Saturday, October 31, 2009

Best laid plans...

Bright and early Kirk jumped up, ran to the toilet and spewed. An hour later he is still heaving...and naturally he is in my bed - for some reason Mummy's bed is a better place to be sick.

Our plan today was a morning of markets and a swimming lesson, then spend the afternoon at McIllwraith State School's 75th Jubilee Fair topped with dinner and a  horse race at the Tirroan Social Club's Calcutta.

I clearly remember moving to the country to slow down but Gin Gin is busier than the Gold Coast. Last weekend there was the ESA Girls' Night In, Hockey Dinner, the mediaeval feast, Mt Perry Truck Pull and the markets were chokkas with stalls travelling to the Colliope monthly market. It may be a a small town but you never lack for entertainment once you have decided which of the 140 organisations you wish to join. It was once said you had to live in Gin Gin 20 years to enter the locals' clique but I have seen none of that. All you have to do here is join a club and your life will never be dull again!

Friday, October 30, 2009


Sean's boss, Steve, is an interesting man. He thinks about his employees. While Kirk and I were waiting for Sean to finish a job in the office, he emerged with chocolates. Another time he gave Sean a memory stick and last week a day off to say "thankyou" for working so hard. These are not flashy things...merely small and personal. Today he sent home 3 boxes of blocks and lego, and several boxes of kids games. WOW!! Kirk and Sean spent all evening constucting little lego houses and cars. Right now they are fighting over the pieces because Sean has discovered a working canon with gymbal mounting...I suppose the dishes will wait until the morning.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Eat, Drink and be Merry (whoever she is)

Burnfield SCA held a twilight feast last night for the new members. The event started with a bit of biffo, some ladies brought their embroidery and Josiah shared his poi skills. The food theme was Mediaeval German and a surprising success. We took most of our recipes from a 400 year old cook book and it seems people appreciated the subtle taste differences. The little fruit breads were popular. They are simply a teaspoon of finely chopped nuts and dried fruit wrapped in a light bread dough. When made with a higher portion of walnuts and prunes (dried plums) they go well with beer...another good German staple.

Upcoming SCA events: The new Hervey Bay household is planning a seafood dinner in the next couple of months and the members in Gladstone are throwing a pirate party. Garb is mandatory; anyone turning up as Capt. Jack Sparrow will be shot on sight.
Article of note: Education Qld has directed its teachers not to communicate with students online outside of the EQ email server. Mmm...we shall see how that one pans's a big ask of country teachers.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Big girls, little boys and dogs.

Yesterday I attended "Girls in the MIST" (Maths IT Sciences & Technology) at CQU which provided a great smorgasboard of activities to give girls a taster of what they might do if they study sciences. The girls really enjoyed themselves and brought home a whole book of robotics activities.

Today has been quite a circus with a friend's car breaking down outside and us about to leave with dogs to visit the vet. No worries - we just pile everyone in the car and drop them all where they want to go. Finally we arrived at the vet and Spook got a check up and his annual vaccinations while Kurgan was microchipped and nutted.

After lunch Kirk made our day. He put on every pair of underpants he owns and waddled around telling what a fat bum he had. Before I could find the camera he declared all these undies were hurting his willy and proceeded to strip them a layer at a time telling me about the colour and pattern on each pair.

Days are never dull here.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Years ago my niece, Tara, was an endless talker and I thought it would not be possibe to have another one in the family. Wrong. Kirk has also inherited the talent and can talk non-stop all day and be obnoxious into the bargain. Lacking an audience he will even talk to himself. Sigh... perhaps being an English teacher does have a down side.  His English grades had better be good!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Good dog!

I had forgotten what a pleasure it is to own a retriever (or to be owned BY a retriever).  Kurgan is settling in and while there are still altercations between him and the other dogs it is more due to high puppy spirits and inherent cattle dog nastiness. I trust they will soon establish their pecking order...but  it may not last long because he will be a lot larger than any of them.

