Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Babies Coming and Going.

I got up yesterday at 6am to check our ewes and discovered that one had what looked like a big red ball protruding from her rear. Deciding this was out of the realms of our limited experience, I rang a local vet who came up to see her.

She had a vaginal prolapse and two lambs stuck in behind a barely dilated cervix, neither were in a good position to come out normally.

He managed to get the prolapse back in and after an hour of manipulating, got both lambs out. Both were very stressed with the lengthy process, but I revived one, and lost the other. Next time I will do mouth to mouth as it struggled to breathe but was blocked up somewhere.

Mum was stitched up to hold all together and I put the surviving baby back with it. She showed only slight interest in it, even though I had plonked the little thing in front of her nose and she sort of licked it after it was born.

Cutting a long story short, she doesn't want to know, even after a night together in a confined nursery, so I now have a new responsibility ..... Little Timmy (after the vet). He was feeding first from a syringe and my finger to get him sucking, but today he has graduated to a bottle.


The poodles would love to have a lamb dinner so now must be segregated. I am thinking maybe a couple more orphaned babies for company, so I am asking around.

I can only get this loud, busy little boy to sleep if I drop a towel over his head, otherwise he follows me round baaing.

In the meantime we have two sets of twin from other gals. One more ewe to go.


New knee on 12th November, which is great as I will get the babies up and running by then.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Busy, Busy.........

So much is happening right now, my head is spinning somewhat.

My TAC approval for my knee replacement has finally arrived, which is a great relief, so I will be into that soon. Two months of patient, polite pushing and coaxing the bureaucracy has paid off at last.

Our first lamb for this season arrived the other night and was stillborn. Very disappointing. As my man says, "You've got livestock, you've got dead stock!" We're watching the other four gals very closely now.

My daughter was 20 weeks pregnant last week, and went for her Ultrasound to check the baby's sex and well being. It was noted that her amniotic fluid was very low, so she went to a high res ultrasound elsewhere, and discovered the poor little bubs has no kidneys. Potter's Syndrome, it's called.

She's in labour today, so we have a very sad time ahead of us.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Time Warp Meets 'Old Timers Disease'

When I heard the 'Rocky Horror Show' was coming to Melbourne this September, I went straight online a couple of months ago and booked tickets for our 12th anniversary (20th). I received the tickets in the mail soon after, checked the date quickly, put them back in their envelope, and thought nothing more about them.

We decided to make a trip of it and booked into our favourite B & B in East Melbourne for the night before, then planned a morning wander around The Queen Victoria Market, Eckersleys Art Supplies and Peter Stevens Harley Davidson.

Everything went like clockwork, although it rained at the market, and Melbourne Eckersleys was closed, necessitating a trip to the nearby Prahran shop, for my big spend up.

The Harley Dealership was choked with bikes, but didn't have the model my man is interested in, though he enjoyed seeing them. I'm sorta over bikes, as I am still chewing over whether to sell mine or keep it.

We went to Subway across from the Comedy Theatre for a lunchtime salad roll, and I got the tickets out of their envelope, checking them for the planned 2 o'clock matinee. I was horrified to read that they were for the 8pm evening show! How would we entertain ourselves for all that time, with my bad knee crunching away, and the car already safely parked in an underground car park? I must have messed up in the online booking process..................

We stared at each other with horror, then I remembered that Tickitek had an office only a few doors away. We called in there for advice and she directed us to the theatre booking at the Comedy. That done, we came out with exchange tickets for the 4pm (not 2!) matinee, so we only had a couple of hours to kill. A good result and soooo relieved.

We wandered down to the State Library, which I had never been into. A group of young men had a 'boom boom' music machine, and they were practicing their dance moves out the front, which was really entertaining. We went inside and marveled at the reading dome ......

.... and the huge computer room with mostly Chinese students flogging away. There were a couple of exhibitions going, displaying ancient books from the 14th century onwards. Ned Kelly's armour was in a glass case, and a recorded video about each section explaining how it was made and whose bullet holes were where.

His death mask was also there, and he looked very peaceful, considering being hung is probably not a pleasant experience.

The Rocky Horror Show was as good as it could possibly be, with great sets, costumes, music, cast, dancing .... you name it, it was all there in spades.

The only draw back was the narrator', Derryn Hinch, a dreary old has-been that a large percentage of the Australian public is over. He was wooden and dull, even though he appeared in the obligatory fish net stocking and red high heels at the end, I still couldn't laugh at him.

But that aside, I would recommend the show wholeheartedly.

'All Melbourne'd out', we high-tailed it for home, looking forward to our little slice of heaven once more.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gargoyle Take Over.

I've been looking for a gargoyle for years, and finally found one I could afford and actually liked. He was squatting menacingly in a foolish row of concrete creatures, and told me to buy him immediately, 'or else'.

I did as he asked.

Now I need to construct a suitable throne for him, while he takes over the family.

Sounds like a movie...............

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fighting Nature and Letting Go......

It seems like I am fighting a battle with my favourite friends, the wildlife who enjoy our patch of land.

