Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I looked and smelled like something the dogs drug in!

This was one of THOSE days--the kind that I think God designs so as to develop character in a person......

It was decided a few days ago that we'd sell most of our milk cows tomorrow, along with the rest of the calves from last spring (the price is up nicely now....) So, todays work was cut out for us.

First, we (everyone except for Mother, who had appointments in Bismarck all day) sorted out the milk cows and hauled them in to the sales-barn. (It was sad to milk only one cow tonight and not have the others waiting outside the door to try to get in. I'm not sure if it's really registered yet that our friends of 5-6 years will be sold tomorrow....)

Once the milk cows were off the farm, we tagged and retagged a few animals that needed identification. At this point, it started to drizzle and it eventually began raining a cold rain, which lasted the rest of the day. We sorted calves in the deep mud and loaded about a dozen at a time into the stock trailer, at which point, either Dad or Andrew would haul them into town and come back for the next load. There was a total of 6 loads to make, so it took most of the day. My brothers and I did evening chores inbetween loads...

When dealing with cattle, there seems to always be times of frustration, as they have a mind of their own! Thankfully, everyone was kept safe though...

When the last calf was on the trailer, my dad asked Andrew if he'd checked on "That" calf yet--to which the answer was, "No, not yet." I asked which calf he was talking about, and Andrew filled me in that there's one they've been feeding electrolytes to for a couple days. My brother then went out to check on "That" calf, but came back saying he hadn't found it, but found another one that needed attention, as it was very cold and wet and couldn't get up very well. I went out with him then to help give the calf some medicine and then to help look for "That" calf. Well, in the process of looking for the missing calf, we found another calf that was in dire need of help! The poor thing had climbed up on the pile of very wet manure (my dad had cleaned out the pole barn about a week ago and made a pile until there's time to deal with it further) and the little calf had somehow managed to fall into the wettest part, which was more like a lake of mud. All that we could see of him was his head! YUCK! Sooooo, as Andrew and I were in the loader tractor already, Andrew just took the bucket and started pulling manure away from the middle of the pile--where the calf was stuck. He finally got it away enough, but the calf wasn't able to get out on his own, so I got in the loader bucket and Andrew drove forward so I was right by the calf. After several tugs on the calves' ears and head, I got his front legs out and then, as I was all dirty already anyway, I grabbed around his middle and pulled him into the loader bucket with me. Talk about a bad smell! We hurried the baby to the clean straw in the calving pen and got Jacob to bring some blankets to dry him off with (it was Jacobs' calf). Then, Andrew went out to look for "That" calf again and found him at last, hardly able to stand. Andrew came back to the farmyard for Jacob and I and we rode in the bucket (in the rain and mud and ....) to pick up "That" calf, and we decided to take the other one (the one that Andrew found first) into the barn to warm up too.

About this time, Mother got home.

As I was heading for the house, looking and smelling terrible, Mom asked me to help her get my dad's fragile birthday present in the house (more on that another time), as it had fallen out of the van when she opened the back hatch and was lying (in a box, thankfully) in the mud. Mom gave it to Dad early, as she said she couldn't bear to wait another two days to find out if it had broke or not--which, thankfully, it hadn't!

A nice long, soapy shower later, I am sitting here writing about this day, listening to the rain fall on the roof of our cozy home, and praying for the all the little calves who are trying to stay alive and well in all this schmuck. (Yes, that is a word, in German I think.) Your prayers would be appreciated too, for us and for all the farmers who are going through much the same experiences we are at this wet time of the year.

How was your day? :)


Miss Grace Elizabeth said...

Oh Cora! What a day! You must be so thankful for a warm shower. I would! I am glad that you were able to find all the calves. Our day was sunny. I wish that I could have sent some sun your way! *sigh*
It has been rainy and cold here though too. Today was a nice change. I hope the sun shines soon upon your sweet Dakota land. I love you and will keep you and yours in my prayers-good night

Hannah is already in bed-But she would like me to say good night to you for her.
Good night!

Cora said...

Hehe! Yes, "Schmuck" is a word in German... *giggles* It means jewelry/adornments.

Such is life on a farm. :-/ How old are "those" calves? Let us know if they survive!


Rachel said...

Dear Cora
What a day you had! I can imagine just HOW GOOD that long, soapy shower felt after your trouble with the calves!!! :)
I trust that all the little calves will be alright.

I'm sad for you all about the sale of your milk cows - one gets so used to and fond of the animals that are around you everyday.

I'm sure you were all very relieved that your dad's birthday present was still in one piece - I'm wondering what it is! :)

God bless you and you family - keeping you all in prayer.

Lots of love

Rachel said...

Oh my! :( That does not sound like a fun day at all. :( I so admire your spirit though my dear! I wouldn't like that too much, and yet you don't sound like you are complaining one bit. :) I'm so proud of you! :D Being a farm girl is tough sometimes...I've always admired those who had the courage to have a farm. ;) I guess I am too much of a city girl really. :) Lol!

I am glad you all were safe and no animals were injured either. I'll be keeping you in my prayers specifically for this and all the work being done on the farm in the next weeks. :)

I hope your day today is sunnier and goes better! :)

With Much Love,

P.S. - There, I'm all caught up on your blog posts. ;) HeHe!

Hannah said...

I laughed when I read the title :D hahaha!
I like when people write how they talk (at least I am assuming that is how you would say that) I would probably say, "I looked and smelled like something the dogs dragged in!"
Sounds like you did have a patience trying day!!
That's good that you were able to find 'That' calf and the other one as well!
I hope all is going well for you today at the sale and that you will get a good price for your cattle.

Anonymous said...

Oh Cora, don't I know:
I read this from one of my recent reads:
The author says:
I doubt that anyone is perfectly functional. I have always known a few people who, at least on the surface, appear to have taken charge of their lives. They seem to know what they can control and what they cannot. They do not indulge in self-doubt. They do not procrastinate. They appear to have perfect marriages and problem-free children. They are helpful people, always ready to give me advice about hot to get my won life in order. They would be wonderful company if they didn't make me feel like such a failure. But the real trouble is, I don't believe them..."
Cora, today was the day teh Lord made for you! rejoice be glad in it- especially when you think about it tommorrow.
Your good,