Archive for March, 2010

Cathy killed the kombi

March 19, 2010

Yes I did, I have to confess, I killed the kombi.  After years of looking down my nose at those foolish folk who run engines out of oil – I have done it myself!  Kim warned me that the kombi used a lot of oil but I expected to see the oil light flash around corners if it was low and I never saw it.  As it turns out that was because the oil light wire had sometime become disconnected, and so my warning light never came on so I never checked the oil so I ran it dry so the poor motor sounds like a bucket of bolts.  😦  Now I am under strict instructions to check that the oil light always come on when I turn the ignition key on, with my vagueness increasing with age I’m not sure how I’ll go, but I’ll try.  This is what happens when the family mechanic gets sick for long periods.  SIGH!  Never mind, we should be able to put the spare motor in it sometime, which will sadly leave my wagon waiting longer but it can’t be helped.  Things could be worse, at least we don’t have a modern Toyota so our cars do stop when we ask them.

I thought I would send you a picture of our potatoes at their best.  We have some Pink Eyes, some Kennebecs and lots of Dutch Creams planted out.  They have been growing pretty well, but the response of the ones planted on the area where we burned up some branches has been amazing compared to the rest and so we think we need to add more lime and fertilizer to the ground next time.

The turkeys have also been growing.  They decided to come and roost up near the house the other night, instead of going to their own house where we can lock them in.  We came outside to find them in and on my greenhouse and up on the caravan as well.  We had fun chasing them all down and herding them back to their turkey house.

Lydia and I particularly liked the one on the caravan’s chimney.

We recently had a wonderful visit from our good friend Betty.  It was great to hear first hand all that she has been involved with in London, and Bett graciously put up with our humble accomodations for almost a week and even helped prepare a new section to move the grower pigs into.

The big pigs are enjoying their large paddock for now.  In the middle of winter it may well be flooded again so it is just as well that they are making the most of it.  I am working on a new shelter for them to share up on the high ground.

After the loss of her incubator reared chicks a couple of months ago Lydia mostly has hen reared chicks growing up this year.  Many of them are fully grown now but we still have some little ones with their mums.  We also have 3 chicks in a box in the house at the moment.  I think that makes 38 new additions to the flock.

Two of this season’s chicks have carved themselves a place in the Milkenunny ecosystem.  They left their mum early to enjoy the the wide open spaces and earned themselves the names of Wild and Wooly.  Their mum then broke back into her dome to be with the other chooks which was amusing.  Wild and Wooly abandoned the civilized world of the gardens and took to the pig paddock where they have made themselves into our pig pest control team.  When the pigs are lazing in the sun these two are usually found racing around and around the pigs or leaping over or on them in their endeavour to catch flies and bugs.  Wooly used to be white as a chick but is now a pale brown colour while Wild is dark grey with an even darker head.

A highlight of this week was a visit from a class of local school children.  They came to the neighbour’s place to see the animals there, watched a sheep being sheared and patted the alpacas and horses.  Then they came over to our place to see the pigs, turkeys and chooks.  It was fun to be invaded by lots of little kids.  Josiah knew three of them.  We were worried at the time that they wouldn’t get to see the turkeys as they had taken themselves walkabout, but Lydia rode her bike down the road and found them and managed to herd them back home.  I’m afraid our turkeys take far too many liberties with the whole free ranging system!  One hen has started sitting again, which was a surprise when we found her on 15 eggs.  A bit late in the season we thought but she is giving it a go so who are we to argue.

There has been some progress with the health problems, although not much  improvement in day to day health yet.  We do have a new doctor to go to in Launceston, which is a great answer to prayer.  Funnily enough he used to work in Gnowangerup!  He is much better at communicating than our previous doctor and is pretty sure that Caleb has Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  We are now working on adapting Caleb’s diet to see how much relief we can bring him to help him manage the problem.  Sam has definitely been found to not have the allergies we thought, but is being tested for Coeliacs and so is back on wheat and milk for the time being.  Kim is not doing well with his CFS at the moment and needs to rest with peace and quiet more, something that is hard to do in a tiny little building like ours.  Lydia is going well and has been working part time at Sheffield Honey farm extracting honey.  She has really enjoyed that but the honey season is coming to an end very soon and so she will have to look elsewhere for more work.  Josiah is going well, although he lost his voice recently after having a cold but he is all better now.  I think that is a good thing.  🙂  I am also going well.

Our little church is feeling depleted again with the family of 7 moving away up north of the state.  We are sorry to see them go and will miss having lots of children around.  However we continue to enjoy serving God in this tiny fellowship and are enjoying spending time with those who remain.

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