Last week, I hit a new low, with disasters happening all around.

The glorious Crimson Rosellas I feed during winter on my studio deck decided to polish off all the blossoms on my small apricot tree. Gone! In a day.........

Next, they hooked into all my collection of geranium cuttings I struck before winter. The plants were sitting, fat and healthy, in their pots ready to go into the garden...... all nipped off to dirt level and eaten. I have discovered that hanging shiny things on the plants makes no difference at all, maybe it even attracts them!

Lime green leaved geraniums were planted out behind the studio to catch the hot summer sun have all gone.

I have a third year almond tree that produced a small crop last season. This is about to come into full bloom and they will eat that as well. I got all my old tinsel out and strung it up on the tree hoping to dissuade them. That was last week and I haven't plucked up the courage to look there. Next will be the two cherry trees.

Early Christmas

The rabbits ate the tops off all last years petunias I had clipped back and were budding up big time. Gone! The rabbits usually eat all the rose shoots, but I have beaten them this year by spreading dog poo around them, so I still have them. Fuschias and self seeded tiny plants, all gone. For once I want my dogs to pump out more poop, because I need it for a change. It makes the garden look a bit rough, but one the spring spurt is over they leave it alone.

The dogs have found and killed a nest full of baby birds, Zara swallowing one down in front of me like an oyster. They are confined to the house yard and I hope each year that our hunters won't find low lying nests, but they always get one. The bereaved parents might get smart enough to put their next nest either higher or outside the yard.

The swallows have been banned from the dog kennel rooms, because they build a nest over the bedding and poop on the dogs while they sleep. We have hung curtains at the door ways, so they can't fly in and out. They are now building one above the door under the veranda. I'll have to keep scrubbing the concrete of the run, but that's OK, I can live with that.

Lily surveying her territory

I spent a panic stricken day worrying about it all, and had to do some serious self talk to arrive at just letting go. If we don't succeed with our fruit tress, so be it. I won't plant geraniums or petunias, and will stick to pelargoniums (if they leave them alone!). I suppose I could net the trees and may do next year.

Fighting nature is the past time of losers; it wins all the time.

But, it's not all bad! Spring has sprung...............

Monday, September 8, 2008

Diet With a Purpose

I had a final visit last July to my original orthopedic surgeon. In his rude, arrogant way, he ventured that I should lose some weight. When I replied that I found it difficult because of medication I was on, he sneered, "Anyone can lose weight if they really want to!"

I slunk home, hating him for his lack of diplomacy as he was one of those tall, string bean sort of men, and wouldn't know what it was like to watch his calories.

But, after a few days, I did have a bit of an epiphany, standing in front of the mirror and hating yet again the way those spare kilos sneak on. I decided I would try, as doing without the 'naughty food' would probably be less damaging than disliking the way I was beginning to look.

Eight weeks later, I have lost eight kilograms and am determined to keep going.

We had a huge collection of delicious food on family Father's Day, and I didn't pick at anything, and barely missed it.

In a fit of enthusiasm a few years back, I bought the 'CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet' book, scanned through and put it aside. I wasn't ready for it then, but this book has given me a framework to build on. Even though the daily regimen seems a bit harsh, I have modified and blurred the boundaries somewhat and it is still working.

I make a large pot of vegetable soup maybe twice a week, which is delicious and filling.

2 cans of tomatoes
1/3 bunch of celery, with leaves included.
a large chunk of pumpkin
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried basil
1 dsp stock powder or fresh chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Bring to boil and simmer until soft, then hit it with a stick blender until smoothish.

We have this most lunchtimes with 2 slices of dry toast for dipping. I am still not sick of having this soup.

The CSIRO diet advocates 300gms of meat each day, broken into 100gms chicken, eggs or fish for lunch, and 200gms for dinner. I don't always manage this, but sometimes stuff down 2 boiled eggs at lunch.

Two units of fruit, porridge with a sprinkle of sultanas in the morning, any amount of veggies (not the starchy or oily ones). Dairy foods are mostly homemade low fat yoghurt or a little cheese. We also have a half cup of nuts and dried fruit for nibbles, should we feel the need, at night.

No fat, no sugar, and only low GI carbs (wholemeal pasta, bread, brown rice). Breakouts are allowed, so long as they are not too often. I climb off the wagon for a smidgeon of something bad, then climb straight back on again. The scales don't register the odd breakout.

The diet says only 2 glasses of wine per week, but I'm not giving up the grog, and have a glass each night, sometimes more.

I weigh myself at the same time each day, to monitor my progress and for discipline if I feel I had pushed my boundaries the day before. Knowing I am holding that weight or losing keeps me strong. I am actually finding it really positive and fun!

It's working, and after losing eight kgs, I feel much more comfortable and in control of my body. I want to lose another 12 kgs and then I will be happy. My doctors tell me my knee replacement will recover better, the lighter I am, so that's plenty of incentive. And, I haven't thrown out my favourite clothes that haven't fitted for a while.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Doggy Portrait

Recent pastel commission for a coming 60th birthday.
She looks lovely all framed up.