Saturday, 30 May 2015

Can't wait for spring!

I think if I ever have kids, from what I've done with Pippa, they'll all have more than one name. Pippa, it's ridiculous really but she's got so many nicknames! I'll do my best to try remember them all, so. Pippa, Pippa Middleton, Middleton, Pippa-lou. Pip-squeak. Squeakles, Mippit and Baby Cat (the last is courtesy of Dad lol) The joke is, you all out any of those names, depending on whether she's in trouble, and she'll come. Talk about increasing my cats' memory by giving her heaps to think about - either that or she's on the verge of over-exceeding her memory room!
Poor Pippa, she's had a hard day so far, and it's not even 10 o'clock!  She was outside and something happened, possibly got chased by a magpie or something. But she came inside, soaking wet, shaking like a leaf and completely mortified. So she got a good dry off, cuddles and now she's sitting fast asleep in my lap, cos it was quite scary, you know!! (My ulterior motive is that she's acting as a hot water bottle hehe)
We sadly lost our old boy Miller on Thursday, we knew he wouldn't make it through another winter, but still seems a little odd with only have the three girls now. Cats, huh? They certainly run our lives!

Yesterday I spent the entire day with Dad and Nick, helping them with fencing.It was out in the sheep and beef country of our area, I know. Nothing like your place, Andrew. But pretty steep and rugged. Not the sort of land I'm usually on, let alone fencing on! Just over those trees in the picture is the driveway in, and on the other side of that drops straight down to the local beach/ocean, it sort of all connects up along the coast, but it's gorgeous from that height, no wonder the land around there is owned by the rich of this world...
Anywho, most of my day was spent spreading battens out for each section, carting them all the way down to those trees, and behind where I'm standing. Those posts, are number 1 Premiums, kinda like mini strainers, cos the guy is rich and wanted the best. Blimmen Heavy. No joke, and full of water. So I carried about ten of them to where they were needed, carted battens all day in big bundles, to save having to do too many trips, pulled wires and marked the posts for the wire heights.
A guy who's running the place turned up, as he was pre-booked to come pull our tractor out of the bottom swamp (Kermit got bellied in there, but I've got no picture for that.) and he's like....woah, wasn't expecting to see a girl out here! I'm just like, expect the unexpected these days!
Today I'm so sore, we were there for about ten hours and got home close to 8 that night, after having to tow out Nick's ute with his trailer on, as it had that bundle of posts on it. The ground was pretty slippery from the rain, and the ute has no grip with the weight.

Turns out, carrying battens all day creates bruised arms and wrists, possibly due to the large bundles I was carrying, and they often fell backwards with a crash into my elbows. You sorta keep going all day, not taking much notice cos you don't stop, but once you do stop it all just shows up and starts hurting. I'm like, what?!  The unfortunate thing is that Dad and Nick appreciated my help so much, that they want me back to help finish next week. I'm so gutted, good money but painful.
However, at the end of the night I was quite proud of my achievements. As I drove the manual fencing ute out of the job, through the muddy paddocks, a few handbrake starts (handbrake doesn't hold, as I soon learned). Then I drove that same ute, with one of our oversized trailers on, carrying a bundle of posts (Nick towed his massive trailer with another bundle, and Dad followed with Kermit). Then, I went through 3 single lane cattle stop bridges, in the dark. All in a days' work! Never driven with a trailer, let alone a heavy loaded, extra wide one, at night, through skinny places. Can cross that off my bucket list now!

Back to milking at my weekend abode again, a three day stretch this time, to include Queens birthday. We've possibly got another milker in the pipelines, who if all goes to plan, will take over this particular job and do every weekend. Sounds like she just needs the extra money, and is happy to do weekends. At least this way, we can guarantee her definite work. We've been contacted by my old weekend job, which is ironically just up the road from my new place. As in spring they're after someone who will do a full days work, every week or so. Milking, shifting stock, getting the new cows and calves in, all the typical spring time work that one would encounter. It'll be odd doing an actual full day on farm, but I'm looking forward to it!
This way I can help mum with our calves almost every day, do this job when needed and that frees me up for weekends to work elsewhere, meaning I won't be stuck in the same old rut for three-four months. Excellent!

