Monthly Archives: February 2014

Taking Stock – February 2014

You’re probably all wondering what crazy drugs or coffee addiction I’ve got going on at the moment with all these blog posts flooding your email inboxes!  Well, the truth is, I’m actually taking part in an online blogging course this month called ‘Blog With Pip’. 

One of my favourite blog’s I love to read, Foxs Lane 

recommended the course and you all know that my New Years Resolution was to do something fun for me and devote a bit more time to blogging, so whammo – I bit the bullet and enrolled in my very first e-course!

The course is fantastic, albeit a little overwhelming at times with blogging/social media overload!  I am learning sooooooo much and hopefully you have noticed a few of the little changes I have started to implement on our blog (all feedback welcome!).

I’ve even gotten to know some new friends and now have a whole pile of interesting blogs to read!!!  Check out Heike’s blog for more travelling around oz good-ness, or Cat’s blog for a granny-chic lifestyle fix – Tassie style, or if you want some new jewellery, have a look at the blog of Clare, in St Louis, USA (also great for some snow photos too!).  There are heaps more lovely blogs which I will have to share with you over the next few weeks!

So, my assignment this week is to ‘Take Stock’.  It’s just a little snap shot of what is happening here in my world at the moment …………………………… no laughing at my answers!

Taking Stock – Feb 2014

Making : Beds!
Cooking : Banana Cake for afternoon tea
Drinking : Soda water and lime cordial – delicious!
Reading: Buddhism for Mothers (great recommendation Stell!)


Wanting: Chocolate
Looking: at the patio which really needs sweeping.
Playing: Zac Brown Band of course!
Deciding: If I have time to go into town for groceries today
Wishing: for a family weekend away at the beach
Enjoying: having no kids at home!
Waiting: for the electrician to come
Liking: that life has started to settle into routine a little bit
Wondering: if we are having a boy or girl!
Loving: my newly renovated nurseryIMG_3206
Pondering: the implications of privacy online vs wanting to blog about our family
Considering: if Lexi should do ballet 2 times a week or netball on Saturday’s instead
Watching: nothing – sticking to our no TV during the week ban!
Hoping: we get a storm this afternoon
Marvelling: at how fast life is flying by at the moment!
Needing: to get tea organised
Smelling: sweaty
Wearing: a black maternity skirt that was my friend Shelley’s
Following: Miss Grey Photography


Noticing: that our hedge really needs trimming
Knowing: I am spending too much time on the computer at the moment
Thinking: of four letter boys and girls names
Feeling: guilty that I haven’t done any vacuuming yet!
Admiring: how successful Pip Lincolne is
Sorting: boxes of baby clothes
Buying: a new water bottle for one of the worker’s after Matt ran over it in the ute this morning
Getting: called by Matt on the UHF
Bookmarking: http://www.farmingaheadofthecurve.com.au/index.html
Disliking: the heat!
Opening: a new box of laundry powder
Giggling: at this photo which came up on Facebook yesterday; Reason #87 to hire a photographer 
Feeling: hungry
Snacking: Saos with cheese and tomato on them
Coveting: an ipad mini
Wishing: that we had got to do more of our trip – particularly WA
Helping: Matt get the dorm ready for some more workers arriving tonight
Hearing: the Semi-Trailer at the shed being loaded up with the pallets of avocados we packed yesterday

Why don’t you play too?  I’d love to hear what is happening in your neck of the woods!  Copy the template below and paste your answers into the comments on this post or share on your own blog, or Facebook page, via email, whatever!  It’s a bit of fun, c’mon have a go!!

