Monday, 21 July 2014

Bit Of A Change

I decided that, after 6 months of blogging I needed a change. So, I changed my blog around. Do you like? I did have another background on there, but I was finding it quite difficult to read. However I think this background goes quite well with my blog name - no? Also the writing style, that's more of a "me style", the curly writing that, if I can be bothered, I try to do when I'm actually using a pen.

So the holidays are over (can you hear the excitement?) and somebody today said they were looking forward to the 13 weeks left of her last year of school....wait a minute. 13 WEEKS? No way.... I think I've got a little longer than that, with the whole not being a part of a proper school system. So unlike these unlucky public schoolers, I can and will be working and learning right up until my exam day. Just as well because I've got so much to do! Argh, who knew that the last year would be so stressful? Not only am I meant to pass level 3, but this whole UE thing has added to the workload. What happened to the "get NCEA level 3 and instantly get UE"? But I'm glad I am only doing the 3 subjects, that makes life THAT much easier!

I've gotten myself a permanent job over the holidays - rearing calves. It was meant to be a shared job between Mum and I, but as I seemed to do it more often than Mum, and because Mum has another calf raising job to do as of today, this particular one has become my full time job. I love it! The great thing is that it only takes about 3 hours max from my day right at the moment, the farm owner seems really happy with me and it's going really well. So yes, I'm happy. I only need to raise up to 50 replacement heifer calves, the beef breeds are sold and the bobbies are simple and normal. There's only ever about 3 new calves a day to train and they're all super healthy! It's going great!
     It's also a good motivator for me, because my hours are staying the same, my alarm clock is not constantly having to be changed. Sure, I don't get sleep ins anymore, but I don't exactly struggle out of bed. I know my calves (and the farm owner) are relying on me - I like to be depended on. Most mornings I'm there between 6 and 6:30 to help milk, then once it's light enough I'm free to go and start the feeding. It's also my first calf rearing job that I'm doing on my own. Don't get me wrong, I love working with Mum with the calves, we're a good team so much so that we read each others' minds and rely on each other for suggestions. But it's good to get experience doing it myself. :)
     I think I've been there about three weeks now (?) and I'll be there for quite a while yet. Half of the 180 cow herd has calved now, so it's half-way streamlined into order. Lucky me also gets the job of tagging the replacements - a job I've never had to do because Dad always did it. The farmers son showed me how to do it last week as he had to go back to Uni. It's cool, having more responsibilities, but there's always the worry that I might be doing his job wrong! I haven't been fired yet though ;)

Currently, I'm sick of the rain, we've had two floods in the past week and we got over 60mm on Saturday night. It's not very nice, putting up with the rain full time, but what can we do? I guess farmers are always going to have a problem with Mother Nature, but times like these she starts to get a tad annoying. All we need is some sun to dry us out again!

I'm also on the Study-Link band wagon as of now. I've applied for Student loan and allowance, and part 1 is in the process - organising all of the identity requirements and proof of income and what not. I've heard that Studylink is a "fun" process, but so far it is going well.

I guess the great thing about term 3 is that youth group is back on! What would I do without it? .......probably just chat to calves...haha

Thursday, 10 July 2014


We've had a lovely start to the winter school holidays here with this raging wind storm that's been going on for the past couple days. Thankfully, touch wood, there has been no damage to us personally and we hardly even lost power. They reckoned this storm was meant to finish up yesterday afternoon, but alas, it's still howling outside.
     Tuesday night Dad and I had a few jobs to go to and ended up getting to the calf feeding job about an hour later than usual - it's no problem though. However, the road we have to drive down had just had a new layer of gravel laid (originally we had to go through a "pot-hole dodging process" because it was that bad...) and the ute got a puncture. It was so bad that it actually split the tread away from the tyre. Luckily, Dad has a compressor installed in the ute engine for times like these, so once we were done with the calves he pumped it up again and had to drive home rather fast before it lost all the air. By the time we got to the rugby club - half way home - we had to stop to pump it up. But...the compressor wouldn't work, the wind was going for it and it was pouring down with rain. Oh yeah, and it was about 5:30 at night which is pitch black in winter...We tried and tried with the compressor, but it turns out that it blew a fuse, the only option was to change to the spare - not the best option as it is a smaller tyre than the others. Eventually we found all the gear to change it, then realised we didn't have a screwdriver to undo the wheel cap. By now, we're soaked and there is no service either. Excellent - no?
     Thankfully there was a house up the road with the lights all on, so I sent Dad up there to ask them for a screwdriver. They were goodsorts, and lent us two to use. About an hour after it began, the tyre was changed and I got to see, for the first time, how the spare tyre system on a ute works. Quite clever really!

From Sunday to Tuesday we had my Aunty, Uncle and three cousins staying with us. They were traveling around a bit for their school holidays - as they always seem to do - and saw us, my sister, nana and some of their friends, while also stopping at the university where my cousin George is considering going to next year. On Monday night we had a game of Trivial Pursuit - parents v. kids. It was pretty unfair really, considering they've got 20 odd years on us. With us being 90's born, we had a lot less knowledge of the questions. They ended up winning three times over, before we gave up. The rule was so because they were at an advantage, they had to get into the middle five times and get the answer correct, so that we would have a chance too. We managed all of our wedges, but then we gave up.

