Tag Archives: chores

Bucket of Milk in My Face, Big Disgrace, Kickin My Cans All Over the Place

Have you ever had one of “those” mornings?  The ones that seem to start out ok, but early on there is an event where you think to yourself, “self, this might be a hard day”?  Today was one of those days for me.  Nothing like the beautiful title picture that makes me long for that morning last week.

Today started out great.  Got a good night’s sleep.  Felt rested when I got up to milk.  Everyone but my wife was still asleep when I left the house heading for milking chores.  Things were looking good.

My first four steps… still going in the right direction.  Now let me interject here and let you all know that we have been getting rain the last couple days, lots of rain.  And not the rain that brings May flowers.  The kind of rain that brings frozen roads, driveways, and front steps.  The front steps are where I started to have an inkling in might be one of those days.  I very nearly bit it on that top step, I caught myself, but just barely.  I honestly thought to myself, “ok, you caught yourself, you now know it’s icy, you’re good.”

So I shuffled to the barn and got my milking supplies.  On the way from the barn to the cow, even the yard was icy.  I shuffled my way down to the gate and opened the gate.  Prudence, who normally meets me AT the gate, peeked her head out the tarp wall as if to say, “I’m not coming out there.”  Nice.

Our water drains through the pasture down into a swale.  As we have been having melting, thawing, and freezing rain, the part between the gate and the animal shelter/milking parlor is more or less an ice skating rink.  I didn’t bring my skates.

After nearly biting it two or three more times, I made it to the relative safety of the milking parlor.  “Not too shabby,” I thought to myself, “balance like a cat.”

During milking Prudence was a little more fidgety than normal.  On a regular day Bullseye will vacate the milking parlor knowing that he doesn’t get any grain and I prefer he leave so as not to bother Prudence.  He wasn’t interested in going out in the rain so he stayed.

Throughout milking the rain seemed to continue to come down harder and harder.  When I was just about done, Prudence decided she was done as well, and decided to relieve herself.  Bombs away!  Right into the water which was now flowing at a steady pace through the shelter, and splashed poopy rainwater everywhere.

I was hoping that by the time I finished there would be a slight break.  Unfortunately, as I finished, the rain began to beat on the steel roof.  I hung out with the cows for a few minutes longer, and then finally, the break I was looking for.  Just as I was heading out the door, lightning and thunder, which unnerved the cows further.  After skating back to the gate with my catlike reflexes(wink wink) I thought I was home free.

It was on the way to give the pigs the milk that I was greeted with the reality that I neither have catlike reflexes nor was I home free.  I stepped on the slight slope that is between the gate and the pigs, and my foot lost grip.  As I plummeted to the ground the bucket of milk hit the earth first, right next to my head, and an explosion of milk erupted all over my face and upper torso.  It was sweet if you are wondering.

After picking myself up, injury free but knowing I need to work on those reflexes, I headed to the hydrant to rinse out the bucket.  Wet, milky, and defeated, I shuffled to the house.

While aiding my pregnant wife to her car we managed to only almost fall twice.  Fortunately she made it safely to work, the milky clothes made it to the washer, and I am now clean and conversing with you.  All before 7:30.

Now that I have had time to write down the morning’s events, I can see how they might be humorous to others.  So if you have a story like this, that you can now laugh about, share it in the comments below.  I’d love to laugh along with you.

If you are still reading this, if you haven’t already, please consider checking out my YouTube page by clicking on the previous link.  It’s a lot of the same types of things you read and see here, but you get to put a voice and face to the words.  Maybe that’s not such a good thing… well check it out anyways.  I’d really appreciate if you like what you see, if you’d consider subscribing or liking a video.

Have a wonderful rest of your day, I’m going to.  Until next time.

What do Winter Chores Look Like?

For me, winter chores take a little bit longer than the rest of the year. The sheep need hay, I need to check and make sure all the water is still liquid, and all the animals get more bought feed because there isn’t much to forage for.

Typically for me, if I don’t get out before my wife leaves for work (and I almost never do), I will go out mid morning when Homestead Boy #3 takes his nap or when I have Homestead Boy #1 hold him for a couple minutes. Chores in the winter typically take 5-10 minutes, so not long at all.

The first thing to be done is get the sheep some flakes of hay. As soon as they see me come out the front door they commence their bleating, baa-ing, and in general belly aching. They are by far the most insistent animals, very unladylike if you ask me. Once they get their hay the quiet down and get to the business of eating. Checking their water takes only a second and typically only needs to be filled every four or five days.

Next comes the chickens. They are far more ladylike, except Big Red, who crows when he knows I am outside. Funny thing about Red is he doesn’t like to go through the wind flaps on the door, so typically he stays in the coop while the hens have the run to themselves. The hens cluck and buk at me politely until they get their food. I have to get them water each morning as well since their water heater isn’t working.

Then it is one to the quail. They need water about every other day and the water heater I made for them works just fine. I will be posting shortly on that build. Their food needs to be filled about every other day as well.

The rabbits are pretty easy. They don’t complain and need water and food only every three to four days because of the size of their feeder and waterer.

The last thing I do before heading back in is collect eggs. If this is done too late and the temps are extremely low, I could be collecting frozen and cracked eggs. Yesterday I ended up losing four eggs because they were cracked from being frozen.

In the summer chores typically take less time because there is no frozen water and more forage to eat. I plan to make some new feeders for the quail and chickens that can hold more food.

So if anyone was interested, that is what typical morning chores look like here.

Rooster sitting in a barn on a rural farm

Parental Musings – An Investment that Pays

I was talking to a gentleman the other day at a banquet my wife and I attended.  Somehow we got onto the topic of projects around the house with kids.  You know, those projects you are all ready to knock off the list in a timely manner and just mow through the weekend’s to-do list?  And then just as you are about to start one of your children appears and asks if they can help.  Ever had the urge to tell them that it is an adult project and to go play outside?  Never?  Me neither, but I am sure there are those out there that have.  You know without a shadow of a doubt that the project will take at least 50% longer if your child helps.  But how else are they going to learn?  This happened on my siding the trailer project.  Homestead boy #2 wanted to help, and who am I to tell him he can’t?  Did it take longer?  Sure.  Was it more rewarding for both me and him?  Absolutely!  To have him know that he can help with a project and see the smile on his face while we were working and when we were done was priceless.  My to-do list will always be there, but they will only be young once.  Don’t think of it as losing time or taking longer, think of it as investing that time in your children.  The dividends on that investment are astronomical.