Tiresome Tuesdays

I get to this stage of my week and sometimes I am over it and others I feel invigorated to keep going and achieve. It has been a LONG month for me. I feel I haven’t really had a break despite closing the shop for the month of January. I think it just rolled over from last year with the Keith Hospital Ute Muster, I never really stopped and took stock. I just did, it is an exciting journey this volunteer business fund raising position that I do, but sometimes I feel the weight on my shoulders is too great.

I am an advocate of health care of ones self and others and as I feel tired & jadded, I went for some fasting blood tests this morning. Results will be in Friday, they will tell the picture of my inner workings not the outer. Today I may look ok, have a smile on my face, but I have had to pick myself up and shake it to restart the Keith Hospital Cook Book recipe drive, Arkaba Hotel Ladies High tea searching for an SA vineyard to co-sponsor it. I also need to follow up on the commitment from a local community member who has agreed to put up the funds for a car so that we can raffle it, chase the car company and ensure all of the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed in order to proceed. I have had assistance from a girlfriend in helping me to secure a travel prize as second prize but need to move this all along quickly. I am also writing a business proposal that will assist the hospital & community members in bringing services and clients to our hospital encompassing all and this needs to be complete by the end of the day. To ensure the launch on February 9th goes smoothly and the people we want to attend get sufficient notice of their required attendance.

Along with all of this I have to squeeze in time for my business and time to contemplate so today Tuesday has become tiresome already. At the moment due to a minor medical complaint I have been unable to exercise and I have been unable to do my morning walks for about 5 days now. I miss the freedom it gives me, the solitary time where I can walk without noise, see the beginning or the end of the day. There has to be a balance and today I do not seem to be able to find it, I have even had a coffee to ‘perk’ me up.

Reading this I think I have to move from tiresome Tuesday to toughen up princess, if I have time to write my blog then I have time to do everything else. Enjoy your day no matter what sort of a Tuesday it is for you.


My life in a box

Are you a box person? I am not but he is, everything has to be in a box. I find this method of handling papers and equipment hard to deal with, if I can’t see it I can sometimes forget about it. I will look for ages for something to find he has placed it in a box. He will even ask me if he can put it in a box and once I say no he will do it anyway.

He loves the organisation it brings him, I understand that I too like organisation but not in this way. I like to see bills to pay them on time before I file them, I like to see things to determine their status in my life. Have I used it enough to keep it? it is decorative? is it something that really needs to be thrown out as it has served it purpose? I am a thrower and not a collector, I use all of my drinking glasses and crockery nothing is kept for “good”. I believe if you can not share these things they are dust collectors and wastes of money. When I moved into his house I found boxes of unopened engagement presents his ex wife had left behind. They were thought of in so little regard that thought they were married so gifts were never opened. I enjoy using those items now and felt a sorrow opening them. he was not even aware they were unopened never alone left in the house shoved in the back of the closet.

I go through my wardrobe 6 monthly and refuse to ‘keep’ things in case they fit, come back in fashion, or I may wear again. I pass these on. I cut t-shirts up for rags and if I find any of his clothing that has rips or tears I tear them till they are unwearable. I suppose this may been seen as wasteful but I believe everything has a time and a purpose and will pass it on to Goodwill, St Vinnies, or the Salvation Army so they can realise a financial benefit should it be worth while.

Don’t box me I need to feel in control of things, I work, volunteer and need to keep areas of my life open. I know that Keith Hospital stuff doesn’t need to be placed with my book work as this confuses me and it wastes my time as once I find it all intertwined I am easily distracted into doing what doesn’t need to be done. In boxes, out boxes, unpaid boxes, over analysis boxes are what is on his desk and paper just gets thrown into them. This makes it hard, I have paper on my desk, yes it may look untidy but it does get filed and it does get dealt with.


Sundays are they really rest days or the day to get ready for the working week?

We have all started late this morning, feeling the effects of the weather and Lamb marking – we have done over 500 in total with Ronnie, my cousins husband. Sitting around our kitchen table talking and laughing over coffe and iced water. I cooked a typical big breakfast for them this morning, bacon, eggs & tomatoes. Chris is talking about the scratches he has on his stomach from the constant kicking – he was in charge of rings on tails & testicles, I have bruising on my arms from being kicked after injecting and ear tagging, Ronnie forgot his back brace – he had to pick all the lambs up and move them into the cradle so he is “only slightly sore” in his back. No more work for him today. It is cooler and we can all laugh, Lamb marking is such a performance and some of the language would make the faint hearted people’s hair curl. We all ignore each other’s outburst when they happen as it is pure frustration at the circumstances rather than the people.

