Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cattle to Market

Last week some cattle went to market. They were young ones left over from last year, or cows that were not pregnant. There is no place on a farm for a cow that will not produce a calf.
We usually send our cattle to Harvey Beef, previously E.G. Green & Sons at Harvey. As they are having some trouble at the moment we would have had to wait weeks to book cattle in with them. (And we still remember the nervous wait we had when E.G. Green & Sons was liquidated just after we had sent 40 grain-fed yearlings to them a few years ago. We eventually got our money, but it has made us a bit wary.)
So instead, the cattle went to auction at Boyanup.
(Oh, apart from the one that is in our freezer as steaks, roast beef, mince and sausages!)


Domino is our pet calf. He is big and strong and boisterous, which is a contrast to our previous pet calf. Annie was small and fragile, a twin abandoned by her mother. We had to nurse her back to health and the girls would fight over who would feed her.
Not so with Domino. He is shacked up in the sand-pit under the cubby house, for want of better accommodation. When he is let out of his pen the girls make sure they are safely up the ladder in the cubby house, or at least well out of his way. I have a bruise on my lower leg (my calf) from one of his kicks, and he has tried to hyper-extend my elbow by bunting me when I was feeding him.
But Hugh loves to run and play with Domino. He is a calf-wrangler. When Domino sits quietly in the sun after a feed, Hugh will sit next to him and talk to him and stroke his fur. Hugh is not afraid of a little calf like his big sissy sisters are!

A Calf is Born

This is what I could see from my window on Good Friday morning.
I didn't set up a tripod, or venture off the veranda to get a better view, and I didn't stay long enough to see the calf stand or take its first drink. Breakfast and kids howling for cornflakes saw that I didn't linger...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Weekend

We can't go away for Easter, because there are things to do on the farm. The cows are calving, and we have an orphan calf we are feeding, and the feeding routine for sheep and cattle continues.
Roger went to Busselton on Friday night, and took Bonnie with him. They visited Grandma at the nursing home and did some jobs like mowing the grass at the house. On Saturday Matthew met them and they brought him to the farm for the holidays. It is always nice to have Matthew around, even if he hasn't saved enough money for his own motorbike. He is way too big for his little old broken down 70cc bike.
This morning we have had some chocolate eggs, and also some real eggs, boiled. They had been decorated by the girls with food colouring.
We'll be catching up with some friends during the next couple of days, and the girls are scheming to have some friends to sleep over.
I hope everyone has a happy and safe Easter, especially those of you who are travelling on the roads. Take Care!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Movie Star Party

When Sophie turned 11 last month, she hosted eight of her closest superstar friends for a sleep-over, and filming began on the block-buster movie "Rox Ur Sox".
Sophie had spent the previous few weeks designing posters, writing scripts, developing characters and briefing those involved ready for the filming. (No wonder the two school assignments were completed only the night before they were due to be handed in this week!)
All the girls brought fabulous clothes and high-heels to wear, and there was a mountain of stuff taken over to the old house, which was the set for the movie. There were even wigs, big sunglasses and feather boas to complete the outfits.
Unfortunately I don't think the filming was finished, so there will either need to be more filming or a change in the plot before the final edited version is released in a cinema near you.


Bobby with Roger on the motorbike.

Bobby is the new sheep dog we acquired back in March. You might have noticed him jumping over the fence in the previous post.
Roger has had to have patience working with Bobby in the paddock (and sometimes he doesn't have much of that left after getting the kids off to school) but has appreciated his help when working in the sheep yards.
Hugh enjoys having Bobby around, as he missed our old dog, Ash, who had an accident and passed away while we were in France. Luckily Bobby is quite friendly, although he did surprise us by growling at Odette when she was playing with a hoop on the lawn by herself. Then at Sophie's birthday party he growled at a visiting child while others were playing with the hoop. There is something about the hoop that Bobby doesn't like, so we might have to familiarise him with hoops so that he doesn't have a negative reaction to them.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hugh Helping Dad

Last week Hugh's regular Wednesday and Thursday child-care carer was not able to have him. So he stayed home and helped Dad on the farm. They got mobs of ewes in to take out the rams, and transported some rams from Wattle Creek (our other farm about 25kms from home) back to the home farm on the back of the ute.
They also had to feed all the sheep. But not the cows, because Hugh can't go on the old hay tractor (it is too dangerous).

On the lawn

Last time I told you that we often have kangaroos grazing on the lawn. Well yesterday morning it was emus!
Or not...
Yesterday morning was April Fool's Day and Roger's joke which really caught the kids out was to tell them that there was an emu on the lawn. They all ran so excitedly, and some very sleepily, to look out the glass doors at the big bird on the lawn. Which wasn't there - although Hugh still thinks that it was there but he missed it!
I hope you had some fun on April 1st too.