Thursday, 27 April 2017

Saving A Dog - and other things

You read right, Taylor and I did a good deed last weekend; we saved a dog. More correctly put; rescued a dog. On SH1, in very busy holiday traffic, just out of some traffic lights with many cars leaving the smallish but very busy city we often visit. It was terrifying, but we caught him which was the main thing.
So what happened? Ok, it went a little bit like this. We both had our new glasses to pick up and figured we zoom up north in my little gold, Holden Barina called Annie. We'd take the hour trip north, grab the glasses, grab some lunch and take the hour trip back home in time for him to move his cows on his farm, and in time for me to go do my afternoon milking. Funnily enough, it wasn't as hectic a drive as I thought it was. Typically I wouldn't do the trip if I had to get back to work, but as quite often happens and you have to wonder why...some things just hold you up. You know how sometimes everything happens for a reason, whether you're held up so you miss something. Or you're held up so that you time something else perfectly - I do believe it was the latter on Saturday.

We got to Specsavers and, unbeknown to us, there was some sort of car show happening in that area of town. So finding somewhere to park took us two or three laps around a few blocks, trying to time it right for someone to leave so that we could snap up that car park. Sounds easy, but it was seriously time consuming and exceedingly frustrating! Anyhow we eventually found one, so we rushed in to grab our new fashion statements so that we could get back on the road again to accomplish our next mission. Lunch.
Good old KFC, why not?! Annie cruised her way through the drive through, then took us down to the Town Basin where I'd normally go with Mum and Dad, where you can sit and look out at all the boats in the big river thing. Where you can eat KFC while many people are out doing their well-managed, daily exercise, running along the board walk next to the water. It can sometimes make you feel the need to cover up the windows and eat your very unhealthy meal without feeling guilty. But then other times you can just smile, knowing that you're living your life. If that means eating some very oily chicken in carbohydrate packed burgers while people around you show off their running be it. Who's to say we don't exercise at home anyway? Such judgemental fitness bunnies!

I then had to stop in at Pet Essentials to grab some "duck" strips for the dogs. The treats we cut into little pieces so we can convince our little bundles of joy to do our bidding. Basically to convince them to hop into their kennels when we need them to; the duck is an essential part of this. Tay decided to have a wander around the store and discovered two gorgeous kittens in the back corner, where his eyes lit up at the adorable sight. Taylor loves his kittens, and I'm sure if he could've he would've stuffed the kittens under his shirt and walked out with them! They were pretty cute. So that took a little while. Finally, we were on the road again.

When you leave town you have to go through the last set of traffic lights, we're turning left so don't need to stop - rather just go left and then merge with the other traffic heading straight through. However when I came up to the intersection, instead of a car going through the lights - it was a dog. A dog who was running very fast with some cars hot on his heels!
Thankfully he had the brains to stick to his lane, and thankfully the car following him had the good sense of mind to slow right down and pop on his hazard lights. As did the second car. I was the fourth car so as I was merging I just drove in the middle of the two lanes with my hazard lights on to stop anymore cars getting through, as they wouldn't have known what was going on up ahead.
The three cars ahead of me were good, they slowed right down and managed to group around the dog - at one stage he veered right into the oncoming traffic (I nearly flipped out when he did that!), but for some crazy reason he darted back in front of us all again so the three cars could force him onto the shoulder.

I thought, sweet one of them will stop and grab him. But they all carried on driving!!! Like, what?! I made a very quick decision and quickly pulled in beside him, stuck my arm out my window and grabbed hold of him. He was your average looking work dog, medium size - maybe a huntaway/blue heeler sort of dog. Taylor jumped out and took him from me so I could get out. The poor thing was terrified, I'm glad he stayed next to Annie when I pulled in beside him - I never thought of what I'd do if he got a fright and ran into the traffic again.
Another car with two women pulled in behind us, they said they'd only stopped because they were curious if he was our dog. They were locals so said they'd take him to the SPCA for us, he was registered so it wouldn't take too long to find the owner at least.
The adrenaline rush from the event was ridiculous, the entire thing probably lasted a minute or so before we got hold of him, but it felt like a lifetime before he was off the road!

