Thursday, August 30, 2012

New addition to the family

Martin checked waters 2 days ago and came across this little fella. He had wire wrapped around his leg and in the process of trying to get, had pulled the wire even tighter. Unfortunately his mother was nowhere to be found.
After some initial perseverance, Ned has taken really well to a bottle. Luckily we had a bag of denkavit in the coldroom and some calf teats in the fridge!

Ned's offside hind leg is very sore and swollen and he's reluctant to walk on it. We have been bathing it with salty water and applying Betadine and the vet is sending us some anti-inflammatory medication and penicillin to give him.The vet suggested we also massage his leg to help get the swelling down.

Charli and BJ have got used to having Ned around and no longer bark at him....instead they like to lick his face after he's been fed!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Garden Club

I recently took on the role of garden club co-ordinator and was soon in for a shock. I hadn't realized one of my responsibilities was to organize gardens to view when other garden clubs graced us with a visit!

This last weekend saw the Longreach Garden Club visit us....and I must say I had a wonderful weekend. The most stressful part of their visit was finding gardens for them to view, but some very helpful people helped out there, and an after dinner guest speaker. A local lady recently put together a put called Gardens of the Beaten Track in Western Queensland and so I asked her to tell about the dramas of her book....I was being presumptuous in thinking that it wasn't all a smooth process!

 So on Saturday afternoon, after a lovely lunch at Daisy Cottage, we headed off to visit 3 lovely gardens, all lush, green and beautiful but oh so very different. A number of our own garden club members joined us and helped make our visitors feel welcome. Here is a snapshot of some....

As you can see, the gardens were stunning, and if any of the gardeners were nervous about having others enjoy their garden, that was soon dispelled when they saw how relaxed and friendly everyone was. It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

That evening we joined in a tour of the woolscour and a delicious campoven dinner. It's some years since Martin and I had toured the scour and Nathan never had, so it was an ideal opportunity. The evening turned cool, but we enjoyed our meal in the cookhouse, where it was cosy and warm. We had a meal of roast beef, mutton and pork with all the trimmings, damper and an array of scrumptious desserts...all the great old fashioned Aussie ones...YUMMMMMM!!

On Sunday morning I headed back in to town for the rest of their visit. We began with a visit to the retirement village. Some very keen gardeners live there and the village always looks really lovely. The chairman of the committee told the history of the village before we set of.  The ladies marveled at our wonderful facilities for the aged citizens of our community and took the opportunity to chat with the residents. Afterwards, we all enjoyed a lovely morning tea in the final garden. It was very relaxing and when it came for our visitors to leave, many new friendships had been forged. For me, it was also a wonderful opportunity to catch up with some lovely ladies I hadn't seen for a good few years.

Another garden group is visiting next month, but fortunately I don't have to plan anything for that one. Next April, yet another group is headed out way.

in the meantime...I can get back in to my own garden.......

Bright little Faces

These have been flowering in my garden...aren't they so pretty? Like little rays on sunshine aren't they.

I have had a bit of a battle to get them though...battles with a certain little bowerbird! For some reason he seemed to think I shouldn't enjoy them! The little terror would fly in, break off the bud and drop it on the ground and then fly off! Finally I had to put a net over them!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


We currently have a wonderful and her husband, staying with us for 6 weeks. Robyn and Peter have come to us through the Volunteers for Isolated Students' Education organization. Robyn is a retired teacher and she'll be teaching Nathan for 6 weeks, giving me a chance to do other things. She's an absolute godsend! She just had a week of teaching the DE papers with out any interruptions from on-air lessons....they resume next week. Nathan also had a cluster this week, so Robyn was able to meet his teacher and other staff from our wonderful school.

I have spent this last week catching on bookwork and end of financial year paperwork. No doubt there will be more I need to do, but only small things.

We are currently doing cattle work and are planning on selling weaner steers in the sale in town on Thursday. Let's hope they sell well.....


Isn't is wonderful when you look at your kids or photos of them and your heart just bursts with pride?

Children make you want to start life over.  ~Muhammad Ali

Meeting Oliver

These beautiful photos were taken by the very talented Samantha Burnett. Ollie was only 9 days old and it was hoped that he'd sleep through the photo shoot...well as you can see, he had other ideas and wasn't missing out on seeing  what was going on. 

I love this photo of he and his mummy, Kath. It speaks volumes.

A few weeks ago we went down to Brisbane to meet the newest member of our family, baby Oliver. What a gorgeous little snuggle-bunny he is! It's so easy to fall in love with this beautiful little boy. He's so bright eyed and not keen to miss out on anything that happens. 
Nathan could hardly wait to give Ollie and nurse and a big cuddle. He still tells everyone he's an uncle, but refers to Ollie as his cousin and not his nephew!


Meeting Poppy.

 Ollie has a musical mobile in his cot and as you can see he loves watching it.

