Last weeks weather and Lupo

Summer in Tasmania can be variable!  Last Monday we woke to a cool morning with fresh snow on the mountains.  Over the day we had rain, nasty gusty winds and finished with the evening being sunny and still.  Quite a variety for one day!  The gusty winds were pretty bad, we had 5 trees or tree portions come down and one last furious gust totally shredded one of our plastic carports and also did some damage to the wood framed carport attached to the shack.  (This now has us making plans for some changes, since we have to pull part of the roof off to do repairs anyway.  We actually lost power for 24 hours as there were lots of trees down on the lines.)  Then yesterday we were all sweltering during church with temperatures around 30°C, and Wednesday is forecast for 37°C which is sure to challenge us.  🙂  You never know what to expect.

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I told my dad a story about our dog, Lupo, a little while ago and he was still chuckling about it the other day when I spoke to him so I thought it might be worth sharing the tale.  Lupo is usually my shadow around the place, she likes to follow me wherever I go, which is mostly nice but occasionally annoying.  One of the highlights of her day has always been the feeding of stock in the morning which is expanded these days because we milk the cow at the same time.  She has always loved to bark a lot during the feeding, to warn us how dangerous the pigs were or to let us know that we should come out of the paddock and back to safety with her.  It was rather frustrating with all the noise, but she really did love to be there with me so I put up with it.
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Every morning Josiah and I milk Twinkles into a stainless steel bucket, then when we are finished I pour all the milk into a plastic bucket with a good fitting lid and pop it on the outside of the fence waiting for me to take it all up to the house for straining and refrigerating.  One of the doggy perks of coming milking was that Lupo gets to lick out the metal bucket once I have poured the milk out.  Just recently we weaned Blaze, Twinkles calf, and started milking twice a day.  Blaze was not at all amused that he could no longer get to his mum, and he was quite agitated for a week or two, pacing up and down the fences and calling out to Twinkles constantly.  Normally I had been turning the whole electric fence off when I went milking, but with Blaze’s behaviour I was concerned that he would try to bust through the poly wire gates that we have, so I made a point of leaving the electric fences on.  Instead I just turned off the one gate that was essential to let me into the paddock myself to do the milking.
Milking
Well, one sunny morning all was going as per normal.  I had just finished milking and popped the buckets over the fence.  Lupo was indulging herself, head deep in the bucket, while I took Twinkle’s halter off and prepared to get some hay.  Suddenly there was a desperate yelp and Lupo hurled herself backwards, landed in a heap, frantically scrabbled up and took off howling, racing flat out towards the house.  Somewhat taken aback, Josiah and I ran after her to see if she was okay, but she wasn’t stopping for anything and I couldn’t possibly keep up!  Josiah raced after her on his bike to check she was okay while I went back to the paddock and realised what had happened.  In her enthusiasm at licking out the bucket, Lupo had slowly moved it, closer and closer, until it hit the bottom wires of the -very- live electric fence.  Poor dog!  Our electric fence gives a good solid hit, and I can only imagine what it must have felt like – zapping her wet tongue and face, ears and all as her head was right in the bucket.  Poor old Loop.  I’m not surprised she took off, but what does surprise me is that she has refused to accompany me for the milking ever since.  I keep expecting the memory of the experience to fade, and her to return to her old enthusiastic routine, but it’s been about 6 weeks and it hasn’t happened yet!
In other news we finally got around to making our own ham again.  We tried a simple recipe and smoked it as well, and actually really liked it.  It came out looking a bit more like corned beef than ham.  I’m not sure if that was because the pig was older or because the meat had been frozen or what, but it tasted good anyway so it didn’t matter to us.  I am looking forward to making more ham when we do our next pig.
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We are also making some changes with vehicles, trying to rationalise what we have.  Just before Christmas we purchased a 2000 Peugeot 206 GTI, deciding we wanted a small economical modern car with more safety features for the kids to drive.  The Peugeot is lovely to drive but it has the misfortune of being black.  🙂  We subsequently sold the Toyota and more than covered the purchase cost of the Peugeot, which worked out rather well for us.  Then last week we sold our old kombi to a young fellow who is going to restore it, which is something we were never managing to find the time for.  It was a bit of a wrench to sell the kombi, as the prices of them are going up and up all the time as they become older and rarer, so we may not be able to have one ever again.  However we wanted to be sensible and we just do not have the time or the facilities to restore old cars and keep them under cover so that they will last.  Our hope now is to find a VW T3 Caravelle to replace the kombi.  Once that is done we will be considering whether or not we want to sell the old VW Wagon too.  There are no plans to sell the beetle though!  Kim is most adamant about that!!!
Peugeot
We haven’t had a lot of visitors this summer, but did have one couple visit when Lindon and Debbie came and bravely stayed overnight with us.  We worked out that we hadn’t seen Lindon for about 15 years!  It was really great to catch up with them both but they had to leave all too soon – though not before they showed Lydia how to improve her trimming of her horses hooves, which was greatly appreciated.  Thanks guys – come back again sometime!
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