Monday, 22 December 2014

Signing Off ... the last Post

As it tends to do at the end of a long, dry spell ... it rained.  The last week of school for Wallace and Sally saw storms rolling from the west four nights in a row.  Much mid-night radar watching ensued, and slowly the falls added up.  18 mil, 21, 33 and finally over 50.  Even better at Bottle Tree where we measured a total of 182, and with great relief saw dams three parts full.

The above photo taken just the week before the rain,

and just a couple of days after.  And so, just like that, Christmas is looking a whole lot merrier.

No more worrying about windmills keeping up with demand.  Cancel the order for more tanks and poly and you can keep the lick too.

With Matthew officially on annual leave, there's been another quick trip to Victoria for embryo work.  The big fella retrieved 31 transferrable embryos from one cow (49 in total), apparently giving him bragging rights.  Back home the old D6 has been putting in some big days, kids have been rolling old fence and everybody enjoying late afternoon dips in the pool. (3000 'mother-of-the-year' points for Mum who managed to find all required parts for re-assembly).

Wallace's primary schooling came to an end.  Off to boarding school with Sarah and Jess, leaving me and Sal at home to handle the job roster.

Wallace and Sally rounded the year off well.  And in a tradition spanning back one whole year, graduating students exited school for the last time through the great arch.

Our small school takes a big hit next year losing its Year 6 and 7 cohort and only one little Preppie coming in.  Our numbers will reach an all-time low (in our time of involvement with the school) with 17 enrolled.  And one teacher to cover seven year levels.

Of course there'd been much fun and frivolity at our usual break up day which preceded Presentation Night.  These two girls well versed at three-legged racing, the photo on the left taken in 2009.

This pair too sharing quite a history, and now off to high school together next year.

On another note, I think the time has come to wind up this blog.  I've enjoyed capturing memories for my kids and grandkids to look back at in years to come and perhaps I will continue to do so in a more private manner.  Thank you to all who have visited this space and left beautiful and funny comments, I've formed friendships which will certainly endure and enjoyed the cameraderie brought about by mothering regardless of location or lifestyle.

2015 will bring some changes for us as a family.  Three kids off to boarding school, a move to Bottle Tree and Sally starting home-schooling.  We will continue to work hard at trying to raise kids with a good sense of values, a healthy work ethic and a hearty dose of common sense.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Twelve (with blurry phone photos)

Does anyone know where my camera is???

My gorgeous third child and only boy turned twelve today.

As always there was cake.  This one nearly too good for us.  After a couple of years now of meagre sugar intake, we're all suffering from pains in the belly!

He's a good one this boy of mine.  I'm rather partial to him, and having witnessed the grief of the Hughes family today as they farewelled one of their boys, I'm feeling very fortunate this evening.  I'll try harder not to take any of these moments for granted.

Though admittedly was less than amused this morning when a small altercation between two left a rather large indent in a gyprock wall.

The two big girls are home.  One may have even been involved.

The Christmas tree is up ... and tonight we're baling hay.

Best rally the troops and burn off some of that sugar.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Babies, Babies Everywhere

A routine trip to Bottle Tree today to pump water and check dams.

Bulls put out last week to work look to have settled in nicely.  This fellow came home with us from the Brahman Week sales and just may be wondering where the grain feeder is hidden, though quite content to have a girlfriend today.

These little fellows dotting the landscape.  This, a special one we'd been waiting for.

His mum, a heifer shown by the kids last year and therefore a much more exciting delivery.

He's gorgeous.


But then ... aren't they all?

Don't worry babies, despite the doom and gloom currently being espoused by the Bureau of Meteorology, I'm sure you'll feel the wonder of rain upon your backs in a very short time.  Nan's cactus is flowering, which can only be a sign.

This cheeky old bull has gone out to work today as well.

But the most exciting news of all ...

I've a full house with my big girls home for the holidays.

Monday, 24 November 2014

I Love a Sunburnt Country ...

 ... said no grazier ... ever.

Australia is undeniably a harsh, dry country, though recent trips to Victoria have confirmed that Queensland is certainly moreso than the southern reaches.  And November, December are always hot and dry for us as we await the wet season.  We always hope to receive an early storm or two but their arrival certainly can't be relied upon.

Cows feeding calves at Bottle Tree are doing it a little tough, though in an attempt to create some space we were able to find a number of fat cows to offload over the weekend.  What is a real worry to us at the moment is water.  Last wet season's rainfall was well below average, and we ran absolutely no water into dams.  So now with a combination of shuffling and juggling we've moved all cattle off the Chabo mountain where dams are all but dry into a Bottle Tree paddock where they can water off a bore, in turn putting pressure on the limited grass that's there.

The mill in Back Bore Paddock needed some work before we moved cattle in.

Several new lengths of casing went down without too much in the way of marital disharmony on what was a scorching Summer's day.

We managed to convince the big fella that wearing a safety harness doesn't mean you're showing any signs of weakness or aging.  It just shows good sense.

It was nice to have a full crew on board for the weekend, the girls having spent more weekends in school this term than out.

Their efforts greatly appreciated, despite a few sibling hiccups along the way.  Temperatures in excess of 40 combined with a little stress can quite easily assist with hiccups.  

At 42 degrees when we headed off for lunch Saturday, I was grateful I'd thrown in an extra water bottle.  The twenty litres just saw us through the day.

The men folk measured dam levels in every paddock, unfortunately no great news anywhere.  Though it did make for some humorous photos.  I'll leave you with this little gem,

which hopefully I've cropped sufficiently to not get me in too much trouble.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Oh Melbourne Town ...

... I think I like you.

The big fella and I've just returned from a weekend in Melbourne.  With more cattle embryo work scheduled for yesterday (Monday) to the capital's west, we decided to take the weekend off and slink into the cooling embrace of the deep south.  

We took in the sites, shopped and ate well.

It was wonderful.

Of course we also worked.
A 4 am start (3 o'clock Queensland time) yesterday to flush eleven cows and transfer some eighty-something embryos.

A good day.
We left Victoria's glorious eleven degree morning to land straight back into forty degrees in sunny Central Queensland.

My favourite part of flying being the luxury of daytime reading.
Currently working my way through Ms Gillard's memoirs.
That Kevin certainly was a problem.


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