Sunday, March 30, 2014


   Last night was a much better night than the last two. With the help of my host family, we got both wood stoves roaring by 8pm, and by midnight the entire loft was around 85F. It was so gloriously warm... Along with finally having a plethora of heat, I also had Christmas lights strung up along the ceiling (Thanks Tasha! Great idea!), which made the place delightfully cheery, and lastly I borrowed a radio for the night and kept it playing softly all night. Oh yeah, and there were kittens... Hehe. One of the barn cats likes to hang out in the loft, and she's been due to pop any day. I guess she decided last night was a good time to do it; and in my absence she made a nice little nest right on my bed. *un-amused look* Seriously, pussy cat? I liked that blanket. Oh well, we got her moved into a little box right next to my bed; and now I have 6 fluffy little kittens to keep me company in here. They are so stinkin' cute. ^_^

  I slept all night long, without one single sniffle or tear. It was so nice. I think the radio was a key component here, but gosh those Christmas lights helped too... Dim enough to keep on all night, but still bright enough to act as an "adult nightlight". ;) 

  Hopefully this can become a habit... Eighty-five degrees by bed time, music, and twinkle lights. 

  I think I might be high maintenance... Just a suspicion. 

Friday, March 28, 2014


  I am a ridiculous person.

  Just know this now.

  Actually, you may have already known that fact, but I'm stating it anyway. My reason for this statement? I'm on my second night of crying as I climb into bed, and I foresee myself continuing this habit for probably another week. Folks, I'm four months shy of turning 22, and here I am crying myself to sleep when dusk falls. I'm too old for this. Yet I'm doing it anyway. Why? Because I'm lonely. 

  I moved into the loft two days ago. It's just little ol' me up here. Me, plus the spiders and mice that share this place, anyway... It's dark, unfamiliar, chilly because I can't get the wood stove heated up due to the ash tray having technical difficulties, and frankly... I hate being alone. I just really, really, really hate being alone at night. 

  I'm sure I'll get used to this in time... Things will become familiar, I'll get the wood stove fixed tomorrow, the cat will fix the mouse problem... My hope is that in a week I'll be able to act like a normal adult who doesn't mind being alone at night. But right now? Well, right now I'm propped up in bed with tears streaking my cheeks. I've brought Gyp to bed with me tonight to fight against some of the loneliness, and I will somewhat sheepishly even admit that I'm wearing a sweater, that I pilfered from my boyfriend, to act as a security blanket. 

  I hate nighttime these days... After dinner, I begin to feel a knot forming in the pit of my stomach; it grows and intensifies as the hours fall away. Pretty soon it's time: Time for me to walk up to the loft and spend the next 8 - 9 hours in darkness, silence, and isolation. 

  I really hope I get used to this soon... In the meantime, all I've got is a dog and a red sweater to help me through.

  Any advice on how to get over this little problem? I would really love to hear some wisdom right now.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Your Argument Is Invalid

  I am not a fan of chickens. I must admit this. Sure, I like some of the fighting breeds, but on the whole, I don't care for chickens. However, I could be very easily convinced to keep chickens, if I had a coop that looked like the TARDIS. Observe:

It is a TARDIS chicken coop. Your argument is invalid. 

P.S. The source of this image, plus building directions can be found HERE.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


  The geese are all flying back to their respective warm-weather homes, the frogs are peeping, the thunderstorms are happening, the snow is thawing, the green grass is poking up... Spring is tip toeing her way here in all cautiousness and subdued manner. But hey, I'm not complaining! We've been having some lovely weather in between the dying cold snaps. So I'm happy.

