Mar 14, 2009

2:something in the morning

Saturday is market day. We usually spend much of Friday getting ready for market but we had a funeral this Friday that was almost two hours away. Driving home at rush hour meant getting home even later. We stopped and bought food that we could eat in the car for dinner (lunchables and oreos, the dinner of champions...NOT!)

As soon as we got home, Katarina got the littles ready for bed while Sara, Linnea and Emma started evening chores (feeding animals and milking). I worked on copying ingredient lists for the new kefir and yogurt labels and Tim took care of some household issues before coming in to lay down with the toddlers to read them "Miss Ima" and settle them for bed. They have heard "Ima" enough times to recite it by heart--backwards--but I guess there is something about the idea of a horse racing an ostrich that catches their fancy.

Boys and dad asleep I head out to the dairy to supervise milking. All is going well so I clean the processing room, doing a sink full of dishes. I wrap up the cleaning and head back to the house to let Katie know that the girls will be ready for her to process milk shortly. (We are making chocolate tonight.) I sit and nurse Seth while catching up on emails and saying every 10 minutes "Hon? You going to get up and tend to your kefir or do you want me to do it?" Each time he assures me that he is getting up and will take care of it. I finally decide that I have spent enough time online and take Seth to bed. As he finally dozes off Kate comes in to let us know how chocolate is going. We are still tweaking the best way to add the ground chocolate that we use. She tells us that this was didn't mix as well as we had hoped but it sure made the dairy smell delicious, like a chocolate factory. I call her Charlie and her laughing finally succeeds in doing what my cajoling has failed to accomplish and wakes up her dad. We chat for a bit and Tim and I decide to go out to tend to the kefir together. By the time we get there the girls are finished milking and have cleaned the dairy. Tim strains and bottles kefir and we chat and compare the taste that this kefir has compared to the grains that we had been using. We also discuss the days events and the friend whose funeral we attended today. It has been particularly hard, this was the 50 year old father in a family that we are quite close to. It is sobering to contemplate a family with children still in the house having to carry on after a death of a parent.

Kate comes in and I tell her that I will bottle chocolate milk for her so that she can print labels. She leaves and goes back to the house, Tim going with her. I bottle and clean some more, scrubbing ice chests for tomorrow's market, and washing out the two pasteurizer vats used today plus the bottler. Just as I am ready to return to the house Kate comes in. She thanks me for the work (usually she does this) and shows me her new labels. She asks is the ingredients are all accurate "or if a toddler had added a few extra letters! (bifidobacterium infanti, etc) She will stay and wash out the tubes that I didn't get to, and label some bottles for the morning's market. She suggests that I make sure to grab my coat for the short walk back, saying that she thinks the temperature had dropped even further. I am not sure she is right, I am glad that for the moment, at least it is not raining. On the way back to the house I stop by the doe pen and pet those does who come to the fence for attention, kissing Sadie, Sweet Bug Tussle's momma. This little girl is a real affection hog. (Not that I am complaining!) I feel bad for how wet it is in their pen. We need to order some sand to improve drainage in their shelter, I promise them that this will be done soon. As I approach the house I hear baby noises...goat cries from behind the house and Seth crying inside. I am met inside the door with Sara who has obviously been asleep. I tell her to hold Seth while I hit the bathroom, then I will take Seth if she will go check the babies. It doesn't seem right that there should be noise from their pen this time of night! I settle in and start this post, nursing Seth again. Sara comes in and says the babies are fine--just playing. Playing? At this time of night? Yes, she says, she could just see the hooves of one of them as it bounces off the side of their house. It is incredible the energy that they have, I guess they are taking the opportunity to play while it isn't raining.

It is now 2:43AM by the clock on my bedside table. Kate is still in the dairy labeling milk. Seth is half asleep. Morning will come in barely over three hours so I guess I had better catch some sleep.


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