Friday, 31 July 2015


A few weeks ago we finished one of our bigger fencing jobs - I don't usually help because let's face it, I'm not really fencer material ;) But, Dad has been getting me in to help speed them up with all of the dog's body work that usually takes a while to get sorted. It is beneficial though, I must admit, as it certainly helps the bank balance and it also meant I had a good reason to get those awesome boots - they're purple, and that's all that matters! hehe
So off I went and it worked out quite well, I finally got taught quite a few things. You know how you see it get done, and think Ok, piece of cake. Typically though, it's not all that easy, but it puts it in perspective!
 This job ended up being just over 900 metres of seven wire, battened. While I was there on our last day, I took a quick opportunity to snap a few pictures, for blogging purposes, as they say pictures speak a thousand words, and this might make it a little more interesting for you lot!

As I said before, I got to do a bit more than my usual pulling out long stretches of wire from the spinning jenny's, stabbing them in the ground and cutting the wire to start again on another stretch. Nope, this time Dad had me planing all of the strainer posts and apparently I was quite good at it. It might be possible that I had a bit of knowledge that my Grandad might be standing with me critiquing my work - as it was his planer! One hopes that he too agrees that I didn't do too badly (not that he could tell me anyway...), as it's nice to get things right the first time, and be trusted to continue with no supervision...

After years of helping with fencing, I was finally taught how to do tie-offs - not as easy as it looks. The gloves are quite essential as the wire isn't the nicest, but the gloves seem to slide on the wires. Gotta be held tight, in both hands, curled, twisted, pulled, all at the same time it seems - it's quite an art! Here you go Andrew, I'm keen to know whether we do the same sort of thing up this way as you guys do in Gisborne?
I don't think I did too badly, in the next photo mine is the second from the bottom - a little off line and the curls aren't completely perfect, but with no help given for a change. It's quite fun work, when you get it right lol...thinking about it the second one from the top isn't all that perfect either...the best idea of how we do it is that top one - nailed it. :)

 Horizontal stay - I've never seen them do so many stays before....
 And another from of stay, (I think?) But done with wire instead with the opposite affect. Gee, trying to sound smart, hehe

This is Kermit! For those who don't know, it's our tractor. :P
Another trick I got to try, operating the post banger on a small stretch of about five posts. It looks nice and simple, but there's a lot of technique for it. From memory there are about 5 different operations you can do on it; using the monkey (the actual rammer that you see on the side), moving the whole boom shaft towards or away from the fence, tilting it towards or away from the fence, and tilting it towards or away from the tractor. Then you have to add in holding the post in the correct spot, and guiding the driver to the nearest millimetre.... Dad is pretty spot on with it, he can operate all the different levers as he needs to, while holding the post and guiding the driver - Nick. So by the time the tractor is in the right spot, the banger is pretty much all sorted. I don't particularly like working with it though, once that boom is flipped up, it's jolly massive and I can only just reach the leavers, let alone releasing the chain that holds the monkey in place. So it's not all that safe really, for me to be using it as I'm not physically able to reach things...                                      

 Purple boots - not so clean anymore though...
 And this is how we do footings. Again, Dad doesn't usually do so many, until recently. Just another post bung right in the ground as far as the post banger can get it to stop the main post from moving in the dip, and tied on the other side.
 Nice planed strainer post... ;) It's all in the overall look...especially for lifestylers...
As a side note, this is Tilly! She's the cutest little dog where we feed the calves, and for the first time in three years, I've seen her in a little jacket. She's a funny little thing, friendly but not overly. I just think she's a user, she'll grab a lift from us on the 4-wheeler - but that's all she's after. It's not as if she thanks us or anything...may as well be a taxi service, but she's still pretty cool.

