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Monday, 30 April 2012

The Body

This Jessie of ours is quite the character.


Never one to shy away from a little attention, she's never happier than when the centre of a crowd (where, oh where does she get this from)?


It seems Persuasive Texts are all the rage at the moment.  I do wish Naplan could find another form of writing for our students to study so comprehensively.  Every year it seems to be the same old thing.
Tomorrow, members of Jessie's class will be presenting a dialogue on different aspects of a persuasive text, in an interesting format.
Jess will be discussing the 'body' of the text.


And so decided to fully emulate 'the body'.


Unfortunately Elle McPherson wasn't available.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Showing Off

Our weekend plans went slightly awry with inclement weather yesterday preventing us heading to Bottle Tree.  And just quietly, there were some amongst us not entirely disappointed.


It did allow us the luxury today of heading down the road to another small country show where a few of our cattle were being shown by Sarah's school.


We are so pleased to be associated with this school, these youngsters handling themselves and the cattle very professionally.


Our Tilly, once a milker's calf,


did us proud, receiving the Junior Champion Heifer ribbon.


Jessie lined up again for another run in the Junior Parader's class,


bringing home a fifth place ribbon.


She and Sarah now excitedly talking about attending the Junior Beef Show conducted in Rockhampton in the June school holidays.


One more week, and we head down to Beef Week, an amazing celebration of all that our industry has to offer.  Thousands of cattle representing every breed and every facet of the beef industry will be on show.  Commercial cattle, carcase cattle and led stud cattle, the best of the best, a magnificent exhibition and representation of what beef producers Australia-wide are producing.  And the bottom line of all of this ... steaks on plates. People feeding people.  We can't wait.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Just a Quick Trip

This is the part of a weekend away to Bottle Tree that my crew doesn't really appreciate.


Don't get me started on the food.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Worth a thousand words?

People keep blogs for so many different reasons.  Many are gifted writers, others like to showcase their creative talents, still others like me are possibly trying to freeze time, to capture memories, preserve history, chronicling part of our lives for those that will come after.

For me, one of the great offshoots has been a joyous new hobby in the form of photography.  I generally carry a camera with me all the time, I've read some books, and am now fully immersed in manual mode.  So much more to learn though, but that's what life's all about I guess, the learning never ends.

Several months ago I was contacted by a South African investment company who had found one of my photos via the blog and were hoping I would allow them to use it on their website.  This was the photo,


nothing particularly awe-inspiring, but perhaps they do look a little African, these old rogues from Back Bore Paddock.   You can check out the website here.

Earlier this year I was contacted by a pavilion co-ordinator with the Sydney Royal Easter Show who was organising some banners for one of the agricultural education pavilions.   She asked if she could use this image,


representing youth and agriculture.  Of course Wallace was a little put out.

And now in completely immodest fashion, I present one that did quite well at this past weekend's show,


one which I feel the need to include, as I don't think it has ever been put on the blog before.

It seems necessary to say something about being reflective, but I won't.
Grab your cameras, switch them from auto to manual, and start playing.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Rollin' down the Road

With Matthew away, and the Bottle Tree neighbour informing us of 20 head of our cattle in his yards, the past two days have been spent up there.


These fat babies are everywhere.


We weren't intending to wean until early July, but I'm thinking they may have to come home sooner.


They could be as big as their mamas by then.


Yesterday's trip involved our old Acco truck, a beast with which I share a love-hate relationship, emphasis on the hate.  Her gearbox is a treasure trove of mysteries I'm yet to fathom.


My whole trip to town was spent pondering how I would cope if the traffic lights perched on the first hill into town were red.  Of course it was red, and I performed a particularly nasty version of a handbrake hill-start.  I'm hopeful the driver of the small Festiva behind me has since recovered.


I managed to score nearly every red light from the northern reaches of town right through the other side.  And the old Acco can chug from first to fourth, given enough time and some cussing.


With a few small hills, something akin to the Great Dividing Range, separating the neighbour's yards from ours, the drive through town was a Sunday drive through a secluded country lane by comparison.  Through a combination of double-clutching, triple-cursing and single-minded teeth-grinding we made it.  Twice.  Two loads of cattle never looked happier coming off a truck and down a ramp.

