Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I know you are all waiting with bated breath to see more of Ralph, and of course what my feral children get up to after the first good storm of the season (and let me tell you, it aint pretty) but first I wanted to share something I found.

I was cleaning out what can only be called an assorted pile of crap, that had been thrown into a plastic tub and then shoved under a desk where it languished for a good while before I remembered its existence.  Quite some treasures have been unearthed in going through the layers of the box, but I am relieved to report that the majority of it ended in the burn drum.

I did discover these couple of things, tucked into a manilla folding from pre-Pinterest days.

CLX-3180_20111130_09173407torn from Country Style Magazine (april 2006!) I still like - not so much the chairs but the big table. And the big space in which to have the table.

CLX-3180_20111130_09182804this deck/kitchen with lots of open-ness. Although I love the idea and how brilliant in Cairns, out here it might just be another great opening to let in dust and flies. Though there are those big windows on tracks which presumably shut across the bench.

We are not building a house nor moving anywhere in the foreseeable future, however I still like gathering ideas that might suit if we ever do any more work on this old house or another one down the track. I notice this about what I like: open, lots of window and light, natural material ie timber, clean lines, combination of modern and old, white, greenery.

And the last thing that I found, torn again from the back page of  country style, and it gave me a giggle to re-read. Rob Ingram is a clever man with words, with a dry, Australian sense of humour. CLX-3180_20111130_09155801

I do hope you are able to read it.

Amazing what you find when you clean things out!

Monday, November 28, 2011

down the flat

the afternoon before it rained, the kids took themself off to the far corner of our two acre block to what they call the Big Hill, which is a pile of sand.
I went to investigate and they were having a lovely old time, with the help of one of their little school friends.
IMG_1069they built a very wobbly looking hutchie, with a bit of cardboard and two steel pickets.
IMG_1068this is their toilet. She posed like this for me (mum, I will just pull my pants down a bit so it looks real!)  before assuring me that they only did #1's and had some lovely leaves picked from the mulberry tree that are perfect for toileting requirements. I refrained from comment.
IMG_1079 Showing me that mulberry leaves are indeed sufficient for #2 should the need arise. I refrained again from comment with barely a twitching eyebrow.
IMG_1073Kate was in charge of catering, and whipped up some sand stuffed paddymelons. On a plate that looks suspiciously like one from the plastics draw of my kitchen. Comment was made.
IMG_1082Not sure what the boy was in charge of - standing guard perhaps? Bashing things with a stick?
IMG_1076Water supply was also taken care of, with the old kettle filled from a nearby water trough (I was given a demonstration of how one gets a drink) The other eyebrow twitched on inspection of the trough that that had a lovely green moss growing around the outer edges and in which the dog was swimming. (Oh well what doesn't kill 'em will make 'em stronger, and no gastrointestinal complaints were made following water consumption!)
I wandered home thinking that this is probably one place I shouldn't visit often; what a great, mum free time they were having, just playing in the dirt.They each had their little thing they were doing, and were happy. No TV, no electronics, lots of fresh air. Good times.
Next up, what country kids do AFTER it rains ;-)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

it did in fact rain

after my post the other day, and after two very long and hard nights and mornings of work by the men back burning on our friends place - not an easy task at all given the rough terrain and a big river to traverse - it rained.

Wednesday evening it rained and rained, The Husband arrived home from the fire front around 4:30am that morning, have gone from fire-fighting to close to being bogged in a short space of time. Most gloriously the next morning I splashed out to measure 75mm of good stuff, with another 30mm falling during Thursday.

I think we can call this a lovely start to the wet season.

In other news, the piggies are settling in very well, guzzling their twice daily milk ration at alarming rate and getting very round very quickly. They are also getting quiet and very conversational around feed time; they are smart little critters and have worked out where the tucker comes from!

IMG_1058they are not, however, getting any easier to photograph. I will request that the boys (the neighbours) give me some coloured babies next time!

Ralph too is coming along, although a strange poddy in that he only wants to talk to me when he is hungry. Normally they are all over the milk supplier very quickly but I guess this one has a strong herd instinct and he hasn't worked out that we are now his herd. We'll get him in the end and I am sure he'll be coming walking with us before too long!

I'll be back one day soon to share what the kids get up to after the first good drop of rain. My washing machine is not impressed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

it never rains

but it pours. Unfortunately I mean figuratively rather than literally, as the wet stuff is in short supply. Firstly fires are still plaguing us - not on our place thankfully - but the national park fire that has been bouncing off boundaries for the past 8 weeks has come into properties to the north of where we live, (not far away at all, we are covered in smoke today) and of course, guess where Trevor is.

