Monday, April 30, 2012

Winter 2010 - 2011

NOVEMBER 25, 2010 – Last week we moved our small group of cows back to the fields above the house, and let the newly weaned heifers into more pens by the calving barn, to graze the rest of that grass. They bawled a little, seeing their mothers leave; the cows had been in the field next to their pen, able to communicate through the corral fence. But after more than a week of separation, they are weaned. The cows never looked back, and didn’t mind going to a field farther away from their babies.

It started snowing the next day, and dumped several inches on our fields.

Our new neighbor brought his cows down from the 160 acre pasture next to ours, but didn’t have them all. We’d told him we’d seen some cows on the range above our pasture, but he didn’t believe us until he rounded his up and counted them. Then he rode for several days trying to find the 12 cows that went back to the range—through the hole he cut in his fence to bring them home.
He’d never gone back up on the mountain to make a gate and fix the hole in the fence. Andrea and Rick saw the cows on the mountain above Withington Creek when they went to get another load of firewood, and we told Alfonzo where the cows were. He and another neighbor rode out there last Saturday and got them down off the range.

The grass in my horse pasture is nearly gone, and now snow-covered. Chance, the 30-year-old gelding we’re taking care of for granddaughter Heather, can’t eat hay with his bad teeth, so I’m feeding him alfalfa pellets along with his grain. A magpie eats with him, cleaning up the grain he spills on the ground. It’s funny to see Chance and his magpie friend waiting for their grain—with the magpie sitting on Chance’s back.

Michael and Carolyn moved their cows down from our upper fields on Sunday and started feeding hay. Our weather is cold and windy, and all roads in and out of Salmon were closed a couple days ago. Granddaughter Heather planned to drive home from college yesterday for Thanksgiving vacation but even though the roads were open again, we didn’t want her driving in bad conditions. Michael and Carolyn did their feeding early, and drove to Helena to get her.
I cooked a big dinner today for Thanksgiving and we had Andrea’s family and Lynn’s brother and wife here for dinner. Michael, Carolyn and kids were busy with their cattle all day; their rep from Superior Livestock Auction was making a video of the cows and bred heifers they plan to sell on the video auction. We’ll have Michael’s family here Saturday evening for a belated Thanksgiving dinner. It will be nice to have a chance to visit with young Heather before they take her back to Helena on Sunday.
DECEMBER 2 – On a warmer not-so-windy day I took shoes off Rubbie, Breezy and Ed and trimmed their feet for winter. Their feet were getting long, and we won’t be riding them till spring; they’ll have better traction without snow and ice balling up under their feet. A bare foot sheds snowballs better than a shod foot. During one sunny afternoon I took a photo of old Chance napping in the snow.

Michael and Carolyn found a reasonably-priced used pickup for Nick to drive to school and track practice. He’s been borrowing their Durango ever since the roads got snowy and slick. The old Chrysler we gave him (after his little red pickup rolled into Peet’s pond and ruined the motor) isn’t trustworthy on bad roads; he needs 4-wheel drive.
The lease on the Maurer place—where Michael and Carolyn calved their cows the past several years—has come up for renewal and the lady who owns it wants to raise the rent by $5000. Her rationale for charging more money was that it was worth more now that they’d increased the hay production. But the rent was too high before that, and some of her stipulations are unreasonable, so they are dropping that lease.
Michael and Carolyn are running out of time to find another place before their cows start calving, so they decided to sell all their cows (to pay some of their debts) and keep some heifer calves to breed in the spring. They can keep the yearlings here on our place, and maybe this will buy them time to find another place and start rebuilding their herd.

