Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spirituality: A quote:

     It has been very hot and humid here in Wisconsin. So I thought I would try to cool you readers off courtesy of Antarctica. I wanted some photos that would look spiritual and I know cruising these waters was somewhat spiritual. Perhaps it was just knowing where we were on this globe of ours.

From the magazine: Light of Consciousness: Journal of Spiritual Awakening Vol 20, No 4  Winter, 2008
Article: The Spiritual Journey to Healing  by Dharma Singh Khalsa MD.

     "There is a big argument going on right now among evolutionary biologists, medical doctors, spiritual teachers, theologians and ministers. It is based on a recent study that was featured on the cover of Time magazine. There is a gene that has been discovered called the "God gene." Just as you inherit the ability to be musical or to have green eyes, you also inherit a gene that determines spirituality. Everyone has this gene, so everyone can be spiritual. Interestingly enough, this gene is the same gene that determines the chemistry in your brain, such as the secretion of seratonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which make you happy.
     "The ultimate mystery is why this gene is in your body. Is it just an accident or is it put there for a reason, so that we can have the experience of relating to our higher power? Just as it is natural for dogs to respond to a possible intruder with barkiing and growling, just as the birds fly south in the winter, just as the leaves change color, it is natural for you to explore and to "polish" this gene. It is a natural part of us. We have it in us, but it is not just a matter of having the gene; it is the environment to which you expose the gene. You have to polish the gene. You have to put pressure on a piece of coal to turn it into a diamond.
     We are not human beings searching for spirit; we are spiritual beings who happen to be having a human experience."

     Dharma Singh Khalsa MD, or Dr. Dharma as he is usually called is an ordained minister and yogi. He is also a pioneer in brain longevity and mind/body research studies in medicine. He works through the non profit Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation. He is author of seven books for the general public, CDs and DVDs. Visit and

     So this brief post has I hope helped cool your body, but heat up your enthusiasm for spiritual exploration. When we expand our consciousness and broaden our view to the whole world, from our backyard to Antarctica, and include our own area in our own brain to that of all people, and then all consciousness, we become the beings that we were intended to me. So I say, Nemaste, as they say in India. This non contact greeting usually used in the Indian subcontinent, is usually accompanied by pressing the hands together in front of the chest and bowing forward slightly. The higher the pressed hands are held the more respect is given.  It means "The bit of spirit and holiness in me bows in respect to the bit of spirit and holiness in you."

Monday, July 25, 2011

An Old Story with Two Morals




This one is a little different ......

Two Different Versions .....

                                                                Two Different Morals

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mystery Photo 11: The Chinese Fishing Nets: Cochin, India.

                                          The fish market, located near the fish nets.
                                             The container port in Cochin, India
These nets are huge somewhat complex on shore arrangements of black netting and wooden poles that can be raised and lowered into the sea water to collect fish. There are apparently certain times when the warm water currents bring schools of fish close to shore and skillful management of these nets can quickly gather large numbers of fish for eating. However, more modern technology has enabled fishing boat fleets to now do much better than these fishing nets. But as our guide said, these nets have been left in place and are manned because now  they are more affective at catching tourists than fish. Ha Ha!
      The southern tip of India is quite different than the north where most people travel. It is much more lush and it is more humid. Also the people are more educated and primary and 2 years of secondary education are mandated. There is a larger population of Christians here. The people originated in Malaya and they speak Malayam. Though the humidity was oppressive I enjoyed Cochin and the lushness of this region immensely.
The streets of old Cochin, Inda

Theatre in Cochin

The elephant celebration at a local Hindu Temple. The richer the temple, the more elephants and the more drummers and musicians that go with the celebration.

A cattle market near Cochin

Elephants in Periyar Nationa Park in southern India.

Tea plantations in the south of India

Our converted rice boat/house boat tied up at one of shore excursions from the Backwaters of Kerala.

Our room in the houseboat.

Harvesting coconuts along the Backwaters.