Now, need to stop procrastinating and finish my assignment!

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Keepin' Busy

Just for a change, it's cold! Sitting here, typing away, my fingers have frostbite and I'm surprised they're moving at all....just joking, but yep the cold status hasn't changed and I don't believe it will for a few months yet.
There's lots to do today, and my gosh the day is going fast! But, as per normal for me, I'm kinda procrastinating where procrastination isn't needed (try type that out without concentrating!) :D As I've finished reading up on my final assessment (due in for the end of this month), yet I've still got to type out the darned thing. Put it this way, for actual answers on the questions asked, I've got about 400 words. I need 5000 minimum, hehe. Yep. Procrastination at it's best! It's going to take a bit of time, I need to do extra research, they say "extensive research" ooh scary, and also mention "bibliography required'' which, umm, yeah that may mean I need to start researching! Golly gee. I won't get it sent in by the end of the month anywho, as the 1st is on Monday, which happens to be a stat, so I'll aim to get it sent on Tuesday, meaning it won't be lost anywhere over the long weekend  -  I know, my planning is ingenious.

We've got out Young Farmers monthly meeting on tonight, and we've got a guy from Federated Farmers coming along as a guest speaker. Put it this way, I've been a member for almost a year, been to quite a few meetings, but the only time I've ever seen a guest speaker is at our regional AGM. So finally we've got someone coming along, which hopefully means we'll attract some people from other groups as well who may want to hear from him too. He's come to talk of lots of 'hot topics' in farming currently, mainly the whole health and safety which nowadays is getting pretty boring for most people, but nontheless it's important, so will be good to have a discussion on it.
Nick's told me that I've got to also type up a report for our Welcome Dinner fundraiser, basically stating what I've got planned and what I need help with on the night, and how it will  pan out. I'm a little nervous about this, writing the report - easy. Presenting it and asking for help and opinions, not so much. I'm beginning to think that I don't really have the entire club behind me, and the fundraiser hasn't taken off like I wanted it to. I've sold no tickets, but I'm getting heaps of support in sponsorship. And every time I bring it up during a meeting, nobody really seems all that interested in hearing of it.
But, this is our final meeting before the night in June, so it needs sorting, and hopefully tonight I'll have everyone behind me, willing to help where it's needed - even if that means going around their farming neighbours, grabbing them by the scruff of their neck and forcing them to buy a ticket and come! haha
I've got three weeks to get it all sorted, so please keep all those toes crossed for me!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Freezing Myself To.....

Ok so I'm not quite freezing myself to death, but well, I'm freezing myself to death. Yes, here in the supposed "winterless North", it's freezing. It may not be snowing, it may not be negative degrees, but my gosh. I need a spa! Why am I not already in said spa, probably cos the boys are working on the waterpumps, and thus the spa is currently unusable as they're out there working around it....not cool, actually, very cool! Pun intended, brrr.

