Sunday, 20 March 2016

... are just splendid ...



By Simone McPherson


With the ending of summer and the coming of the autumn months the country is looking rather sparse ...


... though the dramatic colours of Payne’s Grey and Naples Yellow are magnificent in their contrast across the countryside.



At this time too we get a number of visitors to the house not only human …



… however animal too, looking for that extra bit of sustenance, the ‘Pretty Face’ Wallabies are looking for Protein in the form of seeds and grains which they get from the ‘Wild Birdseed’ mix which is a mixture of black sunflower seeds, millet or sorghum, oats and corn? Not sure why that is in there.  And ‘Wild Finch’ mix that we liberally toss across the dry ground in front of the veranda.  Even so this mix is not only for the Wallabies but also for the many tiny Double-barred Finches Taeniopygia bichenovii, the Diamond Firetails Stagonopleura bella, the two beautiful species of Ground Parrots Pezopours wallicus, the many, many Galah’s Eolophus roseicapilla with the beautiful pink and grey colourings as well as the numerous wood pigeons and other grass feeders that shyly and quietly visit us at this time of year in the early hours of the morning.



Rocky too has taken to visiting me at the house for a lovely cold apple or a carrot from the fridge that he amusingly relishes as the juices dribble from his mouth.



We also had this wonderful moth appear though only for a day and not to be seen of again …



On my late afternoon walks the colours in the countryside are pleasant in the hues though the country is rather dry at this time of year, however it still possesses its own wild and rugged beauty.



On my walks we come across the horses – Luigi, Blondie, Rusty and Katie’s gang … 



… there is  Pedro and Rocky too in another paddock along with  



… little Dominga who is getting a little more daring in how close she comes to me though still keeping a good eye on where Mum is if she needs to make a break for safety 



The Grey Box Gums have been magnificent this year and I have been eagerly collecting up their fallen leaves, small twigs and bark for my little gardens in fact I have raked up 12 chaff bags of leaf debris …



… 10 bags of humus from down the Creek, 8 bags of cattle manure from the cattle yards – the horse manure is hopeless just full of all these terrible weeds.  I do believe that having two stomachs makes a difference in the amount of weeds that I get from cow manure, just about nothing.  I have also collected 4 half bags of dry clay grit as I could not even attempt to lift a full bag, from a number of dams that are close to the house …



… all for my little gardens that I have completely overhauled this year, digging through all that fresh and new compost 



… the Villa Franca lemons are doing superbly, though they were badly damaged in a terrible hail storm a number of months ago that swept through the landscape … 

 … the little Cumquat's too are doing well after the damage …



I have also planted some Oak leaf lettuces for the change in the weather along with Kale, and Thai Basil though I do think that it’s the wrong climate here for this lovely Tropical herb … 



We have been busy feeding out the cattle too …



… along with some helpers who prefer the comfort of the cab on these hot days.



We have also been checking the creek boundaries …



The paddocks that make up the creek boundaries have been closed up for the summer months ready for the cattle for autumn with fresh pick the pastures down there are just splendid to say the least …



… so much so that some of us just almost vanish amongst all those blades of grass, but what an unspoiled wonderland to get lost in …

Sunday, 13 March 2016

... giving my days an extra skip ...



by Simone McPherson
 With my new and unhurried pleasure that I have found in the understanding of; and doing of; things I have discovered Audio Books and my imagery and words have begun to slowly return, though I now view the world a little differently.  I did ask the Therapist one day if I would discover a hidden talent. 

 Like being able to do Sudoku, or of becoming dazzling at crosswords or what about being able to play a musical instrument?  She said “were you before your fall?”  No, I said sadly, “Well I don’t really think there will be any changes lets concentrate on what used to bring you pleasure?”  I thought for quite a long while, as I did back then.  Then the word ‘Drawing’ came to mind.  “Well let’s concentrate on that" she said.

It would be over two months before I would pick up a pencil to start drawing.  Doing the Accounts and Ledgers and using the Computer was a major brain gridlock as it was all too overwhelming for me.  I just had to watch as our mail banked up as there was nothing I could do, El Ranchero did as much as he could though he was pretty limited where the computer was concerned he could turn it on and look at his cattle, gun and horse sites and that was about it.  

 However I did enjoy sewing and mending. I discovered that I could read a book in front of the television and not hear one single word from that television, “amazing” I thought.  And I did enjoy having a routine and procedure to things, in-fact I cannot manage the day now without a routine, which are broken up into a lot of little breaks.

I no longer join El Ranchero with the heavy work and over the last four months or so El Ranchero has done some major changes around the property too, as I do believe it was a bit of a wakeup call for him as well. 