Also on Tuesday we had an electrician here to wire up our new oven. Get this, Mum's owned her oven for about 20 years and cleaned it a couple weeks ago, after she cleaned it, Dad agreed that getting a new one might be a good, safe idea. How rude! Well hey, atleast it'll be clean when we dump it at the metal recyclers! The old one was a fire hazard, the door wouldn't seal properly anymore, which lost all the heat and was burning the cupboards on either side. It was also wasting power because of this and one of the elements was a bit dodgy. But hey, it did 20 years!
     Harvey Norman were having their mid year clearance deals so we scored a really good deal. It's a three door compartmentalised oven, with an induction cooktop. Induction is amazing, things heat up with about a minute and the element only heats up where the pot is touching, so you can use a small pot on a large element without a worry - it's some magnet technology. The pots have to be magnetic (none of our existing ones were...) for it to work. So with the oven, we got a free roasting pot and new pots for less than half price. Unfortunately only one of our roasting dishes and the muffin trays will fit in the oven. None of our really good baking trays and other roasting dishes will, because they're slightly too big. It's a shame. However we did some cooking in it yesterday - we cooked up a storm (lol) - and wow it's amazing! Mum made a sponge, we thought it was going to be really tough but it was the lightest sponge she's ever made. Also, because you can control the temperature, the fudge we made was perfect. Of course it's taking a little bit to get used to, but it's pretty cool :D

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Just waiting for a ..... school teacher..?

About a couple of weeks ago our cat, Miller, decided to play the "I'm going to die soon" card. He suddenly dropped in weight, his eyes were all weepy, his hips could barely hold what little weight there was...he was knocking on deaths' door. Miller, he's not old, turning ten tomorrow. It just so happens that this year is the first time we've remembered his birthday (oops!). And, you know, always been fickle. It all began when Mum dreamed of having a little gray kitten  - like one on an advertisement on TV. So we looked and looked and looked. Nothing. Then one day, we went into our usual pet shop to get bird food on our way past, and as kids, my siblings and I would run for the glass casing cage to see what cute little bundles of fur were in this time. There they were, 3 adorable, silver, pedigree kittens. Absolutely gorgeous. They're called Burmillers. $600 later we walked out of that pet shop with Mums new kitten.
     I always used to think that $600 was a lot of money when you pay it out for one thing, now I know better that $600 isn't really all that much when you get paid it and you know it's all going to go on the likes of car bills and fuel.....Anyway we named him, ironically, Miller - and my gosh was he the biggest snob around. He freaked when he met his brother and sister and was so timid, that he'd hide behind anything and everything that he could find. We had to lock him in the bathroom for fear of him escaping. He looks almost exactly like the "Whiskers" kitten.
     Over the weeks he calmed himself down and settled in to our home. 10 years later, after supposedly contracting "feline aids" and eating tonnes of "yummy things" (in this case, wet food) he's still around and just won't shut up (he harps just like the burmese cat that his breed is derived from). He's met the most cats out of all that we've had living with us (about 12) and suddenly here he was, on his way out. Dad gave him some antibiotics to clear up his eyes and nose, and when we went to the supermarket we actually bought him tuna cat sachets to go with his other yummy things - as he wasn't eating anything else. Well now, about a week or so later, he's happy and healthy again, eaten us out of yummy things and he expects a little portion about 4 times a day - he is an old man you know, (as he keeps telling us)...Here we were, thinking we would have to have him put to sleep - huh!

As of yesterday Mum traded in her car. They've been thinking for a while of buying a new ute, so on Saturday they went up to Holden to have a look around and came back saying they were going to trade the SUV in on it. A good idea really, because we don't really need a seven seater sitting around doing nothing, when a ute would get used....We have only had mum's car for three years, but it's still awkward saying goodbye to a good vehicle and being unsure whether it's the right decision. You probably won't believe what happened....
     We drove it there yesterday to hand it over, and before we did, we quickly checked in the back to make sure there was nothing left in a nook or cranny. Upon my shutting the back door the window wiper turned on, even though the car was turned off and the keys out. It did one wipe, and shut itself away again, leaving us all astonished. What the?
     I laughed and said it was waving goodbye - I don't know why we give human qualities to our cars, we always have... Then Dad piped up that it was something my recently passed grandfather might be behind. I mean, how could it have otherwise happened? Just like that though, the waving goodbye, it made us all realise that it was definitely the right decision to trade it. And I wouldn't be surprised if Grandad was behind it, as he used to be a car salesman and liked to advise Mum and Dad on purchases all the time. Silly little things like that, they always seem to happen right at the right moment, just when they're needed. Also the trading and buying the new ute went as smoothly as it could possibly have gone. Mum and I like to think that "if it's meant to be, it'll happen" and it did.

Today I finally did my NCEA registration. I've been holding back on it, because I wasn't sure whether I should be doing Scholarship Biology. Ever since I came back from Palmerston North I've been second guessing whether I will manage it, and whether I should risk credits for UE just to attempt something I may or may not pass. Scholarship isn't exceptionally important but it would be great to have on my record of achievement, it would make it look like I'm overly keen on the subject -but what if I were to fail it, it would still go on my record. Mum and Dad seemed to think I'd be able to get it all done, but I disagreed. Anywho, last night I remembered about the two weeks of school holidays, and that I would struggle to meet with the Principles Nominee to confirm my coming to sit exams at their school.So this morning, I applied for exams and no scholarship. Paid the $76 worth of fees - ouch, and now I'm waiting for the principles nominee to ring me back so I can go in...but Dad's been on the phone for ages...*sighs*