I realize you are all tired of hearing about milking a cow, but I have one last comment to make. Rosie seems to have settled in nicely to our routine and we have a LOT of milk, which is great. We keep Poppy in her own pen overnight, so morning milkings are the most successful and the evening ones are really just to empty her out for the long, calf-less night ahead. Despite my repeated moans, "My hands aren't getting any stronger! I can't go any longer now than I could two weeks ago!", I think I am getting more milk than ever in the small burst of speedy milking that I do. If I am Usain Bolt however, Mark is Lance Armstrong (I realize they are completely different sports- but the Armstrong pun was too good to resist). By that I mean, he is slower, but manages to last much longer and get more milk than I do, and also a frothier foam on the top, which according my books is the true indicator of a successful milker. In any case, both Bolt and Armstrong get their chance to shine and Rosie doesn't protest when we move from one to other, so things are good on that front.
In other livestock news, each morning when I go to the sheep barn I say a quiet, quick little wish into the grain bin that when I open the door, there will be baby lambs waiting to greet me. According to my calendar they should be here by now, or any minute and although I'm always eager to have the first lambs this year there is added urgency. Firstly, the Sunday school group from our church is coming out on Sunday to take photographs of a living nativity scene to be shown at the Christmas concert and baby lambs are sort of a key cast member in charge of the cuteness factor of the photographs. Secondly, I don't particularly want to be checking the barn come Christmas. I am looking forward to getting home to West Branch for a couple days after Christmas and leaving a lactating cow is chore enough, baby lambs yet to arrive would probably push my favour-asking over the limit of my accommodating in-laws. But with only eight ewes bred (or so I think) for this early lambing, once they start, surely they will team up and get it done at once.
I am continuing to expand and each day regular activities get just a little trickier. I am starting to get to the point where I'm getting excited to meet this little critter, although I am really glad that Christmas will be over first. January is usually a quiet sort of month (relative to the previous one at least) and although I always said November (Lucy) was a worse time to have a baby than April (Wilson), I think January will be just fine.
Mark is busy roasting beans and although the markets were looking a bit worrisome at first, they seem to have come around and kicked it into gear, for now. At least the roaster is getting some action. It puts out such a delicious smell!
We have a great Christmas promotion on our products right now, keep your eyes peeled for its blog debut very soon!