 In these photos Oliver is 3 weeks old. All that hair (yep, as you can see, there's plenty of it!) makes him look older.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Meet my little grandson

Oliver Flynn Kholo Sickmann-Lloyd arrived on Tuesday at 12.37pm and weighing 8lb. Isn't he just beautiful!?

He had a bit of a rough time and spent about 18hrs in a humidicrib and a few days on a drip with antibiotics and in a special care nursery, very hard for new parents. Now  he's  progressing well and I'm sure will not look back.

 And with his Mum and Dad.

We can hardly wait to see our littlest man and Nathan is really looking forward to meeting his nephew.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Exciting News!!

Our second son Craig and his gorgeous partner Kathryn have announced their engagement. We are absolutely with the news. Kath is a very special girl and already very much a member of our family.
Craig's proposal was very romantic...we are so proud of him for going to all the effort that he did.

We love you both very much.

Meet BJ

Martin has a new border collie pup he has named BJ. He's a cute little fella and came all the way from Brisbane. Kath picked him up for me and she and Craig looked after him for a week. He's a very intelligent little bloke but is causing poor Charli a bit of grief at the moment. Charli will get used to having him around and will play with BJ when he thinks no-one is watching..

 Here's BJ with his proud new owner.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I had a lovely Mother's Day and I hope you did too. I received some very special gifts including a beautifully framed family photo and most importantly I had calls from all of my boys.

Nathan chose these lovely flowers at our local grocery store. Aren't they just beautiful?

A Crafty Weekend

During this last weekend, Martin and I did some workshops with Adriaan and Denise Vanderlugt. a very crafty and clever couple. Martin did hebel sculpting (Nathan did it with him) and I did coiled basketry using recycled materials. Not only was it fun to creating with like minded people, socializing and meeting new people was wonderful.
Martin first sculpted a ute and then he did some chain links.

 I created a little coiled pot with a lid and a little oval mat. It's not perfect or straight, but hey that's what practice is for!  The core I have used in these is old plastic bags, but you can also use strips of denim, orange and onion bags, rope...almost anything as long as it doesn't break down. I plan to make some little octopuses for a little baby's room. They are so cute and bright and colourful.

I would really love to do the hebel sculpture but the next workshop is during the week and with school it's too hard to get away, especially as we are already behind. Hopefully next time Adriaan comes I can do it.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Last Tuesday we very nearly lost Charli. We were woken by his screams at 6am. Martin went to check on him, and Charli tore through the house, his eyes wide with terror. I grabbed him, wrapped him in a blanket ( it was cold and he was trembling) and refused to let him go. I am sure he'd picked up a bait somewhere and was so sure we were about to lose him too. Through his screams, seizures, frothing at the mouth and wanting to run, I held him, tightly, refusing to let him go. I walked with him for 4 hours, occasionally stopping to check if his heart was still beating.
At about 10.30am he began panting, as a dog does when it's hot. I moved out of the sun but still kept Charli wrapped up as I couldn't bear to see that terrified look in his eyes again. Slowly, he moved his head out from under the blanket and the look was gone and he looked peaceful but a little inquisitive. After 11am I lay him in his bed with the blanket on his body to keep him warm. He lay there exhausted, watching everything, but not moving.A couple of hours later, he sat up and practically drained the bowl of water I'd placed near him.
I don't know how Charli survived but we are all so grateful that he did.'s hard to believe the horror my little dog went through. He's showing no ill-effects of what he went through.

Khloee and Killer

We recently lost 2 members of our family, Khloee (aka Miss K, Princess Khloee) and Killer (aka Kilbey) to 1080 baits. Coming home and finding them was hard for us all.

Martin really misses his mate. Killer went practically everywhere with him. I can still hear Killer's 2 barks as Martin crosses the front grid in the Nissan. I can still hear Killer whimpering as he watched Khloee and Charli  play on the front lawn...he wasn't allowed in the garden. (That didn't stop him jumping over the fence when no-one was watching.) I still go to say "Don't forget to tie Killer up" when we hang the washing at night. Killer had a heart of gold and he adored Miss K..she behaved like an absolute floozy around him.

I can still hear Miss Khloee going in and out of the dog door. I still look for her wagging tail under the blanket in the dog bed in the laundry. I still see her dancing up the hall towards us. I still feel her jumping up against my legs, letting me know she was there. I still hear her playing with Charli. She was an absolute delight and while she was the only female dog, she kept the boys in their place. Charli adored her and was always cleaning her face and her ears. From the beginning she was always a "Princess with Attitude." She bore 2 beautiful litters of pups and of those there was one little female, we called her Princess and she was just like her mum.
We may have had them for only 2 1/2 years, but Killer and Khloee will never be forgotten.

It's Show Time!

