If you have a boatload of goats to care for, and you are in the middle of winter fighting artic blasts, trying to get feed and unfrozen water to them, while also kidding and bottle feeding in Jan. and Feb., you find yourself doing very odd things in the bit of “extra” time you have. Well, like fixing supper at 7 a.m.
I have a schedule to keep up on for a lot of things that need to be done each day. And, when winter hits, the time changes and you find yourself in the dark at 5 p.m. Now, if you are use to having supper at 4:30-5:00 p.m. and then head out to do evening chores, you find yourself in the dark with a cold winter wind blowing, snow and sleet more than likely hitting you, and you just feel plain miserable. I can take hard work, cold winter winds, sleet, snow, white-outs, whatever in the daylight, but just call me ol’ misery if it is dark out too.
Lee suggested this winter that as soon as he came in from work, we would head on out to do those evening chores and maybe, just maybe we’ll have a bit of daylight to encourage us. What a great idea. Unfortunately, that usually means we get back in by 8 p.m to eat supper and taking the time to fix a decent meal, well, supper could be at 9 p.m. and we are both pretty starved by then.
I have this bit of “free” time of the morning on my schedule from 6:30- until 8:30 a.m. before I have to go and bottle feed again and work on more chores. I’m up by 4:30 a.m. to start a fire in the upstairs wood stove, let the dog out and give him breakfast, then start heating up milk to take down to the bottle babies at the barn by 5:10 a.m. and then we start the morning feeding and watering. By 6:30 a.m. we are usually back in the house in time for Lee to go to work.
At that time I’ll eat breakfast, maybe wash a load of clothes, or vacuum, or do yesterday’s dishes, and then I also fix the day’s supper. This can be easily heated back up in the microwave when we finally do come back in that night.
Now to get by with eating supper so late, you have to plan ahead. Make sure you have some peanut butter and crackers made to snack on by 3 p.m. or you will be too weak from hunger to be of any good that evening while doing chores, until you can come in for supper.
I’ll have to admit that now I find it rather awesome to be out in the winter dark, snow blowing, Lee driving the tractor with the round bale to be set out, me in the RTV to open gates and help set the bales up with their cattle panel around them. There we are driving back and forth, headlights on, braving the elements, feeling cool (not cold, just feeling snazzy), seeing the little bit of road traffic slow down to watch our headlights as we work on the hills and on the flats setting out round bales. And, knowing, that when this is all over with and you get to go back into the house, supper is there, waiting to be heated up.
Feeling cool and awesome late at night with blowing snow, twelve degree temps, is this a bit odd to feel this way? Face it, if you have decided to be a goat farmer and it hasn’t chased you out after two years, just accept it, you are a bit odd. I think goat farmers are usually happy wacky people in their chosen profession of being a goat farmer. If you aren’t happy but still need to have goats around, then adapt. Change what you are doing so it is acceptable to you and makes you happy and the goats are well cared for.
I adjusted to being outside in the winter winds at night by simply knowing supper was already made, just needed to be heated in the microwave. Feed me some peanut butter and crackers at 3 p.m., then I’m good to go until supper at 8 p.m.
Right now at 7 a.m. I’m frying up some delicious chicken for tonight. True, the only problem with this is that I am wanting fried chicken for breakfast, so maybe a little nibble won’t be too detrimental to a traditional breakfast. But, supper will soon be ready for tonight. And, when the time changes to spring ahead and we get to eat at 4:30-5 p.m. before heading out to do the evening feeding with wonderful daylight until 7:30 p.m. and a little later on into the summer, we will adapt.
And, I’m thinking that maybe, sometime in the day when the time changes, if I feel like I might be too rushed to have supper on the table by 4:30-5:00 p.m., why not fix it during a “free” time during the day? There it is then, I can rush in at 4:15 p.m., heat it up and have it on the table. Yes, 7 a.m. suppers can be made very handy.