One night earlier this week, I was trying to apply ointment to the sores on Monika's face. It was late. She was tired and uncooperative. I was doing my best to remain calm. Finally, through tears, Monika sobbed dramatically, "I just can't take it anymore."
As I tried to sooth her back to a cooperative state, all I wanted to say was: I hear you, baby girl. I'm right there with you.
This has been a limit-testing month. The kind where you're sure whoever it is that has your voodoo doll has got to be out of pins. The kind that no amount of flourless chocolate cake can make better, even if only for a moment.
I try really hard to focus on the good in life. But this month, it's been hard to do.
We said good-bye to my cousin, who lost his life way too young.
Helen – the sweet, little old lady who we played cribbage with and shoveled snow for and eradicated dandelions with when we lived in St. Paul – passed away, too, at the age of 99. Her death caught us by surprise; she had sent us a card only a few weeks ago.
Glen's grandpa spent several days in the hospital. He's back in the nursing home now, but he's still very sick.
Somehow, Monika got a bad case of impetigo. Thus, the need for the ointment. She had to miss a day of school, so I got to listen to her sob all day about not getting to go to school. And I know impetigo is a minor condition in the grand scheme of life, but is has been one more thing to deal with and worry about.
All of the prayers we said last summer for rain are finally being answered, except now we really need it to stop raining for a couple days so we can finish planting our corn. Plus, the lack of sunshine has only exacerbated our gloomy moods.
We had to euthanize the best cow in our herd. The next day, a 10-month-old heifer got stuck in the J-bunk and died.
The barn has flooded twice. Once when the calves' drinking cup got stuck. Once from the deluge of rainfall. (That's where the term Gutter Flooder comes from.)
On the Sunday night before Memorial Day, a belt broke on the vacuum pump with three cows left to milk. I swear nothing ever breaks on a weekday morning.
The Sunday before that, one of our heifers delivered her bull calf and then her uterus prolapsed. Veterinary emergencies never happen during regular call hours, either.
Then, yesterday, I started thinking that maybe our voodoo doll really had run out of room for pins. I was wrong.
I turned the burner on under a pot to make supper and went back outside. But I turned the wrong burner on. My blue mixing bowl was sitting on the burner I mistakenly turned on. When I got back to the house, I discovered my error, moved the bowl and it promptly exploded all over the stove.
Just before the bowl incident, my thumb had a run in with a pipe and the Sawzall I was using to cut it. Although it hurt like the dickens, it didn't look that bad at first. Then the blood started running out the wrist of my milking glove. So now my thumb is out of commission for awhile. After a case of laryngitis a few years ago, I thought being a mom without a voice was challenging; but being a farm mom without two good hands is even worse.
But, amidst the challenges, there are always joys.
Our first two red and white calves of the year were born.
We finally got the cows out to pasture.
Dan and Monika's classes took a field trip to our farm.
Dan got on the bus for the last day this school year and graduated from Kindergarten.
A new month is right around the corner. I'm hoping for more joys and less challenges.