Saturday, 31 January 2015

New Beginnings! :)

So here is a picture of my new car - isn't it cool?! The guy brought it up here for us, and I drove it home from town. Was a tad rough and extremely touchy, the accelerator was quite tight and the steering quite heavy, so wasn't the best to drive.     But seeing as I've been driving the cavalier for the last two or three years, with hardly any other vehicle experience....and it's possible that the steering and pedals in it were rather loose. However now that I've been driving this quite a bit I'm really used to it, and it's driving nicely!  There's an iPod connection in the glovebox, and it seems to be hardwired in for intentional use  - awesome! Can't play CD's, but currently actually having radio reception is amazing.

So far I've only had one issue that popped up on Thursday - the airbag light. I'm not quite sure what's up with it, but since I noticed it it hasn't turned off. It's possible that it's never been driven on metal roads, so something may have shifted around on the rough ground. Anywho, I texted the guy and on the maintenance check nothing showed up on the computers, but he reckoned if it persisted he'd get it checked out again to see what is going on. Fingers crossed he'll stick to his word and pay for the check, as I hadn't even had it 24 hours before it showed up. Unfortunately that probably means we've gotta go back to Auckland for that...don't like Aucks....

Nick and I went to the first Young Farmers meeting on Thursday night, it was pretty good and a lot of events were put into planned discussion; another quiz night, a "Young Farmers' Amazing Race", speed-dating/networking night, plus more. As well as planning for fundraising and what to spend it on, and advertisement - monthly newsletters to go around town in the attempt to rally more members. We've also finally got club T-shirts!

Also, yesterday I decided to have a looksee at what courses I could possibly do through the likes of NorthTec, Open Polytec or Primary ITO. Mum and Dad are already planning on sending me to the one day Licence to Milk course through P-ITO which is normally held in winter, to give me an actual qualification in milking - IE: making me look good on paper :P Nick's already done it.
     However I looked around the two tec websites, and omgosh, *yawns*.  There is the possibility that I'll do a business/computer course, which would put me towards a National Certificate in AgriBusiness - eventually. I think so anyway...BUT I had one of those "lightbulb" moments - Telford! Why have I only just thought of this?! I typed it in and, ding! Correspondence courses, lots of them.

I have decided to do a Certificate in Dairy Knowledge, Level 4 which is a one year course that can be started whenever. Will cost less than $300, and they send me the work and I send it back. Much like the assessments I did through the STAR gateway course a few years back, however these papers will just be a tad more higher up there - being level 4 and all...I'm excited!
     It's pretty awesome, and I'll be able to stay at home and continue to work, while studying for basically no cost whatsoever. Then next year I'll be able to move onto some form of National certificate in Agriculture. And from there, possibly into a diploma of sorts.

My sister's wedding is a week away, today. Eeeek

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

BMW: Big Money Worries?

Quick apologies for those of you who've have comments outstanding and waiting to be published. Typically lately I only turn on my computer once a week if I need it, and to update this if I have the time. My phone seems pretty good for emails, bank and Facebook - except for publishing comments on my blog. Lol So don't be surprised if it takes a while for yours to be loaded :)

I think I jinxed myself, talking about my car and how it may just give me more issues, and that I should be looking around for a new one, just in case. Friday night coming home from work the "Trac Off" light came up on my dashboard. Before then, that afternoon I'd been having trouble with the transmission surging and not having too much power. Called Dad, he said I'd be fine to drive it home, so I did, but it struggled its way there.
The transmission has been giving me grief these past few years, Nick says it's "missing" in the gear changing? Sometimes when you put your foot down, it takes a little bit to get up to speed, otherwise it's fine. Friday, it was literally shaking and shuddering. Once home, Nick had a good look, agreed with the transmission issue and heard a hissing noise. Saturday morning he took it into our auto shop and they reckoned it was a vacuum leak in the brake booster (ironically, I'd been having trouble with my brakes for quite a while, but the guys said it was fine - hmm). Anywho, the people there said it would cost an exceptional amount of money and they weren't prepared to even try looking for a part to fix it, or suffer the struggle of doing the labour either.
Toyota Cavaliers = Japanese cars that are rebadged Chevy's. Designed to last five years, this one is a can't get parts, or instructions and getting into the actual engine...nightmare. Does anyone want to buy it?!

