Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Real Meaning Of Easter

Easter is upon us.  Easter means different things for different people.  For children, it is a break from school, coloring eggs and waiting for the Easter bunny.  I had wondered long where the Easter bunny came from - and Wikipedia came to my rescue.  The rabbit and the eggs represent the rising fertility of the earth during Easter - as I look outside here - yes there are some signs of fertility.

Heck, I even saw the promising signs of buds on the trees.  I guess the trees weren't told of the snow still on the ground.
Then there is the religious side of Easter, forty days of lent (this year I gave up housecleaning - very difficult to do, but I accomplished it), Good Friday (not sure why it would be good if you are crucified on a cross), and then Easter Monday when Jesus rises from the dead. 
Yes, this man died for our sins. 
As well as a carpenter, this man was a pretty good shepherd (wonder if he used a border collie),  could put out quite a buffet, and was a great babysitter since he loved all the children..
It was said he could walk on water as well. The heathens say it was ice.
So this Easter, when you are doing your celebrations - remember what we are really celebrating about. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Week Just Gets Better And Better

Pot stirrers unite! 
There really must be an underground club, much like dog fighting that brings these type of people together-just to watch the pain put onto others.  Perhaps the SPCA should be called out on them.  What they have common is a little mind, a huge big gob, and a very small heart. At least the Grinch changed - but I sure don't hold much hope for some of these morons.  In every walk of life there is someone you know who loves to be the center of attention, loves to tell stories, and loves to watch the fallout from those stories - often with no truth behind it.  They tell stories about individuals even without talking to those involved, and those stories are full of holes.  A poor newpaper reporter they would make.
Then there are the followers, who believe these stories like the chicken who thought the sky was falling. And like the chicken, they are too chicken to talk to that individual to find out the truth, but "fowl-mouthed" enough to keep the entertainment rolling.
In this storm of turmoil, because of the gossip, I was "relieved" of an impending judging assignment.  No explanation was given, even when one was asked for.  Let me tell you, I was not relieved - I was beyond hurt, I thought the sky had fallen. 
Even big wigs believed the stories, even when I had told them the truth of what happened- they too have pulled a plug.  The truth of the matter, the personal business in which all the stories have been about, is no one's business, and has no bearing on how I can judge, or how I can organize a trial. 
In the midst of all this, I have found a few good people - people who won't judge, people who will stand up for me, people who understand.  True friends.  Funny how these people also don't gossip.  Unfortunately, I do believe the membership of this club is quite low.
And for some of those big gobbed people, I sure wouldn't throw stones in the glass houses your living in.  You will step in a lot of glass.
In the midst of this, I mentioned that I sure didn't want to get famous this way - and by the amount of readers from the last blog, I can tell the gossip has gone far and wide and has peaked the interest of many. 
 I guess I am famous.
On the advice of one of my friends, I will hold my head high and trudge forward.  I have done nothing wrong... but I have been wronged.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tasty Tidbits

"Do I have some news for you!" 
We have all heard that opener - someone with something to share of so much importance that it will bust their gut if they don't tell someone.  It could be something celebratory - such as a new impending birth of a family, or an award that someone got. 
But, as human nature as it is, nothing could be better to share that if it has shock value - an accident, a murder, a situation where the authorities are called out.  Really juicy gossip.
As per Wikipedia (and I do hear that all their information is correct), gossip is idle talk or rumor about the personal or private affairs of others. It is one of the oldest and most common means of sharing facts, views and slander. This term is used pejoratively by its reputation for the introduction of errors and variations into the information transmitted, and it also describes idle chat, a rumor of personal, or trivial nature.
We all gossip, some more than others.  I think there is a correlation between the amount one gossips to the amount of time that is on their hands.  Why is it that gossip from individuals who are known to love to stir up things are taken for gospel truth?
I have been in the brunt of gossip at times - some information passed around was most personal, and really nobody's business.  Personal stuff that was difficult to handle within your immediate family, let alone the family of your peers.  Personal stuff that should have remained...personal.
Maybe it started way back when I was a kid, a kid which was picked on....I never wanted to hurt any one's feelings, and I continue to live that way to this day.
If I hear of anything that is inflammatory to somebody, or so unbelievable...I don't spread it.  It is quite likely to be untrue.  And if it was true, who am I to spread the word - only people of faith should be spreading the word - and I haven't gone to church in ages so I am under qualified in this area.  Although, I do remember one of the commandments.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
As per Wikipedia (man I love this site), this commandment came from Proverbs.
There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

