Tuesday, 30 August 2011

FOOD for Thought

In 2012 Australians will celebrate the Year of the Farmer, a profession rather close to my heart.
And while most of the beef, grain, sugar, milk, honey, pork or egg producers I know would rather be left to go about their daily business without the scrutiny of anybody else, I would ask that every one of you who comes by my blog today, please take five minutes to watch this video. 

It's astounding to think that the world population has doubled in my lifetime and in the next forty years will increase by another 50 percent.  Astonishing to consider how we will feed this population, particularly as the space they will need to occupy will further impinge onto the very farming land needed to grow the food that will feed them.

A special shout out to Bushbelles where I first stumbled upon this video.  She does an amazing job of broadcasting rural events, showcasing rural talent, achievers, personalities and promoting rural lifestyle.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

A Wet Weekend

On what would have been a better weekend spent sipping hot chocolate whilst the children massaged my feet,

listening to the three inches of rain we received fall on the roof,

we instead opted for the more rugged, outdoors aproach and headed to Bottle Tree to right some wrongs. 

In our absence, with an apparent scent of Spring in the air, bulls had smashed several fences in their plight to rendesvous with maiden heifers and breeders alike.

So as the rain fell and the thunder rolled we worked cattle through the yards,

directing agitated, excited, fighting bulls back to their paddock for a further two months of purgatory, before our breeding season begins.

Testament to the mighty job they performed last season, babies greeted us at every turn.

Some, more noticeable than others

all assured of full bellies with this early break to the season.

Unfortunately this critter also put in an appearance, fortunate to be shot by the Canon only.

And while some livestock producers employ the services of Maremma sheepdogs to ensure the safety of their livestock, we're fortunate to have these low-cost girl children on the job.

Unfortunately, the boy child,

though armed, still hasn't fully realised the need to be in the same proximity as the cattle.

Friday, 26 August 2011

This baby of mine ...

continues to have birthdays. 

Yesterday was number 7 and everyone was out of bed early to share the joy.

Of course, there were cards to read,

and presents to open.

New clothes to try on

and toys to play with.

All before heading off for a day of school, where with a full student tally of 23, another young girl shares this birthday.  Fortunately for Sally, the other little girl's Mum always brings birthday cake to school to share! 

I was left with instructions for chocolate birthday cake for afternoon smoko, and dinner consisting of prawn cocktails, beef tacos and cheesecake to finish off.  Plain cheesecake, no fancy schmancy cheesecake.

Who am I to question why.

And so with plain chocolate iced sheet cake begging for adornment, the kids set about using freckles, smarties, jelly snakes and marshmallows to create their own individual masterpieces.

Happy, happy day Little One.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

All Style

As much as one tries to purvey a sense of effortless style, my attempts are thwarted at every turn by those with whom I must share this abode.

They do things like this to my hair while I try to relax:

and then further assault my senses with signage such as this appearing on the toilet door:

In totally unrelated news, I yesterday successfully implemented my first 'Click & Collect' grocery purchase, meaning I may never actually step foot inside a grocery store again, a revelation bringing me much cheer.   My huge order was placed online and then collected from the store, (a convenience only available in our regional town in recent weeks) where the lovely young lass even helped place said groceries in my vehicle.  Bliss.

Unfortunately this quick trip to town resulted in some expensive damage to my car with a rock flicked from a truck onto the roof of my wagon, smashing the sunroof into three million segments.  Why there is a sunroof in our four wheel drive wagon is beyond my reasoning also, but as Sally explained to somebody at school pickup Friday, "it'd be real handy for shootin' rabbits".  Rather fortuitously we are currently experiencing an extended dry spell and hopefully the sunroof will be repaired before spring storms eventuate.  Or possibly I'll use it as a rather valid excuse for the state of my windswept locks.

