Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sports Day

Around the State it seems that schools of all shapes and sizes are having their sports day and our school was no exception. On Thursday just past, on a brisk windy morning, we packed up our running shoes and jumpers and headed into town for the Annual Small Schools Sports Carnival. With the closure of the third small school in recent years, and the decline in school populations in both Distance Ed and the remaining rural small schools, we combined with the local Catholic School to run the carnival. Having the extra kids (40) teachers and parents makes a great atmosphere.

Athleticism isn’t something that The Husband and I have as part of our skill set, and so our kids aren’t overly gifted in that department either. However they do have unbridled enthusiasm and if nothing else, our school certainly teaches them to have-a-go and encourage their fellow sportsmen.

March pasts were marched, with some kids displaying more knowledge of their lefts and rights than others.

IMG_1963 War cries were cried with gusto and passion.


Races were run. With the cross wind, records were fairly safe this year.


Some of us looking more photogenic whilst running than others. My task for the day was to take a few snaps and then record the scores as they came in. Not too rough a job, sitting in the shade in the tent, especially when the day warmed up. Talk about a contrast in temperatures.

The day ran smoothly, and relays and ball games were greatly enjoyed by spectators and competitors alike. Some teams in the ball games seemed to bring in some rather large children…that needed some reminding of ball skills and rules not employed for quite some years.



At the end of the day ribbons and awards were presented.


The biggest and littlest kid in the family coming home with age champion (which, to be brutally honest, wasn’t hard for the oldest being the only girl in her age group, and Angus having one other little boy). The middle child quite surprised and chuffed to be chosen for the Upper Primary Sportsmanship Award.

All over red rover by 3:15pm is a good Sports Carnival in my books. And then to top off a day which was quite exhausting (even watching makes one fatigued apparently!) we got this:


A nice way to end a day indeed.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

the show must go on

We might be still drought declared, along with around 80% of Queensland, who knows how much of New South Wales, and South Australia too (but they apparently don’t believe in drought in SA, leaving their farmers high and very dry!) but the show, as they say, must still go on. What rain we did get over the “wet season” did amazing things all things considered, and finally a break in the market allowed us to move on anything that was of marketable weight.

Plucked from navel gazing, knee deep in never ending laundry (how does that happen, I am sure they are dumping their clean clothes straight back into the dirty laundry basket) and book work I ignore for as long as possible,I was pressed into service to help muster.














Such a contrast to previous years. The skies are still blue and the country is still big…just a lot dryer and grass is a lot shorter. But still, these little fellas didn’t do so badly, having reasonable feed back in the hills, and the last storms running some water meaning their distance to water was substantially less for a little while.

And then we moved on; another day, another place, another paddock, another mob, moving on what we can. In the lingo, its called “lightning off”. We had an offsider, who was quite happy to combine her patterns – florals and camo are just the thing for paddock wear didn’t you know!!


In this case it wasn’t steers we were sending to south, but empty (non-pregnant) heifers. These heifers are the replacement heifers that normally would go into the main breeding herd, having been nursed along and looked after like royalty in the past 12 months. However the decision had to be made to reduce numbers any way possibly, and these were in a marketable state. Sadly they aren’t sold on to someone else needing breeders – very few people in the state are in that position – so will grace your supermarket shelf in the very near future.

Such is life, and as they say…the show must go on.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Picnic Races

Unlike Fiona who has her annual girls-on-the-turps races outings, sans kids and husband, not so fortunate in the north, we head off to the races with kids and husbands attached.

Or in this case, san husbands who suddenly had other pressing engagements, relayed as children were getting in their glad rags.

Dad’s ears burning somewhat, we pressed on and into our race attending finery. Granma gifted the girls some fancy head wear which they were terribly keen to get a sweat out of.


The oldest favouring a feminine rock chick sort of look, whilst the second a more classic race look. The youngest, whatever was comfortable and could with stand the onslaught of dirt on arrival.


I dithered over black black or black to wear, finally settling on a black lace number, and sensible shoes. Pantihose laid out on the bed were tossed when I found I had to drive myself.


I have to say the tank stand back drop isn’t nearly as pretty since the drought and the onslaught of bovine garden helpers.


