(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({ google_ad_client: "ca-pub-1163816206856645", enable_page_level_ads: true }); Northview Diary: Starting the New Year Off

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Starting the New Year Off

Pretty much normally.

5:45 AM Get up to a cold house
Really cold.
6 degrees outside and the stove wood bridged.
No fire.
No heat.
Thank God for the oil furnace
(and the boss who put some oil in the tank the other day). Fire 'er up.
Old dogs out.
Old dogs in.
Nick out.
Nick in.

Get everybody out of bed early and chase them out to stove and barn.
First coffee, no time to drink it...take it to the barn.
The two springers we have been wanting to get inside are right at the door.
Tanker day, we have to milk early.
But they are right there at the door.
Move Email to a new stall so we can use hers for a heifer. Move my brand spanking new Citation R Maple baby down to the stall next to England. (My incredibly generous son knew how bad I wanted an R Maple heifer so when his heifer, Bonneville, had one yesterday he gave her to me. What a kid.) Find a collar for Broadway as all that is open for use is one stanchion (now that Email is moved) and one tie stall.

Liz, the cow whisperer, tolls the new ones in and we put them in stalls. Thank God she has that magical way with cows. Neither of these two have had a hand on them since last spring, but they follow her gentle cajoling and the grain scoop right to their stalls. Broadway even stands while she buckles the collar on. I feel better now that they are in.

Start milking. Bed cows while milking. They were bedded up good last night, but it is extra cold so they get extra straw. The new stall is way too cold for the new R Maple baby. The guys nail up plastic over the cracks around the heifer pen window and then build her a little house out of insulation board. Better now. After her bottle she curls up to sleep in about a foot and a half of straw that her overindulgent new "mama" put down.

Voldemar, the second springing heifer, can't stay where we put her. She is a moosely behemoth and is stepping all over Pecan who is a nice little cow who deserves better. We have to get a new stall ready. Alan goes out to the stove some more and cuts up some pallets to get it going. (Handy that we just took them out of the stalls the calves were in so we have them right there for him.)

The girls get down more straw while I finish milking the regular string. Calves are getting hot bottles of milk whenever anyone has a minute between cows. We build a wall of straw next to some other new calves and put insulation board in a couple of drafty windows so they will be warmer. Even with calf coats it is horribly cold. It is such a tight rope act keeping an old barn comfortable in this ridiculous sixty one day and ten below the next weather. The cows need ventilation when it is warm, but the babies need warmth when the temperature drops. Geez!

Spruce is off feed when Liz grains the cows after we milk the two bucket cows, a new heifer (Bonneville) and old Beausoleil. Liz takes her temp. Lowish. Give her a bottle of calcium and put her on antibiotics because it looks as if she has an uterine infection. I won't go into details about how we know....trust me.

Set up the pipeline cleaner while the boss works on a stall. Milk truck comes, "Hi, Mark, Happy New Year, cold enough for you?":
Continue chores around talking to Mark and letting him measure the milk and pump it off. He is a really nice kid and we are lucky to have him as our new driver.

Move Voldemar to a new stall. Fun, fun, fun. She now knows that if she puts her head in the stanchion she can't get it back out. The boss is smart enough to halter her and run the rope through the two stalls so she at least has no choice but to go where we want her.
If she goes anywhere at all. She would prefer not to and throws her head at me, flinging the grain scoop ceilingward and jumping back into the gutter.
Alan hauls her by main strength into the new stall, where once there she falls to eating as if nothing had even happened. Alan takes hay over for the pony and sheep and puts more pallets in the stove.

By then it is after ten AM. We chase Alan in to get some food for himself (for some reason having to do I guess with being a very hard working teenaged boy person he needs to eat promply and well and he is starving by now.) He wolfs five eggs and some toast and goes back to work. (I think Governor Paterson should have to follow Alan around for just one day. Just one. Maybe he would shut up about fat taxes and such.)

It is almost 11 AM now. The men are feeding cows. The girls and I are having breakfast. The poor boss has been out since six and hasn't eaten yet. Normally the cows get their main feeding after breakfast (they get fed grain and corn meal first thing) but what with the cold and the boss wanting to sit down for a few hours today they are feeding early. Sort of. Because with all the extra stuff this morning it is actually late.

