Wednesday, February 23, 2011


"I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne'er a word said she;
But, oh the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me."
     Robert Browning Hamilton

 Today, I choose to focus on the simplicity of this cup. Its artistry taking me away from the farm, and the events of the day.
  I spent part of my day in the hospital visiting a friend. This was my coffee cup, in the cafeteria. It was where I needed to be.
 When I started this blog, I knew that I would never run out of things to write about; I have a full busy life and no shortage of material.
 I love to tell you stories about the farm. I enjoy farming and it is a huge part of my life. There is much to share.
 I have been lucky so far. I have been blogging for a little less then six months, things have been going well on the farm. The wolf, has taken another calf but, we are dealing with that situation.
 I tell you these things to let you know everything on the farm is not always pleasant. Today was one of those days.
 I had a freak occurrence on the farm. Meaning, something that happens, you could not predict, or control, ending badly. We have had very few of these situations in our 30 years on this place. Totally out of my control.
 I never deal with these things well. This involved the death of one of my calves. I am very connected to my cows, and their calves. I spend a lot of time with them talking, petting and caring for their needs. This affects me more than I could put into words.
 I have a lot of farmers following my blog now, I am grateful for that. I know they can understand farming, and the things that can happen.
 On the other hand I have a lot of followers who are not farmers, and would not understand. I think my followers expect honesty from my blog but, I choose not to elaborate on this any more. It would not help anyone.
 I have thought long and hard about this, and since I am having a hard time dealing with this myself, I choose not to relive it on paper. I am sure it will be in my dreams, for a very long time.
 I was not going to say anything but, I thought it was important for you to understand that farming is not all sunshine and roses. Terrible things do happen.
 I coincidently, met a dairy farmer today. He was telling me he has lost five calves to scours (diarrhea). This is not an easy thing to deal with. We both were in agreement that this job (lifestyle) brings a lot of pain, not just the physical kind. We truly love and respect our animals. A loss is a loss.
 So today I am choosing to focus on this cup, and hope things will be better tomorrow. I hope you can understand.



  1. I do understand and I'm very sorry for what you're feeling. Yes, a loss is a loss ♥

  2. When I was a child my parents gave me a cow when they bought a farm. Then they taught me how to save money from the sale of the calves. When the farm was sold my cow went to my grandmother's farm where she calved a few more years. We lost her and her calf one spring in a similiar situation. I, at ten or eleven years old or so was devastated. But as you say it is part of nature, part of farming and part of life.

  3. When people in the city loose their pet, they can't understand why my children just say " That's too bad". But kids on farms are brought up to know the joys of birth and that death happens. My husband always says sheep have one will in die! We are almost completed lambing season here. there is always loss, this year, lucky I guess only 5 died. Sometimes I wish they would come out dead, but they don't, they die within 48 hours. Just had a calf born, half the mouth deformed. Can never sell her. Things happen. Life goes on.

  4. I don't choose to go into some of the more unsavory things that happen at the farm for the same reasons. I see no real benefit in reliving a difficult situation just for shock value or curiosity's sake. However, if someone else can learn from my experience, I will sometimes bend the rule. Just depends on the circumstances.

    Sending you big hugs from Nebraska. :)

  5. Buttons~ first off I'm sorry for your loss,they are hard to deal with,truly heartbreaking..
    I'm glad you decided to bring this to light,it is the reality of farming,accidents happen,we have had a few crazy ones here.
    When I first got into farming a older farmer friend of mine said something that I thought was rude and that I said no not on my farm ,he said "livestock = dead stock" will have losses they wont get any easier.
    I will leave you with this,for the ones that might not understand..
    “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field.”
    Take care hun.

  6. Button,
    Sorry to hear of the loss and you are absolutely right it is hard to deal with, especially if you love your animals.

    2010 was a horrible year for us and I pray we NEVER have to repeat something like that again. We lost our beloved Fjord gelding to a weird pacreatic illness( totally out of our control), then my beloved Dexter cow pulled her hip and stifle out( again out of our control) and we lost a botle calf we took on to scours, although we did everything possible for him he died.

    Farming/ ranching/ homesteading, whatever you call it is as you said, not all lovely and happy, there are bad times as well.

    HUGS and I do understand, makes me sad just knowing you lost a loved calf.

  7. Thank you for sharing this. I grew up on a farm with cows, pigs, goats, and birds of every sort. The good times and bad with animals are still very vivid in my mind and I think perhaps this is one of the main reasons I have yet to go beyond the raising of chickens at this time...but even with the birds it can be hard at times. I had to put one of my old hens down the other day after it developed a respiratory infection that I was unable to combat.

    I can't begin to understand how difficult it must be to raise cows and deal with the predatory and other issues that you face daily. Stay strong.

  8. sending strength and comfort. thinking of you

  9. I do understand the love of your farm creatures. Even when they are raised for food they deserve to be cared for and respected. It always grieved me to see farmers mistreating their cattle. We can learn a lot from animals.

    Sorry to hear of your sadness. I wish comfort for you and hope your wolf neighbors move on to the hills with the spring.

  10. Buttons, I'm so sorry. Farming is hard. My grandpa was a farmer. I think it's particularly hard when you work so hard at something when quite a bit of it is out of your control like the weather and predators and diseases...
    I wish you luck with your other calves.

  11. I would like to thank everyone for their caring thoughts. I now know why I blog.I have the most caring followers.
    I would like to say I think of myself as a strong woman and I can usually handle most things thrown at me. This was an unfathomable incident. I think everyone has "ONE" that just gets to them. I have had only three of these "ones", that stay with you, since moving to this farm. One a decade is enough for me. I hope it will be the last. On a good note, My Hero informs me we only have 10 more calves to come.
    The wolf has been eating rabbit and there are 17 deer near the cows maybe he will try deer this time. Sorry deer. Thanks for caring. B

  12. I'm sorry to hear of this horrible loss! I can identify with the loss of calves, although not in exactly the same way. :( Hope your week goes much better!

    (sorry my earlier comment didn't dial up doesn'te always cooperate with me!!)

  13. Dear Buttons, I'm sure this is something that no farmer ever gets used to. I would feel the same way as you but it's an inevitable survival circle. Unfortunately, we all need to eat. But chin up because you have other babies to take care of.

    I'm sending a big hug your way.

  14. So sorry for your loss, thanks for sharing as I always thought I was weird because loosing any animal to me is as bad as loosing a person. I have tried and tried to get over it and finally I decided after 52 years of mourning my animals, that is just how I am.
    When a wolf got a Momma cow while she was giving birth, I thought my Dad was going to have a nervous breakdown. The cow was still alive. It was by far the worst thing to ever happen in my life. So I will never view any wolf a good. I cheered when Montana was going to open up hunting. Who ever got the bright idea that reintroducing them back in should have to go see that stuff for themselves.

    Sorry, for the rant. I do love your thoughts though. I look forward to more.

  15. Sorry for your loss. It's always horrible to lose an animal no matter the situation.
    We lost a mare while she was in labour last year, lost the foal also, shook us all up terribly, still get teary thinking about it.
    We lost another mare 2 years ago, she broke her shoulder when went through a fence in a terrible storm and couldn't be saved.
    I think the true indicator of a true animal person or farmer, is that you never forget the ones you lose.


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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