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May 2012 Chickens in the Road Newsletter

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IN THIS ISSUE:

*Feature: A Brief History of Milking

*My Favorite Thing Right Now: This Print

*Recent Highlights: An Interesting Cookie, Second Place Ribbon, Preparation 101, and More

*Farm Bell Recipes: Hot Bites Meal

*Blast from the Past: Woman Attacked by Goats, Film at 11

*Alert: A Brief History of Milking

The first known domesticated cows are documented back to 6000 B.C. Greece. Cheese was common in the ancient world by 4000 B.C. Using cows for meat is actually a much more recent development. Man went after domesticating cows for carrying loads and providing milk.

I first started milking a cow in my own ancient world of Stringtown Rising Farm. I started out milking Beulah Petunia in the meadow bottom. I had to deal with donkeys and sheep while milking. I had to cross a creek on foot with my bucket and carry it up the driveway afterward. (See A Hard Day’s Morning.) Then I got smart and started driving down to the meadow bottom. I would sit in the road on an overturned bucket, transferring my milk from the bucket to quart jars so I could close it up with a lid before transporting it up the bumpy driveway. I’d carry a box of quart jars into the house each day to filter and store the milk.

This wasn’t easy, and sometimes BP caused a little bit of a ruckus. (See Cows are Strong.) But it often had a Disney quality to it. There is always something magical about roughing it–and if you can see the magic, then it makes the difficulty go down a little easier. The sound of the birdsong, the bright beams of morning sun, the butterflies swooping in front of you as you walk, the chime of the moving creek, the warm bulk of the cow above your fingers.

Later, I had a milk stand up near the house. Eventually, it became an unrecoverable mud pit due its location at the base of a ravine and I started milking, without a milk stand, near one of the back doors of the house. This was actually pretty handy and BP was well-trained enough to cooperate without a milk stand. Or maybe it was me who was well-trained by then. Plus I had gotten a milking machine at that point, which made the entire process go more quickly.

Now, I’m having a milking parlor constructed inside one of the stalls in the barn. I’ll have an outlet for my milking machine, lights, solid milk stands (for cows and goats) set in concrete, and wire to keep out chickens. Tucked well inside the barn, it will always be dry and protected from the cold winds in winter. I’m planning to be SO SPOILED!

I’m entering a new era! A new day is dawning! Modern milking! Sort of! Something that man has been doing for thousands of years can never be completely modern, and that is the way it should be. Even now, with a milking machine–and soon a lovely milking parlor–there is something elemental about milking a cow that is grounding and why I keep doing it. Watch the blog to see the daily progress of my new milking parlor. I can’t wait to show it to BP.

*My Favorite Thing Right Now: This Print

It could be yours!

This painting was created by artist Kelly Walker from a photograph of Patriot and Zip, my two rescue horses. This painting will be made into a print for the Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue benefit at my studio grand opening party on June 16.

You can get more details about the party here (you’re invited!), but even if you can’t come to the party, you can participate. Every individual or family who donates at least $25 or more to the Heart of Phoenix for this event will receive a print, suitable for framing, of the above art. Attendees at the party can take their print home that day. If you can’t attend the party, your print will be shipped to you. ALSO, every person who makes a $25 donation to the Heart of Phoenix for this event will be entered in a drawing for a custom pet (pets, farm animals, etc) portrait by Kelly Walker. (THAT is an amazing prize. But even if you don’t win, you will still receive the print.)

Checks should be addressed to: Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue.

Envelopes should be addressed to: Chickens in the Road, P.O. Box 858, Clendenin, WV 25045.

Coming to the party? Register here.

Find out more about the Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue here. HOP is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and your donations are tax-deductible.

*Recent Highlights: An Interesting Cookie, Second Place Ribbon, Preparation 101, and More

Barn: What happened when I Tried to Relax Again, The Coco Report, and who gets Second Place Ribbon around here. Find all my farm animal stories here.

Cooking: An Interesting Cookie (cornmeal!) and a Bread 911! Don’t miss a thing in my kitchen! Get all my recipes.

Country Living: See All the Pretty People (and dresses!) at high school graduation, life in A Small County, and what happened when I Tried to Drive the Truck. (I’m getting better at it now!) See all my country living stories.

House & Garden: I’ve been decluttering and tossing out again, going through old stuff. Check out my junior high Preparation 101 and go along on my Garden Tour. Browse all my posts in house & garden.

*Farm Bell Recipes: Hot Bites Meal

Homemade hot wings and jalapeno poppers–what’s not to love? Check out community member Butterbean’s delicious recipes and step-by-step instructions in her Hot Bites Meal post and visit her at her Adventures In Country Living. Butterbean was the May contributor giveaway winner!

To submit a blog post and enter to win the latest contributor giveaway, go here. The prize for the June contributor giveaway will be an Aroma Rice Cooker and Food Steamer.

May 2012 Farm Bell Recipes blog contributors:

THANK YOU! Please give them a visit!

*Blast from the Past: Woman Attacked by Goats, Film at 11

The secrets of the path.

What pulls these mystical creatures inexorably on its trail? Find out the truth in Woman Attacked by Goats, Film at 11. (I hope you don’t have any cookies in your pocket.)

***

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And, always, feel free to forward this newsletter!

Thank you for your comments, your support, and just for being there. Here’s hoping to see you on the Chickens in the Road Forum (make friends, have fun, come join us!) and every day on the farmhouse blog!

Love,
Suzanne

*More Handy Links:
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What are you fixing for supper tonight? Browse the goodness at Farm Bell Recipes — your cooking community!

*I’m giving away books on preserving so don’t forget to watch the blog for The Ball Blue Book Project days.

Go to Chickens in the Road now.





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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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