Prone Cats and Sleeping Calves

John has so much work now that he is working six days a week, leaving at 4 in the morning and not getting home until after seven. Lady Astor and I wait for him. John has an habitual cough and when she hears him cough, as he walks from his truck to the barn after pulling in, she will move into the milking shed. Until then she stands outside the door and watches me watch her.

Thank goodness I have Tomoyo in the kitchen.

The calves in the West Wing Barn all ate hard and fast yesterday. Though the milk was at half strength again. We will slowly work up. They need some good nutrition now but I am so afraid of relapses.  By evening they drop off a bit but they are getting stronger.  Soon though the owners of these calves will come back and take them home. Let’s hope everyone is alive.

Little I will keep and maybe one of the other calves I have not made up my mind yet.

Little had two episodes yesterday when I was sure he was dying,  he was prone – flat – like this ..

cat sleeping

I called John and said I think he is dead, and when I turned back he was sitting up looking at me with that bemused expression calves have.


But each time he rallied. And is actually drinking more. By yesterday afternoon he was  walking about in his pen sniffing things. Closely monitored by Nanny Boo of course (Boo barks to me from inside the pen – though I am not sure why – I am so tired now that I cannot even understand Dog. But I always go out to check the baby just in case). I have spent almost a week forcing that calf (and one other)  to drink but now he drinks on his own so that is an improvement. But we will see. It is up to him really.  He is nowhere near well so I am not letting my hopes rise  up.

All the calves are drinking quite a bit of cold water from their barrels so that is a good sign.

Mr Flowers is losing his summer feathers at such a rate it looks like he pushed an eject button. I am collecting them.  They are beautiful and so very long. We will have to decide what to do with them. I still miss Godot, the funny wee chap, but we cannot blame Mr Flowers for doing as nature intended. Though I want to.

Even the old roosters are fighting lately. Must be the time of year.


Even with all the troubles the garden keeps on producing. I am dehydrating tomatoes and making tomato sauce as fast as I can.  There are not as many as there should be with the wet start to the season.


I promised Amanda that I would show some of the grubby farm shots.  This is grubby.  And I am only just starting the  clean up that comes from having a sick animal in the barn. Then there will be lots of clean.

red chillis

I hope you have a lovely day.fields

Your friend on the farm


ps. This morning Little Bobby stood up and mooed. I have never heard his voice before.  I warmed a bottle of milk and went out and fed him. He drank greedily then after a while he lay back down under his tree. This was the best I have seen him be. And he smelt different this morning.

Did I tell you that there is a big grey heron roosting in the big tree outside the bedroom window? When I go out in the night he flaps his huge wings at me. He is an enormous bird.  I will try and get a sunset picture of him for you.


72 Comments on “Prone Cats and Sleeping Calves

  1. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
    It’s amazing how good the corn field looks (and all the other vegetables), I half expected the floods to wash everything away. I hope you get a long Indian summer and an extended growing season 😉

  2. LOL even the sunflowers are exhausted watching you rushing around looking after those babies 😉 Has the Heron eaten all the goldfish in the barrels yet? Good news about the little Bobby 🙂 Laura

  3. That is a bit of good news, fingers crossed. Those are beautiful tomatoes. A heron, that is amazing, we have one that shows up by the lake every now and the. Evie gets so excited when she sees him, she is a bird person. I haven’t told her about Godot yet, she will be upset.

  4. Actually I am thinking of Big John . . . Nine hours off on six days of the week driving distances and labouring all day . . . . good that the work is there and the money that goes with it but . . . quite a guy that!!!

    • He gets exhausted.. if we did not milk together there would be no talking at all from one sunday to the next – whoever is in the kitchen is in charge of packing him really good lunches! c

      • . . . . and you probably do the talking across Lady Astor’s back . . . love to both 🙂 !

  5. That dear Little Bobby. He’s got a will, hasn’t he? You are a force of Nature, Celi. So amazed by your strength and persistence and generosity of spirit.