I've been keeping myself rather busy, in fact last week was the extreme of business, where Monday was my only day off work. I worked at one farm almost every milking from Tuesday-Friday, with two different people. A couple weeks back I was milking with one person, he reckoned his co-workers couldn't tell the difference between a milked and a non-milked cow. They would have to spray orange paint on the last cow, as soon as the cups were put on her, otherwise when the cups were pulled off, they wouldn't know who was last! At the time I was like, say what?! How can you NOT tell a cow has been milked, I mean, hello!!
Anywho, I had to milk with these two co-workers throughout last week, while the first guy was still in Hawaii, and I remembered about this, as soon as they started spraying with said bright orange paint. It got to the point that the whole hoof, that's right you heard me correctly, was covered in this orange paint, so much so that there was a perfect stencil left on the concrete once she moved her foot! It was crazy!
It is kinda ridiculous though, because this orange paint doesn't wash off, it lasts a fair while, apart from getting covered in mud and such. Imagine eventually having a full row of orange footed cows? Then what would you do??? At least in the other cowshed, as the farm is split in two, they use coloured foam, therefore it washes off. I guess that yeah, it's good for that case, when it's a big shed and the cows are moving out quickly. For the person shutting the gate, sometimes you need to have a good glance to see if she's milked, if you don't have time, the marker is good. But not the bright orange spray that will last weeks.....haha
Then on the weekend I milked in the flash automatic cup remover shed.....I was just like, wow. It was so cool! Apart from getting sore arms from swinging the air canister around each time, and a sore finger from pressing the button to turn it all on each cow, it was cool. And the 2IC who I milked with was just as described, a joker but really nice. Turns out he's married to the older sister of a homeschooling family I grew up with, I never actually realised they had an older sister...This weekend coming, AKA Gypsy weekend and Queens birthday weekend, I'm milking with the boss three days in a row, to cover the stat day too. Should be good!

Oh yeah, I got my tractor assignment done, now to just finish off this last one over the next few days. Trying to freeze to death in my office, as I'm STILL waiting on one of the said males who lives in our house to put Office onto my laptop, meaning I could then do all my typing etc somewhere warm, like in bed. Yesterday that didn't work out too well though, as I fell asleep while reading the material. That isn't my fault though! That's from a typical 'non-drowsy' antihistamine from kicking in and making me tired, plus warm bed equals a tragedy for reading material oh and a broken hair clip - so not cool.
That needed replacing today...speaking of, what is one thing my blogging friends can't live without??

Monday, 18 May 2015

Dancing and Birthday

First things first -YF Dancing last week was SO FUN! It was focusing on ball room style dancing, we went for about an hour learning four different stages. Basically there were about 30-40 people of all ages there, about 10 of them were intermediate dancers and were helping teach. The guys were all spread between three lines, and the girls would rotate. Let me just say that dancing with my brother was um, awkward! Especially at the beginning when neither of us got it, then dancing with a couple of the guys I often work with, that was awkward too lol....
When we started getting each stage they'd turn some music on and we'd join all the steps together, then rotate to the next person. It was really fun, spinning and turning and all that, and it was really really easy, once you started to get it. I got a video of all of our YF members dancing with someone at the end of the night when it was just freestyle dancing, and one of our members who goes every week danced with me - this was interesting as he kept throwing in these random new movements to try to keep up with. My brother videoed that, put it on FB and it's had over 200 views. Gee, thanks. haha.

But it was fun enough that I'm going to keep going with it - not every week but I'm definitely going to a few more sessions to learn some more. The idea will hopefully to get Sam and/or Chantelle to go with me or some YF members, to make the drive more worthwhile...

On Saturday Chantelle celebrated her 20th birthday, so I went along and met (for the second time) our good blogging friend Bee! It was so nice to see her again after what, 8? years of knowing her? Yep, it's another example of a small world, with her and I sharing the same friends from years ago and knowing the same people these days. It was fun though, we went to the beach, roasted marshmellows, had pizza for dinner. Watched a cool movie. Then on Sunday I went to church with them (first time going to church since, ummm *coughs* Jan 2014, other than the Christmas eve service I went to). Then we watched another movie with Chantelle, her brother and another homeschooling friend who came over.
I sat there marveling at how old everyone has gotten, I'm basically sitting there going, you guys haven't really changed much but my gosh you've gotten old! I never imagined them being their current ages, lol. I guess that's what happens when you remember everyone from when you yourself were 11 and now going on 20 I guess they should be allowed to have grown just slightly :P

