Sunday, June 30, 2013



A portrait of each of my kids, once a week, every week for 2013

Muddy Organiser - Hiding amongst the washing
Muddy Pixie - Waiting til it's raining the heaviest before dashing out into the rain
Muddy Puzzler - Obviously on an important call
Muddy Boy - Overseeing things in the yards

Linking up over at Che and Fidel with Jodi for 52 - A Portrait a Week

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Locking the Gate

A few weeks ago Muddy Hubby and I went to an information session organised by local members of our community who are concerned about the fact that Coal Seam Gas Mining is coming to our shire. I knew a little bit about it, I'd seen a story on ABC's Four Corners and done some reading of emails coming through. The night was informative, it was worrying, it was thought provoking. The evening did not try to brainwash us, in fact the organisers encouraged attendees to go away and do their own reading to further gain an understanding of Coal Seam Gas Mining and the impact it can have on our water, our land, our health and our future and make their own decisions about whether it's something we want to allow into our community and onto our land.

The more I read, the more concerned I get. We now have a No Coal Seam Gas group formed in the shire and people are coming together as a community to say to No Coal Seam Gas Mining. Muddy Hubby and I have decided that for us we would like to Lock Our Gate to Coal Seam Gas Mining, however there is nothing to stop the Gas Companies approaching our neighbours and if they say yes, you can come and put down a well on our place, the gas companies then have capacity to firstly drill down and then across to under our land. This is why it's so important that our community unites on this, so that as a whole we can Lock Our Gate and keep the water and land safe for future generations.

One of the worrying things is that science has not yet caught up to the mining companies, we don't largely know what the long term effects are. The CSIRO has information on their website about the basics, but the long-term impact has not yet been able to be studied, yet despite this the government allows the Gas Companies to continue, even with indications being that the long-term impacts are negative. One of the best sources of information is the ABC, here, they even have a map that shows you where there are coal seam gas mines, exploration licences and pilot wells for possible future sites, it was a definite eye-opener for me.

I am however only one person, with my opinion, but if you're like me and there is the possibility of them coming onto your land or into your area, make sure you do some reading and be informed.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Muddy Hubby has a tradition, it was instilled in him as a kid by his Mum. When it rains, it's time for scones. It's all good in theory but on days where I work or things are busy it doesn't always happen. It seems however that my Muddy Kids have inherited his love of scones and this weekend they were relentless in their request for them, eventually I set aside some time and we whipped up a big batch, so there was enough for lunchboxes as well.
I used to be scared of making them, but a few handy tips mean I will now give them a go without fear. I am not brave enough to enter them in the local show but they definitely fill the belly.
2.5 cups Self-Raising Flour
1 Tbsp Caster Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
30g Butter
3/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup Water (approx)
Heat the oven to about 220 degrees Celsius.
Mix the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl and then rub the butter in with your fingertips.
Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the milk and almost all of the water. Mix the water and milk through the mixture until you have a sticky, soft dough. If you think it needs it add the extra water, otherwise don't worry about it.
Knead the dough with your hands on a floured surface until it's smooth - the trick is to not knead it too much, because that will stop it from rising a lot.
Press the dough out to about 2cm thickness and cut out your scones and put them in a deep pan on baking paper, just touching. Putting them in a deep pan also helps them to rise well.
Brush them with milk and put them in the oven for about 15 mins, or until they're browned. They should sound hollow when you tap on them.
Spread with jam and cream and enjoy!
This recipe has been adapted slightly from 'The Country Table' which is my favourite cookbook at the moment.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


A portrait of each of my children every week for 2013

Muddy Organiser - Loving playing in the wheat as we shift paddocks
Muddy Pixie - On the move
Muddy Puzzler - Walking on the railway....
Muddy Boy - Content in Tonka Land

Linking up over at Che and Fidel for 52 - A Portrait a Week

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Sharing Thing

We are on struggle street lately when it comes to sharing. Especially the Muddy Puzzler and the Muddy Baby Boy, they flat out do not like to share. It could be a drink cup, a bunch of grapes, a shovel in the garden, an elastic, anything, if one has it the other wants it, and they will do anything to either hold onto it or try and get it off the other.  No amount of negotiations will help, no amount of bribery or coercion, it's just flat out no sharing.
It has worn pretty thin, the tantrums, the tears, the fights, that is one thing they are both happy to do together, cry. I can tolerate the odd tantrum but when the two of them are home together it goes for most of the day. We are managing at the moment by being outside as much as possible and sending them to opposite corners of the garden, but as Jack Frost has also started visiting the time outside is getting shorter so I am in search of new strategies to stop the carry-on.
Baking works as long as they both have identical utensils, books work provided they are both allowed to sit on a knee, and that is where I have run out of ideas.......If you have any tips to help them learn to share or keep them separated I am willing to give them a go!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Like Father Like Son

