Monthly Archives: December 2017

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The signing off of another year

As I sit here, on the last day on 2017, I have a five minute window to reflect on what this year has been about for us.  There have been some great moments, but there have also been some terribly low ones too.  But I guess that we need them to learn from, to grow from and to show us just how great the good times are.

So what were the highlights and lowlights?

  • Mark was diagnosed with PMR (polymyalgia rheumatic) which answered a number of questions but presented us with a long recovery period on high medications
  • We spent 10 days at Apollo Bay over summer thoroughly enjoying ourselves
  • Kids started back to school with Tom entering his final year of primary school.  H starts kinder and this year marks our final year ever at Wydinia Kindergarten: 10 years all up.
  • Bella picks up tap dancing as an extra dance genre.  It is a LOUD activity.In March, we started preliminary discussions with a local architect to renovate and increase the size of our house.  This has been a long time coming and to be honest, I think there is still a long way in front of us.
  • Trevor celebrate 10 years with us and starts making good on taking long service leave (lucky bugger!)
  • Biddy is diagnosed as being unable to digest and absorb a number of carbohydrates and is on track to develop coeliac disease.  This follows on from some surgery she has just prior to Christmas the previous year.  Lots of tests ensued to work out what is the issue.  Biddy was placed on a full FODMAP elimination diet for 8 – 10 weeks and then had to reintroduce foods, one carbo family at a time.  The process is still not complete and has taken about 10 months.  Exhausting for me to work out what she can and can’t eat.  We are still working on diet.
  • Biddy and Tom go on their respective class school camps
  • Tom has increasing fainting spells and dizzy spells culminating in a seizure where his breathing and heart stopped for a bit.  scary stuff.  Tests for cardio and neuro followed but to date, nothing concrete has appeared as to why.
  • Our first ever backpacker has joined our Craiglands team.  Issy Foster, from England, is spent about 4 months with us.  She fit in amazingly well and everyone was very sorry to see her go.
  • We filmed an online advert for Puffing Billy during the first school holidays.  The filming crew obviously loved Bella as she gets quite a bit of the screen time.  You can see the clips HERE and HERE .
  • I started pilates as part of my surgery recovery (from last year) as I was having significant muscular pain.
  • In May, calving started on the farm and from now on, it is busy all the time as one activity rolls into another.
  • Mark is forced to resign from the Bonlac Supply Company board and the Fonterra Farmers Forum (of which he was chair) due to the fact that he voiced his concerns that the company was not looking out for the farmers.  Amazingly, in the months that followed, many of his PMR symptoms regressed and we now realise just how much stress he was under in the role he held off farm.
  • We nominate St Brendans Primary to take part in the “Cows Create Careers” program and give them 2 calves to rear for a few weeks.
  • Henry turned 5
  • Josh Robertson (aka Robbo) completed his Cert III in dairy and graduated at the SW Dairy Awards.
  • Bella turned 7
  • We dehorned calves for the first time using twilight sedation.  A game changer as far as labour management and animal welfare.
  • Biddy’s pony had to be put down due to old age.
  •  Our annual holiday was for 2 weeks to do the Oodnadatta Track in outback SA.  We all loved it, including Cooper the Kinder Bear who came along with us.  A memorable trip and amazing landscape.  Do it.  Put it on your bucket list.
  • Tom turned 12 at Oodnadatta
  • Biddy has a dermatologist appointment for itchy skin and turns out she has a number of skin issues (typical!).  Creams, lotions and potions are dispensed.
  • Sam becomes a mentor in a PhD program
  • We all got the flu over the third school holidays.
  • Bella undertakes her ballet and tap exams and aces the tap exam with a High Distinction!!
  • We start to get some info back on our participation in the Improving Herds project and initial data is great.
  • We use our genetic testing information to mate our heifers and cows based on BPI for the first time ever.
  • Biddy and Bella participate in their dance school’s dance concert with both of them picking up main roles.
  • Buster the rescue cat had to be put down due to kidney failure.
  • the farm hosts 8 dairy women from across Australia, including Sam, to film a segment to encourage Australian women to eat more cheese.  This advert will be aired in early 2018.
  • We welcome Emily into our Craiglands team.  Emily is undertaking a school based apprenticeship through Colac Secondary College.
  • The storm of the century  – the storm to end all storms, the 1 in 100 year event – cancels plans across Victoria including our family Christmas gathering in Gippsland. Only for the weather to be fine and sunny on SW Victoria.
  • Army worm moved in across SW Victoria and decimates pastures.  We spend $$ on getting rid of the bastards.
  • Tunnel moth moves in after army worms.  More $$ to get rid of these.
  • Silage season is great with good cuts both at home farm and at Gellibrand.
  • Robbo breaks his arm riding a bike (on his own time and off farm!).
  • Season turns off quickly after silage season, so a couple of truckloads of vetch hay is needed to get cows through summer.
  • Sophie finishes her Cert III in dairy.
  • Biddy turns double digits – 10 – on Christmas Day.
  • Rex the farm terrier died after an altercation with one of the tractors while Mark was feeding out.

