Saturday, 29 March 2014

"Wasps don't make beelines" ~ my brother (lol)

Yesterday Mum and I did the groceries. Exciting huh? I remember, nearly five years ago in fact, Mum and I being super excited that just the two of us could go shopping together without the guys. No offense to Dad, but we've both agreed he's frustrating to do the grocery shopping with! Mum had this particular thing about driving north or south to do the groceries and having to drive a particular section of road that she wasn't keen on driving on. But when we moved north, Mum had to conquer that road section, which she did, and so we got to go on shopping trips!
     I would say that it was totally awesome, other than the fact that we both hate shopping. I think we can go for about an hour on general shopping and then we're bored, sick of the people, sick of the crazy high prices and just plain over it. Yup, we aren't shoppers. If we won a shopping spree somewhere we'd probably give it to somebody else! At first, going to do the groceries, getting off the farm - it was Heaven! After a couple trips though it started to wear a bit thin to the point where we'd look in the cupboards and groan because we had to go out again. It was jolly painful!
     However since we moved back to where we originally were, we've been skiving out of the now hour long drive north to go to Pak'n'Save and instead drove half an hour south to Countdown. But I've been craving a trip out of the local area, so yesterday we opted to go to Pak'n'Save instead. Typically, once we got there we probably both considered turning around and going home, but we did it. Eventually. About half way through I was hit with sudden nausea and felt like I'd throw up on the spot. Not the best idea when you're in a supermarket aye? On the way back I was feeling really cold, tired and nauseous. So weird! I can't understand it now. Once we were home I pretty much just lay on the couch, with a cold flannel on my head, my face burning hot and the rest of me was freezing. I had my pillow-pet (AKA Frodo our cat) snuggled into me, and my blanket, yet still I froze. Eventually Mum sent me to bed, where thankfully I slept it off. Only waking up to a headache - probably from only eating breakfast the day before. I still get the odd feeling of nausea every so often, but nothing like yesterday. Totally can't understand what the heck was going on though - I'm not one to get sick like that...

I'm looking forward to tomorrow - my last two milkings until next weekend, fingers crossed. No, seriously though, I'm so sick of milkings, especially this one place where I've milked there now two weekends in a row, plus quite a few milkings during the week. And I'm due back there next weekend. What's the bet I'll be called back before then though?
     The problem is that nobody else will do it, Mum can't because she can't do the calf feeding because she still can't lift heavy things (although she is there in the afternoons this weekend, because they were desperate) Dad and my brother also won't go because of the calf feeding. They hate dealing with calves, so it's me who always has to go. Ok, so I don't mind the work, it's not hard, but it's just so continuous at the moment. It's usually just every fortnight that I go there, but soon to be three weekends in a row, plus extras, it's driving me mad!

My Grandad - on Dad's side - is coming up on the 10th of April. It's a little bit different with him, I mean, we never see him for years at a time. Not for any reasons so to speak, other than the fact that we don't have time to go south to see him, and he never has time to come north to visit us. Therefore I never quite know what to expect. It must be about 5-6 years since I last saw him. Anyway, he's coming up to help Dad out with some work as we've gotten tonnes of fencing jobs suddenly and we're running out of time to finish them before the winter. A lot of them are just small, lifestyle block fences that he can do on his own. It's great that he's a good fencer like Dad. So it'll be good to see him, get some of the work done faster and give Dad a little peace of mind that he's not falling behind with all of the bookings.
     And he might be another person we can offload some potatoes to. Dad thinks we've got a couple hundred kilo's still to harvest, and the ones we've already pulled are coming out of our ears! I honestly don't think we'll make the same error of judgement and plant as many next season, but hey, no need to buy potatoes during the winter. As it happens to be the time when we eat them the most.

