How I ( want to ) write my livestock sales ads

c2Please read ad all the way through before you message me with questions I’ve already answered.  Nothing like being knee deep in pig mud or half way through milking cows and having someone ask you an unnecessary question, then get offended because you tell them the information they seek is plainly stated in the written ad.

Don’t tell me you want the animal but it is just too far to drive to come view or pick her up.  I’m in SC and have driven to W. Virginia, Kentucky and Michigan to pick up livestock I wanted.  Either she’s worth the drive to you, or not.  I don’t care either way.  I will not meet you half way, bring her to your house or do a trailer to trailer transfer and risk her life or someone else’s in order  to sell her to someone who can’t be bothered to come see her in person or make arrangements for her secure transport.

Do not show up on my farm with a makeshift pen or hand made trailer to transport my livestock.  I will not load my animal in a situation I feel is unsafe or a detriment to their health.  I care way more about my animals than I do a sale or your feelings.  If you’re buying a cow from me, you will need an enclosed livestock trailer.  Period.

Expect to talk to me on the phone if you are sincere about buying.  I do not make an agreement to sell without having a conversation with a buyer.

Be prepared to answer questions about your farm/homestead and your lifestyle.  I will not sell an animal to a buyer that is wrong for her.  If you are offended by my due diligence in placing my livestock, you should not bother to inquire.

Please have some basic knowledge of the type of livestock you wish to purchase and keep.  Don’t call me about my animal expecting me to tell you what her basic needs are as a species and for the love of bovines, don’t try to buy an animal that you know nothing about ! Do some research.  Talk to people who keep the same livestock.  Read some books.  If you show up at my farm and ask when you can start milking my 7 month old heifer, I’ll politely show you to the gates.  ( Yes, that happened )

Don’t ask me to take significantly less for my animal based on your desires, lack, financial strains, intentions ( pet V dairy girl )…  a farmer bases her pricing on multiple factors including stature, type, breed, desirability, market averages, age, production capability, lineage  etc…Frankly, if you cannot afford to buy the cow, you won’t be able to afford to keep her properly.  I have never closed a deal that began with a buyer stating ‘ I think you should take less because ‘.  We raise the animal, provide the proper medical attention and care, feed the animal etc..we have an investment in her.  We know what we need to get back and what she is worth on the market.

Respect my time limits.  I will offer a firm time and state how much time I have for you to come to view and ask questions. If you and I have agreed to meet at 10:00 and you show up at 10:38 without having called me ahead of time, you’ll likely find me doing other things and the gates locked. Depending on my schedule that day, I may or may not allow you in.   Understand that I have a tight schedule and ‘ free time’ is not something most farmers enjoy.  Aside from our farming duties, many of us have family obligations and jobs away from the home.  Don’t overstay your welcome, make excessive demands of our availability, be late for our appointment, or insult us by wasting our time when you have no real intention to buy.

Finally, and maybe this is just me ? Don’t feel the need to tell us about the minutia of your private life.  We need and want to know about your farm, living situation for the animal, intentions for her ( pet, dairy, beef, etc).  We do not need to know about your personal struggles, issues with your extended family, the bunion on your left foot that oozes, your bad back, etc.. Trust me, we’re farmers, we get it and most of us have such issues. Again, this goes to respect of our time.

A good basic set of rules for inquiring about and /or purchasing livestock is :

Keep it professional : Know your basic subject, don’t get personal, respect boundaries and time limits.

It’s  business: I don’t get offended by reasonable offers and you shouldn’t be offended if I refuse them.

My animal comes first:  one of the reasons you likely have interest in my animal is your knowledge that I give the utmost care and consideration to her.  If I tell you your situation isn’t right for that particular animal, respect that I know what I’m talking about.



