The Calf Whisperer

Ready for work in my new insulated (very important) coveralls
before their maiden voyage to the barn.

Folks often ask how I like my new job. My response: I actually really enjoy it! There’s just something very gratifying about physically working—using your arms and legs—and getting a job done from start to finish. I like seeing what I’ve accomplished. It’s akin to smelling pine sol while grimacing at a filthy mop and admiring a sparkling wood floor. That’s nice.

I start work between 5:00 and 5:30PM and get done between 8:30 and 9:30PM three or four nights a week. Life on a farm is unpredictable: you never know when a calf might be sick or a brand new one will hit the ground. (I love seeing animals born.) That’s why I don’t have very definite hours. I have so much to learn! I want to learn more about the farm’s diets and weaning schedules and how to treat different diseases. But I’ve done my job as long as the calves are warm and fed.

I love working with the calves! They’re so little and cute. They remind of Jed when he’s really hungry; they’re anxious for their food and go to town slurping it up! Sometimes they make me laugh. One had a bucket stuck on her muzzle one night and couldn’t shake it off. Another calf, just hours old, followed me around the pen and came sucking on my boots, knees, and whatever else. It’s kinda fun. And did you know that women usually do a better job than men at caring for calves on a farm? The animals become our babies.

Well, while I’m gone caring for animal babies, Bron is at home caring for our baby. I think it’s been a good change. It’s given Bron a chance to develop a little relationship with his boy, and Jed just adores his daddy. Jed’s face lights up whenever Bron walks through the door. Bron is such a fun daddy that it makes me a little jealous sometimes. He adds a little spice and variety to the bedtime routine. Although Jed definitely doesn’t get as squeaky clean in the bathtub with his dad around, Jed has more fun. The crazy kid likes to dunk his head under the running faucet or stick his nose and mouth in to taste it. But Bron also has to deal with Jed at his most fussy. I think he handles it well. I also think it’s given him a fair taste for what I actually do.

Somehow, though, through our busy schedules, we’ve been able to gel as a family. When Bron is home for lunch we talk, tease, laugh, and play with Jed. In the evenings, Bron has been conscious about turning off the television to spend some quality time with me. I can’t believe we actually talk “farming” now! I often come home from work with a question or two about the dairy and then we start discussing the various ways to run an operation and how we might do it if we had cows of our own. Whoa. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we ended up raising calves someday. I guess it’s just one more thing we can add to our list of similar interests. I have to admit, we hit a slight rough spot in our marriage a few months ago around the time Jed was born. I was either very pregnant or adjusting to a new baby and Bron was stressed to the max with work and school. Now, however, we’ve developed a new “normal” that we’re both very content and happy with. We’re in love. We’re a family. Life is good.

P.S. I hate to say that last part out loud because that means something will change to throw our lives for a loop, but I just can’t keep it to myself right now.


  1. Thats great that you love your job.. very few people can actually say that!

  2. you're a very cute calf whisperer, if I might say so. . .

    and that adjustment happens with every new baby and every age in our lives. I'm still trying to get the hang of it all. . . good luck!

  3. Yeah! I got to see you in your coveralls! Ty and I had a rough time adjusting after our first baby too.

  4. I just wanted to tell you that Ty was in a car accident yesterday. He fell asleep while going 68mph on the highway. He went of the road, woke up, overcorrected, went off the other side of the road, and flipped his truck. His truck was totaled, but he walked away with out a single scratch or bruise. Life is just so fragile and unpredictable!

  5. It's me again. I just wanted to answer your question. I used the Lemondrops perfect black and white action that I got off of ILP. I just downloaded the trial version of CS5. The action wouldn't work in my ridiculously old Elements 5.

  6. You're so awesome! I love your new job! I bet you are amazing because you are the perfect mix of gentle and rough and tumble! :) I think it's good for bubbies to be with their dads too. They need that different nurturing every once in a while. You're awesome, Jess. I'm glad to hear that everyone goes through some shifting with that new baby coming around. :)

  7. What a cute cowgirl! That brand new baby exhaustion is tough on everyone, I think. But life does get better and better with time and conscious effort. What a fun way to grow- in a family! And I love the pic of Jed slobbering in Bron's hair. Haha!


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