Sunday, December 15, 2013

Coloured icing, sprinkles,
 chocolate chips,
 sticky fingers and lots of fun!
Well, thought I'd post a couple of
photos from our little bikky
decorating morning yesterday.
It was a lot of fun for the kids and mum's alike.
Everyone went home with their little plate of hand
decorated bikkies to proudly show off and eat.
Note: I am not to be held responsible for
 their behaviour after consuming 
an excess of sugar and colours!

And here is a very deep and profound
statement for you all to ponder:)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Well, I thought I'd share with you some photos and information
 about a typical day in our lives. Mainly Dave's. 
I was able to take a trip in the truck with Dave on Friday while the
girls stayed home, so I could see firsthand his typical day. 
This particular day he was heading out to Hodgson's Station and the
 Aboriginal community of Minyerri. 
 This is only a couple of hundred kms from
 Katherine, but that doesn't mean a short trip.
Well, our day started off with us getting up at 5am and Dave heading to work
at 5:45am.  Dave rang me at 8am telling me he was getting fuel and the girls
 and I headed out the door to walk down to the highway (15 minutes) to meet him.
I hopped in the truck at 8:30am, said goodbye to the girls (who walked back home),
 then we headed towards Mataranka. We stopped at the weighbridge for the routine weighing, only to find out that the truck he was driving that day had run out of rego at midnight the night before. After sitting in the truck for what seemed like an eternity, waiting to see what the problem was, Dave, his  boss and an inspector came out with the verdict. 
Unhook the trailer, go back to the depo, and get another truck.  Sigh.
The truck he had to now drive is not one of Dave's favourites as they call it "Horse".
 Reason being, the driver's seat bounces so much that you nearly
 get bucked off! Sometimes it bounces so bad that the
 driver hits his head on the roof of the cab. Anyway, after fuelling up
 this truck, we were on our way, back out to the weighbridge
 to pick up our trailer and get the green light to go.
By this time it was now after 10am. Great start, and not abnormal for Dave.
We headed to Mataranka and did a drop off there.
Then turned off onto the Roper Highway towards Hodgsons. 
 (This is the road that I previously drove out on to pick up Dave before). 
The first thing I noticed was how green everything looked
 compared to the last time I was out.
The wet is here and things are getting soggy.
We stopped at a cement company, a mine, a station and another mine to do drop offs.

Unloading at a mine
On our way we came across a truck with 2 trailers that had slid off the
road into the sloppy side cut. We were able to pull him out as he
was empty and we had 3 ton of cement bags
 on that was just enough weight to do the trick. 
Pulling the truck out of the side cut
Beautiful open road
Interesting sign.  Look for people??? Nope didn't see any.
When we arrived at Hodgson's station, the heavens opened and the
rain came down. We unloaded stuff and kept on to Minyerri.
Here it rained briefly too.
The Minyerri football oval
Main street into Minyerri community
Little locals hoping for a horn blast (which unfortunately didn't work on this truck)
We did some drop offs here and turned back the way we had come,
picking up a dolly to take back to Katherine on the way.
 (which didn't turn out quite so simple, seeing it didn't have any brakes,
so was difficult to hook up) I was able to drive the truck and trailer
forward so Dave could get it sorted.
The side cut we pulled the truck out of. Doesn't look too bad, but he had nearly tipped it.
 Note: Always go thru the puddles, not around them!
Heading home, we got into some heavy rain, but it soon cleared.
I was excited to enjoy the beautiful sunset and we were also treated to an
 amazing lightning storm that looked like it was right
 over Katherine. The girls were watching
 it out on the verandah and said it wasn't too close.  (the only phone
 reception is at Mataranka so I was able to txt the girls
 around 11 am and then again at 8pm)
Well, we arrived back at the depo at around 9pm. There we had to unhook our
 dolly and fridge as another truck was heading out and his fridge
had stopped working, so he was having to unload all his load into our
fridge. Fortunately, Dave didn't have to stay and help.
Anyway, this was a shorter day than Dave often has, getting home around 9pm is early!!
I had a great time riding in the truck and only missed out on driving because
of the rain and the slippery roads. Next time, next time......
Hope you enjoyed this long saga and the photos attached.
Below, I've put together a short few video snippets of our day.
You'll see Dave 'bouncing', some lovely scenery, some rain,
rough roads, truck towing etc. 
 Hope you enjoy it!
And this is my first attempt at photographing lightning. I didn't have my camera on the tripod, so was a little shaky. It's very addictive too, you don't
want to stop in case you miss a good one!!
And I leave you with this. I'm sure this is how Dave
 feels with Lauren and I around!!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Well, the wet is setting in. We have been having a lot of rain lately and everything is going green. We have had to mow the grass and even close the windows a couple of times.  Thought I'd share a couple of pictures to show what happens here when it rains. 
Yes, with the rain comes mud! And I guess the girls were missing that lovely red Malanda mud, so......  I'm not sure of it's beauty properties and whether it's advisable to try this in your home, but it sure beats sitting
inside doing school work!
And then there's the washing off. For some reason the pool doesn't
look as clean as it did before??
And here's a couple of photos of the view from our back verandah.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

