Monday, May 30, 2005

This one's for you, Mum

G'day all1

It's a bit of a sad day here at Weedhaven. 14 years ago today just before 7:30 at night, my Mum died after a long and bitter fight with cancer. I was doing the washing up cos all bar Father and my brother had just had tea - no point all of us being in the hopstial room with her was the reasoning. I heard Mum call me from the loungeroom, but it was Mum before the cancer got into her lungs. I put the washing up sponge down and started taking off the gloves, then realized she could not have called me. A minute or two later we got the phone call.

Mum always did fuss over me.

Mum was only 60 when she died, and I was a fairly immature 20-something. Her death came during the middle of my Honours years (yep I got two years to do Honours cos of Mum). It's been sorta weird without her around to pick me up and send me on my way, or to kick me in the pants and tell me I am being an idiot.

Anyway, I dedicate this day to Mum. I don't even have a pic for her, or of her that I can share with you (though I do have somepics now that my brother put together for Father's funeral).

So why on earth have I had another blasted exciting, too exciting, day at work? This is the day that I prefer to take off rather than have to work cos I am normally pretty flat.

Here's me, almost prepped for the training I have to run at another site. I am about to leave to go set up. I get a phone call. "Umm, Lynne, what is this training today? I know nothing about it."

EEEEEEEEEK! (as I succinctly said to my friend K.)

But like any good trooper, or should that be trouper?, I ran around in circles with my hands in the air screaming and waited until I got a confirmatory phone call, yes the training is on, it's ok, I forgot to read my emails.... and took off to set up. After getting an email from a participant asking "What training?"

Erg...

From my POV, apart from the room being waaay too hot for me to use the laptop and datashow, the training went pretty well. I am a professional, dangit! No matter what anyone says.

So four training sessions in three days down, one to go. Then I have to prep for the big C.

Yep, Wednesday is C day. I think I may have mentioned that I am not looking forward to this. For starters, I have almost a day and a half without solid food! Me! No solid food tomorrow after brekkie! Only clear fluids! Like how am I going to survive??? I have chicken broth half prepared (I am very glad it is under 10 degrees C in the kitchen at night now cos I forgot to put the stock stuff in the fridge last night after boiling it for hours), I have clear apple juice and lime cordial ready to go, I can have the fluid from steaming or boiling vegies.... It may turn out that I enjoy a day without food, but I have this sneaking suspicion that I won't.

Then there is the purging side of the deal. I may have a graphic description of it for you tomorrow. Wednesday I may or may not know more - depends on how badly affected by the anaesthetic/amnesia drugs I am. If I do go graphic, it won't be with pictures, but words can be bad enough.

Enough!

This is technically a knitting blog. I am happily going to wander off topic anyways.

Hi Jacqui, Elizabeth, Lisa S, yarngirl and everyone else who has left a comment on my blog recently. Great to hear from you guys, whether or not you live almost next door or on the other side of the world. My blog lets you comment anonymously, which means I don't have email addies for you. Forgive me if I don't reply directly, but you can always email me at natiel3 at yahoo dot com. Then I can reply!

Lisa S asked about the PETA boycott of Australian wool. I'd better find a URL for you.

I have no idea what impact it has on our wool sales, but here is what I understand of what PETA objects to. It is graphic. It is yucky. If you are squeamish don't read it. Flick down to the next line across the page.

Here in Oz, we have blowflies and bushflies and all sorts of flies. Some of these flies can be up to about half an inch long. Some are about a third of an inch long. Some are less than a quarter inch long. These flies, like all egg laying critters, like finding good places to lay their eggs. Blowies are the worst though - they are big and they buzz really annoyingly, like some enormous fly-bomber on a long range mission around and around the room. Plus they are dumb - they run into stuff, often my glass of water and drown.

