My Project

Back in the archives of this blog is a story titled “Gentle Assist” (April 14,2015). It’s about our blind calf from cow #8U and how we gently assisted him to find his mom to suckle in his early days of existence. Well the “little” fella has thrived over the past eight months. Living close to home and to us to keep a watchful eye has provided him a fairly pampered life. Turns out he and his mom did quite well finding each other in the fields of our home. He would sniff her out quite well while they lived in a pen together and as he grew older we found he could roam around our pastures and she would always seek him out for his daily feed.
But the day came to wean him and now he’s ” my project”. Every single year, it seems, I get a “project” amongst our calves. A “project” means a cripple or disabled critter of some sort or another. So 8U’s calf (known as Ugo) now resides in his very own pen which used to be home for the kids’ 4-H calves, complete with shelter, straw bedding, hay and chop hand-delivered throughout the day and two visits from me with water from the pail. As soon as he feels my hand by his mouth he knows the pail of water is next. Weaning hasn’t been stressful for him at all. Being disabled for this little hombre has turned into a delightful life experience.
I figure this special treatment is the least I can do for him before he ends up in our freezer. Because, sadly, that’s where he’s bound. His condition will not favour us in the sales ring but he’ll certainly help us out in the grocery department.


Quilting and Feeding Chop

Whatever would there be in common between quilting and feeding chop? Lots, when one does chores the way I do chores when I have the whole day to do them by myself, that is.

It’s all about patterns. I got to feed all our pens on my own yesterday as the hubby had a task off the farm. Otherwise he’s here every day and I have to follow his routines and…well…there is just no “pattern” to the way he does things [even though he does get stuff done faster than me!]

So back to the patterns. My task was to feed 5 different pens of varying numbers of animals plus the big herd of cows. The total number of pails of chop that we feed every day totals 110….yup, hand-scooped and hand-delivered.

I like to scoop sets of 4 or sets of 6 or sets of 10 and deliver each set to the trough and then return to scooping the grain into another set. This way I break up the task and I stick to an organized formulation of tasks ever so much like quilting. When I put together a quilt I also work in sets of tasks very much like the pattern I set out in feeding chop.

It’s the only way to get through an extremely mundane and labor intensive repeatable chore and make it almost mathematical and organized and almost interesting?