  6. Oh, Celi, I am so glad to hear the good news. It’s so lovely that Little makes you hear his voice now. Let’s keep up the good thoughts and please take care of you.
    I love that bright tomatoe shot – these colors! And the still closely gathered sunflowers bow their heads as if they were deep in meditation or contemplation. Like that picture… it transports peace.
    The heron getting so near to the Farmy – is he a danger to the flocks or to Little? Did he maybe wait for his passing away? Or is it imaginable that he’s just watching over him in a caring way? Ok, I know he’s not a vulture but…

  7. I’m awfully glad you have someone to make you nourishing meals. Keeping both you and John in my thoughts.

  8. As my rancher vet sister-in-law says, if they are drinking/eating some and going to the bathroom you’ve got a chance. Time will tell, but fingers crossed for Bobby.
    Situations like Bobby are part of what tugs readers. You actually work with real life while most of us live to work and are apart from what is real and natural. We are insulated from the hardships and realities of raising animals, but something inside seeks to reconnect to human past and natural order of life?
    Love the textures of the broom photo – authentic and honest image.
    Tomatoes! Mounds of them in the kitchen. That’s summer on farms.
    Oh, those feathers are worth a lot. They sell them in stores/hobby shops/decor studios. Maybe someone knows a dealer who buys or one could ebay them?

  9. I’m worried abouot your John – please get him to check that cough out. Otherise I think we can allow a little glimmer of home to creep in for the calves? We have a lot of tomatoes and chilies in our little garden in England but there is just not enough sun to help them turn red 😦 Hey ho, tinned tomatoes will have to be bought this winter!

    • Those Italian tinned tomatoes are pretty good for sauce though, I like them. He absolutely and completely refuses to go to the doc for that cough – it comes and goes in severity but it has been around for a while now, though I do notice that the cough precedes a certain task, like entering the barn, puttng on his boots, opening a truck door, I think it might be a bit of a habit too.. c

      • You are very very sensitive! As to your observations of John’s cough I made a similar experience: Once when I had very much time for myself (and still was a smoker) I tried to observe my thoughts minutious and wrote the topics down. I was very astonished that there were very close connections between my thoughts and my cough. I went to observe my environment (esp. my collegues at my workplace) and found that there was always a interesting movement or very special activity before coughing. – But that was long ago (in the nineties) I stopped smoking meanwhile and my cough stopped too. And I never had that patience (and time) again to observe myself that way.

          • Coughing is interesting…….when I did counselling for a living, I always perked my ears up when we were doing “hard work” and the person coughed before or during answering, it often signaled … me anyway, having observed actions and behaviours for over 30 years……a reluctance to speak about or delve into an issue. Not suggesting that’s why John coughs, but if he does before going to the barn perhaps he doesn’t like the barn?……or something simple like the hay and dust trigger it? So pleased Little is calling to you, a good sign, fingers crossed.

      • Maybe it is a habit then…and I know you’ll keep track of it. Just a bit sensitive I think right now because my dad was like this for years, luckily the docs were keeping an eye on it so when it turned into the big nasty thing we all fear, they acted quickly. And three cheers for tinned tomatoes – much better for sauce when fresh ones are out of season!

  10. Oh Celi, you’ve had such a hard time since the babies came to the farmy. I do hope they will all rally and make your work and sleeplessness be worthwhile—for your sake and for theirs. Scours is such a balancing act to treat.
    I’m having a hard time not being cross with Mr. Flowers as well. However, I had two roosters that fought relentlessly (even though they were free ranging). I intervened just in time to save one. They aren’t so delicate as peafowl I suppose?

  11. I am continuing to hold good thoughts for Little and for you and John. It sounds like everyone is giving all they have and are running low on reserve. Be kind to yourselves as well.

  12. Miss C, I am following these calves and your work like an intensely suspenseful novel. I do not have experience with bottle calves and find this so intriguing. Interesting about Nanny Boo’s barking and the heron, too!

  13. I am holding out hope for your sweet ones that are struggling and love that you have a heron around. You attract everyone to your farm, don’t you? Take care of yourself. I see you wearing yourself to a frazzle very quickly.

