Tag Archives: dairy farm

bike road trip – day 2

Route: Dairy Plains to Kingston (Middleton) via Oatlands (small detour off highway).

Weather: wet wet and more wet with wind thrown in for good measure.

Distance and time: 300km and 4.5hrs – leaving 11am arriving home 3.30om.

Stops: Oatlands for lunch, 1 hr.

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Day two started ominously, with rain and a temperature that would be more inducive to log fires, movies and not going out on motorcycle. But we had to leave and it was what it was.
The evening before my brother in law and hubby took the bike out for a spin and hubby returned with an interesting comment. He said he now has a new respect for me as a pillion and I do well to hang on and handle the way he corners. He has never been a pillion before so it was good for him to see what it’s like. He has said he likes how I ride, as he often has to touch my leg to make sure I’m still there. 😉

Before we left, we checked out their dairy and all the cows. Donning my waterproof bike pants, boots and a hi-vis jacket (all jackets used were hi-vis) and off we went to feed the bobbies. The baby boy calves that are good for a about 5 days before the truck comes to take them off to slaughter. Veal being the result. Because the calves are taken straight from their parents mother we have to teach them how to feed. This means man handling them a bit. Straddling them, dipping hands into the hot milk in the feeder, putting your fingers into their mouths and hoping they start sucking to them get them on the teat at the feeder. Some of them are stubborn buggers and took a bit to get going, others were quite easy going. And, as silly little boys do, there was pushing and shoving along the way.
There was one sick calf, and as is the way on a farm, and especially in business, it had to be put down. Not a nice sight, but such is the circle of life.

Another coffee at the house and sorting our gear, putting everything into plastic bags for added protection we got ready to head home.
Just before 11 we suited up, hubby started the bike and with an extra pair of gloves on I climbed aboard.
What can I say. It was cold and wet, and the highway was busy.
I was warm enough for the first hour and then the gloves become over saturated with water (better than mine, but not totally waterproof), my bum was becoming increasingly numb. I couldn’t move without it hurting and I was getting cold. Hubby was intent on getting back to Hobart as quickly as possible, and so was I but there is only so much I can take before something gives.
By the time Oatlands was coming into view I was a wreck and made very pointed gestures that i wanted to pull over and NOW. Once we stopped. I actually couldn’t get off. It took a bit and I tried stripping things off as quickly as in could in between tears of frustration and sinking into the bench outside the public loos.
Hubby found the bakery and I was not getting back on the bike so I walked down the street.
We were going to eat outside under the verandah but after needing to go inside to order, we snavelled a table by the fire and put out gloves to warm and dry a little. Thawing out quite nicely we took an hour for lunch then back out into the cold. The weather had not let up at all.

The rest of the trip was a blur of cars, rain and the spray from passing trucks headed the other way.
Into Hobart and out the other side to collect my car. I have never been so happy to see my car. As it was still raining I had to strip pants and boots off in the car, (just a bit awkward) then remembered my other shoes were in the boot so I drove home in socks with the heater at a cosy 24C.

More hot drinks and hogging of the heater to warm up while my boys cooked dinner.
I enjoy going away and I love coming home, but I’ve not loved coming home so much as I did this time. I may grumble about it but I did enjoy the ride, the trip and what we did.
Next time we do a trip with weather remotely like this the bike will have a gel seat (designed for comfort and long trips) and we will both be in full winter/waterproof bike gear.

Jen 🙂

Pictures, apps and social media….

Fun
Interesting
Productive
Informative
Social?!
Waste of time
Confusing

All of the above.
Absolutely.

It got me thinking as I played with another photo app to make cool cartoon pictures (damn you Metan!) which then brought this rather funny Nickelback parody to mind. Is this what we’ve been reduced to??

As you all on know, I like to take pictures. I don’t alter them, no photoshopping happens here. If I like a picture, it’s because it’s good as I took it. Any one can take a crap picture and play around and make it good. If I do feel the need to alter something – or use filters and apps – it’s for a bit of fun, to change things around a it. Not because that’s how I roll.
Back to this new app. Toon camera. Very cool.
I’ve had a play around and found a few pics that work well. I was going to show a before and after but I don’t think I will. And thanks to Hook who said he wanted more pictures, I will indulge and go nuts.
Lets start with this lot. I found that some pictures lent themselves better to being cartooned hat others. Boats I particular.

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Long weekend on the Dairy Farm…

Saturday morning arrived all too quickly and I got the kids up too early, then ran out of milk when I really needed that extra coffee hit.  But we survived.

I packed the car, pretty good at that after all the trips we’ve been on, and we set out.  It was cold, wet and windy and I was getting wired.   By the time we stopped at Kingston for a couple of errands and I was able to get my coffee, I was feeling well overdressed with jacket and scarf.

Next came the airport (for 12.45) and a quick stop at Macca’s before we finally  got on the road properly at 2pm.

Bored in the car - taking silly pictures of the kids.

Having the eldest in the front seat due to his broken foot meant the other half had to suffer the back seat – neither of us are good with that – so we pulled up at Campbell Town for a leg stretch and a driver swap.

‘A long drive’ I wrote on my FB wall – we’re definately back into being Tasmanian and ‘scared’ of the distances.  Funny after being in western Qld where 500kms gets you practically no-where.  But as we have some of the best driving roads you’ll find anywhere, it was a good trip, even if it felt twice as long, arriving in the dark and cold.

Sunday morning I am rudely awoken at 4.30 am so the two dads can head out for  the morning milking.   After few hours later I am woken again by the noises of small children to find it’s only 7am.  Argh, so tired.