This weekend I've had Nick, Mum and Dad pick me up and drop me off at work, a pain in itself but we managed. I said that I'm stuffed if I'm paying out yet more money on that blimmen car, and that I'm feeling like driving it off a cliff!
     Onto the internet to hunt for cars we went, Turners, dealers, Trade Me - the works. Trying to find a car that was in my price range, no older than 2000, with the sort of specs that I require, ie, Automatic and something not too powerful. Insurance is expensive enough with me being on Restricted, under 25 and under 20, without adding a large engine into the mix.
     Don't ask me why, but Dad started looking specifically for BMW's and Volkswagon's. He found a range of different three door BMW 318Ti hatchbacks for me too look at, oh, and a convertible :P  After I eliminated over priced ones, and those that were well out of the area, I found two that I liked. A 2004 blue one, that was at my top end price. And a 2002 red one, $1000 cheaper with only 90 thousand KM's on the clock.

Yesterday we went to Glenfield in Auckland to see the latter one. It was really nice! Jumped in it, quite comfortable and considering it's 13 it doesn't look too bad. Issue being it doesn't have a CD player, but it appears that you can plug in iPods to it, and the radio reception seems pretty good. I can't drive with no music...will make me fall asleep. Dad and I took it for a spin, Dad drove it on the motorway to give it a good blow out. It hasn't been driven for about three months, so needed it.  Then I drove it a short distance back through town to the dealer. For me, it will take a while to get used to driving it. However, I've been driving only my car for the last, I don't know how many years.

There were a few issues with it, for instance, Dad saw white spots in the oil - which apparently means water has gotten into it. There was also an odd tapping sort of noise when it's running. Also, the fuel dropped extremely fast. We went north on the motorway, turned around at Silverdale, then the fuel light came on. We didn't think we'd get back. So that was very concerning for us, but the guy thinks that since there was only about $20 worth of fuel in there, and since it's been sitting around for so many months, the sensor was slightly out. He also considered the thought that there may be condensation in the oil, yet again because it hasn't been running. There's no leaks or anything.
     We're worried the guy may be a dodgy backyard dealer, but he's got some pretty flash cars on his lot. I guess you can never really tell, but you can't be too careful either. However, he's taking it to get a service and WOF for us today so they'll be able to find out if there is actually issues with it. And they're spending the day driving it around quite a lot to see how it runs. All going well, they'll drive it here for us tomorrow. For a $6000 car, they're putting in quite a lot of genuine dedication, he's not gaining any profit from it at all, so I suppose all we can do is trust him.

A lot of people are saying to me...ooohh, BMW, I dunno...pretty jolly expensive you know, especially if it breaks down...I actually snapped on FB yesterday, after putting up a picture of it, and asking for opinions. Everyone bleated "expensive" like underfed sheep as soon as they saw the BMW part.... As I said, my choice, my money, my problem! (To which Mum told me to get rid of that part of my comment. Argh, I hate walking on eggshells just in case somebody may get offended. -_- sheesh.)
But you know, it isn't really anybody else's problem, it won't affect anybody else. I understand they may be being helpful, but gosh! Every car has issues! There is no such thing as a perfect car, and I'm desperately trying to remain optimistic.

