Saturday, December 22, 2012

RIP Jack!!

He was bitten by a snake while visiting Farmer Phil's parents house.  Everyone is devastated!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Shop Website

The website for our new shop "kindrawares" is now up and running.  It has some photos of the stock in the shop but we haven't monetised the website yet as that costs quite a bit of money!

If you see anything you would like to purchase either on the website or Facebook, then all you need to do is call or email and we'll help you out!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Harvest 2012

It's our second last day of harvest 2012 so I thought I should at least do one post on the subject!!

We bought a new header this year and there's a fight on each day between Farmer Phil, Daniel and Ryan about who gets to drive it for the day!!  I've had minimal input with this year's harvest due to my involvement with the new shop, but I have still managed a few hours of header driving!

Harvest has unexpectedly been quite good after receiving absolutely no rain for the whole month of September when the crops are really singing out for a good drink!!

The canola yielded well and had high oil content, and the wheat has yielded well also so no complaints about this year's harvest!

Picking up wheat on the run!

The header is fully controlled by GPS so you only have to steer at the end of each run or around an obstacle in the paddock!

Harvesting at 10km per hour

45ft Draper front gets across the paddocks very quick!

Friday, December 7, 2012


As part of Ryan's traineeship with us on the farm he had to complete a Certificate III in Agriculture at TAFE during the year.  He completed it and graduated this week.  He is thinking of going back next year to get a Certificate IV and also participate in a welding course.  There were a few farm boys in the course and he became firm friends with some of them so I think it really helped him more socially than educationally!!  It can be lonely for a teenager on the farm when there's only his boring parents to talk to!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Farmer Style

The Peterson Bros from Kansas have been at it again - very clever again boys!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

School Spec 2012 - Our Time

Emma has had a very busy year with her singing.  The biggest event for her was the Schools Spectacular in Sydney last weekend. 

Earlier in the year she auditioned to be a Featured Artist (soloist) for the show.  It required a dvd audition first.  She was successful after this round out of 600 auditionees.  It was whittled down to 200 kids so a trip to Sydney to audition again was required.  She was successful in this round also where it was whittled down to 100 kids left.  The next audition was in Sydney again but Emma unfortunately picked up a head cold and lost her voice the week of the audition so she wasn't picked to be a Featured Artist.  Although she was disappointed she knew that she'd done exceptionally well to even get that far!! 

Anyway to cut a long story short, Emma was then asked to audition to be a member of the Core Choir - 30 high school children with microphones who are the main backing vocals for the whole show.  She made it through that process and after many more trips to Sydney for rehearsals the Schools Spectacular shows were finally on at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on Friday and Saturday last week.  We unfortunately couldn't go to any of the shows as we're in full swing with harvest!  Emma was kindly billetted by another Core Choir family so that made out lives so much easier!

Next year Emma will be in her final year of high school but she is definitely going to try again to become a Featured Artist!

Emma's photo made it into the local paper during one of the Core Choir rehearsals in Sydney.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Where Does the Time Go!!!!

I can't believe it's been 3 months since my last blog post!!!  I've been rather busy for those 3 months so I'll explain what I've been up to!

At the end of August I came up with a hair-brain idea to open my own little giftware/homewares/handmade shop in my closest town Coolamon.  I put the idea past my sister Lisa who thought it was a fab idea but only if she could come in on the venture!  So here we are 3 months down the track with our own little business together!

We've been open 3 weeks now and the response has been phenomenal with so many people coming in to have a look and buy things.  There have been lots of positive comments about how pretty the shop looks and "it's just what Coolamon needed" comments!

You can "like" us on Facebook to check out all the photos of our stock and the hard work we've put in getting the shop ready.  We are having a website built at the moment, but we're not sure when it will be up and running.  I designed the logo with the help of a graphic designer.  All I knew was I wanted red, aqua and white as the colour scheme, and then I thought about 2 little birds who would represent Lisa and I as family like the birds from the Partridge family tv show!

This is a photo of our opening night window - we had a champagne and nibblies opening for our friends and family, and also other business owners in Coolamon.  The old "Speedwell" bike belongs to my mother-in-law who rode it to school everyday back in the 1950's.  It's in original condition (rusty!!!) but it still had air in it's tyres when I pulled it out of the back shed!

The "dandelion" lights are from IKEA and we get about half a dozen comments everyday we're open about them - they're a real talking point!  The local "Men's Shed" made the pigeonhole shelving for us, the oval table was a $40 Vinnies find which I painted, and the old meat safe in the back corner had been sitting in a shed on the farm for the last 50 years with junk in it.  I pressure-washed it and re-gauzed the sides and door, but basically left it in original condition.

It's a really beautiful shop to walk into with it's amazing pressed metal ceiling, timber floor, and one wall is all mini-orb corrugated iron!  We've stocked it with beautiful things from all over the world as well as Australia.  We've sourced handmade jewellery from Australian artists, beautiful porcelain bowls from the USA, timber jewellery and homewares from Germany, and our Aunty Jenny Newbound has supplied us with some of her amazing artwork.

We pride ourselves on the fact that nothing in the shop (other than Aunty Jenny's paintings) is over $50 and we're going to try very hard to keep it that way!!  Anyway, Lisa and I are having a lot of fun so far and we hope to continue having fun!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Charity Quilt Finished!


