Actually, she says, what’s with the camera? Get me my breakfast already.
A long discussion with some girlfriends recently:
One friend had recently resigned from a board position at a worthy organization and it was really gnawing at her, guilt-wise. “I know,” she thought, “I will invest the 6 hours a week that I had been spending on the board by doing something to help me instead: yoga.” So now she was in hot pursuit of finding a yoga class six days a week, no easy challenge out here in the boonies. “I swear I am getting more stressed out in finding the classes than I was on the board,” she opined to us. “I am thinking about wearing my F*ck Yoga t-shirt, but out here in the pre-ironic world we live in, I doubt people would see it the way it was intended,” she said.
So on and on went the oft-repeated type of conversation between first world, upwardly-mobile women. How to alleviate stress, juggle responsibilities, yadda yadda. And then the conversation came around to me.
“Buck rags,” I said. “I worry about buck rags, and the state of estrus in my goats. THAT is what makes me both stressed out and sanguine.”
Being so intimately involved with the reproduction cycles of one’s animals is, if nothing else, very grounding. And humbling.
You want milk, you need your milking animal to get pregnant and give birth. No way around it, really; and somehow, this one factoid certainly escapes most (bipedal, big-brained) milk-drinkers. So, yes, estrus, parturition, colostrum and lactation…this is my world. All for a refrigerator full of quart jars labeled B, K, and Y (buttermilk, kefir and yogurt, respectively) and a big water-filled tub housing refreeze-able ice packs and bobbing half-gallon jars of milk. A basement cheese cave filled with wheels of cheddar, colby, gouda, parmesan and swiss…and another root-cellar cave filled with molding camembert and brie-type cheeses. And another closed tub hiding elsewhere with molding blues. And me, doing the milking dance early every morning, rain, show or shine. Is it worth my time and effort?
Well, I am the least stressed-out person that I know. Am I advocating a home dairy as a method of stress relief? Maybe yes, maybe no. But I do know something: it beats yoga.