don't want to get up and mother.
You shake your head trying to figure a solution out. 
{Suggestions welcome here....}


Dinner gets served at 10:00 when we walk in the house.  A bagged pre-made salad and quesadillas.  Quesadillas are my go-to dinner for late nights....two ingredients, one pan, lots of warm cheesy goodness before we sack out in our easy chairs for a two hour nap before the night check.
12:37 comes and we groggily rise to find shoes, a jacket and head to the pickup.
An hour later, one new calf has entered the world and is up nursing warm goodness from it's mother.  A drive through the fall cows fails to find any in heat, which means there won't be any to breed the next morning.
An hour later we tuck under warm sheets and set the alarm for 4:40 am to start again.


This lifestyle is tough in January.  And it is flat out exhausting.
I keep repeating to myself -
"The first and the last weeks of calving are the hardest.  We can make it through."

But what is {hard}?
When I think back to a year ago - what I'm going through now isn't hard.

What we're doing is a choice and one we made for ourselves.  We decided to live this lifestyle, knew what we were getting ourselves into and have relished it.  Yes, there are months that are not much fun as others.  Yes, we are tired and calving has only begun.

But -

We're alive. 
We're well.
  We're acting on our own free accord.
We are surrounded by love.
We're living the dream.

"This is the day that the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it!"
~ Adapted from Psalm 118 & my mantra for 2014 ~

Let's rejoice friends.  Let's give it our all, make it to work dog-tired and still put in a 100% for the day and dream of May when the pairs are all turned out to grass.

I'll be right here cheering you on.

3 comments:

  1. loving you ... soooo much! thanks for "getting" this life ... and for just being you!

    GREAT pics too! :) Just beautiful!

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  2. Well said friend! Hang in there!

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  3. A really great description of the dedication it takes to live the life you've chosen. You certainly do it with grace! Also enjoyed your post about your dad. Wishing you good memories of him right now.

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