Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Text received

"To everyone who sent me best wishes for 2008, it did fark all. For 2009 please send money, alcohol, and petrol vouchers"

Can sleep again now

As previously mentioned we had thought Ali the redhead had a new home with some people who appeared a good fit for a nervous mare. They wanted a broodmare.

I had my first pinprick of doubt the day we delivered her when they mentioned which farrier they used. A guy I used once and wouldn't have back as he hit my horse with the rasp for taking her foot back. I said I didn't like this farrier for that reason and Ali's new owner said yes they were aware he could be rough - did I know he had apparently killed a horse by kicking it in the ribs. So forgive me I get this prickle of mistrust about someone who would use a so called professional when they know he is that rough on horses, but I squash it firmly (sometimes you have to take what you can get I guess).

Three days after Ali had gone her new owner rang up to say she had settled in fine and they had decided they were going to start her under saddle now. I have more pinpricks of doubt, this is a 15 year old mare with a puffy knee, not a promising retraining subject. But I figured they practice Parelli so it will take them a million years anyway and they'll either give up on the idea or actually acheive it. She mentions at the same time that she has decided Ali has been having us on - it is unlikely she was abused she was just playing with us. I have some more doubts - everyone who has ever met this mare agrees she has a past that left her with issues and some things genuinely worry her, but again who am I to argue.

Then we get a report about how great she is at playing the seven games. I search my memory banks for what I know of the seven games and I'm impressed the nervous mare doesn't mind being touched all over - well done!

A week after that they are spitting mad - Ali hasn't been caught for three days, she's impossible she rears straight up and tried to strike them with her forefeet etc etc. We get in the car and go down there straight away. New owners aren't there (odd as we said we were going straight down) Ali comes straight up and is simple to catch. She has a huge sore under her halter that is obviously painful (and I imagine why she doesn't want a rope on her halter) We loosen the halter (in retrospect we were chicken and should have taken it right off) and I leave a message on her owners answerphone saying the sore is probably not helping. They ring back the next day - they have caught her but the sore on her nose isn't the issue pressing hard on it doesn't hurt her (tui anyone?) so it is something else - probably just her. We have a long discussion about proceeding forward slowly and cover all sorts of ground. She reiterates several times that she loves Ali and wants to keep her and wants it to work out. So I leave it.

We don't hear anything for a week and then things are apparently going well - Ali is easy to catch, happy to be handled, has been hosed off, her nose is healing up all is good.

Then it all fell apart. I get a phone call to say that she won't ever be suitable for riding so they don't want her anymore. She is impossible to catch, impossible to handle, bad tempered, bites etc etc. The poor mare has no redeeming features. What I really resent is the implication that we sold her as suitable for riding which we of course never did. The woman finishes by saying that obviously Ali is nuts and I shouldn't even rehome her as a broodmare. I lose my cool fairly fast. I point out Ali has been to stud and they had no problems with her at all, that she had a foal I am very pleased with, that she was easy to catch when we had her, easy to lead, tie, move round, whatever. Yes she had some issues and they were told what they were in some detail before they took her but new bad habits were obviously inflicted by new owners not pre-existing problems. She tells me she's offended that I would suggest she mistreated a horse. I tell her I am completely unconcerned about her feelings on the matter. It goes rapidly downhill as you can imagine.

So we go to get the poor mare back - first we can't catch her. We go away and manage to get her two hours later when we come back. Then she shows some completely new behaviour - she loops right out on a 12 foot rope and shows us her new rearing trick. It's pretty impressive, she is close to going over backwards. If you turn and face her she runs backwards - fast. Flick a rope (any rope not just the 12 foot one) anywhere near her and all four feet leave the ground. Her new owners come anywhere near her and she jumps sideways. I'm a bit gobsmacked. I really didn't know you could do so much damage to a horse in such a short time. Of course there is no way she is going to go on the float (something she wasn't brilliant at but did after 10 minutes in the past) she loops out some more. We reluctantly leave her. (this is of course very bad in the minds of these Parelli practicers - we have let her learn that playing up means she gets away with it and we should have put her in with a lunging whip if necessary - thanks, your advice is noted, just as your other mares longstanding loading problems are).

Anyway they went away for Christmas (and put a padlock on their gate being smart arses) so we went down daily and caught Ali, worked with her and let her go again. She started seeming a little more sensible after a day or two.

So yesterday we took the gate off its hinges, got the float in, held our breath while the little red mare looked at it and decided to go on and took her home again. She appears happy enough to be here.

So it hasn't gone the way it should have and I am pretty unhappy about what has happened but we can now get on with dealing with it, instead of lying awake at night wondering how it was going to turn out.

I wouldn't feel quite so bad if these people would even acknowledge that they were the wrong home for Ali - they are still sticking to it is nothing they did, poor little Ali is apparently just a nutter.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bah Humbug

I've been Christmas shopping. And I am clinging to sanity by a thread I swear. (Of course many people would swear that I lost any semblence of sanity years ago).

Most years I am better organised but this year I am rather indifferent in the health department so didn't get to it earlier.

Yesterday I was left pondering why the retired don't shop before things go nuts. First there was the old fella in a little Daihatsu car doing a 36 point turn in the carpark building and holding up about 5 cars either side. Eventually he sorted it out - without hitting anything (though it was close at times). Then dozens more clogged up aisles in shops with walking sticks, walking frames and mobility scooters. In between them are whining toddlers and screaming babies. Poor little bastards, I know exactly how they feel.

After a couple of hours fighting my way through it and managing a reasonably productive spend up I went to fill the car with fuel. In front of me at the pump was a little old lady who carefully filled her car and went in to pay seconds ahead of me. Then she lost her eftpos card, and her Flybuys card and searched through her entire bag for five minutes before finding them - then she got her PIN number wrong twice and decided to use another card which eventually worked. So she toddled off and I paid for my fuel - I go out to find she's sitting in her car blocking mine in, door open, contemplating something. So I get in and start my car. I can't back up as someone has come up behind me so am pretty stuck. At this point the silly old bat gets out of her car and comes over to me "you can't go until I move and I forgot to buy something."
"Maybe you should move before you buy it then" I said (reasonably politely)
"No I've got a disability you know and can't walk far"
So help me she was lucky I left the gun at home!

Anyway I finished this morning by getting there before the shops opened, standing outside my selected retailer and racing in as soon as they opened the doors. This of course only works when you know exactly what you want. I would have availed myself of the gift wrapping service in the mall but men with huge bags of stuff that needed wrapping had already beaten me to it and the wait looked long. Some nice shops did do a bit of wrapping for me.