A family emptying their fishnets on the Backwaters of Kerala.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Heat Dome

    We have been hearing about a weather phenomenon which I had never heard named before. It is an extended and severe heat wave that is centered in the Central United States and has been named, "A Heat Dome."  Basically it is a very high pressure area which is trapped in the middle of the United States, over the prairie states: Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois. It has trapped very hot and humid air up from the Gulf of Mexico, compressed it, heating it up even more. It then expanded to include Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and it is now slowly drifting eastward. A combination of factors combined to produce this strange (to me) meteorological phenomenon. First the high pressure in this Midwest area was indeed very high so that no weather systems trying to move in from the West were strong enough to move it on. Also the jet stream is very far north and fairly weak at this time of year. So prevailing winds could not move it out. Thirdly there was a mild tropical storm area off the Southeast of the United States and that was blocking this high pressure system from spreading to the southeast. The humidity was especially high during this phenomenon because of all the recent wet weather and flooding in the upper Midwest, adding to the humidity in the air. Apparently "heat domes" are not rare, but it is rare for one to be this large (affecting 30+ states) and this long lasting (so far 5 days, probably up to 7 or 8.)
     Characteristics of this "Heat Dome" in the Milwaukee area are absolute temperatures in the 90s and in some areas even up to 100, and humidity levels of 70% and 80%. Heat indices (the combination of the temperature and the humidity) make a human feel like the temperature is much higher, well into the hundreds, as high as 115 and 120 in some areas. The Midwest has had at least 13 deaths directly related to the heat through these last 5 days. The heat is going to continue in the Midwest but the humidity has gone down some. Temperatures will be in the upper 80s in Wisconsin through the weekend. But now this heat phenomenon is spreading to the eastern states. 
     Since record deaths occurred in the Chicago area during a protracted heat wave in 1995, our city took all sorts of precautions. Various air conditioned cooling centers were opened. The libraries opened early and stayed open late as did the various pools and other water features. Multiple warnings were issued on TV and radio, suggesting that people try to get to a cool place for several hours each day. The signs and symptoms of heat injury were played and replayed.
     Well we were not satisfied to just sit at the edge of this phenomenon. My husband and I along with my sister had planned to take my 93 year old mother down into central Illinois to visit my aunt, my father's sister who is in a nursing home down there. We debated whether to cart this 93 year old woman along with us. The news media is constantly issuing warnings about the elderly during this heat wave. She saw no reason for concern and wanted to go. We would be fine in an air conditioned car, restaurants, motel, home, and nursing home. But what if something went wrong with the car. We have a car in good condition, but you never know. Well, we decided to treat it as though it were in the dead of winter, except the precautions we took were just the opposite. We packed all sorts of containers and coolers with ice water, cold beverages and ice cubes. I took towels and handkerchiefs we could moisten with the ice water and put around our neck. I carried umbrellas to provide shade because we certainly would not be able to sit in a disabled car without the engine and AC running. My AAA membership is up to date and I charged my cell phone up. We could only hope that if our car became disabled, the AAA or other authorities would be quick to respond.
      So we drove down into the "HEAT DOME"! When we arrived at our destination, the first thing we did was check into our motel to make sure their air conditioners were up to par and they were. Well, everything went OK. We visited the ill aunt, and spent time visiting with her daughter and her family in their nicely air conditioned home. Our cousin offered us the use of their outdoor swimming pool but she said the water was the temperature of bath water. Some did take advantage however. We drove back home today. When we got to Milwaukee, we learned that a weak "cold" front had moved through. The temperature was 89 degrees and the humidity level was down to 68%. I called my mother, told her we had made it home after dropping her off, and that we were so chilled that we had put on our sweaters. Sarcasm! Well the heat warnings have left the State of Wisconsin but it is still going to be in the upper 80s and very muggy the next 3 days at least. 
     We usually set our air conditioner to about 75 degrees, but we have ceiling fans in every room. Running them makes 75 or 76 degrees feel much cooler. For anyone building a new home, that would be my strongest recommendation -- buy fans. Well, I now need to go out in the cooler early evening air and water my poor potted plants. They must wonder what's going on. They sometimes need watering 2-3 times a day in this heat especially if there is a hot wind blowing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What do you know about garter snakes?

