Thursday, 25 June 2015

Young Farmers Fundraiser

So, as you all know from my raving on and on about it, our young farmers were holding a "welcome in" dinner fundraiser. Well, that was last night. And it went perfectly - I almost couldn't fault it. Such a relief,  considering I organised it all, I never expected it to go as well as it did.

We had 35 tickets sell, plus a few extras who turned up and didn't buy a ticket at the door, or who came in a half hour late, so them buying a ticket wasn't really necessary.

Nick and I got in there for about  5:30 to start setting up, my laptop needing hooking up through to the projector to make sure it all worked, all the prizes needed sorting and laying out and we needed to confirm that the room was set up correctly with tables and such. Once that was all done, Ryan, the owner, shouted us each a bowl of chips and a drink - I was like, wow, ok! Then he sat with us while we had our dinner and basically said that Wednesdays were his most quiet nights, so he was stoked to be having an almost full house for a change.
6:30 came around jolly well fast, and our club started arriving - by now I was getting a little nervous of what was to come, as this had been my idea, I didnt want it to fail and make me look really bad.

7PM knocked on the door and suddenly people start arriving, OK, game face "ON''! lol And it flowed really well, everyone came in with their tickets or paid for some, mingled around with everyone else - as they were all farmers, so why wouldn't they. Their dinners all started to come out; an amazing $20 set menu, which is a really good discount for quite a few of the meals on offer.

Nick opened up the night at 7:30, we had a quick fire True/False quiz session and gave away the first prize (to one of our club members, lol), and the lucky ticket draw (a double pass to the movies). A little while after that our mystery auction started, with our auctioneer being a well known local from PGG Wrightson who runs the saleyards every week - man there's a reason he's good at his job!
I couldn't believe it, I expected there to be very little bidding going on, or that we'd sell each item for around $10 a piece - heck, try nearly $50 a piece! Everyone was bidding on photos on the big screen that began with a jolly flash red Ferrari (hehe), and changed between the likes of a Hawaii as a holiday destination to a Kune Kune piglet pushing a trolly with a glass of beer in it. One person just kept on bidding and bidding, and bought quite a few things from the likes of a small bag of dog food with a fuel voucher to small tools.

A little while after that I surprised myself and happily took on the mic and ran our "have you ever?" game - another last man standing wins game, and it was so fun and easy! Who would've known that I would be great at public speaking?? It's as if someone filled me with a confidence burst, then I was running it with no issues whatsoever. I do wonder though, whether having a mic was better, because that meant everyone had no choice but to listen to me, as usually everyone likes to speak over me...
This was the game that some of our members weren't happy about, thinking it was childish, but alas, it went great. Everyone was laughing and having fun, especially after I asked if they'd ever watched the movie "Frozen"? Most of the room sat down, then I moved on to asking if they'd ever used Tinder? That was hilarious as one guy we know as happily married, seemed to think he had used it, his wife went kinda ballistic and told him to sit down! hehe I don't quite think he understood that one...

We then had a guest speaker from Ospri (TB Free) do a quick presentation, then announced the raffle winners. We had three raffles, and one members' girlfriend, Molly, asked if she could announce them. If I wanted to describe Molly, I would say imagine me as a usually bright and happy person, and multiply that by about a million. Molly, is, blimmen funny. She's only my age, but she got super excited and was the perfect person to announce the winners. As soon as she started I wanted to burst out laughing because of how crazy and excited she was getting over it, while at the same time wondering why on earth I'd let her do it - I should've known better...hehehehe I think it was a great end to the night!

Everyone in the bar/restaurant kept coming out and thanking us for holding it - I imagine they would've gotten a really healthy turnover from it that they wouldn't usually get - saying what awesome customers our club were, as we often bring in more and more people to the restaurant. Unfortunately we discovered that two people had walked out without paying for their meals - an easy thing to do, but still a little annoying. So we had to cover it out of the money we'd raised. Not that it was a big issue, as it was only $40, but still.

Then I came home and counted up the money - including the $40 we lost, we raised $710 over the night. Oh My Gosh. I knew it was a lot, but I didn't realise it would be that much....I've just got to take out a small amount to pay myself back for a few things, then the rest will be banked into the club account to pay for something - T-shirts maybe. I just hope that they now realise that I am a member to be respected and not to be messed with, so long as they all appreciate all the hard work I put into it....We might also have three new possible club members out of it, yet another bonus!