At 9.30 we head out to the calving shed to watch the new calves being fed while in the other shed the cows are being milked.  I have now seen pretty well everything!  A trailer with a row of teats round the edge like lights.  The calves had already used this and were inside the shed.  The kids climbed the fence to pat them and I wandered around snapping pictures.

Checking out the calves.

Post Milking Parade

All is good on a dairy farm until you open the window or door and then – phew, peg on nose stink! – it really hits you hard, and for those with a weak stomach, the throat would constrict somewhat.  And the whole lot permeates the house – not a ‘whole place smells like cow sh*t’ but just a faint ‘perfume’ of something.  And it stains clothes.

There is something to be said about new life, the calves running around with their legs going all directions and their tails flipping around, silly looks on their cute faces.  But don’t get in the way when they are feeding.  It’s like feeding time at the zoo.  I got to see the ‘porta-teat’ as  my husband called it in action.  What a weapon, 45 calves all jostling for position and then nibbling on their neighbours snout when they want to steal that particular teat…

Porta-a-teat.

Porta-a-teat in use.

A change of pace after lunch as we head out to clear the orchard of the cut limbs and mow the lawn.  I must have looked a sight with bucket hat nad hot pink gumboots!  I also should have left my flannel on as I now have scratches all up my arms and they stung in the shower – ouchy.  But it felt good to get out and do somework, and it looks so good now.   Kyle, my second eldest,  got on the four wheeler and was dragging the larger branches away – loving it. You should have seen his smile 🙂 Broad that it was.  And a very smiley husband and his dream machine!

The 'heavy weights' helping us girls remove the rubbish.

My man and his dream machine 🙂

That night was ‘birthday dinner’ as hubby and I have both had our birthdays and our eldest is having his while we are visiting.  So a roast lamb and  chook wiht all the veg and a 3-layer cake was one the menu.

OMG! That was some birthday cake.  Mainly for my hubby, he did turn 40 after all.  A fantastic 3 mud cakes with choc slices on the sides and dug out to look like an open cut mine complete with diggers.  Golly it tasted fantastic, and I managed to eat all my piece too.  (No wonder I put weigh on this week, I joked that we would have to walk to burnie the next day to work it off, lol)

The mining mother of all birthday cakes.

Monday morning and my lovely sister looked after all the kids while hubby and I took a drive to Burnie, an hour away.  He had an appointment so we made use of the opportunity for ‘date day’.  I wandered round checking out the shops, before we found a small cafe on the Esplanade and had fish and chips for lunch, that came in a paper cone!  Not bad, even if my hubby was thinking on Perth time (two hours behind, lol).

Tuesday, the men are still smelling like you wouldn’t believe, it is not appealing or sexy at all, I don’t like beer breath, but cow smell on clothes is worse.
My sister and I pottered around and did a few gardening jobs, moved some of the woodpile, then after lunch we took a drive (with 3 kids smelling and looking pretty icky after being at the calf shed) over to Stanley, a half hour drive away.  This palce is beautiful, a small town at the base of a large land mass called The Nut.  A great touristy town, and the nut has spectacular views from the top.  We didn’t do it this time, but I did walk up and down while I was quite pregnant 8 years ago.  Couldn’t face the chair lift, my vertigo had kicked in, and walking felt like the better option.

Street-scape in StanleyThe 'Nut'. not the best picture as the weather had come in by the time we left to go home.

The 'Nut'. not the best picture as the weather had come in by the time we left to go home.

The purpose of this visit was so my sister could buy my son a piece of cake for his birthday!  We filled the quantest little cafe and took over 3 table between us.  2 adults and 6 kids, a pram and a set of cructhces with a plaster leg to get in the way….  the coffee was good and the lady didn’t batt an eyelid at all the scruffy kids and gumboots outside the door.

Wednesday morning and it’s time to go home.  I love visiting but going home is good.

My bed.  My shower.  My house.  Comfortable 🙂

Although I now have full baskets clogging up my laundry – tomorrow’s job I spose.  Gotta be done.

So my little sojourn to the ‘country’ is over for a few months at least.  It’s now back to school and the usual grind.

Til next time, keep smiling 🙂

Ciao, Jennifer

Break away

I am taking a short break from the packing – of small bags, but plenty of them – for our little break away.  After picking up hubby from the airport tomorrow at lunch time we are heading north-west to visit my sister and her family on the dairy farm they work, at Smithton.  The trip will be a little more awkward than normal given my eldest son has a broken foot and will be occupying th front seat (for leg room) while hubby is relegated to the back seat (will be snoozing at some stage) with the other two boys.

Although not a long trip kilometre wise – compared to what we have been used to in Queensland – it will still a few hours as the roads are not quite 4 lane highways and have a lot more twists and turns.

 

At the moment on the farm the cows are calving so there may well be some early or very late ventures out into the paddocks to see how they are faring.  It’s been years since I’ve seen new-born calves and I have to admit I am kind of excited, they are very cute.  But like most babies, look at what they grow up into.. lol.

 

The bags being packed are quite different to what we have been used to packing – no shorts and thongs and swimmers.  Instead, we are looking at woollies, gumboots and rain coats.  Makes for a nice change, and I am really loving the weather.  It may be cold and miserable at times, but this is Tassie and it comes with the territory.  Summer is perfect, at mid to late 20’sC and winter is just as good, from low up to about 12-13C, windy, wet and grey.

 

We will be gone for nearly a week and I’m sure there will be a story or two to tell when we get back.  Must pack the camera!  And from what I’ve been told, a few cakes aswell – since we’ve been back hubby nd I have had our birthdays, and the eldest is due this week…

 

Til next time, keep smiling 🙂

Ciao, Jennifer