Monday, 30 March 2015

One Week!

One week. Just one little week until Miriam is here! It's gonna be great to finally meet her - golly I hope we get on OK?! Lol, it'll be nice to have her here. Unfortunately it seems I'm milking almost every morning of her stay, but what can I do? At least it's only mornings....hopefully Nick will take a few of them though.

Saturday was pretty cool, the Northern Region of Young Farmers held a fencing competition for the region, (there is a competition for each region). You compete in teams of two to build a short fence, digging in three posts, two stays and all the wire work/cut off switches/tensioning etc. Nick went in it (after much coercing - we didn't quite put a gun to his head....) with one of our newer members and they came third out of 14 teams, winning them $25 each and $25 worth of tools. Funnily enough, now they're keen as for next year (rolls eyes).
     The winning team of each region competes again alongside the Young Farmers Grand Final competition in Taupo. However our winning team has one member who is going into the regional YFComp, so he can't go further in the fencing comp if he makes it into the YFComp final. Meaning it'll be passed over to the second placers. IF they don't want to go into it, Nick and his mate will have no choice but to do the competing...Should be interesting...

Mum and I have been desperately trying to get the upstairs rooms sorted for before Miriam comes, and finally we've managed to throw some things out, my gosh we're hoarders! I've convinced mum to do a garage sale, so with all the sorting we haven't really achieved much but we have in a way too. It seems that giving away a queen size water bed is exceptionally difficult, so it's holding us up a bit, having a pile of bed pieces in the way of everything!
It's not super easy, most things have been shunted from one room to the next, sorted and put back in proper order. We can't get rid of half of the rubbish until we can light our bonfire, thus removing the burnables. And to get the upstairs room destined for me finished, we still need to buy, paint and install some skirting board - otherwise the room will never be finished. It's quite overwhelming! You think it's going to be simple, but then you look deeper and discover that actually it's not that easy after all! I'm sure we'll get it done though - eventually! We've got a week lol.

I was stoked the other day to discover seven free test appointments for my license online, in the town I want to do it in. They'd said there won't be any until May, well it seems my prayers were answered, as I've booked in for the 21st April. Yes, it'll mean I still won't be able to drive Miriam anywhere without Mum - not that Mum's able to drive currently anyway - but soon, I will (hopefully) have my full! Yus, that means ambo training here I come!

Work is crazy here at the moment, here was me thinking we wouldn't be busy by now...haha. I've gotten to the stage of being sick of milking, at the time of the year I generally start hating it and counting the rows until the end. The cows aren't happy campers at the moment, and I don't overly appreciate being slapped in the face by every cow's daggy tail. I keep thinking I'm coming to the end of my stretch, and it keeps getting longer! It seems I'll have to milk almost every day in April, I've got my last herd test on the 1st and 2nd (who has a herd test, ((which is very important and usually stressful)) on April Fools' Day...I don't know...) yay to finally being done with those! I've possibly also got an 18 day stretch at one farm in May, as they're autumn calving, somebody has a prebooked holiday and somebody has just quit so they'll need help. Ok it'll be nice to have an income in May, but. *yawn*
     Although today was a good milking, I was back on the farm I raised calves last year, back in the little 16 aside, milking on my own. It was bliss lol

Our fencing bookings are out of control at the moment, I'm no longer surprised all the other fencers in the district have a bad reputation for taking months to get to the job, as we're beginning to wonder how on Earth we'll get it all done before winter well and truly hits and it's no longer possible! Dad and Nick are busy now with other work, spraying gorse, spraying out the crop paddocks and in one instance, using our tractor for re-grassing. It doesn't help that this weather has taken a turn for the worse, raining on and off every half hour and constantly windy. Mum and I can't help with the fencing - other than the fact that Mum's in a moon boot and I'm milking constantly - we're not overly helpful.
     Finding somebody to come work for us is a mission and a half. The guy who was set up to come work has chosen to go to Japan and earn better money over there. Like, gee, thanks for not telling us sooner...!

Pippa is now more than 10 weeks old, still super cute :)

Friday, 20 March 2015


So, so much has been happening, there's a lot for me to say today. Probably not the most interesting, but hey!

So, in case you didn't know, we survived Pam without even the smallest twig on the ground - ok, perhaps there's a little exaggeration there. But seriously, as many people have said, that was nothing compared to many storms we have, a few times a year. Still, poor Vanuatu would love to be in agreement with us, I'm sure. But sadly, they weren't so lucky.

However, what Pam did bring with her is awfully horrible weather that just can't decide what it wants to do. It's changed completely over the past week; the mornings are freezing - a sure sign to the end of summer. It's still icy around 11am these days, even in the sun, then suddenly it heats up, then (like today) it decides it wants to go icy again and send in the rain. It's pouring down right now, leaving me freezing with Pippa in my office with the not very insulated flooring....

Facebook discussions during Pam brought to light a possible new thing for me - being a volunteer paramedic with St. John. People were saying there's only 5 volunteers in town - hardly enough people to cover the shifts, and Mum suggested I join.To be honest though, I'd been thinking of joining the Fire Brigade a few months back, anywho, I thought about St. Johns for a while, then decided, why not?! I'm not one to panic, I love learning new things, I love a challenge - why shouldn't I? So I have spoken with the top guy in town, and he's pretty keen on it. I'll be able to go in and observe for a while, then once I've got my full license I can officially start training (more on that in a bit).

I was a bit surprised with what the guy was saying, with regards the paramedics often going out on their own. I'd always thought it was a bit of a team thing, not only for safety but just general logic I suppose - I never see an ambo on their own. But, as it happens. Because it's a rural community and there aren't many ambo people, it is the norm to take the ambulance out by yourself to a call out, more often than not.
I was a little dubious about that part, suddenly losing confidence in my abilities to handle an emergency on my own, but that would only occur after I'd trained for a year. So there'd be no chance of being thrown into the deep end too soon, I'm sure.

I cannot start my training until I've got my full license, as the first step is a driving course. I can't get my full license until at least May, as all the test stations are fully booked! They can't even take early bookings, as NZTA won't let them - ridiculous much?? So I have my eye certificate (more on that soon) and it only lasts 60 days. Brilliant. Fingers crossed when I do manage to actually sit it, I'll pass it first go - the inconvenience would be intolerable!

Last Tuesday I got my eye certificate, and discovered my script has changed slightly.  Sometime I'll have to update my glasses as my right eye has gotten worse. I got my glasses five years ago, at this rate soon enough I'll definitely need my glasses for driving! Eek, but the cool part is being able to update the frames at the same time, I'm kinda bored of my 15 year old decision now lol

This Tuesday coming I have the joy of going back to the dentist to have two wisdom teeth removed. I'm pretty sure I'll walk out with stitches in at least one of the holes, so I'm not particularly looking forward to it. I had the option of having an IV sedation to make me drowsy, but I decided that I'd take the pain instead of losing so much more money, it's going to be expensive enough as it is - although at least it's a long term investment, if there are any positives to mention! I figured that since I've got four days off afterwards, and since I did have the money and the specialist was coming up, just to get it over and done with. Rather than do it in winter....

Oh and silly me tried to attempt breaking her arm yesterday! I'm pretty sure it's just bruised muscle, but it's still sore...I was hitting the cows up with my hand on their rumps - as you do quite often in the pit, and aimed a little off and bashed my arm down on the bum rail (yip, that's what it's referred to, lol). I hit it just below my elbow, sending a nasty electric shock like feeling up my whole arm. I've been struck with an eight thousand volt fence before, and it felt pretty similar - horrible. I don't often injure myself, and my pain threshold is generally very high, so I just ignored it. Went to carry on milking and had sharp pains shooting through my whole arm. No bruises were showing up, but Nick sent me off to put it on the vat to cool it down - getting me out of the rest of milking. Man, it hurt! Later, Mum was like....wait, you did this to yourself?? Not even kicked by a cow! Golly gee.

It was sore for the rest of the night, twisting it certain ways brought back the pangs and lifting some things or bumping my elbow. Today, no swelling, no bruising (what?!), not too sore, just here and there. I've skipped out on my 4pm milking, Nick's doing it. But I've gotta milk at 6pm - hopefully lifting the cups won't be too much of a big deal to it, as I've got all weekend to work...getting myself a broken arm or something silly like that (on my right arm, of all the choices...) at this time of year would be less than ideal. Yes, milking is slowing right down, I've got about 4 more weeks of booked work to go, but still. Definitely not cool, for the girl who never injures herself :P
I think the most annoying thing is that my arm just has not bruised, I want to be able to prove I'm not this wuss that hit her arm, I want black and blue bruising! lol

I need some better work stories!! Only in New Zealand :P

Sunday, 15 March 2015

You Make Your Own Happiness

Yesterday I was scrolling though some of my older posts, when something from way back in September last year caught my eye, and I quote - "I think when it comes to next year, instead of walking tentatively down the steps into the pool, the cold water lapping my feet, I think I'm gonna go straight to the deep end and dive in head first, without a doubt to weigh me down. Things might turn out differently that way :)"

It's funny because thinking back to last year, when I was tired and worn out. When I remember feeling like I wasn't getting anywhere, I was so positive! There are heaps of smiling faces, posts filled with sarcasm and humour. Even amongst a really bad year, I was still a bubble of positivity.  And, so far, I haven't walked into the pool at the shallow end, but I haven't run to the deep end yet either. I think I'm sorta half way there, where other people have splashed me a bit, otherwise I'm still dry but still on my way towards the target. I'm just walking calmly, cos I don't want to fall in too early.

Yeah, that's probably confusing for most but some of you will understand I'm sure. All I know is that once I get there, after I leap off the edge, there is nothing that will stop me swimming - and I really can't wait! On the poster filled with happy quotes that I got from HM Rage last year, there is one that goes "I am so excited for all the good things to come!" Yes, that may seem a little OTT, but it's true. The future is daunting, but exciting.

There are so many quotes, so many poems, so many single words. Hope. Dream. Live. Laugh. The list goes on, they're all filled with this sort of energy of "happiness", as if reading them will instantly fill you with joy or something. But it isn't the case, people look at these sweet little poems, smile in recognition, then turn away and forget. 
So many people I work with omit these really bad vibes, it's so strong you can feel it. It's like my little bubble is shuddering from the pressure of it. I'll be honest, I can't stand it and it makes me really nervous around these people. When I get back in my car and start heading home, I feel that instant, refreshing relief to be away from them.

We have to make our own happiness. Yes, you're probably rolling your eyes at that statement, you see it and hear it everywhere. It's totally not true, you think. But actually, it is! You can't walk around with your bad vibes expecting it not to escape and cause damage, just like I don't walk around and show my best fake smile. You've got to be true to yourself, and realise what you're expelling out into the world.

There is this song that I remember best from my Girls Rally days and it goes something like:

Ripples on the water 
From one little stone,
The water is smooth
If you leave it alone.

Each pebble you toss
Makes a difference you see
The ripples on the water,
Will touch you and me.

Pebbles of good
Pebbles of bad,
Pebbles of happiness
And pebbles of sad.

No way to stop them
Once they begin
The ripples on the water,
Go on without end.

It's such a cute little song, but when you think about it, it's got a really decent meaning behind it. I don't like preaching on and on. I know people don't like it, but seriously. Coming from me, being a positive, happy, bouncy, light-hearted person 99% of the time, is pretty cool. It's much more enjoyable spreading happiness around, always smiling. In comparison to the other option anyway!
And with this lovely storm rolling in, potentially wrecking havoc as she goes, what a better time to look on the bright side of things, with all this dull weather?? :)

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

A Miriam Moment ;)

