New Resolutions?

New Resolutions Did you make any? are you saying no I haven’t made any and yet secretly made them in your head (like me) and have started that journal in your head or putting things in a diary already? or have you done something different like write a bucket list to find the things that make you feel better about you? or did you recycle the ones from last year that you promised yourself you would achieve before the year was out?

Should we voice our resolutions, by putting them out there are we enlisting the help of others or setting ourselves up to fail?

Have you taken a standard normal route or have you taken the digital reduction route?  Making them is the easy part we can all put things up we need, i.e. more exercise, less girth, less gluttony, less liver damage and so on. In simple terms that stock standard, get fitter, lose weight, eat less and drink less to assist the first 3 to occur. No more notifications on the phone, turning the phone off for a period of time, reducing our availability to our social media and putting this time back into family and friends, like the real ones we (should) interact with.

Which did you go down or have you done both? I stopped the notifications on my phone a while ago as the temptation to check everything when I heard the ting lead to longer trips (pulling over to check) time loss and disappointment. I say disappointment as most of the time it’s not any thing directly related to me.

The amount of times I pulled over to check into social media to read all the inspiration sayings many put up, read the minions sayings many follow and to look at coffee pictures and animal rescue pictures will amount to at least 2 to 3 more trips to Adelaide and back (6 hour round trip). After finding myself shaking my head at some of the crap and yes I would have others shaking their heads at some of my crap, I turned it all off.

I made a comment of twitter on New Years Eve about the quality of a TV broadcast and whilst it got lots of support it also brought me a couple of seasoned trolls. The first one (years back) was a nasty piece of work who argued the point on every thing I did for a certain hospital all the while proclaiming God’s love and goodness in her life. One of my new ones, was trying to start something so I retweeted her and agreed, she was correct instead of complaining I could in fact change the channel  but not in a nice way and I still don’t know how I could turn it off with the remote in a place where one would need medical extraction. Luckily there is blocking and I am a firm advocate of switch me off if you don’t like what you read.

I have unfollowed a few of my face book friends for the fact they put up stuff ALL the time.For the unaware you don’t have to unfriend people you unfollow and it doesn’t highlight the fact you are no longer not following them. It could become awkward though if they direct message you to ask if or why you didn’t respond at the time they posted something but oh well.

How do all these things relate back to resolutions on 2nd January do you ask yourself: will I complete them? or will I slowly over time move on from them? should they be resolving, once achieved another takes it’s place? Does one start the diet on the day or leave it to day 2 just to give the body recovery from the night before? I suspect if you have arrived into Day 2 and have not answered these questions then you would be searching for a reason (perhaps) to start or to move them along.

The farmer has walked past and asked me when did I find time to make resolutions and I replied with who says I have? Writing about them is not living them, putting it on paper is not necessarily the beginning of a newer version of me, what ever that is supposed to be. It is meant to be a time where one reflects back and sends all the previous years bad things to live in the past and bring forward all the good things and expands them.

Start small I say, do up a list and tick them off when you feel you have completed them. Make your resolutions realistic things you know your capable of, enhance them by inviting others to join you should you wish. I intend to keep mine to myself and slowly move towards getting them done. I’ll keep you posted as I move them along, now I must go take down Christmas – I was meant to do it yesterday.




Summer Rain

It’s coming up to Christmas and into summer in Australia and its the time we prepare for the happiest of times and for the saddest of times. How I love winter, I love the fact one can get warmth and be warm whilst the weather out side does it’s job, it rains… well most times it’s does. We haven’t had enough rain yet and now coming into summer on the farm is going to be another long one (hot summer) that is. There are areas all over the world that could use rain to get out of drought and poverty, Australia like other countries has them at the moment.

In the country that I live in we have had a below average rainfall, and now summer has hit in a big way – much sooner than we wanted or expected. Outside our temperature gauge hit 37 degrees celsius 98.6 F the other day in spring and this is not considered unusual, it is part of the pattern of our seasons. With these types of temperatures so soon in spring many farmers are watching their crops ripen and set seed early so many will start to harvest. It will be a tough year for farmers in the south-east of South Australia with many harvesting early and many de-stocking to reduce food load on finances.

For the croppers they are cutting crops such as canola, wheat, barley and others early due to low sub soil moisture and no back up rains. They will be expecting the livestock people to buy the hay bales. They will all be wanting a good price for their hay but in times like this where most of them will be doing it I suspect the prices won’t be there, but we’ll see.

There are many things people do when they come into summer – most women shave their legs which they have left over winter as they were either wearing stockings or trousers to hide them and many people look to the perfect spray tan to start wearing summer clothing without looking like the lighthouse beacon with lily-white legs. In the country not only do women think and do these things they also have to work off farm for income and on farm as unpaid labour, the extra pair of hands to help when it’s easier to do the job ‘now’ rather than wait for paid employees. I know many a wife who help at shearing time in the shed as a general roustabouts whilst running and maintaining everyday issues of family, school, business and even continue their part-time careers during this busy time.