We have a lot of merinos in Oz. Merinos have a lot of saggy baggy elephant skin around their front and back legs. Their bottom's saggy baggy elephant skin grows fleece and gets soaked with urine and collects dags (sheep poo, not poorly dressed nutcases like me). It is nice and warm and moist and smelly in those folds and creases of saggy skin. This attracts blowflies. Sometimes the blowies lay their eggs in the messy sheep's bottom. The eggs hatch and the maggots burrow into the live sheep's bottom, crippling it and causing it to die a slow, agonising death as its rump gets eaten away and infected. This is called flystrike.

The traditional way Australian farmers have been able to avoid flystrike is tail-docking, drenching and to do what is called "mulesing." This is the procedure PETA objects to. Mulesing means that the excess skin is cut away from the sheep's bottom when it is young/first shorn. A circle about a handwidth around is cut around the sheep's bottom and the hair-bearing skin pulled away. (Only the fat tailed sheep get to keep their tails - most Australian sheep have their tails removed when they are very young (including the meat sheep). I got very excited by the sheep in England - they have these big fluffy tails! I had to take pics. My English friends thought I was mad....)

Mulesing is a yucky thing to have to do, and I can believe it hurts the sheep, but if it is not done, the sheep has got a very good chance of dying of flystrike. A lot fewer sheep die of mulesing than would of flystrike. Once the wounds have healed, the sheep has a smooth hairless bottom that does not attract flies.

Alternatives are being sought to mulesing Some sheep in South Australia naturally have bald bottoms. There are some chemical treatments being tested. Crutching involves shearing the area at risk. Mulesing is a case of being cruel to the animal to be kind to it. When you have 100,000 sheep running over a farm the size of umm say Wales, you can't check each of them every week or even crutch them when they need it. Plus the kindest treatment for a flystruck sheep is a bullet.

OK. So I don't agree with PETA's ban. Yes, cruelty is done to the sheep but far crueller would be to have thousands and thousands of sheep die slowly and nastily of flystrike. About 3 million sheep are at risk of flystrike. When alternatives are available to mulesing I will gladly support them but until they work for sheep that are herded up once a year for shearing, I would prefer the sheep to be mulesed than die flystruck.




Knitting progress!

Umm, what is that? I have worked for 10 minutes on a scarf that I am putting into the scarf festival. I have not worked on the pink top cos it is now TV knitting and it is so cold in the loungeroom that I can't knit in there.

I should rename this section total lack of knitting progress!

But I did spin up 100g of 80/20 moorit merino/alpaca yesterday. It is verra nice indeed! I plied it up with some silk nubbins. I'd love to show you some pics but
a) I was at work today
b) I left before sunrise
c) I got home after sunset
d) natural light is going to show this yarn off best. It is very subtle in its colouring, though the little silk bits mostly aren't ;-)

I could have knitted in the car yesterday on our trip to Warburton but it would've been very very bad since I was driving. Driving (not sitting in traffic jams) and knitting don't mix. We like going to Warburton, mainly because the Yarra is always beautiful and has lots of ducks and the town has lots of nice cafes.

Oh! Time for umm, err, whatsitsname - Mythbusters! Yay! D'oh! Missed the first 10 minutes!

anon!

3 comments:

  1. Can't wait to see the results of your spinning. Sounds like you have been really busy. Have a good week.

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  2. does peta object to spaying or neutering? i've heard about mulesing before, and while it can be painful, so is childbirth. shall we separate the males and females so the females don't have to experience the pain of birth? i'm sorry, peta pisses me off. i belong to a different version of peta (People Eating Tasty Animals). my mother grew up in wyoming (sheep country) and they docked the lambs there too, for much the same reason. these were meat sheep though, so they didn't mules them. i agree, this is to protect them, peta needs to keep their bloody bits to themselves (sorry for the rant, jsut a touchy subject to me, i'm a farm girl)

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  3. Forgive my extreme tardiness in catching up with your blogginess!

    I'd seen the PETA site in question and the thing that bothered me way more than mulesing (which I can appreciate the arguments for, and that alternatives are being sought) was the live export. We had big big protests in the UK about that. To me it is very cruel and not necessary.

    ReplyDelete

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