Friday, June 22, 2012

Holy Cow

When I was little we had a neighbor called Chug.  Why was he called Chug? I have no idea.  Maybe he was a railroad man, maybe he was a party-er, maybe his full name was Chugford.  I just don't know.  What I do know is Chug had cows and occasionally those cows got out.

The memories I have of Chugs cows are laced with terror.  Once, along with my sister and the neighbor children I huddled at the center of a trampoline safely out of reach of the formidable beasts.  There we sat bawling as we awaited rescue.

Another time after fleeing to the safety of the neighbors back door and admitting myself with out bothering to knock I stood frozen against the screen door.  In the refuge of the door way, after the flight response had settled, I began feeling uneasy over my hasty decision to skip knocking.  I didn't dare venture any further into the house.  In truth, I was anxious to escape before I was discovered trespassing, but I knew that out there beyond the perimeter of the carport lurked gigantic and frightening cows.  I was stuck, too scared to proceed in either direction. 
I have no memory of how the situation resolved.

What I'm trying to relate here is the general temperature of the relationship between myself and members of the bovine family during my formative years. These terrifying experiences continued to flavor my interaction with bovinia for years to come.  

The truth is, my fear of cows has never really been an issue for me despite it's ongoing presence in psyche.  Like your average suburban woman I've only rarely come into contact with the animals and when the circumstances arose that I was near a cow or two they were easy to avoid.  Stay well back from the fence, leave all petting zoo responsibilities to the Mr and that's that.  Mission accomplished. No contact with cows.  

But guess what I did on Wednesday?

I milked one.

Actually I'm not sure you can truthfully call what I did "milking."  I tried to milk.  I succeeded in landing about an ounce of milk in the bucket.  Soon thereafter a fly drowned in that hard-won ounce and the whole of it had to be thrown out.

The good news is, I've grown as an individual.  I stood in the pasture with not only the cow but also a horse and a goat and felt only slight trepidation.  When my turn came to milk I worried more about how we're going to manage being fully responsible for the care and milking of this animal for an entire nine days than I was about anything else.

Getting the milk from the udder to the bucket, it turns out, is on the tricky side.  The cow didn't have a lot of patience with my futile attempts and kept walking away.  The good news is: The Mr had a very healthy relationship with cows in his childhood.  Armed with that and his previous milking experience he did much better than I.  Still we're both going to need to fit in some practice before we're  left to do the milking on our own.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Baby can eat

All of the best birthday photos of Duke involved birthday foods. We planned the dinner menu based on what we wanted to eat ourselves as Duke boy does not yet have a favorite dinner that I'm aware of.

He may not have a favorite dinner as of yet but he does have preferences for snack foods. Among these preferences are warm chewy pretzels so I whipped up a batch in his honor.
I was also at a loss as to the flavor of cake he favors and was forced to guess. Just so we're clear, when I say "guessed" what I mean is "chose my own current favorite," (chocolate cake with cookie dough frosting if you must know) I'm pretty sure he was happy with my decision.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


For my birthday (it was yesterday) I'm getting pictures printed to fill the gaps in my collage wall. I need to pick a photo of baby Enzo but I can't decide. Please everyone tell me tell me your opinion of which photo I should pick and then I'll go ahead and do whatever I want regardless of your suggestions.

I suppose regardless isn't exactly the word I'm looking for. I'm hoping hearing other opinions will awaken a preference within myself. Like when you're choosing between nail polish or ice cream flavors and you do eenie meanie miney mo but then pick the losing thing because it's losing made you realize you were rooting for it. So I'll certainly regard all the advice I'm given I just don't promise to abide by it.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Are you a band-aid mom?

I am not. 90% of the time if my kid asks for a band-aid I answer "suck it up." Ok, my actual answer is more like "I don't think you need one," but I liked the dramatics of the first for the sake of the post.

 When I was a kid wanting band-aids I got the same response from my mama. Sometimes she threw in the story about when she was little and they didn't even have ban-aids. If they needed a bandage they tied a clean rag around the injured appendage.

 When I did get an injury that warranted bandaging I went to great lengths to protect the hard won plastic strip, carefully holding the bandaged knee, shin or elbow out of the bathwater to avoid soaking it off early. The chances of securing a replacement band-aid were so slim, great care had to be taken.

 By the time I was willing to part with the coveted bit of first aid it would be so cemented to my skin/leg hair that it took another soak in the tub to free it from my person. After being kept from the water during the previous bathing the skin around the band-aid would be gratuitously dirty. It was like magic watching my skin return to it's normal color as the layers of accumulated dirt lifted away.

 Even after all of that I grew up to be band-aid stingy just like my mother.

 The kids got band-aids in their Easter baskets this year. I thought I'd be able to let them enjoy their sticky prizes in peace but it wound up being too much for me. I put the Easter band-aids in the band-aid drawer. I got scared that the kids would get used to having band-aids in their own control and then, lousy with bandaging power, they'd never again submit to my control of first aid supplies.

 When Enzo swims he does a lot of clinging to the side of the pool and crawling around on the steps. As a result he always comes home from a pool encounter insisting that his fingers are bleeding. "Look. See? They're RED!" If I had a nickel for every time I've said the words "If it's not dripping it's not bleeding," during the past few weeks, well then, I'd have myself some twenties of cents.

 One day after swimming he sneaked into my bathroom and helped himself to the band-aids. I couldn't really be mad since, in all fairness, those band-aids are his. That he was able to bandage all five fingers on his right hand without assistance is pretty impressive. Sadly his bandaging extravaganza happened mere minutes before bath time. I found all seven (two on the other hand) band-aids water logged in the bottom of the tub when he was done.

This is why I lock them up.