Summer also brings the thought of fire, when I hear dry lightning storms I worry, when I read there is to be controlled burn offs by the Government I worry more. I prepare for fire now, after having had 2 in the last 4 years. I listen and act, everything is in place, this year though there will only be a plan for 3 dogs instead of 4 with Pete safely at rest, it has taken some of the stress off me. All fire fighting equipment is checked and at the ready something no one wants to do but is necessary in a country where fire is one of the greatest dangers in national parks and on properties.

No fires for us this year, we keep hoping for summer rain and look to the skies when it gets dark and cloudy. With 9 Fridays left till Christmas it’s time to prepare and get ready for the celebrations with family and friends.

before and after shearing

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



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)



Today is brought to you by me

I can’t move the calendar into November, I want to be stuck in October, not that it was a great month (rain wise) but it seems surreal that we are coming to the end of the year. As I assess what I have done this year it amounts to lots of hard work and little reward. I can imagine I am not alone with this thought, there would be many assessing what their options are coming up to the “Silly Season”. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE Christmas, I do the lights, the yard decorations, the tree everything and I am sure the animals appreciate it.

Christmas for us is a rushed time of travel, never do we have time to really relax and get into the throws of it, 3 hour travel to arrive, then lunch or dinner, presents with family and boxing day it’s back on the road and another 3 hour drive to get home. Its summer in Australia at that time and animals need daily checking for water or they can perish quite quickly, something that we won’t allow to happen if we can help it. Last Christmas day we spent with tractor, fire fighter, shovels and poly pipe digging up old poly pipe and getting water to troughs, it was very hot and we made it to Adelaide for dinner. He did say for me to go on my own, but what’s the point of Christmas not spending it with the people you want to spend it with?

We are looking into summer having had little rain so things look very dry around the farm, it’s lucky the farmer is a good farmer and plans as best he can for these contingencies.

November is also the month of birthdays in our family, the most important (in my opinion) is my beautiful daughter and I look forward to sharing a meal with her and a drink. There is also nieces & nephews as well as friends who have November birthdays and more often than not, we can get to have a celebration with them at some stage, not necessarily on their birthdays.

November is the month that most people put 100% effort into and race to the end of the year, Christmas closures and holidays. Me, it’s one of those weeks and weekends, marked by me cleaning up after Pete the dog, whilst leaning over to pick it up my glasses slipped off my face and landed in the pile of pooh and apparently my face said 1000 things, probably lucky that I didn’t verbalise what I was thinking (it was all profanities) and as for Pete, how can you go past this face.

2014-10-08 05.32.04


The Christmas break up

It;s that time of the year isn’t it? Where people who can take holidays do, office parties, Christmas lunches and shopping. It’s a great place to be if that’s your thing, taking the last working day to have a long lunch or just a short lunch and having a couple of drinks with the people you spend most of your time with, whilst you work, if you’re lucky the boss may even shout (pay) and then allow you to go home early. I love this sort of thing, in my medical rep days, we all use to meet at a pub and lunch together, all those reps that worked from home and didn’t have colleagues within the same state met and we lunched.

It is an opportunity to share the highs and lows of the year, to wish each other joy and to get to take a break. I miss this and I suspect many people do, to some it gives them time to spend with families and enjoy the weather and plan for the coming year, for others it represents periods of forced loneliness. Some people suffer at this time of year and dread it, some may feel totally trapped at home and work was a relief to go to, where others may find that distance – through changing states or countries for work or families them just that little bit more homesick.

For others it represents nothing but a day in the year, looking at farmers it is not a pleasant time of the year, it’s hot, it’s humid, we wait for rain as the land dries up and so too does the feed. It is now time to check stock daily for water problems, feed hay out, check fire fighting equipment is working  well  and having plans in place to try to get out for Christmas day knowing that it is only a 24 hr stop over “just in case”.

Doctors, nurses, police and service station attendants all work rotating rosters and are on duty as well, my Huz favourite saying is “weekends and public holidays are only for the general public.” This is true for all farmers, there is always something that needs doing and they don’t get paid for it. Working for somebody even the government gives people an income and on the public holidays, penalty rates, so for the 8 hours people miss out on being with family it’s not so bad (I was a nurse and did many a night duty over Christmas so I could see my daughters delight on Christmas morning). No one pays the farmers an hourly rate for their hours of work and dedication.

Yesterday watching my face-book news feed of my city friends having Christmas lunches and parties made me feel melancholy, wanting to be part of it, knowing I wasn’t. What I am not is not ready for Christmas this year, I have not planned as well as I have every other year, I feel very naked of gifts, there is nothing wrapped under my tree, it’s weird. There must be others like me, work from home, live in the country or city, no work colleagues, that want to have a lunch to celebrate the end of the year? Perhaps over the next 12 months we should start a network and plan one, a meet up, a chance to wish each other well and raise a glass to a year almost gone (and for me to travel to the city to Christmas shop). Next hurdle New Years Eve…….