This was started a year ago in March. I guess I will leave this part as it is and continue writing at the end.
Today, Larry left for Australia. I am not quite “home alone” because Josh is home on spring break. I feel “home alone” because he is always running around and I don’t see him much.
Tomorrow I take Mom in to the surgeon to have some skin growths removed. I will miss a half day of school. Hopefully not many kids will show up while I am away.
October 6, 2006, my mother went home to be with the Lord. She was a good mother and did her best for her family even tho things were tough.
I look back and wonder if I would be as content if I had as little as she had. Probably not. My parents were dry land farmers. That means if it rained and the grasshoppers weren’t bad and it didn’t hail, they might get a good crop. If it didn’t rain, if the bugs were bad, if it hailed or flooded they were without. No second plantings. They did have cattle and could and did sell some of those during the hard times. They also had between 30 to 35 milking cows. That helped a lot, but they barley got the equipment paid for and fancier equipment was required. The milk would go straight from the cows to a big “bulk” tank. The milk trucks would then come and pump the milk from the bulk tank into the milk truck. At that time my parents decided to get out of the milk business.
We used to have milking machines that had “suckers” (can’t think of a better word at this moment) that you put on the cows teats. One had to be careful and hold them just right while they were putting them on, or they would lose their suction and fall off. When the can was full, we carried it into the other part of the barn away from the cows and poured it through a sieve with a filter paper in it to get the cow hair and dirt out. Then it went into 10 gal. (I think) milk cans and put in the cooler ready for the milk man.
Sometimes we would meet the milk man someplace and put the cans on his truck and sometimes he would come to our place and pick them up. I liked it when we met the milk man because sometimes I got to go along. My dad would sing hymns like, “When The Roll is Called Up Yonder” and other old hymns. (If others come to mind I will add them) I would put my head on his lap as he drove and listen to him sing. He was a fair singer. It was nice and cozy and comforting. My brother and I took turns riding with our dad.
We sometimes would “separate” the cream from the milk with a machine that we turned by hand. I got to do that sometimes. One of my favorite things to do was to help my dad. Below is a separator similar to the one we used. We would put the milk in the top. We had a big can on the floor under one spout for the skimmed milk and a smaller can under the spout on the round “shelf” to catch the cream. We then turned the crank and out came cream and skim milk. We fed the milk to the pigs. We sold the cream and used some for butter.
This is similar to what we used to use to make butter. We put the cream in this and turned it until it started to get thick. Then we kept turning it until the butter started sticking together and the “whey” was left. We took out the lump of
butter and washed out all the whey. (whey doesn’t taste very good and I don’t think the butter would last as well or taste as good with it left in) Then we would knead in some salt. Yummy, that was good on fresh bread.
We usually took the cream into town to sell it at the creamery. I am not sure what all they did because we usually had to stay in the car, but I know they checked it to see how good it was. We also could buy chicken feed at the creamery and that is what we usually did. My parents used the cream money to pay toward the chicken feed. The chicken feed came in pretty bags and my mother would choose the bags that she liked. I got a pretty white dress with pink flowers on it once. My mom put tucks in the front and pink bows on the shoulders. I liked it. (Most clothes then had to be ironed. Chicken sacks were no different) She made dish towels, curtains and quilt backs as well.
Well this blog has turned out differently than it started. It is good to remember.
The interesting thing is that Larry is gone again. He was in Australia when this was started. Now he is in Los Vegas at a communications conference. He is staying at Circus, Circus.
Enough for today.