Updates and another weekend

I feel like I’ve been in hiding for the last month. In fact, I pretty much have been. It’s been needed. I am still not back to normal (not that I could really EVER be considered to be normal πŸ˜‰ ) but I am getting there. I figured though I’ve been appallingly slack on the blogging front and there are several things I need to update on.

Firstly, I blogged about a giveaway that Missus Moonshine was having on her blog where the winner got to choose an outfit from Alicia’s Etsy Shop EvieandLiv. Well, I was the lucky winner of the competition. πŸ˜€ I chose a lovely upcycyled blanket tunic dress for Allegra which she loves and looks adorable wearing too. πŸ™‚ I haven’t taken a picture of her wearing it yet but I shall when next she’s dressed in it. πŸ™‚

Anna the goat is doing well too. She’s plumping up and the round of what may have been mastitis has cleared. She’s producing a little milk which we milk most of it out every few days although not completely. We don’t want her in milk at the moment as we’re trying to dry her off to allow her body to focus on gaining weight. Milk production takes a heavy toll nutrition wise and with her current state of underweight it’s not a burden we’re willing to place on her at the moment. We’re also working to get her into optimal nutrition in order to breed her again, hopefully in a month or two so we want nothing to be taking away from her. She is looking better every day. πŸ™‚

The gardens aren’t seeing much action at the moment but it doesn’t mean things aren’t growing well. The broad beans have the odd flower although they’re a less than impressive height. I must admit I am disappointed in our crops this last year but I’m also trying to remember that this is purchased compost, our first year of the veggie beds and the soil and the gardens also haven’t had the full benefit of experience and time. However, I have my second cauliflower head forming in the greenhouse. I don’t know that it’s had enough feeding to be honest but we’re learning. My greenhouse spuds are coming up in their cage on top of the citrus bed. Citrus don’t like their roots being disturbed but a cage of spuds grown on the surface doesn’t hurt them and any extra nutrients from the spuds drain through to feed the lemon and mandarin. πŸ™‚ In the garden beds proper I have 3 beds of garlic all looking healthy and 2 beds of potato onions which also seem to be doing what they’re supposed to. It’s hard to know with them though being an uncommon plant nowadays and also being my first year growing them but all seems well. πŸ™‚ The traditional onions and leeks are growing somewhat but not enough to make me jump up and down and the broccoli that I planted back when we first moved up here are still just growing away with no sign of heads forming. I’ve left them there in order to see what happens but I’m figuring nothing will happen now. Time for them to feed Anna.

The front gardens have ground to a halt sadly since my last update on them. When Martin was gathering wood from off our block across our creek the other week the chain tightening gizmo from his chainsaw came loose and has taken an extended vacation to the land of missing so we’ve been waiting for a replacement part which has just arrived so here’s hoping we can get some more trees chopped down soon. We’ve decided to forego hugelkulture beds for the rest of the garden this year though simply due to the time required but I think we’re going to do best by buying in straw bales for straw bale garden beds. They will rot down to produce good composted straw for the hugelkultur beds for next year. πŸ™‚

We’ve finally sorted out a way to get our washing dry over winter too. Friends of mine have a drying rack they built that hangs above their wood heater which is on a pulley system and we have blatantly plagiarised the idea. πŸ˜‰ We have a hexagonal play pen purchased when the kids were little, half of which we use as our fire guard but the remaining pieces have been used as lash up drying racks so we arranged for our builder to hook us up one too. I love it! With the fire roaring we can get jeans all but dry overnight and most other clothes dry faster. The sock hangers I built also allow us to dry our underwear and socks quickly (in the space of an hour if the fire is cranking) so it’s one more use we wring out of the wood we burn. We’re up to 5 uses now (heating the house, heating our hot water, cooking stove top and oven and now clothes drying) so i feel like we really are being conscientious about our fuel usage. WhetherΒ fossil fuels or not, judicious use of fuels, even the renewable ones, is a wise idea. Trees still take time to reach maturity so it’s not wise to squander that resource. πŸ™‚