  And with all this changing that's going around, and migrating of beasts, The Caity (notice the capitalization. Yes, I have given myself a title. It's a matter of time before I get my crown...) herself is migrating also. No, I'm not going far. Promise. Just 6.5 minutes walk away from the main house and FINALLY going back to the Loft! Whoohoo! We've been waiting on two things for this little migration of mine: Warm weather and WiFi. Ahem. Yeah, okay, that first one is understandable. Getting a frozen nose again isn't exactly my idea of a fun night. And it's hard to milk cows if you're a icicle and look like you got blasted by Gru's Freeze-Ray (it's possible that I'm being slightly dramatic in this sentence... Not positive, but possible.). So I tucked tail and fled to the warm main house where everything is nicely insulated against winter's grumpiness. The WiFi though was the second big reason. There weren't no internet connection up thar! Shucks, a girl can only live without so much... And the Loft already has no shower, washing machine, or thermostat (I promise I'm still taking showers and doing laundry. I just have to walk down to the main house to do those). Actually, the Loft has had WiFi in the past, but they took it down last winter since no one was living up there. And now that I've hopelessy rabbit-trailed, let me get back to my original point! There is net connection up there as of yesterday!! It works bee-yew-ti-fully. ^_^ 

  I have no idea when I'll attempt The Great Migration and move on up there... Maybe this week, or maybe next. It'll be interesting to see if I manage to stay up there this time. Hehe. 

  And in the mean time, I'm also slooooowly getting ready to get my microgreen business up and running here. I'm having one of those moments where I'm mentally swinging between, "What if this doesn't work!?!?" and "Of course it'll work!" I'm excited to get back into growing those little greens, but there's still that little fear of failure hovering in the back of my mind. Sigh. But, here we go anyway. I'm a little tardy in getting this going though; I ordered my pea and radish seeds like -- 15 minutes ago. *cough, cough* Oh well. If this weather holds, then I should hopefully have the first crop ready just in time for the first day of Farmer's Market. Fingers crossed. And I still have to build a greenhouse of sorts... Phooey. Oh wait, let me rephrase that: I still need to dole out cash to have a greenhouse built, and have the guys here build one since they like that kind of stuff. It's the cash doling-out that doesn't have me smiling. Greenhouses are great. Spending money is not. I think I'm starting to rabbit trail again. *suspicious look*

 Want a sad note of news? Nobody does. But I'll say it anyway since I might as well keep you in the loop. Things are still going really rough with Gyp. *sad, sad, sad face* Folks, I love that dog. But I can't bring myself to watch him be ruined like this. I see him for maybe 20 minutes every day? He doesn't deserve this. He needs a human. Gosh dang, life has changed so much since I first bought him... I'm still praying about what to do in this situation, but in the meantime, one person has asked if I would consider her as a possible new owner, and I said 'yes'. 

  Okay, now I need to cheer myself up. Hmm... Think, think, think. 

 Frog hunting. I'm going frog hunting tomorrow night. ;) That's cheery news. I'm just out to catch and release some peepers and tree frogs. It's been forever since I've gone frog hunting, and I'm just in a weird mood to do it again. 

 Alright, one last bit of uber randomness to amuse you? I found the neatest Tardis backpack. Clicking those highlighted words will show you this fabulous treasure that I have so delightedly found. ^_^ I am really, super, horribly, terribly, tempted to buy this once I have a spare $26 lying around. That's a lie actually. I'm not "tempted to buy it". I'm buying it. One does not simply not buy a Tardis backpack (if you said that in Boromir's voice, then you are on my level of awesomeness). Write it down folks: The Caity is getting a Tardis backpack. The nerds called, and I answered. What can I say? 

  'Kay. I'm gone now. Toodle pip and cheerio y'all! (That was weird... I totally just mixed British with Redneck. Wow.)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Team

  Surprise! I have a picture for y'all! Yes, yes, how shocking... I pilfered a teeny, tiny point-and-shoot for this. Thought I would share the awesomeness of the airsoft team that I've found myself in. ;) So folks, here's me (center; only girl, and the only one smiling. Ha!) and my team (with one newbie who came for the day; the kid on the far right is not part of the core group).

   It's a pretty great group, if I may say so. They're all great players, and they don't mind having a girl in their midst. Or the fact that she has painted fingernails and shiny earrings in during the wars. *cough, cough* 

  Yesterday's war went pretty well. I got some kills, kept team members alive, died heroically (more than once. Ahem), got blisters and bruises, and thorns embedded in my skin, played with rifles, and just generally enjoyed myself. 

