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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

And the honeymoon comes to an abrupt end

WARNING! Honest expression follows. No fluffywhip today. Also, strong example of the "old man" raising his hoary old head.

Which also means I am having a heck of a time typing today. I can't really move my thumbs. Yep. You should know that my mom told me so. She did. I said, "Hey I'm gonna get a cow." She said, "They're stinky, dirty, ornery, and have iron teats. And too much milk. Get a goat." She also said, "You will cry." And today I did.
Yesterday I was in cheesemaking, self-reliant bliss. Today I swore at a dumb (and by that I mean does not speak my language) 1,000 pound animal and cried while attempting to force my spasming hands to SQUEEZE! AGAIN! AGAIN!
I woke up happy and optimistic. I got out to the barn by 6:45. Cade (moaning/shrieking/following baby) was still blissfully asleep. Brilyn was watching pbs kids. Joe was out back bowhunting. Idyllic, right? So I brush my nice warm contented cow. I wash her udder. I calmy take my 13 quart stainless steel bucket, flip over an old chlorine bucket, sit down and start milking. Oh joy! My hands are stronger than yesterday, I am starting to get the knack of milking a cow. (Which is not the same as milking a goat.) I get a half gallon in about 5 minutes. According to what I've read, that's right on with how long it should take me. I empty my pail into a strainer/filter/half gallon Ball jar combo and sit back down to finish my first side. And get smacked squarely in the face by a shitty tail. Gross. As I wipe the nasty crap off my grumpy face, Clara delicately lifted her foot and daintily placed in rightinthemiddle of my bucket. (Swearing).
Stomp off to house to wash the cursed bucket. Go back to the barn. Sternly look Clara in the eye and vow to hang her from the rafters if she does that again. Sit down, put bucket under said cow. Place cow foot in bucket. Cry. Swear. Stomp to house. Make Joe wash bucket. Make Joe come to barn. Make Joe stand in stall in bouncer mode. Sit down, bucket down. Grab teats. Milk.
Now I am thinking things are going to be okay. And then? My hand starts to cramp. Now all I get with each left-handed squeeze is a poorly aimed drip. Joe says, "Here let me empty the bucket so your hand can rest." Then he hands me the bucket back and says, "Okay, hun! See you later." This makes me angry. Because, you see, it is all his fault. If he hadn't gone out hunting this morning, none of this would have happened. I am not sure how the logic flows on that, but I know it must be true. I passionately let him know how I was feeling. And, then my angry feelings carried me through to end of side two. I almost couldn't even feel the bleeding blister that had formed on my left hand index finger. Yeah. And then I did Joe's chores that he was supposed to do but couldn't because first he went hunting and then he played bouncer to THAT COW. And so I got to carry my first buckets of water since I was like 19. And let me just say- I am glad I got a cow because I am most definitely out of shape.
And then, I came in the house (at 8:00!) and praise the Lord (really) I had the forethought to put coffee on before I went out this fateful morning. And I put the toppy top of a bottle of Clara's creamy goodness in my coffee and it was good.
So, now I guess I forgive her. Sort of. But not Joe. Oh wait. I forgive him too. He was compassionate (and smart) enough to give me a call this morning to make sure I was okay. And I am, really. My thumbs just won't bend.
Okay. So now I feel a little better.
Now, for the cheese making. I think I will make some Monterey Jack today. And here are some pics from yesterday's cheesemaking adventure.
Brilyn the everpresent helper
All things measured and ready to go
Warm it up!
88 degrees
The curd is forming
Draining the curd
Warming the curd
Stretched and stored
Making the ricotta

I also made pumpking pie from a real pumpkin for the first time yesterday. It was worth the effort. First I baked the pumpkin at 300 for an hour. Then I took the skin off and pureed the pumpkin. Then I added two fresh eggs, 12 ounces of reduced milk, and spices. Put it in my Pat-a-Pan pie crust and voila! The most delicious pumpkin pie I have ever had.
We also roasted our last roaster chicken for supper last night. Let me just say, we are going to raise about 50 more next year than we did this year. Delicious!
Okay, I now must go and tend to the other things on my list. I just wanted to give a more complete update on my homesteading adventures this morning. (Really, I needed to vent.)
Wait, one more thing.
GO VOTE! GO VOTE! TAKE PEOPLE WITH YOU! Voting is a right AND a RESPONSIBILITY! Do your duty as an American citizen! Celebrate the freedom we have! And make sure you thank a veteran for this awesome privilege. I doubt that it is a coincidence that right after we vote we celebrate those who have fought for our ability to live in safety.
Okay, now I'm done.


Rebz said...

Test test

Rebz said...

And I should add that my mom is always right. So what am I crying about? LOL. I knew it was coming.

Kara said...

While reading this, I wanted to come and help you milk the cow. I could do it...right???!!

Also, I feel you should add that while making the cheese you were also talking on the phone with you most awesomely cool BFF, ME! Talk about multitasking...cheese making, phone talking, and picture taking all at once!

Love you girl!

Rebz said...

You make feel like a super lady.
Thanks BFF

Rory said...

Okay, so I'll date myself and call you the bionic woman!! I LOVE what you're doing - Cheese looks awesome! You're a great Mama! You are learning well, grasshopper... soon you will always be right, too. LOL

You go girl!

Rebz said...

LOL...Rory, thanks for the encouraging words, and the good laugh.

Neeka said...

I love that you have your own cow. When we eventually move and get more acreage, I want to get a cow and some chickens too. I'm actually contemplating sneaking some chickens at our current house.

Ontario Wanderer said...

Ah, memories of cow milking. Been there, done that, no desire to do it again. That being said, have you ever cleaned a donkey's hooves. It is supposed to be done, I am told, two or three times a week. I still am trying, months later to get around that donkey the first time. Hope his hooves don't rot and fall off. He's too big to carry.

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About Me
I love Jesus, my hubby, my 6 kiddos, my farm, good books and good food.