Looking Past the Cracks

0302180658Do you see that?

It’s a beautiful sunrise that I enjoyed on my return trip from doing chores this morning.  I love the colors.  There was a crispness in the air that made me aware that spring is just around the corner.  Birds were chirping and there was a promise of nice temperatures today.

But do you know what I was focusing on while all that beauty surrounded me?

That crack in the windshield.  I just noticed it for the first time yesterday and it has already spread.

Unfortunately, it seems that I spend a lot more time looking at the crack in most everything around me.  Nothing can ever be perfect and I have never before been a glass half empty kind of person.

I am so glad that our God doesn’t focus on our flaws.  He only sees the good in us and encourages our given strengths.  “…for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Psalm 139:14.

My prayer for today is that we can learn to look past the crack and soak in all the beauty in our world.




Adventures in Calving!

I have been busy so I haven’t blogged for a couple weeks, but here is what I’ve been doing.  You’ve already read about Frasier, but here’s a couple additional calving stories.

This article also appears as my column in the Beatrice Daily Sun.  http://beatricedailysun.com/opinion/columnists/adventures-in-calving/article_3a40127d-a90f-5146-8235-e1cdaf50d8ee.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share

On the craziest of days, I go to my family’s farm to find peace, tranquility and solace.  It is my happy place.  During calving season I drive 32 miles round 28377566_10215499290010452_5814024485002043417_ntrip twice a day.  It is exhausting, but necessary.

Three weeks ago our first calf of the season arrived out in the middle of a lot early in the morning with a frigid south wind in the snow. The momma cow was doing her best to clean him off, but little Frasier was shivering and still wet.  I knew if he was going to survive I needed to intervene.

So I pulled him to our newly acquired calving pen on self-made sled and tried to warm him up with heaters and warm hay.  Hours into the ordeal of reuniting the cow and calf and I finally gave up and gave him a bottle of colostrum milk.

A week later and I was still bottle feeding the little calf even though his momma was in “solitary confinement” with him.  Momma Helen didn’t seem too concerned about her calf’s well-being.

When we finally were able to keep him warm with the help of a large dog’s fleece coat, we released the pair into the herd.  To my surprise, Momma Helen was fiercely protective of her off-spring and watched the other cows and calves closely for interference, but Frasier was still not nursing.

After a couple of days of bottle feeding in the middle of the herd of cows having their alfalfa rations, I arrived to do chores and found my services were no longer needed.  Frasier was finally nursing from his mother.

I wasn’t sure he was going to live, but now he is not only sucking his momma dry regularly, but has adopted a few other mothers.  He seems to be thriving.

Then our resident stalker cow – Momma Heart – stole baby Daphne from her mother until she gave birth to her own calf – Roz.  Momma Heart couldn’t decide which baby she should take care of and was running back and forth checking on them both.  So off to the calving pen and “solitary confinement” she went with baby Roz until she could calm down.

Two days later Momma Heart developed milk fever and I had to have the vet make a farm visit to give her an IV of potassium.

Two days later she went back to general population with Roz and is no longer interested in Daphne.

Just this past Saturday, I arrived at the farm to find a new arrival to third calf cow – Sweety.  The heifer calf- we named Maris -was up and wondering around, but had not yet sucked.  There was a lot of activity in the barn with a feed delivery so up to the calving pen the pair went for a little quiet time.

We fired up the heater and wrapped her in the fleece coat to keep her from shivering and ultimately gave her a bottle of colostrum milk.  We even reused an old wood box that was in our shed and cut holes for heat lamps butting it up against the calving pen.  Operation “toasty calf” was a success.  By Sunday we helped Maris figure out how to nurse and she latched on immediately.

I was ready to call the weekend a success until the dogs got sprayed by a skunk.  Tomato juice for everyone and everywhere!

This may sound like complete chaos and it is!  But yet, my heart is happy and I am reminded that God is always in control.

Where is your calving pen-  The place you go to find peace?

Fierce Love

I’ve spent the greatest part of the last week and a half with a calf.   I discovered him when I was doing my early morning chores in the middle of the lot.  It was especially cold with a frigid south wind.  Helen – his momma – was disinterested in her offspring which surprised me since this was her second calf.

Despite the fact that I was not dressed to work outside I spent the next eight hours warming him up, moving him to our newly acquired calving pen and feeding him colostrum.  A portion of that time was spent trying to get his mother into the barn with the pen.

Thanks to the help of friends, I was finally able to reunite the two, although she was not nearly as excited to find her little bull calf as I imagined.

Fast forward through the week of freezing temperatures, the calf refusing to nurse from Helen and me wrestling with him to take a bottle.  Helen was only concerned about her breakfast and supper and only mildly upset while I worked with Frasier.  (Every year we name the new calves after characters in a familiar television show and this year we decided on Frasier.)

Since he was doing better, this morning, Frasier and Helen were re-introduced to the herd after a week and a half of living in their 12′ x 12′ pen.  When I opened the gate and pushed him out the door, I felt the urge to hold on and protect him a little longer.

But off Frasier went into the lot with his little blue fleece coat and Helen close beside him.  She did a little dance to celebrate her freedom, but was then right beside him as I continued to push him to the bigger barn.

By the time I was preparing to leave them, I observed Helen being fiercely protective but gentle with Frasier.  I was shocked!

This Valentine’s Day I’m admiring that fierce love!  I am amazed at the love that I feel in my family and from God each day, but today I’m celebrating it!  My prayer is that you have a love that big for yourself and those that are special to you.

…and life is good.

First blog post

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

On January 2, 2018 I turned 47.  Not usually a milestone birthday, but I wanted to celebrate it by starting something new.  A new year, another year of my life and a new challenge.

Never mind that it has taken me over a month to do my first post!

Writing has always been my release and my most effective form of communication, but in recent years I’ve also come to recognize that writing is my calling, my purpose and a passion.  My prayer is that people will feel the love of God in my words.

I plan to write about my faith, my family and our farm in future posts.

…. and life is good!