Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Our number one and only son has made it back from Sydney without incident and he had a pretty good time. His only regret about coming home is it means that the holidays are coming to an end... my heart is breaking... not :)

So packing can begin in earnest now, with only a week before school begins we have to be mostly up there in our shed as that is where our number one and only son will be catching the bus from. I have all the school stuff (I think) except for shoes and must pick up his textbooks on Monday. I think that is all that is on the list.

I also must hurry and decide where to put my hammock, it is a very important decision and one that must be made carefully. Where-ever it initially goes, it will probably have to come back down when we finish off the veranda, each side will be extended across the entire front.

We will also be putting up an extra room/shed for our number one and only son as his bedroom (which I am sure he will love being a nearly teenager) with a tank off it. The tank will be a bit smaller than the other one and have a tap on it for use outside use, may as well catch that water too. The house will be put on hold for the time being till we can agree on what we actually want.

Another large rainwater tank will be put at the back of the main shed to catch the water from the veranda (when it is done), you can never have too much water and why let it fall to the ground and be wasted? I read somewhere that we already have a free catchment area and just need the tank for storage, the area is the roof, and it catches an incredible amount of water. For every 1mm of rain on 1 square metre of roof catches you 1 litre of water, you could catch a lot of water :)

Well, better go and do some serious packing so we can take another trailer load up tomorrow before the big push on the weekend. So much to do and so much fun to be had :) I think :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

We have now become part of a culture that mows the lawn on a Sunday. Never really thought we fit in with that group but here we are, part of group that live on "lifestyle" blocks and have to get out the ride-on mowers to mow our many acres.

There was the quiet buzz all around of ride-on mowers over the weekend and if you went and had a look (though you could count them from the direction the sound was coming from) you would see in the distance (and the not so distant) little people sitting on their mowers going around and around.

I quite enjoyed the riding around, around, it was very Zen. Didn't have to think about anything, and I think it was the first time in days that my mind was empty and not racing, thinking about the million things that need doing. However, when I did get a bit tired of going in clockwise circles (clockwise because the grass got thrown out to the left and you didn't want to re-mow the already cut grass according to the instructions from my partner in crime and life), I made a crop circle :)

I can now actually get to the fruit trees without getting itchy legs, and it does kind of look like a little orchard, just needing some TLC, I hope that is all it needs anyway. Speaking of gardens (of sorts), I think I have decided to start with straw bale gardens while I am getting the actual garden ready. This means that I can start straight away with not much work while I get the soil ready in the real garden. The ground is made up of clay and not much else, which is why the fruit trees are so sad, so I am going to make raised garden beds for the veges, with a couple of small fruit trees around the edge, I think..... unless I change my mind :) so much choice.

My clothesline is now this tiny little thing, a bit weird in my opinion, but at least we can hang a couple of things. We are going to put up a new big one, however we can't agree on the design of it, I want one (or three) of those old fashioned single line ones that you prop up with a pole. It is quite simple really but is becoming difficult, the perfectionist in the family wants exact measurements, and plans, and the hows and whys, so I think I might just go to Bunnings and get a Hills-hoist and be done with it. The only thing that needs to be done then is to dig a hole, fill it with cement and stick it in.

Speaking of digging holes and filling it with cement and sticking a pole in it, we now have a letterbox. So if anyone actually knew our address, they could write us a letter. Of course we had to get a big one, no little tiny letterbox for us, we had never bought one before so this was our first. We had no idea how many different letterboxes there are out there. In the end we went for one that could fit in the large size envelopes we seem to get a lot of these days, and would keep the rain out. Who knew a letterbox could be so exciting? :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I have had a busy week, I have been up to the block twice, including today to take up bits and pieces. Every day this week we have had new ideas of what we could do and should do and of course many new discoveries.

The shed/house is very bare so far but of course as long as you have a TV and somewhere to sit, what more do you need? :)

But of course the view makes up for any shortcomings in the furniture.

We discovered a very sad little orchard with some mangoes, citrus and maybe a Brazilian cherry and something else. I really need to do some research. When I went up on Tuesday, my friend and her two kids came with me and we put some manure and mulch and some of the trees. My friend got bitten by a paper wasp that are nesting in one of the little mango trees, so needless to say we didn't go near that one, must get rid of the nest.

So today when I was up there I went and talked to the fruit trees, they are still sad looking and need more water, but I am sure with lots of TLC they will kick on. Maybe I should play some music for them, it is supposed to work :)

The dam is teaming with tadpoles, a million squillion of them, literally, no kidding :) I couldn't believe how many there were, so I am expecting a million squillion frogs, I am also expecting them to be incredibly noisy :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

We have had a great weekend. We got the keys to our new place on Friday afternoon and then went up for a couple of hours just to check it out.

