The last baby came today

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I am sitting out here on the deck waiting for our last heifer to have her baby.  She is in the middle of labor.  I put up an umbrella at the picnic table so there isn’t any sun glare on the screen, I can sit outside and write while the kids play.  Love the wireless. I don’t see how I can possibly keep the boys out of my deck plants this year, but I guess I will try.  We have a perfectly good sandbox for them to use, if they just would, or they could at least play with the mud in the yard.

 

In other news, I did something shameful today.  I am going to admit it here then deny it from here on out.  I bought something at Walmart.  I paid in cash, so there is no proof, but they are the only ones who carry what I wanted.  You see, when I had Mae in 2002 I got a box of baby wipes as a gift.  I really liked the box, it had a big hole to get the wipe out without having to pretend that the single wipe dispenser thing actually worked, yet you didn’t have to take the whole darn top off.  After searching all over town for another I realized it came from Walmart.  I had a gift card so I bought myself a second one.  Then I bought a Huggies box to keep at the sitter’s place and I ended up with a Pampers box as well.  All four are still in existence, but the Walmart ones are wearing out fast.  They look like plastic boxes that have been opened and closed several times a day for the last seven years.  They have been patched with packing tape but they are not long for this life.  I decided that since I have at least two more years of changing pants I could afford to splurge and get myself two replacement boxes.  The design changed slightly, but I still like it.   

 

I think this cow needs a birthing ball or something.  She is up, she is down, she is on her side, she is walking around…she just wants some….something.  We do have a little hoof peeking out though.

 

Speaking of peeking…we went to Radio Shack today, the gentlemen and I.  I was looking at phones because our answering machine is fried (about 12 years old) and I thought I would get a phone/machine thing so instead of having a phone and a machine on the counter I would have one thing.  Well, the boys were admiring the merchandise, as boys are wont to.  But they were really pretty well behaved. 

****Break to look at the new baby,

when he came he came fast****

Leo got out his teddy bear and it looked like he was trying to put it in his pants.  I went over to stop that and noticed that his pants looked a little, well, poochy in places.  I peeked down the front and saw that one side of his Pullups had come undone and his underwear were pretty much dangling from one hip.  I told him we would fix that in a little bit.  I turned back to pay for my purchase and Leo whipped his pants down, Pullups and all.  I couldn’t help myself I was laughing so hard.  The two guys in the store looked at each other in shock then the manager said, “That is a new one.”  I don’t suppose we are welcome back.

 

The cow is going to be a good mama.  Motherhood doesn’t always come naturally.

 DSC01844

The picture was at about one minute old. 

The first video was at about 20 minutes old. As you can hear, I have a whole yard full of kids.

 

The second video was at about half an hour or maybe a little older.  These little guys are go-getters. 

Friday – sale day

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We sold our calves last week. The prices are lower than they have been in a few years, but they do call it a cattle cycle. At the sale barn, they sort them by weight into groups. We have enough now to make several nice pens of cattle, rather than selling one or two at a time. The same guy bought three or four of the large groups. (They sold early, but they were the nicest looking cattle we saw sell.) Between ours and our neighbors, we sold around 50 head of 9 month old calves. From here they will go to a feedlot, then on to the packing plant.

If you want to eat the best hamburger anywhere, come to our sale barn. I don’t know what for sure makes them so good, maybe the scent of manure wafting through the café or the mooing in the background, but oh my, those are good hamburgers, and I am not really a huge hamburger fan. I used to work in this town, and it was a treat to run down there on a Friday for a burger. They also serve homemade potato salad and pies. I am starting to miss working!

Surprising facts

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Our dishwasher is supposed to use $26 of electrictiy per year with typical operation.  They assume typical use is four times a week. ???  I may have used it that many times in a day, I definately use it once a day, twice is not uncommon at all, and neither is three.

We got a new TV for the kitchen.  The old one had a built in VCR which was broken (and didn’t have any place to hook up a DVD player).  I like to watch my Netflix movies while cleaning up the kitchen after everyone is in bed.  I figgured with the digital thing coming that we should just replace it.  When I hooked it up, I had it search for channels, and we get three more channels, the original Prairie Package:  ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and PBS(NET) and now NETD1, NETD2 and NETD3!  Whoo Hoo!  They are all digital PBS, but hey, no commercials so I am cool with that.  Now we can watch Clifford in digital clarity.  NETD2 is nature and history, NETD3 is guys with lots of tattoos cooking. 

I wandered out to the living room where our other TV is, and tried to see why it didn’t pick up these bonus channels.  I ended up calling Toshiba, the VCR/DVD people and it was the best over the phone tech help I have ever received.  He told me how to fix that and also made operating the TV much easier.  I was really really pleased with the time I had to wait (maybe 30 secs after punching in about 11 choices) as well as the guy knowing exactly what I needed to know.  That TV also picks up two more channels from Kansas or maybe Lincoln (ABC) I believe.  That brings us up to 10 channels on that TV.  It is almost like cable, except three of the new channels are the same stations we already got.

Our little Buddy calf is now a pre-teen.  GD brought over a couple more cows, so he has turned from completly tame to a baby with an attitude (peer pressure and all that).  He is still nice, but no longer sweet.  I guess it had to happen sometime.  GD had me feed him this week, he is trying to get him to use a bucket so it will be less work for us.  Cattle don’t have top teeth, so the approved method is to put your fingers in the calf’s mouth, get him sucking then dip your hand into a pail of milk, and he slurps the milk while sucking your fingers.  I need to plan a perfect crime, because he has sucked the fingerprints off of my right hand! 

