Seems life here is always a roller-coaster ride. Sometimes I enjoy the the ride and others I just want a break. The past two weeks have been just that. Some days of complete joy and others absolutely gut-wrenching... the stuff that tempts one to give up.
Last week started with a wonderful surprise visit from my Mom for my birthday. I was turning 44 and quite frankly was hoping the day would skip everyone's attention. For some reason 44 sounded so much older than 43. Secretly I felt like I was still young enough for another baby at 43 if we decided to try. If time would allow, finances would ease up or things here on the farm would suddenly reach a level where if I wanted to take a back seat and focus on a new baby it could happen. For all those that know us intimately and know how risky my pregnancies are.... YES I KNOW. (Ciara...don't bark at me.. I am just talking about those secret desires.) I KNOW that we should not have any more babies. I am just rambling here about having reached an age where it suddenly occurred to me that even if I decided to try again... its too late. I dont know about most of you but I am pretty good at walking around in a state of semi-denial. I'm not really overweight... all the bills will get paid this month..... we can always have another baby. Sometimes life slaps you in the face. Suddenly I cannot deny the fact that there will be no more babies. My children are my everything. My absolute favorite time of the day is snuggling with them in the morning. Each one of the four here at home still seeks snuggle time. I love watching them grown and change but as the mother of one adult child I also know how limited these days are. I have the perspective I missed with Ashley of knowing first hand just how short this time is and how fast it flies. Time keeps on ticking no matter how busy we are or what else is going on... every missed opportunity is gone and gone forever... every snuggle missed is one less snuggle we get to enjoy.
Enough moping about my age. I had a magical birthday. Mom surprised me the night before by suddenly appearing in my driveway. Becca showed up here early early in the morning on my birthday and did the kids chores and we got to go see a great movie in town....for cheap! LOVE the kids summer series! Headed out with Mom for some brief thrift store shopping and returned home to a surprise party thrown by the kids and a meal prepared by Becca. Talk about feeling the love! To top it all off, Andy skipped evening milking and Mom watched the kids so Andy and I went out on a real date. Couldn't ask for anything more. A real "up" for the week!
It was awesome having Mom here. I enjoy her so much! We had fun at the cheese plant where she helped me "cut the cheese" one week for market and then last Friday helped me with cheese curds for market. It was awesome sharing that time with her. She took the kids swimming Saturday evening, she and I enjoyed many chats and evenings sitting outside relaxing. Mom spent two days working with the kids giving the house a much needed deep clean. I can't tell you what a difference it makes in the peace level in our home when its organized and clean. More "ups" on our roller coaster ride.
The big "Down" right now is the heat. It's taking its toll here. Pasture drying up, cows not milking much... they spend their days hanging out in the shade instead of eating. Can't blame them. Wednesday was our hottest day. It reached 106 by 10am and the humidity was so high. We moved our breeding stock pigs into the pasture across the street Tuesday night thinking the tall tall grass would offer them extra shade and the little stream would give them wallow in which to cool themselves. What we didn't think about was how stagnant the air might be with the humidity so high and no breeze. We lost most of our pigs. It was a horrific day.... Andy checked them at 8:30 am and all was well.. no one was panting... plenty of water.. all good. He started milking. Stopped at 10:30 to check them again and it was too late... some had already perished and the last few were dangerously over heated. He ran back to get water to dump on them to try and cool them quickly but by the time he got back even more were lost. We were only able to save one pig. A devastating day for us.. emotionally and financially. We love our pigs... its our responsibility to keep them healthy and happy... and we really screwed up here. All the "what if's" and "why's" . We really thought this was the best place for them... the safest place with the heat. But we got it wrong. We do have one pig that broke out of that pasture to the corn field next door. She is still running around.. we have seen her, we have tried to get her back but for now at least... she is still loose. I am hoping we get her back... but the reality of getting back a 400lb sow that is healthy, used to excercise, and enjoying her freedom... is daunting.
I toyed with the idea of not sharing this sad story with all of you.... but we have always believed in transparency and that means not only sharing our joys and heartbreaks but also our mistakes. This is one of those times.
Another sad story I have been neglecting to share is the loss of our beloved Kiss. She fell asleep under Andy's truck and Andy did not know she was there. She had never slept under a car before.... not sure why she didnt move.. the engine was running for a while before he was ready to drive off. But, she did not and we lost her. Broke our hearts, I think most of all Hannah and Andy suffered.
Earlier this month the kids and I got a mini break and went to Elgin for a dear friend's wedding. It was just two days but we really enjoyed it. We stayed at an old farm house in the Sandhills turned into a getaway. Such a beautiful setting! Here is a picture I snapped of my friend Jenny with Alex. It was taken in her pasture while we were gathering wild flowers for the wedding. This picture looks almost magical to me... I had to share it.
Thanks for letting me ramble and share our lives. Its therapeutic for me to write a bit here and there.
Artisan Cheesemaker. Lover of all foods dairy..