Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas with Family

We had a lovely, relaxing Christmas at Lisa's house this year. As you know from her blog, she lives at the beach which is very beautiful. We all had fun swimming, surfing, snorkelling, fishing and kayaking for the 4 days that we were there. Ryan and Emma love to catch up with their only cousins on my side of the family. I only took a couple of photo's while there, so here is our Christmas lunch in Lisa's back yard!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Dress Ups

Here's a photo of what Emma amuses herself with! I think they didn't mind!

Fatty's New Home

Fatty went to his new home yesterday with Lucy and Hannah. He was very content in the half hour car ride to deliver him. Andrew and Michelle informed us last night that he had settled in very well! Meaning he now owns the house!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Daisy - Too Cool for Words!

New Holiday Digs

For two weeks every January, we make the long trek across the Hay Plains to Renmark in South Australia for our annual holiday. We've been camping in tents on the banks of the mighty Murray River for 19 long years. This week I found a caravan in our price range that we can now camp in instead.

We've been wanting a caravan with airconditioning for a while now, but just haven't been able to lash out with all these droughts we've been having lately! Renmark can get very hot in January and we always have some sleepless nights while we're there. Our good friends, Andrew and Michelle have a nice, new airconditioned van that they bring every year and we're always very jealous.

We can now go off for a nana nap in the afternoons in airconditioned comfort - yeah!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


This is the kitten that we called Fatty as he was the biggest and he always had a huge, fat tummy after he drank his milk. He's been adopted by good friends of ours, Andrew and Michelle and their two daughters Lucy and Hannah. They originally wanted Squirt, but with his leg still wonky, I suggested they take Fatty instead. He's very sweet and playful and I hope they'll be happy with him. Fatty and Squirt made themselves at home on Emma's doona this afternoon.

Farmer Phil's New Toy

Farmer Phil has been waiting almost three months for his new Hayes boomspray unit to arrive. He was very excited when it was delivered this afternoon. He's just taken me for a demo ride around the paddock spraying water. It's twice the size of the old spray unit we had with the tank holding 5800L and the boom reaching 32m wide. I will not be volunteering to drive it as I might hit a tree, and the controls inside the tractor are very complicated!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Christmas Sewing

Here are some more criss cross coasters to be given to Emma's singing teacher, Cathy. I've still got a couple of presents to get organised and then I'm finally finished.

We're heading to the coast to have Christmas with Lisa and her family. Mum lives close by as well, so it will be good to catch up with everyone in person. We're then having two weeks camping and waterskiing in South Australia which is very relaxing.


This is the kitten we called Sooty. He's curled up in Emma's school hat. I took him to the pet shop yesterday so that hopefully someone nice will adopt him. It was very sad to say goodbye without knowing his future!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Christmas Time!

Happy Birthday, Gavin!

This photo was taken about 19 years ago when our very good friend, Gavin was 21 and doing what he loves best - fishing! It's his 40th birthday today and I don't think he's changed a bit!!! Farmer Phil looks almost the same except for some much better looking glasses these days! Happy Birthday, Gavin and see you on Saturday night for your big party!

Christmas Sewing

It's been a while since my last post as I've been in Canberra with Daniel who had craniofacial surgery last week. He was born with a mouth which didn't open very wide, and it was decided about 2 years ago that this was a danger to him if he needed to be intubated in an emergency. Over the past 2 years he has endured wearing a splint between his teeth, and an arthroscopy procedure which didn't work, so more invasive surgery was needed.

The doctor's were very happy with the results, but Daniel will have to do lots of physio exercises to get his jaw moving and opening normally.

I'll show you some of the gifts I've been sewing for Christmas. I can't show you some as the recipients read this blog!

The first is an initial cushion for an elderly neighbour who now lives in a nursing home. It's really hard to think of presents for her. Then there are some criss-cross coasters which we gave to Emma's choir teacher. I've got another set cut up and ironed ready to be sewn for Emma's singing teacher.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Harvest 2008

Here are some photos I took this afternoon before the heavens opened up and dumped a storm on us. The black sky tells the story!

The John Deere header belongs to very good friends of ours who had already finished their harvest and came to help us get ours off - thanks Jason, Scott and Paul! With the changeable weather we've been having lately, we decided to get harvest finished as quick as possible.

It's raining steadily now, so it looks like we'll have to stop for a day or two.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Isn't he the cutest kitten ever?!!

This is Squirt. He's not feeling the best at the moment. On Sunday he was holding one of his back legs up to walk, and then on Monday it all swelled up. I was thinking the worst, that he'd either broken it trying to jump out of his box or he'd hurt it wrestling with his brothers. Squirt is tiny compared to the others.

I took him to the vet where they did an x-ray and confirmed that there was no broken bones. But he suspected an infection or abscess in his leg. The infection was syringed out as much as possible and now Squirt is on antibiotics for the next 14 days. He's still holding his leg up to walk, but the swelling has reduced a lot since Monday.

As you can see from the photo he is thoroughly spoiled. He's got a nice soft quilt to lay around in which is up on the lounge so that he's away from his two rough brothers.

Squirt is supposed to be going to good friends of ours, but if he's going to be high maintenance, then I think they'd be better with either Fatty or Sooty. Till then, Squirt will just keep demanding my attention!


The locust plague has arrived at our house these last few days. I've been out running around, clapping my hands and waving my arms like a mad woman to make them fly on. It's all been in vain as a new lot arrives straight away. They normally don't like water, so I've been putting the sprinklers on to try and get rid of them. Once they're on the wing, it's a waste of time spraying them with insecticide.

I'm just pannicking that they'll eat all my new lawn! We had them a few years ago and they hung around our patch of lawn for weeks and ate it almost bare. We had them again in March this year and they stripped the leaves from the lillypilly hedge, and even ate the agapanthus!

