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As close as she is to delivering her kids, Mae Mae has still made a point of steering herself into the milk room at every milking, even though she has no need yet to be milked. It is a surprise to me — she has not made the milking room her habit this late in her pregnancies, but whatever her reasons for doing so now, it is a pleasure to see her maneuver her great bulk with such spring and spirit into her place on the milk stand.
The great size of her takes up a lot of space and so I have been leaning back against her as I milk her grandaughter Tweedle. Mae Mae doesn’t seem to mind, intent as she is on her eating, and it is a comfort to lean up against so capable a mother as she. It’s cozy and milking can be so dreamy, especially first thing in the morning early in the spring; it’s cold, I’m sleepy, the day’s not yet begun, the season’s barely begun, but for just this moment, things are going just as I wish they would.
As the goats are peacefully eating, the rhythm of milking is my meditation and leaning against Mae Mae is my comfort. While leaning against her, I sometimes feel against my back a sharp tap, a swift kick, or a larger, more sinuous movement, and then, just as I turn my attention to savoring both the surprise and the pleasure of this, it’s gone and I’m left with the feeling that I am at the edge of a dream and something magical I’ve barely seen has vanished before I’m sure that I’ve seen anything at all.
Any day now….
March 8th, 2011
Coming in like a lion, our first spring storm brought us high winds, rain, thunder, and lightning, but it left us with crisp air, bright light and the other half of the proverb.
- Out Like a Lamb, March 1, 2011
March 1st, 2011
With a little assistance, Mae Mae delivered thirty pounds of kids.
Upside, Down, Backwards, and Mae Mae
March 19th, 2010
Modern Art Mae Mae
March 11th, 2010
Mae Mae’s secret
March 9th, 2010
My favorite new technology is the Cell Phone. It is a convenient tool for calling the house when extra help is needed in the barn and it is a great tool in an emergency, when veterinary advice is necessary. This time of year, Stephen and I don’t go down to the barn without our cell phones; the ewes’ udders are getting bigger and tighter every day and two dairy goats are due next week.
So last night, when Stephen left to do the early evening barn check and a few minutes later the phone rang, I was sure that he was calling about lambs. “It’s getting kind of crowded down here,” he said. “Lambs?” I asked. “Kids.” he replied.
Does. Early. Triplets. Perfect.
March 7th, 2010
Our regal, half Persian Miss Mellie is Queen of the Barn. Eight years ago, during the last episode of the Kitty Wars, Mellie claimed the barn and all its comforts (the milking parlor, the mangers, and the hay loft) as her supreme territory. She tolerates visits from her son Beorn, even though his indefatigable appetite makes a regular dent in her kitty crunchies. The other three cats are Enemies of the State who regularly assault her territory, but so far she reins supreme. At times, she will confer upon me the privilege of petting her. I always comply and sometimes come away with a mark of her favor.
Thanks to Lynne for the regal photo.
March 13th, 2009