Sunday, February 27, 2005

Adding character to the rural mailbox

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It has been a really bad couple of days. Bad really isn't a bad

enough word to describe it. I'll probably tell cyberspace about

it sometime, but not just yet.

Anyway my dear husband suggested that I cease brooding about things I can't change and instead paint the mailbox

So here is the result. Probably would have been better if I had

planned it a little more instead of just getting paint and some

stencils out and starting to paint, still I am quite happy with the


Adding character to the rural mailbox 2

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This is the other side

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

If it wasn't for the weather

90 percent of the population would have nothing to say....

I get a bit obsessional about rainfall - used to wonder why on earth anyone would want a rain guage and now I keep spreadsheets of the rainfall. (Guess I am just a sad excuse for a human being - it must be middle age)

But it is raining right now - right on cue as I was contemplating the watertank levels this evening.

A couple of years ago when we had a drought I swear I was about to punch the next cheerful shop assistant who said "and isn't it another lovely sunny day" with similar aggressive feelings directed at the weather presenters on the TV as they brightly proclaimed "tomorrow is going to be another nice day". That's great when there is no grass left anywhere on the property, you are feeding out and the well is struggling.

On a slightly bizarre and off topic note called in to see my mother tonight and she reported that the next door neighbour got a bit amourous the other day and she didn't know quite how to rebuff him politely. "I knew you'd laugh" she said when I did. She's seventy and he is a bit older.... I suggested it was probably okay to still have sex appeal (ick 'sex appeal' what a phrase) at her age, she didn't think it mattered much to her...

Sunday, February 20, 2005


It's been a good weekend. Went to Hamilton to the Small Block Expo on Saturday and saw about a thousand ways to spend money. Didn't actually spend much though have enough brochures to spend lots later...

Finished with that at about 3pm and drove up to Coromandal township where we had dinner and stayed the night. Spent some of the time formulating the next five year plan. I suppose it should be noted that the last five year plan (made three years ago) has been deviated from so badly that what we have achieved bears no resemblence to what we intended to achieve. Still it is good to have a plan... (and to be flexible)

First on the Kismet Farm plan list is to sort the water issues (or they may be non issues as we haven't run out of water...) in the shape of a second water tank for the house and another separate tank for stock water.

The stock water tank will collect water off the second garage that is currently sitting where the orchard should be so is going to be reincarnated as some stables in the spot where the chook run is currently residing - once the chooks have been moved closer to the house, which will happen once the driveway has been sorted.... (confused - you should be!) so it's a good, but somewhat expensive plan LOL. In the meantime we'll plant the orchard in the rest of the orchard area and put a tank in place - at least the plastic ones aren't too difficult to move later.

Then there's a second house water tank.... I have a sneaking suspicion that it will either need demolition of several major structures or a helicopter to put the tank in place. Should be interesting.

We'll see how it goes.

Monday, February 14, 2005

the bad, and the good

The day got off to a bad start when the school bus made a fairly credible attempt at running me down. Here I was minding my own business composing my thoughts for the day and round the corner on the wrong side of the road at a reasonable speed comes the school bus. Avoidance landed me in the drain at the side of the road and it didn't miss me by much. (The scary part is I only have a Corolla... anything bigger and there wouldn't have been room). As my life was flashing before my eyes I didn't get to see the name of the bus company... (I will complain when I do find out what it is called! Didn't even have the decency to stop. Damage to the car seems limited to a minor scratch - though I bet the wheel alignment needs doing now too)

Heart rate recovered by morning tea time...

Later in the day an old friend rang up, from the other end of the country. We had both moved and lost contact but he had just been talking to someone who knew where I was working - seven years of gossip to catch up on!

Motivated by this I have been chasing a few more people up - and cleaning out my email list in the process. It was so exciting to hear from someone I'd lost contact with I want to do it again.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Now I feel like a mean nasty person

Have just had to ask the neighbours not to let their seven year old granddaughter go into the paddock with the horses. Found her before sitting just about under their feet as they grazed, hanging onto one round the neck. (umm that is still a 175kg animal!)

Tried to soften the don't bit by telling her to come over tomorrow and she can groom them if she wants and I’ll show her how to lead them. Suspect they think I am being mean nasty grouchy person not letting the little girl play with the cute little horses…. And perhaps I am being an over zealous colt owner – given that this colt is less than 30 inches high, but he is quite capable of standing on his hind legs and waving his front hooves round when something irks him (doesn’t do it very often but he does do it) While I am not particularly afraid of a small colt rearing I do not like to think of the damage he could cause to someone much closer to the ground.

Anyway would you let a child go and play with the neighbours cute sheep, cows, farmdogs, deer, etc without asking?

Life is like that

Husband (having finished with chook shed building) has turned his attentions to the ride on mower we bought off the last owners. As the lawn is now three or four inches long this is probably a timely move.

First I should mention that husband has a deep distrust of the way other people may have maintained anything mechanical - any car we buy will get an oil change, tune up, gearbox service and general check up before it goes anywhere. The same thing applies to the ride on, it has been oiled, lubed, had the aircleaner replaced, taken to pieces and the grass taken out of the obscure places grass collects, had it's headlight bulbs replaced (obviously he is planning on late night lawn mowing) and I suspect - since the polish was sitting on top of it earlier today - that he may have given it a cut and polish too.