To any of my Western Australian readers, if you've seen a tall, dark cowboy-looking dude in your midst, tell him he should head home now.  Guest speaker at a Food Festival lunch in the Gascoyne region of WA (east of Carnarvon I believe),

where he was sent to extoll the virtues of Brahman cattle.  How if bred, raised and handled correctly, Brahmans do provide a wonderful eating experience and should no longer be stereo-typed as brindle, speary-horned and mad (no commentary from my wagyu-breeding friend necessary), although I will add that I enjoyed a Master Kobe Rump steak while visiting the Ekka.

In his absence I have rekindled my love-hate relationship with our irrigator, and am now more than ready for him to return.

Three quarters of my children are packing to head off on school camp tomorrow, leaving Sally most excited about the prospect of being an only child, if only for three days.  With a birthday coming up later in the week, she can barely sleep with anticipation of the week ahead.  And Daddy returns tomorrow.

And now I have lunch to prepare and an irrigator to shift.
Style ... who am I kidding???

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Smell the Gumleaves

We're home now.

And quite possibly we left a little spirit of the bush in the Brisbane CBD.
The knowing smiles and nods from the locals as we nervously negotiated trains, traffic and hordes of suits heading for their cubicles made me grateful we wore our hats.  They served as a warning to all who crossed our path ... Beware, we don't know where we're going, we walk slowly, our children are loud and inquisitive, we don't know where we're going, our children are loud.

This was a shopping day, we girls left the hats behind.

Our first train adventure from City Central to the Ekka resulted in a very efficient trainsperson over the loud speaker advising any persons travelling to the Ekka to please depart this train at the next stop and catch the "Ekka" to the Exhibition.  Thank you Sir, we believe you're talking to us.  Lucky we wore the hats.
We've had a wonderful time.  Museum (unfortunately experiencing much refurbishment).  Science Centre (amazing). 

Norman Hotel (Brisbane's worst vegetarian restaurant) ... highly recommended to anybody either visiting or residing in the area.

And of course, there was shopping.  Joined by our beloved bargain-hunting Aunty Kirsty.

We walked more miles than we care to recall.



And then we went to Australia Zoo as we started the northern trek,
because we didn't feel we'd walked quite enough.

Beautiful birdlife.



After a night with Grandi and Old Nev, we returned home knowing there'd been a few issues in our absence.  Breeders had knocked a gate down to be in with sale bulls.  Other sale bulls, feeling left out had crashed their way through to join in the action.  Undoubtedly a dust cloud could have been sighted over Rock Wallaby from Mars.

And now we're ready for work,
next holiday 2019.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Ekka Day 2

What started as a super-Ekka-citing day, ended with a full crew of Ekka-hausted kids.
Ekka-11 over and out.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

We are Here

After a 3:30 am start yesterday morning, a drive which for half the trip included a smelly dog and for all the drive included some sibling dispute over appropriate personal space levels, we are here.  At the capital.  So high up in an apartment block that I have forbidden all balcony excursions by anybody sharing a surname with me.

Five minutes after heaving luggage to said apartment, I hauled somewhat recalcitrant children on a brisk three blocks south walk, followed by two blocks west to admire all that is the Queen Street Mall.  Unfortunately my enthusiasm was not fully shared.  I did manage to acquire a turquoise beaded necklace

(following the non-arrival of my previously ordered overseas delight), to find that the maker of such beaded delights was in fact a cousin to one of our much loved neighbours.  Her delight at finding a fellow northerner did not extend to offering hugely discounted jewellery.

And today we headed to the

where the children started the day as auxillary crowd-fillers on the Today show;

watching Ruby Rubberlegs contort her body in such a fashion to fit it into that box slightly smaller than a fish-tank.

We then moved onto the judging arena where Dad was doing his thing:

which all took far longer than the children had anticipated.

A quick detour to Sideshow Alley and the Showbag Pavilion assisted in placating the restless mob.  I will not be held responsible for any cattle's misbehaviour due to the bow and arrow wielding ninja who then appeared ring-side.

The discovery of fungee bungee

brought smiles to everyone's faces.

Tomorrow we're auditioning with Cirque du Solei.


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