Thursday, August 02, 2007

Cool things to do with your afternoon

There was a knock on the door about lunchtime and it was our local kiwi trust worker Dave, bearing aerials and miscellaneous gear. "Lost a kiwi?" I asked

"Found her"he said, "she's just up the road in the bush, she can't stay in there, too many dogs round, want to come and help get her out?"

Well the only answer for that is "Yes please"

He told me about this young lady as we walked up the road, she was released in May and has been on the wander ever since. There are two perfectly nice batchelors in the reserve but she doesn't want either of them, so wanders around causing domestic disharmony with the married couple kiwis and when the wives square up to her she wanders off again. This is the second time she's headed out of the reserve area, they spent all yesterday looking for her with the kiwi finder dog without being able to pin her down but this morning he got a fix on her transmitter and now only needed to catch her.

So we bush bashed round behind her so she wouldn't run off again and found her under a huge stump tucked up comfortably, despite hopes that she might have had a boyfriend in there she was alone. I got to guard the second exit from her hideyhole while Dave hauled her out. Then he let me hold her so I got up close and personal with a kiwi.

Cuddle over we packed her into a box and bashed our way out again and I left Dave to take her back to where she belongs. Maybe she'll decide to stay there sometime soon.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

But Honey we agreed - No more kids

Bottle feeding babies wasn't in the plans.

But they are very cute

The downside of the upsurge in milking goats is they have to have babies to stay in milk. At least with cows someone usually wants the left over calves to raise for meat (though I have a certain fundamental disapproval of the concept of removing a newborn calf from its mother too, best I stick to beefie breeds and let them bring up their babies). Sadly there isn't a lot of demand for newborn goatlings though. So thousands of little goats every year don't get a chance to grow up. That's life and farming, I know.

These two girls came to live in a pen in the woodshed yesterday. They don't have names yet - still pondering those.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A bit of bull...

Woke up on Saturday morning to find our cattle numbers increased overnight.

Two of the neighbours bulls were in our paddock having a party, reminiscent of a police gathering in Rotorua in the 1980s, with Betsy the cow. This is an annoyance I had hoped that Betsy had more taste in boyfriends, I had other plans for her, and they didn't include gang bangs with freisan bulls of dubious quality. I suppose I need to face the fact that the cow is just a slapper.

The 'boys' didn't want to go home. In fact they got quite irritated at the suggestion. And it was a bit of a problem as it appears they jumped in and there is no convenient gate out again. Eventually they conceded they might like to go into the raceway and eat the nice grass in there, leaving Betsy in her paddock a deer fence away.

Trouble is - it's Tuesday and despite repeated messages on the owners phone they are still here. Putting them back where they belong requires moving them down the driveway, down the road and through the farmers farm gate down there, and it doesn't seem like a good thing to do with two bulls intent on staying where they are. At least not for us amateurs. In the mean time they are behaving like delinquents, opening gates and going through them onto grass we were saving for something else, leaning on the fence posts and yelling about how unreasonable life is when they get taken back out of the paddocks they shouldn't be in.

Vet is booked for Betsy next week - if they are here much longer I might book the truck to the works for these two...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's been hell

We moved in the weekend. And it didn't go according to plan.

First the new house is filthy. The departing owners did a perfunctory clean so the floors looked bearable but the cupboards were dirty, the oven is clogged with burnt left overs (you can't see them though as the door is covered with baked on grease and as the oven doesn't seem to bake anyway it is all a bit immaterial), the windows haven't seen any form of cleaning for years by the look of it, the windowsills are all growing things, and shower is a bit dubious looking.

Then they left a bit of stuff behind - a pool table sitting slap in the middle of a garage. They have that listed on trademe at a price a bit on the excessive side, about 30 bales of mouldy hay in the other garage (apparently sold - I wonder if it was honestly advertised and whether the buyer will actually take it, I wouldn't feed it to stock and 30 bales is a lot to stick on the garden) and a dead car (also apparently sold). Not to mention some sheep and a horse. All these things they feel we should just take care of until they get round to them. There has to be some give and take we were told. Believe me there is some give and take, we gave them a heap of money and they can take their rubbish away!

