Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mama's, milk and mad men!

When I was 13 and we lived on the farm, I hated it... every single minute of it! It was lonely, we lived to far from town, it smelled in the barn, I hated plucking and cleaning chickens, castration, yuck and who eats rabbit anyway? I would sit at the dinner table and look at the milk that had come steaming from our cow Bessie in the morning with bits of hay and straw floating on top, see the roast chicken and imagine how it had looked running around with its head cut off and wonder how the broccoli worm could possibly still be alive after the 30 minute full boil mom subjected the veggies to? My stomach churned and I barely touched my food.
Can you see the shot of milk?

Is it any wonder that my parents keep telling me they can't believe I have moved to rural New Brunswick, an hour to town, mucking through chicken shit to collect eggs and now even milking my goat? No, I understand, they think I have become a twisted version of the Stepford wife and instead of pearls and heels I have now embraced gum boots and sweat shirts and transformed into a "Fosterville Farm Wife". I think even my neighbours look at me dumbstruck - meaning they think I have been struck dumb by my current choices! (A quick aside from this weeks blog - at Christmas we attended the church concert that Jessica was in - no one recognized me - turns out they thought the woman who brought Jess was someone else - perhaps the better dressed relative? Yes, hair was straightened, great eye makeup happening that day and I even dressed appropriately to be wandering outside of a barn! News Flash: I haven't always been "Betty Crocker".)
Len's new project - because he doesn't have enough to do!

Yesterday I went off to my cleaning job and came home to find out that my dear spouse, Len felt we needed to expand the creatures on the farm and he purchased a 55 gallon fish tank, complete with all supplies, cabinet, fish and food and we were to go pick it up, ok? Oh, ya, that is exactly what I thought we were missing!I thought he was a bit mad, but fish should be fun. Now the challenge - an old house with limited power and infrequent plug ins... have fun my handsome! I know I certainly enjoyed laying on the couch relaxing, while he made 30 trips to and from the kitchen to get water for the tank. (Only to decide after maybe it was in the wrong spot... You have to  love them, right?)

I meanwhile had made a deal to get 3 ducks and a drake to move in later in the spring. OK we are both accumulating living things! After coming in to make dinner it was my turn to take my first run at milking Miss Freya , mama goat. Our friend Georg had milked her the day before to get her started and Len had built a great milk stand - now it was my turn! We have been letting baby Simba have full access to mom up until now and he is growing well, even taking a try at leaping. (Simba will soon be sold to a new owner who wants a future buck or to become meat ... I know, sounds awful doesn't it? Trust me when he gets all goaty, you wouldn't want him either!) 

Well, apparently this was not going to be a me/Len activity, the girls ran to get their coats and cameras to document mom's first milking session. It actually went quite well! We didn't get a lot of milk and didn't plan to keep it, for now it is cat food. We are just milking her off once a day to keep her milk strong and soon she will wean Simba and we will keep the milk. (I already have customers for goat feta!)

Freya happily jumped onto the milk stand and put her head through the gate to reach the food. Len kept the bucket steady while I, mother of milking, used the many years of breast feeding experience from my babies, to apply to the task at hand. It was easy! I was pretty excited and Freya was surprisingly cooperative! I did manage to squirt myself in the face as well as up my sleeve, but other than that, I did it! Rachel took pictures which I have attached to this blog. 

Later, when done, the girls couldn't understand why I was so pleased with myself. I explained, this is the first time I ever milked anything but you guys! They were shocked, they just figured I had milked animals before! I laughed, nope, I was like you, hated the farm, but here I am at 45 years and loving it! 

Time to bake cookies!


Sonja Forrester said...

Oh Sarah....! My life seems so simple and uncomplicated! However, it does sound like you live a VERY happy and fulfilling life. Great blog! Thanks to your daughters for taking some pictures of your milking experience.

.........Sarah Sherman said...

Thank you Sonja! Every day is different... winter is hibernation, up early, kids to school, work or house chores, afternoon nap! (one of my faves!) and then be mom again as they come home! :) It is a good life! Thanks for you comments!

Anonymous said...

I know you like to bake and saw some really good baking on this blog. Really enjoy your blog.

.........Sarah Sherman said...

Thank you for the great link! MMM the recipes look good! Thanks for reading my blog. It is these comments that make continue to write... so, ya, it is YOUR fault! haha Have a HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! I am currently making my first ever loaf of Gluten Free bread!