The dog and the lady

Just a couple of days ago, a friend of the lady who rent our cabine up the hill arrived. EM, our tenant, asked us if it was ok by us to have a friend staying for a few days. She had a dog with her but this dog was pretty well behaved . Of course we said, it should not be any problems. Em’s dog is sweet and a real little gem and she gets on so well with our black pudding of a labrador.

Black pudding

After, having taken J to the airport for his flight back to Melbourne, we arrived  back at home. Our cows were bellowing their head off for their 4 o’clock feed. I jumped out of the car, got the wheelbarrow and walked to the hay stack where I fetched 3 arms full of top lucerne hay. On my way to the paddock, I see this brown dog running full speed towards the fence. It got zapped by the electric wire separating the paddocks. That did not stop it. He went back a second time and charged the cows down the hill. The four cows including the 2 calves were galloping at full speed roaring with fright, they did not know where to run, they huddled against a clump of bamboo together. It did not stop, it went at them biting at the heels of the 2 little calves. They were wailing with terror not knowing what was suddenly happening to them at feed time. They kept stampeding  in all directions the dog being more agile and more nimble catching up with them. Their cries could be heard for miles away. I was totally taken aback.

The owner, kept on calling the dog but it would not come, desperate Em, ran down the drive to fetch the dog calling all the time to no avail. Finally, after what seemed an eternity out of sheer despair and fear, I screamed to the owner to do something. She was totally inept. The dog arrived back up the drive not wanting to obey and sheepishly made an attempt to go to its owner who did not do a thing.

She told us that she had never seen it behave in that way. He loved cows and in fact was scared of them. She had photos to prove it. I was totally dismayed by her reply. NOW,  you are seeing what your dog is capable of doing on a farm and from now on your dog must be kept on a lead at all times. No, she said, I could not do that. Really, you come as a guest here, and you lay down the rules, that is really incredible I thought. This is not how it works here. I reiterated my point, but she carried on telling me that her dog NEVER behaved that way. I don’t care what happened before, what matters is what is happening now here, let it be a lesson to you and your visit on a farm. She still would not take my point and insisted that her dog would not go on a leash and so on.

One of the calf

The next day, after having her dog finally tied all night she asked Em, if the dog could be left off the lead, absolutely no said Em, I do not want to risk another episode like yesterday. The woman was not going to take it that way. Em, told her to go as she was not going to take responsibility for her unruly mutt. She asked her to leave and she moved on.

My husband rang me at the Gallery and told me the ending of the dog and the lady. I breathed a sigh of relief, I was fearing that she had seriously intended to let her dog off the lead and both of us were going to kick her out in a very unpleasant way. My husband did not rest all night at the thought that she might not have heeded our request. But all is well and end well.

The cows are just getting back to normal still a little weary as they are checking around around to see if the horrible mutt was still around and today at 4o’clock they came by the fence and started their usual demands…maybe insisting for a little extra for the troubles they went through the other day. I was not going to give in this time…maybe tomorrow.

Till next time.

When it happens it happens!!!

We all say when one thing goes wrong it start to become an avalanche. Well, over the last few weeks the avalanche started to get bigger.

One day we noticed that the bathroom tiled floor erupted in black patches along the grouting.  I used all sorts of products to try to get rid of it but to no avail. after a long examination by my partner, he suggested that  we asked a professional tiler. A young man, who comes and help us around the property on Saturday who is also a tiler during the week had a look and gave us his opinion. The results were that the drain was not properly seal when the tiles were put in place. He crawled under the house to find out that the boards had been slowly getting wetter. My husband decided to crawl himself and took another look and was armed with his camera as well. Well, it was true indeed the floor boards were wet, very wet. What to do? The young lad suggested that we appeal to the tiler who did the job a couple of years back and see if he could do something about it.

So, on the phone my husband  went and spoke at length with him. Of course what did we expect the results would be? Not his fault at all, but it had to do with the plumbing. The young lad, said to us that tilers must by laws give a 10 year guarantee on the jobs that they performed. He had to have a license number and we must have a receipt of his works. We do. Haha! really!  How are you going to convince someone to come and honour their work? But the discussions went on and the tiler promised to come back in 2 weeks to have a look. We are still waiting and in the meantime we have no shower. The other side of this story is that we are in the process of finishing a small sleep out and we bought an outdoor shower that hooks up to a gas cylinder. So, here we go, we hook it up among the bamboos and the bougainvillaea, (very thorny spot) and we go and take our shower among nature. Of course, being summer this is no problems and can be quite enjoyable to shower out. This saga for the time being is far from being resolved as we wait for the original tiler to come and inspect the works and see if he would honour his works. Shall we have faith in human nature or would it be again a case of washing their hands of their responsibilities? That is so often the case. We shall see.

