Let me introduce you to the most despised job on the farm. Deep cleaning the milk barn. It’s one of those jobs that has to be done every so often. If we want to stay on the “good” side of the inspector, we better follow rules. He’s a pretty “cool cat”, and I want to keep it that way. Just a little tidbit………..he loves cinnamon rolls and cookies. Ha ha ha 001.jpg     First thing after morning milking, we have to take apart all the milkers. We pull the old inflations out (the black rubber  liners) and soak the stainless steel parts in hot soapy water. This is not just any soap we’re using. This stuff will burn your skin and make everything super slick. It’s very potent! 003.jpg     While all the parts are soaking, Earl hooks up the high pressure washer and starts the dirty work. He calls it “blowing” out the barn. He sprays down the walls, ceiling, all the feeders inside and out, and the pipeline. We still feed in the barn and it gets pretty dusty in there. The inspector likes to take his handy dandy little flashlight and poke around in all the weird corners. So everything has to be cleaned. 010.jpg     All sparkly and clean. After everything soaks for a couple of hours, we have to hand scrub everything yet with a brush. The parts get what is called “milk stone” and they have to be scrubbed by hand to get it off. It’s a pain in the neck. I’m usually the one that has to do all the scrubbing while Earl is washing. The kids were all home and so I sent them high-tailing to the barn. It’s high time they learn how to scrub.004.jpg     After the scrubbing is finished, everything gets thrown into a bucket of rinse water. I tried acid but that wasn’t taking the soap off like I wanted and so I threw in a bunch of chlorine. Strong chlorine. This stuff cleans out your head of all cobwebs. It needs to be rinsed thoroughly or the parts will still be slick from the soap and the hoses will just slide off. Recipe for a disastrous milking. 013.jpg      Now it’s finally time to put everything back together again. We put brand new inflations (liners) into the milkers. Those are some tough dudes. Candace tried to pull them through and couldn’t quite get the job done. I tried too and had no luck.016.jpg      So we had to get some man power in there to help us out. I think I’m getting weaker in my old age. 018.jpg     Finally, we conquered the milker parts. They’re ready to be hung back up and go to work. Too bad they don’t stay nice and shiny. 020.jpg     Clyde came in to investigate and had to take his punishment from Candace. He’s such a hound.022.jpg     I know this does not look clean to a normal person, but it was. I promise. This all has to be done between the morning and evening milking. When we finally get it back together I just want to walk to the house and flop on the couch ……….but no, it’s time to milk again. Sometimes I wish I could get fired. 025.jpg     Sisters in the herd! They were discussing whose job it is to “splatter” all over the shiny new equipment. They look harmless and innocent here. Trust me, they’re not. They love to “stir the pot”. 027.jpg     And why does Clyde get to soak in the tub instead of one of us that actually did something today?! He just helps himself to the tub whenever he feels like it. He’ll sit there for a few minutes to cool off and then he’s off to chew on some varmint again. There’s something in the front yard beyond recognition. I’m pretty sure he knows all about it……………………..Carol