Maybe I am God - or at the very least he and I are on the same page.  Wish others would be as well.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Beat Of More Horseshoes

The following day, I quickly shined my horseshoes and implanted them, and the day started with another calving call. The cow had been calving since the night before, they worked most of the night and the next morning to try to bring the head up to bring the calf out. When the cow was brought, I was told that if it had to be a cesarean, then not to bother, since they always died (and in my mind I thought, well then bring them in sooner then!) The hired man, who I don't believe had seen too many back end of cows in his life, left me to work on her myself to go to the garage. By the time he got back, the whole calf was out, and the cow was waiting to go home - the horseshoe was still working!Unfortunately the horseshoe seemed to lose it's power later the next day. Once again, a calving gone awry - one leg out and a head. The poor heifer had been calving for quite some time, and she was down and unable to get up, and the head of the dead calf was swollen. Knowing that there was going to be a bit of chopping up required, I MacGyvered a fetotome (a tool to help you cut pieces of a calf while protecting the cow) out of a stomach tube and a pipe - duct tape is an amazing piece of equipment in my arsenal! 
  We were able to get the head off, but the heifer was way too small, and I could not push the body back into her to try to get the other leg out - by this time, the poor gal was  in shock and things were not going to end well, even if a cesarean was done. A large dose of tranquilizer was given for her final trip to home - unfortunately the final treatment would be a bullet, with no withdrawal time.

Still my Oscar Myer patient from early on the week was still recuperating, and he was visited by his owner every day - and he was asked about by most of the town people. The little gaffer was quite known in the community, and figured that if he had a sympathy card signed, there would be no room left for me to sign it. I had even called Swift Current for unrelated business and was asked, "How is Loki doing?" Yup, the little dog was known in even the big city.
Finally by the end of the week, Loki was feeling a bit more chipper, and the patient went home.  I picked up my horseshoes and brought them home - another thorough cleaning would have to be done before the next round of excitement of a springtime large animal vet would occur.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Horseshoes - Important In Vet Work

