2009-06-06

Perspectives on life - Myself, Leon,Carlos & Pat

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This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

- Attributed to Chief Seattle

* You may notice this post is also in Portuguese. This is because we have a new face joining the Mad Bush Farm Crew say Hi to Carlos guys. More on Carlos in this post.

I've seen and experienced many things during the course of my life. No I haven't travelled the world or done wonderfully exciting things such as going on a great adventure..yet my life has been one great adventure and I didn't have an air ticket to do it.

My plane has my journey through out my life. How I feel, what I've seen, how I've learned to cope with things when faced with a challenge. Sometimes I've walked myself into a quagmire and somehow managed to get myself out of it. I've had loss, grief, more grief, worry, pain and happiness. Sometimes people say to me "I don't know how you did it" I'm still asking myself that same question from time to time but the truth is by nature I am a strong person. With each crisis that came along I had to walk through that desert of despair and keep looking to the horizon of possibilities. Crisis became challenge - challenge became find the solution. I am an optimist by my nature - no matter what the challenge I always seem to look for a positive outcome. And for me it works. As someone has quoted:

The man on the mountain top didn't fall there

In other words we all have our mountains to climb. Whether in business,family,life experience,childhood it's a journey with highs and low's, now and then we'll hit a rock slide or two and sometimes get caught up with things we didn't ask for. We have faced fear somewhere in our lives - it's how we deal with it that matters.

My philosophy is learn to face the challenge, learn from the experience, take the lesson learned as new wisdom to pass on - after all life is forever a continuing educational experience.
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Take the writings for instance of talented Freelance Author Leon Basin. Leon is just 23 years old. In his book "Thoughts on Fire" Leon brings together a series of observations and perspectives covering (dare I say it) Life, the Universe and everything. His essay on "Riding my bike around the City" gives a fresh perspective on the urban landscape. Instead of... I got on my bike and rode it down the road..Leon approaches it from the point of view of seeing the world stand still if only for a second, finding great joy in the energy of life's (smallest of) moments.

He starts with.."Riding my bike around the city was a wonderful experience. Flowers smelling sweet. Children playing outside, without much worries in the world. Wind continued to make noise in the back of my ears. A calming sensation of pure satisfaction.."

I'm still reading "Thoughts on Fire" Leon challenges the reader through out each essay. He covers society, religion, belief, the seeing of life through an alternative point of view. He says what he thinks and he challenges us to do like wise. I believe Leon has a great future as a writer. Check out Leon's Book "Thoughts on Fire" here

From another perspective: I had an email from Carlos in Portugal. Carlos wrote to me concerning Ian Walthew's blog Farmblogs from around the World. I co-edit this (when I get the time) with Ian. Ian kindly blogged Carlos' email on Farmblogs. Worth a read if you can spare some time. Carlos came from the point of view that in Portugal Life there for a farmer isn't at all easy he writes...

I'm a Portuguêse farmer, and I look around my country, about others blogs about farmers but I haven't found any.

Being farmer in Portugal is very ,very difficult, because we have nothing. No information, no associations, NOTHING.
We must have a lot of courage, power and love about what we do.

When I hear people complain about the weather, or something as trivial as the taste of their coffee I can only think look at Carlos and how he is prepared to stick hard to what he loves and believes in. Carlos to me is an inspiration to not those those in his own home country but to those of us who are in farming be it large or small. Yes I complain about the weather being too dry when I watch my pasture growth go into arrest. We can't always have things the way we like to have it. Many of my dairy farming friends wisely had lowered their farm budgets just in case Fonterra lowered the milk solid payout. Sure enough next season's payout forecast is NZD$4.55 per kg of milk solids. Not much when you've got high inputs to return back into the running of the farm. Take a moment to read Carlos' blog
Thank you Carlos for giving voice to your fellow farmers. An excellent blog and well worth the time taken reading. Fresh, brilliantly written, well thought out. A credit to his country for speaking out. No - life for Carlos is not easy and we all have to appreciate just how fortunate we all are, when we see people having to struggle on day to day basis.