  14. I’m so glad little bobby is mooing this morning that is so sweet… You are tenacious Celi, very lucky for him. I’m sure there were times he was like I just want to give up & you were like uh uh.
    Your farm is beautiful it really shows how much you all love it. Have a fabulous day.

  15. Yes, it has been a different garden year down here as well. We are putting in our fall garden now. So glad you’ve had and still have help Celi. You have so much going there on the farmy. It’s amazing how you do it all! Does the heron hang out at the creek that is really a ditch during the day? Or are there other places to go for him to eat? How cool to have one nesting by your bedroom window. They are such magnificent birds! Sending strength and energy you way! xo

  16. Greetings! Some time ago, my mom shared your amazing blog with me and I am so impressed with the work you do, the spirit in which you do it, and the uniquely personal voice you so openly share with your audience. As a teacher, I’m presently taking a blogging class and I am wondering how much time you devote each day to updating your blog. With Much Gratitude, Monette

    • Good Morning Monette. My blog goes up every 24 hours so I have a set daily routine. Without this routine i could not maintain a daily page. I take pictures as i go through the day. Sometimes writing or recording key words. Then, I spend an hour in the evening with a glass of wine, downloading all the images, and setting them into the page with a few words or ideas here and there. At 4.30 in the morning or thereabouts I write about the last 24 hours and post between 5 and 6. This usually takes me about 45 minutes and is why my words are simple. I run quite a busy day so this is why i have blocked out these two units of time to suit my abilities. Photos in the evening when I am tired (I find working with images soothing) and writing in the morning when I am fresh and full of words. Does that help? c

  17. Is the heron interested in the fish in your rain barrels? My Niece had a pond with gold fish in her back yard, until a big heron stopped by for a snack.

  18. Wey Hey and bostin, Bobby Little (Geordie and Brummy for great stuff!) – you keep this up and you’ll soon be out of the woods. The internet has been down all day here, and I was fretting.

    I’m worried about you and Big John – you can only keep that pace going for so long, and then downtime is needed to reboot the energy levels.

    The Farmy is looking lovely now the rain is staying away (touch wood). The maize in front of our living room windows is so high it’s hidden all the trees, and it has big tassels – I reckon they’ll harvest it before the usual October, and then we’ll get our view back.

  19. Oh to hear a big MOO! I can’t help thinking this little bobby is responding to being loved. Can’t help it. I know he is certainly not out of danger, serious danger, but oh he and you are certainly giving it the old college try.
    A heron! Yes, I’m wondering too, where is he finding food? The creek?

    • Yes the creek and for some time they were fishing for frogs in the fields.. but the fields are all dried out now so the creek for sure..they come every year..

  20. Slow and steady is the way to go with Bobby Little… I am smiling, I know a fellow called Bobby Little and he moves so slowly that dead lice would win the race any day! Celi, you radiate positivity and it is sure helping me as I wait for my eye surgery at the end of the month. Thankfully Elly will come to look after me at the early stage and she does not realise that part of her daily duties will be to read your posts to me while I am “posturing”. I am already practising and managed one hours sleep face down last night. I hope to increase that to two hours tonight. I am hoping that by the time I go to surgery, my body will be comfortable with sleeping face down.

    • Oh dear! What kind of surgery are you having? Sleeping face down is not easy.

      • The surgery is called ‘vitrectomy eye surgery’ and used for several eye conditions. In my case it is for a Macular Pucker that causes a hole and distorts or loses vision particularly with reading or close work. Makes me glad I have two eyes! 😉 You can read more about it here: Discomfort for a short time will be worth the return of good vision. Thanks for your concern.

      • Celi, you have your hands full without me adding to your workload. I will insist that Elly aka ‘Nurse Hitler’ includes the animal sounds as each one is mentioned. Maybe I should be the one to make a podcast of her efforts, what do you think?

