A Weak Week - Home on the Range Blog at Allrecipes.com - 273779

Home on the Range

A Weak Week 
Apr. 25, 2012 1:38 pm 
Updated: Apr. 27, 2012 12:54 pm

Without any warning, and certainly without permission, my back went into terrible spasms so I couldn’t get up for 3 days. It really put a cramp in my style, so to speak.
While I was hurting, I had to cancel a doctor’s appt. (which was, ironically, for pain relief) and a shopping trip I was actually looking FORWARD to, because I was going to buy plants for the garden and some fabric to make a new sink curtain and other things on the treadle.
 In order for us to take a day away from the ranch, I have to arrange for someone to let the sheep and goats out, along with the Maremmas, and milk my cow for me.
Our new friend and neighbor, “D” was really generous to milk for me while I was incapacitated. She only made one tiny mistake, which was to try and tempt EmmaLou to come in from the big pasture with a bucket of treats. She was instantly mobbed by 13 greedy sheep and goats as well as 3 cows. I guess she tossed the bait and got Emma through the gate successfully. No harm, no foul. 
The last day, I was doing better, but still couldn’t lift the heavy milking bucket so I went with her to get Em. Emma was WAY down at the far end of the very large pasture. I asked “D” if she had ever driven a 4 wheeler. She said “no”, so I gave her a quick lesson and I jumped on the front. After she cleared a few big bumps and dips, I decided to walk before I became airborne.
Em was having nothing to do with us, so we gave up and decided to drive back up the hill. This time I sat on the seat behind “D”. I discovered she doesn’t feel the need to gear down or ease off the gas when going through big, deep ditches. After getting air a couple of times,I again decided to walk. I felt it was probably best to quit with only a couple of chipped teeth and crushed vertebrae.
I should have taken it into consideration, that this outwardly appearing mild mannered woman is pretty much game for anything, and used to work on Helivac’s for a living. She reminded me of Mr Toad’s Wild Ride, only she didn’t have on the long yellow coat and cap.
I had gone down earlier to check on the ‘nurse cows’ which were my 2010 bottle babies. Cholula, the last one to come in, had lost a calf just hours before I found her. It was pretty sad and discouraging. I felt that maybe if I had been able to get down there, I might have saved it.
This morning came with warm and welcome sunshine. My little seedlings were happy to be out in the greenhouse and I was glad to be outside. Yesterday’s sorrow of losing the calf was finally fading away and I looked forward to working in the garden. I raked rocks out of the area which is going to be my herb garden and used my new tiller to dig and fluff up the soil. I watered all the containers and the new rose, lilacs, trees and other stuff I planted and transplanted. So far, everything is doing good. The spinach is starting to come up, and the strawberries are leafing out quickly. Raspberries are growing like crazy and I see buds on the blackberry canes as well. It’s gonna be so great.
I filled up the big backpack sprayer with weedkiller and sprayed all the weeds along the rockwall, then went in the house to make 2 more loaves of Honey Wheat Bread and throw in a load of laundry. I tried to start the shredder/mulcher to chop up the huge piles of limbs and twigs from the windstorms we had a month or so ago. It wouldn’t start. I saw Randyman in the sheep pasture on one of the big tractors, cleaning out the ditches. I have a lot to catch up on, after missing 3 days.
One of the kids came by with a leppie calf, right around lunch time. We stuffed him in the shed, and I decided it was perfect timing to graft him onto Cholula, the cow who lost her calf a couple of days ago.
Randyman helped me bring her up and once we got her into the stanchion, the little feller went straight to town, emptying all 4 spigots. Lu wasn’t too happy about it.
It will take a few days for him to wear her down, but I think he is up to the task.
Apr. 25, 2012 2:12 pm
Hi Petey! I am sorry to hear you've been under the weather. Even with all your aches you still managed to do so much. Hats off to you. I'm sorry to hear you've lost another calf. That must be unbearable at times. The poor mother must feel it too. About your neighbor driving, umm nope. Keep walking. Better for you and much safer by the sounds of things. Still it was good that she helped so much. I hope you're feeling better. Take good care of you.
Apr. 25, 2012 2:12 pm
So sorry to hear of hear of your troubles. I do hope your back pain eases soon and you can get back to daily life. Blessings.
Apr. 26, 2012 12:42 am
WOW, you must be the busiest invalid EVER! I grew up on a ranch so I'm well aware that you are never want for things to keep you busy and, if you must be away at all things can easily spiral out of control. FYI - tilling is really hard on problem backs (unless you are lucky and have a riding one) - of course probably no where near as hard as "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride"! Don't worry, Lu should take to the calf just fine, like all of us she needs a little time. :)
Apr. 26, 2012 7:28 am
Another wonderful blog, petey. But take care of yourself!
Apr. 26, 2012 11:00 am
I am always in awe of your stories. What really strikes me about this one, and I know it is not nice to laugh when someone is in pain, is that you say your back is troubling you, but you can't figure out why.........maybe, milking, roping, herding, calfing, gardening, baking, cooking, and the list goes on. Could that possibly be the source of the back strain?
Apr. 26, 2012 1:16 pm
Well, I gave my back an extra day to heal before I started back to working. As Vicky said, things can quickly spiral out of control here if we don't keep at it! I am feeling MUCH better, Lu is finally letting the calf nurse...although he never lets go! and Covergirl...you made ME laugh!
Apr. 26, 2012 4:46 pm
>> "my back went into terrible spasms" why? My wife has a degenerative bone issue in her back she can't stand too long. I found out the gout pills I have also help my back some, I do have three different meds for pain my self but don't like to take them since two of them are addictive. I normally go with the 800mg Motrin, it helps but not much.
Apr. 26, 2012 6:09 pm
I broke my back in '89 and fractured 6 vertebrae. I did pretty good for a long time, but I also have RA, so...there ya go. We have good days, we have bad days. Always hoping the former outweigh the latter! :)
Apr. 26, 2012 7:20 pm
dang. My back hurts so bad I wish I was Younger and could do it all over again. Maybe I would have not jumped out of a plane 264 times, not went on road marches with a 60lb rucksack. I remember crying because of the pain many moons ago. But I was in the army, what can you do.
Apr. 27, 2012 6:54 am
OH Petey you must be one of the most resilient people I know. I know how bad back spasms hurt. I had them one time myself. I also have a dear friend with RA and see how she suffers with that.Sounds like your garden is really getting a good start. Lots of good fresh fruit and veggies in your future.Take care of yourself.
Apr. 27, 2012 9:12 am
I hope you get better soon. Back spasms can certainly throw a wrench into anyone's plans. I am sure you are not any where near a chiropractor; however, I have found relief from back spasms by visiting a chiropractor.
Apr. 27, 2012 9:14 am
I sympathize with those spasms, petey. After a car wreck, I can well remember any wrong move or too much gardening and I'd be dropped in my tracks. I can picture the stampede for the treats. Hope everything goes smoother for you soon!
Apr. 27, 2012 12:54 pm
I'm so sorry to hear about Cholula's calf! Thank goodness she's available for that leppie, though, so you don't have another bottle baby to deal with. Rest up whenever you can and tell that back of yours to COOPERATE!
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden. forpeteysake.blogspot.com http://throughthedarkestvalleys.blogspot.com/
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Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
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Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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Most things from this site, this has been the best thing the internet has had to offer!
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A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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