Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dust Storm

We had a huge dust storm last night which was mixed with some rain which left our house and vehicles in a huge mess. Here are a few photo's. I don't know when I'll get to cleaning everything up because we'll probably get another dust storm in the next few days!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sam Bailey Visit

For the past 12 months or so I've been wanting our small community to host an event for the wider community to come together for a night of fun and laughter, and to forget about the farm/drought for a while and just have an enjoyable, cheap night out with the whole family.

About 2 months ago I thought of an idea and put it to our Ag n Chat ladies at a meeting that I hosted in August. I suggested that we bring Sam and Jenny Bailey to speak at a community function. The idea was met with great enthusiasm, so with the help of a couple of ladies we're in the process of organising Sam's visit to us in October.

For those who've never heard of Sam and Jenny, here is a concise version of their incredible story from Sam's website:

Sam suffered a spinal injury in a car accident when jackarooing in the Northern Territory at 19 years of age, leaving his a C6/C7 quadriplegic. Against the odds, he returned to the family farm and fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a farmer. In 1999 Sam married ABC Radio Rural Reporter, Jenny Black, after proposing to her "live" on ABC Regional Radio. At the time Jenny had spent 17 years as a newspaper and radio journalist. She now helps Sam run their Croppa Creek farm, speaks with him and together they're about to start writing his next book. They appeared in February 2000 on ABC Television's "Australian Story" and their book "Head Over Heals" was published by ABC Books in 2006.

I had seen Sam and Jenny's story on ABC's Australian Story and then I'd read their book and thought what a wonderfully inspirational couple they are. The night is being fully sponsored by local businesses and sporting clubs in our community so that everyone in our area has an opportunity to attend. I received this letter included with a sponsorship cheque, and wanted to share it with you:

"Having viewed the documentary on Australian Story and read their book, it is impossible not to admire this couple. Not only have they achieved amazing feats individually and together, when dealing with their own problems, Sam has reached out and offered an incredible amount of support to others coping with some of the devastating challenged life deals out. A truly remarkable couple who are well qualified to inspire others!"

We're all very excited about the event and can't wait for the date to arrive!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Henty Machinery Field Days

Farmer Phil, Ryan, Emma and Ryan's mate Mitchell went to the Henty Machinery Field Days yesterday. HMFD is a huge agricultural field day held at Henty, NSW during the third week of September every year. It's been happening since 1963 and is renowned in Australia as one of he best field days for farmers.

I forgot to take me camera so here are a couple of photo's from the website.

Here are just a few of the many brochures collected during the day - new car, new ride-on lawn mower, chaser bin, boom spray, spray nozzles, motorbikes etc, etc.

HMFD has a great ladies section which is filled with gorgeous clothes, jewellery, beauty products, and garden essentials. Here are my purchases for the day - a new pair of Sloggers gardening clogs, first aid kit for the boat, super-duper easy head for the whipper snipper, super-duper stain remover (yes, I got sucked in after watching a demonstration!), wire bird wreath and the essential variety of fudges.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ryan - 15 Today!

What happened to my beautiful baby boy - grown up into a teenager! We took the boat out yesterday for our first ski since Autumn. The water was cold but no one else was on the water so it was perfect!

Another Ag n Chat Trip

10 of us intrepid Ag n Chatters headed off last week for an overnight trip to the Snowy mountains. We are all active partners in our farming enterprises so it's nice to get away with the girls sometimes! Here we are, minus Cathie who is taking the photo, at Batlow.

Our first stop was at the Agrivest Apple Orchard and Fruit Packing Facility. Here are the workers packing the apples after they've been through a wash, wax, sort and sticker process.

Our next stop was the Pioneer Women's Hut at Tumbarumba. What a great collection of household items from years gone by. Beautiful antique quilts, clothing and needlework from Australia's past.

Paddy's River Falls in all their late afternoon glory.

Our quaint accommodation at McPherson's Plains Alpine Retreat.

The following day we had an exciting 4WD experience where we saw lots of beautiful brumbies. Here are just a few of the photo's I took.

After a few hours of 4WD'ing, we finally made it to Tumut 3 Powerstation (part of the Snowy Hydro Scheme) at Talbingo to discover that the road was closed due to maintenance at the plant. Our only alternative was to turn around and go back the way we came. Nobody was looking forward to the return trip when the Snowy workers obviously felt sorry for a bunch of women and removed a crane to let us pass. We were very appreciative!!

Our last sightseeing stop was to view Rusconi's Marble Masterpiece at Gundagai. It took Mr Rusconi 28 years to make and construct (finished in 1938) and has over 20,000 pieces of turned marble - amazing!

My camera batteries died, so I didn't get a photo of our last stop which was a very late lunch at Gundagai Wines in the old Nargoon Woolshed but if you're ever in the Gundagai area I can highly recommend a visit.
We all had a great time and did lots of talking and laughing which is what our little ag n chat group is all about!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Covered Ute Sprayer & Drought!!

Farmer Phil has been busy this last week making a covered sprayer to attach to the back of the ute to spray the fire-breaks. His dad, Noel is using it today to get some spraying done before the weeds take over!
There is no rain predicted for at least another week and the crops are starting to struggle with no moisture. We received minimal rainfall (30mm in total) in August when the crops start looking for a good soaking. It looks like it's turning into another disappointing year for the farmer!
I said to Farmer Phil that we should be getting used to being disappointed when the crops fail as this has been happening every year since 2001!!! Older farmers comment that they've never seen a run of bad years like this in their lifetime. They experienced drought years but maybe only one or two in a row and then the following years were either back to normal or bumper harvests. We can't seem to get even one decent harvest!!

Football Grand Final

Last weekend we watched Daniel play in his footy Grand Final. I think you can tell from this photo taken after the game that his team lost! There were lots of heartbroken boys and men! It was very disappointing as the scores were equal at full time, and still equal with about 2 minutes to go in extra time then the other team kicked a goal and that was game over!! All we can do now is look forward to 2010.