Day 21 – Calving Season 2022 – Saturday morning coffee.

At 9:28 am we have received a fair bit of rain but the wind is not outrageous and temperatures are hovering at 1 degree celsius. We expect rain to become snow this afternoon. I am not in the mood for a super serious post despite the fact that these are serious days we are living. I feel like with the rain falling it feels more like a good day for a book or a cup of coffee with a friend. That is my privilege as the person not responsible for outdoor life today. So come on in for a coffee. Here is what I might tell you……

Russell told me a joke this morning as he was getting dressed. He asked me, “where do superheroes go for their holidays?” The punchline: Capetown. I have to admit that I was only half listening while he started his joke, I think I was on my phone (insert sheepish emoji) so I had to get him to repeat it. When I truly heard it I was greatly amused but didn’t laugh. That is witty. This is where Russell did a classic Russell move, he decided that my laughter was not nearly what the joke warranted and he coached me to really laugh out loud. Which of course by this point was just fake laughter but it was fun to have moments of lightness. Anyways, here is the thing, with all that the ag industry is going through right now, especially, very vividly, the ones that are seeing babies of many kinds born, we have to pull out our hero instincts and so I would like to propose that when things lighten up a bit we have a party in Capetown for all us producers who need to deal with our capes, they are getting pretty muddy.

Another fun thing from this morning is that Russ notified me that there was a pair of socks running loose in the house. When I asked for clarity I learned that Russ had taken a pair of yellow polka dot socks from his drawer but before he put them on he misplaced them. He advised me to keep an eye out for them. Later when I was tidying in the kitchen I found them. I took a picture and sent it to him.

I like Russell’s sense of humor. It helps him survive hard days.

Our friend David has helped us survive some weird days. On Monday when Russ was backing up to the loading chute in the calving pasture his back window made a popping sound and then began the process of shattering. There was no impact that caused this. It is a complete mystery. I took this picture yesterday morning through the shattered window as Russ and Morg were pulling away in the old white truck, leaving the new one so that Jill and I could drop it off at Powell Autobody for a new window. While there Jill and I had trouble with the Hyundai, David kept it, got his guys to have a look at it, and sent us home in his truck. Then last night he and Linda came for a coffee and dropped off our truck and the Hyundai, and picked up David’s truck. We were totally spoiled.

Yesterday on the blog I spoke of my battle with jinxy thoughts. I pondered if the new ring I had been wearing was causing all this bad weather. A ridiculous thought. However, I did decide to put my great grandma’s wedding band back on. Not because I am sinking into jinxy thinking, but because it is actually super meaningful to me. My Great Gram wore it through WW1 and WW2, she wore it through many hard and happy events in the family, so I am going to wear it, a reminder that the women in our family are used to dealing with tough things.

The two rings are not a great combination but its what I need for these days.

One of the serious moments of the morning came when Russ said, “as best as I can tell from reading the forecast, we are in for about 48 hours of hell.”

As Russell’s morning check proceeded and I wasn’t getting a call to prep the warm up room for a calf I decided to pull out the frozen tart shells that have been hanging loose in my freezer for quite some time and make butter tarts. If you were here for coffee I would offer you one or more.

This kitchen never looks this tidy. Our broken dishwasher is forcing some discipline into our kitchen work and it is a good learning experience.

Yesterday was a good experience for me. After the morning blog which was pretty raw I found myself feeling very supported. There were tangible things like texts, messenger messages and facebook comments. There were less tangible things, like a general sense of lightness, optimism and focus that helped immensely. I see that as the power of prayer. We are thankful for all the ways that kindness and grace flow into our lives, thanks for your part in that.

Grace flowed this morning that is for sure. Our cousin Laurie was on hand very early to help with whatever needed to be done. That is the main reason that my phone never rang. It allowed Morgan to sleep in and then have a leisurely breakfast. He is going to need the fortification I think. When Russ did phone the baking was done, he said, “I’m coming in the yard and backing up to the barn I’ve got 4 cows and 4 cold calves I’m unloading, and I’ve got Anders, she is calving, if you want some pictures of unloading cold calves come on out. If you come out, can you bring me a coffee? 4 scoops.” (Russ drinks very strong instant coffee.) I was quite thrilled to be able to say to him something that I hardly ever say, let alone at 8:35am, “I have just baked a double batch of butter tarts, should I bring some out?” He said, “yes, fuck, bring two each!” The unloading process turned out to be a bit of a trial. I was no help except to hold the trailer door open and alert the guys when one of the cows was starting to come back in on them into the trailer.

Laurie on the left, Russ on the right, urging the last calf in towards its Mama. Great teamwork.
Coffee and butter tart break in the tack room.
Morg was fresh at this point. Russ and Laurie were so wet.

Morgan isn’t so dry now. He just came up beside my office window, then tied his horse on Marlene’s old clothesline pole. He came in looking for a coffee. With thermos cup in hand he strode back out. I am not sure what his agenda includes, he is in charge of the heifers while Laurie and Russ and Ron are getting some feed and bedding issues taken care of.

Its Saturday morning, are you getting a chance to rest or do the circumstances where you are have you hopping? What book will you read today? Do you like butter tarts? All these questions are top of my mind as I think about having a coffee with you. Maybe someday! But until then, mercy we have some challenges ahead.