Monday, September 28, 2009

Father vs Daughter

Sometimes I feel like the meat in the sandwich between Kym and Steph.

They are very similar people. They can both be abrupt, impatient and demanding. However both fail to see these traits in themselves, only in each other.

Last week was a turbulent one in our household. Sometimes I feel like they run around lighting fires and then they expect me to run around and put them out.

We are now in school holidays, and Steph has gone to spend a few days at a friend's house, and then later in the week she is spending some time with her cousin.

In short she is avoiding her father. And he knows it. And he is too stubborn to back down and do something about it. Neither of them are willing to admit to any fault on their behalf. I can see it, it's blatantly obvious. Kym is over critical, Steph is over sensitive. Both are OVER stubborn. And I am OVER IT!

I feel a bit helpless. And a lot frustrated. I just want to bang their heads together and tell them both to get over it.

So, I shall pray. And pray, and pray some more. Because it worries me that they are both going to be so stubborn that they will permanently damage their relationship.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Assesing the damage.

As you may know from my last post, yesterday Eyre Peninsula suffered the worst hail storm in most people's memory. There were reports of hailstones the size of golf balls and some the size of tennis balls. Now that's a big chunk of ice falling out of the sky!

It was amazing to stand at the window and watch the world turn white. The football oval at the school looked like it was covered in snow. This is not something we are accustomed to seeing!

I spoke to Kym (who was shearing and said the noise was deafening inside a shearing shed) after the storm front had passed and he estimated that we had suffered approximately 30% crop loss due to hail damage.

When I got home we went for a bit of a look around. And we are thinking now it's more like 50%. But as I said yesterday, for us at least, all is not lost. Our crop is insured for $300 per tonne, and the price of wheat at the moment is closer to $200 so we may in fact be better off. But I'm hearing sad reports that there are several farmers in our community who either weren't insured against hail damage, or weren't insured for enough. Insurance is expensive (as I'm sure you well know) and after four years of drought it's often the first expense to be cut back on. I'm so glad we didn't decide to do that.

The picture below shows where our wheat heads are now. On the ground. Not where they belong!

This wheat crop yesterday morning was waist high. It is now a tangled and broken mess on the ground.

And our garden didn't fair very well either. The tree below had leaves in the morning. They are now all over the ground. I wonder if Scott will be interested in earning some extra pocket money by raking up the leaves!

Kym is upset by the crop loss....but he is really upset by the loss of his veggies! This was a lovely big cabbage....not anymore.

Kym is quite philosophical about it all. We might get away a bit earlier for our Christmas holiday this year, because harvest won't take very long!

We are ok. But I worry about those with little or no insurance. Please pray for these people, this could be the last straw for many of them.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wild Weather

After a fantastic weekend, with lovely calm, warm, sunny days today has been a bit of a surprise...

The forecast for this week was for possible storms and showers of rain. As you can see from the picture below we got a little more than just showers.

We heard that the hail was coming, through messages from people who had just had the storm front pass and had time to move all the machinery and our cars undercover.

I'm glad we did! We left one old ute outside and it's bearing the scars now. We've heard from a friend of my bosses who was caught driving in it and had his windscreen smashed.

The good news is that at the moment it's raining. Really raining. Just praying that the hail didn't cause too much damage to our crops.

**Update** I've just managed to speak to Kym and he said we have suffered around 30% crop loss due to hail damage. Luckily we are insured against hail, so it's not going to be a financial loss, and the price we have our wheat insured for is actually more than the price of wheat per tonne at the moment so Kym isn't too concerned. It's still raining, and the thunder and lightening has just started up again.

Others aren't so lucky. Some have their crops insured against fire but not hail and this will be devastating.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Other Woman

I often joke that I am not the only woman in my husband's life.

He is a motorbike enthusiast, and the proud owner of a Triumph Sprint 955. For those of you who don't know, thats a pretty cool road bike.

She is the other woman.

Luckily I get to share. Today, being a beautiful spring day we decided to go for a ride. We went to Arno Bay, which isn't far from home, but we went the long way, because on a motorbike it's more about the ride than the destination.

The thing I love the most about riding on the back of the motorbike is how free it feels. You can not only see everything, but you can smell it and hear it too. As you can see it was a beautiful day.

As you can see I feel perfectly safe on the back of a motorbike. So much so that I can take photos of myself in the rear vision mirror! We weren't moving very fast here, as Kym is a bit precious about riding his bike on the dirt. He is up at the shed now, polishing it as we speak!

