Archive for the ‘Cars’ Category

Dog shows, cafes and cars

July 31, 2019
I have been asked a couple of times how the new pup, Haru, is going at the dogs shows.  Well, if you consider results to be the main focus she is not doing so well as she hasn’t managed to win yet.  In the two shows she has been to, the same pup from Hobart beat her both times.  That is the winning pup on the table in the photo below.
However if you are considering how well she behaves in the show ring she is being absolutely wonderful.  She is keeping very focussed on Lydia and she trots along really nicely. (You can tell how cold it was by how Lydia is dressed!)
She is not quite so good yet at standing properly on the table (they call it stacking), but is happy for the judge to look in her mouth and ears etc, so all in all she is making a good start.  Willow hasn’t been to the latest shows as she came on heat, but she will be going to the next show at the end of August.  We are also looking forward to the Welsh Corgi specialty show in Hobart, but that is not until October.
Our big excitement of the moment is that Josiah has landed a job!  He is in training working 10am – 2pm four days a week at a cafe/lunch bar in Railton which is 30 minutes from home.  He is helping to prepare meals and doing counter sales and cleaning etc.  So far it seems to be working out well, I guess time will tell if he can work fast enough and efficiently enough to get to stay there long term.  So it is back to lots of driving again for Kim and myself but it is good being not too far away, and Josiah is getting driving practice on the way home too.  He is still on his L1s at the moment so it will be a while before he gets his licence but this is good motivation for him to work hard at that.
I have been struck down with a rotten cold since Sunday, but am finally picking up.  It is now Kim’s turn to get it and he has started to cough and splutter today.  We are trying our best not to pass it on to the workers!  Lydia has had a few days off as work is not busy at the moment, and she has volunteered to take Jo to and from work so he is not breathing our contaminated air.  🙂
Kim took off to Sydney the other week to collect yet another car, a better Citroen Xantia, to replace his old one that is getting pretty worn out.  He timed it so he could go to a meeting of Apple II / Retro Computing enthusiasts while he was there, and also dropped in to visit a lovely pastor friend on the way down to catch the boat home.
He got to try out the Seetroen glasses again while sailing home and says that he never felt the slightest bit of motion sickness in spite of it being a fairly rocky trip.  It seems like they were well worth the money and effort to obtain, and will no doubt come in useful on our trip to the UK which is timed for next March.
Anyway, that is enough for now.  Best wishes to you all.

Winter News

June 23, 2018

It has been 2 months since I last emailed, so I assume we should have some more news to share.  🙂   We have been doing more upgrades on the manor where our eldest two boys sleep.  Firstly we used our new platform arrangement on the tractor to put the flue up for the replacement wood heater that we installed.  Those flues go really high!

ManorWoodfire copy

Then we put in some second hand floating flooring which I had found on Gumtree. It looks quite nice and should be tougher than the yellow tongue flooring we put in earlier. Also, since it has underlay underneath which should help to insulate the building as well.

MoreManorUpgrades2

We still have to do the area under the beds, but apparently we took too much power out of the manor’s batteries using the power saw so we will have to wait a bit before finishing the job. Everyone came up to admire the progress though. 🙂

MoreManorUpgrades

I also did some more experimenting with cheese making while Twinkles was giving us 5L a day. (She is down to 3L a day now, so the cheesemaking has come to a halt again.) The red waxed one is a parmesan, but the other two were made using a fairly basic recipe from my favourite house cow book. I even made my own culture from Kim’s favourite cheese, and I think the flavour was better as a result.

Home made cheeses

After that Kim and I took off for two weeks away in sunny Perth. The timing was organised so that we could attend my nephew’s wedding. It was a lovely wedding held in a beautiful garden in Swan Valley, and the weather was perfect too.

Wedding

We had a lot of precious family time while we were there, especially with my parents and both of my sisters. My uncle also had his 80th birthday celebration while we were there and so we got to catch up with a lot of my extended family as well, with some folk coming from as far away as New Zealand.

Trevor Banyard's 80th Birthday

Kim tried to reconnect with his father’s side of the family as well, but he had no success. It looks like it might take a bit more chasing around to find any other Howe’s. However he did catch up with one school friend (when did they get so grey haired???) …

Kim with Robert Keller

… and got to go out and take some photos with another good friend who shares his passion for bird photography.

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

We were blessed to find the time to have a quick peek at the progress our good friends have made on their straw bale house. They are doing a truly amazing job!

StrawbaleProgress

And we shared a meal and good conversation with some other good friends. Sadly we didn’t get to travel down to Albany this time, but the focus of the visit was my immediate family and we got a lot of lovely time with them.

CookingTogether

When we got back home Kim took the bus down to Hobart to look at an automatic car for Lydia. Lydia only drives automatics and unfortunately the one that we have keeps having minor problems which mean she cannot take her driving test in it, so we decided a second one might be a good idea. After looking at the car Kim decided that it needed more work done than he really wanted to do so he said he would not buy it. However it turned out that the guy selling it was pretty desperate to get the sale and the long and the short of it was that he talked Kim into buying it at a good enough price that it was worth doing the work on it. They got the paperwork done and Kim filled the car up ready to drive home, then he jumped in and turned the key and the car went “click” and just would not go! A few hours later the RACT gave up trying to get it going too, and they hired Kim a car to drive home in and organised to tow the new car up the following week. We really got our money’s worth on the ultimate roadside assistance this year! On the way home in the hire car Kim stopped by and took a night shot of Richmond Bridge.

