My Life

Tonight Russell and I went out on a date, as the rain made the hayfield too wet to work. Yes, rain, I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be able to say that again. At different times as we rolled towards Alameda to meet friends for a double date the song “In My Life” was in my head, one line in particular, it goes like this, “though I know I’ll never lose affection for people and things that went before, I know I’ll often stop and think about them, but in my life, I’ll love you more.” It was funny to arrive at the restaurant and find our friends there and seated at the next table was my singing partner Erin. It was Erin who introduced me to the song and we now sing it as part of our set list. Living in a small area really has its perks, its very fun to accidentally run into people who are important to you. We really enjoyed our meal and our visit, another episode of life feeling more normal again and getting strength from friends. As we pulled into the driveway when we got home, that same line was in my head again, I found myself analyzing what I was really singing and then turned to Russell as I was heading up the walk and said to him, “do you know what I’m singing?” “I am singing that as much as I am missing my Mom and Dad, and I am missing them both alot lately, as much as I love them and always will, I, (and at this point I hit him on the shoulder with the charging cord I was carrying), I love YOU more.” That realization hit me hard. Russell responded very quickly. He said, “well you should.” He followed that up by saying “you have committed your whole life to me, if you don’t love me more you should leave me and find something better.” It was not a confrontative moment at all, it was like a discovery moment, me discovering that as much as my missing is normal, I have something as full and nourishing right beside me, my choice and my life option. This was a reminder maybe, to live in the present. Thats it. Thats what happened.

A 30 second clip of the song in my head.
A picture of my parents I keep on my desk. Dad was 2 years past his dementia diagnosis at this time.
A Liz Griffin picture, Russ and I a year ago this week, when we renewed our vows.

And it was glorious….

9am Monday – A quick blog post about yesterday, again, little writing and mostly pictures. I didn’t think I would get to do this today but what I am needed for outside has been delayed. The guys have some calving troubles to deal with before we put a small group, 40 cows and calves thru the chute, maybe I can get this done.

If you read the post “horsing around” you will know that the cowboys brought 80 pairs down the road to home late on Saturday. Those 80 pairs were the focus of our attention on Sunday.

The morning got off to a really quick start, the animals we were treating were already home and Jill checked the cow and calf herds all day, a good break for her from the life of quarantine. This was terrific. It was a good boost of momentum to be started early and for Russ to be allowed to focus. Meanwhile, Jill found that “Tulip” had birthed twins.
I took this picture in the morning, the rain falling off the roof of the pole shed created this impact, this clear image of water falling is the reason for the name of this post. As we worked Sunday morning everything went smoothly. After the chaos of the night before the cows were settled right down. They moved easily, everyone had a job and seemed comfortable, was doing great at it and in the background there was the sound of rain on a tin roof. We have had so little moisture in the last 9 months that we have a deep deep concern about hay, pasture and dugouts. With the music of the rain in the background I had a sense of peace and contentment come over me that I have not felt in such a long time. It was glorious.
It was a trick for me to have something ready for lunch when we got started way earlier than usual but I got a batch of bread going and put it in the oven to rise and set the timer to start on its own. I came in and took it out when my alarm went on my phone. Having had my experience with Coffee dog, detailed in the “come for coffee” post a couple days ago, I put the bread in the microwave to cool. I learned that lesson.
A picture that is mindful of my friends named Liz. Liz and I at the chute.
At one point I went and did Laurie’s job while he was helping Morgan bring more cows up from outside. Skipper the cow was not happy about moving forward. I gave her a minute to collect her thoughts and grabbed this picture. Kind’ve a cool vantage point of the calves, waiting for their turn.
In Jill’s checks of the heifers she found one having trouble calving. After an early lunch we brought “Talk” in and helped her get that calf out. Dawson took this picture. “Talk” is one of the heifers with names that equate to strength for our relationship, the name theme for this years new Mama cows. Just as the trouble with “pray” was a very true to life thing (referring to the “Praying Games” post) the fact that “Talk” had to be pulled is almost to the point of hilarious for me. When Russ and I got married we took a test to determine our strengths and our challenges. The test revealed that communication was one of our challenges. I was almost insulted by that. Couldn’t be right. I mean seriously. Well…………did that ever pan out to be true! Learning to talk well together has taken years and years. I think both of us had to figure out how to pull some important stuff from the other. Or maybe, what is more accurate, we discovered the importance of trying to understand each other which allowed “talk” to emerge quite naturally versus being pulled out. I am shaking my head while writing this!!!
Here is the calf you might have read about in the “Whats in a Name?” blog post, this is Lisa. She is the calf of “Kathy”, she is sure a cutie.
I had a tag marker nearby so I had the chance to personalize my calves tag.
Morgan’s friend Jacob worked hard pushing calves through the chute up to the table.
Shaylee also pushed calves, did a few odd jobs and learned a few tagging tricks from her Mom.
Morgan was more at home than ever heading up the very physical job of getting these calves moving along up the chute. He gave us a big laugh when he popped his head out at one point and referring to the fact that we determine the sex of every calf while we work with it, said “hey, this is like the worlds biggest ever gender reveal party!” It seemed funnier to me when he said it.
There are perhaps 2 “what the heck?!?” reactions that could emerge from this picture. 1. Are these not Covid times? 2. Russell why are you branding this sweet creature? Ouch. The fact is that both these guys are vaccinated and I am vaccinated. The rest of our team was constantly moving in an environment with a huge amount of air and 3 large openings and 1xxxl opening to the outdoors, on Laurie’s left is an industrial fan. We did our best. About branding…..people steal unbranded calves so we opt to brand. We would rather not. We cause pain, we hate that.
Our team at work, friendship will help us survive these especially stressful days in this pandemic. This was a beautifully oiled machine about 5 calves into the process. A process we just need to tackle in order to get calves ready to go to their summer pastures. With Jill and Gina not available and Ron getting miles and miles of pasture fences repaired, Laurie, Dawson, Eliza, Jacob and Shaylee helped us practically which meant great things for our morale.
A glorious sight which I do not take lightly. I almost hesitate to post this because I know how it feels when the life-giving rains fall for other people and not at your place. We were so blessed with a solid rain in the afternoon, again after the morning bit of glory falling down. This picture is from the door of our pole shed. We are feeling very thankful.