Tough Day Ended With A Smile

Have you had one of those days when everything seems to go the wrong way?  No matter what your plan is for the day, life just gets in the way.  Farm life… is always throwing something at you.

What a tough wayward day that sprung on me today!  Working very conscientiously in my office until mid-morning, when the husband asks for help to get a heifer into the yards.  (A heifer is a cow that has never born a calf before.)

Of course, I help.

Now calving season is upon us, and emerging from a drought, following rain, there is a lot of green feed on our farm.  This drought recovery period can create problems for cows, leading to calving difficulties as the calf grows too quickly in the uterus in the last few months.  So we have to keep checking the cows daily, especially the heifers, just in case there may be a calving problem.

So we get the beautiful heifer into the yards and husband does what most farmers do to assist her in the delivery.  Big problem… as the calf’s head is twisted around backward and almost upside down.  Frustration and exhaustion for the farmer, as time is spent trying to turn the calf’s head into the correct position for delivery.  It is just too big and not enough room inside the uterus.  But the calf is still alive… at this stage.

Since we usually breed for ease of calving and select bulls accordingly, the frustration is mounting.  Then comes the phone call to the Veterinarian.  A phone call that farmers prefer to do without, as this means more business costs, when finances are already at an all-time low.

As a farmer, we do all we can for the wellbeing of our animals, as they are our livelihood.

The keen young Vet arrives an hour later and spends hours trying to correct the abnormal presentation of the calf but to no avail.  By now the calf is dead inside as it has taken too long for the birth.

One ordeal follows another… then a Caesarean Section is required.  The quiet heifer is patient, almost understanding, as the Vet performs a difficult Caesarean, needing lots of physical assistance.  The dead calf is removed from the uterus and she starts to suture the uterus back up, but that led to complications.

Late afternoon, the Vet was tiring and needing extra assistance, so she phones for a second Vet to attend.  The heifer is obviously uncomfortable but still cooperating.  Just on dark, 2 Vets and husband finally get her all sutured up, given her fluids and medications, then she is back on her feet just needing some time to heal.

It was a mentally and physically tiring day, with frustration all around.  My day was full of interruption, distraction and nothing went to plan.  Do you find these sort of days, throw you out of order and routine?  The trouble with focusing and juggling tasks in our lives.

Life is overwhelming at times… for all of us.

But my day ended on a high note.  Despite feeling overwhelmed, tonight I still attended a scheduled group Live event (virtually) on Facebook with Katie Godden – Bulletproof Coaching.  Reliability and commitment are important to me.  It was her personality, her energy, and her enthusiasm, all wrapped up in her smile.  A shower of support.

This reminded me of the important things in life.  My values, my family, my businesses, and a compelling future.  What is it for you?  We all have something that inspires us, that motivates us and that lights us up.

Instead of focusing on my tough day, worrying about everything that went wrong and what I did not get done… I choose to focus on what went right and appreciate the good things in life.

The heifer survived the ordeal and will heal.  I got to see my youngest son at lunchtime when he turned up and gave us a hand.  Family is important and will help when they can.  Surround yourself with good people that inspire you, challenge you, motivate you and believe in you.

So no matter how tough of a day… look for the good people around you, refocus on what is important and make every effort to be the best version of yourself.  Be true to yourself, do what matters, and believe there is always something great about to happen.

Take care, Karen.

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Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.  It empties today of it’s strength.”

~ Corrie ten Boom, Dutch watchmaker.

Rural Reflections #22

My favourite time of year has finally arrived.  The calving season!  With an early start in the birthing arena, a first-calving heifer was the star of today… delivering the first newborn calf for the year.

Ladies first… a female calf becomes the first calf born for 2019, and was also a first for this 2-year old heifer in bringing life into this world.  Hereford calves are beautiful, especially when they are newborns with their clean whitefaces, pink noses and inquisitive looks.

The start of the newborn season always brings me such delight and a smile to my face.  With excitement, and anticipation for what the next 8 weeks will deliver… daily checking of cows and weighing newborn stud calves.  This is my most treasured time of the year,  with our farming business.

The newborn season brings hope, optimism and business prospects.  Drought has brought us all worries, financial concerns and physical exhaustion.  But now, as each baby calf is born into this world, we are reminded of the love for farming and our animals.

Today, I share with you, a photo of the first heifer calf born this year.  It reflects my happiness as we come along to check the cattle and see a sweet face amongst the grass.  I also love the quiet temperament of our cattle and how this first-time mother trusts us and just eats calmly closeby.

Rural Reflection #22…

22 Ladies First in a Newborn Season

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I cherish these times on the farm and wait in anticipation for the next calf to be born… probably tomorrow.  The calving season brings more enjoyable times to such a hard-working industry.  Although we physically have to weigh the newborn stud calves and ear-tag them for identification purposes, these are jobs that bring more pleasure than pain.

We all need enlightening and a boost right now, an uplifting feeling to clear our vision and remember our ambitions and aspirations within the agricultural industry.  These innocent newborn calves give us that completely.

Satisfaction on-farm has returned, as I look into these beautiful brown eyes.  Satisfied that we have managed to keep our cattle productive, despite the effects of this tiring drought.  Satisfied that high-fertility in our cows is a major trait that we focus on.  And satisfied that I have a wonderful family to share my life with.

Take care, Karen.

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

~ Dr. Seuss

 

Rural Reflections #2

Babies in any form, always spark our interest.  Who doesn’t love newborn baby calves?  Today I will share another photo with you all, which reflects hope, something we all need right now.

With this horrid drought affecting farmers physically, emotionally and financially this year… we are always in need of finding joy in something every day.  The calving season always delivers us hope and joy.

This photo was taken in July 2018, right in the middle of this dreadful drought.  Not only farming to keep our stock alive but also at a production level, as we enter the calving season.  Sadly calves are dropping into a hard dry desert-like environment, where optimism is thin and prospects contemplated.  Nevertheless, these newborn calves always promise to bring us a smile.

Rural Reflection #2…

02 Baby Calves Deliver Hope in Drought

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I really love this photo because of the innocence portrayed with these cute baby calves.  Our Hereford calves are naturally quiet which I adore.  But I love the calmness they simulate by lazing around in the hay, sleeping soundly and the nonchalant yet curious glances they give you.

They just lay upon the hay innocently… the hay that we just fed out in the wretched drought, during the current daily feeding ritual.  As we watch their mothers eating to nourish and gain energy, these babies rest peacefully, as if we just put the hay there for the sole purpose of softening the ground beneath them.  How can one not fall in love with these beautiful tranquil animals?

The adoration we have for baby animals is the one positive motivation to keep us working so damn hard on the farm.  The birth of life in a cycle, re-cements our vision and passion as farmers and reminds us as to why we accept farming challenges.

So my photo for today is reflecting that change is a part of life… we must appreciate the beauty around us and find this beauty amongst the darkness surrounding us.  Drought may have a gut-wrenching hold on us farmers at the moment, but we will get through it.  We just need to look around and be grateful for what we do have right now in our lives.

Take care, Karen.

“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr