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Thursday, 29 March 2012

For Annie



The super talented, witty, creative and upbeat Annie, mother of five and friend to many more is having a breast removed today.  Call by and let her know she's in your thoughts.

Monday, 26 March 2012

A Little Pottering in the Garden

While Matthew and the girls travelled south to house Sarah's dog Ruby with a beau for the coming week (hopefully puppies come June), Wallace and I set about a little gardening, enjoying yesterday's delightful Autumn weather.

From this:


to this:


and this:


to this:


and then this snake haven:


to this:


and then about twelve loads of these:



Of course it was all grand fun whilst we were actually pruning.  The real work started when we had to dispose of the cuttings.

Fortunately, with Wallace acting as driver, enthusiasm was aplenty.  Load after load we dumped down the paddock, Wallace only allowing a quick lunch-break before declaring it time we got back to it Mum.

I'm sure it's not the right time of year for pruning, but I don't think even I can kill these old garden faithfuls.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Of Mushrooms and Milkers

I had no shortage of helpers when AI'ing two of my much loved milkers this afternoon.  Though they were soon distracted with the discovery of mushrooms near the molasses tank.


Before I could suggest that some come home for my breakfast tomorrow morning, they'd gleefully jumped all over them, smashing them into the grass.

Thankfully Olivia and Priscilla were far better behaved.



I had managed to source some 'sexed' semen from a Jersey bull named Spiritual, lauded as one of the best Jersey sires in the country, meaning my beloved milkers will have baby Jersey girls in nine months time.
Spiritual's advertising blurb includes the following: 

"Daughters are Silky, Stylish and Open Ribbed with Wide Rumps and Great Udders".

Can't argue with that.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

I Love a Rainy Day

I woke up disappointed this morning to the fact that it wasn't raining.  The system that had deluged the north of our state was heading our way, and had been expected to be in our area overnight.  The radar revealed it wasn't far off and by 7:30 this morning, the first rain was falling on our roof.


Our kids curse the fact that no creeks separates us from school, at least none that pose a flooding risk.  By the time I took them in to meet their classmates, raising today's student population to ten, we'd had close to two inches.


As I redirected downpipes away from the overflowing rainwater tank that was flooding my laundry, these little fellas rejoiced.


By midday, when the system had moved through, we'd reached nearly four inches.  Coupled with the four we received over the weekend, we're now set to cruise into Winter. 

So what to do on a rainy day when outside work is limited?


Baking of course.


Firstly Marble Cake,


followed by the kids' favourites


Jam Drops.

And for lunch on a cooler than usual day?


Vegetable Soup.


Which surely entitles me to a slice of Marble Cake for supper.

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Blog Post you do When it's Raining and you're trying to get out of Feeding Up

It's been another glorious drizzly day here.  We've now gone beyond four inches of rain and I'm prepared to call this the wet season, better late than never.  Sarah's prayers may have had something to do with it, but unfortunately for her, not enough to cut the highway as was her plan.


Of course the handful of weaners in the yards aren't as overjoyed as the rest of us.  Cold and wet, they've experienced some intensive dog-training sessions and been re-located out of the yard a little earlier than expected.  So far, so good.


Fred the Wonderdog is currently beside himself, with Sarah's Ruby who occupies a neighbouring cage, currently on heat.


Have another cold shower Fred.


She's your daughter for pity's sake!

Jess was doing some reflecting just the other day, she's into low-stress stock handling.


These girls were in the yard recently for preg-testing.  They'll have their first babies come Spring.


They were also used as donors in an Embryo Transfer program earlier in the year, so will actually have multiple babies, but without the need for double prams.  The recips will do the hard work for them, raising them as their own.


I caught Jess capturing a self-portrait,


and with her sister's camera.  Uh-oh.

We're all counting sleeps to school holidays.


It'll be nice to set six places at the table every night.


And the phone can go on top of the fridge for a fortnight.
Even though it's only used as a music machine.


I can't sit here pretending to do figures for the bank much longer.
I'm going to have to go help feed up.


Saturday, 17 March 2012

It's Raining

So what does one do?


Get right out amongst it.


64 glorious millimetres.


