Last day of 2014

To me this year has moved slowly, more slowly than many others, for some reason. It has been a trying year for most people I would think, this year started with a slow trickle, we caught up for drinks with old school friends in Adelaide and spent a lovely evening with them. One which I shall treasure for many years to come, it has been great connecting with my old friends from school, planning catch ups and events, I hope this continues throughout the rest of my life.

My lovely daughter bought a place and moved in with her partner and it has been great for me to be able to go to their place and spend time with her and with both of them, they gave us a treat at Christmas by having us over with other family members for dinner.

We have worked hard farming this year, it is a never-ending job one which is mainly a thankless task and going into a drought at the end of the year (now) hasn’t made anything any easier but that is farming and we’ll get through it. More rain from the rain gods please !!

We have been lucky this year, no family deaths but plenty of celebrations, birthdays, and a family get together, where all of us were in the same place for the first time in over 10 years. All my siblings 3 brother & 2 sisters, their partners, and their beautiful children. That was a fantastic day made possible by my older brother and it was sad it ended, we have had over 70’s 50’s & 1st birthday celebrations and that is joy of having a great big family.

May came and I partially ruptured my Achilles, running away from a charging steer but I won a Gourmand Award “Best in the World” Charity / fundraising cookbook for the Keith Hospital. I am now only recovering from the injury. The rest of the year has limped along with me to the end and I am taking stock today and planning on going into 2015 looking forward not behind.

I threw efforts into fund-raising for my old school, to help raise funds to upgrade the science laboratories and with the committee of hard working people and many other participants we raised over $37,000 a fantastic effort and yes I have chosen my charity to help in 2015, letters have gone out and I will be chasing them next week as the event is in April it is for YWCA. Contact me if you can help, it’s a breakfast picnic fund raiser, we need food & silent auction items.

To those of you who have struggled, suffered or limped along and made it through another year, I wish for you all nothing but happiness and better times. To all of you who have been in my life either in person, via twitter, via Facebook, via LinkedIn or even sms my wish for you all is to laugh more often, love more deeply and live for now. I look forward to talking with you all and catching up with you all in 2015. To those I didn’t catch up with this year, you are all in my thoughts and I still value our friendships.

Happy New Year to you all xxxx


Christmas Miracles

I have been in the privileged position during my time as an operating theatre nurse to assist in some people and families last wishes. One of these being organ donation, a special gift from unknown to an unknown and each time I have been involved it has been heart wrenching and raw. Each person is treated with respect, dignity and yes tears are shed by Doctors and nurses at this precious time. The loss of anyone’s life is awful.

We all know that in order to donate organs, one is dying and prepared to share their final wishes by keeping others alive and perhaps parts of themselves, a truly philanthropic gift. One which can never be returned nor the families are personally thanked. It is such an honor to be with that person assisting in their final wish.

It is hard at this time of year, as deaths occur more frequently than others and a lot also occur around the easter break, making for some the holidays a time of sadness and for others a time of celebration and happiness. We are in one of those times, a time of prayer, a time of waiting and a time to reflect on a person’s gift. We have a dear friend who is undergoing a transplant as I type.

It is a hard road for all families, those that do not wish to say their final goodbyes and those that wish to be with their loved one whilst under going surgery. There is no distinction here as to which is the easiest and which is the donor or receiver as this type of surgery is specialized, lengthy and outcomes may not be what one expects.

I wish for all organ donors long and healthy lives and organs and for those on waiting lists, the time is short and not too stressful. To the family who has kindly given organs to my  friend, may the angels hold you all in their hands as all of us who know the receiver will hold you in our hearts. Know that the precious gift you have given is being given to someone who is loved, loves life, lives it to the fullest, has people they love and will forever be grateful to your loved one.

It’s the thought that counts??

It’s Christmas eve and it’s time for people to stop work, finish their work lunches and work days and head into an 11 day break. there are those that will still be working, I think of my nursing friends at this time, firemen, police, train & tram drivers and others who perform public duties (and are never paid enough) for their hard work. They will get to spend part of the day with loved ones depending upon thee rostering. I have as a nurse on call on Christmas night / morning been called in to assist with a couple of birth and some emergencies but infrequently.

I am now working for farm and self and as such – there is no such thing as a long lunch – perhaps next year I’ll organize one in my local town for all the people who work on farm and may need to jolt themselves into the spirit of Christmas. Something with which I am struggling to get to this year, I haven’t had time to do the Christmas shopping with much thought as I normally would have. I did however get gifts to my nieces and nephews in other states in time for Christmas day openings. I have managed to get those that I love gifts and wrap them (albeit) today and place them under the tree.

