Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Life on The Farm 11/07/11: What Day Is This?

Madison Blue Cheese
This was a busy week. Outdoor farmer’s market has ended for the season, so we used our newly freed-up time to make cheese twice.   

I know that sounds like next to nothing, but it’s double the work and highly disruptive to our routine.

Plus, it fuddles the knowing of what day it is – because a cheesemake sets the pace of waking hours that precede and follow it: prepping, turning, piercing, salting, cleaning, packaging, all according to schedule. 
Cutting Cheese Curd
During the dark of morning chores, while waiting for curd to set, I got to thinking about how I could better keep track of the overlap of days.  

Around the age of five, Wednesday had been “three sleeps” until Cartoon Day, and Monday “two sleeps” after Cartoon Day.

Centering life and expectations around sugary cereal and Hanna-Barbera  – it doesn’t get any better than that!

My adult life is a complicated collection of “cartoon days”  – and I’m on a rotating fourteen-day schedule, instead of the usual five-work/two-off or seven-straight on repeat.

As you know, we have a weekly Market Day for six months of the year.  For the past twelve seasons I spend one day prior to farmer’s market cutting and pricing cheese, and use the following afternoon to fill and bill out meat orders, while my husband Dan loads the truck. 

And then there’s Banking Day, which happens whenever there are four or more checks in the house - about every three weeks - and I use it as a floating excuse to get off the farm for a few hours.

Wendy Wednesday is named after a waitress at the My-T-Fine II diner in Swanton.  When she switches shifts, both my husband Dan and I have to ask the owner what day it is when we walk through the door for lunch (after making cheese).

Vet Day is every Friday - we pick up used cardboard boxes, ice packs and packaging material, plus medicines from the Northwest Veterinary Associates in St. Albans.   All our shipping materials are previously used, and generously saved by them for our needs.

Baby Backs on the Traeger Pig
Barbecue Day (Sunday), is when we light up the grill and decompress for a few hours between chores.  Sometimes we rent a movie. Sometimes we invite guests.  Last weekend, we did both.

Gluten-free Cadbury Carmello Brownies
Mondaysunday happens every two weeks – even if we make cheese twice.  It’s an open Monday of no special assignment.   I watch horror movies, cook, write, browse and shop online. I do whatever I please, all by myself – plus the cats - though they aren’t much good at anything except for bringing in an endless supply of dead mice from the garage

Ten Kilo Gore-Dawn-Zolas
For the next week or so, our fixed and untethered days are in flux; there’s obsessive double and triple checking, running back and forth to the farm because we forgot something, lots of cursing, and unwanted changes to our sacrosanct eating schedule. 

If we can’t make it for Wendy Wednesday, there’s always Frankie Friday to look forward to.