Now tonight we've got our monthly meeting, not that many people will show up, as they don't like travelling too far two nights in a row, which I can understand. We've got out three new people coming along for tonight, so it should be great. I'm on secretary duties tonight, a first for me, as our secretary can't make it. AND I've still got to write up the report of last night, detailing all the in's and out's to be put in the minutes - how much we raised, how much we got in sponsorship (just under $700 we estimated it to be) etc etc.

Still currently buzzing about how well the night went :D Yay!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Below Freezing - what?

After reading this, I wonder who survived the night in the south Island - obviously David has, but Jenna, I hope you're not too cold. Don't think I'd cope with it, considering our 2-4 degrees was cold enough here...

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Junk Free June - an update

Two posts in one day, golly gee, aren't you guys lucky!

So, an update on how Junk Free June is going, just because you asked Andrew....I was going to say something sooner or later.

Anywho, I have completely...failed. Kidding! I have been a full three weeks with no "chocolate" at all. Yeah sure, I've had hot chocolate drinks, some chocolate brownie and whatnot - but I don't consider that "chocolate" like you'd get from a Cadbury or Whittakers block, so yep. I am pretty sure it's all legal, so to speak.
Lol. Not that it really matters at all, considering I was never doing it properly, and I'm not getting sponsored for it. Considering my natural sweet tooth, I think I'm doing jolly well. There is even chocolate in the house, everyone else is eating it, some days I sit there and stare at it for a while - especially when I've been working, so I'm tired. But, nonetheless, I have not succumbed!

On the topic of chocolate being healthy for you, and that it stops heart attacks, lets just say that in previous years I've possibly had plenty of it to stop any heart attacks for the future anyway, so please don't be too concerned - I'll be just fine ;) haha
AND, don't you know that it "technically" hasn't been proven - as they always like to come up with an idea and always like to contradict the complete possibility anyways. Mum said to say something about chocolate may stop heart attacks, but does it fix broken hearts? hmmm, not quite sure where to go with that one...but hey.

Other things I was dropping, general things such as biscuits, chips, crackers, lollies and fizzy drink. I've had to have some licorice allsorts with mum, because she pulled the "they come from plants" trick on me - I love licorice...had the odd glass of fizzy drink, but a lot less than I normally would. Everything else is A OK, one more week to go - bring it on! :D


I moved upstairs on Friday into the blue room and yesterday I spent a good part of my day bringing up all the little things and the likes of my computer and such. You don't really realise how much you've got until you're carrying it up and down stairs, load after small load! But nevertheless, it's good to be up here, and it's nice to not have a room that's a funny shape like my one downstairs was. This one has a small wardrobe built into the roof cavity on the side of the dormer window section, and it's much more box like - so it's more simple to organise.
I can assure you it won't be staying this tidy forever, but I'll try to keep it this way for as long as possible!! :D
If I told you our roof had a pitch of about 45 degrees, you mightn't believe me. But it's pretty close to it, as you can see from around about where my desk sits..., that's the actual roof line. I guess that's what you get when you live in an old church!!

I took Pippa in to get fixed up on Wednesday, even though I hated having to abandon her there for most of the day. That night was absolutely terrible. Usually, when Pippa sleeps during the day and doesn't use up too much energy, she is kinda terrifying.
Last night was quite a normal occurrence, this time she was sitting behind my computer, chewing on cords, knocking my ornaments out of place and when you try to stop her, well in my case, she attacks. Full on, claws, teeth, anything that she can use as a weapon, she uses. As of last night, my arms and hands are shredded to bits, almost literally.

However after being in an induced sleep for a few hours, stressed out and in pain, she was brutal. I was quite concerned she'd do damage to herself rather than me, after I caught her yanking out her stitches. We attempted to hand make a cone to put over her head - didn't work. Then we took an ankle strap bandage and tried to put that around her - didn't work. I was considering whether they administered a bit too much of the anti sedation, because I've never seen her so crazy in my life. In the end we just went to bed, turned off all the lights and hoped she would calm down eventually. Then sometime during the night she showed up on my bed. Almost like a little kid who'd had a bad dream, with a really sad look on her face when she asked me if she could snuggle in with me. Man, I felt stink. I know she's gotta be spayed, but I've never seen such a bad reaction to it before...fingers crossed she'll eventually get over herself, however the scary part is that we've got to take her back into the vet for the remaining stitches to be removed....ha ha ha...

