Friday, 29 January 2016

~Holiday~ Part 2: "A car...with unicorns on it!"

Please, don't mind the title - I'll get to that in a minute!

As you all know, my friend Jess, her mum and her baby sister Briea came to Rotorua to pick me up for the next stage of my adventure. First things first, meeting the new baby sister who is almost a year old. I'm no kid person simply because I'm not usually around little people, but I have to admit she was pretty cute!
After a good catch up with my Nana, off we went in search of some tourist attraction in Rotorua, tourist town and all that, surely one wouldn't be too hard to find? lol, I guess it depends on how much money you want to spend! Put it this way, I wouldn't spend almost $100 (per person) to wander around a big Geothermal experience thing...Anyway, we eventually found one that was more towards our price range but still quite expensive when you think about it. Another geothermic place called Hell's Gate (ridiculous name hey?) where we can wander around all the sulfur lakes.
In all honesty, it was surely too hot to be walking through there. I mean, the heat and smell of the sulfur and the general temperature being around 30 degrees...but, it was interesting. I definitely wouldn't be too keen on falling into one of them, what with the extreme heat and the extreme acidity! There was one somewhat volcano, that apparently erupts every six weeks and sends lava like substance in a five metre general range. We were understandably pretty glad that the six week mark wasn't the same day we were visiting haha

That night Jess and I got a few movies out, one of them being Super Fast & Super Furious. It was a re-enactment of The Fast and Furious being made fun of. So one of the lines basically went-
'what are you driving?'

'A car...with
unicorns on it!'

And quite seriously, this car had unicorns painted all over it. The whole movie was pretty ridiculous, but funny all the same. I wouldn't watch it again, but it's one of those movies where I can now say, been there done that, got the t-shirt sort of thing. The fact that Jessica fell asleep and was snoring her head off all the way through it meant nothing...hehe

On Tuesday we all went for a (expense free) trip to the Hamilton Gardens, a beautiful place but also another place I probably wouldn't feel the need to visit again in this lifetime. There were some gorgeous designs in there though, you surely have to think - wow, it's pretty incredible how they can keep it looking so awesome.

This is covered in grapes which look pretty neat winding around the poles :)

It doesn't look it, but these are extremely tall. The flowers themselves are potentially the size of the average person's head - or bigger, and my height (5 foot 2ish) would go up to the leaf on the right below the flower...

And this one is a major award winning design apparently, or something. But plants are hanging upside down and there's a shower of water with a pond underneath.
We then went for a wander around the shops at The Base before heading home to try and escape the heat. I think we can all agree, that humidity was intense!

On Wednesday Jess and I went off on our own to the Hamilton zoo, somewhere else I'd never been before. It was cool, but at the same time it felt weird being around the tiger enclosure - since it hasn't really been that long since the keeper was killed in there...

I actually quite like Giraffe's, they seem like such gentle giants. Although, they probably aren't but it's a nice thought!
Pretty little Zebra, no?

The Chimp's were mostly all chilling out inside. Sleeping. Pretty lazy.

After the zoo Jess shouted me lunch at the local pub/restaurant in Te Awamutu, we wandered around a few shops, yet again trying to free ourselves from the heat by going into the air conditioned shops! Every night we were sort of sitting up watching a movie until about 10 ish, but then we're still sweltering with a fan going and all the windows opened. It got to the point where I was still wide awake well after 11pm, not wanting to keep my bedroom windows open while I slept as I didn't trust anyone what with being in town and all that, so it was like sleeping in a sauna. Problem is that it's a different sort of heat as well, with it being a different climate.

One thing that surprised me was that not once while I was in Gizzy did I suffer from the typical hayfever. So not only did I not find it too hot being there, but I also didn't sneeze my head off - very strange. There must be different trees and grasses down there or something to what I'm used to. Actually, while I'm thinking about it - are there many pine trees around there? I think there were a few. Hmmm...