Apart from that I have a stomach bug which really adds to my pleasure in life right now. And good old Telecom have gone back to the you can't have broadband story. There was broadband installed here a month ago, but now apparently it won't work. It so obviously won't work that they won't even put through a connection order. Funny since if you go into the telecom website and put the phone number in it tells you broadband is available at this location. Spent an hour and a half on the phone to two support staff on Monday night trying to sort it out. The first one was trying to be helpful and put me onto his supervisor to see if he could help. He could have but he chose not to. (why is it when I ring these places I always get the stubborn and intellectually challenged individual, either I have very bad luck or maybe it is that most of them are idiots and I haven't a hope of getting one with half a braincell as those people have resigned in disgust) We had a yelling match in the end as I stated repeatedly "there used to be broadband here" and he replied repeatedly "well it won't work it is too far from the exchange" Grrrr. In the end I said I was bored and going to hang up. He asked if I had had a problem with the first person I had spoken to and did I want to make a complaint! (I replied that the first person had been fine, it was just him I found obnoxious). Rang back the next morning and got a human being with more than two braincells and we now have the technician booked to come out. So maybe that will work, eventually.

Apart from that there are plans being sketched on stray bits of paper everywhere. Husband seems to think that we need two more bathrooms (a total of three) on the assumption that doing two at once will be almost as cheap as one... he knocked a hole in a wall about three hours after we took possession. I must admit it is a vast improvement even if it looks a bit scruffy right now.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

New cow

Not the best of pictures but this is Kintala Aurora meeting Calypso.

She's a G1 Dexter in calf to a full dexter bull. Very tame little cow, you can put a halter on her and drag her round, she can be milked though we probably won't bother (though I guess it would be quite handy to hop out to the paddock and grab a cupful when you run out).

Are we up to three yet

So there is a car with a dent and a cattlebeast owner who now reckons he has no public liability cover... gave the insurance company his address and left them to sort him out. Find it extremely negligent if he doesn't have cover but completely his problem.

The idiots that killed my car some months ago and have been ranting and raving ever since sent an account for the whole repair yesterday with a note that it was overdue and legal action would be taken . Sent them back a copy of the last letter with a note that they obviously hadn't received this and I looked forward to seeing them in court with the counterclaim.

Then the trailer rolled down the hill - straight through the gate and missed the shed by inches. No damage to the trailer which is an ex ministry of works model of very solid proportions but the wooden gate no longer appears suitable for the purpose it was intended...

8 sleeps until we become the owner of the neighbours. They are moving out this weekend they say so we will probably move ourselves in the weekend after.

We moved moved the cows and the hay over there over the last week. I am totally bored with lugging hay round.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Black cow on a dark night

I was driving home yesterday - quite late as I had been in Hamilton. Was coming down our road, past the roadworks (where they are apparently turning it into a four lane highway judging from the trees they have decimated and the fences they have moved), and almost home when I spotted two bright pinpoints of light on the grass verge at cow eye height.

A bit closer and it came up in the headlights as a black bovine of some description. At that very moment its mate ran into my car.

Both cattle cleared off at some speed and I got out, couldn't see a thing in the direction they were heading and assessed the car damage - nice dent in the front left corner. Cruised up to the nearest house to tell them their cattle were on the road (with one possibly injured) but the gate was locked so I carried on home.

After some ringing round the district managed to locate the owners phone number and left a message on their answerphone. The wife rang back half an hour later, she was home alone with two small children and would ring a neighbour to sort out the wandering stock and send her husband down to see me at some point in the weekend. Feeling that we should perhaps help as we were doing little else husband and I got in the 4WD (the one with the big bullbars) and headed back down the road to help round the escapees up. We found one miscreant on the side of the road, a little black bull with blood and a scrape on his leg but otherwise looking unharmed and walked him back up the road to the owners yards where we left him. Neighbour got down to fixing the break in the fence where they escaped and we scouted the rest of the road for the other beast before concluding it had either gone back where it came from or gone bush.

Home again to discover the cat had had an argument with something - possibly a possum - and has rather a large bite mark on his leg.

Sometimes you have to wonder if living in a little apartment somewhere wouldn't be less trouble.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I blame the neighbour who leaned on the fence last Saturday night to say how superb all the horses were looking.

Or maybe it was my own fault gossiping with a friend on the phone of Saturday night saying what a good run we had had lately with no vets visits worth mentioning.

