I awake every morning at 4 A.M. (usually before my rooster is greeting the new day!)… mostly because I am a creature of habit. In a previous life, I had a 60 mile commute across town to my former automotive engineering job. It was necessary to do ‘chores’, shower, dress and beat the traffic so I could arrive downtown at 7 A.M. UGH!
My hubby and I do A.M. chores together. We have a routine; he lets the dogs out, feeds the horses and re-fills all the water dishes. During winter, it’s quite difficult and time consuming to break out all the frozen water buckets! Meanwhile, I feed the cats, dogs, chickens, rabbits and sheep. I return the dogs to their pen (usually – unless Bo, our Great Pyreneese, decides he’d rather spend the day with the sheep). Riley, our German Shepherd, is more cooperative.
Most recently, I’ve added the twice daily task of hand-milking my sweet Alpine dairy goat, Holly. Her twins will be three weeks old this Saturday and growing by leaps and bounds! They reside in an empty horse stall overnite and are turned out every day with the rest of the flock to “play”. The kids and sheep seem to get along fine now. I initially feared my great big Corriedale sheep would plow over the little kids…but the kids are quite talented at sprinting away from harm. Holly also does a wonderful job mothering them.
I’ve decided to milk Holly at 6 A.M. and 6 P.M. She’s fed while in the milking stand. Right now, the kids take most of her milk, but they’ll be weened gradually between 6 – 8 weeks old. I hope to make cheese (and soap) with Holly’s milk. I’m sure that will involve some trial and error in the kitchen as everything new has a learning curve.
Back at the house, my kids are getting ready for school. I drive them to school every day at 7 A.M. Upon my return, I typically have a fiber project in the works or creating something unique for the farm shop. Since Spring has arrived, I also spend several hours cleaning-up and preparing the gardens for planting. It’s amazing how quickly you loose track of time in the garden!
Before you know it, the kids arrive home from school and we’re doing chores again. It’s pretty much the same routine as the morning chores. All the heavy duty stall cleaning, etc., occurs on Sunday – when the entire family pitches in. If I haven’t begun dinner sometime during the early afternoon, I’m usually cooking in the kitchen by 4 P.M. so that dinner is on the table when hubby arrives home from work. (Yup, I’m from the old school and believe supper-time is a family event!). I enjoy all the home-grown fresh produce from the garden during the growing season and all the bounty I’ve managed to ‘put up’ for the winter months. I can hardly wait for the garden to start ‘growing”!
After dinner, I’ll work on a fiber project unless of course I’m taking the kids to soccer practice, school or church-related function. By 9 P.M., I’m usually retiring for the night, only to greet the new day soon enough! But I can’t deny, while it may seem like a lot of work, I love my life! Thank you Jesus!