Australia Day

Australia Day, what does it mean to you? a public holiday, a day to travel back home to get ready for the school year? a time to sit and reflect on what you did for ‘Australia’ during the year, or if you’re political or a reporter / feminist you can find someone to pick on aka Wendy Harmer with a ‘WTF Tony Abbott moment”. Site misogyny as an excuse for your rudeness and carry on. Or you can be the opposition leader and talk about becoming a republic and having a head of state. Surely this can all wait, why not let people celebrate their medal, their awards and the selection of Australian of the year without people disrespecting them?

Really is having Knighthoods and Dames the crime of the Century? lets not talk about fiscal mismanagement of all Governments, domestic violence and lack of protection for women, child abuse that goes unreported and unchecked, inequality in standards of living, poverty and issues that are important.

Lets write about people in the context of bullying,  garnish support to disrespect our most decorated hard-working people, i.e. Lt Cosgrove, Dame Quentin Bryce for if they did not want these honors they would thank the PM and decline them. Why is it such a concern and for those saying it is a national embarrassment, I myself take pride in thinking we have these amazing people who spend their working lives, helping people, leading people and then move into their ‘afternoon tea years’ still finding public service and volunteering is where they put their time and they can get recognition for it. Surely this is not the conversation we need to have. I get it I do Prince Phillip, why but also why not?

Rosie Batty, Gill Hicks, Deborah Lee-Furness, Hetty Johnson, Professor Lyn Beasley, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, Rodney Croome and Glenn Keys our Australian of the year Nominees deserve to be honored better than this. don’t they? Where are the blogs about our 4 Fantastic Women, Senior of the Year, Youth of the Year, Local Hero and Australian of the year and the out cry that the PM handed over the awards, luckily the caliber of these worthy nominees and winners has silenced them.

Some may find this hard to read and I find it hard to swallow as well that we can as society with everything going on around us, bullying, suicides, murders, wars and genuine struggles to exist daily in ‘the lucky country’ that some of our most influential women still hide their prejudices and bullying tactics by continuing to divide society writing derogatory comments about men and people in general .

There doesn’t seem to be a balance anymore and these people seem to thrive in creating and harbouring division. I get it, we all think differently, support different political parties and have polarizing views about what we believe should be done. But on one day of the year why not allow those that receive the honors enjoy them, Prince Phillip or not, it does not make on iota of difference to anyone’s lives does it? I don’t know what he (Prince Phil) has done to offend these people, oh that’s right it’s not about him is it? it’s about taking a pot shot at the PM, I wonder if Ms Gillard will ever admit, that speech had been written for months, that she really didn’t believe it or that she regrets how much she destroyed someone’s reputation to save her own. I wonder if she will ever say, she got carried away and did this to take the heat off the bad behavior of all politicians, her’s included, the attacks upon her and Rudd were as cringe worthy as anything. She broke the glass ceiling for many women, then rebuilt it by her own behavior not through anyone else’s fault. (A point she does admit)

I know giving an honor to Prince Phil won’t affect us, we’ll still go out and feed cattle, check stock, clean house, study, do book work, blog and carry on. Todays news is tomorrows fish & chip wrapper, it’s a shame people can’t give it a rest and allow others to enjoy the day. Today of all days I received some good news about a friend who has been fighting a battle and looks like winning and I have enjoyed sharing this with everyone, this is what Australia day is all about, overcoming the odds and getting on with it.

Happy Australia Day everyone.

Have Lamb on Australia Day

Have Lamb on Australia Day

 

Farming

I am sitting at my desk having to do 2 assignments, a business plan, a business menu (I think I need to call it), a power point, a capability statement and a potential statement all by Wednesday. I could also do some book work and pay bills if I stretch myself, but I won’t today. I have three computers on, one playing a movie (as I like noise) as I work, this computer I am working on, a text-book open and google on the third computer, so I don’t have to jump screens.

It seems crazy years ago I would have only had one computer and worked a bit harder. Pete the dog is lying on his quilt on the floor at my feet, as I look outside I see sunshine and the trees are moving to the wind. The farmer has charge of 4 teenage boys and they are out doing fencing work, it will be interesting to hear what they think when they come in. They went out in long sleeve shirts, (sensible and a must for working in the Australian sun), smothered in sunscreen, caps / hats on and water bottles filled. They will mainly be walking distances tying droppers on so he can strain the fence. It won’t be hard work but it will be hot and tiresome. It is also a necessity for farmers to have good fences to keep stock in and out of neighbour’s paddocks, good fences keep rabbits out of crops and can deter kangaroos from jumping in.

