MARCH 4, 2015 – Andrea and Charlie left last Thursday evening to drive part way to Salt Lake for his appointment Friday with the doctor who has been overseeing the bowel problem he’s had since he was a baby. They stayed at a motel in Pocatello and then drove the rest of the way the next morning and made it in time for Charlie’s appointment. The doctor changed some of his medications and wanted to see him again in a year.
afternoon Lynn visited with one of our neighbors who is having a lot of
problems this year with calf scours. Lynn came home and got some of the
medication we use, and took it to John to try.
neighbor, Alfonzo, got back from Mexico (where he spends part of the
winter) and put all his cows and bulls in the little field next to our
heifers. We moved our heifers out of that field for a few days and
locked them in a pen here by the house; we certainly don’t want one of
those bulls coming through the fence to breed a heifer! These heifers
are too young; we don’t want them bred this early even though some are
already cycling. After Alfonzo took his herd up to the Gooch place this
afternoon and sorted off the bulls and late-born fall calves to leave
there, we were able to put our heifers back in their field.
Sunday we brought our group of young cows down to the corral and gave
the 2-year-olds (the ones that will be having their first calves next
month) their booster vaccinations, so they will have adequate antibodies
in their colostrum to protect their calves from scours.
Monday morning Lynn went to the hospital to have blood drawn for the
fasting blood tests his doctor ordered. While he was there he also went
to the ER to have a doctor check out the severe pain he’s been having
in his upper leg and thigh. An x-ray showed that he has arthritis and
bursitis in that hip joint, along with degenerative spine disease. The
doctor put him on some medication to help reduce the inflammation that’s
causing the pain.
Dani is staying home from school this week
(she has severe respiratory problems, along with mononucleosis) so
Andrea went to the school to get her homework for her to do at home.
She’s been having recurring respiratory problems, aggravated by all the
cigarette smoke at Mark’s house when the kids are there on his weekends.
Today Lynn, Andrea and I went to the funeral of a good friend.
Diana was only 60 years old. She died suddenly, due to her diabetic
condition. Her 2 sisters came—from Colorado and Alaska, and it was nice
to be able to visit with them.
MARCH 11 – Dani stayed
home from school for 2 weeks and did her work at home. Andrea took her
to school several different days for short periods, so she could take
her tests. When the kids went this past weekend to stay with their dad,
Andrea gave Mark a choice; he could either let Dani stay home here, or
Mark could sign a statement saying that he and his girlfriend would not
smoke in the house. He chose to sign the statement. Andrea attached
the medical discharge papers from the ER, which specifically stated that
Dani must not be subjected to any cigarette smoke, with her breathing
problems. When the kids got back home from the weekend with Mark, they
reported that his girlfriend was furious with Mark for signing that
On Saturday Michael took more straw bales up to the
field for the cows. Andrea got a new battery for her car; the old one
died. That evening we had my brother Rocky and family here for supper
and had a great visit. They are enjoying being “home”, renting the
little house at Baker, until their house is finished up on the upper
place. As soon as the snow melts up there and the ground thaws out,
construction will begin again. The foundation for the house was done
Our weather warmed up enough (not freezing so hard at
nights). We were finally able to unplug the extension cord from the
barn to the heifer’s water tank heater. We unplugged it for a few days a
couple weeks ago and one cold night there was 2 inches of ice on the
water! We had to get that all out, put in new water and use the heater
again. Hopefully we won’t need it now.
On Monday Michael helped
me fix a computer problem and loaded more big alfalfa bales on our feed
truck—and brought 2 more bales around for the heifers. While he was
moving the hay he noticed a bull down in the field below our heifers!
It had come down the road from the Gooch place and gone in through
Alfonzo’s open gate. So we quickly lured our heifers back into the pen
next to their field, and locked them up again until Alfonzo gets that
bull out of there.
