It’s our Wedding Anniversary

It’s come around again, which I must say is a good thing, it means we are still together and still very much invested in each others lives. Though there are days when laying in bed (alone) and pulling the covers over ones eyes is preferable to some days when things are stressful.

The best part of us is that we can laugh at ourselves and mostly at each other, I never thought I would be married and he never thought he would marry again, if not for the fact I organized our 20 year high school reunion we probably would not have re-met up but who’s to say? We were not boyfriend and girlfriend at school we were however friends – well he use to follow me around the library – if that counts and he was a border whilst I was a day scrag as we were all known back in the 80’s.

I remember when we started to see each other and distance was the biggest enemy, I was a full-time mum and worked and travelled and still managed to make time to travel 600kms (round trip) to the farm and commence and grow a relationship. It was not without its troubles or issues, I lost a few demerit points trying to get back in time for work or daughter. I was told once there is no such thing as a brown cow and I shouldn’t make the mistake to stating as such – as they are considered red – commonly known in the country – not so much for the city girl. It was lucky his were black so there was need to have this conversation. I have since found out there are brown cows – Dairy Cows called Brown Swiss so not being Dairy was also a good thing.

I have enjoyed the farm over the years and have seen how hard people (farmers) work. I have asked him to teach me many things – so when slave labour is needed (as is known by country kids all over the world – a free pair of hands when paid workers aren’t required) I am there.

In our first winter getting a tour over 5000 acres in his Ute with 5 dogs (Rat, Peggy, Heidi, Polly & Pete all now deceased) we came to a paddock and he said I normally get bogged in here and then proceeded to drive through and  true to his word we got bogged, up to the door way of the Ute. He climbed out and said I’m off to get a tractor and I’ll come back and pull you out.  I didn’t realize we were over 5kms from the farm and it took a couple of hours, it was very dark when he came back.

I asked the next day if he could teach me to drive the tractors so that if he was ever stupid enough to do it again or if anyone else got stuck I could help. I then became the main driver and still am when we plant 3000 trees every year. It was also helpful when we had fire, I was able to load up the hay trailer so that we could feed out during times of emergencies.

I have traded my high heels for Rossi’s, rented my house out in the city, given up a medical sales career, taken up a beauty career concentrating in Laser hair removal. Helped deliver calf’s, ear tagged cattle, mustered cattle, lamb marked, ringed testicles (not his) ringed tails, learnt an accounting system, volunteered to assist to save the local Keith Hospital and not regretted any of it.

We have buried 5 beautiful dogs, 1 cat and gained 3 dogs and 4 cats in the process, never alone the baby lambs I have hand reared or the calves. We have also celebrated our 30 yr high School reunion and will celebrate 40 yrs within the next 8 years, though I hope there is more time for travel, friends and visiting my daughter in the city more often, along with my family in the nexy 8 years.

This year we are 3rd place on the podium – Bronze (8th year). It was a great wedding and many happy times have come along since. I hope for many more

 

Today is brought to you by the Letter L

“We are now doing random alphabetical jumps, no longer any order to my blog, but it’s nice to be back writing. We are moving into summer and already we look to cloudy skies for rain. The paddocks are getting dry and the dust is beginning to swirl with the winds, my hay fever is active and I am now sitting in an office where I have 3 computer screens and wearing glasses most of the time. I go between this and my other work in my local town.

I am desperately looking for Tax assessment notices for myself to complete some paperwork I need (plus it’s time to ditch the old 1990’s tax stuff) and in going through my filing cabinet I have come across a ‘fax note’. He was never one on letters and also by the time we came to being a couple – letter writing was SO 1990’s, we moved into the fast past fax & emails. He had no computer skills at the time so faxes it was. Isn’t finding interesting things so much more better than doing the work you HAVE to do?

One thing he did do, despite really not having a romantic bone in my body with distance was the tyranny, phone calls expensive and our time together limited, was he would send a fax. I have been lucky over the years to have worked a lot from home, this was great for being able to work and spend time with my daughter. But sometimes as in now I find myself in the office with computers on and paperwork all around me.

Faxes were the go in the late 2000’s, scanners weren’t really a thing and as I stated he was very computer illiterate (he didn’t even own one) so he did a ‘love’ fax thing. we had been ‘seeing” each other for approximately 1 month. He did make me laugh and some of the things he wrote made no sense till I could contact him later in the evening to get an explanation.