Now I'll leave my readers with the same mystery we're facing - do we have a swarm of wasps or bees? Our big willow tree in the driveway has been buzzing for months, and a friend said it'd be honey bees eating the honeysap (?) that the aphids were leaving, as the bees are starving at the moment.
     However after googling it we were a little perplexed about the whole thing. As bees - of some sort, I don't know - apparently live in holes in the ground, but we've had no idea where said hole could be. So we guessed it must be under the tree somewhere - or they were traveling. Until tonight when Dad was weed-eating and found a hole underneath a big flax, where "insects" -bees/wasps/somethings - were going back and forth from. He thought they were bees, but after taking some pictures and zooming in on the computer, he wonders whether they are bees or instead wasps? No clue, whatsoever. Anywho, I'm staying clear of them. I'm not particularly fond of anything that buzzes....

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Not quite the ITM Fishing Show

I actually think I might hit the 80 hour mark in work this month...Here was me thinking that Tuesday would be my last day of work for the month, but at youth group last night I got a text from Mum saying I'd be working this morning. One of my usual farms have booked me every morning until Sunday. Now I'm working this arvo too somewhere else because the farmer had to be taken to hospital. I'll tell you what, it'd be jolly scary waking up to find one side of your body doesn't work!  He's been sick recently but we've all thought it was just this nasty virus that's been doing the rounds. However I don't think a virus could do that to you, so hopefully he's going to be OK...

In the past few months my brother has been getting into fishing off the rocks and beach. He's only ever caught the most disgusting looking cod thing but there are definitely fish out there apparently. So a few weeks ago he searched for a good tide day and picked out today to go out early and catch the tide at the best just so happened he had to be up at 2am this morning, and be down there for 3am. He's mad!          Personally I wouldn't go down to the beach myself. Maybe just to walk along the sand or something but it would be pretty boring by yourself. I certainly wouldn't be going in the water or out on the rocks by myself, that's for sure! Though he's very much like Dad and likes doing these sorts of things on his own. I can imagine it'd be pretty jolly boring out there though, and cold. I only really like fishing on a boat when I'm catching things - I hate sitting for hours on end holding a rod and staring at some nylon waiting for some movement, only to find that the bait is long gone and I've probably wasted a good ten minutes without it!! So yeah, I think he's crazy, but hey. Each to his own.

It's funny, I saw on FaceBook earlier about being turned into a tree after you die with a biodegradable urn. What an interesting idea?! I'm pretty confident I don't want to be cremated, but imagine that, having another chance at "life" in the form of a tree seed growing from the nutrients in the ashes. Though it'd be pretty lame for the family if it was a dud seed and it never came to anything. My only worry would be the possibility of dying again because somebody didn't water me or somebody decided to cut me down! I mean, that would seem like a bit of a kick in the guts wouldn't you think? But yeah, food for thought. *Cough* pun unintended. lol

Monday, 24 March 2014

Sleep in...ahhh :P

I actually got to sleep into 8:30 this morning, a nice change in scenery that. For the past week I've had quite a few early starts - last weekend was the joyful business of getting up at 4am. On Monday I'd caught a semi cold, not completely fully blown out, but enough to be annoying. Wednesday and Thursday were also 4am starts, Saturday and Sunday 5am starts and tomorrow I've got to be up at 4 again. So this morning, sleeping in about 4 hours was bliss!
     I've worked out I've done about 60 hours of straight relief milking this month, with a bit of calf feeding to add to it. It may not seem like many hours of work, but when you consider it in a "just milking" perspective where you work anything between 2-4 hours, it is actually quite a bit of work. Also the great thing about being in my job is the different times you have to be up at and it continuously changing - your body clock gets well and truly stuffed up. But hey, it's better than taking orders at Macca's - that is one job I could never do....!

On Friday I finally got back my NCEA results summary that had to be signed by a teacher for my science event application. So Friday I managed to print everything off and send it all in. Applications close on Wednesday this week and my application will probably arrive today or tomorrow. Talk about cutting it fine! I decided just to apply for the trip to England, as when I thought about the Aussie one it just didn't feel right to me. So I don't know when I find out if I got in, I guess it'll be in a month or so. Meanwhile I don't have my hopes up too high in case I don't get accepted and I've had a look at the price range for flights over there. You know a trip to England, via Hong Kong is between 25-30 hours? That's including stopovers of course, but gosh! Also the airfares will hopefully cost no more than three thousand for the cheapest option. Anyway, I'm just gonna sit here and wait :)
     However while I'm talking about applying for trips, I've decided to also apply for the Outdoors Pursuits Camp that the correspondence school is having at Turangi/Mt. Tongariro. There are no fees except bus tickets there and back and 20 students get in, I thought - why not? As it's my last year of school, and I don't generally do many things like these, I figured it'd be cool to experience. I mean, who doesn't want to do a week's worth of rock climbing, abseiling and whatnot?!

