We have been having some big days here, our calf numbers are rising by 10+ calves per day and its pretty exciting. We had a set of twins early this morning and the Mom, who is known as “no tag” abandoned one of the calves (she has that terrible name because her tag came out sometime during the year,it will be replaced when we do our spring work with the cows and calves). Russ brought her to the barn and I added her to my morning caseload. I have some pictures here describing how that unfolded.
Russ also texted from his early morning check that our Heifer named “Tender” calved. That is one of my favorite names we have on the place. It is part of a much bigger story, one that could fill a book perhaps. The start of that story goes back a few years now when we acquired all 11 seasons of MASH on DVD and were watching it a lot. In one episode Hot Lips and Pierce are assigned to go to a remote location and provide medical care, they are gone for a couple days. While they are away things get dangerous and as I recall they are holed up in a small space overnight. All the everything that led up to these days rises to the surface, the shared work, the loneliness, the stress, the danger, the friendship, and as they have this set apart time they share a very tender kiss. I was absolutely struck by it. I realized watching it, in a way that I had never realized before, just how much I am moved by tenderness. I think it is about, for me, what my blog address says, it takes some tenderness to see one another as we really are and to let ourselves be seen. It is in being truly seen that I feel safer than I did before. I knew I had to talk to Russell about this revelation I had about tenderness. But that’s hard. For some of us its so hard to say what we need. Its hard to craft these conversations so that the information is shared without hurting the feelings of the other, without giving the message that they are faulty. I really think it was about me stopping a bad habit I have. I work pretty hard to keep everyone happy and ignore what I need. I also needed to trust Russell with this insider info about me. I think of the conversations that followed as being the beginning of removing some bricks that were In the wall that existed between us. They were not long and life changing conversations. They were a beginning of dealing with some of my various crappy relationship habits. There is nothing like marriage to reveal what you really aren’t very good at that you thought you were. The wall was affected, a bit more light got through and over, a bit more shared air was available and some unrelated circumstances around us changed making life itself easier. Then a challenge came our way that had us both dealing with our issues and I give credit to Russell for taking the risk to be vulnerable with me, to trust me, to let me in. What followed was some damn hard work but as that work unfolded we also gained traction as a couple who are truly present to each other. In the summer of 2020 as we were becoming firmly rooted in a better way of being a couple together and coming up on our 20th wedding anniversary we had the job to do of getting tags made for our 1st calf heifers. Russell has become a real fan of having theme names for cows that all come into the herd at the same time. Last year we opted not to sell 62 of our heifer calves, we bred them last summer and switched their calf tags to cow tags. What would the theme for these heifers be? To mark the place we had come to in our marriage and what we had learned we decided to make tags using 62 words that relate to having a healthy relationship. This was a really fun list of names to brainstorm and create tags for. “Tender” who calved this morning, is, of course, part of this group. So that is a part of the origin story of the first calf heifers of 2021, my favorite cow “tender” (who is actually really grouchy today) and perhaps way more information than you asked for, but I don’t mind talking about/sharing the stuff that is about real life in real time. I have read this over with Russell and received his approval of what I offered as well.
Here are the 1st calf heifers that have given us calves so far…..Relish, Listen, Hot Tub, Share, Enchant, Favour, Approve, Zeal, and Support. Yearn is calving right now. In an episode of real drama, we had a pre-teen pregnancy when “Feel” found herself pregnant and birthed last fall. I’m not remembering where she found herself in contact with a bull, but her little body successfully carried that calf to term and birthed it all on her own. She has this year off.
A few pics…….