DECEMBER 11 – Last Friday Michael and Carolyn sold 6 semi loads of cows and bred heifers on the video auction. They got $1200 and $1125 for 2 loads of heifers, and $1150, $1100, $1000 and $985 per head for 4 loads of cows. They spent several days sorting cows into various groups (by age), getting ready to ship out—one load of heifers to Utah, one to Kansas, one load of cows to Colorado and 3 loads to Challis, Idaho.
Monday it snowed all day. Andrea got a notice in the mail that her semi-annual appointment with the lung specialist in Salt Lake was the very next day, on Tuesday afternoon. Lynn helped her get new snow tires for her car and went with her on the trip—400 miles on bad roads. They left Monday evening and drove all night, to make sure she could get there on time Tuesday afternoon. The roads were so bad it took 9 hours to make the 400-mile drive to Salt Lake; they got there at 4 a.m., got a motel, and slept a few hours before her appointment.
Her lung checkup went well; her breathing has improved since the doctor put her on medication to help keep her airways open. She has a lot of scar tissue in her lungs, due to damage from the fire and subsequent bouts of pneumonia. Her graft checkup did not go so well. The surgery on her arm last January to cut out the contracted scar tissue and replace it with a new graft was not successful; the new skin shrank up worse than the old graft and the contracture is pulling her spine out of place worse than ever.
She and Lynn drove home Tuesday night, hitting bad roads again on our end (fog and blowing snow), finally getting home at 4 a.m.
Meanwhile Michael and Carolyn got their cows shipped out. They had to plow snow and sand the driveway at Maurers to get the trucks in and out. The first truck came for heifers on Tuesday, and the other 5 trucks arrived on Wednesday. Now they are hoping to sell a few more loads of cows locally, and if necessary take the last ones to the sale at Butte, Montana next week. Then all they’ll have to do is move their heifers and horses to our place, and get all their hay moved.

We’ve had more snow, and started feeding hay to our heifers.
The cows are still finding rough feed, so we hope the snow won’t get any deeper. Our neighbor’s cows got into his stackyard on the lower place, but he is in Mexico for another month, so yesterday some of his friends moved those cows up to the Gooch place. There’s not much grass left there, so we’re hoping someone will start feeding them before they try to come through the fence into our fields.

DECEMBER 21 – Last week we had 9 more inches of snow. Lynn went up the creek with Andrea and Rick to cut a Christmas tree, and hiked through nearly 2 feet of snow.
During several days of slightly warmer weather he got 2 tractors started, and moved them closer to the barn and shop where he can plug them in. He put the blade on the middle-sized tractor, to plow snow. The snow in our driveway is too deep for the car; we’ve been driving the pickup.
Michael and Carolyn sold 40 more cows, to a rancher on Carmen Creek—4 loads with stock trailers. They sent a semi-load of cows to a ranch in Stevensville, Montana, a few more trailer loads to local ranchers, and the last semi-load of pregnant cows to the sale at Butte, Montana. Now all they have left are calves—mostly replacement heifers and a few stocker steers.

Granddaughter Heather drove home from Carroll College (Helena, Montana) on Wednesday, glad to be home for the holidays and semester break. She’s helping her folks with feeding and other chores. She was glad to see her old horse again.
We’ve had colder weather the past few days, below zero. Carolyn’s old horse Molly was having a hard time pawing through snow for grass in our post-pile pasture, so we led her up to our barnyard to one of our horse pens to feed hay. We bought more alfalfa pellets for granddaughter Heather’s old horse.
On Friday we finally had to bring our cows down from heifer hill, to the field above our house, and yesterday started feeding; the snow is more than a foot deep, and too crusted for them to root down to grass.

DECEMBER 31 – I was slow writing a Christmas letter this year, so I’m still sending out cards and letters. I did get photo albums made for each grandchild, filled with photos taken during the past year when they were here at the ranch riding, helping work cattle, etc. We had a belated Christmas dinner at Andrea’s place on Monday, since the younger kids were at Mark’s house for Christmas this year.
Michael and Carolyn started hauling their hay off the Maurer place. They’ve leased that place for 3 years (and calved their cows there) but the lease came up for renewal this month and the owner (a widow in Oregon) wouldn’t discuss renewal terms until just before the lease ended.
Then she told them she wanted $5000 more per year (above the $20,000 they’d been paying). She also demanded that Michael and Carolyn pay for all expenses and upkeep, on top of the $5000 per summer they’ve been paying for the power bill for irrigation, $8500 per year for fertilizer, and $2000 per summer to de-moss the main ditch. She now wanted them to also pay for all materials for improvements or repair on corrals, fences, etc. They hardly made ends meet with the old lease. They would lose money trying to lease it again, so they told her they couldn’t. She then said she would charge them $50 per day for every day past December 15 that they still had any animals, hay or machinery on the place, plus a big “fine” for being there too long. According to Idaho law, however, a renter has a “reasonable” time to move off a place. But they decided to get everything moved as quickly as possible, even though legally she can’t demand more money from them.

