Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Milk Tragedies and Lessons

Cold morning today, but a learning experience for Faith and me. We were the first ones up, which is par for the course as we are usually the ones that milk Isabella. It was cold here, about 27 or 28 degrees when the sun came up. Isabella was making a bunch of racket as we got out there as we were later than normal. This was by design as I did not want to try to get going in the dark as cold as it was because I’d had trouble with the lantern the night before. When we got out there and the water trough was empty. No sweat, we fill it up with the hose. Oh, wait, that would be on a normal day. On a cold morning like this the hose is full of ice from the water that remained from the night before. The hose was uncooperative and after 10 minutes of working on it we gave up and began to milk with out water for the cow.

This was the first cold morning for Faith and me and Isabella and I don’t think any of us had ever seen steam coming off fresh milk in a bucket. With it being as cold as it was Faith and I were working as fast as we could. Before too long we had more than a gallon and a half and we were flying with the work. It was at this moment that Isabella stepped in the bucket, tumping it over on the ground. The worst part was not the lost milk (although that was bad enough) but the fact we had to keep on milking her out and put another gallon in the bucket. A gallon we could not use that would have been a nice, rich cream harvest for Melissa. This morning we learned that the trough needs to get filled to the top at night as it is not a sure thing the hose will work come the morning. I think that if the water had not been a problem Isabella would have lasted longer before she started moving around. As it was, by the time we gave up on the water she was leaking milk and ready to get empty.

The cream we have, and we are getting about a quart of cream with every milking, was another spilled milk tragedy for us. Faith (why is she always involved?) was mixing a gallon of cream to make butter milk by rolling the jar across the floor to her sister Claire. They rolled it back and forth and from what he have been told the butter comes around the end of a Veggie Tales. Melissa and I were talking in the kitchen and we heard an odd sound and when we went into the living room, there was the cream all over the floor. This afternoon we learned that the jar needs to be taped on the jar before the rolling begins. We also realized how very blessed we are by the absence of carpet in the living room.

I am almost a week into a beard now and it is in the very scratchy, very ugly stage. I am trying to avoid mirrors (more than usual) so as to not get discouraged.

I found two web pages where they teach you how to build your own honey separator for less than $50. This is a mere $450 savings on a tool I will really need if the bees are to provide us with honey.

I must go to bed now.


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