Sunday morning Kiwi - who had been hooning round happily on Saturday night - had a hugely swollen hind leg and couldn't walk. Dragged him down the paddock much against his will, hosed him, poulticed it and called the vet.

Vet scratched his head, suggested a broken bone or a bone chip as it had come up so fast but treated him for a lymph node infection which was also a possibility and should respond rapidly. It did respond a bit but after daily jabs in the neck which he took stoically he's still sore and swollen. It did appear though that the initial thought that it was in his hock was incorrect and it is in his stifle. So yesterday we debated all the options. Until we find out what the problem actually is any treatment is a stab in the dark. And the options are wide. If it is a bone chip it may heal without further trouble or it may need removing. If a break again he may just heal or may need pinning. Or it may be muscular (though they feel that it wouldn't have swelled so badly or so fast if it was muscular, but it could be a fairly severe injury) which would be basically rest. Along with what might need doing there is what we can afford to do at the moment and considerations as to how successful it is likely to be. If the option is to have him sound at a cost of several thousands we can't afford or unsound for the rest of his life I am not sure what the choice is. Realistically he is a pet and a hack, of no value much and although much loved because he is mine probably difficult to rehome if it became necessary. Put it on the Visa I guess. And of course if he is going to be in ongoing pain the only kind thing would be to have him put to sleep.

So this morning we took him over to the Matamata vets who are the horse experts to get an xray and to decide from there what is the best course of action. Coincidentally his first owner when he sold at the yearling sales to be someones dream racehorse was one of the vets there. Waiting for a call to see what the diagnosis is. Fingers very much crossed.

No broken bones, he appears to have a blood clot in a vein at the top of his leg. Blood tests also indicate an infection so he's had his drugs changed. Poor boy also has a fairly significant heart murmur which may be normal for him or could be a result of the current infection. Cannot for the life of me remember if my vet has ever listened to his heart before - maybe not, they will check his old records if they can find them to see if anything was ever noted.

Further, not too happy, update 30/4/07

No improvement in Kiwi's leg. And the heart murmur is extremely bad. They are going to scan his heart tomorrow to see if they can see what is actually causing it, they suspect a badly damaged valve, but hold out very little hope of it improving or going away. Apparently he is in grave danger of having a heart attack at any time and his life expectancy isn't very long. Riding him is out of the question as it is too dangerous. Poor boy he's only 7. I'm very sad.

Final - rather late update

The heart scan turned out to be not as drastic as they thought, Kiwi has a bit of a valve problem but not as major as they had figured it would be so he is cleared to go back into work quietly. The leg finally responded to the variety of stuff they poured into him and went down. He's chilling out in the paddock - I'm using the weather as an excuse not to do anything with him, though truthfully I am a bit concerned about putting any pressure on the silly old sook incase I kill him.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Got potential?

A view of our new place

What do ya reckon?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Life is okay!

Small things give me immense satisfaction sometimes.

This morning I went into town to do a few things and noticed these little orange sticker things on about a kilometre of our gravel road. Looked rather strange, I am not even sure how they stuck them down - would be a little difficult sticking tags to a gravel road...

Coming back there were some men digging holes in the side of the road. So I stopped and asked what they were doing. And they told me they are preparing to seal that patch of road.

This will make us a kilometre more 'civilised'

And a couple of weeks ago they put some seal outside our place (giving in to the constant wingeing of residents about the dust I suspect)

Happy happy joy joy.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Things come in threes - over three days

Have had such a good three days.
On Wednesday we went to Wellington to see a specialist oncologist who told me as far as he was concerned I have a chronic disease not a terminal one. So it isn't going to kill me any time soon, needs monitoring and prompt action if something goes wrong but otherwise I should carry on as normal.

The next morning (after a really solid 12 hours sleep as we had been up so early the day before) we headed over to Masterton and picked up a very special horse.

Roxey is an orphan who's mother died at her birth in December 2005. She was handreared after attempts to get her a foster mother failed by the mare's owner Lou and returned to her owner (who had leased the mare to breed from) at three months old. Her story is on Lou's blog She hasn't had much handling since. We got Gavin Morison a Wairarapa horsebreaker out to load her on the float and she got the idea very well. (I am so impressed with Gavin - a man of few words but an incredible way with horses - if I ever get a chance to do a clinic with him I'm going to) She then travelled like an angel back to Tauranga with a few stops to give her hay and water and has settled right into the front paddock - she particularly likes the yard.