They started hauling hay a couple days ago, bringing some here after Lynn plowed our driveway and barnyard. Yesterday Michael plowed a trail up to our swamp pasture and put a feeder and big round bale up there, and hauled their 12 horses over here for winter. We put Classy and foal (Tornado) in adjacent foaling/weaning pens, to wean the foal. They wormed Chance and Molly and took Molly up to join the big group. Last night it was below zero—not very nice weaning weather, but the filly wasn’t too upset, having mama next to her.
Michael hired the local sand/gravel company to plow and sand the road to the upper stackyard on Maurer’s place so trucks can get in and out, and also hired them to plow the snow (nearly 2 feet deep) in our upper stackyard. We started hauling hay up there today, using 2 trucks and our flatbed trailer.
Tonight Andrea, Rick and Emily are coming for dinner and we’ll play games until midnight. Lynn and I haven’t stayed up that late on New Year’s Eve since the days we used to calve in January and were up during the nights taking care of the first babies!

JANUARY 14 – The first week of January was very cold while we were hauling hay. We kept our tractor plugged in continually except when it was running, and even then some mornings it would barely start. We took big straw bales up to our cows in the field, to give the cows something to bed on and eat (along with their hay and protein supplement) during those coldest nights.
In the mornings after feeding, Lynn would start the tractor and let it run awhile. Young Heather came by to take him to Maurers to drive one of the hay trucks. Michael loaded the trucks and trailers (a neighbors helped, with his flatbed trailer). As soon as Lynn’s truck was loaded, he drove it the 7-plus miles to the stackyard on our upper place, and young Heather gave him a ride back down to our house to get our tractor. He’d get up there just ahead of the other truck and trailers, to unload hay. They were able to make two trips per day before it got dark. The cold weather was actually a blessing, because the steep driveways to the haystacks at Maurers, and into our upper stackyard—and a couple places on our creek road--would have been too treacherous and slippery for the trucks and trailers if it had been thawing.

During the clear weather I took some photos of our barnyard and horse pens.

Sunday night I cooked a big supper and we had Michael, Carolyn and kids here for a belated New Year’s celebration. They didn’t stay long, however, because everyone was tired from hauling hay, and had to get up early the next day to do chores early and do it again. It was a big relief to get all the hay safely hauled.
The next few days Michael, Carolyn and Heather worked at getting everything else off that ranch—machinery and equipment, hay feeders, salt, calving and cattle supplies. They parked their baler, 4-wheelers, etc. in our big stackyard and covered them with tarps. The swather was a challenge. Michael was able to get it started late afternoon (the warmest part of that day), and was driving it up our creek road just after dark. But the serpentine belt (that runs the fan, water pump, alternator, etc.) broke and the engine quickly overheated. He couldn’t leave it there, because it completely blocked the road. He drove another half mile up to the wide spot above our driveway, and it’s still parked there, until he has time to fix it—and he’s hoping that running it that hot did not damage the engine.
Michael used our tractor to plow a feed trail on our wild meadow, then spent the next day hauling cattle—a bull to put with our bulls for the winter, and 4 trailer loads of heifers and a few steers to the wild meadow. The next day they moved the last of their personal things off the Maurer place, and sent a letter to Mrs. Maurer telling her everything was moved. Now we’ll wait and see whether she tries to charge them a fee for being “slow”, but if she does, they’ll probably contest it—because it only took them 3 weeks to move everything after they found out they wouldn’t be able to renew the lease on her terms.
Young Heather drove back to Helena to start her 2nd semester. She stopped here that morning to exchange 3 bags of horse pellets (that she bought in Montana earlier this winter to haul around in the back of her car for weight and traction) for 4 concrete blocks. Her old horse, Chance, will enjoy the pellets!
On Tuesday Michael brought another feeder for their horses in our swamp pasture, so the timid ones will have room to eat. Carolyn led Classy around to join that group. Young Tornado ran around and whinnied when the mare was led away, but after being in separate pens for 10 days she is fully weaned, and soon settled down.

Monday, April 16, 2012


SEPTEMBER 24, 2010 – Our second ride to gather cattle from the range was another long day. I fed the horses before daylight, so Ed (the mare I’ve been riding) would have time to eat before we left. Michael and Carolyn picked us up with their truck and trailer at the top of our lane. Farther up the creek we picked up our new range neighbor (Alfonzo) and his friend Bob, and Carolyn’s brother Brian, and their horses. We hauled the 6 horses to the top of Withington Creek, then we rode down Mulkey Creek through the timber. We sent Bob and Alfonzo over the open side of the mountain, since they’ve never ridden in that area and don’t know the trails. We gathered a dozen pairs of Alfonzo’s cattle and a few of Michael’s, and brought them up through the timber and back to our own range. Michael and Brian went to look for cattle on the steep timbered side below our range fence.

