And I Thought Our Blizzard was Bad…

Here is a email from my mom. They received more ice and snow in the last blizzard. No snow days or vacations for a rancher!

Dear Everyone, to whom it may concern:

We have been running all day. The weather turned frightful, from the most beautiful, perfect day yesterday, it was certainly the calm before the storm. Thankfully we got 1″ of rain last night before everything froze. You have to take a hammer to open everything, from gates to tractors because it is all covered with ice.

Your dad discovered a heifer trying to have a backwards calf and she had given up. He thought the calf was dead, but luckily he put the chains on it’s feet carefully just in case. As it was the calf is fine. Your dad had me milk out the cow while she was laying there in the barn. She was just plain wore out. She had a disconcerted look in her eye when I started, but it gradually replaced to bliss. Your dad said the sucking motion releases endorphins and it makes them feel good. She fell asleep again and actually snored while I was milking her. (Geez- even cows snore!) Meanwhile the calf was trying to get up, and he was covered with slime and dirt from the barn floor. I got over a pint of colostrum and he guzzled it up greedily. I dried him off with a ton of towels because, of course, our power went off, so we didn’t have a Hot Box. (The ranch is the last on the powerline. I still fill up containers of water when it starts to snow. Some habits are hard to break.) I made him a nice bed of hay by his Mama and put them together, he by her head. Thankfully, she gave a soft moo, and started licking him while she was still laying there. She continued to softly moo, and I knew she was a good cow, because she was glad to see him and accepted him even after her ordeal. Now she is up and giving the barn cats dirty looks. That was a lucky one. Your dad didn’t have her sorted off with the other heavies, so it could have been bad.

The wind was blowing so hard, and it was sleeting that it stung my face like a nest of bees. ouch. And it was thundering and lightening while it was snowing and sleeting. It was weird.

I am very glad that we have a woodstove, and your dad hooked our generator up this afternoon, so here I am typing away on the computer.

The storm warning is supposed to be over by 7:00 am tomorrow morning, but it will still be cold.

One cow had her calf in a water hole from the rain last night, and she is stupid and it died.

There is a calf in the Hot Box now (Yay for generators!). It is just frightfully cold and that wind is bitter.

Oh, and guess who is also here…all of yours favorite dog…Queenie. (Queenie was my grandma’s dog. She is a friendly dog, but always pees on you when she sees you. And now she has rotten teeth, so her breath is REAL bad when she licks your face.) She was getting quite cold in the garage without her little heater pad and now she is locked in her pet carrier sitting by the back door along with Doc and Pepe’ (Mom and Dad’s cow/house dogs).

Mike had to spend 1.5 hours cutting fallen branches off the bull fence. I also have broken branches off my white birch tree, but the river birch just seems to bend and not break. The cedar trees are all weighed down and the spruce tree looks pretty with it’s branches drooping so. (Too bad the blizzard wouldn’t kill all those stupid volunteer cedar trees).

I guess I am tired now. (I’m tired just reading this email.)


Categories: Ranching in the Sandhills | Leave a comment

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