Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Of Classes and Cows

I had a wonderful time teaching my soap making class last Saturday!  Although it poured rain, and we had to find a "work around" for mixing the lye water since we normally do that outside, it was all sunshine inside.   We had a surprise waiting for one of my students.  A sweet wife surprised her husband for his birthday and part of that surprise was attending my class.  I baked a Lemonade Cake and hid it. Then during "snack time" we brought it out, candle and all, and all of us sang Happy Birthday.  Fun!

We made a new soap that I am debuting next month.  It is called "Christmas Morning" and smells just like a Christmas Tree.  Josiah came up with the name and I just love it.  My curing rack is opposite my desk and when I am working I can smell this wonderful scent!  Makes me want to sing Silver Bells!  Look for it towards the end of October!

I have been requested to give more advance notice of my next classes so...here you go!  My next Basic Herbal Medicine class will be on October 17th and my next Soapmaking Made Simple will be on October 24th.  Drop me an email if you want to sign up and I'll give you all the information.

On to cows....

About a month ago, I was in town at a friend's home and received a call asking me where the "little black calf" in our field came from? Little black calf?  It was out in a large field with our other cows. When we got home and checked things out, we found out that an Angus cow...named Agnes....that belongs to these people had given birth!  We had been pasturing this cow for them for some time to help relieve their feed situation.  We had all been hoping that our Angus bull had bred her.  She had a beautiful baby girl!  They came by a few days later to take Mama and baby home.

We have been keeping a close eye on our two milk cows in hopes that they will be having babies soon. We are hoping for one girl and one boy.  Then we will have lots of fresh milk for butter, cheese and drinking!

We have been milking another Jersey named Suzie.  She has been on loan to us for over a year.  A very dear family in Virginia loaned her to us so that we would have milk since Nora was down to just 2 quarts a day. Now this family is very sensitive and actually made it sound like we would be doing them a favor if they could "leave her with us" for a time.

Suzie gives wonderful milk, lots of cream, will take any baby you put with her...an almost perfect cow. I say almost because she hates to have her udder touched and she kicks.  So, the boys have to tie her foot back during milking.  It's workable and we're very thankful to have been allowed to drink her wonderful milk for over a year now.

We had a scare with Suzie last week.  They boys came running in and told me that Suzie was down and couldn't get up.  Chills went down my spine!  I went running to the barn and watched her try to stand, stagger and fall.  It was so bad that I was afraid that she'd break a leg or maybe her neck! I called the vet who came immediately - it only took about 30 min. for him to make it to the farm.  Wouldn't you know that THE INSTANT his truck pulled into the barn yard, Suzie stood up and acted completely normal.

So, now I'm trying to explain to Nick that I didn't panic and that she really was "staggery".  He took her temp...only 2 degrees off.  He gave her a calcium i.v. drip "just in case".  Then we walked the field together looking for Dallas grass which can give animals the "drunk staggers".  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.

He checked her over, said she was in good shape and about 8 years old.  Told me to keep a close eye on her and if she acted normal the next day, not to worry about it. We had put her on new pasture that day and he thought perhaps she over indulged which might have knocked her minerals out of whack. None of this comforted me too much since she is a borrowed cow and I certainly didn't want to call and tell D.J. that his cow had died.

What I learned a few days later is that sometimes....just sometimes, kids can be smarter than vets....I"ll tell you all about it next post.



  1. wow. what a story, I'm so glad that Suzie came out ok. We had a similar problem on Saturday - Loretta was down and unfortunately rolled all the way down the hill before the vet could get here. Milk fever he said and after he treated her she got up and seemed fine. Monday she was down and wouldn't/couldn't stand. No one knows what's wrong with her. The only saving grace is that she is in the barn.

    My nerves are shot, though. It is all I can do to pray that God will be with us and help us to know what to do.

  2. Still waiting for the "next post" to hear the rest of the story.


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