Things are going pretty well lately. Currently it's a battle with the rain and wind, but it's unusually dry for winter and our water tank only has about 5000L left in it - conserving water in winter, what has this world come to? We need the rain, but I'm not yet ready to work in it. So I'm hoping for it to pour down at night, and be clear by the time we're out feeding the calves at 7am - no sleep in's in this house for the next few months, but it's nice to be up early constantly these days and my body clock is getting used to it - rather than the constantly changing sleeping patterns that I'm used to. 5am one day, 7 the next - it's ridiculously tiring.

If you want to know what scary is though, you haven't seen it until you're involved with making Creme know those little custard desserts in the ramekins, with caramalised sugar on top? Nick makes them every so often, man he's good at it and they come out absolutely perfect every time. He was intending on being a chef until all his food allergies arose meaning it wouldn't be practical - why he doesn't cook more often though.....So he learned how to make these from watching it on You Tube, and has since taught Mum.
She made them for tonight, but needed a little help from me. She still has an injured back, (not as bad but still a pain) and I was required to transfer said ramekins into the oven. However, these tiny little ramekins are filled to the near brim, and they're sitting inside a roasting dish filled with boiling water that is near the brim of the ramekins, and the whole thing is covered in tin foil. You CAN NOT get water in the about scary times, my hands have never shaken so much! So I've come to hide upstairs in my room so that I've no reason to touch the Creme Brulee again until I eat my one, with the intention of continuing my assignment and then skyping XJ - instead I've done this. Nice one Kayger...


  1. Those boots are cool, just don't go getting a Pretty Pink Tractor :P hahaha

    Hahahaha that creme brulee sounds terrifying :P Good idea blogging instead ;)

    1. Just as well I don't much like pink! Haha nah, the purple boots, the purple milking apron, the somewhat western purple hat thing, and the odd bit of nail polish is the only way I push out my feminine side. And that's as far as it goes.
      Actually no, the apron is only so that the guys don't accidentally wear it (and everyone I work with thinks it's awesome and totally me), the hat was a practical thing to buy at our northern fieldays and it was on a major special, and the boots were because they're for girls feet so they fit properly.

      The nail polish I have been meaning to get back to, but it lay forgotten in my cupboard for the time being ;)

      It's good to eat though! :D

    2. I'm guessing, Bee, that you know of Tim Hawkins then? I love that song... :P

      Okay, and question for Kayger. So, I've seen several times that idea of a horizontal stay, but what's the benefit of that over a regular stay?
      And the other stay with the wire, around here at least, is called a tieback.
      Also, the planing, is that taking the hard edge off the top of the post? I've only seen in down with a chisel sorry, so no idea... :P
      And also with the footings. I've seen that method, but actually in the place of a small angle. Never seen it in a dip, as far as I know. But then, I think we have only one fence built by a guy who did that, which didn't actually have any massive dips, so... :P

    3. Wait, you've lost Pretty Pink Tractor a song?

      Okay so the horizontal stays are done where a normal stay can't be. You might've noticed that the ground is lower or likely to fall away, so we put one of those in, and it's more secure that way. Ah yep, tieback, that's what it's called - forgot :P
      Yeah I'm not honestly sure why Dad puts so many footings in, he must have a reason for his madness though, otherwise he wouldn't bother spending time on it. I'm mystified on quite a few things related to fencing...

      The planing, yep, just making the post look a little tidier - used to do it with a chainsaw, then with a chisel, now we've got Grandad's planer, it's so much easier to use that and looks better too. And the planer comes in handy when doing the stays as well, smooths out all the chainsaw cutting. :)

    4. Wait, you've lost me... is Pretty Pink Tractor not a song? That's all I know it as...

      Oh right, yup. I wasn't sure if it looked like the ground dropped a bit, or if it was camera angle. So how long do you make your stays? A whole post or half?
      Feet have to go on every convex angle, no matter how slight, or when you strain the fence the posts will pull up. So going through a gentle hollow, you may need 5 in a row, or more. When we compare notes I can hopefully show you an example of where it looks like they aren't needed, but are.
      Haha, yeah, I've seen chainsaws used too, but they make a pretty messy job, really... Unless you're good, or have a very small saw... :P
      You smooth your stays? Okay. Mind you, we use an axe, not a chainsaw, so that is smoother to start with... :P

    5. Ok, looks like I'll have to check that one out...

      A whole post for the stays, they're different posts to the usual - slightly skinnier and seem a little longer...number 2's? No clue...
      Yeah, that sounds about right. I've just never seen him doing them until now, but I don't usually take much notice until now...yep will have to.

