Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Cool Down

That's what I feel like November is - the Cool Down after Soccer Season.  We're glad to have it here!  Not that we're not busy.  But I think a change is as good as a rest.  The Fall leaves have been beautiful.

Bruce and Joseph went elk hunting at the first of the week.  They took six llamas and hiked in.  As they were hiking, they took a wrong turn, and started going down the wrong canyon.  It was disastrous.  The vegetation was really thick, and there was no trail.  Besides, it was snowy, so they couldn't find the trail anyway.  By the time they figured out they were in the wrong canyon they were "deep in the heart o' Texas", so to speak.  So they said a prayer, and headed for a ridge to get a look at where they could go.  They ended up camping on that ridge. One of the things Joseph commented on was the silence at certain times of the day.  When there wasn't even a hint of a breeze, and the birds weren't singing, it was so silent that it was almost noise in itself.  He also said that being in the mountains felt like being in the Temple.  They didn't even see a bull elk, let alone get a shot at one.  Bummer.  They got home Wednesday night, and I was glad to see them.  One funny thing on Bruce:  Joseph said that one night Bruce said, "Joseph, if you get cold you can come and snuggle with me."  Joseph said, "I think I'm good Dad."  When do boys get to old to want to snuggle?

With Bruce gone, my adventures on Monday were compounded.  Monday morning at 5:30 am, I got up to read my scriptures.  I wanted to listen to a Conference talk, so I opened up my laptop.  On the screen, I saw that one of the kids had gotten me a Sub job (substitute teaching) for that day.  I had until 6:00 am to cancel the job or not.  I thought of all the things I had to do that day, and on the other hand, all the reasons I needed to go and earn an extra $70 to help out.  It was a dead even between the pro and con.  Finally, I decided to stay home, and prayed - asking Heavenly Father to confirm that decision, which He did.  Only later would I know just how good of a decision it was.

After getting the kids on the bus, I didn't go exercise because Jesse ended up being sick and staying home from school. (The first reason it was good I stayed home).  As I started checking my email, I glanced out and saw Buttercup (our dairy cow) on her side.  I wondered if something was wrong, but then I dismissed it thinking that she was just tired from having calved the day before.  Bad choice!  About an hour and a half later, I looked out and saw her still laying on her side.  Oh-oh.  I high-tailed it out to the field and found her head all twisted around, groaning, and looking awful.  Oh, man.  I'm not really an animal person, and although I care about our animals, I'm not too attached to any of them.  Except for Buttercup.  I guess it's the milking and taking care of her, but I really do care for Buttercup.  I called Lane, our friend who also has a dairy cow, and asked for the name of a vet.  The vet said he could come out in about two hours.

So then I had to figure out how to keep her alive until the vet got there.  Of course I took oils out there - Geranium, Frankincense, and Peppermint.  I tried giving her grain and water, but she wouldn't having anything to do with that.  I got Jesse out there to help me get her head around, and it took us awhile to figure that out.  I brought out a calf bottle and milked Buttercup and fed it to the calf.  He was mooing, and putting his nose up against her face. 

At long last the vet came and diagnosed her with hypo-calcemia (spelling?), also known as "milk fever".  It is a condition where the regulatory mechanism for blood-calcium levels is malfunctioning, and the body sends all the calcium to the milk instead of keeping it in the blood.  I have a new respect for calcium!  The vet gave her an IV of a calcium-magnesium solution.  But she didn't respond, she just stayed the same.  He then gave her a calcium paste in the back of her throat.  He didn't give me much hope when he left.  He said she was probably too far gone.

This was hard to hear.  I spent the next hour in mourning - feeling guilty that I had not checked on her the first time I saw her down, and just overall feeling bad.  It was sobering. I prayed for her, but not with much hope.

