Tuesday, 20 December 2011

It's That Time of Year Again

Christmas approaches once more. All presents have been bought and wrapped. All but two. One is a combined effort between my mother and I and one I am painstakingly cross-stitching for my Nanna so it's guarunteed to be late. All christmas cards have been sent off but two. I've spent plenty of money posting presents off at the post office and spent long periods of time in the parcel queue like the rest of the towns population.
We're gearing up for the Christmas shut down at work by cleaning up everything and getting it all in order ready for the new year while still pouring plenty of concrete.
But as the holidays fall in the Wet Season it comes as no surprise the adventures I have had to endure just to get to and from home every weekend.
Weekend before last I didn't believe for one second the station had as little rain as Damian said there had been as I skidded to a halt at a 90 degree angle to the driveway in the mud. We spent all of Saturday putting out lick supplement for the cattle all over the property. A whole tonne on the station toyota and half a tonne on mine each time... till I got a puncture in the wall of my tyre. I ignored it till I got the lick bag off then drove back out onto the road to change the tyre. Couldn't crack the wheel nuts, it seemed like they'd rusted there. Went to go grab the jack, it wasn't there. That's when I remembered that months ago I had put my jack in Damian's ute after his went mysteriously missing and never took it back out again. So, there I was, in the heat of the day, with a flat tyre, no way of changing it, at the back of the station. It took Damian 40 minutes (I timed him because I had nothing better to do) to realise I hadn't come back and that perhaps I wasn't taking photos of random things like he thought I would be. I slept on the plastic off the top of the lick bag under the toyota in the shade. Pity the ground was so stinking hot. When Damian arrived the tyre was changed in less than five minutes and I took my poor Bruiser back to the house where I said he was staying till it was time to go back to town. I will not risk any more punctures! At least Sunday was somewhat of a day off.
But while running out all the lick I decided that Christmas wasn't Christmas without a tree. So I cut down a Lancewood tree which Damian looks at and tries to inform me "That won't fit in the house". My usual response? I'll make it bloody fit. After nearly taking out the ceiling fan getting it into the living area (what is it with me and ceiling fans lately?) I filled a tin bucket with sand, stood the tree in it then decorated it with what minimal Christmas decorations I had. Didn't look too bad if I do say so myself even if it does look a little bare.
Last weekend was fine. I relaxed, we moved the bore trailer so we could pump the house tank and made another small attempt at finishing the garden shed. And it rained all weekend and it was beautiful! I went out into the cooler paddock and backlined Capone, my bull and while giving him scratches and cuddles Charger raised his head and noticed me in the paddock. So with his head high he cantered over like he was king of the station then paraded around with his neck arched, showing off with his usual proud-cut granduer. A little while later Diamond came over in a steady trot to say g'day. I had to disappoint them both, I hadn't brought any feed with me. So then when they discovered that they didn't want to know me.
The driveway after a weekend of rain was a hell raiser on the way back to town. Slipping in mud despite being in High 4 had me sliding backwards while facing the way I had just come. I got to the aboriginal lands to find the creek had come up and I was not game to cross it without first getting the opinion of Damian so I took some photos and headed the 20km back home... sliding into a small tree on the way there. He followed me back to the creek and waded in to then give me the all clear.
"Low Range..."
"Well, der, you know, coz I was gonna roar through it in High Two..."
"Not too many revs or something something blah blah..."
So off I went, low range, steady steady till I got to the other side. After shouting goodbyes at one another from opposite sides of the creek I kept going back to the highway and he turned around and went home.
I didn't get very far till I discovered that the next creek was up too. I roared backwards, honking the horn, wanting the all clear for this creek too. I got out and waved and jumped around and honked the horn and watched him in the distance deliberating whether to come back and help or keep going. Eventually he made up his mind and.... kept going. Wanker! If I perish out here it's all his fault!
In the end there was nothing to stress about because the second creek was the same in condition to the first. But after all that I finally got to the highway where I unlocked my hubs. It took me two hours from the time I initially set off for town to when I got to the bitumen. One hour and twenty minutes too long!
It won't be long before my regular trips back home will make the driveway impassable. As long as I can get in I don't care if I can't get back out. But it will do well in annoying the neighbours :o/ Meh, apparently she doesn't mind being flooded in...!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Oh, The Monotony!

Week in, week out. Concrete to pour and boredom to deal with. Sometimes the tedium got so bad that we were fighting over the most menial jobs at work just to keep occupied. The boss returned from a bush job and things got quieter. Then this week happened. One 3am start to travel over 300km to a station to pour a shed floor. Normal day Tuesday. 5:30am on Wednesday to pour kerbing 200km away. Knock off for me wasn't till 9pm after a veeery long day trying to keep the concrete wet enough to pour it. Today was a 5am start but better than yesterday. Concrete was wetter and the day wasn't as near as long but when I returned to the yard I was greeted with a little note saying "TRB wants concrete onsite at 5:30am, start 5am :o)" Smiley face my butt! Seriously, I need a break! I wanted to be able to start at a normal time tomorrow. No catch up on much needed sleep for me.
At least last weekend was spent actually doing something I enjoy. I finally got back in the cattle yards for the first time since September. I drove up to the Douglas Daly to arrive just in time for the Development Committee dinner where I caught up with friends and other people I hadn't seen for a while and also met some new people. Despite my exhaustion from the drive and working all day I didn't get to roll out my swag till about 1am to get some sleep for a 6am start in the yards. But that's fine... because I was BACK IN THE YARDS!
The second day was all over the place. First up it was dropping fences and setting up gates, then finally process some more cattle. After smoko I got sent out to set up gates and push up the tail with Doug in the chopper in a beat up Hilux reminiscent of my Bonalbo days (ironic that) as well as try and stand up a fence buried under half a foot of mud. My attempts to pull it up had Doug flying over wondering why I had no shirt on. Well, you know, lateral thinking, make the most of what you have around you. No chain? No rope? Use your shirt! ... It ripped. I am down one work shirt. It seems that this particular week was full of me doing dumb and senseless things. Not thinking before doing or in the following instance being to lazy to do something with interesting consequences.
As part of a Facebook group I belong to we had decided to do a Secret Santa where we didn't buy something for the recipient but make it instead. After changing my mind three times I finally decided on making a patchwork quilt. I sewed and sewed for weeks then finally I came close to finishing. So close that I was determined to complete it in one night. So there I was, climbing onto a dining chair looking up at the ceiling fan telling myself "Don't get hit by the fan" because I was too lazy to walk over to the dial only 3 metres away to turn it off. I'm standing there, on the dining table, shaking the quilt down over the wadding when WHACK! I get hit by the ceiling fan. I recoiled in pain on top of the quilt in disbelief that I got hit... believe it or not. When reality kicked in I realised I could be bleeding and to get off the bloody quilt. Bloody it was. So was the tea towel I used to stop my head from bleeding. I took a short break and sat on the couch where I just began laughing at myself. As my Dad said only I could turn quilting into a dangerous craft. After bandaging my head I got on with the job, washed out the blood as best as I could and finished for the night. The next morning after having a second crack at washing out the blood I dried the quilt, wrapped it wrapping paper and later in the day posted it off to its recipient, mild blood stain and all.
It's obvious that I seriously need a break. The brain isn't working properly, the body can barely carry itself. I pine for Providence and get devastated each time I pass the turn off to head home. Oh, the monotony!