Taking Stock

Making :
Cooking :
Drinking :
Reading:
Wanting:
Looking:
Playing:
Deciding:
Wishing:
Enjoying:
Waiting:
Liking:
Wondering:
Loving:
Pondering:
Considering:
Watching:
Hoping:
Marvelling:
Needing:
Smelling:
Wearing:
Following:
Noticing:
Knowing:
Thinking:
Feeling:
Admiring:
Sorting:
Buying:
Getting:
Bookmarking:
Disliking:
Opening:
Giggling:
Feeling:
Snacking:
Coveting:
Wishing:
Helping:
Hearing:

Categories: About Us | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

Emma Gorge

DSC_0773As I gathered the photos for this blog post, I realised that there is less then a week of trip travels left to blog about!  This combined with the fact that Karen Camper was driven away by somebody else last week, (she sold only 2 days after we listed her on Gumtree!) means I am feeling a little sad that our trip really is coming to a very ‘official’ end.  I am reminding myself though, that as my mum-in-law Gayel said to me last week, “if you hold on to one adventure too long, you will never have another”, and she is exactly right.

Ok, so now just a little entry about the beautiful Emma Gorge.  After we packed up and followed the grader out of El Questro Station

Following the grader out of El Questro Station - very dusty!

Following the grader out of El Questro Station – very dusty!

we headed about half an hour down the road to Emma Gorge, which is also still a part of the El Questro Wilderness Park.  There is no camping at Emma Gorge, but there is a lovely resort with tented cabins, a restaurant and big swimming pool.  We arrived there at about 8am and quickly headed off to walk in to the Gorge to try and beat the heat.  It was a pretty tough walk in and seemed to take us forever, but it was probably only a bit over an hour in.  The kids did really well again, managing the rocky path and the boulder hopping/scrambling that is required just before you get to the waterfall at the end of the gorge.

The view of the gorge at the start of the walk in

The view of the gorge at the start of the walk in

A nice cool spot to rest about half way in

A nice cool spot to rest about half way in

Kids were pretty tired here

Kids were pretty tired here

Off we go again!

Off we go again!

The beautiful swimming hole and waterfall at the end was worth the walk in!  We all were hot and sweaty so stripped right off, jumped in and got the biggest shock – the water was FREEZING cold!!  We had been given the hot tip however, to head over to the rocks on the right where a lovely warm spring was so we all huddled in there.  We were even lucky enough to have the place to ourselves for a little while!

We made it!

We made it!  Not a lot of water coming over the falls but still really pretty!

Really beautiful - water cascading over the rocks

Really beautiful

Me having a swim - I had to force myself because it was very cold!

Me having a swim – I had to force myself because it was very cold!

It was very rocky (sharp rocks) at the waterhole - we would have been better to wear our reef shoes for the walk in.

It was very rocky (sharp rocks) at the waterhole – we would have been better to wear our reef shoes for the walk in.

Fealy Family at Emma Gorge

Fealy Family at Emma Gorge

This was our final stop along the Gibb River Road and definitely one we wouldn’t have missed!!  Has anybody else visited Emma Gorge on their travels?  Did you like it?

Categories: Camping, WA Camping | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

New Years Resolutions – In February!

46ba5c2637907ec81126c9ef38ee1471Happy Halfway Through February New Year!!  I know, I know, it’s a bit late, but better late than never I say!

If you’ve been following our blog for a while then you know I am a planner.  It is of course pretty much a given then, that I am a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions.  I am definitely a ‘reach for the moon, even if you miss you will still land among the stars’ kinda girl!  I love to set goals for myself and our family and although we don’t always achieve them, I really believe that they give us direction for our year, a plan towards the things that are most important to us at this point in time.

At the start of each new year, Matt and I usually sit down and come up with a ‘Top 5’ goals that we would each like to achieve personally.  We like to have a couple of ‘family goals’ as well.  I then put these up on our whiteboard, so they are there in plain site for us all (even the kids now that they are learning to read) to see them.  The whiteboard also usually has a rolling monthly ‘to do list’ and our weekly meal plan on it.

IMG_3912

Our kitchen whiteboard

We went round the table at breakfast on New Year’s Day morning and asked what our New Year’s Resolutions were;

Lexi – “to build a swimming pool for my birthday” (hmm, think we might have to talk about ‘realistic goal setting’ before next year!)

Toby – “to learn how to ride my skateboard without falling off”

Jack – “to read all of the Narnia Books in the series, even the boring ones”

Matt – “to learn how to better deal with things that don’t work or go wrong”

Jess – “to have some time to myself to do something fun before bub comes”

We have really struggled this year though, to find what the Fealy Family focus is. We don’t have any big holidays planned, we’re not really sure what our careers are doing at the moment, we don’t have a clue how a typical farm year plays out so it is tricky to make plans for going away, we aren’t living in our own home so no major renovating is going to happen, and we’ve kind of forgotten what we used to do for fun!

