Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Storm Season Begins With A Mini Tornado

Well storm season has kicked off with a bang with 3 very hot days (37 - 40 degrees Celsius) followed by storms in the evening.
On Saturday night there was lots of wind, thunder and lightning but very little rain.  Monday night there was lots of everything including rain which was such a blessing. But Sunday night we had a storm with lots of thunder and lightning and a burst of storm activity that I can only describe as a mini tornado.

We had all the doors and windows open and the cool breeze was cooling things down and the rain was pattering on the roof.  But then I heard the wind pick up and I could hear it roaring through the trees that line the creek nearby.  
I started rushing about shutting doors and windows and called for Hubby to come and help (he was already in bed) and within about 30 seconds it hit the house.  The wind was so strong that I could barely pull the door closed against it and as Hubby was closing  one of the windows the wind slammed it on his finger (enter a few choice four letter words at this stage).
The wind slammed against the house for about 3 minutes and then died back down again.  A little while later just as I was going to bed the rain stopped.

The next morning I was astonished to see that our garden shed has been demolished with a few panels in the neighbors place.

The roof off Jessie's kennel had been blown off (we had her inside with us because of the storm thankfully) and it takes the two of us to lift it as it weighs about 40kg.  The tree branches above her kennel had been torn off and flipped over the fence.

The tree at our neighbors gateway lost a huge branch and locked them in.

The main reason that I think it was a mini tornado and not just a wind gust is the randomness of the things that were affected and where some items ended up.
The roof on Jessie's kennel was only 6 meters from the front porch yet the cane furniture on the porch was still there the next day.
The peg bucket from the back yard was found around the corner of the house and almost in the front yard (so at 90 degrees from where it should have been) about 40 meters away.
One of the flower bushes was blown over but the tomatoes that were staked nearby were still standing.
Our shed was blown to bits but the lid on my worm farm right beside the she was still on the worm farm in the morning.
So many random occurrences.

We spent Monday morning gently removing items from what was left of the shed and having a good old throw out before dismantling the shed and taking it to the dump.  I was a good excuse for a clean out and we had it on the cards for the near future but now it has been done.  It was great to get rid of a whole lot of junk and I hope to get rid of a bit more in the weeks to come.

Hubby pulling the shed apart and loading the trailer
My next job is to deal with all the empty garden pots that were stored behind the shed.  We can't take them with us to NZ so I plan on washing them all and giving them away.

Te cleared shed slab

Today we headed out to buy a new shed but I am not sure when it will be assembled.  I know one thing for sure and than is that noting is going back into the shed without first being scrutinized.
Hopefully the heat wave is over for a bit as it is too early in the season to be getting 40 degree days, it's still supposed to be spring for heavens sake!

How's the weather been at your place? 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Classic Car Show Success

For the last 4 years I have been the event director for a classic car show and this years event was held on the 19th of October.
It is a huge job and the committee and I spend most of the year planning and promoting the event an then the day itself starts at 5 am and by the time we clean up it is getting dark so hence thing have been a bit quite on the blogging front.

The car and bike owners, stall holders and viewing public were treated to great music provided by our roving entertainers the Memphis Moovers.

The stall holders all reported that they had a great day with plenty of interest.

This year we expanded the event to include replicas and kit cars and we had a great turn out form the Cobra Club, some drivers travelling from as far away the mid NSW coast, and the GT40 Club where we had 4 of the 7 GT40's in QLD turn up on the day.

We had one man bring along some amazing pedal bikes which you pedal to get going and then they run on the smallest amount of fuel.  Just what we need as we head in to a future of oil descent.

I might have to invest in one of these.  I think it would be the ideal mode of transport for short trips into town.

Overall it was a great day and although vehicle numbers were slightly down on last year we had large numbers of spectators and the ones I spoke to were having a great day out.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Snail Plague Update

Following on from my post the other day about our snail plague the 500+ snails have now been delivered to the wildlife carer who was astounded at the number we had collected.

She ended up paying us $50 for them which we were happy with considering she was taking them all off our hands.  We still have more snails but most of them are just fed to the chickens.

Hopefully we will have less destruction in the garden now that we have less but I suspect there are probably many more hiding in the garden.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Things That Make Me Smile

Over the last week all of my hippeastrums beside the driveway have burst into flower.  The whole patch was planted from bulbs that Hubby picked up from a job where they were being thrown out. Their loss our gain.
Although they only flower once a year they make me smile and add a burst of colour to the drive way.

They even make Jessie smile.  And looking at her made me smile.

Until she got distracted by something much more interesting.

This weekend is the classic car show I am the event director for and things are all on track.  We are praying for fine weather and a good turn out and i will share some photos next week.

What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Farewell Freezer 2 (Finally)

After more than 3 months of waiting today we finally said farewell to Freezer 2. I am not going to go into all the details but in the end we were not able to have her killed at home due to the unprofessional unreliable home butcher.  
This for us was really disappointing as we wanted to have her under as little stress as possible right up until the end.

In the end we sent her off to a family owned abattoir and her carcass will then go to a local family run butcher who will do the processing.

Today I had the job of moving her from our place through the neighbors paddock to their stock yards and loading ramp.
Hubby was at work and I was a bit worried that she would play up or get freaked out at being lured into the yards and then run away leaving me chasing her around the paddock and us both ending up stressed. 
But I needn't have worried.
With a wheelbarrow full of cut grass positioned just inside the pen and some broccoli plants, that refused to do anything other than grow leaves, tucked under my arm Freezer 2 calmly followed me from our place through the neighbours paddock and into the yards.  I then left her there for a few hours with the wheelbarrow of grass and a trough of water.

When the truck finally arrive to pick her up the driver took one look at her and said " Gee she's fat" he then asked me if I wanted a hand to load her.  I said that I would try and get her on myself since she knew me.  I calmly got her into the loading chute and then she just stood there like a stubborn old mule.  I got her moving forward towards the ramp after a bit of pushing and then she got stuck in the gateway between the chute and the ramp.

Yep her great big fat stomach was keeping her from moving easily up the ramp.  So I whacked her on the rump with my hand to try and get her moving but she was just standing there like a stubborn mule again.  I got the cattle truck driver to come and have a look to see if she really was too fat and he told me that she would fit even though it was a bit of a squeeze.  So I went around to her side and got her to move back a few steps and then got her moving forward again this time keeping her moving all the way up the ramp and onto the truck. Whew job done.

I have to say there were a few moments there where I really did think that we were cursed and that this would just be another failed attempt to have her killed.

Once she is killer her carcass will be sent back to the butcher where she will be hung for up to 2 weeks.  The butcher will then cut her up as per our specifications, pack, cryovac and freeze all the portions for us.  
The big benefit of this is that it will last well without getting freezer burn and can go into our freezer and be left there as it is packed.  With home kill meat it would get packed by us and stacked in the freezer unfrozen so we have to keep rotating it while it freezes so it all freezes evenly.

So now we just have to wait and see how much she weighs in at as a carcass. We are guessing at over 300kg but will wait and see.

I will post an update of how we get the meat portioned up and how we deal with such a large quantity in another post.

For now I am just glad this stage is over.