Oh yeah, and if anyone wants a good book recommendation, then try Jodi Picoult's "Keeping Faith". It's quite interesting, takes a bit to get into but it's a good story, although I'm only half way through it. You know how usually you can almost predict what's going to happen? Not possible in this one, I'm still not sure how it's going to end or how it would end.
Basically it's about this little girl, Faith, who gets an imaginary friend after her parents divorce. Eventually they realise that she's talking to God, so it sends their world into a crazy frenzy of people not believing it, others trying to get miracles out of her, etc etc. Like I said, quite interesting for a story line, I have never read anything like it before...

Went milking again this morning, came home, opened up the house and made mum and dad a coffee in bed, shocking aye?! Now I'm just sitting up here, contemplating life, looking out my dormer window and listening to the neighbouring cows eat - like, they're in the paddock next door and they're so noisy. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch, sloshing around in the wet ground. Not the most picturesque view, what with the road cutting right in the middle of it, but it'll do :)

Life is good, for now :) 

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Peacock Feathers

I used to have a large bottle filled with peacock feathers. A few years back when we had our lease block, I was quite enthralled with them, such beautiful colours in them! I say I used to have them, simply because my darling Pippa (who is now about 5 months old and a complete angel *coughs* demon *coughs*) has destroyed them, and is continuing to do so now.
This has been going on for about the past month, when she first discovered them. It began with just the one, and then one by one she has picked them off. Breaking the long stems in half a million times, carting them all around the house. I have one that is still standing, but she has it in her sights, uh, no, sorry it's gone with the rest of them, as I speak! :O Rubbish day is next Thursday, so I'll have to pile up the whole broken mess and throw them all away, lest she injure herself on them somehow...

I guess it's just as well that I see no interest in them anymore, otherwise it would be kinda sad.

We went along to the Mystery Creek Fieldays on Friday, we seem to go every two years so off we went. Nick happened to be on his one week holiday, so he was there Thursday and Friday and stayed with friends and family. So it was pretty odd, with just the three of us.
I think we left home at about 4:30am (yes we are a weird lot!) and got there before the gates had even opened - a first for us! We must have stood for another 20 odd minutes with a few hundred people waiting for the gates to open, and we crashed (not literally) into a family friend almost instantly. Otherwise throughout the rest of the day, we saw no-one we knew in the crowds of punters. Later, on the way home when we stopped for dinner, Mum read online that the Friday lived up to it's typical standards, bringing in the most people - 38,000 + to be in fact! No wonder it was so jolly busy! We'd usually go on Wednesday or Thursday for that particular reason...

It's crazy to think that with a tough year ahead for farmers, how many were still out and about buying things, we were looking at all the sheds on offer, as we're hoping to sometime soon build a two or three bay on our section for all of our work equipment to go in, however after looking at the prices of them, it'll be a while I imagine before it even goes ahead...the most exciting thing for me was....ummm. Honestly, I didn't really enjoy it this year, possibly because I was so tired and it was so jolly cold.
Get this, on the way down it was 11 - 12 degrees, it doesn't change at all. Mum and Dad comment that it's gotten much colder, but I said, actually, it hasn't because the temperature hasn't changed. But, they say, waikato temperatures are different to Northland temperatures, therefore it is much colder....I'm ashamed to admit I'm related to them, quite seriously!!

Back to the most interesting thing for me, the robotic milking machine, if I can I will post a new post with the video of it - it's so cool! I'd seen plenty of pictures but never actually seen one in action, and then hearing of all the things it does - golly gee, nobody will need to even think anymore with all of this technology they're bringing out.
The police tractor was also there, so I jumped in for a picture - which I would post up here but I'm not too fond of putting my photo on blogspot...Oh! And I tried an American hotdog for the first time ever, like, why have I never had one of them before?! It was super yum.

And the implements that were there, why? I'll post a couple pictures to help you understand, one has me in it, to demonstrate the size of it, if you want to see, I'll email. But they're so jolly huge! I know that the idea is to have big implements and machinery to get the job done faster, but not in New Zealand - this is the sort of thing you'd have in America or Australia - you wouldn't even get it through a typical gateway or race - I honestly don't get it.
Perhaps they're just trying to show off the new technology and equipment in general, but it seems kinda crazy to pay to get it there, and then pay for the site that it needs to sit on...obviously they're not as realistic as myself, but hey, each to their own I suppose.

Twice the size of a normal seed drill

Now this, was kinda interesting, it circles around so you can place a post almost anywhere...

A quick snap from the top of the hill, this is only half of it, for those who have never been. And imagine this area being filled with tiny tents, thousands of them. That's what you see at Parachute, or Festival One as they now call it....