This is how I feel sometimes!! (or is it all the time?) I thought it was so appropriate!
Yes, life is always on the go here and not much time to catch your breath.  But we were able to do something as a family this weekend. We visited the Cutta Cutta Caves, just out of Katherine.  This is a tropical cave so it gets more hot and humid as you venture into the cave. We had a guided tour (which is the only way you can do it) and it was very interesting. The girls and I had been back in June, so this time, at 40 degrees outside, it was a whole lot warmer inside. We were all dripping in sweat by the time we emerged.
We were able to see some rock wallabies that live in the entrance of the cave, and 2 banded tree snakes in little holes in the rocks, inside the cave. When you get as far as you're allowed to go in the cave, they turn the lights out and boy is it dark!! 
Just another display of God's wonderful and creative creation. 
The entrance to the cave

Some amazing formations
Our guide told us there had been a large olive python in the sink in the girls toilets, so of course the girls and I had to go check it out. Instead, we found this Golden Tree snake. He posed nicely for me to take his/her photo! (Although I wasn't sure how close to get as he/she was really checking me out)
We checked out the boys loo too, but no luck!
These beautiful birds have been hanging around and when I have time,
 I try and get some shots.
In other news, we have been having infrequent showers every couple of days so we had to mow the grass yesterday (we as in "Maddy") and it was thick and green in places. The place is really greening up here in the wet.  Things are slowing down but somehow, I'm not!
Dave is flat out with work and has started working on a project involving lots of welding in his spare time (one day so far). Cam will be doing a lot of the welding
next week before he leaves.
We had new split systems put in the girls rooms on Saturday, so that is a real
 blessing.  Now we are all very cool at night.
I have organized a bikky decorating morning for the kids in December,
 so that promises to be messy and a lot of fun.
Oh, and in BIGGER news, I am in search of a piano!! Yes, a real one! Not just my keyboard, that has many frustrating issues! I am so excited I can hardly sit still. I don't expect
you'll get much except music out of me when I finally get one!
 Will keep you posted (no pun intended).
And on that 'note', I'll finish.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Well, we have finally gotten our first real rain storm of the season!! Yes, it actually does rain here. After 6 months, this wet stuff fell from the sky and made puddles (which of course we had to splash in).  We had 28mm on Sunday and then another 7mm yesterday. I have uploaded a short video just to prove it.
Note: I have noticed that the videos don't come up on the emails so you will have to come online to our blog to view them. And about the quality, sorry, when I resize them so they're small enough, they lose quality. 
And here's a couple of photos too.
And our lately cleaned pool:)
After going GREEN and being refilled!
And a puddle!!
As to life here at the moment, Dave is kept busy at work. Looks like he's on course for a 100 hour week this week :(
 The girls and I are flat out trying to get caught up with school.
Lauren is busy working at the child care 4 days a week and Tafe 1 day a week. She is also trying to finish her year 12 schooling and teaching the
5 and unders, Sunday school class.
 Abbi works at least 2 times a week at Brumbys. She also helps out with crèche at church and occasional baby sitting.
Emilee helps out with crèche at church too, and keeps busy antagonising her sisters and playing with knives and wishing she had a tree to climb.
I have been busy trying new recipes to improve our health and well being
 (and the results of too much free bakery food).
I am also teaching the 6 to 12 year old Sunday school class for a while.
The girls have enjoyed being able to cool off in the pool every day.
Chloe and Maddy keep busy setting up different shops, dressing up, pulling things apart with Dave's drill (and rendering them completely useless) and basically being very creative and imaginative.
I have been scouring the local paper every week for garage sale bargains!
We are supposed to get 2 new split air con systems in this weekend
in the girls rooms, so that's a plus.
And that's life!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Just posting a couple of latest photos
We recently had the Hockey family staying with us on their way back to the station. They were taking 10 baby chicks back with them. They were so fluffy and cute!! 

