Category Archives: Prayers

And just like that: weโ€™re done calving for 2019!

2:25PM 5-2-19

I got this txt from Mike. This is Ruby – the last of our 3 heifers to calve… We knew her calf would be born within a few hours, just didn’t know if she would require assistance or not. Needed to watch and wait…๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

2:51PM 5-2-19

I finished up what I was working on and headed up to the field to get a couple pictures for myself. She had progressed a little – you can see feet sticking out! But she was hungry, so she just kept eating, lol.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

4:30PM 5-2-19

Ruby was laying down and beginning to push.

We waited around/watched for the next 40 minutes or so. Got to listen to a lot of grass chewing, lol…

5:02PM 5-2-19

Ruby continued to make progress…

And she didn’t want Mike to help speed things up! The other 2 heifers: Peggy & Nat, came over to throw some interference, lol…๐Ÿ˜‚

As I’m taking pictures and videos of all this with Ruby, all of a sudden I hear a weird noise behind me. I turn around to seeing Gluey laying on the ground and pushing for a few seconds and then she popped up and started eating again. I asked Mike if he thought maybe Gluey was going to have her calf today, too?๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Time would tell…

5:10PM 5-2-19

Decided that since Ruby didn’t appear to be in distress, we would head down to get a drink and come back up in a half hour or so.

5:43PM 5-2-19

Found BOTH Gluey AND Ruby with calves, lololol…๐Ÿ˜†

Wow. So funny how some labors take hours and others just minutes!๐Ÿ˜ฒ We could tell a rain shower was headed our way, so we decided to let the mamas clean their babies up, grab a quick sandwich from town, and then come back up to assess the situation after the rain rolled through.

It’s a boy! This is Ruby’s first calf for us. [Click here to read about when Ruby was born.] His name is Boy-o. A name from a movie my boys have memorized lines from. Kind of fun to attach it to a calf now, lol.๐Ÿ˜‚

This is Gluey’s 9th calf for us – her 5th boy. [Click here to read about her calf last year.] Gluey is always cracking us up because she kinda looks like a cartoon cow – sorta clownish.๐Ÿคฃ We’ve often said she reminds us of Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars… Therefore, we’ve named this boy: Jarjar.๐Ÿ˜Ž

7:16PM 5-2-19

The rain was done & we had eaten, so we headed back up to check things out on the hill.

Both calves were pretty cleaned up, and it looked like they either had already eaten or were in the process of eating.

If you listen closely toward the end of the video, you can actually hear him sucking!โค๏ธ

We toyed with the idea of trying to get everybody down to the barn, but with only about an hour left of daylight, it would have meant that everyone would have needed to cooperate 100%. That was not happening, lol.๐Ÿ™„

After much prayer and deliberation, we decided to allow the boys to stay with their moms for the night. With the sun going down quickly and our bodies feeling weary, we felt it would be better to bring everybody down in the morning instead. This concept is scary for us control-freak-types…๐Ÿ˜ฌ In this field, the herd is contained in just a single wire of electric, and there is no perimeter fence around the edges.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

7:49PM 5-2-19

Mike decided to add some kelp and DE to the girls’ mineral feeder in hopes of diverting their attention from the two new additions. Perhaps then the calves could bond more with their mamas in peace.๐Ÿ˜‰

First Mike allowed Peggy to try some to see if it would entice her to get more. It worked! Didn’t take long for others to follow her.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Of course, extra attention was needed, too…๐Ÿ˜

It was such a beautiful evening.โค๏ธ

6:29AM 5-3-19

Sure enough – BOTH calves were on the WRONG SIDE of the fence when we got up there this morning, lol.๐Ÿ™„ We don’t think it had been for too long, though. They were quite happy to be laying together. Sure did have all the moms in a tizzy in the corner!๐Ÿคฃ

Boy-o and Jarjar were good about letting Mike & I get halters on them. That made it easy to get them back in with their moms.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Next we wanted to start walking everybody down to the barn as usual. This is when we realized it would be nice to have an extra set of hands to help. Fortunately, Michael hadn’t left for work yet, and was able to join us for this fun.๐Ÿ˜‰

Mike had Boy-o, and they started walking with Ruby the direction we wanted. Gluey wanted to follow, but it took a bit for her to convince Jarjar to join her…

Amidst this drama, Ruby ended up leaving Boy-o and coming back to meet up with me, Gluey, & Jarjar.๐Ÿ™„ Mike was able to walk Boy-o to a fencepost and tied him there until we could get back to him.

