JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

I am fifty something and I love my family and the life I live. I'm an optimistic person by nature and I try to find a positive for every negative. I'm not a vegetarian, but the animal I eat is. I enjoy cooking, photography and scrapbooking. Since living here I have become a gardener and take immense joy in the beauty of my garden. My husband and I feel that we are the caretakers of the land rather than land owners. We run a grass fed Droughtmaster Stud on our little piece of Paradise and the cattle are a never ending supply of photo opportunities.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

"Those awkward days.........

...........between christmas and new year when you don't know what day of the week it is"
Christmas already feels like a zillion years ago and yet we have not even started 2016!  Anyway it is the perfect time to catch up with friends over a leisurely lunch and that is exactly what we did yesterday.
We have Philips mum staying with us for a few days and she mentioned that she would like to see our Kuranda friends.
These friends have been almost lifelong friends as Philip went to boarding school with both Michael and Tony.  We have always stayed in contact, even if it was a simple card at christmas and we always enjoy their company.
A simple phone call on Monday had us organised to have lunch at our little tavern here at Julatten and then back to our house for coffee and afternoon tea.  We didn't leave the lunch table until after 3.00pm. The conversation was just so easy.  We drank copious amounts of wine and beer with our meal and by the time we made our way back home we were all very cheerful.  As we sat outside on the verandah drinking our coffee and eating our cake, the rain bucketed down.  Really, really heavy rain with the occasional rumble of thunder.  Glorious rain.  We said goodbye to our friends before the sun went down and promised to do it again soon.


Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Mustering at Caleewa

As I mentioned in my earlier post, we mustered cattle while we were at Caleewa.  The move of the 1000 head was a nice easy one from the middle paddock at "Cathan" to the bottom end of "Cathan".  Marco had us out of bed at 5.00am to beat the heat.  Most of the breeders have baby calves at foot and it is not fair to walk them in soaring heat, besides that, they won't  walk when it's hot.
Much to our absolute surprise and pleasure as we were driving to the paddock we came across some very wet country.  There had been a good storm pass over this country.  We think around 60-70mm!  It was almost too wet to muster but we persevered along with the help of Marco's excellent working dogs and we were finished mustering by 9.00am.  We couldn't help ourselves. We had to go for a drive to see how far the rain went and we were pleased that the storm covered about 50% of "Caleewa".  In a few weeks time it will look very lush.


Philip wondering whether to turn back or not (we didn't)

Had to wear helmet, glasses, long sleeves to avoid getting slammed by the giant grasshoppers!


Cattle are looking pretty good after three years of poor wet seasons.

So many calves!


It ain't clean work....

......for me and the dog!


This is Eastern Creek that has just started to flow from waters downstream.

Monday, 28 December 2015

It's been a while since my last post.....

......but gee we've been busy.  Earlier in December we travelled to Magnetic Island for Dallas's (Philip's mum) 80th birthday.  Quite a milestone.  We took Dallas and four of her friends to lunch at a lovely little french bistro at Nelly Bay.  We talked and laughed our way through a lovely lunch and as we were practically the only customers in the restaurant we were waited on hand and foot.



The following week I went along to the Julatten Ladies Christmas lunch at the Highlander Tavern.  I haven't been able to attend many of these this year.  They always seem to clash with something else that I'm doing so it was lovely to catch up with friends.


Christmas parties were next on the agenda.  Our friends Doug and Di invited us along to their lovely home for a get together.  Doug and Di have sold their home and moving to the Sunshine Coast in March so this will be their last Julatten get together.  We will really miss them.

Christmas came around so fast.  We had decided some months ago to drive out to "Caleewa" for christmas because a few months ago we really thought we would be hand feeding our cattle.  Thank goodness we have had enough rain to grow enough grass to sustain the cattle so that feeding is not necessary. We drove out on Tuesday prior to Christmas so that we could help Marco move a mob of cattle before christmas.  

Christmas at "Caleewa" was fabulous.  Marco cooked us blueberry pancakes with ricotta and honey for breakfast and we washed this down with Passionfruit Champers.  It was so delicious.  


After breakfast we cleaned up and then opened the mountain of presents.....always seem to have too many!  We then cleared away the debris and began the lunch preparation.  Must admit I did not do much in the kitchen because my daughter in law is extremely efficient in the kitchen.  Marco and Suzie had invited Joe and Desley (caretakers that we had employed previously) to join us for christmas lunch and they were a lovely addition to our little quartet.  
Christmas lunch was a magnificent feast of Pork Belly (braised in fennel, apple and white sambucca) pureed cauliflower, roast pumpkin, carrots and sweet potato and broccoli with almonds.  It was delicious and filling so we waited a while before Suzie presented us with a Berry Pavlova with salted caramel sauce.  My mouth is salivating just thinking about it.  I made Suzie give me the recipe so watch out friends.  It will be on the menu.
We didn't leave the lunch table until 3.00pm and then we just all lazed around digesting our lunch and shooting the breeze.  No dinner for any of us that night.  The perfect christmas day.




Wednesday, 9 December 2015

At long last!

I bought a plant from the markets in Mossman almost nine years ago and the lady that sold it to me said that it had a most beautiful flower.  She had me at the word flower.  We had not long moved to the coast from outback Queensland and all I wanted in my garden was flowers, preferably perfumed, with lots of colour.
So we planted out this shrub and waited.  And waited. And waited.  The "shrub" grew into a very large shrub and became too big for my front garden but alas, not a single flower.  Two years ago I gave up on it every flowering and transplanted it to a spot in the garden that I rarely visit, after all it was not a particularly attractive shrub (tree!)
This morning Trudi let out a very excited yell. Philip went to see what was up and then excitedly called me to "come quick"!  The shrub had finally flowered!  And, oh my goodness, it was worth the wait.  The delicate pale pink flowers are about 6cm across and the darker pink centre is almost pleated. There is a slight perfume that smells of soap.  I do not know the name of the plant but stay tuned as I will contact the lady that sold me the plant to ask her.