Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011: It's a Wrap

Our 2011 started as a wet one.  Thankfully, unaffected by floods which encompassed much of our state, we enjoyed 195mm of glorious rain in January, though with all roads to our local town cut other than our own, a toilet paper deficiency was our greatest concern.

Mangoes were enjoyed,

and kids spent the final days of their school holidays playing in freshly filled dams.

A combination of flooded creeks and impassable bogs, saw us walk fat cows from Chabo to the neighbour's yards to make the first kill of the year.

My four returned to school, Years 1, 3, 5 and 7, the final year they'd all be together.

Don't get me started.

February was not so wet (67 mm only).  In line with my attempts to fill lunchboxes with only home-baked morsels,

I seemed to spend a lot of time in my kitchen.

My two big girls

were presented with leadership roles at school, making their parents very proud.

Jessie turned 10, and as we do

we celebrated with cake.

March was our wettest month of the year (259mm) and we welcomed pig-a-lets.

The local show ball was held

with a black and white theme.
The most exciting news of April was our deal on "Bottle Tree", a beautiful Buffel block adjoining my parents' property "Chabo".   With plans to move there in early 2015, we will spend the next few years readying Rock Wallaby for sale.

Both Interhouse and Interschool Sports Carnivals were held in May.

Has anyone heard the saying "big fish in a little pond"?

We'll enjoy it while we can.

A lot of time was spent at Bottle Tree with cattle to be cross-branded

and creeks to be explored.

Wallace learnt to drive in June,

we preg-tested

and the big girl turned twelve.

Some weaning took place in July, of both the porcine

and bovine varieties,

and the vege garden continued to thrive.

In August we headed to Brisbane for the Ekka

to offer Dad moral support while he judged the Brahmans,

and this baby of mine turned seven.

How does it happen.

September heralds the start of calving, with these little tykes popping up all over,

some prettier than others.

Molasses was fed to calving cows, with no rain falling during September, October or November.

I completed the Couch to 5K running program and found a new love.

Bull sales came and went in October with our sale results very pleasing in what was a rather volatile year for the beef industry.

Both Mama Pig and Socks provided us with another round of piglets,

nineteen in total.  If only our calving rate was so high.

I celebrated

yet another birthday.

While we enjoyed Melbourne Cup festivities

on the first Tuesday of November, our big girl was in town participating in a 'residential transition period' at her boarding school in readiness for next year.

Don't get me started.

We enjoyed an Interhouse Swimming Carnival,

welcomed some new steeds

and this big brute, whose stay was rather short-lived.

We made what felt like a ton of pork sausages

and wished that pig had never arrived.

The kids spoilt Matthew and I on our sixteenth wedding anniversary

and made us feel particularly blessed.

Which brings us to December,

a time of birthdays for big and little boys in this family, as well as Christmas celebrations and a little fishing,

and a little branding thrown in.

And as this last day of this year comes to an end, I can hear kids on pushbikes laughing, the old dozer rattling over some suckers in the horse paddock, and I can smell sticky pork ribs in the oven.
Life's sweet.
Wishing everybody a wonderful 2012.  We're ready.

Friday, 30 December 2011

And That's That

We've enjoyed a wonderful Christmas. 

Santa providing a bountiful supply of joy.

and overflowing Nanny's recycling bin.

As is the case every year we've eaten far more than we should,

or maybe that's just me.

Either way I'm hopeful that 2012 may see elasticated waistbands make a comeback.

Meet my Mum and Dad,

they're two of my favourite people.
We had Christmas at their place, with my brother, his wife and two boys down to visit.

We seem to have come home with an additional three thousand pieces of lego,

difficult to find when searching for the exact piece required for a Harry Potter Night Train, easier in the middle of the night enroute to the bathroom when said piece embeds itself in the soft arch of one's foot.

A small price to pay I guess for the hours of fun.

The intense focus required soon took its toll on this young player,

she'd crashed before the sun set on another Christmas Day.
Fortunately swimming replaces bathing this time of year.

We returned home with a very sick Dad, still struggling to recover from some fever that has a firm grip on his usually resilient self.  Angry that he's never had a day sick from work, but is going to spend his holidays infirmed, he's been trying to work on the dozer and continue through the great 'to do' list that his break from 'work' entails.

We've celebrated his birthday since,

and with Dad too sick to enjoy his mud cake, the children and I are resolutely soldiering through it.

We returned home to a power outage brought about by a quite savage storm which left forty mil in the rain-guage and a path of destruction in its wake.  Fuses were blown on the main power line, our major casualty a relatively new deep freezer full of beef and pork.  We saved the meat, but have yet another brand new freezer in our possession.

Our newly established aquarian eco-system suffered a seventy-five percent reduction in numbers, with our sole survivor only lasting two more days.
Hopefully better days ahead in 2012.

Of course it's since been resolved that we will never be leaving home again.


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