Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Spring Weekend

This morning Molly-Kate and I were up bright and early. We had to walk our lovely welsh pony "Tammee" home to Gundagai stud so she can have her foal in November.
We have had Tammee for two months so that Molly-Kate could learn to take care of and ride a pony. She has done an amazing job and tonight she feels very sad. We plan to visit Tammee as often as we can. 

You know that the days are slowly getting lighter when you can sneak out to the garden after tea and fit in another hour pulling weeds! I love this time of the year. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Childs Play!

Out to play in blizzard conditions.
A bitter wind blasting snow and hail sideways against the house. This was not the enchanting snowfall that we experienced four weeks ago. It wasn't something you should be out in.... surely?
Lambs and their mothers shelter in the barn.

Can you see them?

Ben (left), Molly-Kate (centre) and Luke (right), can't resist climbing the tree in the snow. 
  Well, children (and some adults who shall remain nameless) just need to be outdoors, whatever the weather. The snow stings your face as you walk into it. Your fingers freeze and your feet feel numb as they crunch into the newly fallen white powder. Have you ever climbed a tree in a snow storm? 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Life and Death on 3 acres.

The recent snowfall just prior to lambing. Lucy (foreground) with (from left to right) Everest (the ram), Lucky, Cheeky and Jane. Craig and James inspect the water trough in the background.

Following the torch light as my feet crunched across the already frozen ground, I hoped our heavily pregnant ewe named Lucky, had delivered her healthy lambs. Alas, she'd got herself cast as the first lamb had been born. The little wet creature was still warm but very much dead; her mother, unable to get up and clean her and break the birth sac from around her face. I quickly turned Lucky over and steadied her as she got to her feet. We both let out heavy sighs, hers from exhaustion, mine from disappointment. Quickly back to the house to tell Craig, and put on a woolly hat, extra jersey and a heavy coat. I had a feeling this wasn't over. So here I am, crouched in the gorse, in the paddock, it's below zero and nearly midnight. The cat comes to keep me company and is quickly shooed away by another mother with week old lambs. She moves between Lucky, her dead lamb and the cat - instinct to protect another? Lucky has begun to clean her first lamb. She's making quiet mothering sounds. Contractions begin again. A glimpse of little hooves appear. This lamb is born with almost no effort. I move in quietly to clear around his mouth. He's a fantastic size, with black legs and face. He is warm, wet and absolutely lifeless. Most probably drowned. Lucky and I try quite a few things in an effort to revive him. She cleans him and I rub vigorously. I even consider mouth-to-mouth! Realising the futility I place the lambs together and leave Lucky to her babies. She will stay with them until I take them away in the morning light.  If only I'd gone out with my torch an hour earlier.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A season of sport and drama

James scoring an awesome try.
Molly-Kate on Tammee
MK shooting.
Card N0 7

Tweedle Dee Hip Hop style
Our family seems to love being out amongst it all! Whatever it is, we get into it boots and all. This winter has seen Lizzie performing in Alice! An Adventure in Wonderland. She was cast as a card and a specialty singer and grooved some awesome moves with her hip hop pals. Molly-Kate finds herself in a netball semi-final tomorrow and has also found a pony to ride (uh oh that could prove dangerous). James has had an amazing season scoring tries and learning how to tackle. Meanwhile, Craig has begun the journey toward another half marathon in January and is swimming 2km regularly in the pool. Me? I'm just tootling along.... (although I managed an A+ in my last assignment), (must not show off), (aren't I clever).
This is our busy, active and sometimes utter chaotic and occasionally disorganised family. I'm loving it all!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The balance of the bike.

I had the pleasure of getting back out on my bike over the school term break. It has been three months since my last ride (sounds like an AA confession!). It was a cold sunny winter morning, requiring several layers of clothing and thick wool farm socks, just to keep the frost bite from my toes. I headed off to Whiterock, North Loburn about a 36km out and back trip. The ride makes for a good wee workout on the way up and a fantastic fast ride home. And the reason for blogging about it.....? Biking gives me balance! Fresh air. Time on my own. Outside. Active. A backdrop of beautiful mountains covered in snow. A few early lambs. My thoughts tumbling over and out of my head. Conversations with myself (sounds a little mad) about all manner of things. A chance to reflect. I ride for mental space, to enjoy the way my body works, to catch up with my thoughts and myself. It brings balance to my life.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I used to find it stressful to bake with my kids! I guess it was just something to do with tight time schedules and not being a confident baker myself. Well my kids are actually good at it! I guess I've learnt to relax a little too. Here is James making a delicious chocolate caramel slice.

Monday, August 3, 2009

School Holidays July '09

A baby seal took a liking to James and I managed to get this shot.