And by the time I made it home nearing dark, collecting children from neighbours and trying to ease the tension in between my shoulder-blades, I believe the old Acco and I just may have kick-started a beautiful relationship.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

It's Showtime

You know it's been a busy few days when you send your husband off to work for the week with a bag full of dirty jeans and instructions on washing them when he reaches his destination.

Our local show was this Saturday just gone,


involving many days of preparation, a full and busy show day, followed by the clean-up, de-briefing and tallying of figures.



This year we hosted a Brahman Feature Show, with an excellent line-up of Brahman cattle vying for top spot, somewhat of a practice run before heading into town for the Beef Week celebrations only a couple of short weeks away.


Jess enjoyed her fifteen minutes of fame as a catwalk model,


though the moves she'd been dazzling us with in the lounge-room at home were nowhere to be seen on show-day.


There was little time for rock-climbing with junior parading commitments also beckoning.


These girls, the Crackup Sisters, flew in from Brisbane and stole the show.  Providing some slapstick entertainment as well as guiding a great number of kids through some whip-cracking manoeuvres, they were wonderful crowd pleasers.


(Thankyou Pam for the photos ... by this stage of the day I didn't have another trip to the car for the camera left in me).

Another year, another show.
A phone call from a neighbour has meant a trip to Bottle Tree yesterday, back again today.
Looks like we'll be wearing our cleanest dirty uniforms again today.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Who's a Pretty Girl?

My Ella is often the butt of jokes around these parts.  With a vastly different personality to the tribe of trim, active, working Border Collies with whom she shares a home, an overweight Rottweiler is an easy target.

With Matthew's old workhorse Nissan spending the week off the road, he returned home this afternoon in an electric blue hire car.  Ella, my loyal protector, rushed to investigate.


Instantly mesmerised by her own reflection, all natural instincts to protect her family were overcome by the need to impress this new Rottweiler.


Which fairly quickly became a battle of wits,


Ella growling,


her reflection responding in much the same manner.


The Brynne Edelsten of the Rottweiler world.
I think she's still out there.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Our Easter

though far from restful, peaceful and tranquil, was spent doing what we enjoy.  Heading for Bottle Tree late Friday afternoon, first job Saturday morning was to run the horses.






All feeling full and fresh, their skylarking into the yards left Sarah a little dubious after a buster last ride.  With Dad teed up to provide a warm-up session for Warrior, the rest of us set about saddling our mounts.  A rather large cloud of dust and a cooee from Sarah told the tale of a tumbling horse and a dusted Dad. 

With bulls to come out,


a last lap of branding to complete,


and fat cattle to be sent to the meatworks,


as well as some preg-testing, and the first cut of weaner steers to come off their mamas, it was a case of many hands make light work.








The kids really worked incredibly hard, and by mid-afternoon today were starting to show the strain, more than one dirty face streaked clean by the salty tears of desperate tiredness.
 
Not easily impressed, Dad gathered them in the kitchen at home this evening to tell them how proud he was of their efforts and that they would be paid for their weekend's toil, timely with our local show fast approaching.
 
For what better reward for hard work is a belly-full of fairy floss, a cap gun and a collection of show-bags to boot.

Monday, 2 April 2012

We're experiencing the most beautiful weather at the moment, Easter weather at its best, cooler evenings and most agreeable days.


Sarah started Easter holidays Thursday.  Free to leave school after running her cross country race in the morning, we collected her dog Ruby, who will hopefully present us with some additional team members come late May and headed for home.


With some fencing, dozer driving and preg-testing already under our belt and a beautiful fortieth birthday party for a very lovely friend Saturday night, we headed up to Bottle Tree yesterday for some more preg-testing and for me, first inspection since the recent rain.


Long lush grass, by-washing dams, sappy weaners and fat cows ... a very pleasing outing.


Even a little wildlife on parade.


The three younger children opted for a day of gardening with Nanny, Sarah offsiding at the headbail for the day.


We return to Bottle Tree for Easter.


Some late calves to brand, bulls to come out and meatworks cattle to truck.
And of course to await the arrival of the Easter Bunny.

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