Ronnie doesn’t consider this work, he is willing to help as he loves the outdoors and the challenge, Chris & I both know that it is work, it’s hard manual labor. It is only made easier as we can ignore the swearing, the kicking, the dogs barking, the dust, the heat and at the end of the day it prepares our lambs for sale. He doesn’t ask for payment, he collect things from us i.e. wood for his pizza oven he built himself and makes the best pizzas ever (we have had meals there). Today he will be leaving with a ‘dressed lamb’, a couple of dozen free range eggs and an old TV which he wants for his children’s play area. We try to give him product in kind and we think this is the least we can do once loaded up he will then begin his 3 1/2 hour journey home. He comes expecting nothing but hard work and some ‘man & nature time”. He has a wonderful friendship – dare I say ‘bromance’ with Chris. They are kindered spirits, cheeky boys that have grown into men that wish they could get away with things as adults that they did as teenagers & single men.

Did we rest this week end? one of Chris favourite sayings is “weekends and public holidays are only for the general public, farming is 24/7”. This is true, we have to check waters daily or twice daily in this heat cattle can drink over 50 gallons each per day, as we have approx 900 head, if they break the trough and are out of water they perish very quickly. Sheep also drink approx 1 gallon each in the heat, we have approx 1500 sheep so there is a lot of troughs that need checking. This can take up to an hour, if there is problems it needs to be fixed instantly so it can take up to 3 hours, sometimes I am required to drive the tractor to lift it and replace them, so is today a sunday of rest?

I have plans to continue creating my new office, filing letters, writing letters to people who have sent me letters of support for the Keith Hospital (strangers who have never met me) doing my book work and getting ready for tomorrow, Monday. Where I will travel into my business and reopen for the year, Keith is quiet in January as many travel to the surrounding beaches for family holidays, so I was able to shut up shop and leave it, but I still have father christmas as my window display. I need to order goods & stock and create an advertising campaign for this year.

Even if you have an event planned for today at some stage will you come home, do washing, fold clothes, iron, cook, prepare lunch boxes for children returning to school, finish off that proposal or assignment for work or study you are doing that needs to be ready for Monday? Do we consider that part of our sunday was a day of rest or are these things that require you to do work or prepare for the week considered work? Do these things invade your thoughts till you begin them?

Good luck for the begining of the school year, if you have changed employment or if you have worked today and have an RDO tomorrow enjoy what it is that makes you happy, whether that be work or rest. I must go I have vacumming to do we have walked the dirt through the house and it feels terrible under my feet. So begins my working week.

work life balance

we are all sitting inside today – it is very hot and windy here in Keith. I am putting together 3 presentations for submission to our hospital board this week. I hope all of them get accepted and I can move forward into putting things into action. They will bring much needed dollars and people into the medical centre to be treated with dignity and care.

I am a doer, I don’t think at any stage in my life I wasn’t a doer, I may have taken time to do it but normally I have got things done. I may have made people unhappy when I have done things or may have made people happy once I had completed it and moved on.

I am also trying to upgrade my work website, put new products on the web site and promote my business so that the volunteer work I do for Keith Hospital does not consume all of my working hours as it has been. I also have taken to walking 10kms a day for fitness and own thinking time. This is for me as I feel the need to be able to regroup and move forward. This also helps me plot and plan my day so that I prioritise my list so that if I don’t complete my jobs I know I have done the most important ones.

I struggle some days to finish and I have stopped bringing hospital work home (most of the time) But I am now creating an office for myself in the farm house as I have gifts and folders of letters and fund raising items that can be used to realise funds. It takes over our lounge and now it’s time to place things where there is a balance.


Finding yourself

he said to me last night “I don’t know what happened to you” I let the comment pass as it was late and I was heading to bed. I didn’t dwell on it overnight but this morning spoke to him and said “how can you not know what happened? I was terminated from my job with no warning as they closed the office down, I believed my work defined me, I loved selling in the medical industry and I was good at it. I then moved to the country to be with you and felt like I had lost most of my identity as well as people I thought were friends.” I have worked through this now but it was a mental struggle for about 2 years whilst I adjusted. I still don’t know that I have adjusted but I am begining to fit in. Though the people are friendly no one ‘pops’ in or I can’t just ‘drop over’ to other peoples / friends places. In the country it is an “outing” one must arrange and plan for. You can’t catch a cab 50Km north east of Keith to get “home”.

