Thursday, July 30, 2009

I got taken to church and sunday school with reasonable regularity as a child. Which didn't leave me with any firm belief systems but gave me an appreciation of the traditions of organised religion. I like hymns, I like the liturgy, that Sunday morning good all over feeling, it's just comforting somehow - like reciting poetry left over from childhood.

That must be why I bought a church pew last week.

It's not a real old one, and it doesn't have the tactile appeal of an old Catholic or C of E pew (many of those I just HAVE to pat), but it is rimu and should look quite good in the dining room after some running repairs and a good scrub up and re-oil.

I feel I might need to make it a cushion for the seat though.

Some mothers do have 'em

and chances are we are mug enough to employ them to do something and live to realise it would have been easier if we hadn't.

Actually we had a very good tradesman over the weekend - a tiler. This guy turned up when he said he would, did a brilliant job, didn't charge too much and was no problem to have round. So Silas from Kre8ive Building Solutions comes highly recommended.

The fencing contractor on the job this week is back in our usual mould though. I will give the guy he has a great work ethic, he shows up and he keeps working steadily, so no problem with that. It's the thinking this guy does when he's not paid to think. One instruction was fence along the top of the hill (not really a hill but the highest point in some rolling land). He agreed that he understood that then spent all day putting posts in three metres over the brow of the hill on the slope while no one was watching him. His reason was the theory about stock going better through gates going uphill.... yeah whatever (what are we supposed to do going the other way through the gate then?)- we envisage this fence will be around for the next 50 years, please put it where we asked. We thought we had sorted that but his next step was to move another fenceline over just a bit (about 5 metres), no reason, just felt like it... *sigh*

This morning he's very concerned that our cow is unwell as her hip bones are sticking out. Well that's Aurora, she's half jersey, she milks off her back on the very best of feed and there is no way round it - by the time we get to weaning you can see her hip bones (jersey cows aren't noted for a good fat covering of course and hips and ribs are pretty commonplace) but she raises nice calves and she recovers between weaning and calving again. He's not convinced - he's said several times she probably has some disease.

When I want an opinion on stock I'll call the vet or the stock agent okay. And I won't expect them to do fencing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I suddenly realised

why I am so perennially slack about the bit of paperwork needed when it comes to registering home bred animals with the appropriate breed society.

It is so not a big deal - fill out the form, attach the appropriate cheque (not a large amount) put it in an envelope and send it away. In a week or two the papers will arrive back and the animal will be worth more than if I didn't go through the process.

I forever put it off until the last minute. Today I finally got round to it. If I left some of them much longer they'd be breeding stock themselves. And I realised why I don't like doing it.

The problem is I have to give them all names. It's a serious decision, whatever I call them (with or without mis-spellings) has to stick with them their entire life (which admitedly may only be until the homekill man comes). And they do tend to have names already - just Kismet Farm Sillyface and similar doesn't seem appropriate.

I'm pleased I only had two children...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

It was supposed to be a fairly laid back weekend

Something went wrong with that plan.

Firstly husband had a mission. He was going to paint the woodwork in the dining room or bust. And he did it. Looks quite good too - shame about the paint smell and having to keep the windows open most of the day.

And I took the clippers to little Gemma who was supposed to go back to her owner this weekend. Except under all that fluff I found some lice. Ick ick ick. So I deloused her and said I would keep her a bit longer to make sure I have seen them all off.

Nothing for it when one horse has lice - bring them all in and delouse them all. But while doing that might as well get some wormer down their throats, and some feet could do with a trim.

So Sunday lunch looking for a new Sunday lunch place went by the bye as we hauled in horse after horse, applied lice treatment, wormer and farrier equipment to their hooves. We actually did all eight geegees in the end, which was a fairly good effort I thought. Especially as it was blowing a gale and most of the equines figured playing up was the order of the day. Even Ears who is usually a model of decorum stamped her feet and said she couldn't be bothered picking them up. The best behaved was little Eby who has been difficult with her feet since she arrived and required considerable persistance. This time for the first time ever she was perfectly behaved.