One such love fax is attached here but it had me scratching my head all day (I did preference this with the fact I don’t have much of a romantic notion about life or people) they are what they are and who they choose to be, we all have faults (some less than others) and we all have great traits. His was the ability to make me laugh and soften my rough “I’m a singe mother” hard edges.

It reads love letter

sent at 07:36 20/11/2002

Stop Press

“Tom attacked by Rooster  Last night”  hurt tendon in wrist

“Rooster Dead”

wish I was there

No calf marking today.

Initially I had no idea who Tom was (his father) why he would be attacked by a rooster (they can be mean and charge when angry) hurt tendon – pictured a torn wrist with tendon hanging out and needing surgery – did I tell you I am a Theatre RN, we all jump from simple scratch on wrist without seeing it to requiring micro-surgery to repair said torn tendon in order that “Tom” would be able to use his hand again. My nursing friends will know this is a logical conclusion without a first hand (witnessed) account.

Rooster Dead – had no idea why it would die, never thought for a minute it would become dinner. Wished he could be there – for him to laugh at his father, me only to apply first aid (Florence nightingale style – picture lamp & moist head cloth or hand cloth here to stem the  pulsating blood flow)

No calf marking today – never having seen it or done it I had no idea what to even think about this except perhaps he goes to the paddocks and marks the calves – ticks or crosses on a sheet as to good size or small size, never knew about this procedure until much later in our relationship. hard work on one’s own.

The Love Faxes never really got much better than that, I know jealous aren’t you all, I wonder what I would do or feel if I was ever sent a real ‘love letter’ but life isn’t a movie is it? it’s an opportunity to be who you are and if you’re lucky, share it with an equal whose company you enjoy, makes you smile more than 80% of the time and is kind, caring and shares your views on family.

Enjoy your Friday everyone

 

 

 

Today is brought to you by the letter G

Genius is what springs to mind when i think of farmers today and  I married one (willingly). A farmer and genius, some of the things he says and does beggers belief, but the bulk of them are clever at coming up with amazing solutions. Farmers are adaptable and come up with solutions to problems that would leave many people scratching their heads. This morning I have taken to doing the washing and as we have septic tanks you can normally tell by the smell as to how full they are. I am capable to get the pumps working to empty them and was in the process of doing this when he came along. I may not be as quick as him but I turn the pump on and walk to where they run and go back and forth until I hear the water running. Farmer comes along and puts a hose in it, gives me (another) a demonstration and talk on how he does it then turns on the outlet tap where water sprays over the power point. Water and electricity do not mix thus throwing the safety switch and turning everything off.

This is the same power point that a couple of years ago had a couple of ‘live’ wires dangling after he decided to change the power point and I was always careful not to touch them if I needed to put the septic on. One day in a cold winter day and happened to brush my finger on the wires and they sent me backwards by a foot and left a little burn mark on my finger. Thankfully when we did the kitchen up it was fixed by a qualified electrician, there is no loose connections now at ground level

In our house he even names adaptations of things after himself and calls them a bullenerisation, not to be confused with skilled technical solutions. Some of his are impressive, farmers are mechanics, builders, electricians, plumbers and handyman all rolled into one. They garnish skills for machinery as they go, it can be about the cost of getting skilled labor out to assist within a small amount of time it is also about needing to have it fixed there and then saving as much money as they can.  Most say I don’t know what I would do if I gave up farming – not realizing that the skills they have are and can be transformed into Diplomas and Certificates with minimal work.

When we were painting our the extension we had set up paints outside and all of the stirring equipment as we used  20 litre tins of paint. He put the paint stirrer on the cordless drill and turned it on and withdrew it and sprayed paint everywhere including all over himself.

Farmers are also good at pulling things apart and keeping bits and pieces they can use else where as well as putting things back together and getting them working well. One Our most recent purchases was a washing machine which when my old one stopped it was pulled apart to be fixed but it never was..

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One thing he has done over the years is made me laugh, the disasters are funny and the achievements are impressive. I married someone who will rarely offer me a boring life, if nothing else than to be able to have a laugh (behind his back). As they say laughter is the best medicine and some days I need that more than anything.