Pat from The Weaver of Grass has always maintained that Farmers are a unique breed (so to speak) I think as individuals, farmers or not, we all find our strengths when faced with a challenge and deal with it. Pat is another with a fantastic outlook on life. She writes with the finesse of the poet and incredible creative writer she is. Each post Pat does is a self contained story. I've really enjoy her blog.

Just stop for moment, take a look at the world and breathe it all in - isn't it wonderful? I think so.
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Isto sabemos: a terra não pertence ao homem, o homem pertence à terra. Todas as coisas estão ligadas como o sangue que une todos nós. O homem não tecer a teia da vida, ele é apenas uma vertente nele. Tudo o que ele faz para a web, ele faz a si próprio.
- Atribuído ao Chief Seattle

* Você pode perceber este post é também em Português. Isso é porque nós temos uma nova cara a adesão à Mad Bush Fazenda Crew dizer a Carlos Olá rapazes. Mais informações sobre Carlos neste post.

Tenho visto e experimentado muitas coisas durante o curso da minha vida. Não tenho viajado o mundo ou não feito maravilhosamente excitante coisas acontecendo, como uma grande aventura .. mas a minha vida tem sido uma grande aventura e eu não tinha um bilhete de avião para o fazer.

Meu avião foi minha jornada através da minha vida. Como eu sinto, o que eu tenho visto, como eu aprendi a lidar com as coisas quando é confrontada com um desafio. Às vezes eu andei sozinho em um pântano e de algum modo conseguiu obter mim sair dela. Tive perda, dor, mais tristeza, preocupação, dor e felicidade. Às vezes as pessoas dizem-me "Não sei como você fez" Ainda estou pedindo que a mim mesma pergunta ao longo do tempo, mas a verdade é, por natureza, sou uma pessoa forte. A cada crise que surgiu eu tive de caminhar por esse deserto do desespero e manter olhando para o horizonte de possibilidades. Crise tornou desafio - desafio foi encontrar a solução. Eu sou um otimista por minha natureza - não importa o que o desafio que parecem sempre a olhar para um resultado positivo. E para mim isso funciona. Como alguém já citado:

O homem no topo da montanha não caem lá

Em outras palavras todos temos nossas montanhas para escalar. Quer seja em negócios, família, vida experiência, infância, é um percurso com altos e baixos's, agora e depois vamos bater um rock slide ou dois e, por vezes, caem com coisas que não pedimos. Temos enfrentado algum medo em nossas vidas - é a forma como lidamos com ele o que interessa.

Minha filosofia é aprender a enfrentar o desafio, aprender com a experiência, ter aprendido a lição de como uma nova sabedoria de passar - afinal a vida é sempre uma experiência educacional contínua.

Pegue por exemplo os escritos de talentosos autônomos Leon Autor Bacia. Leão é só de 23 anos. Em seu livro "Thoughts on Fire" Leon reúne uma série de observações e perspectivas cobrindo (ouso dizê-lo) Vida, o Universo e tudo mais. Seu ensaio sobre "Riding minha bicicleta ao redor da Cidade" dá uma nova perspectiva sobre a paisagem urbana. Em vez de ... Tenho na minha moto e ela andava pela estrada .. Leon abordagens que, do ponto de vista de ver o mundo stand ainda que apenas por um segundo, uma grande alegria em encontrar a energia da vida (dos mais pequenos) momentos.

Ele começa com .. "Riding minha bicicleta ao redor da cidade foi uma experiência maravilhosa. Flores cheiro doce. Crianças jogando fora, sem grandes preocupações no mundo. Eólica continuou a fazer barulho na parte de trás das minhas orelhas. Acalmação Uma sensação de pura satisfação .. "

Ainda estou leitura "Thoughts on Fire" Leon desafios ao leitor através de cada ensaio. Ele abrange sociedade, religião, crença, vendo a vida através de um ponto de vista alternativos. Ele diz que o que ele pensa e ele nos desafia a fazer como o sábio. Creio Leão tem um grande futuro como escritor. Confira Leon's Book "Thoughts on Fire" aqui

De uma outra perspectiva: Eu tinha um e-mail de Carlos, em Portugal. Carlos escreveu para mim relativo Ian Walthew o blog de Farmblogs de todo o mundo. Eu co-editar este (quando chegar a hora), com Ian. Ian gentilmente blog Carlos' e-mail sobre Farmblogs. Vale a pena ler se você pode poupará algum tempo. Carlos veio do ponto de vista que, em Portugal, Vida lá por um agricultor não é nada fácil ele escreve ...

