Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sewing Time

As a lot of you know, my sister Lisa is an avid sewer, knitter, embroiderer - well, just about everything really!  I, on the other hand, am just a sewer who can create a few bits and pieces.  My work is nowhere near the quality of Lisa's, but I do try!

I made these criss-cross coasters this afternoon for a friend of my parents in law who is turning 70 tomorrow.  I hope she likes them!  They are so quick and easy to make, you should give them a go. 

Jenny B Harris' Allsorts blog is one of my all time favourites.  I copied her sewing studio because I loved it so much.  Red and aqua together looks fabulous!  I reorganised my sewing room a couple of weeks ago because we bought a new lounge suite for our family room, so I could finally move the red sofa bed into the sewing room and it now becomes a spare room too!

This is a photo of Emma's sewing projects over the past few months.  She finally finished her initial cushion this afternoon while I was sewing.  Her chibi doll is fabulous - I hardly helped her at all.  

Monday, September 29, 2008


I took Emma shopping yesterday as she had grown out of all her summer clothes from last year.  At 12 1/2 she's at that in-between age which makes it difficult to find suitable clothing for her.  All the children's departments in Target and Myer had clothes which were way too young looking and then you move to the ladies department and they all look too old!

We ended up at Jay Jays because all she needed was some neat casual clothes.  We bought a few t-shirts, a couple of pairs of board shorts, some denim shorts and 3/4 pants, a couple of nice tops and a cute grey shirtdress.  She also needed a new pair of Havaianas.  I think that's all her summer wardrobe bought in a couple of hours.  She still needs a new pair of swimmers, so I guess we'd better find some of those before all the shops sell out.

Ryan couldn't care less about what clothes he wears - that's boys for you, they're so easy!

Getting Fit for Summer

Here is my new best friend for the next few weeks and months - my push bike! I've finally got her out of the dusty shed and went for a ride this morning. It was a very relaxing (slow!) one around our little village. I haven't really done any meaningful exercise all winter and now it's almost half way through Spring!

Lisa and I have discussed participating in the Red Cross Murray Marathon this year, but we're still undecided. I thought I should make a bit of a start at some fitness in case we do decide to participate. The race is on between Christmas and New Year every year which is bad timing for us farmers who may not be finished harvesting by then.

It's the 40th anniversary of the race and because I'll be turning 40 in January, we thought it would be a perfect way to celebrate. I'll keep you posted on what we decide.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ag n Chat Trip

Here are a few snaps of our trip to Yackandandah and Beechworth. We all had a great time with lots of eating, drinking and laughing. There were 10 ladies in all with an age range from 21 to almost 60 years old. We all get along really well and have lots in common but we also found out quite a few new things about each other that we didn't know.

Our first stop was the Vienna Patisserie at Yackandandah where we had a lovely morning tea in a very cute Austrian timber chalet. It was then off to Schmidt's Strawberry Winery to taste some of their wine and liqueur and salivate over their nice, ripe strawberries in the field.

We then ventured off to Beechworth where we had a look at the Beechworth Honey Experience. It's a very informative and interactive shop all about where honey comes from. Our accommodation for the night was at The Old Priory which is a wonderful old rambling building that used to be a convent and boarding school. We had a great time investigating all the rooms.

Some were up bright and early Thursday morning for their morning walk while others lazed around in their nice warm beds! The famous Beechworth Bakery was next on our itinerary and we actually had a talk from Tom O'Toole the owner. He's a very positive and inspirational speaker and we all came away in a much more positive frame of mind.

The Beechworth Blackworm Farm was also very interesting and Mal, the owner was very informative and passionate about his worms. The very quaint Stanley Pub was our choice for a very yummy and relaxed lunch. The photo of the hessian potato bag is bit risque, but we were all jealous of her abs and jugs!

A peaceful walk was then had around the gardens and buildings of the old Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum site. We were all in awe of the massive old trees. A quick final stop at the Beechworth Sweet Co. for some treats for the kids, big and small. On our way home through Albury, we stopped at Adamshurst to view some artworks painted by one of our members.

As you can see, we had a very busy couple of days. Now it's school holidays for 2 weeks, so we can all relax and unwind properly.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Overnight Trip

I'm off on an overnight trip to Yackandandah and Beechworth with my ladies agricultural group.  We call it our "ag n chat" group, and all our farmer husbands think that more chat than ag goes on at our monthly gatherings.