On the horse front Eby has put a bit of weight on Annie looks to need surgery in a couple of months, and Gemma is still holding on to that foal (and still moonbathing frequently). We also have one limpy yearling - Tee- limping on the same foot as his sister was limping on last week but unlike her we can't fix it by pulling the little piece of wire out of her sole and giving her a tetnus shot - at least we can't see any wire to pull out. Would appear to be a stone bruise (though where he found anything to bruise himself on we aren't sure) - anyway his timing is just impeccable. We also have one deeply disturbed mare 20km from home and unwilling to be caught let alone loaded onto a float. She also has a new fear of 12 foot lines and runs backwards if you look at her. I guess we learn from that that if someone says their current horse took 8 years to come right that may indicate incompetence rather than patience. Sadly it was a lesson learnt at the expense of the mare who deserved better.

All out of Christmas Cheer but don't mind me and have a good one.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Panic attack

Gemma the mini has looked due to foal for a good week but she has kept her legs firmly crossed. She's getting overnight checks and sets the foaling alarm off as well every now and then. So I am a bit wary of going out at the moment - just sometimes you have to if you want to earn a living and pay for expensive horse feed and stuff.

So this afternoon I was out for 4 hours and headed off to check Gemma as soon as I got home. I had a view of three quarters of the foaling paddock and I couldn't see her. Half way there I could hear the foaling alarm in the house going off and I had this immediate vision of poor little Gemmy in trouble foaling and left without help for hours. I start running and yell "Gemma".

She of course sticks her head round the corner of the garage and looks at me as if she is a bit concerned about my sanity. Still in one piece.

Enough already - have the baby will ya.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ebony and Annie

Two new minis came to stay today.

This is Ebony (Eby) who as you can see needs a bit of weight on. She also has a very sore hip - no one is quite sure when it became sore - it was sore immediately after she foaled and may have been sore up to a month or so before that. This makes it a bit difficult to figure out what might be wrong with it of course. Hopefully the vet will have an idea. For some unknown reason her tail is also falling out. I am hoping the vetadine and neem bath she is going to get this afternoon will help that before it goes completely bald.

And this is Eby's six week old baby Annie. She's a feisty wee madam despite her very crooked legs. The best treatment for foals with legs like these is to keep them confined and to get a vet to look at the options which include splints, corrective shoeing and possibly surgery. The earlier treatment is started the more likely there is to be a good outcome. Unfortunately Annie has been turned out on hills and had no treatment. The vet is coming on Monday to have a look, fingers crossed it isn't too late to do something.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Proud granny moment

His hairy tubby little (oops sorry)... I mean Mr Very Tall and Sexy Horse had his first foals on the ground last year. I was told yesterday that a long time and respected breeder expressed some sadness that the yearling she was admiring had been gelded as she thought he was more than nice enough to be left a colt.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Thought I had done so well with rehoming the redhead but I now have to reserve judgement on that.

She may be back... we will see. (if she is back it will be as it is in her best interests)

Update: Appears things are probably going smoothly again now. Fingers crossed.

Update on the update: I HATE rehoming horses! Especially the special cases. I am not entirely sure what Ali's future now holds but where she is is not the right place for her.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just for fun - from Kiwiblog

Analyse your blog type

Apparently Kismet farm is:

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

Looks just like me :-)

Maybe there is something in it

That males are supposed to keep their brains in their testicles...

In horses geldings are usually amendable and often a little dimwitted. Mares are a bit smarter usually. Calypso the stallion though is pretty darn smart.

The minis are on limited grass (it is a fact of life for them) and every morning they go out onto a grassy patch for a while and are taken off it and put back in a bare paddock after a couple of hours. This isn't necessarily to their liking as it is more fun on the grass if you are a short hungry horse. Anyway this morning Calypso waited until I put his lead rope on and left him to get his two girls. By the time I got back to him he had wandered off and was standing inside the gate of his bare paddock waiting to have his halter off. Now that wouldn't have been his choice of behaviour, but obviously he had decided it was inevitable so he might as well get on with it. The other thing he does is turn round so you can do his cover straps up - I used to tell him off for moving until I realised he was being helpful.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Health update

We have a guy at work who opens his mouth to change feet. His thought processes are unusual to say the least and he never ponders anything before just saying it.

I spent 8 hours in a car with him once and ended up ready to kill him. He would have been horrified if he realised how offensive he is, he doesn't mean it.

The other day he was holding forth in a fairly full room. His second cousin had breast cancer or something. I was 5 metres away talking to someone else when suddenly I was called at the top of his voice "Your cancer is fixed now isn't it?"

All eyes swivelled and there was a momentary silence "I wouldn't say it was fixed" I said cautiously "but I'm okay"

"well it must be fixed then" he said "your hair is really long again, you need a hair cut actually"

People are now looking at me strangely I shrug, say "whatever" and decide my empty coffee cup needs filling.

Anyway it isn't fixed, but it isn't progressing very fast. I am starting a new course of radiation this afternoon and we will see where it goes from there. Apart from the travelling to Hamilton every day I quite like radiation, fast, painless and appears effective.

One thing that was bugging me has changed with the change of government (a coincidence?) Late last year the local medical laboratory introduced a charge for a blood test that is an ovarian cancer marker. At $10 a time it wasn't a large charge but I objected on principle to having to pay anything. It felt as though they had singled out the women this test is important for and decided to hit them up because they are a fairly captive audience. I was so annoyed that I walked out and complained to everyone I could think of including Tony Ryall (National Health Spokesman at that time Minister of Health now). Eventually Tony sent me an email explaining they were allowed to charge for some tests in their contract and there wasn't much that could be done about it. I corrected the misinformation they had given him that they had been charging all along but really wasn't too much to be done except continue to complain to anyone who might be vaguely interested (health professionals mostly). As of this week they dropped the charge (said they just decided they would). I claim the victory as mine :-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yearlings playing

I took this video clip off the verandah this afternoon. Unfortunately it isn't really close enough. Storm and Tee are currently grazing the back run which is an L shaped strip of land about 8 metres wide down the side and back of our place. They love it in there under the pine trees as they have a good view of most of the area.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Update on Arnold calf

Arnold appeared to be healing quite well until this afternoon when he split the wound open again. Anyway we will see what happens.

His would be buyer is now spitting tacks and left me bad feedback on Trademe as I blacklisted him. He expressed a great deal of dissatisfaction on the phone that we would not sell him Arnold once he was healed up. I explained in no uncertain terms that I blacklisted him as I was not willing to sell him anything and definitely not a living thing. Had he taken Arnold after he damaged him he would now own him. Oh yes he might be up for potential vet bills instead of us...

