Thursday 31 May 2012

Windy Weather

Windy weather ... too windy for kites ... ahh but perfect for pinwheels.

Yesterday afternoon, after school, out came the thin cardboard, craft sticks and split pins. Something so simple created so much fun as I watched children run laughing through the tall grass with pinwheels held high.

Tuesday 22 May 2012


Among many things that were part of my life before becoming a governess, I was member of Girl Guides, a Guide leader. Well actually I shouldn't say was as I some how seem to have managed to still be in that role. For now however I am with Lone Guides and well that is another story and completely off topic.

The campsite ... there are more tents.

On the last weekend of my week away I was lucky enough to be a guest leader on the local Girl Guides bush camp. I was especially lucky as I was put (well put myself) on boy/ brother sitting detail which meant I (and he) got to sleep in our own comfy, warm beds and use a proper shower and toilet. Ok, so the bathing in a tin tub in a tent isn't so bad but honestly who wants to when they don't have to. So basically I got to take part in the best bits of camp while staying warm at night (as long as you don't count setting up and packing up).

The toilet to the left and the bathroom to the right.

This being a bush camp and there being no fire restrictions meant that there was lots of fire involved. There was plenty of fire for cooking ...

... and then there was THE fire. The one where we were abiding by the wishes of the land owner (hehe, us) and taught the girls about lighting up fires on a farm to burn off or dispose of the piles of dead wood and weeds.

Oh, and yes it met regulations being smaller that 2m x 2m (just) and it had plenty of eyes watching it (even if some belonged to persons who were a bit undersized).

The male infiltrating the girls camp ... he thought it was the best thing ever.
This was something that the girls found fascinating and thought was even better when it became our camp fire that night keeping everyone toasty warm as we sat around singing songs of guiding, exotic places (My Ship Sailed From China) and animals (Alice The Camel), songs about being happy (If You're Happy And You Know It) and about fire (Fire, Fire, Fire/ Old Lady Leary).

It was a very relaxed weekend doing something I hadn't realised I had missed taking part in.

Off to a Blazing Start

We might have started the week a day late and we may be missing lots of school work that we need but this week is off to a blazing start. It is a bit like the sunrise this morning, fresh and bright but a little fuzzy due to sleep filled eyes or in school's case, slightly weary children after their week long camping adventures.

I am feeling refreshed after a week at home and the kids brains are rested and full of stories from their time away.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Liebster Blog Award

WOW! I have to say I am feeling a little chuffed. I have been awarded the Liebster Award by two wonderful bloggers, Jacana and Bushgovo from the Unwritten Etiquette of the Governess World. Thank you to you both for your comments, for following along with the antics shared on Grit and Giggles and for sharing my blog with others.

I started writing Grit and Giggles as a way to record and share a bit of what it is like being a governess and living on a remote cattle station. Originally I guess the thought was that family and friends could see what mischief I have been up to and so I had something to look back on. I did however hope that those who were interested might read along as well and share their ideas and advice related to life in the outback.

This award is passed on from blogger to blogger.

The rules for the Liebster Award are:
  • Choose 5 up and coming blogs to pass the award onto.
  • They must have less than 200 followers.
  • Give lots of thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to their sites.
  • Post the award on your blog.
  • List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites.
So now here goes, I now need to choose 5 blogs to pass the Liebster Award onto. I would love to give one to both Jacana and Bushgovo as they are both wonderful blogs in their own right that I enjoy reading and taking part in but I thought I should choose some other blogs that I enjoy so it doesn't turn into a game tag with two people standing there tagging each other saying "you're it!"

The 5 blogs I am passing the Liebster award onto are ...

Farmers Way of Life
I really enjoy following along with the blog in particular the many parts of the Golden Rules of Farming. These rules funny and and so very truthful with so many I can relate to.

The Farmer has a Wife
This wonderful lady shares what is is like living in the bush and is in the process of writing a digital book of how her farmer got a wife ( or how she caught her farmer). Thank you for sharing your story and many amazing photos.

AnK Bowtique
Amazing ladies doing amazing things with ribbon and lace, creating every little girl's fantasy while living in the outback.

Cattle, Kids and Chaos
I love following along with the life of chaos that is shared on this blog but what first attracted me to this blog was the ever changing headers and wonderful photography. I love looking at photos that share what life in the bush is like and hearing about others experiences.

Cinderella at Brindabella who is now The Happy Campers
This lovely couple happen to be connected to the same Distance Ed school that I am. I love reading about the adventures they have been having in the schoolroom as well as out and about the station. Also wonderful photos, thank you for sharing.

Early Morning

I am having a refreshing and rejuvenating half term break for a week at home with my family while the families I work for are away on a camping trip.

I love the early morning quiet, the freshness of a new day. I love watching the sunrise slowly lighting the paddocks that instantly starts to warm you when you stand in it's soft yellow light. I love seeing the dew sparkle on the jewel green leaves of the oats while cattle contently graze in the distance.

