Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pool Progress

The house yard still looks like a construction site. We had an excavator and bobcat out yesterday to do some work in preparation for the pavers arriving in the next 2 weeks. We need to concrete around the pool before the pavers can be laid on top. Farmer Phil has finished his post emergent spraying of the crops so we can get stuck into finishing the pool and yard


Our neighbour was shifting his sheep yesterday in the paddock next to us. I took the photo to show you how sheep follow each other. I thought it was very interesting to see them trailing along behind each other.

Updated Crop Inspection

I took these photos this morning to show how the crops are progressing. It's been cold, foggy and miserable the last 2 days but the crops are powering ahead. The canola is starting to flower and the wheat is growing fast.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wedding Dress Exhibition

There was an exhibition of wedding dresses designed and made by local Deniliquin designer Jane Frazer at the Peppin Heritage Centre also. Jane actually designed a few outfits for the late Princess Diana, so she's no slouch at her craft! There were too many dresses to put on the blog, so I just chose a few of my favourites.

This one is made entirely from wool and was entered into a competition for outfits made from wool. It is very simple, but stunning!

This one is made from a fine georgette and just draped beautifully and had a sprinkle of beading.

Emma thought this one was very elegant and simple again.

Women of the Saltbush Country

At the Peppin Heritage Centre there were lots of historic photos depicting the lives of women living back in the early 1900's. Ryan and Emma were both amazed at how hard it would have been to be a woman back in those times and all the hard work they performed. Just to wash the clothes was an all day job!

Spinning the wool grown on the district properties.

Off to milk the cows.

A "modern" washing machine would've helped the women of the outback immensely.

The women all had to be good horsewomen to help work the properties as well. Imagine riding side-saddle on this, wearing a huge dress to boot!!

Weekend in Deniliquin

We had a weekend in Deniliquin to visit Daniel and watch him play footy on Saturday. When we've visited Daniel in the last 2 1/2 years he's lived there, we've never had a look around the town.

We visited the Peppin Heritage Centre which is dedicated to the Peppin family who in the 1800's developed a merino sheep that could withstand and thrive in the harsh Australian conditions. The museum is housed in Deniliquin first public school. As you can see in the photo below, merino sheep played a very important part in the town's development.

Sheep are obviously a very valued commodity!!

The champion Peppin merino which cut an average of 25lb of wool compared to it's rivals which only cut 5lbs!

Silver goblets won by the Peppin merino with intricate embossed sheep.

The drought in Australia's recent history has taken it's toll on the sheep population around Deniliquin. This photo from 1977 shows just how many sheep there used to be on Deniliquin properties with them holding their own private sales - this one was for 20,000 head at Boonoke Station!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Christmas in July

Last night our Ag n Chat group held a Christmas in July at the Junee Licorice Factory. We invited our husbands to come along as well, and a great (and long!) night was had by all.

There were trivia questions for the husbands to answer about the ladies in our small group, and then a game of licorice skittles was fought out. Congratulations to Pete and Carol on winning.

If you're ever in the Junee area, then the Licorice Factory is a great place to visit. It has superb morning and afternoon teas, a great gift shop and tours of the factory every hour. As well as a shop to buy all their yummy chocolate and licorice products. I especially like their chocolate coated strawberries which are freeze dried first and then coated in chocolate.

In licorice skittles the object is to throw the licorice ball up into the chute and then catch as many skittles as you can as they get bowled over. It sounds easy, but it's really quite difficult. Even just getting the ball into the chute!

Here are Freddie and Deb waiting for their skittles.

It's just like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where they make all their yummy products.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Scott Reardon Charity Bowls Day

Yesterday we went to a Charity Bowls Day to raise funds for Scottie Reardon to help him on his way to the World Disabled Waterski Championship in France in September.

Scott was born and raised on a farm near us and his parents Peter and Carol are very good friends of ours. In 2002, when Scott was 12 years old he was involved in a farming accident when his shoelace became entangled in the PTO on a tractor. His right leg was amputated through the knee.

Scott was a very talented sports person and 6 months after his accident he was back on the water skiing his heart out. He is so determined and talented that he's made it all the way to the World Championships three times! He is an amazing young man and we had a really fun day trying to play lawn bowls for the first time to help with Scott's ambition to become a world champion again.

I'll try and link some of his skiing from You Tube, when I work out how to do it! But for now, here are a couple of photo's of Scott and what he can do on a waterski, and some photo's of the bowls day.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hard Working Farmer!!!!

It's a cold, wet and windy day here today and Farmer Phil's plans of getting some crops sprayed have gone out the window! I just completed 30 minutes on my new bike trainer and I thought Farmer Phil was in the office getting some work done. I went to have a shower and this is what I found!!!

New Exercise Equipment

Over the last 5 years I've put on about 10kg in weight. I'm lucky that I'm tall (175cm or about 5 ft 9-10in) so I can hide the extra weight quite well. I know it's there, so it's time to do something drastic about it.
I bought an indoor wind trainer for my bike last week. Where we live is quite hilly and it gets windy every day, so cycling isn't as enjoyable as it should be.
The empty trainer in the photo is Farmer Phil's - all he's done is assemble his! The trainer works great and seems to be doing the trick with 1.5kg lost already. I'm also watching what I eat - so no banana choc muffins for me!!!

What To Do With Overripe Bananas?

This is the question I asked this morning! I like to eat my bananas when they're still hard and crunchy, but just past the chalky stage. We always seem to end up with a fruit bowl full of manky bananas.

I found a couple of recipes to deal with my banana problem - Banana and Double Choc Muffins, and Banana Bread.

Banana and Double Choc Muffins

2 C self raising flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 C sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 C white chocolate buttons
1/4 C dark chocolate buttons
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 t vanilla essence
1 C milk
65 g butter, melted

Combine ingredients until just combined. Spoon mixture evenly between a 12 cup muffin pan. Top each muffin with extra chocolate pieces. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned in a 180 degree Celsius oven.

Banana Bread

300 g self raising flour
140 g raw sugar
65 g desiccated coconut
70 g pecan nuts, chopped
2 t mixed spice
2 overripe bananas, mashed
180 ml milk
60 g butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and combine well. Spoon the mixtures into a loaf tin. Baked for 50 minutes in a 180 degree Celsius oven. Allow to cool in pan before removing.


While walking Jack yesterday evening I came across these kangaroo tracks. We usually have a kangaroo family on our place from time to time, but I haven't seen any in a while. The tracks must belong to a mother and her joey as one set is smaller than the other.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Crop Inspection

Farmer Phil and I drove around the paddocks yesterday to look at how the crops are progressing. We recorded 70mm of rain for the month of June which has given the crops a great start for a good year, hopefully! The wheat below was sown on May 12th and is just getting going nicely.

This canola crop was the first paddock sown for the year on April 27th. As you can see it's cabbaged up well and is already showing some flower heads. We sow all our crops on 12 inch row spacings, so you can see how much the canola has grown in 9 weeks - the bare dirt between the rows can't be seen.