Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Olden Days

This semester at school, the kids have been looking at history. Over the past few weeks they've investigated some local history of our quite old little town and school.

Luckily one of the kids at school has grandparents that have lived here for quite a long time, and are bits of local historians. She was able to provide some old photos and maps, which were fascinating.  And some googling also produced some very interesting results.

1947In 1947 someone obviously decided that there needed to be a pictorial record taken of the township, I found quite a few images of buildings. This one is of our house in its previous existence of post office and telephone exchange. Very little has changed, except in the 1960's two rooms were added on the left hand side as living quarters for the postmaster of that era. I believe the fence on the right (not the white one, the posts in the background) is the one still half standing that I am wanting to pull down. And the gates on the far right are STILL the same front gates!!

StateLibQld_2_189099_Basha_Gould_and_his_camels_with_children_from_the_Prairie_area,_1932A few years earlier, in the 1930's, and obviously prior to a coat of white paint. Local kids all getting a ride on a travelling cameleer. 

Note the windows: white in this photo and green in the previous. (I know its green as I've met the layers in a window sanding exercise).

IMG_3566A 3D style map of the houses that are/used to be around our township, fascinating, especially when compared to some of the photos I have discovered!

wedding outside holy redeemer church 1910 1920sFor example, this was the church that was right next door to our house, as indicated on the map. Sadly white ants did their best and the building was pulled down in the early 80's. The school kids scrounged around on the site one afternoon, but all they could find of its existence was some green fragments of glass from the windows, a roofing nail and a scrap of lead roof capping, and one building stump (at ground level). Georgie spent several afternoons excavating that stump from the ground, hoping to find some other "treasure" under it. All that came out of that exercise was a leg breaking hole left in the ground that needs to be backfilled before horses enter the paddock again, and a kid that was kept muddy and occupied for a week of after school afternoons! (and a whole pile of implements that needed to be returned to the shed!)

prairie state school 1947This is our school in 1947. Same building still stands....

school 2013and as it is today.

I don't know about you, but I love history and comparing then and now! Watch this space. I feel a project coming on. Must make time to visit the local historical society to see if I can find more photos!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Brought to you by Honda

Horsepower of a different kind. On the weekend The Husband decreed we had to muster and wean a paddock of cows, and brand a handful of calves. Instead of running the horses in, tyres were pumped, fuel tanks topped up. Start your engines please! (do you think we had enough manpower?)


The mob was wild and unruly, and the staff terribly useful (ahem), but we managed to get them under control and brought back to the yards. (grandad came to make sure we had 'em rounded up, and then took off home for his siesta....half his luck)


IMG_5215 IMG_5218Biggest kid as proud as punch to have her own bike, whilst 2IC was a bit scared to drive her bike at speed (ie over 10kms an hour, making the trip to the paddock so torturously slow) and was quite happy to take on buggy driving until the laneway.


IMG_5230And this one, well he just tagged along (and provided light entertainment, and did his best to avoid the lens. Is this a boy thing?!) . To wittle for bike riding solo....

IMG_5232....until the last little bit of smooth laneway were obstacles were at a minimum.

Dusty dusty dusty dusty at the yards, so all electronic equipment left safely at the house, whilst we drafted. You'll just have to imagine 2IC and offsider hanging off a tree like monkies in the weaner yards, making drafting weaners that way so easy (not to mention giving the snotty stranger cow from next door something to get more snotty about). Dispatched far away from the action, these two then made molasses "icecream" balls for the drafted cows to eat off the rail, bobbing up and down behind the trough to place each morsel on the rails for the cows.

Big girl, desperate to appear useful,  got yelled at numerous times to not sit on the top rail at the head of the pound yard and then before mother really did her nana (mum being the one trying to get the cattle into the force and the pound), got roped in to help dad open drafting gates.

Handful of calves branded, very much filling the cradle despite the dryness abounding, we even made it home before dark. Fancy.

How else does one spend a Saturday?!

Get Back to Me

No words needed. Please watch.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Extra curricular

Sometimes I feel a bit guilty that my kids don't have music-dancing-any sort of sport they so desire activities to fulfil and enrich their lives out of school hours. Mind you, I can barely keep up with school let alone anything extra, however, the thought occasionally crosses my mind (even if all of the above were readily available).

And then, they have a weekend like one not far back, where mother does 240km of driving and much effort is applied, so they can have a little droving experience.

Horses were fetched, saddles dusted off, and all of the cracks were gathered to the fray to move a HUGE mob of weaners from the dip yard to a property about 15 kms out of town. It was a co-ordinated, collaborative effort; helping out the dad of the pesky spare kid.

IMG_5110 IMG_5109

That there chestnut pony that Georgie is on belied the dry season we are having, behaving in a very unbecoming, Curio like manner upon saddling. Luckily I had found a strapping teenage boy to "buck him out", with Chester using all of his best moves before anyone's bum hit the saddle. He (thankfully) did not set a foot wrong for the rest of the day.


The mob of weaners was wild and dangerous, but thanks to the skilled team of workers, they managed to keep them under control.

IMG_5129 Yes, seven riders on horseback, two on a four wheeler (me and my boy: we are sort of a horse short, as well as transportation means that can move more than two at a time - that mum can drive without a nervous twitch and one that doesn't also give dad reason to fret about his gearbox). And also along behind, a toyota containing essential supplies, and the baby of the pink shirted rider on far right. And its granny too of course.

Such a quiet slow ride is perfect for young horses needing some miles under their feet, and sweaty saddlecloth on their back, so apart from the kids, the others jumped at the opportunity. Its also a great chance for young riders to hone their skills in horse and cattle handling. Or not. A fair bit of yapping happened too.

IMG_5160 Also a chance for me to wield camera with gay abandon, as I wasn't exactly run off my four wheels keeping weaners in check. Such gems as these came off the memory card... one with such LOVELY hands (lordy, what do I DO with this child?!) and the other, look mum no hands at all?!! Spare kid maintaining the halo and fluttering wings by the looks.


About thirteen years ago, when he was showing a LOT less grey hair (one child said "you look like Noah!")  this bloke took my husband (not at the time) on a droving trip (of far longer duration and distance). It was also much greener of grass in those days.


Angus also got to have a ride, kicking big sister off her horse and onto the bike. Old Benny the horse, is well aware of Angus's skills (or lack thereof) and had to have lead rope applied.

The kids rode about 10kms that day. I loaded the horses back onto the flat 2/3 away along, as running out of day we needed to return them to their paddock and get home in time to prepare for a BBQ.

Suffice to say the kids slept well that night. And that little thought about extra curricular activities got kicked into the dust. Life lessons are even better, are they not?

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