Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Learning to be a Farmers Wife

The afternoon was spent getting  everything in order and by evening I was happy with our cozy little home. The only problem was I had to walk through the house when ever I needed something in the refrigerator or go outside but worst of all there was only one bath tub which was right outside his parents bedroom door with the lock on the wrong side of the door for me. I was glad we would only have to live like this for several weeks.

LV had told me he would be ready for me to come out to the barn around four where he would teach me how to assemble the milking equipment which would be my job everyday. I kept an eye on the clock and made sure I was ready a little before four. He patiently explained all the confusing hoses and parts that had to be assembled correctly before we could milk the cows. I wasn't sure how long it was going to take me to remember everything but determined to do my best.

Once everything was ready we carried the pails with the milkers attached on top over to the barn. The cows looked huge compared to the sweet little Jersey I had been used to. LV walked along telling me all the cows names until my head felt dizzy as I tried to store all the information.

Going to the end of the rows we set the pails down. He showed me how to prepare each cow before we could attach the milkers and then swung one of the pails in and set it beside a cow. The long hose that I had attached and coiled around the lid and handles had to be uncoiled and attached to a little valve. The lever was turned and immediately the milkers started pulsating. LV showed me how to put the milker on the cow. Handing me the next pail he told me to put it on the next cow. I tried stepping over the gutter and swinging the pail down next to the cow just like he had. Once the milker was pulsating I started feeling a little bit pleased, squatting down next to the cow to attach the milker things stopped going as well. The milker was determined to not stay where it belonged and fell clumsily to the ground and started sucking straw from the floor as fast as it could. I felt like a huge doofus as LV had to take it apart and clean it before we could continue.

He was a patient teacher and by the time the chores were done I had mastered the proper technique of handling milkers and was starting to enjoy it. All that was left for me to do was take everything apart and wash it really well and then go into the house to make supper while LV finished up the chores.


  1. Precious.

    There was/is something so rich about farm life. I realize it's terribly hard work, but I wonder if we couldn't use a bit of that old-fashioned kind of hard work in today's quick-fix realm?

    Thank you for sharing your stories. The word pictures you paint allowed me to learn right alongside you. I'm just grateful it's a virtual learning :)


  2. Wow what a cool achievement! I've never milked anything but a carton but I really enjoyed reading your experience - thanks!

  3. Nice to have a patient husband, isn't it?

    I have chuckle though, I would have loved to see you working the milkers for the first time!

    *must say, I don't know the first thing about them, and I'm sure I would have looked more silly than you felt that day!*

  4. Another very interesting post, indeed! What an operation to help your husband run. I've milked dairy goats and made cheeses, but I've always really wanted a lil Jersey.

  5. Another very interesting post, indeed! What an operation to help your husband run. I've milked dairy goats and made cheeses, but I've always really wanted a lil Jersey.

  6. I wouldn't mind milking a cow once, but every day at 4?? Well, I guess you get used to it and when you're first married everything's fun! ♥

  7. I help milk on the occasion too, with modern machinery is not much different.

  8. One question though. Did you ever go visiting family far away and if you did who took care of the farm? Just a bit curious. Blessings, Joanne

  9. Very interesting! I've never seen a milking machine for cows. Though I grew up in rural area my family were oystermen. But, my great-grandmother had chickens, ducks, geese, etc. I used to love feeding the chickens and gathering eggs when visiting them. We all had vegetable gardens.

  10. Good morning everyone. Ive never used milking machines, but i did milk a cow by hand over in Ohio at a Amish dairy. This farmer at the time still milked by hand, one of the very few but that was in the mid 1990s, so im very sure hes using milking machines now. Farming is tough and i have alot of respect for those that work the land. Richard. Lancaster pa area

  11. You need to watch the old TV show Green Acres, from the 60s!

    And speaking of animals, Happy Presidents Pets Day - the day after Presidents Day, as I like to call it. In the US, of course we love our presidents..... pets. See my blog if you’re in the mood for a good ol' irreverent howl.

  12. I am trying to catch up on some of your posts and am in awe of you! What a wonderful farmers wife you are! And what a patient loving husband you have!!


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