I better go load the dishwasher for the third time today.  It has been crammed full each time too.  According to my calculations, if we average twice a day, we are looking at an energy cost of over $91 a year.  And I thought I would never do another math story problem!  The spell check didn’t work on Xanga, hope this isn’t too bad.

A little hair of the horse

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Kindergarten seems to be going well.  Today we learned that the bus driver’s name is “Mr. Horse Hair” or maybe Horse Hare or maybe Horace Heir.  I am unsure, but will not call him by name until I get more information.  I remember when I worked in Pavillion, Wyoming (get out your map, it is between Casper and Yellowstone) a little boy introduced us to his new friend, Nozzle.  I still can’t think what his name really could have been.  I remember meeting twins once, Hector and Saidcure.  Later Mom told us it was Sergio.  Something got lost in translation.

The principal has been riding the bus these first two days.  He is a hands on kind of principal.  He waved at GD when he dropped Mae at the stop.  GD needs to get out and meet him Monday I guess.

This weekend we have a baby shower for my niece Marie.  She is due in about a month.  Because she lives in California, they kind of requested that people buy gifts from Walmart, because the store here will ship them to the CA store.  I got her a subscription for “Wondertime” instead.  I love that magazine.  The shower is in Omaha, so we are going to spend tomorrow night with Cousin Billy in Lincoln then go to Omaha for the shower and try to hit the zoo too.  Billy’s mama is 8 months pregnant, and I have four kids so it won’t be a long visit.  I hope the admission for most everyone is free.  I bought enough snacks to feed a platoon of four-year-olds, so we won’t have to buy their expensive junk food, we have our own thank you.

We ended up with an extra baby calf.  He was born at a sale barn.  His mama was on her way to the feedlot, and there was no place for a baby so the trucker stuck him in a unused corner of the trailer and hauled him from SD to here.  GD called and actually asked if we should take him.  I said if the other guy won’t, *sigh* I guess we can.  He is the sweetest baby calf I have ever known.  Kinda makes me wish he was a heifer so we could keep him.  Usually you have to teach babies how to suck a bottle, and spend all kinds of time getting head butted and stepped on while convincing them to drink up.  This little guy is as friendly as could be, and he will stand there and suck the bottle until the sides cave in.  I am not sure he has been full since he got here.  I know he is lonely.  I plan to play with him a little tomorrow morning before we head out.  If he had been born at a different time of the year Mae could show him at the fair.  GD bought a new bag of calf manna.  The old bag is older than Mae, and has spent most of its career in the freezer.  Milk replacer mixes up a lot better when it is fresh.  Smells a little better too.

I named him Buddy.  When I was a kid, our hired man always named the first bucket calf Buddy, then when a second one came along, he was Timmy.  Either we didn’t have any heifers or it is a good thing Keith didn’t have any girl children of his own because that was what they got named regardless of their sex.  Dad had bucket calves from time to time when a mother cow would die, and we had to feed the babies by hand.  Nobody was dropping off sale barn babies at our house.

 

Sunday afternoon with the Wildflowers

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I am sitting here wondering what normal families do on Sunday afternoon. I am parked under a mulberry tree in a pickup with three of my children. The AC is on because the feedlot across the road is teeming with flies. Leo has turned on the wipers and the left turn signal, and has adjusted the rear view mirror so I can use it to see out the passenger side window. This is exciting for him because while he likes to adjust knobs and levers, usually the vehicle is not running and nothing happens. I kind of wish he would wash the windshield.

Grandpa Daddy is off on the four wheeler with one of the ladies trying to find a sick calf. We have five sick calves in this pasture, and we have been doctoring them today. Some of them have pneumonia, and the others have what my BIL calls a navel infection, which has something to do with their leg joints. He said the prognosis is not good. I will call the vet tomorrow for a second opinion.  Cow pills are big, really big. Put your first two fingers together, and you have the size and shape of a cow pill pretty well, except the pill is probably bigger. These little guys are getting a broken up sulfa pill and two shots of penicillin.  We have had lousy luck this year with the cattle.

I grew up with working horses, GD grew up with pet horses and working four-wheelers. Every time he needs to catch a critter out in the pasture he cusses the folks that put the throttle of a four-wheeler on the right hand, or roping, side of the rig. Obviously 4X4s weren’t built with roping in mind, else they would have something better than the gas cap to dally, or wrap the rope around, when you catch your critter. Since he doesn’t rope anything big he doesn’t dally, he just climbs off the 4X4 and gets drug around until the calf stops. Where I come from they would derisively call that “farmer style.” He rides around fishing for the calves with the rope in his left hand. This works best when they are asleep. His signature move involves kind of a steer wrestling tackle from the moving 4X4. Too bad I forgot the camera. GD claims his 4X4 is superior to working cattle horseback. I think he must have had some lousy horses over the years, because what he does looks like a lot more work than what I grew up doing. I can’t rope at all, so I don’t say much.

I am disgusted with myself for forgetting the camera, The flowers are out, I have seen upright prairieconeflower and some slimflower scurf peas I could have snapped photos of. Tomorrow I need to go to the local prairie and see what is blooming. I could surely find a better time of day for taking photos than 2:00 pm. I am also a little disgusted for not thinking about what I was wearing when I agreed to do this. Shorts and sandals are not appropriate attire for hiking in the pasture.

The excursion took about five hours starting with a trip to the shop to fix a tractor tire, then purchasing penicillin and gummy worms (at the same store no less). All in all, three kids got naps and GD found all the sick babies and doctored them.

What do normal families do on Sunday afternoons?