The next day I joined a few facebook group pages for the town so I could ask on there if anyone knew if he had made it home. Seconds later one of the women we spoke to replied to me. Saying they had posted all over the net trying to find his owner and it didn't take long for them to see the posts, he was home again within a few hours. Just like I had wondered, he had jumped from the back of a UTE - he mustn't have been tied on or somehow untied himself from it. And from where he had jumped off, to where we caught him - he'd run a long way. He was one very lucky pooch with one heck of a story to tell.
You kinda hope he'll always remember the faces of the people who helped him that day. I reached out and he sniffed my hand and stayed by my side of the car. It's such a good feeling that 1. he knew I was trustworthy, 2. he didn't get a scare and bite me! (that thought did flash through my mind as I reached out...) and 3. that he got home.
Facebook is a brilliant means of getting so many furbabies home again, I see posts up every day of a lost pet that somebody finds, or a found pet that somebody recognises and gets hold of the owner. It makes your heart swell just a tad, knowing for one occasion I was part of it :)

Friday, 21 April 2017

Chilling Out

It was only 7 degrees this morning when I arrived at work just prior to 6am; it was freezing! Okay maybe it wasn't freezing, but it was blimmen cold! I had goosebumps on my arms all milking, by the time I left at 8am it was sitting around 14 degrees. Mum and I are home with the heat pump going, and I'm wearing socks and sweatshirt - a very uncommon sight.

This morning I've made hot chocolate muffins, so although it is cold life is still good!

A week or so ago I toddled off to the dentist with serious toothache that I'd put up with for a week before it was getting to be too much. It was odd and seemed to happen overnight, with pain you'd expect if a filling simply fell out. I know there is a filling up there somewhere in the same area, so I didn't rule it out. Typical for me, the dentist couldn't find anything wrong, he couldn't even tell which tooth it was until they used the tool that blows air along my teeth...until I basically jumped through the roof.
He decided to polish down the tip of that tooth (with no numbing!) and then put some filler on top, saying that it should help. Well it hasn't. I can't eat or drink on that side. If anything cold hits it I'm almost doubled over in pain, and I've resorted to no hot drinks either which is rather unfortunate in this chilly weather.

We got to try on our uniforms for netball on Wednesday, they're all green - quite a nice green if I must say. They consist of a dress, that is quite on the short side. As was the discussion, it's netball, where you stretch upwards and jump. What happens to a short dress in that situation?! So I know I'm off to find some shorts of some sort to wear too. Then we also have a t-shirt to wear overtop during warmup, and we've also got a jacket. They say we're not allowed to wear the hoodie's we've bought as extras on game nights because it doesn't have the uniform sponsorship on it. We could wear them, so long as the jacket is over it, however the hoodies are quite thick and the jackets are small, there's no chance you could wear the hoodie underneath!

It's hard to believe the games start in two weeks, May 5th. With only two training nights before then, we still don't have all of the team members showing up and there are only nine people in my team. Our club has two teams and we're never able to practice a full game with 14 players because there are always people missing! The training last week we used two bystanders to fill the court, they both know how to play, one I think is possibly going to be a coach or an umpire. Oh yeah, we have no coach - brilliant, huh?
However the other lady fell and rolled her ankle, so we had to drop the wing defenses on both teams. I had been WD on my actual team prior to the lady getting hurt. Then I swapped to wing attack on the other team.
WD is probably not the best position to play as I hardly get a chance to touch the ball, I'm simply running around trying to stop the opposing WA from getting it. However she is tall and very good at the game so I may as well not be on the court at all! Once I moved over to WA there was no WD trying to stop me, so although I was able to play and catch the ball, it wasn't experiencing the position properly which is quite frustrating.

Also because players aren't always showing up to training we aren't able to train as a proper team so we can't get to know each other properly. How can you work in a team situation if you've never played as a team? It's ridiculous, I know I can't really talk because I've missed two training nights - once I was too sick to leave the house and the other excuse was a flooded road during the cyclone...

I still don't know what position I'm most likely to play, our main Centre player has come back now and I see what they were talking about - she's good, very good. I don't see me ever getting to try C again unless she has to sub out, which is unlikely. Thankfully they don't put me in the goal circle anymore - I'm too short to defend the goal and I'm no good at getting the ball in the net either, so I'll always be WA or WD, unless I'm a permanent sub so I could get any position really.

