Saturday, November 27, 2010

Really I do enjoy milking but....

Since Madeline left on Wednesday, it has been left to me to do all the milking. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy milking. There is something very soothing sitting beside your cow, while she is chopping done on her rolled oats, and hay, while you are pulling on her teats. The cats meowing with anticipation waiting for their bowl of fresh warm milk.  I enjoy the peace and barn noises. However, what I do not enjoy is when I can't get any cooperation from Misty.

I do believe, that Madeline 'spoils' Misty. This cow thinks she can get away with anything.

We milk on the right side of the cow. Which means Misty's back right leg needs to be back. With the beginning of arthritis in my left hand, her leg needs to be further back than what she is accustomed to. Trust me, Misty does not like her leg back! It takes me a little longer to milk her than Madeline, which doesn't help. So the fight is on! 

So with all that bullshit going on, she is thinking 'I'll get even'. So, she is decides to take a shit! Now that is a sure sign, that you know when she is pissed off with me for taking to long milking, and messing with her back leg. I didn't quit milking like she thought I was going to. Nope. Once I cleaned up her mess, I went right back milking her. Trust me, she didn't like that either. But I got the job done. I told Frank, that is it, Madeline is not allowed to go anywhere when there is a cow to be milked. 

I have been milking by hand for 16 years now, and with sitting at the cow's side for that long, you learn a few of their 'signs.' I knew Misty was pissed with me, so I was prepared and ready for when she pooped. No shit splatters on my stool, or my milk pail. I have learned over the years, I am boss, not the cow. But I can't seem to teach that to Madeline. One doesn't have to be mean to the cow, to show her who is boss. But I didn't quit milking until the job was finished. But I have learned as I get older, I need a fresh new cow that is learning how to become her role as a family milk cow, and that she will be standing for about 30 minutes in the stall getting milked, because this ole girl is getting older, and it takes me a little longer to do a job that use to take me only 15.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

designer assistant

I was working on one of the gifts that I was sewing for one of my girls for Christmas, and Jynx thought that I needed help.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I have been busy in the kitchen.....

first there was mozza cheese....

than there was farmhouse cheddar cheese.....

redneck cheese press

than there was Italian bread made with the whey....

than there was pizza, made with both the whey and the mozza cheese....

and finally, butter....

Tomorrow I will have a wheel of cheese to wax, that I had made yesterday. The one that is currently under the 'press' right now will be waxed on Sunday. I will also be making more butter tomorrow. Today I also made some cottage cheese. 

Madeline left today to go to Penticton, BC to visit her high school friend, Erin.  Quentin, Erin's dad,  along with her brother Josh, came and picked Maddie up this afternoon. Erin doesn't even know that Maddie is coming for a week for a visit. Erin just thinks it is her dad and brother that are coming. I can just imagine Erin's reaction when she opens her door tomorrow!!

So, with Madeline gone, that leaves the milking to me. Yep. Me. With arthritis rearing its' ugly head in my left hand, this should be fun. Misty is a little harder to milk than Annie. Misty's teats are shorter, and she is way more impatient than Annie. Misty figures you should be done milking in about 20 minutes or less. You can double to almost triple that time limit for me. Plus Misty gets milked twice a day. It is going to be a very long week!!

Mr. Mallard got moved out to the hen house, late afternoon. We clipped one of his wings, so he wouldn't try to fly away. So far so good. Will keep you all posted on his well being.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

could you help me....I need directions

Sunday morning Frank is out checking the dugout. I guess he wanted to make sure the aerator was working properly, you know bubbling.  Can't have the dugout freezing solid, since this is the only source of water for the cows waterers. What does he find trying to swim,  to survive, to live in the open water? Well Mr. Mallard of course. (That is what I have dubbed him.)  The ice is really thin where the water has been 'bubbly', so Frank can't even lay on it with a fishing net to try to catch this duck.

First Frank put some straw out there on the edge for Mr. Mallard to rest in. I think the temperature on Sunday was -26. There is no place for this duck to get dry or even warm.  A little later in the day Frank put some grain out for the duck. Mr. Mallard tried flying away, but he was flappin' in slo' mo'. So, now the great duck rescue has been put into action.

So the boys decided 'lets set a trap for the duck.' They set up this wooden crate-which  Frank initially built for a wood box a few years ago. When it was around 6 ish,  they figured the duck went to 'roost' inside the wooden box. They walked to the south side of the dugout-the trap was set up on the north side, and they shone the spotlight into the box, and young Frank said 'he is in there!'  They walked around to the north side, sprung the trap and carried the duck and wooden box into the house.

Mr. Mallard is now a house guest. He huffs and blows air at you if you get near his box. Frank has been feeding him grain and water. We know that he has been eating, because his water dish  always has bits of grain in it.In another day or so, we will move him into the hen house. Frank has an area  already set up  for him. Mr. Mallard will become a resident of Good nuf Ranch until spring.

And it is a good thing, that Frank found him when he did. Sunday night/Monday morning we were down to -35. For sure Mr. Mallard would have perished in our dugout.
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