First week of school under my belt.

It was an exhausting week between the first week of school and we picked up a new milk cow Wednesday evening.  The new milk cow, Cocoa, is doing okay, but she’s five and has lived at the dairy her whole life and things here are like, well, poor Cocoa probably thinks she landed on another planet.  It’s a much better place than where she was going (the packing plant) and we keep telling her that, but she is still being a wee bit difficult.

Friday evening she went “mudding” across the pond and she must have scratched her udder a bit in the brush because the next few days milking her I dodged kicks.  Not good.  Never had to dodge cow kicks before, at least not while milking.  My right wrist is not doing so well between rabbit scratches, blocking cow hooves and hand-writing.  I don’t know how she got where she got over there (good grammar, huh?) but she was in mud up to her belly because by the time we got her back across the pond, we had to hose her off.

On Saturday, we had to miss the Charlotte Farmer’s Market so we could fix the cow fence so she couldn’t get across the pond anymore.  We extended the fence line so they have more room to graze.  I’m slowly taking over the lawn from Wally’s lawnmower (s-h-h-h-h-h-h-h don’t tell him!).  On Sunday, we made a milk stall.  Sunday night was a good milking, as was this morning.  The kicking is minimal now, but now we have the “exit stage right” problem (formerly it was exiting out the back door, which she’s still doing to some extent).  We’ll need to fix that this evening.  At the dairy, when they come in to be milked, they have little choice in the matter.  They are put in there nose to tail with a kick bar near their rear leg closest to the pit so no kicking, no moving.  We got spoiled with Gwen and Penny.  They came in, ate and didn’t move.  She’s picking up on her eating so eventually eating will be the priority, not leaving.

Wally has been having to get up at 4:30 to go down and help me milk.  Hopefully he won’t have to do that too much longer.  Poor cow, she’s never seen cats, likely never seen dogs, tarp-covered buildings, etc.  They keep a very sterile environment at the dairy.

We got some fantastic news mid-week!  RAFI called and said that they wanted to meet with me!  I’m driving to Taylorsville to meet with the Board of Directors at 1:00 today!  That means my grant proposal made the first cut.  I’m told they want to see enthusiasm for the project.  That will be no problem.  Fingers and toes crossed.

School is going well.  It is A LOT of work.  I have homework I need to get to this morning.  I’d say math is the hardest course right now, but that’s no surprise.  The rest of them are A LOT of work, lots of reading, watching videos, power point presentations, etc.  I’m doing well so far, but it is only the first week.

The combination of breaking in the new milk cow and school has made me exhausted and sore!  I’m sore in very weird places like the tops of my feet and my shins (from walking on campus).  I mentioned my wrist, but my back and neck are sore too.  I’ll get used to it!

The rabbits are doing well.  I finally have some large enough to process.  I’ll do that Thursday and Friday morning.  I do not have to be on campus until 11 those days.  I’m hoping to keep Cocoa in the 5:00 milking routine.  That will be better once it gets warm.

We’ve had several litters born and we’ve caught almost all of the loose rabbits.  Caught two last night, one of them a pedigreed Chin buck so that was a good catch.  Teddy Bear (our Silver Fox buck) has been getting all the action lately and you need to watch him.  He can be rough on some does.  I need to get rabbits processed because we are running out of tractor space.

Okay, I’ve math homework to do.

Until later …