Wednesday, July 11, 2007

yo-ho, yo-ho, a sweaty life for me

We're starting to come up for air, finally. Babies are very time-consuming, but it takes older children to make you appreciate how easy a new baby really is. It's so nice to have a child who lies still and doesn't color her face with marker, or dump weed-killer all over the hay, or throw all the eggs into the chicken run to be eaten by the chickens, or take 40-plus minutes to feed and water the goats because of all the time spent fighting, or throw rocks through the windows, or spray shaving gel all over the bathroom . . . I could go on like this for hours. And keep in mind that all of these things except for the window-rocking have taken place within the last three days. They wear me to a frazzle.

But! On to other topics. We have taken Violet and Nona to the chop, and are just waiting for the packing plant to call us and tell us that our white packages are ready. I'm curious to see how they taste. If they make decent eating then we'll go full speed ahead with our plan to breed all the does to the Boer buck to get some meat. And hopefully next year I'll do a better job of milking. This year has been too loopy, and frankly, I am too tired from taking care of my own milking situation to worry about the goats.

Next week I'm teaching a cheesemaking class to a group of women in our ward. I think I'll do a chevre, a mascarpone/creme fraiche, a mozzarella, and a queso blanco. I'm going to make some of them this week to remind myself of the process--chevre and mascarpone I don't need to worry about, but it's been a while since I've made mozzarella or queso blanco.

We bought a used swamp cooler on Monday. I kind of like the smell of them--they make me feel like I'm on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. And although they don't do as well at cooling as A/C, they also don't create urban heat islands, so there you go. We still haven't hooked it up because we've been too busy, but hopefully we can get it taken care of tomorrow morning. The temps have been in the upper nineties here, and it hasn't been getting cool at night, so we're even sweating in our basement coolness lair. Sucks, dude.

Some exciting news--we have a cantaloupe fruit on our cantaloupe plant. That is a first for us, and we're hoping not to destroy it with our ineptitude. The watermelon is still barren, but is vining all over the garden, and the early prolific straightneck squash is all of those. The patty pans should be ready in a couple of days, and we have some nice big green tomatoes. This is the golden time for gardens--we're going to be lousy with produce. Plus we've gotten a couple of nice batches of cherries from the fruit stand, and apricots are up next.