At first, I was really frustrated by this, worried that we had ‘fallen off the wagon’ and weren’t going to achieve anything in 2014.  But, as the first month of the year has gone by already, I’ve come to the realisation that it is ok not to have some major project planned, that this year can just be a year of consolidation.  I’m calling 2014 a Building Block Year.  Sure, not as exciting as the year we had last year, but I think ‘building block’ years are just as important in the scheme of things for the big dreams!  These are the years that lay the foundations for the long term goals to eventuate. This is a head down, bum up, work hard, look around, time out to think and plan, year.  I hope this makes sense to all of you, it does to us!

I did manage to come up with a Top 5 for myself which I am going to share here just so you can hold me accountable (and I can check back and see how I went in 12 months time)!  These are not ‘I’d like to’s or I will try to’s”, these are my ‘I will do’s for 2014!

Jess Top 5 2014

1. Get the trip blogging finished and blog more regularly.  Learn some new blog/writing skills.

2. Get baby nursery organised and baby things purchased and ready to welcome Bub No 4.

3. Re-instate ‘Bell Girls Weekend’ for 2014 (a yearly weekend away with my Mum and sisters)

4. Lose 10 kilos after Bub is born through daily excerise routine (30mins everyday!)

5. Finally print out a photo album of baby photos for each of the kids for their birthday’s.

I’m also going to do this great idea that I saw floating around Facebook at the start of the year;

I love this idea!

I love this!

And Our Top 3 Fealy Family Goals 2014

1. No TV during the week

2. One week away camping, with at least two long weekend camping trips.

3. One ‘family only’ outing per month.

I feel better and much more organised already just for putting these up on here!  So, what about you?  Do you make New Year’s Resolution’s or goals for the year?  Put them down below and I’ll check up on you in a year’s time!!IMG_3987

Categories: About Us | 11 Comments

Sunday Snapshot – Mt Hypipamee National Park

IMG_3978In an effort to bring a bit more consistency to our little blog, I’m introducing the ‘Sunday Snapshot’.  This will just be one photo, or a couple, taken on Sundays to share something about what we have done, where we have been, who we’ve seen, maybe what we’ve eaten, or if we’ve really gone crazy, maybe even something we have created!  I’m hoping the Sunday Snapshot will also remind us to take a bit of time out from ‘farm life’ every now and then and perhaps even get to share with you some of the beautiful places that we love to visit here on the Atherton Tablelands!

Today’s Sunday Snapshot was taken at Mount Hypipamee National Park.  We were heading to Ravenshoe to have home-made pizza’s for lunch with my Dad (who’s currently ‘baching’ it while Mum helps my sister get settled in Perth) and decided to check out the Crater and Dinner Falls as we went past.  Matt and I had visited the area as kids but had never taken our ratbags.  This is what we saw …………………………………

A little adventure - it's been a while!

A little adventure – it’s been a while!

Dinner Falls

Dinner Falls – we’ve had lots of rain recently so they are really flowing!

The Crater

The Crater

80metres up!

80metres up!

Some background information if you're interested!

Some background information if you’re interested!

The girl loves lizards!

The girl loves lizards!

And that was it.  A thirty minute stop, a pretty easy 1.5km return walk, some nice scenery, only one leech, we were treated to the kindness of a stranger who gave us a whole bag of Longans (similar to Lychees) in the carpark, and we felt like we had an adventure!  Bought back lovely memories of our trip for us all!  So, that was a bit of our Sunday, what did you get up to?