On Saturday we went back up and took a trailer and Ute load of boxes up and stayed overnight. I know we are going to love it up there. It will still only take about thirty minutes for my partner in crime and life to get to work, which means we are out of suburbia but still close enough to come down any time without us living out in whoop whoop.

It is so lovely and peaceful, except for the noise of the rain and the frogs that thought it was heaven. The dam is gorgeous and we sat and had a cuppa overlooking it with its lily pads and stork like birds and trees and peace. Shows that everything must be quite healthy, there were three cute little frogs living behind the toilet, and they came out with the rain (and leapt out the window to play in it). There was a massive green tree frog trying to get out when we took the dog out late (so the frog also leapt out the door and off into the rain). So we are extremely happy about this and plan on keeping everything healthy so all these lovely creatures can continue living with us.

We will be so glad to get up there properly, for the time being I will have to put up with boxes stacked up and not much furniture as all the good furniture will stay down till we sell our current house. However, at least I will have bookcases so I can get my books out, which is very, very important :)

Unfortunately, Telstra turned off our phone, and with it went the Internet connection, so despite specifically saying “do not turn off our phone in our current house”, they did anyway. Getting these things turned back on was more difficult than it should have been, and the Internet is still down (though it obviously is now :).

It felt very claustrophobic coming back to suburbia, after roaming around five acres and having space, it was hard to come back and if we weren’t certain of this move before, we are now.

We had a really good roam and checked all the trees and shrubs and I wrote down all the ones that had labels. Turns out there are a couple of mangoes and citrus trees, but they haven’t been looked after very well and we didn’t recognise them at first. So I am going to get some fertiliser and mulch and take up the gardening tools and see if they can be saved. There are also other natives and shrubs, like lilypilly’s, that all need some TLC and there are more than a few that have died, and also some poor plants that were dumped out of their pots just because they were no longer wanted, so we will save them too. The pots were obviously wanted somewhere else :(

When my partner in crime and life went to pick up the keys to our new place, the estate agent gave him (for us) a basket of potted herbs to start out new garden up there. It was lovely of them to do that and there a great variety of herbs like parsley, chives, sage, rosemary, catmint, a variety of capsicum and a paw paw, there are also a couple of others. This will certainly get us started as long as we can keep the wallabies away, fences are going to be in order.

So, we have a fair amount of work ahead of us, more packing and moving, and getting the gardens going. Wish that was already happening, but all things will happen in time. For now though, I have work here to catch up on, so best get on with it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I know that life is full of experiences, and your life is fuller and richer for them, and they make you the person that you are, but really, the experience of buying and selling property is really not me.

All the mucking around and tooing and froing, ringing people to organise phone connections (and no no no don't cut off our current phone yet nor send the bill to the new address as there is no letter box yet), can we get to the meter to check the electricity on the new property (I don't know), what is the make/or-something-with-a-couple-of-letters of the other vehicle you just bought five minutes ago(huh I don't understand and my husband can't find it), and you really don't want to cut off your Austar, it will cost you to get it reconnected just suspend your account for a bit, it really would be better to not get it cut off, it is more difficult to get it reconnected later (I am having heart palpitations at this point, have become quite afraid and not sure if I can live without Austar and do I really want to completely cut myself and my family off from the world of pay TV), we require 30 days notice (why?)so yes you will have to pay another month Austar and it would be better to transfer from your old house to your new one and it would be a smooth transitions and no need to disconnect.

Why can't people just do as I ask? I really was doubting if we could live without pay TV, but the thought of two mortgages put that one to rest. What do I want the most, pay TV or Internet? Internet wins hands down, can really live without the idiot box but can't without the Internet. Where would I get my alternative news from? Or read about all the conspiracies going on in the world? Or shop online because I have more choice than what I can get in town here? (when I can afford to). Definitely Internet. Though we will miss the documentaries and stuff :( but not the endless repeats of The Simpson's :)

So in amongst all this our number one and only son has flown off down to Sydney (actually Goulburn) for two weeks to visit grandparents (he is glad to be away from all the work),he will be yabbying,shopping, visiting, eating and generally having fun. Last time he was there, actually the time before that, it was in July, and he nearly froze to death, I think it snowed, this time there are storm warnings for hail and rain but I think maybe it is a bit warmer.

Yesterday I had a friend visit for morning tea and she didn't leave until 3.45pm as we didn't stop talking about lots of stuff, great day though and certainly not wasted, we enjoyed ourselves.

I made some very yummy mini quiches last night for our dinner and had enough left over for this mini mega quiche. I was pretty impressed with myself as I don't usually make quiche this way and they were great.

So now I am off to pack some more boxes, I think I make more mess than I get rid of, you tend to pull things out of cupboards and spread them around. Despite our resolution to get rid of some stuff, not much has gone our yet except some clothes.