By far the biggest fall of this season.


And the first time water has run.


Hopefully more to come tomorrow.


So just keep getting your clothes wet kids.  Plenty more in the cupboard.


For it's raining and all is well with the world.

Monday, 12 March 2012

I was on my way to a Ball the other day ...


The only photo of the evening compliments of Jessie, beside the car, running late.  As it turned out, we got half way in, remembered the plate of sangers, screaming uey, back home, back out, grumpy husband.  We were the only ones with hall keys. No pressure. All good.  Great music, great people, great night.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Of Balls and Baking

Our local show ball is this weekend.  Not so much a ball, as a gathering of the community for laughs, drinks and conversation, while a band plays in the background and skylarking children slide up and down the length of the hall, much to the consternation of those trying to dance. 

The kids are super-excited, me not quite so much.  A new dress arrived in the mail this week.  The girls thought it looked very green, Wallace thought it looked tight.  Tight green dresses might work on Jennifer Lopez.


But me?  Not so much.
It may or may not make it to the ball.

We've been busy with hall decorating and of course a little supper baking.

Layered sandwiches,


mini bacon and egg pies,


and for dessert,


some old fashioned cheesecake slice.  (Ainsley, I've made four times my usual mix, so some of these will be headed your way ... hope that's okay).

And so by the end of the night, the tight green dress could well be a whole lot tighter.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

In my own Mind

Despite a slackening off period over Christmas, I'm still chipping away at this running gig.  A niggling lower leg injury coupled with my desire to enjoy rum balls, white christmas and choc-hazelnut pavlova saw my ability to cover over 9K slip back to the 5K range early this year. 

Now back at around the 7K mark, in my own mind I look very much like this.


A post-run image captured by Jessie just yesterday tells a far different story.


I don't know where I'm going wrong.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Book 'em

From an early age, reading has been one of my great loves, a passion I'm pleased to share with all four of my children.  It's because of them, and only them, I'm about to embark on the second of the Harry Potter series, not my usual focus.  It's been several months since I breezed through the first, may even need a refresher or possibly have Wallace bring me up to speed, he seems to have them all memorised, as do many other nine year old boys I'm sure.  I've recently enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird again, having read it now three times, first in Year 11 English, at the time a refreshing change from the heavy-going Macbeth.


Most nights I steal a few pages before the battle to keep my eyes open is lost. This bundle is currently sitting at my bedside, some of them just finished, others a work in progress, some needing to be re-started.
If anybody out there has conquered War & Peace, be sure to let me know.  I've read the first nineteen pages approximately seven times.  I will prevail.
The e-book reader atop the pile will eventually replace the pile I guess. I've read three books on it so far, including Pride & Prejudice which came already loaded and was much enjoyed.  The reader itself is somewhat of an acquired taste, it taking some time to replace the feel of the page with a screen.  Though with bookshelves already overflowing, I can see it becoming a wonderful tool.
I'm not quite sure where Dear Dumb Diary came from, though the 'just like you, only better' quip makes me think immediately of Jessie.
As Matthew likes to bawl at the kids almost daily (tongue firmly in cheek ... I think):  "Reading books will get you nowhere ... get outside and do some work".  I hope they know he's joking.

Monday, 5 March 2012

2012: Year of the Pot Plant

I've been so focused on 2012 being Year of the Farmer, that it took a friend's recent blog post to realign my focus to what this year is really all about.

I guess it slipped under my radar, with my pot plant collection currently not looking its best.


I like to call it "Death by Terracotta".

(Sharon, do you really still want a garden tour?)

But it's My Turn

With Matthew's paid employment taking him away from home most days of the week, our weekends are usually fairly full of the jobs that require more than one set of hands.  This past weekend, amongst other things, saw our old truck readied for a roadworthy inspection under the watchful eye of a full crew.


As well as a fair amount


of cleaning, scrubbing and hosing,


there seemed to be quite a deal of discussion


over whose turn it was to use the power-washer.  Dad, apparently nominated to ambush Sally and shoulder her out of the way.


Fortunately for Sal,


slow and steady doesn't always win the race,


sometimes youthful speed and a drop-shouldered side-step helps.

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