Sunday, March 19, 2017

March snippets...

 Peach has a new chore.
She feeds the bum calf every day, three times a day.
She named her "Chickadee."
The poor calf was totally rejected by her mother.  Mama was a first-calf heifer and it is now likely her last calf.  It's so frustrating when a cow just won't take her baby no matter how much you try to make her.  On a better note, we just finished calving about 60 head of first-calf heifers and had no problems.  Now the second round of heifers (40 head) is on the hill and should start calving in about a week's time.  I'm making the night checks so the Sons can catch up on their sleep.  When the heifers start calving, the men will take over the night checks again.

 I'm not sure if I've introduced you to Conry.
He was one of the barn cats we got a couple years ago when we had a mouse explosion.
He's very silky and beautiful and he loves to mouse and bird hunt.  He loves affection and petting, but also adores his independent life out of doors.

We are dog sitting Sasquatch's dog for 10 days.  Our son is taking a hiking vacation to Moab so we've inherited a boarder, Hope.  Sue (below) doesn't always enjoy having her cousins visit, but she's getting along with Hope quite well.  Today I found the two of them digging around on the old straw & poop pile.  I'm sure that Sue was showing Hope the fine delicacy of feasting on rotted afterbirth,  just like a ranch dog should.  At least Sue's a good hostess!  Now they're swapping dry dog food.  Hope likes Sue's, and Sue likes Hope's.  Dogs.  Ya gotta love 'em.

 Sue will be 12 years old in April.
(That's very old for a Border Collie ranch dog.)

Give a dog a bone and she'll love you forever.
We always have the butcher save us a box or two of dog bones from our beef.
It sure keeps them occupied.

On another topic, I've been enjoying a very excellent book during Lent.  It's called Jesus the King by Tim Keller.  I started a nine day devotional with my online Bible app which had excerpts from the book.  I liked it so much, I decided to buy the book and continue to study the life and death of Jesus through Lent.  I'm learning so much from Tim Keller and from the Book of Mark which it is based on. 

One snippet from today's reading:

People who believe more must not be hard on those who believe less.  Why?  Because faith ultimately is not a virtue; it's a gift.  If you want to believe but can't, stop looking inside; go to Jesus and say, "Help me believe."  Go to him and say, "So you're the one who gives faith!  I've been trying to work it out by reasoning and thinking and meditating and going to church in hopes that a sermon will move me--I've been trying to get faith by myself.  Now I see that you're the source of faith.  Please give it to me."  If you do that, you'll find that Jesus has been seeking you--he's been the author of faith, the provider of faith, and the object of faith.

We've had a beautiful day on the prairie today.  When I woke up at 2 a.m. to check the heifers, I was all bundled up against the cold, and when I walked out the door there was a warm, south wind blowing.  I checked the thermometer when I got back in and it read 58*.  Balmy!  Today we topped out at 71* which is very warm for us in March.  I had some Front Porch Time soaking up the sun and reading my books.  We are hoping and praying that we will get some moisture soon -- rain or snow, it doesn't matter to us.  Despite the snow we had this winter, it is very dry here.  Whenever I go out to feed cows and sheep, all my eyes focus on is the dirt and the cloud of dirt behind my tires.  There is very little green grass coming.  The weather forecast does sound promising though!  For that, I'm grateful!  

We continue to see more and more birds migrating back to us.  The meadowlarks are trilling in the morning hours, and we hear a robin chirruping now and then too.  The Red-winged blackbirds are singing their cock-a-ree song and the Killdeer have been dipping in our pond near the house.  I saw some ducks on the reservoir today, but I couldn't make out what variety they were.   It's always exciting to hear and see those familiar birds again.  I hope you're spring is full of good things that draw you close to the Creator. 

My dear, he said, 'Love, your God, is a trinity.  There are three necessary prayers and they have three words each.  They are these, "Lord have mercy.  Thee I adore.  Into Thy hands."  Not difficult to remember.  If in times of distress you hold to these you will do well.'
~The Scent of Water
by Elizabeth Goudge


  1. All sorts of things are going on. I'm glad calving is going well. It seems there is always a bum calf. It has been warm here also. Any moisture we have had has gone straight into the ground. Our pond is half full. Dogs are wonderful companions. I hope you get some moisture.

  2. How do you find a cat likely to be a good Barn Cat? Did Conry have a Barn Cat mother?

    I hope you get that precipitation! Living out on the arid prairie where you do must constantly present a challenge to your faith - or a facilitator of it, as you feel your dependence on God. May God bless the land!

  3. I love it. Faith is a gift. Beautiful.
    Peach and Chickadee would make a great children's book!
    I'm glad you bathed in the sun, Jody. We need moisture here, too. We would welcome a few spring snows.
    Aw, Sue! She is a star!

  4. Love hearing and seeing an update on family and ranch, particularly the wonderful details! Good for Peach...doing that job! And Sue and that's what I call a 'mentoring relationship'!
    I recently started Tim and Kathy's book on The Psalms, "Songs of Jesus" and it has blessed me richly, even bringing some needed 'correction' to my soul.
    Praying for moisture in your spot on the plains!

  5. I am glad Sue is doing so well. I am glad she likes her cousin. Sasha is disdainful of cousin dogs. Odd of the heifer to not take her baby. You have been busy haven't you. We have a week of storms coming in much colder than it has been. Maybe that means you will have rain too. We are dry. I can't believe with as much rain as we have had that the ground is already so dry and dusty.
    That sounds like a nice book by Tim Keller. I have wanted to be in the gospels lately to read about that walk to the cross.
    Its always so nice getting to visit. I don't know if you would be interested by Ben and Meg are doing a weekly vlog on you tube called the Hollar Homestead. They are doing farming on their little plot of land. Its here, you can see part of the grands. :)

  6. Wow 71...that's summer :)
    Peach is doing a good job with Chickadee. Good reminder about faith...

  7. You are SO funny Jody! I laughed at your story about Sue being such a good hostess. But eeeewwwww. LOL!

  8. Thank you for this lovely post! I enjoyed the tales of doggy doings with Sue and Hope. Sue is a wonder! Tim Keller is a good pastor. He's now leaving his NYC church to others to tend to, and is (I think) going to be teaching/leading in seminary work there. He's blessed so many.
    I love the quote at the end. I read it, and it felt familiar, like a scent from years ago. When I saw Goudge's name I realized I'd recognized her word style. She's quite distinctive. Thank you!

  9. Tears.

    Friend - your snippet of reading.

    Life. Changing. Wow!


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