Thursday, March 8, 2018

Bear With Me

It was one of those inexplicable dreams set in a place I've never been and populated by folks I've never met. Had I not been awakened by the cow-check alarm clock just as the kindergarteners were painting the polar bear, I'm sure I'd have forgotten it. 

Yes, indeed. A real live polar bear, tranquilized for the safety of the young artists eagerly applying bright splotches of tempera paint to its fur. As I leaned over to inspect their work, I asked their teachers the obvious: Why?

It's therapeutic, one of the ladies answered, beaming. It's helping them heal from winter.

I nodded as if the whole business made perfect sense. I very much wanted to ask, How much longer until the tranquilizer wears off? and more importantly, considering there was no bus or building in sight, How do you plan to keep these kids from getting mauled by the polar bear? But that's when the Harp ringtone (sounds lovely but is actually annoying) on my phone alarm interrupted the dream. 

Ridiculous dream notwithstanding, we do have a bear on the place now. 

Glory's little black Bear was born a few days ago. 

Bear's first morning.

Glory gives enough milk for multiple cubs, so life is good for this Bear.


"Jesus didn't come for the rich, the educated, the popular, or the esteemed folks. He came for me. For us." ~Angie Smith


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Five Signs of Spring

If I raise cows for the rest of my life, I won't cease to be amazed by the devotion and mothering ability of the mamas as well as the toughness, moxie, and joie de vivre of young calves. But you don't want to read about that, you want me to get on with the introductions! Here are the first five, all of which were born to first-calf heifers.

After 283 days*, Sunny now has Shadow...

Bunny has Bugs...

     Buttercup has Little Blossom...

Cameo has Opal...

 ...and Nellie has Speck!

*Average length of gestation for cows


"God will let you laugh again; you'll raise the roof with shouts of joy." ~Job 8:21 The Message

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Ear Socks and Hallelujah Sun

[My apologies for the tardiness. I put this together last weekend but couldn't get it to post. It must have been some techno germ; it couldn't have been my own ineptitude, could it?]

The night the calves started coming was only -5°F (we'd had a stretch of negative double digits prior to that). We spent much of the night in the barn trying to dry them as well as keep their ears and tails from freezing.

We used lots of old towels, my blow dryer, a big space heater...

...and wool socks! (Hubby had Googled ideas for saving ears.) Once the babies had slurped their first suppers and warmed up, they took their first naps. 

We were never so happy to see the sun finally come up and shine into the barn!

It's truly heartwarming to see first-calf heifers loving and doting on their little ones.

I've already been asked about names for the calves, but my sleep-deprived brain has only come up with one. Stay tuned to the next post for proper introductions.


 "With God and Google, we can do anything." ~Alli Worthington

Monday, February 19, 2018

Just Kidding

Wintertime tends to keep our young friends from away from the farm. The animals seem to miss them almost as much as we do, especially Ellie.

The other day when we got to pick up a little friend from kindergarten, Ellie nearly smothered her in puppy smooches. It's a good thing we live a long way from any elementary schools; otherwise, Ellie would constantly be running off to join the kids at recess.

If you want to give the goats a treat but are wearing your brand new school shoes, we'll fix you up with some swanky shopping bag boots.

Sugar's waitress was much prettier than the one who usually serves her supper.

Even when the two-legged kids aren't around, we have four-legged ones who keep us entertained. 


"Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me."  
~Mark 9:37 NLT

Friday, February 16, 2018

"John Wayne Who?"

Our cows seldom hurry, instead
They amble here
Meander there
Graze this
Munch that
            Plod to the water tank
And when they get around to it

You must forgive them, they’ve never watched the old Westerns, 
you know the ones
made way back then, way back when
cows were prone to stampede.

Maybe they should audition for pharmaceutical commercials, the ones where everyone moves in slow motion.

"You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So...get on your way!"
                                ~Dr. Seuss

Saturday, February 10, 2018

It's Spring. Somewhere.

But not here.

It was only -10° F this morning. 

Hey, Mom, can't we herd the cows somewhere? Just for fun? Please? 

The goaties don't come out much when it's really cold and snowy. Their motto: We're Nigerians, not Siberians.

Like Pansy, 28% of our cows and heifers are named after flowers. In my defense: it's a countermeasure to long, colorless winters.


"Sometimes God lets you be in a situation that only He can fix so that you can see that He is the One who fixes it. Rest. He's got it." ~Tony Evans

Monday, February 5, 2018

Growing Season

Our calving season won't start for another six weeks, but I can't help getting excited when watching the ever-expanding waistlines of the mama cows!

Even in her third trimester of pregnancy, even standing in a cow pasture dotted with cow poop, Dazzle manages to look glamorous.

The only person hungrier than a cow on a cold, snowy morning is a cow who's eating for two on a cold, snowy morning. (That's Bella in front and Lily behind.)

Pansy's beginning to waddle. 

Bunny's one of nine heifers expecting their first calves this spring. This time of year finds us praying that our new bull's low birthweight EPD numbers (Expected Progeny Differences) prove valid (smaller calves = easier, safer births).


"The eyes of the Lord are upon even the weakest worshipers who love him--those who wait in hope and expectation for the strong, steady love of God." ~Psalm 33:18