Well, Christmas eve dawned “All is Calm, All is Bright.” That sure didn’t last long. Calm went flying out the window. Earl comes walking in the house and nonchalantly told me that a cow got out and Oh, yeah, she broke off one of my new trees. Of course, I hyperventilated right there. We planted a bunch of fruit trees and pecan trees and some oaks. She nailed one of my beautiful pecan trees. 001.jpg     Earl says, Oh, that trees gonna be just fine. It’ll grow back. You just wait and see. Well, I’m  convinced it’s dead. I’ll give it till next spring and see if there’s any sign of life. I’m thinkin my main dude is going to have to buy a new tree.  I tell myself to stay calm and proceeded to get all my cooking and baking done for our Christmas eve supper. I went out and got chores started on time and then headed in when we were almost done so I could get the food ready. Well, they didn’t come and finally Marshall came in and said some cow got stuck in the headgate when Earl was A. I. ing her and she couldn’t get out. They had the tractor out lifting up the whole gate and basically tore apart half the headgate to get her fat butt out of there.  This is what it looked like when they finally got her out.003     If you know anything about cattle, you’ll know that something is very wrong here. And there’s more cows that need to be bred by the next morning. Hmmmmm….. how’s that gonna work? The crew finally came in to eat our Christmas eve celebration about 8:30. I was trying to keep our shrimp boil hot and fresh. It’s a fine art I have perfected over the years. 032.jpg     This is AWESOME!!! They were all numb and ticked off but after a few mouthfuls of this, everyone soon relaxed. Some time between all that “fiasco”, Marshall’s favorite cat clawed the heck out of his shoulder. He came in crying big crocodile tears and mad. The cat is going around hissing and acting all weird so I told them the cat needs to be banded and that’ll take care of his attitude. So now Candace and Marshall are looking high and low for that cat so they can take care of business.021.jpg          Christmas morning I’m milking away and things are going pretty good. Then Earl comes in and says he’s missing 20 heifers, he can’t find any of them. He’s gonna go look for them. I send Michael with him and keep the other 2 with me to finish up the milking. They follow the poop trail and track them about 2 1/2 miles north down the road. In a cow’s world the heifers are considered the teenagers. Those naughty, naughty creatures. They were cruising the country side for most of the night because they were exhausted. We finished the milking and waited for Michael to come down the road with the whole herd of heifers.005.jpg     Here’s Candace and the 2 hound dogs waiting out at the corner.006.jpg     Here they come walking up the road. They will not get any Christmas treats this year.007.jpg     They were too tired to try any funny tricks. They headed in the drive and went straight for their pen. 011.jpg     Finally got them in where they belong. A nice neighbor helped us out. Fellow cattlemen understand all the stress and drama. 012.jpg     This right here is the naughty girl that started everything. She wanted to visit the neighbors bull and went a little crazy. Meanwhile, I’m thinking about the food that needs to be prepared and the company is going to show up pretty soon. Panic! Those dumb heifers picked such a sorry time to get out. I did get the meal fixed and we ate good. 015.jpg     Hot cider. I should’ve spiked this stuff to calm my frazzled nerves. What was I thinking?!016.jpg     Brunch. We were so hungry after all the running. By the way, it’s not easy running in muck boots and insulated overalls. I felt like a big, clumsy blob that couldn’t get up any speed. 017.jpg     Ham! It was so delicious. A hungry farmers delight.019.jpg     Go ahead, pig out kids. You deserve it. They look a little tired. 020.jpg     Is it really necessary to have so many sweets? Yes, is all I have to say about that. 028.jpg     The morning after! Please don’t judge me! How would you look if you had to deal with all those cows, poop, heifers, boots and more poop??? Look at those tired eyes. Please pass the magic eye cream. It takes a lot of hair product to tame that unruly mane! It’s not much better today, it’s raining cat’s and dogs. So now we get to deal with more mud. 029.jpg     Is this muddy? I need new boots. 031.jpg     Hey girls! Be tough, stay strong. This too shall pass. I have to go do my chores in the mud now. Gotta run…….Carol