There is one thing missing from the tree or bottom of it and that is a gift to myself, I decided this year I wasn’t going to bother getting me something other than a book I can struggle to find time to read during the year. I may keep it till I travel and read it on a plane (a planned trip to Sydney shall happen this year).

I know many farming women who work with partners and are looking down at 2 or 3  more months of summer, going into a drought with dread.  I wonder how many of you have for gone your own Christmas present this year? I would love you all to tell me and I would also love to hear how many years it has been since significant other bought a gift? It’s the thought that count though isn’t it? isn’t it?

Wishing you all a Happy & safe Christmas season, drive carefully on the roads, I’ll be on them and we’ll get to spend some precious time with my daughter



Not a feel good blog

I feel tired and slightly strung out and struggling to rein in my attitude today. Hasn’t the last 7 days been trying? and I do mean in an unsettling way. We have watched  people being held against their will for 17 hours, we cried when we heard of the awful death two innocent people in the fallout whilst their family & friends were tortured waiting for an outcome. The thought that 3 small children and their partners are never going to hear another “Merry Christmas, I love you from them” is very distressing.

We learnt that this man has been on social security for 10 years absolutely no contribution to ANYTHING, I understand people don’t want to work out of their comfort zone, but we in the Tatiara have over 182 positions that need to be filled, we have apprenticeships going begging, and not enough people to fill them, our houses are affordably priced from $180,000 to $500,000 and a community that needs new growth. There would be hundreds more jobs and affordability of housing in rural and regional towns all over Australia, it’s just people won’t move away from the city – for fear they will (perhaps) miss something. Cheap housing and jobs should be enough for people to think lets give it a go for 12 months, save some money and get a work history, but there is no one forcing them so they stay and drain the public purse.

We have gasped in horror when we heard 8 children were murdered and the disbelief that it looks like the mother may have done this, where were these children’s fathers? How terrible for all of the families, fathers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins to name but a few.

There would have been deaths from domestic violence, statistically 2 this week,  from road accidents and aging, all of these represent someone somewhere having a sad time during the festive season. Tears that fall that will never cease to fall, hands that will never be held again, smiles unreturned it will be a difficult

With all of this happening and the report released about the CIA torture it’s enough isn’t it? I know 99% of people don’t subscribe to practices of torture nor applaud those that do it to others Martin Place being case and point and to watch a television station roil out David Hicks as an expert was too much for me. I do not agree with his treatment but lets not make him relevant to any discussion, he didn’t go over to sell Tupperware he went to learn to fight and kill. He was convicted and no one will lift that conviction because he is not as innocent as he and his supporters want us to believe, he did go, he did participate, he did get caught. I make no apology for my views, lets hope he is not drawing on social security to support himself. I turned it off and got up.

Listening to the radio I hear not happy Christmas music but how all of the farmers are struggling in drought – it is not only QLD farmers suffering – it is all over Australia, it really is. I should know I am also watching it here on my own farm and I hate it. There is no joy in it and daily it is a mental hurdle to not be engulfed by it.

I stated this morning what I missed the most at this time of year other than family was the OPTION of going to a shopping centre and sitting having a coffee and watching the frenzy madness that Christmas brings. I have lost my IPod and am cleaning out cupboards, shelves etc to find it, I know that has happy music on it.

Sorry for the blog today people, as bad as I think my week was , it pales in comparison to those that are really suffering, the joys this week, my sister came and stayed, I have spoken with my beautiful daughter, mother, father, got messages from my brothers in other states. Caught up with beautiful friends and in-laws at my salon opening, called friends for birthday as I am now going to do this as well as face booking so if it’s your birthday and if you are important enough to be a face book friend you will get a call this year. I have sent and received Christmas cards – which I religiously did for many years and then stopped. I have laughed, cried and been part of family love, and I need to in the words of another dear friend @KateSwaffer “toughen up princess”.

finally the tree is complete



Feel Good Campaign for those that need a pick up in drought

I Its a tough time in the country all over Australia at the moment, we all know the focus is on QLD but SA has moved into drought as well, sadly we don’t have a Bob Katter or a Barnaby Joyce giving us exposure. Farmers are calling out for the same options as offered to our QLD counterparts, I see lots of support for the farmers what we don’t see if a Buy a Bale campaign for SA farmers, charities calling out for money to give to SA farmers and a Government here in SA not mentioning it.