In the mean time, Kurgan is showing all the right labrador traits. He has a basic retrieve instinct, his mouth is very soft and he relinquishes whatever he has readily.  He offers his paw and can follow basic commands (although "Come!" could do with some work).  Also I am surprised how tranquil he is; content to follow me around the house and flop at my feet until I am ready to play with him. I shall definitely be putting some time into this pup.

Friday, October 16, 2009

One jumped over the moon

Actually the bull jumps over the fences, but he may as well jump over the moon for the time we spend chasing him. We share our herd of cattle with the neighbours and since Paul grew up on a dairy he, thankfully, does most of the does his bull :-) BUT the downside is I get the odd 10 pm call telling me he is eating someone's garden and I must retrieve him. If you have ever tried to round up a bull in the middle of the night on a dangerous road with high grass and rough terrain you will understand why I find this frustrating because cattle are very good at hiding.  Nevertheless, it is our own fault because we expect the cattle to forage hard during the winter and naturally the grass is greener...(where?) and it has been the driest year since we moved here. [In fact would you believe it is so dry the chipboard flooring has shrunk?]

Nevertheless, I had some success today; I solved the bucket-eating dog problem (Note punctuation. This means Spooky EATS buckets, not the other way around...although that could be an interesting scenario). I bought 3 metal buckets which I trust to withstand the jaws of destruction. Kurgen merely likes to paddle in his drink like all good water-dogs do.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


It is odd how long we have been here yet done so little to the house but all it needed was a little money and suddenly I have a list of renovations as long as a council worker's smoko.  My main aim is lower maintainance because the art of house maintainance and I simply do not tango. The next project will be an awning to cover the concrete patio so we are not trapped inside all summer. This house once had verandas either side but the previous owners enclosed two-thirds of them because it is essentially a very small house.  The new awning will be almost one-third the size of the house so the next sensible purchase will be another water tank. This year has been particularly dry and looking at the synoptic chart I expect we will buy water for the first time by the end of the month.

Monday, October 12, 2009


We have a new dog!!! A 4 month old black labrador. He arrived with the name of "Sooty" but I don't think that is suitable so I have changed it to Kurgan (Highlander movie reference). He is very rapidly proving himself and I am hoping we won't be going to the vet for stitches tomorrow. The girls are OK with him but Spook is somewhat upset (read: trying to do him over). Watch this space...

Later: We have met on neutral territory, sniffed and carried on at each other. Pup would like to play but Spook isn't quite ready yet.

Next day: Kurgan has survived 24 hours and so far he seems to be quite a good dog. He slept well last night in the laundry and played all morning with Spooky.  Lets see if he will sleep on the veranda tonight.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's genetic

Kirk has a large box full of cars which are dirty and damaged. He also has a whole shelf full of cuddly toys which are in mint condition. Today is Bathurst so where do you think Kirk and Sean are ensconced?
Well, they're out of my hair for the day so I'm off to scrub, sand and paint the veranda posts in readiness for railings tomorrow...oooor maybe the garden needs a bit of attention first.

Later: When will I learn?! Small boys with paint brushes need to be watched very carefully. Luckily the dark, green, exterior paint scrubbed off the light, yellow, interior wall. Now we're off to the pub for dinner to celebrate Jordan's 16th birthday. I'm sooo glad not to be cooking tonight. Now let's see if I can get this paint off me.

Aside: You could tie yourself in some fantastic knots doing this sort of research. While browsing the Ig Nobel Awards I found the following award in 2000; Psychology - Presented to David Dunning of Cornell University and Justin Kreuger of the University of Illinois, for their modest report, "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments".   

Furthermore I am very impressed with the ladies this year who have invented a bra which converts to twin gas masks. I could use one of those when the highschool boys walk into class after sport.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chrispy makes the news

Sean's younger brother, Chris, made the news by shooting a kangaroo (note article in quality reporting newspaper) I kid you not. Some twit states, "It only had a sore paw...It could have been saved." Oh please, wake up and smell the roadkill! Sean and I have hit about 10 animals this year between us. I THINK we have only killed three. One roo did about $7,000 worth in damage to Sean's car and did not stop to leave his insurance details, I ran over a 2m carpet snake last week (damn it) and the cat I hit... ummm... needed to be euthanaised with a black rubber doughnut (can't say I was sorry about that one).