As I said, we went to Arno Bay. We rode down to the boat ramp and marina to have a look around and see how many boats were out fishing. And just for Joanie, I've snapped a photo of myself, helmet hair and all!

And here she is. The other woman. Even I have to admit, she's pretty gorgeous.

Lord, thankyou for the wonderful afternoon Kym and I have spent together. Thankyou for giving us the opportunity to take time out and just enjoy each other's company.

Changing Seasons

September/October is my favourite time of year.

It's the time of year when life slows down. Just a tad. Football season is over, and for a couple of weeks before tennis and cricket start we get to spend Saturday at home.

September is a time when I look forward to Christmas (I LOVE Christmas), Summer holidays, Sunshine and of course, the beach.

You know I think it's more fun looking forward to these things each year than actually experiencing them!

Now is the time for us to just stop. Catch our breath. Relax.

In two weeks Scott will start playing cricket which means early Saturday mornings, but at least it still leaves Saturday afternoon free. Kym, Scott, Steph and I will start tennis which is usually played on a Friday night.

Sometime in the middle of October we will start harvesting. Which means I will become a single parent for about 6 weeks. This is a lot easier now than it used to be. It was hard work with young children, I hated it. Doesn't bother me at all now, in fact I quite enjoy having a few weeks where I get to be the keeper of the remote!

At the moment Kym is busy getting the harvester ready for action, and just making sure all the odd jobs are done around the farm that he won't have time to do during harvest. Now that Scott is older it's his responsibility to check on the sheep each day while Kym is busy. At least this year they still have plenty of feed in the paddocks. This time last year Scott was busy each day feeding them hay.

Our crops are hanging on. We are luckier than some in our district. We have had a couple of showers of rain in the past few days, and there is supposed to be more coming next week. All we need is one more good rain. And the grain prices to go up a bit!

All in all, we are in a stronger position this year than we were last year, and that's good news.

Lord thankyou for this time to rest and recover from the busy winter season. I pray that spring will bring about favourable weather so that our crops can fill out and reach their full potential. I pray for those who are facing another bad year, with failed crops. Be with them. Show them that you are there and that they can rely on you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What a Weekend...

I'm still recovering from my weekend. I need another one to get over it.

We started Saturday morning at 4am (not a typo...I kid you not!). Princess Stephanie wanted as much shopping time as humanly possible. So we left home at 4.30am.

We arrived in Port Augusta at 8am for breakfast at McDonalds.

Then back in the car. After a quick stop for fuel we arrived in Adelaide at around 10.30am. Plenty of time to hit the shops.

And hit the shops we did, until around 4pm when with tempers fraying and exhaustion setting in we headed to Kym's Aunty where we stayed for the weekend.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner with Kym's Aunt and Uncle and then settled in to watch the footy. I never made it through the game and ended up in bed by 9.30pm. It had been a long (and expensive) day!

Sunday was Stephanie's big day. We had to be at the theatre by 9am for her to be registered, and for her dress to be taken away and judged by the judges. In the meantime she met some girls of similar age and interests and set about chatting and getting to know them. Then it was off to the catwalk for a rehearsal. All the girls were put through their paces, and told where to stand, when to turn, when to walk, and timed. It was all very precise!

After rehearsal it was time to start dressing and doing hair and makeup. This was absolute mayhem as 90 girls vied for mirror space and power points. But they seemed to make it work without too much trouble, helping each other out with hair styles, and Steph was able to help a couple of girls with their makeup.

The fashion show started at 1.30pm, and went until around 4pm. Each category (casual wear, evening wear, fantasy) was put through their paces with the winners announced at the end of the show. Out of about 50 entrants, Steph finished in the top 10 of her category (evening wear). She was really happy with that and loved every minute of the experience.

We then went out for tea to celebrate. It was lovely to just spend some time together and enjoy each other's company. I know we live together but we don't often just hang out together.

We got back to Kym's Aunt's at about 10pm, and sat around visiting with them, drinking coffee and chatting before heading off to bed.

Yesterday we left Adelaide at around 9am. Kym decided that 9am city traffic would be a good time for Steph to experience city driving (?). She was fine, and quite pleased with herself.

We stopped in Whyalla on the way home to do some grocery shopping and to pick up some fabric for Steph's next creation (she's making herself a couple of summer tops), and arrived home at around 5pm.

Scott and I had a quick bite to eat before we had to get back in the car and head to Arno Bay for squash. I won, Scott lost in a 5 set marathon. We both fell into bed once we got home (after checking facebook of course!)