The way I see it is that I really really need a car, because mine isn't fixable. I'm sick of spending money like I have been on a car that's going further and further downhill. And yeah, it's a nice little car, has had one NZ owner, looks pretty well looked after and has low K's on the clock for its age. I don't want to buy a car that I won't like either, especially when it's most of my savings that's going into it! Who knows, I may have it a month before I have problems. I may have it 2 or 3 years. You can never really tell. From the reviews that I've read about them, they seem like pretty easy going little vehicles :)

Still waiting on the guy to ring. May get it, may not. Time will tell!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Life is Good :)

Just a quick reminder to anyone who scrolls past my blog, whether I know you or not, nasty and/or snarky comments aren't appreciated and won't be tolerated. They'll be marked as spam, so please don't bother yourself writing them.
     I myself, have a very broad opinion and at times I do like to exert my opinion on matters that are at times, controversial. However, that isn't an invitation to comment on my blog with your unwanted remarks and how stupid you think I am. I believe that everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions, so this is where I like to share mine, and I know better than most that everyone has different outlooks on life.
     Although I do want to one day have a blog that many people read, and I know I have to be prepared for the negative people of this lovely world we live in, but it really boils my blood when somebody stalks through my blog and hides behind an anonymous name. As I said on Facebook, (and curiously since then, these comments have stopped), this person is probably somebody I know who's for some reason got a bee in their bonnet. Who comes across a blog and reads every post, til exactly a year back (which is kinda creepy to think about) just to find something to take a dig at? Honestly, if you've got a problem, I'd much prefer if you were to express your opinions in a much more pleasant manner and don't hide behind a false name.


It is HOT. Okay, so it's probably not that hot, being just over 20 degrees, but my gosh, that sun has some heat in it these days. Going outside is absolute madness so we try and hide away from it as much as we can. However that's kinda difficult when you live and breathe the outdoors. After all the complaining about it being summer, and how the rain was getting boring, we desperately need rain right now. Our water tank is almost to the stage of being bone dry, and it seems that overnight the paddocks have turned from looking like wet, soggy potatoes to thin cut chips. (Chicken flavoured). You look around and see brown, lots of it.
I know that unlike Canterbury, we're doing pretty well. But this definitely isn't needed to add to the stress. As someone mentioned, all the crops have been stuffed up and put in too late. The rain kept flooding the seed beds, or washing away what was already there. The ground got too wet to resow. Now all the crops have mostly turned to nothing, barely any silage was done because of the rain and because of the previous years droughts, food in general is low. This is the beginning of the end. This is farming.

Where I'm working every weekend, we're meant to have cups on at 3pm. I can be sitting around waiting until almost 4pm until the cows turn up, they take hours to walk in with the heat and extra humidity. The farmer who's usually cheerful was quite sullen today when I saw him after work. He's not quite sure what to do. The cows are dropping production from heat stress, so tonight we're milking an hour later and he's completely changed the morning and night paddocks around so they don't have to walk too far. Other options are to do 12 hour milkings, so we'd be milking about 6:30 am and 7pm, when it's cooler. The most extreme option is to milk only once a day, which if he was to jump straight into this, he'd be screwed for the rest of the season. He may as well quit now.
This sort of thing, with being a relief milking company, we're seeing everywhere. It's getting to that difficult stage of trying to keep the work place positive, however it's not particularly easy when everywhere you turn, you see stress.
     It's difficult for us to plan ahead with what possible work we will get over the next few months, and into next season. With the payout being low, general farm staff are being dropped. The question is, will we be asked to do the odd fill in job, as it's a cheaper option? Will we be needed for more spraying, because we're cheaper than the helicopters? Will we get a sudden onslaught of work once the kids go back to school and uni? Lots of if's, but's, and maybe's to work around. I suppose you could say, it just makes life that more interesting.