School is coming along OK. I finished another Chem booklet today - just need to do the TMA now. Also I'm currently doing the practice assessment for Stats, I have to write a report on liquor retailing. Oh, and I was super clever too, cos I figured out on my own that the reason for very large drops in liquor sales between 2007 and 2010 was because of the Global Financial Crisis and the recession. Excellent idea to add to my report!
     I really haven't done much Biology, which is surprising and I'm midway through an Ag booklet. My Ag teacher is great as last week she sent me a few university prospectus books and some information on the Beef+Lamb scholarships - which I might go for this year. We'll see.

Spot the Loon was canceled last week due to lovely Lusi who came to nothing, but Saturday night we played it. Two girls and I were spotted three times and we received heaps of odd and incredulous looks from passers by. Some people laughed, others probably thought we were off our rockers, but we made it to the park where the lollies were hidden. Eventually though, the lead spotter gave us a free for all, where we could search without the tyre tubes and no worry about being spotted. I found the last bag of lollies under the skate ramp, pity we didn't find them during the actual game though! It was fun, but I'm still so sore from all the running in new sneakers.

Saturday, 15 March 2014


I Survived Cyclone Lusi, this is a new page somebody has created on Facebook. I kid you not. Seriously though, every time some new "event" happens somebody has to make a page about it and heaps of new memes to go on it. I really wonder what the big deal is, I mean, it's just a storm.

Speaking of Lusi though, we haven't had any damage as of yet, thankfully. Other than a few little tree branches coming down, a couple of short power cuts and 30mm of rain we really haven't had anything. But I guess that status might change tomorrow. You never can tell!
     I felt like a drowned rat this morning at milking, even with my wet weather gear I still got pretty soaked. Especially as I had to get the second herd in right as it started bucketing down. It sure was a jolly good time!
     Spot the Loon was canceled last night, our youth leader decided it wasn't worth battling Lusi as she wasn't being very forthcoming in an agreement. So we had to reschedule for next Saturday, fingers crossed the weather is a little bit more pleasant come then! Although I did drive up to my friends' place for the afternoon, it's always great to catch up with her even for a short time. I hadn't seen her since my birthday which was nearly three months ago! :O So we just hung out, watched a DVD and had delicious homemade pizza for dinner, then I came back home at eight just as the weather was setting in.
     Having a drivers license really does give me more independence. What on Earth would I do without it?!

Recently I've developed an odd enjoyment for Statistics. For a person who doesn't really love maths all that much I'm pleasantly surprised. Although, it is pretty easy as I'm working off OTLE instead of the booklet. All it is is watching half hour presentations the teachers have made on Excel, take the practice spreadsheet with all of the data, do a few equations like working out the moving means, making a graph and forecasting the next four quarters. So it's really quite simple and more focused on making sure I type in the correct numbers and not mess up the cells.
     After making the odd error or two, it is a bit unfortunate to have to wipe all of the new data I've made and start from the beginning to figure out where I went wrong. However after three practice sheets and watching the presentations, I've come to the conclusion that in the fourth quarter - Christmas period, people seriously do buy more alcohol and groceries. It's pretty easy to guess, but if those were real statistics then it's quite scary looking at the sudden increases.
     The online Chemistry tutorials are in full swing now and are every Tuesday afternoon and next Wednesday the Biology tutorial start up their weekly occurrence. It's good having the tutorials because it keeps us up to date with the workload and helps us understand things better. Some people probably think homeschooled or correspondence students must have it so hard, but really with all of these tutorials and prerecorded presentations, it's a heck of a lot easier! We get to see a teacher every week, have them explain things properly and if we don't get it, or if we don't remember it it's pretty simple to re-watch the recording as and when we please. Somehow I think if somebody were to set up a video camera in a public school class the teacher wouldn't be all that impressed :D

