A Milkmaid's Morning

Don't you just love Vermeer?!

Well, well, well.
Maybe I have some 'splainin to do. But first I'll do an update on goin's on here at the Ranch.
Summer is in full swing here, and I won't go into what that means in Central Texas. I'm sure you are fully capable of imagining what it's like without hearing me bellyache about it. The big old crop of Blackeyed peas is loving the heat. And we are in the midst of hand picking, hand snapping and canning them like green beans. That's stage one. Stage two is hand picking and shelling them, then canning them. That's coming soon. The children get up at around 6:00 or 6:20 to get out and pick a bushel before it gets hot. I usually can them after my morning chores.
MY chores start at 5:30 A.M.... and, YES, I am going to bellyache about it, so get ready. I get up and make a bottle for Anna, our "foster" longhorn heifer calf who we took off of Luciana, her mother, because Anna wasn't thriving on the amount of milk that Luciana was making. So I make a 2 quart bottle of milk for her, then I start heating the water that I use to wash the udder. I sterilize the seamless stainless steel bucket and get the gallon jar and milk funnel into bleach water before I set out for the milking stall. The calves, Essie and Anna, are separated from Katie, the Jersey milk cow and waiting for breakfast in the milking stall. I feed Anna her bottle, then put them in the sheep barn. I walk out into the sheep yard to find Katie, and she usually lows softly and I say, " Good morning, Katie, my lady." She follows me into the milking stall and I fill her feed bucket and clip her to a post. Then I milk her, which is a breeze compared to milking Pita, the holy terror of a milk cow. But I digress. After milking, I open up the sheep yard and let Essie, Katie's Jersey heifer calf, take whatever is left for her breakfast, and Anna usually steals a snack. After they have nursed, I put Katie out into the pasture and put the calves into the sheep pen. Then I go filter the milk and date it and put it into the icebox. I usually grab something like toast or a piece of fruit before heading out to the garden. The sun is just coming up around this time, and it is beautiful and quiet. I pull weeds, check for produce, plant, cultivate, and/or do anything else that needs to be done before I destroy the daybreak peace with the sound of my water pump going. I water the garden, top off the cattle and sheep tanks, and haul water down to the automatic waterers at the pigs. After the pump shuts off, breakfast is usually ready and after eating, I help with dishes ( sometimes ) and then I go on to whatever needs to be done that day, be it canning, laundry, cleaning, or really anything. But I do love what I do everyday, and wouldn't trade this lifestyle for anything.
I have not been reading as much as I did this winter, but I am slowly going through a biography on Robert the Bruce. I am really enjoying it. I just finished a "quick-read" book called Unwise Passions.

It is about Nancy Randolph, one of the people involved in the first great scandal of 18th century America. Nancy Randolph was one of the Randolphs of Virginia and a descendant of Thomas Randolph who was a nephew of Robert the Bruce. So, it was interesting, but a one-time-only read.
Anyways, I'd better run.

Y'all have a good week.


1 comment:

  1. Tracy,

    Thanks for the update good to hear from you, also know you are a very busy yound lady.

    Pat Tolbert