Friday, December 27, 2013

And so that was Christmas

It seemed to roll around far too quickly this year! The kids were super excited, notes were left for Santa (beer in the fridge) and children were hunted back to bed well before daylight Christmas morning. 

We spent the morning at home, with my parents coming in for awhile and neighbours popping over. Then off to thein laws  place for another round of presents and food....and more food.

Pants selection has been of the stretchy comfy sort; Boxing Day being spent doing very little full stop (apart from eat some more, watch a movie and read a book dusty from being untouched)  at home, as the kids played with their haul (Santa bringing an iPod, a last minute decision of a small sewing machine, and an infernal remote controlled helicopter).

Sadly Santa missed my letter with the bit about RAIN, but perhaps the requests for the same were overwhelming?!

Funnily enough, all of this eating and doing nothing has been totally exhausting. 

So that's Christmas for another year, done and dusted. 

** this post brought to you totally by lazy over fed person on couch using iPhone, including new collage making app that has been downloaded. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013


As if the end of the school year wasn't exciting and exhausting enough, straight away we had a social engagement - my sister in law Chelsea's baby shower (how much has changed in a few short years - weren't any baby showers when I was having babies!).

Wore navy and white and orange. A favourite combination of mine you might have noticed.

IMG_6706   Day started well with the boy bawling over something in the car....

IMG_6707 And the view on the way to the venue at the other local small school in the district (where in fact I went to school) was pretty stark.


The decorations were of course pretty, and the food and drink plentiful...oh the food. One thing country ladies can do well is "bring a plate". yum yum yum.

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The usual assortment of baby shower games were played, including the ever popular squished up chocolate inside a nappy game (the nappies were taken home and carefully placed for my hungover-from-the-night-before and poo-allergic brother to discover)

            IMG_6718   IMG_6721 IMG_6730It was a lovely day, with her mum and two sisters coming along as well as local friends. And like anyone who has been pregnant over summer, Chelsea is counting down the days - but isn't due until mid January!

We've predicted a baby boy called Heston ;-) (continuing with our H theme of course!)

Friday, December 20, 2013

now, where was I?

A random assortment of images from the past few weeks

 IMG_6266 We put up the Christmas Tree (the new giant Christmas tree!) . I tried to take a decent photo. Quite unsuccessful.


Tried to take another photo, with the SLR. I've barely used it since I dropped it back in August, and this is why. I have been pretending it hasn't been broken but I think the time has come to face the music (and the repair bill)...

B img 6233After some editing work, it came up not so bad, but the focus on the camera is so not well.

IMG_6413IT RAINED!! 2 lovely inches (feels so long ago now!) Kids were very excited.

IMG_6508School breakup concert was held, Santa visited and a musical/dance performance was presented by the kids. Was so good. They've all done music lessons one day a week at school and from kids that could not play ANY instruments to date, they have really learnt so much. A four player rendition of Heart and Soul was just brilliant.

IMG_6528   IMG_6657The last week of school saw me in the cattle yards with the husband, pulling off weaners and bringing home a wedge of poddies in an assortment of Dad and Dave style enclosures in the back of the ute....

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We adopted an H theme for the Class of 2014.This was the little settling-in pen we set up under the mango tree for them.

IMG_6686Second last day of school was celebrated with a fun swimming day in town, and photo bombing boy child.

Phew....and that's only til the end of the school year. I am not terribly good at summarising am I!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry and Manic

merry and bright 2013

Drawing breath - slightly - in between chasing weaners about, and questioning my sanity for even contemplating heading to the city and the shops at this stage (why do people who have access to the shops 24/7 leave their shopping until the last minute, why oh why?!!)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Black Gold

And just like that, the weeks have passed without a blog post again. What a slacker I am. There's been some movement at the station, and all parts between of late, and even a little bit of most marvellous precipitation! But we'll start where I left off - dry dry dry.

Was summonsed to bring molasses towing vehicle to the prickle farm; cows had hit the wall and The Husband decided he needed to start feeding M8U (molasses + 8% urea) ASAP. So I did as I was told  (I always do!) and with trailer attached to ute, off we went.

IMG_6055The molasses mixer is mounted onto a home made gooseneck trailer; at the back there is mounted an engine which drives paddles inside the mixer tank to keep the contents mixed up (so the urea and any other additive doesn't just settle at the bottom, we want the mix to be even). When stationary and the engine running, the trailer vibrates around, quite like a boat rocking on waves.

IMG_6068IMG_6071  Hi tech tube getting the molasses from the mixer into the trough (a bit of poly belting rolled up and wired!).

IMG_6080First mob of old dears pulled up to have a lick and slurp en route to water (we place the troughs away from the main waters so they don't just sit in the water square gutsing themselves). The skinnier cows are the wet ones, ie have a calf.

All was going well until we arrived at the next drop point. Filled the trough, discovered the water trough was empty (much swearing and scratching of head on husbands part). Drove off to continue our delivery - and found WHY no water was getting to the trough. Busted water pipe - being in sandy country and buried underground (and after recent showers) it was not visible. But the 8 tonne mixer found the wet spot.