How do I know, we are feeding hay daily, we have had no rain since October and the ground is bare. I am hearing stories of farmers being foreclosed in our area and friends thinking of selling off stock to be able to keep the farm, cropper finishing harvest before Christmas has not been heard of since 2006.

What we know about farming communities is that they are resilient and hard-working, they put animals welfare above their own and look to the skies for the rains to come.

I am opening a Salon today in Bordertown, SA, where everyone is welcome to pop in all day to see me, book appointment and share my joy. I offer most beauty services including medical laser hair removal, I am qualified and have almost completed my Diploma of Beauty to go with my Nursing qualifications, my plan is to hire staff and grow the business for the community. I know I am lucky to be able to do this in difficult times so I want to give back to the community.

I am launching tonight along with a Feel Good Campaign, which I thought up today. I have had clients tell me they can not finish their treatments due to farming issues and other stuff, so I want those that can afford it book and pay for a Manicure or Pedicure at $25 a treatment with polish (shellac coming after Christmas) and I’ll put $5 towards a feel good one or by paying $50 for a single treatment and this will ‘buy 5 manicure, 5 pedicures’. You can even nominate someone and I’ll send them a gift Certificate to come in and have one. I’ll have a blackboard tally on display so that if you’re feeling low need a pick up come in and tell me your want to ‘feel good’.

We’ll give you a professional service, relaxing foot or hand massage and I’ll talk your ear off all for free, so you can enjoy sparkling new nails, in colours of your choice. I’ll be running this campaign from now, if you are in Bordertown SA tonight pop in, we are having a Chef’s Tool Box Consultant cook Pizza & 8 minute risotto, Arbonne Skin Care Consultant and a Tarot card reader. Even if you don’t attend tonight text for an appointment 0408542057 or the address.





Tears fall today for people unknown by name
A deep ache for hearts broken, love’s lost, brave souls
Empty chairs at the table, forever vacant
Hands once held, hang free
Lost opportunities, futures ended
Lives wasted, families hollow
Hugs and kisses, never returned
Innocence lost, naivety gone
Silent whispers, thoughts and prayers
Inner strength, resilience required
Australian family, part of me

from my sister @jackieAnneV

is all I need to say today in response to the horrible Sydney siege situation

Today is brought to you by the letter X

It beginning to look a lot like Xmas isn’t it? It is coming up to a hot summer in Australia and as much as I dislike excessive heat, especially our 40+ degree Celsius or 104+ Fahrenheit. The land is needing a drink (so early in the season) and I have gotten as far as getting the tree up, discovering the lights don’t work and have come to a dead stop (with the tree)

However, I have managed to get to Adelaide shop, wrap gifts, and now have boxed them to go to the post office tomorrow to get them sent to nieces and nephews in different states in Australia. It has installed the Xmas spirit back into me and I am determined to get the tree finished today so that I can feel like its Christmas.

Its been a struggle to get to this point so far, many things have stepped in and taken over, there’s always the farm, study, work, worry about family and friends and life seems to be getting busier and a little bit harder. The cost of living is taking it’s toll on everyone and this year with rainfall being lower this year than last farming is becoming a bit harder as we become a little bit older.

I love the ceremony of Christmas, the tree, the presents, spending time with family and friends and being able to take time off the farm as limited as it is. I loved the Christmas Pageant in Adelaide and took nieces and nephews to it when my daughter was too old to go. I miss the pageant as we no longer even get it on TV as we live rural and apparently it is now with a commercial TV station so it can’t be seen outside CDB. The pageant is the time Father Christmas comes to town and it rings in the yule tide season, I normally wait in putting the tree up so that family birthdays are celebrated without the interference of Christmas. It is something I still do despite the fact we don’t live in the same house together anymore.

I have also delayed this practice this year as I have struggled to find Xmas cheer, I don’t know why but I have. But I am determined to do it today as yesterday a dear friends Aunty (whom I have met) was killed by a hit run driver, the police have since found the driver and charged him, a small comfort to the grieving family. I send all my love to all those involved, to be filled with sorrow at this time of year must be difficult.

But it is time to celebrate life and it’s offerings, as we never know when it will change and we miss the things we can do now, rather than delay.

I hope that you all have a great Xmas and a happy and safe new year, may 2015 bring everything one needs to be happy, healthy and content. This is a precious decoration that my daughter made in reception and annually it gets dragged out and placed on the tree. We had lots of fun making it along with her reception class (aged 5 yrs)