Saturday, 31 October 2009

The A-Team

Having to bring a baby calf home for medical attention always entails some risk management! No moreso than when said baby has one very protective, loving mother.

This week proved no exception with a little sickly fella who'd decided to have a swim in the molasses trough needing to come home for some tender loving care. Barely a hair left on his body, he still had a good dose of attitude about him.

Having fallen back behind the mob sufficiently for Matthew (aka braveheart) to attempt the abduction, the A-Team swung into action. As often happens, Mama attempted to break the sound barrier in her haste to save her bawling baby. I was in the back of the ute ready to catch the abductee, as Matthew flung him at me and dived for the driver's seat with mama in hot pursuit, tongue out, bawling her angst.

Unfortunately, I had fleed the driver's seat leaving it in a fairly forward position, which made Matthew's dive all the more difficult as his 6 foot 4 frame hurriedly tried to squeeze into aforementioned driver's seat. As he slammed the door on mama's head repeatedly until he was able to close it, her attention turned to her still bleating calf in back of ute with me attempting a half-Nelson, quickly followed by a cross-body pin, transforming into a layover leglock chinlock.

Looking something like a washing machine agitator and a pair of wranglers doing the Fisher & Paykel dance of clean, it crossed my mind that we should have emptied the ute of crowbar, shovels, stiltsens, chain spanners and various pipe fittings all reminders of the trough instalment which occurred some days earlier.

As Matthew recovered in the driver's seat, apparently finding time to write a song, read a book or have a chat with Jess in the front I managed with one flailing free arm to grab a posthole shovel and fight off Mama who decided she was coming for the ride. With repeated loving, kind words to Matthew in the front to "DRIVE for &*%$'s SAKE", we did finally make the 3 mile trip home with mama in hot pursuit.

My body has bruises in places there shouldn't be bruises and I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

Hairless Humphrey is in a stable, non-life-threatening condition.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Life Ain't Nothin' but a Funny Funny Riddle

Remember when John Denver sang that "life on the farm is kinda laid back."

I want to move to that farm.

We're missing a big dose of 'laid back' here at the moment. It's been a busy week ramping up the drought strategy trying to cope with hungry cows, poor horses and ever-mounting feed bills. Matthew put a new water trough in, in one of the furthest paddocks and we've pushed dry cattle out there where with molasses mix they will hold on for a good while yet. Cows and calves are currently being sorted and put in a closer paddock with access to both molasses mix and now also a feed-bin. Money, money, money!

I returned to the yards about smoko time, after taking one mob away, with the rich smell of molasses strongly in the air. I knew something was wrong immediately, and found the pipe out of the molasses tank had totally blown out, spewing thousands of dollars of molasses down the gully. We'd only had the tank filled last week, so was all but full. After sitting with head in hands for some time I got straight on the phone to the suppliers to find their mill quota has been filled, so now have to start the ring-around to find a supplier. I was to do molasses runs today, so cows will be hungry for a couple of weeks until we can find some more.

To top off a very disheartening day, the older girls and I found one of the oldest horses down, and had to put him down. It was a car full of sombre tear-streaked faces that returned home on dark. Bit hard to see a silver lining at the moment.

Tomorrow's another day.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Another 26 Ton

Another 26 ton of molasses drove through the gate yesterday.

Much to the delight of some hungry old cows. And some hungry young ones. I'd ordered it three weeks ago knowing we still had 2 weeks worth up our sleeve. Due to current demand though, the two week waiting period was stretched to 3, meaning the cows have gone without this past week. It's been hard to drive around here, with the old darlings watching your every move and demanding to know where their lick is. They've come in from all the furthest paddocks to stand at the nearest gate and demand attention.

We're all relieved that they'll have full bellies this morning, with the molasses trailer running nearly dizzy from the amount of loads going out yesterday.

Unfortunately our supplier tells us they've nearly reached their allowable quota from the mills for the year, leaving us in a position of having to source molasses from possibly further north. Fingers crossed the rain will come before this tank is used.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

And Then There Was One

At 8 o'clock this morning this girl,

her younger sister,

and brother, along with 23 of their school-mates all boarded a bus and headed north about 300 kilometres to Kinchant Dam for a school camp.

While their mother fussed and preened and packed and checked, they jumped for joy, giggled and excitedly scrambled aboard the bus, calling their goodbyes without so much as a backward glance.

Sally and I were suitably unimpressed with their level of concern, and may just turn up late to collect them Friday afternoon.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

A Waiting Game

I've spent a good part of my life waiting.

Waiting for my two front teeth. Waiting for my fringe to grow out. Waiting for Santa. Waiting for Summer storms. Waiting to meet my life partner. Waiting for babies to be born (aah, how my back still aches).

Waiting for them to smile, to roll, to sit, to crawl, to walk, to run, to go to school.

Now a good part of my day is spent waiting for the bus.

At least it always comes.

Not like the rain.

Still waiting.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

A Girl & Her Horse

It's the only green grass on the place at the moment.

...and admittedly badly in need of some tending.

so Tiffany was suitably impressed when Sal brought her into the yard for the day.

and helped her find some easy chewing.

Cause that's what friends are for.

Monday, 12 October 2009

We're Back

Well here we are back from our southern bull-selling jaunt.
We sit with the 'Great Book of Bull-Selling Excuses' resting firmly on our knee. Flipping through we find many tales of woe that can be blamed for us not achieving as good a result as we would have liked.

Page 7. Subheading 8: Seasonal Conditions.
Page 13. Subheading 3: Global Financial Crisis.
Page 27. Subheading 2: No. of Bulls exceeds Demand.
Page 63. Subheading 9: Late Draw in Sale
Page 127. Subheading 2: First bullsale of the Season.

I won't bore you with the details.

The upside is that we were able to purchase a new bull far cheaper than we'd expected.

And we love him.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Next Stop Gracemere

So we're all but ready to leave.

30 ironed shirts hang next to 24 ironed pairs of jeans in the back of my wagon.

24 bales of hay and 8 bags of grain are neatly stacked in the back of the ute.

Bulls are paint-branded and waiting in the yards.

All we need now are 5 bulls on the back of the truck and 1 extra driver to get all the vehicles to town.

Will check in at the end of the week.

Thursday, 1 October 2009


So what could this pair be plotting?

Waiting for the molasses trailer to fill is not the most fulfilling job on the list. Downright dull actually, especially when the tank's getting low and it runs through that pipe at a piddle.

There are usually some calves hanging around needing to be pat, water troughs to be cleaned or rocks to be thrown at crows.

Or sometimes you can just have some quality time with Dad.

.....Or maybe....just maybe, they're actually planning what to get mum for her birthday this month! What do you think?


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