Saturday Travels

So today saw us decide to get our jobs done early and head off for a day of peace and quiet and no work.  We headed for the bush. Going up the mountain, through the native forest, the road rough as guts, and the track steep as buggery, it’s one of our favorite things to do, sadly we don’t have time to go there much anymore, but today we decided its time to take a break and head up.  Surrounded by nothing but the native bush, wattle, gum trees, bush banksia and maybe the odd yowie, the ambience is so serene, there is something to be said about the rejuvenating power of the forest. I read an actual scientific report about it once and there are certain energies that are produced by the trees that react with the chemical composition in our bodies to relieve stress and get us re grounded and energized. Normally I would have thought what a lot of hippie mumbo bloody jumbo, as a Christian women I don’t believe all that crap, had I not experienced it every single time we went up there. My hubby always knew when it was time to head up the mountain by my own energy and moods.  This environment is as fresh and clean as you can get, there is no one else up there, you may pass the odd farmer but that is rare, the road is incredibly rough in places and most people are happy to avoid that.  The sad thing about our trips up there these days is that once upon a time there used to be a LOT of deer. There would not be a trip when we wouldn’t see deer or wild pigs. Nowadays we don’t see anything, it has become very trendy to be a hunter and get the trophy in this country and it shows by the lack of wildlife.  I understand hunting for food, but hunting for the trophy I am dead against.  It was still an amazing day though and one that did my soul the world of good AND what we did see was some buffallo on our way back home. They were happily grazing on the side of the road, they had clearly gotten out of their paddock this is something we don’t see a lot of this far South so it was pretty cool!

Back to work tomorrow, farming for hubby, online for me.

 

The Farm

A lot of people will never experience the joys of living on a farm and probably most don’t want to, it’s an acquired taste, something you really WANT to do….

When we first took on this job and moved out here it was so amazing, we were smitten with the place having lived in town for most of the kids lives. My husband is from a farming background and I am from the city. When our eldest 2 kids were babies we lived on a farm, and while it was good we weren’t really that great at it. We were just kids making our way and running out of water, dingoes howling all night, snakes everywhere including in the house, septic blocking constantly, bugs everywhere I for one was glad to get back to living in a town. Fast forward that to now and I can’t stand living in town and will never go back.

The farm has been tough, it’s not just an operating cattle property it is also being divided up into smaller blocks to form a housing estate. Such a shame, but this is how the owners make their money as property developers.  The first year was super tough,  we had cattle die, calves die, orphan calves, it was just a nightmare.  We felt so responsible even though none of it was out fault.  The second year was much the same and this year we have just endured the worst drought in history. The cows were so skinny, they were feeding calves and had no food themselves, we weren’t allowed to buy feed for them and I gotta say it nearly did me in. I very nearly left the farm because I cannot stand animal cruelty and to me, having an animal starve to death is bloody cruel especially when the owners are very wealthy people.  This is one of the most fertile farms in the district and it was dirt, we were irrigating 12 hours a day to try and keep the grass alive, it was just enough for the cattle to keep going, but they were starving nonetheless.  Relief came with 400 mls of rain and the farm sprang back to life, the cattle are now all fat again but it’s getting dry again. It’s like this never ending cycle of drought, rain, drought, drought, rain. Once upon a time you could rely on the seasons but not anymore.

Afternoons on the farm are amazing and we have some of the best sunsets you will ever see.  In winter the air is brisk, it smells crisp and clean, its our favorite time of the year.  The creek runs clear and cold and the mist rising from the water early in the morning is proof that life will not be contained.

So while farming is a tough gig, you will always find beauty if you look hard enough.  I wouldn’t give this lifestyle up for the world but I am the lucky one, I get to enjoy all this property has to offer without having to work for it!  Can’t do better than that!

The Grandkids….

Well this is definitely one area I don’t post about on the webs but again, people are interested in what goes on in other parts of the world & in other families.  These are my grandkids, they are our greatest gifts, I often jest with my kids that I love the grandkids more than them hahahahaahaha.  I was at every single birth. I was lucky enough to be in the actually birthing suite with my second youngest grand daughter when she was born via c section, I got the first look at her and I even cut the chord. It was truly the most special gift a mother can be given.  We have 5 of the 7 n the spectrum. They range is ages from 12 to 4 and they are truly unique each in their own way.  There is not a weekend that we don’t have at least one of them.  Nannee’s place is their peace and quiet away from siblings, they can play the ipads without being disturbed, they get to be heard one on one, they get to play outside and just be themselves.  It’s breathing space for them to just be.  Over the years I always thought we were giving the parents a break but I didn’t realise we were giving the kids a break too, a break from routine and stressed parents, a break from having to do shit they don’t want to do, and just relaxing.

