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Taking Things for Granted

This past couple of weeks, I’ve realised how much I took for granted living in a built up area. Not just the obvious things like supermarkets, movies and after school activities but being able to get a pink slip for car rego at a mechanic that isn’t an hour’s drive away. Or having a skin check at the skin cancer clinic that isn’t a two hour drive away. There’s also the inconvenience of a daughter that needs to have a filling in her tooth but is so petrified of any dentist other than the one we used to see on the Central Coast. Thankfully, we will be back on the Coast in 2 weeks and have an appointment to get it fixed.

Small inconveniences that I had not really thought about prior to moving here. It’s not a huge deal, it just makes me realise how easy we had things back on the Coast. I do wish we could have a mobile skin cancer bus like the library book mobile that visits town every fortnight, or the mobile Breastscreen bus that visits a local town a few times a year. Surely there is need for a mobile skin cancer check with how serious melanoma is in Australia and these rural families that would be spending so much of their lives in the sun, with nowhere close to have tests done. Something to think about.

Lucy’s had a bit of an emotional week. I think the closer it gets to us heading back to the Central Coast for the school holidays, the more she realises she misses her friends back home. There have been a few tears at school but I keep reminding her that she is so lucky to have beautiful friends back home and new beautiful friends here at her new school. Double the friends! She’s really looking forward to going back to the Coast though and is counting down the days.

This week I submitted my final assignment for my course and have completed my 100 workplace hours at the school. It won’t be long now until I have a Certificate III in Education Support and will be a qualified Teacher’s Aide. I’ve been so lucky to have five days casual work this past fortnight and have gained so much experience with children with various needs and disabilities.

Tabulam is currently organising a Blueberry Festival to be held in May and I’ve joined the organising committee through my CWA friends. We had our first meeting today and it sounds like it’s going to be a great day with lots of local businesses joining to make it a real community event.

The blueberry season will be starting up again in the very near future. If you see ‘Mountain Blue’ blueberries in your local supermarket, you will know they are from our local farms in Tabulam. The farm will be employing 500 pickers this year from locals to backpackers and the town will start to buzz with foreign accents again. It’s so good for our community and local businesses. Linden is trying to convince me to rent out our spare room to a backpacker. He thinks it would be a great experience for the girls to learn another language. I’m thinking he just wants a sexy young French girl in the spare room!

Can you believe the temperature gauge hit 45 degrees again today? I thought Summer was over but far out it’s been hot again today. We have Tuesday afternoon ball sports today after school and this week it’s rugby. I hope it cools down a bit before 4pm. Alice is surprisingly really excited and played a bit at lunchtime yesterday with the School Chaplain who organises the games. She’s never had much experience in team sports but the Chaplain was telling me how good she was and she has real potential. I’m looking forward to watching them this afternoon.

Oh and how amazing is Lucy’s hair in these photos? I love their hair so much – the colour and curl. Just beautiful!! Though I’m biased I know.

Things are Looking Fab

It’s hard to believe we’ve been here 5 months already. I’ve had a really settled couple of weeks and am feeling in control again. The girls are happy and have made a little friend in town who comes and plays every now and then. They’re very excited that a new skate park has been built across the road from the pub and we can walk over there and practice skateboarding after school now.

Now that the weather has cooled down a bit, there is an organised ball sports every fortnight at the local public school oval. Last week the girls had a try at cricket, next week is rugby. They were a bit nervous at first not knowing how to play and not knowing many of the kids that turned up but they had a go and ended up really enjoying themselves. One of their friends from school goes and we’ve arranged with her parents for her to have a sleepover next Tuesday night afterwards so all three girls are very excited.

We have a couple of big concrete water tanks in the backyard that were looking a bit drab so Linden decided on an art project and we started painting them last week with some funky designs. One will have a rising sun over some green hills and the other will have a garden gate and a hedge. The girls are enjoying the project but we haven’t had a chance to finish it yet. A really busy weekend and a few days of rain have postponed our painting for a while.

We went exploring on Sunday and went to the Channon Craft Market and Nimbin. The Market was fun and colourful as always. I managed to buy my niece a lovely 21st birthday present that I hope she likes. After lunch we drove out to Nimbin to check it out. I’d never been so it was good to see all the funky little shops and cafes. We went for a swim at the local pool and stopped for a chai tea and soft drink while people watching the colourful characters of the area.

I’ve been busy up at the school logging up my hours for my course and have managed to get myself a few more days paid work next week so that will keep me busy. They’ve even asked me to work in the office doing some administration work soon. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to do casual work up here since I didn’t think I would be able to find any work. It’s only a few days here and there but it’s doing wonders for my mental health and helps the bank balance too which is the main reason we moved up here.

All in all, things are looking pretty fab at the moment.

Until next time x

 

Goodbye Summer

Summer is over and I can’t really say that I’m too sad about that. I am usually a lover of Summer, but this year was brutal. I’m happy to say that things are a little cooler and more comfortable this week. Hopefully it’s the end of 40-45 degree days for a while. Next I’ll be complaining I’m too cold!

Last week I had another paid day of Teacher’s Aide work at the girls school and had a really fun day. It’s challenging but the day goes quickly and it keeps me from boredom at home. I’m about 2/3 of the way through the course now and loving submitting assignments and learning more about the job.

The girls went to the Zone Swimming Carnival in Lismore and competed in the Junior Girls relay team. They had such a fun day and for non-competitive swimmers who don’t do any training or squad they did amazing, coming 11th. We were all so proud of the team.

On Friday was the Primary Assembly morning and Lucy was inducted as an SRC (Student Representative Council) member. She’s very proud of her badge and the responsibilities that come with the role. She’s already planning some fundraising for Easter and Mothers Day.