We've had a busy week, and more are to come. Milking this weekend and a friend in YF had his 30th birthday last night. We had dinner at the usual meeting place with his family and friends. Four of us were from the YF club, so I guess it was a privilege to have been invited.
However, on the way there we had a bit of excitement, although not the kind that I want to have to see or be involved in again.
A couple were having a very heated argument outside the local pub when I went into 4 square opposite. It was just, you know, throwing the arms around in the air, him telling her to do this and do that, her refusing to. I saw him grab her and shove her a couple times, then she managed to walk away, so I continued into the shop for a minute or two, grabbed what I needed then came out to discover the argument had turned really nasty.
A few people were sorta hiding behind their cars, watching. I stood there too for a minute, while he continued to yell at her, and then he grabbed her. By this stage, I'd run to my car and told Nick to call the cops - the one time I didn't have my cellphone physically on me.

It wasn't very nice watching him attack her, grabbing her around the throat etc and eventually knocking her down. There were about 15 of us in a bit of a circle on both sides of the street witnessing it, some just standing there with their groceries, frozen, not quite sure what to do. Then a car suddenly pulled in and another couple got out and pulled him away from her - now many others are also getting involved while Nick is on the phone to the dispatcher, saying what's going on. The guy must have noticed him on the phone and took off in his car, quite drunk, but at least we'd gotten the Rego details before he left. Then the female stumbled on up the street. Thankfully the cops had arrived and followed her up there before she disappeared too.
It was flippen freaky, I'm still thinking, did I actually just see that happen? And I'm also thinking, why on earth did it take a random vehicle to stop as soon as they saw what was going on, yet people had been standing watching for a while.
I know I wouldn't have gotten physically involved, it's just too dangerous, and the other people were probably thinking along the same lines, but far out. I guess I expected that it wouldn't have been just us calling 111, but obviously it was. I definitely do not want to ever see that again, and I really hope that if that was her partner, she's not going near him again. But one can only hope.

We're having a sort of mini meeting at my brothers place tonight to go over some finer details of my fundraising dinner for YF, I've sold about half of my tickets, which isn't bad but I kinda wish more would come. I'm hoping that even though I've stated "no door sales" people will still randomly turn up on the night, but hey, 30 people plus the YF who come along to help, you know at least I've sold some tickets!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

To Long Too Fit Hear

I saw something the other day, it said something like, ''ways to annoy a writer, the list is to long too fit hear". Honestly, it sent my brain into a spin, as if I was having some nervous breakdown or something - I showed it to Mum and she squirmed away from it. The sentence itself was so difficult to intentionally type incorrectly, I kinda had to pull myself into line and force my fingers to do it - I may as well have held a gun to them! Pretty crazy really, how simple things like that can drive me a little more insane than I already am.

So, good news, although I think I've already said - I finished my assignment! Didn't make it to the 5000 words, but hey. Other than the other night when I might as well have had a nightmare about failing it, basically they sent it back after nit-picking through the entire thing, saying sarcastic things such as, "so where did this bull come from? The moon?" I'm just like...huh?

In other good news, I passed my tractor assessment! First go too*does a dance* woohoo. They didn't quite say that I did an absolutely awesome job, but they practically did by saying it was faultless. So yay! Couldn't wipe that grin off my face, haha. Now I've just got to get into my three new assessment tasks, the one about everything to do with the Rumen is over 200 pages and about 2 cm thick - how they held it together with just one staple, I don't know but it sure can't fit into the first folder they provided me with and it'll be my first Level 5 assessment - crazy! The level 4 one is everything to do with breeding and genetics, so I'm getting pretty excited about working with biology again.

I took Ali in for her  100,000km service yesterday, she's only at about 98 thousand, but I figured it was best to get it sorted now rather than in spring when we won't have time to go very far. The great news was that she doesn't have a cambelt, therefore I didn't need to try and pay for a replacement. The not so great news is that they somewhat found the source of her oil usage, that a valve is leaking slightly and dripping oil onto the exhaust and burning (AKA horrible, smelly burnt popcorn sort of smell). It's good news that she's not using oil, but in any case she's losing it (like we thought) and unfortunately it's going to be an expensive fix - about $1500....because low and behold Kayger was super clever and just happened to buy the BMW with the weird engine! Jolly brilliant - *gives Kayger a pat on the back*.