So spring has started, not because there is massive amounts of (frozen, crystallized) water laying, but since the stork has been seen flying about.  Now, as a large animal vet, when you get a call this time of year, it could be anything related to the reproduction tract - being things not falling out of it like they should, or things falling out of it like they shouldn't.  The season started with a few cesarean sections, a few calves thought they would stick around and wait for spring, and others decided it was better to head for the light to the spring pastures in the sky. If you are in the racket long enough, you will see many things, and find out that it never is replicated as in the text books - funny how they never had any vet in the books with blood sprayed onto their face, or cow dung down their bra (yes, it happens quite a lot).
On one particular day, it was full of several different calls - not just the run of the mill calving calls.  First there was a little dog that thought eating a whole lot of wieners would be a good thing - but like drinking, it would seem to be a good idea at the time, but there would be payback.  As the little tyke was put on IV to give his pancreas a break, there was a rash of 4-D cows occurring (dead, diseased, down or...oh damn, can't remember the last, I am getting distressed...wait, that's it - distressed).  Let those heads roll!  After one lobotomy (yes, I do class myself as a brain surgeon for these jobs), a puppy with a limp had to be looked at, and after that a cow that had seen hard times - and I thought that this gal too would have to have a future lobotomy done.
By this time, I was thinking it was the end of the day - but wait, yet another call came in.  This one was a prolapse.  Now, it is important to always ask if the cow has calved - since some prolapses will be a basketball (vagina) sitting out.  This makes me remember in my younger days when an emergency calving was called in, and said that the water bag was out, but not progressing.  By the time I got there, the fellow had tried to slice open the water bag so the calf could come.  You see where this is heading?  No head was in sight, just the prolapsed vagina, which had several cuts on it.  But I digress.  The prolapse in question was the uterus, and I gathered my materials and went on my merry way. Now, as I was driving, I was thinking of all the horrific things that could happen - the cow could be down, in the field, in the dark (which has happened before, but add in the middle of a rose thicket while it was raining - this is when I looked up into the starry sky and proclaimed "I LOVE my job!") Some prolapses take a whole lot of grunting to put them in, and sometimes the cow is grunting to pop it back out.  I got to the place, and was pleased to see the heifer could stand - my preference.  We got her in the head gate and gave her epidural.  I don't know if the human anesthesiologists feel the same way when they find that perfect spot when doing an epidural -but in the bovine, I found the sweet spot and.. pphhsst ..the freezing was getting sucked in.  I had asked the rancher to get me some water, and I managed to get the organ back into its proper place, with minimal grunting on my..or the heifer's...behalf in the time it took him to get the water.  Having done a tough one the year before at the same place, I do believe he had expected a longer visit from me.
After finishing the job, I then started to go home for supper - the chili I had put in the crock pot was calling my name - when yet another call came in.  This time, it was a hip locked calf (that is when the calf is out to its hips, and can't come any more).  Three grown men had worked on it for a couple of hours, and they wanted me to come cut off the calf and get it out.  This also reminds me of the time of a similar experience, and I did cut the calf...but then I had to do a cesarean to retrieve the other half since I couldn't reach it.  I gathered everything which I needed, and dreaded the worst.  When I got there, I mentioned that I would just like to try a special maneuver to see if I can get the calf out.  The rancher made it understood that he had calved a lot of cows in his past, and there was no way this calf was coming out.  My horseshoe must have been extra shiny that day - the calf was pulled out and I was back in my truck within 10 minutes-they even wrote down my number on their calving cupboard for the next time (not like a number on a bathroom wall, but close!).  I eventually made it home and had a late night supper.

The click-clack of horseshoes will continue in the next blog.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Let's Spring Into This.

Ah, you thought, as I did, we would have spring right now.  Mother Nature has other plans though.  I think she has a cold, blowing her nose all the time.  Someone give her some Claritin and clear her sinuses up already. 
I was hoping that the first photo I would do of spring would show spring like qualities - alas, we are stuck in a rut (until it melts). So this month's barn picture still shows snow.
Caption - I Am Feeling Kind Of Weather Beaten.
With all the wind and snow that has been going around - I am starting to feel like this old barn-I am definitely feeling beaten by the weather.
Perhaps spring is around the corner, just not sure which corner exactly.  But when you find that corner -  look both ways when you cross it - since you still might get hit by a busload of snow.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Paddy Has Frozen Beer

March 17...St. Patrick's Day...when all over the world the tinge of green beer is brought to many lips.  These days, the beer has to have the layer of ice removed from the top.  Winter has set in and it is refusing to leave.  I feel like we should keep our vehicles running all night to burn a bigger hole in that ozone layer and warm this place a bit!  I saw a few Canadian geese around, and they are booking their flight back south until spring finally hits.  At the moment, baby calves are being born, wondering what the hell!  Hell would be a warmer place that is for sure. 
 I don't think the dogs are impressed by it all - as long as there is a bunch of snow around, the training days have screeched to a halt. Those lucky enough to be able to train will be leaps and bounds ahead -there will be loads of cramming to do before a decent showing at a trial can be done. The only work the dogs get these days is moving the flock to the next pen so that the sheep can get some more bedding...more bedding for the next snowfall!  Serta mattresses don't have anything on the bedding for the woolly girls and their small tykes - they do look cozy-but I am sure they would much rather be out in the field searching for some blades of grass.
Only one good thing about snow - it covers all the dog poop that is in the front yard.  I do believe a mass melt will discover many buried treasures under the snow.  Perhaps with that melt my shovel will reappear as well.

