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.

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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

 

The Best thing to Hold Onto

I love social media, I have face books accounts, twitter accounts and if I had decent internet access I would have instagram. I know there would be some people out their rolling their eyes at my confession. I have connected with people I haven’t seen since school, people I didn’t know but shared a similar cause or value and people I find fascinating, not of the celebrity kind, though I do think Shane Warne is quite entertaining on twitter.

Today we hear that 1 of the Bali 9 is going to s=be shot, taken out of his cell at midnight tied to a post, blindfolded and shot in the heart by firing squad – where is this ok in anyone’s mind? really shot? the finality of his life in a single bullet, it beggars belief, I can not fathom ever this being ok. I have read posts on face book where people like me say nope it shouldn’t be done and others talking about the filth & scum of the earth in these men.

I am not an advocate of drugs, nor am I an advocate of jails and justice I am an advocate for life though. As a mother and person, how is this punishment ok? how? imagine your brother, uncle, father, nephew, cousin or friend and you have been told in 3 days time we are going to shoot you and there is nothing one can do to stop it.

Life is so precious, when it looks like you have the option of death or life, everyone chooses life. When people are told they have cancer with options, most take those options for more time, more days, more love, rarely anyone says nope not gunna do anything. People who wait for organ transplantation know the value of life for they want it and they wait for it and they will die waiting for the chance to have life, and somewhere in the world right now someone is unlawfully or lawfully taking that life.

Should we stand as a country of people and ask the Bali Government to spare them, I decree YES.. I am more than happy to write to president Joko Widodo and ask them for clemency. Life in prison is punishment enough but to be shot, no really acceptable.

I read this saying by the late great lady Audrey Hepburn “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” Do it whilst you have the chance.

Last day of 2014

To me this year has moved slowly, more slowly than many others, for some reason. It has been a trying year for most people I would think, this year started with a slow trickle, we caught up for drinks with old school friends in Adelaide and spent a lovely evening with them. One which I shall treasure for many years to come, it has been great connecting with my old friends from school, planning catch ups and events, I hope this continues throughout the rest of my life.

My lovely daughter bought a place and moved in with her partner and it has been great for me to be able to go to their place and spend time with her and with both of them, they gave us a treat at Christmas by having us over with other family members for dinner.

We have worked hard farming this year, it is a never-ending job one which is mainly a thankless task and going into a drought at the end of the year (now) hasn’t made anything any easier but that is farming and we’ll get through it. More rain from the rain gods please !!

We have been lucky this year, no family deaths but plenty of celebrations, birthdays, and a family get together, where all of us were in the same place for the first time in over 10 years. All my siblings 3 brother & 2 sisters, their partners, and their beautiful children. That was a fantastic day made possible by my older brother and it was sad it ended, we have had over 70’s 50’s & 1st birthday celebrations and that is joy of having a great big family.

May came and I partially ruptured my Achilles, running away from a charging steer but I won a Gourmand Award “Best in the World” Charity / fundraising cookbook for the Keith Hospital. I am now only recovering from the injury. The rest of the year has limped along with me to the end and I am taking stock today and planning on going into 2015 looking forward not behind.

I threw efforts into fund-raising for my old school, to help raise funds to upgrade the science laboratories and with the committee of hard working people and many other participants we raised over $37,000 a fantastic effort and yes I have chosen my charity to help in 2015, letters have gone out and I will be chasing them next week as the event is in April it is for YWCA. Contact me if you can help, it’s a breakfast picnic fund raiser, we need food & silent auction items.

To those of you who have struggled, suffered or limped along and made it through another year, I wish for you all nothing but happiness and better times. To all of you who have been in my life either in person, via twitter, via Facebook, via LinkedIn or even sms my wish for you all is to laugh more often, love more deeply and live for now. I look forward to talking with you all and catching up with you all in 2015. To those I didn’t catch up with this year, you are all in my thoughts and I still value our friendships.

Happy New Year to you all xxxx

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Back to normal?

Here we are it’s Monday and it feels surreal that we had a fire here only 4 days ago and a really big fire at that. But now that it’s over and I have cleaned ash out of the house it’s back to the business of getting things done. First call, insurance company to inform them we had a fire and that we will be requiring their assistance as we lost fencing.

