My morning chores have changed a bit since the boys went back to school. I’m back to feeding the little calves…….I only have 5 right now. Praise the Lord! I can whip that out in no time. I’m still trying to recuperate from last winter when I had miles and miles of calf hutches lined up full of calves. Well, maybe not miles…….it sure seemed like it on those long, cold winter days. So, I’m heading to the back pasture…..come along and I’ll show you what’s happening back there. 056      We have a few “dry” cows back there. “Dry” means that they aren’t giving any milk right now because they’re pregnant and they get at least 2 months of vacation to catch up on their R&R. All their energy goes to the calf during these months. Once they’re at the 9 month stage they deliver the calf and go back to producing milk again. Funny, but I don’t remember having a 2 month vacation when I was having babies. I got fat, but I kept right on working. Life is not fair!043       And then we have the water tank. This is a precarious situation we have here. The float was set too low and so I had to adjust so the cows could get their fair share. Cows drink gallons and gallons of water each day. Marshall was with me……I’m pretty sure he would have fallen in the tank, so I was the chosen one. Let me just say that I was hanging on to that tree limb for dear life. I’ve fallen into a stock tank before…….in the winter time. Full of ice! It ain’t pretty, man! 059.jpg     The dogs still do their daily run with me. Clyde decided he was “king of the mountain” today. We had this load of gravel hauled in to distribute around the water tank. It doesn’t take long for cows to create a huge mud hole. 005.jpg       Here we have 2 of my little calves I’m feeding. We put them in big group pens to give them more room to run around. That way they have a friend to play with on those long, hot summer days. Haha004.jpg     This cow just had her calf a few days ago. I brought her some feed to munch on and then decided to take a few pictures. You have to see this udder. No dairyman likes the looks of something like this. See how those “tits” are sticking straight out the side? Well, we call that “split tits”……it’s a nightmare to milk. Especially when the cow gets “skiddish” and wants to kick your teeth in. So, we are going to let her be a “nurse” cow and raise her calf. Suits me just fine.007.jpg     The cows have their feed bunks back there too. So, I visited them this morning to see what they had to say. Number 7 was busy cleaning her nose….remember when your kids ate their boogers? Cows do it all the time. They told me that they want fresh hay. We had a rain storm last night and their hay got all wet and soggy. So, they had a committee meeting and decided to go on strike until we bring them something dry out of the hay barn. Dairy cows are the pickiest eaters.  016.jpg     Of course, they all walked over to the gator to see if they could lick up any feed crumbs. They’ll destroy everything in a matter of minutes. 011.jpg     Get a little closer….don’t be shy. They sniff and blow snot everywhere. Then they have to taste everything too. I think I’ll name her Curious George. 017.jpg      Finally, it’s time to go home. I’m driving through all the “muck and the mire” from last nights storm. It’s impossible to keep anything clean around here.064     I make a quick stop to admire the mushrooms. They’re everywhere. We’re having moist, humid weather and they pop up all over the place. I remember my Grandpa going mushroom hunting and Grandma would fry them up in butter. They would have buttered bread and mushrooms. Yum! That would taste so good right now. But I’m scared of the wild ones….poison or not?!018.jpg     Alrighty! We’re almost home. I see Boss Man is getting ready to feed hay. He must have “heard it through the grapevine” that the cows were not happy. He’ll fill the flatbed full of hay bales and head on back to give the spoiled brats what they want. Tsk! Tsk! They better be giving us a lot of milk tonight.003.jpg           Home again, home again, jiggity jig! That’s what my morning is like……after all the milking is done. Then there’s the scraping….chickens….cats and dogs….it never ends. I like to sit on that chair outside the door…..pick my nose…..drink a cold drink and often times slowly count to ten……………..Carol