This is a word that appears on the bottom of a lot of  “newsletters” ones which I have no idea how they got my email address, which in itself is an oxymoron, as I’m a blogger and I am easily found. I get many, today I got “Rites of Passage”all about a tattoo festival which I did unsubscribe to, not only is it in Sydney but really not my thing.

I also a few years ago sent the word  “unsubscribe” to a person who had texted me about their marriage break up, it was full of some of the nasty things both parties were saying to each other and as one of the parties is a close friend, I didn’t want to read it nor hear from that partner again. It worked, I never received another text from this person and would do it over again if it happens.

It’s actually a good way of not starting an argument and also staying out of one. I have had to unsubscribe myself from many things as I know (here’s the shocker) I have an opinion on most things. I can be divisive and have known this for many years, I have tempered myself over time and also had a great friend tell me once, “have that inner voice tell you to ‘shut up’, don”t enter a battle that will only cause a war.” It’s a very true statement as no one wins wars, there’s only fall outs and on going hostilities.

I told the person a couple of years later, I sent the unsubscribe to the ex and we still laugh about it today. My twin sister and I laugh a lot and make comments about who and what we would like to unsubscribe from, mostly it’s situations rather than people.

I have one today I’d like all Australian to be able to unsubscribe from and that’s our parliament full of people that can not make a decision without a fight. It’s boring, insulting and divisive, change the marriage act, stand up and be the people we voted for, ones who can make a decision. I know it was mandated so we are stuck with the people in Government for better or for worse.


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Blaming Others

Most people know if they have a bad night or a good nights sleep, i find myself waking up most nights and chose to lie in the dark looking outside our windows. It is beautiful if there is a moon shine. we live in the country so we have no street lights, neighbours house lights, security lights that flicker on and off with the movements of cats and no road traffic. This no longer scares me I find comfort in the quietness most nights.

We do however sleep with the radio on, I have a night time moaner, talker and snorer and have on occasions woken myself up talking nonsense in my sleep. He is a snorer with tinnitus and can wake up asking if someone has left a machine running.

I know when I wake what sort of day I’ll have, I have woken with heart racing and teeth gritting together, my teeth will ache from grinding them in stress. How do you have bad days on a farm you may well ask?  Most people think country life is relaxing, and jovial, it is full of loving animals, lush green paddocks, endless beautiful scenery, hours to prepare fabulous meals, wearing aprons and or jeans, boots and hats.

In reality it is very different, if it’s too hot, all the waters need checking 3 times per day as cattle will die within a day if they do not have water. In winter when the grass or paddocks turn green the animals need checking 2 to 3 times per day for bloat, too much green will expand their stomachs (they have 4) and they will literally fall over legs in the air dead. we place magnesium blocks over the place so they can lick them to reduce the risk of bloat. In birthing they can and do require assistance. The farmer is amazing with how he can deliver live cattle and not hurt mother or calf, but it can look like a brutal process with great outcomes.

My biggest gripe is the gap between sale of goods, meaning beef or lamb and payment. We will pay all our local places before anyone else, we do not need another country business closing due to slow sales and bad payers. All country towns and associations try and fund raise for their associations, hospitals, children’s schools, individual causes. I chose my charities now based on how much of my dollar goes to the charity or how much they pay staff to get your dollar. Yet when everything doesn’t pan out who do we blame?

How many head to the blaming the Government? themselves? the Boards that run organisations? or just society in general? are you a doer, get in and help or are you a watcher that stands on the sidelines, never participates but whinges loudly when it fails, or are you the volunteer that gets in helps, works and promotes? I’m the doer, the volunteer, I can work hard and tirelessly to raise funds and awareness and sometimes this isn’t enough or is too much for people and they shut you down. I move onto the next cause. I don’t do it for the praise, me I would like to be thanked as most people do, how do you react when you’re not thanked and appreciated?

Be involved

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Fear of the times

Drought is one word that sends normally sane people into periods of depression, walking on eggshells around each other and periods of high stress. This has been proven, there are many organisations that provide workshops, individual and private counselling for mental health and financial advice. Groups form to “catch up” so it gives people time to get off the farms and away from the situation even for an hour or so.

A lot of the women in farming families feel the stress of this greatly as they cope with what it all brings. It’s not like depression though, that is a different element, if you suffer from depression I am positive it would be harder to manage this, the farmer and the change in lifestyle if you do. Luckily I can only imagine how much harder it is for people with depression to cope during difficult times when families depend on that person more. We must watch out for each other during these difficult times as it is only people who keep people going.

Some days are harder than others and with all of the white noise around concessional drought loans (there have been minimal allocated in South Australia) from what sounds like political argy bargy many are going hat in hand to the Banks. It has been decided SA or parts of SA like the South East & Mid North are in drought after record-breaking lack of rain falls yet the State Government is playing politics with federal allocation of money that can assist some farmers during this time.

