Let me just be right up front today. Dairy farming and stress go hand in hand. It’s one of those things that you can’t get away from. Every day is a new form of stress to deal with. The cows play a huge role in this. They just love to throw a wrench in the mix. If they get wind of some event we want to go to…….they get their little planning committee together and start planning total disruption. Don’t kid yourself, they know exactly what they’re doing. 037.jpg      I have discovered lavender. This is supposed to heal all your “diseases”….except for Mad Cow. I planted this last spring and I am definitely going to plant a lot more next year. It grows nice, blooms all the time, and is heat tolerant. The main purpose…….it helps my mental state of mind! Very important! It saved my life last week. 024.jpg          We started grazing wheat pasture last week. Wheat makes milk. Milk pays the bills. Paid bills make the “farmer” happy. One of our wheat fields is across the road and so the cows are walking in unchartered territory. Here they are coming home. We thought we had them all accounted for…………026.jpg      In the meantime, we discover a cow in the back trying to have a calf, but needs help. She’s not cooperating, going in circles, going in every direction but the right one. When a cow is in labor, they do really crazy, stupid things. We ended up having to take her through two pastures and all the way up to the barn lot where we can lock her up and assess the situation. 018.jpg     So while Earl had his arm all the way up the rear-end of the cow……..a neighbor stops in to let us know that we had a cow running up and down the road trying to figure out how to get back in. Yep….we missed one. And so the drama kicks into high gear. I head out the drive to find the “ole heifer” that got out. Of course she runs in the opposite direction……runs right past the wide open gate…..acts like a major dummy…..but I had the four-wheeler. I can do some serious work with that thing. Not sure if this cow is the guilty one……regardless, she looks guilty.026.jpg      Back to the matter at hand. Another neighbor decided to stop by and so we had two “dudes” watching Earl trying to pull this calf. They were no help, so they decided to get the heck outta here before more crazy things happen. As the one neighbor was pulling out, I saw Betsy on the back of his truck. She’s a favorite or else I would’ve smiled and waved and never said a word. So, I flagged him down and pulled the cat off….by the tail. I was at the end of my rope by now. No breakfast, lunch, hadn’t even brushed my teeth yet. I am disgusting!029 It was a complicated delivery. Earl had to take the cow to the clinic. They had to use special “chains” to pull the little “jerk” out, but it survived. Amazing! How do those vets do all that “magic” work?! I didn’t go along. I was in no frame of mind to go anywhere. I finally got to the house at 2:00 and brushed my teeth, ate a bite, and took a couple of long, deep drags of lavender. 038.jpg           This is how I cope. I put lavender in my hair and sniff while I work. This is Earl giving me instructions on what to do. He can’t talk without waving his finger like a wagging tail. 039.jpg     Here again…..I have no idea what he just said! I am totally confused. That all went in one ear and straight out the other. Inhale deeply! One more time! And again!040.jpg     What the heck?! Who cares! Let’s just smile nice for the camera and pretend that never happened. See, the lavender really is a “miracle flower”. These pictures are what happens when your “kid” gets ahold of your camera. You find all kinds of interesting things.054.jpg      Here’s the little “jerk” that caused so much drama. All cleaned up and looking good. When it rains…..it pours! Where is my lavender? Right outside the barn door. I can step outside and take a nice, long drag when things start going south during milking time………………Carol