A Drop In The Bucket - Home on the Range Blog at Allrecipes.com - 296157

Home on the Range

A Drop In The Bucket 
Jan. 26, 2013 7:00 pm 
Updated: Feb. 3, 2013 3:12 am

We’ve been home for over a week now. I miss the kids and try to relive the feel of little hands, kisses and hugs and the smell of sweet baby skin. It was so good to feel welcome and the moments we had were precious and few, but here we are again.

It has remained bitterly cold. Our friend Afif was an enormous help because he cooked for us and made breakfast for Randy so I could sleep in...oh yeah, I always sleep in anyway and Randy makes his own breakfast. Actually, sometimes he makes me breakfast too. It was nice for Randy to have Afif here to make him breakfast.

The pups have been VERY attentive. They would come up on the back porch after their night patrols and Randyman would let them come in to visit with me. Randy would head to work but I have had kind of a rough month so it was hard to take them back out and put them in with the sheep, where they are supposed to spend the day. BTW, the jump-gate was an epic failure. The majority of the sheep don’t go through it, but the goat and lambs don’t even slow down.

I digress. The pups spent the greater part of the day with me a couple days last week. Bruno climbed up on the couch and did his best to discourage anyone, including Randy, from coming near me. Poor Cletus and Cider would have to sneak around him or wait until he relocated to get and give hugs.

I made some sourdough breads and got rave reviews for them. Afif left this morning for Nebraska, armed with sourdough starter and recipes for his new bakery. I guess I can’t garner any higher praise than that.

The really exciting news is that I finally get to wean Sushi. All EmmaLouMoo’s milk is MINE! ALL MINE!!! It’s actually a lot more milk than I can use, but I will find something to do with it all. I already got a gallon of buttermilk, yogurt and clabber cultured. I use the yogurt and buttermilk for baking and yogurt and clabber for making cheeses, so I am really happy to be back to milking again. She was a little stingy the first night, but by the second day she was giving me 3 gallons, milking once a day and she wasn’t getting engorged at all.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I used 3 gallons of milk to make mozzarella so we could have homemade pizza. I was so proud of myself because I was so ORGANIZED. This is not something that is normally my method of operation so I was pretty tickled. Everything went perfectly and I actually had the kitchen clean by the time the cheese was done. I put it in the refrigerator to chill so I could shred it later.

Around milking time, Afif showed up and asked if I needed help. I have been depending on Randyman to carry the bucket and pull the wagon because I have not had enough arm or leg strength to do it myself, but I was feeling pretty good for the first time in a long while. I am not sure if it is a coincidence or if its because I took some Turmeric (an anti-inflammatory natural spice that tastes VILE  if you mix it in lemonade!) at the advice of my niece. It is interesting enough that I ordered some in gel caps because I really can’t stand the taste of it to drink it, and doubt that I can eat enough foods that I use it in to do myself much good. I told our friend I thought I would have no problem handling the milking equipment myself. After all, I have to get strong enough to do these things on my own again, because I can’t expect Randyman to always do his job AND mine.

I put the milker together, got my  hot water and rags to wash her udder with and headed across the melting ice and slush to the milk room. I was pretty taxed by the time I got there and had her all hooked up but at least I made it. I coaxed the evil Sushi, my snotty, anti social heifer, into the small area in front of the milk room with some grain. She entered while I was out of sight and I shut the gate behind her, essentially trapping her in the area. I had to chase her around and around before I could get my hands on her halter and drag her...or rather tire her out as she dragged me around, until she came to a halt, so I could rub and pet on her. I was pretty wore out, but I figured if I keep giving her grain and petting her she will sweeten up eventually.

I stepped back into the milkroom and sat down to check on the milker just as Emma started walking backwards. I noticed with horror, that I had forgotten to lock the headcatch. She continued backing out as I squeaked “NO! NO! NO! EMMMMMMAANOOOOOOOO!”

The vacuum hose got ripped off of the milker which was now swinging crazily underneath her udder as she kicked at it and began knocking over feed cans, saddle racks and everything else in the small space, including myself. She would start in a direction then suddenly back up into something, and half turn to go forward again, all the while my precious milk can swinging drunkenly from side to side. I felt like a HackeySack, being bumped and popped as I continually tried to undo the belt around her girth from which the milk can was hanging and twirling like pasties on a pole dancer. I finally succeeded and she stepped back once again, sending me over the stanchion bar and stepping squarely on top of the pulsator lid. Once I finally got control of her and got her back into place I put the kick bar behind her and finished milking out her rear quarters.

The can was so full of milk I could hardly lift it. My cup runneth over.