I was disappointed on Thursday as I missed being able to watch the live webinar I mentioned. All it came down to was not receiving the login details I needed to participate in it, evidently meaning there was no way to view it. As it turns out I wasn't the only student who never got the login details. However I've now had a thought that maybe too many students and teachers applied to watch it? Maybe there was only a certain number of participants that the system could hold, so the later applicants simply had to miss out? I know, it does seem a bit far fetched.

The days are slowly getting shorter now, daylight savings is gonna end soon. I think every year they extend it, because it always seems to be a week later than normal....

Monday, 10 March 2014

Decisons Decisions...should never have searched Google images for lambs! Too cute!

I have been doing so many milkings, it's just not funny. This weekend I worked twice a day each day, for about 7 hours each day all up. One of the people there were sick, so I had to help them out again this morning, now somebody else is sick so I have to help them out tomorrow morning as well. I also did a one off milking this afternoon. Not that I'm complaining, I certainly don't mind doing the work. And the calves are cute, so hey!

     Agriculture is frustrating me at the moment, the things you need to do for it! Every week I need to go online or through newspapers and find relevant information on lambs and apples for 12 different market forces. So I need to search for articles on promotions, or sudden climatic events or market trends to name a few.
     But the stupid thing is, there is hardly anything on lamb and apples. For instance we get ag newspapers every week - the Straight Furrow, Dairy Man, Dairy News, and I think there may be one more as well, however they're all about dairy. And they all have the same stories! Heck, there are even the exact same advertisements...So you really have to wonder... Right now I need to find two advertisements on primary products. It doesn't mention lamb/apples specifically or what kind of advertisements they have to be. For all   I know I could get it from an ag magazine or a supermarket catalogue. So it's rather difficult and mind boggling as to what they are wanting.
     I've got one advertisement on a big Ram auction, but I'm a little confused whether a ram would get away with being a primary product...I should probably call my teacher but I don't really want to sound stupid if it is obvious!

     In the end I gave up with ag/hort and continued to write and edit my CV and application letter for these science events. Golly I'm certainly glad I didn't find out last minute because it's taking forever! But at least I got some done, which makes me a little happier. Who knew these things could be so hard? If I had an English teacher this year I might've been able to send her the CV for her to check, but as I've finished English I don't think I'd get away with it very

     I got a lovely surprise in my email inbox today - an invite as a biology student to join a live chat room next Thursday on a LENS Webinar. A world renowned Professor Robert Winston is doing a seminar and the topic is Reproductive Technologies: An Issue for Our Time. I think it's on IVF, and NZ and Cook Island biology students are able to take part in the live chat and have the chance to ask questions and whatnot, just like being in a normal scientific lecture. Hopefully it's pretty interesting! I'll say on here after Thursday if it was.

On Friday - depending on the weather since the lovely Tropical Cyclone is on it's way - we've got our first fun event for youth group. It's called Spot da Loon. Similar to spotlight, it's at night, we team up in groups of three or four and take a tyre tube each. Then we're given instructions and have free rein to run around town acting loony with our tyre tubes....ok maybe not.
     The idea is that one of the leaders hides a couple prizes, generally in the park and they're usually a bag of lollies, we have to make our way to the park to find the prizes while the leaders and spotters are driving around in cars with spotlights. If we see them we have to be all sitting on the tyre tube when they shine the light, otherwise we're penalised and have to go back to the beginning.
     Our entire team has to make our way to the park and find the prizes and try not to get spotted off the tube. It's actually really fun! Last year when we did it I said, "can you imagine the people when they go back and look at their security footage?!" Because they'd see a heap of teenagers sneaking around town in the shadows, looking extremely suspicious carrying massive black tyre tubes! Every so often we randomly all sit down on it in a big rush and then run off again.
     In previous years they've used couches, so I think it's way more easier hauling a tube around rather than carrying a massive, heavy couch! Could you even try to imagine sneaking around with a couch anyway? No, I couldn't either... But the looks that random people on the street give you...priceless!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

A Simple Reminder

Yesterday was the beginning of good old Autumn - my second favourite season of the year. I generally dislike Winter and Summer because of the weather extremes; too cold or too hot. Summer coming to pass has made me realise how quickly the year is going. With a guilty look at my glowering school work I can unfortunately see how already far behind I am. It is a disappointment, but I'm trying not to be too hard on myself and just carry on.

