Five o'clock in the morning. That is the cats' potty hour. They are meticulous about covering their contribution, scratching, scratching, scratching litter until they're sure I'm awake. They also wake the chicks in the laundry room who begin to bang on their metal feed trough like prisoners raking a tin cup across the bars.
As long as I'm up, might as well get an early start on the day, right? With the onset of warm weather, it's best to get down to the barn before it gets too hot anyhow. That was the plan yesterday, and then it all went to hell in a hand-basket. Inga has been so into the routine that I hadn't needed to grab her collar; she'd come out of her stall and go right into the milking room. Not yesterday. She wouldn't come in and neither would Cindy. Frustrated, I made the mistake of going ahead and letting Esther and Tessie out so they could go get their alfalfa before bringing Sheila around. I shut Sheila into the milking room but didn't get her up on the stand. I ran back to get Esther and Tessie out of Sheila's stall (gate was open because Poppy dawdled). Sheila pushed her way out of the milking room and wouldn't go back in. Everyone was outside, no one would come in. I tried to coax someone, anyone, by shaking a bowl of grain. No takers. Well, yes, there was one. Not one to let food go to waste, Poppy volunteered. Nooo! The milkers have upped their production and all udders were full to capacity so walking away was not an option for me, although I was tempted. It seems that ignoring a goat is the best way to get her attention. Milling around and completely out of order, the girls finally gave in and came in one at a time. Inga, intended to be first, was the last to relent. Chores took a lot longer than anticipated.
To put the cap on the day, I needed to go grocery shopping. I'd told Earle, my milk customer, to come after 4:30. Earle is always late, so I wasn't worried when I got home at 4:36. Earle was waiting. I go grocery shopping maybe once a month. There were a few bags in the front cab and Earle asked if I'd like help. Hahaha! I opened the back cab and it was piled high, bag upon bag. "Why, yes, that would be great." Earle picked up a bag, said he was in a bit of a hurry, and we went in to conduct business. (I made numerous trips to the truck later.)
I fell asleep in the chair last night. "Early to bed, early to rise...makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." Hahaha!