Sunday, March 8, 2009

Got milk?

Do you need milk? We sold 7 gallons yesterday, and we still have 10 gallons in the fridge today. $2 a gallon. Come and get it! Please?! :)

The alternate Title on this weeks blog was "Survival Mode". That's what I've been in this week. Here's why:

1) We are milking two cows. This takes on average 1 1/2 hours, just to do the milking. Then you have to come in and process all the milk, which entails filtering, pasteurizing, labeling. Another hour at least. When you do this twice a day, it's been like adding a full time job onto my regular schedule.

2) Bruce is on a critical path at work until a release next week. He is supposed to work his regular schedule, nights, and weekends until then.

3) Jesse was really sick this week. She finally got better on Tuesday morning after taking Activated Charcoal three times and throwing it up all three times. After that, she slept (during the day) for 6 hours almost without moving. I was almost to wake her up and make her drink something when she woke up on her own. She has been fine ever since.

4) Bruce and Joseph have both been sick with the same thing, a bad bacteria of some sort that really wiped them out for days. They felt terrible, nauseated, achy, headache, fever, coughing - you name it. They both started to feel better today. I hope they will be in full swing tomorrow.

5) I worked three days this week substitute teaching. I am very grateful because of the money, but it sure throws a dent into all other areas of my life!

6) We had to have the drainage field on our septic system replaced this week. That meant that for two days, we could not use any water beyond flushing the toilet and washing hands. No dishwasher, laundry, showers, etc. I went over to our kind neighbors to use their shower one night.

7) Soccer is in full swing with, practices and games starting this week.

8) I had to miss exercising all this week to milk the cow. I hate missing that!! Being with the WWW (Wise Walking Women) is such a balm and an uplift to my soul, that I hate missing it!

This has been a tough week! I just put one foot in front of the other and tried to get through it, which I did!

On Wednesday morning, I sent the kids off to school and realized that Bruce was in bed sound asleep after having had a high fever during the night, and it was up to me to milk both cows! Well, I reasoned to myself, I'm not the first person in history to have had to milk two cows by themselves, so I set about doing it. I was milking Natalie, and just starting to feel a tinge of loneliness and feeling sorry for myself, when the thought (and impression) occurred to me, "You're not alone, Grandma Reta is with you!" This is my grandma on my Mom's side who passed away many years ago, and she loved to milk her cow. I really felt that she was with me. It was a sweet experience. I finished milking Natalie, and as I was cleaning up Buttercup to get her started, Bruce came walking in and said, "You're out here by yourself milking. That's just wrong." So he helped me finish with the rest of it.

Some happy memories of the week:

Josh did a fantastic job in the High School vocal Festival this week! His ensemble, he and four other guys, sang "In the Still of the Night" acapella. Once during the song the tenor and the bass had a run together. The tenor went flat on the top note, and the judge said she thought there would be a train wreck there, but the bass (Josh) held his note and kept the whole group together. Josh also sang "Try to Remember", with me accompanying him, as a solo. He sounded great! (I put this song on the Music Player in this blog). The judge said he had really clear vowels and a good performance. He got 34/35 on his solo, as well as on the ensemble.

On Monday night we had a fun Family Home Evening with our friends that have the dairy cow. They came over to help us milk Mon night, and we had fun evening together.

On Tuesday night, we ended up putting this puzzle together.
When you turned off the lights, it glowed in the dark! This was a puzzle that we got from Grandma & Grandpa (Bruce's side) for Christmas. Thank you! We sure had fun putting in together.

Jesse also sang this week at New Beginnings. She sang "Firm in the Faith" with Brighton and Kimi. It was beautiful! It was amazing to see Mary go up and get a rose as one of the girls that will be going into Young Women's this year (in May). Wow! How did those 12 years go by so fast? It was a beautiful program, which I needed badly by the middle of the week!

A small miracle occurred that day (besides the one with Grandma Reta!) and that was that it was terribly cold, stormy and windy Wednesday afternoon, so I cancelled soccer practice. That gave me the extra hour and a half I needed to get dinner on and the milking done in time to go to New Beginnings. I don't know what I would have done otherwise!

We ordered the milking machine a week ago Friday, and we tracked it every day, thanks to the UPS website. It was in Jacksonville , St. Louis, Colorado, Salt Lake, and finally made it here on Friday! We got out there Friday night with the machine, and Bruce not feeling very well at all, and it was a disappointment! Ha ha It was one of those things that you look forward to solving all your problems, and you shouldn't!

I'm happy to say that two days later, we have gotten through some of the learning curve, and are getting much better results, but that first night we hardly got anything! Tonight it only took us 1 hour to do both cows, working with Bruce, Joseph and I. It's getting better!

Another thing that has helped a lot is that we have stopped pasteurizing the milk from Buttercup. At first we were pasteurizing it because we didn't know if her milk had something bad in it that made the calves get sick. I drank the raw milk, because we figure I have an iron stomach from growing up in Mexico City and living in Bolivia for a year and a half. I have been fine - no problems (even accounting for incubation period), so we are not pasteurizing anymore. That saves a lot of time!

My U-12 team, which Mary's on, had their first game on Saturday. We got creamed! I didn't even keep track of he score, but we had one goal to their eight, probably. But the good news is that we did much better in the second half after we got our wits about us. I have so much to learn to be a better coach and give more to this U12 team. I just don't have the time to devote to it. But we'll see what we can work in, and do our best. The girls still had fun playing, and they weren't down on themselves, so we will learn from it. Josh also played his first game, and they won 4-1. Josh only played about 3 minutes though before his right hip started hurting him, so that is of concern.

On Saturday night we had 13 of Libby's friends over for her birthday party. She was so excited about this party, and had been planning it for MONTHS. We made homemade pizza, played soccer and "Murder in the Dark", had a Treasure Hunt (made up by Jesse and Mary), and ate cake. We didn't have to worry about not having enough milk to go around! I kept offering it to everyone. Ha haOne last note. Buttercup stepped on my toe this morning when we were milking. It's all black and blue, and it hurts to walk! :) I'll probably survive... :)


annette said...

Well you guys never stop amazing me. I have been having flashbacks of Daddy milking in the barn because we bought some bag balm and I put some on my hands. Smell is such a strong sense when It comes to remembering. As soon as I smelled the bag balm, I felt like I was in the barn with the milking machine (serge) going and my dad milking away.

wenderful said...

I hope everyone is feeling better by now. We have that same thing here right now. It's a nasty one that seems to last forever. I hope I don't get it.
Good luck with the milking. I hope you can keep up with it. We'd buy some milk off you, but you know us. We only drink the blue (skim) milk from the dairy section of the local market. ;)
I hope you have a better week this week.

Lorena said...

Annette - That is the same kind of milking machine that we have! It's called the "Surge". Isn't that funny that we should have the same kind of machine that Uncle Murl used all those years ago? It might even be the same one - this one is refurbished! :) That makes me feel really cool to think I'm doing something like Uncle Murl.