Tuesday, May 28, 2013

weekly roundup

Geez didn't that fly quickly, the week since the last weekly roundup brought to you by Instagram.

Looking back, although it didn't feel like very much out of the ordinary happened, there was lots of every day extraordinary going on.

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1. someone lost his first top front tooth after it had been wobbling most annoying for quite some time. It did not leave his mouth without some assistance, and bled a bit...which didn't go down that well with a little boy that has a bit of a blood phobia. Ice did the trick and calm was restored. And the tooth fairy even remembered to visit that night!

2. Strange child #2 decided to make a rock family one afternoon and took herself off down the flat to find rocks with the right personality. Child busy + quiet = win in my books.

3. Finally gave my new sewing machine a test run and made myself (among some others) a fancy key fob thingy. Unsure if it will help me find my keys in my handbag or not. Time will tell.

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4. Made lemon butter/curd using a super duper easy microwave recipe and the result was verrrry yummy. Have successfully given some away to reduce my own consumption.

5. In a fit of Georgie-like behaviour I stuck a peg on this cats tail as he lounged here in a spot that wasn't built for cat lounging (although does that ever stop them!) He wasn't best pleased with me...heh heh heh (don't worry, I took the peg off!)

6. New favourite Snickers ad featuring Alf. "don't dude me you long haired yahoo". Love it.

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7. We had some strange, rain like weather!( fancy) not a lot, but enough to water the lawn for a few days and make it cold enough to have us scurrying for fire wood.

8. Went to a dressage masterclass (to watch, not participate). Great stuff. Am so not skilled or patient enough to even consider. Can admire though.

9. Wore favourite floral shirt, pretty beads and new bright blue vest. Blue vest insufficient to keep me warm at dressage as holy snapping cat fish it got a bit fresh. Luckily warmer woollen coats were taken along.

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10. Strange child #2 came galloping in with excitement one afternoon, and had the whole family come inspect the sweet potato plant she managed to strike. Cleaning out the vegetable drawer awhile ago, we found a very withered sweet potato with shoots so she went off and buried it near the chook run. Lo and behold it did strike and seems to be growing very well. And yes, we water with our rain gauge! certainly hasn't been much use for anything else lately!! :-)

11. Freezer very rattly and hollow sounding, found some pork spare ribs, and made up my own thing and dumped them in the oven. Turned out very yummy for 2/3 kids, bloody bewdiful from the husband so not a bad score.

12. First ever printed blog book has arrived in the mail. Exciting times people, exciting times. Although as I had spent some time editing and reading text as I put it together, it doesn't feel so exciting reading it again, but am enjoying flicking through and seeing how it came together. I'll post more on this topic soon.

That's it for now, more of a week and a bit roundup, but who's counting!


Saturday, May 25, 2013


I have mentally debated about sharing these photos, and the link, but then decided to use the tools at my disposal, being this blog. In this modern era of social media, we country dwellers have new tools to bring our story directly to YOUR screens and into your homes.

This isn't my story, but it could be. This story is some 400kms to the west of me, where things are very much worse.
984297-colwell-station(the first thing that my husband and I noticed, aside from the cow, was the trough in the background, that our business supplied to this property. Not really photo we'd like to keep as an advertisement is it)

This cow was just too weak to go any longer, and "went down" at the trough after coming in for a drink. Despite efforts to stand her up, it was pointless. The manager had to put her down (read shoot) as he has done to many before her.
984312-colwell-station I urge you to go HERE - http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/galleries/gallery-e6frg8zf-1226649992215?page=1 - its not very long, not a lot of heavy reading, but a few poignant words that illustrate the harsh reality of the perfect storm we have before us: lack of markets (suspension of live export) leading to an oversupply of cattle on properties that would have been long gone had they a place to go, and no wet season. What makes it feel so very much worse is the fact that in part that it was man made, and nearly two years in the making. Rain of course, and a wet season would have cured a few ills but sooner or later something was going to happen - and its happening now.

We love what we do, and where we live, but at times its certainly not easy. The good times are good...but the bad times are very very bad. But I think what I find most upsetting, is the wave of anti agriculture movement and lack of desire to understand or feel empathy - or at least that what it seems when I read the paper or social media. I can't do much, but I can here share the harsh realities. Its beyond financial (even though each and every one of us must and has to operate as a business, and our business is raising beef cattle) - it's soul destroying.

