Rural Reflections #24

Such a busy-busy week.  But agriculture has been at the top of the priority list this week, as other aspects of life take a backseat.  From AgQuip field days and Hereford steaks… to pregnancy testing cattle and updating office records.  Time for a quick breather.

I have been reflecting on the agricultural industry, particularly the Hereford breed and the good-hearted people within this industry.  I have spent 3 long days at AgQuip Gunnedah with my fellow northern NSW Hereford breeders promoting the breed quality and performance traits.

With the beautiful smell from the BBQ, cooking 4000 Hereford steaks, and tasty Hereford beef pies, satisfied customers enjoyed the daily experience.  Hanging out with these passionate hard-working farming families and dedicated staff, has reminded me of the passion within them all.

Suffering from the effects of drought on-farm, yet they all found a way to be here and support the industry whole-heartedly.  Whether it is just a reason to get away, promote the significant breed or share their love for the agricultural industry… it was a pleasure to see the genuine care and interest over these days.

I particularly love the camaraderie and laughs shared; the efficiency and hard-work displayed; and the hospitality and care that is extended to customers.  That special factor that farmers possess… that love and passion to feed our nation… that is what stood out for me each day.

From one event to the next… pregnancy testing was on the agenda the following day.  I had been feeling slightly overwhelmed and worn out.  Back pain had sprung upon me again.  Nevertheless, a great result in preg-testing… with 100% of the mob preg-tested in calf.

With a quick visit to the chiropractor to rectify an on-going problem, I was back on deck again.  It amazes me how pain can affect your entire mood, your motivation and your enthusiasm in life.  I had forgotten how my chronic pain used to make me feel.  When we get pain, life does become a struggle… both physically and mentally.  It must become our goal to find a solution… to give us back control of our life.

My solution was a chiropractic adjustment, magnesium oil, pain relief and muscle-strengthening stretches.  Then time to catch-up on office work.  Several hours later, all livestock records have been updated and stock requirements have been met.  With calving season upon us, calves are being born, into not such an ideal season.  With a little bit of extra livestock management and schedules… farming continues.

With agriculture monopolising my time this week, I wanted to share with you a photo taken back in April 2017 just on dusk.  This is a reminder that good seasons exist and will exist again.

Rural Reflection #24…

24 Hereford Happiness

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I love this photo because it sparks feelings of happiness.  Hereford happiness… cows inquisitive in nature, quiet and trusting of us… their care-takers.  I like the green pastures beneath the cows and anticipate this again soon.  The cultivated paddock with rich black soil, full of nutrients, represents the opportunity awaiting a better season.  I also love how the sky and cloud formations tell their own story.

This photo significantly tells me that at the end of the day, there is beauty all around us, trust is in many places and hope of another day when the sun rises tomorrow.  Sometimes we all just need to take a breath, open our eyes and see what is before us.  What do you need to see today?

Take care, Karen.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments

when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

~ Thornton Wilder

 

 

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Rural Reflections #21

Tired, exhausted and distracted with life… that I have neglected to write for you and for me.  That underlying passion that sparks my soul when I use my thoughts and words to connect with my life… it has been simmering beneath the breeze.

But I am back, still tired, still distracted, but ready to reflect once again.  I have been busy with farming, business life, new business ventures, voluntary activities and now my health has taken priority.  Why is it so hard for women to put themselves first and value their own health status?  Usually, it is when our health fails us, that we decide to make it more of a priority.

Another sinus surgery to follow-up from last year, has left me feeling tired, as my office work started to pile up.  Starting to get back on top of it, yet distracted by means of too many roles to participate in.  I have been reflecting on the important things in life.  My health, my family and my passion.

I look back over the years… proud of success, learning from failures and connecting with many people, making a difference in this world.  Success comes in so many forms.  But so many people focus on success being an overall goal.  This is so untrue and can leave people feeling unnecessary disappointment.