I'll write a post when I get back.  We're all looking forward to having a break from the farm and husbands and kids etc.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Tuesday's are a bit of a busy day for me.

Ryan and Emma both go to boarding school during the week and come home on weekends.

Every Tuesday afternoon I drive to their school and pick Emma up.  I take her to her singing lesson and then a choir session.  I get home around 9.45pm.  It's about a 460km round trip.

I know what you're all thinking - are you mad?!  Emma loves her singing and that is her only after school activity which I take her to.  We have a great time sitting in the car chatting about what's been happening at school.  She always has some interesting stories to tell.

Ryan has electric guitar lessons every Friday evening when he gets home from school and I only have to drive him 30km into town for that.

The photo is of Emma earlier this year when she was in a production of "Annie Jnr".  She played the part of Pepper the orphan in her first ever musical production.  She had a blast and did a really great job.

Rain, Glorious, Rain!!

We had 22mm of beautiful rain overnight.  After that dust storm rolled in yesterday I thought that was it for the change which was due.  The crops will soak up this moisture with gusto!

The phone started ringing at 7am this morning with calls from our farming friends comparing how much rain everyone got.

Needless to say, Farmer Phil is very relieved.  The rain came just in the nick of time for most of our crops, but there are some that have been damaged beyond repair.  The hot, dry weather of the past 2 weeks has really taken it's toll on them and they will suffer a potential yield decrease because of it.

Anyway, not to worry, the farming community is on cloud 9 at the moment!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ridiculous Weather!

I just wanted to show you what ridiculous weather we've been having lately.  No wonder the poor farmers are tearing their hair out in frustration.

We've just had 6mm of rain as you can see from the puddles and now we've got a huge dust storm blowing in!

This photo is the view from my front path across to the next paddock.

What a Weekend!

Gosh, what a weekend we just had!  It flew by very quickly because we jam packed it full of stuff to do!  Birthday boy, Ryan had a great night camping out with his mate Jack in their swags. The motorbike shows all the junk they had for it.

We had a lovely day out water skiing and the weather was just perfect as you can see from the super smooth water.  A cheeky kookaburra decided to camp in the tree above us waiting for some scraps to eat.

We then packed up and went to watch the Mighty Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong Lions win the local RFL Grand Final (that's Australian Rules football for all you non-Aussies!)

As you can imagine, the house is a wreck today.  The kids have gone back to school so I'm madly trying to get everything back in order and believe it or not, it's started to rain!!!  Don't get too excited, it's only scattered showers and storms at the moment!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lazy Saturday

This is what we've been up to so far today - spray painting a bike, lazing around in our pj's watching DVD's, and baking birthday cakes.  

It's Ryan's 14th birthday tomorrow and he's invited a friend for the weekend.  As farm boys do, they've been riding the motorbikes and fiddling with the push bike.  I think they're camping out in their swags tonight.

Emma didn't want to be home with 2 teenage boys to contend with so she's got a friend staying for the weekend as well.  The girls were still in their pj's at 11am!  They're on the Nintendo Wii at the moment.  Check this out at The Country Doctor's Wife - it's very funny and oh so true!

I think the birthday cake looks very yum!  It's a flourless chocolate cake because Emma's friend is allergic to wheat!  

We're supposed to be taking all the kids water skiing tomorrow, so I might have some pic's of that tomorrow.  Hope you're having a lazy weekend too!

Finally the Hay is Moving

This is what Farmer Phil has been doing every morning this week - loading a truck with canola hay.  This is hay that we baled last year after the season turned bad and we had to cut all the canola crops to make into hay instead of harvesting them for the grain.  The trouble was that we sold all 600T to a hay dealer and he defaulted on the contract and didn't pay up.  Luckily we still had all the hay stacked in our sheds, it's just taken us almost 12 months to find another buyer.

Farmer Phil is now contemplating cutting the canola crops again this year as Spring rain has failed to arrive and they are really struggling for moisture.

