Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Break Visits

Last week was spring break for Mark and Cari. They left Texas Monday morning, drove to Oklahoma City, and then on to see Libby and Wyatt Monday, and spend the night with them. They had lunch with one of Mark's old professor's on Tuesday, and then on out here in the afternoon. Calloway had been taking some steps here and there, but after she got here she started walking more, and by the time they left she pretty much had it down. We went over to my parents for our family visit Tuesday evening. Mom cooked her usual supper (our favorite)of fried chicken, potatoes, corn, beans, etc. After supper we all went outside to watch for Libby. She had a student doing a cross-country flight from Tulsa to Fayetteville and back, they were planning on flying over mom and dad's when leaving Fayetteville, and we were going to see if we could see them. Needless to say we got some funny looks by people when they drove by and we were all looking up in the sky! We never saw her and found out later they were rerouted farther north. Oh well, maybe next time. We were all tired Wednesday morning so we laid down for a nap after Jim went to work, and then we went by his office so he could "show off Calloway" and then He took us to lunch at El Chico's. After Jim got home from work Cari, Calloway, and I went up the road with him to feed Freddie and let Calloway see the cows. She really enjoyed seeing them and hearing them "MOO"! I fixed barbecue chicken for supper and we just lazied around. Thursday we went to my cousin, Brenda's house to see her, Whitney, and Paris, then on to Mellow Mushroom for Pizza with Steph and Wes, some of their friends from the college days. Mark, Cari, and Calloway had dinner with his brother Adam and his girlfriend Sarah that evening. They had to leave Friday morning. I hated that they had to go, as Cari wasn't feeling well and was sick their whole way home. Their trip is always too short, but we are thankful for the time we have them. Calloway is growing up way too fast for our liking, but it is so much fun to see her learn new things and the day to day changes that come with this age. She is such a smart, happy baby, loves people and has such a sweet personality. She has that ornery side too, not sure who she gets that from!!! We're not sure when we will get to go back to Texas, but hopefully it won't be too long. I know for those in school and the families they go to visit the week is never long enough, I guess that's why they call it a break! I hope everyone has or is enjoying theirs!

Calloway with chocolate chip cookie on her mouth.

My sister LeAnn holding Sophia (Susan's baby), Lauren with Calloway, Brianna, and Mark in the background.

Sophia trying on Calloway's sunglasses.

Calloway eating her scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Sitting at Poppy's desk ready to work!

Poppy is proud of his granddaughter!

Calloway petting Freddie.

Enjoying the cows.
Calloway playing tug-o-war with Sassy! (This was so funny)

Calloway and Paris (Whitney's little girl-she's 2 months younger than Calloway)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Betty's Bovine Nursery is Officially Open!

Most of you know we live on a farm and Jim raises cows as a hobby (my opinion, its too hard of work for a hobby). He tries to plan for the cows to start having their calves around the first of March, notice I said plan. Well last fall one of the bulls decided he didn't agree with that plan (just like a male) so he just went ahead and got in with the cows a little sooner. So, calves started coming during the ice storm the end of January. For those of you who don't understand the reasoning behind this, I will do my best to inform you what little "cattle ranching" I know! If babies are born in the really cold bad weather and the mommas don't take good care of them immediately they could freeze, or have problems, this means they need mommy assistance of the two legged kind. In years past Jim's mom has always taken the babies into her home and did whatever they needed to keep them alive, build up their strength, warm them, or whatever! Well last year neither of Jim's parents were feeling well when the first baby needed help, so, what does my loving husband do..... he calls me from the hillside on his cellphone and tells me he needs to bring a baby to the house. My first thought was I don't like the smell of cow poop, and what other stuff was there going to be to clean up. What was he getting me in to? If I remember correctly we had 6 different babies in my bovine nursery last year. In March I had two at one time, now that was quite the experience, and you think one of our babies can make a lot of noise at night! We only had one fatality last year, that little fellow was just too big, and the birthing process was too long and hard on him. Needless to say Cari and Libby could not believe that I let Jim bring baby calves in the house, they thought I had lost it for sure this time. Jim's parents have since had to go stay with his brother and sister-in-law in Camden, so I don't have any backup help now, so earlier this year I told Jim he needed to make sure that all deliveries ran smoothly, that all babies were born healthy, and the mommies did their jobs. He just laughed at me! (Of course I knew that you seldom ever get through a calving season without any problems)
So last night around 7 p.m. the phone rings, Jim tells me he has had to pull a calf, the baby is alive, the momma not doing so well, so I might need to open the bovine nursery. He had to go back and get the tractor and finish feeding the cows, would be home in a while. He comes in, says the momma hasn't gotten up (not good) and after supper he's going back to check on them. About an hour later he leaves with a heavy towel to dry the baby and in hopes they are both doing okay. He's only gone like 10 minutes and I have this feeling that things are not good. He comes in the back door and says, "time for me to open the nursery"!!! Let me inform you of what is now involved in opening this nursery-since I got the puppy for Christmas the cat has been "jailed" in the utility room, aka nursery, SO we move the cat into the main bathroom, some stuff has to go to the garage, because you need lots of room for these "outdoor" children, and I start pulling out all the linens, etc. for drying, cleaning, and warming this little guy who has been born in 30 degree weather, who is very wet and cold. Once we are ready, Jim goes out to the car, carries the baby in(65 pounds)and I go to warming towels, etc. In the meantime Sassy(puppy) is not too sure about all of this and thinks that every time he makes a noise or moves she needs to bark, which scares the little guy, so we have to try to shush her, not an easy task, and then of course she still doesn't know that she is a tiny thing and wants to be right in the middle of the excitement. It takes about an hour to get him warm enough he's not shaking and is able to try to stand up-this is Jim's job, seeing as the calf weighs almost as much as I do. He does pretty good standing and is ready for some milk. We fix him a bottle and thankfully he does a good job sucking and drinks it down. Mind you, every baby that comes through my nursery gets a name. Jim didn't keep up with them very well last year after they were released from my care, but he is suppose to this year! So Freddy was the first to be cared for in 2009. It was after 11 o'clock before we got to go to bed and by 1:30 am Freddy was ready to play. Jim fed him again at 4 this morning, so it was not a good night for sleeping! Jim went to check on the momma this morning and we don't think she is going to make it, Freddy was her first and that's a big baby to have the first time around. So Jim came home, we fed Freddy again, and he went ahead and took him back up to the barn lot, in case by the momma seeing the baby it might help her, but doesn't look like it will. So now Jim has a baby to feed twice a day. Then comes the fun part of cleaning up....washing the "dirty" linens, cleaning the floor, etc. Gotta be prepared for the next one he says!!! I really don't mind all of this especially if its on the weekend, but I don't like it for Jim or the babies, because it means there is a problem which causes more work for him. He said last night that a little over half have had their babies, so I am praying that the rest(about 60) go as well or better than the first half. If you ever need some on hand experience with baby calves let me know and I'll give you a call next time the nursery has to open.

