A Magic Wand Turns Me Into A Cowgirl!

There are just so many things in life that one want to achieve. And many times, we only wish for a magic wand. A wand that would allow us to be what we want to be at any point in our life. We don’t have the luxury to hold on to this magic wand all the time, because there is only one of such wand that makes wishes comes true and it moves around to create magic in one’s life.

One Day, The Magic Wand decide to land on me and turn me into a Cowgirl. For the record, in this post, A cowgirl here is not one that ride on a cow, she is one that works in a cow farm only for a day. And because she didn’t like the word Farmer-girl  the magic wand granted her wish to be called a Cowgirl instead.

It is Autumn, where the leaves starts turning yellow and brown; day by day, a little by a little, they fall off from the trees. Soon leaving the tree bare with just branches. During this time of the year in Holland, we all know, it will be windy and most time rainy. And yes, when that happens, it can be miserable. But I was so blessed again, the day I became a Cowgirl was Sunny and a perfectly good weather.

I think I should now start with the story…. Apologies for the lengthy introduction, I can get naggy sometimes 🙂 Ok, here it goes:

Jan had invited me to visit the farm of his brother on their Annual Family Day. At this time of every year, Jan and his family would gather together at the barn of the farm with food and drinks.  Because his brother had passes on, the farm is now run by his brother son and his lovely wife (Albert & Diana).

I’ve visited so many farms. I’ve been to the ones in Australia (many times in fact). I’ve entered some in Holland. Also now, to the one that Albert and Diana are managing. I was really expecting a regular farm visit but no, it was magical, almost unreal.

A beautiful Farm House.

The first impression of a farm house was authentic in a new way and really cosy. A big trampoline lying in the garden and lots of kiddy ride for entertainment to their three children.

Lying at the entrance of the farm house was 5 clogs engraved with 5 names. I had to take a picture of this because I think it is so sweet and too awesome.

A nice family of five! Too Cute!

After a good look around the house and some socializing with the rest of the family members (there was about a total of 50 people in the house, this includes the old, the mid age, the young and the really young). Quite honestly, I can hardly remember any of their names, but I can surely say, they are very nice people and also very friendly.

Because I don’t speak much dutch, I decide I should do some work instead of sitting around struggling to understand the language. So when Diana started to work on the BBQ, I was the first one to help. I did the BBQ-ing and put the cooked meat on the empty plates of very hungry relatives of Jan. It was fun.

The BBQ was so good.. I can drool just thinking about it now.

After the busy moments on the grill and all empty stomach has been filled and mine as well of course. I was bored again, Jess being Jess, I need to do something or I get very grumpy and miserable. I would go into depression almost immediately. No, we don’t want to see that happening. So Jos was already seeing that from the corner of his eyes. He had then hinted that we will be on our way soon. Just before that happen, Diana came to me and said “I have a job for you”.

My eyes immediately opened and sparkled with hope. I eagerly turn around to Jos and said “I can’t go home now, I have a job to do.” And this is when the magic happen. I was made to wear a blue jump suit of Diana and a little over-sized boots.

Next, me and Diana, together with Diana’s Sister and 4 other girls, we march to the field with their Border Collie. Diana had said to me, we have to bring all the cows back to the barn as we need to start milking them. The border collie will help with the chase.

When my foot step onto the field, I was really happy I wasn’t wearing my own boots. These “a little over-sized boot” of Diana came in really handy. There was no need to be afraid of the mud as my feet was well protected. After walking further into the field, I came in contact with huge puddle of cow dung! I didn’t step on them but I surely didn’t come this close to the Dung! The coolness of it was; I didn’t feel disgusted, I like it to be in the field. I like it that I come so close to the cows. I like it that I’m not wearing my regular outfit. I love being in the jumpsuit of Diana. The over-sized boots didn’t feel over-sized anymore.

The Magical Moment with the animals!

The cows are such tame animals. They are huge but totally gentle. The walk through the field was easily completed and the cows march orderly backed to the barn, no fuss at all.

What lovely sight.. Cow & Dog walking side by side back to the Barn!