Some people are just natural born dropkicks. I consider Arnold had a lucky escape.

Monday, November 03, 2008

As usual nothing goes according to plan

Arnold the steer was supposed to leave home in the weekend - enriching our bank account on the way. That was the plan.

We got him in in the morning and tagged him and gave him a pour on drench at the request of the buyer (who said he would pay for it) and left him until the buyer turned up, which he did with the most disreputable looking stock trailer which appeared to not only be a bad design job in the first place but also long overdue for some maintenance.

This guy raved on that he didn't know much about cattle. He was trying to imply that he was going to keep him for a pet forever but did confess to planning to eat him in due course when I asked whether he would be homekilling him (which may sound a bit callous to city dwellers but really steers have no other logical purpose) so either stupid or thought we were. Anyway Arnold was okay so we prepared to load him. The disreputable stock trailer had a variety of sticky out things so didn't sit right up against the yard fence the way other trailers do so we were left with doing the best we could. Not good enough for Arnold of course who attempted to escape down the side and took a chunk out of his shoulder on a sharp and sticky out bit on the trailer.

The buyer then became a cattle expert - this one was wild, would never load, he'd handled Angus bulls for years so he had seen it all, he was not fit for sale, now he was damaged, sale was off and he was leaving. So he did, no money, no apology, no further interest. Obviously just an a***hole.

So here we are with a steer with a big slice in his shoulder, tossing up. Vet - pretty expensive for a cheap steer and he's unlikely to go back into the race today, he really isn't that keen on the people thing at the best of times but definitely not when his shoulder hurts and he's already had his ears pierced today. Maybe we just call the homekill guy and put him in the freezer before he risks infection... uhh No - there is a 21 day witholding period for the drench he didn't need anyway as he was done a month before - and oh look a***hole hasn't paid for that either! Even less impressed. Not only has he damaged our steer on his crap trailer he requested we render him inedible and didn't pay for it.

In the end poor Arnold got a spray of disinfectant on his shoulder and returned to his mate Amanda.

So far - two days later - the wound looks dry and clean. Hopefully it continues to heal okay. Will then have to redecide his future.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Escape artists

Got up this morning to find a little black cow in with the yearlings. Thought it was probably Arnold Betsy's big bad autumn baby and left 'him' there. Some time later I realised it was Amanda, escaped from the high fences in with the mares.

Further examination shows that it was no small achievement escaping from that paddock, the top of the netting has been pulled away from the top wire and bent over leaving a fence still at least a metre high that the little black biddy had gone over.

By mid afternoon she had got as far as the cows - through two electric fences - and was chasing her mother round intent on suckling despite being weaned five months ago.

So husband came home and we determined that we would separate Amanda and Arnold and put them in the paddock behind the garage which would be handy for Arnold who is leaving home this weekend and while they were both in the general vicinity of the yards we could tag them which is somewhat overdue.

It went exactly to plan (yeah right!) - we put hay out for the cows and started moving the calves out the gate - at which point the calves bolted down the other end of the paddock and the cows all ignored their hay and shot out the gate. Well I guess that separated them. Good thing most of our paddocks have more than one way in and out - with a change of plan we sent the calves in the other direction, chased the cows three or four times round and back through the gate, chased the goats round the garden where they had escaped to and returned them to the paddock before they ate all the fruit trees, and yelled at each other in a heated manner. In the meantime little Gemma came through the fence (she's good at that) to eat the cows hay and had to be returned.

Eventually they all got to where they are supposed to be. But it took ten times as long as it should have.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Doing her giraffe impersonation.

Roxy games

Play with me or

I'll eat the trees

And run off with the lead rope.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Adios to the redhead

It is so scary rehoming horses! You worry that they may end up in the wrong place.

Ali the redhead is really surplus to requirements. She's come a long way from when she arrived with problems letting anyone walk past her shoulder in case they beat her from behind - these days you can trim her tail even, and fart around standing behind her deciding to exactly what level you will trim it. She even got to the point where the vet could talk to her. (He went "Look I'm patting your mad mare")

Anyway I put her on Trademe, with suit paddockmate or broodmare, explaining that she was nervous, was probably unbroken and had a puffy knee, and that the home was the one non negotiable thing about her rehoming. The price was more or less what the dog tucker people would pay (to disuade anyone thinking they would make a profit from putting her on the truck)

So I got a lot of emails asking if she was suitable for a beginner...
A beginner what? A beginner breeder yes possibly, a beginner rider - ummm hello! what part of 'probably never broken' do you not understand? Does 'nervous (but not dirty), needs consistant kind handling' suggest anything to you? *sigh* obviously not...

Some girl rang up last week "I'll take her, she's cheap enough" A chat revealed that she last had a pony when she was five, so she has decided to get back into riding, she has no grazing, she has no vet, farrier or horsey friends... (possibly she has no brain!). She raves on about trust and riding bareback to become one with the horse. Must have been reading those kids pony stories. I suggest that this isn't the horse she needs at this point and get a curt and sarcastic "well sorry to waste your time" and hung up on.

In the meantime some people we know locally had dropped in and had a look at her. They are Parelli followers and Ali looked them up and down, checked out the savvy string figured it wasn't going to hurt her and decided that she would try her utmost to understand what they wanted. They thought she was reactive but promisingly willing and loved Tee so liked the idea of her as a broodmare. As homes go for the little red mare it was ideal.

So today we dropped her off to them. She didn't say goodbye to us, she was busy checking out her new paddock mate and her new paddock.

Monday, October 20, 2008

while I'm loading photos

Tee on the left and Storm on the right

Little Gemma showing her baby bump (she's due around Christmas)

And Tee - even bum high and gangly and with half a winter coat he's still a pretty baby


By the time I got my camera they had stopped, but I took a photo anyway. The little black bovine is Amanda our Dexter heifer. She had her first birthday the other week. The problem was she also came into heat and she is too young to be mated. She is surrounded by our bull on one side and the neighbours bulls on the other (and those characters have no respect for fences). So to keep her from a teenage pregnancy we chucked her into one of the paddocks fenced for big birds - and currently occupied by the mares.

Roxy is entranced with Amanda - she tastes good apparently given the licking she has had and Rox keeps and eye on her most of the time. Amanda is sure that Roxy is the biggest cow in the world so must be herd leader.

