Tag Archives: Michele

A Guest Post With According to Mags: Give It Up

Me: “YES! I’d love to do a guest post for you while you’re away. Any subject in particular or do I have free reign?”

Michele: “Free reign.”

SA-WEEET!  I couldn’t wait to get started!

But then, you know what happened? My mind went blank. What the HECK was I going to write about?   You guys have grown to expect Michele’s concise writing style, her meticulous grammar and her sarcastic humor.  No pressure. (gulp) I felt a little bit like I was back in my Catholic school days with Sr. Phyllis. She’d stand over me tapping her ruler on my desk as I practiced my cursive writing.  One wrong loop or connection of letters and Id get a WHACK right on the knuckles.  That was when it came to me.

This week coming up is going to be a busy. Today I have to buy Mags new tap shoes (she is growing like a weed) and vote for Michele, Tuesday is Fat Tuesday and I need to vote for Michele, Wednesday is the start of Lent and, of course, keep on voting for Michele until 4:00pm PST. Wait. Why is everyone staring at me with those ‘deer in the headlights’ looks? Oh, right! I know, the time zones always get me, too. Let me give you a quick explanation. That  means  you keep voting for Michele until 6:00pm NOLA time and if you’re further to the right on the map, 7:00pm EST.

Speaking of voting, I need some help. Seeing that the start of Lent is Wednesday, I’m supposed to give up something for 40 days. To me, Lent is the like the speed dating of New Year’s resolutions. People say “It’s only 40 days.” but so is the Circle of Moms voting window (well, almost). Turns out 40 days takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R! Nevertheless, this stumps me every year. I really do try give up something, but I end up over thinking it. Then, by the time I come up with the perfect thing, it’s usually already 20 days into Lent. Way to go, Mel!

So, since I’m with a fairly new crowd…I know, I know, lots of you follow me too…but I’m speaking to the guy in the back rockin’ the Barry Manilow t-shirt. I’ve never seen him before.  Anyway, while I’m here, I thought you guys could help me. What could Mel give up for Lent?

I should probably tell you a few things that I really enjoy to put on the “GIVE IT UP” discussion table.

1. Cadbury Mini Eggs. For those of you who don’t know me well, I’ll break this one down for you. Mel is to Cadbury Mini Eggs as Michele is to cheese platters. Think about it. Would you want to be around a cheese-less Michele? WELL, WOULD YOU?!?  For crying out loud, think of  the children!

2.  Coffee. This would be cruel of you to choose, but it’s only 40 days. I’ll be back to guest post again and find the people who voted for this one.

3. Procrastinating. Eh. Let’s get back to this one in a minute.

4. Beer.  I really look forward to all the new seasonal brews that come out. So, I’d whine about this one throughout the 40 days, but it would be doable. UNLIKE THE MINI EGGS.

5. Voting on Circle of Moms. Technically this ends at 7PM for me  (see above time zone explanation) on Wednesday, but it’s still DURING Lent. This one, I like.

You can just leave which one of these choices you think I should give up in the comments. Choose wisely.

After that, please take five seconds (literally) and hop on over to Circle of Moms and…you guessed it…VOTE.

I’ll even put an adorable picture in the post for ya. Awwww!

This is a picture of Michele and Mags

On a sidenote, yesterday, we got to meet up with my girl, Michele, and her boy (the most polite 13-year-old I’ve ever met) in Washington DC. ODNT and Mags finally met (although we REALLY missed ODNT Jr.)  and it was love at first sight. I’m pretty sure they schemed through the entire lunch. Michele introduced my children to Tic Tacs…I know, I know…what kind of mother am I? And at the end of the visit, Mags tried to climb into Michele’s bottomless purse. I would have, too. She kept pulling candy canes and little mints out of it.

Thanks Michele and Dean for meeting up with us.
It was the highlight of our weekend!




My Visit to Kleinpeter Dairy Farms (SQEEEE!!!)

If you didn’t read yesterday, click here to catch up what led up to today.

We woke up bright and early Friday morning (by summer standards, anyway) to get ready for our trip to Kleinpeter Dairy Farms. My friend, Virginia, graciously offered to drive. So, we stuffed our five kids (and snacks! Thanks, V) into her car and headed out. The ride was fine but, just as I promised Mike (the Farm Manager) in my email Thursday, we did manage to get lost along the way. After calling to apologize for our delay and adding an extra 45 minutes to the trip, we arrived at the farm where Mike was outside waiting for us.

With our warm Southern summer now underway, we were more than delighted to pile into a big (air conditioned!) pick-up truck to navigate the 1,200 acres that serve as the home for more than 1,300 cows (Holstein, Jersey and Guernsey). Mike showed us the process of preparing the many different kinds of feed (all corn-based) given to their cows. There’s even a nutritionist on hand to help determine the best diet for each individual animal.

Hello? I could use some help around here, too. Or at least someone to slap the Cheetos out of my hand.