Yesterday I called Telstra to let them know we had no landline to be told that the exchange was damaged in the fires and they will be out to fix it as soon as they were able and it was safe to do so, they were hoping to have it complete by Wednesday this week. They have redirected all calls to my mobile and given us a tag so that when we call out it is charged at the cost of landline rather than mobile, they are doing all they can for fire victims.

We have had friends call, text and email us that saw me on the TV in other states, it has been nice to hear from everybody as they showed concern. I have had face book and twitter messages that have meant a lot and spoken as best I can standing in the one spot in my kitchen that you get mobile signal from, with the people who I love and care about.

Part of the bonus of the fire (if you can call it that) is that having the sprinklers on for days at a time we have luscious lawns surrounding the house and we have let the Dorper Lambs in to eat it down. As I sit and type they are baaing at each other and eating as much as they can. It is a lovely noise to listen to, no longer is the UHF on the emergency channel, nor the radio giving us fire updates, I like the silence today, I have a breeze blowing in and the sun is shining, all looks good in my little world.

I have managed to clean the house of the ash and the place looks incredibly tidy, one thing I have been doing as I go is taking pictures of all of the furniture, pictures and nick knacks in each room, should we ever lose the house to fire we would have a pictorial diary of our contents and things. The other thing for me is to now look at getting rid of some of it. Why? you ask, well these are the things we would leave behind and do we want to keep them around us now? Things like bookshelves full of books one only reads once, DVD’s that sit around waiting to be watched more than twice, items we have kept “incase” we need them, well after this fire, I have realized we don’t. Everything I wanted was packed ready to leave with me and it wasn’t a lot, photo’s of my daughter as she was growing up – before digital.

It is amazing how two people can accumulate so much but being alive nearly half a century, you do gather stuff, now is the time to start getting rid of it, give it away and or sell it. I did this 14 months ago after the last fire, so now it is time to do it again. It will take a while but it is something I will be doing so that we can reduce the fire load in the house. Have a great Monday, here are some of our Dorpers in the yard see they really are grass-fed.

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What Others think of you is none of your business

How true is this, we spend our childhood learning how to please others so that we can 1) get what we want, 2) get friends 3) grow up. It pleases parents when you learn to walk, read, talk, eat, use the toilet and become well ‘civilised’. More to the point become part of a clan, we are the clan called human, we are bipeds, carnivores, herbivores, mammals to name a few. As parents they hope for their children to grow up, become educated, get a job, meet a partner and move on to begin reproducing this clan and starting the process again.

As teens we become socialized, our parents take us to interact with others and schooling helps us learn to adapt and change to suit the needs of a peer group, those of ones own age or within a close age group. This is where we learn about ourselves, be it good or bad, whether we are friends or foes, mean or nice we become running into the group called adults. Being a teen is not without trials or tribulations you just hope that somehow you get through it and it makes you a better person and helps shapes you into knowing ‘learned behaviour’ when it comes to others.

We hit the skids in Adulthood, it seems time races, nothing is as long as being a teenager, I don’t think. But in Adulthood we establish a network, have relationships, become friends, lose friends and most importantly we are asked our opinion about others. Here is the danger, we jump into the group and we (generally) divide them into male & females, we tell our secrets to our female companions and we tell our stories to our males. Both sexes play a vital role, females become the sisters, the confidants, the keeper of secrets, personal advisors, fashion advisors, friendship makers in our lives, Men become friends, lovers, partners, fathers to our children and honesty speakers (well mine is). The difference is only noticeable when we loose one of these groups or people in our lives.

We spend a lot of our ‘young adulthood’ talking about ourselves in relation to our work, our partner and friendship group. Other people’s opinion of you matters, down to how you wear your hair, who are you going out with? and how you respond to others in the same situation. This can be ego inflating or soul-destroying and many of us don’t identify that emotional vampire in our lives till it’s too late. They are not distinguishable by sex – both sexes are guilty here, it’s the partner who keeps ‘hooking up with others’, it’s the girlfriends who make social arrangements to cancel them on the day / night and the no shows. They devastate you, then if you question them they have a way of turning it to make you feel guilty.

