My view from the milk stool is about distraction. I’ve been too distracted lately to formulate any thought important enough to share. It’s been a struggle dealing with the heat which completely saps me. When I’m sapped, things get out of control. Not that things are any more in control than they were before but at least my mind is working a little bit better.

I haven’t made cheese in a while. The combination of the humidity, fruit flies and having no brain due to the heat makes it difficult. I did have a batch of ash-ripened crottins (small round goat cheeses) in the cave that were behaving very nicely (two other batches got thrown out). Wally and I have eaten a couple of them – most recently one today. It’s perfection. I need to take a picture when I cut open the next one. The cheese oozes up near the rind (as it should) and it has a wonderful flavor – a bit too “stout” for Wally McSwain but it’ll grow on him.

I really haven’t had the spare milk to make cheese because I’ve been selling all that the goats make. The heat has about done them in too. I decided enough was enough – my needs – and cheesemaking is a need for me – come first. I made two gallons into cheeses today.

I made on camembert (a moist, soft, creamy, surface-ripened cheese usually made with cow’s milk), four Valençay cheeses (a French goat milk cheese made in the province of Berry in central France. It is named after the town of Valençay in the Indre department, France) – both are for the first time. Made a small mistake which hopefully will correct itself. I’ve been dying to make a camembert but the forms (molds) you need to make them are expensive.

A camembert is not much different from the ash-ripened cheeses I’ve already been making. In fact, I’ll probably use ash on this camembert because it seems to do the best for me. Anyway, cheesemaking is good for me and I feel better for having made these cheeses. In fact, I might make a run to the local dairy and get some Jersey milk and make more camemberts tomorrow.

School starts Tuesday. I elected to drop the Spanish class I originally enrolled in because my brain just can’t go there right now. I am taking nine credits this semester – we’ll see how that goes.

The big news which I haven’t shared yet is that Wally and I bought a puppy. A Border Collie from a breeder I know and trust. She bred Obi – a young dog I sold to a ranch in Wyoming. I regret selling him and wish Wally and I had been more disciplined in raising him because he was incredibly talented. I wrote the girl I sold him to asking if there’d be any way she’d sell him back to me but unfortunately, Obi was bit by a rattlesnake and die.

Anyway, I’m assured given the genetics of this little man we named Beam he’ll be able to do what I need him to do. Wally and I are doing our best to be strict in raising him. He seems very accommodating. Getting up every three or four hours at night to take him out isn’t helping my sleep but oh well.

Until later …