Sunday, August 10, 2014

Beautiful Day for a Ride

We rode early today and what a bonus that was; it was perfect bike riding weather. The air was crisp and cool and no sign of a headwind (which I'm always very thankful for)! We only did 30km. With the ride only 1 week away we didn't want to overdo it. The bikes were serviced during the week.

We have had a look at the road profile; Gibbo is excited devestated to see that the total distance is actually 220km, not 200km. He's not sure how he'll go - he hasn't trained for the extra 20 (nor the first 200 either actually). In fact, he reckons he's been tapering for the last 3 months.

I worked yesterday; this week has been huge with the extra hours needed to get ready for our regional meeting at Windorah on top of the already heavy admin workload; I clocked up 75 hours which is just ridiculous and certainly not sustainable; 12 and 15 hour days and I still brought some work home to do at night.

Today we trimmed the bums on the silkies and split them into their breeding groups. I'm especially looking forward to seeing what comes out of the black cockerel/silver hen grouping. I hope I have better success this year than last when the carpet snake ate everything in sight.

The local fox population is starting to become a bit braver and more of a problem now that Poofy isn't here to keep them at bay. This morning at 6.30 one of the little game roosters was taken from my compound which isn't far from the house and there's been evidence of fox activity during the week. Poofy used to do a sweep of the cattle yards/shed/house/my chook area early every morning but since he's been gone the foxes have come in a lot closer. Gibbo's compound is about 500 metres from the house beside a little forest and the foxes tended to hang about up there, never really venturing down this way.

We leave here early tomorrow and meet the plane in town then head to Surat and Emerald to do a milk run pickup of other managers then head to the property just near Windorah. We've got a full program through to Wednesday then do the return milk run drop off journey on Thursday. Friday we head to Brisbane in time to drop off our bikes and bags at the Uni. We stay in the city then need to be back at the Uni by 5.30am Saturday ready to start with breakfast and the opening ceremony! 110km to Wivenhoe Dam, camp the night, then 110km back again - and rain is predicted. For once I hope they're wrong! I don't really relish riding all that way in the rain and camping in wet conditions but I'm quite looking forward to the challenge and to doing something hard and being exhausted but happy to have made it to the end.

Setting Up

Meg has been enjoying setting her house up (despite badly leaking taps and a hot water system that blew up within days of moving in). Her on-line purchases arrived and she went store shopping for lamps and ended up with these two. They are hollow on the bottom so she can put pretties underneath.

Parrots congregate in the trees outside her verandah - she's started feeding them (something she may come to regret).

Liking the Lick

4 x 110kg lick blocks = a lot of happy cows.

This tastes good.

But this tastes better!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Settling In

Meg got the keys to the rental house on Friday and had her purchases delivered. Over the weekend she unpacked her gear, ordered some home-wares on line AND assembled some chairs!

Two chairs arrived assembled; two did not.



And all accomplished with this!! Now she's talking power tools and cross cut saws!


All that hard work requires sustenance of some sort....!!

Number 11 - AND 12 AND 13!!

Here's baby number 11; he/she has dark markings on her neck.

When I went to feed them this morning I found - NUMBER 12 AND 13!! Another set of twins!

The first lambs have grown so much!

I think this one is number 9; she's really really white.

This one is asking me why we patched their escape hole in the fence. We actually found another spot where they were sneaking out - the wool on the barbed wire was a dead giveaway.

Operation Relocation

The ill-mannered pair have been relocated to my chook compound - where they proceeded to tear around and inspect and jump up on everything.

The roosters in the pens below were totally freaked out by the four legger walking across the top of their pen and then jumping on the corrugated iron. In fact, the rooster on the far end went into hysterics and was running from front to back and jumping up, hitting his head again and again on the mesh - which bounced up in the air each time he hit it which made him even more berserk.

He knows there's something in there but he doesn't know what. He just wanted to knock it over.