When I grew too big for my 13.2 hand pony my first hack was a clydesdale cross stationbred four year old mare about 15.1 hh. She was a one in a million mare - I used to ride her along the main road bareback and in a halter (I used to jump her bareback in a halter and without a helmet too - what was my mother thinking!) She jumped fantastically, but always refused the first jump when I took her out (then she would generally go clear) and had a slight tendency to jump out of dressage arenas which meant that when we actually had completed a test there was always a comment about lacking impulsion in the corners. Anyway I'm planning on reliving my childhood in due course and having another clydie cross mare.

Then this morning we agreed a price and shook hands on buying the neighbours property. So we are moving - two doors down the road.
We went over this afternoon to have another (more thorough) look at it. Husband is delighted to find that the garage and shed are both bigger than he thought, I have decided that the bathroom will last a little bit longer and the kitchen will also probably do for a while but the downstairs area needs work soon and our plans to put another bathroom in the basement area will be held back by the septic tank which for some unaccountable reason is at a fairly high point. I'm just pleased with the 10 acres of land, most of it flat. And the house will be gorgeous in due course.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Domestic goddess I am not.

I blame my mother for this. She is house proud and tidy to the point of obsession. (Okay I exaggerate - she is house proud and tidy, I just resent her need to keep her house in order so much I call it obsessive compulsive behavior) When forced to tidy my room daily I grew up to go flatting and never tidy my room.

Actually - digressing here - I once had a flatmate that was a bit strange. And after a couple of months of sharing a house without too many issues he told me that he thought I should tidy my room. Now I always shut my bedroom door when I went out so a bit of an argument developed over what the hell he thought he was doing looking in my room anyway and he was stupid enough to admit his girlfriend usually went into my room when she was round and that she was shocked at the state I kept it in. He was promptly told that I required him to move out....

Anyway back to the original story. Tidy mother produced two rather less motivated daughters and a son who is a tidy freak but managed to marry a woman who can't find the floor in their house most of the time.

So I'm sitting here looking at the carpet. It could do with the application of a vacuum cleaner. And the kitchen sink could do with a polish. There's an ironing pile getting a little large too.

I think I might go clean a horse instead.


Neighbour is out weedeating his 'lawn' - that's the patch of grass round their house that hasn't been mowed for over two years... He's also waterblasted the fence and been over to borrow some nails to put a couple of palings back up. My intentions with that fence are to accidentally back a trailer into it and knock it over, white picket fences in rotten condition don't belong in the country in my opinion

He's 'adding value' before the valuer comes next week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

moving forwards

we are getting a valuation on the neighbours house and will further discuss price then. They agree to take full account of the value (which might be extremely high they said hopefully).

We'll see what happens.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A few more things - catch up

My sick car is still not particularly good. It is running but you couldn't call it running well. We have a stand off about who owes who how much (I think we are on the winning side at the moment) but I really wonder if I will ever have a car that goes the way my old one did back again. Very irritating.

I have an appointment with a "second opinion" surgeon/oncologist just before Easter. I am told he will be able to give me an opinion on what is the best course of treatment from here. I hope so as he is charging me quite a bit to see him - would be cheaper if I had a Community Services Card. Also informed that if I had a community services card I would be eligible for travel expenses. Isn't that lovely, my tax money is shared around so freely.

still real estate browsing and other things

There is an interesting turn of events though. We were about to put an offer in on a place about half way to nowhere with a house in danger of falling over... We probably would have done it today (it was a low offer you understand). But the neighbours who started this need to live somewhere else have now decided to sell (may have something to do with them being told the property is not readily rentable in its current condition unless the rent was very cheap) and have expressed a desire to sell to us. Sadly their price expectations are a little higher than our offer (as a Real Estate agent put it the other day "Sometimes the vendors want a property more than the buyers do and choose to keep it").

Now I'm confused... Maybe it will sort itself out in the next week or so. Perhaps we should just ignore them and go make an offer on the other place.

