September 8, 2009
Today we made udder salve to clear up a fungus Raspberry got this summer. It felt especially gratifying to make salve, from picking out the herbs in the market to labeling the warm jar, in front of the kids. Sometimes, when you need medicine, you can just make it. Sometimes. A good thing to know. We chose nettles for their astringency, golden seal for its anti microbial and anti bacterial properties, pelleted bees wax for quick melting, and dried rosebuds....for love and pink energy. I don't know why pink energy. Maybe for the baby? Maybe because her name is Raspberry? Maybe because I'm silly enough to be pleased that way? But these days I follow my intuition and it said to add rosebuds so we did. All cooked up in an olive oil base. I'll be curious to see if our potion has had any effect by tomorrow.
Nothing feels better than swaggering around the feed store in cowgirl boots and being led to a semi out back filled with the greenest brightest sweetest looking hay you've ever seen. I gasped, Oooooh how beautiful! when I first saw it. The feed woman laughed and said it took her a long time to get used to people who get excited about hay bales. She didn't know what she didn't know. Frankly, until recently, neither did I. But we knew enough to buy as much as we could afford.
This morning the woman ringing up our groceries asked us if we owned a cow. How did she know? Was it our smell? (Likely.) Was it the fact we all had on boots? Was it because we were buying a load of groceries with absolutely NO dairy products of any kind? Or, was it just that special cow glow? Hard to say. But we bonded over family milk cows in about ten seconds. She grew up milking a Jersey every morning, a cow who lived 27 years. I asked why she didn't have a cow now. She said she didn't have enough time.
Ah, time. So that's where all my time is going these days. But people don't realize how much wealth is in a cow. They are time consuming and expensive - sort of. Look what they can do. A good dexter cow can give you a calf every year to raise for beef, enough milk to raise the calf, your family, and other critters, and tons of manure for garden compost. You might get as much as 3 gallons of milk a day while she's fresh, a few cups of that in cream. And she'll do that for years. And she can love you. Instead of going to the grocery store, we have a love relationship. When I call from the barn door, Raspberry comes up. She comes up from where ever she is on the farm. She loves us. And the feeling is completely mutual.