Meeting Karen’s Cows [UPDATED]

October 6, 2009 at 6:12 pm (By Randy)

An update for those following recent comments to this post about our trip to New England:

Just got off the telephone with Karen.We’re looking forward to meeting Karen, her husband, and their herd of cows tomorrow! Updates on the adventure will be posted to Rambling Around. Who knows, we may even get as far as the Canadian border. (Anyone needing Canadian contraband may apply within.)

Without knowing it, we were half-way to Karen’s farm while driving the back way to Stowe, Vermont today. On our way, we passed dairy farms and stopped at the Cabot Creamery, a cooperative famous for its cheeses. I happened to mention to my mom that I wouldn’t be surprised to learn afterwards that Karen lived in the area. Imagine my surprise at finding her comments today.

I laughed when I read Karen mentioning going to the Wal-Mart and Home Depot in Littleton, the town we were staying in until today. Our hotel (the tres chic Hampton Inn) overlooks both. Actually, the hotel was very nice, and in the New England “Washington slept here” tradition, proudly lets its guests know that “Obama slept here – not once but twice!” (And they have photographic evidence to prove it.)

It is too late to make a long story short, so I’ll say that while New Hampshire was beautiful, once in Vermont the unique colors stretching for miles providing ample evidence that there’s a good reason that everyone talks about Vermont Maple Syrup not New England maple syrup. We weren’t prepared to find acres and acres of corn, though.

(Note: It seems that wireless service is erratic at this hotel – public areas only – so my posts may be erratic for the next few days. Lost much of this one a couple of times.)


Pictures of our visit with Karen can be found here.


  1. Randy said,

    Now that I’m reasonably up-to-date on the important things, I’m wondering if Karen’s herd uses cowmats. If they do, I promise pictures.

    (FTC required Blogger Disclaimer: No producer paid for this visit to a dairy farm nor did any cowmat manufacturer provide any compensation for any review of any cowmats which may or may not be in use.)

  2. Rod said,

    Glad to hear you are off to a good start. Be sure to try the maple candy. (Don’t tell any Vermonters, but they also make pretty good maple syrup in Quebec.)

  3. Randy said,

    LOL! Wouldnt dare, Rod. Wouldn’t dare. BTW, thanks for affirming the Mt. Washington climb. We really enjoyed it. (My mom rode shotgun in the van, too.)

  4. karen said,

    Randy- words cannot express how moved i was in meeting you and your beautiful Mom today. I remember asking Amba once if people who had never met could call themselves friends and she reaffirmed my belief that once a door is opened to a relationship built on interaction, affection and sharing– of course we could be/were friends.

    i was honoured to have you visit our humble home and farm. I just had such a wonderful time sharing stories w/you and soaking up all the information about where you live and your thoughts. It’s been a ~gold star~ day for me to cherish:0). Thank you so much and thank you for lunch as well.

    i hope that someday you find your way back up here to our part of the NEK– by then i should be more settled here and more at ease in this house. Oh, btw– i meant to tell you about our wallpaper– it’s Early American era- lol. Actually, we are hoping to have it ~knocked down~ : that’s a type of textured wall, to cover the imperfections of an old farmhouse and have it painted something bright. I guess i have somehow learned to ignore the ugliness of the torn appearance of ripped away wallpaper by now!!

    Have a wonderful vacation in the following days– enjoy our state!!!

  5. Randy said,

    Karen – sorry about the delayed response. The inn’s internet access went down yesterday and is having a tough time staying on line tonight, for that matter. Thank you so much for getting in touch! My mom and I had so much fun meeting you and the family (and the cows, kitties and dogs, too ;-) “A ~gold star~ day to cherish” is such a good description: exactly how we feel, too. The church in Newport, the view from there, and that lunch @ Eastside – what a place! Marvelous, all of it, but all the more so because you made us so comfortable. Like old friends, even though physically meeting for the first time.

  6. reader_iam said,

    Hey, folks. I just commented at Randy’s place, but wanted to say I’m vicariously enjoying from afar your meeting. L’chaim!

