Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bag It

In the downhill run of harvest we strip some feed grain and some pulses to store and sell later in the year. One of the things that has been last to strip is the Triticale, it's a feed grain and we either sell it or use it to feed our own sheep. We have almost run out of silo storage so we have opted to 'Bag It', store it in a 'Silo Bag'.

Effectively a Silo Bag looks like a great big white sausage, it's long and smooth and it fills from a Silo Bag Machine of course!

Because the Triticale is stripped in a different paddock to where we have set up the silo bag the trucks first need to unload into the Chaser Bin, before the Chaser Bin can run alongside the Silo Bag. We Use our Chaser Bin to fill it and the pressure moves the machine along as it fills, until you either run out of grain or the bag is full.

Short term they are are a really effective storage method, long term we spend time keeping the birds away so they don't peck through the bag, chasing the mice and rats away that also like to chew through the bag for a feed and trying to avoid the snakes that come along for a feed on the fat rats and mice! Yes, long-term it has it's down falls, but short term they are very handy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Snippet Here and There

I know I have joked before about being a Harvest Widow, about solo-parenting over the big harvest season. Five and a half weeks on and we're still not quite finished, just under 500acres of Lupins to go and they're not liking the heat!
We gets snippets of time with Muddy Hubby here and there, a quick lie down next to him while he drops in for a sleep for an hour, a quick trip in the truck as Muddy Hubby pulled onto our road just as the bus pulled up after school, a brief chat while he loads or unloads the truck or we help shift gear.
Then on Sunday we had a few uninterrupted hours with Muddy Hubby, we made the most of it, heading into the local pool and playing in the park, getting takeaway Chinese and eating as a family for the first time in weeks. It was lovely, quality time to soak up Muddy Hubby before he headed out to slip in some sheep work.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

The thing about sheep....

There's this thing I have about sheep, sometimes I love them and sometimes they drive me insane, especially when I waste over an hour chasing them round and round a paddock. Today was one of those days, a simple task shifting sheep from one paddock to another to ensure they have feed to eat turned into a frustrating, hair pulling task. The neighbour's lambs had got into our paddock a few weeks ago and he was supposed to come and shift them out, unfortunately he hadn't done it, which left me chasing cheeky rogue lambs round and round trying to get them in the yards. I'd get them altogether and they turn off and split into different groups and all head in different directions. So we'd start again and almost get them there and they'd take off again. I managed to exhaust a few of them and when they lay down I picked them up and put them on the back of the ute.
The others however remained elusive and we will need to go back with reinforcements to get them all in and sorted out with the neighbour. One little fellow though decided he was more human than lamb, and when I cornered him against the fence and jumped out of the ute to catch him, he circled round the ute and jumped in the open driver's door. The Muddy Girls were in hysterics, they didn't know whether to laugh or scream. I laughed and took a photo, because otherwise I think I would have cried and nobody would have believed me! I pulled him out and popped him on the back of the ute with strict instructions for him not to jump off and the Muddy Girls were beside themselves with excitement to tell everyone the story of the lamb that jumped in the ute, not to be forgotten any time soon.
Muddy Pixie is starting to open and shut gates and takes it very seriously.

Cheeky Rogue Lamb wanting a driving lesson.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Today the three youngest Muddy Kids and I headed out to one of the Muddy Pixie's Bestie's Birthday Party. It was a Princess themed party, complete with tiaras for all the little princesses, a treasure hunt, mini jumping castle, wand decorating and of course a Dolly Vardan Princess Cake. It was a delightful morning and making sure he didn't miss out Muddy Bubby grabbed his own tiara and wore it in style as he cruised around in the toy car.
I delight in mornings like these, watching my Muddy Kids play with their friends or watching Muddy Bubby off exploring on his own, discovering whatever boys toys he can find, even the smallest finds excite and entertain him. I also get to spend some time with my friends, catching up and watching their little ones grow and change before my eyes.
Happy Birthday to a Gorgeous Four Year Old Princess. Thanks for sharing your birthday with us.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Harvest Widow

