Friday, July 19, 2013

A Lost Calf and Boiling Eggs

I think I messed up my thyroid and adrenals a bit at mom's. I'm pretty whooped still but feeling a bit better today. That means I work a while, lay down a while. work a while, etc.

This has been a unsettling time of our lives. I'm at a bit of a loss, not sure which way to go. We still feel like we need to focus on getting the house fixed up to sell. The deadline for moving the place where we keep our animals hasn't changed and we still don't know how to get everything done in time to put our house up on the market. We will move forward and have faith the Lord knows how it will all work out.

The other thing that has me confused is the yaks. I haven't told you yet but Gracie lost her calf. It was a heifer, an extra bummer. Kirk and I had watched her for over twenty minutes a little after nine at night, the eve before I discovered her calf. We thought all was well and so we headed home for a good nights sleep. My last for a week. 

The next morning before seven I was down at the corrals talking on the phone with my sister. She had just gotten word that our mother was near death and we were making arrangements to gather for her last few days to remain beside her. It is a tradition on our father's side that someone stays by the bedside of those passing until they are greeted by relatives who have gone before them on the other side of the veil. That way they are never alone in this new and sometimes scary transition. It is not always possible to do so but we try.

It is a very special time and we as siblings took advantage of it. Many call us odd, not understanding what makes us tick. One thing is laughter is our way of coping with stress. My wise sister bought a joke book for her grandkids when we rushed out to grab a bite to eat. She read that joke book and we laughed and laughed. What better thing than the sound of the laughter of your grandkids and children? So we laughed for mom. We talked to her even though she wasn't coherent and we never stopped when she slipped into a coma. We told her thank you and celebrated her life, thinking of pleasant memories. 

A stressful week and the frustration of loosing this calf I'd waiting so long for was tough. It is two years before you breed a heifer yak and so they don't calve until three years old. Couple the wait and the loss of Jasmine last fall when we had her at the breeders and now no calf, I'm pretty upset. The heifer calf was full size, large but not too large, fully developed, but strangely its sides were squashed a bit flat and its flanks sunk in. The calf was well cleaned off and Gracie was laying beside it giving it an occasional lick so I know she wasn't neglectful. I'm just guessing it was stillborn. 

Do I give up on the yak project or try and find a bull closer to breed Gracie to? We aren't rich folk and can't handle much more financial loss so what do we do? I'm still pondering on the answer. I know Kirk would call it quits but I do love the yaks. Gracie has started grunting to me. Something Jasmine use to always do and I love it!

Now for something less depressing. I'm experimenting on boiled eggs. I read on the Internet where putting soda in the water changes the PH and allows the shells to be removed easier. 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per quart of water. You know how difficult it is to remove the shells from fresh eggs. So I tried it. I tried it twice. Not impressed. It does seem that breaking the egg shells after they egg cooks and before placing in the cold water does loosen the shell some.

Another site suggests salt along with soda. The science is that less fresh eggs peel better because of their higher PH level. They said that the soda created the effect of less fresh eggs by creating an alkaline water solution. Wonder if their eggs were commercial and not home grown in which they experimented with? Surely diet of the chicken would have some bearing on this as it has a tremendous effect on the vitamin levels.  

Anyway, I'm going to try salt and soda next time but for now I'll just eat my egg salad sandwich and ponder about what to do about the yaks.

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