Oh, and Mum, this photo is for you.  Dad has worked out how to use the washing machine but it seems he may need a few pointers about the fact that hanging washing out to dry in the rain may not work so well, but hey, baby steps! 🙂 🙂IMG_3976

Categories: Atherton Tablelands, Sunday Snapshot | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Ode to Jerry

DSCF0239Just over two weeks ago now, we had to say goodbye to a very loved member of the Fealy Family, our little dog Jerry.  I grew up on a farm so I am no stranger to the fact that animals come and go, having seen many animals killed for meat, humane purposes and pest management.  So, I was a little surprised by how hard it was to say goodbye to Jerry.  We had to have him put down as he was nearly twelve years old and had become too sick, a result of a disease in his gums (yes – he did have the worst set of teeth and smelliest breath getting around!).  We have missed Jerry lots these last few weeks.  We keep expecting him to be waiting at the door when we get home, to see him curled up in his bed in our room, or come trotting back home satisfied with himself after scavenging some yummy treat off the worker’s in their camp kitchen!

It has taken me until now to feel like I can write a post about him without having to leave the computer in tears – such a sook I know!  But, he really was a big part of our family and deserves to have his own post written to remember him, so here it is!

We sure do miss you Jerry dog!

We sure do miss you Jerry dog!

Jerry (also known as Jezza, Jerry Dog and Stinky) was a supposedly ‘purebred’ (we have our doubts!) maltese terrier, born in July 2002 and came to live with Matt and I when he was just over 8 weeks old, not long after we moved in to our very first place together.  Matt bought him as a gift for me, along with an engagement ring, and presented them to me for my 22nd birthday.  I had once said to Matt during our early ‘courting’ days that all a girl ever wanted was a puppy, a diamond ring and Prince Charming, so when Matt offered all of those things when he proposed, how could I possibly have said no?!?!

Matt and I with Jerry in 2002

Matt and I with Jerry in 2002

Our first baby!

Two young pups!

We loved him so!

Nearly 12 years ago!

We even took him to Puppy Preschool!

We even took him to Puppy Preschool!

Jerry was our first baby, he was our practice run at what parenting would be like.  Matt and I argued over whether he was allowed to sleep in the house or not, and after 2 nights of puppy Jerry howling outside our bedroom window, upset at being relegated to an old tv box kennel, we ‘compromised’, and Jerry spent the rest of his nights in his dog-bed at the foot of our bed! Matt learnt that while positive reinforcement when obedience training our ‘first child’ is good, if you over-reward with the doggy chocolate, then you will have dog who vomits chocolate bits for days and who then never responds to a doggy treat ever again!

Our first baby, Jerry, road testing the baby carrier before Jack was born!

Our first baby, Jerry, road testing the baby carrier before Jack was born!

And road testing the rocking chair with Grunda again before Jack was born!

And road testing the rocking chair with Grunda, again before Jack was born!

We are so sad that Jerry never got to meet Fealy Bub No 4.  He was very much a part of the baby years of all the kids! Matt and I distinctly remember lying in bed a few nights before Jack was due to arrive and having a conversation about how on earth we were going to love a child as much as we loved Jerry – little did we know!  As our family grew, Jerry was always there!  When Jack was born he would get up from his bed and follow me to the nursery for every night feed.  When Toby was born, Jerry would wake and look at me from his bed with one eye open as I fumbled off to the nursery.  By the time Lexi was born Jerry didn’t even wake, a progression much like a certain Dad!

Jerry was at my feet for every feed when Jack was a baby

Jerry was at my feet for every feed when Jack was a baby

Jerry & Toby

Jerry & Toby

Bath time with Lexi

Bath time with Lexi

Jerry went everywhere with us.  Once we had the kids though, Jerry did get a little neglected.  There was the time we nearly left him behind after a BBQ at Cedar Creek and were lucky enough to have another picnicker come running after our car with him. As well as the time that we left him at the park after loading 3 kids, 3 scooters and 3 bikes in the car and we didn’t realise until 9pm that night.  We were lucky that he attached himself to another family at the park with a pram who had noticed us and they realised what had happened and handed him in at the vet for us.    And the time that we nearly left him behind in the car park at the botanical gardens, we’re not sounding like the best of family for him are we?  It was no wonder that every chance he got he would try to jump into someone else’s car!