      They are definitely messy - and dangerous if the wires are already up. Chiseling takes forever, so this is more fun :P
      Yep, lifestyler - remember? It may be a battened fence but it must look good. And at least they're nicer to handle having no loose splinters...Ax, haha, what's that?! kidding. lol

    6. Haha Tim Hawkins, yep, he's great! And I would call Pretty Pink Tractor a song . . . His Government Song is pretty awesome too ;P

    7. yeah, you definitely have to check it out.
      Ok, yup, I know exactly what you're talking about then. No idea of the name, but I know what they look like... :P
      Right. Yeah, I only learnt recently, we had a whole fenceline flattened, for about 10 posts, and ver half were dips, I was like, seriously??? Always slows things down like that... (In the fence's defence over being flattened, it *was* over 60 years old, so...)

      Haha, chainsaw + wires = fun! But not enjoyable fun... :P
      Haha, yeah, I guess... Don't forget to keep the staples straight aye... :P

      Haha, Bee, have you seen the Insanitised Songs? That has some great ones, including the Government Can. Absolutely awesome. Also the Athiest Mega Churches... :P

    8. Omgosh, who comes up with that sort of thing anyway? Lol, Pretty Pink Tractor ;), wow, just wow. Who would've thought huh? Never heard of Tim Hawkins...

      Sounds like your old family farm needs a bit of an upgrade ;)

      Lol, I'm not really trusted to deal with staples - for some reason they're not perfect enough, so that's why I'm always hauling wires instead...not my fault I get the posts with all the knots!

    9. Okay Kayger, Bee and I can write you an Itinery. So, The Government Can, definitely, then Third Wheel, and don't miss out The Dog's On Fire. Oh, and after that, go to Inappropriate Wedding Songs. Ummm, from there, I dunno, what's next Bee? :P

      lol, it was the oldest fence on the farm, so... :P Hey, soon we'll have the newest fence on the farm as only hours old, hopefully!!! :P
      Haha, yeah, yeah. Knots shouldn't be an excuse, you know... :P
      Another question, not sure if you'll know. Do you put staples in the centre of the posts, or slightly to one side?

    10. okay, if you give me a round to it with that Itinerary then I might just get there one day :P

      Hopefully - that was the magic word :P

      Oh, but they are lol. A very, painful excuse! All I know is that we put them on an angle - not straight up and down, and try to keep the line pretty consistent the whole way down the post. I'm pretty sure it's just bang in the middle really, where the rounded bit of the post is (sounds brilliant, doesn't it? Really scientific...) I guess - why do you ask, is there some way and method to your madness of putting them to one side?

    11. Umm yep I think so. The Atheist Camp Songs are good :P Not sure if I've seen Third Wheel or The Dog's On Fire Actually (so coming up...haha). hehe Wedding Songs is good. If you play A Homeschool Family enough times that the little sibs walk around the house clicking it gets really annoying. Helper in the Car is good. And Things You Don't Say To Your Wife is seriously awesome.

      Kayger, I could send you a round to it, only couriers cost so much these days....:P

      Do you guys know John Branyan?

    12. Hmm, everything is expensive these days...although I got Dad his second round to it (the first one broke) and he never uses it ;P


    13. Haha, yeah, all the ones Bee listed are awesome. Things You Don't Say to Your Wife was the first one of his I ever heard...
      Actually, Kayger, just watch Insanitised Songs, that has most of the songs mentioned thus far. But not the compilations. And also, check out Nursury Rhymes. And Keeping Our Attention in Church.