That’s about it in a nutshell.  It was a busy year and on the whole, it went ok.  Looking forward to 2018, I hope that we can get some final plans drawn up for our house and as a family, get to spend more time off the farm together…even just for an afternoon or a night.  Tom starts secondary school which is exciting for everyone.  H starts primary school which is bittersweet, but the girls are looking forward to having him with them more.  H is looking forward to travelling on the bus!  Of course, we hope that some lifestyle changes for us all will result in better overall health, but I suspect that the reduction of stress on Mark will help a lot.  I also hope that next year we don’t loose as many pets, because poor Biddy suffered a bit with loss this year. Next year, with H starting school, I will be starting back on the farm 2 days a week and devoting chunks of time to updating our farm blog, website, Twitter account and Facebook page.  Keep an eye out for all that!

Have a wonderful New Year.


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Does selling drugs online really work?

Category : Uncategorized

I have been involved with a home based business for many years.  in February, I will be 9 years as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator with my Graceful Impressions business.  Over this time, I reckon that the online component has increased substantially – not just for me, but for all other craft demos as well – to the point that if you don’t have an online presence, then basically, you are dead in the water business-wise.

In early 2018, I am about to launch another arm of my craft business; selling heat pressed and sublimated merchandise.  Again, this will require a substantial online presence to make the business work.  It is time consuming to have an online business, even though people believe that if you work form home, you have all the time int he world.  That maybe true for some, but really, the time you put into your business – whether it be a traditional bricks and mortar shop, a dairy farm or an online business – will dictate how successful you are at it.   They all require work.  In fact, I have found that unless firm boundaries are set early on, online businesses can become all consuming.  They take up all your time and focus because let’s face it, these days, we are connected 24/7.  We are online all the time and the temptation to answer emails after hours, or package up orders at night when we should be having down time, or working throughout the weekend is sometimes overpowering.

But even putting in an inordinate amount of time developing, massaging and preening an online business, I have found that it is tough.  Bloody tough.  Sometimes, ridiculously tough.  When I started out, you simply needed a blogsite.  Then you needed to photograph every project and provide instructions or links.  Then successful demos starting offering online classes.  Then the crafting community moved on to doing YouTube clips of them actually making their projects.  And if you weren’t up with all that, you were not even a blip on the average crafters computer screen.

Which leads me to my initial post topic….online drug selling.  Does it really work?  I assume it does, because I imagine that they flood the market with the hope that they pick up a small percentage.  I ask this question because I just deleted 4,500+ comments (to mainly one of my posts on this website) that was related to selling drugs and medications online.  Quite obviously, all the spam people out there have hooked onto that one post (there was really only one other post that attracted any spam and it was minor) and since October, all those comments have flooded in.  Some were about essay writing (but I bet they were about sex), others were blatantly about porn.  But the vast, VAST majority was trying to get me to click on buying Ritalin or prednisone, or endone, or drugs I have never heard of!

Even if most of these comments and emails are computer generated, someone has to code it.  Someone has to set it up.  Knowing the workload to create and maintain online info, there are people out there that are putting in some serious hours.  And knowing the amount of time I put into MY business and the minuscule returns I got for it, I have to wonder at just how much $$ is being made on this illicit market given that they are still going strong.  Very strong.

Now to work out how to turn off comments for that post…….