IMG_6083Again, insert much cursing and grumbling. Unhook the trailer, and go back to the shed...

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Where the collection of vehicles (yes COLLECTION) revealed some issues. The main farm ute, flat tyres and no spares, as they were all in at the tyre shop getting new tyres put on the rims, and the old girl (retired to fencing duties only) had a cracked head and leaking radiator that required top ups at every trough.

IMG_6110Chain was applied, and the old girl stepped up to the plate and successfully managed to get the trailer pulled out. (husband had visions of another shower of rain and the whole thing toppling over).

We continued on our merry way.

IMG_6122I had a wander through the cows at the main water, checking out who was who and what babies where there.

IMG_6127Found this teeny tiny black baby and his mama (her condition a bit light, but I am happy to report that in the few weeks since, with rain and molasses, she has picked up).

IMG_6152 Love walking through the mob; with the exception of one cow who had just calved (and is a snot head at any time) no cows were terribly bothered by my aimless wander. I had one old quiet dear follow me around three steps behind me (why? I cannot tell you!) and calves come skipping up to check me out. They are funny creatures.

And that ended my day out, delivering molasses. The day started the molasses delivery regime for The Husband - remixing and refilling every 3-4 days. And ordering of replacement for the bulk tanks. (and open slather on the cheque book).

I am pleased to report, that since these photos were taken, a good 2" of rain fell pretty much all over the property, with other isolated showers in spots before and after. Sadly, this rain wasn't widespread over the region, although on a different night we got the same here at home. My garden is thankful, the kids were over excited and rolling around in the mud (first proper mud in the back yard since early 2012!). Its not drought breaking rain, but takes the pressure off, and gives the country its first good drink in a while. Amazing how quickly things respond!

I'll be back soon with more adventures, I promise. Its a bit like riding a bike, one doesn't ever forget but I feel a bit wobbly on the wheels. Perhaps that bit of rain has done more than just given the ground a drink....

Wednesday, November 20, 2013



I'm getting so lazy these days, snapping away with my iPhone which takes amazingly great photos (better than my little point and shoot I think). I think I'm doing my dSLR such a disservice, but then I snap a photo like this with my phone, and think NAH. Better to have that snap shot than none at all :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lists and letters

IMG_5951IMG_5912Mum would very much like to see a copy of the other letter, hoping that it might contain less expensive electronic gadgets***. And the second child has been told that under no circumstances will Santa be bringing her a sewing machine at the age of 9.

Boy child seems to be letter-less, taking advantage of the fact that he "carnt write mum" (lets say its more of the fact that he is far to lazy to write? and it makes his little brain work very hard, dealing with those pesky letters and sounds that we are so struggling with this year. He'd much rather dictate, and to be honest I think he does that a fair bit, in both letter writing AND life!)

Last year I struggled to get into the Christmas Spirit, this year I am contemplating putting up the tree this weekend as well as the lights. Maybe if nothing else, to give us some cheer.

Like the kids over at Fiona's place , our eyes are firmly on the horizon and fingers tapping on the radar and weather apps on our phones with frequent regularity. When the ants start moving into the kitchen (its a sign, its going to rain!) and the storm bird arrives (its a sign! its going to rain!)...we live in hope.

There's always hope. Especially for those kids with iPods on their Christmas lists.


*** tell me, do other 11 year olds have ipods? what version? I am aware of boarding school looming on the horizons, and half of me thinks one should get one to last the distance, and the other thinks geez that's an expensive gadget, what if she breaks/looses it? Go outside and play?! and then another thinks, maybe its time she learnt about looking after ones things (even if it is the hard one, and pains her parents pocket should the worst happen?) Discuss.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday afternoon viewing

We, along with the greater part of the  north west of the state apparently, had a joyous little breeze spring up this afternoon. Given the velocity of the winds, and the dryness that surrounds us, it was inevitable that a great deal of dust would also come with the wind.

Unfortunately, a corresponding amount of rain did not follow however we did have fun flying a kite in the stiff breeze once the dust settled. (see IG feed tab at the top for the video itself)

That wretched leceana (spelling) sapling there that needs chopping down, causing more than one little bit of grief with our kite flying adventures, but being of a very bendy nature, was easily bent down to enable kite untangling from its very top.

Now I just have to clean up the aftermath - a great pile of pink and white papery bougainvillea leaves that have blown in (quietly hoping for another wind storm that might blow them out the other side). I might leave that until the morning ;-)

It is heartening to hear of rainfall in other parts to our south, the need for rain is great in all parts. Although our hearts sink and spirits falter when weather influences continue to slide past us. Some days its harder than others to keep faith that the season will break. We just need a little sign, just a little bit of "our turn",  to let us draw breath and keep on keeping on.

The day is not over yet. I detect a faint rumbling in the heavens. Onwards we shall go.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Knee Deep

I've got something a bit special to share with you.

