Thursday, October 15

Wash Rags....the things that jog your memory.

This past weekend I was on my hands and knees wiping the fine dust off the wood floors we had just sanded. It was the cheap, fairly thin, cotton rags I was using that reminded me of my childhood on the farm. So I was temporary transported back in time to the milk barn.

Cows are ready to "let-down" their milk at the same time twice a day.
The first step in milking is to clean the cow's teats with a wash rag kept in a pail with warm water and bleach or iodine solution. This is to wash off any dirt and manure before attaching the milking machine. But wait, you can only wash as many cows as you have milking machines. Washing relaxes the cow and she is now ready to give her precious cargo. If you get too far ahead (which an eager youngster is apt to do) the cow's milk will start leaking onto the floor.

Monday, June 29

Milking Time

I was reminded by a post Straight From The Teat at Making Love in the Kitchen that drinking raw milk is something the not everyone gets to experience. We drank raw milk from our Jersey cows and skimmed the cream off to make butter and whipped cream. We drank it skimmed in order to use all the cream. It tastes just like any good pasteurized milk. I love cold milk. I think there is nothing more refreshing. I recently read that milk has more electrolytes that sports drinks. WOW!
The picture above is of my father at the end of the day's milking. He is pour milk out of a "bucket Milker" This process of getting the milk into the bulk tank to cool was modern in it time. Shortly after this photo was taken we installed a stainless vacuum pipeline system.
Photo from Surge Web site.

Wednesday, June 24

Summer Days

My cousins and I are getting to know my grandfather's colt.

Monday, June 22

See the pretty flowers...

My parents, by brother and I would come to reside at the farm after a new home was constructed for my father's parents just down the hill. My grandmother had planted lots of roses and perennials at the farm. My mother continued to care for the gardens as my grandmother had. Her flower beds were the envy of the neighborhood, there was always something blooming.
The dress I'm wearing was made by my mother. I'm not sure when she found the time to sew. I guess when you like to do something that much you make the time. I also think it was a way to make the few dollars a farmer makes to go a little further.

Wednesday, June 3

Reminded of my graduation.

Our daughter is graduating this year from high school on June 13th. It just doesn't seem possible.
It was just yesterday that I was a wise 18 year old, smarter than my parents and ready for everything....well actually 28 years ago, YIKES!!@@#!@$#
Graduation Day 1981
My steers were named Clyde & Derrick after grandfathers. That's me with Derrick on the day I graduated from high school. I had to wrangle him before getting dressed for the big event. They were big and gentle and could lean their way through any fence meant to keep them in. They never wandered far. After graduating I worked for a year at Idlenot Dairy in the office doing accounting. Merlin the CEO told me I needed to go to I applied to NH College the next fall and we sold Clyde and Derrick to help with tuition.

Tuesday, March 10

My parents

This is my father and the working end of an Ayrshire Cow.My mother harvesting tomatoes with the milk-house behind her.

Friday, March 6

I begged for a horse.

My father had other ideas.
He loved all things motorized.
So when I was in 7th grade He bought me a dirt bike.

My parents and brother each had a bike but they were too tall for me to learn on. These were the reasons he gave me for having a motorcycle over a horse.
  • You only have to feed it when you ride it.
  • You don't have to clean out its stall.
  • You don't have to brush it or exercise it.
  • It doesn't have a mind of its own.
  • It's not afraid of loud noises and will go anywhere you ask it to within reason.
Well, you get the idea. I thanked him over and over for that wonderful first bike. Actually, I still have it and my daughter rides it everyday in the summer.

Thursday, March 5

She was a Jersey Heifer and her name was Rue.

I really wanted a horse of my own....all the neighbor girls had them...we had cows. My Grandfather was the horseman and when my father and uncle took over the farm the horse era was a memory. So I started by training Rue with a halter and leading her everywhere. Then when she got big enough she let me ride. I rode her most anywhere.
Those clothes!! The hat was my Dad's wool hunting cap that shrunk in the wash (yeah for me), flannel shirt and denim jacket were hand-me-downs from my brother; the jeans and SK's (shit-kickers) the shoes were from the neighbor boy who was a year older than I was. Oh and it looks like mud season, my favorite time of year.

Tuesday, March 3

Riding at a young age.

That's me on Cracker.
(Firecracker maybe, I'm told she was red.)
The young gal is a summer neighbor. (up from NJ)