But in more exciting news on the home front, we have also been inundated with babies, the four legged kind (no two legged ones, but my sister in law is due any day so watch this space).

Meet Ralph:

IMG_1053 Who apparently took quite some catching (tough little bugger!) and was not overly pleased with being rescued (luckily a charge from a baby calf can not do much damage, unless of course you are wearing thongs and his sharp little toes connect with yours)

However once he worked out that food was supplied, he settled down, not without taking himself off on a little adventure to visit the weaners over at the trucking yards (hello children, how many times do you have to be told to SHUT THE GATE!). This resulted in quite some action for the kids, as Ralph still wasn't keen on returning to our place, and there was much running helter skelter until I got him into a corner and he just gave in,  walking up to suck my fingers. Little stinker. He is tethered again today and kids have been most anxiously checking gates are shut, just in case!

Within hours of Ralph's arrival, came Polly and Percy:

IMG_1042who are small, black and exceedingly hard to photograph. And not all that friendly at this point in time, however that is not stopping kid #2 from trying to give them some love.

IMG_1036I am pleased to report all new babies are now feeding well, the bovine baby has gotten over his grumps and now looks hopefully for a bottle full of milk each time someone walks past, and the porcine variety small enough to stand in (and wallow) in their feed dish as they slurp up their milk. 

The Husband is disappointed that  they will be a tad small for Christmas dinner.

Kids are not.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

given leave pass

to leave the kids at home with their father (SHOCK HORROR) and help my good mate Melissa photograph the Year 12 Formal portraits in town Friday evening. My role was that of gofer and holder of things and arranger of people and making sure that dresses weren't tucked into knickers and that sort of thing. Mel's husband gives the role a special name: prop b*tch. Isn't he nice.

I had very big shoes to fill as the previous prop b*tch had taken it upon herself to move to Dalby of all places, and she was apparently the teller of some pretty good knock knock jokes. I am not sure that I lived up the standard set, but I had fun anyhow!

Mel was using my camera as well as her own so she could utilise two different lenses. But never fear, I took along my old, and getting rather decrepit, point and shoot to capture some of the action.

P1020692this gorgeous girl in yellow brought along some props; and below is the professional favourite of the day.

beccTaken at our local railway station, which you would hardly think the perfect place for formal photos!

Again, my snaps from the sidelines....

P1020695Melissa doing her thing with two of the seniors down the way a bit...and don't you just love the girls all wearing bright colours. They decided to all wear brights as it was their theme.  Looked gorgeous.

P1020699 Now, check out the building itself...I wish we had had enough time to get some of the seniors standing in front of cool backdrops like this...

P1020700   But we didn't haven't time, and no matter, she got plenty of lovely shots, like this...

kayand this one, so very cool boys.

boys  I am quite sure Mel could have done without me, although I did walk around with the reflector (and had to walk WITH the reflector held up high level with the girls as they walked towards Mel, which was an interesting task, but at least it had 'em giggling)

They had me feeling verrry old when I realised that I remembered a good number of them from when they were fresh faces and cute little preschoolers, from my days in admin at the state school. How did I go from being just 25 to positively ancient in so quickly?!

off to cancel any further birthdays and instruct my children that they are not allowed to get any older either.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

feeling reflective

While at first it was the font use that I liked about this, the words too are meaningful.

ebbIts been one of those weeks; nothing dramatic or overly exciting has happened, but still enough of everything, including some slight ill health, to take its toll mentally and physically.

I've been told I must share the adventure of upgrading my truck license from an MR (medium rigid, ie small body truck) to HR (Heavy Rigid, ie large, "bogie drive" - I've always wanted to use that term in a blog post, but now I am bothered by the fact that I may not have used it correctly! -  body truck) as the two trucks we own are classed as such. Well, now I am licensed to drive them, but only thanks to the kind nature of our friendly local policeman (also friends of ours) who excused my god-awful gear changing (well, shazza, its not ideal, but it'll do!) knowing full well that I will not be entertaining the thoughts of city or even bigger-than-our-small-town driving and that I am more than capable to getting from rural location A to rural location B without running someone over. (he did mention some concern over the gearbox however in my defence the last time I drove the truck I tested in was over two years ago, for a duration of five minutes, helping Trevor back onto a trailer!)

