Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Milking stand completed


Grapes - no idea what kind...

Plums - one of three types and the closest to being ripe.

Wow...what a pain and a pleasure all at once! The pain comes from not having exactly the right tools at my disposal when I need them. The pleasure comes from seeing the finished product and having it work beautifully! I cannot find the battery charger for the camera, but once I do, I'll take photos to post.

Yes, last night, I missed out on some much needed sleep because I was determined to get the milking stand done. I'll explain why, in a minute. Basically, I bought a new jigsaw (what a joy!) and was able to make the rest of the adjustments necessary to get this sucker together. I did a lot of sanding so that Sass (and her future family members) won't get injured on sharp corners or splinters. I didn't have exactly the right drill bits, but I made do. The milking stand was virtually complete prior to heading to bed. Then this morning, I took the front head pieced out to the pasture (where we'd used the base, yesterday) and attached it. Of course, it was drizzling on us this morning, so I was very pleased that H took the time to finish off the roof of the lean-to last night! Once the stand was assembled, we got Sass up on it and began milking her. Except for one incident when she'd knocked the feeding bin off and wanted it back up there, it went smoothly. It was MUCH easier on my back (and on H's) to have her up on that thing. I think it was less stressful for her, too.

I will say, we need to start drinking way more milk. It's starting to take over the fridge! I have been slowly collecting fat skimmed off the top (not as easy with goats milk as with cows milk) so that I can try my hand at making butter soon. I have a recommended cookbook on it's way with recipes and instructions for making cheese, yogurt and ice cream with goat's milk, so once that arrives, we should be in business!

So, I stayed up later than I wanted to finishing off the stand. I did this because I NEED to get back to biking to work. The problem is time. As it is, I get up at 6:20 to make coffee, feed the dogs and cat, get something to eat and then prep the stuff for milking (creating the udderwash/teet dip, setting up the sanitizing bath & prepping the container for the milk). Then I get H up and we go out and milk Sass. Then I come back in, filter the milk, clean up and sanitize everything so it's ready for the evening milking and pack myself a lunch. Then I go shower and get dressed for work. I'm lucky if I can get out of the house by 8:20. Now, lets think about making this work on days I ride. I can prep my lunch the night before. I don't have to shower and I can milk Sass in my biking clothes (but not shoes!) easy enough. I can also skip making coffee as I can get that at work. I will still need to do all the cleaning and milking prep work as that cannot be done the night before or it'll lose it's potency. With the milking stand, one person can milk Sassafras. This way, H can milk her while I get ready/have breakfast and then while he's getting ready/eating, I can filter and store the milk. Or, vise-versa, of course. This still means a very early rise though as the commute is 1:15 and I should be showered and at my desk by 8:30 am (I need to do better with my timing even when commuting by car!). And what happens when the chickens are laying? Who has time to collect eggs and feed/water them? I guess we will, huh?

We'll get better at this, eventually....right?


WENDY BANDURSKI-MILLER (nee Callard) said...

wow your morning sounds crazy! working out how to streamline that is going to be tricky.....

congrats on getting it done!

dont skip on sleep too often.....

Nice blog you got here. :)


Cat said...

Thanks, redreamer!