Some truths I’ve found in farming



I am often asked even by close friends why I farm. The question is occasionally prefaced by a laundry list of all of the hard work, financial strains, difficult decisions and tough situations farming entails.
Each time, I answer simply, ‘ because I love it.’
I state that with emotionally tethered sincerity. I love farming.
Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it is rife with heartache and strain. Indeed, there are days you can’t picture yourself getting through in one piece and there are more sleepless nights than one can anticipate.
It is most assuredly hard, dirty work, trudging through manure laden mud at times that is so deep it fills your boots and sucks them off; I joke that decades from now, someone will buy this farm and find so many pairs and singles of footwear lost to mud, they will believe an entire colony of same sized farmers lived here.
Farming is demanding; of your time, your finances, your emotions, your body, your mind and your beliefs.  Yes, your beliefs. You will find renewed faith in some long held convictions and a loss or evolution of others. You will not be the same person in spirit or thought 2 years into farming of any kind that you were when you began.
Farming alters every aspect of your life and processes–neither body , mind , habit nor schedule is untouched. You will become stronger, require less sleep, require more silence and stillness.
You will no longer make long term plans to ‘away’, your schedule and availability are at the whim of  influences you respect as being beyond your planning and control. You will connect more, but socialize less.
You will be more capable and self-sufficient. You will learn to stand alone and act alone in the scariest and most physically demanding moments, because you have no choice–lives depend on it.
You’ll learn to appreciate your own company and savor alone time.

You will accomplish things you never pictured yourself attempting on your own and feel a sense of pride in the smallest of tasks.
You will become self-reliant in most things, but will lean heavily on your mentors and fellow Farm hims and hers when the chips are down, and they will respond with support of all kinds and in whatever way they capable of helping.
You will learn things that allow you a confidence and aptitude in many aspects of living that you never even considered before and that knowledge will change you in many ways you hadn’t counted on.  For example, I can no longer enjoy many meals in restaurants I used to frequent aside from seafood. Knowing the outstanding taste and texture of fresh foods, combined with the mental images of how a lot of Big Ag livestock are treated and the detrimental additives they employ has left a foul taste in my mouth for foods sourced commercially. I am forever altered by farm fresh, humanely raised and processed foods, in health and spirit.
You will develop an affinity and kinship with your charges that allows you to tell they are ‘ off ‘ before they fall ill. You will be able to singularly identify an animal from behind in a herd identically marked, by her udder or her gait. There is an awareness that comes with observant vigilance you cannot fathom without acquiring it for yourself.
You will do and say things that would have made you cock your head before you started farming. You’ll spend an awful lot of time staring at , admiring and even proclaiming admiration of the personal parts of your livestock and of the livestock of others. You’ll say things out loud to your stock like, “wow ! your poop looks great today ! Yay you ! ” You’ll endlessly talk to your non-farming friend over lunch about the bodily functions of your cow, using words like ” mucus” , ” vulva” and ” stool” as you eat your salad and she drops her fork.
You will amaze yourself. You’ll cry from being tired and worried, alone in your barns, but you’ll finish what needs to be done.