Following in Dad's footsteps, striding across the paddock to check weeds - and loving every minute.
Linking up for the first time in a long time with Trish at My Little Drummer Boys
for Wordless Wednesday.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


A Portrait of Each of My Kids, Every Week for 2013
Muddy Organiser - Determined to push the probe in
Muddy Pixie - Just happy that it's her turn
Muddy Puzzler - Standing out on her own, in fashion and the paddock
Muddy Baby Boy - Checking for weeds
Linking up over at Che and Fidel for 52 - A Portrait a Week

Thursday, June 13, 2013

When the sun shines in winter

We have been very lucky this last week or so, we have been getting a lovely combination of rain as well as sun shine. This long weekend just past saw a particularly sunny Saturday and with visitors in residence we decided to drag out the yabby traps and see if the sunshine had tempted any to the surface.

We weren't actually expecting to catch any, but we thought it would be a fun thing to do with all the kids. Lo and behold we ended up with a massive haul, more than enough to feed us all (and then some). We marinated them in garlic and butter before whacking them on the BBQ to cook. They were delicious. The kids didn't go much on them to eat but loved the fun of throwing the traps in and then pulling them in later to see what we had caught. We were pleased to see lots of babies that we were able to throw back in to keep them breeding and the kids are getting more confident at pulling the traps in and getting the yabbies to hold.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

When Friends Come to Stay

This June long weekend has been the first one that we have been home for in a few years, normally we have been heading to Sydney. This year however was different, we had friends come and stay with us, with their precious 2 year old twins, they packed up their car and headed west to us. It was pure bliss, they were such easy house guests and the Muddy Kids just loved showing the twins all of their toys and all around the farm. We took them up the paddock and checked the sheep, we got them on the bikes and the tractors and even the back of the ute.

We shared good food, good drinks and good stories. This friend and I used to live together many years ago and it was just like slipping into old times, being in the kitchen together, just chatting and reminiscing, but with the added element of husbands and children, it was delightful. Simply delightful.

I am so grateful this week for when old friends visit with their new families, it is so special to be sharing our families and hopefully our kids will be firm friends like we are for a long time to come.

Linking up at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful.


A Portrait of Each of My Kids Each Week for 2013

Muddy Organiser - Getting Too Cool for School
Muddy Pixie - Full of Cheek Lately
Muddy Puzzler - Larrikin
Muddy Boy - In the midst of a tantrum - as is the norm lately.

Linking up with Jodi at Che & Fidel for the Project 52 - A Portrait a Week

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

When it rains.....

On Sunday night I posted some  photos as part of 52 - A Portrait a Week. They were of my Muddy Kids frolicking in the puddles. For those that live in places where it rains a lot, or it rains regularly it must sometimes seem mundane to wake up to rain, another day to play in the mud and try and get to and from home, work and school without getting wet. But for us on Sunday morning when we woke up and measured 23 precious millimetres the whole house's mood lifted.

We are in one of those areas 'on the cusp of drought' as the media like to put it. We have been feeding sheep - and still are despite the rain, as grass takes a little while to grow after the rain and the sheep gnaw it off faster than it can grow. We are going into our sowing later than usual. Muddy Hubby always likes to be sowing Canola about Anzac Day, this year we haven't sown canola at all.

But when it started really raining on Saturday night and kept raining it bought a little bit of hope back into the farm. Now we just wait for the paddocks to dry out a little bit, then we spray the weeds before we start to get the tractors fired up and sowing. In the meantime though the Muddy Kids and I are enjoying the remaining puddles, weeding the garden beds while they're still moist and just literally sitting and watching the grass grow for a change.

Sunday, June 2, 2013


A Portrait of each of my kids, once a week, every week in 2013.
All of My Kids Enjoying the Novelty of Puddles!
Linking up with Jodi over at Che and Fidel for 52 - A Portrait a Week