Stand!

The morning before Christmas Eve I looked out my bedroom window to see a sight that had me running out the door immediately, pulling on the rubber boots on our old porch and rushing out to the middle pasture. Annabelle, our Jersey cow was laid out on her side, her head back, eyes rolled eerily. The dirt by her feet was trenched as if she had struggled for a while to stand. Jason was on shift that day and my boys were at their cousins’, so I hollered into the house for Addie to come and, in vain, try to help me do something.

Farming, like other things in life, is manageable and even easy-going when things run as they should. When animals are healthy you feed them and let them be and they do not dominate your every waking thought. But when things go wrong, everything changes.

When we first got Annabelle five years ago.

This wasn’t the first time Annabelle had gone down. Three weeks before she couldn’t stand right before she went into labor with her calf. We had to lift her four times with the tractor and actually pull the baby out. That night Jason and I lay awake struggling with God and pleading with Him to help her to stand. Jason checked on her about 3 AM that next morning and came into the room and told me he thought both baby and mama were doomed, as she was still on the ground. Some point during the watches of the night I had to surrender my cow to the Lord. But in the morning, I went out to check on them and at once burst into tears to see Annabelle up on her feet.

But that was three weeks ago. The day before Christmas Eve I contacted Jason, who told me to call the emergency number for the vet and, when I didn’t get ahold of him immediately, called my neighbors. Our cowboy neighbor just so happened to be available and came right over and helped get Annabelle up on her right side. We were pretty sure she had bloat from being down on the ground, which is a condition that could kill a cow if the air is not released from the cow’s stomach. Fortunately, she began to belch and sitting up as she was, looked so much better. The vet finally contacted me and came over to look at Annabelle. Everything looked okay, except that she was terribly skinny and very weak. But he did not seem hopeful. Normally if a cow does not stand up within 24 hours, they will die. My neighbors and I tried to get her to stand with the tractor that day, but she wouldn’t put any weight on her feet. It didn’t look good.

That night as I was saying goodnight to Jeremiah he said to me, “Mom, I don’t want Annabelle to die.” I looked at him and rubbed his back. My 14 year-old son was a lot bigger than he was when we moved out to the land five years before. Back then we knew nothing about dairy farming, but we plunged right in and each child would take turns milking with me twice a day.

“You know what I would miss the most if we lose Annabelle?” I asked him. His back was muscular and strong. “I will miss the mornings milking with each one of you kids, when the sleep is still in your eyes and you tell me all about the crazy dreams you had the night before.”

Jeremiah laughed. “Thadd was the one with the crazy dreams!” And then, quieter, “Mom, I don’t want to grow up. I don’t want to stop doing the same things I did as a kid.”

My heart surged and fresh tears came as I agreed with him, “I don’t want you to grow up either.” Already my children were growing out of their childish ways. I relished the thought of them remaining children, but I knew it is not meant to be. Things change. But this cow. How precious she would always be to me because of so many things. She was so gentle as she trusted us completely. Her milk literally nourished my family. And she bonded me with my children in a tender way nothing else could.

Christmas Eve 2015
October 2020

Jason came home the next day and successfully raised Annabelle to her feet using the tractor. Hence began one of the longest weeks we’ve had, caring for Annabelle and then another cow, who also decided to get weak and not stand. Jason lost out on two family Christmas get-togethers because he was caring for the cows. We would have to get Annabelle to stand, make sure the calf was nursing, give both cows ample food and water when they were down, shelter them creatively in the rain, and cover them and warm them in the cold. It has been laborious, but we are slowly seeing improvement in Annabelle and she is getting stronger every day. She has started to stand up on her own now, but isn’t out of the woods yet. Bobby Sue, our other cow, is still down.

Farming teaches me so many things about life. How absolutely dependent we are on God. How important it is to simply stand up. How precious life is. How vital hope is to the soul. That the mercies of God are new every morning. That His faithfulness is great.

As 2020 comes to a close, I am reminded again how very dependent we are upon the mercies of God. And how important it is to stand.

I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of the gruesome pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my footsteps. And He has put a new song in my mouth, a praise to our God. Many will see and hear and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is the man that makes the LORD his trust. Psalm 40:1-5

The Raw Milk Cure

 

Towards the end of May I started something that sounded so crazy I was hesitant to disclose to anyone what I was attempting to do.  Upon much research and the encouragement of my husband, Jason, I put the fresh raw milk we were getting daily from our Jersey cow to an extreme test. I set out to live exclusively on five quarts of raw milk a day for four weeks.

Over one hundred years ago, before pasteurization of milk became the standard of American society, the cow which fed on green pastures and produced wholesome milk, promoted the wellness of the people. There existed sanitariums in which people with chronic diseases were fed milk alone and given bed rest and the results were staggering. They were either cured or benefited greatly from the diet. I read the work of Dr. Charles Sanford Porter, Milk Diet as Remedy for Chronic Disease, published in 1923 and was astounded to hear of his thousands of documented patients who improved upon taking milk alone for at least one month. Chronic diseases ranging from brain and nerve disorders, heart and kidney disease, colitis, paralysis and nutrient deficiencies all benefited from an exclusive milk diet. As the large amount of milk was digested by these individuals, the body increased the blood supply and pumped blood to all parts of the body, making the diet incredible for circulation and nutrient assimilation.