A long awaited visit with friends!

After almost 3 1/2 years I was finally able to go visit some very dear friends, Larry and Carla Hency. Or maybe I should say, quit planning to go visit and just made it happen. I have told myself for a long time I needed "to make time" to go see them, but just never made it a priority, after all, to have to drive for a little over an hour.... I feel really bad about that. You see I met them in Springdale Hospital in October of 2005, when Jim had his second surgery on his colon. Larry was in ICU from an auto accident where one evening (Sept. 21st if my memory holds me) he swerved to miss some deer and ended up in the ditch and is now a quadriplegic. I met Carla in the ICU waiting room as we were waiting for visiting hours to see our husbands. We bonded immediately. They had been going through some very rough times and were trying to get Larry transferred to a better hospital in Colorado. She tells me I was her angel and prayer support, what she doesn't realize is that she was "the angel" who had more strength than an iron man. It is amazing how God puts people together and they form bonds that hold so strongly. I have thought of and prayed for them so much. We have kept in touch through emails and facebook, Christmas letters, and a few phone calls, but nothing is ever as good as seeing that person and being able to exchange hugs and smiles. Thanks for yesterday, I love you girl. Carla, forgive me for being selfish and not making time to come see you sooner and more often. After much trial and prayer they finally got Larry transferred to Colorado. He was there until Carla was able to bring him home in May of 2006. After the accident Larry could breathe on his own, but after the surgery in Springdale he was on a ventilator. He came home on a vent and through hours of loving devotion and prayer Carla worked with him and got him weaned off the vent. She has taken care of him 24/7 since then. They have since returned to Colorado, and need to go back for some more adjustments, surgery, etc. She is an unbelievable woman. Not a nurse, never trained as one, just enabled by the Great Physician above, to do a task few could do. I know I don't think I could manage the job. And that's just the thing, she doesn't see it as a job, she loves her husband with all her heart and is so thankful she has as much of him as she does. It is a miracle that Larry is as "normal" as he is, after all he's been through. He has a motorized wheelchair and motivates it with a hand stick, he's really good at getting where he wants to go, unless its to town and Carla won't take him until later!!! LOL (They were planning a trip to town yesterday afternoon.)
I've always heard if you think you've got it bad/rough just look around and you can always find someone else in worse shape. I have to admit my life has been very trying lately and I've had many days where I was down and just tired of fighting this thing called sickness. But after yesterday I am uplifted in knowing that there is a brother and sister out there who are Praising God for each day of "sickness" they have together, who am I to complain...shame on me! Thank you God for reminding me of your power, your enabling, that you make us strong when we are weak, and that there is good reason to bear one another's burdens. When you see a wheelchair, a deer, or just the thought of these wonderful people cross your mind, please pray for them, that's what gets them through. We are all here for a purpose, not only to love and serve God, but to love and help others. God bless you today my dear friends, and don't wait too long to make that visit you need to make, someday it will be too late.