This fence was assisted by another teenage boy we had come to visit us earlier this week and he did a good job assisting on day and declining to help the next. As I talked about what he did I explained (as did the farmer), he was entitled to have a couple of days doing nothing before school starts. It is also work that is tedious, out in the heat and requires a bit of strength. Hammering in posts, moving cut branches off is heavy work. People do not realize the work load until they do come up here to help and then it can be over whelming, as it’s never-ending. There is always work of some sort and when it comes to fencing there is kilometres and kilometres of it.

The farmers plan is to work them hard enough that they are exhausted and will go to sleep early, they are all sleeping in the lounge room on mattresses on the floor and last night, he had to get up at 130am and ask them to go to sleep. These boys that we have had stay are lovely city boys and doing work on the farm is new to many of them, it is also under estimated how difficult it can be and some parents over-estimate their children’s abilities, either way it works out in the end. The kids are normally good at saying they can’t do it or don’t want to do it, or love doing it so much they wish to come back to do more. It is a good lesson in many ways for them and we don’t expect it for nothing we do pay them for their work.

We all work to our own pace and we all achieve what it is we set out to do, whether or not you start something and not finish it, or if you do go onto to finish it. I’ll finish all this by the end of the weekend so that I meet other people’s and my own deadlines. Whether we work for ourselves or others we all start wanting to please that person or ourselves, to finish a project started gives one a sense of satisfaction

Kangaroo & Joey

Kangaroo & Joey

Friday

Rain, from our front door 7th Jan

Rain, from our front door 7th Jan

Isn’t that a great word. it means the day following Thursday and before Saturday, which heralds the arrival of the weekend. For many time to rest, play sport, recover from the working week, or work weekend shifts and get better penalty rates or a day to plan a date, party or night out.

Fridays before a long weekend are normally busy ones for people, who plan trips away and for those parents preparing their children for school and especially important for those parents getting ready to send their children off to boarding school.  It’s that for many a country parent this weekend. time to cherish, spend moments together as families knowing that the house dynamics and the relationship with boarding children is about to change forever.

Sending ones child away would be difficult, I didn’t have to make the choice and I am so glad about that. But I know of families that did and struggled with goodbyes each and every time. These families will work to school calendars, exeat weekends and spending as much time planning for those as they do saying goodbyes.

Fridays don’t mean much to graziers though, as they still have stock to look after regardless of the days of the week. It is a laborious task for many. Picking weekends where you can escape is difficult and can only be done last minute (in case water troughs are empty, cows are calving, fire season and and and.) it makes planning difficult and I am a planner so sometimes it’s hard to say you can attend as you know you may not be able to and so I now decline and hope if I ever do turn up unexpectedly people would be happy to see me.

We are going into the January Long weekend and are awaiting the arrival of one of my brothers, one of his sons and three of his mates. They have a project in mind and I shall be putting them on the bus back to their parents on Sunday night, This will get them home in time to enjoy the Monday and then get ready for school either Wednesday or Thursday (depending whether or not it is private education or public). We are both looking forward to their arrival, though I suspect the cat’s won’t be, they are only used to our company and go running when they hear strange voices (stupid things). They’ll cope.

I hope whatever you are ding this weekend you enjoy it with family, share it with friends and I hope any plans you have made work out. For those wanting to know what face they have for a Friday’s born child here is the poem.

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath day,
Is lucky and happy and good and gay

 

Back Up

I have a dear friend who calls her husband BUB (back up brain) Kate has been diagnosed with early onset dementia and relies on him for many things, follow her blog she is an amazing woman. She has completed a Master’s degree, published poetry, submitted a manuscript and recently been employed by Alzheimer’s Australia, all since she has been diagnosed. Her accomplishments are too great to list here. She also has given up her license, has a carer, has her medications done for her but refuses to give up, so she has a back up and I suspect more than one.