     Today, on a very hot and humid day, I stepped out of the garage door to walk out to the street to get our mail. There in the center of our fairly large cement garage apron was an adult garter snake. She was slowly moving toward the edge of the cement but seemed to be in no hurry. She was about 2 feet long and I thought she had a bit of a swelling in her mid section. Maybe she is pregnant or else has eaten recently -- I don't know which. I took a couple of quick steps toward her and she raised her head as though to strike, her tongue flicking in and out. One more quick step toward her and deciding flight was the better choice, she slithered very quickly, even throwing her tail section ahead of her middle section to get the heck out of there. Earlier this summer while mowing, my husband said he saw a snake on our lake bluff. I find this interesting because we have lived here for 13 years and I have never seen a garter snake before. I am used to them, however; there were always garter snakes in our yard where I grew up. My mother had the typical fear of them and if one was seen and she had anything to do with it, she would get the garden hoe and that snake was no more. Actually she was doing the wrong thing. Garter snakes are harmless and they help us by eating rodents which can be quite destructive in our yards. We have a lot of moles and voles, and chipmunks and field mice. Sounds like a smorgasbord for garter snakes to me.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mystery Photo 11

This photo is gorgeous. Of course, the tourist boat times the tour perfectly to catch this sunset. This site is very famous. If you ever peruse famous photos from around the world, you probably know where this is. If not, you will have to wait until the answer comes out. I will give you a big hint. It is not in the United States. Ha Ha.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Do you know the facts about the Israel vs Arabs controversy. Read this one.

     My husband maintains connections with friends and relatives in Israel by email. He has recently renewed acquaintance with several friends from his high school days. They often send him emails with various links. Sometimes those links are in poor taste. But sometimes they are remarkable. I based a whole spiritual talk on a YouTube video that one of those classmates sent, it so moved me. Recently one sent this quote. Since it is being sent around by Israelis you already know which side it favors. But many of the statements here though presented sometimes in a humorous way, are indeed based on truth. These are the facts based on the Israeli side. I am broadminded enough to know that there is another side, the Moslim's side, the so called Palestinean's side also. No doubt the individual Muslim family in that area is forced to live a very hard life, but I do believe the leaders of the Jihadist and Terrorist movements such as Hamas and Hezbollah and by the same token, the leaders of Anti Israeli and Anti American terrorism are using these facts presented in this paragraph incorrectly and spreading falsehoods.

Read this paragraph, and if you agree, spread it around. If you don't agree, perhaps you should read some other sources of the history of this region. If you don't care to do that, then just ignore this whole posting. And if you are really made angry by this posting, then stop coming to my website. However, I don't do these kind of postings very often. I just couldn't avoid posting this for those who might benefit from reading it.

Comments by Dennis Miller

For those of you who don't like Dennis Miller, who is not Jewish, you may want to reconsider after reading his brilliant comments that follow. Please pass it on to your friends.
For those who don't know, Dennis Miller is a comedian who has a show called Dennis Miller Live on HBO. Although he is not Jewish, he recently had the following to say about the Middle East situation:

"A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still don't get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you Really need.

Here we go:
The Palestinians want their own country. There's just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians . It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like 'Wiccan,' 'Palestinian' sounds ancient but is really a modern invention. Before the Israelis won the land in the 1967 war, Gaza was Owned by Egypt , the West Bank was owned by Jordan , and there were no Palestinians.

As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the 'Palestinians,' weeping for their deep bond with their lost 'land' and 'nation.'

So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word 'Palestinian' any more to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone Points out they're being taped. Instead, let's call them what they are: 'Other Arabs Who Can't Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death.' I know that's a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: 'Adjacent Jew-Haters .' Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country. Oops, just one more thing: No, they don't . They could've had their own country. Anytime in the last thirty years, especially several years ago at Camp David . But If you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks. And Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living.

