Thursday, 30 June 2016

Junk Free June 2016

I know I haven't mentioned it, but I've been doing Junk Free June again this year - you know, just because I can. Same as I did last year, not trying to get fundraising for it (I don't even know what the money goes towards...) but it's a good thing to do and test to see how well I do. So, basically I successfully avoided typical things I consider junk food; chocolate, lollies and the like. It's actually really easy. I started towards the end of May, so "technically" I've been going well over a month now and haven't had any failures to count, except for one.

We went to the Mystery Creek fieldays in early June, just Mum, Dad and I went for a bit of a day out of town. At one stage I went into the Waikato University tent and tried a random computer quiz on a whole heap of random rubbish, and the guy there told me to feel free to have a chocolate fish, one of those small marshmellow ones - so I did, out of some sort of polite obligation and by the time I'd realised what I had done it was too late!
So that was my only fail, and it wasn't a very nice fail either - apparently my going without that sort of thing for a few weeks had changed my taste bud opinion on it, which is a good thing!

I also went to the young farmers tent and they had a "hang a gate" in the fastest time challenge. It was more aimed toward the younger teenagers, however as one of the young farmers running the stand had had the only go, they told me to give it a shot. It was easy, just pick up a steel gate, carry it over and pop it on the hinges on the post. Put it this way the young farmer guy took about 16 seconds, I had never put a gate on hinges myself and I took 14 seconds. Which is, umm, a little too long - but you know how you're trying to balance the gate over both hinges and you're in a hurry. But I loved that I beat a guy at it - total score. Anyway they gave me a small bag of blue jelly beans, those ones that are a bubblegum flavour and I looked at them and sighed. Popped them in my handbag and left.

Later on in another area, for some unknown reason a girl was handing out little sample packs of lollies that somehow represented their stand, so in my handbag they went with the other lot and that is where they've stayed for about two weeks! I cart them around everywhere I go, during those horrid early morning starts where sometimes you just want a sugar boost and I didn't even touch them. How good am I?

Sometimes I've just had a really rubbish day where I sit on the couch and scowl as somebody eats a square of chocolate. Mum keeps saying, just have a piece, it won't kill you! I'm telling you, she can really be the devil on the shoulder type some days! But I'm like no, I can't and sort of stomped off in another direction. Knowing full well I'm doing so well at looking at something and saying no, end of story, so I give myself a mental pat on the back!

The wedding I went to earlier in the month was nice, the reception was a somewhat winter theme of blue and silver colours everywhere so it looked quite pretty. It was kinda cute because each person had three little Hershey's Kisses in the place settings. This girl I know through the young farmers was sitting beside me, quite literally staring down all the little chocolates that I wasn't eating. In the end she said, "Are you allergic to dairy?"
"No," I replied.
"Do you not like chocolate?" she asked.
That's when I realised she was sitting beside me, almost drooling while she stared at the chocolates that I was ignoring! Oh, right! Ok, yeah sure just go ahead and eat them, I told her. Gosh it was funny, she was stoked. Then she carried on in the same manner with the rest of the people at our table.

Life here is carrying on as per normal. We found out that young Nick had/has, Glandular Fever. The clever little people working in white lab coats somehow discovered that, now three weeks ago, he had had the Flu, which probably meant that Mum and I also had the Flu. We thought it was just a nasty common cold, but apparently we were wrong. But Nick got worse, had a slight case of pneumonia and blood tests eventually proved he had this Glandular fever. When Mum heard that she was like, oh no, he's going to be out for weeks. (I remember Xj having this a few years back and being sick from it forever - actually, come to think of it, didn't your doctor at the time tell you to eat chocolate, Xj?) But somehow Nick has bounced back from it quite well - we're surprised, and seems Ok these days.

However, life for some of our farming clients and friends isn't the most happiest place at the moment. One older guy - I say older and basically mean he looks to be in his 70's but is coming on 100 with all of the stress he's facing with staffing issues. We feel really stink for him and we're trying to do what we can to help him out, but at the same time he can't afford to pay us so doesn't know what to do. Dad's just giving him advice for now, but we're worried about him. His wife says he's so strung out that he can't sleep - which is not a good thing, I don't blame him though. It's a massive 600 cow farm that he owns and he just can't run it himself but can't find the staff to do it either.