Orik is also now in a big boys bed so I’ve been coming to terms with no longer having a baby. He’s still my snuggle-bug so I’m not struggling too much but for the past 5 years I have had a child under the age of 2 to cuddle so this is an adjustment for me. I’ve packed up the cot and put away the cot sized sheets and blankets. Orik is sharing a room with his big brother so I’ve been packing up the nursery too. I’ve met that last challenge with mixed feelings. On one hand I no longer have a baby but on the other hand I now have a spare room which has been converted into a room for us to do some of our educating. Yes, we are considering homeschooling our children. So this last weekend, whilst Martin sourced firewood from across the creek, I spent my time converting an old cot into a desk and moving furniture around to get a working set up for us. I think I’ve got something I can work with. πŸ™‚ The cot desk now just needs painting. The top will be painted with blackboard paint and I might see if I can attach a large bulldog clip to one end for a painting easel. We will see. πŸ™‚

In cleaning this all up I have also been working through more boxes and bags of stuff that’s still unpacked from the move. I’ve a box of books to return to my cousin from when she lived with us over 7 years ago (whoops) and I’ve also come across photos. Several packets thereof. πŸ™‚ I’m trying to figure out what to do with them. Many, like photos from my brothers 21st will be posted on to those for whom they are relevant. Others will be recycled but there are many that I wish to keep for the memories although I definitely have no space for the hard copies. I either need to sit and scan them one by one or find the extra money to pay someone to do that. I have the negatives for most of the pictures too. It sure takes up a bit of space so all I can say is thank goodness for digital mediums and terabyte drives. πŸ˜‰

We’ve also had to replace the glass on Ignisa. Just another frustrating expense really. I managed to close the door on a large piece of red-gum which broke the glass yesterday evening. Frustrating much? We dug out our electric oil heaters to warm the house and made it through a night that dropped down to around 2C in comfort. The use of electric heating grates at me but it is for only one night and sometimes needs must. Martin had a day off booked and so has changed plans to take the fire-box door up to Ballarat to get the glass fitted. Wood n Energy, through whom we purchased Ignisa repaired the glass whilst we waited to save us the drive up this afternoon to pick it up. Their service has been exemplary I must say and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone in the area looking for a wood stove.

The last lot of news I have is somewhat amusing. Mandy, our female duck had decided to sit eggs again and as I had a dozen in the pantry of her eggs I placed them under her warm feathery derriereΒ to sit which she did with pleasure. I have however been noticing the eggs disappearing one by one until we h=now have 4 left so it appears we have an egg eater. We’ve increased their food and hopefully we lose no more. However, Miss Mandy decided she wasn’t interested in sitting them any more the other day and deserted her nest. Fortunately for us we’d had a slight misunderstanding with eggs and Martin hadn’t realised that Blackie was once again sitting on some eggs. He brought them inside and it wasn’t until morning that I connected the necessary dots, by which time it was too late for Blackie’s eggs. She decided then to help take over from Mandy so when Mandy ditched her nest, Blackie took over. Another hen had also deposited an egg in the next and since I think they’re due to hatch at similar times, I’ve left it in there so Blackie is sitting on 4 duck eggs and a hen egg. It should be interesting to see what happens when they hatch. πŸ™‚

Well, it’s time for me to go and get into the day properly. It’s been a slow morning due to a week of very broken sleep as we’ve had a virus through the family this last week resulting in another hospital run with suspected croup last Thursday night I think (not croup, just a nasty chesty cough for Mr Orik which is on the mend), and we haven’t had good sleep since then. Β I hope you all have a productive week and hail the arrival of Spring on Sunday. πŸ™‚

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17 thoughts on “Updates and another weekend

  1. Big changes when the little ones move to a big bed by themselves. I thought about that recently when I got kicked again for the 43rd time time that night πŸ˜‰
    Hope there are no more hospital runs for you and you all can get some healing sleep…. (and holey moley, is it really spring on Sunday??)

    • Yes, the kicking is a great encouragement to boot them into their own beds. Orik has been in a cot/our bed but when we are being woken at 3:40am by a thump, whimper, footsteps and then a giggle as he comes into our room after having scaled the edges of the cot… Well, it was time.
      And yep. September 1st on Sunday. Fathers Day too.