That's no fun. No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel . They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course that's where the Real fun is -- but mostly they want Israel .

Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel - or 'The Zionist Entity' as their Textbooks call it -- for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab Countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they're the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God's Earth, and if you've ever been around God's Earth, you know that's really saying something.
It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our pundits waxes poetic about the great history and culture of the Muslim Mid east. Unless I'm missing something, the Arabs haven't given anything to the world since Algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one.

Chew this around and spit it out: Five hundred million Arabs; five Million Jews.

Think of all the Arab countries as a football field, and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it. And now these same folks swear that if Israel gives them half of that pack of matches, everyone will be pals..

Really? Wow, what neat news.

Hey, but what about the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive very Jew into the sea? Oh, that? We were just kidding.

My friend, Kevin Rooney, made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the Numbers. Imagine five hundred million Jews and five million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it. Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not.
Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense.
Or dancing for joy at the murder of Innocents? Impossible.
Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children? Disgusting.

No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.

However, in any big-picture strategy, there's always a danger of losing moral weight. We've already lost some. After September 11th our president told us and the world he was going to root out all terrorists and the countries that supported them. Beautiful. Then the Israelis, after months and months of having the equivalent of an Oklahoma City every week (and then every day) start to do the same thing we did, and we tell them to show restraint.

If America were being attacked with an Oklahoma City every day, we would all very shortly be screaming for the administration to just be done with it and kill everything south of the Mediterranean and east of the Jordan .

If you agree please pass it on…if you don’t agree, just delete it "

In his usual way, Dennis Miller did great. Now if this doesn't stimulate some of you to enter something in the comment section of this blog, nothing will.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Aesclepion, Bergama, Turkey

     Two posts ago you learned what an Aesclepion is. If you missed that post:
I can show you an Aesclepion first hand. We visited Bergama while traveling in Turkey. In that modern city are the ruins of the ancient city of Pergamon, and in that ancient city is one of the largest if not the largest Aesclepion in the world. This is a fascinating place in Turkey, that was a total surprise to me. Since returning home, I have learned more and found this history even more fascinating.

A drawing of the way the Aesclepion appeared in 2nd century AD.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Hippocratic Oath and the White Coat Ceremony

    Has anyone ever wondered what exactly your doctor has sworn to do? Did he take the Hippocratic Oath? And if he/she did, what exactly is the Hippocratic Oath?

     Well, here are several versions ranging from the original to a much more modern one which has been changed to reflect how medicine is practiced today.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Medical Symbol Confusions: Caduceus versus Staff of Asclepius

    Many posts ago (11/10/10 -- Obituary Tells a Story, I promised you an explanation of the origin of the symbol of Medicine, the Caduceus. There is only one problem: I had the Caduceus mixed up with another symbol, the Staff of Asclepius which is the true symbol of Medicine. So if a doctor doesn't even know the symbol of her own profession, I thought that this might be an opportunity for education, as I educate myself. 


     Which is the symbol of medical care? Confused. Don't feel bad. I am a doctor and I didn't know the answer. I have certainly seen the first used to symbolize different forms of medical care, but had only a vague recollection of seeing the second symbol. The origin and use of these two symbols is quite interesting. Like most things that are very old, their story is long and convoluted, and many beliefs contribute to what is now accepted in the modern world.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Three Kinds of Spirituality: my retreat presentation for SpiritMindBodyGroup.

You notice that in my title I didn’t say levels or stages of enlightenment because that would seem to imply one kind is higher or lower, or more or less advanced than the other – that one or other kind is better or worse than the other. I do not know that, nor am I claiming such.