  I can't wait until the next war. :)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Gonna' Be Awesome

  I'm headed outside in about 30 minutes for another airsoft war with the guys. :) The weather is going to be a perfect 60F and sunny; should be an awesome day to be stalking each other through the forest, and dodging BB pellets. ^_^

 It gets interesting though, because I have to leave the war an hour early so I can get ready for... Wait for it... A dance. LOL. I'm still chuckling at this contrast. I'll spend the first 6 hours of my day in military camo and combat boots, babying "my" (I like to call it mine) AK-47, and shouting strange tactical terms at my other team members... Then at 4pm I'll have to leave it all behind so I can change into a skirt, shiny dance shoes, a gorgeous lace-up bodice I just bought... I'll have makeup, my hair will be done nicely... It's like my own version of Cinderella. 

 But for now, I'm geared up for war. It's gonna' be awesome.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Can I Get an 'Amen'?

On Top Of The World

   Today was a jaw dropping 72 degrees. I couldn't believe it. It. Was. GORGEOUS!! There were oodles of ways I could have spent my afternoon, glorying in the heat, sun, and blue skies... But there was only one way that I wanted to spend it.

  On the road. 

  I had a couple small errands I needed to do in town anyway... Why not do them today!? So off I went; beginning the 20+ minute drive to town through beautiful, curvy, country back roads. I've been waiting years for a day like this, where it would just be me, and the weather would be just right... Ooooh yes. I had a plan for this day.

   And it was a blast. The drive was everything I've ever hoped it would be. Windows rolled down, country music blaring, cruising those roads at 60mph with one hand on the wheel and one hand resting on the stick (manual drive! Woot!), doing the one-finger wave to neighbors and passing cars... Yup. I'm easy to please. All I was lacking was a truck to be driving, instead of a little Ford Focus. That will be an epic day when I get to repeat today's adventure in my very own truck. 

  I don't really know why I've always wanted to try that combination of loud music, country roads, and open windows, but I have. And let me tell ya... It's a great way to feel like you're on top of the world! Hehe. And yes, I promise I stayed within speed limits. Cross my heart and hope ta' die. 

  I hear tomorrow's supposed to be 75F. Hmm... What adventure shall I do then? ;) 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Poor Girl's Mudding

"You even have mud in your hair..."

  Such was the incredulous statement by one of the family members here as she stared at me; her gaze roving from head to toe. I grinned and winked at her before walking to my bedroom to change. I was splattered with mud from top to bottom. Both front side and back side. Mud in my hair, on my face, on my hat, on my Carhartt coat, on my jeans, on my hands... And I was blissfully happy. Mud is something I love. 

  No, I wasn't out rolling in the mud. Or making mud pies. 

  Gyp and I went mudding. Well, "poor girl's mudding" anyway... True mudding is something you do in a truck, or on a ATV. Speeding your way through big mud puddles and enjoying the crazy messiness of it all. Mudding is a BLAST!! Although, I think you have to be a certain level of redneck/country to enjoy it. Or at least not mind the fact that you have mud in your teeth. To continue though! Gyp and I went and did the cheater version of mudding!!

  The temps outside were hovering around 40F, and there was nary a cloud in the sky. Gorgeous weather by anyone's standards! I wanted to be outside and glory in the sunshine, and I knew that Gyp needed to burn some serious energy; but I didn't want to run since the back roads here were muddy, slushy, wet, and not runner friendly. So I grabbed a bicycle and a dog leash. Gyp needs some ground training for this urban mushing, right? Might as well see what happens when he's got a wheeled invention behind him!

  This idea was rather foolish, and I jolly well knew it. My plan was to simply leash him up and hold the leash in my left hand, while biking along with him. Who knows what would happen! But by Jove, I was going biking! And my dog was coming! Never argue with a Caity when her mind is made up! 

