I’ve over done it again. I need to pace it.


Last night was not good for me, but I had over done it all again. I enjoyed a few visitors, family and Palliative care people who all wanted a chat. By 7 pm I was exhausted. The night was rough for me, and the annoying ‘kennel’ cough as I call it, wore me out. By 4 am I was no good for anyone. It has taken me most of today to recover, and I’m much better now. Hoping for a good day tomorrow where I’ll be able to walk to the foyer and sit in the sun.

Below are some of my memories again. I hope I don’t bore you all rigid.


Above… my Uncle Greg and Uncle Jim…the most gentle and caring men I have met.

My three bachelor uncles, Greg, Joe and Sonny all lived and worked on the farm which, over the years as Grandfather bought adjoining farms, had become the biggest dairy and cattle property in the region. The boys remained single in spite of there being plenty of girls who showed a keen interest in them wherever they went.

Uncle Greg was the horseman and took care of the beef cattle side of things. This included trips to the monthly stock sales held in various yards dotted around the State. This meant quite a bit of travel for Uncle Greg, sometimes with overnight stays. He was not willing to miss out on a purchase of a top grade bull that would pay for itself hundreds of times over in the production of fine offspring. Usually there would be calves, steers and at times young colts to sell; his livestock was well known for their high quality and rarely failed to fetch good prices.

He was my favourite uncle. The eldest of the family, he had served in the Second World War in New Guinea long before I was born. His hair had turned from a shiny black to a silvery white during that time; on his return from war, Gran didn’t recognise him as he ran down the gang plank to where she and Grandfather were waiting for their boys’ return. They had two sons-in-law to welcome home also. Malaria plagued him for years afterwards. The sight of his sweating but shivering body was upsetting for me and I wished many times I could make him better. Unbeknown to the family at the time, he was suffering from Post-Traumatic Syndrome also. In hindsight, I can recognise the symptoms of stress and anxiety causing severe headaches and the longing to be alone for long periods of time.

His time at war had been cruel fighting the Japanese who invaded New Guinea in the quest to take over the northern Pacific and eventually Australia. Uncle Greg was in charge of a platoon assisted by the natives through the jungles and mountains. Most of his platoon was killed in front of his eyes and being the kind soul he always was, it proved to be too much for him to comprehend and accept.

On the days he had to succumb to his bed for rest, I carried iced water and light snacks every few hours to his cottage. The uncles lived in a small cottage on the property, a short walk from the main house. They shared breakfasts and dinner at the house with everyone else, but their lunch was usually either a packed lunch with enamel mugs and a Billy tea can, or they prepared their own in the cottage.

Tea was everywhere in Gran’s home, as it was in ours too. It was deemed the great healer of all ailments and woes. If someone cut a finger, a pot of tea would be brewed; if someone died the first thing to be seen to was the pot of tea. My uncles all drank big mugs of the life-restoring nectar, sweetened with generous spoonfuls of sugar and whitened with creamy milk. From the first day I was finally allowed my own cup of tea, I preferred with neither sugar nor milk, and still do.

The Billy tea can was an excitement for my cousins and me. We were not allowed tea or coffee, except when out in the paddocks with our uncles helping with the crops or rounding up cattle for branding or dipping. An open camp fire was built in a cleared area, and the Billy can hung from sturdy sticks stretching across the flame. Once boiling a handful of tea leaves were thrown into the Billy can. One of our uncles would then swing the can around in a wide arc to brew the tea. Tea has never tasted as good to me as it did in those beaten up enamel mugs sitting round the fire in all types of weather. Usually hot and humid weather but the heat didn’t seem to bother us.

A treat often enjoyed was when Uncle Joe brought along some damper dough wrapped in wet calico. Rocks were placed in the fire and as soon as they were hot enough the damper was placed on them, covered with leaves and branches and left to cook. A large pat of Gran’s homemade butter was the finishing culinary touch for us, spread liberally on a chunk of damper broken off while steaming hot. One of the best smoko foods anyone on the land can wish for!cat art on fence

I recently found this newspaper report of my parents’ wedding. Sounds very pretty to me.

