Fancy Gumboots – Perfect For Dancing!

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.”
~ Jalaluddin Rumi

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
~ William W. Purkey

 

Easter weekend is here again, and of course two things are a given:

  1. It’s Bluesfest here at Byron Bay
  2. It’s raining

And my old gumboots died somewhere around Christmas. But that’s okay. Yesterday Ben bought me some new ones.

I now have the world’s comfiest, warmest gumboots (or galoshes or wellingtons depending on where you are!).

They are soft but sturdy, and lined with fur. Completely waterproof, washable and light. And they even have little handles to pull them on and off.

Heaven!

These gumboots are perfect for tramping around the paddocks here at the farm, or for doing a little gumboot boogie if the mood takes me.

I’ll be wearing them tonight as I dance my heart out. Because unless I’m dead, I’ll still be dancing!

How about you? What do you have planned for the Easter weekend?

Hugs and love, Nicole <3 xoxo

PS – Life is usually not perfect. Stuff rarely goes to plan. Celebrate anyway. Live anyway. Because you never know when the music might stop. Make the most of your weekend, lovelies, and do something that makes your heart glad, even if it’s a bit of a stretch for you. That’s my secret to happiness! (And yes, for some of you that might mean resting rather than crazy running around.) Love you xx

Image from www.susanspangler.com

Cafe Dog’s Bluesfest Protest!

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“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

“Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight.”
~ Bob Marley

 

We’re attending Bluesfest over the Easter Break – five days of music, music and more music! On Thursday morning we left Cafe Dog (Harry) at home while we went out for a coffee and did some last-minute running around. Harry was not impressed, but forgave us. Then we left him home with Bert while we went off to dance in our gumboats.

Yesterday morning Harry was hopeful.  A brand new morning, a brand new coffee opportunity. 🙂  But we dashed those hopes by going to the Mullumbimby Farmers Markets, which is a dog-free zone. We chained Harry up and put him on the very comfortable day bed on the veranda, where the dogs would be out of the rain but have a view of the farm. Bert went straight to sleep but Harry was as pouty as a grounded teenager.

When we came home, Harry had staged his own protest.

He ate the bed!

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Bad Harry.

It’s still raining here, but this morning we are taking Cafe Dog into Byron Bay for a quick social fix before the festival starts.

You got to keep the masses happy!

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My morning walk…

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“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”~ Dolly Parton

A good friend sent me an urgent text message yesterday to let me know that a shop called Rivers in Lismore had just received a shipment of gumboots, but they were selling fast! It’s been so wet in our part of the world – 3 floods in the past two months – that gumboots have been impossible to buy. Right now at our farm gumboots are the only suitable footwear, and my old pair has holes in them from when Bert was a puppy! So I always have one cold wet food and one toasty warm dry one.

Of course we went straight to town to buy new boots! I finally settled on two pairs – a celestial purple set and a bright pink pair.

This morning I took them for a test run, in my pyjamas of course. Who is going to see me out here except the cows? The one great thing about the rain is all the flowers are blooming and everything is lush and green.  So here is my morning walk, in pictures…

Harry, accompanying me on my adventure.

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The view looking past the cattle trough to our bottom gate. It’s quite misty and rainy right now, but the weather is supposed to clear.  Fingers crossed.

2013-03-07 08.02.38Gorgeous weeping bottlebrush.

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Jolly Jumper, the naughty steer who keeps leaping over the electric fence to get into my vegetable patch.  He was quite perplexed at my purple boots!

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Moss growing on the path to the pump house.

 

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The front paddock.

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Is that blue sky I see peaking out from behind those clouds? This is the little freshwater spring we pump from.  The water is so beautiful and clean – truly delicious. You can still see the remnants of Ben’s chainsaw work from the massive storms over the Australia Day long weekend that put trees and branches down all over the farm.

 

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And home again.  Blue sky!!!  Time to put a load of washing on and get it on the line to dry before this afternoon’s showers…

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Rain is better than drought…

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I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.

~ From ‘My Country by Dorothea Mackellar

We endured eight hard years of drought at our old farm –  a cattle property in the Lockyer Valley. Slowly the grass turned brittle as straw and the dams dried up as we looked to the empty skies for rain. The cattle ate the grass down to nubs and we trucked in feed, and sold down stock.

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Water was rationed so carefully. A bucket of water for a shower, a quarter of a mug to clean your teeth. The grass powdered away to dust, and then the trees began to die.  The wildlife disappeared, and there were no insects left to bite us, no birds to wake us with their morning call.  Everything was drab, barren, baked brown and devoid of life.

All we talked about was the possibility or lack of rain, the cost of feed and who might still have some, and our great worry for neighbours and friends we knew who were doing it tough – financially or emotionally.  Anxiety, depression, suicide – they became regular visitors in our part of the world. Families broke apart, or walked off land held by generations before them.

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Big kangaroos moved in towards the coast from out west and ended up at our place, competing for what little food was left, and feral pigs rooted up our paddocks looking for roots and moisture.

It was miserable, and it nearly broke us.

dam

So we moved to Possum Creek in the Byron Bay hinterland; a farm tiny by comparison, but so much more fertile.

The locals call it a drought here if we go a month without rain. Right now, rain seems to be all we have.  We’ve been flooded in three times in the past few months, lost power, lost fences and one cow, and had multiple trees and branches down.  Many of my vegetables have rotted in the ground. We’ll be lucky to get a crop from the organic citrus orchard this year.

Luckily our old farm house was built nestled into the side of a hill, so the buildings won’t flood – we just have to put up with a little damp and mold.

Still, I’ll take rain over drought any day. My water tanks are overflowing, and I can enjoy long hot soaks in the bath every day.

When I walk out my door there is an abundance of fresh blooms for my table. Everything seems to be flowering. Green is a colour that is lush and easy on the eye.  There is no hardship in looking out over emerald fields.

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The cattle might have wet feet, and they huddle under trees as the rain belts down, but their bellies are full, and there is water enough for them to drink out of seasonal streams as well as the dams, creeks and river.

ducks on the dam

Everywhere I look there is something to appreciate. Glossy leaves, flowers, new life.

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The local wildlife are soggy, but well fed. During breaks in the rain they pop out to forage, hoping for a small patch of sun to dry themselves out. Then they scoot back under cover as the rain pours down again.

pademelonThe waterways are washed clean, silt is deposited on the flats to renew the soil, and replenishment is everywhere.

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This morning I’m sitting with a mug of tea cradled in my hands, listening to torrential rain on the roof and the mad croak of frogs, and watching the blur of micro-bats gobbling up all the mosquitoes on the side veranda. I’m wondering if it’s nearly time to go.

Lyme and my meds are giving me a twitchy right eye and a stabby, burny left eye, headaches, joint pain and my big fat heart is twinging a little too much for my liking. Not a great look for getting trapped on the wrong side of a wall of water.  The weather radar shows rain, rain and more rain today, and predicts the same for the rest of the week. At sun up Ben will go check the causeway and sad as it will make me, it looks like we’ll be heading back to the city.

Maybe I’ll go buy some new gumboots while I’m there.  When Bert was a puppy his needle-like teeth put pinholes all through my left gumboot.  It would be nice to have two warm dry feet instead of one warm dry foot and one cold soggy one!

gumboots

This gorgeous gumboot image by Julia Wright