Just before that, a tick killed one of our vealer and we were not here to rescue it. He died a painful death. A few years ago the same thing

New Calfhappened to his mum and we were fortunately around and she was rescued and is kicking strong today. All our cows are very tamed and we do pat them and feed them by hand. This year we had 4 calves and we lost one. The other 3 are all strong and healthy.

New calf

The python has also been around and devoured 5  of our 3 months old chicks. We do share a lot of our life with the native fauna around here. The goannas also help themselves to eggs without counting the natives rats that can’t resist our corns and strawberries as well as their daily tour of the chicken coop to rummage for left over grains. The native galahs swooped in to see if they could scavenge some extra grains from the run, with them they brought the tiny insects called red mites. Red little blighters that suck blood. They did not invade the chickens so much( which is weird)  but seems to have a preference for my husband. And me from time to time.  They even accompanied him in bed. He was moaning from pain of the constant scratching. Waking up all hours to discover patches of bites. So did I. It was becoming a real nightmare. Theses little suckers preferred the warmest part of the body, in the groins, under the armpits, behind the fold of the legs and other places that I leave you to imagine. We tried DM earth, cleaning and other things nothing worked. In the end the radical solution had to be envisaged. The complete clearing out of the coop. All the hay was shovelled out and we dusted the whole area with a sulfur product.( nothing obnoxious)   It worked,  after a few days the population had diminished considerably but not entirely. I repeated the operation twice a week. We showered every time we went to the coop and changed clothes, changed sheet every night, sprayed the bed and sofas with eucalyptus oil solution which I made, took the duvet out in the sun, washed the floors every day, and even washed the dog. Now, the mites have retreated or died. Also the fact that we had 3 months without any rain did not help. Their population exploded, while the mosquitoes died out for a while. Small respite. Who loves to live in the country

Python full of chckens

One day as I was cooking bread, I just put it in the oven, put the timer on (my phone in my pocket) and went out to feed the fish in the pond and a little weeding. Came back when it struck and saw that the oven had stopped working. No more heat and my bread was half cooked. Despair engulfed me. But, not losing my cool, I tried different settings and realised that it was only the fan forced part that was not functioning, I therefore put it on normal oven. But it took twice as long and our dinner bread was late, very late. Another calamity!

IMG_0231My husband and son, managed to dismantle the the back of it to discover indeed that the fan forced was not working. Another job to attend to. Ordering a spare part through the  internet and another day to fitted in. BRRRR! That day, I went ape. Two weeks later, they had decided to dismantle the oven just as I was ready to put another batch of bread. 10 to 15mns they said…Really I thought, hummmm, I did not believe it. The bread kept on rising and was getting flat. I was really worried, then they could not put it back together. By this stage I was fuming . Take a deep breath, calm down, what other tricks are there not to lose one’s cool? I joined in trying to put it back with them, I lost my cool, frustration started to build up…again stay calm, take a deep breath. Then I realised that they were trying to put the racks the wrong way. That little, or not so little episode made me furious. That was 2 hours later. The bread went in late, very late and a friend of ours who was coming for dinner said the bread was really nice. Really! I was not game to tell him the story. But, still spare part for the oven will be ordered and replaced next week… because in the meantime the washing machine also started to pack up.

Next week, I was assured it will be fixed but not while I was trying to cook another batch of bread. So the saga of the washing machine starts. I discovered that it would not spin. Tried all sorts of knobs and combinations to see what was wrong. Nothing came to mind till I saw that the water was not going anywhere at all. Blockage? yes for sure. Lint trap. I tried to take it out and it would not come. My son and my partner( husband of 40 years by the way)  could not move it also after 24 h of struggling. I rang the service department at Asko. No problems they said, a customer service will ring me in 10 to 15 mns. It has been 6 hours! No service person will come to a country area to see what was the problem and fix it. Us in the country are seriously disadvantaged.

My two men struggled 2 hours this morning and managed to get the lint trap out. Lo and behold! what did they find? Money, yes lots of coins. They had been banked…or should I say banked up in there for the last few years. Happy to have fixed the problem, my son said, Gigi, this is how you laundered all the money hey? $20 in coins, there was also foreign coins…The perfect way to do it my husband said. We all had a laugh and a huge sigh of relief. Now, my son said: ” who is going to get it? ” He put them in a bowl of soapy water and counted the loot. Me, said the big bear, no, me said the little bear, no, said the mama bear, I’ll have it all and shout you all a beer!

trying hard to clean the lint trap.

Deep inside

The loot

In the end one has to laugh at it all. Nothing serious really. We all enjoy good health that is the most important, the rest can be taken care of in due course. Yes, problems happen and they are part of living. As we say around here “compost happens”