It's Mum's birthday today - Happy Birthday Mum!! Along with a book, I got her a box of Roses chocolates, which admittedly, were opened quite quickly ;) Now though, she and Dad are headed off to Mitre 10 in anticipation to wander around the garden centre - will likely come back with trees and plants we have nowhere to put but that's not the important thing I'm getting at here. I am HOME ALONE, with chocolate - that isn't mine. Sense a bit of mischievous behaviour going on? Absolutely not, hehehe
So we've had quite a busy week - apologies if I haven't gotten around to replying to comments, emails or texts and all that. Just, yeah. Busy. Chaotic. All of the above. You know?
With Young Farmers, there is a competition - now called FMG Young Farmer of the Year, it happens every year, starts off with District contest, the top competitors moving up to Regional and then the overall winner of each region competes in the National Contest.
So, our region we have two District finals, as our five clubs are kinda all over the show. Last Saturday we had our district competition which was fantastic, 10 competitors, seven of whom were from our club and my brother convened it (so he had to come up with all the modules, how they'd be run, organising materials and judges etc etc).
The day was jolly hot, I can imagine everyone got sunburned - myself included. I was helping out with judging the livestock module. (If you haven't really heard of it too much before, in the Districts the competitors rotate from one module to the next and so on, each module takes 20 minutes and you've only got a couple minutes to do a quick mark up before the next person arrives).
With the livestock, Tim and I were in the stock yards all day, with not really anywhere to sit and there was absolutely no shade, bit of a shocker really when everyone else had some form of gazebo. But yeah, it was certainly interesting watching different styles of handling stock. From those people who weren't really involved with animals having the most difficulty, to those who handled sheep more than cattle having a few problems and those who handle cattle every day having the easiest job.
They had to draft out, single handedly, the six heaviest heifers from the group of 10, just by looking at them - not the most easiest as they were all around about the same size. Put them through the race, work out how to use the scales and weigh them. Check the teeth on one animal, and work out its age (some people cheated and looked at the eartag...) and then name breeds of New Zealand beef and sheep from the pictures provided. But yeah, having not participated in the contest before, it gave me a good insight for when I enter it next year as a competitor.
But it was really hard for me, to stand there and watch them struggle to draft the animals on their own, watch them set up the yards prior to drafting (or not doing it at all!) and thinking in my head, nope I would've done that differently! I found it seriously frustrating to stand there and watch, because you can't help unless they ask for it, thus losing them points.
So yeah, the day went without a hitch - kudos to my brother for his brilliant organisational skills, and sadly I missed the judging because I had to go back and milk that afternoon, but hey. The important part, the top four contestants who are moving up to regional level include three of our club members - blimmen awesome!
On Monday Mum and I checked in at the hair dressers for our annual(ish) hair appointment. Me, just a tidy up. $40 later. Pathetic though, she asked if I was still at school? It would've been $25 if that was the case. If I'd known that, I would've said yes! Why? Because all these years I've gone there and they've never, ever asked. So. Annoying.
Mum and Dad are off to Wellington on the weekend, just a quick trip for my Great Aunties' (Twins) 70th birthday party. I don't even think they're down there for 24 hours lol, but trying to get cheap flights means you need to earlier and later flights...and Nick is also somewhat away for the weekend - trekking it up to the Bay of Islands for the other district final contest.
Mostly, life is good. Busy, Chaotic, I think I mentioned it all a little earlier! It is stinking hot, over 20 degrees most days, the ground is bone dry and the little rain we get is a bit of a misty thing every now and again. We had yet another truckload of house water arrive today, our second one already doesn't bode too well. Fingers are all crossed for, I dunno, a cyclone to come through bringing with it heaps of rain?
I'm working pretty much full time, seven days a week for the next three weeks at least, covering about four different farms each week and it gets to the stage I need to look at the calendar each day to figure out where I'm going, how the fuel situation is looking (the windy roads use so much more fuel...) whether I can leave my milking gear at the shed, or am I somewhere else the next day? Why is all this happening? Because yet again, staff are hurting our clients, pulling out of their jobs and leaving them high and dry. The third one this season for one of our favourite farms, you feel so stink for them but all you can do is help them milk the cows. It's great, I don't mind the work and I certainly don't mind the income - it's just those start times at it again, it really mucks up all your sleeping system, especially the 5am starts, which need 20 minutes just to drive there...up I get just after 4 o'clock.... :(
During the day, I need to get the study in, just three and a half months left to go (bring on end of Feb!), I've stuffed around the last two months and now have three assignments to finish and send in the by the end of the month - I don't know why I do it to myself. Just like, seriously kid, get your A into G (as mum would say!). But you have those confidence/enthusiasm boosts, when the one paper you sent in gets returned with, and I quote, "difficult to find faults" comment. Perfect!
I popped into youth group for the first time since around May, last night. It was nice to go back, but it's definitely changed, however it was nice to be back and just get my mind ticking along with what Jeff was talking about. I kinda want to go back more often (helpful when term is almost finished), because, I dunno you feel a little more, alive when you leave? But I'm somewhat considering now going along and trying the Bible study that some older people I know go to, just to try it. It's awkward, being in that inbetween age. Too old for youth group when everyone's still early/mid teens, but too young to go to this other group when the people you've spoken to are a little younger than your parents. But hey, it might be good. I just have to try it :)