Busy Week

And this post will not be accompanied by photographs, because I don’t have time to take any, which is really bad, don’t you think? So sometime in the night, between Friday and Saturday, Daisy had her calf, the first one of the year for us. I walked up on them in the early morning light, dewy grass slapping against my legs and soaking my jeans, and, oh, my gosh, it was just the most beautiful little calf I have ever seen. White star in the middle of its golden brown forehead, white stockings on all four legs… I fell in love at first sight, but I could see, too, that this most beautiful calf was a boy. Oh, well. We named him Stewart – Stew, for short – and I’m sure he’ll be delicious when the time comes. (Turns out Brenna had prayed for one boy calf this year to be next year’s beef, so if it had to be a boy, it’s best that he’s Daisy’s boy. 🙂 )

Saturday night, Daisy was a little droopy and I should have dealt with it right away. But I didn’t. I went out early on Sunday morning, without waiting for the milking gear, and I found her laid out behind the barn, sick with milk fever. I left Brenna with her and placed an emergency call to the vet. We got her up off her side, and liquid just poured from her mouth and nostrils. How much longer she could have gone before she drowned in her own fluids, I don’t know, and I praise God for keeping her alive until we got to her. The vet arrived 45 minutes later – on a Sunday morning, God bless him – and gave her two vials of calcium solution. We gave her a few minutes for the calcium to take effect, then got her on her feet, with the help of a cattle prod. She needed one more dosing with calcium that evening, too, but she still seemed droopy, and her breathing seemed a bit labored, so I called the vet again. He’d handed the phone off to his partner, and it was decided between the three of us that she was going to have to go through the night on her own. There was nothing more for us to do for her right then.

She continued to improve on Monday, but still seemed off, and she hadn’t yet begun eating, but I didn’t feel we needed more medical attention just now. Tuesday, she was still off feed, but still seemed to be improving. I ordered and picked up our supply of feed, and also had to deal with an attack on our poultry. No chickens were killed, but it took a chunk out of one of our ducks, and a thing that has found easy food will keep coming back. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m leaning toward skunk. Signs point to a smaller animal, and I’ve seen enough raccoon kills to think this is the work of something else altogether.

I set live traps out last night in the two areas of interest. This morning, before sunup, I heard the one near the barn trip. As soon as it was light enough to see, I went out to check my traps. One cat. Oh, well. No further attacks, either, so it’s all good. Twenty minutes later, I was back outside to milk the cows. Daisy’s breathing was most definitely labored. She was keeping her head down, coughing some, and definitely drooping. Another call to the vet, who came by on her way into work. We decided between us she most likely had a respiratory infection and dosed her with a fever reducer and an antibiotic. Now, we are back to waiting and seeing.

As soon as the vet left, I jumped into the van with Evie and Laney to get her summer camp physical. (Laney’s, not Evie’s.) Then we hit up the commissary, where a slow cashier wasted more of my time than the doctor did, and then finally, we got back home again.

Home again. My favorite place to be. Unfortunately, I don’t get to be here as much as I’d like. The rest of the week is already laid out for me, and it’s just one that’s not going easy. Oddly, though, I see the hand of God carrying me right along, and it brings me to my knees when He reminds me at times like this that He loves me in particular, as if I was the only person in the world, not me as a member of the human race.

And everything is okay, even when it’s not.

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About Jennie Cooper

I'm the mother of eight children, the wife of a retired soldier, and a newly minted farmer. I spend my days fairly productively, home educating our children, raising large quantities of food for several families, and volunteering in our community. I read entire novels a page at a time in the comfort of my bathroom. I tell people I'm Catholic just because they find it so shocking. I think there's nothing so exciting as a thunderstorm coming in. It doesn't bother me at all that my dog barks outside my bedroom window all night. And I rather enjoy being 40. I didn't think I would, but 40 is pretty good.

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