You’ll take care of what needs to be tended no matter the weather, the danger, the pain in your bones or the illness of your body. I dragged myself around on a broken and separated ankle for two and half weeks before agreeing to surgery because I was afraid of what would happen to my animals if I was out of commission. I once milked cows while vomiting in a bucket I had next to me, then threw all the milk to the pigs.
From time to time, I shake my own head and ask why I do it, then I remember life before farming, I remember ME before farming and I plow on.
I grew up in a lower class, crime ridden, mid city neighborhood. I hated it.
Worse yet, I enjoyed no stable or loving home life, being alone much from the age of 8 and wishing I was alone much of the time when I wasn’t.
I sought refuge in the one wooded area my neighborhood offered , at the back of the community beside the railroad tracks. Abutting this wooded area was a horse farm surrounded by deep ditches that to me, seemed like tiny streams. I spent a lot of time there as a child and young woman. Every chance I had, I’d take a bag of snacks and a book and spend hours sitting on the bank of the ditch on the neighborhood side, enticing the horses with sugar cubes and apple bits. It was my dream to live there or somewhere like it. It was peaceful. It was full of animals. It sheltered happy people dwelling in a happy home.
Before I arrived at this place, I suffered with many effects of my former life: Depression, anxiety, weight struggles, sleeplessness, anger…
All of those things resolved themselves over time spent on this farm. I didn’t work at them. I just gradually stopped acknowledging them, replacing those negative aspects with positive ones without effort: eating fresh foods, working hard and tiring myself, finding comfort and peace among my cows and peers,living away from the over-stimulation of city life, etc…had an effect on me that no medications, therapies or external efforts could accomplish.
I learned in studying psychology formally that every action we do, every decision we make, has a payoff for us. Positive or negative, there is a subconscious part of our brain that yearns for that payoff. Even negative actions gain us something we may not even realize we want.
Although most people I know living in large towns and cities are living a life of productivity and choice, I have come to realize there are those folks who crave negativity and propagate the  harshness of the modern city, just as there are those who stay only due to fear of leaving it’s conveniences and commercial accessibility.
I did not fully recognize just how much overt negativity and disharmony I was surrounded and bombarded by until I was apart from it.  I feel deeply for those who wish to escape it’s assault on their senses and spirit and are trapped in it like I used to be.
Here, I am surrounded by peace and beauty. No matter how badly a day goes, there is always at least one moment, one happening, one sight, that makes me smile. I have come to feel those moments in my core and appreciate them for the gift they are.
The smallest things fill me with gratitude–the soft moos coming from the darkness as I walk to the parlor, the sight of a bouncing calf, the smell of a tomato as it’s pulled from the vine. These things are the stuff of life. These things are the truest this world has to offer.






If only.

If I was able.

If I could.


How many times we say those phrases throughout our lives.

How empty they remain: Perfunctory in employment, profoundly ineffectual.


If I could, I would have more tattoos.

I would climb waterfalls like I did a few times when I was younger and carefree–or careless, whichever the case.

I would ride motorcycles with good people who look bad along curvy mountain roads.

I would float down rivers again in silence with my companion, just me and him and the water and the sun.

I would play in the rain once more with someone I love as intimately as my breath.


If I could I would finish the degree I longed for.

Travel the world alone as planned, seeking to meet the strangest people and view the unseen sights.

I would write my name with rocks on rocks in unexplored caves, then sleep there surrounded by darkness and unfamiliar sounds.

I would stand, strong and tanned and without fear among the trees of a jungle and be one with it.  I would discover a wonder that no one else could claim.


If only.


As we mature we relegate the dreams of our childhood and the ambitions of our youth to the places of fantasy.  We exchange aspirations for responsibility; lofty ideals for mature behaviors.  The things that we dared to imagine ourselves achieving become just that–imaginings, when they are, in fact, attainable.

I traded dreams.   I manipulated them until they suited my reality.  We all do.  Many joke that we’ll do what we want in our ” next life “.  I wonder how many of us wander around this life dreaming of that fanciful existence where everything we carry at our core comes to fruition.

I realized a short time ago how old I am and how much I sacrificed that really wasn’t necessary. There are still things on my roster of kiddom daydreams that are within my grasp, if  I am brave enough to reach for them.

My farm I do for me.  It brings me peace.  It makes me happy.  It encompasses many of the  things on my childhood checklist of perfect scenario: It is wild.  It is hard work.  It is basic.  It is pure.  It is rife with life.  It is full of animals.  It is secluded.  It is free of modern congestion.  It is a connectedness with nature and the earth.

It is not everything.  Nothing is.  Therein lies the caveat with humans–we evolve, and we don’t.  We change and we retain.

We grow; externally, spiritually, mentally, emotionally…what drives us, sustains us, compels us, completes us-ephemeral.  If we do not answer the call of that need to satisfy the yearnings of our spirit, we become entrapped in a vicious cycle of regret.

If only.  If I had.  If I could.

