One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things - Henry Miller

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Flutter of Butterflies

Today it was out of bed early, a quick breakfast and gone. We had cattle ready for sale and they were to be sorted and loaded by 9:00am. Except for the rain that meant we had to work in wet clothes and ankle-deep in mud, all went without a hitch and soon Hobo 1 was loaded and on his way.

A magpie feasting on grubs buried in the mud 

Back home, I welcomed a warm bath before facing the washing. 

It was funny weather. Showery or intermittent showers as the weather bureau would say.

Raindrops on the water trough

The skies would almost clear, sun would break through and everything would glitter and sparkle momentarily then back to grey skies and rain. The clothes would have to be hung on the verandah yet again if they were to dry. And that’s when it happened -my Monday Moment.

My front garden

By the last load of washing I had worked my way around to the front verandah just as the sun broke through. What a sight! The flower garden was alive with a flutter of butterflies - yellow, white, brown, black, multicoloured flashes in a feeding frenzy making the most of this brief break in the weather.



Such a pretty sight.

My day was that much better for having enjoyed this moment.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday on the Farm #1

Three Classics From a Two Year Old

The great-grandchildren have been visiting the farm. One, an inquisitive two year old, is only still when he’s asleep. He’s with me where ever I go chattering about everything he sees and questioning constantly as he tries to make links in his understanding of the world.

Grandma!  Look, a beetle!

1st Classic
Coming out of the barn he is confronted by a mob of weaners watching him through the fence. One among the group of red Santas is creamy. I try to hurry him along to follow me but he stands transfixed. I follow his gaze to the calves. Eventually he speaks, “A goat.” It’s a statement but said with that wavering pitch pattern that indicates, “I know it can’t be. But what is it if it’s not?”
The Goat

2nd Classic

The chook pen backs on to the bull paddock and the chooks and bulls share the shade of a big gum tree on the fence line. The bull is standing motionless with just his jaw moving as he chews his cud. Mr 2 years old’s voice from under the gumtree, becomes a blur in the background as I hurry around feeding the various cages. He catches my attention with this question as he runs back to me, “Is he real?”

On My 10th Birthday

3rd Classic

The bullocks are being yarded for sale. One in the mob has a huge set of horns. I take the boys hands and lead them down the lane to where the bullocks are penned. They stand leaning through the rail for a closer look at this spectacle. A deep voice drifts up from around my knees, “I think he’s a Gruffalo

The Gruffalo

Visit Verde Farm to link with other farm friends.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday's Thoughts

I meant to do my blog today but things got in the way - important things.


Playing with Miss Mopsy
Watching Shrek
Having fun with the boys

Cattle work...

Bullocks for sale
 And the celebration of eighty-three years of living...

An old mate died and was buried today and a huge gathering of family and friends came to support his wife of 65 years, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren in their sadness.  They also came to celebrate the life of a good man who was not afraid to let the truth get in the way of a good story.  He will be sadly missed by those who knew him.

Rest in Peace Rusty .

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday's Weekly #9

International Women’s Day was yesterday, 8th March. Our local QCWA (Queensland Country Women’s Association) members shared lunch at our treasurer’s house and watched a DVD of East Timor. Each year we have a “Country of Study” and this year it is East Timor. So a Timorese theme in dress and food was taken and an afternoon of friendship was enjoyed by members. Kisses for our International Officer for coming up with the idea. Also to fellow blogger Ramblings who brightened my day today by providing a link to Aretha Franklin’s video clip “Sisters”.

Especially for You
Second round of kisses go to those family members and friends who are still geographically and emotionally close enough to join together in celebrating the alignment of three family birthdays – a 70th, 40th and 18th. Most had to travel 75 km to do it and a happy family gathering of four generations of the family was the result. Brother S, caught here with his son, has a severely scarred face thanks to skin cancer so I love this photographic accident that caught him blowing out the candles.
Happy Birthday Birthday Boys
My last round is for all those small creatures that have brightened my world this week. Miss Molly, my pup, who entertained me playing in the puddles; a tiny spider that I didn’t even see until I downloaded, hiding under a Bachelor Button leaf; cotton bush seeds being caught on the breeze; a little wren that paused long enough to allow me a photograph; the wasps busily tending their nest who, once they realized I was watching, all turned to face the camera daring me to come any closer and the poor mulberries. They shouldn’t be seen until October. But the weather is so topsy- turvy at the moment they are confused and putting out fruit while they drop their leaves for autumn. Crazy!

