Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Almost Finished

Farmer Phil and I have been concreting around the pool for the past 3 weeks. I've mixed every wheelbarrow load of concrete for the job - about 6 cubic metres all up! I didn't count how many barrow loads that was, but it must have been around to 500! There was a 13T pile of sand/gravel mix for the job and there's only a tiny bit left.

We've still got the larger 5m x 5m square of concreting to go at the end of the pool but we've decided to get a concrete truck in for that job! Then it'll be time to glue the pavers on top - there's 260 of those!!

You Know You Live in the Country When........

a drover moves a mob of cattle past your farm gate!

Here is dad, the two kids and a dog on the road - what a wonderful way of life for the kids!

If only you could "hear" the photos - there's the bellowing of the cattle, the crack of the stock whip, the dogs barking, the gentle call of the drover.............. and then silence!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Contemporary Choir - At Last

On Sunday Emma performed with the two choirs she's a member of at a Jazz concert. This is the larger contemporary choir singing At Last. Their ages range from Emma at 14 through to John who is in his 70's.

Intermediate Choir - Best Friends Wedding

This is Emma's all girl choir singing songs featured in the movie My Best Friend's Wedding.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wedding Thank You

I just received this thank you note in the mail today from Kade and Caroline from their wedding in April. I just thought I'd share it with you because I think it's a great idea to feature some of their professional photos with everyone. Also included was a photo of Farmer Phil and I taken at the reception - thanks Caroline!

Bella Goes Walkabout!

About 6 weeks ago in the middle of cropping Bella went outside and didn't come back!

Bella was Emma's 5th birthday present so we've had her for about 9 1/2 years. She has been known to buzz off for a few days at a time, but when she was gone for a week and then two weeks I thought that we wouldn't see her again.

I received a phone call yesterday from the animal shelter in Wagga saying that they had Bella. Someone had picked her up on the road and taken her to the shelter realising she was someones pet because she was "so friendly". Luckily they did a scan and discovered she was microchipped. Of course my details came up on the computer and they contacted me.

It's quite ironic really because we bought Bella from that same shelter 9 1/2 years ago!
She's quite content having a nap on my bed at the moment and I hope the silly old goat doesn't get the urge to go walkabout again!

Ag n Chat Visits a Dairy

Yesterday was our monthly meeting for Ag n Chat and we visited a dairy during milking time. The owners Craig and Kylie were very passionate about their dairy, but they couldn't convince any of us dry land cropping/sheep farmers to change occupations!

Craig milks 300 cows, 3 times a day - 4am, 12 noon and 8pm. His dairy was only 4 years old and cost a mint to set up. We couldn't get over how technical dairy farming is with the cows nutrition requirements, artificial insemination using "sexed" semen, irrigation water needed for pastures and fodder, and time specific calving to reach the optimum milk production and animal health.

We dug our gumboots out of mothballs for the visit - we haven't needed gumboots in a very long time!! We were all very wary of getting pooped or wee'ed on while we were in the pit watching the operation! Luckily none of us experienced that!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ryan and his Surgeries

The reason I was in Sydney last week was for Ryan to have another surgery. When Ryan was born almost 16 years ago he was born with only one ear and his right jaw was smaller than the left. The conditions are called "microtia" of the ear which means "small ear", and "hemifacial microsomia" which means "small on one side of the face". This photo of Ryan was taken when he was about four and shows his little ear and small jaw really well.

After many trips to see specialists for tests ranging from hearing, CT scans, x-rays, photography etc it was concluded that he was completely deaf in his right ear, but has normal hearing in his left. There is no ear drum, hearing bones or even a hearing nerve present. There was no hope of reconstructing his hearing, but he gets by very well with only hearing from his left ear. There was concern from the specialists about spinal problems, growth problems and intellectual problems also, but Ryan has been very lucky to not have shown anything else was wrong.

The next step was to decided what to do about his jaw, so when he was six years old he had one of his ribs grafted into his jaw by the craniofacial surgeons at the New Children's Hospital at Westmead in Sydney. His latest surgery was to shorten this graft as it keeps growing as he grows and sends his jaw very crooked so that his teeth don't line up properly which makes eating difficult. He's had it shortened five times so far and the surgeons hope that it will stop growing once he stops growing which could be another five years yet.

When Ryan was ten years old he had two plastic reconstructive surgeries to reconstruct an ear for cosmetic reasons. We left this decision up to Ryan as to whether he wanted anything done about his "little ear", and he said yes he would. The plastic surgeon made an ear for Ryan with cartilage from behind his rib cage. It is quite remarkable what the surgeon achieved and Ryan was very happy with the result. He doesn't need any more surgeries on his ear, it's just the jaw which is giving him the trouble. He will also need a lot of orthodontic work done on his teeth once his jaw problems settle down.

I've lost count how many times we've travelled to Sydney to see the specialists with Ryan. It's more than a 900km round trip so I know the road there very well!! We consider ourselves very lucky though when we see lots of other children attending the hospital in Sydney and see what they have to deal with!

I Love IKEA!!

I was in Sydney from Thursday to Saturday last week so a trip to IKEA was called for. I have always loved their stuff for it's simplicity. I bought a set of bookcases for the office to store all Farmer Phil's farm related paraphernalia, some funky red bar stools for the kitchen, new cushion covers for the lounge, two glass salad bowls, two stainless steel cutlery sets, a light shade, some coir doormats, a stainless steel toilet brush holder, a stainless steel towel rail, and other bits and pieces. If I had a bigger vehicle there would have been a lot more come home with me!

Pool Work

Now that cropping has finished, Farmer Phil and I have some time to get the pool concreted around and then paved. Farmer Phil is very fussy with anything he does so this concreting job is going to take us some time to finish - the levels have to be correct to within a millimetre before he's happy to proceed! Farmer Phil is spraying the crops with weedicides in the morning and then we go out and do some concreting.