      Yeah, there is a bit of method. The core of the tree is slightly weaker, so round here the staples get offset a bit, just to give them a bit more strength. But yeah, it's just one of those trivial little things that some people do, and some don't... :P

    14. I'll watch them sometime, when I can remember, and when our internet is happy to cope with the workload of running youtube :P

    15. Yeah I don't reckon my Dad would bother using one :P

      Ah that's right. I think of only seen the Insanitised Songs once or twice, normally I watch the individuals. Hand Raising in Worship is good. I like his song Chick-fil-A but it's very American. lol

      John Branyan is another comedian, he toured with Tim Hawkins one year. Go look up his one The Three Little trust me ;P He writes a blog too which is really good. haha

    16. Haha, yup, Chick-fil-A is pretty good. Have you heard the new one? I actually prefer the original... Haha, hand raising, I love that one, even more so because I once heard a similiar version at a PK conference... :P
      Oh, and also the Corporate Worship Songs, ever seen that one?

      John Branyan, never heard of him. But from that one clip, think I'm going to know him very well before too long!!! :P

    17. I've heard both but I can't remember the difference :P
      "'s what I long for!" :P

      Yeah he's good lol...he blogs over here

    18. The old one was the Beatle's Yesterday, I forget what the new one is...
      PK, Promise Keepers. Never heard of it? Masculine equivalent of Sista's. Please tell me you've heard of that? :P
      Oh yeah, that is just awesome. And it sounds exactly the same as when PC&D sing it... :P

      Have you heard of Mark Lowry?

    19. Oh right. I know of Promise Keepers. Might have heard of Sista's?! lol idk.

      I had seen him once or twice but couldn't remember his name. So I looked him up last night and mum came out to see why I was laughing...oops :P

    20. He is pretty good too. Tim Hawkins has more, but he is still pretty good with what he has...

    21. Yeah. And the way his says ambulance...:P Do you know Tim Hawkins's Least Favourite Things?

    22. lol, yeah, for anyone wanting practice in strong American accents, his is a great one to practice from... :P

      "and rabid tree huggers, these are a few of my least favorite things" is about the only line that springs to mind, but I remember being in near hysterics when I first saw it... :P

  2. Not that I know anything about wire tie off thingees but yours does look pretty good, nice to see the boots dirty ;-) its like 10:30pm and you've made me feel like creme brulee

    1. hahaha well you'll have to sort yourself some Creme Brulee for tonight then!

  3. Wait, why is your tractor called Kermit?

    1. Nice chat last night :)

      For those who weren't in on it (:P) the new Deutz at the farm we were on a few years back was called Kermit, looked like a frog. So we got the same brand of tractor and called him the same thing :P

    2. Haha, I meant to say. Kermit looks nothing like what I was thinking. I was thinking something more like a Massey Ferguson, sort of less modern and cabless... :P

    3. WHAT?! Oh my gosh, poor Kermit, he's horrified you could make such assumptions! ;) Try a Deutz Fahr Agrotron 105...what exactly that means, I don't know, but he's certainly no old-style, cabless Massey Ferguson, how awful!

      Lol, there was no point getting a rubbishy tractor, needs to be able to do a good job for a long, long time. Kermit is 10 years old, an old contracting tractor and looks almost brand new so he was definitely looked after... :) And he needed a cab for general security when he's left on the job, don't want anyone causing any damage....

      I guess we're even now, what with the whole Patch and Kermit mix up ;) lol

    4. Haha, my apologies. So germit is German then? :P
      Haha, I was at least crediting him with a three-bar roll frame... :P

      Lol, yeah, okay. Hehe, not that either of them ever knew, I can just picture you sitting there stroking Kermit, saying "I'm sorry, Kermit, i don't know how to break this to you, but..." :P