While Farmer Phil was loading the truck yesterday, I had to drive out to one of our other farms which is 65km from the home place and bring back the tractor (the red one in my profile photo - it's a Case MX 285 for anyone who's interested!) which had the fertiliser spreader on it.  The tractor sits on about 34km/hour so it took almost 2 hours to drive it home.  It's very relaxing sitting there having a good look at the countryside listening to the radio and waving to everyone who drives towards you.  They take a second look when they see it's a woman at the controls!!

I just want to say a huge thank you to all you wonderful people out there in Blogland who have left some lovely positive comments for me.  I know you've all come over from Lisa's blog, so thank you very much.  I think I'm going to enjoy blogging!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Flying the Coop

My eldest son, Daniel left home in February 2007 to pursue a career as a jackaroo on a wheat/sheep property in south western NSW.  He says that he likes his job, but more importantly he loves the area where he lives.  I think that has something to do with his girlfriend, Ange!!

Here he is with his best mate, Rex on a trip home to see us with his other prized possession - his ute!  Then there's a picture of his mailbox - how rural!  The property was in the grips of a very bad drought when he moved there and this year is shaping up to be exactly the same.  He lives in a very basic house on the property which was the original shearers quarters from over 100 years ago.  The last picture is of his latest best mate, Wally.

More of the Menagerie

I wanted to show you some more of the menagerie here on the farm.  These animals are VERY domesticated, as you can see from their sleeping arrangements on my bed!  I've got 4 cats.  They are Bella, Charlie, Poppy and Daisy.  

Bella is a cranky old girl.  Charlie is the big ginger fluffy one who is the biggest sook ever.  Poppy and Daisy are sisters that I hand reared from 1 week old.  Their mother was a wild cat who decided to give birth to 4 kittens in our chook yard.  She decided to move them one day, but left these two behind.  As I have "sucker" written across my forehead, I decided to hand rear them.  

Daisy is very placid and is constantly being dressed up by Emma.  I can't decide whether she's happy about this or not! 

Thanks Sis!

I've had a few issues today trying to publish posts on Blogger.  I made a mercy phone call to my big  sister, Lisa to help sort it out.  I'm glad she's been blogging for a while now and can tell me what I'm doing wrong.  Here she is doing her thing on our recent holiday to Merimbula together.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dust - The Farmers Wife's Curse

Just thought I'd show you what happens when we get a dust storm out here and a few spots of rain to really ruin your day!

The first picture is our outdoor setting with a glass table and the second is one of the lounge room windows. The picture of Jack in the previous post at the back door also shows some of the dust.

As I said in my first post, the BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) promised that we'd get between 10 and 30mm of rain over last weekend. Well, we ended up with 1.5mm in the rain gauge!! How wrong could they have got it!

All it did was make a huge mess. In the local newspaper today, there was a picture of all the townies lined up at the car wash to get their vehicle cleaned!!

I'll have to crank up the pressure cleaner tomorrow and get the house cleaned up.

My Little Mate

Here's my little mate, Jack. He follows me everywhere I go. As soon as I open the back door he's there with a tennis ball in his mouth ready to play! He's a Jack Russell/Mini Fox Terrier cross. We got him from friends of ours who have bred these dogs for years as fox hunting dogs.

When I went out to photograph the crop dusting plane he jumped up on the big mossy rock to see what all the noise and action was about.

Crop Dusting

Well, here we go!! My sister has been waiting for me to start a blog for quite a while now after she started hers last year. I thought today would be the day and as a coincidence, the crop dusting plane arrived as I'm sitting at the computer trying to work out how to do this. He's spraying our canola crops for aphids. I raced outside with the camera to get some photo's as he's spraying the paddocks right next to the house. How perfect!!

Our crops are looking great for the time being, but rain which the BOM promised over last weekend failed to arrive, so Farmer Phil is getting a bit stressed at the moment. We've had 4 droughts over the past 6 years, so confidence is pretty low at the moment. Spring rain seems to be sadly lacking for the past few years. All the potential for a great crop is there if only Hughie would send some our way!

Wow, the plane just buzzed over the house and it sounded very close to the roof! The pilot is a mad Kiwi who lives in the area and is notorious for sneaking up on farmers in their tractors and buzzing them. He's scared the pants of Farmer Phil quite a few times!! He'll then dip his wing to say "Gotcha!!".