I'm not sure whether I ever mentioned my new regional role in the Young Farmers. I was elected the Publicity Officer for the entire Northland region (five clubs) and I basically am in charge of publicity for events, getting hold of newspapers, advertising etc etc etc for all five clubs. However already I'm frustrated!
I get asked to do things, to work with the chairmen and the local Teen Ag clubs, do this and do that. Been given suggestions and told to contact people and that I'd be given the information - yet the information is never provided and sometimes I'm not sure whether I'm actually supposed to be doing something, or not. Or whether talking to a few different people about the same matter may tangle a few strings, I'm not sure....anyway I was asked to coincide with our regional secretary who has all the contacts and information to converse with the chairmen about our fencing competition. Thus to try and encourage members to sign up. However other people are now organising and I was never given the details to pass along the lines - it's confusing and awkward as I don't want to ruffle feathers on people if it turns out I'm not meant to have anything to do with this that or the other in my role. Like, seriously! Give me a job description or something and follow up on emails!
     I don't want to keep saying, oi, you're supposed to be contacting me - I hate to constantly remind people to do their job when they just aren't doing it, which makes it exceptionally awkward....there is also the concern that come the next regional meeting in April someone may remind me that I'm meant to be doing certain things - but how can I do them if I'm just not told??? :O

Youth group is back on tonight, it actually began two Fridays' ago where we met up at the school pool, had a swim and then went back to the leaders' house for dinner and a catch up. Not many people went along to that, but it was good. Last Wednesday was our first Bible study night and I was the only one who showed up...which was pretty flippen shocking. There wasn't a text sent out, but you'd think that when a text is sent out about a week earlier talking about kick starting the year, people would get the idea (not that many people come anyway).
This time round I put up a post on the facebook page, reminding them it was on, saying that I saw a bag of food last week (for encouragement) and suggesting that I'd possibly bring along my youth group famous choc brownie. I also said that the leaders are going to be keen on suggestions, but I'll get back to that....
Anywho, the text was sent out as well, and the person mentioned I may bring along a brownie (dropping me in it to those who aren't online, so I had no choice but to make it lol) and I've just completely stuffed it up! Oops!! I had a 1/2 cup and a 1/3 cup beside each other and accidentally used the wrong one...kinda wondered why the mixture was a tad runny. Then later realised, when it was cooking that it was not one cup of flour and one cup coconut, but 2/3s of each...ooohhhh no! Looks like I had a Miriam moment ;)
I'm gonna make another one and leave that one for us, as it looks OK but I know it's definitely not the right consistency and don't want it tasting really bad hehe.....

Our Youth leaders are quite well aware that youth isn't flying in a very good direction, especially as we often have only a few people turn up. So last week we were discussing possible new options for it. They spoke of what they used to do, a club called 180 where they'd often have a hundred youth turn up. I think it was just a place to hang and have fun, meet people etc and keep kids off the street, but they brought them in. Now they're considering a "youth cafe" that would run 4 days a week for certain hours after school, that would be a place to hang out, play pool and games and suchforth, where it could be considered "youth group" but with the promise to not be preached at so to speak.

Leaving one definite bible study night a week available, that people didn't need to feel obliged to come to, but the dedicated kids would. The leaders are kinda feeling that perhaps they're a tad on the old side (they're definitely not) but they love hanging with the teens - they're just disappointed that nobody comes along anymore. Tonight should hopefully begin something good!

Next week is going to be a busy one...I'm booked in for the dentist on Monday (eeek!) I try not to be nervous but the thought always worries me. One the pain, two, the cost...but hey.
     I've been having wisdom teeth pain again, possibly due to lots of movement and figured I'd just go in for a check up to see how they're going, praying for no holes though! o.O
     I know I'm going to have to have them out, but I'm getting a little squirmy about it...Having lots of headaches though and a foul taste in my mouth, which may be to do with them or maybe hayfever and possibly the touch of a cold starting - you know the horrible feeling in the back of your throat when it starts??

Tuesday I'm booked in for a check up at Specsavers, that's also nerve racking. The horrible thought that my sight may be getting worse, I don't see why it would be. And just the general drama of it getting done, I find it really weird! For those friends with sight issues, you know when they shine the torch in the sides of your eyes? Well for me, it's really disconcerting - especially as the old guy puts his whole face right up to look, and yeah - personal space exploited! Lol the last two times it looks so jolly weird, as the guy makes funny expressions in concentration (right in front of me) and I'm sitting there trying not to burst out laughing - it's really awkward! I'm only going there for the license certificate, so I can book in for my full - which I can now officially apply for. Now that, is something I definitely don't want to talk about!

