Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Farm and Lit

Dad and I took cows to Lake Odessa to the livestock sale first thing this morning and I got out of bed late (or rather on time for me) so I’m just now getting my breakfast and coffee. It’s a good thing I’m a morning person when it comes to Dad. Other people I take out my caffeine withdrawals on with a vengeance. Again, it was sad to see my babies go (big babies who lost their first calves due to hugeness of calf) but with the hay dwindling I’ll get over it. Especially after one of the sluts came in heat and the bull knocked down a perfectly rickety fifty year old fence to get to them. He didn’t, thank goodness, but we still have a mess of broken six by six’s to dig out of the cement, resink, and recement in the spring. I told Dad the renter (who’s a concrete guy) should work off his rent one month by repairing the cement we’ll have to bust up. I got the big “okay, hon.” Translation: not the worst idea I’ve ever heard but why are you still talking? Oh well. Gotta keep the ol’ man stirred up. That’s why the puppy and I get along so well, we both keep him hoppin’.

I read The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman last week. A book I swore I would never read. I was highly disappointed by The Chronicles of Narnia as a kid, so I steer away from anything resembling it now, and for some reason that included The Golden Compass. But, I saw a Masterpiece Theater episode that did Ruby in the Smoke and loved it. So I read the book and dutifully looked up the author, who was, lo and behold, Philip Pullman. So, I said, how bad can it be? I liked the book. I think I would have gotten into it more when I was younger. Which is appropriate since it is YA fiction. Loved the bears. Still can’t decide whether to watch the movie. Usually films ruin what I love about the book, except on rare occasions with the European version of "Lady Chatterley’s Lover," "Lonesome Dove," and "High Fidelity." I’m sure there are others, but those are the ones that come to mind immediately. Oh and "The Princess Bride," for those of us romantics. (SHH! Don’t tell anyone. I got a reputation… Oh who am I kidding? What reputation?)

So the wind’s died down and it’s just flat cold now. But cold is always easier to deal with without 40 mph winds. The cows seem fine with the cold. 27S came up lame two weeks or so ago and remains in the barn with Essential, by oldest, bossiest cow. It looks like 27S slipped on the ice and pulled both her back legs somehow or the bull bred her and hurt her. We’re not sure which. (Hey, you try standing on ice with a 2,000 lb bull on top and see if you slip.) She keeps her back legs tucked underneath her and has this puny look on her face. Her calf had weaned himself before we put her in the barn, but I’m still very concerned about both of them. 5U is one of the older calves, so that’s good, but it makes me think something was wrong with her milk production to have him weaned, eating hay and drinking water, at something like three months old. The other calves are still total titty babies. Oh well. Oddies that keep farm life interesting.