It's that time of year again when Muddy Hubby heads off in his Road Train to strip our crop up North and I fly solo in the parenting department until he returns. It's not easy, we just take it each day at a time. Some days are easier than others, and some days just suck and I count the minutes until Muddy Hubby is at least returning close to home to strip the crop, and we get intermittent time with him when he comes home to shower, eat and nap.
It's still one of my favourite times of year despite the solo parenting caper, I think it's the machinery. The size, the noise, the power, I just love watching it all work together, this is what we work toward and wait for each year, and it only lasts a matter of weeks and it's over. We have done bits and pieces of our crop at home and now we work on the couple of thousand acres up north to try and get it done before more rain.
Every year I say the same thing though, I absolutely take my hat off to single parents and parents that solo parent for long periods of time while their hubbies are away with work. Me, I know he will return and I just run a tight ship with routine and discipline to make sure we make it through relatively unscathed, but for those that do it on a permanent or semi-permanent basis I remain in awe. They are made of stronger stuff than me I think. I am pleased that I am a Harvest Widow only once a year.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Day the Bus got Bogged

Last week our shire council decided that they would 'fix' the curb of the road where my Muddy Kids get on the bus for school and preschool. Long story short they fixed the curb but wrecked the rest of the bus stop where the bus pulls off the highway. It's been a dust bowl and each morning I have watched the tyres start to spin before they grab hold and the bus pulls away. Wednesday night we had 8mm of rain, bot a lot, just enough to wet things lightly. I checked with Muddy Hubby before we left 'Will the bus be right' 'sure no problem, the rain would have done it good, helped seal it, give it traction'. Famous last words.
The Bus got bogged, it reversed to try and get out, it got more bogged. I have never been so Grateful for rain during Harvest, as it meant Muddy Hubby was working at home around the shed and could come and pull the bus out. Yes if it hadn't rained it probably wouldn't have got bogged, but it did, so I am Grateful for my Muddy Hubby and his chains that pulled the bus full of kids out of the bog.
I am also in some respects Grateful the bus got bogged as it might actually mean the council might do something to fix it up a little bit and stop it getting bogged again!
Yes it means that at the moment I have to drive my Muddy Kids an extra 10km to the next bus stop, but today they had fun doing it and looking at the gorgeous fog that was around.

From Sunny Monday Morning

To the Bogged Bus on Thursday morning


Linking up with Maxabella at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful. Make sure you check it out.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Grateful for a Harvest

Things in our neck of the woods have been pretty busy and are only getting busier. So this is a very brief post to express my gratitude at this wonderful time of the year.
I am extremely Grateful that we are at the moment actually getting a good harvest, free of rain and floods, free of water damaged crop.
I am Grateful for the joy and excitement it brings to my kids when they see the Header or hop on for a ride.
I am Grateful to be a part of something so exciting each year.
I am Grateful that (touch wood) we haven't had any major breakdowns so far.....
It's the simple things at this time of year that can bring such happiness.

Linking up with Maxabella over at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful. Please take the time to check out some fabulous Grateful Posts.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Volunteer Thing

When my Muddy Organiser started Preschool I was so excited, I put my hand up whenever I could to help, including joining the committee. I have really enjoyed being a part of the Committee, helping to shape the direction the preschool is heading and helping to nurture our young and enthusiastic new Director. I have continued to put my hand up as my Muddy Pixie started this year and will keep it going through the Muddy Puzzler and Muddy Bubby. I can't help it, I am a 'Helper' by nature, when someone needs a hand I am keen to say Yes.

Then when my My Muddy Organiser started school this year I was equally excited and again put my hand up to help, Canteen Duty, Grandparents Day, Liturgy Morning Teas, Special Kinder Lunches, if work and the other 3 Muddy Kids allowed I was happy to help.

What has become obvious though, as the years go on, is that despite there being over 50 families at preschool and 125 families at the school, it is generally the same people volunteering. The same families lending a hand at working bees, or special events. The same Mums baking and working on stalls. I am constantly amazed by this.

Maybe it's my Helper gene that can't understand why people don't want to help as much as I do. I can empathise with busy families or single parent families, but I have also seen single parents and extra busy families not hestitate to put their hand up too. So why is it that it's the same people always helping?

Is it that they possess the helper gene too? Do others not even realise the amount of work it takes to run events or keep the school canteen going? Is it just me or is it the same everywhere? Is it a core group of families that continue to volunteer in your schools and preschools too? Am I being too harsh, should it just remain those core of volunteers and too many helpers would mean 'too many cooks in the kitchen'? Or is it just one of those things to which there is no answer and I will be forever wondering?