Sunday, 31 July 2016

July update 2016

I'm trying to write about this subject light heartedly, but if you know me you will realise, it was quite a traumatic event for both of us.
For some months we had become more convinced that we don't need to own two house cows. The initial idea of two cows was sound, to have a continuous supply of milk all year round by staggering their calving at different times. However, the reality was... an over supply of milk, the costs of feeding, both financially and the toll it takes on our fragile land. The wear and tear (compaction) on our land, and at this wet time of year, the boggy ground.
Having an extra house cow does not mean we have just one extra cow. Usually it means there are an extra three of four cows depending on how many calves she is fostering, to use up the milk.
So the decision was made to keep Lavender, being the youngest  cow and the breed that we want to go on with into the future.

I had tossed around the idea of loaning Daisy to a suitable family, and planned to bring her back home for each calving so I could look after her special needs. That idea was soon squashed by the realistic one of the partnership.
I had to realize that there ARE people out there who are perfectly capable of looking after a specially loved cow with "special needs". Any good person who is going to make the effort, financially and intellectually, to purchase a cow, is going to know how to deal with her massive udder after calving.
One would think!

 So I wrote an advert to put on Gumtree, extolling the virtues of Daisy and her beautiful heifer calf. Within an hour the first inquiries started to roll in.
I had in mind the perfect situation for them to go to so I just had to sort through all of the people, which is not easy to do when they all wanted to come and look.
The planets must have been in alignment for us all when the first person due to come called to say he was held up. I already had a feeling that he was not the right person for Daisy and Paisley, so I felt great relief.
Meanwhile others were texting and phoning, but I took a liking to one texter called Josephine, so I asked her to come and look as soon as she could. Within two hours she was here, and when I met her I knew that Daisy was going to be in very good hands for the rest of her days.
Tears of joy!

 Daisy walked onto Josephine's trailer like she had been doing it every week. She had never been on a trailer, living here on this property for all of her six years.
Paisley followed without any problems at all.
Josephine and her family of four children will make short work of all the milk that Daisy will supply them and she plans to keep heifer calf Paisley as a breeding cow and future house cow on her property in the Adelaide Hills.
Her family have lots of experience with house cows, having grown up with them, so she was not daunted at all when I explained Daisy's "special needs."
And how much more luck could we have had?
Mulga Bill returned from his latest "working engagement" for one week before he was being moved onto his next "job."
Ideally we wanted to sell Daisy with calf-at-foot plus being in-calf;  Daisy came on-heat mid way through the week so she was mated by Mulga Bill.  !!! Planets were in alignment.

Our original loading ramp is situated in the middle of a paddock, which makes it boggy and impossible to move stock when we've had any rain. So  Brian whipped up a whole new loading ramp with drafting yard close to the gate and drive way.
With plenty of stock movements lately, we don't know how we managed for all these years.

A few more loads of gravel is needed though, as we found out when trying to pull out the trailer with Mulga Bill on board.  So with Brian on the tractor and me in the ute, we slowly got out and onto the  road, heading for Clare.

Mulga Bill was clearly not fussed. I think he knows that good times are ahead whenever he gets loaded onto a trailer.

I got a little bit crafty at the beginning of the month. After seeing lots of these continuous scarfs being worn lately, I thought I'd try my hand at making one for myself. It's all straight knitting, couldn't be that hard, even for a craft challenged person such as I.
In the Barossa we're very limited in our choice of some things, unless you want to take out a mortgage on the house! So off to the Op-shop I went in search of some wool.
Sometimes it's more economical to buy a woolen garment and unpick it to re-use the wool, but when I found this woolen garment in a colour I liked, it turned out to be an already made up scarf. One end was unraveling though, and I got it for $2.
It sat on the dining room table for a couple of weeks before I got myself psyched enough to attempt the big fix-up.
Wearing my strongest glasses, I sat at the table and carefully unraveled three rows of knitting from the end that was beginning to come undone. Then I carefully picked up the stitches, and very slowly cast off in rib stitch.
Using some of the wool that was left over I threaded some into the biggest sewing needle I could find in my sewing box, and sewed a flat seam.
I love wearing scarfs in winter, and hate the ends getting in my way, so this continuous scarf is ideal.

