4 whole days!

We’ve been cursed blessed with a 4 day weekend. The first Tuesday in November is the Melbourne Cup and the Race-that-stops-a-nation stops many businesses on this first Tuesday with a public holiday. It often cripples these same businesses for the whole week too. Monday, because everyone wants a long weekend and takes it with either a holiday or a sickie (holiday day booked for us), Wednesday due to the hangovers for those that imbibed a little too much on Tuesday, Thursday due to Oaks Day AKA Ladies Day at the races (further holidays or sickies) and Friday for the same reasons as Wednesday. I’ve never been to the races I must say, although I do usually watch it on the telly. It’s just not my thing.

A public holiday is most definitely my thing though. 😀

So, with a four day weekend at our fingertips, you can imagine all we were able to achieve.

Firstly, our house is ready for its bathroom vanity, some suede paint sanding back and then it’s time for painting. 😀 Tiles will be ordered this week and hopefully will be ready for laying next week.

Pretty flowering Hawthorn

With vicious thorns

The garden though has been our domain. Yesterday we were very blessed to be able to borrow a post hole digger so my wonderful hubby dug 14 holes for me. 13 plus an oops. Today we got busy with poles and concrete. I hate the idea of using concrete but the other option, rammed earth, really isn’t practical for us in a time sense. It was one of those kinda hafta times. 😦 We did recycle fence posts wherever possible though so my chook pen will have a swish green entrance. We also had to decide where we were going to build our bridge over the creek to the rest of our block which is currently a tangle of towering poplar trees, vicious Hawthorns and a tonne of long grass, forget-me-knots and sticky weed. Clearing it is a task for next year, but we need to do a little planning at least. And we DO have to clear this side of the creek this year. So, in our search for the easiest place to build a bridge we got stuck into hacking back the hawthorn. Out came the chainsaw and whilst the kids amused themselves playing in the water in the wine barrel bath, we started hacking back this beautiful beautiful plant. And then it BIT us! The wretched things have inch long thorns at the base of every set of leaves. I jammed one of the thorns deep into the pad of my left hand and the tip broke off in there. Over the day it got more and more painful. Sore, inflamed and so so tender that driving was hard, let alone picking up the kids. I attacked it several times with tweezers and a needle and FINALLY managed to extract nearly 3mm of thorn that had been stuck in there. Not nice no matter how pretty they are when in bloom. Their days are numbered… I’m thinking wattle might be a pretty replacement.

Chicken run posts.

The results of getting the posts concreted in is huge though. We have 2 more to go (ran out of concrete) but we can start with the ringlock fencing wire now and I can get to digging the trenches between the poles for burying the chicken wire (fox prevention) and start enclosing the chicken run. We’re on very borrowed time now as the temporary housing for the chicks and our existing chickens will fast become crowded.

Digging holes and boys toys all in one.

I had 3 butternut pumpkin seedlings in desperate need of planting too but nowhere left to plant them. I decided upon a temporary garden bed which, since pumpkins do nothing more than put down their roots before heading off to take over the garden, will do just fine for this year. I dug out a small area, lined it with newspaper and filled it with soil and compost and planted in the butternuts. In other seedling news, my tomatoes have absolutely thrived. Some of them were VERY small when they went in on Friday but I swear they have all grown another set of leaves in the 5 days since then! :O You were so right Ingrid and I will be planting out the rest of my baby marties as soon as they show something more than just cotyledon leaves. The capsicums are looking good too, as are the corn and zucchinis I planted on Saturday. The onions planted last week seem to have been hit or miss though. Some are looking very healthy, others I can’t find. Time will tell how they go, and if you’re into moon gardening, the waning moon should help them being root plants. My watermelons are not loving me at all though sadly. 1 looks like it will not last out the week although the other 2 appear that they may just make it. Here’s hoping at least one makes it.

Other achievements involved getting the water tank for the chooks in place, picking up our 9 silver dorking 6 week old chicks yesterday (there is a little expected friction between the older girls who are locked out to free-range during the day as the little girls are locked in), jet washing off more of the side decking area, unpacking my pressure canner and some more preserving jars, chucking a load of washing in the machine (sadly the household chores don’t stop whilst we play up at Ballan), pruning (very carefully) the hawthorn back so we can access more area to mow and chainsaw, pruning the poplars to allow more access into the shady areas, finishing off a portion of the veggie garden fence and of course, time spent with the kids. Today was time for crayon graffiti on an old wardrobe door brought outside as well as heaps of help from them too (Jas moved a heap of chopped up branches for us and they both pitch in with digging). It’s been a crazy 4 days and the best news is we get to do another 2 days of it all in only 3 more sleeps. Yay. (insert enthusiasm tinged with just a little sarcasm).

