Saturday, 18 October 2014

Shearing time

It that time of year to shear the alpaca's again and this year there are three of them :)

This will be Minky's first experience of being secured by the legs whilst lying prone on the floor, and I have a feeling that he is temporarily going to forget that RMan is his best buddy.

The other day I caught him pruning one of the two black wattles which provide shade in their paddock.

It started out quite innocently with a casual nibble here, and a nibble there... 
Minky and Miranda have pruned this black wattle
over the past few months
 ... and then he got more involved...
Now the leaves are starting to just
be out of Minky's reach
Until he got to the point that he just can't help himself.  He had to get whatever leaves he could reach...
Ha!!  Clever boy.  I didn't know that
alpaca's could balance on two feet :)
I guess it's a case of whatever works
to enable an alpaca to eat leaves
that are growing above head height...
There's no problem with him eating the leaves / stripping the lower branches. At least the upper branches will ensure that they still have some shade in the paddock.

Minky is now 7½ months old, and his days with his mum are slowly becoming limited.  Much to RMan's dismay, it is getting close to the time that he moves into the male paddock.  Once he's there RMan won't be able to see him from the front porch - or from our bedroom window.

He is a typical scruffy, sand playing, mud rolling mischievous little boy.

The owners at Helderstroom Alpaca's have very kindly offered to travel to us in order to shear our alpacas.  That means that thankfully, we will not have to try and source a horsebox this year - three inside would definitely be a crowd!! (Am I the only one who finds it strange that it's "a horsebox", not "an horsebox" LOL - I mean it's not a hotel, but an hotel).
A good brush and a summer haircut will do him
the world of good :)
Getting this coat sorted out before Wednesday when the shearer from Helderstroom Alpaca's arrives is going to be one heck of a chore for Minky's best buddy... ;)

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Did you know...

... - some of them (e.g. potato vs banana for potassium content) I didn't :)

Also, I'd like to welcome the following new readers:

Geoff Green - I can't see a blog for Geoff - if I'm mistaken Geoff won't you please let me know and I'll update this
Mariska Spoormaker - again, I can't see a blog for Mariska - if I'm mistaken Mariska won't you please let me know and I'll update this
Gail Harris - again, I can't see a blog for Gail - if I'm mistaken Gail won't you please let me know and I'll update this
Sandra - again, I can't see a blog for Sandra - if I'm mistaken Sandra won't you please let me know and I'll update this

Thanks for hitting the followers button - I'm honoured :)

Saturday, 11 October 2014


I take note of synchronicity.  And I especially take note of synchronicity when it involves health.  And / or safety.

Being 1/2 an hour out of town, and living in an area where there is limited emergency treatment available, I believe in being prepared - for any medical emergency.  That means I have most necessary items on hand - for any unforeseen accidents around the home, or sudden ailments such as vomiting, diarrhoea, eye infections, etc.  I did a CPR course many, many years ago when our children were small and we installed a pool in our garden, and that kind of knowledge you don't forget easily.

I think I wanted to be a nurse when I was a teenager, but nothing came of that. But, unlike RMan, I am not queasy at the sight of blood (how can any mother be LOL?)  So, medical preparedness has always been left up to me.

Back to synchronicity...

My first indication was when I read 1st Man's posting on the 15 September 2014.

I replied to 1st Man's post with the following comment:

"Cool box :)

I'm embarrassed to confess I have an entire medicine cupboard in our bathroom. Medicines, tablets, ointments, suntan lotions, antiseptic - you name, it's in my cupboard.

To hide it, I've used a decorative cupboard. You wouldn't know what it contains unless you snoop and open the drawer / doors. Being so far out of town having a comprehensive medical supply is important."
The health and safety questionnaire my grandson composed
The second synchronistic moment was when my 11-year-old grandson, Mike, sent RMan and I an e-mail on the 21st September (exactly a week later) asking us to complete a questionnaire he had devised for a school project.

Both were to do with health and safety in the home.


And safety.