I got another year older today too. Sometime round 30 I hated getting older and resented every birthday. These days I'm not particularly excited about the birthday thing but the option of getting a year older is definitely preferable to not getting a year older - if you know what I mean.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Real Estate... farms and other bits of land

Husband is sighing and talking about how difficult it will be to move 3 or 4 cords of firewood and a bit over 130 bales of hay (and five horses, one cow, a fair few bags of feed, a garage full of tools, two freezers full of meat, 42 horse covers (shhhh I haven't really got that many)... etc). And we haven't even found the right place yet!

But we've been looking...

I forget between houses just how very strangely optimistic Real Estate salespeople can be

"Just been painted so should be right for 10 years" means someone has slapped a coat of paint over the old stuff that was peeling off, the new stuff is already peeling. Inside they have done the same to some walls, including a coat of colour over all the light switches and part of the carpet and also over the hole in the wall behind the door.

"would be great for horses" means it could be so steep that a goat is in danger of falling off it let alone a horse.

"good water supply" is a concrete tank circa 1950. It was probably last cleaned out about then too.

"great indoor outdoor living" means a little deck off the back door big enough to put two chairs on if you can live with the risk of the other person flinging an arm out and pushing you off the deck by accident.

And the interesting take they have on things
'is the road sealed or gravel?' you ask on the phone. 'well it isn't much on the gravel' inpection shows it is 3kms off the sealed road...

"just needs a garden" fails to mention it also just needs the drive formed some fencing to keep cows out of the house and a truckload or six of topsoil.

Still we keep looking. The exploration of obscure gravel roads is good for us.


the bank that lost my application to open an account? Guess what - they found it, and without any further reference to me opened an account for me. It took exactly two months from the time I posted it.

Then they send me an email telling me I need to advise them of which branch I want an appointment with to activate this account and order an eftpos card and cheque books and things. Help! It appears I am no further ahead by doing it by mail (in fact I appear to be two months behind...)

Makes mental note never to ask for a mortgage from these people, I suspect it would mean walking on water and proving you don't need it anyway to get approval but would still take six months.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

What a good horse

When I bought Kiwi I was told he didn't float, only trucked. Which was okay as we had a truck at that point.

Except we sold the truck and got a float. I wasn't really worried, because to be honest he didn't truck that well when we got him either, and he got better at that so I figured he would probably float not too badly.

It never pays to assume. This horse had a serious problem with floats obviously, he could not even put a foot on the ramp, though he could walk up the ramp of a truck (much steeper) without too many issues. He and I stood for an hour one Sunday afternoon and he wouldn't budge, in fact he refused to look at the float for quite a while (as if hoping that if he couldn't see it it wasn't there). Eventually I got two feet on the ramp and gave up on a good note as I didn't feel I had the tenacity to get any more of him on the float at that point.

So we appealed to his stomach. "Goodness Kiwi your dinner looks so yummy, it has an extra dollop of mollasses too. I left it in the float for you" After a day or two he got all four feet on the ramp. then he got all four feet in the float, and then stood still while the chain was done up and after that the ramp was closed. He learnt to back himself off again with due care and attention. He gave up having panic attacks if I gave him a shove from behind to move him a bit further forward. The other night we took him for a ride round the road and back home.

Today we took him for a half hour trip, unloaded him at a friends place, put him in their yards for an hour, loaded him back and took him home. All without the slightest bit of trouble. He responded regally to the admiration of the onlookers, gave them a "yeah, so" look. Just to make sure I loaded him up again two hours later - no problems, self loading.

So that one's trained... now to sort out the little Ali horse.

some further thoughts on moving

The neighbours still have our offer and the husband is still quite keen to sell but the wife is still resisting. But they were told they would get another hundred thousand for it if they tidied it up. Now I feel that the real estate salesperson meant give it a new kitchen and bathroom, a coat of paint and a few other things. They feel that he meant mow the lawns, fix the falling down bits of fences and spray the weeds. So I suspect that they may decide to sell in the end but they will price themselves off the market.

And we've been talking about this a bit...

So today we had a look at a bare block for sale (quite nice, about 10 acres need to find out a few more details about a few things) and tomorrow we are looking at another one. Husband does not want to move right now - he can't face moving the winter's supply of hay.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Think positive thoughts for us

I have long coveted the neighbours place, a rather dilapidated villa on a very nice piece of land. Have been itching for two years to rip out their kitchen, rearrange their bathroom, finish off their downstairs area and build a stable block in the front paddock.