The New Year brings with it all manner of musings and determinations.  Resolutions to be our best selves and live our best lives.  My great-grandmother used to say that whatever you do on New Year’s Day will follow you throughout the year.  I believe that to be true, not because I am superstitious, but because it stands to reason that on the day most of us take stock of our lives and habits, those things that are forefront in our minds that day will stick with us throughout the year, until it is time to re-evaluate again.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.  If ever I have stated a resolution, it has been in jest or spurred by a single event.  I have no recollection of ever having done so.

It has been my habit to frequently take stock and evaluate.  It is my habit to change what I can that does not work as it occurs to me it isn’t working.

This year, I decided to make a resolution: No more saying ‘ If ‘ when I can achieve a longing of my heart, a stirring in my spirit or a goal longstanding.

I have decided that to leave such things unaccomplished or unattended is a insult to my soul.

Happy New Year to each and all.

God bless and keep you.



” I want your life. ” Things to consider if considering a cow.


I hear it time and again: ‘ I want your life’

People learn that I have dairy cows and beef cows, live in a restored farm cottage and raise much of our own food and they get wistful and ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at the idea of fresh food and livestock surrounding a quaint country cottage in a remote town.  It is romantic.  It is cozy.  It is peaceful.

It is hard.

It is a hard way of life.  It is often a stressful way of life.  It is an all-consuming way of life.

People imagine bucolic pastures and contented cows that give milk on demand and at the farmer’s leisure.  What they don’t –and can’t–imagine is what a struggle it is to get a cow to give milk at times nor how much daily work goes into each and every cow to keep her healthy and in milk.

They don’t imagine the worry that goes with the wonder of owning and breeding livestock.

They don’t imagine that the cute cow they see in photos on social media, happily being milked by a cheerful milk maid tried to kill her keeper in her training period.

They don’t imagine how inherently clumsy and dangerous cows are( my best friend says that cows don’t know where their ends are sometimes),–nor do they imagine how moody and unpredictable a cow in estrus or close to calving can be.

They don’t imagine being chased across a field by a mad mama cow and hoping you make it to the gate before she catches you.

They don’t imagine a perfectly lovely, trained, 800 lb. dairy girl walking across your toes in the parlor because you forgot to pull your foot back. Or being pressed hard against a solid wall by a sweet cow who was just not paying attention to where you were.

They don’t imagine many things in those moments of envious reverie.

They see the beautiful, lush pastures but do not see the mud in the common areas or the flies that swarm everything and cover up your house and car and bite you and the cows.

People admire beautiful cows in great condition but have no idea how much planning, time and money goes in to keeping them that way.

I don’t buy expensive clothes, I buy expensive cow minerals.

I don’t ‘ get away’–I get up before the sun.     Every. Single.Day.

No one who doesn’t live it can imagine the life of a farmer: The work involved that is back breaking and heart breaking.  The losses you suffer become part of you, sometimes teaching you and sometimes just hurting you.

Keeping the barns, the parlor, the yards, the troughs etc…clean and tidy is no easy feat.

Keeping the animals healthy and happy is not something that comes naturally to anyone, it is a science–and an art.

No days off, kids ! Rain, snow, ice storm, hurricane…doesn’t matter.  Animals still have to be cared for, worried over, milked…

Sick??? Tough.  The work isn’t going to do itself and I promise you won’t be able to afford someone to do it for you.  No one wants your job but you.

Broken bone? too bad.  Get to work.  I once walked ( dragged, stumbled, leaned, hopped) around for two and a half weeks on a broken ankle with the tendons torn completely away before I could make it to a doctor and have corrective surgery.

The feed bills are not something that comes to mind either: grain, hay, alfalfa, minerals…even if you plant and harvest your own , it costs ya !

The equipment is not on anyone’s mind either: tractors, hay forks, troughs, milking machines, etc…

So many expenses that no one considers.

Veterinary care: maintenance vetting ( dehorning etc ) is quite costly, but there is major expense if something goes wrong., Budget devastating if something goes REALLY wrong. My highest single event vet bill was $3200 and I lost the cow.  Sometimes, even finding a good farm vet is impossible depending on your area.  If that is the case, I really advise not having a cow.  If something goes wrong and you can’t handle it, you will blame yourself for a loss due to lack of vetting.