Anyhow, stepping down off the soapbox, and continuing on with my washing and paying the bills, and occasional forays out into my own paddocks when needed, on with every day life, just like you are. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lots o' lemons

I got a very full shopping bag of lemons from mums tree recently, I love a slice of lemon in my glass of water. However this is taking things to extreme, what to do with them all?!http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0124/8652/products/Meyer_medium.jpg?2444Here are a few ideas that I've gathered from the www in case you too have a lemon glut....(and looking at these, the chooks must be laying well at the same time, which fortunately for me, with the arrival of new chooks, is the case)



LEMON CHUTNEY (which I am finding a bit intriguing!)

FOOD PROCESSOR LEMON SUGAR BISCUIT (which doesn't use a lot of lemon really but I like biscuits I can make in my food processor: keeps the mess down)



As you can see most of these are smoko based, as any recipe I came across for savoury didn't include BEEF, which is what fills 99% of my freezer (although in-laws have found a good place to buy fresh fish down the coast, so will have to start supplementing the BEEF diet a little bit I think! or perhaps we need a keen fisherperson friend!) Although, that said, as I delve to the depths of a rattling empty freezer, there will be a bit of pork roast featuring on tonight's menu (a bit of a skinny scrawny looking one, the reason it hasn't been used before!)

Please feel free to chime in with your own lemon-using ideas! (I do plan on squeezing and freezing the juice from some).

Saturday, May 18, 2013

weekly roundup

   A new thing here on this slightly neglected blog, a weekly roundup of the instagram snaps, which I class as microblogging. Not so good if you aren't an instagram user or follower or don't have a smart phone. Complaints received via telephone of not updating the blog enough have been duly noted (so I hope this fills that gap for you Yvonne!)



1. Odd child #3 decided to go to bed with a small stuffed donkey, which was bedded down in a small plastic basket, and wrapped in one of his fluffy new bed socks. Donkey needed the sleeping aides of a beach style snow cone thingy, and a plastic horse. (its all his fathers genetics)

2. An odd week weather wise with the skies looking promising but delivery little but a coupe of days of on and off drizzly misty weather and rather shocking cold snap.

3. Washing, the bane of my existence. Just when I think I'm caught up, it breeds again overnight.



4. Fires were lit and enjoyed for the first time this year. The novelty will wear off long before the first frost, and indeed The Husband is already grumbling about fire wood.

5. "Hambone Stew" (as the kids call it) cooked in the slow cooker was enjoyed by the WHOLE FAMILY. Even the fussy eaters went back for generous second helpings. Go figure. I won't tell them its packed with lentils, carrot, celery and onion if you don't.

6. My old mate Juliane sent down some preserves from Einasleigh via her absent minded brother in law. They have been the source of much culinary enjoyment, and sadly the source of much surprising heartburn. Consumption has had to be moderated.


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7. New bed unpacked and assembled. While it certainly looks the part, The Husband questioned the quality of craftsmanship however agreed that it wasn't likely to be any better whatever the source. Has been heard commenting favourably (with surprise) on beds comfort. And bonus, its easier to make than the old one (did I mention how pretty it is?)

8. Show time again, but under the pump we have to have our entries submitted TWO WEEKS ahead of time. Fancy forcing us to be organised. I guess it will be a surprise when show time rolls around as by then I will have totally forgotten what I deemed worthy of entry!

7. Bed box was greeted with joy by short people after school and turned into a city (or country village?) with gusto. Going on the other boxes included in their cityscape they also attacked the rubbish dump pile with gusto as well.

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8. The stars aligned and I actually did some scrapping again, the first time in quite awhile. Determined to get photos in albums, I have two kids down and one to go. To the end of 2010 but who's counting the years ;-) page protectors feature heavily, in depth journaling does not. Kids telling their own stories when looking at the result.

