Saturday, 4 December 2010

Our friend Savage

This is our mate Savage who spent a lot of her life being cuddled by grandchildren. Savage would have been 9 years old this December 2010. Unfortunately she picked up a rat bait in July this year and we couldn't save her. What a faithful, quiet, good natured dog she was. All the children loved her and she loved them. She was always beside Jim's leg as he worked around the farm and just loved a pat or a rub. Our farm manager, David just loved Savage and spoilt her, giving her toast for breakfast. So naturally the feelings were mutual. Savage liked nothing better than a run on the beach, although it was never quite the same after Bandit died. Savage liked to chase Bandit and bite her on the leg, running away quickly through the waves leaving Bandit to try and catch her. Of course at 17 years of age Bandit wasn't that good. I know how she felt!!! Goodbye Savage, we will all miss you terribly.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Maureen - A lifetime friend...

Maureen – 60 something today
A lifetime friendship poem

Now this story starts a long time ago
When Caloola Rd was just gravel
Two small lives clashed, who was to know
Of a friendship about to unravel

Maureen became a sister to me
A refuge away from two brothers
Her house was full of girls you see
And Mrs. Mac was just like my mother

Maureen’s house was busy with a family of eight
And a business was run in that place
Catering for functions they all chipped in
No one escaped from the pace

Westmead was the school chosen for Maude
To see her through early primary years
Then Parra High was the next step toward
A life based on a helping career

School was there to challenge the brain
But sometimes it was just to have fun
Like stockings off to walk in the rain
Or boys chasing girls on the run

Teenage years soon came around
Speedways figured then
The roar of engines and dusty ground
Screeching tyres and adventurous young men

A marriage for Maureen and lots in between
Saw her running a shop
Long hours, long days that Deli did glean
To help them reach up for the top

Not an easy life has this friend of mine had
Children of her own were denied
More losses than most would see her so sad
Silent tears, with her, we cried.

Maureen found herself on her own
And threw herself into her job
Study and work were her life now
Till David stood out from the mob

We lost contact for quite a few years
Whilst family I would put first
But never have we forgotten our past
For our friendship we both had a thirst

A move to the coast to soak up the sun
Took Maureen and David away
By that time Jim and I had a plan
To one day join them in play

The Head Injury Unit was glad to have Maude
With her very organized brain
To sort out their days and put in extra hours
She worked like a runaway train

Encyclopedia is Maureen’s second name
Psycho for short Jim does claim
A wealth of knowledge squeezed in that head
Along with loyalty - a claim to her fame

Generosity and love to nieces, nephews alike
Maureen is always on hand,
Now two little girls have crept into her heart
To enrich their life so grand.

55 years we have now been friends
We have had our share of laughs
We have also cried over lots of things
Together as our life has shot past

Retired now and too busy to work
Adventure Girls beckon each week
To put fear behind her and body on the line
This girl will not be called weak

My friend, happy birthday, you are still older than me
I used to think that unfair
I always wanted to be the big one
Only in weight did I fare

I hope we can continue share
The friendship we have grown
And be there for each other in our twilight years
Oh how our life has flown

Now raise a glass, have a drink for Maude
Wine spritzer is her choice
Friends all around, what more could we want
Happy birthday, we chant with one voice.

Happy Birthday dear friend. 2010

Faye's 60th Birthday

I have written the following poem for a dear friend, whom I have grown to love very much since we moved next door to her and hubby Ray, some seven and a half years ago…

Our Faye turns 60 2nd October 2010

One day we said - let’s move to the coast
So Valla was chosen to make the most
Of aging bones and slower speed
With green rolling hills and lots of trees

Now we never have had a neighbor live close
And found we were stuck with some, 20 meters at most
They jumped over the fence and made themselves known
Faye and Ray were their names, and upon us would grow

From beers in the garden and wine on the deck
No matter what time of day, oh, what the heck
No standing on ceremony, no special fancy airs
Just friendship shared and mates who care

Faye is a special one, no one could doubt
Her commitment to family and friends stand out
But where she shines like a light so bright
Is her talent with sewing and craft all alike

Faye’s patchwork and quilts are a sight to behold
Her needlework stories on postcards are told
All around the world those pieces would drift
What a special treat to receive her unique gift

Creative people like Faye I'm in awe
When those skills were given, I was behind the door
She has tried to teach me and patience she’s shown
But mostly over the head this has flown

Boring women have immaculate homes
Is a saying I love to repeat
Faye is not boring that’s for sure
Sewing much more fun than a house that’s neat

I will never forget our girls’ week away
Faye, Betty, Maureen and I,
Four friends on the run in the Port Douglas sun
Cocktails for breakfast to try

Now Sis, you are special to both Jim and I
And the road ahead will sometimes be high
Just remember if you need a feed or a cry
We'll be here to catch you without asking why

On that note we will raise our glass
To a lovely lady, just full of class
I’ll have a wine, Jim a beer
And we’ll thank God he brought us here

Happy 60th Birthday dear friend...

Thursday, 15 July 2010

July 2010 at the Nuthouse

It has been about a year since posting a blog, so thought we should get up to date. A pretty busy year with Jim having major surgery on his back, the farm going on the market, youngest son moving to Tasmania to do a Phd in Marine Ecology and we lost our beloved dog Savage. Some of our news good, some bad. But that is life, take the good with the bad. Savage got hold of some rat bait a couple of months ago and died before her time. We rushed her to the vet who tried very hard to save her. We miss her terribly and for the first time in our life we don't have a dog!!! When we were both single we both had dogs and once married had dogs for the last 45 years. It was a succession of mixed breeds and names - Spot, Scamp, Panda, Toby (several tobies) Cobber, Rex, Smokey, Bandit, Savage, Cleo, Marsha, Rosie and the list goes on.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Craig is 40

No, this must be an error
Our handsome young man cannot be
Are we really that old, shock and terror
It seems just like yesterday he was but three.
Craig was one of those cute little boys
A sensitive lad who looked after his toys
He still had some mischief to share with his brothers
And as he grew up he included some others.

