Photos from the weekends hard work

Here’s some photos from the workย in the veggie garden overย the weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚ Continue reading

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The year that was – 2013

Much to my surprise 2013 has come to a close. And as is natural at this time of year I am reflecting over the year that was.

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Home sweet home

I received a message this morning from a friend whom I met through this blog and who is now a neighbour, which said “welcome home”. ๐Ÿ˜€ It IS welcome home too and that was something that has sat so profoundly right in my heart all day today. We are home. We truly are home. ๐Ÿ™‚

The kids and I spent our first night here last night. Martin has slept here twice but tonight is the first night our entire family will be sleeping under our new roof. The cats, Maxxie and Minnie aren’t so impressed by their new location, but that probably has more to do with the fact that they’ve been confined to quarters since arriving. They’re in the bathroom at the moment but as soon as the chicks can be ensconced somewhere else safely, my furry boys will move into the laundry. Just for long enough to get them used to it all at least.

The chicks have transitioned well although their peeping woke me more than once last night. For such small creatures they sure can make a loud noise. Their antics, particularly when I refill their food has me giggling every time. It’s a melee! ๐Ÿ˜€

There isn’t much other animal news. The chickens have settled in well and we have had 3 of the 10 nesting boxes graced with an egg. Higgy sang her heart out today announcing her warm white deposit. I anticipate having to encourage the chicks to perch rather than hiding out in a tyre again tonight though. I’m hoping it sinks in sokn where they need to sleep although 9 not that small dorkings all jammed like sardines into a tyre is pretty funny. A friend told me how to tell the roosters from the hens too. The hens retain their brown breast feathers whereas the roosters lose the brown and get black and white speckles. Looks like we have 4 hens, possibly a 5th from 9 which works well as 3-4 hens are all we need for eggs. We’ve got our pekin bantams and we will also have the ducks later when they begin to lay too. Lots of eggs to come! And our 9 chicks appear to be a 6-3 in favour of the hens. Time will tell if I’m right but I’m keen to try putting a ring around their legs to mark them as to which to see if I’m right.

But the most exciting parts of my day today were mostly the mundane. I had a lovely time standing in the dappled shade, hanging out the washing on my new (2nd hand but new to me) clothesline and I’ve got 2 loaves of bread rising on the bench. That was a little trickier than normal, adjusting to a new bench location as well as not being able to stand on the freshly filled grout lines on the tiles. But my sourdough starter was demanding attention and I can’t go another day without my bread. I’ve fired the oven up to clean out the nasties so I can bake them soon. Fresh bread for breakfast and I’ve got orange blossom honey to go on it. Nom Nom Nom! ๐Ÿ˜€

But most excitingly of all our cooker/heater arrived. My Thermalux Gourmet Cooker is a heater with cooktop, hot water heater and oven! :oD it weighs an absolute tonne! Took 3 men to haul it in (and that was no easy task either) and then the plumbers got to hooking it all up whilst John our builder tiled, put up blinds, grouted and other stuff. I believe the cooker is ready to go! Pity it’s going to be high 20’s tomorrow. I want to build a fire! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It’s all connected to the solar hot water too. So we are heating our water as we speak, nearly entirely off grid. It will work like this. Solar is first, (which is what we have running now) and will contribute, even if only a little, on cold days too. Secondly is the wood fired heater which in winter will serve many purposes. If the water is not hot enough (50*C I believe) then the gas booster will kick in. Currently we are trying to sort out gas (mains or bottle) so the fourth and final water heating option will come in handy for now – electric. It won’t kick in unless there is no sun, no wood heater and no gas so it’s unlikely to be used beyond the next little while until we get gas. And with the low temperature setting, we will use even less. We already have luke warm water thanks to a lovely warm day. ๐Ÿ™‚ Next part to that equation will be our water tank but one step at a time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sadly we didn’t realise our plans to visit Fairy Park for Allegra’s party as returning the van turned into a bit of a pain but we celebrated her birthday none the less. Happy 3rd birthday my princess. Love you to bits! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, as I lie here taking a much needed (and deserved) break, all I can hear is the fan on my oven fan as it cooks off whatever horrid chemical they coat it with, the sounds of my tireless husband bringing in boxes we hadn’t found time to move in earlier, the sound of the birds (sparrows, passing sulphur-crested cockatoos and one small black bird that sings its glorious little heart out), and the deafening sound of silence! A silence so profound we will most likely hear the chorus of the stars tonight. ๐Ÿ™‚ My children fell deeply asleep within minutes of their heads hitting the pillow and I suspect I will too when bed time rolls around. In the mean time I had better get my backside back into gear. So much yet to do.