As grandparents this is very important, I never realised this until very recently, I just thought having the kids over and babysitting etc is what grandparents are “supposed” to do.  I didn’t realise the intense love you have for your grandchildren is so very important and helps shape their lives.  Children who have relationships with their grandparents will always have someone to talk to when they can’t go to their parents, they will always have a hug and kind word.  Grandparents not only provide love on a different level, but they can provide guidance and perspective that can only be taught in a grandparent kind of way.  So grandparents, you are so crucial to the development of your grandchildren, get more involved if you are able and enjoy every minute!

The Kids….

Typically I don’t blog about my children or grandchildren but it seems to me that is what people want to see the most, how other people live and do things and even though my kids are adults they lead interesting lives.

I have 4 children ranging in age from 15 to 36. I had my first son at 16 in a time when teen pregnancies weren’t normal or socially accepted. I had no idea what I was doing and stuffed it up pretty bad, but God’s Grace was always upon us and our eldest son is a very well grounded, hard working young man. He is a fly in fly out miner, is about to build his first house. He has a good heart and is an amazing son to us. My second child I had when I was nearly 18, a girl, an angel sent straight from Heaven. In those days we were going to church and she was touched by the Holy Spirit which has given her a tough but safe life if that makes sense. God’s hand has always been on her, she is so kind, she has had a tough life as a child because I still didn’t know what I was doing, actually still don’t. She has 4 children, lives on a farm with the most wonderful man and she is incredibly selfless towards others. She epitomizes beauty inside and out. Then 6 years later I had another daughter, this one was a tough one, she was always destined to be a pain in the ass hahahahhaah, like honestly, she kicked all the way through the birth process, she was a fetal stress baby, and she screamed from the moment she was born until she was about 6 months old. She didn’t sleep through the night until she went to school, which set me up for a lifetime of no sleep, it became a habit. She was always into shit as a teenager but didn’t get into any real trouble, then she fell pregnant at 18, then again at 20 and then again at 24. It was during her last pregnancy that she was diagnosed with Crohns Disease, she nearly died because of regional hospital lack of knowledge in this area (a whole other blog post). The birth of her last baby also caused an infection in her uterus because after the c section they left a fair chunk of placenta in her that turned septic. She was so sick, lost 30 kgs in 3 months and was on her last legs, but the Grace of God came through again and sent us to a hospital with the top gastro doctors in our state and she was on the road to recovery. Needless to say that I had countless hours in hospitals with her and her newborn, sleeping in those shitty chairs and trying to look after my daughter and granddaughter, it was a test. She is great now, will be on meds forever but she is well and is an awesome mother, a super loyal, beautiful daughter who would literally do anything for her family. Her husband is amazing and thats another story too. He has stuck with her under extraordinary circumstances and he deserves his own blog post. Then there is our baby, the 15 year old, on the spectrum, pubescent teenager. The most beautiful child, but also the most sensitive, the most withdrawn, life is just too hard for him some days. He went to school for 4 years then I kept him home after they put him outside in the cold for disrupting the class, he had health issues, we had to be careful with him but the school thought it was ok to put him outside like a dog in the freezing cold. That was it, I took him out and homeschooled him, he really struggled with school, being around other kids and people, he hated it, he was always looking in the gardens for the rabbit hole to get to wonderland and he was always in trouble. Do you know, that from the first week of school until the last 4 years later they gave him a demerit for bad behavior every week. Now I went up to that school twice a day, helped with reading, sport, excursions you name it I was there, it made no difference and they treated him like shit. It wasn’t long at home before he had calmed right down and was a happy little boy again. Some people have questioned the way I dealt with it but I don’t really care, he is my child and I will protect him no matter what. Now he is going through puberty life has gotten tough again and he just wants to be left alone, BUT every night before bed he comes in for a chat to me, he ALWAYS hugs me good night and always tell his father and I he loves us, so not too bad for a 15 year old. He comes walking on the farm with me and we discuss stuff and he gets his fill of vitamin D. I don’t know what the future holds for him, but what does the future hold for any of us, God knows and that’s good enough for me.