In an hour or so, the vet called me and said that in talking to a local university veterinary clinic, they had offered to do a blood test on her.  So he came back out and drew her blood, which I then drove down to the Veterinary Clinic.  They ran a test quickly and determined that his diagnosis was right - very low blood calcium.  They said to use another bag of solution, so he came out again and put another IV in her.  She was a little more alert, but still wouldn't get up.  He decided to put in the rest of the calcium paste in the back of her throat, but when she saw him coming with that white tube, she pushed herself up on her feet and got the heck out of there.  It was so funny!  She didn't want anything to do with that paste in her throat.  We were very relieved that she was up.  She fully recovered, and by Wednesday was being a Mama again and letting her calf nurse.  I am grateful for good vet care, and grateful that Buttercup did not die on my watch!

Even though this was just one of our animals, it gave me a perspective on how people feel when a loved one has health problems and their life is in danger.  It was very taxing emotionally.  I chalked that one of up for experience, and will be more empathetic in the future.  Oh, which brings me back to my decision at 5:30 am to stay home and not go in to sub.  If I had, Buttercup would have died, I'm pretty sure.  I'm grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and being able to be guided and directed by the hand of the Lord.

On Tuesday night, I had a Soccer Board Meeting.  At the end something came up that involved a close friend of ours, and I found myself in the tough position of defending actions that were thought to be indefensible by the rest of the board.  I had to do it, because I had to look my friend in the eye and tell her that I did my best to be loyal to her.  It caused me much reflection, because I was divided between my loyalty on the one hand to our Soccer Club, and on the other hand to a friend.  I feel satisfied that I handled it the best way I could, but it was a tough spot to be in.

On Wednesday, we had Young Women in Excellence.  The YW leaders in our ward are amazing, and I appreciate so much all they do for Jesse and Mary.  For her display, Jesse showed her Hymn book with the list of Hymns she is playing on the organ, and Mary showed the material and the skirt she is making for one of her projects.  I am very proud of the girls and how hard they work on Personal Progress!

On Friday night my friend Tauna texted and said that she was grateful that we had Wade & Holli at our house, and that she was bringing over a Lasagna dinner for us!  Wow!  So we had dinner with them and later played Ticket to Ride with Wade & Holli.  That was fun!  Bruce beat us all by a long ways.  It's a good thing I'm not too competitive when playing with Bruce because he almost always wins.  I need to play him in ping-pong and serve up some humble pie.

On Saturday morning, I told Bruce that we should go over to Rexburg and watch Josh's game.  He agreed to go, but only after naming off all the "projects" that he wanted to get done in this "work" Saturday, as he called it.  This was a big sacrifice for him.  There's almost nothing he loves more than to get a lot of things done on a Saturday.  But thankfully, he loves his children more than his projects, so we all loaded up in the van and went off to Rexburg.  We showed up on the very minute that the game started!  My Mom and Dad and Aunt Angie were there with Ethan and Alyssa.  Angie knew we were coming, but not Mom & Dad.  My Mom's reaction was just what every daughter wants to hear, "Lorena!", and then she wraps me in a big hug.  Dad grabbed my arms and with a big smile said, "What are YOU doing here?"  Ha ha  I told him it was my son that was playing and I wanted to see him play!

Josh was on the "Hurricanes", and his team made it to the championship.  They played a great game - very skilled players - and won 1-0.  It was fun to watch!  After the game, we went over to Josh's apartment for a bit and he played us some songs on his guitar.  We then took off to to another town to watch our high school football team play in State game.  They lost, but it was fun to be there with all the other people from out community.

We drove home after the game, each taking an hour to drive.  We got home at 1:20 am, but luckily we got to set our clocks back, so that helped us get up this morning.  I loved testimony meeting this morning.  How wonderful to hear each individual share the feelings of their heart and express their love for the gospel, for the Lord, and for their families and our ward members.

I just got done reading The Help, by Kathryn Stockett.  You'll have to see my review on Goodreads (see the link on this blog.).  Wow - it was a good book.


annette said...

As always, your life is a good read.

Elaine Brown Billings said...

What a wild adventure you have every day. You are such a good example to everyone. Thanks for sharing.