Small Things
And my wish? I wish the birthday girl from Townsville could have been here to join our celebrations. Our hearts went out to her and although absent she was very much included in the celebrations.
Happy Birthday Shanny
Whew!  Caught a little behind there for a while...been a busy week.

Tuesday's Tasting #1

In 1996 Stephanie Alexander released "The Cook’s Companion- The complex book of ingredients and recipes for the Australian kitchen".  It was given to me in 1998 and has been my constant companion in the kitchen ever since. It bears the inscription:

Congratulations on your semi-retirement.
Thank you for your wonderful teaching of our children …

As they say in the classics- Good cookin’ good lookin’!
Thanks on behalf of Yr 3 families ‘98

Bernadette was a young mum who had been a year seven student of mine years before.  Her name on the bottom makes this book extra special.  In my ‘semi-retirement’ I became principal of the small one teacher school I had attended as a child and remained teaching there for another 12 years.

And so to Tuesday’s Tasting…from The Cook’s Companion (1996) p474 I give you Carrot and Orange which is a most refreshing dish on a hot summer’s day.

Simply combine grated carrot, orange segments and coriander leaves.
Dress with olive oil and orange juice.

I’ve just had it with ham for a cold lunch and previously served it as a side salad at a BBQ, also with grilled beef, sausages, chicken and duck… versatile, simple and tasty.

Monday's Magic Moment 1#

I experienced that Special Moment on Monday. You know, that special moment when waves of satisfaction roll over you as you step back and look at a job well done- that moment when you can say, “Finished. Now enjoy.”

March 7th has been a special day in our family for seventy years now. It’s the day brother S was born. Then it became his son’s birth date and finally our second granddaughter popped into the world on that date as well.

However Monday, 7th March 2011, was a bigger day than usual. There was an extra special alignment this year with a 70th, 40th and 18th birthday to celebrate with friends and family.

Hobo1 and I organised the traditional Aussie BBQ to honour the occasion. I spent the morning in the kitchen removing frozen food from the freezer, preparing salads, buttering buns and making desserts while Hobo 1 made the final preparations at the venue, the Discovery Centre up in Ubobo.

Then at 1:54pm it happened – that special moment! The cooking done; the present wrapped and the venue ready. FINISHED… with time to spare! Even had time for a rest -“The icing on the cake” as they say.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Reflections #1

The highlight of my week was guiding a group of bushwalkers on a pre-walk down a creek on our farm. Three clubs are coming to stay at the Discovery Centre (BVCDC) and the organisers wanted to explore a few possible walks. We enjoyed morning at the rocks.

The Rocks

We marvelled at the size and age  of this ironbark and noted the young strangler fig beginning life in its fork.

Strangler fig begins life


We wandered down through the mahogany swamp to Mum's favourite spot.  She loved it because an old fig tree provided a deep shade over a lovely swimming hole.  When I say old this fig tree is old. Mum began picnicking here back in the 1940s and it was providing a deep shade even then.

1952 flood

The walk carried me back to my childhood. As kids we left home at breakfast and returned at sundown. We’d pick oranges or mandarins from the orchard, corn from the farm or maybe a watermelon and spend the day wandering the creeks. We’d track animals; build dams; “change” watercourses; catch fish and tadpoles; build rafts and cubby houses; swim and wander free. We knew every deserted house - especially those with mango trees. We didn’t have a mango tree and in mango season we’d walk miles to find a tree where we could bloat ourselves on the fruit which oozed juice that dribbled down our arms and dripped off our elbows. Bliss!

What fun and adventure these creeks provided. What opportunities for imaginative play. It is a shame children today cannot experience such independence.  Our society is so changed.  Parents are afraid to let children out of their sight.