MM Update

The managers at MM have finally recognized me for what I am: a reliable, hard-working, dedicated employee.  I am not getting tossed out the door as soon as business slacks off and they are giving me more responsibility such as placing the produce order.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I work by myself.  On Friday, another prep person comes in at noon.  They had him out the door at about 2:00.  I stayed until 4:00.  They now know that if I’m there, I’m working, not screwing off as so many of them are prone to do.

Two prep people worked on Thursday and I honestly don’t know what they did because I had to do a lot of extra prep which shouldn’t have had to be done if they had done their jobs on Thursday.

Yesterday, I got a call from the head hunter telling me that the company that has the contract position.  They wanted me to come in Monday or Tuesday at 10:00 AM.  I told her I couldn’t do that because I had to work.  I may have shot myself in the foot for that, but I have a responsibility at MM to be there at that time.  If the company really wants to see me, they’ll need to see me when I’m not working.

There are three prep people scheduled for today, which is a good thing because as soon as I can leave, I’m going to.  We have projects to get done today.

They are forecasting another rain/ice/snow storm Tuesday into Wednesday.  Lovely.

Came home to another baby goat this morning.  As I wrote the other day, both Beetaloo and April are due any minute.  The doe that kidded wasn’t either of them.  It was the doe that is slated to go to another home this year.  I didn’t think she was due for another couple of months so I hadn’t been watching her at all.  She had a single buck kid and it is the oddest color I’ve ever seen. I think he’s going to be considered a broken chamoisee which is a solid chamoisee broken with another color by being banded or splashed.  He’s sort of a gray color with black points, but he’s so curly, I can’t really tell what his body pattern is.  Unfortunately, the doe (Fern) doesn’t seem to be taking all that good care of him.  She was a good mother last year so I don’t know what the deal is this year.  I expected to find him dead this morning, but he wasn’t so maybe he’ll be okay.

We started to feed the goats some grain when it got so cold and snowy and we’ll continue to do that until the grass comes back.  I think we’ll have to start running a bale of alfalfa through them every other day or so.

Gwen’s production has been fluctuating a bit.  I left a half a bale of alfalfa for her to eat yesterday morning and she gave over a gallon and a half last night.  We put her feed trough up higher (used Yoda’s old tires as a base) which stopped some of the dancing that she was doing while I was milking her which helped a lot.  We’ll see how she does this morning.

The diet of dairy animals can be a bit difficult to manage.  It would be easy to just throw a high protein corn and soy-based commercially-prepared food at them, but I’d rather feed whole grains, locally grown if possible, and supplement them with really high quality hay.  We may need to put the bucks in with Auggie in the poultry pasture to keep them from bullying the does away from their food.  Auggie seems happy as a clam in the poultry pasture.  He gets the scraps I bring home from MM and a little bit of cracked corn when we feed the poultry.  He hasn’t been calling for the other calves at all.  I usually find Rose curled up with him when I go out in the morning.  I’m glad that she’s spending time in the poultry pasture as she’ll keep predators away from the poultry.

Off to milk Gwen.  Wally is still sleeping and I’m leaving him there.  It was a rough week for him.  They’ve fired a number of people at his work place, move/demoted more of them and he doesn’t know what’s going to happen to his department.  They’ve pared his department down to so few people that they have to work their butts off to get the work done.  He’s been having to work harder than he’s probably ever worked and his knees have been bothering him. Oh, but companies are profitable these days: they are profitable at the expense of their employees.  Gone are the days when they value their employees.  We are a dime a dozen now and once they use one up, there’s 20 more available.

Wally is a treasure and I’m lucky to have him.  I know he’d rather not have all the animal work to do around here, but I think he’s understanding how important it is.  Last night we had sausage, sauteed with onions and greens from the garden.  It was wonderful.  I asked him how many people he thought were able to harvest fresh vegetables from a garden in January.  We are truly blessed.

Until later …