BridgeAtNight

Since then Kim has replaced the starter motor and the car is now going again. It is a 2007 V6 3L Citroen C5, which makes it our most up to date car yet. The other required parts, a steering tie rod end and timing belt kit, arrived this week so now the work can be done. Kim is not looking forward to doing the timing belt as it requires special tools and is rather complicated, so he plans to do it with the help of his Citroen mechanic friend who now conveniently lives just over the mountain and has a nice new cement floored shed with a hoist! We are looking forward to having this car on the road as it has lots of safety equipment, plenty of power and headlights that turn with the steering. The headlights are really brilliant for driving through the twisty mountain pass in the dark, which Lydia has to do twice a day at this time of year.

BlackC5

The last car we bought was also a Citroen. We very much like the hydraulic suspension. We were buying it as a spare parts car for Kim’s Xantia as it was so cheap ($350), but in the end we decided it was too good for that so we fitted it with a new set of suspension spheres and it is now a daily driver for us. I really like it!

WhiteXantia

The major activity for this last week was turning Twinkle’s last calf, now a 14 month old bull, into beef in the freezer. It is always an ‘all hands on deck’ job despite our local dairy farmer doing the slaughtering, dressing and butchering. He is trying to get us more involved in the process these days so that he can go home earlier. As a result we ended up cutting a lot of the steaks ourselves and did all the mincing with our own machine as well. Then there are the fatty offcuts to trim dog food from, the bones to select for dogs, soup bones or burying, the fat to turn into tallow and everything to clean up after the work is done. It generally takes us a few days before everything is sorted. We filled our freezer as well as Paul’s after putting everything into meal sized portions. It is delicious to have some cuts of meat, like eye fillet, that we would never normally buy for ourselves. We got about $2,500 worth of meat at supermarket prices this time so it makes rearing the calf, which is really just a byproduct of having a milking cow, feel worth the effort. If we had more pasture and didn’t have to buy so much hay it would be even more profitable.

BeefInFreezer

We have given up on doing more to micro hydro for now until the warmer weather arrives.  Kim has heaps of mechanical work to do which is taking priority, and it is often just too cold to work outside for more than a few hours each day at this time of year.  The heated workshop that Kim has planned will definitely come in handy when we get it done!  Maybe next year?

Well, that is all the news I can think of at the moment.  Wishing you all the best.

New Year Happenings

January 5, 2018

Hello and welcome to the new year!

Kim’s brother Paul gave us a scare when he rolled his car one morning in the Gog Pass, between our place and Sheffield.  It was just one of those errors in judgement of speed when coming suddenly upon a wet and slippery part of the road with gravel on it at a particularly nasty set of bends.  He fishtailed for a bit, almost had it under control but then had to take another sharp bend which was just too much, whereupon he went up the bank, slid along it for a way and then slowly rolled all the way over, somehow managing to miss all the trees.  The car is a write off but thankfully Paul walked away with just a scratch, for which we are all thanking God.
Rolled Audi
The car was towed back here to be added to our personal wrecking yard which is hidden away up in the bush.  We then decided that we needed to make this dead car area a bit more useful, so spent a few days removing some of the smaller trees and running the grader blade around to clear some good paths and parking areas, then we moved all the cars into accessible spots. (Tractors are wonderful things!)  The result is quite good, and has made for a wrecking yard that will be far more useful for Kim.  We do use parts from the old cars so it is good to have it done.
Wrecking Yard
Lydia’s pony Silk has been a cause for concern too, as she suddenly became lame with the onset of laminitis.  Ponies are commonly susceptible to laminitis from good feed, but Silk had never shown any signs of problems before.  We have been steadily working on improving our paddocks, so I guess they finally have reached a stage where the spring growth can cause her some issues.  It has meant that we have had to isolate her in a “starvation” pen, where all she is allowed to eat is hay that has been soaked in water to remove a lot of the sugars from it.  She is not overly impressed with her new diet, but is steadily improving which is the main thing.
Silk in Pen
Meanwhile the vegetable gardens are coming along with the promise of a good harvest of peas, cabbage, lettuce, celery, beetroot, carrots, onions, tomatoes, cucumber and corn.
VeggieGarden3
VeggieGarden2
I even risked trying a quick growing melon this year.  Now if it can all just ripen before the first frost of the new year….  One has to be very patient with vegetable gardening in Mole Creek!
VeggieGarden1
We have been doing well with raspberries this year.  Locking the chooks out early was the trick I think, plus lots of water.
Raspberries
We have a friend from church who had a lot of gear and urgently needed a place to store it, so we suggested he could put a plastic carport up and keep it here.  If nothing else we do have space!  All the gear arrived last week on the back of a truck and we spent the next morning shifting it all into place with the tractor and setting up the carport over the top.  Hopefully we have selected a nice sheltered place so that the carport will last.  Wind storms will be the challenge, but we have used these carports quite a bit and have some spare parts available if anything does go wrong.  I dream of large sheds and lots of undercover areas.  🙂
JDs Carport
I extended the ramp up to the main building yesterday, to make the slope less severe for Lupo, the old dog.  We put carpet on it too which seems to have made it a lot better for her wobbly old legs.  I have to admit it has made it a lot easier for my old legs too!
Ramp
The kids are looking forward to seeing some friends who will be holidaying nearby soon.  We have loaned them our little Peugeot for their visit (and are missing it’s lovely air conditioner).  🙂  However Lydia has organised a couple of weeks off so we shouldn’t need to be driving so much for the time being.
I was wondering if anyone could help me to identify a couple of plants in our yard?  The first one is a bush which can reach a height of about 2m.  It has stalk with segments which are hollow like bamboo
Bamboo Type Plant
and it has pretty dangly flowers.  It seems to be spreading slowly around the yard, which is quite nice.
Bamboo Flowers
The second plant I only discovered this year in a bit of a hidden area.  It is also quite pleasant so I wouldn’t mind encouraging it to spread a bit more.
Yellow Flowers
Well, that is all for now.  Best wishes to you for the New Year.
Cathy