Of course, the thought did not even enter my mind that upgrading my license would require a new even awfuller license photo to be taken (the girl in charge of that quite cheerful about it all) so of course my hairdo was perfectly coiffed in a sweaty post hat non-airconditioned truck style, and my makeup (none) flawless. I guess the photo matched the level of gear changing! ;-)

I have, on reflection, had one other small adventure that you photography types will enjoy, and I will share that another day, involving an outing with the most professional Melissa and a new, albeit temporary, job title for yours truly. ;-)

Til next time!

Monday, November 14, 2011

using my "talents"

a friend is getting married next year, and wanted to send out some save the date cards.  We came up with this:

date saver palthough not without some help from a more photoshop experienced person than me as I couldn't remember how to do something.  We'll print them as a simple 4x6 photo, stick a little magnet on the back and she will post out to friend and family. Simple, cheap and  effective.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


P1020647 The Husband decided to join in the Movember fun, but without the fundraising part. We have a good friend who is growing a mo of similar shape, however his makes him look like what I would imagine a rather bad 80's porn star might look like. My husbands? A bad Mexican dude. I need to find him a sombrero and some bandolier across the chest bullet holder things to complete the look. The kids are finding the whole mo thing on dad and friends highly entertaining. Its sending the wives into hysterics as well!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

all dressed up

as requested, photos IN the actual outfits! (dorky photos and #2's hat, wish now that I had bought the same in black for #1...I may yet do so if they are still in the shops - Big W - when next I am there)


IMG_0071 IMG_0073

and the boy, who ended up taking out the Boys Fashions for the second year, and received his prize from Farmer Frank (yep, that Farmer Frank ;-) this photo is when he was all clean and tidy, which lasted a nano second.

IMG_0072and this, very obviously, after a couple of hours of galloping around and consuming all sort of crap sugary goodness.

IMG_0114IMG_0115His winnings were a $20 voucher at the local toy shop. Perfect kids prize! (and btw, that is indeed Frank's girl standing close by, and she has either lost a bit of weight since the show aired, OR television really does add on pounds.

Just because we are out in the sticks, doesn't mean we don't know how to dress up. Fashion was as good as anywhere in the country.

IMG_0104 with the middle one (our school principal) taking out top honours in the Trendsetter Section. Her fascintor was great. Even if her eyes are shut in this shot!

And again, just because its a dirt track and the grounds are a little rustic, doesn't mean we bush girls can't have gorgeous shoes:


My dear mate Mel, wearer of the killer heels above,  was feeling gorgeously green for the races:

IMG_0084and her husband is doing Movember, growing a mustache which just looks WRONG. I don't know how she faces him in the mornings with that thing on his face (not that I have a problem with mustaches, but his? gosh its awful and very much like a very bad 80's porn star!)

IMG_0121And I really don't know what to say about this one...I hope she had her knees together? (and I wish I could sit like this with as much ease and grace....or sit like this fullstop!)

Anyways its all over for another year, the next local gathering being the school break up in three and a bit weeks breaking up for the year? where HAS the year gone....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

clothesline companions

A self timer shot from the clothesline. It struck me as funny, that while I pegged out a load of washing before dark, that I had the dog, the lamb, and a cat (who refused to pose for the camera) AND the other dog (off with the cat) hanging about with me.

IMG_9937Not sure it would happen anywhere else but in the country. Like in recent conversations with some friends....

Friend one, laughing: this is what you call real life - on the phone to you, and you are busy telling the kids to not squash the lamb poop, sweep it up!

Friend two: mid conversation, she breaks off to speak to her sons , NO you CANNOT take the gun! (teenagers wanting to go pig shooting). It made me laugh, when I realised how normal it seemed to me!

Sometimes the reality of living west of the great divide is somewhat removed from other parts!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I hope its over soon

The sanding of this one little bit made a huge, (lead-based-paint) dusted mess. Some time with the hose and a broom on the concrete was required, after just the first afternoon. I suspect it will be a daily job while the sanding part is taking place.....


I hope its over soon!

Friday, November 4, 2011

we interrupt regular scheduling....

to bring you this sneak peek at the fashions that might appear on this family tomorrow on the annual race day...

IMG_0061About the fourth delve into What Will I Wear, and this one getting the top score from the in house fashion critics (ie the kids), it is hanging ready to be ironed. The bag has touches of grey in amongst its mess of colour, and I think (or hope) it adds a pop of colour. The plunging neckline is causing some concern, and I have to find that black cami  I washed the other day to wear underneath, from one of the mountains of washing to be folded.

