Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March 16: Turkish Delight

Back when I was milking, I had my share of frustrations. Cow hoof in bucket, cow kicked over bucket, cow kicked me, cow didn't want to come, cow didn't give much milk.

Although Charity still doesn't come readily, she stands well. Bianca, though, has been giving Phil fits. We ran out of alfalfa cubes (forgot to get them in town on Thursday), and Bianca has been letting Phil know her displeasure at the lack of pampering. Whenever he gets kicked in the head, he lets her go. She missed the Saturday night milking and the Sunday morning milking because she was being too much of a pill.

She's not even a two gallon a day milker, so she's not going to be in dire straits by missing those two sessions. But it frustrated Phil.

We bought alfalfa in town, though, and by Sunday night, with treat in hand, Bianca was so ready to be milked that she started squirting milk as soon as Phil touched her udder. He said, "I was glad then that my curse of the morning didn't stick: 'May you get mastitis and die, you rotten animal!'"

Though I am not usually happy over the misfortunes of others, this was an affirming moment for me, actually. (And a bit humorous: not a common curse, certainly!) I had assumed that my frustrations over the milking were some deep-seated character flaw in me, and that unless I could learn to release the anger and frustration, I could not be a good farmer.

And though that might be true, I think it's also true to say that if even-tempered Phil can get furious with an ill-tempered animal intent on harm, I wasn't doing as bad a job as I assumed, either in my animal husbandry or in my emotional melt-downs.

I still have no desire to return to milking, but to have Phil say, even once, "I just don't want to milk right now"—it wasn't just me that struggled with irritation and annoyance.

This was a day of rejoicing for me in others ways. Caleb started to scootch for the first time, advancing on his belly by half-inches until he was a few feet from his starting point. He was in pursuit of his brothers' books.

A few weeks ago, after reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I had ordered some Turkish Delight (the food Edmund requests from the White Witch, when given the choice of anything). About a decade ago I found out that Turkish Delight was not, as I expected, some lovely caramel-chocolate creamy dream, but an over-sweet gelatinous mass, flavored with lemon or rose. If you can imagine eating sweet soap with the texture of thick tapioca pearls, you have no need to try it. (Really, it was bad enough I suspected that C.S. Lewis included that as a wink-wink joke: who could possibly want to eat a pound of this disgusting stuff?!)

Anyway. To allow the boys the full experience of the book, I ordered Turkish Delight. Sadly, when it arrived, even though it was made in Turkey, it had American style artificial colors and flavors (including the infamous Red Dye #40), and so we regretfully did not allow the boys to taste.

I shared it with some friends, though. One of those friends was shopping in Marshall's and found a box near the checkout, and when she checked the ingredients, it was colored with beet juice. And so the boys got to have a taste, and many people at church got to have a taste, and so we can all appreciate the story a bit more now. It was such a thoughtful gesture!

In the late afternoon, it started snowing. I meant to back the car up the driveway right away, but somehow it was not until well after dark that I headed out. Embarrassingly enough, I ended up well off the driveway, but I pulled forward and backed up more carefully.

When I checked my tire marks, to see where I had backed up, I was horrified to see that I almost hit our electrical box. In fact, I don't know how I missed it. My tire marks ended 18" from the box, but when I looked at the angle of the tires, and how far the rear of the car extended beyond the tires ... it made no sense. Another time to shake my head in thanksgiving. And ask Phil to move the car next time if it's really needed.

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