Now with my uni plans gone awol, I'm sorta looking around going, hmm, now what? Mum and Dad were intending on shifting my room into the upstairs spare room when I left. Now that's been updated a little. I'm moving myself into the upstairs spare bedroom, getting rid of the old spare bed to make room for me. And the other spare room (that is currently being used for storage) will be stripped and relined as a sort of lounge for me. I'll be able to set up my desk and computer up there, one of our old TV's and DVD player etc. All I'll need to look out for is a couch and such to fill it for when I have people over. I'm not quite sure when we'll ever have time to do it, but sometime we will. It should be good!
     This year I'll be pretty much full time working. Getting to do the majority of the milkings, and being able to help mum with her calves again next season. Where I'm working has asked if I can help them with milkings and calf rearing during winter too. We just need to figure some things out, to see if it would work OK. If that is the case, I'll be fully booked almost all day every day, for three months at least! Hey, I'm not gonna be a poor student like I thought!

Because I'm now able to afford it, I'll soon start looking out for a new 2nd hand decent car for me, before mine blows up and leaves me stranded somewhere. I'll be able to stick with the Young Farmers here, and I want to be a part of expanding Youth Group to something better and more interesting. Plans have already started, so hopefully the leaders give it the go ahead :) I know I'm now a little old to be part of youth, which is why I want to save it from the despair of having no members left.

Yesterday Dad did a spraying quote and came back with a "not going to uni present" for me. Two brown shavers! He happened to be giving the quote to the local chicken farm, so he'll bring back some more when he goes out there to spray this weekend. Meanwhile, the two chooks were named almost instantly by Mum - Tersh and Sherry...AKA Tertiary lol

What I'm going to do, who knows? I've thought about training as an AB Tech, but each time I think of it, it just doesn't give me that "buzz". It would be a good thing to train in, and exceptionally good paying once you reach your third year, depending on how accurate you are. But yeah, currently I don't really see myself doing it, even though it was always a fallback option. This year I'll just work and increase my savings some more and see what life throws at me. My arms and eyes are wide open, ready, waiting. I suppose I've just got to be patient, and at the moment, I've got a good thing already

Thursday, 15 January 2015

NCEA: A Little Unexpected

NCEA results....wasn't prepared for that. Wasn't prepared for dinner either. That Tegal ad has it wrong.

I was far, far too nervous to log on but Mum pushed me to do it. Typed in the log in details, held off for a bit. My heart was racing like crazy - as you'd expect I suppose, and I kinda felt on the sick side. Please be Ok, Please Please Please. Scrolled down, as you do. Didn't see that one coming.

National Certificate in Mathematics. That was it. No "University Entrance". No NCEA Level 3. What. The. Heck. Scrolled down a little more, Biology; plants and animal responses. Excellence. Biology; Speciation.  Not Achieved. No. Way?!

This was when I wanted to crawl under a rock and cry for the rest of my life, I failed. At the final hurdle I failed, how? I was absolutely positive that my biology exams went fine, yes I admit that Speciation did sorta make me grasp at straws a little, but I thought that I'd made a pretty darned good attempt. The other one had me more worried, I'd filled it with all sorts of crazy, out there information. I took an extreme punt on adding in things that might've killed it for me, or might've given me a great score on "abstract thinking". Turns out, even though it was technically the harder paper, I must've done well by getting the Excellence.
     All year, every year in Biology I've been getting marked with Merits and E's, why then could I fail a paper that I was expecting to have the better chance of passing? Because of that, I cut myself short. I guess I assumed that since I always did well, what would be the point of doing extra internals to cover for UE? I did it with Chem, I did it for Stats. I really kick myself for not expecting the unexpected.
     I passed my other papers, as expected. Failed the chem organics paper - as expected. (Who didn't?!) I had no margin of error with biology, and yeah, it's my own stupid fault. No one to blame but myself. I thought that 2015 was going to be the perfect year. But already all the crap from 2014 is intruding, only two weeks in.

So there you go. University, down the drainpipe, through the S-Bend and flushed away. I'll get NCEA level 3 once my final internal credits are processed, as they were marked and applied late...I dunno, I just honestly thought that this was going to all work out. I got into Colombo, one of the best halls on Campus in my opinion. I got my student allowance. Studylink gave me no grief, whatsoever. Even though I had heard that it was difficult to work with. Everything was going to plan, until yesterday.