  All in all it went pretty well. Gyp had never seen a bike before, but didn't really care since he was suddenly able to run full tilt down the road. We started out slowly, so I could watch his reaction to the bike; once I felt comfortable that he wasn't going to freak out, I psyched him up with a loud "Step up and HIKE!" and he took off like a rocket. I was on gear 6, going downhill, and he was still beating me. He was even pulling me ever so slightly. Together we floored it, like the crazy duo that we are. Over pitted gravel roads, going through every mud puddle there was, alternating between shouting, "Hike!" to encourage Gyp and hollering "Heck YEAH!" when we hit a particularly large mud puddle. We did still have three near mishaps though. One when Gyp stopped suddenly because he caught whiff of a critter; meanwhile I kept going on the bike. We both had a very abrupt jerk on our ends, and I almost flipped off the bike. The second was when Gyp swerved over to the right side, when he was too close to the front wheel. I just about popped a wheelie on that one and almost flipped backwards from trying too hard to swerve out of the way. The last was when he suddenly sped up and I was caught unprepared. But, I stayed on that bike nevertheless! And Gyp learned from each episode!

  I finally made Gyp stop running after almost 3/4's of a mile. He wasn't even breathing heavily, but I didn't want to over do it. We still had to run all the way back home, for goodness sake! By this time we were off the gravel back roads and onto civilized asphalt. I was ready to go back to the back roads though. The mud puddles awaited! On a whim, I've decided to train Gyp to nautical terms instead of the traditional mushing terms. So instead of hollering "haw!" to tell Gyp to turn left as we headed back for home, I shouted "Port!". Hehehe. C'mon, how could I resist? You only live once, so you might as well be amusing, right? My level of awesomeness entails riding on a dog-driven scooter down a landlocked Missouri road, shouting things like "Anchors away!" and "Hard to starboard!". The neighbor's already think I'm a nut; I'm just helping to confirm it. 

  We practically flew home; still aiming to hit every mud puddle, and still trying to go faster than the other. I had just enough time to give the one-finger wave to a neighbor as we zoomed past (his facial expression was priceless), and half wondered if I shouldn't have stopped and explained myself. Oh well. Gyp and I made it home faster than we set out, and he was STILL a hyper ball of energy when I let him off the leash and took him back to the dog pen. Meanwhile, I was plumb tuckered out, and desperately wanted water!

  At this point, I didn't really know what I looked like... I could see the mud covering my jeans and hands, but that was about all. It wasn't until I got home and was confronted by the wide-eyed stares of the others that I thought to go look in a mirror. Wow. Not too shabby for the first try! I looked like I had been in a mud fight!

  Mission accomplished. The dog was exercised, and I was deliciously dirty. 

  I think I just might do it again tomorrow. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What's In A Day?

  It has come to my attention that I really haven't said much about what I do on a daily basis here, or what my days typically look like as an intern on a small farm. Either I'm just forgetful (most probable), or extremely good at procrastinating (still a truth). We're just now creeping into spring, and the work load is slowly shifting, but for now, here's what my winter schedule looks like:

  6:30 - 7a.m. - Time to wake up! Oy vey... Do I *have* to wake up!? I admit that I usually try to sleep until 7am. If I'm lucky/lazy (ha. Take your pick), then I miiiiight sleep until 7:10; but that's not hugely often since that leaves me rushing!

   7:30a.m. - Breakfast! YUSSSS!!! *punches air with fist* I'm still convinced I have Hobbit blood in me somewhere down the line. 'Cuz I like to have breakfast, second breakfast (honest to goodness, I'm living with people who say things like, "We'll save these leftovers for second breakfast..." It's crazy awesome.), elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, supper, and then of course snack. I really can't believe I'm not fat... For as much as I eat, I really should be weighing more than 125 lbs. Not that I'm complaining though! ;) 

   8a.m. - Wash up jars for the morning milking, fill an insulated container with hot water (to wash udders/teats since the cows don't appreciate cold water!), suit up in my many layers of winter clothing which consists of a sweater, quilt-lined overalls, Carhartt coat, two pairs of gloves, thick wool socks, a huge scarf, thick knit hat, and my insulated Bogs muck boots. Yes, I look like the Pillsbury dough girl by the time I'm completely outfitted. Or rather, it looks like my eating habits have caught up to me. I've gotten used to the fact that I look like a roly poly dork though. 

