Hello from the Bar MW Ranch where after three days of snow I think the sun might just shine today. We are thankful for it all. Yesterday was another busy day of Russ, Ron and Morgan working hard to keep calves alive. I called Ron around 8:30 to tell him we had no water and ask him to check the well house for troubles. He told me he was trying to save a calf but he would get right to it. I updated Russ with the situation. Russ got to the well house before Ron did and reported back that “some idiot had unplugged the heater…….and that idiot was me.” We had water again in short order, after a line thawed. Shortly after this my house guest for the morning arrived, the calf Ron was saving, a big beautiful red calf, her Mom is “Katie.” Russ carried it in and asked me to please play some specific music for this calf. So I cued up Ian Tyson “The Navajo Rug” song, thanks to YouTube, and the calf got to hear Ian singing about its Mom “Katie.” Here is Katie Jr. at the point she was handed off to me. Our little dog room heats up fast and makes a great warm up spot. Coffee our puppy is doing absolutely wonderfully with sharing her corner of the house.
Russ reported in while checking the cows “Buttercup” was not doing so well, seemed to be in distress. Morgan was still his helper at this point and was the one to get her lined up to get in the trailer and come home. Russ did an internal assessment and thought we needed the vet. Marcel came in a flash. I got a call from Morgan, “come to the pole shed! We are having twins!” By the time I got there Marcel had pulled the 2nd calf and Buttercup was at this stage. She is licking them off, getting them drier and and that motion is working on their circulation in the process.
Back at the house I needed to help this calf get dry. It is absolutely amazing how long they hold moisture in their legs. I rubbed and rubbed and just could not get them dry. The room was hot as hades. Anyways….Gina called, she was walking to school, so I put her on speakerphone and she got to hear the calf moo a little bit and we did an interprovincial session with this calf.
Perhaps the most stressful moment of my day happened when Russ called and asked me to check the heifers. These are cows that are pregnant with their first calf and we keep them in a separate pasture because they need closer supervision. Russ was so busy he did not have time to check them and didn’t know when he would get to. By this time Jill and Morgan were in class and Ron was busy. It needed to be me. However I had a list I wanted to do too, including getting a shower. I told Russ I was too busy. He understood. I felt tremendously guilty. The biggest things on my list were the food prep needed for our lunch, a menu to celebrate my Mom on her birthday. I needed to let go of my firm grip on how that would unfold and flex. I did it. I agreed to check the heifers. Here is why…….it was self care in a way. I realized that if I didn’t I would ruin the rest of the morning worrying about how the heifers were doing, worrying that a cow and/or calf could be suffering. I knew how I wanted to feel. I wanted to be rolling out cinnamon buns and feeling peace in my heart. So, in order to make that happen, I had to hit the road and go do the check. I found that all was well, most of the heifers were enjoying hay at the feeders and it was an easy and pleasant job. I returned to the house, had a quick shower and got down to business on thick cut bacon and cinnamon buns, Georgie specialities. It seemed like a good shift within me to do something not because I should, but because of how I knew I wanted to feel.
Unfortunately my afternoon was hard. Just sad. I could not avoid that sense of loss, I was missing my Mom, really mindful of her. I almost let go of my plan to honour my Mom by making Yorkshire pudding to go with supper. I wondered if I really needed a challenge when I was punk. I thought I should at least do a search on the internet for info. I found a great post with tips to make successful Yorkshires. I got started. I did it. They turned out! They maybe needed a little more salt, the recipe called for a generous pinch, I wasn’t generous enough I do believe. These were best with butter not gravy and I ate 3. I am trying to eat low carb as much as I can, but this was not the time! Here is the website where I got the help I needed “kitchensanctuary.com”.
The guys got in early and we ate supper at a good time. We put the mashed potatoes in this awesome serving dish that was my Mom’s.
That was April 13th, we got through it, we saved some lives and we lost one. A calf was born with its sack on its head that it never burst through and no-one could get to it in time. One of Buttercups twins is getting adopted onto “Flirt” the Mama of the calf we lost. We do a lot of thinking about Moms and their kids in calving season and this day we all talked about my Mom a lot. We all miss her so much. I couldn’t help but think she would be flattered by our many efforts to comfort ourselves and the delight we took in using her recipes, dishes, tablecloths, runners, serviettes……its all a connection.