I apologized for the names I called her but continued to berate her for making my ‘therapy’ such an unpleasant experience. She slowly chewed her grain and stared at me blankly. I could see she felt really bad about it.

I managed to drag the milk wagon back to the house, struggling to lift the bucket up onto the deck for the short trip to the kitchen, and process the milk.

I grated the cheese, rolled out the pizza crusts and pulled some of the stuff out of the fridge for building them. I decided it was a good night for Randy and Afif to build their own pizzas.

We watched taped episodes of Duck Dynasty and as we laughed I decided there was actually something on TV I was willing to watch. Those guys are totally goofy, but they have good character, and I was mesmerized by how much Jase reminded me of my oldest son. His demeanor and way of speaking was almost like a flashback, minus the hair, beard, hat... The pizza was magnificent. I forgot how good our homemade pizza tastes. I’m pretty sure it was all about the cheese. Afif liked it too and had several pieces.

Randy and I made pigs of ourselves, like always.

This morning I woke up in extreme pain. Not only was my back killing me from the workout with EmmaLou, but the autoimmune flare was super active. I prayed I could get through the day. Back to using a cane and wrist braces again. I had been thinking about how difficult autoimmune diseases are and how they change a persons life, disposing of hopes and dreams like so much dust. I considered how many people suffer from similar maladies, as well as other kinds of pain, both physical and emotional. I felt convicted to share my own journey through this facet of my life, with others, so I have begun a new and separate blog, "Through The Darkest Valleys" if anyone should care to read. There is also a link on the right hand side of this blog.

If all goes according to plan, more bread and cinnamon rolls tomorrow.

Jan. 26, 2013 7:47 pm
Oh petey,i feel your pain.I have had shoulder problems for 9 years,finally in 2011 i had shoulder surgery,but alas it did not work.Oh well it's something i have to live with,which i'm proud to say i'm doing a darn good job of it.Petey,as always loved your blog,you really make things come alive,i can just see your Emma as she was backing out.Keep up with the turmeric,it does work.Have a great evening.
Jan. 26, 2013 8:01 pm
Petey, have your tried vitamin B-12 therapy for your pain? My DH has had so much pain over the last year with neuropathy and a bad knee. But, with joint replacement in October and the vit B-12 therapy, he is doing very well. I love how animals are so complacent after they go a little berserk. They just look at you like YOUR the crazy one. Cracks me up. Oh my garsh! DD Christine NICU RN turned us on to Duck Dynasty. Hilarious!
Jan. 27, 2013 8:23 am
Petey, I like to watch Duck Dynasty. Uncle Si and the rest of the family are very entertaining. I hope you feel better soon.
Jan. 27, 2013 3:21 pm
OK, so now I have to find Duck Dynasty! Best wishes to you with your pain. I'm glad that Emmalou was so sorry about her shenanigans!
Jan. 27, 2013 3:22 pm
Petey, thanks for sharing another great blog. I think most have their share of pain in one way or another. The way one deals with it is the challenge for many; sounds like you are handling the situation the best you can. God Bless you
Jan. 27, 2013 4:21 pm
You are an amazing Creature! Blessings, and stay warm!
Jan. 28, 2013 6:15 am
I am so sorry for all the pain you are having. I will pray that your pain be eased very soon. On a side note about the Duck Dynasty boys. My nephew was best friends with Willie in high school. My brother said it was not unusual for them to wake up on Saturday morning and he be asleep on there couch. No beard, etc back then.They all still go to church together there in West Monroe.
Jan. 28, 2013 6:41 am
It's amazing the strength we find as women when we are faced with adversity. Misty is right in that we all have our share of pain in one way or another. So true. I love your story, and look forward to following your great blog.
Jan. 28, 2013 7:59 am
@char-That's kinda neat to sort of 'know' someone who knows them. They do make me laugh and seem like nice guys! @Cyn-isn't that the truth! Thanks for stopping by
Jan. 31, 2013 8:21 am
You wore me put again, Petey. You are truly amazing. Thanks for the blog and prayers for your ills...
Feb. 2, 2013 4:04 pm
I just finished a list of persons I admire, or wish to follow their example. My list consists of friend and folks who suffer chronic illness, or such as you describe, as I myself do. I have a theme Identify, face it, fool it (with meds,& naturals) and then, just DO IT!! Whatever has to be done, needs to be,wants to be, as we can.
Feb. 3, 2013 3:12 am
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden. forpeteysake.blogspot.com http://throughthedarkestvalleys.blogspot.com/
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Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
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Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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Most things from this site, this has been the best thing the internet has had to offer!
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A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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