Then Mike took Jarjar from me, and walked him with Gluey & Ruby toward the barn. At this point, BOTH mamas thought Jarjar was their calf, lol.๐Ÿ™„

Michael & I were ahead of them and walked the remainder of the herd down to the barn.

Once we got them in the barn, Michael headed back out to join Mike with Boy-o and his two mamas.๐Ÿ˜†

It wasn’t long, and Boy-o was really losing his steam, so Michael volunteered to carry him the rest of the way down the runway. Mike was overjoyed to allow Michael to do that!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ

We were so grateful for Michael’s help this morning! What a blessing that Don’s Custom Meats is so close to our home, so he wasn’t too late getting into work.โค๏ธ

Mike was then able to walk Jarjar to his stall in the barn.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Next, Mike & I headed back up to where Boy-o was waiting. He basically informed us he was DONE walking, lol.๐Ÿ™„

Mike prepped the 4-wheeler for the trek down the runway…

He scooped up Boy-o and loaded him up. This is the pose I get when I’m supposed to be driving, but turn to take a QUICK picture, lol…๐Ÿ˜ (Have I mentioned lately, that I LOVE this man? How in the world he can even put up with me, I will never understand…โ˜บ๏ธ)

Unlike Clint, Boy-o hardly moved at all in the drive down. It was a much more comfortable walk for Mike down the hill.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Mission accomplished! All the dairy girls were in the barn, and both calves made it to their pens. THANK YOU, LORD.โœ๏ธ

We were also grateful that they both ate today. Sometimes, when they’ve been with their mamas for a decent spell, they aren’t interested in eating from a bottle for awhile. But these guys drained their bottles. ANOTHER PRAISE!โœ๏ธ

11:55PM 5-3-19

Phew. What a long two days. I don’t think it’s ever taken me so long to write a blog post and get it uploaded!

Final tally for 2019 is 5 boys and 3 girls.โค๏ธ

What a season this has been, Lord. We’ve already learned many new lessons, and we know more are coming. We thank You for how You lead and teach us, and even how you gently correct us. We continue to seek Your Wisdom now as we move forward. With the Psalmist, we pray: May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – YES, establish the work of our hands! Amen (Psalm 90:17)

5th calf 2019

We were so pleased to see that Peggy (the first of the three heifers who are bred for this season), had delivered her first calf without any assistance and it was all cleaned up when we arrived in the field this morning! And how fun that it was so colorful!โค๏ธ [Click here to read about when Peggy was born.]

It’s a boy! We’ve named him Steve. (Figured since his mama’s name came from the Captain America movie, his name should, too, lol.๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Neither Steve, nor Peggy minded Mike getting the halter on him, and he walked at a nice pace all the way down to the barn.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

It was a long morning, but a good one. Once we finally got Peggy in a headlock in the barn, we were able to get her milked just fine. Thank You, Lord!๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Should be three calves left to come: two more from first-time heifers, and one from veteran mama, Gluey.๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฎ

Tally now is 3 girls and 2 boys.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

4th calf 2019

Found our 4th calf when we went up to check on the herd this morning. Meet Ginger! Her mama is Sarge, and she’s the same shade of red as her with a splattering of white in several spots.

This is the fourth calf that Sarge has had for us. Lord willing, Sarge’s first calf, Natasha from 2016, will be having a calf this season, too.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

[Click here to read about the calf Sarge had last year.]

[Click here to read about when Sarge was born.]