  7. amba12 said,

    Karen, the farm is beautiful, the cows are beautiful, you are beautiful — and that kitten… (Hopeless, I am.)

    Wonderful to see you Randy, and your mom, with Karen. Meeting an online friend is like moving into a house of which till now you’ve only had the blueprint.

  8. karen said,

    Randy, remember you asked me what kind of attraction Lowell had when it was established? I forgot to tell you about the asbestos mine- it is visible from 100 as you come up from Eden. It’s been closed for about20 yrs, maybe not that long, but i think so.

  9. Peter Hoh said,

    I have a soft spot for dairy farms. And a soft spot for Vermont. Put them together, well, you can guess. Loved the pics. Wish I was there.

    Karen, do I remember correctly that you had a few Guernsey-Jersey mix cows in addition to the Holsteins?

  10. karen said,

    Peter- we have some ~crossbreeds~/~halfbreeds~ w/Holstein&Jersey, and w/Milking Shorthorns, but no Guernseys. One little steer is Angus/Holstein/Jersey/Shorthorn all together- so adorable we may not be able to use him for his intended purpose! I think you have a soft spot for them, too:0)- didn’t you say that you worked on a farm that had Guernseys?

    You can visit next- i’d love to meet everyone here– my husband never understood what it is that we do, here. Now that he’s met Randy- i think he realizes it’s genuine(sp?)and legit. W/hugs!!

    We both(all of us- the kids, too) are having a difficult time adjusting to this new farm. We now live on a main road- traffic is steady, whereas we were on the proverbial dirt road away from it all except the wildlife and the quiet air. This new house is not remotely like me– i saw the maroon door in Randy’s pic and cringed. We’ve already replaced four doors and have left them the standard stock grey. The barn– is tired and work intensive. The one solid saving grace is the land– river-bottom land and nary a stone. 200 tillable/100 older forestland. It sounds so good, eh? Then why do i keep clicking the heels of my boots together… oh yeah– to clean the cleats of cow crap:0).

  11. Dawn said,

    I live in Hyde Park and half the local business have some kind of message saying “Obama eats here” or “The 42nd President’s cleaners” (at one of the hole-in-the-wall dry cleaning joints) and/or pictures of the owner with Obama, or what have you.

    Apparently feeling left out, a produce store in the neighborhood that opened after Obama had already been elected and thus couldn’t possibly claim that Obama shopped there made a giant poster out front proclaiming OBAMA EATS PEACHES with a picture of the man in some miscellaneous grocery store…eating a peach.

  12. Randy said,

    LOL, Dawn! Have to give the produce store an “A” for effort (and chutzpah).

  13. Peter Hoh said,

    Karen, ah yes, that’s the mixed breed that you described before. Got any photos?

    Your farm sounds wonderful. Wish I could come spend a week or two lending a hand. Maybe if I win the Powerball.

  14. Melinda said,

    Those pictures are stirring up all of my “Move to Vermont and open a B&B” fantasies.

  15. karen said,

    Melinda!!! There is a B&B for sale right at the end of town on the way to Newport. It’s really pretty from the outside- i don’t know how it’s fixed up inside. A couple of guys from NJ bought it about 10 yrs ago- i know one rather well, but i have never personally met the other. I think it could do well w/the right kind of management- it is so beautiful around Christmastime because they use really awesome lights–

    Peter- i will try to take a pic of my crossbreeds. Amba has a pic of Ila- she just calved in for the 1st time and i really like milking her. She has this little moo she does as if to say: hurry up already, the pressure is killin’ me. Apple is the Shorthorn-ish girl- she used to be so wild when a young heifer, but is easy to milk, too. Thank God.

    It’s funny because we also have a really special egg baby- we purchased as an embryo and had implanted(a lot easier than it sounds, really). Her breeding is so good- her 3rd dam(her great-gram) is being featured in the Holstein World this month– Adeen. I call the little one our ~Green Adeen~:0).

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