Anyhow, Happy New Year. Thanks for being friends all through 2008! I am hoping you will all hang around through 2009 too and that I can visit all your blogs and read about your lives as well. Have a good one!


R.Powers said...

Every year I get to read Northview is a good one!
Thanks for sharing your world.

Dani said...

Happy New Year!! I love reading your blog and look forward to another year of great posts!!

Jeffro said...

Y'all work too hard (says the "rich" landlord, sitting in his easy chair)!

May the Northview Dairy and it's denizens have a happy New Year!

Deb said...

Your blog is my "morning coffee" blog :) I enjoy every post and I thank you for sharing your life with me.

I hope your day gets easier and the temps rise - you all work so darn hard.

Wishing you all good health, lots of heifer calves and a big rise in milk prices in 2009! Happy New Year :)

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!!! Hope to see you soon with pizza and mountain dew. We hope you are able to relax a bit this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Fred,Just got back from Aunt Sandys & uncle Richs. Took up there Christmas Present. Enjoyed talking to them.
Our stove was begging for fuel today as well. furnace fan ran all nite nonstop.!!!! was pretty full last nite at chore time just a few coals this morning. took a bunch of wood to fill it. Glad I emptied the ashes this week.
Hope the rest of your day goes better!!!Happy New Year!!
If you need help I will come over and help just call!!!
Love ya

Earl said...

I just want to jump in and help, but seems y'all have it under control, now if a little more of that elusive Global Warming would go your way.

Paintsmh said...

I just hope it isn't this bad tomorrow...I would probably cry...HARD

Tipper said...

Loved this! Even with the cold-you made it sound so warm and cozy-but mostly so true and right.

I've greatly enjoyed reading about your life this year-and am always looking forward to more.

Anonymous said...

You are so amazing, and your writing touches me like no other. I am very thankful to have met you and will always look forward to more beautiful photographs and stories. Thank you for sharing. And I have to talk to SOMEBODY about turning up the outside temps for us - I'm tired of FREEZING too! I had to put two coats on little Lisel today, one wasn't enough. And, like you, TONS of extra straw. I'm tired of being cold, but glad to come in, warm up and read your blog!

Linda said...

Business as usual here too! Happy New Year!

threecollie said...

FC, thank you for visiting and for all the fun at Pure Florida!

Dani, thanks so much and Happy New Year to you too. I am having fun getting to know you through your blog

Jeffro, thanks! Hope your New Year is all you want it to be!

Deb,wow, those are great wishes! Hope everything goes just right for you and yours as well!

NYV, we are looking forward to seeing you too! Happy New Year!

Matt, you and Mike are the best brothers a sister could have! Happy New Year! Love you!!

Earl, oh, boy, could we use a little global warming today! Happy New Year to you and your family and congratulations on the new little one!

Paints, I love you. I was looking around you guys' senior photos on my office wall this morning when I was getting ready for work and thinking how incredibly lucky I am to have you guys. You are all so amazingly special!!

Tipper, thank you. It wasn't really bad just ridiculously busy. I am glad there are five of us, because we were running in all directions like a flock of chickens...and it is being a lot of fun getting to know you too, thanks. Love the great music!

Linda, thanks! Happy New Year to you too. Stay warm if you can!

Windyridge said...

Happy New Year!
How did you come up with the name "Email"?

Ed said...

And I thought I had a busy day..:-)

Anonymous said...

What a great post, you just bring us right into the action at milking time. I hope you see some warmer weather soon.

Islagringo said...

I can hardly believe how hard your everyday life is. What I can believe is the dedication the whole family has to getting things done and working together to do it. You have yourself one great family there. Happy New Year filled with NO problems for you all.

threecollie said...

WR, thanks! Happy New Year to you and yours too!

Ed, it sure was a crazy one and that was just morning chores!! Baby time is busy time for sure.

Anon, thank you! As long as it stays above zero and the wind doesn't blow too hard it isn't too bad. I hate the bitter, bitter cold though. Take care!

IG, thank you so much for your kind words. It is great to have everybody together over the college holidays! They are so much help, so much company and so funny! I am going to miss the younger two when they go back to school and I am grateful that Liz is home working with us.