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Operation Homestead: Days 15 & 16

What a weekend! Yet again, exhausted but elated and we have made some real progress that is hugely visible. Don’t you hate when you slave away at something but at the end there really isn’t an awful lot to show for the work invested? ย This weekend, in fact the whole week has left a very visible mark on the house and gardens. ๐Ÿ˜€

Yesterday was a day of showers. Not particularly warm (although not cold either) and it couldn’t decide if it wanted to shower or not. I was also down with a rotten headache and sore neck (hence the headache) and after a night of broken sleep from Orik who is attempting to cut 3 molars all at once, it wasn’t the best of days. Still, I managed to work on the defencing of the gardens. I didn’t get to impale but did remove many of the palings at least. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Martin, due ย the warmer weather forecast today and with summer just around the corner, continued to focus on the grass. Mowing a 1/2 acre of foot high grass is no mean feat at the best of times, but when it’s wet and hiding all sorts of things like empty buckets, broken pipes, carpet, rotted down carseats and plenty of rocks and tree stumps, well, let’s just say he has the patience of a saint. He was also watching the kids as I was working out the front. And poor Orik took a faceplant onto theย bitumen, breaking his fall and slide with his nose. Poor bubba. ๐Ÿ˜ฆย We headed home about 4:30 with grumpy kids and a cranky headachey me. Frustrating kind of day.

Today more than made up for the frustrations and disappointments of yesterday though. We arrived up there armed with food supplies and snags to have a little barbecue with friends and I had a run to Gordon, a nearby town to grab some give away pots of currant cuttings. I came home with 4 pots of currants, both red and black, some of which are even fruiting (yay ๐Ÿ˜€ ) and 2 pots of thornless blackberries, all of which will be planted and trained over the fences (when we get them). What a wonderful score. ๐Ÿ™‚

The afternoon involved 3 kids behaving themselves very well, a LOT more mowing being achieved, a side fence almost completely removed, a temporary fence being installed and more. No spuds up yet but their beds are nice and toasty under the lucerne mulch and the veggie beds are rotting down nicely. Soon they will be ready for planting. Maybe another week or two until the end of the frosts? Oh I hope so.

The pile of rubbish removed and the fencing to the near left that is now completely gone.

Work on the house has progressed too. Our builder, John, started work on Wednesday. In 3 days he has finished clearing out the kitchen, stripped all the floors out (tiles, floating floorboards and a bit of remaining underlay), removed the old wardrobes and built the framework for our walk in robes, removed the wardrobe in what will be Jasper’s room, changed the wardrobe in what will be Allegra’s room to be a wardrobe for both Jasper and Allegra’s room (it was too deep and just wasted space before – now it’s 2 useable wardrobes), cleared out the laundry and bathroom and removed all the broken doors.

The exciting part is that my kitchen should be ready to go in next week and be finished the week after! Paint colour has been chosen so I need to get a move on and work out tiles and carpet now.

Well, the children are all asleep and I’m not far off sleep either. A few more pictures of our work and the property and our family.

Some very temporary fencing. It’s enough to keep Orik in and slow Jasper and Allegra.

My little poser ๐Ÿ˜‰

My poor bubba getting ready for bed with the grazes of the road on his nose.

Jasper flaked!

Our creek