Eu sou um português agricultor, e eu olho em volta do meu país, cerca de outros blogs sobre os agricultores, mas não encontrei nenhum.

Ser agricultor em Portugal é muito, muito difícil, porque não temos nada. Sem informação, sem associações, NADA.
Temos de ter muita coragem, força e amor do que fazemos.

Quando ouço as pessoas se queixam do tempo, ou algo tão trivial como o sabor do seu café eu acho que só pode olhar para Carlos, e como ele está preparado para ficar duro para que ele ama e acredita Carlos polegadas para mim é uma inspiração para não aqueles aqueles em seu próprio país, mas para aqueles de nós que estão na agricultura seja ela grande ou pequena. Sim, eu queixar-se o tempo a ser muito seco quando eu ir ver o meu crescimento em pastagem detenção. Nós não podemos ter sempre as coisas da forma como gostaríamos de ter. Muitos dos meus amigos produção leiteira sabiamente tinha reduzido os seus orçamentos agrícolas só no caso do leite baixou Fonterra sólidos pagamento. Claro suficientemente próxima época de pagamento do previsão é NZD $ 4,55 por kg de leite sólidos. Não é muito elevado quando você tem entradas para voltar a correr em volta da fazenda. Tome um momento para ler Carlos' blog
Obrigado Carlos por dar voz aos seus compatriotas agricultores. E excelente blog e valeu a pena o tempo que leva leitura. Frescos, brilhantemente escrito, bem pensado. Um crédito ao seu país para falar para fora. Sem vida de Carlos não é fácil e todos temos de apreciar o quão feliz todos nós, quando vemos as pessoas terem de lutar no dia a dia.

Pat Weaver A partir de Grass sempre manteve que os agricultores são uma única raça (por assim dizer) Eu acho que, enquanto indivíduos, os agricultores ou não, todos nós encontrar a nossa força quando confrontados com um desafio e lidar com ele. Pat é outro com uma fantástica visão sobre a vida. Ela escreve com a sutileza do poeta e escritor criativo incrível ela é. Cada posto Pat faz é uma auto contidos história. Eu realmente gosto de seu blog.

Basta parar de momento, ter um olhar para o mundo e tudo isso em respirar - não é maravilhoso? Eu acho que sim.


















2009-06-05

The demise of Dusty the hen

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As we all know living in any rural area has it's share of predatory creatures looking for that one opportunity to attack unwary stock. We don't have foxes, snakes, bears, coyotes and cougars to worry about but we do have ferrets, stoats, wild cats, possums and of course our native Harrier Hawks. Harrier Hawks are amazing Birds of Prey and I have a lot of respect for them. One thing I have noticed about the hawks that live on our farm - they have a set flight pattern following it several times during the day. People tend to take them for granted but I think they're worth observing and taking note of how they hunt for then strike down their prey. I've see a hawk pick up a rabbit then drop it 50 feet to kill it. Incredible.

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Sadly it was a hawk that took the opportunity to prey on our hens. Dusty was the one that was unfortunate enough not to have got away in time. I found the feathers all over the driveway and realised something had gone horribly wrong with one of our chickens. I was dreading finding the remains I hate dead birds (long story). Strange mentioneing that when i can handle everything else but not avian remains..yuk. No body anywhere then Inaya found poor Dusty under the truck looking very much the worse for wear. We brought the little hen inside and I took a look at her wounds. I didn't hold out much hope given the hawk's talons had severed the tendons in the leg and wing muscles. Inaya of course of was really upset with me for evening suggesting the bird should be put down. I humoured her for the night by keeping poor Dusty warm then waited until the girls had gone to school. I've lost the stomach I think for killing hens. Roosters I don't think twice about. I had a talk to Meredith at the vets and they very kindly put Dusty to sleep. There was no hope for the little hen so it was better to put her out of her pain than the poor chicken end up dying from pain and the infection from the wounds. I'm not angry at the Hawk he was only doing what nature designed him to do. Besides I like watching the hawks flight awesome.