The photo I missed tonight was the pair of them playing chase round the paddock. Sometimes Amanda was doing the chasing and sometimes Roxy was.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Waiting for the rain to stop

There are fifteen punnets of bedding plants (cheap from the red shed) sitting out on the front lawn. Garden is dug over and the trowel and gloves are waiting.

I had just got myself organised to add cottage garden colour to the garden in front of the verandah and the rain started.

Yesterday we went out with a few more plants to replace the winter casualties in the shelter belt (and save some from being engulfed in pasture) It rained at that precise moment too.

Think I'll go and read a book.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The long and the short of it.

Spring is in the air and even an old mare thinks about getting herself a stallion.
The problem for Ears (the dark old girl hanging over the gate) is that the only entire male horse in the general area is sort of short. This doesn't mean you can't flirt with him apparently.
Calypso - the short stallion in front of the gate - doesn't realise he is short of course. In fact he knows he is quite tall and also very sexy. He requested that the gate be opened several times.
Now that the three big girls have finished mowing the driveway and are back in their paddock he is standing at the gate calling Ears to come back. She doesn't seem THAT keen.

Friday, October 03, 2008

tanks again

So second plumbing attempts were more successful.

Now instead of one almost full tank we have two half full tanks.

Somehow that feels not quite as good as having an almost full tank, and I am still pondering why I feel like that - some deep childhood trauma must have affected me. Or maybe my grasp of volume mathmatics isn't that good.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tanks Alot

As many New Zealand rural dwellers do we have a rainwater tank water supply. So the rainwater off the various roofs round the place collects in a rather large rather disreputable looking concrete water tank. And mostly that works just fine. Except back at the end of January when it didn't rain for a while and we ran out. Not too big an issue as it conveniently rained six hours later but irritating none the less.

So at Fieldays we walked up and put the credit card down and ordered a new plastic tank (at a fairly good price too) to add to the water storage facilities.

About two months later they delivered it, and we rolled it round a bit and tied it to the fence so it didn't blow away and rang a couple of plumber/drainlayers about getting it connected. One never showed up and the other showed up about a week after he said he would and said it was no big deal and as soon as we put the tank down on the proscribed base in the selected place he would show up and plumb it up. So we did that and rang him back - no problem he said, he'd be out Monday the next week.

That was a couple of weeks ago. He's failed to return calls or contact us at all since. He can't have gone to the wrong place as he's been here before... we left a phone number a couple of times so doubt he lost that. He's even put leaflets out in mailboxes in the last week promising prompt reliable service. Maybe he doesn't like us. Not sure why, our cheques are as good as anyone else's (and better than some no doubt)

So yesterday we went and discussed the whole thing with the plumbing and irrigation experts in town and bought a whole heap of parts. They agreed with the plumber about how it should work so it seemed relatively straight forward.

Except the plan to fill the new tank from the old tank and run them both in tandem doesn't work. And when we applied ourselves and our memories of high school science lessons to it we could see that it wouldn't work the way they said it would.

We think we have the solution - but now it needs more parts.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

the kitchen (almost) finished

Thought it was about time I showed you how the kitchen came out. To the right - past the stove - is a walk in pantry that fills what was previously a blank piece of hallway. Behind me is the old pantry which has been refitted to take the plates and serving dishes and things. It is the most basic kitchen we have ever done but my favourite (so far)

Monday, August 25, 2008

oops - edit

so bored with the rain I have taken to repeating myself it appears. Also bored with the mud.... :-)

so very bored

with the rain.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

sometimes you have to stop and look behind you

to see how far you have come.

Ali the redhead mare - the one with cover issues - also had feet issues. That is she didn't like anyone picking them up and was even less fond of a suggestion that someone might lay farrier type tools on her little tootsies.

I got to where I could pick her front feet up but really those hind hooves frightened me and I used to chicken out even attempting to pick them up.

I must mention that she has great little feet that chip off fairly evenly so though not desirable the lack of hoof care wasn't the end of the world (if she had shown any problems I would have got the vet out to sedate her for the farrier but she was pretty good untrimmed)

Then she went to stud at Talisman Farm and Nick and Lou kindly trimmed her front feet which was a big move forward. But I asked the farrier to have a go at her and she had a meltdown so we went back to letting them chip off while she was in foal and went back to work on it when working with the foals feet. After a while we could run a hand right down a hind leg without her kicking out and then moved on to asking her to pick it up.

Today we went out and trimmed all four feet, without any dramas. Certainly she isn't the old timer that goes to sleep during the manicure and stands with a foot up all day and I doubt she ever will be, you have to give her foot back occasionally to let her regroup, and I wouldn't do anything with her hind feet without someone holding her head, but the mare who panicked if you tried to touch her feet at all has come a long way.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

more LOL cats

more cat pictures

Friday, July 25, 2008

no camera when you need it

Well not handy enough to grab.

It is tiki tour time of year for me again - this week Taumaranui. Which is much the same as it was when I was six and lived there - except someone has made a gorgeous job of doing up our old house, the school has had a coat of paint and the town pool has got smaller (at least I could have sworn it was bigger than that). The gene pool is definitely smaller - the town population has shrunk over 40% in recent years!

Anyway I digress...

In my tiki tour of the far flung provinces I did a few country kilometres. And all over these backroads were feral goats. Round every bend you inevitably found another goat browsing the roadside foliage. And all these goat had one, two or three of the most adorable little black kids. Tiny little,the size of a cat, black goatlings, very very cute.

I was so tempted when I got two babies pinned against a bank quite by accident. I was out of the car contemplating grabbing them and jamming them into the car before reason reasserted itself and I remembered that it was six hours before I got home, I didn't have a change of clothes and I had an appointment in an hour - probably not a good look showing up covered in goat excreta, and finally we don't need any more goats...

I'm still sort of wishing I had grabbed one.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

snoozing on a winter afternoon

Tee and Storm having a lie down after an exciting walk up the road (there are gates and trees and cows out there ya know!).

Spoke too soon

Ali the redhead had a major meltdown over getting her cover back on tonight. After she had bucked and reared and got over trying to leave she was okay again but it was a fraught two or three minutes.

I guess we just put the cover on, take the cover off, ignore the panic and praise the bravery.

This could take some time.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Call the police!

Got home a day or so ago to find a note from a policeman in the mailbox saying please ring (gave number) followed by "PS There were horses in your garage so I shut the door it's a bit of a mess in there"

A check confirmed that it was indeed a bit of a mess in there, some small horses had helped themselves to a large bucket of sugarbeet (thankfully soaked) leaving a lot of it on the floor and also several kilos of carrots. At least the guilty trio looked none the worse for wear from the feast and hadn't found the unsoaked sugarbeet or the grainbased food.

