I milked the goat again tonight. Yes, that is a sentence I never really dreamed I would say, let alone actually do. My dad keeps laughing at the evolution of his “suburban girl gone country” and my daily escapades.
Perhaps you’re thinking “how does one milk a goat?” Yes, I wondered the same thing. Why milk a goat? Well lots of reasons really, but none of which I’ve entirely figured out yet. You can drink goats milk, all animals like goats milk, goat cheese, goats milk soap, the possibilities are endless really. But the reality of milking this animal are far from the picturesque farm stories that one might envision. I perceived that this blessed animal would happily hop up on the little stand, I would gently attach this lovely Automatic Milker I bought on eBay, and gallons of milk would be retrieved. The reality is that this stubborn animal wants nothing to do with being milked, I drag her to the milk stand, attempt to pick up an animal that is the same weight as I am, she kicks at me while I struggle to attach suction tubes that she hates, and then I get … A trickle. Yes, after all the struggle, I literally get a few ounces out of this goat.
I thought it would take two days, but it took me two weeks of milking to get enough milk for a batch of soap. That was my one goal for the goat’s milk. That’s usual for me though. I seem to have major disparities between my perception and reality. I frequently imagine things going much smoother than they do. I also frequently imagine myself doing far more things than I have time to do, or am physically able to do. I truly hope my family laughs at me kindly. Then after several weeks of attempting to milk the one goat, she dried up and stopped producing milk. Just like that, done! A year of effort, and I got 4 weeks of a result! Again, par for my reality/perception difficulties.
Thankfully, after the several weeks of effort, the soap making endeavor commenced. As is typical, we ended up figuring out the recipe on the fly, guessing whether it was right, and hoping we didn’t burn ourselves with the lye. We ground of up oatmeal, sniffed some lavender oil, and measured out various oils. It didn’t end up looking perfect, but it works well, and smells great. At least we started, that’s my general goal with most things…start. Perfection and refinement can come later, the joy in discovering new things is enough for me right now.
With my slight soap success, I felt that I had reached a point of contentment with the goat. At least I got four weeks of milk out of her, at least I was able to do something small with her. But then, last Friday, we got another surprise. The ever pregnant goat, the one I’ve been expecting to deliver for 3 months, finally had a baby! And just like that, my hope is once again restored in my ability to get goat’s milk. Now if she would only cooperate and get up on the goat stand.