Along the way I had put the makings of a loaf of bread in the breadmaker. There was a ten second powercut at the point of about horse number 5 which didn't mean much until we took a break to improve our caffeine levels and found the breadmaker had turned off with the loaf well into its second rising. Consulting the manual and pressing all the buttons indicated that I couldn't instruct it to carry on from that point, that just isn't one of the options. So it became a quick batch of bread rolls - which stuck to the oven tray as I forgot to flour it. Reasonably edible so not all is lost. (though when keeping hens all baking failures get recycled very fast so nothing is ever wasted)

Then there was the tale of two washing machines. In the house we have one for normal things and out in the shed we have another one for farm things like horse covers, mud encrusted jackets after tackling calves in the mud, dirty rags that have served all sorts of dubious purposes, and the hair encrusted clothes I wore to clip Gemma. These clothes (the ones I wore to clip Gemma) I had dropped into a pile by the door ready to take out to the shed. Except husband dropped them in the inside washing machine. Three loads of washing later it is still spitting out clothes adorned with horse hair. Hopefully it will come off when they dry...

Now next week the cattle are due for a going over

Pondering my lack of empathy

Someone we know has been running their own business for about 10 years. It has by all appearances gone very successfully. Appearances included expensive cars, brand new big boys motorbikes, large house additions, home theatres, and children behaving like spoilt brats and attached to every consumer appliance available. If there was any doubt the successfulness of this business and the material possessions in this families life was forever shoved down everyones throats. That anyone would want to work for a salary was sneered at (yep that's me). That my husband operated his own business for some years but in the end figured working for someone else was a better lifestyle was mentioned as his 'failure in business'.

This week we were told that the business was inches from failure and if it went so would everything they owned.

I was supposed to do something. I feel completely disinclined to do anything.

I can't believe the lack of foresight.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sulking and throwing a tantrum

It's not fair!

I'm out tonight feeding horses and cows and goats. And I'm over winter.

I want to be in New York like David Farrar or in Singapore on the way to Spain and Italy like Homepaddock or in London Paris and the Netherlands like Chicken Blog. I probably don't want to lose my passport in LA like Cactus Kate but I wouldn't mind San Francisco right now. Or I want to be sitting in my sister and brother in laws garden in the Cotswolds. Or snorkelling somewhere tropical.

Instead I'm covered in hay, and faintly scented with silage and sugarbeet, and cold. The cold bit is the worst. I did have half a dozen eggs in my pocket so it isn't all bad. But work deadlines and months of pressure mixed with no small amount of monotony stretch before me.

Actually it's a life I usually consider myself lucky to have. There's a lot to be grateful for.

Just sometimes it would be nice to be somewhere else.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Bad luck or bad management?

Amazing co-incidence, what are the odds?

You may or may not recall my Subaru snapped a cam belt at 100kph. After the said cam belt was supposedly replaced by a supposedly reputable mechanic. Part one and ongoing parts of the broken car story There were some very large fallouts, the car in the end cost us thousands to repair, the so called repair was a shocking job with some appalling corners cut which cost thousands more to put right - it was probably a year before the car ran with any reliability again (not good in a five year old car) it ended in the disputes tribunal with us feeling we didn't get justice and that their view of reality was flawed (that's a polite way of saying they failed to tell the truth) and the mechanic making another 'mistake' the next day by providing a very second hand part when the tribunal directed him to supply a new one in return for our court ordered payment (which was admittedly only a very small portion of the thousands they wanted) The second hand part was "just a mistake" of course - they'd accidently had two out on the bench and packed the wrong one back into the box (yeah... okay).

Anyway we were almost (but not quite) over it, because these things will give you ulcers if you dwell on them. (and anyway we've had a bit of revenge here and there)

Until last night, when a friend rang to report that the Legacy that they had had the cambelt replaced at the same workshop had snapped the cambelt 30,000 km after it had been changed. (It was changed before our debacle obviously).

Now millions of cambelts are no doubt replaced every year. I am sure a few are defective. But the vast majority of them probably continue to the next cambelt change without any problems. As coincidences go this is a very large one...

The company was Auto Repair Co in Judea in Tauranga. I can only recommend that you take your Subaru to the nice (and very knowledgable) guys at PF Auto next door, just for your own peace of mind.

You should also know when buying a second hand car in Tauranga that some cardealers use this company. Might pay to ask before buying, if the cambelt has been done, just who replaced it.