You Can Take the Boy Out of the Country, But You Can’t Take the Country Out of the Boy


My parents are visiting. I showed my dad the results of my three days of milking Clover. You know, my three tablespoons of milk. All carefully preserved like museum artifacts, each tablespoon from each day, in its own little carefully sterilized jam jar. My 83-year-old father told me he’d show me how it’s done. He grew up here in Stringtown on my great-grandfather’s farm directly across the river from our farm. He started milking a cow when he was eight years old. After serving as a tail-gunner in World War II, he came back to West Virginia and graduated from West Virginia University. He bunked at the WVU dairy farm where he milked fifteen cows before breakfast. After they got done milking, the university bussed them over to their classes then back to the farm where they went to bed early to get up at four a.m. and start milking again.

That was sixty years ago. He left West Virginia and hasn’t milked anything since unless you count the stock market.

I was skeptical, to say the least, but not too proud to haul the 83-year-old man down to the milkstand and tell him to show me his stuff.

First, I got rid of these two.

I crated them up around four p.m. so that Clover would be feeling slightly more needy than she’d been feeling the past three days. There was quite a bit of plaintive bleating going on during this time. Clover and her babies don’t like to be separated. I’m not quite up to the notion of separating them for the entire night yet, but three hours was doable.

The 83-year-old man pulled up a turned-over bucket for a stool. I took Clover’s hind legs. Princess manned the camera.

And he started milking like he’d just left off at the WVU dairy farm yesterday.

Clover wanted to kick, but I held her. You know, with my big, strong muscles.

The doctor, at work.

Actually, my dad spent his life as a Church of Christ minister.

Which totally explains why he got that B.S. in Agriculture from WVU.

I was feeling like my arms were going to fall off right about now.

Clover was determined to not stand on her back feet unless she could kick them. Or sit on the pail. I had to hold her still and hold her up.

Did I have my head up her butt? I can’t remember. I LOOK LIKE I DID.

You’d think I’d remember having my head up a goat’s butt.

How come when 52 held onto Clover the day before his head wasn’t up her butt? Do you think it was because he was wearing chore boots?



NEVER MIND! Look! From left to right, Day One, Day Two, Day Three, DAY FOUR!!!!

My dad got half a jam jar out of her.

She’s got more. Eventually, I’ll get it from her. I’m really starting to believe that now.

I’m starting to believe in cheese…..



  1. angiecmt says:

    Thanks for the laugh and smile this morning ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think 52 is just taller and a little bit stronger than you, so his head doesn’t have to be up her butt – LOL

    Plus, I think you need some chore boots or those pretty green boots!

    Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Kathryn says:

    Wow! That is a good amount from a reluctant milker. Any day now, Miss Picky will let go, and you will be filling that pail.

  3. Carolyn A. says:

    Wow! Go Dad! Seems like he’s a man who has a way with the ladies. Just teasing. Hope he gave you some good pointers. Can’t wait to see some cheese. xxoo

  4. Sandy says:

    What a sweet looking man that dad of yours. I bet he is proud of you and happy to be back in West Virginia, if only for a visit. :cattail:

  5. MMHONEY says:


  6. Amelia says:

    I suppose milking is like riding a bicycle – once you learn you never forget…so your Dad has not lost his touch…or perhaps he prayed harder…enjoy your visit with them.

  7. Maureen says:

    Yeah for Dad! Goat chees is on the way.

  8. Beckynsc says:

    Way to go Chickens in the Road Dad!!!
    I hope he gave you some pointers. Now that you know it’s there, you should have no trouble getting more.
    Cheering for you!!!

  9. Shari C says:

    Thanks for starting my day with a ‘big’ smile.

    Your Dad certainly hasn’t lost his touch. Do you think Clover likes being handled by a man more…ha,ha! Hopefully, your Dad can teach you that magic touch and you will have a whole jar full of future cheese soon yourself.

  10. anne says:

    Good milking Suzanne and your Dad!! Have a great visit with your parents and I bet he will give you great pointers about
    the milking and farm life in general. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Blaze says:

    Holy Cheese!

    Your almost there!
    wootwoot good luck getting some more outta here soon

  12. Debbie in Memphis says:

    Way to go Dad!! See it’s just like riding a bike, you never forget and I bet he’s got tons of pointers for you. We can’t wait for more milking photos. Thank for sharing your stories with us!!

  13. jane says:

    Maybe if you tell clover you will name the cheese after her she will put out more!!! Clover cheese from Stringtown Farm Rising – sounds like a product to me. Thanks for sharing your life up there. My Dad was born and raised in WV but I have never been – so now I know at least in part. Now if we could just get 52 on the air!!!!!

  14. Gizmo says:

    Waytogo Dad!!! :shimmy:
    I think you’re right – it’s the boots. You probably should go back and get those daisy boots. :mrgreen:
    You’re going to to be in the cheese very soon!!!

  15. Granny Sue says:

    You’re going to have to bite that bullet and separate them at night. Remember when you had to get your babies to go to their own bed at night? It was stressful, but only for a while. They’ll get over it, really.