I have taken the cause of the Keith Hospital as a pet project to occupy the time I have free. I feel challenged and worthwhile, not for anybody else but for me. I don’t know that we will achieve anything more than gaining a high profile for the hospital  and making the Government feel a little uncomfortable. we have raised over $400,000 so far and need to continue to do this. But for our passion and the residents I feel a connection to, there is little relief in site to the constant fund raising. I welcome anybody’s suggestion or donation, please do not hesitate to contact me for  unlike the SA Government we are open for business 24/7 have free parking and services to share. We would also LOVE another Dr if you happen to be looking for a country change.

Happy Australia Day

What does your Australia day involve? we are doing the ‘oustralian’ thing and beginning our lamb marking. As I told one of my beautiful nieces who served me in Coles Glenelg yesterday. She looked puzzled and I explained that was mustering up the flock of sheep approx 2000, drafting them off, mothers away from babies ensuring we keep the mothers close as lambs after it’s done like to suckle for comfort (sorry all you foodies out there). Then we pick up the lambs and if they are baby rams we put rubber rings around the testicles and 1 on the tail, I have to inject them for pulpy kidney – a disease that can instantly kill little lambs. Then we have to place a tag in their ears to identify our property in case we sell them. For the baby ewes we do all of the above excluding the testicle ring. This is has been an experience since the introduction of the ear tags, as we need to carefully put the tag in the ear as we thought there was a cartilage that ran up the middle of the ear but it is infact a blood vessel. One which we punctured last time only on 1 sheep and we got sprayed in blood, the lamb was ok but I bet it hurt (unnecessarily). She laughed and said “that is the most australian thing I have had heard all day” it was late in the afternoon and she was due to knock off at 6pm. We shall have a lamb roast, I have already pulled it out of the freezer.

I have been allowed to sleep in late as we have a clay digger on the property and they have gone off to fix some broken machinery. I have been able to reflect lying in bed about what the day will entail. It will be long, hot & dusty but we will laugh, snap & argue towards the end of the day we will head to the house and he will say “Ronnie’s coming tomorrow we will get it all done with his help” thank god for Ronnie, my cousins husband he willingly assist us and watches the pantomime of the lamb marking, stays quiet when needed and encourages when needed. A true blue Aussie & Friend.

What ever you are all doing today – enjoy each others company, stay safe & Happy Australia day



Keith Hospital & Guilt

I have indulged myself on this blog and avoided issues that need to be identified and raised (according to me). I should be talking of my journey in my quest to support the Keith Hospital instead I find myself discussing other issues, ones that are personal but note only one has raised comment.

I feel guilty following the Keith ute muster that I have not gone with gusto into the next planned event. But we are tired and this is what the government want, they have wanted us to ‘go away’ from the very begining. They have no idea how well we have made them look. Mr Hill had been on radio since the Advertiser announcement (that is how the community, board & staff found out there was no respect in how it was done) he has stated the “Keith Hospital will not close”

No one has been thanked, Mr Hill has only since Mr Weatherill has become premier has he had a decent and real conversation with our Board. He has had people call the Board to state that “Robyn Verrall is a thorn in his side” to me bullying of the worst kind. No guilt from him nor the caller head of the Department of Country Health David Swan – neither of these men have met me nor spoken to me direct. Journalists & the general public can find me, I have had letters from strangers of support, I have had calls (from strangers) abusing me about some media interviews I have done. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect all views

Why am I on the band wagon today, well I have to continue juggling a working life, farming life, my own business, my family time with the 5 projects I am co-ordinating for the Keith Hospital Action Group. I feel guilty as there are people in my life that are missing out. All this work for the hospital is as a volunteer, the hospital is being supported by many different means, donations of money, time & management. I am tired, I want to keep the cause foremost in the minds of the SA people.

I look at the cricket and perhaps the 15000 who attended yesterday – this government is spending $535 mil on the Adelaide oval & the internal infrastructure is NOT included in this figure. No doubt SACA members feel no guilt – they get their house paid off and renovated as part of the deal.

Guilt is funny, I feel no sympathy or empathy for the Government or the public servants who serve them. I will continue to support the hospital, it’s objectives, aims & goals, it will be ok at the end of the day but changed but we still have a way to go. Any ideas, donations or offers of support please do not hesitate to contact me.

hi ho it’s off to work (in Adelaide) I go