The Bee hive rental is taking off slowly, but the sales of Bee Keeping Equipment is becoming even more popular as we realise there are hardly any suppliers of fully assembled bee boxes and equipment in South Australia. 
So this is keeping Brian busy in his shed most evenings with the old gas heater cranked up.

Perfect gardening weather as I'm filling in a few bare spots.

But it seems like for most of this month of July, I've been living in a fog of illness. My first cold for four years that turned into a sinus infection, that went on and on, and when there was a glimmer of recovery, kept coming back with a vengeance.
I think I'd rather get a small cold every year thank you!  Not this monster thing that has wiped me out for four weeks. Oh dear, not used to being ill, I'm not a good patient. 
After trying every means of natural remedies, plus help from my Naturopath and Homeopath, we finally gave up and turned to anti-biotics. I feel like such a failure, but it seems that sometimes we just have to go in with the big guns. There are plenty of gut bacteria restoring supplements going in as well, and I think I'm starting to turn the corner towards wellness again.
My goodness, how we take our health for granted. I think this has been a little nudge to remind me to be a bit more grateful for my good health.
So as I write this, still feeling like my head is stuffed full of stewed apples, please forgive me for any errors or gaps.
Goodbye July, it wasn't your fault that I was so contrary, and Hello August, I think you and I are going to be great mates.
Cheers, X


  1. Sally I hope you feel better soon. I am having Telstra problems I think as I just left a comment and it has disappeared. Sigh! How sad to have to get rid of Daisy and Paisley but obviously they will be well looked after.

  2. Bring on Autumn I say. We are in the midst of everyone being sick and it's taking a toll on us. I can totally appreciate what you mean about taking your health for granted especially when my health fell apart this year. Don't feel bad about taking anti-biotics and it does have a place when all other avenues have been tried. I'm so pleased you found a good home for Daisy. Peace.of.mind. I do hope you find some relief soon.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Sally I removed my first comment and then I found out some more info for you from Down To Earth Blog I follow.
    'I hope this helps, but sounds suspiciously like the virus that has been going around here, a doctor friend of ours had it and they cannot even with pathology reports recognise the bug that causes it, they call it non descript, i.e they have never seen it before nor can identify the bug that causes it. It lasts commonly for over a month from the poor people I know who have had it.'

  5. I'm so glad you managed to get such a good home for Daisy and her calf. It sounds like she will be well loved and looked after by her new family after her brilliant first years with you. Thank goodness the first guy was delayed :-)

    We wanted to find the right home for our herd of rare breed pigs, when we had to let them all go due to family problems a few years ago. We were extremely lucky to be put in touch with a lovely family in the Netherlands who decided to take almost all our herd of Large Blacks for their new outdoor free ranging pig business. Seemingly pigs are usually only kept indoors over there so this was a first for the country, and as such he wanted to start out with really good pigs to show folk how pig breeding could be done. The paperwork to export the herd was fiddly but well worth doing and he came over himself with a good sized trailer to be with the pigs every step of the way. Our Middle Whites went to a local pig breeder who kept them on his open farm for any visitors to his hotel to see. And one lucky 'in pig' sow went to Jimmy's Farm to expand his range of Large Black breeding sows. It was a huge relief to see them in good places and be able to follow up on their progress.

    I hope August brings you better health and even better bee equipment sales, it's nice to have a Winter sideline to keep money coming in.

  6. May I thank you all dear friends for leaving your thoughtful comments here. Day by day I'm returning to fitness, but it's taking all of my energy to catch up with things that were neglected. Thoughts didn't correspond with writing anything that would have made sense, and I was feeling rather anti social. Hibernating actually, and not even having the energy for any correspondence at all. It's so heartening to receive your comments, and apologies for not replying to each of you.


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