Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Well I have been home since late Sunday afternoon,  and this is the first chance I have had to post.  There were soo many things that were wonderful about the trip I am not sure if I will ever remember them all, and I am very sure you do not want to here "every" little detail, haha, so I will try and list at least some of the highlights.

In every way the trip was just what I was looking for.  Not just the being able to help Mel get ready for the baby, or meet her doc., or attend the second shower, or go to their church, or just see for myself what they have done with their house in the last couple of years, but really just ALL the time we had to just "hang out".  It was just soo wonderful.  Her life as all of us seasoned veterans know is about to change forever more.  I felt like this was just the last little bit of time left to enjoy the very tail end of her "life before kids" life, haha.  We spent just countless hours talking, laughing, planning, eating, shopping, and yes cleaning and working side by side.  I am just soo grateful to have gotten this time.

Her life is VERY VERY different from anything I have ever lived, and I find it all just fascinating for some reason.  Mike is a VERY busy guy.  He did take the time however to show his MIL around and explain how things worked as best he could to a total city girl.  I LOVED the tours.  Everyone in their little area outside of town is either a dairyman or a farmer, or like in their case, both.  They actually own 3 different farms in which they grow ALL of the feed that they need for their cows.  Corn, cotton seed and alfalfa.  I got to both see and hear how this works, and it really was quite interesting.  I'd love to take my little grandsons there someday, as I just know they would LOVE all of this.  I will NEVER be able to explain the process to you as well as Mike did, and I have no idea if anyone would find it as interesting as I did.  Soo many tractors and trucks and farm machinery was also fun to see.  I will just tell you a couple of quick things I learned, which some (or all of you) may already know, but I sure didn't, haha.  Let's see....the corn.  The corn when it is gotten ready for the cows is chopped in it's entirety.   There is this HUGE chopping machine that comes through and chops it all down at the same time and shoots it into a truck which then dumps it into a pile where it is mushed together to make silage.  You can actually see the corn in it.  It smelled pretty good too.  And then the alfalfa is what is used to make hay.  Again there is a fairly lengthy process to get it to what it looks like after it is dried and done, and then it too is shot into a machine where it comes out like a hay bale.  I don't know what I thought these things came from, but this was all BIG news to me, lol.  Whatever the process, the cows LOVE it.  I actually saw them come running when they would hear the feed truck where it is all mixed together coming.  The cows are fed (I think ~ sorry Mike if I am wrong) at least twice a day, and they are milked twice a day as well.  The cows LOVE to be milked as well and also came running to fight and push their selves into the barn.  I saw the calves too, including one who was only about an hour old.  Soo cute.  I loved sitting on their porch (when it was cool enough) and listening to the cows move around and moo.  I have taken (or really I guess Mike took most of them for me as I was too busy making sure where I was stepping and trying not to fall or something dumb, haha).  Anyway, I've put together a little slideshow to show you.  Hope you enjoy it.

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I will confess that I have never really given much thought, until my daughter married  a dairyman that is, of how the milk, cream, butter, yogurt, cheese or ice-cream actually was made before it made it's way into my refrigerator.  It is a MUCH more complicated process and business than I ever really realized.  Now of course I KNEW it all came from cows, but that is honestly where my knowledge ended.  I have learned sooo much since Mel met Mike many years ago.  Two gigantic milk trucks come to their dairy every day to collect the milk.  I never did get a picture of one of the trucks, which is unfortunate as they were quite neat.  The milk is inspected and tested down to the millionth of a part.  If one tiny little drop is found contaminated in any way, the entire truck load is dumped.  This hasn't happened at their dairy in years and years and years which is also quite fortunate as it would cost them thousand and thousands of dollars of course.   Milk after it is inspected is then graded for quality with the highest quality milk going directly to be drank, and the lower qualities going for butter, cheese, ice-cream etc.  Their milk is used exclusively for drinking, and supplies a great deal of Texas and New Mexico.  All soo interesting.  Well, I guess that is about all for now.  Mel has about 5 or 6 weeks to go if she makes it to the very end, and so it is close no matter what.  I will also say that even though I LOVED every minute of my trip, there really is no place like home.  I was soo happy to be back in my own bed etc.  I have missed my other kids and grand kids and look forward to seeing them all this week-end.  Sooo glad it is a long one.  My mom is REALLY struggling and things there have become hard.  I will post about that later though.  Hope you all enjoy your holiday week-end!