Friday, March 15, 2013

That Was Wheely Scary!

Now, I think myself as a pretty even tempered type a person - I get pretty tempered when things are done wrong.  One day this week, I had a slow leak on Dora - so went in to to fix it - nothing worse than a flat tire on a country I thought.  A couple of days after the fix job, I was coming home after the last call of work - and was zipping home, as I always do.  I felt Dora shimmy, and because it was such a nice day, and the roads were getting muddy, I thought that once again I had packed my wheels full of mud, and causing Dora's wheels to be misaligned.  Then there was this noise as well - now I could have just increased the sound of the radio to drown it out, but I thought better and stopped Dora and make sure there was no flat tire.  Nope, all tires were good, so I continued on my way.  The  noise was getting worse, and so I just flicked my mirror towards the tires and OH BY GEEZUS THE WHEEL IS COMING OFF!!  Yup, the wheel (that had been fixed and put back on - obviously not tight enough) was holding on by a thread - no, that isn't correct because all the threads were stripped.  Three lug nuts were crazy enough to keep the wheel from rolling past me.  I called in for some cavalry (Chris) and a ride back home.  The rim was determined to be shot, there were missing studs, and likely took the lug nuts with them, and there was steam coming from my ears.  Really, I have travelled thousands of miles with Dora and her predecessors, and I have never worried about the simple step of TIGHTENING UP THE LUG NUTS after changing a tire.  Guess I will worry about that now.
After leaving poor Dora with her hazards on, it was hazardous for her since it drained her battery.  No problem right?  Wrong!  Dora also had locked doors, with keys inside of course, and it took me awhile to find the extra key.    I find it an oxymoron to use a key on a vehicle with a keyless entry - I don't really think the moron thought this through when it comes to running out of battery and the usefulness of the keyless entry.  Finally, however, she was unlocked, and the tow job into the garage could happen.
I do believe this will be an expensive lesson to be learned - new rim, new lug nuts, new studs and a tow job.  I do believe it won't be on my dollar, but to be fair, I will still pay for the flat tire that was fixed. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Havre Call The Border First

Having never been to Havre, Montana, I made a trip planned with Jamie VanRhyn to do a day trip down in that part of the country.  We made our way out, passports in tow, as well as Dot the border collie in tow - to be the new partner with Stephanie in Helena, Montana.  About 3 miles down the road, I decided that I would be the one to drive if we were ever to make it down to Havre within a 12 hour period.  You see, Jamie is not Canada's Worst Driving, she is Canada's Scaredest Driver - normally a 2 hour drive from Jamie's place, you can do the math to realize how slow she was going - turtles were passing us.
A quick visit with the border guard and we crossed uneventfully.  We stopped for lunch at a lovely Chinese restaurant, and had to tell the Chinese waiter there it was the year of the snake (apparently it did not mean anything to him), and had a nice visit with Stephanie and Kammy (and I do believe we may see them crossing them into Saskatchewan later on this year for some dog trials- and maybe Dot can come back to the homeland as well).  After Dot was safely stowed away in their truck, Jamie and I went to Wally land and did some denting of the credit cards (only small dents since things cost less). We also had to stop at Big Red (the Walmart for ranchers) and pick up a few things, as well as stop at a craft store to obtain some fabric (which wasn't bought) for Jamie's upcoming wedding.  We had lots of time to get back to the border before it closed.
So we thought.
Missed it... by 9 stinking minutes.
We decided it was Louanne Twa's fault, because we were looking for some dog tie outs at Big Red - which we didn't find.
So back to Havre we went, to spend a night in the bustling Walmart store - to buy underwear, toothpaste and a nightie.  Apparently we weren't the only Canadians who had to come back - the Walmart ladies smiled quite broadly as they told us...and filled up the toothpaste bin.
It will forever be remembered that the border closes 5 pm on the Alberta side, not 6 pm like on the Saskatchewan side - that is until the time changes occur - which would be 12 am on this particular night. 
The only question remained - what time does it open in the morning?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Burning Questions