Our local show is held on the long weekend in May. This year, we hosted the Queensland State Merino Sheep Show as well and as it's also The Year of the Farmer, some sections of the show were adapted to fit better with that theme.
After storms around on the Thursday afternoon, we were blessed with glorious weather for the weekend...even the nights weren't too chilly. Out of necessity, I became head steward of the Arts and Crafts pavilion. I will admit, I thoroughly enjoy working in there and when working with judges, so much can be learned, but boy is it hard work. I spent 3 days in the pavilion prior to the show and while it took hours to classify everything, judge and then took no time at all to pull it all down. By Sunday night I was so exhausted that for the first time EVER I didn't enjoy the fireworks. 
Nathan and I did very well in the pavilion. I won the aggregate for scrapbooking and venerables, the Trophy for the Best Knitted Article, first prizes for photos and handicrafts and the Cultural Assoc Aggregate for highest points on the sections.
Nathan won the aggregate for photography in his age group, the aggregate for handicrafts in his age group, some first prizes for his artwork and the highest aggregate for boys in the pavilion. Next year he goes up to a different age group so the competition will be much stronger.
Martin and Nathan came home on the Sunday morning to get sheep for the mutton busters and was shocked and deeply saddened to find two dead dogs, Killer and Khloee. They must have picked up a 1080 bait put out the with wild dogs as we'd done an aerial bait on the previous Thursday. There were lots of tears throughout the day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Yesterday we took part in the ANZAC Day march. This has become incredibly important to me. The men and women who lost their lives in honour of their country will never be forgotten...not in Australia, New Zealand, England, or any other country in the world.

I lost my great grandfather in WW1, when he died from his wounds in a POW camp in Antwerp, Belgium. Ernest Brant left behind a beautiful young bride Florence and a daughter Violet who was almost 2 years old. Here was a little girl ( my grandmother) who would grow up never knowing her father.

Yesterday Nathan and I laid a wreath in his memory, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It may seem strange but when you research family history,  the information learned has an incredible impact.

Sir - would it help if I shed a tear
I swear it’s the first time since this time last year
My spine is a tingle - my throat is all dry
As I stand to attention for all those who died
I watch the flag dancing half way down the pole
That damn bugle player sends chills to my soul
I feel the pride and the sorrow - there’s nothing the same
As standing to attention on ANZAC Day

So Sir - on behalf of the young and the free
Will you take a message when you finally do leave
To your mates that are lying from Tobruk to the Somme
The legend of your bravery will always live on
I’ve welcomed Olympians back to our shore
I’ve cheered baggy green caps and watched Wallabies score
But when I watch you marching (Sir) in that parade
I know these are the memories that never will fade

So Sir - on behalf of the young and the free
Will you take a message when you finally do leave
It’s the least we can do (Sir) to repay the debt
We’ll always remember you - Lest We Forget
Damian (Dib) Morgan 1998

Friday, April 20, 2012

Check this out!

Like this?? I think it's pretty amazing.....

because it's not a real bearded dragon on a's cake and icing! The rock is actually a chocolate sponge...and the lizard is marzipan! One very talented lady made this!!

My nephew Billy recently turned 18 and he's always had unusual pets...first a rat by the name of Angel and now a bearded dragon by the name of Todd.

Happy 18th birthday Billy! Sorry we couldn't be at your party.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Garden Club

Yesterday I hosted Garden Club here in my garden. I had 14 ladies here and we had a lovely relaxing day and I received a lovely variety of plants and many helpful tips about the problem areas of my garden...yes we all have them! I have also taken over being the co-ordinator of Garden Club. I have found it so useful and it's great to talk with like-minded people and be able to pick their brains.

I had invited someone else to join us and her reaction was "So you're happy with your garden?" I didn't know whether to laugh or cry! I don't remember what I said/did. I was shocked that someone would say that! She walked in to a ready-made garden and doesn't know the history of my garden. I am absolutely thrilled with the way it's looking at the moment.

This is what we began with in November 2008.

Now I have this:

For more photos of my garden have a look here.

Happy Easter!

Did you have a happy Easter? We certainly did...and a very busy one too!

We were so very lucky to have quite a few family members home..all four of our boys, two of their partners, my Mum, sisters and brother and some of their family too. It was absolutely fantastic to have them all here. The kids had a wonderful time together and Nathan, Megan and Ben received way too many Easter eggs....they wouldn't think so though! Wendy even organized an Easter egg hunt in the garden for them...there were eggs hidden everywhere!

Here's a few photos to share:

Mum with us kids.

Our boys

Our boys with their girls

All of us
My wonderful family

April is almost a big month for birthdays in our family. Our nephew Billy turned 18 on Tuesday, our granddaughter Zhia turned 7 on Wednesday, my sisters Lea and Wendy turn 42 today and daughter in law Kathryn has her 24th birthday on 28th! SO of course we had cake and some girls had lots of candles to blow out!!

And of course a cake for Zhia

And I just had to end with a photo of the parents to be...not long now till our grandchild arrives...