Let me list the three types of spiritual enlightenment that are what I understand from their discussion. Then I would like to talk about examples and maybe even try to experience some of these examples in our meditative practice today. This type of spirituality is in the world of form. It is samsara. It is in paganism. It is in animism, and in the Native American belief system. In addition, it has been named pantheism. . It means that the spirit is in everything around us – that spirit exists here and is in every form.
River of Life by Richard Luce

I happen to be a collector of camouflage art, much of which has been applied to Native American Art. Some of you have seen my prints around my house that I collect. (Some may not have – but we can look at them after if you like.) However, I have brought out some other prints in my collection that you have not seen which I think demonstrate this idea of spirit in the world of form. Here I would show some prints: like Richard Luce River of Life. Judy Kramer Cole her poster with images in lightning, Homeward Journey. Trail of the Talisman, Keeper of the Secret, with the buffalo in the mountain behind the Indians, then the two with the Indian in animal robes and the reflection of the animal in the water. Bev Doolittle’s Wilderness poster. (When I gave this talk on June 9, 2011 to my Spirit Mind Body group, I also showed Daddy’s girl, which shows the Vietnam monument. I showed this just because I liked it and we just passed Memorial Day.

Daddy's Girl, by artist Danny Day

Be sure to Read More of my spirituality presentation. Also some great links on next page.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The First Mozarella di buffala cheese in Wisconsin -- our visit to the source.

     On Memorial Day, the holiday, we made a drive from Milwaukee to visit a very interesting family in Plain, WI. This story has been written in the Jewish Chronicle and in the Journal Sentinel, both newspapers in Milwaukee, WI.  When my husband read the story he decided to call the farmer since they shared a common background in Israel. When Dubi answered the phone, my husband asked him if he spoke Hebrew, then told him he thought Dubi might like to speak some Hebrew to someone other than his wife. Dubi asked, "Do you think I am meshugeneh?" My husband said, "Well, I don't know you well enough to say. But your story is sure meshugeneh."  The story written below has all sorts of morals for modern times.

     Dubi Ayalon is a sabra (born in Israel), was a lieutenant colonel in the Israel Defense Force, spent a short time as a police officer, and then became a high school teacher and later administrator at an Israeli school for troubled teens. He has 3 daughters with his first wife,  divorced but participated in raising those daughters. He met his current wife when she was visiting Israel. She is a daughter of two Israelis who now live in Chicago, where she grew up. Dubi and Mihal have an 8 year old son together. When his daughters were adults, Mihal wanted to come back to the US to be close to her parents who would be able to be grandparents to her son. Dubi got on the Internet and saw a farm for sale in Plain, Wisconsin. The idea of living on a farm looked attractive to Dubi. After his previous work and careers, he was looking for the peace and quiet of the countryside. Besides that the current owner of the farm had tried to place a lighted Christmas star on his silo, but apparently the typical 5 pointed star was too hard to make. The original farmer had just put two large triangles of rebar together and strung them with Christmas lights, unintentionally making a very rough but clear Star of David. Dubi regarded this as an omen. He did ask his in laws to drive up from Chicago to look at the place. But they lived in the city and didn't know much about farms. They reported that it looked OK to them, but they were not farmers and I don't know how well they looked in the house. Dubi bought the farm sight unseen, and arrived in the winter to find the farmhouse basement full of water with damage throughout the house. The first task was to get the house habitable.

