(Photo Credit above goes to France Photographers via www.himisspuff.com)
Lots and lots happening at the Big Sky Farmhouse! Can I just tell you?! I feel like I need about 3 of me at this very moment! The baby calves are dropping and that has caused our priorities to shift just a bit at the farmhouse. That’s just the way it is. Work needs to be done and someone’s gotta do it. The work involves a lot of physical strength, wrangling skills, driving skills, some cursing (sorry grandmother) and bull ball touching. Yes. I said “bull balls.”
So, let me tell you about some of the farm wife duties that are upon me. The calf babies need to be tagged depending on what sex they are. The girls are given an ear tag on the left ear (I remember this by saying to myself, “lefties are ladies.”) The boys…oh the boys. It’s just a rougher initial existence for the boy calfs. The boys fair well if they are “bull” material-which not all are and even if they are….you only need one bull per about 25 female cows so the standards are pretty high when selecting “bull” material. So almost every one of the male calfs born receive a tag on their right ears and they are “nutted.” Yup. That is a technical term. “Nutted.” A term I’m sure makes every man wince just a little bit. This means that the boys are turned into “steers” or “desexed” after a tight little band is placed around their huevos …essentially cutting all the blood circulation off so their testes don’t grow and they eventually fall off. So, this experience, is obviously not something any calf is going to be first in line for, in fact, most of them are very unhappy to be receiving said “band” around their huevos and they resist somewhat. As for me, I can really go without baby bull balls in my hands too. Ehh, no thanks. I’m good right here…supervising. Not really though because I am often all in the mix too, helping to do the things that must be done.
Because we like to see our cattle healthy and happy, we really try to keep this task as calm for the calves as possible, but inevitably, some do get squirrely despite our trying to calm them verbally. “Hush little calf” just doesn’t work. I don’t know why? Hmm. Perplexing. Yesterday I was kicked in the hand and am feeling it today. In the middle of the mix out there in the field sometimes I think, “I am just not cut out for this physical stuff anymore.” Sometimes I have these flashbacks of non compliant suspects on the hot pavement in Las Vegas when I am trying to hold on to these wiggly, bellowing, strong fur balls and then I smile because these little calfs are actually cute and are not humans who are trying to actually hurt me, cuss at me, spit on me, or kill me. They just want to keep their testicles. I get it. If I was supreme commander of the universe and you wouldn’t impregnate all our females, you would be able to keep your little huevos baby boys.
Anyhoo, I think? there are about 25 more out there so until this season is over..the end of May..I am the calf tagging, ball banding partner who also does everything else I was doing before. LOL So, this little blog may lag a bit. Bare with me. I’m giving it all she’s got Captain!
Lucky for me my son is home visiting for a very short time and at 6’7 225 lbs, he is very strong and loves to help with the physical work. (This little topic is yet another thing I didn’t realize upon moving to the country but it is a different kind of work and it feels good to the soul to do it! Not good to the neck, but good to the soul!)
My son is visiting because he is getting married! Gasp! I am just not old enough to have a son who is also getting married. Not possible. What do you mean? You were just 4 years old a second ago? I don’t care if you are in the Air Force and a grown man….you were just learning to walk and then I blinked….! Ugg.
So, although the bigger event will take place next summer when there is more adequate time off from the military, the actual wedding ceremony is happening this weekend. Meeting family members and meals and scheduling, and food, and getting to know yous…all happening now.
His fiancé, also an Air Force member, is from our same little town here in the country. They are a cute couple and make each other happy. Young love at it’s finest! They are super excited for the nuptials to occur and I expect the next year will be spent planning the big reception and party event when they can both return for more time. So, by this time next week our family will be a little bit bigger with the addition of a lovely daughter in law!
In addition to all the farming and wedding festivities, I also picked this week..of all weeks, to start sewing lessons. Something I have wanted to learn foreva and have been kicking myself for NOT learning earlier. I am 5’11….and pant length is often challenging so I spent countless dollars in Vegas just having pants lengthened when I was working in office environments…an easy sewing task I could have done had I forced myself to get in to a class or two. Sheesh. It is going really well so far and I have met a neat group of ladies at the little shop who love sewing and are more than willing to share with a curious learner.
I do hope to one day, very soon, begin showing my daughter how to sew basics so that she never has to kick herself for years for not doing it and always being too busy to get focused. I think some things are a dying art and not enough people are still doing them. This is my way of helping that little situation. Grin.
Ok, got to go now. It is calving season after all!
P.S. I forgot to tell you that we are also dog sitting (2) this week, chicken sitting (about 20) and still in the beginning stages of a kitchen/family room renovation. Nothing much going on here!