While my friend has quit his job this week on the farm where he's just started his third year on(I think). At like 5:15 the next morning he's texting me, asking me what his boss was going to be like that day?  As if I would know! And saying how he'd never, ever quit a job before. Luckily for his sake I was also working that morning, so while I was in a hurry trying to get ready for work and getting myself out the door, I'm also trying to talk some sense into him and hoping like heck that I wouldn't get home in a couple hours to find that he had decided not to go to work at all. He's my next door neighbour, you see.
From what I've since heard, his boss was being extra friendly yesterday so all I can think is that my friend must've lost the plot completely and now his boss is trying to be good about it. I was a little dumbstruck when he told me he had quit, but I think he was even more shocked at what he had done. So it's going to be just brilliant doing relief milking on that farm come October when my friend finally leaves, because then I'll be working with another useless worker (no offense to farm workers, but you do get used to the people you get to work with, and these days all of the good farm candidates are all taken...)

Last night was fun, seeing as Andrew was sitting at good old Auckland airport waiting for his plane to leave for Israel, he was actually in cellphone reception. So I spent a few hours chatting to him and found out that he didn't actually like Finding Nemo, so therefore wasn't too keen on Finding Dory. And he'd never heard of The BFG - I seriously had to consider our friendship after that!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Shortest Day

Winter has "technically" arrived, as yesterday was the shortest day of the year, bringing with it a heap of rain that, believe it or not, is quite pleasant. It's not cold, well not icy cold like it has been and there hasn't been any frosts lately. A good thing, that.

Although this rain that has been booked in for the last week has meant that a whole heap of work has been in a rush. We've had this one fencing job where the posts needed to all be in before the rain hit last night, as the tractor was working on a large lawn area that had a couple of nasty hills. We wouldn't have gotten the tractor out again once the lawn was slick from the rain, thankfully Dad and Nikolai (our newest employee) got all the posts in yesterday afternoon, making life today a little less stressful for Dad.

Monday was, for Nick, Nikolai and I, spent dismantling a couple fences. One made up of old concrete posts and wires that is being completely replaced. It actually wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, pulling the wires off the posts. However the Kikuya was as high as the fence at some points, so pulling rusty barbed wire through that was rather joyful. But it's all pulled out now thank goodness! Then Nikolai and I went on to the next job and rolled up all the wires on another fence which was much easier, so then yesterday they could pull all the posts up and sort the new fenceline. Perfect timing for this rain. But it was so, so nice to get out of the house for almost 6 hours on Monday doing all that work - it made a nice change rather than sticking around home doing next to nothing. I wouldn't say getting scratched to shreds from gorse, blackberry and rusty barb wire is high on the "most exciting job ever" list, but it was something different for once.
I'm doing the odd milking here and there but life isn't too busy these days. I can't believe June is almost over, as in a few weeks time we'll be flat stick!

We all somehow got jinxed over the last couple weeks and somehow caught colds (already!) however Nick has since progressed into the Flu which is verging on pneumonia - doctors' verdict from this morning anyway. We've gotta haul him back to the doc's tonight if all the drugs haven't made a difference by then. So fingers crossed he gets better, it's not something that you want to have around...

Everyone is staying mostly out of trouble these days. I keep putting off going to the dentist - I know I need to go but you know how it is...avoidance and procrastination won't keep my teeth looking amazing but yeah I've been avoiding them for over a year now....he he he ooops.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Everything Has Changed

Hello and welcome to June, and alas, winter. Hello winter...The first day of winter here was freezing! 5 degrees! For the winterless north, it was cold. I don't usually mind my earlier milking starts because the earlier it is the warmer it usually is. Typically around 6am it starts to get quite chilly and the good old fingers start going numb, which isn't the most handiest thing (see what I did there?) when you're using those fingers for work related reasons. But oh well, life goes on. Anyway, this first day of winter didn't follow instructions, it was freezing when I left for work at 4:40am, and when I got there at 5 it hadn't warmed up in the slightest. Not fun at all.
I realised with great sadness that morning that I'd need to start wearing woolly hats soon, which is a pain because I wear my hear up in a clip and you just can't get a hat over it. So that will mean I need to start plaiting my hair, which takes up more time. Thus I'd have to get up five minutes earlier in the mornings and my hair doesn't behave very much when I put it up like that. First world problems, I know! It's just frustrating. But then I thought, it's only my ears that are cold, so all I need to invest in is some fluffy earmuffs! Hehe in the winterless north, I might just get a bit of stick for doing that.

