The past few days have been filled with preparations.  We begin our calving season soon.  Our first due date will be on the 23rd, so we are trying to get ready.  The days have been extraordinarily nice with the temperature reaching well into the 40’s.  While that sounds, and is, a luxurious warmth, it has made the snow melt and run off.  Unfortunately it doesn’t all run off, and the water is freezing every night into massive ice skating rinks at various low points.  I do not drive the tractor except in the field.  The steep road behind our bunkhouse has been slick for a long time, but the mile from it on down to what we call the school section is also doing its imitation of a frozen river.  If you have never felt a tractor slide sideways, let me tell you, it is much more unnerving than a car sliding sideways!!  I do have this recurring nightmare of losing brakes on a vehicle, so I’m pretty chicken when it comes to uncontrollable situations!  Vernon has slid in the tractor as well, just for those of you questioning my ability!  Vernon and I have put up the electric fence around the heifer lot.  The far fence was frozen down and although he tried many ways to raise it, Vernon ended up having to string new wire for the electric fence.  Johnny has been cleaning corrals and feedgrounds of snow and ice.  The dogs have been with me and it has been fun watching Dally handle situations.  Elsa and Lucas go out of sight and she gives a small whine, sees me, and comes running for protection!  She follows Lucas through the brush as well as her little legs will carry her, intent of keeping an eye on her daddy.  I call the dogs, and who gets to me first?  Yup.  She splats through the mud, slips on the ice, and gets stuck in the snow.  All the mud and ice and snow is new to her, and I relish seeing it again through a puppy’s eyes.  But the big change is still on its way; tomorrow we vaccinate heifers, and our calving season begins!!

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