Time.  There’s one to consider ! Especially if you work outside the home as I do helping my husband and my son with their businesses.  There are only so many hours in a day and there are always so many things on your list, not counting your normal ‘ duties’ like cleaning, laundry, cooking, helping your kids with whatever they need of you…

I am lucky to be able to make doctor appointments or lunch with my friend once every three months.  Every activity is scheduled around milking my cows or caring for the animals.  I have a hard time even making it to special occasions with my family.

” I want to live your life”.

One instance of that being spoken inspired me to write this post because despite my advise and cautionary tales, someone jumped in and nearly went under.

She called me several months ago wanting to ask about keeping a dairy cow.  Just one.

I advised her how to set up her parlor for hand milking, how to set up her yards so they would be convenient and safe, how to build a run-in shed barn, etc..

I told her all the things I touch on here–the worst of the worst.  Still she persisted in her quest for a cow.

I told her what to look for in a family cow and since I had none to offer, I helped her pick one. I went to her homestead and taught her how to prep and milk her cow when the cow arrived.  I made myself available to answer all her questions.

Three months later I got a call from her.  She opened with , ” I think I made a mistake.” and the conversation , and her cow’s future, went downhill from there.

She thought I was exaggerating all the work and expense and worry.  No, seriously, that’s what she told me.  She thought I was exaggerating. Sigh.

If she believed half of what I told her is true it should have been enough to spark her brain into realizing she shouldn’t have a cow with her lifestyle that she was unwilling to change.

The picture is never the whole story.

That is what I leave you with.  You cannot see the work, the strain, the worry, the suffering, the efforts, the expenses, the exhaustion, the physical stress…not in a picture.

Enjoy the photos of happy cows and the posts of contented farmers, but understand that the cows are happy because of proper care and attention and the farmer is tired but satisfied with her choices.  If you are considering those choices for yourself, ask the hard questions and for the love of cows, believe the answers you get.




Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

Yes ! This is my own recipe !


This recipe can be played with in so many ways to suit taste.

What you need:

2 lbs ground beef

1 lb. bacon

1 C cubed bacon or fatback

1 yellow pepper

1 red pepper

1 green bell pepper

5 cloves garlic

2 yellow onions

4 C beef broth or stock

3 carrots or 1 can carrots

1 can pureed tomatoes or 4 pureed whole tomatoes

1 can of diced tomatoes or 2 whole tomatoes, diced

2 C cheese of choice ( I like white sharp cheddar )

Pickled jalapenos ( very optional )




Chop your peppers and onions.  Peel and roughly chop your garlic.

In large skillet, add your ground beef , your cubed bacon or fat back, peppers, onions & garlic.  Brown.

While  your ground beef mixture is browning, put your bacon in oven at 375 on a baking sheet.  This makes the bacon more crumbly and crisp for sitting atop soup.

when your beef / bacon mixture is brown, drain off as much fat as possible. I set a metal colander over a large ceramic kitchen bowl and pour the mix in to drain.

In large soup pot add your beef/ bacon /veggie mix with broth/stock, all tomato ingredients , carrots & salt/pepper/parsley to taste. Bring to boil, stirring regularly.  reduce heat and simmer at least 30 minutes or as long as you like.

This is a particularly nice recipe for a crock pot, but the meat mixture should be browned first.

Grate your cheese and garnish with your cheese and crumbled , oven baked bacon.

If you like some spice or kick , pickled jalapenos are AWESOME as a garnish on this soup!


Raw Milk Cottage Cheese

Easy peasy to make, but does require some minding.


Haven’t tried this with pasteurized milk, so if you don’t have access to raw milk you can let me know if it works as well with pasteurized.  Since there is a maturing process and some heating involved, I don’t feel the need to pasteurize.

1/2 gal. raw milk

Skim cream as much as possible: reserve cream in fridge

Place skimmed milk in glass bowl and cover with cheesecloth.

