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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Monday, March 20, 2017

It's Been A Year...Already!


So much has gone on that a lot of it has been forgotten and the (almost) worst of it has been the computer has been on the fritz. As in, I couldn't access any web sites except those the computer (or Google...let's not forget Google...) decided I could see. That includes my very own blog which explains no Sabbath Keeping yesterday but today the Good Fairies seem to want to play nice. ??? I'll take it!


I don't even pretend to understand! So...if something wonderful has happened in your life, please let me know because, for more than a week, I've missed it all. Except for the storm last week. I sure didn't miss those zero temps with wind chills below zero. I would sleep for three hours then wake up in a tizzy, afraid the pipes were going to freeze, burst, thaw. When awake, I'd feed the wood stove but when asleep, I had nightmares of freezing, bursting, thawing pipes. Seriously, I would wake in a sweat because I was dreaming the ceiling was falling down around my ears just like it did Jan 8! Speaking of...the epic mess is still not fixed. Pipes are still leaking although it's of absolutely no concern to the insurance rep; he just said, "Oh, that's a separate issue and has nothing to do with this issue."


Welllllll...I do not have issues...I've got problems, one of which seems to be ignoring the fact an insurance policy is a contract. Anyhoo, I'm still waiting on the heat registers which are on order. The insurance rep "allowed" the exact cost at Home Depot and not a penny more. Yeah. Those registers are doing me a lot of good at Home Depot because not only do they not have them in stock, the insurance rep didn't allow shipping. I am puzzled, enormously, how those registers are supposed to get here. Is the insurance company responsible for shipping or not? Home Depot assured us the registers would should might be here by mid-May. At the very least, the end of May. Surely. Yeah. We think. wink. If those registers can be found anywhere else, trust me, they're coming to this farm. No one wants to mess with a cranky, cold senior citizen who knows her rights!

I do know this much...I am well and truly sick of being cold, living in chaos, not being able to get into my closets, having bedroom furniture and clothes strewn in three rooms and a hall, sleeping in sharing a twin bed with Sam P. Spade, still doing laundry of textiles and clothes that were either in the dining room or my bedroom...blah, blah, blah. Three months is long enough to wait...I want to be warm and sleeping in my own bed...NOW!


Okay...rant over...apologies if you require.

I need to make a run to Duchess DairyI'm in need of sweet Jersey cream to churn into butter and buttermilk then to make biscuits, gravy and a lot of other fattening, nice kitchen goodies. The two large churns are both family heirlooms with the largest being from my Grand-Grandmother Delilah via Aunt Bonnie. I learned to churn, make cat head biscuits, apple butter and a lot of other things from Aunt Bonnie and have always had a serious case of heroine worship on her.

Aunt Bonnie kept a Jersey and a Guernsey cow for milk and cream and yes, chickens for eggs and the table. If you're going to keep milk cows, Jersey and Guernsey are the absolute best. Most commercial dairy herds are Holsteins because of their prolific production; a Holstein produces more milk but of less, much less, quality while a Jersey's quality is best in the bovine world.

Daddy John and Daniel have been calving...yes, in the nasty, cold, bitter weather. Last week, on the worst day, they had eleven calves born. I was allowed to tag along and took these photos of a calf being born.


This cow's water has broken and the small white dot is the calf's foot. When presented correctly, a calf will come out front feet first. Sometimes, when a cow is in labor, she'll steal another cow's calf which is what this cow did. She tagged a calf and followed it around the field, all the while, in labor with her own. Sometimes, a calf will follow a cow in labor and steal milk. The animal world is funny, just like the human world.


She finally laid down and began pushing only to get up, move around again


laid down again, the calf is beginning to slip out


cow is taking a break and you can see the calf raise his head...he's alive!


cow clambers to her feet but calf isn't fully birthed


 this is where it got funny...


the cow began walking around, poor little calf still caught half out, half in


the cow feels something strange, keeps turning, turning, turning


what in the world!!!!????


calf scrabbles for ground, can't get purchase


and...suddenly! slips out onto the ground


proud cow turns and begins licking the afterbirth and in a few minutes, the calf wobbled to his feet and began nursing.


Sadie, watching over the Peaceable Kingdom, is enthralled with the cow herd and with the idea Spring is here, so says the calendar. The old timers said whatever weather was on the first day of Spring is what we'd have the rest of the quarter. Please God, let it be so! It's been warmish today, a tot of rain and mostly sun. I've done seven loads of laundry, a bit of house cleaning, some re-arranging which means I'm, slowly but surely, putting furniture back in rooms where they belong. Yes, by myself. Don't ask.

Happy Spring People...be safe!