I feel I am my husbands back up, when it comes to paperwork, banks and stuff and sometimes it annoys me. Most people who have a back up may like it (I know in kate’s case she finds it frustrating) but I can find it totally annoying. I am trying to find out about his frequent flyers, yes to transfer them to me to cover the Qantas club membership for the year and he has no pin but they won’t give it to me, they have to speak with him. I said you know he is only going to come in, I’m going to put all of the paperwork in front of him, dial the number and then he will hand over the phone to me, why can’t you rest set to his email and make it easier for me. “But you could transfer all of his points to you.” “that’s the idea I said” David on the other end of the phone “gasped” I said “oh please, don’t tell me I’m the first person to admit that’s what I intend to do” “well um” ” I’m his back up and I can tell you, *@%$!@ have not sent him so much as an email or letter in the last 3 years so don’t go the stunned victim here.” perhaps an over reaction but really?

In speaking with my mother I complained about this after I asked after her health, and she tells me she has a joint thing with my dad and she can’t make calls to that company as he is the major person. I asked her what’s going to happen when he dies? I wonder if she’ll have to send in the death certificate to sort things out. I get protection of people’s privacy and assets but when there is written permission on file for back ups to assist, one would think they should be respected.

Back up means a lot of things I have put in place other back ups should something happen to me and my husband needs to do things he has not done for a while. From this one concludes everyone needs  back up, in some shape or form. My greatest wish to my back up is if something should happen to me then please delete al  my social media accounts immediately. Most people don’t have a back up nor back up computers till they need one and computers after they crash, I learnt this the hard way, having lost my girlfriends daughter 21st pictures that I hadn’t backed up and still to this day feel terrible about it all. I now back up daily if I do a lot of work and weekly on the main computer. It is also good for preservation for records as part of our fire procedures.

back up

 

 

Your life is an Occasion, Rise to it

Quote by Suzanne Weyn, isn’t this a great saying for a Sunday? and I have thought about this a lot in relation to most of my friends and family and related it to the occasions of our lives. I must say I am in awe of all of you, what you do and how you live your lives.

I don’t think it’s till you get older that you  begin to view your environment, surroundings and friends with a different eye, different from “annoying brothers & sisters, ‘needing a best friend (even if you are a twin and already have one) wanting a boyfriend, looking at getting work, finishing school, partying, studying and then a career. Much of ones early life is spent fairly self-absorbed, education is the main focus and those people who surround you during this time play the biggest part in shaping who you are, who you don’t wish to be like, who you admire and how you wish to become.

I grew up in the non social media era, no mobiles we had landlines and pay phones, no internet we made face to face arrangements, cameras were used and photographic film was the norm, you took it off and pictures were processed. Nothing really was ‘right now” it was more can I get that to you in a couple of weeks, how would we cope now?

Moving into the latter ages of 20’s and 30’s things change we look further than we thought we ever would, partners come and go, children are born and one looks to providing and caring for an extended arena. we then share more occasions and invite more people in and we start to look to how we can help others, school fetes, school fund-raisers and charity fund-raisers.

I say this as I can list ones, friends have supported, friends have organized (including myself) and friends have attended I know an amazing bunch of you out there and believe you all do Rise to the occasion of your life and others, I know those that have walked km’s, ran marathons, done sausage sizzles, high teas, created cookbooks, sold raffle tickets, donated to causes and volunteered.

Catherine house, Hutt Street Centre, Keith Hospital, Mater Children’s hospital, Women’s & Children’s hospitals, moon bears, Heart Kids, RFDS, Juvenile Diabetes, DiabetesCancer Council,  leukemia, Brain Cancer, more schools than I could list. You have helped organise and turned up to Charity quiz nights, silent auctions, Auction evenings, football club fundraisers, High Teas, you’ve sold raffle tickets, given salvation army, bought the Big Issue, given to Christmas appeals / trees, given goods or money to bushfires & flood appeals and no doubt there are ones I can’t even think of.

It takes one to come up with the idea, people to support it and the brave to do it. But we know as we get older life is precious, those that have, do, those that can, will and those that watch miss out. I’m always good for an occasion, I’m up for it, happy to help if I can and happy to attend if I can. I am lucky because I can see from my face book page so are the people in my life,

I know that when I have asked, people have answered and when I am asked, I most certainly do, in fact I now look for charity direct, schools and places where 100% of the money goes to the people who need it. For those with little money to donate my mother once told me, when I was a single mum, donating your time can be worth more than the money you could give as all it will cost you is your time. Doing this in my daughters school made me friends for life, gave me a sense of perspective and lots of laughter and pride. My Life is an occasion, I feel I do rise to it do you?

champagne

 

 

The Best thing to Hold Onto

I love social media, I have face books accounts, twitter accounts and if I had decent internet access I would have instagram. I know there would be some people out their rolling their eyes at my confession. I have connected with people I haven’t seen since school, people I didn’t know but shared a similar cause or value and people I find fascinating, not of the celebrity kind, though I do think Shane Warne is quite entertaining on twitter.