 8:10 - 9a.m. - Start trudging up the snowy hill to the barn! If the weather is nice, and the roads are clear (we have a rather perilous and steep drive way...) then we'll drive up in the truck; usually with me sitting on the toolbox in the truck bed, since I think it's more fun to ride in the bed than in the cab. It only takes us 3 to 5 minutes to get up to the barn, and then after that, the wife and I split into our routine of barn chores ('tis only the two of us doing barn chores and all the dairy stuff). My side of routine is usually to get water boiling to wash the milking equipment, get the jars and strainer set up, fill the feed bin for Penny (first cow to be milked), and then grab ma'self the pail and some hot wash water, and start milking! Penny is normally a great cow to milk; she's a short, fat little Jersey who is almost black in color with orange points on her poll and nose (eeek! My favorite color on a cow!). Temperament wise, she is *usually* quite calm and placid. But oh heavens does that cow get grumpy sometimes... Most mornings I can milk her out in about 10-15 minutes, but every now and again she'll get ornery and not let her milk down. Thusly I have to admit defeat and let the wife finish her up. And so far I've only been kicked five times. Hehe. Four times by Penny (I had it coming... She had frostbite on a teat, mastitis in that same quarter, and I had to somehow get her milked out.), and once by Ellie, who was in heat and was veeeeeery grumpy that morning. 

  After milking Penny, I get her milk strained and chilling before passing the empty pail off to the wife, who milks Ellie. This is our way of splitting chores; we can each easily milk both cows, but to keep things balanced we each milk one, while the other does other barn chores. Once Ellie is in the stanchion, I work on mucking out the stall that she and Penny had spent the night in. The second stall is already clean (one of the wife's tasks while I milk), so once I'm done mucking I work on throwing a bale of hay to the cows, filling water tanks, sweeping the barn floor clean, and then driving Penny and the calves to whatever pasture it is that they're going to each day (depends on the weather). Somewhere in the midst of all this, I'll run Gyp over to the kennels where he'll stay with the collies until nightfall. At first he would hang around with me for barn chores, but he's gotten into the awful habit of harassing the cows (namely the calves...), so the folks here have asked that he gets taken to the kennels before the cows are let outside.

   9:30a.m. - 12p.m. - This is the most variable part of my day. All of December and January, and then half of February was spent working on the tree piles... 2.5 hours every day of burning cedar branches, and hauling + stacking cord wood. That doesn't sound like a bad gig really; a couple hours each day? Sounds perfectly doable... Until you're on your third month of doing it every stinkin' day. It was a great learning experience, sure; I'll be the first to say that. But I'll let y'all in on a little secret of mine: I hate fire!! Yep, call me a sissy. Or a coward. Or a fraidy cat. I'm afraid of fire. To me, fire is too unpredictable, uncontrollable, and dangerous to be comfortable around. It's right up there with thunderstorms and tornadoes (this is where my host family and everyone here quizzically asks what I'm gonna' do when the spring storms come; to which I reply that I have no clue!). The small bit of a control freak in me hates dealing with things like fire and storms because I have no control over them. Bad things might happen, and all I can do is watch. Anyway... Almost three months of working in close proximity to a huge bonfire was nerve wracking, and to be completely honest, I broke down right at the end. I'm not entirely sure why, but one day I had just had enough of those piles. We were all finishing up our break and as everyone began getting up to go back to work, I busted out in tears. I normally hate it when people see me cry, but right then and there I didn't care that everyone was watching. More than anything, I did NOT want to go work on wood! Everyone was amazingly patient and understanding, and I was given the alternative job of making lunch. 

