Much of the mantle of being grown-up is trying to establish some kind of order into a fluid and unpredictable, chaotic world. The world is full of streams we thoughtlessly and quite naturally push against. Wind, cold, water, weeds, muddle, mess, dirt, hunger, aging, spiders webs, illness,  even death itself – without even conscious thought we scurry about under this enormous sky trying to instil some kind of order, some kind of logic into the completely natural turmoil that we call life. 

As though we have the right. cats-014

Creating a semblance of order from the natural chaos is pretty satisfying though.


Aunty Del and her big tall calves have been separated. They did a bit of crying in the night but not as much as some. Weaning is a hard time for the animals but these two are old enough. I will give them heaps of good hay to eat and they will settle quickly. They have the uniball steer with them now  (the vet could still only find one testicle which he banded anyway. The steer (who has always had the nickname Lonely because he hangs out by himself) will grow to behave like a bull but will not be fertiile.  However his nature is very recessive so he can stay and grow here and be a part of this herd of young’uns.


Lady Astor is having trouble with her udder. She is well but as she dries up and the udder shrinks inwards it is getting longer and drooping further downwards. She stood on it the day before yesterday and has a nasty graze down the side of one quarter.  The udder is drying up healthily but the risk of this happening again and doing worse damage is very real.

Remember this is a farm and I must make sensible decisions. Decisions that are best for the animal and the running of the farm. I am not sure I can leave this outcome to luck. Relying on good luck is to invite chaos.  Luck is random and seldom lands where it is earned.

Chaos is begun by the smallest of changes in our landscape. So being aware of the environment and adjusting or hitching ourselves to head off or accept each small change (and sometimes that adjustment in the fabric is a big one)  is the only real way to live with our natural order of chaos. And some of those adjustments are unkind.


For the meantime Lady is happily hanging out in her field with Aunty Del eating everything she sees and putting on some weight.  All I can do for the moment is watch and hope the udder will begin to shrink upwards before she struggles up from a sleep and stands on it again.

Cows are not graceful.


We can expect sun today which will be lovely for all involved.

I hope you find loveliness today.

Love celi

WEATHER: 20F/ -6C as I write, and morning sunlight is streaming through the windows. We still have the Nor’Wester which is holding the cold here.

Friday 03/09 0% / 0 inSun and clouds mixed. High 39F/3C. Winds light and variable.

Friday Night 03/09 0% / 0 inPartly cloudy skies. Low 24F/-4C. Winds light and variable.

6:14 am 5:53 pm
Waning Gibbous, 50% visible 12:56 am 10:57 am

50 Comments on “ORDER

  1. Farming & animal husbandry are hard tough jobs beset with chaos all around. It takes a special kind of organized & creative mind to cope with it & even be masterful at it. I admire your intelligent clear headedness combined with so much love & compassion & I’m sure your decisions made from close observation & quick attendance are almost always the right ones. Your land & creatures are in good hands.

    • Thank you – Clear Headidness is a constant struggle – especially on a farm with animals who we cosset and care for. Thank you for your support. I am working through a number of issues at the moment and your confidence in me makes everything easier. c

    • Vesta – thank you – and like you I have researched these things too – but this is a physiological change in a DRYING up cow. She cannot wear a contraption like this for the rest of her life. Imagine the filth and heat under there. It is not sustainable. You are going to have to trust me on this. I am doing the best I can in the interests of the cow and the farm. c

  2. I guess a cow bra is not really a proper long term solution, and I know you have to decide for Lady A’s health and for the Farmy’s health. Sometimes the randomness and wildness is more than we can impose control on. You do it well.

  3. Lady needs an udder bra! I thought you had a contraption for Daisy? Am I dreaming? Our friend google gave me “Tamm Net Udder Support”…..

    • These are for milking cows – Lady has a chronic long term problem developing here – please don’t make me feel worse than i already feel. Maybe it will dry upwards and all will be well.

      • Oh I never intended that. I’m so sorry. I was only suggesting as a temporary until she is dried up. I understand you may have to make a difficult decision. We have been there too several times with our animals. Please accept my apology.

        • Thank you darling – yes – I know you have the good heart – I think I am feeling worried for her and it is making me jumpy. The problem is that she is drying up in the wrong direction – she is drying DOWN. c

    • They are held in place by many buckles and straps. And the upkeep long term would be crazy. My hope that she would wander the fields and fatten up is drifting away. The reason I am retiring her is this stretched out udder. Her udder has always been uneven. So this problem is not a surprise. Lets hope she gets into better condition on her own.

    • Yes – I am a farm not a zoo. This might be one of those hard decisions that I could hide from you all but I promised to be honest. And it is possible that her udder will start to dry upwards soon. There are still lots of options. c

  4. I just love that first paragraph you wrote. You are a very talented writer. I wish I could ask my father for help with Lady Astor.

  5. awww poor LADY- I know you will do the best for her. Take care and I adore that photo at the top- your animals are so well cared for and it shows..

  6. I’m sure whatever you decide to do about Lady Astor will be the right decision for her and for you. Fingers crossed that she will dry upwards, and all is well.

    • Yes – I really wish she would – she stood on it again today – but it is bruised and a little grazed – i really wish she would not do that. c

  7. My sentiments exactly jmcheney! Miss C. will make the right decision..which are always in the best interest of the animal and the farm, no matter how hard that decision may be!

  8. I must admit my first thought was a cow bra, however, you’re quite right, it’s not a long term solution and would become a daily problem. I think you’re right about letting things work themselves out with Lady A’s pendulous udder and you’ll make the best decision for Lady A and yourself. It might take awhile for the drying to finish so wait and see makes all kinds of sense.
    Aunty Del is such a handsome girl. I love the close-up portrait.
    It also looks like you’ll be having several days in a row of mostly sunny days.

  9. Cecilia, many many years ago, I worked on a milk farm. Occasionally, we had cows with low hanging udders like yours. May think it harsh, but we used bandages, tied around the cow’s middle to hold up and support the udder… just what we did…

  10. Thinking good thoughts for the drying udder. I always hate the drying off period… it has so many possible pitfalls. Love Ton and the two kitties!

    • She is healthy except her udder is very pendulous. It is hard to know what the best option is for her however it is also obvious that her productive days are over.. c

  11. Our expectations so often make life more complicated than is should be. When we are born it would be useful to be given a manual with a few wise words to get us started… “Proceed with no expectations” followed by “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”, and “The root of suffering is attachment” and “First chaos, then order. Repeat” which I think you explained so well. The challenge becomes easier when our expectation is first chaos, then order as we make it. Grasping this, I think, is life changing. I remember feeling the same way about M. Scott Peck’s opening words in his book The Road Less Traveled…”Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.” And somehow that seems more manageable.

  12. There is a lot of wisdom and well written prose in this post. We will hope for the best for Lady.

  13. Only you can take the daily work good and hard and turn it into pure poetry. You have such a way with your words. Life is fun but never easy.

  14. Pingback: Order seemingly difficult in a chaotic world- read – Dr. Anyichie-Westside Obgyn

  15. I’ve just finished a lovely catch up, reading nearly 20 of your blogs in a row. It’s like reading a book; which makes me wonder if one day you will select from all these blogs and make a book. It could run to several volumes. Having followed your blog for several years, I am fascinated by the many ways in which the farm has developed, and I admire the way you keep writing and posting. It’s just wonderful.

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