Here he is, scraping his foot again and again on the top of the drum - just like his mother used to do.

Or course Madam was appalled at such behaviour; she sat quietly beside me. Actually, I think she was a little freaked out. These goats have certainly got some attitude now.

Butter wouldn't melt!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Another Week

Another week has flown by. Gibbo went to CQ for 4 days and left me in charge. As often happens on my watch, there were deaths. The white turkey was taken by a fox and I found the black faced ewe dead under the sheep shelter on Thursday morning. As Mother Nature decreed that one should die, another took it's place - a lamb was born Wednesday night - that's 11 in total now. This was the same morning that I watched as a ewe and 8 lambs walked up the driveway lane on a mission - they were about to head out the front gate, searching for greener pastures, so I called them back with a promise of more pellets. However, they didn't return until after I'd run back to lock the dog and goats up, changed my boots, grabbed my phone (and sent a rather terse message to Gibbo about a certain fence that has needed fixing for quite some time), and raced back, expecting to have to run through the paddock and cut them off at the pass. It was a rather stressful morning at home so I went to work for some relief (!). That's a joke by the way - if I have to go to work to get away from stress at home then that means things are tough at home!!!

I checked the water, no dramas there but the cows were looking for their lick! The lick trough was bone dry. The charolais cow is the leader of the pack. It pays to be different.

We're slowly getting used to not having Poofy around but still look for him when we drive in. I say good morning to him each day when I go up to feed my chooks; he would be horrified to see me throwing old eggs away over the fence.

We are beginning to get into the breeding season with the wyandottes. The silver pencilled and the partridge bantams are down at my compound; they have a special breeder mix and I move the roosters between the hens every second day. Gibbo has the large and bantam whites, the large blacks and the large silver laced up at his compound. The 100th anniversary national show is on next June at Mudgee so we're trying to breed a winner for that.

The little goats are really hitting their straps now; they climb, jump and bounce off everything they see, including us. They race around the L shaped verandah and have started sampling the garden plants. It causes me great stress to look out the kitchen window to see them going along nipping the tops off all the plants in the row. In fact, I become quite fishwife like and scream like a banshee. Very attractive behaviour; lucky the neighbours aren't closer.

Today I rode 60km; Gibbo and I rode 33km together and I continued on for another 27. We talked as we rode about how much I love to ride and how much he doesn't. Being out there in the weather - hot or cold - the wind, the view, the feeling of movement, the roadkill - it's the best form of exercise and pick-me-up for me; not so for him. Our big ride is only two weeks away; he wouldn't be out riding at all if it wasn't for the loss of PD, the reason the Company team is riding. However, I'm feeling it now; my legs are sore but it still feels good - I know I've been out there, doing something! Makes me wish I had the bath hooked up; a long soak in a hot bath is just what I need. Hoping for 100km tomorrow.

I have just been discussing with Chloe that it's difficult for me to type when she sits on the computer. From the look on her face I'd say she doesn't actually care....

The fire is lit; the pumpkin soup is cooking. It's going to be a good night.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

This Morning

On the verandah. Saying hello.

Saying goodbye.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mischief, thy name is Goat

It hasn't taken the two kids long to discover the front verandah; they like to play there in the morning sunshine.

Yesterday, Rusty found a riding glove just sitting around, waiting to be chewed and sucked on. He threw it up in the air and shook it from side to side. Then he flung it to the floor when he couldn't get any milk out of it.

50 Years

We attended the "50 year anniversary of home town rugby" dinner on Saturday night - a rather splendid, flash affair with a lot of old friends not seen for many seasons. Getting home at 1.30am was something we've not seen for a long time either!

G was named in the 50 year Golden Wheatmen team and was part of a 5 man Q&A panel that spent an hour on the stage answering predictable scintillating questions.

You can also see him in a photo on the wall, just to the right of the cartoonish looking character. He's running with the ball, about to pass it.