Today is OK though, you can sit in the sun and be warm but the wind has a bite to it. Made me glad for my sleep in this morning. It seems with the current work schedule, for the next couple weeks I should be able to squeeze in every Thursday morning off work, which makes a nice change from those early starts. Until the calf rearing starts up again in about six weeks time that is.

Life here at the moment is going well, as of yesterday we've been living in good old Northland for 14 years and we left Waipu and came back home three years ago. So we've been here doing what we're doing now for three years, it's such a relief to still be going so well!

I still haven't gotten back into studying, think I'll just flag the idea and come back to it next year, if I still want to do it, great. If not, oh well. I'm not really fussed, all I know is that I'm full out enjoying not having deadlines to meet with assignments and not needing to study up on things that may or may not be helpful in the future. Who knows, I may discover something else worth studying in the next six months, so it gives me time to plan if that was the case.
I quit being part of the young farmers' regional committee last week and it feels great to be well, set free, if that is the best way to describe it. I think I'm walking away from the club itself as well now, as are a couple other members - which surprised me. Yes, it means the club will die a cruel and lonely death, but hey, not my problem anymore. Maybe in a couple years I might go back, but right at the moment I'm not very keen.

However I'm not going to sit around at home doing nothing in between work hours. I'm taking up scrapbooking again. One of my favourite hobbies that I sort of lost interest in for the last few years. I just need to go and get a whole heap of photos printed and set myself to work. It'll be nice spending my money on things that I enjoy for a change, which is essentially what life is about, right? I dunno, at the moment it feels like everything is changing. For the good, for the better, just because it has to, I'm not sure. But I heard Taylor Swift's song "Everything Has Changed" on the radio one morning on my way to work this week and I guess a lightbulb flicked on in my head and I sorta just - realised. It's hard to describe, but it's good.
I'm ditching a whole heap of things and taking up some better things instead. What a better time to do it than with the change of season?

The puppies are up to absolutely no good these days. Actually, sorry, I meant Tessa the Terrier is up to absolutely no good these days. See, the other week I caught her on the lounge coffee table sniffing at a packet of wrapped up Gingernut biscuits. She got a yelling at from me for being on the table (what the heck?!) and I carried on with my day. Anyway later on I came back inside to hear Jackson barking pitifully about something. Ok, I thought, that doesn't sound right. I discovered Tessa on the beanbag and Jackson looking really sad - watching Tessa eating a Gingernut biscuit because she wasn't sharing with him! I honestly couldn't believe it, threw away the next couple biscuits in the packet that may have been contaminated by doggy breath and put said packet on the bench instead.

Fast forward a couple days, I discover the dogs - on two different occasions - have gotten into the bathroom and helped themselves to some absolutely delicious and extremely appetising toilet paper. Of course they were told off by me again. Later in the week, half of a Moro bar was left on the coffee table again, nobody thought much of it.
Mum found Miss Tessa chewing on something - part of the wrapper it seemed. Moro is missing in action but my detective skills showed some caramel on her jersey so the culprit seems obvious. What I want to know though, is what the heck is the dog doing helping herself to chocolate, and if we as people find Moro's chewy and difficult to eat - how did she do it so well!? Don't worry, the dog is okay, the chocolate didn't seem to harm her thank goodness.
Later on Mum and Dad went to work, and (for some unknown reason) Mum took a half bag of winegum lollies out of one of the vehicles and left them inside, out of dog reach, on the wall unit. That was fine, except that I came back into the room about ten minutes later to see Tessa chewing on something hard out whilst trying to act innocent. And poor Jackson was chewing on a pen that Tessa must have thrown at him to shut him up while she climbed up there. The bag was ripped open and a few winegums were laying around, so. That was thrown in the bin - no way were we having any more of those!

But alas, it doesn't stop there! That very same day before Mum left, she had gotten some sweet, short crust pastry out of the freezer to defrost. The intention was that I would cook it during the day and she would make custard for the pie later. Tessa got there first. She must have climbed onto the back of the couch - which is just below the bench, and helped herself to at least a quarter of the raw pastry. It was only because I went to cook it, that I realised a fair chunk was missing...I think she felt kinda sick later on that day. Possibly. The issue is that you really, really want to yell and scream at her. But you can't stop laughing that she wouldn't take it seriously anyway.
Today Mum saw Tessa go into the bathroom, grab a hold of the toilet paper - and ran with it, a long length flying around in the air behind her as it unrolled at high speed. She is so darn comical, but so darn naughty. We can't leave the room without her doing something troublesome.