Our teacher aid and all round mad woman was my pick of the fashions, with an AMAZING yellow floral fascinator. And as you can see, Angus remaining spick and span in any way did not last long. Shirt tail out, jeans tucked into boots…hat FULL of lollies from the lolly drop.

We had a lovely afternoon out with or without Dad’s presence , came home full of sugar (the children) just on dark, in time to fetch poddies, feed horses and get our jarmies on. Just the way a good afternoon out should end!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Of poddies

Feeling quite momentous – or not – that blessed day came, after six months – that we became Poddy Free. Perhaps only a brief respite, as Lord knows conditions have not improved drought wise,  but poddy free we are indeed are.



We dispatched the Big Kids one weekend morning, after they’d spent the past weeks breaking into feed sheds, and helping themselves, despite all manner of obstacles put in their way. To send them to the poddy calf boarding school, we took them on a little wander down the street to the neighbours loading ramp. There they were persuaded that it really was required of them to hop up into the truck despite initial reluctance. And off they went, to join their other weaner mates and haunt all who went to feed them by meeting them at the gate and being first at the feed trough every time.


That left with just four – The incredibly naughty Harley and mate Heather (who both found themselves locked up for a few days due to their escapades) and new arrivals Averil and Bette. Due to the untrustworthy nature of their Angus heritage (and fence crawling tendencies) these four were restrained to the back yard and nightly feeds instead of going out with the horses. But given little outings out the back street every evening as we went to feed the horses, for a bit of longer grass.


And then, unceremoniously at 530am one morning, they were rattled into the horse float and off they went, to join the rest of the gang.

We find our afternoons suddenly a little more free at feed time, the lawn a little less hazardous to walk on but looking a lot less flea bitten; the blood pressure a little lower.

And the feed shed is looking a loss less like Fort Knox as well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

of sunsets

One thing about the change of seasons and the lessening of the long, balmy evenings, is the change in the light. Oh the sunsets that autumn brings are just breathtaking…






Although the way dark  sneaks up far too quickly before the evening chores are done or children are ready to come inside is not as appreciated. Nor are the chilly evenings, that could be called cold the past three days, now that is a shock to the system!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Month in Review

And just like that, two months have gone! poof




Diverse…and yet not.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Bush Christening

I’m playing catch up, with a hard drive brimming full of photos reminding me of the year whizzing by. Back in April   - yes APRIL! – my not so little tiny baby niece Violet was christened. Held on my parents property, the event brought together a wide and large range of family and friends of Ashley and Chelsea, as well as those belonging to two other little “unbranded” boys in the district.

The venue for the official bit was held on the “jump-up” overlooking the property.


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My oldest daughter Kate and the daughter of close respective friends, Grace, were chosen as godparents (along with a slighter older friend of Chelsea’s) a rather inspired move (I hope!).

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Our laid back Frontier Services Minister performed the service. And I took lots of photos… many photos.


The little boys not being so sure about this big bloke and his water, but did not leg it (or successfully anyhow, but there was no wailing!)



Stellar family photos for the album…


Chelsea’s cute nieces Vivian and Maggie wanted their photo taken too, along with my mate Mel and cute Isabelle (obviously in NO MOOD to be smiling thank you very much!) The light was so so good.


After the official part of the day was finished, we went back to the house for festivities. I neglected to take photos of the wonderful set up on the lawn – tables and chairs laid out, fairly lights strung and lanterns on the tables.  Another mate, who was handy with a pig on a spit, and required a sleepover the night before in order to have things under way at 6am that morning. He took his job very seriously.


And so he should have…it was delicious! All catering was done by my Mum and Chelsea, and outsourcing handful of family and friends. No one should have been hungry, that is for sure.

And then…we went home. Sore footed (impractical shoe choice for mountain side scrambling) and quite tired from proceedings…two out of three kids having decided that being on the hill after the christening was boring, so walked part of the 4kms back to the house, until they were picked up by granma, standing on the side of the road like some dusty bare footed urchins.

And Violet? went to bed, plumb tuckered by all of the fun, just after dark, and wasn't seen again. After all, she was only the excuse for the party!

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