Friday, April 22, 2011

Today's the day! I think...

I've put it off for much too long now, milking day is here.

I'm trying to psych myself up for this ordeal and commitment by trying to downplay the fact that milking dairy animals every day without fail is an ordeal and commitment. I'm sure that someday I will find the whole process of miking my goats peaceful and fulfilling, as ancient poets and shepherds have written and sung of it throughout history, but at the moment it is still awkward and stressful for everyone involved. I'm clumsy, and my mama goats' patience runs thin with me mighty quickly. But regardless, it's go time.

Part of the source of my stress surrounding milking is the equipment issue. Do you have any idea how many odds and ends you need to properly, sanitarily extract and use your goat milk? Pails, strip cups, filters, brushes, washing water, a hanging milk scale, udder wipes, teat dip, etc., etc. It's a whole heck of a lot of stuff to haul up the hill and back, especially for a gravitationally-challenged gal like myself. One slip on that East Bay clay and I'm covered in milk, iodine and mud.

My means of mentally skirting the awkward equipment/fall hazard issue is to drive everything up the hill in the cart of our little tractor. Driving the tractor will also be a first for me. I'm about 5 miles out of my comfort zone right now.

Today, if I live to tell, shall be a real litmus test of my farm-girl skillz. If I don't get kicked in the head, end up wearing warm milk, crash a tractor or lose a limb, I'm going to chalk it up as a win.