Our Stories – Part 2…

After many years of having the horses pull the plow, the family had enough money to buy a D2 Caterpillar tractor from the United States. My great grandfather, Bertie Peri, was proudly driving his new tractor up and down the paddock when a big black car comes driving in from Master’s Road, Toobanna towards him.

A Government Official got out and nonno Peri thought they had come to intern him to the camp as he was an Italian refugee, he said to the man, “I’m already packed, just come up and the wife will fix you a cup of tea and I’ll have a shower and get ready. The Government Official replied “Oh no Mr Peri, we’re not here for you, we have come to commander your tractor for the war effort.” Nonno Peri replied “Oh no, please take me, but not my tractor! As he started to cry.

The Officials didn’t give Nonno a piece of paper regarding the war effort, but returned a week or so later and they told him that it was going up to Papua New Guinea to flatten the forest to build air strips for our planes.

Nonno never saw his beloved tractor again, nor did he ever find out what had happened to it. It was back to using horses for quite some time. At this time, my grandmother, Beattie Aquilini, was seven and Nonno decided to sell the farm and bought a general store and bakery at Toobanna.

When my grandmother was eight, she learnt to drive the only truck they had – a 4B2 army truck that my grandmother had to drive to deliver the bread to the railway station to be bought further south.

Gosh! I love all of nanna’s Stories, she seems to have a never-ending list that she enjoys telling the world.

Aquo Xx

My son – the farmer…

Farming has been apart of Jack’s life since he was born. Both myself & his father, as well as most of his grandparents and some of his great grandparents were also born into the farm life in the Hinchinbrook Shire – Being Townsville Road just past Andy’s Road House (BEST Hamburgers ever!), the Aquilini farm then out Warren’s Hill, Blackrock the Irvin farms. So yeah it really does run in our blood. I believe that’s why I personally, have an enormously large passion for the sugar industry in the Hinchinbrook Shire.

This may be the reason why since a baby he would sit in front of the TV and watch harvesting videos on YouTube and if you were to turn it off – God help you! Whenever we have gone out to mum and dad’s if dad is mowing Jack HAS to go mowing to. Dad still has the little 90 quad bike that he bought my sister and I when I was five years old. It has never been rebuilt and it still has the original tires on it – Jack just thinks it’s the best thing. There is no way I would ever let him ride it himself after everything that’s happened, but I have full trust in my sister and my brother, even though my sister is wayyy too overconfident at times, she’s always safe with Jack.

Jack can tell you what every switch and button does in dad’s harvester (John Deere 3520), he watches everything! He watches where dad’s hands are positioned on the sticks (and sometimes when nobody is looking the harvester mysteriously moves) and he makes sure the elevator flap is positioned correctly. I have no doubt in my mind he could do a full day in the harvester with Nonno. He loves it!

During the sugar cane crushing season, my boys go wild! All I hear is Harvester, Train, Haulout, Train, Bins, Units, Mill, sometimes it drives me insane… BUT I love it! This season when Andrew is in one of the Greaves, I take both the boys for a ride and they both don’t want to leave. It’s pretty cool how we can fit all four of us in there – AND there’s still room.

My dad has had Case Maxi-hauls since the early 2000’s and I’ve always thought they are the ducks nuts, they go faster however there is no way you could fit two adults, a toddler and a baby as well as all the crap you have cart along. AND THERE GREEN! Jack says “Greaves – not a Deere” Deere being for John Deere., it is possibly the cutest thing ever!

Harry is only six months old, but because his brother is, he will probably be sugar industry mad also. I’m unsure what the future holds for Andrew and myself, but he has always just wanted to be a farmer – so I guess that makes me a farmer’s wife.

Aquo Xx

Where’s the positivity at?

Where’s the positivity at?

Morning all you beautiful people! Just a quick thought – My boys and I watched Sunrise this morning (what! Your saying daddy was actually home? 🤔🙄😂) and Sam Mac was wearing a banana suit trying to boost the ‘positive vibes’ in Melbourne – well, I think that’s where he was… it was hard to hear the tv with my two and a half year old screaming TRACTORRRR! It got me thinking – It’s not just Melbourne where positive vibes need promoting… IT’S THE WHOLE WORLD!

The way we perceive ourselves and the world around us has an enormous impact on our experiences. Yes – It is so much easier to sit there and be negative, trust me I know… I’ve had to try very bloody hard to bring myself back from some pretty dark places. That’s not big noting myself or anything, that’s the honest truth.

Positive energy doesn’t just help us better enjoy our day to day experiences, it also impacts our health and relationships. Look around the place (Ingham and surrounds) – so many people are ‘throwing in the towel’ when it comes to their relationships.

