When I first began this project, cattle was not part of my plan, but I've been shown more of The Plan and there are cattle involved. When I first began homesteading, I was just on two acres and had plenty to learn; but I already knew 2 acres was not enough for cattle. My first presumption was that I would stay on the 2 acres for the rest of my days. I never even asked, but I heard otherwise after 3.5 years. From the time I heard "more land and a well," to signing the check and receiving the deed was just 3.5 months. In that time, I also had my radio show and when I heard a move was in the plan, I presumed I'd be moving closer to the station. Again, my presumption was wrong. I feel very blessed that YaH continues to graciously allow me to hear His voice, even though I frequently wrap His Words in my presumption. I am very careful, though, to keep separated, His Words and my afterthoughts of presumption. I don't want to operate on my presumption or expectation.
I've been raising bottle dairy bulls for a few years now, giving them goat's milk until they are ready to wean. The grassfed beef is wonderful and the last couple of years, I've been spoiled and not had to process them myself! I haven't bought milk or eggs in over a decade, but I'm still buying butter and cheese . . . that is changing. Annabelle has come to Goshen. She is a big beautiful five year old Jersey cow, who had gotten out of sync in the calving cycle at a local dairy.
She was bred when I bought her, and due to calve next month. Sadly, that situation did not go as planned. Something went wrong with the umbilical cord and unbeknownst to me, the calf lost it's food and oxygen supply . . . Thankfully, Annabelle delivered the deceased calf before it affected her health. To be perfectly honest, of course, I'm a bit disappointed, but I had heard two things from YaH when I bought her. He told me the calf would arrive in August, and I'd not be raising a bull calf this year.
Let me tell you a little something about presumption . . . For starters, it's not the same thing as faith. When I heard the calf would come in August, I presumed, the dairy owner simply had her dates mixed up, as she said she couldn't remember exactly when the vet preg checked the cow. When I heard I'd not be raising a bull calf, I presumed, Annabelle would have a heifer. Now, when the reality of the last few days settled over me, I remembered distinctly what I'd heard, and what I'd heard happened exactly as He'd said. It was my presumption, however; that was 100% wrong.
Annabelle and I have now settled into our milking routine. I think I have a butter making schedule, and the cheese experiments are coming right along. I don't like to waste anything, but in learning, sometimes the experiments do not go as planned. I am blessed to know, in the event something is not palatable, it is still 100% edible by dogs, cats, and chickens.