Success is all the little things that you do throughout every day of your life.  Success is teaching your child good manners.  Success is ensuring your partner feels loved.  Success is bringing happiness into someone else’s life.  The small things that good people just do without a conscious thought… that is real success.

So rather than focusing on the happy marriage, the new car, the dream home or the ideal job that you will get one day… focus on those little successful events throughout your day.  And remember that disappointment or failure is just a lesson to teach us there is another way or something better around the corner.

So today I share with you a photo taken in 2010 from another farming property of mine.  A farm that holds many memories of my sons teenage years.  A farm called “Kokoda” between Inverell and Glen Innes NSW.

A farm that brings me joy when I reflect… but also sadness for a time when my husband had broken a vertebrae in his back as a result of a Quadbike farm injury, only 4 years ago.  A serious injury that my dear husband has now thankfully overcome.

Life happens, injuries happen… but it is how we get through it and how we move forward that is important.  It is during this very stressful time that I realised how lucky I really was.  Lucky to have a loving husband and lucky to have 2 sons to support us through this tough time.

Life will always have ups and downs… for each and every one of us.  This photo that I share is a reflection upon times gone by and a reminder to just appreciate the beauty and tranquil surrounds.

Rural Reflection #21…

21 Times Gone By at Kokoda

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I love this photo for the good memories it arouses in me.  The beautiful natural green pastures with a sprinkling of white clover.  The memories of our Hereford cattle beneath those trees chewing their cuds.  Memories of family mustering and enjoying each others company.  Good memories stay with us, wherever we are.

So as life moves on, our memories are retained within, and we pursue new chapters within our lives.  When you reflect on your life… you really can see how successful you are every single day.  Cherish those experiences and enjoy what life brings your way.  You never know what is around the corner.

Take care,

Karen.

“Success is not in what you have,

but who you are”.

~Bo Bennett, Author

 

Rural Reflection #8

When all you seem to do is work, work, work… there comes a time when you just crave for a breather.  A time to sit and reflect… to just appreciate your life and the wonderful people around you.  With drought smothering us on the farm and that natural ability to thrive seems to diminish somewhat… alas… there is someone reaching out to you.

They are special compassionate people, friends or strangers, extending an arm to you, listening, thankfully distracting you from an overload of work tasks and allowing you into their own world of thoughts.  It is then, that you truly appreciate the kindness and generosity in these extraordinary people.

That day was only yesterday for me.  A friend that was once a stranger, and her family lifted our spirits… unbeknown to them… and what a powerful effect their presence had created.  A family that moved to Tamworth from the Central Coast about 2 years ago, starting a new life in this beautiful northern region.  I met this quiet woman a year ago through CWA meetings and our friendship developed.  Interestingly, two women from two completely different backgrounds, from city and country, can form a connection and feel comfortable in discussions.  Our husbands then met, both leading different work lives, yet conversation seemed so engaging and relaxed.

Yesterday, I was feeling a little overwhelmed, as tiredness took hold of me and I struggled to fully function in work mode.  As farmers know, we do not have the luxury of work times… our work finishes when the job is done.  We work 7 days a week and with drought now, those hours are extended with earlier starts and working until dark.  We all pray for relief soon, rain to break this horrid drought.

So with work committments piling up and office jobs completed in priority order, I was feeling mentally exhausted.  It was then that I receive a little message from my thoughtful friend, suggesting her family come for a visit.  Honestly, my first reaction in my own mind was… I don’t really have time to socialise, I am so busy with things to get done, the house is a bit untidy, what food do I have in the fridge.  Why do farmers automatically feel guilty when they stop to relax?  I have no idea why, but I know now that it is more important than ever, that we do find a little time out and engage with other people.

Then, I took a breath from my anxiety… and yet it was then organised, on a spur of the moment whim.  My friend, her husband and their 2 sons arrived early evening, with a few dinner supplies in hand.  Her calm gentle nature somehow manages to relax me and I enjoy her normal and compelling conversation.  The men all went to shift a mob of cows, giving us time to catch up and prepare dinner.  The evening just worked out perfectly.

