When I was younger, I was part of a local community "circus" group. Basically an after school group that taught kids how to perform circus acts such as juggling and riding unicycles - that sort of stuff. I did that for a few years and to my complete astonishment, became quite good at it! For someone who grew up as the butter fingered youngster of the family, my learning how to juggle was a serious achievement.
I never completely got past the juggling balls, although I could do it in a variety of ways - forwards, backwards and then pairing with another person - where you continue to juggle normally but at the same time you are throwing a ball out to your partner and catching the one they throw to you. It's like artwork, in a way, that takes serious concentration and coordination with your partner, however once you get into the rhythm of it, it's quite easy.
I say I never got past juggling balls because there are a vast amount of different things you can juggle - such as pins (imagine pins like in ten pin bowling). With those you can't just juggle them, you also spin each one 360 degrees while you're juggling - so it is much harder, and I seemed to have a bad habit of hitting myself in the head. I could juggle two - just. But no more than that. I guess if I had tried a little harder I might've gotten there eventually, but I taught myself how to handle spinning plates, which was much more fun.
I guess that's how I'm relating to life right now - a juggling act. And life starting on Monday will be like my attempting to juggle those pins - except they're fire pins, so have flames at one end. You don't want to catch the wrong end, however you're standing on a bed of hay, so dropping one would be a serious offense too. The only way to pass the test is to juggle perfectly, confidently and not think about it.
Yesterday I had my final sleep in, without even realising it. Monday was my last full day off - without my realising it. I kinda don't like how it happened, because if I had known it was happening, I mighta put in a bit more effort into that day off and the sleep in yesterday. But oh well, such is life. We've got another farm on the booking list now, which means a heck of a lot more work to be done, and more work was booked in last weekend - so we're going to be some busy beavers and tired cookies once this is over!
This week I'm milking twice each day, with some fencing in between milkings - a residential job in town, made up of square posts concreted in, with rails and pailings - it should look a treat once it is finished, but it takes a decent amount of time as you would expect. Yesterday most of the posts were concreted in, and today the rails are being started. I'll post some pictures once it is done, if I remember!
However we start our annual calf rearing job on Monday, and that will carry on until the end of September - hence the reason for no more sleep ins or days off in the near future for me. Unless I get sick and I'm basically dying, then I might get a bit of time off! For the next three weeks at least, I'll be milking every morning, catching up with Mum and feeding the calves on another farm, and then heading back to milk in the afternoon.
Although there are a few days where I'm filling in at another farm to feed their calves - which happens to be the farm where, two years ago, I reared all of their calves on my own for 9 weeks. The fact that they've called me back is absolutely brilliant. I was quite literally burning with pride for my good work, that they trust me to come back again. Rearing calves isn't something anybody takes lightly, and not something you hand over the reins to just anybody. So yes, I'm stoked. I said, "I get to feed my grand-calfies!" Because the calves I reared two years ago, are calving for the first time this year.
So the schedule is looking hectic, thankfully the milking jobs I'll be covering aren't that long, however the bulk of them are 5am starts, and I finish just after 7. We've come up with a more suitable plan for our calf rearing though, for this year. After three years of doing it on this particular farm, I don't know why we've never thought of it before! Starting later in the morning. We used to start at 6:30-7, so we were completely finished by the time the farmer needed his four wheeler back, which meant feeding calves in the dark, rushing, all that sort of drama that isn't necessary.
Why have we never thought of this earlier?!
There are sale days though, where the calves need feeding super early so they can be sent to the sales in time, but other than that - it's going to be easy. I'm sure of it. Once the calves are fed I can come home, have some lunch and then head back out in time for afternoon milkings.
So I don't believe it will be as much of a juggling act as I thought - it might be that scenario where you juggle in pairs, so you can't look away for a second. But I don't believe, at the moment anyway, that it will be as scary as juggling the pins!
Although I still think I will go hypothetically hysterical at one stage or another - but hey, my hours are going to be good, if that is a good point to mention. I can't wait to meet my grand-calfies on Tuesday! Oh, and my other grand-calfies and great grand-calfies on Monday lol. Can you keep up?!