Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good News Bad News Days

Most likely you have noticed how life goes like that with ups and downs. If we are doing well, we roll with the punches, if not, we get knocked down. Good days and bad ones sometimes come within the same day! So it has been this last week for me and the farm.

Great time at the beach with the family followed by either a very bad cold or hay fever. It's hard to tell which given the pollen is blowing everywhere and a lot of people are miserable with allergies. One thing about a colder spring is that when it warms up, everything blooms at once.

One grandson began coming down with something while at the beach; the other came down with it a few days after getting home. Poor little guys were miserable and their symptoms were similar to mine except I don't have a fever. The youngest grandson was coming down with it the last I heard.

Obviously that means there is no way to know for sure what I have except of course for the sore throat, sneezing and lower than usual energy. That I know for sure.

Then the calf. Well it is better. We looked up symptoms in our Merck (veterinary handbook) and Google, got some ideas as to what had led to its problems, had been giving it an antibiotic, but Saturday called our son-in-law for further consultation. Why him? Because he's a very gifted veterinarian. It turns out we weren't giving a big enough dosage.

The calf is now following mama, enjoying learning what life is like in a herd; and although it's not a done deal yet for surviving, he's looking good enough that I took some photos. I could have awakened him for a more interesting one but decided he needed his rest more than I needed a picture. It does show Mama's protectiveness. The young one in the herd photo is not him. He and his mom were off to one side.

One afternoon I heard a cow bellowing and thought uh oh, went out; but it wasn't her. It was another mama cow; so I went looking for her baby. Turns out her baby was what I would call a pre-teen, as in the age to not care if mama is wanting him. It was hanging out with two others in the barn and in no mood to go running home to a mad mama.

So where's the bad news in all that? Well walking back from the fields on the week-end, I saw a small lamb not looking good at all. As in looking like it was on its way out. Farm Boss carried it back to the house, gave it some shots, but clearly it was too late and it died almost immediately.

Holding a baby animal in your arms as it is dying is depressing to say the least. We feel even worse because if we had noticed it sooner perhaps we could have saved it. The bad part with sheep is all too often, they don't show how sick they are until they are ready to die.

The weather has had the same ups and downs. Very nice, very pretty and then the clouds come in and it drizzles. I don't complain about rain, but the warmer temperatures lead to more grass growing and we could do with that.

Farm Boss wormed all the sheep this week-end (overload of worms is very possibly what killed the lamb) and trimmed the necessary hooves-- plus buried the lamb. Poor little thing but we don't let the creek critters eat any of the ones we lose. That's a good way to train the wild ones to come back for live ones.

None of that is much fun, but it's part of farm life. I most often photograph and write here about the pretty part, the enjoyable part, but I am sure most people understand it's not all that way.

On the good side of the week's ledger, I applied for and received my Pioneer Fishing License. Not sure if that is supposed to be capitalized but it seemed pretty cool to me when I found out it was possible to do. If someone, over the age of 65, has lived in Oregon 50 years, not necessarily all in a row, they can apply for a license to fish for free. It will require getting a new one each year but only have to go in the first time in person.

Farm Boss got his before we went to Tucson, and now I have mine which means I can work on learning to fly fish again this summer. I have barbless hooks on my flies, a nice pole, and reel-- even a fishing vest-- all of which I have only used with brief permits in Yellowstone Park.

For me, it's about being out on the rivers, learning how the fish think and fooling them into thinking I am a bug they want to eat. Fly fishing is an art, and I have always loved watching it done by someone skilled. I will mostly do catch and release if I catch anything.

What made it even sweeter was when the woman took one look at me and said, sorry for saying this but you don't look old enough for this. Do you have a driver's license I can see? Definitely a nice thing to hear especially at a time where I wasn't feeling all that swift.

Anyway as I decide whether to sneeze again, glance out the window at the rain, and more or less feel like it's been one of those weeks (and that doesn't even take into consideration the news) I figure the next one will be better! I sure hope anyway.


robin andrea said...

I'm so glad that the calf is still hanging in there, but sorry that you lost a lamb. Yes, there are good days and bad. I do hope you are feeling better soon, so you can get out there and go fishing. I was also thinking that you don't look old enough for that license!

Parapluie said...

Good to see your lovely photos - always uplifting.

Ingineer66 said...

That is a very nice post. That is great that you got ID'd for your license. I got asked for ID to buy beer at the Red Bluff Roundup a couple of weeks ago and I told the guy that my daughter is 23 and he laughed.

Sorry to hear about your allergies. They seem extra bad down here this year. I hope that you do not have swine flu. Be careful and get your N95 mask before they are all sold out. :-)

Kay Dennison said...

You've been busy with a mixed bag of the adventure I call life -- some good; some bad; some so-so. I am delighted that you are weathering it well. As always your photos are marvelous!

Darlene said...

I'm glad there was some good days among the bad and hope you will be well soon.

My short time on a ranch taught me that it is a microcosm of life and death. Sorry about the baby lamb, but hope the calf survives. At least you are doing all you can.

Peggy said...

So sorry about the lamb, bet it was hard to hold it in your arms.... but also a wonderful thing for you to do.
Good news follows the bad...great news about the calf! Hoping it gets stronger everyday!

Suzann said...

Feel better - just feel better. xo

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Congratulations on your Pioneer Fishing license. I see you in my mind's eye as the female version of Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It. Obviously you and your grandkids didn't have swine flu!

I'm glad the one baby made it and sorry the other one didn't. Damn.