Well, it seems the only thing that keeps me blogging these days is the 52 week challenge. (That’s where we, the momma’s of this blogging world, get in front of the camera instead of behind the lens.) This is a great idea so that later in life, my youngin’s will have some photos of their crazy, whack job Momma. And these photos will hopefully bring back many fond, vivid memories of their wonderful childhoods (with me) on our family farm. Or else, what they say about the digital photos not lasting more than 50 years may come true and there won’t be any photos of them or me, their crazy Momma. Never fear, we have the internet and the world of cyber now. Yes, right now, in 2009! I’m so excited, I plum forgot what my point was. Oh, no matter, I will think of something to rattle on about.
Okay, here is this week’s challenge photo taken by my second son. Notice that he was more concerned about getting his prized Nubian dairy goat in the photo more so than his wonderful, loving Momma. That’s okay. Cassie, his goat needs the attention of this blog. She needs to feel the love from my blogging friends. You see, Cassie somehow managed to pull off Grand Champion 4H dairy goat at our little county fair and now, it seems she craves the attention that this title affords her. She thinks she is royalty and prefers to be addressed as “your royal highness”. I now have to ask her before milking if I may milk her and always address her with, “if it pleases you, your royal highness, may I commence with morning (or evening) milking?” Cassie really digs this star treatment and she becomes like putty in my hands. Or rather her teats become like putty in my hands…ha he he. I kill me.
So, without further explanation of Cassie, here she is, in all her glory. She really is a sweet girl when she isn’t on some high trippin’ self indulgence kick.
Did I ever tell ya’ll that I love milking? I would rather milk than make supper. I would rather milk than mow the grass (and I love mowing the grass too.) I would rather milk than blog and I really like blogging too. I love the smell of the cow or goat when milking, the smell of the milk itself and the whole overall process of making and taking of milk. It’s such a beautiful thing. I never think of milking as a twice daily chore. To me, it is just one of the finer things in my life…being able to give my family raw milk in it’s truest, most nutrient induced state.
I did not grow up with our own milk. Both of my folks came from farms where they milked cows and when my folks set up housekeeping, my daddy said, “Let’s try starving before we milk cows for a living.” They ended up milking in the beginning of their marriage anyway. When they first got married, they headed to South Dakota to help on my great grandparent’s farm. My great grandparents then packed up and returned to Pennsylvania for a year, leaving my folks with the South Dakota farm to run and the cows to milk. I guess they had some pretty lean times, especially just being newlyweds with a new baby (my annoying blind brother) on a farm in the middle of Bumfart, Idaho…oops, I mean, South Dakota. My momma always tells of saving the cream off the milk and that’s what they used for spending money, the cream check. They milked Brown Swiss on that farm and when they moved back to Pennsylvania, they inherited a herd of Holsteins when they bought our current farm from my grandpa. They ended up milking them until the barn burnt in 1974 and they lost their cows in the barn fire. After that, my daddy switched to beef cattle and pigs and no, they never starved. We always ate pretty good, except we bought our milk at the store.
I always wished that we milked for a living. I can remember visiting our neighboring dairy farms and taking in the smells of the dairy barn. I always thought silage was the best smell on this green Earth (and still do). So, when Cranky and I started the process of taking over this farm, 15 years ago, the milk cows came back. Not on a huge scale, just enough for our family of nine to have raw milk and our own cheese. Although, Cranky is not thrilled at the idea of being tied down with milking. He does not milk at all and will never help milk, as this is ALL my idea. I am reminded of this fact every time he wants to go somewhere, but that’s okay. I do not need to go anywhere anymore. I have seen as much of the world as I want to and I am just as happy to stay home. Home is a good place and I feel safe here. Plus, I have raw milk here on the farm.
The milking goats came to the farm as a 4H project for my second son, who could not bear the thought of selling his animals like his older brother does in the 4H Livestock Club. So, he asked for a registered dairy goat for his 8th birthday and we bought him two, Cassie and Greta. And thus it began…the goat thing. I found out I really like goats and I really love milking goats. We are working on expanding our herd as time and money allow. Registered dairy goats are expensive. My second son really loves his goats and I have found that milking is something we share together.
My boy is a born milker too. I’m so proud. I guess we won’t have to starve either.