Tuesday 28 August 2012

Scrabble Letters

 I honestly think this post should be named 'whose silly idea was this?' but as I used scrabble letters, well I will stick with that. 

Yesterday I finally made up some magnetic letters using crafty scrabble tiles that I had purchased, yet again, off that wonderful place full of good things, ebay. The finally part is because I probably bought these around 6 months ago but making them has been shoved to the back so here goes.

What you need:
First grab a handy bag of scrabble tiles,

 Some awesome magnetic tape, or any other form of magnet you can get you hands on and some PVA or wood glue if you need stickiness or don't trust the stickiness of the tape (which I don't after previous experiences).

Now what to do:
1. Apply PVA glue to the back of the scrabble pieces.
2. Stick on a piece of magnet or magnetic tape

3. Do it over and over and over again (hence the whose idea was this comment)
4. Let them dry.

Then taa daa there you have it, magnetic letters. 
Some ideas for how we are going to use them coming soon (just as soon as we get around to it).

Sunday 26 August 2012

Farmers. You can't live without them.

How good is this video? Not only is it inspirational but it gives the information that needs to be heard in a way that is easy to understand.

Spring is in the Air

 The mulberries are ripening and the kids, as in children rather than baby goats, have started picking. Purple fingers and lips are found every afternoon.

Miss S is our goat herder. They are her babies and every afternoon she puts them away.

At the moment we have kiddie goats galore frolicking around the place. They have all been named and all are little characters. Socks and Buttons are the newest additions (not pictured) born on Saturday morning.

 Bees are buzzing busily in the garden filling their pollen sacks and spreading the love between flowers.

How do you know spring is around the corner?

Saturday 25 August 2012

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Friday was the first day in nearly a month that all 5 kids were back in the schoolroom so I had to record it. Please excuse the messy schoolroom I was in the process of cleaning out the junk collector cupboards.

Don't you just love the magnets that Mr T is playing with? I found them on Ebay like these ones. Mr T was finding a magnet when I asked him where it was and counting how many of each magnet there was.


On Tuesday and Wednesday this week the new beaut cattle crate was put to work again trucking cattle. While the truck was sitting outside the house loaded and ready to go ...

... I got a few photos of the steers antics as they peered over the top or through the little widows at me ... Peek-a-boo!

Tuesday - Mail Day

Tuesdays are our mail day. It used to be Tuesday and Friday but something happened along the way this year (it did start off being to do with a missing road) and now we are reduced to mail once a week. The thing about mail coming in so unoften is that every mail day is like Christmas. You wait with bated breath for parcels you know are coming to arrive or for a letter that might come (who cares if it is a bill, at least somebody sent something). Even in this age of computers, email and facebook I still love snail mail. I think I love it more because receiving an actual personal letter from someone is so rare.

Now I know that I have already posted about this here but well there is nothing like doing it again just in a different location. On Tuesday we received some long awaited mail from the school. Finally Unit 6 arrived. The unit was to have officially started on Monday and I am certain there were many parents and Home Tutors (Govies) who were champing at the bit for it to arrive so they could have started it already. Not us, we are catching up after time off school.

Until unit papers arrive we have to go onto the Education Queensland Blackboard site and print the papers for the kids to use. The papers are designed to use on the computer as they are all pdf documents but it is easier for the kids to write on them plus they get the added benefit of writing and being able to show working the right way oh and the fact that you don't use all the paper and ink. I went through half a 700 reem of paper in under a week at one stage. Four kids use a lot of paper and make it impossible to do it on the computer without four or more reliable computers (we have that) that are all connected to the internet (hmm we fall down here). But all that is beside the point.

What arrived in our school mail was Unit 6 Maths, English, Spelling and CLC (like social science and science combined) or Science for yr1, 4 and 7. We also received the yr 4 QCAT test without the stimulus text for English (got it later by email after requesting it). We received book club magazines that the order date had passed on, again. Then most excitedly for Miss S we received books sent by her teacher from the school library. Exciting stuff ... well it is for us.

On that note I am going to send the hundreds of post packs collected in our cupboard back to school I am sure one box will be enough rather that the three or more stashed in there, especially as we scan and email most work to school.

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Feeling like Spring

 I got a little trigger happy with the camera yesterday (the mango tree was included in this). You have to understand though that it was a beautiful spring like day, there were bees in the garden and well that is a challenge I couldn't help but take up.

Well it keeps me happy and out of too much mischief anyway (important note here: a hobby, something of your own that you enjoy, is a great thing to have and to do in your down time on a station).