Ponder this ~ conduct is the best guide to character ~

45 comments:

  1. there's beauty in the beasts of the field .. and birth .. and your words .. but not in the house woe you're still experiencing. i'm so sorry about that mess. :(

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    1. Yes, Sherry, there is. I love to sit and watch the scenery...cattle, horses, sheep, birds, eagles and my own dogs. Thank you and "this too shall pass"...eventually.

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  2. Hey there, Sandra - good to know you're getting on with things. What else can we do, right? This has not been the easiest winter for me, and my ceiling didn't fall down, etc... I'm just glad to hear your still feeling feisty!

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    1. Quinn, if we don't go on, where will we go? Yes, to feisty and more of it. Is it age or winter that's been so difficult? February wasn't all "that" cold but my body feels like someone has been beating on it.

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  3. Nothing exciting happening here, so you didn't miss much at Boulderneigh. Impatiently waiting on lambs; hoping the two due girls get with it before we leave for a week and only have someone stopping by twice a day for chores. My husband and son are deconstructing/reconstructing our daylight basement; can't stand to go down there because of the chaos. Poor you, LIVING in it!

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    1. Oh...LAMBS!! Michelle, I SO miss my sheep. God speed on your travels and safe births for your ewes.

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  4. Oh man! I hate it that you're cold. Prayers.

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  5. You must be so frustrated. It's terrible to have to depend on others when you are NOT their priority. Remembering you in prayer. Loved seeing the baby calf.

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    1. Yes, I am frustrated...with everything...people who say they'll be here on such and such a day and never show...for weeks, the insurance rep who is proving to be difficult and treats me like he's doing me favors, etc. Mildred, it's difficult praying for them as I should...a test for certain!

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  6. Sorry about the mess. Glad you got to have a field day with calving. That bull calf was in a good position coming out in that position. If he had any fluid in the nose or elsewhere it would facilitate clearing all the airways by gravity. Moms fancy dance steps to see who was behind got him cleared and going. What a fun distraction for you.

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    1. You're right, maybe I should have explained all that in the photos.

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  7. So very sorry you are still going through all that, hoping you find a distributor who will get them to you quickly!!

    Loved the calf photos, have only ever seen it on a screen, never live!
    Hugs, and prayers still for you down on the farm!

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    1. We have and the price, including shipping, is around $75...the insurance rep is sure to have a hissy fit over that but the heat registers are absolutely NO good to me if they aren't IN the house. Surely that's easy to understand?

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  8. Must be so frustrating to not have the problems resolved! UGh...

    OH I would have wanted to rush in there and help that poor mama cow deliver her calf, but I know nature takes care of most without our interference.

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    1. I had a few moments of, "Should we help her?" but it is best to let nature take care of her own. The cow is actually a heifer, meaning a yearling, thereabouts, cow who has not yet had a calf. She proved to be a good 'un and a keeper. It was an easy birth, more or less, healthy calf who nursed soon after arrival, and cow did her job of cleaning the calf. All in all, success!

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  9. Loved your calf "birthing" photos . . .
    What a beautiful moment . . . even in a bit of dangling for a moment.
    Continue to hold your own Sandra . . . fair is fair . . .
    Great words to ponder . . . "conduct is the best guide to character"
    If that isn't "the best" . . .

    Bring on Soring . . . I want you warm too . . .

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    1. That calf dangled for close to 5 minutes...it was starting to get worrisome but the men didn't worry so I kept quiet...lol.

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  10. Sounds like a VERY rough winter, and I don't blame you a bit for being put out with that insurance company. Ugh -- I HATE the whole idea of insurance companies. Sigh. I hope things improve there and your life is back to some semblance of normal soon.

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    1. Overall, winter hasn't been too awful but when it was bad, it was horrid. Normal...not even sure what that is anymore...lol.

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  11. There are some great lines in, Enchanted April, written ca. 1922.

    Can't remember exactly, but I know you are wanting to get your feathers settled back to normal.

    Thank you for the cow birthing. And update, praying all is in its new chapter soon-soon.

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

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    1. What a lovely, lovely...movie. I've never read the book and should. I'm not even sure what "normal" is anymore but your prayers are welcome, needed, appreciated.

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  12. Wow....that cow birth. I'm sure I would have added my poor help, obviously not needed. And seriously, I know nothing about them. I'm surrounded here by cows....I've never been this close.....and having another baby around? Who knew? While you work on home insurance, I work on medical insurance....it's all crazy and so not helpful. Prayers continue.

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    1. I've helped birth lambs, foals, kittens and puppies...it's always a miracle! You're remembered in prayer, Anita. God has a plan.