Wednesday morning I had an argument with a can lid and ended up with a slashed thumb, so during netball I had a big thick plaster on it to prevent any further damage - but it made catching the ball difficult - I feel so small when they throw the ball, anticipating me to catch it. And I drop it. Plasters provide no grip apparently, so the entire game or warmup routine has to stop until I manage to get the ball in the air again...I think I'm doing pretty good, sticking around and staying in the team, even though I'll probably be the one they rely on to pass the ball in a major game. I'll be the one who almost literally hands it to the other team in time for them to win. It takes a lot of trying to stay on the team and keep learning as best I can, without holding my team back too much with my being there either.

Work is going OK, nothing has really changed. Working with Cam and Hamish is taking less time now as I no longer need to help with any calves - calving is almost finished there. However, my other farm is taking longer and longer. Yesterday morning almost took four hours to milk! We're only milking about 430 cows there (12 rows), but there's still another 120 or so left to calve, calving has slowed right down and they'll still be plodding along well into May! Milking 550 cows is going to take a fair while through June when they're all milking at peak production...

We've had a heck of a lot of rain, my boss Cam who's a few minutes down the road recorded 570mm from the 9th March - 16 April. That's almost half a year's worth of rain in 6 weeks...

Maggie's new jersey :)
Puppy snuggles :D

A friendly Monarch butterfly :)
Maggie and Rose, collage as they got older

I got flowers for Easter!

Tay's kitten, Charlie - grease kitty (not monkey lol)
More of Rosie because when she's clean she's so gorgeous!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Playing Nurse

Two weeks ago Taylor went in to one of the local surgical centres for his hernia repair operation. I had the job of picking him up and getting all of the briefing from the nurses there with the post-op care - Nurse Kayger (they used my real name of course) as they called me!
Thankfully Mum and Dad have both had similar surgeries in the past, so I know all about keeping the painkillers up and not letting them lapse, etc., and I also had first hand experience with running around doing things for the said patient, helping them of and on the couch and being a general "lean on" support if they needed it when they walk for the first day or so afterwards. Those abdominal surgeries must hurt (rather them than me!) and you can't easily use your stomach muscles - hence the need to support them when the stand up and sit down again.

It was exhausting, I'll be completely honest. He sorta seemed to flick between my house and his Mum's house for the first couple days. Simply because I was working and no-one could be around 24/7 and he got bored very quickly. The likes of my family would just relax with a book or watch some movies but he's an active/physical hobby person rather than a sit and read a book sort of person, so it was difficult keeping him occupied...
But I would drop him at his Mum's, then go to work. Then a few hours after my afternoon milking finished he would call and ask me to pick him up so he could stay with me, much preferring to hang out with me than at his Mum's for some reason. On the way there or back I'd stop in at his house to feed the kittens - a daily occurrence, which was fine. But with driving back and forth for work, then doing so much extra driving, making sure he was taking the right painkillers at the right time, along with doing life in general was super tiring. Not that I minded, but I do believe I won't be taking up nursing any time soon!
He's had two weeks off now, but this week he has been allowed to drive again and can run after himself which has given me a bit of a much needed break!

We went and saw Beauty and the Beast on Monday as it was my day off. I've never seen the original animated version, or read the book so I didn't really know the story line, however I was determined that we were going to see it, so we went. Hmm. Yep. So uh, if you haven't seen it, and you intend to and don't want a spoiler, perhaps skip this section.
They wouldn't stop singing. And I mean singing. Whenever they had an issue, they'd sing about it. At first it was OK, then after a while I felt myself wanting the lazyboy chair to swallow me whole because I knew Tay would be hating it! Especially when I found it a little awkward and over the top. It was more like a musical than anything, in saying that it was a good movie. But as I was told afterwards..."It's definitely a YOU sort of movie, isn't it?!" It was more of a movie I'd see with Chantelle, and not really one I'd see again. But it was a pleasant film.

Then he was super sweet and bought me a chocolate bunny for Easter - never had a proper bunny before!

There were a fair few dramas to be had for Mum and Dad with fencing this week. When they began to move Kermit, the tractor, from one job to the next a filter or a seal burst, spraying transmission oil all over the road for a short distance. The guy who came to repair the damage to the tractor seemed to think a stick must've gone through it somehow, causing the incident. They tried contacting the council to come clean up the road, but after a couple hours of them not turning up they got in touch with the local police and chief of the local fire brigade. They said it was odd, hearing the fire brigade siren, calling all the volunteers to work, knowing it was coming for them! They closed the road and spread some sort of kitty litter on the road to soak up the oil, rather exciting really, however I just got to see all the photos!
Then on Tuesday when the rain began, Dad somehow managed to bust the leaf springs on the big trailer when he was carting materials to a job. That night an accident was on the main route home, so he took one of the gravel back roads instead. We couldn't understand what was taking him so long (as we can keep an eye on eachothers' whereabouts on the family iPhone link app - for safety reasons). Turns out he got a puncture on one of the ute tyres, so had to change it in the dark, in the rain. Poor him! So many dramas!