Okay so this was outside the garden ... see that prickly thorn. Ouch.

Putting on a Show

The mango tree is putting on a show.
It may be a little early flowering but the way things are going it looks like a bumper crop is on its way.

Something else is putting on a show out at the mango tree as well.
Can you see it?

How about now?

Here they are.
Hundreds, probably thousands of lady beetles are enjoying the mango tree being in flower as well.


Saturday 18 August 2012

The Hard Stuff

Sometimes things happen in life that you never want to experience but you know you will at some stage or another. That is life. Part of life is death, it will happen to us all at some time or another but that doesn't make it any easier when it happens to those around you. Death is something you deal with a fair bit on a station. The death of pets, of dogs from snakes or poison, of cattle from disease or attacks, of a beast for meat but then there is the death of people (sorry, everyone I am trying to be as matter of fact as I can) and that is a whole other kettle of fish.

While living and working here I have experienced the death of two family members of the people I work for. Once two years ago and once last week. Both were elderly and loosing quality of life. They had both lived full lives. But you know, no matter how often you tell yourself that, it doesn't change the sadness, the grief and the emotional exhaustion that comes with it all.

On Tuesday last week, the 7th of August, the Grandfather of the children I teach died at 94 years old and after nearly a week of failing health in hospital. The funeral was Tuesday this week. We did come back to the station last week for a few days, to get away from town, but most of the last two weeks have been spent there, in town, waiting. Waiting for the end and waiting for the funeral. Family and friends gathered around and supported each other. It really was a beautiful sight despite the sad occasion. Seeing that gathering of people makes you think that if people are there for you in the end and there to celebrate the life you led than you had a great life indeed.

I myself didn't expect his death to hit me so hard but it did. I cooked cakes for him, had numerous smokos with him, opened the gate for him as he zoomed through on his scooter, listened to his stories of the old days, took numerous photos of him at the horse yards and cattle yards. All of that will be missed. What was even harder was seeing the family in pain, the kids in pain. They have lost a mentor, a husband, a father, a grandfather.

Now this is the truely matter of fact part. When working as a govie and those around you are hurting, the family you are working for are hurting, do what you can for them, be there to help, to support and to most importantly spend time with the kids. Schooling is no longer of the greatest importance but taking the time to talk about the hard stuff and to help the kids deal with their grief in a way that won't hurt others is.

I know the relationship I have with the family I work for may not be the normal thing but I hope it is for many. They are my friends, my second family. This meant I wanted to help out in any way I could and the way I knew I could was with food and with the kids. The kids most importantly needed someone that was familiar, part of their lives, someone they trusted to talk to, to hug, to share feelings with and most of all to distract them and have a little ... a lot of fun especially while we were hanging around in town. But also another piece of advise (one I think I need to take myself) remember that you are hurting to and to share your feelings, and don't be afraid to have time out. I know my way of coping with the hard stuff is to keep busy, to feel useful and so that is what I did. It helped me and more importantly it help the family, the kids.

At the moment we are an emotionally drained lot out here. There are still family here to support each other and help. We are getting school and station routine back. It all helps.

Friday 17 August 2012

Back In Action

I know I've been MIA (Missing In Action) for a while but things have been a little hectic around here. I will get around to the whys some other time but for now we are getting back to the norm after three weeks of routine mess up.

Today saw the steers being mustered and dipped so they can be inspected on Monday and trucked on Tuesday ... busy, busy. There were a few extra helpers around of the adult form with the brother and sister of Boss R and Boss H and their spouses staying for a while.

This was a good thing as Boss H and his family, Boss Lady H, Miss E, Mr E and Mr T are away for a few days. Hopefully all will be back on board by next Wednesday as the schoolroom is a bit light on at the moment. It is a nice change and brings back memories of when it was like that before, just me and two kiddies, but I do miss the others and what they bring to the schoolroom.

My lawn mowers, the up side to no fence.

Today was our second day back in the schoolroom (first full one, with proper school work) after time away. I think we have now spent a grand total of three days in the schoolroom in three weeks. Well done us. It was quiet but very productive and as a reward for wonderful work I won over the two workers, Miss S and Mr R, with a 'spider' (drink of cause, no way I am going round catching spiders for kids ewww, I'll leave that to Miss E) and a Boost to 'boost their energy for the afternoon'. I was a hit, now who doesn't love that.

Spider - Ginger Beer and Icecream

This afternoon I had a very productive time snoozing dreaming up new activities and capturing a glorious sunset. A beautiful end to a lovely day weather wise and an awesome day in the schoolroom.

A real spider