Of Mensans, Kids, and Goat Milking

Mr. DirtNKids is a Mensan; you have to take a test — IQ test to be exact — to be accepted as a Mensan. Not to knock the high IQ, I like to use that word — ‘mensan’ — as an adequate description of his quirky [smarter] ways.

Like when I’m mad at him: Oh, that’s just what a mensan would say/do.  

Or my personal favorite, in typical Chandler Bing style: Could you be more mensan?

To be truthful, I’m really just being spiteful that there’s not much else I have on him. He waits for me to whip it out like a Colt .45 when a moment calls for it. (It’s really all I’ve got on the man. He’s pretty perfect.)

Being a bonafide dues-paying Mensan for 10 years hasn’t exactly resulted in any tangible benefits. Until…the coordinator of the local Mensa chapter put together an informal, family style get-together at a goat farm, to learn about sustainability and to see how a local farm operates. Now this was right up my alley.

After putting together a day pack, charging up the camera and camcorder, we set out for the country. First, I needed to geek up the kids, and what better way than to meet the characters of the Blue Heron Farm family in a convenient on-line story book?  (If you have kids under 7, be sure to view it in full frame. It’s really cute.)

The girls for sure were already discussing who they would meet first, Aunt Fanny, Challenge, and Goatrude. They are practically non-stop about it for the entire 45 minute drive and I can’t recall if there was ever a final decision made. Girls.

Arriving early, Christian, the owner, greeted the group with his newest goat kids, only a few days old. They are small and spirited, not yet in good control of their hind legs and sucking on everything. As an ice-breaker, he lets our kids give milk — cow’s milk, mind you — to the goat kids.

Why cow’s milk you ask? Because the mama’s milk is their money-maker. They use it make and sell cheese, not feed baby goats.  Duh.

These little guys are just too cute for words and it makes me want to take one home with me to keep as a family member.

These guys just don’t stay still!

Next, it’s off to meet the milk-and-money-makers of the farm. Along the way, we are greeted by the dogs and a turkey who, for some reason loves the color blue — which just so happens to be the color of my jacket. Thinking now that I’m her boyfriend, this turkey lets me get right into her face for an up-close-and-personal portrait only a turkey mother could love.

Nannies rest and socialize between milkings.
Threee Turkeys
Miss Turkey

The chitty-chatty pig was my my favorite. I swear, I understood everything he was oinking to me, that I could speak his language. He was saying something like, “Free me so I don’t become someone’s bacon!” Doubtful any of the Mensans understood.

See? Now I don’t feel so stupid.

Mr. Pig

A few things I did learn today.

1.  Goats and children are not my favorite camera subjects, especially without my bifocals to help me see, using the manual focus ring, and the added time for the camera to write two files (RAW+HQ) rather than the usual one. The experience was all rather frustrating and not making me want to take any action photos, which are usually the more fun ones. I’ll have to hone my on-the-go technique for the next time.

2.  Aiming milk from the teat of a goat into a small can is not as easy as it looks. I would get fired the first day if I was making money at it, so I know I won’t. John, on the other hand, may have found his calling.

John hits the target! First try.

3.  Goat cheese made from fresh milk, taken from healthy, pastured animals, eaten with friends on a picnic table in the middle of a field grass tastes divine — like country should taste like — particularly the Chipotle flavored one.

4. Making cheese for a living does not appear to be a very profitable endeavor, however sustainable it may be. Though the animals are well-cared for, there’s still that taking baby from mama thing. And where do the male goats go, anyway?

4.  I want to cuddle a baby goat. They are too stinkin’ cute for words.

THE END

Using others without their permission for profit is an
ethical question answered by the vegan ethic:  DON’T.

Go Vegan.

13 thoughts on “Of Mensans, Kids, and Goat Milking

  1. You’ve reminded me of an episode from the Bob Newhart Show that I saw in 1972. In the show, Bob’s wife Emily is a member of the High IQ Club, but he doesn’t score high enough to qualify. At one point they go to a meeting of the club, and a member speaks to Bob very slowly, as if he might not understand English at a normal speed.

    I discovered that the half-hour episode has been posted online, so you can watch it (after a 30-second commercial) at

    http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi3351248921/?ref_=tt_ov_vi

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    1. That’ll about do it! I feel Bob’s pain and am quite awkward in ‘smartie pants’ circles. I’m more like the dog and his annoying bark — no bite. As a Mensan, we balance out as a couple. Thanks for sharing the clip, Steve. 😀

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  2. Jason has promised me a goat. Its one of those things that I WILL hold him to also, seeing as how cute they are. Oh and how useful too! LOL Turkeys now, thats another story. I have a thing against large birds that like to chase small girls around and scare them half to death. Turkeys, roosters, geese, peacocks, parrots. I’m not speaking from personal experiences or anything!

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    1. If we could, we would have a few goats and lots of chickens. Both are relatively easy for care but beneficial in utility! I don’t know about a cow or a horse — both require lots of “input,” both financial and energy related.

      My good friend has guinnea fowl, poultry, turkey, and ducks and geese. It’s the “mix” that she swears to. They all have a part in the pecking order that keep pests (wild cats, birds of prey, raccoon) at bay. I’d be so inclined because I love to watch social order at work, especially with birds.

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  3. Too adorable! So all of this cuteness came about because your husband is freakishly smart?

    I need to get my husband’s IQ tested. I’m certain he’s up there and I need something to use against him, too. I got nuthin’ right now. Well, outside of the poor way he folds towels.

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    1. Alas, I think all of my kids have their mom’s dorkiness. They are so very smart — I think all kids are — but having “their mom’s way” about them just overpowers any genius they might otherwise possess. It certainly keeps their teacher’s guessing / pulling their hair out.

      I completely understand about having nuthin’ on the hubby. He’s leagues above me in innate intelligence. Whenever I lose something (especially my mind), I call him at work and he always walk me right to it. But he can’t cook or grow food, so he keeps me around. Without him, I’m just another dumb blonde.

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  4. This sounds like such a great day, and a nice fun, learning experience for the (human) kids. I love that little bouncing goat – and if you want one, I say go for it. Bonnie Lee used to entertain me with stories from a blogger on Ravelry whose goats were forever getting into all kinds of trouble. They seem like interesting critters to bring into your life (far preferable to amorous turkeys, though maybe not to talking pigs).

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    1. Thanks, E. Especially for helping to light the fire. Sometimes it takes a gentle push. Or for me maybe a thunk on the head. I will have to plan a day to play with the camera on action shots. I’m a little out of practice!

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