So there you have it, my 4 kids, all with the same man, lifes been tough but we are a family, we are the closest you will get, we have people comment don’t upset one member of their family because the rest will come down on you too LOL but it’s true. My kids are my world and the reason I exist.

 

The Nannee…

Well I guess I should tell you a bit more about me. I am a middle aged woman going through menopause, doing it tough like all women at this age. I have struggled for years to find my identity even though it was staring me in the face, I fought getting old, I fought the fact that my family are my calling in life and I drove myself mad failing at a lot of things because I wasn’t pursuing what God’s call for my life was, I was fighting against it.  It wasn’t until 2 weeks ago when I realised this IS where I am meant to be, this IS what I am meant to be doing, this IS who I am meant to be.  I was so caught up in being something else that I totally lost focus on the most important job on this planet, mother and grandmother.  Don’t get me wrong I was still doing all the things, I am the central hub of this family, I am the one everyone leans on, wants to hang out with, calls upon asks for help. I am the gravy to this family steak I guess you would say LOL! Even my mother relies on me, it is a really heavy burden, she is old, on her own, impatient, entitled, emotionally unstable and really hard work, she has been my whole life but the Bible says to respect and look after your elders and that is what we do. Don’t get me wrong she has been there for us throughout our lives and if it weren’t for her prayers our lives would be so much different.

I live on a cattle property with my husband and 15 year old. My husband is the manager here, and while it’s a great lifestyle, it’s very stressful as well.  Our relationship has suffered coming out here to work, but we still hold strong. Just because our welfare system has made it easy to leave your spouse and live alone it’s not what scripture tells us. Anyway things aren’t that bad that we can’t get through them together, that has always been our motto and trust me our lives have been total chaos when we were young. 

I work as a real estate agent for my aunt, she is nearly 80 and still loves it, I hate it but it’s a job. I was once a very successful agent back in my 30’s but a near breakdown caused me to give it away for 13 years and I swore I would never go back but here I am today.  This is a tough industry, no scruples and probably not a chosen one for a person of faith but it pays some bills and I am grateful for that. I found it hard going back to this industry in my 50’s, there are so many young ones out there, vibrant agents, plenty of energy, no conscience and ties, makes it hard to compete.

I am a solitary person, I am happiest when I am alone, or with my dogs. I love the peace and quiet of my own company, I love not having to talk, I love not having to have an opinion on crap I am not interested in.  I love to read the Bible, in my opinion it is the best history and self help book ever written.  My favorite movies are adventures, and I will watch the same move 50 times if I loved it.  I love living on a farm, even though this isn’t ours. The freedom, the fresh air, the space around you is something you will never get in a town or city.  Country life can be tough, but I wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for the world. 

On a deeper level, I feel like a failure a good majority of the time, it stems back from my early years. I was always competitive at sport, I always got into the best teams, was always in the top 3 and it just wasn’t an option to be a loser.  Well that dumb attitude cannot be sustained throughout life and as I started to lose at stuff, I started to feel failure and it eventually engulfed every portion of my being.  If I didn’t do something properly it wasn’t a chance to do better or improve it was just failure, nothing more nothing less. That is such a toxic way to bring up kids and then at 16 I had a baby and my husband was a total asshole but just a kid himself. We were both raised with a poverty mindset, I was from a wealthy family in the city, he was from a poor family in the country but both families had a poverty mindset. It wasn’t until just recently that we have realised that this mindset has held us back our entire lives and caused me to feel constant failure.  So changing mindset at 53 is going to be challenging because we get set in our ways, but unless I align my mind with Heaven that poverty mindset will never go away.  As women we feel like there is always something we need to improve upon, that we are never good enough, the way we look is never good enough, they way we bring up our kids is never good enough it’s just such a curse society has put on us, but you know what, we need to stop listening to society and start listening to those around us who know us best, who loves us and of course to our Heavenly Father. Once we do that I reckon we can start to relax and really power ahead down the race track of life!

So that about wraps me up.  A mum, nannee, wife & daughter, why would I want to be anyone else!