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  13. Sandra what is wrong with the crazy insurance companies? They always say they have our interests but don't try to make a claim ---they become ruthless.
    The birth of that calf must have been amazing to witness! What a way to come into the world, dropping on the hard ground.
    Sending prayers for continued progress to getting your home back to normal. ♥

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    1. Insurance companies have their OWN interest and love us when we're writing the checks. There are a lot of thieves out there, on both sides of the table but I'm not one of 'em. Dave always said the more a person squawks about something, the more likely it is to be a lie.
      Watching something be born is always amazing and a miracle. Usually, the mother pushes the calf out while both are on the ground. For some reason, that little one was hung up and it took a while to swing loose. Many thanks for your prayers.

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  14. Dear Sandra, I wish you a warm bed, a warm atmosphere, a warm mother for your young cows and for all babies. Your blog makes a warm heart. Thank you, o Lord, for helping in hard situations!

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    1. Oh YES Dori...to the Lord helping in hard situations. January was difficult, February was hard and March has been awful. At least it's warm, sun is shining and maybe, just maybe, the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train...lol.

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  15. I've been wondering how the cleanup was going. So sorry it's interminable :-(

    And I'm really GLAD that you were able to get out and do something besides deal with insurance companies, like take pictures of cows giving birth - and we get the fun of looking at your pictures. Those cows are amazing.

    And you, Sandra, are another creature of God who keeps on taking the next step, doing what needs to be done, as God gives you strength. And He does that! XO

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    1. The dogs and I opened and closed gates for neighbor farmers this morning. I've determined to get out of the house, into the sun shine for a time each and every single day. Yes, to taking the next step. Gretchen, if we don't go on, where will we go?

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  16. Good grief, talk about trials! You've been having them! That calf, though, the photos are priceless. Birth is always such a wonderful miracle.

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    1. Yeah, those calf photos...maybe I'll hit up my sheep farming neighbor next...smile.

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  17. I hope warm weather comes soon and stays because it makes me cry to think of you not being able to get a good night's sleep because of fear of it all happening again. And now the register mess? More red tape? It seems as hopeless as trying to fight city hall, as the saying goes. I am just continually struck with all the HARD work you do, endlessly.

    And yet you keep on taking notice of God's wonders around you like the struggle of that mama cow to give birth and of the calf to be born. Life is varied, to say the least.

    Warm days to you, Sandra, and some cooperation from insurance people,
    Dewena

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    1. Dewena, the hard work doesn't beat me up nearly like dealing with folks who are trying to bully, lie, cheat, steal from me. And those are the "Christians"; we won't talk of the outright sinners!
      It's all joy to escape into the sunny valley and watch God's creatures...a blessing and a gift.

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  18. Fattening, nice kitchen things sound just what you need right now- and lots of them! Your reward awaiting you in heaven is going to be some portion xx

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    1. I made beef tips with mushroom gravy over noodles yesterday, home made sausage this morning and tomorrow is a pineapple upside down cake. Church folks are coming tomorrow to lend a hand and I am beating myself up over NOT cleaning the house before they come to help clean the house. These last 2 weeks I've done nothing except feed the wood stove, feed the animals and clean litter boxes. To say this place needs cleaning is NOT gilding the lily! lol

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  19. Oh my!! I wish I could give that insurance rep a piece of my mind . . . although I doubt it would do any good. Hang in there sister! Spring is a comin'!!! Blessings from Missouri! (We have lots of baby calves around here too :)!

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    1. It's been surreal and not over yet...a comedy of complete and total errors. I've stopped laughing but at least I'm not crying. Hope you're doing well...you're in my prayers.

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  20. You're the strongest person I can think of, but even the strong have a limit to their strength. This flood of yours appears to have nudged that limit for you. Dealing with the insurance rep is an insult. Is there a way that you can push your claim 'upstairs' and get him out of the picture?

    The joinery in your home's frame is beautiful.

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    1. I think so...the exhaustion level seems to be complete. The insurance rep got an earful from the construction man and things seem a bit better. Time will tell.
      Connie, my best guess is this house was built 1850 to 1870 but no one really knows.

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  21. You've been through a lot, Sandra. Sending you a virtual slice of chocolate cake. And a hug.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thanks, Amalia, although I sure wish it wasn't only virtual - lol.

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  22. Oh dearie, you are going through it. God loves you! Yes, he does! Your outing through the calving pasture surely gave you a rest and a delight.

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    1. God has a plan...and part of that plan is to wear me slam out. At least, it seems that's part of His plan. I'm so exhausted I can't hit the floor with my hat!

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  23. I hope you can get it sorted soon but Spring is nearly here. That will surely help.

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Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.