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      For the first line of business……my parents visited last week. Therefore, I took a few days off. Well, not totally off. The cows still needed to be milked and calves fed, but other than that I didn’t do much. When company comes I get to head to town and get off the farm and do fun stuff. You know……more than just gas and groceries.       027.jpg       When the “milkmaid” gets company…..this is where I like to take them. The PW Mercantile. It’s a fun little road trip. Then we always have to hurry home to those bossy bovines. I decided that next time I’m leaving the farm dudes at home. They’ve seen it once now…no need for them to see it again. That way I won’t have to rush home. Haha….great plan. Don’t ya think?       002.jpg      As far as the farm work goes….this was a job that we procrastinated on. Cleaning and stacking all those calf hutches. So finally one day the “farmers” decided to get the job done. See that pink broom? That would be my kitchen broom. Why is it that they always take Mom’s good “tools” for their dirty farm work?! I kissed that broom good-bye. I don’t want it back! Think calf poop, cobwebs, big nasty spiders, and more dirt than you can shake a fist at.     004.jpg         Marshall needed a broom too. So, I improvised. An old rag and duct tape…..ta da…..good as new! They swept each hutch clean. Inside and out. What a dirty mess. Lots of creepy, crawly spiders. Yuk!       003.jpg      So, while the boys did the “clean sweep”, the main man came along and picked them up with the tractor. Before we know it, it’ll be time to get them all lined up again. Ahhh….I’m not ready for that just yet. That means cold weather. Yuk!       009.jpg      Earl stacks them onto the flat bed trailer and hauls them off to the “dump site”. That looks so nice to have all that mess cleaned up and put away. I ride this area every day and all those memories “flood my soul”. Hungry calves screaming my name, freezing cold temperatures, fingers so cold I had to dip them into the warm milk to keep from crying. And then trying not to cry when I get to the barn and the “thaw” begins. Yes, I’m enjoying the summer heat. I’ll take it any day.      008.jpg       The work here is almost done. Just scraping away all the bedding. And more bedding. As I ride along here I always remind the boys how this whole tree line was lined with calves. We just shake our heads in unbelief…..wondering how we did it. In all that wicked, cold weather? Those are the days when we slip into “survival mode” and don’t come up for air until spring time.          043.jpg             Here you go….the final resting place. We have learned not to stack them more than 4 or 5 high because it’s a total nightmare to get them apart. So, this fall when the weather turns cool and all the little “jerks” are popping out everywhere, we’ll come back to these. And start the loooong line up again. Until then…..I’m enjoying having just a handful of calves to feed……………………..Carol