My beef roast had been cooking in the slow cooker, so we only needed to cook some vegetables to accompany the meal.  I do find on the farm, my slow cooker is used a lot because I never know when I will get home, so at least we have some meat cooked for dinner to motivate me.  And tonight it all worked out fine.

The men returned after moving the cows, with the hope of a storm in the hills behind them, but disappointingly it never made it’s way here.  I felt relief for other farmers beyond those hills.  Although we missed out, I was happy for the other farmers in the distance.

Today, I have been reflecting on the importance of friendships and allowing others to reach out to us and welcoming them into our unique world with open arms.  So I am sharing this photo with you all, that was taken a year ago.  It shows a track on the laneway of our property, that we use regularly when moving stock from the lower undulating hills to the valley out the back.  I really like this photo for 2 reasons.  The colours are enticing with cloudy blue sky above the dry landscape with a splashing of trees.  And the windy track as it dips over the hill arouses the curiosity of the unknown destination within the image.

Rural Reflection #8…

08 A Windy Track Beneath a Cloudy Blue Sky

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Yesterday, it was this winding track that brought the men back for dinner.  It made me think about not only the appreciation that we had for this visiting family in helping us, but the appreciation of the country and lifestyle that we were able to share with them.  A rural industry that they are very unaccustomed to, yet keen to experience.  An industry that we are passionate about… giving us the opportunity to share it with them.

Whilst the men enjoyed what the outdoors can offer, my friend and I enjoyed some open heartfelt conversation.  I find it so amazing that although we are new friends, we can connect, enjoy the company and find support in one another.  And our husbands in their own way, can do the same.  My farmer husband with his tough exterior, deep down enjoys sharing his passion with these new friends and relishes in seeking some downtime and laughter.  This visit meant so much to us, in a way that may be difficult to explain, but sincere gratitude expressed, especially at a time when farmers are so very sensitive and stressed.

Kindness does not cost anything and makes a big difference in the lives of those you touch.  No act of kindness, regardless of how small… is ever wasted.  Be kind to everybody that you meet, because everybody is fighting their own battles.  Regardless of our differences, our background, our experiences, our stories… we are all interesting people in city and country… kindness is the key to uniting us and strengthens our soul.

Take care, Karen.

“No act of kindness is too small.

The gift of kindness may start as a small ripple

that over time can turn into a tidal wave

affecting the lives of many.”

~ Kevin Heath

Rural Reflections #1

My new WEEKLY FEATURE you can look forward to is “Rural Reflections”.  This new feature is armed with an exclusive photo from my farming property.  It will also be accompanied by an inspirational and uplifting message within.

I will publish “Rural Reflections” every week as a commitment to share my passion with you all and give a brief vision into my own life.  My personal photos included in “Rural Reflections” will be subject to copyright.

I hope you enjoy following my new Weekly Feature giving you a small insight into farming life.  I look forward to sharing my passion and hope to inspire you all in your own everyday life.

Rural Reflection #1…

01 Under a Beautiful Pink Sky on Dusk

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This photo was taken in August 2017 when our property had green Winter feed.  It was almost on dark, with the moon shining beautifully upon a pink sky and blue clouds.

I really like this photo with the gorgeous contrast of colours and the vastness it creates.

It was the perfect photo to choose for “Country Heart Spark” as it creates a sense of calmness and beauty.  So I would like to introduce my new “Country Heart Spark” icon.

icon

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The underlying photo is a symbolisation of the “country” rural areas across our nation and also a part of my home property.  The addition of the red “heart” represents the passion I have for the rural industry and within my life.  The purple and pink markings signify the “spark” within me and the ability to share my inspiration through my writing.  The glowing moon brings it all together and reminds us to look for the beauty within.

Take care, Karen.

 

“No beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart.”

~ Author Unknown