Despite what it seems, we did love him so. We now miss the looks he used to give us while waiting to be invited to jump on to our laps on the couch, the sleeping ‘nightmare barks’ he used to do which would wake us in the night, the cleaning up of crumbs he would always do for me underneath the kids chairs at the table and the warm cuddles he would give at night lying on your tummy after a hard day at work or with the kids.  He didn’t do any fancy tricks, he could not even chase a ball, but he put up with all of us and was a huge part of our family.

Rest in Peace Jerry.  

Thanks for the memories little mate. xoxoxoxoxox

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Categories: About Us | 15 Comments

El Questro Station

DSC_0733Right, back to the trip!  Our last post saw us travelling along the Gibb River Road, where after a long day on the road we eventually arrived at El Questro Station.  I had been leaving this post for Matt to write as El Questro Station was his favourite stop on our whole trip, but the Farmer Boy just doesn’t have time at the moment and he is usually asleep in the chair in the lounge by 8pm, so if you want some more ‘blokey’ details about El Questro just yell them out in the comments and Matt will get back to you!

We arrived into El Questro (after a nervous creek crossing in the dark!  Very difficult to see how deep it is at night!) after the sun had set so we once again had to chose a site and set up in the dark!  Luckily the park wasn’t very busy so there were plenty of nice shady spots in the campground.  After a quick set up we treated ourselves to dinner at ‘The Swinging Arm Bar’.  The food was yum and the entertainment was great! The kids loved the whip cracking and jokes, and Matt and I thought the guy on the guitar was really good. Toby once again fell asleep at the table and everywhere we went around the station after that other campers would say ‘oh you’re the family who had the little fella asleep at the table’!

We were up early the next day to do the free walking tour of the immediate station grounds.  It was nice to orientate ourselves and gain a little bit of the history of the station, but our tour guide wasn’t much of a talker so it was a little bit of a waste of time we thought.

The creek crossing in to El Questro - not very deep when we went through

The creek crossing in to El Questro – not very deep when we went through

Lovely swimming spot at the campground

Lovely swimming spot at the campground

Trail riders heading out

Trail riders heading out – lovely shady campground behind them

We loved the amenities at El Questro - great little toilet/shower huts that you could have all to yourself!

We loved the amenities at El Questro – great little toilet/shower huts that you could have all to yourself!

As we only had two nights at El Questro, that meant a jam packed day of sightseeing for us, but boy was it awesome!

We started the day with a swim at Zebedee Springs.  They were the most amazing hot springs ever!  The springs are an easy, short walk from the car park and are set in amongst the rainforest and beautifully warm – we all could have stayed there all day!!  Unfortunately the springs are only open to campers/visitors in the morning and then closed off for the rest of the day as the station is trying to restrict the human impact on the springs and also allows it’s very high fee paying ‘Homestead’ guests exclusive use in the afternoons.  Our tip is to get there as early as you can, before all the tour buses arrive!  We loved that the springs are still in a very natural state, no concrete paths or walls – it really was beautiful in there – a real oasis!!

Fealy Family at Zebedee Springs

Fealy Family at Zebedee Springs

We all had so much fun paddling around!

We all had so much fun paddling around!

Can you see how clear the water is!

Can you see how clear the water is!

Relaxed much!  So beautiful and warm and heaps of little spots to find your own private waterfall!

Relaxed much! So beautiful and warm and heaps of little spots to find your own private waterfall!

Fun!

Fun!

Our three little ewoks walking back to the car from Zebedee Springs

Our three little ewoks walking back to the car from Zebedee Springs

From the springs, we decided to have a go at walking some of the El Questro Gorge trail.  We easily walked in to the halfway pool of the gorge (1.3km’s) in a bit under an hour with the kids, but once we reached this point some other walkers advised that it would be really tough going for the kids to go much further as there was lots of climbing and rock hopping involved.  So, we enjoyed a refreshing swim in the small swimming hole and then walked out again.  It was a really lovely walk, nice and shady so we were out of the sun for the hottest part of the day, but we definitely want to go back again and trek all the way in to the top pool of the Gorge as the photos of it looked quite beautiful – next time!

The walk in to El Questro Gorge

The walk in to El Questro Gorge

Really pretty walk - Tobes loved it!