  We did finally finish up those monstrous piles, and now we're working on hauling all the stacked cord wood up the long driveway and stacking them up there where they'll be picked up by someone who is apparently buying all of it to get it chipped. I don't know details on that... This work I don't mind. No fire involved! And this is fun since I get to ride along on the tractor. Oh and get this: I got to drive the tractor yesterday!! Huge honor there. It felt slightly disloyal, seeing as it's a Kubota, but hey, it's still a tractor. It's still nice and rumbly and fun. ^_^ 

  Other projects we do before lunch are things like putting up fencing (we just fenced a part of the forest for the cows, and soon there will be hogs in there!), pruning fruit trees (did that yesterday!), dairy work (making cheese, butter, yogurt, kefir, etc.), and lately we've been starting on starting the veggie plants. 

12p.m. - the rest of the day - Noon marks lunch time!! I'm usually pretty darn starfished by this time ("starfished": a mix between being "starving" and "famished". Yes it's legit. Don't argue with me). After lunch, and cleaning up all the dishes, I usually have the rest of the day to do whatever I want! On Tuesdays it's my job walk up to the barn at 4pm and do the evening milking/barn chores (takes about 20 minutes), but other than that I'm as free as a bird. What I do with my free time varies from day to day; sometimes it's outside playing in the snow, inside reading a book, doing research on the computer, annoying the grumpy cat here, taking a power nap (Truth: I love taking naps horizontal life pauses), hiding somewhere in the forest and playing my ocarina (sounds like a penny whistle, looks nothing like one), or just hanging out with the folks around here. 

  7 - 9p.m.. - Movie time. Its pretty much become habit now. 9 out of 10 times we watch a Dr. Who episode (fish fingers and custard! My fellow Whovians will get that reference. Hehehe.), but one never really knows... Sometimes it's a Sherlock episode instead, or we'll watch a little kid movie like Sword In The Stone, Veggie Tales, or Winnie The Pooh; or we'll go with my favorite genre, which would be action movies. I will confess that I was watching Star Wars III a couple days ago... I had never seen the whole thing, so I was told to 'sit and stay', and that's what we watched. LOL. 

11p.m. - Bed time! I don't know why I can't seem to get to bed earlier... But that marks the end of my day; it all starts over in eight hours!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Laugh For You

   This Youtube never fails to set me laughing. Comedian John Branyan tells the tale of the 'Three Little Pigs' in a hilarious, Shakespeare fashion. I thought I'd share the humor with y'all; so here you go!

  You're welcome. ;)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

One Sticking Point

  Okay so I really am working on maturing and getting rid of pride issues in my life, but I have to admit that I do have one sticking point that I don't think I will ever come to terms with: Tractor color.

 Yes, it does matter.

 The green tractors are the best.

 Not the blue. Not the red. Not the Orange. 

 Fellow country folk will agree with me that this is most definitely an issue not to be taken lightly in life. The color of your tractor is a very serious subject. Right up there with what kind of truck you drive.

 It's gotta' be a Deere, folks... Go with the green tractors.

(P.S. This post is written 75% tongue-in-cheek. I'm mostly just being ornery. But I do love the green tractors!)

I Am Humbled

  Oh phooey. I just found out that I'm out of milk. My jar in the fridge is empty as empty can be! Guess I'll have to pasteurize some more this afternoon, or tomorrow morning...

  Yes you read that right. I really did say "pasteurize". I've been in the raw milk business for roughly six years, I've shied away from pasteurized milk for pretty much that whole span of time, and if you ever wanted to get into a fist fight with me then just say something negative about raw milk. Seriously. I was also incredibly good at debating my case on why raw milk was superior, and why pasteurized milk was trash not worth even feeding to an animal. I may be horrible at arguing, but I could have floored a politician on this one subject. 

  Looking back now, I hate what I used to be... In my "passion" for what I did, I became such a judgmental wretch. No, more than that; I became elitist and proud. I won't deny the fact at all that I looked down on people who didn't drink raw milk. Shucks, at the time, this was a big deal to me! I was in a challenging business where I was not only dealing with high maintenance dairy animals that required precision in their care, but a business that was and is hated by the government. I had the hotline number for the FTCLDF (farm to consumer legal defense fund) in my coat pocket at all times, just in case a government federal official stopped by one day and told me to cease and desist... I could tell you exactly what the bacteria count multiplies to in a 20 minute span when milk is above 30 degrees Fahrenheit. I knew exactly what year pasteurization started and why. I knew the chemical changes in milk once you heated it past 120F. 

