It’s meltdown central here – both the boys and me. Tiredness is to blame. As is sugar (not to parents: NO MORE CANDY CANES). And scheduling.
I am turning into a scheduling ninja as I try to co-ordinate pesky old work with providing a fulfilling and interesting holiday program for my boys.
Movies, christmas craft workshops, theatre outings, holiday care and pool days are being fitted in around my interviews, writing days and the chores from my ‘other’ job as housekeeper extraordinaire.
My head feels like it could explode but I just keep thinking, ‘three weeks until holidays, three weeks until holidays.’
I know I’m not alone. Working parents everywhere are wondering how they will co-ordinate holidaying children and work.
It’s not until you have children that you realise how hopeless four weeks annual leave is.
It’s tempting not to work but then I wouldn’t be able to afford the extensive list of toys my sons declare they NEED. Definition of need: a requirement, obligation; lack of something wanted or deemed necessary; urgent want, as of something requisite.
I’m waging an internal battle with myself as I contemplate adding more ‘stuff’ to a house already brimming with ‘stuff’. It feels criminal to buy the boys more toys when they already have so many. If we add any more LEGO to our collection the good people at the Danish plastic company are going to offer us shares.
Nerf Guns, Mobilo, Hot Wheels … we have it all.
Alex will be in heaven if he can add to his Pokemon collection. The boys is obsessed by the colourful swap cards. Will not shut up about them. It’s a bit like his father and carrots.
My new year’s resolution will be to ban the P and the C words from our home. Wish me luck.
I wrote about my sons’ Christmas wish list in this week’s Gold Coast Bulletin. Link is below.
The Gold Coast Bulletin
Nov 27 2013
The growing divide between city and country is often talked about. It used to be that many of us had a ‘country cousin’ who provided an insight into the challenges and benefits of life on the land.
But over time that connection diminished and some country residents expressed disappointment that their work on the land was taken for granted by those in the city, the very people who benefit from the work of farmers.
To be fair to city residents it wasn’t so long ago that the only news they heard about farmers was when there was a disaster. Hence the tag whinging farmers. Mainstream media would often only talk to farmers when they had lost crops and cattle to drought, to flood or to disease. And even then those stories were written from the point of view of ‘poor city consumers you’re about to pay high prices for bananas!’
But the advent of social media has enabled farmers to tell their own stories in an authentic and real way and build better understand of what life on the land is like. One of the leading proponents of this ‘agvocacy’ is a cattle producer from Charters Towers called Kylie Stretton. At the height of the live cattle export crisis, when Australia’s northern cattle producers were coming under intense criticism from city-based consumers, Kylie and a number of other producers joined together to start the #askanaussiefarmer movement. They’re on Facebook and Twitter and consumers – and other farmers – can pose questions direct to farmers via social media.
The response to the page has been amazing. I recently spoke to Kylie about Ask an Aussie Farmer and about her own business and just how live cattle exports work and why they are essential to northern producers. That story is linked below.
Read Kylie’s Blog, Kids Cattle & Mobile Phones for more of her farm stories.
Another blog gaining traction is Central Station. Each week it asks producers from some of Australia’s largest stations to share photographs and stories of life in their part of the world.
The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
Nov 24 2013
One of the biggest challenges when you get married is culling the guest list. It has the potential to be a cast of thousands, as the bride and groom are pressured into inviting Great Aunt Maud, your long-lost cousin, your mum’s bridge friend and so on and so on.
But there are some guests who are a no brainer – you simply have to invite them. They’re part of the family and it wouldn’t be the same if they weren’t there to witness your big day.
And so it was for Queensland goat milk producers, Shannan and Marcus Jessen.
They spend many hours of every day with their beloved goat herd and so it was only natural that their beautiful goats be part of their wedding.
While there were no ‘goat maids’ at this wedding (they don’t like crowds apparently), the goats did feature prominently in the wedding photos.
I interviewed Marcus’s mum, Peggy Jessen, recently for my Sunday Mail Ask a Farmer column. She spoke of her love of the goats and what intelligent animals they are.
The Jessens run a herd of 1200 goats on their Clifton farm and are Queensland’s biggest supplier of goat milk, supply processor Pauls 365 days a year.
Goat milk is very popular with people who have a lactose intolerance. While goat milk does contain lactose, the butterfat globule is smaller and easier to digest.
Peggy mentioned the goats would feature at her son’s upcoming wedding. I asked Shannan and Marcus to share some of their wedding photos with me.
Here they are. Aren’t they lovely?
This time 20 years ago I had just finished school. Forever.
Twelve years of education was over and I was about to embark on a new adventure.
Equipped with youthful naivety, I was ready to launch myself into the world and seize the opportunities. We’d spent our school years being told anything was possible if we put the effort in.
Company CEO, TV show host, marketing guru, pop star, movie star, motivational speaker. We could have it all … or so we were told.
I recently met my St Hilda’s class of 1993 for our 20 year school reunion. It seems like only yesterday we were saying teary goodbyes, our heads full of hope and dreams.
Since then there have been jobs, bad bosses, heartache, marriage, divorce, babies, celebrations, illness, death, joy, happiness and every emotion in between. I asked some of my school friends to share their experiences of life after school and whether their reality had lived up to their teenage dreams.
Click on the pages below for links to the story as it appeared in the weekend Gold Coast Bulletin EYE magazine.
Gold Coast Eye
Nov 16 2013
Gold Coast Eye
Nov 16 2013