    • Having to sleep face-down and possibly spending much of your waking time looking at the floor sounds like retinal surgery to me? My husband had cataract surgery in the fall of 2013, it came up quickly because of an infection and diabetic problem in March of that year. We weren’t prepared – nor were we prepared for the 2 retinal surgeries that followed in the next 5 weeks. The cataract surgery apparently stirred up trouble. Oh boy – no fun at the time, but good now. We were told about a cushion “system” that could be rented to help you be comfortable while sleeping face down. Several pillows that Velcro together and leave a space for your face so you can breathe. Don’t know if you have such things in Ireland Grannymar – but worth asking your doctor or perhaps your local health nurse or senior’s care centre. I think it cost us about $25 CDN for 2 weeks. It wasn’t super comfortable, but it did help.

      Good luck with the surgery.
      Chris S in Canada

      • Chris, see my reply to Anon’s comment. You got it in one. I have had very successful cateract surgery on both eyes in 2011. At the pre-assessment appointment last week I was told that equipment was available, but it was really common sense and I might not need it. A V shaped pillow for my head and an ordinary one under my chest was recommended. Elly my daughter who will come home to look after me has gone ahead and organised the rental of some equipment – I will discover what it is when it arrives a couple of days before the surgery date, that will give me a chance to try it out. Yesterday I went shopping for pull on trousers and a few button through cardigans. In my book preparation is half the battle. Thanks for your concern.

  21. WordPress has done it again. I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting, and nothing from the Farmy in my Reader. I thought there must be a crisis, and then I saw a post from you in Nanette’s sidebar when I was visiting her blog. It looks like they’ve decided for me that there’s too much excitement here, and I’m not to be allowed to read you any more…. I shall go and change my settings so I get an email alert as well. I’m delighted about Little; talking and sniffing and walking are all good.

      • It seems to happen every time they change something. There has been a huge beta test going on in the background around the functionality of some of the themes, and it just went live. If I don’t get tomorrow’s post, I shall unFollow and then Follow again to switch it back on! Give Little a zen hug for me – I think he’s too frail for a proper one just yet.

        • You are right he is so frail, frail is exactly the word. But just a half hour ago he hauled himself up and tottered across and all his milk THEN he was looking for more. Maybe.. just maybe I am thinking today though every time i check on him I mentally prepare myself

              • I keep a supple of candles and light them for people who are ill or going through surgery or facing exams. It means I think of them each time I see the candle flicker. Some days I light it for someone unknown to me who might be having a difficult time. If I have to leave the house the candle still flickers while standing in the kitchen sink. Today I will join Kate and light it for Bobby Little.

  22. Interesting symbolism of the heron…
    “As a Chinese symbol the Heron represents strength, purity, patience and long life.
    In Africa, the Heron was thought to communicate with the Gods.
    Most Native American tribes took note of the heron’s inquisitiveness, curiosity and determination. As such this set the heron as a symbol of wisdom in that this creature seemed to have good judgement skills.
    Specifically, the Iroquois tribe held the blue heron as a very good omen, a very lucky sign. They recognized the heron as an expert fisher/hunter. As such, they believed that sighting a heron before a hunt was a sign that the hunt would be a good one.
    As a water creature the heron is also a symbol of going with the flow, and working with the elements of Mother nature rather than struggling against her.”
    Today’s post wasn’t in my Reader either but the email notification got through 🙂 Good possibility WordPress is shuffling things behind the scenes.

  23. I know there is never time for it but try to take care of yourself, too. Oregon is rife with herons, such magnificent huge birds. You are lucky to have such a friend. xoxox

  24. Can someone please tell me how to rid myself of that rotten cartoon and change it for a photo of ME? Many thanks in advance. Gayle.

    • Gayle, select a nice photo and then go to, the whole process will be explained there. If after a few days you dislike the image you have chosen, all you have to do is select another and Gravatar will allow you change it.

  25. A heron! How fun is that! Had to laugh at Mr. Flowers and his eject button. Glad the calves are still hanging in there. Poor John. I hope he’s able to rest well when he can.

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