Created by a wonderfully talented friend (and featuring a couple of kids you might be familiar with). A little initiative a group of us have started - to share our stories. To bring them closer to those that aren't familiar with where we live, what we do. Lookout for more coming soon.

I hope you like it. We would love some feedback too.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Still waiting for the wet

My creative thoughts and activity have never been at a lower ebb I am finding, even the desire to pick up my camera is at a low point, although if course its easy to whip out the i-phone for quick snaps from time to time.I would probably feel a lot better mentally if I did do something creative of some sort at all! but sometimes getting started is the hardest part.

The Husband had a rare day at home recently and with the tractor at home, offered to cart some manure from the yards. I also took advantage of this willingness to help, to remove a falling down fence that has been bugging me for quite some time. Now of course we are totally fenceless along one side of the yard, but considering the old one could barely contain a bunny, its no loss.

 IMG_5636 IMG_5639 It wasn't an endeavour without dust, however there isn't much that is dust free at this point in time. The trick is to remain upwind or move very fast away from the line of fire if husbands are dumping dirt with wicked grins on their faces.

These three clowns below took their thongs off, stuck them half way up the pile of dirt, and walked away to climb on stuff. As they walked away Dad busily pushed up more dirt and hay....and their thongs were lost forever more. Or until someone finds them in a garden bed somewhere one day!

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Two loads of dirt - one for a proposed Dad-and-kid watermelon patch (yet to be planted, so I can see its not going to happen) and the other dirt, hastily dumped along a fence where I've planned a garden for the longest time. I don't plan to do anything with this until after the blessed wet season arrives (apart from round up the couch grass that will no doubt pop up overnight). This bed will be simple screening - mock oranges and golden canes alternately. Of course I am not sure how things will grow in such close proximity to those two big mango trees however it will be better than nothing. I also have to take out that awkward corner there in the bottom corner, so I can mow without using unladylike language.

Roll on the wet.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bunkering down in the north

Creativity of both photographic and literary genre seem to have take leave of absence up here, as you may have noted by the sporadic posting of late. Really, there isn't a lot to talk about that you haven't heard before.  I haven't picked my camera up in weeks (although not helped by the fact I think I may have buggered my favourite lens when I dropped it, or at the very least broken the USM part of it).

There is much watching of the skies and horizons, another day leads us a day closer to that elusive "scattered storms" or even the holy grain, The Wet Season. (we hope).  We have, finally, seen a slight change with some small fronts coming through and dropping an odd shower here and there. 20mm measured by remote monitor at one tank at the prickle farm, however we have our thoughts it was a very tiny narrow strip of 20mm. (I'd certainly take 20mm here at home, if nothing else to settle the waves of dust that blow in with any gusty wind from the wrong direction!).

So, whilst we bunker down waiting for rain, pumping and monitoring water 24/7, ordering molasses and lick (and not opening bills til end-of-month) and finding two decks here and there that meet sale requirements just to lighten off (certainly not bringing exceptional dollars), we go on doing our day to day stuff...

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The new bike is lovely and comfy to ride, and who couldn't not be cheefull riding a sunny yellow bike with wicker basket on the front?! 

The kids wanted to have a family BBQ (being denied public outings because of the POX) and so we did the last evening of the school holidays. Complete with ambiance.

I made a big calendar for my mum for Christmas, which features some FULL PAGE A3 photos of the kids (overlayed by the calendar part at the bottom). Hoping it turns up in the mail soon, ordered (on sale) from Big W. Was great fun to put together, and surely she can't complain about no pics of the kids after that. I'll share when it arrives, I'm excited to see how it turned out!

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Pool has been fairly constantly used. Mum and Dad even taking the odd dip, however its been a bit breezy and holy cow a wee bit fresh even after a hot day. Swimming tog tan line bottoms are starting to appear on the kids.

Its taken me how long but finally got hooks attached to board and hung. Husband did the hooks (didn't trust my measuring) and I did the hanging. Kids have been instructed to hang togs with care ;-) Finally no more dumping of wet togs on the floor. Well it still happens but frowny mum ensures they eventually land where they are meant to.

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The long awaited sanding of the kitchen table commenced. And ground to a halt when sanding belts disintegrated. Table is back inside and covered with plastic table cloth until new belts and water based sealant procured (and a time frame that allows sealer to be applied and allowed to harden. I'm thinking I need to dig out a plastic table for the duration!)

Many concrete troughs being dispatched, and its starting to get very quiet at the yard. To be expected, as the rest of the state also bunkers down, and spending is restricted to essential items such as feed.

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Kittens Hamish and Andy are still providing great amounts of entertainment for children and adults alike - Hamish having a liking for small boxes (most relaxed cat ever, Georgie carted him around in this little opened ended box for ages, he purred the whole time). However her attempt at cat walking with rigged up rope harness was unsuccessful, albeit hilarious to watch! 


Life is still great, even with the extra added challenges!

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