At age 10 an affair had already started
With a Kawasaki 80 he roared into life
He and that bike were not often parted
Only when speed won did it cause him some strife.
Smokey and Cleo were two special friends,
Furry and cuddly and loyal to the end,
He would smuggle them in to his bedroom at night
And think he was clever whilst tucking them tight.

These were replaced with cars and with mates,
Off to Uni to open life’s gates
Craig would succeed in whatever he chose,
He was not one to go with the flows.
Before he was to venture into that world,
Of study and parties and shocks to be unfurled,
We had our shares of hurts and joys
Of hospital visits and jobs for the boys.

Not one to stand back from work on the farm
Top speed on the Kwacka was no reason for alarm
Everything done to test out the limits
Has stood him in good stead for a future in business.
One of three boys Craig fought for his place,
In the middle of older and younger, his space,
His caring soft nature and those brown eyes so large
Made discipline harder when facing a charge

Craig shared his love openly and gave of his heart
To his Nan, Pa, and Alice who have since to depart
Sharing care and fun was a special treat had
Never forgotten by this selfless young lad.
Craig’s mates he has many, such a social young man
Brendon, Tim, Bradley and Dan come to hand,
All over the world he was to become known
For his friendship and loyalty shared all around.

Now later in life Rebekah appeared
At uni they met and life changed a gear,
Travel was next and then marriage arranged
Before we knew it overseas was the game.
Three beautiful children came into Craig’s life,
A father himself now he will sort out their strife,
How quickly years go, he was only just three,
Now head of a family, just how old are we?

Craig, you are one of a kind
No prouder parents you would find,
Please remember your humble roots,
And don’t ever get too big for your boots.
We loved you as a baby so cuddly and cute
We loved you as a boy even learning the flute,
Our love continued strong into the teens,
Non negotiable love, you know what that means.

So, if you are bathing the kids or cleaning the car
Sealing a deal, or paying the swear jar,
Talking in millions or mowing the lawn,
We love you heaps Craig, our second son born.

Happy 40th birthday Son with all our love

d.o.b. 14.2.69

Monday, 8 September 2008


A Tribute to Bandit

When we picked up Bandit for the first time 17 years ago, she was a little ball of blue fluff with black eyes. She looked just like a bandit with that little mask on. Straight away she decided she liked us and we liked her. We bundled her up and took her home to Homelea, our property in Parkes where she was to live for the next 11 years before moving with us to Valla. Bandit became a part of our life, never leaving Jim's side as he moved around the farm. Whether it was on the tractor on the seat beside him or next to his left ankle whilst tending the pigs, cattle or sheep she was happy. Bandit loved to help bring the cattle in, nipping at their heels and dodging flying hooves. Sometimes the horses were a bit quick for her when she tried it on them, so she learned to stay clear very early in the piece. All the kids loved Bandit, and she taught many neighbour's kids to love dogs. Our grandchildren have all grown up with Bandit, she has always been there with Grandma and Grandpa. After 5 and a half years in Valla, Bandit grew very tired and decided to go to sleep. Her sleep has taken her to Doggy Heaven I am sure, because if ever a dog deserved to be in Doggy Heaven, it was Bandit. To our ever faithful, loving friend, we wish you a speedy trip to a place filled with food and love and lots of rubs and pats. We will miss you dearly and so will Savage, your little mate of 7 years. Goodbye Bandit


Nut harvesting at Valla in September 2007

On goes the cotton singlet, hat and rid, I grab the water bottle and buckets and load them into the little trailer on my quad bike.
Jim has run around on the harvester and my job is to pick up the rest of the nuts left behind around the base of the tree and in the grass. The day is hot and steamy in Valla and I was thinking how nice it would be to sit by the pool and read a book. The pool even winks at me as I walk past.

The trees are still heavy with nut and starting to flower already for next season. Some farms are finished, but ours is still productive. I strap on the knee guards and crawl around under the trees on the hard ground. I have learned to use cotton gloves to save the hands a bit and scoop up the nuts, hoping not to also scoop up rat droppings or the odd spider. The webs are glistening in the sun and trap you as you walk from tree to tree, sometimes slipping on the grass on the steep rows. I try not to think of what some other 58 year old women would be doing, maybe having their nails done or hair dyed, as I toss the chocolate brown shiny balls into the buckets. Of course it is a beautiful day and I forget about the stiff neck and back and the odd nut hitting me on the head as it falls and rolls down the hill laughing at me. My clothes are now sticking to me and the buckets are full, so time to unload at the shed. My socks are full of little prickly things and the two dogs are sitting by the bike crunching on nuts watching me remove the objects from my socks. Is that a smile on your face Bandit?

Jim climbs down off the tractor and takes a few minutes to straighten up and walks gingerly towards the house, arms scratched by the overhanging limbs and swearing to lop the trees 8 ft off the ground for next season.

Is this really retirement?? One has to question the sanity of the two of us and also ask how long the body takes this type of punishment.

Then we have a long hot bath and sit on our verandah overlooking the green rolling hills with a drink in hand and decide that at that moment, it is worth all the effort. We may even make some money next year!!!