Carolyn and I sorted off extra cows that tried to join our group, then we took the cattle into our range, around a steep mountainside and over the hill from Peach Pit trough into Baker Creek. This was challenging, because Bob’s dogs were not obedient. They were either chasing the cows too fast or circling in front of them and balking the herd. An untrained dog is worse around cattle than no dog at all. We let the cattle rest at Peach Pit before making the steep climb over the top. The cattle had been stressed and hurried too much and several were panting with their mouths open.

After we got down toward Baker Creek on the other side of the mountain, Bob and Alfonzo gathered more cattle to take around toward our 320-acre pasture, while Carolyn and I went into the Basco drainage to look for more cows, and to find Michael and Brian and help them. I checked through the high timber.
Coming back down the ridge through tall sagebrush I ran into snarls of old electric fence wire that had been dragged a mile (by cattle and wildlife) from where it was originally put up in 2004 by the BLM as a temporary fence along the ridge between Withington and Baker creek. They built it to keep cattle out of the burned area for a year—after fire destroyed part of our range. The electric fence wasn’t effective; cattle went into the burned area anyway—and onto the Forest range because 3 miles of boundary fence burned up. The BLM never gathered the electric wires, and they are a hazard. Michael and Carolyn rolled some up, but there are still some wires strung all over. My horse got her hind legs caught in the wires, but she stayed calm and I got off and lifted her feet up out of it.
Meanwhile, Michael found cows (mostly Alfonzo’s) scattered through timber on the Mulkey Creek rim, and was able to get them back through the fence onto our range. We eventually got the cattle down to our 320-acre pasture, where we put Michael and Carolyn’s cattle in, and sorted off Alfonzo’s cattle to take along the fence a half mile--to let them down into his 160-acre pasture.

I rode with Michael, Carolyn and Brian again the next day, and we gathered all the cows off our 320 and 160 to bring down to our corrals. They sorted off the calves to wean and hauled them to the Maurer place, leaving the cows in our corrals. A day later, on Wednesday, they preg-checked and vaccinated cows at Maurer’s (the herd from Sandy Creek), and on Thursday preg-checked and vaccinated cows at our place. On Friday they hauled the open cows to Maurers (to sell later) and I helped them take the main herd back to the 320 for fall pasture.

Meanwhile, Andrea spent some time in the hospital. A couple weeks ago she got a spider bite and her hand swelled up. She tried soaking it to get the infection out, but that didn’t help. Finally she went to a doctor, who prescribed antibiotics pills. Two days later it was much worse and the doctor lanced the area and drained the pus, gave Andrea an injection of antibiotics and another prescription. Tests showed a staph infection (MRSA, the worst kind). The next morning Andrea had a fever and was vomiting, and the doctor put her in the hospital, on IV antibiotics, keeping her arm elevated. They kept her in the hospital 3 days. The day after she came home, her hand and arm swelled up again. They started IV antibiotics again; she goes to the hospital morning and evening for IV antibiotics—a procedure that takes an hour and a half. Today the doctor increased the dosage.
I rode again with Michael and Carolyn today, this time to help our range neighbor, Dan French, who runs cows on the Forest range next to ours. Dan broke his leg this summer and can’t ride a horse yet. We helped his son, grandkids and some friends gather his cattle out of Mulkey Creek

OCTOBER 9 – Dan French was still missing a bull, so Chad Stephenson and his wife (who helped with the roundup) went back the next day, found the bull, herded him to their stock trailer, roped the bull, and got him into the trailer to haul home. Michael and Carolyn have been spending long days helping several of their friends work cows and ship calves.
Two weeks ago on Sunday we brought Andrea’s 3 youngest kids home from church with us. They took turns riding 24-year-old Veggie out across the low range with me. I led Veggie until we got to a flat area where I let each child try riding him solo, learning how to guide him left or right, etc.

