Thursday, April 22, 2010

helping daddy work cattle

I've been out to the farm before but mainly just as a tourist. That all changed this past weekend, when on Saturday Derrick had some guys coming to help him preg-check the cows and sort them off. I had wanted to go out and see how they did it and just in general get a "picture" of what all goes on, since I'm so much more visual and while Derrick explains some things, it just "clicks" when I get to see it. But I figured I would just be in the way and didn't want to be a bother and I've never been gone outdoors all day so I didn't mention that I wanted to watch that day. But then an opportunity presented itself and I took it. Derrick wanted some food and drinks brought out so I put together some sandwiches and rice crispie treats and some bottled water and took that out there and then I was able to just casually ask if I could stay and watch for a little while. Guess that makes me a city-girl, if I ask to stay and watch them work cattle. But he agreed to it so I tried to stay out of the way and was leaning against a haybale when Abbie grabbed a fistful of hay. I thought it was so cute so I grabbed the camera quick and took a picture. I looked away for a second and that's when her first official accident occurred. Next thing I know she is crying and I couldn't understand the reason for it until I looked down and saw a thick piece of hay, about 3-4" long, sticking out of her eye. 

Yes, I admit, I freaked out and immediately started walking back towards the car and instinct was to pull the piece of hay out, which I later realized wasn't the right thing to do. It's not that I haven't heard before that pulling something out isn't always the right thing to do, it was just simply that instinct took over and I pulled it out without even thinking first. She was crying so it took a minute to get a look at her eye but I couldn't see anything too terribly wrong and where the hay had been was in the far corner nowhere near her pupil and having been to the eye doctor before with a scratched eye, I know how quickly the eye heals itself and that the only thing they would probably do would be to prescribe some antibiotic drops or anti-inflammatory drops, I decided to see if she would be alright without them. We were going to the Doctor on Monday and if it was getting worse then I'd have taken her in but it continued to get better and when the Doctor did look at it on Monday, she confirmed that I did ok in making that choice. Phew! Abbie quit crying after a few minutes and seemed to be looking at things and her eye was dilating so we went back to watching daddy and the guys work.

When the guys went back up into the pen to herd the cattle back down, I went for a short walk around the farm and took a couple of pictures. The day was beautiful - sunny with a slight breeze but not too warm. Just nice working weather. Even if I was just a spectator. 

After they were done preg-checking the cows, they ate and then Derrick took Abbie and I (who had been in the Moby wrap all day) out for a drive on the four-wheeler. Fun! (Derrick went slow and we didn't go on any hills or anything dangerous) Then Abbie and I headed home.

Fast-forward to a couple days later and we were back on the farm, this time to just block the road while they moved some cows to a different field/pasture. The cows weren't cooperating so I had time to take a few pictures. 

There is an old dilapidated house nearby and a really cool old chair lying inside which made for a great photo op.

And of course, little Miss Abbie and her cute little bonnet. As Derrick said "little house on the prairie girl". But she does so well when she's in the wrap with me and if we're out with Derrick it's so handy to just have her in that and it's like having two extra arms. Then if she gets hungry, I've discovered I can actually feed her while either walking or standing or even riding the four-wheeler behind Derrick. (I've only driven an ATV once and that was up the driveway and back down it... so I don't really know how to drive one myself. I prefer to ride behind.)

On the way home, we saw some wildlife and I stopped to take their pictures.

Today, Derrick called and said there were three new calves and asked if I wanted to come out today to see them. I had mentioned before that I would like to do that so when he called, I quickly got ready and went out to the farm. Again, we went on the four-wheeler and I didn't take the camera on the four-wheeler with us so I don't have any pictures of the new calves, but they were so cute. Still wobbly on their legs but it's still amazing to me how quickly they are able to get up and walk around after just being born. I thoroughly enjoy being out there with Derrick and wish I could do it every day. I wish I could be of more help but not yet knowing how to run the equipment, or even an ATV, and not being around farming enough.... I still have lots to learn before I can really be of use. But I'll get there. I mainly just enjoy being outdoors. I hate being cooped up in the house all day long. So any chance I get to go out there, I'm going to take it! (And Derrick says I use too many exclamation points so I'm trying to cut back on them. But I'm using at least one in this post! Ok - two. lol)

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