Day 19 12/31/05
We woke up around 7:00 am today. After milking the cows, I came in and hung out for around an hour or so. I was able to open the Vedic Astrology books that I got. They’re great.
I played ping pong with George again. I’ve gotten better. He won best 2 out of 3 then 3 out of 5. I didn’t want to do 5 out of 7. The two times that I beat him, it was fairly close. We went into over time where you have to win by 2. His spinning backhand serve is nearly unbeatable. I’ve gotten better and now he is getting better as I’m getting better. So I don’t get too much of an advantage over him.
We had to work on the pipes in the barn today. They busted when it got really cold about a week ago and we haven’t been able to get them fixed because we have been so busy. I’m not too good at manual labor or things having to do with metal and tools. I get too sore, too tired and I’m not good with the fumes. They brought a welder, a gasoline powered welder. It filled the entire barn with smoke. They didn’t seem to care. They were just able to keep on working like it didn’t bother them. I couldn’t handle it, I had to leave the room a couple of times. It felt like really hard work.
I was milking the cows tonight with Albert. He said that 4-5 years ago, this place wasn’t a happy place to be. He said he was feeding the cows corn silage that had mold. He said that his cows were always sick. He said that he had to pull a lot of dead cows out of there. He said that salesmen told him and his dad that it wasn’t good to let the calves nurse from the mother. They fed their calves powdered milk or would pasteurize the milk, then feed that to the calves. He had a lot of calves die. He said the only reason they did that was because that’s what the salesman told them to do. It’s just like with people. The salesman would make 5-10 bucks off a bag of powdered milk or minerals that they would sell to the farmers. They would make nothing if they told him all they need is fresh air and green grass. Albert said it was just like with people. Salesmen make money off of selling people things that make them sick, it’s the same with animals. He said that “minerals” was and is a big thing. Albert impersonated one of the mineral salesmen with a hilarious country bumpkin, used-car salesman voice. “Why, buy my minerals and your cows will be breeding and reproducing and giving more milk in no time.” He said the minerals never worked. Minerals are like human supplements, but for cows.
We were milking and I heard a flapping sound behind the door that leads to the silo room. I got closer and listened. It sounded like a bat. It started screeching like a pig. I called Albert over and I started to hear a flapping behind the other silo door. Albert opened it up and a starling flew out. We opened the first one where I heard the screeching. One of the barn cats had caught a pigeon. Albert tried to take it away and the cat retreated with it back into the darkness. Albert said that was a shame. He likes pigeons more than starlings. He said he used to climb up the silos and catch the pigeons up there. He said he could sell them for five bucks a pop to people who shoot at them. He said the cats are a lot healthier now that he has been pasture feeding more.
We were outside the house, talking about why cows and chickens like grain so much if it is not good for them. I said maybe if it was soaked or sprouted it would be good for them. He was really interested in that. He’s already planning to soak the oats he’s feeding the chickens with skim milk to see if they do better with that. We couldn’t figure it out why they liked something that was bad for them. He thought maybe it was the same way with humans and sugar. He said, “Cows are stupid, like humans.” That was the greatest line I had ever heard from him. We couldn’t stop laughing. I’ll never forget that.
We got in late around ten o’clock. Marie, Albert and I were hanging out with Lisa who was sleeping on Marie’s lap. Albert loves to philosophize by lantern-light. I though I’d be cheesy and say “So let’s all share our New Year’s resolutions.” Marie told Albert to go first. She was trying to get him to say that he’d work less and not spoil the girls as much. He would start to talk about his resolutions, then get distracted and philosophize and ask, “Why do people eat chemicals?” and things like that.
I had some warm whey, when I came in, I felt good. I ate a half a quart of yogurt. I was tired. I wanted to stay up and share resolutions but I was tired. I don’t remember what I ate that day. Oh yeah, egg frittata as Marie calls them (pancakes that had bread, cheese, onions etc). Also I had kale and apple, sauerkraut and Kim-Chee. Dinner was boiled carrots and cheese, potatoes cooked in cream, chicken croquettes.