Andrea’s friend Rick came out the next day and helped Lynn set posts in the line fence between our place and the new neighbor—where the fence is getting old and tired. Rick helped again Saturday, taking posts and wire up the steep hill on the 160 with our 4-wheeler, to set 3 new brace posts where the fence had fallen down. Emily rode with me that day to check cows.

The 3 younger kids came out again yesterday and took turns riding Veggie. Charlie and Sammy rode solo their whole ride. When it came Dani’s turn, however, the old horse didn’t want to go again, and stopped to eat grass. Her short little arms weren’t strong enough to keep his head up, so I led him.

Andrea finished a 10-day course of IVs and the swelling/infection in her arm seems to be resolved. She’s been helping Rick get more loads of firewood. Then she spent 4 days helping Bob Minor pressure wash fire-fighting equipment. The Forest Service was doing a “controlled” burn and the fire got away from them—burning hundreds of acres along the Salmon River. Firefighters were brought in, and Bob was hired to wash all the trucks and equipment (to prevent spread of weed seeds), with Andrea as his assistant.
A group of 20 young men from the state juvenile correction facility were part of the work crew. Andrea and Bob befriended them and tried to encourage them. The boys were inspired by Andrea’s cheerfulness, seeing her burn scars and the fact that she doesn’t let her impairments slow her down. She gave books (Beyond the Flames; A Family Touched by Fire—the book I wrote about her burn accident and how it changed our lives) to some of them. Today she received a letter from one, thanking her and Bob for “taking the time to treat us as people.” This young man has been in and out of prison since he was 11. He said he’d never met anyone who actually cared about him, and that those 4 days working at the fire camp meant a lot—he would never forget the encouragement she and Bob gave him.
Granddaughter Heather was home from college for a week (Fall break) and enjoyed helping her folks work cattle, including helping preg-check and vaccinate our small herd. It was great to see her again. She’s enjoying her second year at Carroll College.

OCTOBER 21 - Nick has been doing well in track meets this fall, always placing first for Salmon on the 5000 meter cross country races. Lynn and I watched him run at his home meet a week ago, and Nick was first for Salmon again. It was an exciting finish as he and a boy from Leadore came in 3rd and 4th, with Nick coming up from behind and almost passing him at the finish line.

Last Sunday Andrea’s kids came home from church with us again, and went for another ride. This time I was able to take 2 of them at once. Emily rode Ed while Dani rode Veggie, then Charlie rode Ed and Sammy rode Veggie.

Andrea brought Dani out again one day after kindergarten and the 3 of us rode for more than an hour, with Dani riding solo all the way. The old horse took good care of her and didn’t try to jump the gullies or hurry home.

OCTOBER 30 – Last week I rode with Michael and Carolyn to look for their missing bull--the only animal that didn’t show up this fall. The last time he was seen was when we were moving cattle from the middle range to the high range. He was fighting one of Alfonzo’s bulls and when Carolyn tried to bring them with the cows, Alfonzo’s bull charged at her horse. The bulls wouldn’t quit fighting and we had to leave them. Later, one of the neighbors found Alfonzo’s bull, but we haven’t found Michael’s bull.
All the gates have been left open by hunters, so we thought the bull might have traveled to a different range, but last week an elk hunter mentioned he’d seen a black bull on our middle pasture. So we rode out there and found fresh tracks, and manure. We spread out, searching, and Michael found the bull in a grove of chokecherry trees. The bull was content where he was, and didn’t want to leave, fighting the dogs and threatening our horses. We’d hoped to take him up over the mountain to our 320 acre pasture, to put him with the cows there, but we realized he’d just try to fight us. We decided to take him the long way home—down to our corrals--on a more level grade around the mountains. That way we could stay behind and below him at a distance, encouraging him to keep traveling, but far enough away that he wouldn’t charge at our horses.
Lynn was taking more salt on his 4-wheeler to the cows on the 320, but Michael was able to reach him on his cell phone as we came to the ridge about a mile from our house. Thus Lynn knew we were bringing the bull to the corrals, and was able to get home ahead of us to move our bulls out of the corral and get all the gates ready. After we got the wayward bull into the corral, Michael and Carolyn hauled him to their place in their trailer.
Last Saturday I rode with Michael and Carolyn on Sandy Creek to gather some of their cows from the neighbor’s place, and found 6 other strays that had gone through the fence and back out on that range.
Grandson Nick did well at the District track meet that week, placing 4th in the 5000 meter run (his time was 17 minutes, 35 seconds). Today the Salmon team competed at the State meet, and earned the 2nd place medal for their school. Nick placed 11th in his cross-country race, in a field of more than 100 runners.
On Sunday my mother passed away. The care center called my sister at 5 a.m. to say mom had a stroke and was unresponsive. My sister drove to town to sit with mom, and called me. I went to town after doing my chores early (in the dark), to sit with mom while my sister went home to do her chores. I’d only been with mom about 30 minutes, when she slipped away. I was glad I was able to be there with her. My brother and his wife drove up from Boise, through snowstorms and bad roads, to help make plans for the memorial service. They stayed a couple of days.
It was a busy time, as we contacted relatives, and Lynn helped Michael rebuild part of a corral at Maurers (in preparation for shipping calves), and we also helped Andrea with her kids. She was ill with diarrhea for about a week and finally got so dehydrated and ill that she had to go to the emergency room at the hospital for IVs and anti-nausea medication. She’s doing a little better now.