Then as we grow to middle age – these people are easily identifiable and ones from younger years can and should be left behind. I have a couple of girlfriends that every time I see numbers on caller id, I bless the universe for giving me the option of knowing who it is. I will never visit those relationships again. Then there are others who appear as your friends – you may not even know they are peripheral dwellers, suckers of info to take to their networks and speak about you to whoever they like. Normally they come unstuck and it’s hurtful.

I have not been the perfect person in my life and I am sure that may would agree, we have been all and nothing to people with our behavior. I have done and said things I am not proud of but I am part of that flawed group called human. Sorry to those I have offended but please be assured my opinion of you is just that an opinion. If I have an issue with you, I will call to discuss, not put it into the universe, twittersphere or Facebook. I value myself and others enough to respect that, so if you feel I need to explain something I have said or written, I am selfish enough to admit when I write I do it for me, with no thought to others (expect the two not named here – they are also not friended on any social pages) even then I am not vindictive enough to harbor hate. I have grown to move on, so if something affects you that I have written- perhaps it’s your opinion of yourself that has taken a hit, not my opinion of you and if you ask me I’ll explain, not go running to others to make a complaint.

A wise person, my sister Jacqui taught me – email has no tone, it is words on a cyber piece of paper, you are reading more into it than what it is, except if you are doing it in capitals – then you are just SHOUTING.

The art of conversation v’s posts & tweets

I sometimes hear myself talking to people and repeating things that I can tell by my own tone, that I am either bored with or for me the speaker I have deemed it has become boring. Do you hear the tone of your voice changing other than in anger? I can identify it in myself, if I become snappy, higher pitched or lower pitched or even sigh before I start to speak, this is sometimes in response to a question, that I have moved on from the topic, not a good way to keep a conversation alive is it?

I find it not necessarily confined to one person or one topic, nor do I select the receiver of my ‘bored behaviour” I just know when it starts to occur. to all of you out there “it’s not personal”. I am unsure if it comes down to the repetition of the story, though I do find if I have to repeats things often I start condensing it, cutting really boring bits of information out (those quips or words that I can’t be bothered repeating) or worse still starting a conversation and then stopping it and moving on.
As most of our conversations are about people, places, opportunities, family, work related and media topics we have a plethora of information at our fingertips that we can digest, disseminate and become involved in. Years ago before I moved to the country I had what I considered a dynamic groups of girlfriends where we use to spend some of our time at a personal trainer talking about magazine articles as if those women were our friends, we dissected the Brad & Jennifer (I did say a while ago) marriage & divorce and Scarlett woman Angelina as if we were their bestest friends ever. This was not only funny but on occasions these were safe and light-hearted topics we could all contribute to. We also went to learn the art of golf but alas I think we put the pro off as one day he asked what was wrong with one of us, being that we could ‘bounce’ our humour off each other we started “her bum looks big in that” “she wasn’t wearing a matching outfit” and that “her hair wasn’t neatly done” he did not find that funny as he was talking about her ‘swing’ and he cancelled us the following week (and forever). The four of us did admit part of our golfing aspirations was buying the outfit (which we never got around to) and spending time together.

This was the time before Facebook & twitter, it was a time we read, google was all about looking at the opposite sex or confined to those wearing glasses, all we knew about windows was having to clean them, look through them and cover them. Post was where you put the stamped letter into the red box and typing was about becoming secretaries. Where our career options were, sewing, nursing (which I took up) and secretarial work till we became domestic goddesses (housewives & could sew all of the families clothes to make an important contribution to the household) and mothers. We learnt the art of conversation at play lunch, no such thing as mobile phones, we carried $0.40c in our pockets for emergency pay phone calls so we had to talk to each other, we had to use our voices, no texting and note writing was confined to the ‘occasional Love letter’ in class or writing to ‘pen pals’ from all over the world.

