I don't know anyone else who has a lamb in their living room at the moment, but over the course of the week Rocket has become another part of our normal. He's slotted in around our activities and we've had to slot in around him too.
It struck me whilst I was milking Missy this morning that I was actually milking my own cow. Oh my gosh, I'm milking a cow were the words that literally went through my brain. I wonder what it is that makes us all of a sudden realise what is truly happening in a moment, as though we didn't quite realise it before?
Since Missy calved, milking has just become part of the everyday once again. It's almost like we never stopped (aside from my aching arms and hands that for the first 5 or so days told how used to not milking they had once again become).
As I warmed the large pot of milk for my first batch of cheese for the year, I realised how relaxed I was about it this time. After milking just once, this second time around feels so easy. There's no wondering if I'm doing it right, if I'm milking out her udder properly. There's no race to finish before Missy finishes her food. I'm the one waiting for her to finish.
I was surprised and so pleased that first afternoon I sat down to milk to discover that my hands hadn't forgotten what to do. Milk went shooting into the bucket with that familiar zing against the metal and I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.
|Freshly pressed raw milk Haloumi waiting for the final stage of the process - cooking in very hot whey for 45 minutes|
Today has been the first calm day I've had in over a week. Last week we lost chickens to predators (I've never lost birds until recently for the whole 8+ years we've had them), I lost lots of time to the care of Rocket (and a night or two of sleep), I didn't get breakfast until after midday most days and to top it off one of my 6 month old ewes decided to become a mother, even though I wouldn't have bred her until the very end of the year. (She broke in to the paddock with the ram and even though we split them up pretty quickly I'm afraid it might be too late....I guess I'll find out in about 5 months time).
I'm not complaining, or maybe I am, but when I re-read the beginning of this post I realised it sounded really wonderful and I don't like giving others dreaming of this life false impressions. It can be lovely and it can be awful.
I've wanted to wash my hands of the whole lot this past week. And at the same time I've felt so satisfied when I fill bottles with fresh milk and watch Rocket skipping around the yard.
I guess what it all boils down to is that whatever life you chose to lead, it's going to have it's ups and downs. There's going to be seasons of calm and seasons of chaos. Some things you'll do for a little while and love and then they just won't fit in any more, and you'll find new things along the way too.
It's just the ebb and flow of life, and we've just got to roll with it.
I'd love to know what's part of your normal.
Happy new week,
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