 

Long weekends & farm life

When I met him, he made me laugh with his saying ” long weekends, public holidays & weekends were for the general public not for farmers” I remember this as it was beyond me to think one did not or could not take time out from their daily work to enjoy a bit of down time. I worked weekends as well occasionally but was able to take time out during the week to do the things I needed to do. I really didn’t believe him, it couldn’t be possible to work that hard and not have time off. could it?

I met him through my own doing, I was travelling a lot and was lonely on the road, I would spend hrs, days and weeks away from home and I remember a specific eye surgeon who I worked with and who happened to be my high school graduation partner and we talked about how no one did anything for our 10 yr reunion and we should do it for our 20th year high school reunion, so I began to arrange a committee to organise one.

We were never high school sweet hearts, I already had one of those, we were friends though. So we met up and here we are 10 years later together and happy but I struggle with the above mentioned saying. I admire him for he works the property alone, he crops, he sows, he harvests, he breeds cattle, he breeds sheep, he feeds them, he saves them, he delivers them, he sells them, he fences them in and does everything in between. This is sometimes at the detriment of all things and I struggle with that, I also know this is selfish for he gives up more than I do.

But it is too much for me I am not a country girl at heart, I love the land, the animals and the farm but a farmer I will never be. But at this stage in my life I feel I am losing my identity, living in a small country town has its up’s & downs. I think I am having a down at the moment. I am looking for work and now we have come to the conclusion I will probably have to travel again to get work. We had plans for this weekend where we would travel to spend time away, but spraying and sowing come first, I realise this but it doesn’t mean I like it. Due to a number of factors mainly time and re calibrating equipment we were unable to manage it, this has thrown me into a down time. I like his company but I also like the company of others, I think I need that more than he does, he grew up in isolation and has adapted well, I didn’t and I don’t think I have adapted as much as I should have (perhaps).

I am happy to help out, I can drive the tractors and did so yesterday to fill up the boom spray to save him 2 hours so he could keep going. This was two-fold, firstly to help out and secondly to enable us to get away, which never happened as in the end  it just ran into our travelling time. He still makes me laugh and I still know how special and lucky I am that we are together but I also look for the company of others. I feel the loneliness and isolation of the farm more so these days than ever. This has to do with not being employed and my own self worth.

He also told me once that farm life was not really for city women and it was important they had their own identity. We know women farmers and we, especially I admire how resilient, resourceful, strong and capable these women are, I am not this woman and that is nothing to be ashamed of, it is what makes country living different and challenging. I would love to go away 1 weekend with him and leave it all behind, but the reality is things die without supervision and he feels guilt if this happens when we are here never alone when we are away. I have used this public holiday Monday to clean the house, this is much better than boredom…

Dementia

I went to an Adelaide Fringe show this evening which my dear friend http://kateswaffer.com/ is doing for the fringe and it is confronting, moving and totally paralysing. The dignity with which she  presents this topic is only matched by her grace in her brutal honesty, “my notes are my seeing eye dog, my hearing aid or wheel chair as I have dementia and I forget” or words to that effect. It is as stunning as it is frightening.

She tells us all how hard this journey is for her from her diagnosis at 49 to now trying to manage the ever-growing symptoms at 53. She is as beautiful as ever and as my mother said, Kate is right to hear her speak so eloquently about the disease one can not see how she would have dementia. It is not a disease that disfigures your face or osteoporosis that cripples your body in her words it ‘sucks out your soul”. How cruel !

It is a show that will make you laugh with humor, is thought-provoking, it will make you uncomfortable and for me her friend it made me cry. I wanted to stop the tears but they came and they flowed, even at the end as I hugged her I was still crying. Yet there we went out to dinner after, Kate, me and her DH (Dear husband) he was also kind enough to drop me back to my car – 35 minutes from their house. I take away from that a slide and forgive me for lack of referencing and remembering who stated it “live with urgency not in an emergency” Do not wait for the diagnosis, do not wait for somebody else to sing, dance, laugh, love, be the person to send this out live like there is no tomorrow as Kate says for her that may be tomorrow. How terrifying.. she has two shows to go Monday night 530 & Tuesday night – at scot’s church on North Terrace Adelaide. She is then off to England to present over there.

My beautiful friend, I have never been prouder of you, DH & boys, I love you and will make time to see you as often as I can