     Mihal was a well respected naturopathic doctor in Israel and after arriving in Plain, she was able to find an opening at a clinic in Prairie du Sac and also the University Hospital in Madison was happy to offer her one day a week to treat cancer patients with her acupuncture. Dubi had intended to drive a truck in the US, but he had previously injured his back in a fall from a camel back in Israel, and he reinjured it falling on the ice shortly after arriving at his farm. Therefore, he knew his back would not allow him to become a truck driver. Mihal saw something written about mozzarella di buffalo and raising water buffalo to sell their milk for cheese. She told Dubi, "You have the farm, the pasture, the barn. Why don't you consider this as an occupation?" Dubi thought about it and began to do some research. He called a water buffalo farmer he had heard of in Israel, but after he told his story, that gentleman just called him a yored, the derogatory word for someone who has left Israel. "If you are in the US, you ask the US for help!" and he hung up on Dubi. Next Dubi called a water buffalo farmer in Vermont. (There are only 3 water buffalo farms in the US and not all even sell their milk.) Even though previously Dubi had thought all Americans were arrogant and loud and unlikely to be of help, this farmer offered a lot of help and even first hand observation of his whole process at his farm in Vermont. Dubi decided to proceed and purchased a few animals from California and Florida. His bull, named Armondo, was a magnificent animal of Italian stock. Now Dubi had to figure out how to care for his new small herd, how to get them through the first winter, and then how to milk them -- all gargantuan tasks. After all these animals derive from animals that live close to the equator in Asia. They could not be expected to winter well here. Dubi had never done any farming of any kind. He wasn't sure entirely how to take care of them, so to be sure they were warm and clean in the barn for much of the winter, he was applying bedding (straw) to their barn area floor 4 times a day, but he still didn't know if that was enough. He asked one of his farmer neighbors in Plain to come and look at his animals and see if they thought he was doing it right. For the first time in his life he learned from this practical farmer that it wasn't the process that was important but the result. The farmer took a look at his animals and said, "Well, they look clean. I think they're all right!"

     Dubi had to outfit his pasture fence with an electric wire along the top because a regular Wisconsin fence wouldn't hold these animals. As Dubi says, "Water buffalo do what they want to do. And my biggest nightmare is that the whole herd decides to go shopping at Costco in downtown Spring Green." He found that he had to supplement his pasture grass with grain, but the diet shouldn't be too rich. At first he didn't have the combination correct and some of his herd got sick.

     He has spent almost 3 years teaching his current milking herd HOW to be milked. When it came time to milk his heifers, he had to make major changes in the facilities. A normal cow stanchion will not hold a water buffalo; it just is not strong enough. He had to have special reinforced ones designed. He had to cement two steel rings in the cement floor near the hind feet of the water buffalo cow so he could chain her feet to them. Otherwise he was getting kicked hard frequently. These water buffalo cows did not like being milked.  They were purchased from various farms where they had been raised for butchering or just as a hobby. None of these animals had ever been milked, ever heard or felt the machinery that suctions their udders, nor had their own mothers ever known any such machinery. Dubi felt that he had to win these animals trust in order for them to give him their milk. He named every animal, and some will allow him to affectionately stroke their heads. He plays music for them in the barn, and he sings to them in Hebrew. He calls them for milking by inviting them to dinner in Hebrew. But milking is still a hard and kind of scary job to be carried out twice every day. He is nervous about it every day and even though not a religious man he prays before he goes to the barn to do the milking. He picks up his son from school rather than allow him to ride the bus home because the bus would deliver the boy home right in the middle of afternoon milking. Dubi would not be able to pay him any attention at that time. He says it is harder than any of his previous jobs, including leading men into battle.

The herd in the barn

One of the water buffalo milking cows
     He now milks 7 cows. He has another 15 yearlings, most females, that will come fresh this year. He is breaking even at 6 cows and has a goal of milking about 25 cows for 8 months a year. After that time he lets them go dry so that he can go back to Israel to visit his three daughters. And he cannot ask any neighbor farmer to do his milking as a normal Holstein owner would. The best he can hope for is that one of his neighbors will agree to come in to feed them and bed them during the winter off season.

The yearlings, separated from the adult herd
What an expression!

