Milking on MY schedule this morning …

Yep, the goats are hanging on the gate, Gwen is standing at the gate into the milk parlor and here I am still inside writing.  No work today so I’m taking my time getting out there.

The week at MM was pretty much uneventful.  I am enjoying working with the new prep person.  She’s my age and very experienced.  It was nice to not have to do all the work by myself and to have company.  Unfortunately, I still have to work alone Tuesday and Wednesday.  I guess that’s better than working with someone other than the new person.  I worked with one of the young guys on Wednesday and it was miserable.  I can’t stand watching them goofing off at every opportunity they get.

Wally’s work was not quite so uneventful.  His job is going to change dramatically starting May 16.  His hours are going to change and his salary is going to be cut.  This is all because the company he works for is switching to more of a manufacturing plant virtually eliminating shipping which is what Wally was doing.  I know how hard it was for me to switch from my cushy job as a paralegal to that of a prep cook, I know it’s going to be hard for Wally to switch from a job he’s been doing about as long to something completely different.  He’s taking it well, but as he said, it is what it is and there isn’t a damned thing either one of us can do about it right now.

The plan is to go down to the local horse show this evening and run Rosie in barrels and poles.  I may not ride her, it all depends on how I feel this evening.  I’m feeling much better, but I’m still pretty sore and not sleeping well.  It is my right side that was injured and I normally sleep on my right side.  I wake up very sore.  Tomorrow we are taking Sudi to a woman that is working towards her Parelli certification.  She has to volunteer these hours so it will be at no monetary cost to us.  I’m bringing her farm products as a barter.  The other day, I spoke the guy we bought Sudi from (Jesse) and asked him if he’d take Sudi back for 30 days for re-training.  Wally was all for this idea and Jesse was willing to take him back, but I decided to keep him here.  Granted, Jesse can ride the snot out of Sudi and he might come back a little easier to handle, but it’s about my relationship with Sudi, not riding the snot out of him.

I finished reading the book, The Dirty Life, a few weeks ago.  It was a good read and I can see why it fascinated so many people, but geez, I wish Wally and I had it as easy as they did when they started out.  They leased (free I think) a 500 acre farm with a house, barn, outbuildings, etc.  This was also a full-time job for both of them.  I think about living the dirty life every time we get a new customer coming out for farm products.  In particular, I felt it when a guy drove out here from Charlotte to get four gallons of milk for his wife’s dogs.  I would have liked if if they both came out to see the farm, etc., but instead he came alone.  I guess she was too busy to be bothered and heck, it was just like sending her husband to the grocery store, no?  He was a city boy born and raised and I know the manure, mud, animals, bugs, etc. turned him off.  I felt dirty after he left.

It’s sort of nice when people come out with their children because to see how excited they are about seeing the animals is fun.  Last night, a couple came out from the Charlotte area.  I didn’t know what to expect from them and when they pulled into the yard driving a Lexus SUV I got concerned.  I was pleasantly surprised with how they took the farm.  They were both vegetarians because they did not want to support conventional animal rearing practices.  They were very happy to see how humanely all of the animals are treated here.  The animals all took to them as well, even the goat kids who are normally standoffish towards humans (simply because we don’t handle them) came up to them.  Sudi was very interested in being around them as well.  While I still felt dirty when they left, it was not an uncomfortable feeling like I felt with the guy from Charlotte.

In the book, Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind, there is a chapter entitled: Of Manure and Milk.  The author states that if you are a lover of dairy products, you need to accept that milk and manure go together like love and marriage.  That’s true.  I think that whenever I have to step over a cow pile that Gwen left, usually at a very inopportune place like in front of a gate.  Wally hates stepping over her cow piles and I think she knows that and often leaves one right by his truck.  I tell him to give it time, it won’t be there in a few hours because the chickens spread it out and once that happens, it dries out.  I think that whenever a goat doesn’t empty herself before she gets on the milk stand and leaves a pile of goat poo on the stand or in the milk parlor.  To most people, however, manure is a nasty thing that should not be seen or smelled.  Tell that to the people who are now selling manure of all kind.

I don’t know, I think of what’s going on in the World right now and it scares the crap out of me.  I think Wally and I are on the right track, I just hope we can keep up with it.  Dirty or not, we’ll have food to eat.

The goal today is to get the house cleaned.  It is a disgusting mess.  Tomorrow’s goal is to get the garden weeded and to transplant all of the volunteer plants that have come up in the dirt that we took from the pig enclosure.  It will be fun to see what kinds of vegetables we get from these volunteers.  I didn’t need to buy any plants this year for all that came up.

I best get out and milk the beasts.

Until later …