Things you don’t want to do

How do we get motivated to do the things we don’t want to do? How do we know we don’t even want to do them? I think it all starts from the nurture and nature up bringing we all have. As children we are taught many things, in-fact these teachings are taken into our adulthood and if you are as lucky as I was with the parents you have, these teachings good and bad go with us into our adulthood.

I think there may be one thing that despite nature or nurture no one looks forward to and from brief conversations with others most avoid going to the dentist at the risk of losing teeth. I myself wish I could be anywhere else yesterday as I headed in, but have nursed this pain now since before Christmas.

I have taken pain relief and antibiotics to ease the risk of infection and pain, but it started to get worse so I headed back to the Dr, to get the same antibiotics I had taken 2 weeks before not giving anything another thought. Waiting till after dinner and following the instructions I washed the tablet down with water and didn’t give it another thought. Approx 2 hours after ingestion I found myself having an adverse reaction to the antibiotics that had me having an overnight visit and stay in the Keith Hospital.

I awoke thinking I was being bitten by mosquitos until I realized my eyelids and upper palate were itchy as well as my scalp. Having had this experience before I knew this was a drug adverse reaction. It took less than 2 hours to have the reaction but have it I did. I got out of bed and checked myself in the mirror, I had the lovely red rash all over the body, swollen hands and feet. I gave myself the appropriate medications , woke the farmer, called the hospital and we headed into the hospital.

I spent the rest of the night on the appropriate medication and observation. It’s times like these that I am grateful, I was part of a community that helped to save the Keith Hospital. As for the visit to the dentist yesterday morning, I dread it, I dislike the injection of local anaesthetic, there were 3. I dislike the drilling, the suction and everything to do with the dentist, especially the numb face for hours afterwards.

So we begin the adventure of fixing the tooth, the gap between private cover, fees and beginning a relationship with parting with money and getting to know another new dentist.

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?




Today is brought to you by the letter E

It’s one of those days, a Sunday which started with an early morning phone call from a farmer in the “north” wanting to pick my brains about the fund-raising I did to assist the Keith Hospital. I did qualify that many people including the entire community and expats of Keith & beyond were involved and it was almost a 24/7 commitment to come up with ideas, nurture other people’s ideas and assist where I thought I could to get the dollars coming in. There was also the pledges that the community made to the Hospital in the early stages to meet the shortfall, an idea that came from the Board to support the Board. he hung up with a “right then, good to know, hard to do”.

Followed quickly by the need to commence work, farming is 7 days per week and mostly relentless, so before the day begins I like to try to start the days with an Egg or Breakfast of some sort. Simple you say, go up to the chook pen and grab a couple,  we have chooks & a rooster and we have eggs right? Wrong – we purchase caged laying hens from a farm and we let them become free range and wander the property and lock them up at night they do a good job in providing us and the extended family with eggs. Not this time we have had them for a few weeks and they are not laying at this time.

I have had to purchase some and luckily I live in the Limestone Coast and one thing farming does is bring solutions to problems and one of these is free range, free roaming chooks who lay organic eggs and they are sold locally, Hood’s Earth Produce. and they are as nice as the ones we would have eaten had our girls gotten their acts together. Get on and support them, they can be found in at Feast Fine Foods stores around Adelaide. Look for this happy container and you will know you are getting real free range grass-fed eggs. (Yes the background is deliberate – thanks SAWeekend Magazine)

2014-10-03 22.16.33

Farming from a city girls point of view is nothing short of hard work, dedication, care and problem solving. Many have gone from farming families to enterprises which employ people, provide food for the greater communities and extensively work to maintain and grow the business. Adaptation and experience are things that farmers have in abundance, I often say I will never learn what my husband has forgotten about farming as I don’t have time. His experiences have been over 40 years on the land and he loves it (most days) practices change along with machinery so farming grows. Farmers are great sharers of ideas and experiences.

Happy Sunday and Long weekend to those who have them, drive safe and look after each other.


Keith Hospital = Western Hospital a GREAT Union

There are few times in life when an outcome is successful and both parties and peripheral people get to benefit. This happened yesterday for the Keith Community. After the struggle (very public one) to retain its funding, and the fight to get the funding back, which it did it is now moving into a complete new phase and partnership.

