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Saturday, 30 January 2010

A New Beginning


This week saw the page turn on a new chapter in my life.

A childless chapter.

No more will I sit with my baby over a cup of morning coffee discussing the likelihood of Justine from Play School changing the colour of her hair again, whether Big Ted is Little Ted's dad, or big brother, whether when she grows up she'll just chase brumbies from Monday to Friday, then rodeo on weekends, or whether she'll breed cows as well as horses, or just horses.

I had my first trip to town in ten years on my own.
And I shed a tear.
Got about ten k's down the road when I looked in the rear-vision mirror and noticed the empty back seat. No "where are we now Mum?", no "can we play I-spy?", no "I need a wee!" Just a lonely grey leather seat.

And I know it's all for the best. I know they have to grow up. And I know she was ready for school. It's just the closing of a really special chapter of my life. I've loved having babies, watching them grow and develop, loved having them by my side. So just for this little while I'm a little sad that it's over. But I'll be sure to enjoy these next two years, before I lose my beautiful firstborn to boarding school!

Perish the thought!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

It's All About the Kids

For quite some time, the kids along with two of their school-mates down the road, have been scheming some grand overnight camping adventure. And we could only stall them so long.

We did however manage to thwart their plans of camping on the edge of a mosquito-riddled dam where we would have beat ourselves black and blue swatting mozzies into the wee hours of the morning.


So the tent was erected not far from the house for the kids, allowing spoilt mums and dads to 'camp' as nature intended - showered, in clean PJ's, on a Sealy Posture-pedic in a fly-screened rooved establishment.


We still took the kids down to the dam for a spot of water-sports.







...and returned to a beautifully cooked rolled roast done in the camp oven in the coals. (obviously some time after this photo was taken). With accompanying potatos and sweet potato cooked in foil, the meal was divine.


Of course, twisters followed for dessert. Damper mixture pressed around a stick and cooked over the coals. After cooking, the stick is pulled out and sticky sweet syrup poured down the hole left by the stick. Who needs chocolate cherry torte?



And of course you can't have a fire without toasted marshmallows can you?



And here endeth our school holidays.
Sigh!

Monday, 25 January 2010

All in the Name of Art

As much as I dream of a more cultural existence, when it all boils down we're just not the arty type. When you spend 40% of your working life with your hand up a cow's bum, either fertilising her, flushing her or implanting her, there's just not a lot of room for flowery romance. But still, I can dream.

And so, I will ensure my offspring experience all forms of getting in touch with their artistic sides.







And if that means investing $3.95 in a bucket of chalk and letting them loose on one of the rainwater tanks, well so be it.

All in the name of culcha!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Keeping Mum

I got in trouble at school once for "show and telling" about 'how my mum shot an emu through the eye at 300 yards'. With emus being a protected species it was one of those little "in-house" stories best discussed around the kitchen table. Mum was without doubt a crack-shot. With her old 22 'Betsy' by her side, there were no pesky wabbits, snakes or other vermin safe around our place.

But then, there aren't too many tasks that Mum set her hand to, that she didn't master. Whether it be whipping up a sponge, a cheesecake, a gourmet meal for 12 when the freezer seemed empty, to ploughing, tordoning, milking, mustering, dozer-driving, dressmaking, growing the most beautiful roses you'd ever wish to see, and now running Dad's building office whilst caring for her own mother, nothing's ever been too much bother for Mum. And through all this, her and Dad have been together. Grafted at the hip, as she jokes.

And this week it nearly all came crashing down.

Mum suffers from a condition called Crohn's Disease, and I shouldn't say suffers. She manages it with medication and a slightly modified diet, with the condition rearing its ugly head not too often, with attacks of severe abdominal pain that often result in a hospital visit for some pethedine treatment, which eases the pain and allows her to recuperate at home for a day or so, until it passes.

Last Sunday night the pain came. She made it through the night and worked through Monday. Monday evening though, the pain reached a point where Dad took her up to the hospital for some relief. They admitted her and administered morphine. By nine o'clock the following morning when Dad went up they were giving her her sixth shot of morphine, with still no relief. By Tuesday evening, they took her in for emergency life-saving surgery. And it had nothing to do with Crohn's. Scar tissue from a surgery some thirty odd years ago had adhered to the bowel, and was strangling and twisting the bowel to such an extent that it was discolouring and dying. The wonderful young Dr Andrews was able to succesfully extricate the scar tissue from the intestine and restore it to its proper condition. She explained to us had the surgery been left until the following day, as discussed, we would have been telling a different story, one a little hard for me to grasp at this point.

So, after four very sick days, Mum rang last night to say "I'm better".

And now, so are we all.

We don't need weeks like these to appreciate our Mum. We, as a family, value her everyday. Her kindness, her caring nature, her many abilities. Like many mums, she is the glue that keeps our family together.

And I will continue to treasure her everyday.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Houston, we have a Problem

It would appear that my PC is in need of some TLC.
As a critically important member of our team, we are hoping her absence is a short one. She is enjoying a well-earned break in town, and will hopefully come home refreshed and ready to face the challenges of 2010.
In the meantime our lives as we know them have somewhat altered.
With Matthew unable to access the weather-sites, we have no idea whether it's hot or cold, and with hay due to be cut next week, we wonder how we'll cope!
With wages to pay, accounts to enter, BAS's to complete and of course, blogs to post, we really are dependent on that little machine. In the meantime, maybe I'll just have to iron, it still seems to be working.

