From Bread Winner to Milk Maid…

When I finally came home from work for good, the relief was overwhelming. I missed spending time with my family and with Scott working nights, I almost never saw him. It was an interesting transition. While being able to have breakfast with everyone most mornings and reinserting myself into family discussions/decisions were really good changes, I found myself feeling sort of useless and without purpose. I was without a set schedule and a list of “must finish today” tasks. Maybe some of you can relate. I was told that I was very good at what I did in the realm of activity directing but I wasn’t sure what I could add to a household that was already running smoothly. (I trained those girls well!) I knew I didn’t want to sleep until 10 every morning and then sit around in my pajamas for the rest of the day. I needed to plug into the farm workforce so I decided it was time to learn how to milk goats. How hard could it be? Well…the first time consisted of milking one of our Nigerian Dwarf does. I definitely needed to be able to see what I was doing. Crouching down to find the correct area caused quite a bit of pain in my back but it was nothing compared to the cramping in my hands! Being a pianist for more years than I can remember, I figured my hands were already strong. Nope! Not the muscles I needed for this new adventure! I only got through about 10 minutes before I had to surrender the udder to my daughter. I needed to rethink this. Thankfully our resident goat expert, Rebekah, offered to take over whenever I needed her to until my hands built up the necessary muscle. I’m happy to report that I can get through an entire milking on my own now. Milking our Saanen was another slow process. She is much bigger and, although it takes the whole hand rather than just a couple fingers and thumb to milk her, the huge stream of milk into the pail is far more gratifying to me than the tiny stream from the smaller goats!

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