A note to leave you on - Take Me To The Church. Somebody told me he really liked the song, then watched the music video and was horrified. Saying it's really evil, with murders and whatnot. I was like, seriously?? So we saw the music video yesterday, and I'm now seriously's not evil? Not in my eyes anyway. The video itself is confusing, from what we get from it it's about this gay couple being hated by the anti's -yes, the video doesn't go with the song (in my opinion) but no murder and no evilness. I'll leave you with it to decide...let me know your thoughts on it...

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Autumn Has Begun!

I can't believe we're already in March, technically Summer is over now and we're in Autumn. Although some people around here would disagree as we've got a late finishing summer this year, but hey. The leaves are all falling down, turning brown and yellow and super crispy. Trust me on this, we're in autumn!
     I love this season, the temperatures are perfect being much cooler in the mornings yet it still warms up during the day and all the leaves are falling around everywhere, drifting in the breeze - it's kinda poetic in a way! Although it's slightly ironic that I love a season where everything dies. So as you were reading that you might've imagined peaceful music, which suddenly stopped in my last sentence. Yep, everything is dying, going to sleep, hibernating. And I love it. It probably has something to do with the fact that after three months of summer heat I'm desperate for a change, as I get pretty psyched about Spring too, after dealing with three months of cold. I guess I just like the in between stages of the two extremes.
     However, that still doesn't explain why the heck we're already more than two months through the year - I honestly can't believe it.

My first Telford course arrived on Monday, I learned that there are four "courses" throughout the 12 months that I have to do it, and each "course" can take no more than three months to achieve. So by the end of May I need to have the first four modules marked and passed before I can move onto course two. There are 14 units to do, each with varying amounts of credits, there are a few with just 3 credits, most are worth 5 and two are worth 8, apparently to do with varying difficulty levels which all adds up to 65 credits needed to pass.

But it came in this massive folder, each module has an assessment booklet and a small reading booklet of about 30-50 pages and there is the option of using the Telford library for extra reading material. It looks pretty simple in general, I've got one on electric fences (yawn, literally), tractors, one of the many animal health units and one on the sale and purchase of livestock. They're all open book and the first three you basically copy out the tables in the assessment into word and fill it in - easy. However the last one requires extra research and a 5000 word essay. Yep, five thousand words on selling and buying livestock....hmmm, now that's gonna be fun!
     I've almost finished the fencing one, just a little more to read then fill out the assessment talking about differing posts, insulators and how many metres this has to be away from that in the case of this happening and whatnot. And I should get the tractor one done next week, leaving to two difficult ones left. The idea isn't to rush them, but get this course done as quick as possible while I'm not too busy, so I can get onto the others early rather than struggling to finish them when I'm overrun with work.
     We're now trying to convince Nick to also sign up for it, but he'd start a month after me. Overall, so far, so good!!

I can't wait until April, as we've got ourselves a visitor coming to stay for a short time - Miriam. I offered to her she could stay with us during her mid-term break and the other day she booked the flight to Auckland. I'm quite excited to meet her!! Fingers crossed I won't be too busy during her stay, but the intention will be to teach her to milk hehe. I love teaching people to milk cows for the first time, it's quite fun. :)

Pippa is now going on 7 weeks old on Saturday - she's growing up so fast *sniff sniff*, she's turning into a right little rascal, climbing curtains, hopping in cupboards that don't have doors. She's getting more experienced with being outside and loves chasing the dry leaves around. Miller is still her big friend, if only for the yummy food she gets. Frodo still hasn't accepted her but doesn't give her evil "I'm going to eat you" looks like my darling Cocoa passes on. Cat counseling isn't working so far, but hopefully we can soon convince Frodo that Pip will be a perfect playmate, I won't hold my breath though!!