One of THOSE days

I struggle living in the country, but I didn’t grow up here, I married to be living here. Most of the days are great but with drought brings a whole new load of challenges, ones that only those who live it can relate to and survive it.

It brings with it challenges one has never thought about, when we see dust storms in Adelaide or capital cities one never thinks about where the dust comes from do we? When we see them in places like Birdsville, the United Arab Emirates we know they come from the deserts. When we see one in Adelaide where does it come from? sadly it likely to be the top soil of a or many farmers paddocks. This is caused by lack of rain, soil erosion and lack of growth on the ground, so when the wind blows so too does the top layer.

When I drive around the country at the moment this is happening in most paddocks where there is no pivot or naturally occurring grasses that have grown over summer, contrary to the climate change people, it is not new it has been happening for as long as time itself. The ground is dry, brown and in need of a decent rainfall.

Why do they call it a dust storm when it really is a dirt storm? I have no idea but on the days when the dirt blows it unsettles the animals, farmer and the environment in which one lives. It can turn a rational outdoorsy farmer into a brooding inside man in an instant. Luckily these days are few and far between.

When it comes to achieving anything on one of these days it is next to impossible. We have satellite TV which can flicker in and out as the wind blows and rocks the dish. We also have satellite broadband which is slow and almost useless when the wind blows or if we have gone over our allowance, we will be shaped – which means slowed to a stop until the next billing cycle.

On the days when it’s like that farmers still have to go out and check stock, waters and find jobs. Mine is good at indoor things, identifying jobs, doing them and then pointing out he has done it.

We have been without an oven door for three or more weeks, one of the hinges broke, he went to fix it and I called the supplier and they offered to send a new door with new hinges attached. This was generous of them as I discovered my old oven door was in multiple pieces. It came the other day by post so the farmer went about putting it back on, he asked how I clean the metal wire components inside. I told him I do them in the laundry sink, saves on mess and I can leave them soak. The next thing I hear is the sound of an angle grinder going.

Unable to find steel wool to clean it, he went to the shed put the wire brush on the angle grinder and came in and did the oven wires racks. I walked past him in the laundry and didn’t say a word, I couldn’t. He also has ruined a toe nail from years ago when he dropped an engine on his toe (lucky it missed most of it or it would have amputated the toe) But it killed the nail bed so it grows up instead of out and when it’s too sore for his boots he grinds it down, I know,  there has been the occasion where he has taken skin off but I figure at 50 he’s a grown man and if he doesn’t want to see a podiatrist I can’t make him. If he amputates the toe, then he really only has himself to blame. They can think outside the square these farmers and have solutions one wouldn’t dream of.

Feel Good Campaign for those that need a pick up in drought

I Its a tough time in the country all over Australia at the moment, we all know the focus is on QLD but SA has moved into drought as well, sadly we don’t have a Bob Katter or a Barnaby Joyce giving us exposure. Farmers are calling out for the same options as offered to our QLD counterparts, I see lots of support for the farmers what we don’t see if a Buy a Bale campaign for SA farmers, charities calling out for money to give to SA farmers and a Government here in SA not mentioning it.

How do I know, we are feeding hay daily, we have had no rain since October and the ground is bare. I am hearing stories of farmers being foreclosed in our area and friends thinking of selling off stock to be able to keep the farm, cropper finishing harvest before Christmas has not been heard of since 2006.

What we know about farming communities is that they are resilient and hard-working, they put animals welfare above their own and look to the skies for the rains to come.

I am opening a Salon today in Bordertown, SA, where everyone is welcome to pop in all day to see me, book appointment and share my joy. I offer most beauty services including medical laser hair removal, I am qualified and have almost completed my Diploma of Beauty to go with my Nursing qualifications, my plan is to hire staff and grow the business for the community. I know I am lucky to be able to do this in difficult times so I want to give back to the community.

I am launching tonight along with a Feel Good Campaign, which I thought up today. I have had clients tell me they can not finish their treatments due to farming issues and other stuff, so I want those that can afford it book and pay for a Manicure or Pedicure at $25 a treatment with polish (shellac coming after Christmas) and I’ll put $5 towards a feel good one or by paying $50 for a single treatment and this will ‘buy 5 manicure, 5 pedicures’. You can even nominate someone and I’ll send them a gift Certificate to come in and have one. I’ll have a blackboard tally on display so that if you’re feeling low need a pick up come in and tell me your want to ‘feel good’.

We’ll give you a professional service, relaxing foot or hand massage and I’ll talk your ear off all for free, so you can enjoy sparkling new nails, in colours of your choice. I’ll be running this campaign from now, if you are in Bordertown SA tonight pop in, we are having a Chef’s Tool Box Consultant cook Pizza & 8 minute risotto, Arbonne Skin Care Consultant and a Tarot card reader. Even if you don’t attend tonight text for an appointment 0408542057 or the address.

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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)

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a good nights sleep and ready to take on everything

It has been a busy time, where I am settling into my new role. I spent part of yesterday at the Keith Hospital as nurse for the GP clinic, then was on call till 10 pm last night. Luckily nothing happened after I left and I was able to get to bed relatively early feeling slightly gastric. The gastro bug is sweeping through our school at the moment, I seem to be able to have held it off only with a small episode. Other than DH waking as soon as I turn everything off, where he tosses and turns, watches TV or turns the radio on I managed to sleep through it to wake at my usual time – which if you live in SA, that is an hour early.

Yes daylight saving has finished so that we are now half an hour behind QLD, I mark us against QLD as that is the crappy satellite TV service we get. We get ALL QLD rugby (both types) on the TV instead of the AFL so missed the Crows beating Gold Coast Suns and my team Melbourne being beaten by Brisbane. Brisbane have a special place in my heart due to their assistance with the Keith Hospital campaign where I was lucky enough to have a photo taken with them. So despite the defeat against my beloved Demons I forgive them. The size of the loss indicates that there are lots of new talent in these young men and most have to get use to change of state and leaving family behind, topped off by the death of Jim Stynes. It would have been a very difficult week for them.

I get the struggle to keep on top, I think we can all identify with wanting to come out tops but remaining average. We push ourselves to complete tasks, remain focused and sometimes neglect areas of our lives to keep on top of daily things. I have been so consumed with the responsibility of being the Acting DON of the Keith hospital I have not completed my walks this week and my back is feeling it. I have 5 baskets of washing (mine) to fold and put away, DH did his own as well as cleaning drawers out of mouse pooh (AGAIN) now nothing will live in the kitchen drawers not one thing, DH has been warned all the contents are going into a box to be rifled through if it is needed. 

I have stripped the bed and must clean up the mecurachrome mess from the bottle I dropped on the bathroom tile 2 nights ago. I soaked the bulk of the liquid up but dear there will be a red stain left from my tiredness. I am one of those people who when I tire I knock things over, trip over, drop and break glasses and have been known to fall and break bones. Lucky nothing major, I am not a calamity in motion I am just me.  I have washing to attend and a house to prepare for our Easter guests which I think arrive from Wednesday night onwards. We are very much looking forward to Easter as we are creating a tradition with my family, where they come with campers, children and a healthy attitude to do things. We have taught 11 yr olds to drive manual utes, we have walked on our property, they have helped with fencing, cooking in camp ovens, having a ladies lunch with Easter Bonnets and have a great time around the bonfire.

I must go I feel invigorated by my good nights sleep and the washing machine is beeping so it must be finished, I have a sink full of water and have completed washing all of the utensils from the drawers. I know I need an updated kitchen but I have decided I want to go to New York next January to hear my Mother & her choir sing in Carnegie hall. So the kitchen can wait !