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School Holiday Fun

This time one year ago, we were decluttering our house and saying goodbye to friends and relatives as we were getting ready for our 3 year adventure to the country. It’s hard to believe that we are now a third of the way through. Before we know it, we’ll be packing up again for the next adventure. Who knows where that will be, but we are pretty sure it will be back on the Central Coast.

Tabulam is currently busy with backpackers living around town picking and packing blueberries. Their driving skills are a little dangerous but otherwise they keep to themselves and seem to be having a good time. Workers have also arrived to start building the new Tabulam bridge which will apparently take a couple of years to complete. The site office has been set up with 4 or 5 shipping containers and looks like it will be a busy hub out by the highway.

We are still in need of rain, though apparently it’s pretty normal for winter here to be dry. The paddocks are very brown and there’s been talk of farmers having to buy feed for their cattle as there is no good pasture at the moment. With the extra backpackers renting in town, most people are running out of water in their tanks. We do pump up water from the river for most people, but it still doesn’t seem enough. The river is the lowest I’ve ever seen it, we can see rocks and areas that we’ve never seen before because they’ve been underwater. There are always people complaining and Linden is trying to help out as much as possible with the pumping. There is a yearly fee to help out with the cost of pump maintenance and diesel fuel and we generally use that water for washing, toilets, watering the garden and even the showers. We rely on the rainwater tanks for drinking.

There has been a lot of talk of snakes around town so we are being extra mindful walking down to the river making sure we make lots of noise. I don’t mind the pythons but I’d rather not come across a brown or black while I’m out walking the dog.

School holidays are halfway through and we’ve had a jam packed week with a trip to Dreamworld, visits with relatives and playing with friends. One of my dearest friends gifted us season passes to Dreamworld so we spent 2 nights on the Gold Coast visiting Dreamworld and White Water World. We always have a lot of fun riding the roller coasters and water slides. I think our favourites are the water slides, though the weather was a bit cooler than it has been in Tabulam so we only spent ½ a day there. The girls are real daredevils and went on loads of crazy big rides that go upside down and round and round. Lucy is keen to go on everything straight away but Alice needs to warm up a bit before she goes on the really scary ones. We even managed to get Linden on a roller coaster that went upside down!

After Dreamworld we drove to Brisbane for a visit with some of my most favourite people in the whole world. The Brisbane Ryans. My Aunt Sheila and Uncle John (JJ) have been so very special to me my whole life. My dad died when I was 18 and every time I see JJ, I see my Dad as he would have been if he had grown old. JJ is getting older, slower and frailer but my goodness, his sense of humour hasn’t diminished. He makes me laugh and I love him like no-one else. I also love seeing how much respect he gets from the younger generation. I have witnessed it on many occasions in the past at family reunions but watching my girls sitting with him in the sunroom telling him all about their lives and being so interactive with him was just beautiful. It was an image I will keep forever.

Aunty Sheila is still the fiery, beautiful woman I have always loved. She tells it how it is and doesn’t sugar coat anything. God how I love them both. My cousin Cate was there too and it was awesome to see her and her son Dominic. We always have so much to talk about and catch up, I wish we could see them more often.

After we had our Gold Coast trip, we’ve had a few quiet days at home to get the house in order before my Mum comes to visit for a week. The girls had a couple of friends come over for a play and we all went to the river for a swim. The girls played a game called ‘stick stick’ where they choose a small stick that will float on the water, then stand around in a circle and splash until the stick can’t be seen. Then they have to look for the stick when the water settles and one of them grabs the stick, then the others have to chase that person. When they have been caught the game will all start over again. It was so good to see the girls playing such a simple game and having a ball. Here’s a video of some of the local children playing ‘stick stick’. Stick Stick Video

Now we are waiting to collect Mum from the train station tonight for the second half of the school holidays and Lucy’s birthday celebrations to begin.

Until next time xx

A visit from home

A visit from home is just what the Dr ordered to recharge my batteries. My sister Michelle had some days off work so decided to have a road trip to visit us. It was so good to have hugs and stories from home. We had a very busy weekend planned. With approval going through, we were able to collect our car. It is so awesome and will be perfect for driving around the country. We have so many adventures planned from little picnics down by the river to big camping holidays. I was a bit nervous at first driving a car so much bigger than anything I’ve driven before but it is perfect!

After we collected the car, did the weekly groceries and washed clothes at the laundromat (yes, our washing machine broke so I’m at the laundromat every Saturday until it gets fixed), we drove over to Bonalbo to watch some of the ‘Working Dog Trial’ competition. We even stopped off for a photo with the famous Working Dog Statue that was installed recently. Lucy felt right at home in her new cowgirl hat that we bought for her. She’s really embracing the ‘country’ lifestyle and wants all things cowgirl now. My sister even bought her an early birthday present of a gorgeous Schleich cowgirl and horse statue so she’s now obsessing over the catalogue and picking out more figurines to put on her Christmas list. We might have trouble moving her back to the Coast after our 3 years has expired.

On the other hand, I think Alice will happily move back to the Central Coast after her encounter with a snake on Monday. We took Michelle to the river and decided to go for a walk along the rocks near the rapids. Alice and Minnie went on ahead and I heard a blood-curdling scream and then she ran as fast as she could over the rocks, falling hard on her knee. I knew something was not right, I’ve never seen her so scared. Turns out she came across a snake sunning itself. It took us a long time to calm her down and she was still thinking about it hours afterwards. I actually think she scared the snake as much as it scared her. I’m still unsure of what type it was but it’s a reminder for us to be vigilant now the weather is warming up.