Checking the sharpness of the blades was last on the list - and I guess that is what he should have looked at first because the blades are in definite need of replacing - last owners obviously mowed the gravel and the paving stones as well as the grass. Not sure if it does cut grass at the moment, inspection of those blades would suggest it shouldn't....

So his dream of reducing the danelion and paspalum infested paddock (err I mean lawn) to a manicured showpiece in the space of ten minutes will have to be postponed.

Actually I was sort of looking forward to having a turn myself. It has five speeds, which makes you wonder how fast it goes....

Friday, February 11, 2005

for Bron - here are the chooks :-)

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having a great time catching all the bugs that fell out of the old chookhouse when it fell apart. 

The fat cow

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This girl has obviously had a good year grass wise.  She did have

a name - but it was something inappropriate like Barney and I have

therefore forgotten it.  Apparently she is a nurse cow of rare

patience last year she took over from the other cow and reared six

calves at the same time.  She's dry now as you can see and I guess

we should be thinking about getting her a date - with either a bull or

a straw *grin*

two little horses

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At the moment

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There is quite a bit of grass in the back paddock.  I like the

trees down here - sadly someone has cut down a heap of trees in the

other paddocks

Chook house rebuilding

Okay here are the photos...
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is the old hen house and run, smelly, muddy and too small for nine hens

and a rooster. No nesting boxes! After a days rain you were

up to your ankles in this fowl sludge in the run...
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is the new model - should really be lined for insulation. However

it is dry and clean, has four nesting boxes and enough perches for

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And this is what happened when you pulled on the old chookhouse - instant demolition

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Still haven't finished the unpacking

It's been a reasonably busy weekend though.
Very high on the 'to do' list when we moved in was to rehouse the chickens the old owners left us.  They were housed in a very old completely disgusting hen house with a muddy smelly run too small for the nine hens and one rooster that it contained.  The poor girls had no nesting boxes and were laying in hollows in the dirt floor.
So husband has spent several nights after work building a kitset shed and then cutting big holes in it for nesting boxes, pop hole and window. Saturday was move it down to it's chosen site (not it's permenant place but the easiest place to build a good sized run in the meantime) sit it on a couple of pallets with ply on top, catch and move chooks and destroy the old chookhouse. It didn't take much destroying - was so rotten it was soon reduced to a compact pile of rubble.  Ran out lots of metres of chicken wire to make a good sized run and let the chooks out into it.  All very happy though there was a major argument at dusk as they fought for position on the new perches.
The guys came to have a look at the TV aerials yesterday too as the house had a whole lot of aerials (3) which all ran to different rooms, and still no reception much. They managed to improve things significantly and reduce it all down to one aerial.  Wasn't even that expensive. Better still I scored some of those skydish bracket things that they sell as saddle racks on trademe - swapped a dozen eggs for four of them.
This morning was some serious maintenance on the electric fencing as the three cattle we also got off the old owners (one friesan cow - dry - and two weaner heifers) didn't seem to have much regard for the fences as they were -  at least they kept turning up in other paddocks. After sorting out several shorts they now seem to stay where they are put...
Maintenance took longer than expected so we were a little late for my sisters birthday lunch. By that time the sun was shining so was a pleasant BBQ. 
After several glasses of Pimms did not feel too inclined to sort out that bedroom - went for a wander down the paddocks instead, this involved much waving of arms (a fence through there, if we fence that off we could plant it in natives, trees along here....) never mind, I suppose we'll get round to that room before Christmas...

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Water water – please

It’s raining today - and about time too the water tank was down to the last third. Water tank reorganisation is another thing on the reasonably urgent to do list. The water supply is rainwater and it only collects rain from one side of the house – leaving the other side of the house and the garage uncollected. I guess there is a reason for this but at this point we are not sure what the reason might be as it would appear relatively simple to run the garage downpipe and the other side of the house to the water tank. Would not have thought that a collection area of 60 square metres was sufficient to supply a three bedroom household and water stock – perhaps it rains more round here than elsewhere in the district…

The last owners have dug a couple of holes in the lowest points of two paddocks. I guess that is to collect water, though it wasn’t working very well the other day… may work a bit better today but I’m not going down there in the rain to find out. Though wouldn’t you need to line these holes with something to seriously collect water?

But not on the floor

I filled the fish tank yesterday, set up the heater and filter and all seemed to be running fine. Got up this morning to find a rather large patch of wet carpet. The filter has a seal that obviously needs replacing. The leak is only a drip but a steady drip is a lot of water… (about 20 litres judging from the drop in the level of the fish tank)

We're here

People who move often must have less stuff than we do. We have far too many possessions. Some of them are exceedingly heavy. Note to self – never buy another piece of furniture that is too heavy to lift with two people.
Still we are here now and mostly unpacked though there is still a large heap of stuff in the guest bedroom. The cats are using it for climbing practice. Maybe I’ll get to that today… maybe not…