9. Another culinary winner (see the thumbs up?!) with the freezer running very low in beef supplies and menu options a bit interesting, we tried out nachos. Whilst I am still ambivalent about having corn chips for dinner, it was again a winner with the kids. Mince (cooked with the salsa and red kidney bean mix, plus crushed tomatoes and anything else I deemed suitable to throw in) and served on corn chips, with chopped tomato, some guacamole (adults, kids weren't keen on the funny green stuff) grated cheese and sour cream it was indeed very yummy. Previous mince avoiders (tolerated with pasta) scoffed the lot.

10. We went out last night to hurrah and horoo the visiting ex-policeman and his family after they'd holidayed here for the week. IG regulars will see my little rant there which I don't need to repeat here, however despite coming home a bit cranky and nice evening was had. And I got to wear by new suede boots and it was cool enough to wear winter style clothing! (you know, layers and stuff!!)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

move em out rawhide

As you will remember, we've had some orphaned calves since before Christmas (poddies we call them, literally. "POOOOODDDIIEEEE" we call out to them at feed time, and they come scampering). That's nearly six long months of calves scampering and pooping and eating my garden. Normally I lock them out of the garden, but as you also might recall, it forgot to rain here over the wet season. They've been getting a little hungry and I have had the place looking like Fort Knox, with blocks up preventing them from eating bits of garden I prefer them not to, and shed doors chained shut. They've had a bale of hay to eat, and pellets and copra morning and night, but like growing kids....always hungry and looking for something yummy.

(Tealeaf, who turned out to have a ruptured navel, liked to eat his hay close up...getting down to the bottom end of the big bale of Flinders Grass hay I had given them)

IMG_2798The time had come (and the garden pretty much trashed), and yesterday they got loaded onto the horsefloat (oh, were it so easy as that in reality!) and shipped off to granma's place. There they'll join her two poddies, and frolic off down the paddock where there's more grass, some molasses and treats in the mornings (more pellets).

IMG_2795 Rudolph, the bigger red calf, really LOVED the pellets, and also loved a good scratch. Dasher, the smaller one, also love pellets too, but not so much the scratching.

IMG_2800And Tealeaf, well normally there is nothing better than he liked than a scratch on the bum, but obviously all camera shy this day. Stinker.

Now they're gone off to slighter green pastures, I can start to repair the damage they've wrought on the yard - and not step in fresh cow poop every day. And the left over dregs of the hay will go onto the garden as mulch. They had given most shrubs a pretty good prune (amazing what they thought edible!) so I just need to go around and give a tidy prune and mulch.

Now I just have to deal with the chooks that come along behind me and fluff in every garden bed....

Monday, May 13, 2013

Country Style Racing

Up here, its not just about the horses when its a race meeting. Its far more about the socialisation, anyone with racehorses provides the reason for the gathering!  And Kooroorinya Races is no different although this race meeting is pretty special. Its a grass fed meet (in that the horses can not be fed anything other than grass hay or run out in the paddock - no lucerne, no chaff, no grain) that has run for the past 96 (yes NINETY SIX) years. So many families have been involved over generations and so its quite the tradition for many to attend. As relative new comers to the district (only 40 odd years) and not into race horses at all, I still remember attending as a child, and although we haven't gone every year, we've made an effort the past few as the children are older, and therefore (in theory at least) much easier to cart out for the day!

Untitled-1 Of course we had to have the obligatory family photo - all clean and tidy - before we left. The getting ready process was made more interesting by the fact that we had NO POWER (apparently notified, which we received in the mail this morning, two days after the fact) from 9am and course no ironing was done. However am pleased to note that the generator does run the iron nicely, and the hairdryer too, which brought Miss Mac scampering up the road with her ironing and un-done hair.

I made my own fascinator with a five minute tutorial from my friend Kat (its easy! and if you dont' get third degree burns on your fingers your doing it wrong!) However I made an error in judgement, whilst loving the sculptural pokey uppy bits, I did  not calculate car travel in my equation. Did not fit in the car, and after five minutes of weird posture and head angle, pulled out my carefully arranged hair and pins (and looking at the photo, the darned thing had already slipped backwards on my head. Ran into tree branch) I also broke not one but TWO necklaces in my haste to get ready, so this one was the last one that sort of went, thinking I needed SOMETHING around my neck.

IMG_2829The fashion was indeed high...with local milliner showing her wares, and the aunt and niece combination below taking out the Mare and Filly of the Field respectively.