This is a three-way partnership, Community / Government and now Western Hospital for the next two years. the Government funding was for three years to assist the hospital to become self-sufficient and is halfway through this agreement and the Board has been working behind the scenes to get a Management agreement with the Western Hospital for the next two years and an option for another two should it be a successful and financial partnership.

There is no downside here really, Western Hospital has experience and has walked the shoes of Keith Hospital, Keith Hospital is a bit luckier in that they did not actually get to close, Western had the doors shut and the electricity turned off before a group of Doctors, Nurses and community people re-opened it and has turned it completely around to a highly respected valuable health facility in South Australia, much like Keith Hospital is for the wider and country community.

I was invited to a morning tea yesterday at the hospital to hear the announcement and to watch the Chairs of both Boards sign the agreement. It was exciting and exhilarating all in one.  I am sure I along with many other community people including old Board and new Board members have spent many a sleepless night trying to come up with ways to keep this hospital open. We have fund raised and donated to ensure our rural services remained open and accessible to the community. I am sure I wasn’t the only one that let out a huge sigh of relief, no tears but laughter.

I am lucky enough to have worked in the health care industry  most of my working life and I miss it and know many people from both sides of this partnership and I can say with total honesty yesterday was the beginning of growth for the Keith Hospital and Western Hospital. Change is always frightening and challenging but I think what the staff of the Keith Hospital have lived through, worked through, donated hours of their time and had wage freezes for, I hope this for them is the opportunity they have wanted. This will be an opportunity to utilize the services of a high functioning community ‘private’ hospital with resources and private hospital wages, trust me the staff have earned it. There would be few people who would allow themselves to be underpaid to assist their place of work, many would have left and found other opportunities, this is testament to the caliber of the staff that work at the Keith & District Hospital, one which I have helped to fight for.

We have had community pledges, that overwhelmed the board, we have had Ute musters, High teas, water (still available) a Gourmand Best  in the World Charity Cookbook (still available) garage sales, picture evenings just to name a few, many people wanting to assist and now we have a tangible / workable outcome.


HIGH RES COVER for emailing

If anyone would like to stock the water or purchase the cookbook all proceeds go direct to the hospital. please contact the hospital direct 0887551555

Accidents & Country HealthCare

It had to happen didn’t it, a farming accident, a swearing farmer, running dogs and a rushed trip to the Emergency department of the Keith Hospital. This is the hospital the community and I have worked hard to keep open for the last few years. He walked into the house as I was preparing dinner and said I’ve cut myself, I had a quick look and said off to hospital we go.

He went to shower whilst I turned the oven off, called the hospital to find out which Dr was on and to warn them we were 20 minutes out. I grabbed toothbrush & paste and a change of clothes for him (in case he was going to be transferred to Adelaide) put the dogs safely in their kennels and grabbed my handbag and pulled the car around the front. I wrapped his hand with the mandatory multiuse t-towel whilst he grabbed a beer and drank it on the way out.

We arrived at the hospital, he finished the beer by this time (yes against my better judgement and I didn’t say anything to him) and was taken to the trauma room. The room is tired and desperately needs an upgrade but until the future of the hospital is secured long-term, there is no point. The funding from the Labor Government was given for 3 years with the view it would be self-sustaining after that, we all hold our breath as the progression to get and keep a Dr is still a hurdle not yet reached.

The nurses work hard as whilst we were there, they had another walk in as well as the Aged Care unit. The Dr. was new and a Locum, the question was asked by the nurse who should get the Dr’s report, I automatically said the Keith Medical Centre and I watched as she wrote under Dr’s name LOCUM, KMC. It summed up the fact there is no permanent Dr in Keith and hope the search is ongoing and will be successful. If anyone knows of a Dr that would like to relocate to a country townin South Australia, let us know.

The Dr was thorough and farmer received 8 or 9 stitches to the palm of his writing hand. It is bandaged up like a boxing glove and he has woken with it sore this morning but all fingers intact, moving, good colour and good sensitivity, so no option of needing a specialist to sew back tendons and ligaments. (For all my nursing friends out there) He fell getting out-of-the-way of a trailor holding a piece of metal and this ended up cutting his hand. He is lucky, now he will have an excuse not to do the dishes, can’t wait till he works out that he will need a plastic bag over the hand whilst he showers.