Thursday eventually came around and I caught the bus out of TA just prior to 11am, it didn't take us too long to get to Auckland, Sky City. The bus terminal is directly underneath Sky City and the Sky Tower, it's not the most safest place to be in my opinion. Although I'm not the biggest fan of Auckland city streets as it is, this place just seemed very unnerving. I wouldn't want to arrive there later at night, that's for sure. Anyway, it was a good terminal in the way that they do have an actual office where you can lock your bags up in lockers if need be, and there's bathrooms right there so you don't need to go hunting.
However the transfer for the next bus is an extreme amount of time. I arrived at 1:20 and left at 4pm, so it was a decent amount wait. Anyhow, the bathrooms I soon discovered are pretty dodgy, not somewhere you should go alone and with a few bags. These two women came in, one of them dropping smoke butts everywhere - scrambling to pick them all up as if she was gonna reuse them or flush them down the sink. I think she might've been stoned, or something. I've never met a druggy face to face so I wouldn't know.
But yeah, she got between me and my suitcase and wouldn't let me past. Started speaking, and I thought she said "you should never trust me" and I'm just wide eyed, thinking, no crap sherlock. But then it turned out she was saying "You should never trust men", she kept going on and on and on, "don't ever be alone" "Never trust any of them" etc etc etc for a good minute or so. All crazy eyed and such. I'm just standing there, shaking, nodding for fear of disagreeing with her at any cost. Then once I got a chance I grabbed my suitcase and got out of there as fast as I could, quite freaked out. Conscious of the fact that it was a closed in space with no cameras or other people around.

Once I got back on the street I was thinking, Ok, need to get into a busy public space somewhere, while also need to find somewhere to eat. But everywhere seems to be dodgy Asian or Indian places that I didn't trust. I thought I'd walk to Britomart which has an endless supply of friendly people and food places, Westfield and all that, but turns out that was a few blocks away. I was feeling quite paranoid about all the random guys walking back and forth on the streets, so in the end I dived into a little cafe and grabbed the last sandwich, then made my way back to the main street. In actual fact there's a cafe diagonally across the road from the terminal (and a small cafe at the terminal but it didn't look too flash), so I made my way over there.
I kicked myself thinking I should've gone over there to begin with, it's full of friendly staff and lots of people in there, so I grabbed a milkshake so I could have an excuse to use their seating, then spent my time people watching, inhaling all the disgusting exhaust fumes and writing in my journal. Yep, I keep an extra thing to a blog these days, it's quite handy and keeps my handwriting in check!

Once the bus to northland arrived at the terminal I skedaddled over there for fear that it might change its mind and leave early. It seems many other people had the same thought so I just joined the crowd of people sitting on suitcases waiting for 4pm to come around. Yet again, people watching and writing. One old guy asked if I was from England, because I was writing in a diary, nope just a local I replied. He said he had one once, but lost his bag on the trip so three weeks worth of memories were gone. I felt his pain, it would be awful to lose mine!

Finally though, I made it home. Mum was waiting for me with Jackson in the ute, he was so excited to see me, jumping all over me and licking my face - pretty gross dog! haha It was nice to finally be home again. Pippa was, pretty meh about the fact I was home. She sorta wound herself around my feet, I gave her a cuddle but she was more interested in food. So later on she suddenly looked at me wide eyed, as if she suddenly realised it was me. Pfft, I expected more of a reaction! Although this morning she was pretty excited to see me, as if she thought she'd just been dreaming. Mum and Dad have been letting her get away with blue murder though, Dad was leaning against the bench and she's just chilling out beside him and he wasn't even saying anything...