    Your Dad’s the man!

  16. wammy says:

    I know it is the boots also. I think you should go get some for princess too. Nice milking! Have a great visit with your Dad. I love it when my Dad comes for a visit. We get so many little things done around here it isn’t even funny.

  17. Gail says:

    How nice to have your parents visiting. I’m sure they are loving your farm and all that you have accomplished! Way to go Dad! You are a chip off the old block… I see you milking and getting a full jar tomorrow! (especially if you
    keep the kids from Clover ALL night! They’ll get plenty of milk from Mom throughout the day.)

  18. Cheryl says:

    :wave: Welcome to your Dad! What a great smile he has holding up the jar!

  19. Suzette says:

    Now THAT’s real progress. You might have enough for a batch of soap, y’know. If nothing else, you can definitely have a goat milk latte now.

    I’m also voting for the daisy boots. I think they hold the mojo.

    Can’t wait for the next installment.

  20. Angie says:

    Yay Dad! How exciting! I love goat cheese and I found myself drooling looking at that jar. Can’t wait to see how it’s made.

  21. Tresha says:

    “How come when 52 held onto Clover the day before his head wasnโ€™t up her butt? Do you think it was because he was wearing chore boots?”

    This line made me spray my coffee everywhere….ahahaha….so great!!!!!!!! I WANT a pair of the green daisy boots…when you go back I need a size 9!

    Your dad is ADORABLE!!!!!!! doesn’t matter how big you get, dad still has show his little girl how it’s done….there was no way he was going to walk away with just 1 Tablespoon of milk….nope…

    Hey….and nice job on the photos princess!

    Tresh in Oklahoma

  22. Pam says:

    That’s awesome! He looks pretty proud holding up the jar of milk. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Stephanie says:

    Guess we’re never too old to learn from our Daddy. :purr:

  24. Robin G. says:

    Sometimes you just need the help of an expert. Never doubt the powers of an 83 year old raised on a farm.

  25. Nancy says:

    Your Dad rocks! And Princess did a great job with the photos – as did you with holding up your “end” of the job. Yep. I vote for the boots. :purr:

  26. Traci in GA says:

    No matter how old you get, Dad or Mom can always show you how it’s ‘done’!! Go, Dad!!

  27. Kim says:

    WOOHOO!!! You’ll be making cheese any day now! :thumbsup:

  28. Claudia W. says:

    I love your dad. He is just like mine. The all knowing, right there helping you out kind of guy. The best kind! YAY! Dad!

  29. Employee No. 3699 says:

    :rotfl: Yeah, you had me rolling on the floor with this post. And yes, I think ‘chore boots’ made the difference.

  30. Teresa H. says:

    I think the chore boots make the difference too…either that or when you put your head up Clover’s butt she decided she better give more in order to make you stop! :rotfl:

    Way to go Dad!!! and Way to go Princess!! Great jobs!

  31. Melissa's Cozy Teacup says:

    Hey, pretty soon you’ll have enough to make a single slice of swiss! :rotfl:

  32. tracey k. in Ohio says:

    You are so funny as hell! (LOL!) I LOVE how you have all your little jars lined up w/barely anything in them. Thank God your dad came – at the rate he milks, there will be cheese before you know it :hungry:

  33. Lisa L says:

    way to go Dad! Can’t your dad just stay on as hired help? LOL!

  34. Peggy says:

    Well, you know how it is – Dad’s can do anything! At least, I always thought mine could.

    Hang in there. I’m sure Clover will decide to share more with you one day soon.

  35. Crystal B. says:

    Way To Go Dad! He sure looks proud. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Kathi says:

    Dads are wonderful. (AND yours is too cute!)

  37. Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife says:

    Yeah!!!! Dad saves the day. You didn’t say if he gave you some hints on technique.

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  38. Kelleh says:

    Your dad is absolutely adorable! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us this morning, I needed the laugh!

  39. Heidi says:

    Good for you and your daddy!! LOL I have a soft spot for the vetrans of WWII… my grandpy is 84 and served in the Pacific theatre and saw way to much action. SO what I am trying to say is, would you thank your dad for me for defending our country? It takes a great sort of man to do what they did – and his job was NOT an easy one I am sure.

    Now about that goat – offer to buy her a nice pair of heels or maybe a new purse… LOL

  40. Donna says:

    Wow! Awesome! Let’s hear it for Dad McMinn!!!!! (or just Dad, if he is not McMinn LOL). I LOVE his smile, proudly holding the PRIZE!!!! He is the BEST at milking – he let you see how a PRO does it!!! I like your dad – I can tell by his smile he is a GOOD man and looks like a funny person too! Church of Christ are good people – I have cousins of that denom.!!
    No wonder we never get to see 52 – he head is up the goats ..just kidding. LOL LOL
    I LOVE the farm picture of the baby on mom’s back, on the tree blocks. That is adorable. They are THE CUTEST things and I am having Coco withdrawals – I know that fluff puff is around there somewhere, getting hugs from all! :mrgreen:

  41. Amy says:

    WTG, DAD! Proof-positive that Clover is holding out on you. Maybe a full-night’s separation will yield even more milk?