As Wednesday was not very pleasant at all, and I was already headed north that morning to take my car for a warranty repair (the plastic surrounds on one of the back door handles had broken), Dad decided it'd be a full day off due to the weather so they could head north too to sort all the repairs that needed dealing with.
I dragged Taylor along for the ride up there, otherwise I'd have been on my own and I went to Specsavers while I was up there for my biannual check up. I've been having a fair amount of difficulty with my eyes lately, getting not very pleasant headaches every day and it's hard to drive some days too. Thank goodness, with the purchase of my car I got a free AA Membership for a couple years meaning my $60 eye exam is free every two years. Yay! As it happens, in the last two years my seriously bad right eye sight is declining rapidly. The optometrist explained how they work in quarters. Two years ago my right eye was a 3.5 figure, now it's a 4.5 figure. If it had changed by about 0.25 I guess it would've been ok but it's changed by a whole 1. Not great - especially as it's not exactly an age deterioration, and I need new glasses again. I guess this is going to be an every two year issue I'll need to deal with!
Now it has gotten to the stage that the right lens is getting too thick, which effects the frames I can use. I'll soon have to start paying an extra fee to get the lens "thinned", then it won't be too heavy for the frame or look ridiculously obvious either. It seems this eye will plaque me for the rest of my existence! Specsavers are great with their two for one deals, meaning I got my new glasses and sunglasses for just $299. Thanks Specsavers! I'm going to start donating my old glasses to the Lions Club, who pass them onto a foundation who get them overseas to less fortunate people who need them, quite a good idea, that.

The final installment of The Fast and the Furious came out yesterday, so we watched that while we were up there. It was great, if anyone needs any encouragement to go see it :)

The weather around home was rather intense yesterday, so I hear. I wasn't home all day so it's the mentions of road closures on facebook that let me know. Nick was great, as he didn't have any work at all yesterday he offered to do my afternoon milking so I didn't have to rush home in time for it. Then this morning I was meant to work with Taylor's boss and milk on that farm. But the other guy who relief milks there, and has been for the last couple weeks while Tay's been off sick, got in touch with me last night saying that he was rained off work (he's in building) and that he could milk this morning if I didn't want to do it. I've never been so happy to hand over work! Especially in this weather! I would've had to start at 4:15am and get the cows in, in the pouring rain. But instead I got a sleep in! As it happens, they seem to think that Cyclone Cook hasn't even really started yet, we're just getting the weather from the outskirts of the storm. It's due to get much, much worse and they might even shut the almighty Harbour Bridge if the winds get too strong.
It's hard not to get complacent when we've had heaps of rain for the last month or so, every week there's a big downpour causing flooding, this has so far seemed rather innocent and placid compared to one a couple weeks ago, it's hard to believe it's meant to get worse.

Last night's training I skipped due to the weather. During the school term our training nights have had to be changed to start at about 8-8:30, finishing at about 10pm because the gym/hall is being used by a dance class and a ballet class at our normal time of 6pm. So I didn't want to be on the road at that time of night, if it was going to be nasty.
However the two weeks prior when I have gone, they've put me in as Centre, it's a great position to play. I find that I can cope with all of the different warm ups - last week warmups were very ball oriented, all about catching/throwing and landing correctly, keeping focused on where the ball is etc. Then we split into our two actual teams so we could learn to work with our own team in a half game. Then we played the proper game with me as our team Centre. There's just so much running around to do as a centre, and it's hard throwing the ball out to begin with, as the wing attack on my team I'm aiming for often loses it to the wing defense from the opposing team, so I'm prepared to run forward and help work the ball up the court, only for the ball to suddenly be working it's way in the opposite direction. It's exhausting, very hot in the gym without airflow in there, but fun nonetheless!

We're getting hoodies too, with our names on them that we get to keep for ourselves. They're $55, but I've always wanted a team jersey. One guess what name I asked to be put on mine?!

My poor chocolate bunny is suffering a major loss of body. He he, oops! Keeping a rabbit's foot is meant to be lucky - isn't it?