Keep on a counter in an area with stable temperature.

Let it sit 24-48 hours until it is firm and gel – like.  ( no whey should be risen to the top.  The goal is to set at this stage until JUST BEFORE the milk separates.  That may take some sight skills that develop over time.)

Skim off any remaining cream. ( it will rise ) : a baster works well for this purpose and you should retain this cream for sour cream. YUMMY !

Dump The solid milk in a large pot and heat on LOW for between 5 – 10 minutes until separation of curds and whey occurs.

Line a strainer with butter muslin or a lint free white kitchen towel. Place lined strainer over large bowl to catch whey.  Drain for 1-3 hours ( house temp affects drain time)

Remove and crumble curds into fresh bowl.  Add salt to taste.  Pour on cream reserved at beginning of process or equivalent amount of cream and combine.




My ‘ Queers ‘

A good friend of mine was taking a flight, in first class, with her spouse, when a large, angry man sidled up the aisle and deliberately stepped all over her feet.  When asked to move by the flight attendant , he stood down hard on her foot a while.  When he took his chair, he reclined so far back, my friend could barely turn sideways in her own seat.  Again, he was asked by the flight attendant to move forward just a little.  Again, he refused to comply.  As they were ready to land after this unnecessarily difficult flight, he continued to be rude and obnoxious and finally announced, ” I don’t like queers.”  He was informed by the attendant that the police would be waiting for him at the gate, as he had literally assaulted my friend physically and intentionally.

I am livid.  I am sad.  I literally cried when I heard of her treatment and I cry as I write this both as her friend, knowing her pain and offense and as a mother of a child on the autism spectrum , knowing how it feels to be treated with disrespect for things that shouldn’t matter to anyone else.

This is why I am a non-social recluse.  This is why I have clinical moderate agoraphobia.

People suck.

I know first hand what it is to be ‘different’ and to mother a child who is ‘ different’.

I know what comes with that the moment you engage with the general public: rude comments, interjections of unsolicited opinions, ignorance, mean-spirited jeers and remarks, dismissal and exclusion…

I know what it is like to just be living your life without harm to anyone and have someone lambaste you for things that do not affect them at all and  which you are fully aware will stand out in a crowd.  You get tired of wearing masks.  You get tired of pretending you don’t notice the glares and snickering.  You get tired of people.

I know what it is like to try to blend in the crowd and hope you go unnoticed, snuffing your own flame for fear and insecurity and want of peace.


Webster’s dictionary has several definitions for the word ‘ queer ‘

Definition of queer


  • queer money
a differing in some odd way from what is usual or normal
   (2) :mildly insane :touched
c absorbed or interested to an extreme or unreasonable degree :obsessed
d : often disparaging + offensive
3 a (1):sexually attracted to members of the same sex :homosexualgay 
       (2):of, relating to, or used by homosexuals :gay 
4not quite well
Let’s examine them , shall we?
    I have been told that I, myself, am unconventional, eccentric, absorbed or obsessed ( with my cows and dogs ) etc…
I have a bassinet for my little dogs.  I hug my cows.
I also have literal OCD, ADHD and agoraphobia.  Therefore, I am ‘ not quite well’.
I am queer.
My son is on the autism spectrum.  He is very open to talking and sharing about how differently he thinks and acts than ‘ normal ‘ kids his age.  Is he ‘queer’? yep.
I have a friend who cannot stand to have her clothes touch her neck.  Another who hates to be wet–at all.  Drives her nuts.
Are they queer? sure.
How about those who stutter? Those who rescue animals at their own expense? Those who create art ? Those who give up their social lives to heal others? Queer ? Yes.
What about people with Tourettes, bi-polar disorder, skin disorders?
What about visionaries, writers, philosophers, believers?
How about homesteaders, back to basic yearners, off the grid folks?
Homeschoolers, attachment parents, breast feeding moms?
All queer by definition.
I am different.
 There are many aspects of my construct and character that the world at large deems weird, strange, odd …but no one, not one single time, has ever physically assaulted me for them. I cannot imagine having to live in that world.
My friends were , as they always do, minding their own business, on the way to a professional endeavor in another state, two lovely in all ways successful women and because this jerk feels his flesh is more valuable somehow than theirs, they were accosted multiple times in ways that he hoped would humiliate, degrade and crush them.
With malice in his black heart, he repeatedly attempted to dehumanize my friends while only succeeding in dehumanizing himself.
I love my queers.  All of you.  The weirdos,  the artists, the back to the earth gals and guys, the gay couples and singles, the farmers, the autistic funny guys and the brilliant girls on the spectrum too.  My OCD , ADHD, animal saving, animal hugging, antisocial, outspoken, socially driven , divine believing, spiritual friends.
I love my queers.  I am honored to call you my queers..