My girl managed to smuggle a little of the feed (I think it was the variety that actually smelled like distilled whiskey) home to the family cat. But the jerky furbag (not surprisingly) turned up his nose to my sweet child’s offering. A gerbil would’ve appreciated it, Milo. Always remember that you can easily be replaced.

And, of course, we saw lots … and lots … and lots of healthy cows with the sweet Puss ‘n’ Boots eyes. But the big highlight of the day was visiting the babies. They’re organized by age in what I’m stupidly going to call the cow nursery. My girl fell in love with a cute set of twins born early this week. But I was there to see a special cow named Michele. She was born on May 8 (Virginia’s birthday, by the way) meaning she was grouped with all the other one-month-olds. So, I walked down the aisle checking out every calf and reading every tag. Cow face … cow face … cow face … cow butt … cow face … cow face … cow face.

Michele was the only one who INSISTED on standing backwards in her little stall.

Mike turned her around so we could snap a few pictures but, as soon as she was able, she reversed herself right back to her position of nonconformity. Michele seemed to vacillate between wanting to be different from the other cows and wanting to take a nap. (I’m sure my friends and family will have a veritable field day with that one.)


Does anyone else hear ‘We Are the World’ in their head right now?


I think she liked me because she ate a little of my hair during this picture.

The kids had a blast with all the babies. We probably spent the most time on this leg of the tour. Then … after learning a little more about the whole milking process … WE GOT TO MILK THE COWS! Thankfully, there were rubber gloves involved ’cause it took some real doing to get the job done. And, as a woman who spent four years of her life nursing kids (where’s TIME Magazine when you need ’em?), my heart went out for these old girls, many of whom produce milk for well over a DECADE. And … get this … the average cow produces 60 pounds of milk PER DAY. That’s EIGHT gallons of milk daily.

Frankly, I can’t believe Dave and I have been wasting our money sinking it into college funds and IRAs … when we could just invest in a cow. I could sell to the whole freakin’ neighborhood! Of course, I could never compete with the good people at Kleinpeter. (Brag Alert – They were the first agricultural enterprise in the nation to earn a perfect score of 100 from the American Humane Association. They’re also the first organization who have been able to manage that same perfection for four years running.) To cover the cost of her maintenance, a cow kept at MY house would probably have to give rides to all the neighborhood kids while wearing a tutu and lipstick … so maybe I need to rethink the whole cow-in-the-backyard-next-to-the-trampoline thing.

Anyway, we had a great time, we learned a lot and we all gorged ourselves on fresh, 36-degree (the perfect temperature for milk, say the experts) milk, both chocolate and vitamin D. Thanks, Mr. K. Mike did a phenomenal job with us yesterday. We all left knowing way more about cows, milk and everything in between than we ever expected.

Keep on milkin’!













Haven’t kept up with the ODNT Kleinpeter Dairy Chronicles? These links should get you up to speed.

Today’s post is in reply to my last letter to Mr. Kleinpeter posted yesterday on ODNT.

Dear Michele,

WOW!! You guys are borderline insane!!

I feel right at home with all of this … and where in the world did someone find the old Kleinpeter commercial???

The girl who did the voice over, way back then, is now our Marketing Consultant!!! I sent this to her, and she is going to have a calf!!!

Two things really stuck out in my mind:

One – Why does organic milk last so long? Because it is heated up to a really high temperature (ultrapasteurized). Makes the milk last for 3 months. Why?  So they can transport it across the country from the manufacturer to the customer. Disadvantage? Unfortunately, it alters the milk protein structure such that the milk passes through the small intestine and is not absorbed there, which is counterproductive to good health. Organic, healthy. Ultrapasteurized, unhealthy. Why do they do this to organic milk? The cows are in California so they can’t get the milk to you still in date without doing it. Ugh.

Two – And MOST important!! Someone suggested us naming a Kleinpeter Calf after you, Michele. Well, here it is!! Michele was born on 5/8 and is a beautiful young Holstein calf, female of course. We don’t put the actual ear tag in for another 2 months because their ears are so tender at this age.

And, yes, we do name every calf born at Kleinpeter Farms. We have 1,300 cows there, and they are not “just” numbers to us. They all have awesome names, like “Michele” now.

How about that??


Jeff Kleinpeter
Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, L.L.C.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

You guys, I have a COW named after me!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

That’s way better than Acupuncturist, Televangelist, Global Inter-Office Specialized Communications Manager or any of the other crap I was going to try to pull off at my reunion tonight.

Thanks, Mr. K. You made my week. Oh, and my daughter wants to meet the calf. So, don’t go doing anything crazy with her. I guess at a DAIRY farm a cow is pretty safe … for a while.

Gosh, I hope it doesn’t get too confusing with two Micheles around here. Tell you what. From now on, when you write in to the blog, please be sure to specify whether you are addressing HUMAN Michele or BOVINE Michele. Otherwise, it could get preeeeeetty awkward.