The photo's aren't very good but you can get the idea from the black/brown things all over the lawn!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Daniel and Angela

This is Dan and Ange at her Year 12 Formal last week - don't they look great!

Daniel doesn't normally have a moustache! He's been growing one for Movember which is raising money and awareness for prostate cancer.

Elphie's New Home

This is Elphie with her new owner Cathy who is Emma's singing teacher. Elphie is short for Elphaba who is a character from the musical "Wicked". I'm very sure that little Elphie is going to be spoilt rotten by Cathy and Jon. They had already bought her a new bed and some toys and couldn't wait for her to arrive. It was a bit sad saying goodbye to her, but we'll get weekly updates at singing lessons.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


This is what our harvest looks like at the moment. The header is stripping barley and then emptying it's box into the semi to be taken to the delivery site. We had rain on Friday night which has stopped the harvest. It's been a foul, windy, grey weekend so far and so cold that I've put the heater on! Hopefully, we'll be back harvesting early next week.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Kittens Are Growing

The kittens are growing quite quickly now and they're eating soft cat food and kitten biscuits. I still give them three bottle feeds a day, but they're not drinking as much milk as before.

As you can see from the photo's, they are thoroughly spoiled by Ryan and Emma.

They're very playful now too and I could sit and watch their antics all day! They love to get in amongst the timber venetian blinds on the windows.

Christmas Sewing

Christmas is fast approaching now and I've been trying to get some gifts made over the last few days. I can't show you any of them because the recipients read my blog! I'll do a post about them after Christmas, if I remember!

This is a doll by Emily Martin of the Inside a Black Apple blog. She has it as a free pattern on her blog. I made it for a good friend's daughter, Jaycee who was 3 yesterday. It's really quick and easy to make and I'd recommend them for any little girls you know.

Green At Last!!

Finally we have some greenery around our house!! The first 150m of turf went down on Wednesday last week, and then another 270m on Friday. It looks fabulous and makes the house seem cooler!

I have to wait until after harvest for Farmer Phil to start building the timber deck, and then the yard will really start to look good.

The tree is a Blueberry Ash which is a small, native Australian tree which has really pretty pink "ballerina skirt" flowers. Mum gave me two for my birthday back in January and I didn't want to plant them until the watering system was installed. There'd be too much pressure on me to keep them alive with manual watering!

I wanted to plant the other one on the eastern end of the house but when I started digging the hole, I hit rock about 10cm down. I moved to another spot, but hit rock again so I don't know where I'll plant the second one. The whole eastern end of the house is sitting on a shelf of granite rock!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our Weekend

Here's a photo of the kittens eating their first meal of kitten food - Whiska's chicken tender loaf! As you can see they absolutely adored it. It makes them poo a lot more though!!

We had a very constructive weekend working in the garden. We have been waiting for a bobcat to come and dig 70m of trench so that we could install the last of the watering system. He promised he'd be here last week, and said Saturday at the latest. Well, he never showed! So we dug the trench by hand. Farmer Phil did most of the digging, but Ryan and I tried to help as much as we could. Emma was at a friend's house for the weekend, so she missed out on the fun!

It's all ready now to have the turf laid. I'm still waiting on the first lot of turf to be cut by the turf farm - the farmer said that with the drought, it's just not ready to be cut. I'll post some photo's of laying the grass when it arrives. We can't wait to have nice green grass around the house.

Farmer Phil will start harvesting again today after we had 14mm of rain on Friday afternoon. He's still stripping canola, and he's quite happy with it's yield at the moment. It looks like I'll be laying the turf on my own!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Here are the kittens after 10 days of hand feeding them. Sadly, the smallest dark tabby one died last Thursday - it was a very sad day for me and I cried when I buried him amongst the lillypilly hedge. I think he contracted pneumonia as he was struggling to breathe properly and refused to drink.

All the others are fighting fit and running around the house like they own the place! It was very difficult to get any decent photo's of them as they don't sit still long enough!

Emma's singing teacher is taking the smokey grey one, but all the others are still looking for homes.

Ready for Harvest

We're all ready to start our harvest now. The header has been serviced, the canola has been windrowed and Farmer Phil is eager to see how well the crops will yield.

Farmer Phil harvested a small canola sample yesterday and had it tested for moisture and oil content. The moisture level was a bit too high to start harvesting it today, so he'll have to cool his heels for a day or so. The oil content was only 32% which is well below the receival standard of 42%. This is due to the dry conditions and lack of crucial rainfall during the growing season. We will be penalised price-wise for this drop in oil content.

As you can see, the canola looks very different now compared to a few months ago when it had lush, green foliage and pretty yellow flowers. All it is now is a hard, thick stalk with some crunchy pods on the ends.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Girls Night In

On Friday night our Ag n Chat group held a Girls Night In to help raise funds for research into women's cancers. We visited a new little cinema in our next closest town. It only seats 22 people on comfy lounge chairs. We had a lovely meal together before watching the movie "Across the Universe". No one had seen it before and we were all tapping our toes and singing along to the Beatles music. We all had a fun night and raised $240 which we thought was fantastic.

More Landscaping

We've had a very busy weekend trying to get as much of this sprinkler system installed as possible. We'll have one section finished tonight, so I'll order the turf for Wednesday I think. We live on a hill and it gets very windy sometimes, so all the black compost is now all over the bricks and paths. It's been trampled inside the house as well.

We had to hire a jackhammer to help with digging the trenches. The hill we live on has very granity soil and lots of floating rocks under the surface. Farmer Phil decided to dig the post holes for the proposed deck with the jackhammer while we had it. Each 600mm hole took almost half an hour to dig out. Farmer Phil was very tired and sore after hanging onto the jackhammer for hours.