Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mind-body illness

I may have mentioned that I've always felt that my chronic fatigue was initiated by the stress of my mother's death and the events around that. Well my sister Lu put me onto an author Brian Broom who explored mind-body connections in physical illness. As luck would have it he has just published a new book (Meaning-full Disease) which our library got in so I put a hold on that and read it over Christmas. It was very interesting, both in the anecdotes illustrating the central thesis of "somatic illness", and in the broader themes of how our mental state has physical effects and vice versa. By the end of the book it gets quite philosophical too which is interesting, asking questions about human nature etc. ... Anyway ... I decided that it was time that I followed up my gut instinct and tried to do something about treating the 'meaning' behind my fatigue. G.P.s just want to put you on drugs, and in fact every specialisation just deals with their thing but no one seems to be able to propose any 'whole person' strategies. I was thinking that I'd have to try out a few places to find the right person but I thought that I'd look up Dr Broom online - as luck would have it he actually works in Christchurch (for some reason I thought he was in Auckland), working at a place called Arahura Health Centre so once I'm back in Chch for a bit (Canterbury Faire and WebStock coming up), I'll see if I can get an appointment. p.s. My flying lesson is booked for the Saturday between Canterbury Faire and WebStock - so lots of excitement coming up.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

House offer #2

With the general house market dropping and our buyers in Rakaia fading out we've dropped our price by $10,000 and have already scored a new offer. We'll still be walking away with more than we need to finish the house and maybe enough to build the stables too so that's OK. Anyway this new offer is conditional on finance so could still fall through but at least its something. This was a family that we showed through ourselves last week - they drove by and we're peering up the drive so we figure we might as well show them through. There's been a couple like that and in fact we've seen at least as much interest through the Christmas break as before it. We think that its a myth that nothing happens then - after all that's when people have time to go looking. Anyway - fingers crossed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shed woes

Well its official, we're cursed. We (meaning Nick really) have been having a terrible time with the TotalSpan shed that we have had put up. They really messed up the slab big time - not only is it not in line with the fence, but its not square or level. The not being level is a huge problem as it varies by over 25mm and there is no easy way to fix it. If its not fixed it will make the use of the workshop a problem as Nick won't be able to do the work that he wanted to in it like laying out large panels for gates, trailers etc. Other issues include using scratched panels (some marked cover-panel), not putting in screws and support brackets in the required spots and panels that overlap on an angle (probably because of the floor not being level). They are supposedly going to come in and fix those problems - well they had better do because Nick's adamant that we're not paying them a cent until he's satisfied. Its really disappointing as we should have been able to move the workshop in there by now. As it is its taken them weeks to come and look and admit that there's stuff to be fixed and it will probably take weeks to fix.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

If coos could fly

One of Nick's big projects for the holiday break was finishing the gates for the stock yards so that we could drench the cattle and then the two bigger ones are ready to go. This got pretty much done - the gates are on and just awaiting the latches and as fate would have it we got to use it earlier than anticipated.

Yesterday (being Tuesday and Nick and I back at work) when Nick rang to tell me when he'd pick me up he said that he wanted to pop out to West Melton to check that Jack hadn't escaped (which he has done a couple of times) because if he had he'd be without water and it has been quite hot and dry. So we trot out there and yes he had managed to duck under the second electric fence tape and galloped back to have a suck at Mum when we opened the fence up. Nick checked the fence tape and there was practically no charge at all so we began looking for a short.

We'd covered most of the fence line and found nothing - Nick said that it wouldn't be the coos' fence because he'd turned theirs off but I wandered over there as I often do just to say hello and check on them. As I got close I noticed that Ardbeg's head was quite low and he wasn't moving much whereas he's often the most active. As I got closer I saw a glint of something by his ear - but maybe it was water. Suddenly I saw that he had wire wrapped all around his back leg and over a horn. Poor thing looked quite dejected.

I called out to Nick and we quickly prepared the yards - ran a line of tape between the paddock gate and the corner of the yards and Nick began enticing them in with meadow hay. This took quite some time as they're not used to following us. Once in the central paddock we started to push them towards the yards when Riley (sneaky wee thing) slipped under the tape and ran off to the mares - but that was OK as he wasn't the one we really wanted. Finally we got Laphroigh and Ardbeg into the yards. Getting them into the vetting race took a bit longer. Laphroigh went first and this allowed us to drench him. Then we got Ardbeg in. He really panics and the wire can't of been helping. At a couple of times he tried to leap over the gate which was pretty scary and impressive. Finally Nick was able to cut all the bits of wire away and drench him and we could release him back into the paddock.

Anyway, no one got hurt - the wire hadn't cut into him at all and we then found where it had come from and cleared it all up. Also they both have very impressive horns :-)

Actually we had used the yards last weekend for washing Zoe and getting Jack more used to us - he lets us touch him now but he also needs drenching and its about time he got halter-broke I think - it will make him much easier to handle.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Christmas 07

Well Christmas has been and gone and it was a really nice relaxed one. Normally we see Nick's Dad on Christmas eve but this year it was the day before and that was really good. Nick and I were able to spend Christmas eve just the two of us and went out to West Melton with a picnic and had dinner with our fur family. Christmas morning I got up at a reasonable hour and bagelled - I think that we got away from here about 10:30 so we were running pretty much on schedule. I hadn't been to Lu's new flat before which caused a bit of headache finding it, then parking with a trailer on the back as we were providing tables and china as well. In retrospect it would have been easier to have the whole thing here. But next year hopefully. I got some great presents:
  • Easily the top of the list is Nick's present: a training flight with a local flight school. You get to do as much of the actual flying as you want - naturally i want to do it all. More on this later folks.
  • Kate and Abagail gave me a castle shaped cake mold. Very cool - I made Nigella Lawson's orange and chocolate cake in it for Abs' birthday picnic on the 31st Dec and it came out great.
  • Lu gave me/us a translation of a 15th century Portuguese King's equestrian manual which i have had on my Amazon wishlist for some time. I haven't had time to read it yet as I have lots of books out of the library for the break.
  • Dad and Pamela gave me a battery powered milk whisk for making the frothy milk for cappuccinos - I've already used it once and it works great. I'll even be able to take it to Canterbury Faire.
  • And there were other goodies - a bit of chocolate of course, yum yum
  • Oh and someone gave me a cold - the same one that Nick's only just shaking after about 8 weeks. Which means I'll probably still have it at Canterbury Faire.
Anyway its mostly good. I've also decided to start taking one day to work at home a week as soon as possible. Partly because its the only way I get the space to do any proper development / project work done. Too many distractions a work.