I was suddenly brought up short when I realised that I wasn't being terribly careful - especially as far as my granddaughter, HJG, is concerned.  Being 10 months old, she started crawling a couple of months ago, and, from the looks of her, walking is not far off.
The drawer, although not easy to pull
open, was full of potentially toxic tablets
and medicines.  As we are GP has given
me a broad spectrum antibiotic script
- for emergency situations only
My unlocked (and unlockable) bathroom cupboard full of medicines was not secure enough!  And the drawer full of tablets was an accident waiting to happen.

My only excuse is that I haven't been around small children for years, and I got comfortable.  But, that is no excuse!
The cupboard door are far easier to open
and inside there were filing shelves
filled with ointments, tablets,
lotions, etc.
So a radical re-think / re-organisation was in order.

Last weekend I spent Sunday doing just that.
High enough that little fingers can't access, and,
being in our linen cupboard, this is actually
a far easier option for us adults to access too :)
No more bending down to find what we are
looking for.  Different medical supplies are
in their respective trays.
I moved all the medicine items from the bathroom drawer and cupboard to a shelf I cleared out in my linen cupboard which is in our bedroom.  The shelf is more than a metre above floor level, so I'm not concerned that she will be able to access that anytime soon.
A safer bathroom cupboard
What I now have is a bathroom cupboard filled with hot water bottles, a back massage machine and infra-red light (both sealed in their boxes), aqueous hand lotion, and a left over bean bag which we cannot heat in our microwave as we don't have one anymore LOL

And the drawer.

That now houses suntan lotions, tubes of cal-c-vita (RMan believes in vitamin supplements - I leave that to what I eat ;) ), hand towels, baby oil and a pack of cotton wool.
Our quick-grab medical "toolbox"
But, I also have a quick-grab medical "toolbox".  It is kept right next to the linen cupboard by our bedroom door.  Easy to grab and move around with, it is invaluable - especially if it is needed outside in a rush :)

The large "toolbox" contains:
Anything and (almost) everything needed to
close / protect a wound
Various sized crepe bandages, burn dressings (antiseptic and paraffin), swabs, dressing tape, various sized elastic adhesive bandages, sterile gloves, micropore dressing tape, blister kit, Steri-Strip skin closures and a sling (which can double up into a tourniquet).
A good selection of anti-inflammatory patches
and burn dressings -
historically, RMan has not always been
that careful when it comes to fire, etc ;)
The inlay tray contains: antiseptic and antibiotic ointments, sterile wipes, scissors, quick grab sterile gloves, tweezers, tongue depressor (a.k.a. boiled ice lolly stick) antiseptic cleansing spray and lotion, scissors, sterile needles, quick grab Steri-Strip skin closures and a caustic pencil.  And a infection control mouth to mouth device.
Quick grab items to dress a wound
When I was browsing a pharmacy a few years back I spotted this mouth-to-mouth / CPR device which will assist in preventing the spread of infection - if, and when, I ever need to give a stranger mouth-to-mouth.
Easy to use, this mouth-to-mouth gadget will
help prevent the spread of infection via mouth
Finally, for those little accidents, which require a bit of a love and a cuddle, and a modicum of first aid, there is this little box.
Granny's quick-fix, "love you" box of plasters
for those little mishaps :)
It contains sticky plasters, Germolene antiseptic cream and a roll of micropore - just in case the plaster doesn't stick properly.

Thanks 1st Man and Mike.  I now have a safe home again :)

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Curly leaf

I have googled curly leaf, lumpy leaf, and a couple of other phrases to try and find out what is afflicting my plum trees, but cannot reach any conclusion.

This is what some of the leaves look like:
And a close up:
Curly leaves, leaves with bumps - what is wrong
with our plum trees?
If you do know what it is, and how I treat it (in an eco-friendly way) I would be very grateful.

In the meantime I have been painstakingly snipping of each of the odd-looking leaves and tossing them in the trash.  I'm just concerned that when the tree gets larger I won' be able to reach the affected leaves, so woul like to try and sort it out now.

It doesn't seem to be affecting the fruit - the branches are happily full and growing well.