When Mike arrived with the halter, Ginger was fine until the last second. That’s when she bolted toward ME – the one who’s terrified of animals!๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜‚ But the Lord had me covered with the prayers leading up to today. His strength enabled me to tackle Ginger and hold her until Mike got to me.โœ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ Otherwise, we’d probably STILL be running around trying to catch her, lol!โ˜บ๏ธ

Sarge had only one thing on her mind – to get down to the barn. She didn’t seem to care much about waiting for Ginger to keep up. But to Ginger’s credit, she made an excellent effort to stay close! Mike had quite a brisk walk/run most of the way down to the barn. Our bodies felt the workout this morning!๐Ÿ‘ต๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿผ

Tally now is 3 girls and 1 boy. Lord willing, we should have 4 more arriving within the next few weeks.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

1st calf 2019

Mike found Uno with her new addition this morning…

Since we’d already made arrangements to bring home a couple more loads of hay this morning, we decided to stick to that plan and bring Uno down with her calf after that.

Was fun waiting and wondering if it was a boy or a girl! We’ve never had a calf with so much white before. No doubt that’s because of our new bull – Mr. Sandman:

We headed up later in the morning, and saw extra activity around one of the round-bale feeders…๐Ÿ˜‚

Got a little closer, and saw the reason. This is a first for us – a calf in a “play pen”, lol!

Welcome, Angel!โค๏ธ She is Uno’s 4th calf for us. [Click here to read about Uno’s calf last year.] [Click here to read the post when Uno was born.]

Mike got the halter on Angel and lifted her through the feeder. She was a champ and made the mucky trek down to the barn with her mama.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Her color-tipped ears are just darling…๐Ÿ˜

She ate like a champ!โค๏ธ

Whiney was pretty happy, too…๐Ÿ˜ป

Hard to believe this is our 13th season of calving! I just went and counted how many calves we’ve had over that period and am completely amazed. Angel is the 145th calf born here!๐Ÿ˜ฑ

To the best of our knowledge, we’re expecting 8 more calves this season.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿฎ

Lord, we are so grateful for how You’ve sustained us each and every year. Thank You for allowing us to care for these animals, and for providing nourishment from them for our family and so many others. Prepare us to handle whatever comes of this season, and grow us as You see fit through both the ups and the downs. It is a joy to see Your hand all around us! Amenโค๏ธโœ๏ธ

5th and 6th calf 2018

What a morning! Came over extra early in hopes of being able to make it to church, but it wasn’t long and we knew that wasn’t going to happen…

First, we could make out the outline of Uno and a calf; and then as we approached them, we could see another calf in the distance.๐Ÿ˜ฏ

These next few pics are not very good. It was still pretty dark, super cold on my ungloved hands, and pretty chaotic to say the least. Rather than scrap the pics, I decided to lighten them up as best I could and keep them as a reminder for memory purposes.

Here is Uno with hers – a girl!!๐Ÿ˜ This is Uno’s 3rd calf for us. [Click here to read about her calf last year.] [Click here to read about when Uno was born.] We’ve decided to name her Lulu – mainly because it sounds nice with her half-sister’s name that you’ll read about below…

And here is RedRobin’s (a.k.a. LilRed) calf – another girl!๐Ÿ˜ EXCEPT – she was NOT with LilRed, but Tangerine.๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ก

This is LilRed’s 2nd calf for us. [Click here to read about her calf from last year.] [Click here to read about when LilRed was born.] This calf is the great-granddaughter of Buttercup – one of the 3 heifers my Grandma and Grandpa Cegelka bought for the boys back in 2005. (My Grandpa wanted to buy the boys their first calves.โค๏ธ) [Click here for a cool Buttercup post.] Of the 3, Buttercup was the only one that made the cut as a dairy cow. She had 5 calves for us and was a GREAT milk cow. In honor of her, we wanted a flower name for this calf. So we decided on Lily.๐Ÿ˜

Lulu was still kinda wet and getting cleaned up, whereas Lily was pretty dry and spunky.

