Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Puddles and Storm Clouds

What a way to end the day, with some much anticipated rain. After a week of humidity and watching storms go around we finally got lucky. Yesterday we thought we had it in the hat when the rain hit the hills but it was a no show, however today ... well today it came much to everyones' relief. So the kids went off to play in the puddles and well I had to tag along. It turned out to be a great end to what started off as a so so kinda day.

Today was one of THOSE days. We had teachers complaining about the noise happening next door, as they were working on the quarters. I had kids who couldn't hear me and their teachers during on airs because of the grinding and sawing happening on the veranda. We had the computer shut down in the middle of on air because of the sawing and then again when I just got it set up again. We had the continual Internet drop outs during on air. Lets just say that the heat, humidity, the demanding needs of the four cherubs and our technical difficulties combined left me with no option but to chuck a very ungrownup tantrum and tell those working next door that the consequences of my power being cut again would not be pretty (not quite as nicely as that) have a bit of a meltdown. I think they got the point, didn't stop them though. As frustrated as we all were in the schoolroom, the kids were very patient and we got there in the end. After all that though I am extremely grateful for the work happening on the quarters and they are looking GREAT!

Other than the melt down there is nothing but good to report. The kids worked really hard today and what brilliant work they produced (maybe I am biased though). After lunch we went back and finished off with CLC, which has been renamed something I can never remember, and then we had some fun with the chicken dance and hokey pokey. Then this afternoon it rained, it poured so some fun in the puddles with the kids and a shower under the tank was just perfect for washing all my troubles away.

I have decided this year to make sure we do something most afternoons of the week, it could be called bribery for the kids to get school work done. Our units are 5 weeks long so our fortnightly  Fun Fridays are now void as they were a reward for finishing the unit on time. We will do something at the end of each unit still but who knows what other fun will happen. So meanwhile my ideas are for a Munchy Monday with cooking, Tuneful Tuesday with something musical and well that's where I get stuck but there will be art, science activities and games as well.

Just remember after the storm clouds there is always sunshine and sometimes even a rainbow.

The horses playing in the rain.

Making sandcastles ... the dogs were having a go as well :)

Monday, 30 January 2012

Not the norm

Now I know this isn't my usual kind of post but here is one that has been passed around and around and well I decided to pass it once more because when it comes to Outback Australia this fits like a charm. Not only that but I had one of those "Oh thats me" moments that make you chuckle and decided everyone else needs one of them as well.

You're Australian if:
* You believe that stubbies can be either drunk or worn.
* You pronounce Melbourne as 'Mel-bin'. You believe the 'L' in the word 'Australia' is optional.
* You can translate: 'Dazza and Shazza played Acca Dacca on the way to Maccas.'
* You believe it makes perfect sense for a nation to decorate its highways with large fibreglass bananas, prawns and sheep.
* You call your best friend 'a total bastard' but someone you really, truly despise is just 'a bit of a bastard'.
* You think 'Woolloomooloo' is a perfectly reasonable name for a place.
* You're secretly proud of our killer wildlife.
* You believe it makes sense for a country to have a $1 coin that's twice as big as its $2 coin.
* You understand that 'Wagga Wagga' can be abbreviated to 'Wagga' but 'Woy Woy' can't be called 'Woy'.
* You believe that cooked-down axle grease makes a good breakfast spread. You've also squeezed it through Vita Wheats to make little Vegemite worms.
* You believe all famous Kiwis are actually Australian, until they stuff up, at which point they again become Kiwis.
* Beetroot with your Hamburger... Of course.
* You know that certain words must, by law, be shouted out during any rendition of the Angels' song 'Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again' And "Living next door to Alice".
* You believe that the confectionery known as the Wagon Wheel has become smaller with every passing year.
* You believe that the more you shorten someone's name the more you like them.
* Whatever your linguistic skills, you find yourself able to order takeaway fluently in every Asian language.
* You understand that 'excuse me' can sound rude, While 'scuse me' is always polite.
* You know what it's like to swallow a fly, on occasion via your nose.
* You know it's not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to handle and a seat belt buckle becomes a pretty good branding iron.
* Your biggest family argument over the summer concerned the rules for beach cricket.
* You shake your head in horror when companies try to market what they call 'Anzac cookies'.
* You still think of Kylie as 'that girl off Neighbours'.
* When working on a bar, you understand male customers will feel the need to offer an excuse whenever they order low-alcohol beer.
* You know how to abbreviate every word, all of which usually end in -o: arvo, combo, garbo, kero, metho, milko, muso, rego, servo, smoko, speedo, righto, goodo etc.
* You know that there is a universal place called "woop woop" located in the middle of nowhere...no matter where you actually are.
* You know that none of us actually drink Fosters beer, because it tastes like shit. But we let the world think we do. Because we can.
* You have some time in your life slept with Aeroguard on in the summer. Maybe even as perfume.
* You've only ever used the words - tops, ripper, sick, mad, rad, sweet - to mean good. And then you place 'bloody' in front of it when you REALLY mean it.
* You know that the barbecue is a political arena; the person holding the tongs is always the boss and usually a man. And the women make the Salad.
* You say 'no worries' quite often, whether you realise it or not.
* You understand what no wucking furries means.
* You've drank your tea/coffee/milo through a Tim Tam.
* You own a Bond's chesty. In several different colours.
* You know that roo meat tastes pretty good, But not as good as barra. Or a meat pie.
* You know that some people pronounce Australia like "Straya" and that's ok.
* And you will forward this list to other Australians, here and overseas, realising that only they will understand!!!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