This afternoon they came over to tell us they were renting it out and going elsewhere as it was too far from town for them. I made them an instant offer to buy it. Husband went slightly pale but I was spot on with the price as a Real Estate Agent had just told them that it should be marketted at 20 thousand more than I offered, so realistically I offered them the best price they are likely to get (and full price if you consider that they won't have to pay commission if they sell now to us).

The male of the partnership would have taken it, the wife won't - she wants to keep it - but over a glass of wine she told me that I would love the view from their bedroom window in the morning and what room would make a good office.

Think positive that they will accept my rather precipitous offer once they have had a think about it.

Friday, February 23, 2007

the broken car - remember 3 weeks ago!

I think my car may finally be officially fixed. This is with four further days back in the workshop after it was originally fixed, but we are probably done now. Seems to be some very poor quality control and workmanship going on in that mechanics (this is a largish supposedly reputable company BTW who managed to damage a power steering pulley, spill about a litre of oil all over the engine and engine bay and not wipe any of it up, and break the air cleaner filter housing. They have trouble saying the oil was already there since they had the motor in a million bits, but they reckoned the other things were already like that. Oops guys, the only way the power steering pulley can be damaged is to drop the motor on it's side or apply a crowbar, since you had the motor out and are more likely to have applied a crowbar than me I would suspect it might be something you did.. and if it had been an existing problem the power steering wouldn't have worked and I might have noticed)

Anyway he can adjust his attitude quickly... I'm hanging out to lodge this with a court - no longer the Small Claims court though, I'm going to take it to the District Court now and I'm going to call all the reporters in town to advise them of the time and place when I do so they can all report on what a shocker of a business this is. Have a few more extremely dirty plans up my sleeve, I don't get mad - I get even! (once upon a time I worked for a crap boss. I left in fairly short order. Over the next year I also managed to find the six best members of his remaining staff nice new jobs where I had gone to work cos the boss was much nicer and the pay was better. They managed to bring a few existing clients with them too - quite a few actually. He escaped personal bankruptcy by the skin of his teeth and is probably selling something dodgy door to door these days.)

Anyway back to the car thing. Husband has a meeting with them on Monday actually, in pretense of mediating between the idiot mechanic and the furious wife he is discussing it by himself (that is without my input) with the owner of the business, though he likes the court idea too...

I'll name and shame then unless they start getting a lot more contrite quite quickly.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I really am going to take a submachine gun to someone

Oncologist gave me some pills he thought I should take.

I thought about it and decided to take them. No big deal I thought (he gave me that impression too).

So I've taken five days worth.

And I have got steadily worse pain in all my joints. Today all of me really hurts, ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists neck - every joint I have and some places I wasn't aware I had moving parts in hurt too. Today I can't sit down comfortably - which is wonderful as standing up hurts quite a bit as well and so does walking. Lying flat isn't much use either.

I had a look at the brief fact sheet that came with these pills. It's not listed as a side effect that needs urgent attention. So I get on the internet and have a quick search. It comes up just about straight away "25% of patients report some joint pain, from moderate to severe. Symptoms can be ongoing"

That's just lovely. I also found out that in cases like mine there was a positive effect in around 10% of patients. Those odds really are a bit slim.

I haven't taken them tonight.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Just something horse related

I have a little mare, Ali, who is a strange little soul. I would think she has been treated fairly roughly in a past life. Sweet girl most of the time though and quite nicely put together.

Anyway she went to visit a stallion for a fair while last year and had a lovely time. But when we picked her up they said at the stud "have you noticed Ali's head shake" which I hadn't, but then when we went down to the paddock to see her she was flicking her head flat out. They said she had been doing it a lot. Very odd. So we took her home and she stopped just about immediately. So I shrugged and put it down to a change in local herbage or something.

On Sunday she was playing "I'm a little toerag" games. Yes she was delighted to see me, she would mug my pockets to see if I had anything to eat, let me touch her all over, huff down my neck, have cuddles, no problem. But when I tried to put the halter rope round her neck she cleared off and wouldn't come near me until I put the halter down again. So after half an hour of playing silly games I walked her into the yard, pinned her in the shelter and applied the halter. Then I made a fuss of her and let her go.

