Monster and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad milking

Thank you, Ms. Viorst, for creating a children's book which speaks to that shitty-day feeling we can all have sometimes. Yesterday's milking was a Series of Unfortunate Events:

  • The cows weren't waiting for me right at the gate. I had to walk all the way down to the bee hives and staff gardens to get them, which is fine, since it was a lovely day and I was enjoying the weather and the sun. However, when I got to the cows they all decided to play the we-don't-know-what-we-are-supposed-to-be-doing game. It took lots of prodding to get them moving.
  • While crossing the street with the cows (traffic waiting for us--minimal traffic, yes, but traffic still!) three of the cows decided it was really important to stand in place and act as if we'd never done this before. Beasley (cow) picked a fight with Samantha (cow). I literally had to step between them and do some Jerry Springer relationship-saving work.
  • I put Samantha (cow) in one of the pens to nurse some of the calves; Jasmine (cow), who is also nursing another calf decided she didn't want to go into the pen. She tried to run for it so I grabbed her collar and tried to lead her to said pen, she freaked out and twisted away from me, somehow stepping on my foot in the process. I screamed like a banshee, she tried to wander back outside, it was madness! But in the long run she made her way into the pen. Fortunately she only stepped on my three little toes and I think only the pinky is broken or really badly bruised. It hurts like hell. Should probably look at that tonight.
  • While this whole thing was happening, Brie (cow) decided to pace around behind all the other cows and not go into her stall. I tried to get her in twice, she tried to go back out into the pasture twice, but in the end she was in her stall. 
  • Just after I got the cows into their stalls and was feeling exhausted--and before my milking had even begun!!--a slew of Labor Day tourists appeared out of nowhere and began snapping pictures. It was one of those moments where you think, "really!!?" I felt frazzled and looked frazzled and in the midst of that had to be polite. 
  • I accidentally dumped a pound or two of fresh milk into my udder wash bucket and had to dump it out and refill it. 
  • Overflowed the acid rinse sink (this is the sanitizing solution the milking dishes get washed in)--fortunately the bulk tank room is designed for such mishaps. 
  • I looked out the window mid-milking and thought, "huh, I didn't park down there..." My Emergency brake in my car has been touch and go, choosing when it wants to work; well, it didn't catch this time and apparently when I put my car in first gear, "just in case," I didn't actually get it into first gear. So, while in neutral, and parked on a hill, my car rolled down the farm driveway, off onto the little slice of lawn, over the flower beds and into the pasture fence. Fortunately the flower beds slowed it enough to keep it from doing any damage to the fence. Just a nice, shiny black scratch on my back passenger side. 
And just when I thought things couldn't get worse...they didn't. Another farmer showed up and offered to help and did a great job: weighing milk, pouring the heavy milk cans into the bulk tank (where the milk is kept cold until it is processed) and recording each cows production stats. Were it not for him I am sure they would have found me hours later, wandering around the barn mumbling to myself and looking stressed out. It was such a good way to end my hard milking, and a good reminder of the joys of community. 


Pam said…
Loved this post, Manda. I'm sorry you went through it, but I'm ecstatic that you wrote about it.

I am glad you liked it. It was definitely one of those, "OMG! This day can't end fast enough," kind of afternoons, but now that it's a week behind me it's a lot funnier. :)

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