It is official we have made it past the mid week hump and I amazingly still have my sanity (well that's if I actually possessed any to start with). That is an amazing feat considering that we had storms big enough to keep us awake half the night on Monday night and then the neighbours ringing at 2am and 4am to tell us they were flooding. In the end they got almost 10inches of rain as opposed to our 3 and a half inches. They are all fine and so are their horses after they wadded through water to move them in the middle of the night. Their dams are still running over and they lost fences but otherwise all is well. A cyclone is predicted in about two days and big rain with it. Lets see how we fair.

And so we get back to school stuff ...
Today was day one with ALL kids in the schoolroom.

 Even Mr T dropped in for a bit and was caught being very cute reading his new books in the middle of the schoolroom floor.

After all home tutor sessions this week it has become very clear that the home tutors (governesses and parents) are not the only ones slogging through a curriculum that is as clear as mud, with no one to throw us a rope and pull us out or at least give us a rest or guidance. As negative as that might sound I actually find that I am enjoying the challenge and the kids seem to be to. They are loving the more technological lessons that rely on videos and learning episodes. 

It will be a juggle with only two computers especially next week but this is an age of technology and so it seems only right that it be involved in the students learning (just as long as they remember that the three Rs are just as important).

This new work was written with the best classroom in mind, the idealistic one that has a computer for every child, smart boards and just generally the best technology the school can bring. That means it will come fraught with problems for those (the majority) who don't have this at their disposal however with a bit of compromise and creative thinking and we will all get by.

So after all that today was a good day and I am feeling better about what we are to do even if I only just found out some of it. Each day I feel more and more like I am finding my feet and it is good to be reminded that we are all in this together, finding our way through the dark to that light at the end of the tunnel.

Chilling in some spare time
To finish off today after their Maths, English, Spelling and CLC the kids pulled out the wooden railway track that they had missed playing with over the holidays and then they toddled off to cool down in the "Bog Hole" near Grandma's place.

Speaking of cooling down our schoolroom now has wall fans to help us keep a little more comfortable and while I am updating on the building status the new quarters are now painted for the most part, have a living area and bedroom floor layed and have a kitchen. Woo Hoo! After 2 years of waiting on my part (it was my bribery to get me back after my first term) and 6 years of waiting on my bosses we are certainly getting closer now (how is that for patience?).

Kitchen from living area, door to the right is bedroom, door at the back goes to the bathroom and veranda,
door on the right goes to the veranda

Flooring down

Monday, 23 January 2012

I Survived, We Survived

Clouds building this afternoon.
Well it is official not only did I survived passing 1/4 of a century on the 19th, I survived the approx 1800km trip back to work over the weekend and most importantly WE survived the first day of school. Ok, so admittedly we had reduced numbers as two of my class are still on holidays but we did it, we made it through our first ever day of the new curriculum.

