Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Weak Week

Without any warning, and certainly without permission, my back went into terrible spasms so I couldn’t get up for 3 days. It really put a cramp in my style, so to speak.
While I was hurting, I had to cancel a doctor’s appt. (which was, ironically, for pain relief) and a shopping trip I was actually looking FORWARD to, because I was going to buy plants for the garden and some fabric to make a new sink curtain and other things on the treadle.
 In order for us to take a day away from the ranch, I have to arrange for someone to let the sheep and goats out, along with the Maremmas, and milk my cow for me.
Our new friend and neighbor, “D” was really generous to milk for me while I was incapacitated. She only made one tiny mistake, which was to try and tempt EmmaLou to come in from the big pasture with a bucket of treats. She was instantly mobbed by 13 greedy sheep and goats as well as 3 cows. I guess she tossed the bait and got Emma through the gate successfully. No harm, no foul. 
The last day, I was doing better, but still couldn’t lift the heavy milking bucket so I went with her to get Em. Emma was WAY down at the far end of the very large pasture. I asked “D” if she had ever driven a 4 wheeler. She said “no”, so I gave her a quick lesson and I jumped on the front. After she cleared a few big bumps and dips, I decided to walk before I became airborne.
Em was having nothing to do with us, so we gave up and decided to drive back up the hill. This time I sat on the seat behind “D”. I discovered she doesn’t feel the need to gear down or ease off the gas when going through big, deep ditches. After getting air a couple of times,I again decided to walk. I felt it was probably best to quit with only a couple of chipped teeth and crushed vertebrae.
I should have taken it into consideration, that this outwardly appearing mild mannered woman is pretty much game for anything, and used to work on Helivac’s for a living. She reminded me of Mr Toad’s Wild Ride, only she didn’t have on the long yellow coat and cap.
I had gone down earlier to check on the ‘nurse cows’ which were my 2010 bottle babies. Cholula, the last one to come in, had lost a calf just hours before I found her. It was pretty sad and discouraging. I felt that maybe if I had been able to get down there, I might have saved it.
This morning came with warm and welcome sunshine. My little seedlings were happy to be out in the greenhouse and I was glad to be outside. Yesterday’s sorrow of losing the calf was finally fading away and I looked forward to working in the garden. I raked rocks out of the area which is going to be my herb garden and used my new tiller to dig and fluff up the soil. I watered all the containers and the new rose, lilacs, trees and other stuff I planted and transplanted. So far, everything is doing good. The spinach is starting to come up, and the strawberries are leafing out quickly. Raspberries are growing like crazy and I see buds on the blackberry canes as well. It’s gonna be so great.
I filled up the big backpack sprayer with weedkiller and sprayed all the weeds along the rockwall, then went in the house to make 2 more loaves of Honey Wheat Bread and throw in a load of laundry. I tried to start the shredder/mulcher to chop up the huge piles of limbs and twigs from the windstorms we had a month or so ago. It wouldn’t start. I saw Randyman in the sheep pasture on one of the big tractors, cleaning out the ditches. I have a lot to catch up on, after missing 3 days.
One of the kids came by with a leppie calf, right around lunch time. We stuffed him in the shed, and I decided it was perfect timing to graft him onto Cholula, the cow who lost her calf a couple of days ago.
Randyman helped me bring her up and once we got her into the stanchion, the little feller went straight to town, emptying all 4 spigots. Lu wasn’t too happy about it.
It will take a few days for him to wear her down, but I think he is up to the task. 


  1. What a week you've had. Back spasms are unbelievably painful - there is no finding a comfortable position! So sorry about the loss of the calf - but I glad for the arrival of the leppie calf. His perfect timing. Hope you're not trying to over-do it. I had to laugh at the vision of your neighbor as Toad in Toad's Wild Ride - I could just see it! Ouch...

  2. She is a real kick in the pants. I hurt from laughing with her!

  3. As usual I love coming along for the ride! *D* must be a riot. What a great neighbor. :) So glad to hear you are on the mend and the garden is showing signs of life. Hugs...

  4. What is a leppie calf? Glad he found a source of food and hope Cholula is a good mother to him.

    1. Leppie is a term for an orphan calf. He has been pretty relentless in wearing her down. She is now ignoring him and he is attached to her udder most of the day. I still supplement with a bottle at night, because I don't think she is yet making enough milk to sustain him. If it's possible though, HE will get it done!

  5. I've fallen behind on keeping up with you! Such a busy time of year for everybody, but isn't it wonderful to have things growing again? Hope your back is on the mend.
    Sounds like you're planting like a mad woman! Don't overdo it, back problems are the worst when there's a time crunch for getting things one.

  6. Sorry to hear about your back ordeal and your lost calve, but….you are better now, orphan found new mom and EmLu have her void filled.
    Spring is coming, seedlings perking…so, all is good! There is never as bad that it cannot be worst – one wise man was telling me that long time ago. And this is what I’m repeating to my self, whenever something unfortunate is happening…Looking forward to see you’re coming up garden!

  7. Hope your back stays well for the planting season - take it easier :-)

  8. That's my friend "D". She will try anything once and she has nerves of steel. There couldn't be anyone better there to help you when you need it. She's the "salt of the Earth" and a really great person.
    I'm so glad that Cholula was up to the task and is accepting the little calf. "D" is awesome but she probably wouldn't have done Cholula's job for you because, well... She hasn't nursed a baby in many moons. LOL! Laughter... snort! ( Don't tell her I said this.)
    I wish you more sunshine for your little seedlings.
    Take care of that back of yours.