Wednesday 31 August 2011

Cooking Fun

Today Mr Preppy and I made playdough. Apparently the colour of the month is blue. He then played with cut out dinosaurs and trains that chased each other around "roar! woowoo!" and made us playdough biscuits YUM!


2 cups plain flour
4 tablespoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup salt
food colouring
2 cups water

Combine all ingredients in a pot. Stir over heat until cooked, forms into a solid mass.

Continuing on the cooking buzz this afternoon we all made hazelnut and coconut balls. When I explained they would be rolling the mix into balls the kids reply was "Yay! We get to get all gross." Fingers were only allowed to be licked after ALL the balls were made. After we finished the kids cleaned up the bench. Mr R had chocolate and coconut from one ear to the other after his enthusiastic cleaning attempt.

Hazelnut and Coconut Balls

3/4cup hazelnut spread
100g butter
3 cups rice bubbles
2 cups coconut
1 egg
1/4 cup hundreds and thousands

Melt hazelnut spread and butter together in a small saucepan. Let is cool a bit.
Put rice bubbles and 1 cup of coconut in a bowl. Put in egg and hazelnut spread mix and mix.
Put remaining 1 cup of coconut and hundreds and thousands in a small dish.
Roll balls with the hazelnut rice bubble mix.
Roll balls in coconut and hundreds and thousands.

I found we needed more coconut in the mixture and the balls are more squished than rolled.

Tuesday 30 August 2011


The sweet smell of Grevilleas is wafting around my room ... I have no one to get me flowers so I got my own. They were picked straight from the bush on the way back to the station last weekend. Oh and you can lick them too ... if you like that kind of thing ;)

Mud Pies and Other Things

Here is a snippet of today ...

Mr Preppy did cooking in the sandpit. We had mud pies, sand stew, sand soup and something he concocted called 'very disgusting'.

Mr T decided to come over and join in the fun. He found an old plant pot and told me 'castle, build castle'. So Mr T and I made castles, every one of them as exciting as the last with a huge 'YAY!' to express his enjoyment or a 'oh no' when they fell apart.

As you would notice our sandpit isn't one of those pretty ones with white sand. Instead it is made with sandy soil from a deposit somewhere on the property. The kids love it all the same ... in fact probably more because it is super messy.

Also we did some 5x revision today. I drew answers on the cement and the kids, when asked a multiplication table, had to go find the answer. Mr Preppy also joined in, he got to find numbers and jump on them. This jumping or racing game never gets old and makes everyone happy ... me because it get revision done and the kids because it is outside and fun.

Monday 29 August 2011

Foggy Brains

I think foggy weather and foggy brains must go hand in hand. That sneeky mist must have stealthly crept into the children's grey matter, blocking up the channels before they rose to greet the day.

I noticed however that after a play, out in the fog clearing sunshine that broke through the clouds, and a nourishing (sugar filled)snack the brains where ticking over again quite nicely. They worked away like busy ants for the rest of school.

But then again maybe it was the thought of escaping this afternoon to ride the repaired motor bike that got them into gear.

Sunday 28 August 2011

Racing the Rain

You would think that after being out here for nearly two years and having been through two wet seasons, well two wet seasons and a really wet year or one wet season and one REALLY LONG wet season, that I would know better than to try and race those ominous black clouds. The end result is usually a very wet, slippery, boggy trip but isn't it half the fun in trying anyway.

Bottlebrush: totally unrelated but pretty all the same.

Today, Sunday, my CPR course was cancelled. There is a long story but the short one is they are darn lucky I had to take the school computer in to get fixed on Saturday otherwise I would be even more annoyed about it than I am  (3.5hrs into town for nothing ...). That not so little word STATION in my address translates to NO MOBILE COVERAGE so thanks for leaving me an ambiguous message on my mobile telling me to call back, which I only received when I got to town on Saturday morning (by the way did you know that QAS are closed on weekends). After many calls while waiting around in town on Saturday I gave up trying to contact anyone.

Emus on the way back from town

All was well though as it turned out a couple of the other govies were in town so we made an afternoon of it  and had a picnic by the Thomson River then went to watch to footy. Really who can resist fellas in skimpy shorts touching each others bums??? I overnighted it in town only to find out the annoying CPR course news.

The grand old Thomson River (the only one spelt without a p)

In the park

In the end it was a good thing my CPR was cancelled though because it meant I at least had a chance of beating the rain. But did I?

My mad dash back to the station began when I saw those ominous cloud gathered in the distance behind Lake Dunn.

Lake Dunn: Clouds and rain in the distance

Lake Dunn

Now I am not sure what speed limit you are supposed to do (if there even is one) on the never ending dirt roads out this way but I am pretty sure the one I was doing wasn't it.

Rain in the distance

A small shower and I crossed paths part way along the dirt with about an hour left to go ... phew I was still safe.

Just before the small shower

But then coming up over the ridge on our neighbouring property I saw what was definitely more than a small shower. So I raced on, everything figuratively crossed hoping I would make it before it hit the creeks.

Oh no ... more rain.

Well who do you think won ... well I beat the rain to the boundary ....

At the first gate

... but the first, fat drops started to fall as I opened the first of three gates. I drove up to the house in a downpour,  that dumped 23mls on us. Saturated after opening gates, I was greeted by some very excited children who were jumping in puddles and running around the house. Their excitement was infectious. There exuberant display over the rain only reflected what we were all thinking ....