Since most of the activity was centered around LilRed’s, we decided to try to get it and the rest of the milkers to the barn first.

The walk to the barn was probably the most stressful walk we’ve had yet. Many lessons learned this season…๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

She petered out halfway across the barnyard so Mike carried her into the barn. At least she wasn’t as big as Fiona!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

She was pretty exhausted after her big morning…

Mike laid her down in the pen with Lloyd. Then we put halters on Lloyd and Fiona and walked them next door. Fiona walked great. Lloyd – NOT SO MUCH. Mike came back to help me get him over.๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

We still needed to milk before we could feed the calves. Until then, we kept Fiona and Lloyd on one end of the corral. Patty and Fillup were on the other side, but they hadn’t come out from the barn to meet them yet…๐Ÿ™‚

After milking, we came back and fed these 4. Here are a couple pics of the new calf headlocks Mike is building. They aren’t finished yet because we needed live models to see if our spacing is correct. Good thing we waited to finish them – we’ll need to make them a wee bit smaller.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ The saw horse is working ok to hold the buckets for now. Maybe this week, Mike will attach a board that will go all the way across.

After cleaning up from feeding calves, we decided we were going to run the mamas who have already calved back up to Grey Heaven. We’ve had enough of them being in Isengard.๐Ÿ˜‰

That meant we needed to move their round bale feeder and mineral feeder, too. So that’s what we tackled next.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Uno+Lulu, Sarge, and Coco stayed. (Of course, I couldn’t help but take a few pics of them while I did the gates for Mike.)โ˜บ๏ธ

After we opened the divider gate, we headed up to Grey Heaven.

Don’t let the sunny day fool ya – today was SO COLD! The wind was nasty, and after a 4.5 hour morning in it, my whole body just hurt.๐Ÿ˜ฌ Yep – that’s ice in those puddles!โ„๏ธ

Still needed to feed some hay to the ones we left down by the barn, and then we could head inside for a warmup.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผโ˜•๏ธ

And we were blessed with a beautiful sight right before we headed home…โค๏ธ

3 hours later we came over to check on Lily in the barn. We were so thankful she got up! Such a cutie.๐Ÿ˜ We tried to feed her, but she wasn’t interested. Decided we try again later and we let her rest some more.

Went back out several hours later and did the afternoon feeding with some friends. Then it was time to bring Lulu to the barn. Extra hands meant someone else could take the pics! Thanks, Jennifer & Grant!โ˜บ๏ธ

Led her under under and out a fence and walked her to the barn.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

And last-but-not-least, 3 hours later, we returned to try and feed Lily again… SHE ATE!! It’s a beautiful sound to hear a calf suck down her milk!๐ŸŽถ

Thank You, Lord, for this amazing day. It’s been long and exhausting and cold, but You have sustained both us and our animals.โœ๏ธ

Only Sarge left to calve now. Count is 4 girls, 2 boys.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

2nd calf 2018

Last evening after work was done, showers done, and the 4 of us sat down to watch a movie together, the call comes: Gluey had her calf.๐Ÿ˜‚ Figures, right?๐Ÿ™„ This is always the hard part – had the girls’ been up in Grey Heaven, we would not have known she’d had her calf, so we would have found out in the morning. BUT, once we KNOW a calf’s been born, we just can’t NOT go and check on the situation…especially with a snowstorm on its way annnd Gluey’s past fiascos…๐Ÿ˜ฌ

So Mike & I got bundled up and headed next door.

Could tell from a distance that the calf was a boy, and that he had just been born. He was still wet, and hadn’t eaten yet. Gluey has had 8 calves for us. This boy makes her count 4 girls and 4 boys.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

The snow was just starting to stick, and we had about an hour of daylight left, so we told Gluey she had one hour to prove she knew what to do… If he wasn’t cleaned up when we came back out, we’d bring him inside and milk Gluey so we could feed him ourselves.