The dress has this little flap frill thing which is surprisingly flattering and hiding of any extra baggage that might be around that part of the body!

Am still not convinced that this choice of outfit is ideal for being in hot tin food shed selling sandwiches' and soft drinks.

IMG_0063IMG_0064Seeing as I cannot find the other half of my pair of black wedges (how does a shoe go missing from one's bedroom?!) I remembered these little flatties tucked away in their box. Not sure how they will go in the comfort and durability stakes just quietly.

Of course, should I get hot and bothered and rushed out the door after a morning making sandwiches' and setting up eskies, I will most likely be wearing this instead:

IMG_0066which is exactly what it appears to be in this pile waiting for the iron - a checked blouse and black capri pants. And a little glimpse of the husbands shirt, which apparently he Does Not Like. Too Bad. I do like. Although am not sure about the tie, I did put it out in a little stirring-the-pot sort of action, just cause I can ;-) Husband Does Not Like ties either. (I really need to find a nice, subdued navy tie and then we would all be happy)


And some more, the girls have been excitedly deciding on what accessories and outfits they will be wearing.

IMG_0067 A little tiny taste of two dresses....

IMG_0068and two bits of headwear...    

and as for the boy, well I will keep something a surprise! All this for just a couple of hours at the local dusty race track. Oh yes, there might a horse or two running by as well.

Anyhow enough idle chit chat about fashion or lack thereof, I must haste away and boil three dozen eggs, ice twelve chocolate patty cakes and one four-x carton sized slab of sponge cake. This sponge cake icing is one of great responsibility, and I have spoken to a long time sponge cake icer of yore, to ascertain the full details of just what sort of icing is the best.

Wish me luck!


In my girls collection of dolls clothes, is this dress which was from my own childhood. I happened to pick it up the other day, and marvelled at its tiny perfection. It belonged with a hand made rag doll, given to me by our next door neighbour, a place called Barragunda. (one of those property names that are nice to say!)

Her name was Lennie. She wasn't a young woman back then when I was a child (her kids all being young adults) and I am not sure, the doll may have been a birthday gift. I think the doll is long gone, loved to death and tossed out by my mum (it had long brown woollen yarn plaits) and she had two dresses, one in a multicoloured print, and this one.

IMG_9932It's not very big, but look at the tiny pintucks on the bodice! and the tiny bound arms and neckline. How very precise and fiddly to make.

Lennie (short for Lenore) moved away many years ago, and is now rather elderly, and lives in the Far North of the state. She is now a published author, having written quite a few books about living in Cape York and raising a young family in somewhat exciting conditions.

I normally write to her each Christmas, sending the family news (written in a slightly self deprecating and tongue in cheek style) and photos in a typed letter (she tells me she loves to get it, especially the tales of animal and child escapades!) and a short handwritten note. This year, I think I will include a picture of this dress, and ask if she remembers it.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Melbourne Cup

The race that truly does stop the nation, even in north western Queensland!

I wasn't going to go up to the pub where they have a little luncheon, run a sweepe and generally have a good old fashioned country style time. But then I decided to go, after the publican, juggling a baby and catering for the crowd, asked nicely if I would sell the sweepe tickets for her. Not as easy as it might sound with $2, $5 and $10 tickets being sold!

I ratted through my wardrobe and put this ensemble together, with the criteria that I be able to use my cream bag and new (to me, thanks ebay) shoes.

The boy took this shot before we left...

IMG_9990...managing NOT to get a pic of my lovely shoes, but including the sheep and the overgrown garden. And let me say this, those wretched sleeves drove me batty. I hate floppy sleeves, and I tend to, without fail, roll things up to my elbow (except for work shirts, but they are a different matter). ANYHOW, I had to share the shoe joy:

IMG_0015A somewhat dodgy photo of my yummy new shoes (ignore the freaky looking feet!), that have quite a high heel but I was able to walk around easily and comfortably in them. The slightly granny Naturaliser brand really is comfortable!

The boy didn't miss out, he had to wear his newly purchased fedora style hat (which will feature again this weekend at the local race meeting)

IMG_9985A bit of a sharp dresser, is he not?!

We had a lovely couple of hours out, and I drew 3rd place in the $2 Sweepe, winning a total of $9.80.

What did you do for Melbourne Cup?   

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