I am sure that it will take a while to settle into the new work and the work mode. It will also take a while to settle into a new routine. The curriculum seems good although sometimes hard to comprehend and that's just me. The kids, who wore puzzled looks through parts of the day, were troopers though and we got there in the end. I can see however that each of the kids will need access to a computer and internet for most of the day, not exactly what a station schoolroom is equipped for.

Hopefully once we get into things and kinks are ironed out this new work will be great, however kids, I am sorry to say that we will be doing writing still and no I am not typing it all for you :)

I hope everyone else has had a wonderful start to the new school year.
All I can say now is BRING IT ON!
And now I'll leave you with a few photos from the trip back to work which in my usual style brought the wet season with it.
I am off to listen to the thunder roll and rain on a tin roof, enjoy your week.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Noses and Cameras

Have you ever noticed that animals aren't camera shy ... in fact they find a camera something rather fascinating that has to be explored. This however usually seems to result on a rather slobbered on camera ewww.

Today a particular calf, new to home decided my camera needed a cleaning ...

Some piglets also tried to get in on this trend ...

Here are some more photos without the slobber ...

Some of the things we got up to ... the end of school

Just because it is nearly time to head back to the station for a new school year I thought I should share a bit of what happened at the end of the last one. There was the rush to get the last unit of work done, the cleaning ... heaps of cleaning which the kids were brilliant at helping with, there was also our party which wasn't anything fancy but a great way to mark the end of the year and of cause I can't forget the much needed rain ... it finally rained right when we were all preparing to leave the station.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Some of the things we got up to ... The Tablelands

This holidays I was privileged enough to see yet another beautiful part of this great land and even better I'm in with some locals who were more than willing to show me around. So after much walking and driving I think I managed to see most of the touristy things whether it was on my own or in the company of the thoughtful Sparky or one of his sisters. There is however plenty more to see and explore in fact I think it would take me a VERY LONG time to get sick of taking photos of the area (as if I would ever get sick of taking photos LOL) but here is a sample from the 2 weeks I spent in this amazing area.


Some of the amazing waterfalls found on the Tablelands 

Paronella Park ... awesome

Cane field, Curtain Fig, Lake Tinaroo, Bromfield Swamp, Crawfords Lookout, Windy Hill and Hypipamee Crater

Herberton Historical Village
And last but not least The Farm ...
where I think I walked up more hills than I have in my entire life :D

Some of the things we got up to ... Christmas

Well here is the promised Christmas catch up ... I'll just let the photos do the talking.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Happy New Year

As my wonderful other half  is washing his car (a development that occurred in the last term of 2011) I thought it was about stinking time I welcomed in the new year on here and let you patient readers know that I haven't dropped off the end of the earth, I just hit holiday mode.

So I think I had the saddest excuse for a new years EVER ... I slept. As many were watching the fireworks and making new years resolutions I brought in the new year in true style by watching the backs of my eyelids and I even slept in so no first sunrise photo. I then gardened the day away with a certain Mr so it was a very exciting way to start the year with thorns in my fingers and grass in my hair. It was however the first new years I haven't spent with my family so that was a bit of a novelty.

I am not one to make resolutions but I do know that 2012 will be as busy as ever and I have many goals I would like to achieve. It will be my last year on the station so I am going to endeavour to keep this blog as up to date as I can. I will also try not to turn into a loon this wet season as undoubtedly I will go into the station in a shower of rain that will seem to never end until St Patrick's Day, the supposed end of the wet season. I will also try to make it to events down home that are happening in wet season and most of all I will try to keep in touch with and see friends, family and a certain Mr (now known as Sparky for various reasons) as often as possible.

So now that I have taken the leap to get back into blogging I will up date on the end of our school year, my travelling antics, Christmas fun and hopefully never fall off the proverbial horse again.

I hope you all saw the year in in true style and I hope 2012 delivers all that you wish of it and more.

A little green grasshopper found while gardening.