The sunset from our back verandah.
We were given a huge bag of stale bread for horse food (Hockeys couldn't take it with them for lack of space), so Chloe and Maddy put it to good use and set up a bakery! Abbi kindly told them the names and prices of the different breads and they were on their way! (which reminds me, it's still there in their cupboard!
Luckily it's not in Malanda, or it would be very green by now)
Dave's been busy working and today is no different. He is off to a mine about 500km away. It's an 8 hour trip one way. Home tomorrow. I took him out some coffee before he left. Half of the tautliner is taken up with 4, yes I did say 4!!! tyres! Also taking 2 water tanks each 3.5m wide and a large generator and I don't know what else!
By the way, that's Lauren's car in the picture for those who don't know.
 I know, it's a Ford! An ultimate "Holmes" sin,  but beggars can't be choosers!
And finally, something to sum up our life! Enjoy:)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Beautiful Country
    Just wanted to share a couple of photos taken yesterday out our way. 
 Yesterday, Dave rang to ask me if I could drive out to Roper Bar and pick him up as he had to take his truck out there to leave with another driver whose truck had broken down. Now, Roper Bar is 290km from Katherine, so it was a little bit more than just down the road.
    Well, I took Chloe and Maddy and some water and crackers and off we went (after swapping Lauren's car for the cruiser). We headed out and off into the wild blue yonder. It was a great afternoon's drive, 3 hours one way actually, before I came upon Dave waiting for me beside the road next to a broken down prime mover (which was half on the road because they couldn't get it off the road due to the brakes being locked on).
    The dirt road that I had to drive on was so corrugated, I thought I'd loose all my teeth and that everything that usually rattled on the cruiser, would actually fall off!! None of which happened. I only had to pass a few roadtrains and 2 big quads (roadtrains with 4 trailers) from the mines. I just headed bush for the tabledrain and let them have the whole road to themselves!!
    Well, after refuelling the cruiser up at $2.20 a litre at the little Roper Bar store, we were headed back to Katherine. (The reason we had to refuel was because I hadn't spared the horses on the way and did 120 on the bitumen until I turned off the highway then 90 on the corrugates, you gotta skim across the top of them you know!) I know, you didn't think the old cruiser would go like that, but it does. It's held together by a lot of prayer, and dirt!
    Anyway, we made it home, tired but in one piece. So, I've just put some pictures on here that Maddy took and a couple of mine too and a video of our 'getting out of the way' for the trucks. Oh and at the end of the video, Maddy is trying to count the tyres, but the truck went too fast for her!

Here's a shot of the road and it's corrugates!
Termite nests are abundant out here and in varying colours depending on the soil
Had to cross the Roper River, don't think I'd swim in it tho....Crocs!!
Dave thumbs a ride!
And here's the video!
Hope you enjoyed the news.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Latest News

Well, we have just finished a week of having mum and dad visit, which was great. They had to suffer with the very hot temperatures that we have here in the Top End, but hopefully, it was all worth it! The 40 + degree weather even saw mum jump into our pool to cool off! The girls and I got to drive up to Darwin to pick mum and dad up, so we were able to squeeze in 3 hours of speed shopping to pick up stuff we needed. And of course, we managed to get in 2 op shops before the plane landed.
We have started back to school again, much to the girls (and my) dismay! Next weekend, we will have the Hockey's back to visit with their 6 boys, so the house will be very much alive again!
Today we visited 2 garage sales and bought up BIG!! Dave is working, so hopefully, he'll like what I found. Some real bargains!! I was so excited at my great finds! Here is a picture of some of it!

I found some more 'old stuff' for my antique shelf, which is already over full, so I think I'll put my order in for a bigger display cabinet! Found a gorgeous old Remington typewriter, some old sewing things, old metal pails and some great baking tins. And of course, my windmill!! Always wanted one of those! Found Dave some great tools and rope and such, so he'll be happy!
The girls were very excited at finding an army backpack complete with hoochies, hats, mossie net, canteens, camo cover, knife and even some very old coffee sachets and matches (which they kindly donated to my antiques shelf). Of course, Emilee grabbed the knife!

So, Chloe and Maddy have happily been playing in their 'shelter' complete with their MRE ration pack, but the heat has driven them back inside.

10 Great things about living in the Territory!
1. You can drive at 130km/hr (that is providing you have a car that actually goes that fast without      blowing something up or boiling, which we don't)
2. Truck drivers don't need a log book (which can be a bad thing when your husband is able to work 21 hours straight!)
3.  You don't need to wear a bicycle helmet (we don't have any bikes yet, so this doesn't apply so far)
4.  Learner drivers don't need a logbook and only have to have their learner license for 6 mths before they can go for their P's! (this has made Abbi very happy)
5.  You can get a 10c refund on all your cans and bottles (we've done pretty well seeing all the cokes we drink)
 6.   You can keep rabbits legally! (Our rabbitsitting is going well as they haven't escaped yet)
7.  You can leave your washing on the line overnight and it's dry in the morning, or hang it up for an hour during the day and it's dry (for those of you who live in Malanda, you'll be jealous)
8.  Tying down a load on your ute or trailer is an optional extra (which is not so fine when a drum of av gas goes awol in the back of the truck your husband is driving)
9.  Being a Territorian allows you to get into Kakadon't, I mean Kakadu, for free! (haven't been there yet)
10.  And last of all, if you like very loud and annoying music, you can play it all day and all night at 1 billion decibels, and it's perfectly fine (at least, our neighbours like to think so)