A few more pictures…

Cleared to the creek. So beautiful

We can see through the trees now yay

Not yet sure what this tree/shrub is but it’s beautiful (not a blackberry I do know that at least)

Found some beautiful lichen but a photographer I am not.

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6 thoughts on “4 whole days!

  1. narf77 says:

    That tree looks like an alder. They LOVE water :). I know how you feel about your forget-me-nots and sticky weed. The only thing I can offer about the sticky weed is that they make a healthy tea apparently. Make sure to get that little thin thready bit on the bottom of them when you pull them out or they will just grow back. Forget-me-nots are so very pretty until you, your dog and your entire house are full of their sticky little seeds. I actually mowed around them in the second lawn when my dad used to ask me to mow in his later years thinking I was striking a blow for the forget-me-nots…now they are making me pay for my insolence! 😉 Only a few more days to go till you are in your wonderful new country home. I bet the kids can’t wait! I bet you are running on empty and can’t wait either. Silver Dorkings eh? I would love to see a phot of your new girls. Ours are predominately wyandottes…heavy duel purpose heiffers! Hawthorn is a harsh master. We have a couple here but not many…its too dry for them to go exponential on our derierres. I am thinking about planting a double pink/red variety and the thorns are fantastic habitat for wild birds. We don’t have foxes here but we do have quolls that love to suck the blood out of your chooks, leave them where they lay and come back for them in a couple of days…vampire mammels! We have our fingers crossed that a friend is just about to deliver on a promise of a massive great roll of ex fish farm netting so that we can fence our wayfaring bossy lot in and gain back control of our garden on Serendipity Farm. I am so enjoying your processes, whilst selfishly sitting back in my early morning computer chair with a cuppa knowing that its someone else having to do all that hard work. I DO commiserate with you because my own hard work is just around the corner 😉

    • Alder hey. I KNEW I could count on you for identification. I took the pic and posted it especially for you actually. 🙂 I shall do some further research as to their suitability now as I’m pretty sad but determined to remove all the poplars and hawthorns.
      Silver Dorkings are believed to be (along with the other colour ways) one of the oldest chicken breeds. Some Roman farmer wrote about them and identified them distinctly by their 5th toe. I believe when breeding that the extra toe disappears very quickly if they’re not pure bred and they all have the 5 toes although 2 are black. There are photos coming.
      Hawthorn are very beautiful and I’ve wanted one since I had a hawthorn scented hand cream years ago. I’ve since learned that the hawthorn scent was totally artificial as the flowers on our hawthorns have no scent and of course about those unforgiving thorns. They’re what the crown of thorns is believe to have been made from and it certainly fits the description.
      Yes, reading about someone else’s hard work is so much better hey, but reading it when you’ve been there too is better yet again. I made the mistake of sitting down yesterday, just to stop and appreciate all we’ve done and take in the view. My 2 minutes stretched out to 15 sadly but it was pretty cool to actually stop and appreciate all the hard work we’ve done and progress we’ve made. I’m looking forward to being able to move in and maybe stop for a day? Then I’m sure I’ll be bored and I’ll find something to do. Preserving, sewing, gardening (not done there by a long shot), researching more animals (I want lawn mowing sheep and milk providing goats but not until next year), getting our ducks, or maybe helping friends in Ballan on the same quest as us or attending play group or or or. And I’ve got to get my head around the arrival of Christmas and the gifts I need to make. Aargh.

      • narf77 says:

        😉 I am posting about you and your amazing energy today and will link your site so that my dear constant readers can take a gander at your hard working ethos 🙂 Interesting about those chooks…MORE toes to dig up the garden! Keep posting about everything that you do because it gives me some amazing ideas. I am going to run with your swap meet thingo that you talked about the other day at our local Sustainable Living group meeting. I think Tasmanians would love the concept (although most of them would want to be “given” rather than “swap”… welfare mentality supreme the local Tasmanians 😦 ) anyhoo…have a fantastic time moving in and we are all looking forwards to reading about it all. Have you thought about robinias? Wonderful trees, amazing foliage, nitrogen fixing AND they have the most delicious lemon scented blossoms. Plus they will live just about anywhere 🙂 Check them out 🙂

        • As long as they’re not going to throw up suckers, throw our runners or generally be plaguey. Alder look like a no go too sadly. Already seen evidence of it too.
          Thanks for the link too. 🙂 It shall be returned. I know I appreciate your advice and suggestions too.

  2. Very glad to hear you’re not interested in the Melbourne Cup. Animal exploitation for entertainment. Not cool.

    • Not to mention blatant consumerism in the form of frocks, shoes, fascinators and insane amounts of alcohol (not against drinking but the excess). The only part of the Cup I do, or used to like was when I worked in the city. Catching a train home on Cup or Oaks day and watching the blind drunk, often freezing cold and barefooted women staggering home wearing their partners jackets. Always found that part of the day highly amusing. The whole thing has elements of the gladiatorial games to me.

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