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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dealing with zombie cows on the farm

The Farmer and I were working in the garden when we noticed the cows. They were standing in a line beside the fence, staring at us. Most of them were drooling. They were very creepy, like zombie cows. I told them to cut it out. They moved closer. My husband said they likely had a wee dose of parasites from the grass, and they needed medication. He made plans to do it bright and early the next morning, before they left the barn.
Unfortunately for my partner, I had to be at work early for a meeting so he was on his own in the cattle-rustling business. He attempted to lure them into the cattle chute with a fresh new salt lick. As it had yet to be licked I don’t know if they could smell it. In any case, they weren’t interested and just by-passed the whole operation. He did manage to catch two of the tame ones – Betty and Mocha – but the rest took off before he could needle them with the Ivomec de-wormer.
Later in the day the cows were crowded around the water cooler at nap time, discussing politics or whatever it is they do at that time of day. The Farmer stood silently, just out of their circle. When they were huddled together he climbed halfway up the ladder to the hayloft and sprayed down onto their backs with the de-wormer that he hadn’t managed to get into them by needle.
A few minutes later he went out to see if he had missed anyone. The rest of the cows were lying down, in the cattle chute. He successfully sprayed them too. Mission accomplished. I told him he should have waited for me to come home with a bag of apples. My luring techniques usually work. But I think he was pretty successful because I don’t see anyone drooling anymore.
We’ve had our first frost now so I guess it’s fair to give up on my garden. I’ve ripped everything out and turned the sod over. I say sod because it was basically a grass garden with some plants sticking out of it. Next year I need to get serious about eradicating the grass and weeds. What an exercise in frustration – trying to find tiny green onions and carrots in weed patches that are twice as high as the veggies.
The Farmer has also requested that I don’t plant quite as many squash or ‘exotic’ (orange, green, pink, and purple) tomatoes next year. They make great photos to post on Instagram but they apparently are not ideal for his traditional spaghetti sauce.
My husband has spent most of his free time lately shoring up the woodpile as we prepare for another long winter. Soon he will install the wind barrier walls on the porch and we will stack cords of wood there, within easy (housecoat and slipper) access of the house.
I am looking forward to the winter, actually. I have just put the finishing touches on my first book (The Accidental Farmwife, due out this spring) and it is time to start working on another.
I will curl up on the couch beside the woodstove, computer on my lap and cat on my feet. Depending on the time of day, there may be a glass of red wine or a cup of green tea beside me. Life is good and there are things to celebrate about all four seasons.
The Junior Farmwife is entering her final trimester with grandchild #1. We are very excited getting ready for this most wonderful addition to our extended family. I have been given a playpen with change table, high chair, bassinet and crib. I am currently deciding on where everything will be installed and set up. Soon I will be more prepared for this child than her own parents are. Well, almost. I just want to be ready for the first time I pick up the phone and hear, “Mom, can you watch the baby for us?” You bet your sweet Aunt Bippy I can. So excited.
Have a great week, everyone, and remember – I don’t care who you vote for: just VOTE.


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