Today started out gray but ended up quite nice. The boys actually went swimming at Sola beach late this afternoon. We started out this morning all bundled up and in our Wellie's to go to the International School of Stavanger Middle School beach clean-up. Every fall, they adopt a beach and decide to clean it on a Saturday morning. This time it was Sande Stranden, which is about 20 minutes's drive north of here. We gathered trash for about an hour and a half and then drove to Randaberg kommune for their market day. They had music and polse and pancakes with jam. We watched a boys' tumbling group do some tricks as well. I got handed a rose and a pamphlet which I couldn't really decifer too well. A lot women were sporting these roses. Naive me, I thought that perhaps it was Mother's Day here in Norway. (I think it is in the fall, but I am not certain of the date.) I ran into a friend there who works with NATO as a civilian (he is Norwegian) and he told me that it was an political advertisement for the Socialist Party of Norway. Hmmph.
We came home and went for a very long walk, allowing both dogs to take a splash in the Hafrsfjord and to generally wear themselves out on this beautiful day. We took a turn down to Joa and Rich and I braved the huge blackberry bush on the hill on the side of the road to get what will most likely be the last of the season. Rich and I were scratched from the thorns and had purple stained fingers, but we got a good amount. It was gone by dinner. :o)
Then Rich, the kids and Kona went to the beach to go swimming (yes, swimming...it was warm today but only about 60 F!) Lily even went Norwegian (as Rich put it) and stripped down to just her panties to get into the waves. That lasted until the first wave came at her, I heard. While they were at the beach, I was at the neighbor's house enjoying the peace and quiet and adult conversation. I figured this would be the best opportunity to ask about the well-endowed cow. (it's his brother's farm) For those of you that think that I have "udderly" lost my mind (sorry, couldn't resist)because I seem fixated on these cows, just hang with me for a few paragraphs so I can share some interesting information with you.
Tørres told me that for every liter of milk that a cow produces, they need to pump 500 liters of blood. (which explains the bulging veins in the udders, I am guessing) There is a cow on his brother's farm that can produce 67 liters of milk a day. (that is a LOT OF MILK!!!) If you think of an oil tanker truck or a milk truck if you have them in your area, to give you an idea of how much blood must be pumped through a cow to create milk...if you fill one of those tankers with blood, that would be how much it takes to make a mere 40 liters of milk. It's just mind boggling! And the cow that makes 67 liters of milk each day...doesn't necessarily have to be that one cow that has the large udder. Unlike other things in life, SIZE DOESN'T MATTER. :o) The cows get vitamins and minerals everyday but absolutely no hormones or antibiotics. That is illegal here. (as it should be anywhere!) If the cows would go without their vitamins and minerals for even 3-4 days, they would die. They need them to help their bodies manufacturing the milk. He said they were almost like machines. I liken the vitamins and minerals to be the oil that makes the machine work. Sometimes the udder on a cow can get so large that they put a udder sling or bra on them. I have seen them, but just haven't ever had a camera with me. (hard to believe, eh?)
Alright, I think I have most of the bovine knowledge worked out of my system. I just find it really interesting. :o)