So that'll be a few weeks wages that I have to save up to get that sorted, as well as the rear brake pads as they don't suggest getting any after market parts for BMW as they've got a tendency to not work very well....That and replacing the front tyres and getting a wheel alignment sometime in the next six months too.
I never said Ali would be a cheap car, but I'm not too fussed - I've got my positive flare back and I'm thinking that it won't be like the cavalier, fix one thing in time for another thing to break. Nope, she's only 13 years old, and has been well looked after so I'm thinking that fixing these few things up will make her not quite as good as new, but pretty close to it - and hey, at least there are plenty of parts around and there are specialised mechanics to do the work!

I've sold 14 tickets out of 50 to my fundraiser - definitely not as many as I'd hoped to by now, especially with only 2 weeks to go, but I'm getting there. At least there will be 14 people show up, which is better than none. However today my plan of attack is to email all of our clients with the details and hope that most of them can come, as it's not what you know, but who you know. I've already done a round in one area, handing out the info but they're farmers so they will likely forget. One area has got their own welcome in dinner happening a week before hand so I might pop along to that and get people to come along - depending on how desperate I am!
I never realised how difficult it is to organise these things, especially when you're doing it on your own - but hopefully that is going to change as Nick has finally done is chairman duties and has called a 'mini' meeting with all the executive members plus a few others to help me out, especially on the night itself. That'll be on Sunday night, so fingers crossed it pulls some people into line to give me a hand...

Things aren't getting any warmer lately, so I'm pretty grateful for the spa in the back porch, at about 5 in the afternoon it's at the hottest temperature. So every afternoon I don't quite take a running leap into it, but I might as well. Jump in there with a book and read for an hour or so - it's so relaxing. Quite blissful actually. But also kinda pathetic that out of all my readers I'm probably in the warmest climate, yet I'm the one with access to a spa...hehe

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Carrot Sticks

At Chantelle's birthday one of the munchies was carrot sticks, along with crackers, chips, dip and what have you. Quite often when I go to friends they're eating carrot sticks, and I dunno, I've never really enjoyed raw carrot - usually roasted or boiled with honey to go with dinner is the way to go for me. Until I tried said carrot sticks with dip, omgosh. Yum! They had this sort of Kumera and Pumpkin dip, so mixing it all together was so good, I kept thinking, I must buy some carrots and this dip to have at home. Yesterday afternoon, whilst stalking through town chucking up posters for my YF fundraising, and trying to get more sponsorship, I bought a bag of carrots, but sadly couldn't find the dip. :( Instead I've got some sort of sour cream and chives one, which isn't as nice, but it'll do. I think my family think I'm nuts!

I'm kind of doing Junk Free June, kind of anyway. I'm not going all out, because it'll be too hard to change my meals around when everyone else just sticks to status quo. I'd never heard of it, until other friends started spreading it around on FB - basically it's this thing you do, like Sugar Free September, or Dry July, and if you make a profile on the website you get your mates to sponsor you and it goes to the Cancer Society. In this case though, when you reach certain intervals of sponsorship, you get a prize.
So yeah, I'm not going all out, haven't signed up and not getting sponsored to do it. Instead I'm going a month with no food that I consider junk, that I can do without affecting the rest of the family. So, no chocolate, no biscuits, no chips or crackers, no fizzy drink or fruit juice - those sorts of things. If I did it properly I'd drop out the white bread, white rice, white sugar, processed foods, certain oils, takeaways etc etc. Now I'm just sitting here munching away on two carrots with some dip - not the warmest though, I have to say, but hey. I'm three days through, only 27 left! lol and this could be a good habit to get into - they say it takes three weeks to make a habit, so....

I'm really struggling with this assignment I'm doing, it was meant to be finished by Monday and that was my intention, to finish it and send it on Tuesday - once the mail sorted it self out after the long weekend. But alas, I'm only 3000 words in, and I need about 5000. I'm stuck with no idea what else I can write, because I'm sort of worried that the more I rave on and on, the more I'll go off track and the question itself won't even be relevant...It's difficult too, only really understanding how dairy farming works, so when they talk about seasonal fluctuations in the markets, I can't say things about sheep and beef, or deer. I've no idea on their breeding seasons, and when the best time is to buy and sell them.
Heck, I even googled New Zealand Sheep 101, but didn't get anywhere!
I really need to get it finished and sent off by the mail cutoff, 5pm. I'm not sure of my chances though.

Going out tomorrow night with the Young Farmers, dinner and a movie - gosh, sounds like a date. Lol! Should be good though, I'm really getting used to their company.