I’m not saying I have a ‘perfect relationship,’ our marriage is far from perfect – especially towards the end of the sugar cane harvesting season. HOWEVER we talk – we talk about everything. I’m not just talking marriages, it’s friendships etc that are falling apart.

I go through my little ‘hate session’ for a few weeks, but having had a brain injury I have educated myself on mental health since moving home at the end of 2014. It’s much easier being able to recognize what’s going on inside my head and being able to redirect my thinking to be more positive – it makes life so much easier!

Positive thinking helps reduce our stress, improve our physical health, and drive us toward our goals and accomplishments. Positivity seems to come naturally for some, while others have to work for it. A saying dad taught me young was ‘shit happens’. And – that’s just it – shit does happen! It’s all about how you respond that matters. If you choose to be victimized by what happens, your negative energy will gain momentum. 

I am currently mentoring a person in Melbourne suffering from poor mental health and I feel it’s helping me uphold a healthy mental health outlook. Trying to help someone else is a way to see the world with a more positive outlook.

Another method I have used to help me be a more positive person when I start thinking negative thoughts is interrupting myself, with a BUT – The weather is shitty today BUT the cane really needs it.

Every single person reading this piece should take the time to watch this video…

COME ON ALL OF YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE! I DARE YOU TO TRY PUTTING A POSITIVE SPIN ON EVERYTHING FOR A WEEK! – then make up your mind on weather you feel lighter in yourself or not. Let me know how you go! COMMENT… SHARE… LIKE! I want to hear from you!

Aquo Xx

Aquo’s famous Sunday Sesh…

Aquo’s famous Sunday Sesh…

The Urban Dictionary defines a Sunday Sesh as being short for “Sunday session”. The act of getting together on a Sunday to socialise and drink likely large amounts of alcohol. That’s not even a lie – it actually says that!

For me, Sunday Seshs’ became somewhat of a tradition of mine just before I had my accident in September 2013. There is just something about the atmosphere I absolutely love, the relaxed feeling of sitting outside, listening to some tunes, drinking a water – common be honest they say! a cold beer or in my case a dad rum. And who could forget – ADULT CONVERSATION!

Nowadays everybody is super busy but I feel if we don’t make time to catch up we never will (unless it’s at the Annual Race Meet). I’m not too worried about who does come or who doesn’t, I’m just giving the option to catch up for a few hours. I’m thinking I’m going to make it once a month or once every few months and make it pretty awesome for the kids, with different activities each time.

Now, my Sunday Seshs’ are all about the kids (Because most of my mates have kids). There is nothing better than watching all the kids playing together and having fun. Not everyone gets to spend a lot of time with their kids and it’s good to see your kids interact with other kids apart from daycare etc.

I have recently invested in some pretty cool water toys for the kids – today Ingham Travel dropped off a little kid pool with a palm tree and a slide, now I just need something for the big kids! But hey – I’m more than happy to just sit under a sprinkler with a coldie haha.

Catch ups like this don’t need to be expensive – have a bbq, even just a sausage sizzle and a few nibbles and your set. Ask everyone to bring a dish and everyone gets fed, lifes good. Here is a link to one of my favourite websites – Frugal and Thriving, check it out for some awesome ideas!

The following videos have some pretty cool activities for the kids. Mr Carl annoys me (Sorry Mr Carl!), but some of these activities are easy to pull off and for most of them, you will have things at home so you don’t have to spend a cent!

Aquo Xx

Winston Churchill’s 12 word definition of success…

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

I have always felt that I have never actually seen anything through in my life – until I had my accident. When Andrew and I first got together, I started a certificate three in Business just to see if I could actually do it. I remember being out at the farm in the office with my mother-in-law stressed out and feeling like I was going to throw in the towel! when she sat me down and repeated the speel I made about never feeling like I have accomplished anything fully, it put my head back in the game. I went from feeling as if I would give up and be done with the course to finishing the rest of the course much quicker than I had to.

To say I have never seen anything through is an untrue statement. To me, the things I am proud of accomplishing are things you have to work hard for – have to work really hard for, I’m talking blood, sweat and many, many tears!

My thing at the moment is wanting to look like this –

And I’m not talking hot AF… no sirey!

I’m talking STRONG! The definition of strong according to dictionary.com is – having, showing, or able to exert great bodily or muscular power; physically vigorous or robust.

I would eventually love to start boxing. There’s just something about boxing that keeps me focused… maybe because it refocuses the angry bird in me haha. I did think of body building but I spoke to a few ladies who advised against it as it messes with your mindset. With a brain injury I will never be able to deal with all the mental pressures that come with it, and I’ve accepted that – now moving on.