We also went for a drive on Sunday to the Channon Craft Market and wandered around the stalls buying Christmas gifts and enjoying the day. It’s a lovely, bright market with lots to see. Afterwards, we drove to Nimbin for a cuppa but had to be pretty selective of which coffee shop to sit down at with the amount of ‘activity’ going on. It’s an interesting place to people watch but not really our scene.

I let the girls have Monday off school so we could spend as much time as possible with Aunty Shelly. The girls decided to get out their gymnastic mat which they haven’t used in a long time and it was lovely to see them doing their tricks and practising again. Lucy even got her back walkover without support which she’s not had the confidence to do before. The smile on her face was awesome!

Michelle has gone home, and life is back to routine again. I’m working an average of 4 days a week at the moment but school holidays will be here again very soon. We’ve got another busy two weeks of holidays planned with my mum visiting for a week. My dearest friend also gifted us tickets to Dreamworld so we’re going to take advantage of them and stay two nights on the Gold Coast. Bring on the holidays!

Until next time xx

There is something good in every day

Lately, I’ve had so much negativity in my brain and body and I know it’s not good for my mental and physical health. I can see it affecting the whole family and I hate hearing the way we are all speaking to each other. I find it difficult to talk to anyone about my feelings and ask for help so I need to stop and pause before it gets too ugly.

My favourite saying is ‘Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day”. I need to keep reminding myself this and find that little something good in every day. I’m hoping that all the negative thoughts and energy will pass and positive thoughts and energy will start to creep back into my life. For the sake of the happiness of our family, I need to make some changes.

I am going to attempt to be positive and upbeat on my Facebook, Instagram and Blog from now on. I won’t dwell on the things that are hurting or upsetting me. I’m going to share all the good things, no matter how small and insignificant – a flower, a calf, sunshine. Just that little something small that has made me smile on that particular day. The more positives I have, the more will follow. At least that’s what the experts say don’t they?

Yesterday I picked up my big camera with a macro lens attached and took Minnie for a walk down to the river. She’s so photogenic (when she sits still) and we had a lovely hour just wandering around and exploring. She’s getting more settled now and is a happy, crazy dog. She even listens occasionally now and will sometimes come back when I call her. She knows how to sit but will only do it when she wants to. She didn’t even chase the cows the other day which is a huge improvement. I think one scared her when it turned around and snorted at her a while back. The back paddock is getting really dry as you can see in the photos. We are in desperate need of some rain. Some of the houses around town have run out of water and have had to buy water. We are lucky we haven’t had to do that yet.

I promise myself happy thoughts and kind words from now on. Things will improve and I will be a better person for it.

Today’s ‘something good’ – Roast lamb in the oven for dinner!

Winter Harvest

We have made it to 10 months and can’t believe how fast our time up here is going. I think it seems to be going faster now that I’m working – it’s already halfway through Term 3. The girls have had a great Term so far and have both represented the school in the District and Zone Athletics Carnivals. They did so well at District, with Alice being named Junior Girls Champion. She then went onto Zone for 100m, 200m, relay and high jump. Lucy won ribbons at District and represented the school in the Zone relay. They didn’t place there but they had a great day with their Dad.

Alice was so excited one day last week and came running up to me to let me know that her class got to see a baby lamb being born. What an awesome experience for them.

Lucy’s Naplan results came out this week and we were so proud of her achievements. She is excelling in her schoolwork, even though she doesn’t think she is.

We’ve decided that we need to update our car to a larger, more rugged one for the conditions out here. I took a 4WD dual cab ute for a test drive today and the girls loved it, they wanted me to buy it immediately. We’re dreaming of all the camping holidays we can have in it and Fraser Island and Hervey Bay are high on the long list of adventures we’d like to do. Now to work out how we can afford it!

Blueberry season has started and the backpackers are in town and so are the cheap blueberries! We can buy them across the street at the Co-op by the kilo or if we are lucky, we get given free bags of them. Hopefully, if the season goes well, we’ll have fresh blueberries up until Christmas.

My sister is coming to visit for a weekend next month and we’re really looking forward to seeing someone from home again. I’ve already got the weekend planned with a Working Dog Trial competition and the Channon Craft Market. Then Mum will visit for a week during the October school holidays. I’m not too sure what we’ll do when she gets here but I’ll start looking into day trips so she doesn’t get too bored.

We’ve had a few frosts this Winter and Linden’s poor garden hasn’t coped very well. We are hoping things bounce back with the warmer weather but at the moment the front garden has frost burn and everything is brown. Thankfully we have a little vege patch that is protected and we’ve managed to grow some fennel, broccolini, snow peas and pumpkin. The rhubarb and strawberries are growing well but haven’t yet produced fruit.

This has been our first Winter here and I must admit it hasn’t been as bad as I was expecting. We’ve certainly had a few very cold mornings and evenings but not too many and the days have been beautiful and warm with only the odd cold, windy day.

I haven’t been out taking many photos these past few weeks. I’ve been so busy with work and the weekends are taken up with grocery shopping and cooking and cleaning. Hopefully, I’ll get back into it and would even love to make a video of the area one of these days. The paddocks are looking a little brown at the moment so might wait until it greens up again. It’s been a long time since we’ve had any rain.

Pity Party for One

Feeling a little homesick, run down and friendless. Trying hard to stop the negative thoughts take over and consume me. There are so many things to be grateful for and losing a few friends along the way is just part of life. I should be used to it by now. Quality over Quantity right?

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