May morning after rain

May morning after rain

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Not Always Rosy

I generally try to keep this little bit of the worldwide web filled with positivity. A positive attitude is a good thing. But it isn't always reality.

By the end of the week, our long-time farm employee will be moving on. Jake has been with us for 13.5 years. We wish him and his family the absolute best. Interviewing potential new employees is stressful. And no matter who we choose, we know there's a learning curve for everyone -- including us.

About the same time Jake resigned, we had a water leak going out to the corral. We have self-waterers there so the cattle can drink as they please. It's also a convenience for us, since it's one location where we don't have to haul water or break ice.
Of course, it happened on a Friday and a plumber couldn't come until Monday. Then they came and didn't bring a backhoe (even though Randy told them they'd need one). And they didn't show up again until the next day. Thankfully, there was still water at the house. 
By the time they got here, both self-waterers were frozen. (I didn't get a photo, but Randy covered them with a tarp and put a space heater underneath. Eventually, they thawed out.)
And we've lost two pregnant cows in the last couple of weeks. One laid down on an incline and couldn't get back up. Another one had unexplained paralysis in its rear legs and had to be put down. We don't want any animal to suffer. And it's not very good on the financial bottom line either.

No, I can't always wear my rose-colored glasses. But, I'm still thankful every day for the beauty all around me ...
and for the lives with which we are entrusted.
I see faces like this one - less than 12 hours old - and I'm thankful ... despite broken pipes and uncertainty.


  1. You have had a series of very unfortunate events. I'm sorry to hear of your losses. Very sad to lose pregnant cows; that's double the loss. I hope you find a replacement for Jake soon.

  2. I'm sorry for your rough times! I have worries about frozen/broken water lines, and Jim has worries about sick cows. You're right...we often paint only the good pictures here, but reality isn't always that way. Thanks for your honesty, and I hope things improve for you, and that the new employee is a good fit for your farm!

    1. I'm sure all will be fine. I struggle with change, so that's part of my uneasiness, I'm sure. Hope your sick cows get better soon!

  3. I always loved baby calving season. They are so cute and full of life and promise. So sorry for these setbacks, Kim and Randy. The life of a farmer. "But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world..." John 16:33

    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement, Patty!

  4. Replies
    1. Yes, indeed. But we can always find someone with circumstances more challenging than our own.

  5. So sad that you lost a couple a cattle. It is heartbreaking to have to get them put down.

    I hope you got your water system sorted, and had lots of contenders to chose from for the job! You & Randy would be wonderful people to work for.

    Yes, as farmers we always have many downs along with the ups, but we try not to dwell on the downs too much and look for the positives. And I know that your blog, and my photos try to reflect that positive and upbeat side of farming. Sometimes we have to share the negatives to put a bit of reality & perspective into farming. So thank you Kim for this post.

    So sad that you lost a couple a cattle. It is heartbreaking to have to get them put down.

  6. Sounds like regular farm life, Kim. Not normal, but stuff that happens to all of us.

    I hope you can find a good person to come work with you and Randy. We are so lucky to have J's Cousin and his son to help us with cattle work.

    We have only had one waterer freeze up this winter. One of our main waterers has stray voltage. J has battled it for several years. We've had multiple people work on it and we can't get it down to zero. We get the voltage down to acceptable, and keep a very close eye on it.

    That's the pits to loose two cows. We will have a cow slip on the ice and do the splits with her hind legs. They almost never get back up again.

    Today was in the upper 40's and yesterday in the 30's and windy. There is ice everywhere! We carefully ran the first calf heifers through the chute for a pre-calving shot and poured them. This afternoon J cleaned the area where the calves eat so they are not standing knee deep in muck.

    Hope your luck turns around, Miss Kim.