I milked Maggie this morning for the first time this cycle, and I'm sure I'll have many more milking's with her too. Matthew had to leave very early this morning for work, so the kiddos and I had chores. I don't mind, I rather enjoy taking care of things on the farm. Probably a good thing too. I was having a hard time getting into the swing of living on a dairy again. I have really enjoyed having the time off, and was thankful we dried Maggie off when we did. It really isn't ideal to dry a cow off in the middle of the season of growing grass when your wanting a mostly grass based dairy cow, but that's how it worked out. I wouldn't complain if that is how it works our again. I was so busy with the gardening and canning and all that good stuff milking a cow was the last thing that was on my mind. I'm sure we would have worked out something... but it was good for me! We tend to share the chores, and the work load of the farm. It's nice to work together as a team. The kiddos are always willing to lend a hand too.
As I went outside to milk this morning it was 7:15. The sun was still coming up, and it was a brisk morning. The kiddos were getting up and dressed, so it was quiet when I went out. I had the milk pail in hand by my side, gloves and wipes in my back pocket. My cowboy - eerrr my girls would pop in and say "cowgirl boots mommy"! here, as they clinked the hardening ground. The crows were out and I heard them cawing to one another, and strangely enough I liked that sound. Abby and Time Out were out in the pasture basking in the sun that was starting to warm them up. Abby let out a friendly winnie to welcome me and say good morning, as she always does when she sees me. The sheep were just getting up and let out a good morning baa as I walked to the cow barn. The baby chicks greeted me as well with happy hungry peeps, and ran after me to get some grain. I greeted all the animals with a good morning. It felt good to be outside with a milk pail in my hand, the cool, damp, fall weather on my face, my hot breath blowing out into the cold morning air as I called to the animals. I peeked my head in the cow barn and both were laying down. I said good morning to Maggie and she got up while I was getting her grain and minerals. Dandie got up and bounded around the barn as I brushed Maggie down to get the hay and sawdust off her. I decided to wait a while to see what Dandie would do. She was too busy showing off for me to be bothered to eat. She ran, hopped, and bounced around me. She would come up to me and nuzzle my boot or leg, and jump when I would reach out and pet her. Then she would put her head down and jump sideways, so I scooched down and copied her, she looked at me and jumped the other way as I laughed. She flicked her tail in the air and jumped up on Maggie's stanchion, then back off and fell flat on her face. That made me laugh as she got her long legs untangled and shook herself off. She looked at me as if to say she meant to do that and decided to stop being silly, for about a minute. Knowing I had to get things in order and start milking to get it done I sat down and the kiddos came in. Dandie had new people to show off for! As I sat on the stool and started milking and the milk came down and hit the empty pail with a swish, squirt, noise I realized I had missed milking. The munching sound of Maggie eating, the grumble of her belly, her occasional mommy moo to Dandie, the calf being a goofball, the kiddos laughing as they played with Dandie and then ran off to help feed and water the other animals for me. The older two helping Rachel get dressed and ready to go with her Aunt, cousin, and grandmother for the day and making sure she had on matching clothes and shoes and socks on her feet. What a blessing to me to have them be so willing to help me without me having to ask. I quickly warmed up as I milked and the pail quickly filled with warm milk and the snish, swish noise it makes as it fills up. My hands were burning slightly, but not as bad as I had thought they would, and I was glad of that. I relaxed into the rhythm of milking and the noises that I love so much and was glad I had to milk this cool fall morning!