Last night, we had a Pastor over for dinner. As we sat around the table, sipping wine and nibbling on pasta, we began to laugh at the state of life versus how we envision it for ourselves. “Dear God, I would like a straight path with no heartache… oh ya, and the weather should be sunny… oh ya, I would like a crowd of people around cheering me on and encouraging me as I walk the path… oh ya, and if you could line it with rose petals, that would be fantastic…”
But life, as we all know, is not a straight path. It's high peaks and deep valleys.
We are still in a bit of a deep valley with our ‘ol Kula. Our sweet, 4 1/2 year old Jersey girl. The Queen of the Farm, if you will.
As most of you know, when we purchased Kula a few months ago, she was “bred”. Turns out, she was not actually bred, but lesson learned on our part. For the past six weeks, we've been playing host to a bull (whom we affectionally named Wallace) who (through our own visual confirmation) did perform his manly duties.
When it wasn't obvious to us that Kula was experiencing any normal heat cycles, we sent Wallace home with the hope that he had settled the matter.
A 50 day rectal palpation, performed by our vet, confirmed that the matter was not settled.
She was open.
Craaaaaap. Crap. Crap. Crap.
The vet said she looked fantastic (she is beautiful, isn't she?), all of her ‘girly parts' were in great shape, and she didn't seem to be deficient in any sort of minerals (especially those mineral deficiencies specific to our area) so we're assuming that Wallace ain't cuttin' the mustard. Shooting blanks, if you will. (Sorry, I'm not sure how to say that tactfully). Sigh. I so badly, so badly, wanted her to be bred. I prayed about it, more times than I care to admit. “Dear Lord, I know you have much more important things on your plate like, ya know, world peace and stuff but can my cow please, please, pretty please be pregnant?!”
Whatever. It's the truth.
So when the words fell like a weight from the vet's mouth, I wanted to cry. A little bit. But then I remembered that the Lord commands us to give thanks to him for all things. I truly believe that all things, good, bad, indifferent, are all from the Lord. Kula wasn't bred because the Lord had ordained it to be so. And while I may not understand that reason now in my finite view of things, I do believe in a God that I can trust with all things.
Something as large as my eternal security. And as small as the impregnation of my cow.
By the way, I'm not sure if impregnation is a word. But I shan't apologize for using it.
After no less than three dozen phone calls and a handful of emails, I had to resign to the fact that we would need to pay the vet (who begrudgingly agreed) to artificial insemination Kula. Cattle, especially one loan dairy cow, is not a large industry in our small town. There are no A.I. technicians to be found. Not even a neighborhood bull that Kula could pay a visit to. There. Is. No one.
The vet normally only artificially insemination horses, as there are many more of them requiring the service around here. Cattle require slightly different equipment, which I will need to provide for him. He will synchronize her estrus cycle with two different shots before the actual insemination.
(By the way, don't you just love reading a blog that uses words like insemination and rectal palpation? I thought so.)
The downside of using the vet is the cost. While normal A.I. technicians will charge anywhere from $15-$50 to inseminate a cow, a vet charges… well, let's just say it's a lot more than that.
At this point, our main goal on the homestead is to get the ‘ol girl settled. By any means necessary. Hopefully, by next year, we will have found someone else to do it for less money, or perhaps even become trained to do it ourselves. But this year, we've got to get her bred NOW. Like yesterday NOW. Like seriously. NOW.
God is good. And I'm thankful for all that we've learned from our experience with Kula thus far. Sometimes lessons are painful and difficult. Sometimes, lessons cause you to trudge through those deep valleys we talked about earlier.
I'm still praying for Kula. And that the artificial insemination would be successful.
If it's not, I may run away and never return. I may cry. I may throw a tantrum. I may sell Kula and buy myself a cat and become a recluse.
Or I may give thanks to the Lord for all of it and find joy in His provision and providence over all things.
Let's hope it's the latter.