Well, we get the keys to the new place on Friday (should do anyway) and at least we will be able to move some stuff up and out of the way. Haven't been so broke in twenty years, but oh so content with our decisions, and for the most part, happy with how everything has gone. All very exciting :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

We had a good day yesterday, you have to have days when you just relax and don't think about all the things you should do, just things you want to do.

Yesterday morning we went to the golf driving range and had a great time. I have never actually played a game of golf, and was a late starter to just hitting the ball but I seem to do alright. They have a small nine hole course there and we are going to have a game there sometime. At the driving range if the ball is a wayward one it doesn't really matter, as long as it goes forward, but if you have a game, it is different and I am not sure I can make the ball go where I want it to go without embarrassing myself. Well I am sure I will amuse the family :)

The view from the range is pretty good and makes the whole golfing experience so much better, mountains with cloud on them and palm trees, makes you want to take your time.

And of course now the family want a small golf course on our new property. This is to add to the orchard, vege gardens, chooks, BMX track, fish in the dam, footy/kite flying field, and I can't remember what else is on the list, oh yeah, goats.

We went to friend's for a BBQ last night and had a very relaxing time, they live on an acre and so have space to spread out, BMX track for the kids (and adults), fruit trees, vege garden and chooks (and dogs and cats). And it is very, very quiet there. My friend was thinking about moving back to suburbia, but after listening to some of the reasons why we are moving, she remembered why they moved out in the first place.

So the men have gone to do a spot of fishing with some new lures that our number one and only son bought with Christmas money from the neighbour. The other thing our neighbour gave him for Christmas was a book called "Ultimate SAS Survival", great book and the sort of thing that he reads (he is a reader but not of fiction, so this is great for him). However, now he wants to make a fishing spear so he can fish, and I am sure there are many other things he wants to do that the book tells him how.

We are running out of toilet paper so must go to the shops and get some, it is amazing what becomes important when you don't have it :)

Friday, January 1, 2010


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!! Can't believe it is 2010 and what a week it has been, with Christmas and getting the purchase of our new property organised. We didn't overindulge this year for a change, we usually eat enough that we don't need food for the next six months, so it was nice not to do that. We spent our time doing the Christmas thing and painting, so we were busy.

Christmas day we took our kayaks out and had a paddle around, we had a lovely time, didn't have to go far which was nice and really enjoyed ourselves. In the afternoon we went next door to our neighbours which we do every year, they have a pool table in the back room and there is always a game going on. Our neighbours always go all the way with Christmas and have two trees, Santa's footprints through the house, a rather large village scene on tables all light up and she adds to it every year, it is huge now.

Boxing Day was spent recovering from Christmas and was a relaxing day, we ended up back at the neighbours to help them eat some of the tonnes of food they had :)

Our bunch of bananas that we finally cut down was ripening and have been crazily (is that a word?) eating them before they are TOO ripe. We have been eating them at breakfast, for snacks, made banana chocolate chip muffins (yummo), banana chocolate chip bread (yummo too) and I dried the bananas. Now I don't think the drying was a huge success as I think the humidity was just too high but they did dry a bit (for 24hours mind you) and then I just put them in the freezer, they are still pretty yum.

The other day the men in my life went to the cable ski park. Our number one and only son had been once before and did very well on the knee board, he tried the wakeboard but couldn't get up so went back to the knee board. My partner in crime and life had more trouble getting up on the knee board and crashed spectacularly a couple of times before getting up, then he was away. They had a great time but even now their shoulders and arms are still sore, guess they need to do it a bit more, and next time I will do it as well.

We have done a lot of tooing and froing from the bank and organising and stuff, trying to organise things around public holidays. Note to self: never purchase property over Christmas. There are too many public holidays, people on leave and people just in go slow mode and not wanting to do anything. In saying that though, there are some who have gone out of their way to do the job and we are on track to receive the keys to the shed at the end of next week. We really have only had a few small hiccups, which is to be expected, but could have done without the stress of that.

So now things should get back to normal, and from next weekend we can start to move our stuff up the mountain. Though our number one and only son won't be here for the hard work, he is off to Sydney for two weeks to visit with the grandparents, so he is looking forward to that. So he gets to miss the packing, cleaning and moving which he doesn't mind at all.

We have finished painting the walls on the outside of the house and have started on the garden. I have potted up some of my plants to take with us and just hope they survive all the transplanting. We still have a fair bit of work to do, and it is good to have time to chip away at it and not worry, rather than trying to do everything in a week. It will be easier to do the inside of the house when most of the stuff is moved out, so we are not starting on the inside until then, just working on the outside.

For today though, we won't do much, we are going to go to the golf driving range to hit a few balls around, and later this afternoon we are going to friend's for a BBQ. It has been raining all night here, right through the New Year, was quite loud on the roof, so it is rather wet this morning, the dog won't even get out of bed to go outside, she knows it is wet out there :)