The agenda for this week, try and finish this darned Tractor assessment, there's one section that is really puzzling me - but alas I may just know how to figure it. And finish the reading for my selling and purchasing livestock reading material, along with finding some extra information, leaving next week to type out the 5000 word essay on the topic. It's all due back to Balclutha by the end of the month, so I've little time left!
Oh yeah, and so much organising to do with the YF welcome dinner fundraiser that I'm planning for mid June. The plan is to confirm with another girl what I've got so far (as I decided to get a helper), then go around town distributing all the posters and trying to get sponsors for prizes, and selling tickets. Fingers crossed I can get it all sorted by the end of this week!
Oh and milking on Saturday! Automatic Cup Removers - man I'm gonna be in heaven hehe

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Back To Work

After having not much work in the past month or so, and getting to the stage where I'm seriously looking at my bank account and considering how I'm going to pay for things such as fuel, car insurance, board and all the other general things I need, I've got work. Lots of work. Too much work booked.
I would've had four precious weekends off, up to this weekend coming (even though I'm still working Saturday morning), before I'm back into weekend work, full time. Oh how I love weekend work, it really gives me a thrill, you know?
Basically we've gotten a new client in the last week, who instead of replacing their employee who is leaving, who just happens to be a friend of mine, they've decided to get us in to relief milk. Every weekend. From next weekend onwards, no end date. So, that's uh, interesting, I guess.

It's kinda brilliant for me, because it is that guaranteed work I've been looking for to help pay for things, fuel is getting so jolly expensive ($2.16 a litre!?) and I thought I'd have no work, or little work until mid/end of July. So this changes things indefinitely, in a good way. However it does have that typical glitch that yet again I'm working on the days that my friends have off - a tad on the frustrating side, it looks as though they may not see hide or hair of me until summer again, like last year.
 And sorry, Andrew that also means I won't be able to drive to Auckland to possibly meet you in June - maybe another time....
It also means that I won't be able to continue with St Johns as all the training is held on weekends. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Sorta disappointed, but not overly? I have been recently considering whether I was going to enjoy carrying on with it, so maybe it's best that I hold off for a while...

They also want someone to milk every Wednesday morning from August onwards. So with every weekend, every Wednesday morning and rearing at least 400 calves with mum, at least once a day from mid July - late October, I'm going to be a busy beaver. Funny isn't it, how we're booked to cover for other people, so they can have their time off. Yet, in doing so, my time off will be nil. Void. Shut the door on the way out! kind of situation.

But it's funny how money seems to take priority in one's life once you reach a certain age. Cars, man they cost money. Not just the fuel, but the rego in July needs updating (yes, prices have dropped by then, but still!). Apparently the two front tyres will need replacing before the next warrant in January - one probably assumes correctly that they won't be cheap. Because I'm doing so much driving, I'll soon be due to get the 100,000km complete service done, cambelt, filters all that lovely stuff that for some reason costs money that is made of paper. Interesting. Paper is expensive, either that or it's worth a bit - I'm never too sure....
 Then you add in the monthly car insurance. My life advice. Don't buy a car, just use public transport once you're at pensioner age - then it's free or extra cheap, or something! Buy a bicycle, or some roller blades - aye Miriam? And just hope it doesn't rain hehe

We're going out to another Young Farmer thing tonight, we actually have something on every week, for the first time in - I don't know how long. Yep, it's that money thing again, but the things we do are one off, typically cheap things. Tonight it's dancing. Two members go to this dancing class thing, that I assume is held by a university "club" "group" thing. I honestly don't know. It's cheap enough for a few hours of fun, I think they teach heaps of different dancing styles or, yeah. No clue, just going along for the ride, the people and  the BK for dinner afterwards! It should be fun. Unlike at the last event, this time I will be dancing of my own free will! haha

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Not Too Much

Trying to think of things that have been happening, but nothing really has, even though it's been a while since I did a proper update. So I've got my full license, and the photo license arrived in the mail, which looks almost identical to my restricted (can't believe I wore the same shirt haha), except I'm a little more older looking - a good thing I guess.
I've also gotten my new glasses, I'd forgotten how hard it is to get used to seeing things differently! I'm sorta having to wear them for a few hours, take them off. Wear for a few hours, take them off, and I swear it's making me tired...driving with them is interesting, kinda like, woah, I didn't realise how much I had been struggling to see. Even though it's only the one eye that's downgraded itself, it makes a difference apparently...