The quilt I started making a few months ago is finished and ready to be auctioned when my Ag n Chat group stages our Australian Year of the Farmer Ball at the end of October.  It was a very easy quilt to make and I think it's simplicity really shows off the beautiful fabrics I used.  We have quite a few handmade items all made by our members that will be auctioned on the night for charity.  Our plans for the Ball are progressing well, and we're all just a bit excited for the night to finally come.  Lots of new dresses have been bought, and we're watching our diets and exercising so we all look fantastic on the night - we don't get to really dress up very often!!  Normally it's just jeans, shirts and workboots for us farmers wives!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

An Overnight Trip with the Girls

During the week I went on an overnight trip with my Ag n Chat group.  As usual it was another fantastic learning experience for our group.  There will be a more detailed post about the trip over on our blog soon!

Our first stop was to visit Origin's Cullerin Range Wind Farm near Gunning.  After visiting Origin's Gas Fired Power Station at Uranquinty earlier in the year, a seed was planted that we all wanted to know more about wind energy.  The Wind Farm is an amazing sight to see and learn about how they work.  The turbines are 80m tall and the blades are 45m long!  The 15 turbines on the farm will permanently power 15,000 homes.

We had a lovely overnight stop at Schonegg Country Guesthouse in Murrumbateman.  I can highly recommend this accommodation - it has a wonderful quiet, country atmosphere and Evelyn our host was just amazing.  It would be a perfect base for a trip to Canberra because it's only about 30mins drive from the capital and well away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Our next stop was to visit French Black Truffles of Canberra.  No one in our group had ever experienced truffles before - never smelt or eaten them.  Sherry, the owner of the truffle farm was a wealth of knowledge and an extremely passionate woman.  The weather was horrendous so we couldn't go out in the paddock with Sherry and Snuffle her truffle hunting dog and experience a hunt, but we listened to Sherry's experiences with awe for over 3 hours!!  We all had a smell of a fresh truffle (the 3 month truffle harvest had just finished) and came up with some amazing similarities of what they smelt like - molasses, red wine, earth, smoked oysters?!!  They were definitely very different smelling, but quite pleasant, so we all can't wait to actually experience eating some one day.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ganmain Show

Last Saturday was our annual country show.  It was a cold, wet day but there was still a large crowd there. 

The show has the usual displays of prize-winning sheep and poultry, sheep dog trials, large art and craft pavillion, horse show ring events, Miss Showgirl competition and side-show alley.  However it is a little bit different to other shows in our area. 

Because Ganmain is known as the "haystack" capital of Australia, the show holds a haystack building event.  Ganmain is also renowned for their famous meat pies, so there is a contest to see who can eat 3 pies in the shortest time.  Our friend Farmer Jason has won the event the last 2 years in a row!!

Emma was asked to entertain the crowd for an hour or so before the fireworks display started.  She was perched up on a truck trailer protected from the wind and rain, which was much better than us freezing our bums off!  

Sseko Sandals

When I read this story on The Pioneeer Woman I knew  had to do some research to see if these nifty sandals were available in Australia.

Alas, when searching their website I discovered that they aren't available here but for $16.95US I could have 2 pairs posted here!  Yippee - what a bargain!

They arrived yesterday and I love them.  I bought one pair for me and one for Emma.  We can share the 4 sets of straps - aqua, black, grey and pink/orange/yellow sorbet.

They are Sseko Sandals and apart from being very attractive shoes, they also have an amazing story behind them.

Sseko Designs is a sandal company based in Uganda. They make beautiful leather sandals with interchangeable fabric straps that can be styled in hundreds of ways.

Sseko began as a way to generate income for high potential, talented young women to continue on to university. Sseko has graduated three classes of women. Every woman who has graduated from Sseko is currently pursuing her college degree.

In addition to their university-bound team, Sseko also employs a full-time team of women from all walks of life. By creating an environment of dignity, honor, creativity and dedication, Sseko Designs provides the opportunity for women in East Africa to end the cycle of poverty and create a more equitable society.
We believe that every woman has a dream. When she is given the opportunity to pursue those dreams, we are collectively walking towards a brighter and more just and beautiful world.

We believe that our stuff has a story and that every dollar you spend is a vote for the way you think the world should work.

Every Sseko has a story.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Sapphires

Emma and I watched The Sapphires recently and loved it!  What a great story and music.  Deborah Mailman is fantastic as the fiesty Gail, and Jessica Mauboy can certainly sing! 

The original "Sapphires" now

The movie was inspired by a play called The Sapphires written by the son of one of the original Sapphires - a group of indigenous women who tour Vietnam during the Vietnam War to entertain the troops.

If you get a chance, make sure you see The Sapphires - another great Australian movie!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Workshop Floor

The concreters came on Wednesday to pour the floor of the new workshop.  It was a very big job for the four of them!  They started at 7am, and were still here at 8pm!  Farmer Phil and Ryan will be welding up the framework, erecting it and then sheeting the roof and walls so it may be a little while before it's finished!  Farmer Phil is very excited to be getting his very own "man-cave"!

Melbourne Weekend

Last weekend Farmer Phil, Emma and I spent 3 days in Melbourne.  We were there to visit my very good friend Adrienne and her family who were having a one-night stop-over on their way back home in NZ. After exhausting the DFO we drove to South Melbourne to have a look at The Block 2012.  It's in a really lovely suburb and it was great to see them in the flesh!

We took Emma to her first ever game of AFL football at the MCG on Saturday night.  She was amazed by the noise of the 62,000 people there with all their one-eyed heckling of the other team and supporters!

Emma in front of Dale and Sophie's door - our favourites!

Emma and our friend Farmer Jason outside the house the contestants renovated after they thought they'd finished!  Jas had just run the Melbourne half marathon that morning!

Farmer Phil and Emma at the MCG to watch the AFL game between Collingwood and Geelong.