I believe I’m quite a resilient person, and this shire (the Hinchinbrook Shire) needs more people like that. I love this place – but there is so much NEGATIVITY! and that needs to change. People need to start making time for their friends and family, when you have a spare hour (like seriously where???!!!) somewhere in your fortnight or month, take a walk on the beach, in silence, to process your thoughts and regather yourself. It was hard for me at 1st to go for a walk in silence, but now I love nothing more then the sand between my toes, the wind blowing through my hair and becoming in touch with the world around me.

According to the experts, it takes about 21 days to break or form a habit pattern of medium complexity. Habits which are more complex or difficult to incorporate with your lifestyle may take longer.

So you’re all probably wandering where I am going with all of this, but I have been trying to live my life as positively as I can as of late – I couldn’t even tell you how long it has been for. However, I know in my heart, that this is how I want to live the rest of my life. I am trying my hardest to live my best life so that I will be here for as long as I can be for my boys. That to me is success.

Aquo Xx

Let’s boost motivation!

It’s that time of year where the sugar cane crushing season in the Hinchinbrook Shire and everyone is getting tired – burnt out! Especially the mums. I’m not saying the dads aren’t in the same position, but their mental stimulation is different throughout the day. This morning my baby is teething and wont stop screaming and my big boy is doing my head in and wont stop crying – over who knows what? maybe because I’m making him draw on paper not the walls…

I would so much rather be in a machine, listening to podcasts that I follow instead of being a bitch mum. I’m tired, they miss their daddy and it shows through their behavior. Somebody taught Jack to say “patients mummy” and if I find out who I would walk up to them and punch them straight in the face.

When I fall into a hole, I search motivational clips on YouTube and it does help to bring me back to earth. As I am writing this, I’m listening to Oprah Winfrey’s motivational speech and already I’m feeling more uplifted than I was when I started typing.

Each morning when I wake up I start the morning with positive affirmations. I started doing it in the mirror but now I just say them to myself throughout the day.

Here’s how I get through the day…

Your limitation—it’s only your imagination.

Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you.

Sometimes later becomes never. Do it now.

Great things never come from comfort zones.

Dream it. Wish it. Do it.

Success doesn’t just find you. You have to go out and get it.

The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.

Dream bigger. Do bigger.

Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done.

Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

It’s going to be hard, but hard does not mean impossible.

Don’t wait for opportunity. Create it.

Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths.

The key to success is to focus on goals, not obstacles.

Dream it. Believe it. Build it.

If you change your thinking – you can change the world!

Aquo Xx

WeeorWeOrWeOr…

Another trip to the ED department, fml…. we’re lucky my father was finished cutting for the day and my husband wasn’t far away. I suffer nerve pain on a daily basis – but today OH MY GOSH! I have never been in this much pain and wanted to vomit like this, just at the sight of being awake and living through this.

This is just a taste of what I go through on a daily basis. It’s the same shit over and over and over. The same questions are asked by the ambulance bearers, then the same questions again from staff in the emergency department and then again from the nurses. I know, by now all the trigger words that will get me what I want, but the thing is I’m not even playing! I WISH – I was playing. I would much rather be at home with a screaming baby and a toddler who has been pushing on the wrong nerve all day. Yeah – that would be tons better than being here.

Green whistle please! Megan the ambulance bearer knows me quite well – she attended my quad bike accident, my car accident, or we see each other shopping or at the annual race meet – which is more of just a formal piss up. I feel she understands me better than most – “But Megs you know I’m not a little bitch hey?!” “Amz it’s all good buddy!” Not my first rodeo. Anyone may just think this is my way of catching up with her lol.

Ketorolac Trometamol (Torodol) is the only thing, I have found on my journey to hell in the last six years, that actually works for me. The nurse that tended to me first last night suggested endone, but little does she know they are nothing more than a tictac to me – And no I don’t have any stashed away at home. Over time, do you know what that shit does to your body?? – yeah, no thanks!

I made the conscious decision back in 2015 to start making healthier lifestyle changes to better myself – mind, body & soul. And you know what? It’s the best decision I ever made! I’m finally becoming more confident in myself (four years later) and I’m ready to push to the next level and create a piece of art, not just the body of my dreams.

You know the chronic pain I live in, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy! It’s absolute hell. THIS IS THE REASON I WAKE UP EVERYDAY AND TRY TO BE THE MOST HONEST, POSITIVE, CARING, friendliest, SUPPORTIVE HUMAN BEING I CAN BE! Look, at times it’s hard – believe you me! But I wake up everyday thankful that I get to spend another day with these beautiful little gremlins I created – Regardless of how batshit crazy they send me!

I WONT QUIT! I WONT ALLOW ANYONE TO BRING ME DOWN, I AM ME – I HAVE MADE MISTAKES, DONE STUPID SHIT, I SAY FUCK A LOT – BUT IF THAT’S THE WORST OF ME, I THINK I HAVE REBUILT A PRETTY AMAZING HUMAN BEING!

Aquo Xx