Archive for December, 2012

Not again?

December 29, 2012

Yes again!  We got talked into taking another bobby calf from our neighbourhood dairy farmer.

D'Artagnan&Sam

The calf didn’t want to drink and the farmer didn’t have the time to spend on him what with milking and hay making and all the other jobs he has on at the moment.  So we picked up another day old friesian bull calf, and with a little time and effort managed to get him to drink – from a glove with holes punched in at first, but after the first day he was vigorous enough to go onto the normal bottle.  He is a cheeky and bossy little fellow with no manners at all.  Our previous three calves were premature and we can certainly tell the difference between our experience with them and with this fellow, he is much more “with it” than they were at the same age.  Sam has called him D’Artagnan, the fourth of the three muskateers.

D'Artagnan

In other news our hot water system is up and running.  We do have to remove a couple of trees so that it gets some morning sunshine, but we are managing to have showers from it anyway which is great.

SolarHWS

And we have bought our first implement for the tractor, a crane.

Crane2

December 24, 2012

MerrChristmas

May you have a blessed Christmas and New Year, and amidst all the hustle and bustle remember the coming of Jesus so we may be reconciled to God.
 
from Kim & Cathy, Caleb, Sam, Lydia and Josiah
 
SONY DSC
The Christmas hat is modelled this year by Josiah’s favourite mouse “Silver”.  She found the hat nice and snuggly and didn’t really want to leave it.  🙂

Look!

December 18, 2012
I just had to show you our new purchase.  Now, when I say ‘new’ I am definitely referring to the purchase being new, not what we purchased!  We have bought an old tractor!  I am SOOO excited as I can think of many, many things that we may be able to do with a tractor that are either very labour intensive or just plain impossible without one.  Of course we need implements first, but the tractor itself is a start!
It all came about when I saw an old Fergi 28 advertised cheaply ($1500) in Ulverstone, and suggested to the family that perhaps we could siphon off some of my superannuation money from the solar system to get a little tractor to help shift things around on the block.  Kim decided to ask his friendly mechanic what he knew about old Fergi tractors, which turned out to be quite a lot.  However the mechanic suggested that he contact a friend of his instead who had a bigger and more modern tractor for sale.  Well, we thought it would probably be much more expensive and way out of our price range, but when the mechanic got back to us he said it was $2200, in good condition and a lot more tractor for our money.  So, Kim had to take a look at it after that, and managed to get a fellow from church with farm and tractor experience to go with him to check it out.   It turned out to be even better than expected so, after getting our friend’s opinion and much discussion at home, we decided that we really should buy it.  It is more of a $5000 tractor really, and managing to find another with similar capabilities later on that we could afford would be quite difficult.
Then, of course, the next thing to organise was how to get it home.  It was about 65km away over many ups and downs, taking us an hour and 15 minutes to drive there in our car.  We asked the fellow who delivers our hay how much he would charge to collect it and he estimated it would take him about 4 hours to organise and would cost $300.  That was steeper than we hoped so Kim worked out that he could get a permit to drive it instead, and that was what he did.  Much to the seller’s amazement he jumped in the cab and drove off down the road.
TractorTrip
We were hoping it would do at least 20kph, and wishing it would manage 30kph – and it did 25kph in top gear which was a nice balance.  Of course when we came to steep inclines or slopes then Kim changed to a lower gear and only managed 8kph instead, so it was a slow trip home.  I followed in the car and it took just over 3 and a half hours, but we got home in the end, late last night.
TractorHome
It is a McCormack International A554 (mid 60’s model we think). It has a diesel motor and hydraulic power take off and hydraulic remotes as well as the three point linkage.
Tractor2
 It could do with a clean up and some TLC, but is generally pretty sound, although one tyre is pretty worn.
TractorLesson
Sam, Caleb and myself have just had our first lesson in driving it out on our western lake, which is nice and dry right now.  It is big and rather different, but seems to go nicely.  I imagine it will take a little getting used to being in something so large.  Anyone with tractor advice is welcome to share it with us.  🙂
SamTractor
So, I guess we have a big family present for Christmas this year.  🙂  Blessings to you all.