2009-06-04

Notes from the Land Of Gonzo - Making the Connection with Speech

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I've decided to continue on talking about Autism and Aspergers disorder under the Post Heading NOTES FROM THE LAND OF GONZO.

I had considered creating a separate blog for this but decided it was just as easy to continue posting here on the Mad Bush Farm since I seem to shove everything else on here. Yes it's supposed to be about farming or something but in truth this blog is about everything. Nothing is ever the same and that's the way I like to have it.

I talked previously about several different things on ASD in relation my family, myself and on how I've worked with Michelle to help her overcome her Autism. I had great feedback from differing points of view. Parents with children with ASD, Mothers with sons and husbands with Aspergers. Each and everyone has a different approach but they find it works for them and that's the point. Each and every situation is unique - just because something works for me may not work for someone else -using your own interpretation is the best approach to use. In this post I'm going to talk about making the connection for speech. Some children with Autism never speak at all, others have limited speech ability and others have been able to form sentences and engage in conversation. Michelle has full abililty to both converse with logical sentences and hold a conversation on a variety of subjects. This has not come easily it's take a lot of hard work to get her where she is now and here's how we got there.

In 2001 when Michelle was diagnosed with ASD it was just before her third birthday, we also were entitled to the help of a speech language therapist. Just one problem. The wait for the therapist to start working with Michelle was going to be more than a year. Fortunately the Speech Therapist was able to at least visit us at home and make some suggestions as to how to help Michelle to start to learn to form words. The principle was so simple it wasn't funny. Everytime Michell made a sound such as a grunt or whatever else came out I was told to face Michelle and say very clearly "Good girl you said Hello!" Three weeks of doing this every day each time this little girl made a sound I would sit with her and say that same phrase over and over again. One fine morning my efforts were rewarded with Michelle getting out of her bed and coming up to me, looking up and saying very haltingly Heee....lll.....O. She had made the connection that Hello meant to greet someone even though we hadn't actually gone all over the place trying to get her to do that. I was so excited I rang my sister (big) Michelle and told her just what (little) Michelle had achieved. I also rang the Therapist and shared the news. Michelle's therapist then suggested I get a toy of some description the used the toy as the starting point for getting Michelle to learn new words. So we used Elmo the monster as the starting point. I would sit with Michelle and have Elmo with me then say Elmo says... Hello... then I would say Michelle says....and get Michelle to attempt to say Hello. After a week of this everyday Michell was able to form and say very clearly hello. The next word I taught Michelle to say was Help. This was important because if Michelle was scared or unable to tell something was wrong this would enable her to tell me that she needed help. I used Elmo in the concept of play. I put Elmo in a bucket then made out Elmo could not get out. Elmo says... HELP. We did this for several days putting Elmo in all kinds of situations each time saying Elmo says HELP. Poor Elmo I think after all the terrible things I did to the little red monster he'd want to disappear into the back of the ancient toybox. We still have him here - a little worse for wear but still intact. Each time I would Say Elmo says HELP..then say to Michelle Michelle says...HELP. This little girl connected the word Help with asking for assistance from Mummy. It took a solid month of constant repetition to help Michelle grasp the concept of asking for help and saying the word HELP.

Using Toys as part of a play concept for developing a child's speech I have found is really effective. Tammy from Autism Learning Felt gave her son a Car Pet. A creature made from carpet with eyes. Her son thinks his carpet is cool and it's given him the things we all take so much for granted. Joy and happiness are probably the most important therapies a child with ASD can be given. These emotions help to open up a whole new world and the possibilities are limitless. The only limit is how much we are prepared to join in that world and make the effort to play with our kids, talk with them and spend that time. Several of my blogger friends have children with ASD in one form or another and have shared their experiences in my previous post in the comments. Worth a read and a visit to their blogs. Wonderful. caring people I have had the great privilege to know. Well until the next part of making the connection. That's all for Notes From the Land of Gonzo.

