Coming back

It’s hard some days to write on my own blog as my bullysbeefothermeats blog has been picked up by the global website mytrendingtories so I’m having to commit to doing at least 3 to 4 blogs per week on farming and I suppose it gets blurred but it’s been a thrill to have been asked. I am also the unpaid farm hand, who is needed to drive tractors, quad bikes, deliver farmer to paddocks in Utes so that he can do his job.

I do the selling of our meat, trade shows, doing our book work, budgets and finances for the business and feed baby animals when they arrive. Nothing gives me more joy than watching and assisting an orphaned animal survive and become part of the Caloundra farm family.

At the moment I have also been asked to present at a nurses conference so am about to put the final touches on my speech. This is for the South Australian Peri-operative Nurses Association. What a thrill and honour to be asked, but also slightly frightening at the same time. For all of you nurses out there join your association, now that we are under legislation to get our continuous development points or CPD to maintain our registration, our chosen profession has groups and associations that provide high quality education for country as well as city nurses to get their points.

I know when I renew my Registration Certificate each year we tick a box that says we know we are competent to work in the field in which we trained. I take this seriously and know that I am coming to the end of that grace period. I didn’t leave nursing to not keep up my skills, I married in the country and there is not a job for me within 150km’s so when I take one I know that I’ll need overnight accommodation and have to weigh up whether it’s worth it or not. I know that it is and I keep getting told “you should” “you have to” in relation to my nursing career.

I know this but it will also make me a FIFO, and I wonder how many of my fellow nurses would like this idea or do it. It does not mean fly in fly out it actually means, DODI Drive out and Drive in, I live where there is no airport, we have a landing strip for RFDS and hang gliders but not a commercial place for me to get to work and back. The drive will either be a 5.5 hour round trip or a 6 hour round trip. I have been told, he will travel to you, it’s a great theory but there is ALWAYS something on the farm that can keep him from family BBQ’s in Adelaide or events. When you have animals, it’s an obligation and life long passion to look after them, feed them and assist them when they birth if they are in trouble.

Getting work  within my area is difficult, as both hospitals in my area have their quota’s of nursing staff and unless anyone leaves then there is no opportunity. Also I am limited as I love the Operating theatres, it’s is where I always felt at home. I have and do firmly believe that we are the eyes, the ears and the voice for the unconscious, frightened and voiceless, if we are not there to protect, defend and care for all who come to theatre then we should move out and let someone else who has these values do it.


Here I am as a nurse and my twin sister Jacqui as a chef, so from the age of 4.5 years it was my chosen dress up costume and career.

What is your chosen profession? Did you reach your goals? Have you taken the long route round?

you can follow me on instagram as @Bullysbeef

twitter @RobynVerrall


Things I have seen

Sometimes I think my life has given me more than I need, not by the way of material things but by the people in it who I love and cherish. Though I feel I never get to spend much time with them I know and I hope they know how much they mean to me. I have been given ample opportunity in my work and life to have great balance and have been to places and seen things I never thought I would when I was growing up. Though what is growing up essentially, I still don’t feel any older than when I left school – just a wiser head on my shoulders as they say.

I worked as a Nurse for the formative years of my working life, I have seen many things I have wanted to see and many things I didn’t want to see. These things can not be unseen, I didn’t realise the great rich diversity i would see and do having chosen this sort of career then I moved onto medical sales where opportunity was afforded me to travel. I have done and seen things here in many places in Australia and beyond, things I also wanted to see and others I didn’t.

But coming to farming life, I get to see and do much more than I ever thought goes on at farms. I have seen my Huz put chains (correctly) on a calf hooves and use the ute to assist a cow to give birth, 9 out of ten deliveries are fine, the ones that die, died in utero. I have seen things that also can not be unseen. Like the entrails of eaten prey our cats have brought in. Most times we discourage them if they bring us their prize, last night was a bat, it was tiny and the cat (Frankie) now call bat girl (she is a female) was playing with it. I thought it was dead so I went to pick it up and thought better of it and used the dustpan, the poor thing was still alive. How does one keep a bat for a pet, get it survive the attack of killer cat and then let it go. This was 1am I was contemplating all of this, I decided to open the door and let it out. Much to my and the cats amazement it flew off, sometimes they just need a minute or two to get over the attack and off it went.

How does one cat get high enough to catch a bat, one suspects the poor little thing moved into our fruit trees and took refuge from the cold and heat and was getting a meal there till our nosy cat caught it. Some times the night life in the house is like a party a cat posse all waiting and crying at the clever cat that caught prey, it’s awful. I even feel sorry for the bunnies they bring in. But that is the second time for a bat, I wonder what the rest of the year will bring.


the in-laws

I have lovely in-laws and I am grateful for their support and presence in my life, but there is always a but isn’t there? They are not your own parents so the faults you see in them you do not see in your own. I spent a lovely sunday with my in-laws, they made the effort to come out to the farm (they also needed stumps for their fire & eggs & flowers) but they came. Both my in-laws are unwell and have been since they retired, we are very lucky they are still with us and I owe that to modern medicine and faith.

They spent the week in Adelaide last week visiting the numerous specialists they now see, cardiologist (both of them) Oncologist (MIL) Plastic Surgeon (FIL) Skin specialist (FIL) Orthopaedic Surgeon (both) and these are just the ones they tell us about. My father in Law is the typical aging farmer – he wore no hat and swam in summer in dams & then when they could afford it a pool without a shirt. He is becoming the poster boy of Basal Cell, Squamous Cell and last week a melanoma. He has grafts to his face and now is waiting the results of this melanoma on his back. They feel lucky as they see the skin specialist annually so this has “come up” in under a year, so it may well be a good outcome. My MIL has had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and has been in remission for over 6 years now but has terrible back aches – she tells me they x rayed her back and she has arthritis of the spine. (ouch)

They enjoy our company  and we there’s but they are not my parents, they are DH which when you marry someone they become part of that family you wish to create. In break up’s some people find it harder to say good-bye to the parents & family not  the partner. I now have to travel to see my parents and this is hard, I miss being part of their weekly lives. If you do not have In laws – some would say you are not missing much, if you do have in-laws that you do not like some would say you are not lucky. But I like mine and their biggest regret is that DH & I never had children together, that is their issue not ours. MIL asked me yesterday would we (DH & I) be interested in purchasing a property in the country town where they live, I have to hold back my instantaneous response of yelling no, instead I say it is a dying town and I have no intention of retiring in it. I also kept my house in Adelaide so that I had a place to go when I am ready to and at this stage it is hard to even find a decent job here, unless you nurse, you are a teacher and the hospital is not employing so that leaves very little to choose from.

I have a small business which due to the economic times is now not doing so well, in fact it is costing me to open it daily, there is no foot traffic, no repeat business and it is positional. I have to make the decision to move it or close it completely. She is shocked by this, which is surprising, there are days when you can look down the main street and there isn’t a car to be seen. We grew up in different eras, she was a teacher who went on to study to become a librarian so was a professional all her life. I moved here due to marriage and now I am struggling to stay, I want to work, that is a topic for another day