Speaking of Dad, I think he missed me. I think everyone missed me. I think they all missed me from the minute I walked out the door! But I'd been hanging out with Mum for a while when Dad got home. He was just like - "Dude", with the raised eyebrows. So I'm just like, "Ette" (dudette kinda). It's our thing. Then he came over for a hug, I was cracking up saying, gee Mum hasn't even given me a hug yet! But it's so good to be home, sleeping in my own bed in my own home. You don't realise how much you like it until you get to go home after a decent stint away. Then I disappointed them and went off to our young farmer meeting with Nick, wished I'd just stayed home as it wasn't too exciting and I just sat there falling asleep at the table. Sheesh, even Nick missed me. He drove my car to work the other afternoon and actually complimented me on my good car, he reckons it handles better on the gravel than he expected which is slightly amusing...apart from the fact he drove it in his gumboots...

Anyway, I go back to milking from tomorrow, I've got a busy week catching up with everything. Got lots of milking to do and fencing next week so it should be nice to get back into my schedule. I have to admit though, it's been a pretty awesome holiday. Couldn't have asked for a better one! :)

The Gorge - excuse the blurry photo

View from the top of the farm, looking out towards the east coast. The sea blurs into the sky so it's hard to see in a picture

The Falls

Cute little walking track that used to be used for horse and carriage - back in the day

This one is for Andrew, lol, I found out that Twinkies aren't actually chocolate like I thought, but actually little cake things haha. They sell them in some funny shops around the place that sells overseas junk food :P You're welcome!

Thursday, 28 January 2016

~Holiday~ Part 1 :)

It’s Monday morning, the 25th. I’m not too sure whether I’ll get this posted online today, or whether I’ll get there on the weekend. I’m doing a very extreme thing, typing this up on Word, lol. It’s mostly because I don’t really have internet access with my laptop, I need to do a very out there thing and walk into my Nana’s office and press the button on the router to connect – but I’m feeling lazy and can’t be bothered! Haha

So I thought I’d give you lot a split post of my holiday, mostly because I don’t really want to forget anything and also because I don’t think you really want to be reading a very, very long post. So, two sections it is!
Well as you know, I’m on holiday at the moment, yesterday I arrived back in Rotorua for the night after my trip to the East Coast (sorta). So I’ll start from the beginning…cue the lead in music ;)

Last Monday morning Nana and I left my place in the north, prepared for a nice trip back to Rotorua with not too much traffic and the weather not being too extreme in either direction. Said goodbye to everyone at home, including my Pipsquiggilysqueak and off we went. I have to admit, it felt rather surreal after all those months of planning and thinking and planning some more, bouts of excitement and serious thoughts of, “do I really want to go??”
We made it to Drury in record time, only an hour and a half? It was a great trip, I shouted Nana McDonald’s for lunch and on our way back out again she handed me the car keys. Looks like I’m driving! That was weird in itself, driving an unknown vehicle in that short section of motorway but not really motorway, more like a two lane highway thing, before we pulled off towards Coromandal. I drove all the way to Matamata while Nana dozed, it seemed a little odd but I didn’t think much of it at the time – I was too focused on NOT crashing my Grandmother’s car, especially when there was no insurance for me on it. It definitely makes one focus, very well.

Eventually we arrived home in Rotorua, went off to pick up her cat, Sweetie from the cattery and then chillaxed at home (gosh, chillaxed is actually an acceptable word on here?!). I guess you can say that night, it all went downhill fast. Nana had caught the bug.
*rewinds the tape back to Nick’s birthday party* My Great Aunt and her partner arrived on the Friday, however he had somehow caught this nasty stomach bug, leaving him out to the count and the rest of us politely avoiding him at all costs. Saturday night, my Great Aunty now has the bug, earlier in the day she handled a vast amount of food in the food preparation, some of it got cooked, some of it didn’t. Uh oh, looks like we may have started an epidemic! The worst part was, we had about 30 odd people over that night, this was not good. So yeah, now Nana has this awful thing and she’s out to it pretty fast. Leaving me absolutely mortified, feeling like a sitting duck…I got straight on to the email, letting Andrew know that if the worst were to happen, sorry to disappoint but I would not be coming to them!

