Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Colouring In

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. :)


  1. Haha, what did I tell you? Come lambing, Steptember becomes literally a walk in the park... Today is only shaping up to just over 15 though, so that's a bit better. Then tomorrow should be a bit more, then the day after a bit more, as the sheep get further and further from the house But yesterday, that was the day I was sitting on 10,000 before lunch... :P

    Haha, hand milking a cow... Must be a rarity for you, I guess... :P hehe, drinking milk straight from the cow, now that is just... I salivate just thinking of it... I know one farmer round here has a cat go milking with him, and the cat will sit by the bucket, dip its paw in, then lick it's paw, and repeat that over and over... We once had a cat that when it found the bucket sitting waiting to be feed to calves, he'd clean all the cream off it the same way... :P

    1. I think Steptember was designed for office workers, because they quote that they typically only walk 3000 steps a day o.O
      10 thousand before lunch, gosh.... I've got no chance!

      It is a rarity! Machines all the way usually :P There was a video of a person hand milking a cow, and a pure white cat was doing a mere-cat impersonation on it's hind legs underneath the cow, and drinking milk as it was blasted towards its mouth, it was super cute :)

  2. 3K? Lol I wouldn't make even that most days :P My furthest walk is usually down the hallway...haha

    Hot milk straight from the cow? Don't tell my mum, she'll go get one...she's all about saving electricity right now so that would save boiling milk :P hahaha

    Man you can still colour in for hours at a time? My hand gets so sore nowadays... :/

    1. lol, 3000 ONLY??? You gotta be kidding... 2:37pm, haven't had lunch (but all 16 lambs have), 11266. Probably won't get many this afternoon, as at this stage it looks like I'll be lying on my back fixing a washing machine... :P

      Although, we're still dropping down aye, from about 700th to 800th, so some people must be doing an awful lot more!!!

      Hehe, I've heard about cats doing that, but never seen it myself... Would be kinda cute I admit... :P

      PS Do you get all the things about finding maps and going through supermarkets? What are they about???

    2. Bee, we should've signed you up to the challenge!!! :D

      Yep, hot milk - hehehe, I can imagine you guys having a house cow on your lawn, in suburbia ;)
      Yeah, they hurt like heck after a while, but just keep going anyway...better to use my hands now before they go arthritic in my old age haha :P

    3. Andrew, yep only 3000 - crazy right? (it was stated somewhere when I signed up..) But I can imagine it, because when Mum is busy in the office all day she does obviously struggle to get many steps. So not all that surprising. Not everyone is as blessed as us, being able to feed lambies or calves every day! lol

      Yeah, I might get hold of your parents and tell them I'll pay them big money if they tie you up and refuse to let you work, just so I can catch up on steps!! I'm getting 12 thousand lately, but I do have to try and do extra walking! Yeah, we are dropping. Also due to us not getting any more sponsors...


      Yep, I see all that too - I think it's just them and their interactive side to it. Is kinda odd, but haha :P

    4. Haha, they need to come check out here then. 7:00 and I've just walked in the door, now how many steps do you think that makes? :P

      Haha, I'll tell them that... They won't they need me to help with lambing, feeding all 25 little tikes... :P

      You and I are carrying them team a bit, you know, between us we get almost another 10000 steps!!!

    5. I wouldn't even want to know how many!!

      25 now, wow, getting a fair few..do you still have Tipitoru?

      We are, true that. But we are the young ones - to be expected!! :P lol

    6. Funny, how things happen. That day I said I wouldn't get so many, well, Dad and I had to go and catch a sheep that afternoon, so suddenly I ended up with an extra few thousand... :P

      29, although 2 were fostered. 30 is the most I've had to feed in one session so far. Emails and blog posts are getting almost ignored, occasionally I manage to squeak in time for quick comments... :P Even just recording steps is too long sometimes!!! :P Tipitoru is here still, and doing fine... I'm almost serious when offering him away though, because round here, boy lambs don't last long, and he is just so tame and cute...

      Haha, yeah, well. Even still... :P

    7. huh, give me some sheep ;)

      2 were fostered...back onto another sheep you mean? Yeah well, I would take him....but...lol

      I'll struggle to get 8000 today...I got an impromptu sleep in, so didn't work half the day....lucky, but unlucky at the same time! :P I couldn't imagine being that busy every day though - I don't think we were that busy even when we were on the farm every single day. The odd day would be a disaster, but typically we got an hour or so off a couple times a day...

    8. Yeah, when a sheep loses its lamb(s), we foster another one on if we can, to drink her milk and not ours... :P Not to mention, lambs always do better on a sheep...

      Yeah, well, it only lasts a few weeks, thankfully, then the day after, there's just this massive sleep in... :P

      Hehe, also, I was thinking, for getting sponsers... You should go onto Life FM's fb page, and just ask... You'd probably get some... :P

    9. Haha that's the good thing for you guys!! That's the issue with us on so many different farms at the moment...you can start calving at the beginning of July ish, and across all the different places it is finished up any time from end of Sept - end of Oct...and then mating starts, and EVERYONE wants time off...except for us as we're covering for them! -_-

      Oh right, there's an idea. Watch this space, I'll see what I can do. :)

    10. Yeah, it is. Lambing is spread out pretty far nation wide, I mean, some big farm blocks organize to lamb all year round, but for us personally, you really only have 3 weeks of intensive lambing, with an extra week either side, and that's it. Calving and docking getting intertwined are the next hardest thing, really...

      That is the trouble with your line of work aye... You work most when everyone else is off napping...

      Yeah, well, I just thought. Worth a try, any way, and if you write it the right way, who knows!!! :P

  3. Ah you guys are late calvers..interesting, there's a few people around this way who start quite a bit later, would be easier that's for sure, missing out the best of winter!


    Yeah I messaged them today, now I've just got to see if they're interested :)

    1. Yeah, well ince we want the calves rather than the milk, we give the calves the best conditions to grow in. Since they hang around for 3 years anyway, it doesn't really matter if they arrive 3 months earlier... :P

      Oh well, see how it goes. Worst case scenario, we're no worse off!!! :P