So now our conversations can be done in 140 characters ‘twitter’ and many people are really clever and smart at this. It is amazing how much information can be sent and understood in 140 characters. Facebook gives about 250 comfortably before the characters ‘disappear’ from the post and it gives you the “see more” so you can complete it. But looking at my face book page most of my ‘friends’ can impart knowledge and post what they need you to know or not know without too much stress and none of this involves the spoken word.

So in writing this I wonder if my frustration is at the lack of condensing of the conversation (which I admit I do) or it really becomes a topic that is ‘wasting air space’? Are you like me in that sometimes the topic has ‘died’ before other people are ready to leave it alone? In asking questions and offering answers are we subjecting ourselves to carry on conversations that we don’t want? yet to have a conversation is about engaging, listening and talking, only face book and twitter can be one-sided for if you don’t like any of the response you can ‘block’ ‘unfriend’ ‘delete’ or sneakily keep them as a friend and untick the box “show in news feed” this I have found out stops anything from that person coming onto your page. My sisters and I will sometimes say to each other “yep this is now wasting time you will never get back” or “lucky I was sitting down for that piece of news” when we tell each other something that is known or shows expected outcomes for a conversation or it underpins the story as one that needs to be moved on or becomes boring. How long does it take for you? me I think 3 times is a charm after that, I look for something new.

Functions, numbers and payments

I am still amazed in this day & age with face book & twitter that more functions managers & venue’s have not embraced this media and made more of an effort to connect with their clients, potential attendees and interested parties. I have spent the good part of the last couple of years fund raising for the Keith hospital and have found this medium great to work with.

There are web sites that offer group text’s at small costs so that your personnel phone number is not bombarded with messages. This gives the recipient time to find out about your event, time to think about a response and the opportunity to reply without feeling obligated. There is also fantastic sites that are for free that you can set up your newsletters to go out to the email addresses that allow people to unsubscribe. Function venues have great opportunities to gather this information and create databases for people.

I have one, I protect mine fiercely, I do not give out any of my contacts without seeking permission first. I have been asked numerous times for my database but have never released it. I have spent years cultivating it and maintaining in to a professional level that I find it laughable when i am actually asked for it. Though functions is not my profession I have just learnt over the years the value of assisting others and in a manner assisting myself.In the planning of the events I hold, I factor in the time to text message, the time to email and the time to call. I want to confirm for the venue the numbers, if someone tells me they are coming I make another list and from 1 month before hand I will follow up and even in the final week I will make calls at my own expense to ensure the numbers. We all know if you book a function for 150 and 120 turn up you have to pay for them, the venue has ensured there is enough food etc to cater for that seat. This means that the cost is taken out of your profit, it is not the venues place there were no shows. It is in fact yours.

This is why I try and pre-plan as much as I can to the nearest seat and budget for the no shows, I have in recent days and it is my fault, I said yes then was unable to attend. I was sent the invoice before I knew I could not attend and did not pay it. I also didn’t let the organiser know but sadly here is where their systems fall down. It is evident by the receipt of an email today

“We are obliged to provide final numbers 3-5 days before such events and we are then charged against that number.

 Even though you didn’t attend we still had to pay hence we expect to also be paid.”

I was not sent a reminder email, follow up call, shout out on twitter or face book (I was a follower of their accounts) that payments were due. There was messages on these pages it was sold out, no more seats and a waiting list (hmmmm) so in light of the fact there was no one in charge 3 to 5 days before they had to give final numbers to check up that all booked attendees had paid and that those on the ‘waiting list’ could fill their seats. In my dealings with venues there are numerous calls & emails leading to this final cut off date so that I have chased people and then called an end to numbers. There really is no such thing as walk ins for these type of functions.

I am annoyed at myself for not letting them know but really annoyed at the association who obviously likes empty seats and no policy or person in place to spend half a day ensuing numbers and acceptances. As this function was at the Adelaide Convention Centre the organisation would have been confident in the layout that they could have spent time doing this, I now have a $170 invoice which I am obliged to pay. I will pay it and lesson learned. It is interesting I supplied 2 tickets to them for the Keith Hospital High tea and was sent an email 4 days after informing me they would not be attending and there was not an offer to pay for these tickets, they were not free either….