Tag Archives: cows


A couple of years ago our dear dog Zoe’s precious toy gave up. Ten years of service. So my husband built another. A rubber lacy cage around a latex gorilla with a squeaker. The cage assures she will not attack the gorilla and take out the squeaker in under 30 seconds. That is what she does and why this toy was invented. There are no stuffed animals here. She would eviscerate them in seconds. But she’s the sweetest dog in the world, loves adults, kids and even errant pups.

After ten years, her only toy deteriorated due to age. So has her bowl stand. I’ve had the same bowl set for her for nearly 12 years and the stainless bowls are fine. While I hate to get rid of it, the stand has rusted out underneath and the rubber on the bottom will not go back into place no matter what I do.

Yesterday I washed the mat that goes underneath her bowls. That may need replacing as well. She’ll be 12 in January and after all these years needs a new bowl set. It’ll keep her spine straighter as it will be lifted by a few inches. She is such a good girl and deserves a $9 bowl set every 12 years!

We try not to spoil Zoe because everyone else does. She’s kind of a mascot around here. Kind of like me not getting into the frat but am still in touch years later with its leaders. Now I’m giving them recipes for their camping trip!

I hate losing Zoe’s toy and bowl stand because I don’t want to lose Zoe. She’ll be 12 soon and while her senior blood panel is good it would break my heart to lose her. I’ll have to make the decision. My husband may be out of town or not choose to participate because he hates this as do I.

Don’t be fooled, he grew up on a dairy that is now a cattle ranch. His dad had to shoot both predators, and cattle beyond saving. So did he. It’s like living in Old Yeller though he hasn’t touched a rifle for years nor do we have any weapons in our home. Oh, I do cook so have knives but take them to veggies. Our young cousin asked to teach me how to shoot last year and I declined. This year, I’ll say it’s OK as long as I have a 22 and we’re shooting at cans, scary.

The first year, we were married, I was in PJ’s getting some tea and his Dad came up in the truck and said “hop in!!” I ran and got a coat and shoes and he took me to see a 14 point buck. All we got to see was the doe. What he told me about his heart and soul, his wife and sons that day is that he is a kind, honest man who doesn’t hunt for sport. If he was poor he would go legally into the woods and kill for food.

Last Thanksgiving he took me on a tour on the four-wheeler to see all the baby calves. One was dead and mama would not leave it. There is a bovine community that sometimes adopts a twin. There are babysitters. It is creepy to be in the bathroom at 5 am and have nine bulls looking at you from 2o feet away but you get used to it. I even fed a twin calf their version of milk. Something like ours…. that they give us daily.

Family is so important. I miss everyone who is lost to us, and cherish all that remain. Slainte to all our human and four-footed friends. Dee



The Family Farm

I grew up in Concord grape country.  We also had a lot of apples, and dairy cows back then.  From age 8-10 we lived by a dairy.  My husband grew up on a dairy in TX and when I asked what his holiday traditions were he said “milked cows.”

Now with the severe drought in Texas his family, who now raises beef cattle because one man (his dad) can’t keep up with 150 dairy cattle alone; sold off 75% of the herd because the grass and water were drying up.

The Farm

There are people who don’t have sons and daughters dying in a war we never needed to fight.  There are people who don’t understand that the bread and butter, milk and meat, that are put on our tables are still somewhat provided by family farms who embody quality over quantity.

I urge you to grow your own food or buy locally.  Years ago I was shocked when my sister called to get a turkey for thanksgiving.  Now, well, Nanny does Thanksgiving every year but I’d think nothing of buying a local turkey.  My problem is capon, as no-one has it and I’ll have to have one delivered for Christmas.

The sole family farm I could find went out of business last year.  No info yet as to sourcing new product but I’m on the case and will let you know.

One of the first times, perhaps just after we were married, we went “home” to Jim’s folks I asked for milk because I was making individual omelets for everyone.  She said she had some powdered milk in the pantry.  I asked “don’t you have 150 cows out there that were just milked this morning?”  And she answered that she no longer has two growing boys at home so doesn’t need to keep two gallons of milk in the frig at all times.

A valid point, from a savvy and thrifty woman that I love.  Back home, you “make do.”  If you don’t have a lemon for the vinaigrette you want to make, punt with whatever’s there because it’s not worth a 45-minute trip to the grocery store.

I once asked my m-i-l what she does when Joe doesn’t want to eat leftovers.  Nothing.  Jim, my husband always says “let’s go out.”  That’s the difference between city dwellers and family farmers.  Jim’s mom has a chest freezer that would feed them for at least a month.  She has to buy everything on sale and freeze it, and when we visit, we eat well.

All I can say is that farm subsidies are not geared to the right people, the family farmers, and that they’re hurting this year especially due to drought.  Everyone swoops in for a hurricane (except FEMA) or tornado but a slow death isn’t news-worthy.  Willy Nelson cares.  That’s a start.

These are proud people.  Be careful how you try to help out.  But try, nonetheless.

Veggie Dinner Disaster

First off, I’ve got to tell you that my father-in-law had to sell off 75% of his herd last weekend in Texas because of the drought.  Being on bottom land, he had more water than most of the other ranchers, also grass.  Now the months of excessive heat and drought have brought family farmers to their knees.

Joe was a dairyman for decades.  Family farms couldn’t compete with conglomerates and he couldn’t handle the herd alone so sold off the cows and started a cattle ranch on 600 acres.  Now he’s left with one bull and 21 others.

When the government gives money to farms it doesn’t go to small family farms.  When the milk and cheese people show gorgeous country farms, that’s not where our milk and cheese are coming from.

My husband was raised on meat and potatoes.  And milk (that’s another story).  So I decided to make a delectable vegetarian meal.  Homemade falafel on homemade grilled fry bread with tahini sauce, arugula and tomatoes.

It was a disaster on every level.  Basically, my husband was really tired from work so I decided to “grill” the fry bread indoors.  They came out like bricks and took over my main burner.

I got the other burner up to temp for the falafel and the first batch turned out OK and I put it in the oven.  The second failed miserably, sitting in cool oil and falling apart.  The falafel were really tasty, as was the tahini sauce.   This recipe needs a re-do by me because everything was tasty, it was my heat, or lack thereof, that created havoc.  And I can always buy pita bread and keep the best burner on.

I just wanted my husband to know what it would be like without beef.  Cheers, Dee