Nana was pretty unwell for Tuesday and Wednesday, not eating until Wednesday night, Thursday she still wasn’t too good. Every day I would wake up and sort of ground myself – “am I feeling sick yet?” Nope! Back home, Dad was suddenly hit with the bug, leaving Mum and Nick terrified about catching it themselves!

Fast forward back to Thursday, I packed myself up for the next stage of my holiday. Called Andrew’s family to tell them I was definitely coming and basically got really assertive on my immune system stating that I would NOT be getting this bug, so it better jolly well do its job! Haha

I met my Aunty, Uncle and two cousins at the bus stop, as they were coming up to stay with Nana on the few days that I was away, my bus arrived, I was eventually allowed on board and then finally – at least half an hour behind schedule, we were off. Breathes out a sigh of relief, I’m finally on my way! Talk about excited, lol.

The trip sure was interesting, going through all these towns that I’d only ever heard of but never knowingly been to. Mum had suggested to sleep whilst going through the Gorge, but as soon as I saw it my eyes almost popped out of my head. It’s beautiful in there, I was definitely looking at everything I could, sleep? Yeah nah! I'm sure Bee would've loved it for the photo opportunity it provides, although going through on a bus proves quite difficult to capture good photos through dirty glass.

I’m not going to say where the bus dropped me off, or where Andrew and his Mum took me after that, but it was a good long trip and now I can finally say I’ve met this crazy friend of mine ;P haha. And it wasn’t even slightly weird, I thought anyway. It seemed so normal talking to them in person, as if I went out there quite often :)

I won’t bore you on every little detail, but Thursday night through to Sunday morning sure was interesting. A very drastic contrast to staying with Nana, where she has neighbours surrounding her and hearing someone sneeze in the next house over the fence is not uncommon. Staying at Andrew’s was more like, you can hear every single bird, I don’t believe I heard any car go past. It’s so quiet. These two places are at either end of the extreme compared to home for me, where it’s quiet but not too quiet. While you can hear the neighbours but only when the wind is going the right way. Right now, as I write this, it seems there’s some form of concert going at one of the neighbours, they’ve got their music up THAT loud, and it’s only 10am…
Anyway, I got to hang out in the woolshed and watch Andrew and his Dad crutch some hoggets for a while on Friday morning, before going for a ride on the horses with his Mum and sister. The idea I think was to look for cast sheep in one mob, I was more focused on actually riding – (which was so much easier than when I rode Socks at Chantelle’s!) and not falling too far behind while leading the horses back down the hills. While also not letting Blaze (the lovely horse I got to ride) shove me into too many thistles when he tried scratching on me haha.
They finished the crutching up over two or three hours after lunch, so I just mostly hung out and chatted with them up in the woolshed again. I think I do need an award though…not once did I mention the smell of those sheep. To be completely honest…I never noticed the smell. What is wrong with me?!?! ;)
At some stage, I can’t remember when, I was shown around their small museum which was rather neat. And we went for a drive to the top of their farm in the Argo. That was a pretty neat view, I have to say! Played a few games of Rummikub, where I’m ashamed to say I only won one game…and played a few games of Checkers, where most of the time was spent in fits of laughter after one of us made the most stupid move without thinking about it. The competition was pretty fierce, yet I only won one game, although it was the last one and for some reason Andrew didn’t want to play against me again too soon after that…lol

But if you’re interested to know, after meeting him you soon realise he’s the type of person who walks around the house with a gun at night. No joke. :P Nah, they’ve got a possum attacking the trees in their orchard, so we went out for a somewhat unsuccessful possum hunt late on Saturday night.
Sunday morning came around way too soon, we left their place at 7am with the intention of taking a slight detour round to this waterfall and swing bridge. It was gorgeous over there, and so loud! We went for a quick wander down a walking track on the other side, saw my first Weta Hotel and such, before heading back in time to catch my bus.