So, until next time.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was typed from my mum's computer in town.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Favourite Photo of 2009


I've been asked by fellow-blogger Jacintah of "Live Life Now" to post my favourite photo of 2009.

Certainly a task easier said than done.

But I've chosen this one. One which I've printed and framed and proudly display on my dresser.

Possibly my favourite photo of all-time is this one, as posted yesterday.This one sits on the dresser as well.

Friday, 15 January 2010

If You're Happy and You Know it


....then you really ought to show it.

At least according to Meredith, a wonderful fellow-blogger who has 'tagged' me to list ten items of happiness in my life.

So, in true list-making form, something I do now, as part of my 2010 focus to become a more organised person, here we go:


1. This team of youngsters. Known to evoke every range of emotions in this mother, but mainly happiness. It is particularly heart-lifting watching them grow, develop and learn to love and share our interests.


2. Rain. Possibly an inbuilt genetic predisposition in every person trying to eke a living from the land. Rain is our life-blood, the great provider of life. So no matter where or when, the sound of rain on a roof always brings a smile.

3. My first morning coffee. Made by my husband without fail every morning of the week. If for no other reason, I'll keep him just for this.

4. Books. Have had my head stuck in one since youth. Unfortunately the drudgery of daily routine doesn't allow me to indulge in reading now as much as I'd like, but the Christmas period would not be complete without hour after hour of soul-rebuilding reading.

5. An empty Ironing Basket. Almost an impossibility, but still one must dream.

6. Friends. Some people acquire great numbers of these, something I haven't done, just a few true gems. Sue B, with whom I shared a hall at residential college so many years ago, then a flat, now we share tales of teething, toilet-training and tantrums; Loreena, who I met not long after, who I've been through a divorce with (hers, not mine), shared the joy of her second marriage and subsequent first baby; and Sue G, who I've only got to know in the past few years and lives a very similar life to me, close by, we have really become close friends. These three special people, some of whom I don't talk to as often as I should, always make me happy when I do.

7. Fridays. Have always been special. I grew up in a household where Friday was a very special day of the week. A few drinks, a special meal were always part of Friday night tradition, one we are continuing in this household.

8. Green Grass. Probably closely related to Point 2. Can't help but feel joy gazing upon my freshly mowed brilliant green lawn, then further afield at the paddocks, not so long ago parched and brown.


9. Cows. I love cattle. Always have. Always will. There's no greater time than early spring when the first babies of the season start to arrive.


10. and...this bloke.
...most of the time.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Full House

All is well with the world. Our two older girls have been welcomed back to the fold, and again our home is filled with the tinkle of laughter of all four of our precious offspring.

Whoaaa, back up. Tinkle? Our kids don't tinkle! More a whole lot of raucous, loud catching up, mayhem, racing through the house, slamming doors and general noise! And a little bit of fighting thrown in, just so we know they're well.

So we set about putting them straight to work. Saddled up steeds and away we did go. Buffalo fly to treat, donors to needle, calves to brand and others to wean.










A full tiring day, late tea and straight to bed for offsiders.

Monday, 11 January 2010

We should've called them Thelma & Louise

This pair of girls know how to have a good time.
There's just nothing more fun than running round and round a tree.
Especially when someone's calling you.

But they're no match for Sal. She invented cunning!







They're becoming very brave, particularly when there's a fence separating the cows from them.

" It's alright Thelma, I've got your back".

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Week 1, 2010.


The first week of 2010 has ended showing much promise for the year ahead. With beautiful rain since Christmas, the land is transforming before our eyes. Can you believe that the above photo is of the same paddock shown below, and only a month ago. Clearly a case of "just add water". Matthew planted forage after the first inch, and with about another five on top, we'll be making hay while the sun shines in a month or so.


This week saw much achieved.
A little burning,


a little cleaning, a little gardening, a day mustering at "Chabo",


(hard to believe it was also in the grips of drought less than a month ago).

We also had a trip to town to purchase school supplies (so proud of myself getting in so early), only to find many shops close to sold out of many items - how organised are these mums!!! Sarah and Jess are still enjoying time in town with Nan and Grandad, while Wallace and Sally have spent most days harassing their poor old ponies, who are starting to cringe when they see this pair of buckaroos approaching.




Sal of course has a full time job keeping the pump running.


This beautiful baby girl's enjoying an increased milk supply as mum rejoices in some green grass.

These fellas couldn't believe their eyes when flying over this dam. Where the heck did all this water come from!?!



Puppies are growing, and new babies are falling.



Here's to a wonderful 2010.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Crikey Mum!

Can you give us a hand Mum?

No, I'm busy.
Ask your Father.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Right said Fred

Fred the Wonder Dog, aka our Team Leader was calling the shots today.

Cattle had to be mustered at Chabo.
More springing recips to come home to calve. Heifers ready to meet the bull also to come home. So Fred said.

We just fell into line.

Afterall, a dog of his experience knows best.


Home James.

Whatever you say Fred, whatever you say.

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