So here I am at work. A bit spaced out. A lot tired and even more grumpy.

It's only Tuesday....bring on the weekend!

PS...we weren't allowed to take photos of the fashion parade, but have to buy photos from the photographer. Will post them when I have them.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


As most who read my blog are aware our community has been in the grips of a drought for the past 3 or 4 years.

Year after year we have put our crop in, only to have the rain dry up in August and leaving us with little or no yield.

We are surviving, and the promise of this year's crop is keeping us going. Here we are in September with crops still looking green and fresh. Even if it stops raining now we will still get a crop, and that's good news.

The bad news is that it's too late for some.

The harsh reality is that we are facing losing some families from our district. And they are our friends. Very dear friends.

I don't want them to go...

Up until now I've taken the ostrich approach. If I don't think about it, it won't happen. Just call me Scarlet O'Hara. I'll think about it tomorrow.

Well, I'm afraid tomorrow is here. At church on Sunday we had a guest speaker who lost his family home and his father in the terrible bushfires in Victoria last summer.

His message was one of hope, and resilience, and that when you lose all you have it makes you realise what is really important. He then played "It Is Well With My Soul" on his saxophone. And that was it for me. The floodgates opened. I was a dribbling mess without a tissue in sight. Eyeliner and mascara everywhere...not pretty.

There I sat in church, with two dear friends on either side of me, both facing losing everything, both with tears streaming down their faces.

And it really hit home.

They really are leaving.

These families will leave a huge hole in our community, and in my life.

And I still don't want to think about it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

End of the Season

Well....yesterday we lost. So netball is over for my team for another year.

But for me I've decided that netball is over. Full stop. Period. The end.

The last four or five games have been a real struggle for me. I've had some difficult personalities in the team to deal with, illness, teenage drama and my body has really started to complain about the punishment I give it every time I take the court.

So that's it for me.

At the moment I'm comfortable with the decision. Relieved even. I have been over committing in all sorts of areas of my life of late and taking netball out of the equation should make next winter a whole lot easier for me. And for those who have to live with me!

Bring on favourite time of year.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Annual Sillyness

Every year our netball association gets together for a dinner where the best and fairest votes are counted for each grade. There is a theme every year and each club comes dressed up.

Last year we were cheerleaders. This year the theme was uniforms, so we came as fire fighters. It was pretty easy, all our husbands are voluteers for the Country Fire Service so we "borrowed" their uniforms for a day (luckily there wasn't a fire!). We even arrived on a firetruck and had a huge time driving around the town squirting unsuspecting gardeners in their gardens (only the one's we knew well enough to know they wouldn't mind!).

Once we got off the truck and finished playing with hoses it was time to move inside and decorate our table. There is a prize for the best dressed club and best decorated table. We didn't win!
Here is Stephanie and her friend Sophie posing with our mascot. The mascot of the Country Fire Service is Smokey the Koala. He visits schools every year teaching kids to "stop, drop an roll!".

And here is fire fighter Sharon applying lip gloss....because no one said we weren't allowed to be pretty fire fighters! And fire is hot! It dries your lips out, and we don't want chapped lips now do we!

It was a fun day out as it always is. A time for us all to put our competiveness aside and just enjoy each other's company.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

School Photo Day

School photo day brought a great deal of stress to my household when I was growing up. I was a perfectionist. I HAD to be wearing my neatest, cleanest uniform, perfectly ironed. I took a brush to school so that I could re do my hair moments before the photo was taken. I was mortified if I got a pimple before school photo day.... I made SUCH a big deal of it.

As you can see, Stephanie has inherited this need to look perfect from her mother. Her hair is just so (usually her hair is dragged into a very messy pony tail, and doesn't see a brush for days on end), she is wearing her favourite school shirt, she has taken great care to make sure she is smiling nicely. The school photo from this year becomes the photo on her student ID for next year so it is VERY important to her. Thank goodness our student ID didn't have a photo, imagine the panic that would have caused me!

Scott on the other hand couldn't care less. He was talking during the taking of his photo. He is always talking. Although from a parental perspective, as the one who is paying for the photo I think it could be nice if they tried to get a good one. I mean there is no excuse these days with digital photography. I guess they have a lot of photos to take in one day, but really, could you just ask him to smile?

I'm glad school photo day is over for another year... only one to go for Stephanie, and being her last one she will be really keen to make sure it's perfect. If she is anything like her mother that is.

Isn't it wonderful that God doesn't care when we are having a bad hair day? He thinks we are all beautiful. We were created in His image afterall.