     On Friday Dad, my brother and I went over to the Northland Field days for a few hours. It was so odd without Mum! We've never gone to the field days with somebody missing, so you can rest assured that it was extremely weird. Mum's still staying with Nana, but we're planning on going to pick her up this week sometime. As she's been away nearly a month it is going to be funny seeing her every day again, but I'll be glad to have her here again as running after everything here on my own is beginning to be a tad tiresome. And it'll be good to have someone have my back when the two guys team up against me as they like to do. I've missed having her around.

     It was hot at Field days, as per normal. However I wasn't very clever in wearing a black singlet and no sunscreen, so my shoulders and back of my neck got rather burnt, I paid the price, especially in the shower the first night. But it was the last day of Summer so what can I say? ;) We didn't see anybody we knew there, which was a shame because it's always interesting stopping and chatting for a while to people you haven't seen recently. Instead we plodded along after Dad as he stopped at Bank exhibits, shed companies like Total Span and different car dealers to look at utes. At Holden I got to have a good look at my dream car while Dad talked to the dealer. The bright green Holden Barina Spark *sigh*. I love that car, it's cute, small and nifty (I never say that word!) and it's my favourite colour, so there's no surprise of my liking it! Until then I'd never seen inside it, and I was not disappointed. It's lined in some places with the same colour green as the exterior, overall it looks really comfortable and neat. I could definitely see myself in that one day. The great part about it is that it is so cheap! 15-20 thousand for it new, which is pretty cheap. Of course I couldn't get away with taking it to milking! But I really would love to have that or something similar one day. People say it's a grandma car, but I think it's cute!

     Yesterday I heard of a three car crash in a section of road that is notorious for bad accidents. For the past few years it's been an 80kph zone yet there are continuous accidents that occur there. What really got me was that for the second time in a couple of days there's been an accident only a few hours after our driving through, which reminded me of something my youth leader said on Wednesday, "Remember to be thankful, not only in the good times, but for the bad times especially". This made me stop and think. Yes it's sad that there were accidents, but gosh I'm glad I wasn't a part of it. Another youth leader gave us an example of being thankful during a bad time - when the house he rented out caught fire and was mostly destroyed.
     He said, "One part of the house was ruined by the fire, and the rest of it was ruined by the tenants...Instead of being angry or upset I just stopped and thanked God for what was happening and was overcome with a feeling of peace..." It was not the best thing to happen but it meant that he had a good reason to get rid of the messy tenants and the insurance money was able to build them a brand new house that they could design how they wanted it, and now they've got awesome people living in there. A lot of great things came out of a bad situation!! This story was followed up with the honest reminder to not complain when you have to do the tedious dishes, because it means you've eaten. And it may be a pain having to make your bed, thus be thankful because at least you've got one to sleep in.
     But it was upon hearing of the crashes that reminded me of what they'd talked about and it made me realise how we should be more thankful more often. So for the next little while I'm going to keep an eye on myself and see how thankful I really am. Last night I thought of a few examples - for instance. We're overrun with work so much so that we have to turn some people away. Yes, it's a bad thing to be doing as we may lose good clients, but hey, at least we've got work! Another thought was when Mum was in hospital last month, which was a really horrible thing. It is hard to be thankful in a situation like that, but the biggest thing I'm thankful for is that she's still with us. And finally I'm thankful for my Nana and the strength she has. I don't think I've ever met a stronger person, to go through what she's going through would take some serious faith and strength - of which she has both.

     So considering that thought, from now on I'm going to just stop and remember to be thankful, but not only in the good times. Because quite honestly, I've got it pretty good.