Mind you, I appreciate when people remove their roadkill so as not to create a hazard to traffic and cause collateral scavenger deaths.  Thinking of roo roadkill about a few recipes.

Oh the fun we are going to have when Chrispy arrives next fortnight.

Swimming lessons have begun!

Kirk is delighted to be back in the swim! Mind you it took him over half the lesson to remember what he learned last Autumn. We will go swimming on Wednesday together and hopefully next Saturday he will be quicker off the mark.

This week I will have to get creative with the fruit and veg. I had no time to visit the bank before swimming lessons so I intended to grab what I could with the $10 in my purse but lo-and-behold; Nora who has a brilliant garden wanted to leave the markets early so she gave me a bag full of lettuce and daikon. I LOVE daikon - Sean does not. many ways can I disguise daikon? Then to make this week even cheaper I watered Leverton's garden and harvested all the tommy tomatoes. We're doing well when you consider meat only costs us $2 per kg.

Sean today has repaired the down-pipe which was damaged by the bobcat. YAY!! Better still, he converted it to a clean, dry aerial pipe instead of a stagnant, froggified underground pipe. Admittedly we SHOULD also install a first flush system but that can wait.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Let there be light

Today, two skylights were installed in the lounge to purge the darkness and insulation was stuffed into the cavities above the bedrooms and kitchen. We can't put insulation of any type in the catherderal ceiling because there is merely a 3 inch gap between the tin and the boards so I suppose the next thing will be to apply heat reflective paint to the roof.

By Monday we should also have new iron railings around the verandas. The wooden verandah railings have been gradually disintigrating. Phil asked me what colour I wanted them. I replied, "Forest Green." He then asked, "What colour is that?"... OK - I get the point.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Captain Kirk

Kirk went for his second day at preschool and arrived home complaining the teachers would not allow him to read any books! This is hard to believe because Amy read him a pile of books on his first day. Maybe what he means is, "nobody had time to read any books to him", or perhaps it means, "I didn't ask anyone to read me a book". Oh well, some days you get what you want and some days you don't. He'll learn that in time. Nevertheless, we can read as many as he wants tomorrow because we will be home.

Later we visited Rachel for a cuppa and to play with her daughter Jorja. They are 6 months apart but she is a clever girl and they play really well together - SO WELL that Kirk invited her for a sleep over. This was very charming but I don't think Jorja is quite ready for a sleepover.

Anyway, as I sign off I offer a U-Tube video from a sand artist. Mmm...maybe kirk would enjoy doing some sand art tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In the begining.....

...there was faceplant but it became too painful due to constant errors therefore I have decided to start a blog to give family and friends news when they want it instead of bothering them with emails. Generally I consider blogging self indulgent but for now it is handy and, at the very least, accessible.

Today brings significant news from my home: Venus is dead. She failed to greet me as I gazed across the yard this morning and was doing a terribly good impression of a "free cat". Spooky had finally caught the poor girl. Sigh. Oh well....the coffee trees are doing well this year.

Currently Sean is burning CDs for a class who will be producing radio plays. Most kids have never heard a radio play so Trevor will give them a few classes experiencing The Goons, Dad'n'Dave etc... I'm not sure the kids will get the jokes but at the very least they will enjoy the voices and sound effects. Yes, YOU might have understood it all way back then but the topics have changed since then and kids need to get the listening thing re-engaged. It will be interesting to see how well they understand what needs to be done to convey the action without the help of visuals. I am looking forward to the week we do sound effects :-)

Kirk had a good day, he shot off a few rounds of arrows, dictated a couple of postcards, he did NOT play with Spooky - rather he yelled at him a lot, and finally gave a lot of nonsensical information to Phil. Phil Wedel , welder & son to Donna & Paul, our neighbours, was here today to install new railings on the verandas [happy dance]. To see what Phil does on his time off go here: I'm not sure why he has a shotgun while fishing in the tinnie but as he says, "barra are a big fish". The giggling in the background is Micky, his youngest brother.

Right-o, goodnight all. When something interesting occurs I shall post again.

have fun