Mount Larcom Wedding
A pretty wedding was celebrated at
Fix this textAll Saints’ Church of England, Mt Larcom
when Neva Ursula Elwyn, eldest daughter
of Mr and Mrs J. Schafer,
Boongara, Mt Larcom was married to
William Charles, eldest son of Mr and
Mrs F. Prestwood, Rocklea, Mt Larcom.
The Rt Rev. Bishop Ash, of Rockhampton
officiated and Mrs O. V. Bliss
presided at the organ.
The church was appropriately decorated
for the occasion by friends of the
bride and only intimate friends were
present at the ceremony. During the
signing of the register Mrs O. V. Bliss sang
The bride, who was given away by
her father, looked charming in an ivory
satin gown made on classical lines and
featuring a high cowl neckline, with
satin buttons and loops down the back
to the waist. The wrist-length sleeves
were finished with satin buttons and
loops at the cuff lines. The ankle-length
skirt extended back to form a train,
which had a true lover’s knot worked
in pearls. This was worn by the bride’s
aunt (Mrs J. Marles, of Gayndah), 26
years ago. She also wore the traditional
spray of orange blossoms. Her beautiful
veil of white tulle was arranged with
a halo of orange blossoms and she car-
ried a bouquet of arum lilies and roses
arranged with puffed tulle. She was at-
tended by her sister, Miss Evelyn
Schafer, who was frocked in pink satin,
featuring the new shoulder lines of fine
shirring with a V neckline and short
puffed sleeves. The skirt was cut on
classical lines and fell in a full flare,
and she wore a pink tulle veil, held in
position with a halo of pink lilies. She
carried a bouquet of pink sweetpeas
and fern tied with pink satin ribbon.
Little Bernice Schafer (sister of the
bride) acted as train bearer.
The bridegroom’s gift to the bride
was an xylonite boudoir clock. The
bride’s gift to the bridegroom was a set
of chromium military hair brushes, and
to the bridesmaid, a gold dress ring.
Mr Roy Woodman acted as best man.
As the bridal couple left the church
to the strains of the ” Wedding March,”
little Del Schafer (sister of the bride)
presented the bride with a silver horse-
The bride’s mother (Mrs J. Schafer)
chose a pretty royal blue cellophane
striped moracain frock featuring fine
pin-tucking, and her hat and accessor-
ies were of a matching shade of blue.
She carried a bouquet of autumn flowers
and fern.
Mrs F. Prestwood (mother of the
bridegroom) chose a pretty frock of
brown satin-backed crepe, featuring
shirring on the shoulders. Her hat and
accessories were of a matching shade,
and she carried a bouquet of autumn
tinted flowers and fern.
The wedding breakfast was held at
Levonin Bros’ Cafe, where the decorations
were carried out in pink and
white and the customary toasts were
honoured. The beautiful three-tiered
wedding cake was the gift of the bride’s
The bride and bridegroom left by car
for Bundaberg, where they will reside.
The bride travelled in a smart frock of
navy Gloria silk with navy accessories
to tone.


wedding  mum-and-grandfather

Till next time…..I hope this doesn’t bore you all. Goodnight, much love and big hugs. Here’s to a better day tomorrow.

cat sleeping




8 thoughts on “I’ve over done it again. I need to pace it.

  1. oldawg January 14, 2017 at 12:15 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing the wedding article about your folks Jo. You bite? Never !
    Love you and big hugs your way. Best to Tim.

  2. Deborah Carr January 14, 2017 at 2:04 pm Reply

    Your uncles sound wonderful and I loved the article about your parents’ wedding.

  3. Fran Macilvey January 14, 2017 at 2:54 pm Reply

    Ha! We all have trouble pacing ourselves…. I know I do. Couldn’t sleep last night, either. You is a very interesting lady, and your posts likewise, so just you enjoy writing them and let us enjoy reading them, okay? (((xxxx))) Bless you. 🙂

  4. Doreen January 14, 2017 at 8:25 pm Reply

    Sorry to know you have over done it this time yet knowing you Jo you will get to know your limits over time and find a better balance. Delighted to read about your uncles. They look like kindly gentle souls even though they became soldiers. A tough and difficult journey being a soldier, they suffered and endured horrific experiences. I love reading about your family. It’s good to read about the Australia way of life all those years ago and you bring it to life so please keep on writing. Luv, hugs and healing xxx

    • joskehan January 16, 2017 at 6:28 am Reply

      Thank you Doreen. I will get there.xxxxx

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