  1. This was a great read Debbie, we are farmers and related to so much you have shared, and you did great!~smile~

    Dairy farmers work so hard, and we have so much respect for their hard work.

    Enjoyed the tour, they really have a wonderful and big operation. A farm is one, of if not the best place to have children grow up, they learn so much about life, and knowing about hard but fulfilling work.

    I agree "no place like home", enjoy time with those precious grandchildren this weekend, I bet they missed you just as much if not more. ~grin~.
    Glad your trip was wonderful and safe.

  2. I am so glad you had a nice time and a wonderful visit. Yep, I don't think there is any harder work than being a dairyman.
    I am glad you learned so much I bet it was just wonderful.

  3. I am so happy you got to go and have such a wonderful visit!!! What an educational post!!
    : )

  4. So glad you had a nice trip. I have to agree with you on one thing, I love to visit folks, take trips and vacations but there is no place like home.

  5. Yep, there's no place like home. ;-)

    Thanks for the interesting read. Glad you had a great time ... can't wait to hear that you're heading back again - because we know what that means! ;-)

  6. Good Morning Debbie, so enjoyed this visit! All the cow stuff~ well that has been a part of my life for a long time!! My son does all of that, not the Dairy cows but just cows!LOL!! but this was interesting. Hope you have a great week~end, and Happy Holiday!! Whoo~Yoo! our temps are looking great for next week! Sounds like we are going to come out of the Furnace!! just had to share that!! LOL:)

  7. Thanks for sharing..this city girl wouldn't know much about it either. I did grow up going to my grandfathers farm...but he raised horses.

    I will share this with my son when he gets home...and yes, take those grandsons what a wonderful experience.

    It is wonderful to see your daughter adjust to such a different life than how she grew up...what a confirmation of her love for her husband....and now that husband will have another generation to grow up at the farm.

  8. I grew up on a farm and there's
    nothing like it! We had cows and
    I loved watching my daddy milk
    Glad you had such a wonderful
    time and know you're happy to be
    home again.

  9. Hi sweet friend, I just love your cute as well as a wonderful teaching tool. Loved seeing Mel & Mike's home and their spread. My hat is off to them, I know the sacrifice is high and the work long and not much "thank you's". My oldest and her family get their first calf in another week-they are raising it for meet and it will be hard for the five grands not to get attached over the year plus they'll have it. They also have a pasture of Alfalfa.
    Have a wonderful Friday dear friend-I'm going in for that "fun" test and once I'm back home I should be good.
    Love, Noreen

  10. How interesting, Debbie. I find farming fascinating, and I think it's pretty remarkable that our sustenance depends on farmers everywhere. Even beans in a can came from a farmer somewhere at some point in time. May God bless your daughter and son-in-law, and the new little one on the way.

  11. nostalgic - I even remember some of why I thought I wanted to be a dairy farmer! I know I would not have been able to cut the muster..but there is something exciting and even romantic about running your own farm, raising baby calves and inspecting your own milk supply! How many "hands" does it take to run that huge operation??? And, just had to ask - how did Mel meet Mike - California girl and mid-western farmer:) love it. Really enjoyed your smilebox, too:P)

  12. That was amazing! You are so smart to get it all on video and share it, the trip, the baby's room, the farm, all of it. I just loved it!

    I've never seen a nursery more fully equipped and ready for this precious litttle boy, and somehow I see the loving hands of his grandma all over it! :)


  13. I just spent the last few minutes visiting through your last posts, and catching up. I grew up visiting my uncle and aunt on their dairy farm, and I know how much work is involved in running an operation like it. It was so interesting to see these pictures, and the nursery you so lovingly shared. Your daughter-in-law is beautiful, and looks so pretty pregnant. I am so happy for you all and wish you the very best. Actually, I liked all of your pictures and the love with which you shared them. Always a joy to visit here.

    Your home looks so good! The flowers are amazing!


I am so glad that you would take the time to comment on my thoughts and feelings, it is such a blessing to me!