Friday, July 2, 2010

One Call That's All...

Right after you have a baby, you are 100% positive you never want to do that again. As time goes on, you forget....your malfunctioning brain tells you that it really wasn't all that bad...the pain, the sleepless nights, the worrying, the guilt, the upside-down house and the days without showers...that didn't really happen to me, right? Oh was wonderful! So wonderful, infact, that I think I want another one! And there you are, right back in the middle of a crazy house, teeth that haven't been brushed in 48 hours, people eating frozen food 3 meals a day, and no orientation to what day of the week it is.

No I'm not pregnant.

But Sweetums may be!

Yes, I am going through it all over again. I am willing to endure, just one more time, what it takes to get this lady pregnant and then deliver another beautiful calf. I know, I know....crazy! But honestly, I don't think it was that bad, was it?

She was showing some signs the other day and so at breakfast I said to the farmer, "Should we call Tony?" And within a matter of minutes, Sweetums had a 12:30 date with her old flame, Tony the AI tech. She was very glad to see him. It had been so long, after all. And he never even called her last time!

It was all the same protocol as last time...and it was over within minutes and she was back to eating. Tony said, "Oh, by the way, the semen comes from a bull named Dale. He's one of the most used bulls for Jersey semen in the country." Please remember Tony is in his 70's. He is quite the character. I like him and appreciate his line of work.

But then Tony made me mad.

He said "You're gonna want to get rid of that calf. He's nothing special, just a ho-hum bull. You're not gonna want to use him for breeding." Whoa whoa whoa. Stop everything. Do you mean to tell me that that there calf is nothing special? Those are fightin' words my friend.

Apparently bulls are bred to be bulls. You know, for genetics and all. So since he came from a dairy that was trying to breed high quality females, and not males, he isn't necessarily that great of a male...because his genetics weren't meant to be the best bull... are you following me here? I didn't think so. Just trust me on this one.

Anyhoo, I'm still not that on board with Tony. I'm like any mamma...very protective of my babies. And when someone calls my baby ho-hum! Well, you're pretty ho-hum yourself if you ask me!

But Tony has always been extremely complimentary of Sweetums. Even folks on AgTalk have told me she is an exquisite Jersey. So we're all good there...


I'll let you know in 3 weeks if we are to have another March calf or not. 7 year old daughter is already planning to show the calf at the Fair in November 2011, so here's hoping!

Back to the weekly article...

My favorite time period to read about in American History is the late 1800’s. I love the stories of pioneer life and what life was like on the new frontier and how the west was won. I love to read about a time where people worked hard because they had to. If you didn’t work hard, you simply didn’t survive. Neighbors helped each other, challenges were faced head-on, and no one expected life to be a bowl of cherries.
I have just finished Laura Ingalls Wilder’s last book, The First Four Years. She tells about the first four years of her marriage, while they still lived in the Dakota Territory. It is an amazing account of what farmers were willing to risk in order to make a crop. There were constant threats of wolves attacking their livestock, storms ruining a crop in a matter of minutes, and disease overtaking animals and people. There were no fences, no, and no commercial vaccines or pesticides. Life was hard, to say the least.
For a moment while I was reading the book, I felt guilty because I too, am a farm wife, but because of modern conveniences, didn’t think I had too much in common with a farm wife from long ago. After all, I rely pretty heavily on technology during my day to cook, clean, and communicate. And I have a grocery store, the internet and central heat and AC. But then I got to thinking about the similarities… I help the farmer as much as I am able; I make a hot meal at noon-time and call it dinner; I let the youngens get dirty and explore the woods; I am even willing to go to the extent of protecting my livestock from danger (anyone remember my snake story?); I worry about having a “bad year” and pray for the crops to thrive; I take chances on investing in crazy animal adventures; I learn to accept the good and the bad about farm life, and I also grow to embrace the realization that farming is not merely a job, it is a lifestyle.
I saw all these characteristics in the life of a farmer’s wife from way back when, and I was pleased as punch to know that some things just don’t ever change.