Its raining, its pouring

Friday 26 August 2011

Killer of a Day

So this is a bit late but we did a kill on Monday and Tuesday this week. A butcher isn’t exactly close at hand out here, although some places do buy their beef, where I am however sticks to the old fashioned way of getting our beef. That means a steer or cow is carefully selected for our consumption (basically, not being good enough to sell is the only requirement). Then one evening, the selected beast meets an untimely demise. This usually coincides with the meat house being cleaned from top to bottom and the freezer being cleaned out.

Meat houses are a feature of a lot of rural/remote properties

 It is then skinned and cut into quarters to be hung overnight outside the meat house. Drawn and quartered in reverse order really.

The following morning we excitedly get into the work of cutting up and bagging the beast for freezing.

The work has just begun.

Breakfast tradition says that the brains, liver and skirt are on the menu. Well for those with any brains it is just the skirt … offal, eww! We dig in like it is our last supper as we have usually been without, or at least skimping on, beef for quite some time. Cutting up, salting meat for corned beef and mincing meat for mince and sausages keeps everyone occupied for most of the day. You are certainly over the sight of beef after spending a day playing with it so chicken, well anything that isn’t beef, is on the menu for dinner.

Almost everything is used.
The tail for ox tail stew, the heart is stuffed (or fed to the dogs if we have any say),
 liver, brains and kidney are all cooked up and anything left over is mince meat.

Me, well I usually run back and forwards like a headless chook between the schoolroom and the meat house, getting kids on air for lessons while helping to bag up meat. Not much in the way of school gets done but I try to get them to the lessons with their teachers during the day, we can catch the rest up another time. The kids love making the sausages. I think they might even have the tying process nearly perfected, three sausages per group, all twisted together.

Thursday 25 August 2011

Rodeo Time - Stonehenge

There really is nothing better than a bush rodeo. No, I am not talking about the ones in the bigger towns or the PBR ones, I am talking about the simple ones in out of the way towns. Rodeos where locals compete against the select few who come in from other areas only to be sharing tales over a beer or a few rum and cokes later that afternoon. The rodeos where utes are parked with the tray to the arena fence with a tarp rigged up between so you have a place to sit in the shade. The rodeos where you literally get dirt in your face when the bulls come past because you are as close as you can be to the action without being on the other side of that white fence. So lets hope that rules and regulations never steal the atmosphere of a real bush rodeo.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Milk the Goat

Well today was eventful.
This morning we found the missing nanny goat and as suspected she had finally had her babies. TRIPLETS! Poor girl her life is sure going to be busy for a while. Three cute little, fluffy, balls of energy are going to want all her attention all the time. Now that I understand, except in my case it is four energetic children who want my attention all day and usually all at the same time.
The kids bringing the kids back to the goat pen.

Mandy, the nanny, has her udder touching the ground, it is huge and heavy. I know I held it up while convincing three kiddie goats that they wanted to suck off those teats that had been dragged in the dirt and peed on ... pee is sterile, isn't it.

The above is why I finally gave milking a goat a go, I mean what else do you have to do with you time while perched on a milo tin in the middle of a goat pen holding up a humongous udder. I thought I'd give it a go and hey presto with a squeeze out came the milk. Then I got a little adventurous and after working on my aim I managed to get the kids, and not the small, hairy ones.

I think I have come up with a new sport of champions ... MILK FIGHTING ... can you just imagine everyone carrying around their loaded goats and cows strapped to their backs, udders at the ready ... hmmm me either, not really practical and very sticky to clean up. Ah well that is my bit of sillyness for the day.

This is Mocha and Latte, twins born about a week ago.

Thursday 18 August 2011

A Day at the Races

Well there is always a first time for everything and being open to new experiences I FINALLY attended my first race meet. What a day!
We all got dolled up … dresses, stockings, heels, hair … the lot. A huge contrast to the daggy jeans, flannelet shirt, pony tail and no shoes that … hey, why didn’t anyone tell me my buttons weren’t matched up.

We spent the day sipping champagne (entirely gross in my opinion) and cursing the fact that we had chosen to wear high heels (come to think of it the person who invented them too). We took part in ‘fashions on the field’ (again cursing high heels), cheered on horses that we were sure would win but whose names we didn't know,
watched and took part in the novelty races
This gives a whole new meaning to wheel barrow races.
and danced the night away. Finally, after relaxing near a fire with new friends, we rolled into our swags.
The next day we all rose a little bleary eyed with many worse for wear and trouped off back to the various towns and stations from where we came, stopping off for bacon and egg burgers along the way …YUM!

Well now to roll the swag for the next weekend away ...

Sunday 7 August 2011

Looking Back

So back to looking back at how I got here ...

Isolated Children's Project .... so that is where I met family number 1. I had the BEST three weeks with them, teaching their two children and getting to dip my toes into outback life. All I wanted to do when I got back to the real world was head back out west. It was where I felt needed. A couple of months later I got the email that changed everything. The one that went something along the lines of 'We are having another baby how would you like to come out on a temporary basis until the new addition is a bit older' (ok so that is nothing like what I received but anyway ...).  So the next year that is what I did, packed my bags and headed off thinking I would be there for a term, well it was three terms before I left.

Enter family number 2 ... I hated the idea of leaving and loved the job so got in contact with the school the family was with and asked them about anyone they could think of who needed a governess. They gave me two options 1. family with one child. 2. Family with two children possible three. hmmm now which to pick? Of cause I picked the family with two children.

I have been with them now for over a year and three quarters so I guess it was a good choice. Turns out I now have four children under my care from two families (the kids are cousins on a family run station). I have a year 3 boy and year 6 girl as well as a year 3 girl and prep boy from the other family. The second family also have a three year old boy who likes to pop in and out.

I know as a govie that I have been VERY lucky with the families I have and am working for.