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Live Through Us at The Burrow

Month

May 2013

A day in the life of a cowgirl

  Everyone has this thought of a cowgirl in their mind.  Sorry to burst your bubble.  Most of us do not sander around with pointy toed boots with spurs, giant belt buckles, and cowboy hats with metal decorations on them.  In fact, most of us wear baseball caps and sunglasses with our hair through them when necessary, and pony tailed hair with appropriate winter accessories like overalls and woolen caps.  Boots are a necessity, as well as boot cut jeans.  But what makes a cowgirl a cowgirl, is she raises cattle, and gets in and does the dirty work when needed.

Like today.  Pepper is old and really needs retiring.  She went into labor, but couldn’t get her little boy out.  I noticed she was in the woods, and getting up and down and sniffing the ground.  By the time I got Arlis, there was a white thing hanging out.  That’s the sac.

dexter calving

 

After the sac showed, we gave her 30 minutes, then started to take notice.  She had progressed to hooves showing, but nothing else.  I made Arlis calm down and wait longer, then we started to get concerned.  We called the vet.  She was busy this afternoon.  We called a different vet.  He wasn’t very nice, but he did help.  Arlis was able to reach in and feel the head.  Everything was where it needed to be, it just wouldn’t come out.

calving

 

Arlis pulled and I held Pepper’s head and comforted her.  I now know how much it hurts to have a cow on your foot.  She was real good and knew we were trying to help.  Thankfully, dad was here and I yelled for him.  Arlis got a rope, and dad came to help.  We tied the knot to the hooves and pulled.  It kept slipping off.  We tried this knot and that knot.  I wrapped it around a tree and pulled.  Dad pulled.  Arlis pulled.  Nope.  That’s when the second vet said to push on her pelvis, you know, one pulls, the other pushes her the other way.  Be SURE you pull at a 45 degree angle down, NOT straight out.

(Pepper eating afterbirth)

cow eating afterbirth

 

So, dad went and got the come along.  A come along is a wench that you use by hand.  They can cause damage, so are only used if absolutely necessary.  Marcus came and helped.  Arlis tied to the hooves and pushed Pepper one way while holding her open more.  I pulled the rope sideways to make sure it was pulling at the right angle.  Dad used the come along.  Marcus helped by pulling the way I did.  Pepper was on her side, so we had to get the perfect angle.

(the new bull)

baby dexter bull

With three of us pulling sideways, and Arlis pushing the other way, she finally got up and walked away.  Terrified it would pull out too soon, I was watching with fear as her calf came out alive and well.  Wow!  momma cow

 

She was bleeding a bunch, so I was scared, but it did stop.  We went to get a tub and used buckets to fill it so she had water.  She wouldn’t go anywhere.  We left her alone a while, and went back to see her pass the afterbirth.  This was a great sign that all was well!  We went in to touch him and get him used to us and being touched.  She didn’t fight us, and he got used to us.

baby calf

She was new to us last year.  She wasn’t mean, but she was never real friendly.  Now, I think she knows we care, and she acts differently with us.  At least for now.

In the meantime, Arlis was dying for a coke, so we washed our hands and went to the corner to get some 2 liters.  He had calf juice all over his legs where he was wearing shorts and sneakers, a T-shirt and baseball cap.  But, I’m pretty sure it’s not the first time they’ve seen a working cowboy before!

After several hours, we went to insure that he was nursing.  That was interesting.  I was crouching in a frog position, he was sucking my knees, I was frogging my way over to Pepper to grab a teet and put it in his mouth, Pepper was circling away from me because Arlis was holding her halter.  This was a really annoying merry-go-round.  After a good long while of this, the young calf reach up and grabbed my nursing appendage.  This was quite unpleasant causing a relapse in the whole procedure.   We did finally manage to get one in his mouth and left with her licking him and sucking noises.  We stepped into the house where dad said, “Uh…you need showers.”  It had been raining, Arlis got pooped on, and there was still birth fluid on the calf.  Yes, showers were definitely needed.  Now, how was your day?

Here’s you Sign-take 3

A woman called, “How much are your phones?”
    I gave her some examples.
“I need to know which phone I have.”
   silence
   “Um…Well.”
“It takes ‘brand A’ cards and came in a plastic box that you had to open to get it out.” (And this is going to help?)
   silence
   “Um…Well.  Do you see the UPC?”
Surprisingly, “Yes.”
   “What are the last three numbers?”
“XXX”
   “That’s the one that costs $XX”
“Oh, OK.  Thanks.” 