A few weeks back, Linden found a turtle on the road and brought it home to save it being run over. We kept it for a week or so and named her Tessa. It was great to observe her but the plan was always to release her back to her natural environment and take her down to the river where she would be much happier swimming with friends. It was so lovely to see her swimming off to her new adventures and hope she’ll have a long and happy life.

We’re looking forward to going back to the Central Coast during the April school holidays. We haven’t worked out exact dates yet but will probably be around most of the holidays to catch up with family and friends. The girls and I are hoping to go to the Easter Show one day and I’ve decided to enter a photo for this year’s photographic competition. The challenging part will be getting the framed photo from here to the Easter Show in time for judging. I’ve delivered them myself in the past, but this year I’m going to have to rely on the Post delivering it safely! Let’s hope it arrives in one piece.

 

Rollercoaster of Emotions

This past week or so has been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. I’ve had lots of highs and quite a few lows but am feeling much stronger now for dealing with the lows. The oppressive heat and not sleeping well hasn’t helped my emotional wellbeing but I know Autumn is just around the corner and we are all looking forward to cooler days. I honestly can’t remember a Summer this bad, and I usually LOVE Summer. Though I hear it has been really hot everywhere, not just out here so I shouldn’t complain.

Despite a lot of tears and stress, I’ve had a very positive week. I have done some voluntary work in Alice’s classroom helping with some literacy tasks and then was asked to come in for a paid day’s work as one of the Primary Teacher’s Aides was away sick. I really feel like this is the job for me and am so happy I made the decision to study while I’m here. I’m now halfway through my Certificate III course and am really enjoying the current subject I’m working on.

The girls attended the District swimming carnival and qualified for two races each. They were both very excited to receive a ribbon. Lucy for 2nd place in the 9 year girls 50m freestyle and Alice for 1st place in the Junior Girls Relay. We were all very excited to receive letters to say they have both made it through to Lismore Zone carnival this coming week for the Junior Girls Relay.

Thankfully, today has been cooler so I spent the morning in the kitchen doing some baking. Among other things, I made a huge batch of pasta sauce using fresh produce from the garden – loads of cherry tomatoes, zucchinis, basil and a small pumpkin. The girls are not great vegetable eaters so it’s a fantastic way to get some veges into their dinners without them realising what’s in it as well as a good way to use up some of the masses of produce we are getting from the garden.

It seems the wheat fields around the area have now been replanted with corn, chick peas and soy beans which make everything look really lush and green. There are also lots of calves in the paddocks heading out to the racecourse.

Friday morning was our Branch CWA meeting and we had lots to discuss for the upcoming Blueberry Day. It’s not until May but that will come around so quickly and there are lots of things to organise. I’ve decided to make blueberry/banana bread, blueberry monte carlos and possibly blueberry/coconut bread for the stall to sell. I’m looking forward to it and hope it’s a successful day. I’ll be sure to share photos of our day. I’ve also set up a Facebook page to share all the fun things we will be doing. The link is here if you are interested – CWA Tabulam Branch

I hope you all have a lovely week and if you are struggling or feeling a bit low, reach out and chat to someone. It makes a huge difference to your mindset to know that there are people who care.

Until next time x

Back to Routine

We’ve settled in back home and into the school routine for another year. The girls are enjoying their new classes and happy to be back with their friends. After school and Saturday morning activities have started back up again and I feel pretty relaxed.

The school swimming carnival was held last week on a 40+ degree day. I think being in such a small school has helped their confidence and they entered every race they could (other than butterfly). Alice came 2nd in 10yr girls 50m freestyle and 1st in the Junior Relay. Lucy came 2nd in 9yr girls 50m freestyle, 2nd in junior girls 50m breaststroke and 1st in the Junior Relay. I was so proud of them for having a go, especially when they are not competitive swimmers. They both made it onto the region carnival which will be this coming Friday.

I’ve started helping out at the school again and really enjoy the time I get with the kids and feeling like I’m making a difference. I still don’t know what I’m doing yet but the teachers give me tasks and I work through them. I’m about half way through my course and I’ve really started enjoying studying.

They’re both looking forward to swim club starting up again tomorrow afternoon. It’s such a fun afternoon with their friends.

Lucy has been asking about horse riding lessons and we discovered her teacher’s daughter is a wonderful instructor so I have to contact her to find out a bit more about it. I guess it was inevitable out here that one or both of them would want to learn to ride a horse. Alice says she’s not interested but that might change once she sees Lucy having a try.

The vege patch is getting a bit out of control and taking over the garden! Our freezer is overflowing with cherry tomatoes and zucchinis. I can’t keep up with how much it’s producing. I make zucchini slice every couple of days but it’s still not enough. We’ve even started supplying the Co-op with our basil. We have a few pumpkins that are getting bigger and a couple of watermelons growing nicely. It’s so overgrown out there that I’m scared to walk through it to pick veges in case there are snakes or other nasties under the plants. Did you know how prickly zucchini plants are? I cut zucchinis and the prickles from the leaves and stalks make my arms so itchy! I would hate to be a zucchini farmer, they must have some kind of arm protection to stop the itching.

The girls have their first friends coming over for a play date this afternoon and they’re all so excited. It’s difficult with their school friends all living a fair distance away but we’ve made arrangements for them all to catch the bus home together and I’ll drive them home after a couple of hours play. They’ve made some lovely little friends at school so I’m sure this won’t be the only play date organised.

I don’t have much in the way of photos this time around, just a few progress shots of the vege garden. I have been very slack in getting my camera out.

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