  In a nutshell, you couldn't have paid me to drink pasteurized milk.

 Excuse me a moment while I hide my face in my hands in shame and embarrassment over who I was. Gosh... Passionate? More like hard headed.

  A few weeks after I bought my first milk cow, back in 2012, I began to realize something rather ironic: I seemed to be intolerant of raw cow milk. I wrote a post about it, which you can find HERE. So what did I do? Oh the logical thing of course, and started pasteurizing the milk. NOT. That whole sentence is dripping with sarcasm. Nope, if I couldn't drink it raw then I'd just go without dairy altogether. After all, I wouldn't want to contaminate myself with that awful, ruined, chalk water, now would I!?!?! *Gasp of horror* I might -- DIE or something! Or -- get some awful disease! Or, or -- um... Hold on, I'll think of something... Um, I might -- be tempted to eat Lucky Charms cereal for breakfast since I'd have milk to pour over it!!! Gaah!!! Nooooooo! You'll never take me alive!! Man the cannons, boys! It's my way or the highway! And if we can't drink it raw, then we ain't drinkin' it at all!! Goodbye Lucky Charms! You never had enough marshmallows anyway!! 


 I'll try to come back down to a level of normalcy now. Ahem. 

  With the almost-laughable realization that I couldn't drink the milk from my own cows, I made the seemingly simple decision to just go dairy free. So I did just that. For almost two years. 

  I really craved Lucky Charms cereal... And Honeycombs. Heck, I missed cold cereal in general! And I missed having a glass of milk to go with snacks. Life just isn't the same when you have to drink water with your chocolate chip cookie. Your life feels like a lie. My sister might not agree with me on that, as she is the quirky individual who dips her graham crackers in water before eating them, but I'd like to think that I'm on a slightly higher plane of "normal" than she. Even if I do eat ice cream with a fork, and never a spoon... Your life is still a lie though, trying to consume water and chocolate chip cookies in tandem!! Stick with me folks, stick with me!

  Then I landed in Missouri. Where I hand milk two Jersey cows almost every day (weekends off). When I first came, I tried drinking the milk, in hopes that maybe my system had changed over the years and I could tolerate the lovely dairyness again. Oh just think of the bliss! Milk, whenever I want! But nope. No luck. I. Felt. Horrible. This was borderline ridiculous now. Who ever heard of someone being intolerant to RAW milk!?!? Sheesh. I praised this raw milk stuff to the skies (farther than that, actually) for years. It was supposed to be this magic liquid that came just shy of making you immortal. This was just wrong that I couldn't drink it. 

  A couple weeks ago, my host family offered to flash pasteurize a quart of milk to see if I could handle that. Partly because they felt bad that I was having to be anti-dairy on a dairy farm (oh the irony! It's killing me!), and partly because they were curious if I was truly intolerant to the raw milk, or if it was an intolerance to milk in general. After a couple days to think about it, I caved and agreed to be a guinea pig. One would have thought I had just signed my life away or something... The next day, I tried a small glassful and waited for the usual feelings of being ripped apart on the inside because I had just consumed milk. 


 I felt great. All day.

  And the level of irony has just gone through the roof. I'm intolerant to raw milk, but can have pasteurized milk just fine. 

  You might say I did a bit of maturing that day. This whole "raw vs. pasteurized" debate suddenly seemed pointless and ridiculous. Milk is milk, folks! And the large dairies work killingly hard to make sure that their product that goes on the store shelf is the highest quality that they are capable of producing. I was done being judgmental. Here's how it goes folks: You drink your milk how you like it, and I'll drink it how I like it. No more bashing. No more saying one is better than the other. 

 I am humbled. This has long been a pride issue in my life, and it feels good to finally have come to my senses in this aspect. And now I need to make a note to pasteurize another quart of milk soon... It's been great having dairy back in my life. :)

 And can we please agree that Lucky Charms cereal needs to have less "cereal" and more marshmallows?