Farm life

Sometimes it’s hard to write.

When big things are happening in the news, what I’m about to write seems small.

When people in my life have just lost a relative, a pregnancy or their health, suddenly what I’m about to write seems not worth saying.

So I wait a few days for the dust to settle, then five more orders come in from my website, so I busy myself making those, but then they’ve found the guy they were looking for on the news and suddenly there’s dust in the air again.

Well, through the dust, I’m going to write anyway. Harvest started yesterday and that’s exciting. A whole year of working and waiting and watching and wishing and now the header is in the paddocks and there are grains of barley on my laundry floor. And fresh straw for the chook’s nest (that apostrophe is in the right place – we only have one chook).

That made our farm lives sound so wholesome and sustainable, didn’t it? Let me go on.

The shearers were here last week and these girls are now enjoying the warmer weather:

Our shearing shed is a couple of kilometres down the road, so for the days the shearers were here, this way my routine:

I spent the morning making sandwiches and cakes for their morning smoko at 9.30am. Then the girls and I would get home and unload the empty plates (actually I would, they’d play on their bikes right under my feet between the car and the back door), cover the uneaten sandwiches for disposal the next day, and begin cooking lunch and dessert. Then we’d drive it down to the shearers and the crew for delivery at 12 noon, eat with them, and come home to repack the dishwasher and prepare the afternoon smoko at 3pm.

On the second day I was carrying a stack of eight dinner plates to the car when a brown snake slithered and coiled its way across my path.

In that moment I decided I already had sufficient momentum from descending the steps that I had to keep going forward – I didn’t have time to stop and go back. So there I was, holding my 8 plates, now between the snake and the car, with the snake, wriggling digustingly in the one spot, between me and the back door.

I realised I was still squealing. I stopped and yelled, ‘Stay in the house!’ (if anything, drawing Elsie and Maeve’s attention away from the Lego they were safely playing with on the floor).

It slithered away into the pot plants where Elsie and Maeve were playing earlier. Anyone who comes close to a brown snake in our area says, ‘It was a 6-footer.’ That’s standard, it’s like the fish that got away. I don’t know how many feet this one was, but as I looked down from the air above it with my plates, it looked like a 20m extension cord wound up.

We stayed and played inside for a few days watching Anthony walk past the window with a shovel resting on his shoulder, and I was thankful for husbands and shovels. When I finally did let the girls outside, Elsie came back in from the back step and said she’d just seen a snake near the garage. I praised her for coming in and telling me and reminded Maeve again of how this snake isn’t like the pet one that Elsie had been allowed to hold on her kinder excursion to the zoo.

I’ve since seen this one squashed on the road out the front of our house and I’d really like it if it was the same one, but looking at the size, I have a suspicion it’s the daughter of the one in our yard:

It’s been a big couple of weeks for The Bear & The Whale too.

My Christmas birds featured in the staff picks on the madeit website:

And my red checked pants were on the madeit homepage amongst other checked finds:

We added the following new products:

Clockwise from top left:

White cheesecloth pants
Blue/green cheesecloth pants (also available in hot pink)
Taupe and navy check shorts
Summer blouse
Yellow and white ballet outfit for dolls
Pale blue ballet outfit
Polymer clay necklaces in assorted colour combinations
Christmas bunting

Order for Christmas are flooding in. If you’d like to place an order for Christmas, please do so early. I’d do anything to stay inside and safe from reptiles.

4 thoughts on “Farm life

  1. Reading this entry reminds me of growing up on the farm. Mum making meals for the shearers, always being on the look out for snakes (usually Tigers, rather than brown ones). So many memories. Thanks for the reminder.


    1. Thank YOU, Rhonda! I wonder if the standard/size of meals has changed (ie slipped) since your Mum was making them… I wouldn’t like to shear sheep all afternoon after a hot lunch and hot dessert, but I was quite happy to eat it all and then sit on my backside watching the shearers with the girls on my knee! x


  2. Oh boy you poor girl Larissa….it is horrible when there is a snake around especially when you have kids…keeps you on tenterhooks constantly!!! Shovels are good!!! My Mum always had a shovel or the axe outside the back door in Cooktown…the outhouse was like 100 metres away and we often saw snakes on arrival just as we were busting to go…the yells would alert our brave mother and down she would run wheeling her weapon as she came, and whammo! She was amazing to watch…jumping and spinning in the air as she avoided the monster…and she did it so quickly too, as there were never any “accidents” that I remember, and it wouldn’t be long before the kids who was busting could finally walk past the chopped, mangled mess which was once our predator!!! I love the things, but when they are in my yard??? No way!!! Seen a couple up here to Larissa….always worries me, esp with the grandkids around regularly! Love Bev.


    1. Oh your poor Mum! Shovels are good (so are indoor toilets, incidently) but I wasn’t rushing for a shovel, in fact, there isn’t a shovel with a long enough handle for me to use on a snake. Thanks for your enjoyable comment, Bev. Keep stomping and clapping as you go to the clothesline…


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