Wednesday, 30 November 2011


The two Y-chromosome wielding members of our household celebrate birthdays in December, one early on, one close to the end.

One is currently counting days, frantically crossing dates off a specially produced calendar on the fridge, sometimes even before that date has seen the light of day.  The other birthday boy is less excited.

As well as birthdays to ponder, there's been quite a bit of Christmas list production ... helpful for Mums and Nans and Grandis and Old Nevs as well as Santa.

I'm sensing a recurring theme in this one.  Thinking maybe Nerf Guns, fishing rods and knife-belts are not on the radar this year.

Though pleased to see work shirts made the cut.

In light of the fact that a Harry Potter inspired wand workshop has appeared in Wallace and Sally's bedroom, I am thinking that maybe the rest of us will be scoring wands in our stockings this year.

And yes Wallace, I do promise that painting your bedroom will be top of the priority list for 2012.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Fun in the Sun

On the day I was expecting to be inundated with rain, as per forecasts for the past fortnight, we instead enjoyed a sultry day poolside as our kids partook in the annual inter-house swimming carnival.  Pre-cursor to next week's inter-school event, it acted as a training session with a little healthy competition thrown in.

With statistics released last week revealing that some 50,000 students will finish primary school in Australia this year unable to swim well enough to save themselves, I'm pleased to report that none of those will hail from our little school.

With butterfly making it into this year's program, our kids have risen to the occasion and displayed their incredible ability and tenacity,

in a stroke that can be downright tricky ...

... and a little bit painful.

Returning home with a handful of ribbons and

sunburnt shoulders,

we're seriously contemplating our tactics for next week's competition.

Will we go the post-swim massage, rub-down and technical de-brief,

or forego all that for a freezing cold Milo?

Friday, 25 November 2011

May the Horse be with You

Earlier this week Sally came rushing from the kitchen where the radio news was blaring, to find me.
 "Mum, Mum, guess what I just heard on the news.
Terrible horses have killed thirty people".
"Terrible horses?"
Slowly, the cogs of my mind started turning until the penny dropped.
"Taliban Forces Sal, Taliban Forces".

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Bottle Tree Babes

We managed a rushed trip to Bottle Tree yesterday to needle heifers that will be our recipient females for an embryo transfer program to be conducted early December.  The mathematics involved in dropping kids at school at 8, driving the two and a half hours to Bottle Tree, performing six hours work, and driving the two and a half hour return trip before 3 o'clock doesn't compute.   Thankfully Nanny came to the rescue, putting a quick 220 k's on the clock to collect the kids for me! 

Which gave me time to swing by a couple of dams on the way out and check out these little fellas that are everywhere.

Which will ensure we have something to do the first week of school holidays, with all hands on deck to race these tykes through the branding cradle.

Boredom has never really been an issue for us during school holidays.

This year we'll hopefully slide into Christmas having cleaned up the branding, performed an embryo transfer program, as well as a small IVF program and thrown a new hay shed up.

As well as ensuring the children have a day in town to Christmas shop for their parents!

This wee heifer belonging to Wallace, born from his heifer Rose (note the W on her shoulder).  The children are slowly accumulating more cattle than their parents, but refuse to be drawn into discussion on paying agistment.  Grandad may suggest he had similar conversations with their mother.

These rascals were also enjoying some leisurely time by the dam.

Five suckers in total, all having a wonderful afternoon lounge.  Grateful to have been born free, unlike their domestic cousins who end up in our cold room. 

Monday, 21 November 2011

Some Sunday Snags

Sundays of course are all about quality family time.

Nothing like arming the children with sharp knives and watching the fun begin.

Strangely enough it was Dad who rather neatly took a slice off the top of his thumb and required some medical attention.

Note to self, more bandaids required before next butchering job.

End result:  30 kilos of pork sausages,
and a prize to the lucky diner who finds the end of Dad's thumb.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Stuff It!

Remember this?

For a fleeting moment, I did think of cutting it in half, scooping out its innards, sauteeing some onion and garlic, adding some minced beef and probably a little bacon, smothering it in cheese, baking it and offering it to my needy children.

But knowing that they would devour the protein portion of the offering, and leave the zucchini casing on their plates to be scraped into the scrap bucket (they aren't as perfect as some of you are beginning to believe),

I decided to cut out the middle man.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


For the first time in many months we have had a full weekend at home.  Bliss.

In celebration of our wedding anniversay on Friday, and after weeks of discussion and preparation, the children treated us to a three course meal Saturday night, preparing and serving everything themselves.

With entree served on the verandah, we enjoyed coriander-infused meatballs served on a spear of rosemary.

Of course, they were cooked when we enjoyed them.

We were moved inside for main course, where lamb racks

encrusted with a crumb of bread, parsley and rosemary were served with

asparagus rolled in

mozzarella and prosciutto and honeyed carrots with a light sprinkling of sesame seeds.

With Jessie operating as Head Chef,

and Sarah general gopher, offsider to Jess and creator of atmosphere via the wonders of her ipod,

Wallace and Sally were exceptional wait-staff

with Wallace only bumping one glass of wine into his mother's lap.

The grand finale,

as appearing on the cover of the current Family Circle magazine

was simply amazing.

Fully prepared by Sarah, this one will definitely be returning for Christmas.

I went to bed that night feeling very spoilt.  Spoilt by the richness of my life, spoilt to have four healthy children who can not only chop wood, open gates and work cattle, but who can also cook.  I can see myself becoming redundant in the not too distant future.

Friday, 11 November 2011

The Eleventh of the Eleventh

Sixteen years ago today I married.

On what was an incredibly hot Summer's day.

Our ceremony wasn't until 5 in the afternoon, but still the heat caused the cream roses of my bouquet to droop their beautiful heads in dismay.

And of course the soaring temperatures ensured every guest had an unquenchable thirst.

We left our reception at 4 in the morning, surrounded by good friends and happy memories.

And with every passing year I am more grateful to have met the man who is my husband.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

If you wanna grow up ...

to be a big, big man

you've gotta

get a little

dirt on your hands son,

get a little dirt on your hands.

Wallace heard this old song on the radio recently, and has been singing it ever since.

Mum's pretty impressed to have been usurped of the task of chopping wood, though we may have to work on his method of swinging blindly with eyes closed.


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