A coworker and I discovered about 20 hangers hidden behind some toys.  There was a pile a wadded paper, presumably from whatever bag they used to stuff the clothes into.  I handed the hangers to her, as she worked that department, and took the paper to a bin.  That was when I noticed what appeared to be poo upon the paper.  The coworker said, “What did we just touch?”  We scurried down the aisle, all the while being laughed at by really annoying baby dolls we passed.  She dropped the hangers, then threw them into a nearby buggy, and I put the paper into the nearby bin and practically ran to wash my hands.  Meanwhile, another coworker was looking at us wondering what on earth was going on.


I still get shocked with all the “When do you close?” questions.

I was in an aisle with phones on the left, and their cards on the right.  You could literally hold your arms out and touch both.  This man walks up to me, looks at the phones, and around the aisle, “Where are you phones?”  I point.  He mumbles some prices to himself.  “How much are they?”  I pointed again.  “Where are your cards?”  I point.  “Where are your phones?”  I point again.  “How much are they?”  I point again.  “Ok, thanks.”  I never once said a word.  I don’t think it would have mattered if I had.

There’s a man that calls every week to ask if we got any new Hot Wheels in, and to describe them to him.

There’s a boy that calls every week and asks if we have a certain toy in stock.  It doesn’t matter what answer we give him, he just wants to make us run all over the store.  The toy is on one end, the phone is on the other.

I am in complete uniform, badge showing, one set of keys hanging from my belt loop, another in my hand locking a cabinet, “Do you work here?”  I’m sitting in the floor surrounded by videos, putting more videos in their place, “Do you work here?”  I just finish with a customer, handing them an item and ending the conversation, “Do you work here?”  

I would have never believed these stories until now.

The cool hippie bus

Our day started with a nice brunch at a cute little restaurant in town.  I’ll never eat there again.  The service is acceptable, but not outstanding, and the food is great, although lacking in my personal tastes.  But what really got me was paying for the food.  This guy comes out of the kitchen, dressed in smocks with a cap/bandana thingy surgeons wear, and a name badge that said “Surgeon Director”.  Ok-so…you double as a cook?  Anyway, he was missing two fingers.  These weren’t two fingers on one hand folks.  One at one joint on one hand, and the other hand at a different joint in the finger.  This I found disturbing.  He either cut them off in surgery, or while chopping my chicken.  In my mind at least.  Can’t go back, sorry…too disturbing.

So anyway, we went to my place of work…you know…”There-that-must-not-be-named”, and filled our gas and groceries.  In the parking lot was this really cool painted bus.  When we left, we got gas, and I had to take pictures.  They’re with my phone, so forgive the quality please.

Amazing detail with 3D effects.

A woman, a man, and a disabled man share this awesome bus home!

Their furniture, appliances, and quilts, etc, were beyond gorgeous!  Just look at the quilting on that!

They plan to attach the wheelchair to the outside in the future (it’s behind the bike)

And replace this with a composting toilet.

Their plates said Vermont, and they were traveling north.  They are in the process of converting to biodiesel.  Very impressive work guys!  Good luck wherever you may be now!

My day

It’s getting harder and harder to retain the real me, the person I want to be, the person I’m meant to be.  But today, I was able to.  I went out to get a really cool picture of a guinea.  Naturally, he got up and ran away as soon as he saw me come back out of the house with a camera.  (How do animals know?)  That’s when it happened.  The real me came back, and I started to just take pictures.

 Catching up on the laundry-thankful for the sun!

 Niles and Daphne…and a guinea.

 I spy 2 ducks, a guinea, and 2 hens…

 Henrietta’s good side

 Flox-I love flox

 Chillin on the back porch

 Our pathetic leftovers of a strawberry patch

 Knight

 Boy

 Gizmo.  This is Marcus’s puppy.  He was given to us.  He is Rat Terrier, Shiatsu, Pomeranian.  He looks like a horrible mistake, but you couldn’t ask for a better dog for a boy!  He is at the vet tonight getting neutered.  I think he’s about to sneeze out a dandelion in this picture.  You can click on pics to make them bigger.

 Fargo-because he’s my puppy.  He got a lot of lovin today, with a good scratching!

 Arlis picking grass out of the run for Fargo.  The chickens won’t eat it this big.

 Marcus’s 4-H chicks.

 You know I had to video!  My videos are now available in HD!  Watch for Knight to pop up in front of a tree on the left around 0:20

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