Untitled-2  IMG_2963 IMG_3017The lolly drop was again done by air, and my kids carted home a heap of lollies in their hats/shoes (yes shoes) which I will proceed to chuck in the bin when they aren't looking. (hello sugar high)

The day finished with a Ringers Challenge, which suffice to say did get a little messy, but provided GREAT hilarity to the assembled crowd.

IMG_3078 IMG_3108Entertainment factor ramped up a good amount when some bright spark snuck over and shook up every beer that had to be drunk on the completion of the hay rolling/foot race.

We were home by 7pm, and in our warm jarmies with eggs on toast for tea, as we were mustering the next day (oh the contrast?!). At which time I proceeded to get myself thrown off my four wheeler (hit a stump) which didn't hurt nearly as badly as I thought it would. Witnessed of course by the chopper pilot (who apparently expressed concern for my well being at the time, although I am sure he will use it against me at a later date. Husband saw me pick myself off the ground, but didn't come to inspect me - she got up, must be right! ah the romance!)

And yes, mothers day was in there somewhere too. How we roll in the country, from races to mothers day and mustering, all in one weekend! Hope yours was a good one too.

Monday, May 6, 2013


back at the ranch, as the saying goes, we've got a bit of catching up to do.

The mornings are getting cooler, the days terribly pleasant and nights requiring the need to pull up the sheet or blanket. It hasn't rained (and I know its old hat, but you're probably going to hear a lot about the weather and the consequences for the rest of the year). Our shire has been drought declared, although that doesn't help our prickle farm, which straddles two shires and means I have to undertake the tedious process of filling out Individual Drought Declaration Forms. (mostly tedious as the information I need has to be sourced from The Husbands precious notebooks).

Last weekend, I took the kids mustering-for-fun at my parents place (which is in the drought declared zone, and although appearances may indicate otherwise, this feed is very much shorter than it should be at this time of year)

IMG_1796Georgie mounted on the poor old pony who thought been he'd retired, but recent rain and green grass put a spring in his step and a bit on condition back on him; I rode her (MUCH) new younger horse who had a bit of a sparkle in his eye as a consequence of the green feed as well.

IMG_1808The boy hitched a ride on motorised transport.

IMG_1807The biggest girl worked on her cantering, and took a spot on the wing, which allowed for optimum cantering back and forth whether it was required or not (cattle not exactly wild or wanting to escape!) The other girl was feeling a bit under the weather and was happy (as was the old grey) to poke along contemplatively on the tail, soaking in the gorgeous day around us.

Monday saw me head off to the prickle farm to draft weaners off their mothers. Grumpy husband and cranky wife, and those annoying little (insert appropriate unladylike adjective) black flies and a rusted out tin of fly spray doth not make optimum working conditions, but drafting was completed even if there were some mumbling, dirty looks and sweetly toned requests to SPEAK UP from time to time.

The under-the-weather child was carted off to the doctor for the second time, the previous visit the week before with me querying the perky little scottish doctor (locum) if Georgie could have whooping cough (having come in contact with kids that might have had it when we were away over the holidays) No No, can't possibly (but we'll take a swab to keep you happy). So the child coughed her lungs up for a whole week until I dragged her back again to the doctor (not the perky one this time). Doctor printed out results which had taken a full week to come back, "hmm this is interesting, she has whooping cough! AND a secondary chest infection". And as I had the foresight to take in a pee sample as well (being somewhat suspicious of sudden middle of the night toilet visits) "oh and a urinary infection too". Poor kid. After 24 hours on antibiotics she was nearly back to her old self, and whilst still doing some coughing (which could take 6 weeks to disappear, but only needs about 10 days of antibiotics) she is vastly, vastly improved.IMG_1936And managed to keep herself occupied on her couple of days at home (although the kids at school were subject her her highly infectious coughing for the week prior!) doing some school work and taking selfies with one of the new chooks.

Sadly, her quarantined period has meant that the girls missed out on some offered riding lessons in town yesterday, which we were all looking forward to. Next time.

So there's the highlights and low lights of the past week or so in our neck of the woods, I do hope there has been less lung-coughing-up in yours!

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