The bus back was rather, unexciting but not pleasant either. Ten minutes through the Gorge one girl pushed the emergency stop button and soon got told off by the driver as she said she wasn’t feeling well. He made her go sit up the front with him. Mental note: Don’t press the emergency stop button unless you have a good reason to! But once we stopped up in Opotiki the driver looked out for her, which was good of him. Gosh I felt so bad on the way back though, sort of got myself a headache which might’ve been to do with a number of things. Might’ve been hungry and thirsty, but I wasn’t too keen on adding to the stomach contents and it might’ve been the heat and the traveling, but I’m not too sure about that either.
Once we got to Whakatane though, an awful noise started up. Have you ever gotten a leaf in your aircon/fan system? I think that might’ve been what happened, but strangely the sound was only coming from one venting system across the aisle and one seat forward. It was a rattling, vibrating, scratchy sort of sound all the way to Rotorua. I nearly died from the pain of it! But I blame the guy who got on and sat under that vent at Whakatane, he put his bag above the vent and then the rattle started…then he promptly went to sleep! Argh!

But now I’m just sitting here at Nana’s waiting for my friend Jessie to come over and pick me up, before heading back to her place in Te Awamutu. I’ve known Jess my whole life, she’s basically the bestie who I hardly get to see but when we do catch up we get on like a house on fire. It was funny actually, Mum said to me before I left home, “Don’t get up to trouble with Andrew when you go to Gisborne…” then she sort of thought about it, and said, “Actually, I trust you going to Gisborne. Don’t get up to trouble with Jessie!” We may not get up to the same sort of mischief our Mum’s did when they were our age, prank calling and such, but we could get up to some serious trouble making if we really wanted to ;)
The News was kinda sad last night though, talking about the young surf lifesaver who drowned the day before. I was just sitting there desperately trying to hold back the tears as they described this 17 year old who I’d never heard of before but he sounded like a really neat person. Also while thinking to myself that life is just so cruel. Especially when you think of the poor 5 year old who fell underneath a Fonterra tanker the other day, that one was a little too close to home I think. It really makes me appreciate how lucky I am, sure they were both doing something they enjoyed, but still, I dunno. Normally I wouldn’t be too affected by it, think oh that’s sad and then move on, but it must’ve caught me at a bad moment… I feel kinda guilty for having had such a fun weekend, while at least for those two families it was the worst weekend for them.

Fast forward now to Thursday 28th, I'm on the Intercity bus on my way home - I'm almost there, one more town away. Intercity sure has been a different system to go through, I can't say I like their terminal at Sky City, after having a slight scare in the public bathrooms there - I don't think I'll ever go in there again, especially not on my own. Otherwise, yeah, I honestly can't wait to be home. Figured I'd upload this now as I won't get much of a chance for a few more days at home I think, photos aren't uploading for some reason on this one, so you guys will just have to wait a bit and I'll pop them up in part 2.
Just another 20 minutes to go, probably less. I'll chuck up part 2 in a few days once I get my bearings again. :)

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Nick's 21st

As you all might have noticed, I've been slightly quiet on here lately - we've just been so busy! Yesterday we had my brother, Nick's, 21st birthday party and it pretty much went without a hitch - thank goodness!

We've been so busy trying to tidy the place up before we had people around. Just a general tidy up outside, hanging some doors so people couldn't wander around inside the house too much, finishing our iron fence, to name a few things. We ran out of iron for the fence prior to Christmas and some good clients of ours drove past quite often getting more and more frustrated that we still hadn't finished it. So they called us up, told us they had plenty of iron off their old shed, to come and take it all and finish the fence prior to the party. They were awesome, not even excepting any payment for it. So we finally got that done on Friday night! It's nice to see it finished, I mean, we started it in September, so. lol

My Nana arrived on Friday, as did my Great Aunty Col and her partner Chris and they've been here ever since - I think everyone is leaving tomorrow. Which has been good as Nana and Col have been able to help Mum with cooking up the food and such while I worked outside. The whole food preparation and all that has never fully been my thing, especially when there are so many people in the kitchen fighting for bench space and all the utensils and pots. So I was out mowing the lawns at midday yesterday....don't mow the lawns at that time of the day again, it's torture! All I know was that it was more than 25 degrees, for the first time in weeks. Phew!