I wonder sometimes about the choices we make with voting our politicians in, there is no doubt they all go into politics to ‘help people out’ yet most of the time it looks like grand standing, self-absorption and self-importance, doesn’t it? These people are making decisions they rarely know anything about and do it thinking about the deficit they have created in the economy. Many people need financial assistance especially here in the South East but feel it will only be given out whilst taking from the back pocket with drainage levy hike, NRM levy hike and what ever else is next . This leaves many wondering if politicians really do know what it’s like to live rurally? they have good salaries, fantastic accessible pension funds from the day they leave office, they use the tax payers money for dinners, bottles of wine, business class and first class trips around the country and the world then come back and tell us all to tighten our belts. I often wonder if this mentality will ever change, if you can get away with the finer things in your job then one suspects everyone would do it.

When I was a sales rep, I traveled for my job and often at conferences met up with other staff members. I vividly recall being told that on one representative I went with ate and drank the mini bar dry 3 times whilst they were there for 5 days. In a 10 day trip and my expenses of eating in cafes and pubs for the 10 days I was away were not as much as had to be paid for the other reps gluttony in 4.

I have been told dealing with the banks is almost as difficult, though most farmers plan for drought, they also plan to get income, either through stock sales or grain sales and hay sales to name a few. When in drought the crops don’t grow, so it can not be sold as there is nothing to sell. I had a lady email me to tell me the most humiliating thing that has happened to her during this hard period is having to go into the bank and sit across from her friend and be scrutinised over their spending habits even to be told her monthly coffee catch up with her friends (including the bank manager) was out of their budget. At that moment she writes, her stomach started churning, her palms started to sweat and she knew she was going to vomit.

There was only one way to get the overdraft and that was for her to get a job in her chosen profession, she is a lawyer and with no option open to her to work in this field and with a 3 month old at the time, she has taken a job in the meat works in the local town 4 days per week.Her husband has also taken off farm work, as a truck driver and she said over the last 6 months they have worked 60 to 80 hours per week and their daughter has seen more of the child care assistants than of her or her husband. They are coping and are managing financially. She writes that this saved the property from foreclosure and they are able to pay their bills on time. She has never returned to the coffee group as she can not face her friend again.

If you can assist with my drought ladies day in March 2016please let me know, sponsorship, gift bags and prizes. Dates and sponsors will be announced over the coming week. InOurPaddocks is going through the system to be a Not For Profit Charity so I will be able to issue tax-deductible receipts. Anyone can contact me through the Facebook page or here.

If you do need help call Life Line 13 11 14

#newneighbours #travellinghome #emus

#newneighbours #travellinghome

I took this photo yesterday on my way home.


We have fire again, not on our property this time but in the Ngarkat National Park that backs onto our property. It was started by a lightning strike about 5pm yesterday. My Husband went out to fight it about 7pm and arrived home at 230am in the morning. He was then called at 730am and asked to come back, he could be gone all day.

What have I done, I have put our fire plan into action, in Australia it’s Stay and Defend or Go. If you stay you need to be ready to defend, the property needs to be clear of trees and anything flammable – but the rate a fire moves nothing is safe, I have seen this first hand. I pack the car of the things we treasure and the paper work we would need should we ever lose anything in a fire. I take jewelry and photo’s as well as the computer back up drive and laptops. I pack medications for us and the dog and clothing, that is all as I have to fit the dogs x4 and cats x4 (if I can catch them) in the car so that I can go.

I have no idea what else I would pack and take, we are insured not that it covers everything but I can not think of anything else that I would load up a trailer and risk injuring myself or getting caught in a fire I could not fight on my own. Would I be sad to lose the house, absolutely devastated but they are things that can be replaced people and animals can’t.

Watching my husband get ready and leave to fight fire makes me worry about it. Having seen a fire here in 2012 it is frightening, its hot and the noise is loud. We got to 47.2 degree C 116.6 F here the hottest place in Australia yesterday Keith. My husband is a CFS (Country Fire Service) volunteer and as such is called to fires and works hard saving property and livestock. Yet under this Government he is not entitled to any compensation paid fire fighters are should he get sick. I have to wonder why? he and all the other volunteers do the same job as paid fire fighters, in-fact they don’t get to knock off for meal breaks, change of shift nor get paid over time to do the same work. The Labor Government in South Australia expects them to turn up and do the job for nothing (which they do) but will not allow compensation should they get cancer related illnesses that are directly linked to fires. It is disgraceful.

I don’t actually see the premier out here fighting for hours on an end in 45 degree heat with radiant heat being more than 10 degrees above this. The farmers have to do this in between looking after live stock, feeding live stock going about their daily chores and so can lose income from fighting fires, if the CFS guys & girls are from paid work they take the day off unpaid, you would think with the amount of stock and property these brave people have saved over their time, compensation should they get sick would be easily accessible. My husband has a National Medal for his years of service in the CFS and should he get sick or worse hurt in a fire, we will have to sell everything to look after him.

To all the volunteers everywhere that do such good works for people, places and property I salute you and value you and hope that your good deeds are repaid in kind.

