Catching up …

It’s been several days (I think) since I’ve written.  If I could get my lazy butt out of bed in the morning before 6:30, I’d have time to write, but the butt just doesn’t want to get up.  This morning, Wally had to be in work at 5:30 because the conveyor belt broke at his work place and they got behind.  He was not pleased with this arrangement.

Butter production is starting to get streamlined.  I tried numerous mechanical methods to do it, but I discovered Wally was my secret weapon.  As a child, he had to shake the jar of cream to make butter and here he is doing it again.  I often wonder if Wally ever thought he’d be shaking a jar of cream to make butter at his age.  It’s so much easier to buy butter in a store, but it is not any where near as good.  I’m freezing all that we make for later use.

I’m also making a good amount of cheese and the whey is going in the compost pile.  The chickens, cats and dogs are getting so much milk they have little interest in whey, but I expect the compost pile is enjoying it.

They are forecasting strong storms on Saturday.  Lovely.  We’ve had enough strong storms thank you very much.  Both of us live in dread of one of our structures getting damaged in a strong storm.  We’ve been lucky so far.  The roof to our house has suffered some damage and the landlord has promised that he’ll get it repaired.  Hopefully it will get done before it starts to leak.

I’m picking up more tomato seedlings this afternoon and I expect I can get those in the ground even if we get strong storms.  I suppose if I put some of the Agribon covering over freshly planted seeds strong rains won’t be able to displace them.  Sounds like a plan.

Yesterday morning, I milked seven of the eight does (we left Bella’s baby on her.  Her udder is still a bit too high and her teats too short to milk her with a full udder.).  I got over three gallons from the goats and two and a half from Gwen.  We are about drowning in milk, but that’s okay.  We’re using it.  I made two gallons of milk into yogurt last night.  Tonight I’ll set up another two gallons to be made into butter.  This weekend, I’ll start using the skim milk as fertilizer for the garden.  Whey (and milk) is supposed to be good fertilizer for tomatoes.

Hopefully I’ll be canning the crap out of tomatoes this year … I’ll do it the lazy man’s way this year, no more baking the tomatoes and then canning them.  They’ll be raw-packed.

Wally mentioned last night that it was a shame that we didn’t like pickled eggs.  The egg production is a bit down, but I expect that is because we haven’t found where some of the hens are laying.  We have a duck sitting on a nest in the goat shelter, one hen sitting in the duck pen and a second hen trying like heck to sit in the nesting box.  We keep taking her off the nest, but she’s persistent.  I’ll have to set her up in an alternative location.

MM is going okay.  It’s a drag, but the new manager is making a difference.  The biggest change is that there is no smoking allowed between 11 and 2.  Talk about caged beasts during those hours.  It’s actually pretty entertaining.  I love working Monday through Friday and having the weekends off.

Last night, Wally and I went to pick up a set of rabbit cages: a wooden structure with four cages.  It is in very good shape and was a good price.  Now we are in the rabbit business … well, we will be as soon as I find rabbits at decent prices.  Like everything else, they are high, but once Easter has passed, they’ll come down.  The rabbits won’t be for meat, but for the manure they produce.  We are really cherishing our manure-producing animals.

Here it is quarter of six and I’d like nothing better than to go back to bed, but I guess I should get going and get the milking done.  It will be nice to get ready for work in a more leisurely manner.  I was wondering on my way home from work the other day if I’d ever get back into my “real” profession or if I was going to be stuck in a menial job for the rest of my working years.  Grant, I’m not old nor do I feel old, but the job I do at MM is one that I should have been doing at 20 years old, not 50.  Like I keep telling Wally, this physical labor is keeping us young.

Until later …