Other than that, nothing really comes to mind as to what I've been up to. Kinda keeping myself busy by doing next to nothing, trying to finish off my assessments for this month, and doing the odd milking here and there.
I met a new guy at milking last week, and convinced him to come along to our YF's meeting that night, which he eventually came to. It got me thinking that the club keeps talking about giving out meal vouchers to those members who bring in the new people. I've done it quite a few times now, imagine all the free meals I could've gotten if they'd gotten around to doing the vouchers!  But this person has added me on FB, and has since gone to Hawaii on holiday, meaning I get all the updates and pictures of Hawaii. It's kinda different to what I imagined, apart from all the beaches, and the buildings right on the waterfront....

Monday, 4 May 2015

News. Paper. Death?

I'm trying, desperately trying to decide what I can write that might be of some interest. It's sort of like a craving for me, writing, and whenever I get it or get an idea I just have to stop and do it. I guess it sort of sends my mind into a bit of a spin, with the need to transfer information onto paper - so to speak. And then when I get the chance to write, I literally can't stop. My fingers gliding over the keyboard almost mechanically, trying to capture and convey thoughts. So many thoughts...Like now, except now I'm kinda rambling for want of a decent subject.

What is there to actually talk about? There are so many things going on in New Zealand and the rest of the world. Everyone should surely know about most of these things. You see them all over the News, hear them on the radio or read them on the front page of The Herald and Facebook. So much is happening, that I'm surprised that it hasn't got the earth in a spin...if it wasn't already that is!
But you see and hear about so many things these days, drama over here, death threats there, then everything to do with the Royal Baby. Then you've got the local things, such as the Kiwi Dollar changing, issues with the GDT, housing prices skyrocketing and a politician suffering the wrath from what a family member has done.

It's madness, it's as if this world craves News (overall, gossip) in a way similar to my need to write. Good news. Bad news. Opinion and futuristic, it's here, it's there. It's jolly well everywhere, and the world can't survive without it. What else would we talk about, if it wasn't there to inform us?

Take the Duchess of Cambridge, as an example. The whole world knew as soon as she was pregnant, then the gossip mills crashed open, (not that they ever shut down), like the tsunami taking over Japan. Perhaps you could've thought that it went quiet for a while there, but no, pockets of information being passed through newspapers and magazines kept the ball rolling - whether the information itself was actually true or not - who knows? Low and behold she went into labour and the world went into yet another frenzy, as if nobody actually expected her to have the said baby. It may has well have been a rare occurrence?!
Every second thing I read, anywhere on the internet, "Kate this..." "Kate that..." "Is it a girl or a boy?"

Things have gotten to the stage where you can buy two or three different magazines, or in my case, receive three or four farming papers in the mail (on the same day), and they'll all have the same information, but just worded differently. My question is, why?

So many people study journalism of some sort, with the intention of getting the best job out there, in whatever field they prefer. Yet, there are no jobs available, because there are too many journalists.  You see it on TV, 10 or more people with their recording devices and camera crews, desperately trying to get to the information and then they'll all go away as individuals and give the public the same thing. There are endless magazines on sale, many just filled with gossip, but yet again, they all may as well be identical, almost cover to cover.

It's pathetic that the world is surviving on this News and gossip, where everyone quite happily pays money for it; yet we're cutting down the trees that we actually need to survive in want of something we can hear of and read ten times over, from different sources.

It's like we're killing ourselves, to live. Hello?!

Yes I go by the knowledge that the final hazard of life, is death.  But with everything that's going on in today's world, we may has well just cut ourselves up now and get it over and done with.

I guess it's just as well we don't need to make knives out of paper...