A 4 Year Retrenchment Notice – is that not enough?

I am writing this starting without a heading, I am hoping it will come to me as I go but I want to talk about retrenchment and Holden closing in Australia. I agree it’s sad an “icon” gone from our shores but I am a little over the media coverage and the tales of sadness and woe. We are hearing about 30+ year employees being without work, supply chain and ancillary companies telling us they will close. We are watching these awful politicians blaming each other for this, I would like them to stop it, isn’t it time to Govern our country?

All that money millions & millions in fact $2.1Billion dollars over the last 12 years from the Government and then they asked for more and they never diversified, never changed the model of car to be made and employed the select few. They were importing parts and sold 82,000 cars this year at less than the cost of production. Really this was a business on its knees years ago. Watching our Premier, it is almost farcical blaming the Federal Government, they need to look at the state of the economy, cars are an expensive purchase and with the cost of living especially in Australia, people I know want value for money, like clothing & other items purchasing a car is rarely done without research and yes cost does come into it.

Look at the business model that Holden presented, they wanted more money to remain here, they have not updated the plant they just used the money to stay in existence, how did that help the economy? They asked their workers to take pay cuts over 12 months ago, surely this was the writing on the wall. There was no change in-car model being produced, no rethinking the downturn and making cars that people could afford and wanted to buy. Then we hear that there was a large-scale and long-term ‘stealing and selling of engines’ not just one but several that went unchecked and undetected for a long period of time.

Living in South Australia it is the most taxed state in Australia it didn’t make sense to keep putting money in, the State can not afford it and relied on Federal money,  who looked at the figures and went, we need a business case to justify the amount they were asking for. Surely this makes good business sense, these weren’t short or long-term loans, there were ‘incentives’ from where I sit more like subsidies. Nothing to pay back, no justification of where the money was being spent, they just stuck their hands out and the money was placed in it, unthinkable. Surely the Premier could get out there and say well “it’s sad but we have Homeless, Aged, Disabled, unemployed that we can support with that money or perhaps look to reducing our electricity bills and water rates”. That will not happen, all we are hearing is the ‘blame game’. Imagine what could have been done with $2.1 Billion dollars in the Australian Economy not just going to one company.

Now the decision has been made we are bombarded with the names, faces and voices of those workers who are going to be out of work, they will be retrenched once the plant closes. We are talking in 4 years time mind you, 4 years!! I don’t know many people who have been retrenched, fired, made redundant, terminated or given notice, never alone 4 years, it normally is a matter of minutes or perhaps hours. These people have ample opportunity to find work, they are going to be given money to retrain, go to TAFE, learn other skills and this seems to be lost on the sensationalism of “Holden to close” I guess it doesn’t make news worthy stories. There will be many that will leave with very generous financial packages for all their years of loyalty.

I wish all of the workers well and hope they take advantage of the offers on the table to be retrained, as for the news grabs, please move on, I’m a little over it all, they have 1461 days to work, earn a living, retrain and look for employment. Now I have found my title A 4 Year retrenchment notice is that not enough?




How many times does one procrastinate it their lives? I wouldn’t put myself as a procrastinator, I would say I’m a go getter but there are times I have hesitated. I have wondered whether this hesitation has been to my detriment or it has benefitted me as I have had to go seeking alternative solutions to a problem. My DH procrastinate and sometimes tries to involve me in this, he has spent years creating things and deliberating on farm machinery purchases, we have been to land auctions and though we know our spending limit we have never got a bid off.

I should rejoice in his decision-making process he is very careful with his spending and the cost of farm machinery is enormous but we seem to manage without debt. But it has taken years for some of them to come to pass but they have. I on the other hand make decisions easily and quickly then fight hard to make them work, be right or have to shove them under the pillow so that I don’t have to think about them any further. I normally get up and do the things I have to in order to then do the things I want to do. I have brought up my daughter to do it now rather than later and her sheer hard work has her in a job she loves and enjoys. I on the other hand have been limited now through living in the country, I have had to make work situations for myself, from my first foray in to medical project management to opening a shop each job brings about its own joys and issues. One thing I can do and do well is delay by working slowly on the things I dislike (my taxes) and do quickly the things I love.

Procrastination is something we all do, I have read many a tweet or Facebook comment where Facebook is proof that it is more interesting than study, washing and ironing can be found to be much more interesting than doing book work, or in my case sometimes I prefer to do book work instead of housework or anything else. My girlfriend Kate Swaffer loves to iron and in reading her blogs I sometimes get the feeling she prefers to do other things. Procrastination is a part of our make up, some work through it, others work around it, it is all good unless it dominates our lives and restricts our time. Must go have deadlines to meet for Fantastic Furniture who are donating all new furniture for our Doctors house in Keith, this is one cause I don’t hesitate for, pity our Government do. $60 mil in Legal aid bills for the asylum seekers, $32 mil since July 2011 to 22 NSW legal firms, why is this so?? This does not even cover the costs of them in detention centres but this is a topic for another day.