After more computer problems, our friend Steve Dahl decided my old computer was hopeless and he refurbished a newer computer for me. I’m still getting used to it (because it does things a bit different than my old one) and catching up on article deadlines.
The good thing about the computer problem is that when Lynn took my old one into town the second time for Steve to work on, Steve talked him into trying his inverter table, to see if it would help his bad back and pinched sciatic nerve. Lynn has had back pain for a long time, and pain/numbness in his left leg for several years due to pressure on the sciatic nerve. Steve has had sciatic problems for 30 years, but using the inverter table (hanging upside down for 20 minutes a day) has helped, to where he only needs to stretch his back about once a month, and his sciatic pain is gone.
Steve loaned Lynn his inverter table for a week, and Lynn was amazed at how much it helps. After the second day, he no longer had any pain in his leg, for the first time in about five years. He stopped taking pain pills, and cancelled his appointment with the doctor who wanted to give him another cortisone injection into his back. We ordered our own inverter table, and Lynn uses it for 20 minutes every morning, hanging not quite upside down — and reads a book while he’s hanging. This stretches his spine (like traction, only a lot easier!) and takes pressure off the compressed/damaged disks in his back that were hurting the sciatic nerve.
Last Saturday it was snowing hard all morning and too slippery to get up the new road with the dump truck, even with chains on, so Michael brought the backhoe down here and spent that day smoothing out the rocks he’d hauled, working on the new road, and started widening it, to make it safer.
Andrea and Rick helped us round up the cows, and we gave the pregnant heifers their pre-calving booster shot. These last few days have been stormy, but Michael was able to keep working on the road with the backhoe, even in a blizzard. We ran out of diesel (using the backhoe and dump truck so much this winter) and had our barrel filled again; the cost of diesel is horrendous!
We had more snow last week and finally started feeding our cows. They’ve done very well this winter with supplemental protein, grazing the big hill behind Andrea’s house. But that grass is about gone now, and with snow covering the rest, it was time to start feeding hay.
Rick, Andrea and Lynn hung the rest of the gates in the new second-day pens by the calving barn, and Dani helped. She used a big wrench to turn the nuts onto the bolts for the hinges. Afterward, she helped me do chores so she could see the heifers again.
Yesterday was our wedding anniversary, so Lynn and I finally used the gift certificate (for a local restaurant) that was given to us by elk hunters last fall who camped here at our place.
Last week Michael had to work on the dump-truck brakes, and found that it had been running all this time with just one. After he got the brakes fixed, it’s like a new truck! He also went up to Leadore two mornings, to IV a calf for one of his rancher friends. The calf had scours and got chilled in a snowstorm, and was too weak and dehydrated to benefit from oral fluids. But the IV fluids helped, and the calf recovered.
Saturday our friends Pete and Bev Wiebe from British Columbia came to visit, on their way home from a series of trips — to Africa, and then several weeks spent in the southern part of the U.S. helping build houses for people who lost their homes in hurricanes. They enjoy helping other people and have made this a major part of their lives. We always enjoy visiting with them when they stop here for a few days on their way to or from these journeys. This trip they were delighted to see Andrea’s new house, and we celebrated Pete’s birthday Sunday night with dinner and a cake that Emily baked.
Monday Lynn and Michael set railroad ties for gate posts, and hung new gates across the 160 road. Tuesday it was horribly windy (and blew one of our neighbour’s sheds apart). Michael had planned to put a new fan belt on the backhoe but it was much too windy (blowing dirt around) so he waited until the next day to fix it. Yesterday he and Lynn changed the oil in the dump truck and had to make a quick trip to town because we had the wrong oil filter. We’ve only got a few more loads of rock to haul for the road project until we get a chance to put some finer material on for the top surface. But now we need to finish up a couple ditch projects before high water. We’ll also be bringing the cows in soon to the calving pasture. They will all be calving in April, and some udders are starting to fill. †