I feel the need to share about Sweetie.

Sweetie was my first dairy cow, the first cow I ever milked on this farm.
I lost Sweetie a few years ago to worst case scenario milk fever despite heroic efforts from our friends, family, our vet and the community of docs he consulted with and treatments that added up to a sum that would have paid most folks bills in their entirety for a month.
It damaged my spirit to lose her ways that I have never gotten over. I feel and likely am partially responsible for her inability to recover, having made what I thought were simple and harmless changes to her mineral regimen. It was the first time I did not ask a mentor / vet before doing something unfamiliar. It will be the last.

I have lost many animals over the course of my life, but few have affected me the way losing Sweetie has.  I still get choked up over her.  I still see her around the farm occasionally.  I envision her under her favorite shade tree, standing in the parlor door before sunrise, hovering over the picnic table where she would beg to share everyone’s lunch.  She still exists here. She still exists in my heart.  Hot tears run as I write this and my throat is clogged with regret, sorrow and self-blame.  I miss that goofy cow like one misses any long time companion, human or animal.sweetie4

I remember everything about the day we brought her home.  We milked her at her former farm and drove all night to be sure to be home before she had to be milked again. She was a very heavy producer.  I brought the machine right onto the trailer when we arrived at our farm and milked her standing there so as not to stress her by forcing her into an unfamiliar stanchion the moment she arrived.

sweetie 77

Sweetie was and remains the mildest tempered cow I have ever met. She cooperated like no other, obliging what I asked of her regardless to whether it was a new or scary ( to cows ) situation.  She literally walked by my side as I did chores, occasionally rubbing her head against me or licking my hand. I jokingly called her ‘ cow dog’ .  Even when she fell ill, she was an attentive, communicative and patient girl.

sweetie2 (2)


sweetie hammock

I had the opportunity several months back to purchase Sweetie’s first calf, a cow called  ‘ Vida ‘.  How Vida came to me is no less than a miracle in my world.  You can read about that in my blog post ‘ Intertwined ‘.   Although I have Sweetie’s second heifer , Bibs, born here and bottle fed by me ,  Vida is number one. Vida is special to me for obvious reasons.  She lacks her mother’s easy going temperament and although she lets me love on her and pet her, she is not anything near the pet Sweetie was, yet she queen of this farm.  I honor her mother’s memory by spoiling and catering to her.


Vida is due to calve soon.  I always get excited about an upcoming calf, but never like I have been with this one.  There is something awe inspiring about watching any Jersey cow give birth and attend their baby. They are such awesome mothers and form a true , deep bond with their offspring.  It is an admirable and touching thing to watch a cow nurture their young, mooing in that low , nearly inaudible language that is reserved only for her baby.

Sweetie & Bibs


As Vida’s calving approaches, I see more of sweetie in her every day and it both touches my heart and breaks it.

I cannot wait to meet Sweetie’s grandcalf.  I can’t wait to hug and kiss it’s little face.

I can’t wait to tell it stories about it’s grandmother as it waits for it’s mama to leave the milk parlor.

Yes, I realize it will not understand and that it’s more for my benefit than the calf’s, but I will know–Sweetie will know–and I cannot wait.