Sunday, June 14, 2009
Over-research: phase I
I'm in the over-researching phase of family cow ownership. This is the part where, despite having already made my decision based on the typical mix of rashness, bravado, intuition, and probably hormones, I pretend that what I am about to do is perfectly logical. Hence: the over abundance of post decision "re"search. This phase also provides ammunition for later remorse. No decision of mine is complete without the full set of self-doubts, regrets and a loaded pre-set my own "Told You So"s, ready to fire should the occasion present itself.
As part of this research phase, I took the kids to the local dairy.
It's a small dairy. It's a family thing. Exactly what I grew up around. I helped my grandpa every other weekend with his cows. Yet time erases all of the important details, except the green field with the rainbow and gramps at my side. So, I brought the kids to a dairy. A GREAT dairy. The cows are happy, artificially inseminated, and free of fake hormones. And they are really really large.
I haven't had anything bigger than a really really big cat in the past about 15 years (check that! time has passed! It's been 18 years!). Sure, I've been employed on a dude ranch. I've retrained a few horses. But that was before kids. That was... holy ovulating octopuses! nearly nine years ago!! Large animals have gotten larger in the intervening period, apparently. They are actually larger than kids! And they have big, hard, feet. And they have even more crap coming out of their butts than children! Cows are really big. Not lap companions.
I nursed for 6 years straight. Sometimes with a machine. There's this creepy familiarity to what those girls do. A mammalian recognition of the shoot-shoot-shoot sounds. And it's weird. It's like just reaching over a squeezing some other lady's breasts. So inappropriate! There must be some right of ownership, the familiarity of a proprietor to presume to just reach over and squeeze some mammals teets, like you own them, like their bodies don't belong to themselves, but to you. Absolutely mind boggling. I'd really have to understand that we are not equals. That I am their master. That I OWN their boobs!
I'm not sure I'm ready to be the top of the food chain yet.
The tour was amazing and wonderful and smelled like old times. And the woman of the farm even ground grain and made us cookies from it! To have with our big glasses of milk. And she sent us home with a gallon, cream still in it! Fresh from that morning! Coyote is already dead gone on the stuff and won't have anything else since we moved to Spokane. And I love it too! I had several tall glasses!
And now we come to the major unforeseen glitch in my little plan: milk makes me really sick! For decades, more than just a bit in my tea and little on my cereal has turned my insides into knots and these knots tell me things: you are going to die! Hari Kari is committed from the inside out! There is an alien trying to escape from your abdomen! Just to make sure, apparently, creamy milk addict that I am, I tried to guzzle even more milk the next day. Same near death experience.
So now I'm perusing cheese books. Camembert is unfortunately really difficult and they say I should spend several years in less worthy cheeses working my way up. Whatever. We all know by now that my best results are achieved when I'm in way over my head. As long as I carefully accomplish everything contrary to advice, it'll at least turn out. But - damn. It says to clean the kitchen first. And backwards or frontwards, that's my Waterloo.