So I went and rang the policewoman who was still laughing about the naughty ponies who had looked very guilty she reckoned.

While still laughing she said she was passing by to look at the remains of a burnt out stolen car in the area and thought she would drop in as someone had complained about husbands driving - they had reported him overtaking in what they considered a dangerous manner. So we chatted about that and that when you drive a large 4WD you have a better view than drivers in a sedan and how the brain dead don't realise that pulling out in front of a vehicle travelling at 100km an hour is ill advised. I also scratched my head as to why people have so little to do - I mean I see a dozen idiot drivers a day sometimes but it never occurs to me to complain about them.

Anyway still laughing about well fed little horses she rang husband at work and suggested he don't overtake people dangerously. He agreed not to.

Guess that just proves that there is a policeman round when you need one (to get horses out of the feedshed)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Giving the girl a blanket

Ali the redhead doesn't like covers. There are a few things in her life that cause her anxiety and covers is one of them. So on the reasoning of why waste a cover on a horse that really doesn't want it thanks we haven't covered her for the last two winters. But this winter has been a bit colder and she really doesn't like it when it is cold and raining, she gets an "I'm about to die of misery" look, even when handed half a bale of hay and a bucket of warm boiled barley.

So with a really cold front on the way it was time to put a cover on Ali whether she liked the idea or not. And we were waiting for some major hysterics but they didn't really arrive, once she gave up trying to sidle away from the cover and it was actually on her back it was fairly straightforward. And once it was on she shook herself and decided that it was really quite pleasant thanks.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Yeah... well...

I think I have mentioned before that husband has a strange sort of boss.

Actually "strange" is probably a charitable description.

His recent trick was to cancel a day of annual leave he had already approved for husband to go to Fieldays with me because he (the boss) had to go to Fieldays and someone had to run the business. I'm sure you can't do that! He didn't actually get away with it as husband rang him the morning of the day and told him he was taking his annual leave and too bad.

Then there is the "I'm so good to you I'll send you to Aussie" Back in February or so he asked husband if he wanted to go to Aussie for a weekend to do a course. He could have some more time off before or after if he liked rah rah. So we discussed it and decided we would both go for a week. Then the boss decided that HE was going to go for a week and booked husbands ticket to leave on Friday night come back on Monday morning (needing to check in at 6am what fun) and spend the intervening two days at this course. When boss was told that that wasn't really what we wanted he shrugged and pointed out that the tickets were non refundable and non exchangable and done and paid for now. So too bad never mind.

That was this weekend - I'm sure he's had lots of fun (not!)

With a weekend to myself and some mediocre weather I moved a bookcase and the tropical fish tank. Moving the tank was sort of a largish task, and definitely required several buckets and a supply of towels. Apart from that I played with the foals for a bit, put the old girl Ears on a lunge for ten minutes (in an effort to work her weight back upwards, she has lots of belly and not much topline since having Storm) read a book and watched the first season of Grey's Anatomy on DVD.

Wasn't all bad.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I think it was two and a half weeks ago give or take that the old kitchen was removed. That left a microwave and a camping stove and the slow cooker. The old dishwasher went to live in the laundry but when it threw a hissy fit we were left with doing dishes in the laundry tub. (I'm most upset about the dishwasher - we paid $25 for that a year ago, I'm not sure we have had our money's worth)

This evening, at last, the new kitchen went in and became sort of functional. There is a fair bit of finishing but we have a sink with running water, a dishwasher, and a stove.

Finally feels like we are getting somewhere.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

more cat pictures

Sunday, June 08, 2008

And this week on Kismet Farm

The usual attempts to get all exercise into the weekend so we can return to work for a rest.


Bought stock food
Bought groceries
Went to the building supplies place with a long list of stuff that we needed prices for. Total much smaller than suspected.
Bought sundry hardware items
Unpacked groceries and stock food
Put a coat of sealer on new walls in kitchen
Picked up some of the hedge trimmings left from last weeks hedge trimming


Put first top coat on the kitchen
Picked up rest of hedge trimmings
Admired mighty large pile of hedge trimmings (and I mean very big - approx 8 metres long, 3 to 4 metres wide and a couple of metres high)
Moved stock round (they love this bit and race round for ages)
put second coat of paint on kitchen
Chopped onions and hoped paint smell would go away
Wrote formal letter to incompetent builder requesting materials account
Packed to go away for a couple of days tomorrow.

Hmm - that's all.. seemed like more somehow.

Builder woes some more

Guess what - bad builder sent the bill.
Yesterday we went - with a list of every single thing we could think of that was used - and got a price for it at the same place builder used. Guess what - his materials account (which has no detail at all) is $2800 and the number we got is $1250.

His time seems a little stretched as well and he had an attempt at charging us for a skill saw as he blew up his old one (he withdrew that bit when we asked he return OUR skill saw then)

Wonder if this guy spends his whole life ripping off people or if it was just us.

Obviously he is required to provide an itemised materials list before we will even contemplate payment...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Friday, June 06, 2008

some people have very short memories

Less than five seconds it appears.

Back a bit over a year ago we put the other house on the market. And sold it in about three or four months. Nothing too dramatic we got caught in a slowing market.

Earlier than that husbands boss listed their house. And got an offer at about 20% less than their asking price straight away. Which they declined. Fast forward - as there is nothing interesting happened in the meantime - to yesterday when they accepted an offer for $100,000 less than that first offer.

Some moments after sharing that the house appeared reasonably close to sold finally (after over a year and a half) the boss told husband that houses in town sold a lot better than those in the country of course and he would never consider a lifestyle block.

Thank God for that - we have enough stupid neighbours already...

Monday, June 02, 2008

Happy birthday to Her Majesty

who's real birthday is in April I believe. Anyway we get another day in the weekend.

Which was fully utilised in household renovations:

Phone call from my mother reporting someone had vandalised her letterbox overnight
Go into town to collect some hardware things and check the letterbox.
Fix letterbox.
Arrive home to get phone call from tree trimmer man who will be down this afternoon to start trimming trees. Move animals round and open gates and things.
Strip some architrave. Very slow going.
Tree trimmer man shows up and trims some trees before it gets dark at which point he goes away.


More gib fixing and general mucking around
Pick up manure
Trim some horses feet
Go out to dinner with family.

