The Last Friday of March

Isn’t it something to think that 86 days have already passed in this year? The first quarter is coming to a close. It’s at this time that I sit down and have a hard look at my yearly goals and readjust. I think I’ll plan on doing that tomorrow. We’ll see.

Estrella gave around eleven liters this morning. Her production isn’t climbing as sharply as before, but I expect she hasn’t reached her peak. I think I more or less have her trained. Last evening she had a lot of flies on her, and she badly wanted to kick them off. One time she actually lifted her foot to scratch her belly, but then she slowly and carefully put her foot down, touching the edge of the bucket, but side-stepping so as not to knock it over. Wasn’t that sweet of her? I told her so when I gave her neck scratches afterward. She really likes neck scratches.

The Greek yogurt turned out perfectly. At last! A clear success. I sweetened it only slightly so we can use it as plain yogurt or we can sweeten it to eat or even flavor it. I like plain yogurt and honey on granola. I sense that dish in my near future.

I gave Lamar’s some yogurt I had held back from the Greek batch. We’ll see what they think of it. Our children have all said they love it, so I’m hopeful. People in town are often asking if I can make and sell yogurt. They love it for its health benefits, real and imagined. If I can get the process down pat, this may be my first product to sell.

I started another batch of yogurt today, using the culture from yesterday’s batch. I decided to pasteurize this batch, which I have not done with any of the others so far. I’m curious to see what it does to the whole process, including the taste. This batch will be regular yogurt. I’ll drain off some of the whey to make it slightly thicker than it naturally is, but it’ll still be pretty smooth.

Our bags of trash have been piling up for a good while. I haven’t had a good chance to burn what I could, but today seemed to be the perfect opportunity. Burning trash is not an easy ask at this elevation, but I did manage to get a fire going! Thankfully, it has gotten hot enough that most things are burned away now. Anyone have success burning baby diapers? I’m trying today because we’re not sure when the next trash pick-up will be.

Steph decided to do Dane’s school with him this morning, rather than in the afternoon because she said he’s been surly. I asked, “Surly Temple?” which made her bust out with a (ladylike) guffaw. It seemed he did do better today.

The girls and I are still on the afternoon schedule. Anne is determined to get another set of bonus points today. Abbey claims she is determined, but I have my doubts as to whether her day has come.

While I finished up the yogurt process, I carried Walter around on my front. He is almost at the point of crawling and gets easily frustrated that he’s not actually moving. But when he’s being carted around, he’s cheerful. I could watch him while carrying on my work while Steph finished up Dane’s schooling and prepped lunch. When we all work together….

Lamar has had more communication from the Embassy. He actually saw the plane going over toward Cusco this morning to collect US citizens for repatriation. It looks like they will not be on that plane, but more are scheduled. The time is getting close.

It rained all night last night. I did not fall asleep until after midnight, but the rain was soothing to my spirit. It was gentle and steady, refreshing. I had to think how like the Lord such a rain is. He is always full of comfort, ready to cleanse, eager to bring growth in us. It was a blessing to rest in His arms last night.

The rain carried on awhile this morning. The children thought it was thrilling to put out the goats in the rain while the sun shone through from the east. You can find joy even in the rain if you will but look for it.

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