The next morning I look out the window and there is Ali headflicking like crazy. Now I'm confused... she was fine, what the hell is wrong with her? I'm busy writing an email to that effect to someone for comments and suddenly it hits me... it's the halter. She never wears a halter at home normally but she wore one a lot at stud for ease of handling. The same halter she is still wearing - it's got a tag on it with her name on it so the horse transport people didn't drop her off at the wrong place (okay I'm paranoid I know but I didn't want her going to the wrong stallion).

I'm guessing the tag swinging either amuses her or irritates her.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Itching and sneezing and eyes watering

but the hay is in the shed. Neatly stacked, layered with salt and enough for the winter unless it snows or something untoward.

Always feel fairly satisfied when we have the hay sorted out. Must be the cavedweller in me, I feel happy when we are ready for winter, when the freezer is full, the pantry has a selection of cans the firewood is stacked and dry. The stock up for winter thing is so ingrained that I will have the urge to preserve things in the next month or so. I'll try to talk myself out of it. Instead I might turn some meat into ready made stews and similar and stick it back in the freezer for rapid meals on cold winter nights.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

F#*&%@& health professionals

As my regular readers know I have an ongoing battle with the big C. Most of the time I am winning, or at least I am not losing ground... (I should statistically speaking be dead by now but it wasn't on my agenda so the funeral arrangements are OFF)

Anyway I have been contemplating this for a month or two or three or six. Nearly two years ago surgeons in Auckland figured I was so terminal I wasn't even worth biopsying and closed me back up. It was only the other week that they admitted that to me. Nearly two years later my only health problems are those caused by surgeons and extra heavy doses of toxic substances into my bloodstream (chemo that is, but a hard drug addiction would not necessarily be more harmful I think occasionally - and would probably be a darn sight more fun). Yes I still have cancer but not to any degree much greater than I did two years ago - and it is less than what I had initially in 2000.

In October 2005 I told them all to sod off and I wasn't having any more chemo that wasn't likely to work anyway, they could give me a ring when they wanted a new wonder drug tested. I had to tell them repeatedly to sod off over three months as they kept sending me appointments. After that I gave in and went and had a scan (had always intended to do that anyway, was just sick of it all) - and I had another one six months after that which showed some growth in the main tumor they keep monitoring. So they zapped that with some radiotheraphy and that did exactly what it was hoped it would do - reduced the thing to a quarter of it's size.

So over the last two weeks I've been scanned and inspected by the Gynacologist and the Oncologist. And right now I am furious.

There is a thickening in the scar tissue (that's where they have sliced me up the middle twice) that wasn't on the last scan. The radiologist recommends further investigation. The Gynacologist wants to biopsy and look at surgery or radiation for this new bit if it proves to be cancer. He is willing to consider giving my insides a good going over as he wonders why some of those unbiopsied bits haven't done anything and thinks it wouldn't be unreasonable to have a look at them. They may not be cancer. It is perfectly common to have cysts on your internal organs. He does however freely admit that he is not an Ovarian cancer expert, his speciality is a bit different and he has me on his patient list because he is the best there is in this area, not the best all round.

So today I get to see the Oncologist. This guy is apparently God - ask anyone who knows him. Actually I quite liked him until today, now I want to take a submachine gun to him. (would be something immensely satisfying about laying waste to a heap of hospital staff somehow). He might as well have not seen me today. He finds the biopsy idea "pointless" (his word) surgery or radiation "a waste of time" and his best recommendation is I have some more of the chemo that didn't work last time. When I said it didn't work last time he said "well there is a small chance it might this time" I was then shuffled out of the surgery and told to come back in two months - the implication was get my act together in the meantime and line up for some more systematic poisoning.

As time goes by I feel more and more that this is a slow growing cancer, and that long term control is within my grasp if someone would just do something about it (cut or zap the thing out). They are so close to figuring out cures using gene therapy (and as this is a hereditary type I am a sitter for trialling these and possibly getting a cure - there is no cure at the moment, only control). Why can't these so called experts look outside their own tunnels. There is no indication that any chemo will work, lets look outside the square.