More gibbing and stuff
More paint stripping. Slow but slightly faster than Saturdays effort
Tree trimmer man shows up and finishes off. Lovely job but not inconsiderable pile of macrocarpa pine and pittosporum trimmings left lying round the place.
As it rains on and off all day spend time putting covers on and taking covers off the horses. Very good training for foals. With adjustment number 15 we manage to get Tee's cover fitting finally so it doesn't slip sideways on him. The other possibility is that he grew into it in the last week.
Fit panelling now devoid of paint (mostly)

Monday, May 26, 2008


It is after 10am (NZ time)

Builder we are paying by the hour hasn't shown up yet.

He showed up, stated that the paneling he had no trouble getting (so there was no need to save the stuff already on the wall) is not after all available at all. We will have to get it made specially at a cost...

Has got himself a "take your tools with you when you go today"

Update on the update

Laughing a lot.
Builder rang husband last night to confirm that I had authority to tell him not to do any more work. Has generously offered to have the paneling made for us and we could get a bit of a discount (was told no as by that point we had already salvaged sufficient from the inside of a cupboard - which now needs gib but never mind) and offered the parting shot that the waste pipe fitted by a plumber over the weekend was too small. Since the plumber hasn't made any cock ups yet and the waste pipe is actually the largest available diameter I think we are safe to ignore that.

He did sort of apologise for being a prize prat to me when his dismissal was confirmed, but pointed out righteously that I had been quite rude to suggest that he needed constant supervision or he stuffed up. Guess he realised that he hasn't been paid yet *laughs some more*

Sunday, May 25, 2008

This weekend...

We got some gib up on the house alterations. Not all of it - some is still waiting for the builder to get his act together (guess we are dreaming if we expect THAT to happen)

Planted the final 300 daffodil bulbs, it is a little depressing how they take so long to get planted and you can't see a thing for your efforts. It will look wonderful in spring though.

Introduced the foals to covers. I wasn't going to as I am sure youngsters are fine without covering but young Tee came out in rainscald - probably just because he has been through a bit with gelding and weaning. So covers it was - of course we can't let Storm think she is neglected so got two. They stood like little rocks when the covers went on - being used to being rubbed all over with various things it wasn't an issue, and then spent a lot of time sniffing each other to check out what the new bits were. Look very grown up and quite smart in their navy synthetics.

Friday, May 23, 2008

On my soapbox

So called Horse Rescuers

I am rather a fan of Fugly Horse of the Day blog - I like the way this woman tells it like it is. Often I have trouble believing the targets of her blog are that stupid, but it appears that they really are. Scary indeed.

Back in little old NZ we aren't that crash hot on horse care either. Though some people would like to claim they are.

For instance not too far from here (well an hour and a half driving) there is a woman who calls herself a horse rescuer. How she does that is she goes round the racehorse trainers and offers to rehome the sacked racehorses. So she sticks them in her paddock. She might throw a saddle on them and ride them once or twice. She won't in general call a farrier or a vet or a horse dentist as that would cost money. She isn't noted for overfeeding them either. And she advertises them to sell - often as suitable for beginners - at a nice profit. If they don't sell in a week or three she sells them for dog tucker. Nice.

There's another so called horse rescuer in Auckland who picks and choses her free horses - she hasn't had any that are more than slightly ribby (she calls these in very poor condition). She sells for a profit too. In her defence I will say I don't believe she dog tuckers anything and I do believe she puts some work into them. But she can't afford them and is reliant on donations or the horses starve.

And another one south of here who in conjunction with 'rescuing' does a bit of horse dealing often giving a sob story about looking for something to keep forever to get the price dropped when buying a horse so she can onsell it. This has happened at least three or four times so is a little more than failing to click with the horse. She has been known to claim to have rescued these horses too - they were in perfectly good condition when she got them.

Sadly these and other people have managed to sucker a fair bit of money out of the more trusting of the population.

I also get a fair bit irritated at the sob stories. "I can't afford hay, grazing, a saddle, transport, please help". Seriously if you can't afford the basics what the hell are you doing with a horse! In fact the world may be a better place if you didn't.

Then there is the girl with the mini stallion who is feral, to date he has bitten dozens of people and dented several cars with some well aimed kicks. She's rather pleased that he's so wild (standing on the other side of the fence obviously)it gives her something to boast about. Lady, with a temperament like that gelding him would be the best option! First he IS big enough to hurt someone and secondly who would seriously want a foal with parentage like that?

Really you have to wonder!

Of course if you express any opinion along those lines you are accused of being vindictive, or maybe menopausal. Maybe I am just concerned for the horses...

Right rant over *steps off soapbox and kicks it aside*

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Counting down

to the point where we no longer have an inept tradesman wandering round the house.

The man also has a really irritating habit of leaving his food left overs all over the place - I fail to see why he can't throw his own apple cores and sandwich crusts away, certainly no need to leave them sitting on the verandah railings or on the windowsill.

Task one - a window refit after a wall rebuild was sort of completed today. In that the window is in the hole. A lot of further work needs to be completed but it is a start.

We are contemplating ordering him not to touch the other two tasks he needs to do. That would ensure he finishes them both before lunch time tomorrow.

So thoroughly bored with him. He came recommended, I guess next time we will have to ask to see examples of the workmanship and quiz the owners.

Today husband caught up with the person who recommended this dropkick and expressed his concern. Emerges that dropkick builder has been noted to have a drug intake issue or two when life isn't going his way.
Guessing life isn't going his way at the moment
Explains a lot....
*Makes note - next builder will be asked about drug habits* (will that work I wonder)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Help! Save me from perverse tradespeople!

It was looking up slightly in that the builder actually did a very productive days work yesterday. As you have to do with small children, animals and those of limited intellect we expressed how pleased we were with that. "Great days work, it really is coming along..."

Then the next tasks were discussed. There was a list - including things we don't know how to do like fit a cavity slider. The old kitchen is getting to the stage where it needs to move out of the way. We will take it out we told the builder yesterday, did it need to be gone immediately or could it wait another day? No rush he said - by Thursday or Friday would be fine. Great we replied we will take it out tomorrow night (as in tonight).

So all was looking very positive, until I came home tonight to find the kitchen cabinets in a mangled heap in the middle of the floor and builder fluffing round dropping bits of wood all over the place (not something I encourage on a 100 year old polished kauri floor you understand)

"Look, I got your kitchen out" he said "I did it first thing this morning, it took a while"
I only had one possible polite reply "Why?" Saying anything else would have included words like imbecile, discussions on whether he had hearing or comprehension difficulties and several swearwords.
He was silent for a moment and finally offered "I didn't think you would have time"
So today's Tuesday and he didn't think we would have time between now and Thursday to remove a kitchen - we liked the idea of taking it out without resorting to wrecking it completely too but I guess we know nothing.