Michael randomly chose the name “Phillip” for him when we came back inside to catch some more of the movie. I thought it was kinda weird as I had no idea where that name came from, but it ended up being the perfect name…๐Ÿ˜‰ (This will make more sense in a bit, I promise.๐Ÿ˜‚)

So now it’s an hour later. Yes, Gluey had done relatively well at cleaning him up, they were still alone together, and he was walking around looking like eating was on the agenda. The snow was coming down a little heavier, so it was a really hard decision to let them stay together. But after much consideration and prayer, that’s what we decided to do.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Came out extra early this morning to see how things were going. Found “Phillip” up by the round bale feeder with the rest of the mamas.โ„๏ธ

Mike got a halter on him, but then he decided he didn’t want to walk…๐Ÿ™„

So Mike carried him and led the way into the barn.๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ

He’s MUCH bigger than Patty, so it was a challenge for Mike to carry him as far as he did. These bodies lack the oomph they used to have…๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Next Mike carried “Phillip” upstairs. He was pretty wet from the snow, so I grabbed a towel and dried him off a bit. Began to wonder at this point if he actually HAD eaten…๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

Gluey milked well, and we got plenty for “Phillip’s” morning and afternoon feeding. Got his bottle ready and headed up. NORMALLY, a calf that has been with its mama overnight is not interested in a bottle the first day with us – especially bull calves – they just lay around and pout for a day, but by the next morning they are ready to eat and do fine after that. BUT THIS GUY SUCKED DOWN ONE WHOLE BOTTLE AND A BIT OF ANOTHER. We hardly had to cooerce him at all to take the bottle. All signs to us that perhaps he really had NOT eaten with Gluey.๐Ÿ˜ 

We are VERY encouraged he is doing well now and we rejoice in the resiliency of these animals.โค๏ธ He is not out-of-the-woods yet. We’ll be watching him closely, especially over the next 24 hours. And “Phillip” is now being changed to “FillUp” in my records. Because that’s just the kind of weird-word-girl I am.๐Ÿ™ƒ

Patty continues to flaunt her cuteness to us, visitors, and the cats – especially Junior.๐Ÿ˜ป

Lord, we thank you for the gift of life. For the patience You have with us as we stumble through difficult circumstances. For allowing us to feel Your mercy and grace as we go. Continue to grant us the sustaining strength and divine wisdom we need to navigate through this farming adventure. In Your name, we pray. AMEN

Our count is now 1 boy+1 girl. Lord willing, 5 more to go…๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

1st calf 2018

It’s that time of year again! Our first calf arrived this morning. Fiskars (a.k.a. Bubby) had her first GIRL! Welcome: Patty.๐Ÿ€ <Click here to read about her calf last year.> This is her 4th calf for us. <Click here to read about when Fiskars was born.>

This year all the mamas are in the field: Grey Heaven, rather than Mordor as they have been the last 10 years. We weren’t sure how the new route would go, but these two had no problems with it.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Here are some pics as we walked them out of Grey Heaven and down toward the milking barn.

Here they are approaching the crossroads. They used to come from the right and then walk down the hill to the barn. This year, they’ll all turn left to get to the barn.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

And here we are on our way down the hill.

Finally got a good shot of Patty from the front. She’s a cutie!๐Ÿ˜

We are expecting a total of 7 calves this season. Sure feels good to have the first one here, and all is well!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

[Of course, today is the day my phone decides to die and we spend several hours at the Verizon store upgrading to a new phone. And then the new phone won’t accept our iTunes backup because it’s too old, lol. (All consequences to waiting too long to keep up with current technology…๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ฌ) So grateful we have techie friends who can walk us through these changes!๐Ÿ˜‡] So assuming I can figure out this new phone quickly and we can eventually get all our records back on it, calving posts should still get up relatively quickly. Not exactly how I wanted to start this season out, lol, but I have no doubt the Lord is already using this experience to grow me in MANY ways…especially patience!๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผโค๏ธ