"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Aimee, All Alone (Top of the World, Ma!)

Day three of running the whole shebang by myself. I know that there are plenty of women who run larger operations than mine by themselves, day and day out, and who do it admirably. If any of those women are reading this blog, bully for you, babe, I salute you, but it's kicking my ass!

It's unfortunate that Homero's unscheduled vacation (he spontaneously decided to drive to Oaxaca) coincided with the beginning of milk-around-the-clock season. I am getting up a half hour early to milk and get everybody ready for school, and what with one thing and another, I pretty much don't sit down until bedtime.

Then I don't sit down, I fall down.

I never realized there was so much slack in my schedule before. I felt pretty busy a week ago, too, but it wasn't even in the same league. One thing's for sure - if I ever have to be a single mother (touch wood), I sure ain't milkin' no three dairy goats every damn day. Homero, if you ever entertained thoughts of leaving me, give it up! You ain't goin' nowhere!

This morning was particularly rough. When I went out the the barn to do chores, it was raining lightly. I realized I had left the brand new bags of chicken food and goat food out last night because I can't maneuver my way through the chained gate and operate the latch on the barn door while carrying a 50 pound feed sack and fending off four frantic goats without help. Well, I couldn't do that any better in the morning than I could at night, so I cast about for something to cover the bags with. I spied the 75-gallon rubbermaid water trough, which thankfully was empty. I lugged the tank over, then tried to pick up the sack of goat feed and put it on top of the sack of chicken feed. It seems, however, that the light rain had already weakened the paper and the sack split in the middle spilling all the grain on the ground. So, swearing, I ran around looking for a couple of five gallon buckets and some sort of scoop. At least the ground is dry and hard and so I didn't lose any grain to the mud.

Scooping up the last of the grain, I decided to sprinkle it over the hay in the new fence-line feeder that Homero built for me. The fence-line feeder is basically a big box into which you put a whole bale of hay on the OUTSIDE of the pasture. The goats can stick their heads into the box but they can't trample the hay. It was a massively heavy hinged wooden lid on top to protect the hay from rain. I lifted the lid and started to sprinkle grain. Then I noticed four eggs in the hay (the chickens can get in the feeder and love to lay in there). As I bent over to get the eggs, the lid fell on my head. I don't know why Homero made it so heavy, using both plywood AND
T1-11. He could have just used the siding.

Then I went in to milk. These days I carry two half-gallon glass jars to milk into - between the three does they both get full. While I was milking Flopsy, the last doe, into an almost-full half gallon jar, she kicked and made me spill it all over myself. "Oh you horrible goat!" I shouted. "I hate you!" And at that moment, I truly did. I hated the goat, my husband who left me here all alone, myself, and basically the whole world.


polly's path said...

Girlfriend, preach it!!!
I cursed my goats last week when they broke out of their enclosure and I was home alone and had to wrangle their butts so they don't get eaten by the dogs.
It is during times like those that I, like you, realize how much breaks I have in my schedule thanks to hubby.
I hope he brings you something extra nice from Mexico, you have earned it.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Oh my goodness! Sounds like a horrible day!

Just think, when he returns, it will be your turn for a vacation :-) That should be a condition for his taking one.

Did she kick it over on purpose? I read somewhere that you can teach a goat not to do that by taking an ear in one hand and the tail in the other hand and pulling them together...hard! every time a goat kicks over the bucket.

I have also read to dump the remainder of the bucket on her head if she kicks it over.

What do you think? Too harsh? Would it work? (I don't have goats yet.)

Remember, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

linda said...

Hi Aimee
I am so happy to find your blog!And I'm really glad that you didn't knock yourself out cold when the lid hit your head:) It really amazes me that you can actually do all of that on your own. I have yet to fully experience complete farm life (still in transition to that faze) but what I have experienced gave a clue as to how hard it will be. I hope your husband comes back soon and gives you a break.

el said...

I often look at our lawn chairs and think: didn't I use to sit in them? I seem to remember doing so, really I do.

This might sound crass but at least your husband helps you with farm chores. My husband, not so much. Sure he mows and on occasion I can get him to help me build things but that's about it. Granted I did know, going into it, that farming isn't his "thing," but still. A little more than occasional help would be...helpful!

But damn goat. I'd'a been furious.

Dea-chan said...

Eesh! Sounds like you should have some munchkins helping you goatherd! :-P

My mother always said the reason why she had kids was for slave labor.

Good luck holding down the fort!

Aimee said...

Sheryl, nothing short of beating them to death with a shovel would be too harsh! I usually slap them on the ass but that doesn't work so well. I may try the ear/tail thing next time.

Dea- yeah, I totally agree with your mom! But two out my three are still too little to do much slaving.

And rather than take my own vacation, I'm making up a hefty to do list for homero when he gets home!!

Olive said...

Aimee, please forgive me for having a chuckle at your story. I have been through the same sort of 'shenanigins' here on the odd occasion when my husband used to go away to work in the outback for weeks at a time.
Maybe you could sell the story to a movie maker...it would be a great comedy. LOL

Cherie said...

Aimee - I feel your pain. I have meat goats, not dairy goats, and chickens. This past winter I pretty much ran the whole show by myself and NEVER want to do it again! With 3 blizzards and multiple goat illnesses and several complicated births, I didn't think I'd make it. Hang in there - I hope Homero gets home soon and lets you take a vacation.

WeekendFarmer said...

I did the very thing with chicken feed and bags of corn...they all got wet and I used the snow shovel to scoope it in the middle of the night (2:00 am - when I realized I forgot them on the driveway).....yup...'farming' is fun : )

Glad Homero is back. I was enjoying your funny posts though ...It is nice when Mrs. Weekendfarmer does help me with the animals...but I am scared to recruit her ...given then she will be on my case on all the animals that we have. She HATES this farming 'phase' I am going through.

Jerry said...

Its very late and not who you needed it from, Im sure, but...