My favourite thing to do

I feel very lucky in my life, I have the bestest family in the world, great cousins who are my BFF’s and people who when I ask them to help say yes. Today being a Friday I have woken with a sore neck, did a 6km run to try to warm it up – it worked but I am sitting in my home office with a scarf around my neck to try to keep it warm. I felt it was tightening up yesterday but trying to move my arms this morning was a chore. I don’t look as silly as I sound, it still is cold in Australia and my office does not have heating or cooling yet.

I am also under a deadline to get a couple of emails off to people, one to a CEO whom I told I had called his company 13 times and no one responded, but I have had to inform him I only have written records of 9 calls. I don’t feel right about doing this as I feel it ‘dobs’ people in. For those unaware of what dobbing is.. it is telling someone, other people did the wrong thing and name them. But he assured me it is to improve the service, I explained to him yesterday, his front office girls were great and referred me on but I could not ever get in touch with who they suggested I needed to talk with. All is resolved now but still the email was done.

I also have to do a work report, which I have till lunch time to get in, it’s halfway done but the other end wants names and numbers sigh, sometimes this is just too difficult to do. I have realized this week I have travelled over 1500 kms and that is probably why my neck is still. I also have the pleasure of taking Huz to a ram / sheep sale this afternoon where after the auction drinking and bbq’s are the norm. Guess who will be driving.

I am also thinking it’s this time fo the year I start thinking and planning the Keith Hospital High Tea, I have done it for the last 2 years and we have had great guest speakers, Anne Wills ‘Willsy’ and Amanda Blair who have entertained us and helped keep the target fund-raising money going. So at the beginning of this week, I thought of a lady and went about contacting her to ask if she would do it. I know I get in early so if they ask a speakers fee, it gives me time to raise the money. I have only had to do this once Amanda Blair donated her time and my next years guest speaker has confirmed this morning she will do it and ‘no rates or fees’ her end.

The generosity of these people always makes me catch my breath, it brings us all to a level playing field. We are all volunteers in some capacity and Australians are known for their generosity and kindness for worthy causes. The Keith Hospital is a worthy cause and the community has worked hard to keep it moving along. In the signing of the agreement with the Government it brings with it a new model and opportunity to work to grow the business. I believe the least I can do it run a function a year and I love the support I get for the High tea. The Arkaba Hotel always donates the room, cost of staff and food is at cost. I have great supporters in bubbles and red wine donations and silent Auction prizes and enough helping hands to run it.

Before I could publish this post the guest speaker has been guessed it is in-fact Monique Bowley from The Great Australian Bake Off. If you want to reserve your tickets for Saturday 5th April 12 till 4, contact me as well

High Tea


Finishing to start anew

I was told last week I needed to finish things up so that new opportunities could come my way. I have been procrastinating for many months – doing things, putting off things and finishing things became low on the priority list. So off I have set to finish things up, I drew myself up a list, double checked it to see if I had put all the things on it I needed to and as we know with most jobs or tasks it is not until someone reminds you, you do leave things off it.

Start how you mean to finish is one of my sisters favorite sayings and it works well for work life balance. Balance includes making sure you begin a task and then you complete it. I have avoided many over the years and the worst one – being my taxes. I am sure that should my accountant read this she will be saying, stop writing and get me the information I need, well I am about to complete this task. It is number 1, 2 and 3 on my priority list to do. I have slowly worked on this but only after I had done my husbands books, daughters taxes and then run right out of time to complete them. I say run out fo time to myself to justify this but actually it is through not be organised with my own book work that has me failing to complete this task.

I also have a couple of things hanging to do for the Keith Hospital, I have completed 2 of them but the Government grant has taken the urgency out of things for a while so I have let it lapse. I have 1 thing left to complete so will do this by the middle of June before I commence on the next list of projects. This is the cookbook, it has recipes from celebrities, chefs and local residents all whom have contributed a recipe, a bio or a picture, it will be beautiful.

I am also working on fundraising for my mothers choir, they are an Adelaide choir who have been invited to sing in Carnegie Hall next year. I have completed a submission to Qantas for sponsorship and letters that are currently being edited to go to major companies and TV stations for assistance and promotion.This will be my next thing I concentrate on, only between my taxes, during all this I will be job hunting.