Monday, November 29, 2010

That’s more like it!

Feeling a bit on the grumpy side?


You probably need one of these:lick

Try this one!fb spot

Or perhaps this: blaze   

Nothing like a kid, pup and visitor-packed week to cheer me up. Perthites passing through, unexpected family drop-ins, trialling friends and puppy picking people, local mates x 7, a happy houseful of small people and animals. To top it all off, I mastered not one but three CWA cookbook classics! And people ate them! And survived!

Fred-Queani version 3.0 (Split girl)split bitessplit

v3.1 (Meg II)meg bitesmeg

v3.2- Specklespeck

v3.3, Arrow:bitey 

v3.4, Blazeblaze 2

  v3.something- maybe Ziggy (Dark girl) or Plain Boynang - Copy

And v3.7, the token fluffy, found in every F-Q litter, Spot:spot bath

spot cuddles


Another F-Q token fluffy, Maverick (v2.1) dropped in for a long hard look at our sheep, and give us a preview of how this litter might turn out (in Mav’s case, a stronger version of Queani with more eye)mav 

And he brought his friend Selby, who had her first up close and woolly experience.selby 1

Selby is, rather fascinatingly, a seal colour, which I haven’t seen before in the flesh. selby head       gb pups

That’s better, isn’t it, Ginger Biscuit?bath1

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Neverending story

bale hook

So we finally finished shearing last Wednesday. Weeks of waiting for that magical time “when shearing’s finished”- we’ll mow the lawns, we’ll take the kids riding, we’ll finish the dog kennels, we’ll build that chook pen. When shearing’s finished. And then, suddenly, shearing finished, at 1pm on Wednesday.

Last of the lot- the cull lambs:lamb
rowshearer 1

Littlest rouseabout:fb sweeps         stencilling stencils fb hook
shearer 2 

lamb shorn

At 1.30pm on Wednesday, we started harvesting. Fan-bloody-tastic.

And so, in my new and ill-fitting “harvest widow” role, I’m going to have a whinge.

hay oats

Farming is bloody hard.

I don’t mean recreational farming, where you might run a few hundred sheep as a hobby and pay the real bills with your day job. Of course that can be hard too- fencing and crutching and pulling lambs doesn’t get cushier just because it isn’t your primary income source. But actually relying on the land and the stock and the crops for your livelihood is a heartbreaking business. Farmers work their guts out yet have little control over how this affects their income. The weather and global markets have them by the short and curlies and there’s bugger all they can do about it.

This year has been an absolute shocker in WA, the worst season in a century for most areas. When you’re in the city, that might mean dry gardens and yellowed park lawns. When you’re farming, it might mean losing your job, your home and much of what you own, and your lifestyle. Everything, literally everything, can hinge on “next season”. And if that good season doesn’t eventuate…

I’m sick of it. I’m sick of the brave faces when you know people are struggling, I’m sick of watching people fall to pieces when their chins can’t hold up anymore (and I’m not even back behind my desk yet!), I’m sick of the agronomists and their positive spins, I’m sick of carting drinking water, I’m sick of high fuel prices and limited groceries, I’m sick of pisspoor health services and education choices, I’m sick of missing family and friends and missing out on mobile phone coverage and digital TV and paying exorbitant prices for piddling internet downloads. I’m especially sick of hearing about the brilliant season in the East, reading the five page spread in the Weekend Australian celebrating the end of the drought, crowing about huge yields and high prices while desperate machinery dealers fly cashed-up East coast farmers over to shop on the machinery WA farmers can’t afford to keep and nearly a million sheep (the most profitable part of most WA farms at present) are trucked East this year purely because WA farmers can’t afford to feed them. Gaaahhh!

So next time you roll your eyes at a “Thank a farmer for your next meal” bumper sticker, or moan on Facebook about “Rorts for Regions” or the regional fund sinkhole, think about it. Then watch out, because I might just be on my way around to have a word. And I feel like kicking someone’s arse.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Loading lambs

The truck is coming at 6am.

lambs 3
lambs 2
angus lambs
lambs yard

So here we are, it's almost bedtime.
Hungry, tired, dusty and most importantly, together.

fb caught short
 fb mud rock  j sheep
kate ergo        
 yard shed r
lambs ramp
r ramp

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Young Ones

At Albany.

Mac’s Ben10 (Mac’s Elvis x Pendalup Tess) ben10

Used to be cute:
 Mac’s Finbar (Boylee Fred x Fly- imp UK) finn

Never really cute, but makes up for it with personality:
Euroa Moss- aka ‘Moffy’ (Grassvalley Tod x Glenview Ruby) moffy

Very cute in triplicate:
Boylee pups (Bellview Dale x Boylee Mustard, Boylee Tobie x Boylee Speck)collie pupscollie pups 2 
The one on the right kept saying “Take me home!”
So R did.
Boylee Copper (Boylee Tobie x Boylee Speck- Fred and Bill’s full sister) copper

Crazy cute:
Ramulam pup (Ramulam Jacko x Binnaburra Tammy) kelpie pup

Incredibly crazy cute:
Another Jacko-Tammy pupkelpie pup 2

Dangerously cute:pkelpie pups

Molly’s pretty cute herself, but now she has more cuteness than anyone can handle:
Jandoree Molly (Boylee Sid x Boylee Elly) molly

Eleven times the cuteness!
Olboa Ben x Jandoree Molly pups
molly pups

And Queani (hanging out at home) thought she had her paws full with eight…  
Boylee Fred x Daheim Queani pups
queani pups edits

Sometimes, I think I just can’t take any more cuteness…
And then this happens:

Or this: fb mushies
fb tennis balls  gb stick gb welly      

Farmboy, Ginger Biscuit, you kill me dead.