Might be time to get a second opinion... the guy I would ideally like to see is in Christchurch, it might be worth the plane trip.

And the next time someone tries to fob me off I'm going to hit them.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Someone is trying to tell me something

About a month ago I went to open a new bank account with an institution I don't normally bank with. There is a method in that madness I sell a bit of stuff on Trademe and hate fishing through the usual bank accounts to find payments from people. Not sure why I decided on a new institution but the fees were low.

First I went into the local branch where the man behind the counter told me it would take an hour to open an account and he wouldn't be doing it today. Rather irritated as I have had mortgages approved in less than an hour so I fail to see why it would take so long for them to take some of my money!

So I sent them a wee email pointing that out and that they could be losing potential new customers all the time with an attitude like that. They replied promptly and politely. I could do it by mail if I liked. Sounded reasonable enough to me so I filled in the forms, enclosed a copy of my passport and the latest power bill and a cheque for my initial deposit and sent it off.

That was 12 January. Last week I made enquiries about the state of my account. Guess what they have lost the application, including my cheque. They suggest I stop the cheque (will cost ME $30 so I don't think so). They suggest I should go into my local branch and open an account there...

I think I will stick to the bank I know.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

New Years resolutions come late

Been doing the budget. Since we spent a bit more than we made last year figured it was time to pull our heads in. This is mindblowingly boring. Glad I only manage a household, not a company or a country say. All those little incidentals add up rather fast.

Anyway - just thought I'd share that with you before I go back to the spreadsheet.

Monday, February 05, 2007

One of those weeks

Last weekend we got the broodmares back from stud, hopefully both in foal. It was a day or two that didn't go entirely to plan (but more about that later when it does resolve itself)

Then on Monday - a public holiday in this corner of the world - we went to Paeroa to pick up a cat we have acquired, another burmese, a girl named Zena. The pick up went according to plan, we had a coffee with the nice people parting with the cat put her (and her cage and her three beds, large scratching post and incidental belongings) in the car and headed towards home.

Shortly past Waihi the car stopped and refused to start again. It had lots of petrol, it had been serviced recently, it is only five years old damnit! Cellphones being the great invention that they are I called my mummy, cos that's who you always call when things go wrong, and she got in her wee car and came and picked us up - which was nice of her as she doesn't like driving very far.

So we got home, let the poor little cat out of her cage and husband got his big bloke 4WD and hired a car transporter to go and collect my car. He dropped it at his work to organise to have it repaired at the guys round the corner from there. The same guys who did the cambelt when it needed doing a year ago....

Guess what - the cambelt (the one that was replaced a year ago) is a dud. The damage is immense and there is going to be a pretty nasty argument if it isn't fixed for nothing. I am NOT happy. In fact I am so not happy about that that I really had better not say anything but the words Small Claims Court come to mind.

On the subject of courts - something else to be not happy about - husband got a letter yesterday from the Court Collections division. It said they believed he had unpaid fines. "Bullshit" he said and rang them up. A somewhat unproductive discussion took place - they insist he owes $685 from December 1996 and they can't tell him what it was for - but (get this) they have decided he does owe it and they will do everything in their power to recover this money including taking him to court for non payment of fines and attaching his wages. Have written them a terse letter explaining that since he has never received a summons, a judgement or anything like that he fails to see how he can owe this money, particularly as they are completely unable to supply any details! Watch out for him on Fair Go!

Horse was on the mend but has a swollen fetlock again this week. Along with little Ali and her swollen knee which has got worse since she has been away at stud (she has always had a slightly swollen knee) I wonder why I bother with horses.

New cat is settling in well too, beginning to terrorize the other burmese who has his nose right out of joint, has had her bum smacked for walking on the bench and is very talkative and friendly.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Post holiday blah

Nothing to say, I have the post holiday blues as reality asserts itself and my lotto ticket wasn't a winner so I have to continue to work for a living. Horse is lame (but on the mend) so I can't even go for a ride to cheer up.

Actually there is a touch more excitment in my life than that but I am not going to disclose it and ill wish it before it comes into being (reckon the odds are about 50/50 that it will so I am telling myself that it probably won't).

I know some gossip too but can't tell anyone that either cos I promised.

Don't you hate people like me?