    Since I know next to nothing about milking anything, I have a question: How much milk should you/do you expect to get from a single milking?

  42. Rebekah says:

    Way to go, Dad!!
    Aren’t Dads just the BEST?!

  43. Jodie says:

    Yeah for your Dad! :flying:

  44. wkf says:

    Yea Dad!!!!!

  45. Bertie says:

    Perseverance pays off (and a little help from your cute little Daddy). You’ll be makin’ cheese before you know it!

    Love the last picture of your Dad with his little jar of milk!

  46. Kathleen says:

    I am so cracking up about this whole goat thing. They are the cutest!

  47. Katharina says:

    Tell your dad that he is awesome and we all love him. Dads are great! Still showing us how to do stuff. :thumbsup:

  48. LJ says:

    Your Dad does not look 83 years old. Glad to know he has not lost his touch. Congratulations!

  49. Jean says:

    Your Dad looks terrific! Glad he has not lost his touch. A good man, for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Donna says:

    The babies are soooo precious in the carrier!
    Mom is saying “noooo, you cannot have my milk! It’s for my babies!”.
    I bet your dad is excited that you are living in Stringtown! Proud! It must make him feel good you came back to his roots! My father is deceased but would be your father’s age. He was a Fighter Pilot. :mrgreen:

  51. sunnid755 says:

    :elephant: looks like you have a whole new “perspective” on goat milking. Thumbs up for Dad, learn everything you can from him. Thanks for sharing.

  52. Susan says:

    Milking goats is in your blood. Your Dad must be so proud of you! I bet he enjoyed showing you how it’s done. :shimmy:

  53. Joanne says:

    YAY for dad. Between the two of you there should be enough to make cheese by New Years ๐Ÿ˜‰

  54. Alison says:

    That is great. Could you set up a dog playpen (maybe like this one
    at night in the same area that Clover is in so they can be next to each other but the babys can’t nurse? That might help reduce the fretting.

  55. Estella says:

    Your dad looks like a proud man! Once you learn how to milk, you don’t forget.

  56. Donna Mc says:

    I think your dad literally laid hands upon her & the milk flowed. *G* Thanks to your dad, you now have a farm that flows with milk & Honey. *G*

    hahaha – can you tell I’m a church secretary? *G*

  57. Kathy R says:

    As usual I started reading with laughter, and ended with sentimental tears. I’m so glad your parents get to see you happy and on your farm in WV. My elders are all gone now, but I still feel close to them since I’ve moved home. I wonder if they would think I’m crazy to move from So. California to the WV countryside. They loved WV, but lived for 50 years on Calif.

    Church of Christ, eh. My former husband was a Church of Christ preacher, and my current partner is the son, grandson, and great-grandson of Pentacostal ministers. So we’re joining the Methodist church this coming Sunday. Go figure.

  58. Cheryl S. says:

    That is awesome! I’m sure your dad will pass on his secrets. You’ll have cheese before you know it. I love reading your blog – anything you don’t know how to do, you just research and keep trying until you’re successful. Very inspiring. It’s always a great pick-me-up to read your daily posts.

  59. Pam says:

    It’s amazing what a dad can do for you at any age. How much do you need to make cheese?

  60. catslady says:

    I think you had the harder job lol. So how long are you going to hold onto those jars of milk??? :mrgreen: And what do you have mom doing? :rotfl:

  61. Brandy says:

    WOO! You go Suzanne’s Dad! *G*

  62. Dani says:

    Your dad is so cute. . .and you have the same mouth he does. Probably you knew that but I love telling people when they look like someone cuz they usually don’t think they do.

  63. J says:

    :hug: Thanks for the :rotfl: I needed a little :snoopy:

  64. Terry says:

    Thanks for the fun, Suzanne. You ought to pen the babes up at night, get your milk in the mornings and then let the babes have what is left. They are gonna holler for a day or two, but if you can put the carrier close to where Clover beds down, the younguns won’t cry so much. Be tough, be brave, YOU can do this!

  65. Egghead says:

    :bananadance: Yay for Dad! You really can’t take the farm out of a boy can you? Great post and I see cheese in the future.

  66. Netherfieldmom says:

    So what happens if you just hold up one of Clover’s legs? She can’t do a whole lot standing on one leg, can she?? Next time, wear a hat–just for sanitation! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  67. amber swafford says:

    this website might give you some pointers on cheese, milk and everything else.

  68. Sandra says:

    What a wonderful post! I have never milked anything in my life, so this was all pretty unfamiliar to me — and I have such sympathy for you. But, I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it. (Is goat’s milk worth it? I assume a cow is easier, since you don’t have to hold them up with your head against their butt!) And I love it that your dad “still had it.”

  69. CATRAY44 says:

    How in the world did I miss this post when you first posted it. O my word! I laughed myself silly!

  70. TXLady says:

    That’s so funny and so real. I know all about dealing with animals and believe me, I know it’s real….

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