It was fun though, in the end we had a fair few family members show up, my sister and BIL eventually arrived in time to help sort the lamb on the spit, my Great Uncle Brian and his partner Sue came, as well as some old family friends from Hamilton. After that it was mostly just a few mates from around here and some of our clients that Nick enjoys hanging out with. So it was pretty neat, I think there were 30 odd people here, and it was the nice atmosphere where everyone just chilled out outside, most people were farmers so it was a typical conversation topic, it was pleasant.

Alesha and I, being the horrible, mean sisters that we are, said our speeches about Nick. going over all the - I don't know how he made it this far, what with all the things he pulled apart etc etc. Both of us picking on him in a sarcastic manner, going over some of those memories on stories that Mum and Dad knew nothing they were left staring at Nick, going, are you serious?! See because I'm slightly younger than Nick, I was the one who could say I had known him my whole life...a whole 20 years where he has annoyed the life out of me! haha, but I managed to spit out that after all these years he wasn't too bad a brother after all. :D And I got it all on camera too!

Pretty much everyone who came gave him some awesome gifts. You know, like the last few 21st's I've been to there have been a few people give presents but most people just come for the free food and the socialising. Like, he was given an engraved knife, heaps of money or vouchers, fishing stuff, etc. So he was stoked. All this for someone who wasn't fussed about having a 21st party, lol!

But towards the end of the night, there were only a few of us there (it's really odd, being a host of something for a change!) our neighbour Sam was the first to turn up and the last to leave, Mum and Dad deciding that he is actually a really nice person to hang out with - think he's a couple years older than us? But one of his mates turned up at his house, so he picked him up and brought him over. Turns out it was a guy we knew as kids, he'd forgotten us. But man he can't really hold his alcohol. After a few drinking card games with my BIL (who had also managed to get quite drunk), there were some funny stories coming out of this guys mouth. Let's just say I was doubled over, in fits of laughter because I've never seen anyone drunk before. Like, I don't condone over drinking - I refuse to drink a drop of it at all and I don't even think he'd really drunk all that much. It was hilarious, he just would not shut up. The filter had been deactivated. You hear of people spouting out the truth when they're drunk...haha yeah, well. Sam was in stitches. Kept trying to tell him they better get going but this guy, he was pretty chilled out hanging with us. By the time they managed to leave, stumbling across the lawn and driving a few metres up the road, it was 1:30am. And then we're like, oh, now we have to tidy up....thankfully we just had to stack up the chairs and bring the electronics back inside before falling into our own beds.

The food was great, there is so much left over. There was a slight issue with the lamb...falling off the spit. When you smell something burning, and then realise the meat is on the base of the spit, it's not good! We got an old friend from our early homeschooling days to bake his cake, it was and is, incredible. It's a chocolate mud cake with chocolate icing, covered in chocolates - most of them homemade. All of the tools actually look real, one girl asked Nick why on earth he had a crescent on his plate, before realising it was in fact, gold tinted chocolate. Gosh it's sickening though, I would think we've still got more than three quarters of it left...thank goodness I'm going away tomorrow!!

This guy I know, Aidan came. That was certainly interesting, he's a nice guy I'll give him that but I think he's aiming to be a little bit more than friends...which is, well, ya know? Not too sure what to do about that one...I don't mind hanging out with him every so often, but I left him to it, both of us knowing he was going to be in the firing line from Dad. Haha! It was funny to sit back and watch, Dad flat out glaring at him from a distance. Him sitting next to Dad, trying to soften him up with casual work conversation...Later on I heard that Dad did as he planned to....mentioning the word "castrator" to him in front of heaps of people. I think they both took it pretty well, thank goodness. But yeah, a slightly awkward situation to be in! Pretty jolly funny to watch, I have to admit. That's not evil of me, is it? ;-)