  2. I’ve been a bit that way myself πŸ™‚ If there’s alot going on and we’re feeling stressed it’s hard to feel chatty or interested. Pleased to see you still have a sense of humour – I have never been terribly normal either lol

  3. Jo says:

    Well, sometimes you just get those months of trials and tribulations. Here’s hoping you have seen the last of them, and get some sleep.
    All the best for your homeschooling adventure! I don’t regret a moment of homeschooling in those younger years. I think most schools do a great job, especially for older kids, but I do truly believe that any loving, engaged parent can do a brilliant job providing a much richer learning environment for young children than almost any school can (though I have been quite happy to hand over the reins in the last couple of years… twelve years was my absolute limit!).
    Feel free to email me if you ever want to chat about homeschooling.
    I know you’ll be brilliant!

    • Jo, it was your homeschooling blog that gave me real hope. A friend found it and I read from start to nearly up to date (I really have dropped the ball this last month). I am sure I will email you to ask a million and one questions as we really get started so watch out for that email! And thank you for the offer too. πŸ™‚

  4. LyndaD says:

    Im am so glad you are not normal – how boring. Normal is everywhere and its bright lights like you who live outside the box that provide entertainment for the likes of me. LOL. School Room. Dont forget i have those two big cupboards waiting for you when we do the room swap. I’d go with straw also for your beds this year. You have so much on your plate at the moment, just get them in and plant something. Time is on your side since you are but a grasshopper. Now Martin? he had better get a move on. LOL.

    • The cupboards are most welcome I tell you but they most definitely won’t fit in the school room (although I balk at that name. I’m trying to find a name that doesn’t bring with it connotations of teachers, children in rows and chalk dust (although there will be plenty of chalk dust with a chalk board table top πŸ˜‰ ).
      I remember an activity I had to complete in year 10 psychology – describe normal. The best we could come up with at the time, and what I still use to define the word normal is ‘the standard by which society lives’. Normal is different for different societies however I never have and hopefully never will be considered normal. I’ve always been a little off centre at least. πŸ™‚
      I am in the process of sourcing straw as we speak. I’ve a few locations but want local so I’m on the hunt.

  5. narf77 says:

    So proud not to be “normal” whatever the heck that is and hugs for having to deal with empty nest syndrome regarding the cot/bed. I found a great idea on Pinterest this morning for melting crayons into empty glue stick containers so that they could be pushed up as needed and when lidded they wouldn’t leave marks accidentally. Pinterest addict… “Moi?” πŸ˜‰

    • Oooo I like that idea. One must have empty glue stick containers to start with though I presume. πŸ˜‰ Send me the link as I presume you pinned it.
      I got on Pinterest last night and I swear, 95% of my Pinterest feed is pinned by YOU! Addicted for sure. πŸ˜›

      • narf77 says:

        PPPFFFT! Too many useful things to pin is the problem ;). Steve is going to run me a long (10m) cable into the loungeroom so that I can use the newly refurbished (Vista…beGONE! πŸ˜‰ ) laptop to …er… type blog posts ( πŸ˜‰ ) at night when I am not crocheting like a fool attempting to get a large king sized bedspread made in the few hours I prop my eyelids open between tea at 6 and falling asleep on the sofa at 8. Check out my craft board…I stored it there just for you πŸ™‚

        • Me love you long time. πŸ˜€

          • narf77 says:

            Pidgin English methinks…must practice it when I find the time ;). Have a great day out there in your rapidly approaching summer. It’s cold and rainy here and I am just about to let Earl loose on a bloody chook that won’t stop telling me that she has laid an egg…”I KNOW you have laid an egg…I will still know in the hour that it takes you to shut up!”…sigh…you want some eggs? We have so many in cartons they take up a whole shelf of our large fridge!

            • I’d love some eggs. We have a wretched egg eater in our coop at the moment. The chooks are learning to eat from their new feeders I think and before that if we were a little late getting thier breakfast out they would help themselves. 12 duck eggs gone and gods knows how many hens eggs (over the last 2 or so weeks). Our neighbours behind us have an issue with a crow pinching theirs. I’ve kept a close eye on the crows but they don’t go in our chook house thankfully.

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