“We are not getting any younger and we need ease of management”, he said to me one afternoon on the veranda as we shared a cup of afternoon tea together.

Rocky has turned out to be a gem and El Ranchero and he have connected way beyond our wildest dreams.  He is such a wonderfully strong horse and he has a very stable and quiet mind, able to put up with El Ranchero's ranting, raving and his singing.  Though he is eager to learn and to work which is what you want in a working horse in this hard country, though at times he can become ‘pig headed’ and even ‘cunning’ as some of us humans can be too, however there is nothing unkind in his temperament.

Of course I still have my wonderful relationship with the horses and I can now go amongst them, grooming, saddling, unsaddling and letting them re-discover me with their own intimacy which is so lovely to experience as an omnivore a human being, with such a large and powerful herbivore.  

And to make things even more pleasurable we have a new addition to the herd, this image is of the day she was born, already up and on her feet, though a little shaky.   

It would be quite a while before Porky Girl would let us any were near her new baby she is such a wonderful mother at 19 horse years of age.

Then about a month or so later she just appeared at the house one morning to show off her beautiful baby … Dominga.  Dominga was born on Sunday and being a little filly I just changed the ‘o’ for an ‘a’ at the end of the word to keep her in line with her ‘Spanish Horse’ ancestry.   

… Dominga even has a little love heart on her forehead … see how long that will stay there?

 Luigi, is Dominga's father

Another strong and beautiful Spanish horse that was born on the property nearly five years ago now, although he is still not broken in, he has been handled with ropes and he has had a saddle on him in the yards, he too has a lovely temperament so far … fingers crossed …

… nevertheless we will get there soon and we are rather excited to see how she ends up, she already loves to gallop everywhere and has no fear with lots of curiosity and interest in things which is just how you want them to be.

And just before I sign off, I would dearly like to thank all my wonderful readers for all your thoughtful words of good-cheer over this time, I graciously thank you all, your thoughts are with me and at present they are giving my days an extra skip.  I too look forward to catching up with all your news too now that I am slowly getting back into the swing of things, bye for now.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

... a pleasure for my concentration ...



by Simone McPherson
 It has now been nearly four months since my fall, my short term memory has slowly returned with a lot of patience, kindness and reassurance from El Ranchero who has been by my side right throughout this ordeal.  I am very Grateful for his attention and his thoughtfulness at this time.

I had to reteach myself a number of things and I also had to instil some new understandings as my perception of things had shifted from my old self.  I was different, I was still myself though I was different somewhere.  I could not quite put my finger on it nonetheless I knew I was different.

Everyday functions were the same the only difference was that I was in the ‘Now’ I had no perception of “doing this and then I will do that”. 

None at all, I had to be present right in the moment for each and every task I took on.  I had to write myself lists, lists and more lists.  I had lists floating around everywhere, and many I do not remember writing.

I had to pull out manuals that luckily I had kept though that in itself was a task as I had to remember where on earth I had put them.  The manuals were on how to use the sewing machine, how to use the remote control for the CD player and for the Television.  Though it would be a while before I could sit down to watch a movie or even just the television as the information and the images were too much for me to take in at the time.  

I had to learn how to use the mower, how to use the riffle and the revolver, how to work out the gas stove, the washing machine and so forth, and as for driving a manual vehicle and listening and talking to someone at the same time? absolutely way beyond my perception of understanding at this time. 

For the first three weeks or so I could not be left alone as I forgot about things, I just did not remember putting on the kettle, turning on the iron, leaving the door up at the chest freezer, leaving the tap running at the sink as I just walked away and the list went on.  

We were fortunate to have friends drive out for a day to ‘baby sit’ me, as I really could not have a conversation either except for the very basic.  So they were happy to watch a movie, horse racing, football, fix machinery, change oils in motors and so forth whilst I listened to my Audio Books. 

These visits allowed El Ranchero to get on with jobs around the property, as I still could not travel in the Ute with him as the bumps along the tracks were too horrendous for me, and I was suffering quite a bit from the ‘light’ migraines. 

 I could not be around machinery as I had no concept of the dangers associated with their procedures; I would get distracted with looking at the scenery or some other thing.  There became a lot of things that were left undone as we could not get to them at this time.

 And so my reprogramming began.  I had to learn to do one thing at a time, and that one thing I would strangely enough become totally engrossed in doing to almost faultlessness in my eyes.  

In an odd sort of way I found my new understanding of doing things a pleasure for my concentration was focussed, unhurried and taken on with fresh eyes and investigation.


… to be continued …