Armondo with the ring in his nose and the big brown eyes.
     Then there is his 2000 pound bull, son of an Italian line, named Armando. I personally met Armando. Dubi invited us into the barn and put some grain in a small trough, and held it through the gate at our end of the barn. Water buffalo are very very curious. Many, including Armando, came over to first check us out and then to nibble some of the grain in the trough. The gate has been retrofitted with 4 inch pipe bars and is bolted to one of the main pillars in the barn with large bolts and steel plates. As Armando approached, I looked into his large deep brown eyes, and I thought, "Here is an animal who knows the answer, the meaning of life." He starred and snorted a little bit. One was tempted to put one's hand through the pipes and give him a little pet, but then shortly before I did such a stupid thing, he put his horned head down and butted that pipe gate with a fair portion of his 2000 pounds behind the butts. Meanwhile Dubi calls to two of his favored heifers, Shelly and Sherri, and he affectionately knuckles one of them between her eyes, cooing in Hebrew to them. Dubi agrees that he should be afraid of Armando, and says, "Armando will kill me some day. I know it, and he knows it." And yet he often approaches Armando in the pasture carrying only a baseball bat. So far Armando has respected him and has never attacked.

Would you face him with only a baseball bat and Hebrew words?
From The Jewish Chronicle: Amy Waldman.
“A water buffalo teaches you modesty,” Dubi said. “She will not give milk until I find a way to make her, to bring her to the place where she’s willing to give me milk. There is no other way. You cannot chain them and beat them and order them.” This is something he learned first-hand, after he forcibly milked one cow, who had repeatedly kicked him when he initially tried to milk her.
“She won’t listen anymore,” he said. “Water buffalo remember.”

Ayalon has learned to rely on local experts and his neighbors for help with technical questions. But when it comes to figuring out how to get a 770-pound animal with sharp, curved horns and a strong will to stand still long enough to let a skinny man relieve her of her milk, Ayalon has turned to a different expert.

“[Nineteenth century German philosopher Friedrich] Nietzsche used to say that there are two types of behavior,” he said. “The king’s moral and the slave’s moral. The king’s moral means he will say, ‘I want this to happen.’ The slave moral will find a way to make the thing happen. I’m in the slave type of moral. I need to find a way that the king is willing to do exactly what I am asking him to do — and the water buffalo is king.

“Raising buffalo is as simple as that,” he said. “It’s holding the power without any power in your hand. End of Jewish Chronicle quote.

Three of the cows
The herd
     Cedar Grove Creamery located about a mile from the farm, buys all of Dubi's milk. They have brought in a cheese maker from a creamery in Vermont who knew how to work with the bufalo milk from a farm there. It is apparently a little tricky to make the cheese from such high butter fat milk. We recently attended a cheese and wine night at Larry's Market in Brown Deer WI, where a cheese author spoke about his book: Gordon Edgar/ Cheemonger: Living on the Wedge. We asked both the author and Larry about our local Wisconsin mozzarella di buffala. Larry remarked that the first he had bought might have been a little tough. But right now none is making it to Milwuakee, being purchased locally in Central Wisconsin, and being sent to Chicago and other area chefs. Mr. Edgar thought that perhaps the few creameries that work with buffalo milk should try to make some aged cheeses because they would last longer and might be easier to work with, and would also fill another niche here in Wisconsin.
     Is it worth it? Dubi thinks so. He has disdain for the boring local Holstein cow, which he says has no personality. He says Holsteins are just 4 sticks with a bag. And his milk sells to Cedar Grove Creamery for 5 times that of the price for cows' milk, or about $100 per hundred pounds of milk. The water buffalo milk is very high in butter fat, about 4 times or more of cows' milk. Each of Dubi's heifers gave about 15 pounds of milk a day during their first year of being milked. The fresh mozzarella cheese is prized in Italy to use on pizza. In Italy also aged cheeses are made from the milk but they usually are not imported here. Having met Dubi and eaten lunch with him and his family, listening to his very strong opinions punctuated by 4 letter English epithets, still I know of his highly educated status. It is not surprising that he combines a farmer's life out in the hinterlands of the dairy state with Nietzsche. I have heard that his Plain, Wisconsin farm is on the tour for many folks going to the sites in the area, such as House on the Rock, and Governor Dodge State Park. If you get a chance to visit this location, do it. It is fun to see the water buffalo for yourself, but it is also a treat to meet Dubi and put the story with the man. Both are remarkable and unforgettable.