Monday 14 May 2012

Yard Time

Heading to the cattle yards.
On Thursday last week the kids and I took a day off school and instead headed down to the cattle yards for an exciting day helping with the weaners (young cattle that have been put in a separate paddock to their mums to be fattened up).

The weaners waiting for us.
The weaners, stars of the show.

The kids were under threat of having to go back to school if they didn't help out and they did a great job.

The weaners knew what to do and started heading through the yards
by themselves as soon as we went behind them.
The girls did a great job hunting up cattle and the boys helped out pushing them through the race, well until they got distracted by the hay feeder that the cattle had broken deciding that it would make a great Titanic "ahhh we've hit and ice burg, we're going down!" Gotta love their imagination. They were also highly entertained by the diving antics of the cattle as they plunged into the plunge dip after being weighed.

After the gates were shut they decided to keep on heading through
instead of waiting around while Boss R and Boss H prepared the dip.

The weaners circling into a mob, just like they were trained.


Boss Lady R and I were in charge of getting the cattle onto the scales, trapping them there and recording the weights (thank goodness for technology) as well as tallying how many steers and heifers their were. Boss Lady H kept the cattle moving up the race to the scales, turning them around when they decided to go back. Boss H was on the platform above the 8way drafting circle opening a shutting gates from above. Boss R was down on the ground drafting on foot making sure that the steers went to the scales and the heifers went into another yard until it was their turn.

Mr T telling those weaners what to do. He was excited to help out.

The galahs on the fence watching the weaners and waiting.

The first of the steers heading up the race, onto the scales and through the dip.

The scales all rigged up. The cattle are contained one at a time,
between two sliding gates on the scales and weighed.

Our interesting tally sheet.
Very important job to be done but not easy to do when you have three other jobs to do.

It was a pretty small day with about 400 head going through the yards although some of them were very silly and got their heads stuck in gates and fences as well as deciding to go the opposite direction to what they should. Luckily there was only one bluffing steer that decided to pretend to take anything in with it on. It was good training for the dogs in particular the puppy that was having a go at everything. The cattle were otherwise really good remembering from their last time in the yards what they had to do, well most of the time.

Letting the steers out into the holding square.

The last of the steers heading out to the holding square where they
got straight into the business of eating, well right after they checked the gates.

At about 2pm, after all the steers and heifers had been dipped we headed back for a late lunch. Next on the list was to fill the molasses truck (the red toyota which happened to be the horse truck the day before). Then troughs were taken out the the weaner's perspective new homes and filled so they are able to enjoy a sticky treat and get nice and fat. On Friday morning the weaners were taken to their new homes, heifers in one paddock and steers in another where I am sure they enjoy themselves gorging on fresh grass until it is time for the steers and culled heifers to be sold.

Some more photos taken down at the yards ...
Galahs on a fence again.
The boys enjoying the sun and copious amounts of grass while having smoko in the yards.

The grass in the yards. The whole area looked like that before the weaners were put in there.

A clear sunset after a busy day.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Sometime between 11 and 12

"Whirr, took, took took" I hear the wind turbine spinning in the breeze that is rising. The distinctive and awkward songs of crows and butcher birds are overlayed with the the rousing of a willie wagtail. Sitting in the doorway I am surrounded by 5 pairs of shoes, some are dirt encrusted boots, some whatever was found at the time, none however are mine. There is a young girl perched on a paint tin, using another two stacked as her desk working away on a recount of times gone by. A young boy is fiddling distractedly with a ruler while planning his work. I firmly call out "Mr R" and he puts pencil back to paper. I can here the occasional foreign sounds of Japanese filling the schoolroom sometimes punctured with "Mr E finished!" as both Miss S and Mr E are completing on airs. This is a quiet time, working time. A plume of dust can be seen coming up the road. Dogs break the silence with insistent barks urgently telling us "visitor, visitor." A dusty, splattered ute comes to a stop outside the main house. The mail has arrived. I wonder what is in that canvas bag today?

Nothing to do with the above but here is the newest arrival ... a new billy

Monday 7 May 2012

Better late than never ...

... that's what they always say.

Mustering has started finally, and in a bit of a rush. With under a week to spare before everyone goes gallivanting around the country side it is now or never (well a LOT later). The rest will be done when we all return but at least the muster has been started. This means we will be in the yards later in the week ... drafting, dipping and branding anyone who missed out last time.

Very much to the kids approval ...

... the horses were brought in and haltered ...

... brushed down ...

... and saddled up ...

... pups in training were introduced to their new work colleges ...

... then horses and dogs ...

... were loaded ...

 ... and all set off on a grand adventure.

Day 1 down

'Super Moon'

Saturday 5 May 2012

A Little Creative Thinking

"I think they're going to pull the big dragline with the little tractor."

It is amazing how little things like moving a machine to a certain place can inspire creative thinking like this.

"Maybe they're going to hook the little tractor with the dragline and put it on the semi."

Sorry kids, despite all of our imaginings the little tractor was just parked there until the semi was unloaded. They were then both moved over to the loading ramp where the tractor was driven onto the semi.
Disappointing ... out classroom imaginings were so much more exciting.