The days leading up to weaning day are pretty busy in their own right, but they are really nothing compared to the day we actually wean. On weaning day the pasture is a happening place – and so is my kitchen. Yesterday was weaning day and I took a few notes to give you an idea of just what I mean. So, without further ado, here’s the play-by-play of weaning day in the life of this ranch wife.
4:30 – The alarm went off and I jumped out of bed – but not really, “groggily rolled out of bed” is probably a more accurate description of how I really started my day.
4:35 – Coffee… “First I have the coffee, then I do the things.” – pretty much sums it up.
4:40 – While grating potatoes for the hash brown, egg, and cheese casserole I had planned for the weaning crew breakfast, I got a little close and nicked my thumb. It wasn’t that bad, but still – ouch!
5:00 – I cooked the hash browns, sausage, and bacon. Then I carefully cracked eight eggs into a bowl and beat them. Once all of the ingredients were ready to go, I assembled the casserole and put it in the oven to bake.
6:00 – Just before I went outside to pick the rosemary and basil that I needed for the roast rub, Tenley woke up. I got her setup with some PBS Kids and proceeded to pick herbs and make the rub.
6:15 – I am finding that it is much easier if I just pick up as I go. I am a relatively messy cook, and things can get a little ugly by the end of a crew day. So, I started picking up my breakfast mess.
6:25 – The breakfast casserole was done. So out of the hot oven and down to the cool basement oven it went to rest and stay warm until it was time to serve.
6:30 – The first roast got a thorough rub down with the garlic and herb rub and promptly went in the oven.
6:35 – After I got the bacon for the broccoli salad started in the frying pan, I began chopping broccoli for the broccoli salad. And for some reason, I had Dana Carvey’s SNL song, “Choppin’ Broccoli”, running through my head…
7:00 – The baby woke up. So, I fed her, changed her, and set in her entertainer before I finished throwing the salad together.
7:15 – With breakfast done, the first roast roasting, and the salad all thrown together and chilling, I took a short break to share the post about last year’s weaning on Facebook. Then I headed upstairs to wake Tripp up. Anyone who has ever had to wake him up knows what an adventure this can be. The kid doesn’t wake up well. So, you can imagine my delight when I found him laying already awake in his bed.
7:30-8:30 – This hour – huge blur. I know that I looked for some batteries, made another pot of coffee, loaded the car, took the roast out of the oven, got all three kids loaded up to take breakfast out, and somehow managed to hold on to my sanity, but the details as to what happened when are fairly fuzzy.
8:35 – With the car packed, we headed to the pasture to serve breakfast.
9:00 – I loaded up the kids, and the remnants of breakfast, and headed back to the house.
9:10 – Upon arrival back at home, I did my chicken chores. And as I was finishing up in the brooder house, I breathed a sigh of relief. My reinforcements (also known as my friend, neighbor, fellow ranch wife, and creator of BottomsUp products – Lacey, and her two girls) had just pulled in.
9:30 – I sliced the first roast, weighed the meat, and decided I had better make the second roast that I had thawed.
9:45 – The second roast was in the oven, and I finally got the chance to sit down for my morning milk expression session. Not going to lie, I was starting to get pretty miserable (sorry for the TMI).
10:00 – We are in the process of getting the baby on a bottle. But since she all but refuses to take a bottle from me, Lacey attempted to feed her. And, I got the bigger kids set up to play outside and jump on the trampoline.
10:15 – Because things were going so smoothly in the pasture, the ETC (estimated time of completion) moved up by a few hours. As a result, my plan to serve lunch in the pasture was null and void, meaning I was serving in my house… This is the point where Lacey and I went into beast mode and started cleaning like mad women. I’m confident that if had not been for her help (and her girls keeping my big kids company), I would have only completed only the cooking or the cleaning – not both. THANK YOU (that’s a big thank you, in case you were wondering), Lacey and girls!
11:00 – As the second roast was coming out of the oven to rest, the preparation of the sandwich fixin’s (sautéed onions, mushrooms, and jalapenos) began.
11:30 – Lacey got to work toasting the buns. Meanwhile I fed the baby a little snack and laid her down for a nap.
11:45 – As I sliced the second roast, Lacey had sandwich assembly in full swing – toasty bun, tasty provolone, mouthwatering roast beef, wrapped in foil, and into the roaster for some melty goodness.
12:00 – Out the kitchen window we saw the crew coming up the walk, and into beast mode we went again getting the serving line and table set up.
12:30 – After the crew washed up, and we had a prayer, dinner was served.
1:30 – The crew headed back out to pick up the portable panels that made up the weaning corrals, and clean-up was underway in the house as well.
2:00 – Lacey went home to check their pairs, and her girls stayed and played until their dad was done helping pick up panels.
2:30 – The baby woke up – hungry. After she had her snack, I sat down for a bit to write a few notes on the day, listen to the laughter coming from outside, and update my Shop a bit.
3:15 – The girls’ dad came and picked them up. And, Tripp and I headed out to water flowers and take the chicken scraps out. I think the hens really enjoy big cooking days on account of all the scraps they get. We also have broiler (meat producing) chickens now, so while we were outside we went ahead and did the afternoon broiler check too.
4:00 – I turned Wild Kratz on for the big kids and topped the baby off with another snack before laying her down for a second nap.
4:30 – Preparation for supper began with fixing the delicious herb salad that served as a topping for our steak sandwiches.
5:00 – Tenley had fallen asleep while Lacey’s girls were still here. She finally woke up with a fierce hankering for some Frozen. So, after I brought the baby downstairs (they both woke up about the same time), I went to the car, got the movie, and let her watch it while I finished supper.
5:45 – Tom returned from the pasture, where he had spent the afternoon settling the newly weaned cow and calves. We ate supper and talked about how the day had gone, both in the pasture and at the house. It was a pretty good day all around.
6:30 – Tom headed back out to check on the dry cows. I cleaned up supper and gave the baby a bath.
7:00 – I wrote a few more notes on the day and started my homework for a training I am attending at the end of the week.
7:30 – With one of my kids (and by “one of my kids”, I really mean my husband) asleep in the chair, I got the other three kids ready for bed. Fortunately, Tom woke up just in time for the important part – the tucking in.
8:00 – We came back downstairs at which point Tom promptly fell back asleep in his chair, while I started typing up this post.
8:30 – I went upstairs for some much needed time in the rain locker, otherwise known as the shower.
9:00 – Smelling good and feeling fresh, I settled in to watch the latest installment of my Monday night obsession – Castle. And immediately after Castle was over, I fell asleep in my chair.