Really pretty walk – Tobes loved it!

Lex having a swim in the water hole at the half way point - beautiful clear water but pretty cold!

Lex having a swim in the water hole at the half way point – beautiful clear water but pretty cold!

El Questro Gorge walk

El Questro Gorge walk

The road in to El Questro Gorge is 4wd only and Matt loved having a bit of fun in the mud and creek crossings in Peter Prado!!

Huge mud puddle before the creek crossing into the El Questro Gorge Trail

Huge mud puddle before the creek crossing into the El Questro Gorge Trail

Matt having fun!

Matt having fun!

Creek crossing

Creek crossing

Rocky and muddy!

Rocky and muddy!

Probably the deepest creek crossing Peter Prado got to do on our trip

Probably the deepest creek crossing Peter Prado got to do on our trip

We did a little bit of driving around the station and checked out Moonshine Creek and a little picnic area that I have forgotten the name of now!

Moonshine Gorge

Moonshine Gorge – there was a family painting and swimming here but we didn’t think it looked that inviting!

Gotta have another Boab Tree photo in there before we leave Western Australia!

Gotta have another Boab Tree photo in there before we leave Western Australia!

We decided for our lunch stop (albeit a very late one!) that we would tackle the 4wd track up to Saddleback Ridge.  I was a bit nervous about this as the station information pamphlet for this drive said ‘recommended for experienced 4 x 4 drivers only. This very steep, narrow and challenging 4WD track really highlights that getting there is an adventure in itself’ – eeeek!  But off we went and we were fine!  I wouldn’t have liked to have met another car on the track – it was VERY steep and VERY narrow but the view at the top for lunch was amazing!

Creek crossing at the start of the Saddleback Ridge track

Creek crossing at the start of the Saddleback Ridge track

Well done Peter Prado getting us to the top!

Well done Peter Prado getting us to the top!

Great views at the top and the spunky husband ain't bad either!!

Great views at the top and the spunky husband ain’t bad either!!

We finished off the day with a spectacular sunset picnic at Branco’s lookout.  It was a bit of a drive to get to Branco’s lookout, not difficult 4wding though, and we were disappointed that there wasn’t much water in the Pentecost River crossing (it would be spectacular with water in it) but it was a great spot to watch the sun go down over El Questro and such a good way to end what was really an awesome day of adventuring and exploring!

Crossing the Pentecost River on El Questro Station to get to Branco's Lookout

Crossing the Pentecost River on El Questro Station to get to Branco’s Lookout

Dad & Son - Blanco's Lookout

Dad & Son – Branco’s Lookout

Sunset at Blanco's lookout - amazing views of the Pentecost River and Cockburn Ranges

Sunset at Branco’s lookout – amazing views of the Pentecost River and Cockburn Ranges

Fealy Family - El Questro Station

Fealy Family – El Questro Station

We missed out on doing heaps of other great things at El Questro Station, such as the Chamberlain Gorge cruise, Champagne Springs hike, Explosion Gorge 4wd track, Pigeon Hole 4wd track, Amalia Gorge trail and heaps of other bits and pieces.  We hadn’t done any research on El Questro Station before we arrived there and had no idea how much there really is to do and see!  I think you would need at least a week there – if not more so you can enjoy some relaxing time in a pretty spectacular spot!  And we would definitely, definitely chose one of the private campsites along the Pentecost River at the station.  There are no amenities on these sites but they looked beautiful and it is only a short drive back to the station if you really wanted a hot shower!!  If you are a 4wd enthusiast and camper then be sure to add El Questro Station to your list of places you must visit!!

PS. You can get to El Questro Station from Kununurra in about an hour and a half, and the road is all sealed to the Station turn off.  From the turn off it is 16km’s of gravel and there is a water crossing to consider, but the road wasn’t too bad at all!

PPS. I forgot to mention that along with your camping fees at El Questro, you must also purchase an El Questro Wilderness Park Permit.  The prices when we went through were (yes expensive, but worth it!):

  • Adult – $20 per person (valid for seven days)
  • Adult – $12 per person (Day Pass)
Categories: Camping, WA Camping | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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