Archive for November, 2015

Early Christmas Present?

November 22, 2015

Lydia has been wanting us to consider getting a German Shepherd pup as old Lupo is not going to be around for a whole lot longer, so as a family we decided that we would keep an eye out for a young pup at a reasonable price.  Yesterday Lyd saw a pup advertised quite close in Launceston and we went to have a look.  Of course puppies are adorable and we came home with a new 7 week old bundle that we have called Okami (pronounced O – car – me) which is the Japanese word for wolf.  With Caleb and Josiah and the others learning Japanese it seemed appropriate.   We were learning German when we got Lupo, and – due to some confusion over Volkswagen having a car called a Lupo – we used to think that Lupo was the German word for wolf.  However we now stand corrected and know it is actually the Italian/Latin word for wolf.  The German word for wolf is, in fact, wolf!

Puppy
Lupo has never liked other dogs at all and we figured that the only way she would accept another one was if we got it very young.
Lupo

Lupo

She has been pretty good with the pup so far, she knows we want her to treat it gently and nicely and she is doing her best.  She has given just a couple of warning growls to the pup and mostly just tries to keep out of her way.  Hopefully Okami will learn not to terrorise Lupo and Lupo will be patient and get more friendly as time goes on.  We will just have to wait and see.  We are making sure Lupo is getting plenty of attention and has lots of “personal space” time too.
PuppyAndLupo
PuppyAndLupo (1)
Lydia had Okami sleeping on the floor at the end of her bed last night and that seemed to work okay.  She woke up about dawn, but then Lyd usually has to get up at that time anyway to go to work.
Okami was very quiet and seemed a bit nervous this morning, but after some breakfast and another good sleep she got energetic and started to play.
Puppy4
We have been getting her to chase a ball around and she loves that, and has been happily getting to know us all.
Puppy2
Josiah is playing with her on the lounge room floor as I am writing this, he seems to really like her as does everyone else.  She still needs lots of sleep breaks as she is so young, and that is nice too.  🙂
Puppy1
Everyone seems happy with our early Christmas present!
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Howdy from the Howes

November 18, 2015
Just thought I would share a few photos about things we are up to at the moment.
Firstly, Kim enjoyed participating in his first photographic exhibition with the local club.  It was great to see a bunch of his photos printed out nice and large, along with the other people’s photos too.
Mole Creek Photography Exhibition

Mole Creek Photography Exhibition

He continues to enjoy getting out and taking pictures of all sorts of things.  He took this one of the tulips in Paul’s garden.
Tulips

Tulips

And saw this echidna on our block one morning.
Echidna (Tachyglossus Aculeatus)

Echidna (Tachyglossus Aculeatus)

We have a good crop of tomatoes coming up this year.  We now plant seedlings in our cages under a cloth grow tunnel to protect them from the frosts in October and early November.  Then they seem to be better established when the warmer weather kicks in and they take off nicely.  Of course they enjoy the compost and chook manure that we have in the cages too, and the netting probably keeps them all a bit warmer as well.
Gardens

Gardens

We decided to let a couple of hens raise some chicks again this year.  This is one of our old Wyandottes who is a very good mum.  I do love watching hens with their chicks as they scratch for food.  The chicks are so responsive when the hen clucks for them.  While most of our chooks free range during the day, we keep the hens with chicks in the area between our pigeon run and the garden cages.  It is covered with bird netting to hopefully keep out birds of prey.  One of our turkey hens is nesting in there too, and just today I saw a poult had hatched!  I love the poults, but they do not survive as well as chicks.  Sadly our gobbler was attacked last week, presumably by a quoll.  He survived the attack, but we had to put him down as he was not eating or drinking.
"Pea" with her chicks

“Pea” with her chicks

We bought ourselves a new wood stove this week.  It is a 90s model Rayburn, in much better condition than the 45+ year old Everhot that we pieced together out of two stoves some years back.  We had some problems with the Everhot this year and decided we would keep our eyes out for a replacement.  Kim finally found this one in Hobart.  The hot water system in it is 4.7kW, almost twice the heat of our old one, and it has enough power to run some radiators as well as heat water.  We also like the flue going straight up instead of out the back.  The colour even matches my kitchen benches!  Kim is going with a friend to collect it this Friday, and it will be quite a job to remove it from the house it is in, down some steps and onto a trailer before the 4 hour drive home!
Rayburn
However that job pales into insignificance compared with the task of bringing home our bus!  It is an 8 tonne electric bus that has been used for camping for many years and is in a paddock just around the corner from us.  We have been given it for free and were hoping we could just tow it home, but it turns out that one of the wheels will not move so we are now looking at having to get it onto a truck somehow and carried home.  Our plan is to renovate it, hopefully partly as a schooling project with Josiah, and to cut the front off and attach it to the back of our shack as a couple of extra rooms.  It is 10m long and in better condition than it appears from the photo.  🙂
Old Buses

Old Buses

We are expecting the lime spreaders to come this week or next to put lime on our middle paddock.  That will help the grass to grow well after we get the paddock all ploughed up.
We also found a lovely new home for Zorro, Lydia’s ex pacer, who was wasting away in the paddock.  He is still here at the moment, as his new owners need to get their fences sorted out before he moves.  He is actually not going very far, just over the hill in fact, but I am sure he will enjoy being somewhere where he gets a bit more attention.  Lydia’s pony will miss him no doubt, but she will still have my cow for company.
Josiah has started playing futsal (a sort of indoor soccer) recently and enjoys it a lot.  It means even more driving each week as the games are played in Ulverstone, a one hours drive from here, but I think it is worth it for him to be involved in a team sport.  Caleb and Sam both played futsal when they were healthier, and they loved it too.
Well, I think that is enough news from me for now!  Take care.