Thursday, February 18, 2010

keep some lose some

When we brought Peaches, the milk cow, home from South Carolina - we also brought with her two bull-calves from the dairy.  One of them was three days old, and the other 3 weeks old.

Only one of them survived.  The younger of the two died today.  Although I'm trying not to take it personal, it always is.  It's heart wrenching.  They're young, innocent and incredibly dependent on the "new mom".  I can't help but think that sometimes being taken away from the mother so soon bears physical as well as emotional damage.

Probably he was sick before we brought him home.  Possibly I could not have done anything beyond what we were able to do to save him.

I had a good cry today.  Seemingly enough for all of the animals lost here on the farm in the last three years.  It doesn't get any easier.  I just doesn't.

So, in life, we keep some, and we lose some.  It's the knowledge that I can still make a difference one calf at a time that keeps the ability to try again on the horizon.  It's HOPE.

My mom once had a t-shirt that said:  If you don't go IN, you can't find OUT.

Hope keeps me going in.  And the other little guy just keeps me going.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Peaches and Cream

We went away last weekend.  Not for our anniversary, or a valentines date, or for anything of the sort.  We went away to get.....a COW!

She is a Registered Jersey Cow, from a dairy in South Carolina and she is about 12 years old.

Her name is Peaches.  And we plan to make Peach Ice Cream this summer. Come on by, it'll be fun.  You have milked a cow before, right?

Did someone say summer?  As an aside, this weather is getting on my nerves a bit.  I'm sorta over the 21*f degree  mornings.  I'm sorta over frozen water buckets.

Anyhow, here are a few more pictures.  Because as the old cliche goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

We love her.  

Also, it's official - after riding horses for most of my life, I never really could call myself a cowgirl - and now I CAN!!  

Monday, February 8, 2010

p.s. I forgot our anniversary

before it even happened.  I wrote on the calendar - on the fifth - a note;  five years.  

He asked me the other day, "what is this five years thing on the fifth"?  I said, (incredulously) "you don't know what day that is"?  

He says, "no".  And of course, I do the whole "pout-like-you're-hurt-men-always-forget-thing".  He points to the tenth and says, "this is our anniversary and I can't believe you forgot".  

So, I guess he's off the hook for at least the next five years  minutes. 


few things shine as brightly in my heart as these two.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chance and Hope

Meet Chance. His name, pun intended, was indicative of his status when I first laid eyes on him.

I didn't think he would make it through the night. So, on a wing (hoof?) and more than one prayer, we took him home (on the floor board at my feet, inside the truck) and took a chance on him.

So far, so good.

We brought him home the 16th of December, and the first three days he was here was extremely cold, and although he was in the most interior stall in the barn, with a foot plus of pine shavings, I lay awake most of the night, anxious to get to the barn, to see if Chance had indeed "made it" through the night.

Having bottle calves is a trying and rewarding rollercoaster ride. See this post. Interestingly enough, this calf whom I thought was at death's door upon first look, has been the most healthy, trouble-free calf we've raised yet. He gives to me another notch in the Hope Factor of Hope Farms. For, when you think you have nothing left, or nothing to look forward to, you always have Hope.

Chance, apparently, had Hope.

And I have the same. Even if I have to reinforce it one calf at a time. I have the urge to explore an atrocity here, about dairy farms, about the injustice that we Americans, and humans in general, have done to animals. I have done injustices to animals, and may continue to make mistakes, but I'm becoming more and more aware and conscious of the intricate relationship we should cherish - vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike - with our fellow earth-bound friends. As I learn and grow a wee bit older and possibly wiser, I appreciate the long eyelashes of cows and the hungry grunts of pigs and the cautious clucks of the chickens just a little more than I used to.

But, I won't explore that here and now. I'll wait until all of those jumbled and half-written thoughts coagulate and make some small amount of sense before I put the fingers to the keys again.

Until then, Hope as much as you can. And then Hope some more.

Hope Farms ~ where hope grows wild~

What is this leisure time of which you speak?

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