I think he has a problem with authority... or maybe a drug habit.

This wouldn't matter so much if he wasn't wasting time on an hourly rate - if there was a fixed charge for the work he could muck around until he was bored with it all (and I am guessing he would work a lot faster)

There are three more things we really want him to do, the rest we have the ability to do ourselves. So three things and he is out. I do worry about how much he will take upon himself to wreck first though.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Planting things

The Weekend Tally

170 more trees in the shelterbelts and in some paddocks for future shade and shelter
8 more maples down the drive (to join the 8 already there and several years old)
4 silk trees in various corners of the garden (in the middle of the front lawn being the most obvious 'corner')
200 daffodil bulbs in the orchard and about 300 still to plant.

My back aches

Friday, May 16, 2008

Further renovation update

Well the kitchen has finally come good we think. Will reserve final judgement until it is absolutely and completely finished but it appears we have what we wanted.

The builder has managed to do himself out of the rest of the work we will get done though. Despite having the window in the wrong place he carried on ignoring that we told him to change it so we had to have a serious meeting this morning to order him to move the window. Which he eventually did after some strange arguing and plenty of spouting of building regulations, many of them made up as he went along (part of my job is being conversant with building regs so I do know most of them) and he didn't take kindly to being told he was incorrect.

Anyway the window was put in the right place... now really that wasn't too hard was it?

I don't get it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tell me why we renovate again

It has only been going on a week and we are ready to kill someone.

First there is the kitchen manufacturer who just cannot follow a plan. First we had the kick board height altered, which he maintained was what we wanted until he got out the plans where the kick board height was written (and circled) twice. So we get over that stuff up. Then he carries on refusing to follow instructions so needs checking twice a day to make sure he hasn't decided that the drawers need to be different than what we specified and things like that. I am very concerned about the dishwasher space - really should take a tape measure as it doesn't look big enough to me... Have had several new kitchens in my time, this one is the most basic of them all (though definitely not the cheapest) and the most trouble. And it isn't finished yet.

Then the builder has some ideas of his own. He was employed to first build a wall for a pantry, move a window and fit the kitchen. He waltzes in and expresses vast concern about weatherproofing the basement. We don't care and tell him so, he almost downs tools as he wants to weatherproof the basement, but gets over it. The thing is the basement is weatherproof. The problem was there was a leak (from the old kitchen) which has since been fixed which left watermarks on the ceiling and stuffed the carpet. We don't care about the carpet and we know it smells but we don't use that room at the moment so we don't care. He insists it is still leaking... Argghhh.

Then we had some long discussions about where the window was to go. We gave him exact instructions - it needs to be 960mm from that wall, at least, a bit more will be fine. Tonight he has all but finished the window enclosure and is ready to fit the window tomorrow. Except that the hole (and very well put together it is too) is 910mm from the wall....

I hope this finishes soon, we seem to have employed tradesmen with drug habits or something.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Even more over it

Finally - some time longer than the 21 days it was supposed to take - I got my patient file yesterday.

Well approximately half it - there are some huge gaps in there and there are some double ups that even the most incompetent admin person should have seen I would have thought (one specialist letter was forwarded to four different staff with a note that "from recent visit to ****** on ****." I got that five times). A somewhat condescending letter from a few months ago advising me that should I be aggrieved with my treatment I could seek a second opinion privately from (person named) as they are sure their opinion would be similar but I should note that this will cost several hundred dollars, is missing. All information on the 30 odd CT scans I have had is omitted - apart from about 10 notes referring me for the same CTs

Some file alteration has also occurred. (I'm blessed with a photographic memory and have no problem recalling actual sentences from previous - I had also noted them in my own diary.) I must admit that some of it was downright untruths and should be amended and the rest was probably unacceptable comment. But if they told me a lie and wrote it on the file it should stay there.

I have requested the rest of the file. Reading to date indicates that a lot of thoughts uttered by individual medical persons without any proof have become gospel without any further investigation. I would suspect the person that stated these thoughts wasn't particularly sure of their ground as so called 'givens' first show up in the notes in sentences like "It is possible that..." or "in similar cases it was found that.... can occur" Much of this stuff has never been shared with me.

I lack the necessary couple of hundred thousand required to sort this out privately so guess I have to persist with the public health system. I am just not sure what the next move is. There is an answer out there, I need to get out of the care of those who can't see it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Went up north for a while

four days to be precise - for work.

Going up north for a while used to be what pregnant girls did in the 60s.

I am only muttering about where I have been as I found a couple of business names I liked in Kerikeri

Get Fudged - sold fudge of course

Living on the Hedge - selling hedging and shelter belt plants

Well I liked them (guess ya had to be there)

More motherless babies

the calves stopped bellowing so we weaned the foals on Friday.

They have been fairly good on the whole, a little yelling from both mothers and children but not excessive. A small attempt to dig their way out of the deerfenced paddock when they decided it was too big to go over and didn't seem to have enough gap to squeeze through but otherwise no problems.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

they just keep getting bigger

Our little T for toerag who has had a slightly quieter week than usual after the vet gelded him 10 days ago. He's now got all his bounce back and is spending his time playing with his sister.

Wot we did in the weekend...

Was just pondering that it has been a busy few weeks but a bit has been achieved.

Last weekend we started by picking up our little Dexter bull Jack who has been a long time in transit but is finally here. He's a dear little lad who self loads on the float - not what you expect from a bull but I assured him that sort of behaviour would get him more girls in the long run so he should continue it. He was quite happy with his nice grassy paddock with a couple of girls next door.

After that we went into town with some kitchen plans to get quotes on them. Find it is interesting when you first walk into a kitchen showroom six salespeople accost you. Ten minutes later when you are ready to talk about it they are ignoring you standing waiting for attention as they dial another phone number. Anyway we got that sort of underway and went and bought the appliances. Which rather upset a brand new salesperson in Noel Leemings when we explained that we were interested in having these three things and we were interested in paying X for them. Deal eventually done after he had a chat to the boss.

Not much of the day left after that.

Sunday we planted 192 trees down our fencelines. That meant saving 8 for replacements just in case. Let the new bull in with his girlfriends. He proved in short order that he doesn't have a lot of regard for electric fences and he quite likes eating eucalypts. So that accounted for the last 8 saved plants and meant more hotwire needed to be strung round.