But yeah, now life is pretty chilled out, I crawled out of bed just after 9 and we've pretty much blobbed all day. Apart from tidying everything else up, it's been nice and easy. Been a long time coming! Now I'm supposed to be up here in my room packing for my holiday! But I'm not! I'm seriously procrastinating. All I've done so far is sit my suitcase on the floor with it opened, and put my laptop in its case. haha, I really hate packing. I think it's that, I have to be bothered to do it - which I'm not. Because that will mean I have to decide what clothes to pack, how to pack it. Consider what I'm forgetting, tidy my room in the same instance to make sure I don't forget everything. Go up and down the stairs, losing track of myself. Yeah, so therefore all I've done is cleaned and put some more leather conditioner on my work boots, other than that it's after 5pm and all I've done is write this blog, charge my Kobo and buy a few more books for it for the circumstance where I actually get a chance to read! Yeah right!

It's a weird feeling, knowing I won't be back here until the 28th. Pretty weird, that's for sure. Breaking Pippa's heart by abandoning her (I'm feeling pretty stink about that!) feeling weird for leaving home when I haven't gone away for a long time. Nana says if she's too tired to drive I'll be able to take over, so that's a pretty odd thought...driving her car. It'll be after Drury anyway, if I do take over driving as I've never driven the motorway before (yes Bee, I know, I'm ridiculous!). Thinking I might actually miss Jackson - Sam, our neighbour really likes him, if he ever goes missing Sam's will be the first house we call on! Above all it's going to be so, so strange talking to Andrew in person. hehe, Nana said earlier, "so how did you meet him anyway?" I'm just like, well, actually! Can't wait, it should be pretty awesome! You just wait, I'll have so, so much to say after the 28th as I would've seen my lifetime friend Jessica too.

 Until then, cya round!!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Diving Head First

Into a sleep in. Yep. I got New Year's day off, and the day after. I'm talking two sleep ins, over the holidays, in summer, during a blimmen rain storm. But heck, at least I didn't have to go to work and get wet! It gave me more of a chance to get over this cold I've miraculously picked up over Christmas, it's still hanging around. Still get a squeaky voice during those odd occasions when I need to speak in public, but hey such is life, no?

Quite a bit has been happening around here, as of late. Dad has taken the Christmas/New year week or so off work to get some things done around here. The idea is that we get some things done before Nick's 21st party that we're holding here on the 16th. But, you know how it is. Everything just turns into a domino effect and yes a fair bit has been happening but it also involves a fair bit of unimportant things too, which is frustrating when you stand back and take a look.
Basically we hired a 5 tonne digger and Dad has done a lot of ground work in our new small section, cutting out a driveway and shifting dirt around etc. While at the same time we've cut off the front driveway/parking area from the lawn by digging in retaining which had a lot of added extras included as we went along - as per normal around here, someone comes up with a new bright idea about the project during the project itself.
So we've now got a retaining wall, and in front of that is a raised boxed garden that we've planted the roses in, and on the back side of the retaining on the lawn side is another, lower garden that will eventually have standard roses in when someone buys the odd one here and there for birthdays and what not, so things are progressing along nicely. It looks interesting, being there. There's always something different to look at around here - that's for sure.

Earlier on we pulled out our old boundary fence and quite literally, shifted it across the paddock to the new boundary and popped some battens on, it looks quite nice. And on Monday when Dad and Nick were playing with the big boys toys, I attacked the small section of old road fence with the ezi-pullers and a bucket, pulling off the battens and rolling up the wires so when Dad was ready he could pull the posts out. Nick and Dad thought I was sick, doing fencing of my own accord. Little do they know, I don't actually mind a small amount of destruction fencing! Little did they also know, that I was in fact sick and that night it seriously took over me!

Why am I always the first and often the only one to get sick in my family? It's super odd.