Wait… Let us do our last pee! Said the Couple.

Their last pee was a rain fall! It was really fun to watch. Next we walked into the barn together with the cows in front of us.  I was all excited; wondering what is next. When I enter the barn, before I know it, I was surrounded by all the huge cows. Diana repeatedly assured me that I shouldn’t be afraid and I should trust that the cow won’t hurt me. Next, I saw her slapping on the back of the cow and rushing them to move into the milking station. Diana said it doesn’t hurt them.

COME ON MEISJE, MOVE! That was what Diana said.

“Every Cows has 4 Nipples, Some have 3. If they have more than 4, we cut them off.” Said Diana.

I also learn that a good cow should give about 30 liters of milk a day. The amount of milk each cow give determines also how much food they will get. In other words, if a cow doesn’t produce enough milk, she will have lesser food. This is a Farmer’s way of reducing cost while making profit for their farm.

I was also made to feed a calf of 3 days from a pail of milk from its mother. I’m suppose to hold on to the calf mouth so that it is properly fed. According to Diana, the calf is taken away from it’s mother right from birth. The reason why they have to be remove from their mother is because the calf would be too easily expose to the bacteria around and feeding directly from its mother could pose higher possibility of the calf getting sick. As they are separated from birth, there is no separation anxiety and therefore, it is not cruelty.

Each cows are made to give birth once a year. Albert and Diana’s farm have a calf from each cow once every 14 months. The allow their cow to rest a little more than the usual. But that is not so good – business wise. They have only a couple of bulls in the farm. These bulls are not normally made to mate the cows, the cows conceive with a insemination shot. Only when conception is not successful, they will bring in the bull.

The magic moment of being a Cowgirl.

I’ve asked so many questions. I’ve gotten so much knowledge. It was such an interesting and memorable experience. I can talk about it everyday. I cannot stop looking through the pictures we’ve taken. It’s too amazing. I know I  may sound little exaggerated, but if you are a city person that had an experience of such, you will also scream with joy!

I didn’t know the magic wand was working on me only when this magical day ends. Thank you Magic Wand! 🙂

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Cats and Holland

All my life even as a child, I’ve never really had an up close and personal contact with Cats. I remember As a child, there was once i saw a kitten at the stairways near my home and even before I could touch it, my mum already warn me of how dirty and unhygienic these cats are. So, from then, whenever stray cats walks up to me and start meowing for food, I would shoo it away or walk away without feeling any passion for it.

Therefore, i never really like cats or think much about them as I have never really been in contact with one since young.

Then one fine day, I was made to live with one in a foreign land for a good 2 weeks! When I was introduced to Mug for the first time… the first thought that really came into my mind was: “Oh Damn, I haven’t really have much contact with a cat! What do I do now?”

(P.S. Jos didn’t know about my thought of course! haha =))

Let me first present you the red haired cat – Mug.
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Mug is male cat.. almost 3 years old. Fit and super active! I’ve met him in Oct 2010 in the 2nd storey of a house in a little town named, Dordrecht in Holland. While I’ve come in contacts with dogs of all kinds, big and small, and I reckon I handle dogs pretty well because you just know what they are up to and canine are man’s best friend! So handling a dog, even a german shepherd, me have no problem! Mug in Dutch means Mosquito. The amount of time I spend with this red-haired mosquito may be even more than that with Jos because when Jos is working, I’ll be home with Mug. We are each-other’s companion…

The first time Mug jump on me in the middle of the night while I was sleeping was freaking scary, I was all curled up. I didn’t want him near me while I was lying down. I felt helpless and defenseless, I won’t move an inch just in case he scratch me on my face! And then he would gently stretch out his paws and still gently touch my face. He did it once… he did it twice.. and now, I cannot remember how many time he does it!

In Holland, it seems to me, every household has cat or even cats! Some people think that cats are haughty creatures that show little or no affection, maybe like I used to think. But cats are really loving and affectionate to their owner and even protective sometimes. I watch Mug snuggling up to Jos all the time and now even me of course. So the myth about cat being haughty are so wrong.

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