Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dr. Doolittle, Sort Of

I know what you all are thinking. You think this is a horse post don't you? Well, there are other animals around here too. And this time Mark was having some of the fun.

Look at all these reins and halters. These belong to Dale and he has chickens and goats and cows and horses and dogs and cats and all that fun stuff. He and his wife Karen milk their goats and cows and gather eggs from their chickens and once in awhile we are lucky enough to be on the receiving end.

Sometimes it is hard to know what to do for such nice people that are always so willing to give. A couple of days ago Dale dropped by with milk and 2 dozen eggs on his way to Lethbridge to haul cattle to the auction. Mark asked Dale what we could do to repay him for the milk and eggs. Dale didn't say much so Mark offered to milk his cow. And who was excited? ME! So last night, after dark, on a cool and windy night we drove up the road to Dale's barn and Mark milked a cow!

Mark used to milk a cow every morning and evening for a lot of years while growing up. With 11 kids in the family and his dad being a school teacher, there were a lot of times that scrimping and saving was a must. Mark has not milked a lot of cows, but he has milked a cow a lot of times which means he is really good at milking. He sat down on that one legged stool, bent his head down against the back end of the cow (to feel any leg movement that might come his way)and went to town. It was like riding a bicycle. Notice the tin of bag balm in the corner of the stall. That stuff is great for ailments isn't it? The cows must appreciate too, after all, it was created for them wasn't it?

After milking you have to strain the milk to get "stuff" out of it. I forgot to look and see what was left behind. Darn.

Dale traded his 22 rifle with a scope for this milk separator. I think for a man to trade his gun for a gizmo like this is, there must have been a real need. This machine was pretty cool when it started doing it's job.

That's Dale pouring the fresh milk into the separator. And let me tell you, separate the milk it does.


Look at that. The cream is going into the jar on the left and the skim milk is going into a bucket on the floor. How cool is that? and then do you know what Dale did? He put a lid on that jar of fresh cream and handed it to me. See, sometimes you can never ever get ahead.

And there you have it. My milk for the week. I think I will use the cream to make real homemade ice cream. Hhmmm.... should I make chocolate or strawberry or raspberry or peach? I'm making chocolate. Hello!


One of the cows had a calf a week or so ago so to be nice and fair to everyone, some of the milk was saved for her. It was a blast feeding this baby calf her milk. Lou Lou and I used to have a few drop calves in high school that we had to feed every morning(before early morning Seminary) and night so this was fun for me. Dale was sure that the calf was going to pull on the bottle nipple and that I would drop the bottle. I don't think Dale knew who he was messing with. That calf was no match for an experienced drop calf feeder, no siree!!

You have to admit this looks pretty fun!

Next on my agenda? Milking a cow. Mark can't have all the fun!

13 comments:

Jan said...

What an adventure! I wish I was going to be near enough to enjoy some of that ice cream - -it's going to be awesome for sure.

Marilou said...

Love this post Lee Lee! You are doing such cool stuff since moving to Alberta. Love you feeding the little calf. Hope he survives....you know it doesn't always happen. My little calf Ghost died back in "the day". Can't wait to try some fresh milk one day at your house, oh, and some ice cream.

The Cahoon Family said...

Wow, that would be super fun. I think I've done that once, but there's something soothing and awesome about it. It's fun to see you in action.

mama jo said...

can't believe you guys..you are having all sorts of adventures...ride 'em cowgirl!

Kari said...

No Way! I didn't know they could separate the milk, especially with a very cool contraption machine like that~!

Great photos--go Mark, go You!

USAUS said...

I think you have done it - you have become a country girl - not bad for an LA girl... very impressive - I just hope it is not infectious! Choc ice cream... yummy!!!

Susan, Susie, Suz said...

Oh Marilee! You really are having all the fun. I'm glad you took pictures of Mark with the cow.

Tell us how the ice cream turned out!

Audrey said...

Oh wow! this is way better than a petting zoo. (extent of my experience) No wonder you are pros at this, you grew up having all this kind of fun! That baby calf has very precious eyes.

Cher said...

You are so cool lee lee. I love hearing about your adventures...

Gina woodhouse said...

What a great life you have up there! Can't wait to see the photos of you milking the cow next.

Kurt And Jeana said...

OH that little calf is so cute! I use to love feeding the baby cows on the farm by my house! I've only milked one cow in my life though, it was on a field trip in third grade, and believe me it's harder than it looks.

stephmodo said...

Wow.

Can I look as good as you when I'm your age? Pretty please?

Lewis Family said...

I cen't believe how big your kids are getting. What beautiful pictures, sounds like your guys are loving your move and doing great, quite the change from California, tell everyone hi from us!