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Thursday, 29 July 2010

Julia?

Poor Mama Pig.
She's due to have her babies any day soon. Her movements are down to a slow waddle, and only then if food is near.
I was much the same.
Only bigger.

What's more troubling though, is what's happening to her tail...

What the?

We've taken to calling her Julia.

She's no sense of humour though.

Unless you're carrying food.

Must be Winter

This old dear was dragged out of hibernation this week, greased, oiled, serviced and put back to work.


And these little darlins were nearly beside themselves with joy.


For there is no nectar so sweet to a cow as the sticky black syrup that is molasses.


Mmmmmm...

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Told you so!

With nearly fifteen years of married life behind me, I've long realised that husbands and wives don't always agree.

This inevitably leads to some potholes in life's highway.

And whether the issue in question is a choice of bathroom tile, methods of disciplining offspring, rosewood or ironbark for fence-posts, or chicken or beef for tea, I've no doubt couples worldwide are no exception.

We recently entered cattle in a carcase competition. Not a terribly romantic notion, a very dissimilar outcome to a Miss Universe for example. These poor bovines compete 'on the other side' so to speak. Carcases are evaluated at the meatworks, with points allocated for evenness of fat cover, marbling, eye muscle area, fat colour to name but a few.

Matthew and I entered two steers and two heifers on our own behalf, and drafted off one of Mum and Dad's steers to also be entered.

Twas here at the yards that a little wager was held. My money was on Dad's steer, a beautiful grey Brahman steer displaying length, softness, smoothness and evenness of coverage. My husband on the other hand, who makes his living assessing cattle preferred a big square heifer of ours, indeed a very nice example of carcase quality. And while I admitted that I didn't get paid to know anything about cattle, I was sticking with the steer.

Here's the result:



Not only did 'my' steer win his class,
he was then awarded Champion Grassfed Carcase,
and then, against many grainfeds, was awarded GRAND CHAMPION CARCASE from some 322 entries.

I may let Matthew have a hold of the trophies....one day.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

When Irish Eyes are Smiling...

Is there anything that makes a heart smile more than the sound of school children singing?
And sing their hearts out they did, today at our old town hall in front of local ladies at the CWA International Day. Ireland being the country of choice, saw the children dressed in green, sharing with us the lilt of Irish laughter, and tripping the light fantastic on the dance floor.


There was twirling...


much concentrating...

and an abundance of small male dance partners (due to the imbalance of older girls and younger boys at our school).
...and imagine the horror of having to dance with your brother!!!
Small schools!!!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Planes, Puzzles & Automobiles

Friday saw the three older children and myself board an airplane and head south to Brisbane. As first-time air travellers the excitement of the kids was unimaginable.

The reason for our southern venture was Grandad's birthday, and in a Brisbane hospital an unsuspecting Grandad lay waiting. Lay waiting with two brand new, shiny, stainless steel knees very freshly replaced.


A ticket had been purchased for Sally, but in the past week with much talk of visiting hospitals and having to be on best behaviour, she suggested it would be for the best if she stayed home with Dad. "I just can't promise I'll be able to be good enough or quiet enough" were her words. I didn't argue.

I knew I had enough to contend with...

The second great excitement of the day was a phone call that we could not be met at the airport and would have to catch a cab to the hospital. "This day just can't get any better," Wallace declared. First plane ride and now first taxi ride! Woohoo!

This sign en-route to the hospital brought a chuckle.

And then the kids settled in to hospital routine for quite a lot longer than I'd anticipated them being able to remain still for.

Armed with puzzle books, crayons, colouring pages and Roald Dahl they managed to occupy their time in a very 'hospital-appropriate' manner.


Lots of strange odours can assault your senses in and around hospitals...

....chances are your kid brother could have something to do with it.

Grandad was absolutely thrilled to see these goons walk through his hospital room door. Quite a birthday.

Sunday saw us back at the airport. With seating at a minimum, fortunately we're not fussy where we eat. Running into quite a media throng at one of the arrival lounges, we decided to hang around and see what all the fuss was about. Upon overhearing that Kevin Rudd was about to arrive, we moved on. As Jess commented "I didn't think he was famous anymore".

And back home we came.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Mum's Shadow



I have a little girl who wants to be just like mum when she grows up.
Poor little soul.

As she sat on the kitchen floor Monday and cried about going back to school, there seemed little I could say to console her.

So in a foolish attempt to make my little girl smile again, I hurriedly muttered something along the lines of her only needing to go to school until she can read and write.

In the two days since, she has spent every waking moment with her face in a book and a pencil in her hand. I've no doubt she'll be tackling Shakespeare before the year's out!

Not yet sure what my next move will be.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

According to Slim Dusty...

"...you can have your fancy dishes of egg and bacon rolls,
but the feed that I love best of all are ribs cooked on the coals".


and while I may argue the point that there's nothing much fancy about egg and bacon rolls, there's no dispute that ribs are one of the delights savoured after the kill.

This weekend saw the school holidays come to an end with us stocking the freezer with beef.

I decided not to upload too many photos of the actual butchering, but the older girls assisted bravely.

Here they search for a kidney amongst the kidney fat.


With forty kilos of mince stacked away in the depths of the freezer,



I can see a lot of lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise, rissoles, meatballs and meat-pies coming our way.

These lovelies, rib fillets on the bone, will be savoured with a glass of red while the children eat tin spaghetti!!!


For their job is to simply keep working...


Keep that Cryo-vac machine humming Jess.


Looks like beef on the menu at our place for some time to come.

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