During the week some kitchen quotes came in. It was interesting to see that some people just can't get what has been explained to them three times and other people have no problems. Prices vary very widely. We are waiting on the final one where the salesperson seemed to know exactly what we wanted and was trying to source us the right sink at the right price. So hopefully decision early next week.

This weekend hasn't been much quieter. Started on Saturday morning weaning the calves and putting their mothers in with the bull. The one remaining calf who is too young to wean got a ring on his testicles, something he protested about quite vigorously and his mother got somewhat irate that we were making her baby boy yell and backed all of her not inconsiderable weight into the crush gate with some breakage ensuing. Anyway we got that done and Jack the bull is a happy lad. More fencing was put round the new tree plantings and all animals moved onto new grass. .

Went into Te Puke for some lunch and to buy some more fencing materials. Which wasn't very successful as the farm stores didn't have the right things and the lunch was extremely mediocre.

I got Roxy out for a while for a tidy up and some general handling which she tends to need as she gets a bit feral if you don't keep at her. She managed to avoid standing on me or breaking anything so it was in general successful.

Went to bed to the cheerful sound of calves bellowing.

Woke up this morning to more calf bellowing. Picked up a heap of manure, did some more fencing, played with some foals. Currrently checking out planting options for the rest of the shelter belt.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Really just SO over it

Our health system that is.

I have just requested a complete copy of my records, as I suspect that bits I read last year (and noted in my own diary) may now be missing.

Currently I am getting steadily, but very slowly worse. That's okay apparently I'm not sick enough to bother doing anything about it. Of course when I am sick enough that they have to do something to keep me alive I will be too unwell for them to do anything about it and they will shrug their collective shoulders.

There are actually three different options out there - surgery, chemo or radiation.

Somewhere along the line someone has decided surgery is not an option again. I can't find out who decided this, what qualifications they have to make this decision or whether they have even examined me - I just keep being told that is the decision. People with much more widespread cancer than mine get surgery, but I can't. No idea why. It would appear from the info that I have that surgery would be highly effective for several years at fairly reasonable cost considering.

Chemo - there are about six drugs left I could try. Three are available within the health system. Funnily enough a smart arse oncologist told me last May with absolute seriousness and his hand on his heart that there was no other chemotheraphies available for me. He's a big fat liar obviously. Same man told me that there were NEVER clinical trials done at Waikato - yet a quick search of the internet will show that there are dozens going on all the time, several with smart arse oncologists name on them. I no longer see him as I got sick of the mind games. However he still has authority over what I get to take and his call is that there may be three left but he doesn't think I should take any of them until I am critically ill. That's fine who in their right mind wants chemo. The lies and the lack of choice isn't okay though.

Radiation would take all tumours back to managable levels and get rid of my constant pain. Apparently that isn't an option either - not sure why, again no one will give me an answer. Too much radiation makes surgery very difficult but as surgery isn't an option what does it matter. We will wait again until it is life threatening.

I have declined to go through any more of this crap for six months. I am just not interested in being told that I am getting worse but I should take some paracetamol and maybe a codeine. If I don't feel significantly worse in six months I won't bother going back then either. However a thorough read of all the records might be interesting.

I have a nasty feeling that if we had just a little more money I could privately buy myself a lot longer life expectancy. Though I have a lot more intention of living than the professionals seem to think I should have.
I am forever being told that I need to accept that this isn't curable (I do, but I don't accept that it isn't controllable. And actually while I don't believe I will ever get a cure I do know that some people do so a cure is not impossible technically)
I am also often told that I am 'lucky' as I have gone statistically past the point they thought I would have (what the hell is lucky about having cancer FFS - but whatever)
They express surprise that I am still working full time too (I guess I am supposed to be sitting round getting ready to die - unfortunately I need the money)
And I need to get past the angry stage and learn acceptance. (when I die I will accept it - until then I will remain angry, particularly when I am not allowed to ask questions or have any say in my treatment)

Was also reading the other day about tumours with low malignancy potential. These are growths that are cancerous but don't tend to invade anything vital, so while they grow they don't cause a lot of harm other than leaning on other body parts. Very interesting reading - often misdiagnosed in histology as more malignant tumours, and I fit the statistics for time to recurrence, sensitivity to marker blood tests, response to chemotherapy and age. I don't fit the statistics gathered from the normal ovarian cancer at all. The interesting thing about tumours with low malignancy potential is that the mortality rate is very very low - women die with them but not because of them.

This reminds me that I was never adequately biopsied.

So maybe lifethreatening won't ever happen.

Friday, February 15, 2008

And Hay Hay Hay

It was like pulling teeth (or something) painful anyway.

Rang the local contractor in November about making hay. Yes no probs, we were on the list.

Spent November and December weeding the hay paddocks - no ragwort and hardly any dock was to survive. And it rained enough to make it grow.

In the golden weather of January we watched him make large rounds at the neighbours. We'll be next - he promised.

In mid January I rang him and got his mother - "might be an idea to get someone else" she said. I did control my temper but it was difficult.

So five phone calls later the man decided life would be simpler all round if he just came and cut our hay. So he did, finally last week.

Last time half the area we did was cut they got 132 bales. We had twice that much shut up. We got 183 bales. Which was a bit annoying until we went to pick them up. Talk about heavy! I am sure we could have got a heap more bales if he had baled them looser - that's all good though as we paid by the bale.

So no one will starve this winter.

It has rained ever since we got the stuff stacked in the shed. You have to get lucky sometimes.

And Vale

things that make me cry.

This year to date we have lost two horses

Little Chase the mini foal who came when his mother did to get in foal to Calypso. He was fine in the morning, we came home that night and found he wasn't quite well so called the vet. The vet came out and said he had a slight temperature and was slightly dehydrated. Despite antibiotics and fluids he died the next morning. What is particularly gutting is that autopsies still don't tell us why. A rapid infection is the only conclusion.

RIP little man

And goodbye too to my good friend Kiwi who has been struggling with congestive heart failure since May last year with good days and bad ones. After two bad weeks it was time to say goodbye. Run free and fast my friend

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How foals grow

28 December 2007

Far out - time flies!

So what happened in the meantime?

October 14 in the early hours of the morning
Ears had a baby girl - Storm - exactly what I ordered

Followed 11 days later at the more sociable hour of 8pm by Ali's baby Karma who was nicknamed Tee in short order (short for toerag). He is a very pretty baby with the lovely
movement of both his parents

Both are greys.

We also had cows

Aurora's bull calf Ron who soon grew into a sturdy lad

And Bonny had Amanda who may be a brunette but is really rather blond.