Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Adventures of a Mountain Milk Maid

The girls enjoying a bit of yummy in the snow!
The crazy trio!

The blasted snow started this morning. By the time I got to get the kiddo up for school my mood was most assuredly on the sour end of the spectrum. I love Colorado and I love the mountains but truly hate the snow. I know how to ski but don't care for it only because of the weather. When I was young, my father and some of his siblings would round up tubes and pickup trucks and thirty or so of my cousins. We would go tubing any Saturday there was snow on the upward slope of Marshall Pass. The best tubing and sledding hill known to mankind is on the side of that pass. I guess the snow and cold didn't bother me as much then. I wasn't tubing today either.

Ivory and Charming--Charming is always in the mood for love! Rain or shine.

My morning started by putting out half of the dogs after I had yanked the kid out of bed. Generally half is five, today it was six. Bear Dog who lives in the kennel across the yard was allowed to sleep in a crate in the house last night. He's a hundred and eleven years old, or something close to that. Generally he's very well behaved. This morning he rushed out to do his business and followed me around for a bit while I chatting with Dillweed Hound. As I was letting dogs back in the house, he was standing at the back of the line and I assumed he'd come back in with the rest. I was wrong. He stuck his nose in the door and turned and ran toward the kennel. I'm doing this at 6am. It's dark, it's snowing and I'm in a bathrobe and house shoes. I slip back inside and get my rubber muck boots on and head out after Bear Dog. By the time I catch up to him he's begging to be let in the kennel. Instead of trying to convince him that it's warmer in the house, I open the door and let him in. I have to trudge back to the house in the snow and cold, my boots are now filling up with snow and my robe has come untied more than once.

My buddy Noah.

The Bean and I had a meeting with her teacher about her performance this morning, which put her attitude into overdrive on the slow ride to school. After the meeting she complained because she didn't have any time to play ping pong. UGH! Upon my return to the cabin I was met with wonderful smell of wet dog as I entered. My Great Dane Isadora hates snow days. She loves the snow and wants to romp around in it until she is soaking wet and then wants to come inside and sprawl out on the human's couch. She doesn't much care for the dog couch. Today she was let in, let out, let in, let out, let in again. I pleaded with her to just go lay down and take a nap, I needed to get a few things done. She sulked away but I found her here on the human couch when passed through to put wood on the fire. Rotten dog!

Shelly took a couple of years off my life this morning too. She has been placing her work boots outside the front door each evening as they generally have some sort of poo all over them. Last night she pulled them inside so that she wouldn't be slopping around in wet boots. This morning she was reading herself for work and I was on the phone. All of a sudden she screamed bloody murder! "What is that?" she yelled at me, holding her boot toward my nose. I waved her off and after ending my conversation I inspected her boot. At some point a beautiful mama spider had laid a tidy clutch of eggs on the side of her shit kicker! I immediately looked for my camera but it was outside in the car. I grabbed my cell phone and shot this pic instead. I flicked it into a jar to get a closer look all the while Shelly is exhibiting seizure like behavior. She wouldn't put her boot on until I had put my hand down inside both of them. A spider probably would have been safer for me than having to put my hands INSIDE of her boot.

After I shuttled her off to chores. I set about to checking email and catching up on Facebook. After chitchatting with a few friends I decided the time was nigh to milk the bovine. I let the dogs out again, put my sweatshirt on and donned my rubber muck boots. Generally I just wear my chore boots and I probably should have today too. Rubber boots keep water out but aren't too warm. I got all my milking cheeze ready and took off to get the cow. Brownie Cow, ever faithful was waiting at the gate with icicles on her ears. I clicked her lead on and away we went. She went to the barn without problems. I cleaned up her udder, and went to work at milking. She danced around a bit but settled in nicely. I milked past my half gallon mark and decided that I'd just keep going until I hit a gallon before I strained and put it in the Ball Jars. As I neared my gallon mark I chatted with Brownie. As I walked out into the aisle way of the barn, I spooked a flock of birds that had taken refuge from the storm. As they were rushing out to the arena, one of the feathered freaks dropped a poo in my bucket of fresh milk! I cursed at the bird and poured my milk out. I washed the pail, and returned to the cow. As I'm nearing the gallon milk for the second time, Chloe Goat barged in the back door of the stall and spooked the cow. Brownie Cow first brought her foot up and over the pail and then down into it. The milk splashed out and onto her leg. Then for good measure she kicked the pail forward up under her front legs. I cursed again. I retrieved the pail and threw it into the aisle way. I yanked on Chloe's collar and rushed her out of the stall. I dipped and put "Udder Butter" on Brownie's teats and untied her. As Brownie Cow was backing out of the stall, Chloe Goat was worming her way back in. When I got the cow safely out, I flopped the lead over her neck and retrieved the caprine. As the goat and I exit the barn, I LOCK the stall. I turn to find Brownie and Chloe running for the open gate at the end of the run. Chloe exits the run and heads back to her pasture pals. Brownie on the other hand, she starts bucking and kicking and mooing in the storm. She heads toward the other cows. She turns back and gives me a look of, "This so fun." I run her down in my, 'two size too big' muck boots. When I finally get a hold of her my socks have scooted off my feet and are swimming in the toes of the boots. As we head off to her pasture, Brownie looks at me and then gives me the tongue! A big, ole, rough cow kiss up the side of my face, knocking my hat into the snow.

I eventually get back to the house, peel my boots off and put my socks back on. I put another log on the fire, think about what to prepare for dinner and throw a cookie to Fonzie Goat who has come to the door to beg. I let the dogs out, let the dogs in. Now I've only to complete the Bean's costume for the parade at school tomorrow! Good thing I don't put off things to the last minute!

Fonzie taking refuge in the dog house!

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