Today we hear that 1 of the Bali 9 is going to s=be shot, taken out of his cell at midnight tied to a post, blindfolded and shot in the heart by firing squad – where is this ok in anyone’s mind? really shot? the finality of his life in a single bullet, it beggars belief, I can not fathom ever this being ok. I have read posts on face book where people like me say nope it shouldn’t be done and others talking about the filth & scum of the earth in these men.

I am not an advocate of drugs, nor am I an advocate of jails and justice I am an advocate for life though. As a mother and person, how is this punishment ok? how? imagine your brother, uncle, father, nephew, cousin or friend and you have been told in 3 days time we are going to shoot you and there is nothing one can do to stop it.

Life is so precious, when it looks like you have the option of death or life, everyone chooses life. When people are told they have cancer with options, most take those options for more time, more days, more love, rarely anyone says nope not gunna do anything. People who wait for organ transplantation know the value of life for they want it and they wait for it and they will die waiting for the chance to have life, and somewhere in the world right now someone is unlawfully or lawfully taking that life.

Should we stand as a country of people and ask the Bali Government to spare them, I decree YES.. I am more than happy to write to president Joko Widodo and ask them for clemency. Life in prison is punishment enough but to be shot, no really acceptable.

I read this saying by the late great lady Audrey Hepburn “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” Do it whilst you have the chance.

When things create change in one’s life

Things on the farm have settled as the rains came, we have had 60 odd mils of glorious rain on our paddocks, and where there was sand and dirt we now have tinges of green, something we have not seen for a while now. The farmer is more settled and happier and the animals appear calmer, with rain comes cooler weather and animals prefer that. We have planted belts of native trees to grow and provide shade for them. We have water troughs that get checked daily and we are feeding out hay to supplement the lack of greenery in the paddocks.

With cooler temperatures comes cooler tempers, things that bother one in extreme heat don’t seem to do so in cooler weather. I have even hung washing on the line in rain as it cleanses everything even gives it a quick rain rinse. An old farming wives tail is to hang the heirloom family handed down by mother in law quilt on the line when it looks like rain so that it can continue. There is no heirloom quilt here – despite mother in law keeping everything, but I am happy to put sheets, towels, quilts & clothes on-line when it rains.

With the rain comes a sense of relief that one can see things change for the better, it may not seem like this to city dwellers as there isn’t the same need for rain except to fill rain water tanks and to water the gardens. lawns and parks. People in the city are not as greatly affected by heat and rain as country people. Most can get relief from heat and rain, here animals need checking more in extremes than ‘normal weather.’

Farming is very consuming and I am very conscious of the fact that I write about this more than anything else. We work together as a team and sometimes it’s difficult, I am not as capable as some men but I am better than most. I can drive all of the machinery on our property, I can lamb mark, cattle mark, muster, vaccinate, do the book work and also be lucky enough to have time for family and friends. It also can annoy me as it may not be what I want to do that day, in-fact I let the working dogs off this morning, many, Patsy & Mollie and they choose to come running to the back door than answer the farmers whistle, my sister said “don’t worry it’s Friday they are taking a mental health day.” So I gave them a bone and they were happy to be lying on the lawn chewing on them instead of tied to the back of the Ute in the sun.

I admire people who can live more remotely than us, have longer periods of drought and less rainfall than us. The mental strength of farmers and families is admirable, for me there is a small 3 hour drive to see family so I can justify going when I do leave, for those with longer drives it can be too much, not only financially (fuel costs, accommodation costs and time away from animals that need you) but can be visit limiting, making sure your time spent in the city is spent doing al the things you need to and catching up with very few.

My words today, enjoy the time you have, never take anything for granted and include all of those you want in you life the best way you know how, be that phone call, email, face book or twitter. There are so many more options to keep in contact these days than writing letters and waiting for a return. Make sure those you love, know you love them, make sure those you care about , are cared for and mostly be grateful for little things, simple things  such as rain, sunshine for we never know when this will change.

2014-09-12 01.13.04

Dogs on the Ute but not today, they are sleeping on the lawn.