Friday, April 13, 2012

Want To See Some Cows?

By Susan C. Muller

“Want to go with me to see some Jersey cows?” my friend Delma asked.
I had to think about that for a moment. “Don’t we have enough cows in Texas? Why do we have to go all the way to New Jersey?”
Turns out Jersey was the type of cow, and they were in La Grange, Texas, on a dairy farm. Delma was in charge of planning an outing for the Prime Timers group at her church and she needed twenty riders to get the free county bus. She only had nineteen signed up. And I thought it was my charming personality.

“They’ll even let you milk one if you want to,” she assured me.
How could I pass up an offer like that? Milking a cow wasn’t on my bucket list, but I’ll try anything once.
The bus was due to leave at 9:00 o’clock, and I arrived at 8:40. The bus was already full. Prime Timers don’t like to wait ‘till the last minute; anything could happen. Luckily, Delma had saved me a seat. And paid my $5.75 admission fee. Wow, the day was starting out right.
It’s a two hour bus ride from Houston to La Grange and, believe me, Delma and I can talk that long with no problem. I hadn’t seen her in almost two days.
An hour out of Houston, we began to see bluebonnets. At first just a few were sprinkled along the roadside. Soon they carpeted every available space. They were so beautiful that for a few minutes, Delma and I forgot to talk.
When we arrived at the dairy farm, the wind almost knocked some of the Prime Timers over. High wind and big, heavily sprayed Texas hair are not a pretty combination. But there stood Belle, the symbol of Blue Bell Ice Cream.
I don’t know if you have Blue Bell where you live, but if not, you might want to consider moving.
All of Belle’s descendants have bell in their name, and the cow I milked was Belladonna. It wasn’t as difficult as I’d imagined. One squeeze and here came a stream of warm milk. Jerseys have a high butterfat content to their milk and on this farm, all of their product went straight to Blue Bell.
The farm is family owned and operated and one of the daughters asked if we had any questions. I raised my hand. “What happens to the cows when they get too old to produce?” A fair question for a group of older citizens.
I was assured that no cow is ever slaughtered. “They’re put out to pasture to live out their days.”

I didn’t see any fields of elderly cows munching their lives away, but the farm had a lot of acreage, and the old gals might have been behind the tree line. That’s what I choose to believe, anyway.
My novel, The Secrets on Forest Bend, is set in Houston, but my hero is a cop, not a cowboy. Delma asked me if I could use this experience in my next novel. I promised her I would. I don’t know how yet, but if I bothered to do it, you can be sure I’m going to use it.
What about you? Are you always up for a new adventure, or do you prefer the comforts of home?
The Secrets on Forest Bend is available from:, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.
Follow Susan at
No cows were harmed in the writing of this blog.


Loretta Wheeler said...

Hmmm,using the cows in your next book, got me to thinking. If nothing else, you could pass a billboard with Jersey's on it...surrounded by bluebonnets. There! That's as good as I get mid-morning:) No, wait...cattle rustlers? :) Don't you wish I'd stayed home, and avoided this foray with you down the highway of life?:)Great post, Susan:)

Susan M said...

Cattle rustling, eh Loretta? Well, I have heard it's making a comeback and would need to be investigated. Who knows, that might just wook.

Thanks Lo.

Suzan Harden said...

You could have a mystery-solving cow, like Rita Mae Brown's cat detectives. Or maybe a match-making, mystery-solving cow. The possibilities are endless, Susan. *grin*

Anonymous said...

I love new adventures! Thanks so much for sharing yours. Weaving this into a mystery will be an adventure in itself!!
Happy writing,

Shawnna said...

Well, I don't know about using cows in your next book...not very mysterious. But a milk drinking hero might be okay! ;)
Love the story and love your book, The Secrets on Forest Bend. Can't wait for the next one...milk drinking, cows, or not!

Ann Montclair said...

I am always ready to see something new, experience something new, and meet new challenges. I think we'd be great friends, Susan! You know I love your book. Wishing you immense success...


Delma said...

Glad you liked our trip to the country...I did too, and I also enjoyed reading your blog about it. Our next trip is a Harbor Tour from Kemah...wish you could go along, but I think the bus is full. Shall I take notes for you?..there must be plenty of mysterious sites and characters around the waterfront. Am anxious to read your new book with the real live (dead) murder.

Teri Thackston said...

Wonderful story, Susan...and your book is wonderful, too.

J.D. Faver said...

What a fun time, Susan. I'm sure you can work in the mystery solving, match-making cow somewhere. I loved The Secrets on Forest Bend. Great hero.
~J.D. Faver