Raw milk is a powerhouse of nutrition. It contains fat soluble vitamins A, D and K, it’s high in Omega 3’s, high in minerals and electrolytes, high in Vitamin C and the B Vitamins and has all of the enzymes needed by the body to assimilate it. As Dr. Weston Price concluded, (Raw milk is) “nature’s only complete diet for mammalian infants and by far the single item of food for growing human beings in all periods of stress.”

In 2009 I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. From that time on I have been on the road to recovering my health. But in these eight years I have failed to put on any weight, even though I have stuck religiously to a gluten free diet and have seen naturopaths and gone to extreme measures to heal my gut. As Jason and I read these ancient books on this milk cure diet, we decided that I had nothing to lose! In fact, I had everything to gain! Why not try it?

So the first thing I did was get some blood work done. I ordered a full blood count, B Vitamins and Folate and hormone panel. My results did not look so bad, however, I had low alkaline phosphatase, high cholesterol and high eosinophils. A low alkaline phosphatase is common in people with Celiac Disease who have a difficult time absorbing nutrients. This didn’t surprise me, as my low weight has been an issue for a while now. The cholesterol baffled me, but it was in my research on my high eosinophil count that caught my attention. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell, specifically engaged by the body to attack parasites. If my body had been harboring parasites for a long time, even the most nutrient rich diet was not going to cause me to gain weight! As I continued researching I was appalled to discover that up to 50 percent of people probably have undiagnosed parasites. And parasites may even be linked to a possible cause of autoimmune disease!

Another part of my research led me to discover that parasites absolutely love milk. They love sugar and there is natural sugar in raw milk. In drinking milk, I could essentially draw out the parasites from whatever organs they might be inhabiting and bring them to my gut. Lovely thought.

The next piece to this puzzling experiment had been right in front of us for a while. We are homesteaders and try to feed our animals as naturally as we can. We have opted to use food grade diatomaceous earth to treat our pigs, chickens, cows and dogs for parasites instead of using commercial wormers. Diatomaceous earth is composed of the silica made from fossilized aquatic organisms. It is one of the best natural parasite killers. I researched its effect on parasites in humans and saw great results. Along with the five quarts of raw milk a day, I decided to add food grade diatomaceous earth, or DE. Using the recommendations of Dr. Josh Axe, (see The Most Versatile Detoxifier Around) I began to take one teaspoon of DE in about 8 ounces of water before bed.
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I wish I could tell you that drinking five quarts of milk everyday was a romantic experience. The truth is that it was very difficult. Every hour from 7 AM until 7 PM, with the exception of two hours during that time, I drank 16 ounces of milk very slowly. There is a formula in the books that I read that explains how to calculate the amount of milk one needs based on body weight. For me, I needed just about five quarts. You’d be surprised just how quickly an hour goes by and how satiated you feel on a full glass of milk. The first two days were miserable for me because I cut out coffee and so I dealt with horrible headaches and nausea from the lack of caffeine and the increase of milk. The addition of the DE in the evenings caused some interesting bathroom habits, which I will not go into here, but the bedrest was the most difficult part of the diet. The first couple days were easy to rest because I felt so horrible, but after the pain went away and I felt better, I was lucky if I got an afternoon nap daily for the rest of the four weeks. I just could not wrap my mind around laying in bed when there were things to do and children and animals to attend to.

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After three weeks on the milk diet I was ready to give it all up. I was so sick of milk. I hated it. We had gone out to lunch after church with friends of ours to Chipotle and I declared that I was done with taking my little cooler with glass jars full of milk any time we left the house. I was tired of drinking and so desperately wanted to chew something. Anything! Jason just looked at me and said, “Whatever you want to do, I will support that.” I ate some guacamole in pure rebellion. However, when we got back home I changed my mind and decided to go one more week. I made a list of foods that I was going to eat once I was able to eat again and the last week went by incredibly fast. I had made it! Four weeks on milk alone.

Here are some of the results that I experienced:

I gained six pounds! I know this doesn’t sound like much, but to someone who has been just under 115 pounds for almost a decade, getting to 120 is an accomplishment.

I gained an inch around my waist, two inches around my hips, an inch around my thighs and my arms grew slightly bigger. My face is fuller.

I have noticed improvements in female issues I have dealt with, as well as improvement in hemorrhoids.

My skin and complexion is soft and radiant.

Toenail fungus completely cleared up.

I just bought a dress one size bigger than usual!

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I am still in the process of finishing up the regimen of diatomaceous earth and then I will order new blood tests to see if the parasites are gone. All in all, the raw milk diet has been a surprising success in my life. It was worth the pain and the discipline of drinking all that milk. And to quote Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.”

 

References:

  1. The Untold Story of Milk by Ron Schmid, ND, 2009
  2. The Miracle of Milk by Bernarr Macfadden, 1923
  3. Milk Diet as a Remedy for Chronic Disease by Charles Sanford Porter, 1923
  4. The Weston A. Price Foundation