I am so proud and pleased that both my girls can milk!  Rose has gotten quite good at it.  I really think she could milk the goats all by herself if she wanted to.

We are planning a trip to France in May.  My great-aunt is getting very old, and I wanted to see her one more time.  Also, my cousin has children I’ve never met, and I would also love to take my children there to meet all of them, and to experience some of my favorite things about that area.  We have also planned to stay in St. Croix-aux-Mines, a little town very close to St. Marie-aux-Mines, where my great-grandmother was from.  We have arranged to stay with a dairy sheep farm and help out.  The wonderful farmer who will be hosting us also put in a request for me with the archives of St. Marie-aux-Mines to see if I have any family still living there.  The archivist sent me a link to records that have been kept that go way back.  Apparently they have records of my ancestors there that date from the late 1600’s.  So I am very curious to experience that part of the world that my family lived in for so long.

My mom will very kindly be taking over the farm for us.  We are planning on making it as easy as possible – all the animals will be penned up with hay, close by.  We have back-up help arranged for her.    But she will need to milk the goats.

She says she is excited to learn, and has come out a couple of times to see how it is done.  I’m glad, because I think the goats need to get used to her, or they will misbehave.  When Ethan tried milking them while I was taking a break after Clothilde was born, they were really bad for him and he ended up drying them off because they wouldn’t get in the milking stand or behave or anything (he has never liked them much, and apparently it’s mutual).

The first time was very hard for her.  She couldn’t get much milk out, and she was very slow.  But Rose helped the second time, and I think it inspired her.  She did much better.  There’s  nothing like watching someone much younger than you doing something to make you think you ought to be able to do it, too.

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