Everyday, there are questions of life, such as "What will I wear today?", and "Did I turn off the stove?" and "Will there will be fries with that?" (not asked that frequently in McCord, Saskatchewan.)
Some questions are truly a matter of life and death, as in, "Are you allergic to anything?" or, "Did you get enough beer?". Other questions act as an opener in a conversation, such as "Nice weather, isn't it?",  "How about those Roughriders?", or "How fast WAS I going Officer?"
Then there are rhetorical questions - questions that need no answer, like, "Are you really that stupid?", "Are you for real?", and "Do you think I like cleaning up after you every day?" (mostly these are questions asked between spouses all over the world).
There are life changing questions, for instance, "Will you marry me?" and "You forgot to take your birth control pill?!?!"
Over time there have been questions that have taken many years to answer.  Such questions include, "Where did the Titanic go down?", "Why did the dinosaurs die?" and "Where did you leave the car keys?"
Then there are those burning questions - questions that will likely never be answered.  Like,  "Where is the Holy Grail?", "How do they get the caramel in the Caramel chocolate?" and "Is Tim McGraw bald?" (Go ahead, search it on the internet - I did - can't find one picture of him without his hat.)
Now for an important question.
Don't you have anything else better to do than to read this blog?
Well good then!

When The Crap Hits The Fan.... certainly does fly.  A few days ago there was talk of a winter storm coming through - hard to believe when it was sunny, no wind - really pleasant out.  During the days off from work, I was spending my day out with the lambs - making sure new mothers and their lambs had a good start in life. Sure, there were some moments, when four would lamb at the same time, and a puzzle was created - who belonged to who.  There was often a lot of bleating going on, but with patience and waiting, the new family units would mesh together. Then off to the barn with some the ewes and the lambs for some quality time we would go.  A mini explosion was happening in the lambing department, and if the ewes and lambs could spend a few days to get to know each other, their future was going quite promising.  Our flock has quite a few flocking Border Leceisters and Scottish Blackface - these have proven to be quite the motherly type - left alone, they would become unseparatable from their young ones, with the little guys running around within an hour.  Lambing with these gals has been a breeze.   The Targhee cross ewes are a whole different matter - they seem to think the sky is falling all of the time - a "run for your lives" attitude exists.  I am thinking we have 30 too many of these sheep around - they have been the most work of all of them.  All in all, the method of my madness seemed to have been working well-make sure everyone is up and running, nobody is having separation anxiety, and their bellies are full.  However, when things are going well, that is usually when something is thrown in your way - and that is when the snow hit the fan.  March brought in some lion weather, and the snow and winds whipped up, allowing me to be in a growling type of mood.  Some of the mothers decided that one mouth to feed was quite enough, so that added to the bum lamb list - quite a bummer.  Daisy the cow decided she would add a calf into the mix - and even though the calf was born during Telemiracle Weekend - there was to be no miracle for this calf - he trotted over the Rainbow Bridge - and also took a couple of bummer lambs with him. I had made a decision to go visit my sister Jean in Regina - she thought she would visit the hospital for a bit - and I discovered that only fools drive during a winter storm - I being one of them.  After I got home, I took another look with the ewes - at least they were smart enough not to add to the population during that night.   Another look in the morning, with the wind still blowing, and drifts galore, it was found that a few older lambs (out of - you guessed it - the Targhee ewes) decided the bridge would be a great place to travel over-they probably thought the snow falling was the sky falling and it shocked them to death.   I think I am going to build a barracade for this Rainbow Bridge - or blow it up.