NOVEMBER 9 – Last week I scanned some old photos and e-mailed them to my brother; he is putting together a slide show for mom’s memorial service.

Twelve-year-old granddaughter Emily took a hunter education course this fall, and went on her first deer hunt. Her dad gave her a rifle for an early Christmas/birthday present, and Emily did some target practicing with it. Andrea took her hunting last Sunday afternoon, and Emily shot her first deer—at about 300 yards. She’s a good shot, just like her mom.
Michael and Carolyn sold their calves last Monday, sending 3 semi-loads. Their calves weighed the best ever, thanks to better grass this year on the range. The load of big steers averaged 660 pounds and the smaller group averaged 585. Their heifers averaged 558 pounds.

On Wednesday I was planning to ride again with Michael and Carolyn to bring their cows down from their leased ranch on Sandy Creek, and went out before daylight to feed the horses, so my mare would have time to eat some hay before we left. Andrea’s old mare Snickers whinnied at me strangely, and came walking slowly to the hay rather than galloping and bucking like she normally does. After I finished feeding, I went into her pen and checked her more closely, in the dark, and found she had a piece of wood jammed into her hindquarters, under her tail. I grabbed hold of it and pulled it out, discovering that it was a foot long—and most of that length was embedded into her. It was the broken-off end of an old pole that had been underneath the fence. Snickers had apparently pawed it out into her pen. Maybe she rolled on it, breaking off the end, which jammed into her hindquarters

I cancelled my ride to help move cows (some other people were helping and Michael thought they could manage without me), and called Andrea and the vet. They both arrived at sunup and the vet examined Snickers. We feared we’d have to euthanize her, but the vet sedated the mare and examined the wound. She pulled out more wood slivers and put her hand into the wound and felt the extent of the hole and said it missed Snickers’ abdominal cavity—so she would not get peritonitis.

We flushed it out and gave the mare two kinds of antibiotics and Banamine, and continued with those daily injections for several days. By the second day of Banamine Snickers was feeling a little better and eating more normally, but still having pain when trying to pass urine or manure.
Thursday was Danielle’s birthday (6 years old) and we had a birthday party for her—and gave her a little saddle.

She was very excited, and had to try it out the next day, on old Veggie, when Andrea came out to help give Snickers her shots. Snickers doesn’t like the shots, but tolerates them if we feed her a little green grass. Amazingly we still have green grass this late in the season!
We had snow last night, but not too deep, so the cows are still able to graze. They are running out of feed, however, so today we let a few down into our upper fields—the ones that came down to the creek for water.

NOVEMBER 18 – We had more snow, so for several days we drove up the creek twice a day and let cows through the gate if they were down at the bottom of the mountain. We let them come through the gate and across the road and through another gate into our upper place. We eventually moved 121 that way, and the final bunch managed to find enough grass until Michael and Carolyn rounded them up.
Friday we had the memorial service for mom, and it was very nice. We three children and some of her grandchildren gave our remembrances, and afterward we had a wonderful visit with relatives, sharing old memories.
We had more snow the past few days, and a cold wind. We are no longer giving Snickers any medication and she’s healing, but the vet thinks she may need some surgical repair now that the swelling has gone down.

Lynn has been splitting wood, and Andrea and Rick are cutting up meat from the steer and old cow we butchered last week. Colder weather is predicted for this weekend, so we need to get ready for winter!