Steptember is coming along nicely, the weather has turned nutty and life in general is pretty darn busy, but hey, things are well!
Steptember wise - I seem to manage my 10 thousand steps each day, I think there was one day where I didn't get it? But typically with feeding the calves, and/or milking every day, it's a pretty easy target to meet. Especially if I add in running up our flight of stairs in the house a good few times, or jumping on the treadmill which is really convenient - I gained an extra 2 thousand steps for 15 minutes walking.
It's also helpful that my third study course arrived in the mail yesterday - a week late, but it means walking and studying for a standard on pasture is pretty simple! The next stage of Steptember is beating Andrew at his 18 thousand that he did yesterday, I mean, come on! haha :D
We're half way through our eighth week feeding calves, and hopefully the end is in sight. There are still about 40 cows left to calve, some of them I'd bet aren't even pregnant or they're weeks away. Typically we're getting two or three newbies in each day, but I'd hazard a guess that we don't get any for tomorrow. And you do have to feel sorry for those cows who have dead calves, we drove past them this morning and the mother was looking at us, then at the calf, then back again, as if she's asking us to do something - I hate it when they do that. It puts you on a major guilt trip that for once you can't do anything for her.
Although I enjoy feeding them, I'll be glad to see the end of the job for this season. It's good being able to work with Mum every morning, both of us know what the other is doing, both of us reading each others' mind - "That makes 90 so two more tens" we both said in unison this morning, then, "get out of my head!" we both say again. It's great, that. However it's only so often that I enjoy getting myself showered in old, sour milk, because when one has a jug of milk, then drops it straight back into the drum by mistake - it does get a bit messy. But Mum's always saying - "it's good for the skin!" Ha ha ha.
Also these days I'm milking quite a lot - it's funny how the rush starts at the end of August/beginning of September time, calving is mostly finished, sharemilkers are beginning to want a little time off here and there because the work is getting slightly easier. You also have workers being made redundant, or staff getting sick or injured, it's getting pretty busy in that sector, but it's good to be able to do it.
It's also nice to be able to help people out, and even amongst all the stress of being over worked and under paid, the weather turning nasty from the first day of spring and life in general being a stressful place, everyone is stoked to see us. I think it's good for them to see different people for a change, tell us their calving stories and general issues - knowing that we won't pass it on but it's someone new to talk to. Which is good, as it keeps people level headed, the most important thing!
That does however mean that we are working, working and working. But for us, it's good. We're on the right side of the farming sector lately, and the more continuous flow of work we get, the better. We've never been busier!
The weekend was awesome as I milked at one of my favourite sheds, got delivered a nice hot drink by the farmer during milking - hot drinks in the morning during milking is typically the norm at this farm. It's awesome!
This time was a little different, he didn't take milk from the vat, or a jug in the fridge or however they normally do it - he handed me the mug and told me to choose a cow. hehe, it was a crack up, holding a hot mug under an udder, and hand milking the cow until there was enough milk in it. I've never done anything like it before, always joked that I wanted to, but never did. And I had a bit of a flash back to being a kid - about 3 or 4, one Christmas morning Dad had a bowl of cornflakes or Rice bubbles, can't remember, for Nick and I. Got the milk straight from the cow and sent us off to have our breakfast somewhere. As I think I mentioned to Andrew the other day, it was back in the good old days where little kids may as well have crawled amongst the cows without OSH calling a red card! Hot milk on cereal isn't great though, but for the hot drink it went all white and frothy!!
Currently, life is pleasant, a little on the wet side, but that's spring for you in Northland! This is the time of year we catch as much water as we can to prepare for the summer drought. Paddocks are jolly muddy, but that's OK as we don't often have to deal with them too much. Also I mentioned in my last post that I was wanting something to occupy my spare (ha!) time with. Usually I'd find myself a good book, get out my cross stitching or if I was exceedingly bored - have a play around on the keyboard (musical one, that is). But my mind is too far away to try reading lately, my hands are surprisingly coping quite well this winter and so far aren't coated in the usual eczema and split joints so I'm not risking the cross stitching cotton - sadly my hands will turn into a withered mess after handling it :(
SO, I discovered the new adult colouring in books! Sounds odd, right? My brother jumped to the conclusion that it would contain R18 images - really?! -_- But it's just highly detailed pictures, that are quite nice to just DO. Sitting there, colouring, colouring, colouring. I loved it as a kid, so it's nice to do a bit here and there and just take some time. :)