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.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

New beginnings.

I can now, finally, tell you all that we have sold the last of our Julia Creek properties......Yaaaaayyyyy!
It has taken over two years to sell because of the continuing drought in western Queensland but we were lucky enough to receive a very good wet season that meant we could market the property as "heavily grassed".  It didn't take long to sell!
Caleewa Downs has been in the McCowen family since 1958......58 years and three generations.  It has been a remarkable property rarely missing out on a "wet season" until recent years.  The new owner, we are certain, will also see the value in this blue chip property.
So now the packing begins......58 years of "stuff".  A lot will go straight to the dump and a lot will go with our son to his new property near Gympie.  Our son estimates 5-6 trips to move everything and I intend to go on one of the trips as I'm looking forward to seeing "Evergreen".
So, new beginnings for all of us.  For hubby and I it will mean retirement and lots of trips to visit those places that have been on the bucket list for quite awhile.  Most of these trips will be right here in Australia as there are not too many places in the world that we really have much inclination to visit whilst there is so much unrest in the world.  We love our little camper and always look forward to the next adventure in it.
On a sad note I was gutted to hear that Prince had died.  Oh my goodness, I really loved that man.  I have most of his albums and watched the Purple Rain movie so many times that I wore out the VHS tape!  He truly was a legend and his music will live forever.  RIP Prince and see you in the parallel universe.







Thursday, 21 April 2016

Dirt n Dust Festival 2016

The Dirt n Dust has been running now for 22 years.  You would have to call it a success.  It started as a discussion around the bar at the Julia Creek Town and Country Club when a little "live wire" who we will call Mad Maggie said that the town needed an event to liven it up.  All sorts of things were suggested but in the end it was decided that we would run a Triathlon with a Country Music Festival to support it.  Triathlon was in its infant years back then and the first triathlon drew a massive 20 competitors.  We were very impressed with this number.  This year the triathlon had almost 400 competitors from all over Australia.
My husband has competed in almost every one of the 22 triathlons.  In the first few years he competed in the team event with our two sons but it didn't take him long to start doing the individual event.  He loves it.
This year there was quite a few from our little area that drove the 1000km to either participate in, or enjoy the weekend festivities.  The weekend starts on Friday with the Junior Triathlon followed that night by a free concert.  Saturday is the Senior Triathlon followed by the Artesian Express Horse Racing.  Saturday night is the PBR Bullride followed by a concert with a "big name" performing.
We stayed at the Julia Creek Caravan Park in our little camper with our friends Richard and Tracy.  Tracy also competed in the Triathlon.  It is the perfect spot to stay as it is close to everything and a local bus shuttle service running between all venues is available if you don't feel like walking.
We stayed in Julia Creek until Sunday morning before then making our way to Porcupine Gorge for a night of camping.  It is a glorious spot and I wish that we had another day to enjoy it.  Philip and I did the 2.5 km walk to the bottom of the gorge and thank goodness we did!  The little rock pool below Pyramid Mountain is pretty beyond belief.  I just wish that I had packed bathers!
We are now home and looking forward to next years DirtnDust.

Philip "racking up" his bike

 The local mayor (right) is a good friend of ours and competes in many triathlons

Tracy checking her gears are correct

The competitors bikes are transported to the waterhole in the truck if they don't have their own transport

In readiness for the swim leg at Eastern Creek Waterhole

The run leg....a sea of runners the length of the main street in Julia Creek

Tracy on the run leg

It was one of the coolest triathlons due to the lovely cloud cover but the drinks were still needed by the runners

Philip on the run leg.  The knee is well strapped.

Magnificent reflections in the rock pool at Porcupine Gorge

Pyramid Mountain

Our campsite at Porcupine Gorge.  Bliss.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Moving right along.....

Gosh, it's been awhile since I last posted on my blog.  We have just had so much on our plate lately and some very exciting news that I will be able to tell you about in a couple of weeks time.
Philip is currently at Julia Creek where the men are busy selling and trucking cattle.  We have had a beautiful wet season at "Caleewa" and "Cathan" but I speak quietly as there are still so many places in western Queensland that have not received anywhere near enough rain.  We hope and pray for a late wet season for them but it doesn't look hopeful.
I quite look forward to my time alone.  Philip and I are with each other 24/7 so it's healthy to have a break away from each other.  For me I like to try out new recipes while I'm by myself and if they are a success I will serve them up to hubby when he returns.  I've made some very interesting things this past week
  • Loaded sweet potatoes (filling of Chorizo, Capsicum, Onion, Sour Cream, Paprika etc etc)
  • Bolognese sauce (made an extra large batch) and then served it with Zucchini Noodles; next day I topped jacket potatoes with the sauce and lots of parmesan cheese and on the third day I made a Moussaka that I have been enjoying with a greek salad.
  • Pork Leg rubbed with Spiced Coffee mix (salt, pepper, cayenne, brown sugar, garlic, smoked paprika, ground coffee) that is slowly cooking away in the cooker ready for me to eat for lunch today with some fresh vegetables
  • Coconut Ice Cream (condensed milk, full cream milk, coconut cream, shredded coconut) and peaches that I picked up on a throw out table at the farmers market and have now poached with coconut syrup, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, star anise and vanilla pod.

Pork Leg rubbed with spiced coffee mix for lunch today.

Since we now have our main meal at lunch and very little (if anything for dinner) I have become more creative with seemingly more time to prepare the lunch time meals.  I have always disliked cooking meals in the evening.  It is always late when we come in from the garden and quite honestly I just love to shower and then kick back in the lounge chair and enjoy a little evening TV.

How have your days been?  Busy?