Saturday, May 20, 2017

Old friends, new changes, better life

Several months ago when I first bought Sassy, an old friend reconnected with the family and although many things have changed since we went back & forth consistently, there are just some things about the friendship that have not changed despite having not seen her or her family in a long time.  Funny how that works!

Years ago, she was the person who would fix our computers when we screwed up this or that.  She taught me a lot about the computer world as well as helping me to get through some tough stuff that I had going on at the time.  She was married to a serious creep of an idiot, had two sons by a prior marriage, and had one daughter from the idiot.

Mom & Dad got tired of constantly needing to fix this or that, and bought a new system.  Since we no longer needed her to fix our broken down fix-r-uppers, we lost touch for a long time.

Since losing touch over the last 12-years, she was able to get away from the abusive idiot of a pedafile she was married to.  Her two sons have gone off the deep end, with one believing that he is a girl and the other being such a chronic liar that nothing is trustworthy from his mouth.  Her daughter on the other hand, is doing "OK", because our friend was able to retain custody of her and she has remarried a really decent man who has a daughter of his own from a prior marriage as well.  He supports and loves her the way she deserves to be loved, and through his support & due to some serious health issues, she has chosen to begin hobby farming in an effort to get healthier and improve the quality of life she has left to live.

Fast forward to today.  Here we are, both of us having lived through our abusive ex's, both of us deciding that we can feed and care for our families, better, through growing our own food than by buying it in a store.

She now has chickens, ducks, rabbits, cows, and dogs, and is loving the country life!!  She's smiling and laughing, has stopped smoking (due to the health issues) and seems to be genuinely happy!

[In comparison:  I have horses, cows, chickens, ducks, dogs, cats & toddlers (ha ha).]

She raises the rabbits as pets for the local feed store, the chickens lay eggs which she uses to feed her family then sells the extra to the public who may stop into her home, and raises the cattle for the milk they might produce, for her family to drink, but mainly for the meat they will produce once they come of age/weight.

Yesterday she called asking if I could come down and look at her heifer who is overdue to give birth.  I went down, and what could have been a 3-hour run, turned into 6-hours.  I looked at her cow, and I guestimate that she should give birth any time between now & tomorrow.

Because of dad being a milkman for over 24-years, I was raised around dairy cows.  Cows are, dare I say, part of who I am?  Although the cows were never my own until now, I still learned a great deal from the producers along the way.

After owning their own business for that long, my parents saw so many crazy animal drama's, equipment failures, life or death emergencies & FDA dramas... that we used to joke about how we should write a book of memoirs, and call it "As The Milk Churns" (haha).

One example of such drama's: when I was around 7-years old, we pull into a producers yard and he rushes out to the truck as we pull in, begging Dad to come help him pull a holstein calf.  They didn't have the proper equipment, the farmer wasn't properly prepared, despite it being a heifer on her first calf.  They pulled and worked to get that calf out for over 3-hours, and when they finally got it, it was dead.  The mother died shortly after from exhaustion. A sad story for sure, but an example of how although Dad wasn't properly "trained" in farm husbandry, he would always get pulled into it anyway.  It would seem that the Amish producers we served, thought that Dad would just know the answers to whatever problems they had.

Now, years later those unexpected experiences have helped me.  Have given me confidence to go on and begin my own hobby farm, and because of how calm dad was in these emergency situations, it laid the groundwork for some of my choices and how to handle emergencies better.

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