October brought record moisture - 2.75 in. - more than our area has ever had in that month. On average, we get about 8 in. total annual precipitation, so all our summer moisture waited until fall to arrive.
But, at least the fires are out and the drought is over. Plus, we're going into winter with good ground moisture and a few inches of regrowth. It has snowed several times, but it settled enough that our cattle could keep grazing on mountain pastures.
We've been stretching our dry grass with a little protein supplement. Now, with the little bit of grass regrowth, the cows are doing well. We're selling 22 young cows, and we've purchased enough hay to get us by with the rest of the cows, provided we don't start feeding until late December.
Andrea's fourth skin graft surgery (Oct. 5) - to cover her right elbow - went well. She now has the splint off, and it's healing. Her elbows were originally covered with the first graft on her arms (July 11), but split open a few weeks later when she fell while trying to get out of bed by herself.
She will probably need the left elbow regrafted also, but the doctor says it can wait until January, after the right arm is fully functional again. She's been using her left arm for everything while the right elbow heals, and it's getting stronger. She's able to pick up Emily (42 lbs.) with one arm.
Those first days after the graft surgery on her right elbow (when she had to stay in Salt Lake until the doctor could check it again) were miserable. She was having such a bad day one Sunday that she and Lynn went back to the burn center to see other patients still struggling through the trauma. Finding that she can be an inspiration to others is helping her endure her own long road to recovery.
With Andrea's checkups in Salt Lake City now spaced farther apart, Lynn is trying to get caught up on summer and fall projects. He finally cleaned out the baler for winter, got the loader on the tractor and piled up all the manure in the maternity pen.
We still need to clean our second-day pens by the barn and fix our manure spreader. The spreader is also handy for scattering big straw bales for winter bedding, but the spreader floor needs to be replaced first.
We shipped calves Nov. 9, the latest we've ever sold calves. We usually sell in October before the weather gets bad and while we still have plenty of meadow regrowth for them after weaning.