Alternatives? Well, there are still 2 internal assessments in Biology that I could do to make up for it, and go to Uni in Semester 2 or wait until 2016. From now on I'd have to pay to re-enrol in Te Kura. I could just wait until I'm 20, and enter as a mature student.
     Honestly. My urge to study at University was like this tiny little flame on a match stick, getting buffeted around by the wind, nearing the end of the stick. And then this 20 litre bucket of water is just poured on top of this defenseless little flame. Gone. I have no urge to study anymore. And the stupid thing is, I actually thought I wanted to go to Uni. I was so keen, and kinda of the opinion that it was the best option for me, that I didn't really have much of a choice in the matter. There may be the possibility that four years ago I convinced myself to believe in what may just be a lie. I don't think I ever really wanted to go? I wanted to graduate, that has been my dream since I was little, knowing that I'd never get the chance to, made me push to get there.
     Yesterday I was so angry and upset about it all. Today I woke up still feeling a little numb, but the burden was gone. I'm Free! I feel like bouncing off the walls. What a joke?!

No longer do I have the pressure to work, work, work to come up with the money that would've left my hands almost straight away, just to pay for an accommodation deposit. No longer do I have the worry of not quite having enough to pay for it on time. Yes, I'm peeved that I've worked almost three weeks straight with barely any time off, just to try and cover it.
     Mum said, "keep thinking about uni" and I did. I imagined what my room would be like, and the people I know but have never met. Being able to spend time with the family I hardly know but desperately want to. It was going to be the best time of my life. So I thought!

Now I've got endless opportunities and no idea what on Earth to do. I've got the money to do whatever I like and time seems like it will never run out. I could do an OE, although that was never on my "to do" list. I could train as an AB Technician, and/or go to the south Island and experience farming in that region. I could study something through North Tec, Ag ITO or something similar if I so desperately wanted to. The world is at my fingertips, all I've got to do is figure something out.

My family run by the saying, "whatever happens, will happen for a reason". Many things that happen, we later find were blessings in disguise. Although they may not look all that rosey at first, later on you'll realise that actually, hey, I'm glad that happened the way it did.
     All summer I've been having doubts about my exams, after at the last youth group night something was said. It was a little bit of an unusual night. Where each person had a turn in the middle and we'd all say something encouraging or describe the first thing that came to mind. If you had something come to you as a, I dunno, a vision thing whatever.
      Anywho, my youth leader was like, "this may not be very encouraging, but. I can see you're very organised and you've got your whole life sorta planned out. But, just want to say that it's not gonna end the way you want it to. Your plans aren't going to work out how you want" etc etc.  Someone also saw the colour yellow.  Well Mum bought me a yellow Magnolia for Christmas, because she remembered what was said. And now all my plans have gone haywire. I felt frustrated at first, but now that I'm piecing it all together, I'm realising that my plans may have failed. But it's not my plans that are going to lead my life to where it should be. So now I'm really excited about the fact that the plan for me is going to plan, and here's the proof. Life couldn't be better! Next thing on the agenda, text my youth leader and tell him what happened and that he was right...

What amuses me the most about this situation is the fact that I got a "National Certificate in Maths" when, I never aimed for it. Didn't even know it existed. Maths is my worst subject. Interesting.

And the biggest bonus of this all, don't need to move out of home just yet. I'm now seeing so many negatives and realising how much I would've hated it. Would've gotten so homesick, away from the family I'm so close with, and cats I've never been without. Living in a city would've been torture for this country bumpkin. And honestly, not milking cows for so many weeks straight would've given me withdrawals.  The people I milk for every weekend better not go back on wanting me to stay, I'm sure they'll be over the moon. :)

Life goes on, and it's looking fantabulous. Will look even better once my new word is added to the dictionary :)

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Two weeks through 2015, 50 To Go! o.O

