1. “Go straight at the well” can be perfectly reasonable directions to someone’s house.

2. Helping a cow give birth is A LOT of work.
2a. It’s also a messy job.
2b. Cows give birth standing up.
2c. It takes two people to pull the calf out.
2d. One of those people may need to stick HIS ENTIRE ARM inside the cow.
2e. Cows do not have gravity working with them when they give birth.

3. Baby calves are ready to stand up a couple hours after birth.


4. People from Kansas City are nice…and they make good pie and scones!

5. Three extra large pizzas from Sam’s Club is enough to feed eleven hungry women and one man who has just delivered a baby calf.

6. The stars are prettier in the country than they are in town.

7. Just because it’s a narrow, gravel road doesn’t mean you will never see a car (or even a semi!) on it.


8. “One-eyed” vehicles are scary after dark.

9. Eleven women really CAN write together…and accomplish something.


10. Eleven women will also talk and laugh a lot when they are together.

11. How to pick corn: pull down, then twist up


12. You can plant your tomato plants next to a pole and then tie the plant to the pole with a piece of nylon stocking rather than use tomato cages. (It looks much nicer.)

13. If you put plastic bags on your feet before you slip them into work boots, they’ll come off easier.


14. Mushrooms in lasagna will not kill me.

15. Man Bites Dog is a very loud game.

16. Taboo is an even louder game.

17. How to tell if a cow might be just about ready to give birth: you drive around the pasture on a 4-wheeler and count the cows. If one is off by herself, it could be a sign. Then you drive over and check her out. If there’s a hoof (or some mucus) sticking out, chances are good she’s about to give birth.


18. I can drive a 4-wheeler!

19. If you’re going to bottle feed a calf, you better hang on with two hands!


20. When a calf licks your leg, it feels a lot like when my dog licks my leg.

21. Cows that are depressed moo very loudly!


22. I felt like mooing when it was time to say good bye to everyone yesterday morning.

What I learned at my weekend retreat…

7 thoughts on “What I learned at my weekend retreat…

  • August 4, 2009 at 2:48 am

    I once scripted a video for the Dairy Farmers of Florida called “Make Mine Milk.” It was shown in elementary schools.

    Mooooo to you!

  • August 4, 2009 at 4:51 am

    Thank you for a beautiful post. Makes me wish I’d been there.

    • August 5, 2009 at 2:15 am

      I have another group I do a yearly retreat with, too. This will be our 12th year with the other group.

      I would strongly encourage any group of writer friends to put together their own little retreat…whatever works for the group.

      • August 5, 2009 at 2:30 am

        We’ve talked about this many times. Two members of my group have either beach or mountain homes. It would be a wonderful idea. Really.

  • August 5, 2009 at 2:05 am


    Awesome post, Dori! It was a great weekend.

    2d should read: One of those people may need to stick HIS ENTIRE ARM inside the COW (not calf!).



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