Glory Bee’s Weekend


I was walking around the farm this weekend and went to visit the girls. I usually turn Glory Bee out with the heifers for the weekend. Let her reconnect with the younguns, and keep Moon Pie from getting weaned. I like keeping my alternate milk maid available.
If Glory Bee sees me coming, she makes a beeline for me, leading a cow train behind her.
The cow train lines up at the fenceline while Glory Bee assesses the situation.
Is she going anywhere? Are we doing anything?
She deduces correctly that I’m just visiting and promptly ignores me. I am, after all, just a human milk maid and of little interest if I’m not taking her back to the barn.
Moon Pie squeezes in between mommy and big sister. She was so worried! But now all is right with her world again.
“Go away, Lady.”

Next time I go to visit, I’m taking mommy back to the barn. But we don’t have to tell her that just now.

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The Deal about Dumplin


The girls, Dumplin and Moon Pie.
I really like how Moon Pie’s coloring is shaping up. She’s a pretty thing.
Look at those lashes.
Nobody’s happy when mama’s gone a-milkin’.
Especially baby Moon Pie!
Dumplin’s gotten pretty friendly over time, though. She misses mommy, but she’s long weaned, so it’s just mommy’s company she misses, not her milk.
She’s always eager now to come right to me.
Sometimes a little too close for comfort.
I don’t think she understands personal space boundaries!
She’s very beefy in her appearance for a half-dairy. You can really see the Limousin in her. She’s cute in her own way, though.
I love cows.

I mentioned recently that I had some Dumplin news coming up. So here it is. Remember last fall, almost exactly a year ago, I sold Dumplin to my neighbor. At the time, I was thinking I wasn’t ready to start a little beef herd of my own.

Dumplin: “You sold me? What is SOLD?”
At first, my neighbor was thinking about beefing her. You know what that means. I went to work convincing him that Dumplin would make a great breeder! He should keep her! Beef out her baby, NOT DUMPLIN! I love Dumplin.

He asked if Dumplin could stay on the farm for the winter and he bought her hay supply and loaded it in the loft. He didn’t have a field fenced yet or a barn. So Dumplin stayed on the farm. And stayed on the farm. And stayed on the farm. Eventually, my neighbor got a field fenced in a connecting field on his farm to my farm. But Dumplin stayed here. The horses have been over to his field a few times this fall, but not the cows. And my neighbor made various arrangements to take Dumplin to another farm with a bull to get her bred, and I’m not sure what happened to those plans, but then one day my neighbor came over and offered to sell Dumplin back to me. He’s not quite ready yet to go into keeping cows, and he’s planning to start over with that sometime in the future. And he knows I love Dumplin, so he gave me first crack at her before he made any other plans to sell her to someone else or (!) beef her out.

And so Dumplin’s back! Okay, she never went anywhere. She was here the whole time. But now she’s really MINE again. I regretted selling Dumplin almost from the moment I sold her.

I’m never selling her again.

Next up: I’ll be training her to the headlock in the milking parlor asap and calling the vet to have her artificially inseminated. She has to be able to be controlled in a headlock to be AI’d.
My little beef herd breeders–Moon Pie and Dumplin (and mommy, too).

Together forever!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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