I can't believe that we're already 11 days through 2015, I mean. This year is already just flying on by! What's with this?! So far this year I've been exceptionally busy with work. I've mostly been going flatstick with milkings, with twice a day milkings every day since the 29th December, with one morning off this Monday just gone. Yep, I'm tired, but I'm also tending to generally wake up at a minute to 5 every morning - so annoying, that one minute could last an hour - I eventually haul myself out of bed, but gosh it's a struggle. Yet again, it's the driving that wears me down, I actually have to put in an effort to drive, at least with milking I can go on autopilot! :P

I started milking at one of my least favourite sheds on Tuesday and had to endure it up until Friday morning. It's a 500 cow Jersey farm, 36 aside herringbone. The cows don't really like coming into the shed, or leaving it and it drives me insane trying to get them to move. I've milked in a lot of sheds where the cows are slow, but none that frustrate me so much as this one. It doesn't help that the guy I'm working with is a horrible, lazy, creepy old man who disappears during milking and won't turn up for a couple rows. It's a two person cowshed, and after 3+ hours of being abandoned for long intervals, I literally feel like sitting in a corner to cry, it's that frustrating. What makes it worse is in the afternoon, when he finally comes back from one of his outings, he'll let rip on the cows and makes out as if he's been in there the whole time like myself, suffering in the heat. It's no wonder the cows don't want to come in with him around, and the heat is so intense it just adds to the drama.
     Thankfully I got the weekend off, and went to my usual weekend farm and had a great time! Dad took over at the horrible farm this weekend and confirmed everything I had to deal with. Sadly, I'm back in there tomorrow for another four days. However, I'm putting up with it and not complaining until after my time there is finished. I don't like rocking the boat, otherwise I'll then have to deal with attitude from him. Quite frankly, I'm happy to tolerate it for the next few days and clock in the 7 hours a day for two milkings - it's money that I desperately need right now.

Mum says, "just think about your room at uni and how it's gonna look once everything is in it". I say, I really don't want to think too much about that until this Wednesday has come and gone. As a friend said, "I don't want the 13th to end", well neither do I. When my results come out it's gonna be a very stressful day, and I'm seriously not looking forward to it! Dad keeps saying, oooh only a few days now! Which cops "the look" from me. They keep saying, "don't worry, you'll have passed" and all I keep thinking is "what could I have done wrong? What if my raving didn't get me anywhere in biology this year? What if, what if, what if. It's driving me nutty :(

I'm working this whole full week until Saturday morning, Saturday Mum and I catch the bus to Auckland again for my sisters hen's party that night. Nana is flying up from Rotorua and our (Great Aunty) Sue is driving up too. With the additional bridesmaids that I know, some more than others, that's the only people I'll know. I think the girl who's organised it has planned a night on the town, but Nana and Mum aren't very keen on that, so I'll be able to stay with them and go back to my sister's apartment to get some sleep. The next day is my brothers' birthday - the big 20. That night I'm back into the milking for the rest of the month. So that will clock in three milkings off for me this month, it's gonna be a long rest of the month, but I need to do it to pay my deposit on the 31st January for my accommodation. Wow, life is getting expensive these days.

Wednesday the 14th, I just want it to be over! :(

We spent our new years, the same as many other years. Working, and working around the house. Mum and Dad hired a little digger to dig some trenches. There's a wet patch/drain in our section so now there's drainage coil in there, hopefully next winter it won't be so wet out there. Dad also had some fun digging up and cutting the telecom cable. It was about five metres in from the boundary fence and only a foot deep - no wonder he hit it! Thankfully our phone wasn't affected, so we could call them to let them know to fix it. We had a tad bit of amusement when we were called back by telecom, and the lady was like, "I'm testing to see that you can call in and out, and whether you would be able to visit your neighbours to see if they've got phone?" And I'm just like, well duh, we called you to let you know, and now you've called us. Obviously we can get calls in and out. And why the heck would we visit our neighbours? It wasn't our fault! (hehe, fault)