Now fast forward to New Years eve, the big rain storm was coming in so Dad, Nick and even a neighbour got on the big boys toys to shift all the dirt before everything turned to a slushy mess. Mum and I spent part of our New Years eve day together, painting windows. I really do treasure this time I can spend with Mum. Painting windows is a real pleasure that I wouldn't pass up on joining in with, any day. lol. Actually, the windows look quite good with only one new coat of paint, they need two more in later weeks, and the whole time we were doing it we joked about how we never get any "mother-daughter" time, always going our separate ways in life. haha
I spent part of my day stirring trouble with Dad. I'd been invited to a new years party by one guy I know - I never was going to go, with work and it being during the day and all that. But that didn't mean I couldn't cause trouble about it, asking Dad if he was OK with it, didn't matter anyway I was still going. This guy may be nearly 25 but age is only a number you know, etc etc etc. Mum and I were in stitches when he left the room.
Although, over the recent week with many conversations on similar topics about other people, Mum, Dad and Nick have all managed to blurt out at some stage - 5 years isn't a big age gap. And I just smile to myself, wondering when in later years I might need or want to use that to my advantage. It's quite amusing! ;)

The rain came at about 6am New Years day, over about 3 days of endless rain we managed to get 100mm and as expected, everything has turned to slush that you would somewhat expect in winter, but also not. The whole, the ground-is-too-dry-to-soak-the-water-up issue so it just-sits-on-top-and-stares-at-you problem got a little annoying. The water tank overflowed and I rebelled with the opportunity of two showers a day on my days off, simply because the water was going down the drain anyway, why not?
It hardly rained much yesterday and today we got pure sun so most things have dried out again. Dad jumped in the tractor yesterday to fill the plant boxes with a bit more dirt and dug massive tractor tyre holes all through the back lawn. SO currently, in the wake of attempting to tidy up before Nick's 21st in less than 2 weeks time when we have people here, there seems to be more mess. Things have been done, yes, but there's lots more to clean up now. Brilliant.

Otherwise our New Years "celebrations" weren't anything spectacular, not that they ever are. We actually managed to get some sleep those nights because the big music festival that is held in the next town was hushed from the wind and rain. Usually you see the strobe lights in the sky and the sound travels for miles, banging of the drums, people cheering; I think they have to shut it down at 2am? It would take a good 15 minutes to drive there, but for a crow it's just over the hill, it was pleasant not being able to hear it for a change - although I reckon I might go to it next year. Just for the excitement of it all.

On Saturday I had the pleasure of catching up with Bianca and going out to Chantelle's with her. We went to one of the local museums, had lunch, got ripped off at lunch (I'm positive I was overcharged, but you never quite know at cafe's). Had dinner at Chantelle's house afterwards and came home again. It's nice to be able to get together, and it's also good for there to be three people. I find with just two it's hard to keep a conversation going but at least with three there's always an easy topic going!!

Jackson is getting bigger and bigger, causing more and more trouble. Slowly he's getting to the stage of sleeping through the night and accepting his fate quite quickly, rather than screaming for hours and he and Pippa seem to be getting along OK - chasing each other around the house and such forth which is good. It amuses Pippa where I think that she thinks Jackson is absolutely ridiculous, while at the same time it keeps Jackson occupied, he hasn't accomplished climbing the stairs yet, other than the ones in the kitchen - thank goodness, it will be staying that way for as long as possible!

Although Pipsqueak gave me a scare yesterday when I came home to find her drooling, quite literally, everywhere. I thought she might have a tooth problem and expected a trip to the vets tomorrow morning, when they're open again. But after asking Chantelle (who's a vet nurse, convenient!) she suggested it's more likely my Mip-squiggally-squeak somehow poisoned herself, or at the very least had something stuck in her mouth. Her eyes were still bright, she was still her usual self happily eating and drinking, except that when she slept she couldn't control what stayed in her mouth and what didn't. However today, she seems fine! Thank goodness! Not even a dribble can be seen which is a relief. I'm not sure what happened and if she did eat something, what it could've been but I'm just glad she's OK...I would be gutted if it were otherwise.