2009-06-02

Goodbye to Sonny and other strange (MAD) stories

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After a lot of hard work and many many night's thinking I had to make a decision about what to do with little Sonny. We already had an overload of animals here on the farm. Standing at a total of over 20 enough was enough. The three weeks I had spent working with this little dog had made a very very big difference. I mentioned to the vets that Sonny needed a new home but not just any home. He had to have a fenced area, lots of love and the company of another dog to play with.....
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/> Yes I felt really bad about giving this little puppy up. He was at last a happy, contented little dog with a tail that finally wagged and a big improvement in his attitude. BUT with so many animals and my media work committments getting the better of me I decided that it was far better for Sonny to go to someone who really could put in the time to bring the pup to his full brilliant and wonderful self. Thanks to Catherine at the vet centre here in Maungaturoto we found the best possible home a little Chihuahua could ever have..
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A lovely lady I know quite well named Marie offered Sonny a fantastic home. He now lives with four other little Chihuahuas and is really really having a fantastic time. Marie just loves him so much and so does her husband, He has turned out to be a fantastic little dog and has fitted into their home and the Chihuahua gang just fine. Saquatch I think is missing his little playmate but well I think he has been far too busy these last couple of weeks doing all kinds of wierd and wonderful things including following Inaya and Michelle into the Bush and well ending up looking like he had either had a really bad hair day or maybe he was into those mud therapy treatments. I've heard from the TV programmes mud is very very good for hoomans but I don't know about white kittens fur
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As you can see Sasquatch was a star candidate for the NOT WHAT TO WEAR TV series. Bad fur coats just don't get the photo shoot guys fired up not one bit. And No Inaya is not trying to strangle Sasquatch she was trying to stop him from climbing all over the sofa with all that mud on him. If everyone has been wondering just what the heck I have been up to it's like this. Deadlines, more deadlines,dead tired and a lousy Kidney infection that took its time to go away. On top of that winter has now come so now it's back to fixing broken fences, feeding out and hoping like hell my house doesn't slip away because we have a huge council stormwater drain 50 feet from our house. 2 years ago we ended up losing just over 30 ft of bank in one nights worth of heavy rain. Piles of tractor, truck and car tyres later the slip is mostly stablilised - no thanks to the local council and their damned drain. Moving on here now I've grouched about drains. Strange things have been occuring around the Mad Bush Farm. The first very wierd thing was with Feather our golden laced Wyandotte Hen. She ended up with a really bad version of a Japanese Goth chicken. All her neck and brest feathers fell out and now well anyone would think she was into a complete new look. The next even wierder and stranger thing has been to do with a certain species of marsupial known as the Australian Brustailed Possum aka Rotten Marsupial Sod. Rotten Maruspial sod this time was a little guy (and is still alive I might add *mutter*) that has taken up residence in one of our cabbage trees right by the house. Normally Emerald hunts and kills these nasty smelly little pests. Not this one. It's so tame I ...well yanked it by the tail one night to see if I could pull it down then bop it on the head...Yes claw power won over skinny arm power...drat! Did it do anything? No it just sat there clung to the tree and gave me that innocent look *who me?* Yes I know I'm a rotten marsupial sod that destroys everything I can get my teeth onto but...you plan to remove me from this tree will always fail for we are 71 million strong so shove off stupid hooman idiot with the skinny arms and by the way that fag in your mouth does nothing for your fashion sense..darling** Worse than that there is a budding odd friendship now developed between Sasquatch and the RMS (Rotten Marsupial Sod). Sasquatch licks the possum and the possum tries to groom him. Bizarre but true I will try to get a photo of it but as for RMS his days as resident here on the Mad Bush Farm are numbered. The gun will be coming out thanks to Uncle Len. Then no more RMS living in my cabbage tree. Well I have a load more to blog about but I'll finish this post and then start figuring out the next one. And guys I'll catch up with you all now things have settled and back to normal. Because as usual I have been subjected to...MADNESS!
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