That evening Andrea took Dani, Sammy and
Charlie to talk with Pastor Stillman. They told him about their
traumatic weekend at Mark’s house and how mean his girlfriend was to
them, and that she was violently angry about the statement Mark signed,
claiming that Andrea made up the ER document for Dani.
our irrigation district (for Withington Creek) held the annual water
meeting, to elect a new water master and figure out ways to
correct/prevent some of the problems we’ve had. Several people’s weirs
are not in good shape for proper measuring of their water and will need
to be fixed. One neighbor who has only 5 acres but wants to run the
whole show tried to convince everyone that he could cast a vote for
Alfonzo’s landlord by proxy, until Carolyn pointed out the illegality of
this—showing him where this was spelled out in the Idaho water law
regulations handbook. There’s never a dull moment on this creek!
Lynn, Michael and Carolyn finished making copies of all the documents
(kids’ medical records etc.) to Fed-Ex to Andrea’s lawyer as exhibits in
her response to Mark’s petition for full custody of the kids.
Andrea and kids went to bed early last night then left in the wee hours
this morning—to take Sam and Charlie to town at 4 a.m. to get on the
school bus for their band trip. Then Andrea, Robbie and Dani drove to
Idaho Falls (with Dani sleeping on the way) for her appointment with her
pain doctor today, and then to drive to Ashton to hear the kids’ band
concert in the evening. Kids from many schools came for this event,
practicing together all afternoon for the evening concert. Charlie and
Sam play trombone and trumpet. Andrea took a photo of each of them
while they were preparing for the concert.
now he is hoping he can get by without the blood pressure medication
(that he’s been on for more than 20 years), and will be checking his
blood pressure frequently.
MARCH 19 – Young Heather is
back from Canada (where she was visiting friends for a few weeks) and is
training horses again, getting several ready for the big horse sale in
April. She bought 5 dump truck loads of sand, delivered to her outdoor
arena, and Michael borrowed our old disk to disk it up and make a nice,
smooth surface. The old disk had 2 flat tires, and we had to get some
other tires before he could take it 2 miles up the road to their place.
On Sunday Lynn checked on Roger and Sharon Solaas at Baker. Sharon
broke her leg last week in 4 places and was life-flighted to the
hospital in Idaho Falls for surgery to pin it back together. She’s home
now but will be laid up in bed for 6 weeks.
Dani was finally
well enough to start going back to school. She has gotten over the
respiratory infection and now just has to be careful to not over-exert
for awhile so she can get over the mononucleosis.
When I helped
Lynn feed the cows Monday morning, Twinkle Twinkle (one of the
2-year-old pregnant heifers, named by Dani) didn’t come to the feed.
She was a bit dull, and wasn’t interested in eating when I brought her
down to the hay. After our windy weather, we suspected she might have
pneumonia. Lynn and I brought that group down to the barnyard so we
could sort her off, with a couple other young cows to keep her company
so she wouldn’t be stressed at being by herself, and took the rest back
up to the field.
Andrea came down from her house and helped us
put Twinkle in the headcatch by the calving barn. She felt hot to the
touch and was breathing fast, so I took her temperature and it was 105
degrees—which is very high for a cow. We gave her injections of
antibiotic and Banamine (the latter to help reduce fever and
inflammation). When we let her out of the headcatch she squirted out a
huge amount of bloody diarrhea. We called our vet and asked his advice
and he said that it would be hard to tell whether the diarrhea was
caused by the high fever or the fever was caused by some kind of acute
intestinal infection. He said to just wait and see if she improved or
not, and if not, we might change medications.
So we put her and
her two buddies in the main corral (moved the bulls to the back corral),
where we’d have access to the squeeze chute if we needed to treat her
again. There’s no way she’d want to go into the headcatch by the barn
again, but we could easily put her down the alley to the squeeze chute
if need be.
By afternoon the Banamine was working to reduce her
fever. She was chewing her cud again, even though she didn’t want to
eat anything. She was salt-hungry (probably from losing so much body
fluid and electrolytes through the diarrhea). She was no worse by
evening, and the next morning she was actually eating a little hay. So
we moved her and her buddies to the big maternity pen by the house,
where we could observe her better, and fed them some hay in there. She
ate a little, off and on all day. Then it rained hard during the night
and we were hoping this stress didn’t set her back in her recovery.
This morning she is doing fairly well, but still not eating enough. We
will have to monitor her progress and continue to treat her if
necessary. We’re hoping that she will recover ok, and that she won’t
abort her calf, which is due to be born in mid April.