Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The small tanks are overflowing again, even though I took out twelve buckets of water yesterday. Seems like a lot of water and it is, but the roof catches a lot, even a small amount of rain, even just dew, drips into the tanks. The large tanks still have a little to go till they are full but it won't be long now, especially if this rain continues.

Here is my Kaffir Lime, it is hanging out in the middle of the paddock by itself but I hope it won't be long until it is surrounded by other plants. I think I will put plants (eating ones) around the boundary of the vege gardens and the actual beds inside of that.

These little plants behind the tanks hopefully won't be alone for too long, we plan on putting more next to them that will grow and give us some shade, and food :)

The paw paw tree is looking quite healthy and getting new leaves (must put in more as the seedlings don't seem to be doing much) but the fruit salad plant next to it isn't looking so great. This is the second time it has been transplanted (not here) and we hope it bounces back as well as the first time.

Must clean out the fridge today and defrost the freezers, they have been working hard as the shed is not lined and the walls get very hot in the sun, and I mean really hot. So as the fridge and freezers are against this particular wall they are really doing the hard yards. I am hoping that this weekend we will be able to put some insulation on these walls, this will also help keep out the cold bit, I hope. We have some that has been left on the mezzanine level and I am sure it won't be hard :) Famous last words :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

The rain is still coming down and I think the water tanks must be nearly full, something to check when there is a break in the rain.

At the moment every time it stops raining I put on my gum boots to go out and then the rain starts up again. The dog and I went to get the mail, started out with no rain, then it started coming down, so we ran to the letter box, then ran back, of course the dog can run faster than me so she was nearly puling me over, which wasn't difficult as I had no belt on my jeans and they kept falling down :)

I bought two pavers today to put under the small tank out the front, and that should stop the water digging a hole in the ground. I had to go into town today and take our number one and only son to the dentist to get a thing on his braces fixed. So this gave me the opportunity to get the pavers and some mulch, can always use mulch, and dirt, and fertiliser, and more plants :)

We planted out the kaffir lime, we have put it into the top corner of the future vege garden, of course I didn't realise they can get to four metres, guess I will have to prune it. We also put in this capsicum type plant next to the compost bin, and then next to that we put our miracle fruit plant, which also get quite tall.

So those last two are behind the shed, along the embankment that is next to the tanks. We want to put bushes along there for privacy, and shading the tanks and shed, we want to put in bushes not trees, and if we can it would be good to put in fruit bearing bushes.

We planted some pumpkin seeds up next to the lemon grass. I bought an organic Kent Pumpkin and saved the seeds, I was putting some in and my partner in crime and life put more in, so we will have lots of pumpkin seedlings in the one patch. I suppose it allows for some not germinating and being able to select the strongest, except I don't' do that, I always think "you poor thing, keep trying", not into pulling out living plants if I can help it.

We also went and saved some plants that had been dumped out by the previous owner into the dam overflow. They have been there for ages and we kept saying we will plant them and we finally have. They are pot plants so we don't' know how they will go in the ground but we will give them a try and look after them. We planted them next to the driveway on the bend so they do look good and I hope they survive.

I have also been trying to decide what sort of garden edging I will use around the vege garden, a lot of edging isn't high enough as I need to make raised beds. Some of it is very nice looking, there is bamboo, corrugated iron, plastic, treated timber, untreated hard wood, a lot of choice. Of course, I want something untreated and a reasonable height and have been told that untreated hardwood is a good height and of course has nothing bad in it to leach into the soil, and it is apparently the cheapest.

So we need to go and research this all properly, prices and materials, now we actually have time and it is getting to the stage of "we must start building our garden". I also have a lot of pots out next to the dam of plants that need to be planted out, not desperately, but soon :)

So when the rain stops I will dash out and take some photos of out plants in the ground and post them in my next blog. Might be waiting a bit :) Time for a cuppa.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

We have had a busy weekend, we have put in two small water tanks at the front off the veranda, and also put an incredibly huge mast on the side of the shed to put the antenna on.

We had to first level out the area, and make sure that both tanks were the same as we put in a balance pipe at the bottom of both tanks to connect them so they would fill up together. Just like our big tanks out the back.

It was quite easy, and we really hoped that we bought all the correct parts as we were not going to driving back into town. However all worked out well, with no disasters that often accompany our endeavours :)

As it was raining quite a bit yesterday by last night they were overflowing and so we now have an extra 620 litres of rain water and will use this for filling the dog's water, washing the car etc. We have put one tap over the dog bowl to easily fill that and the tap on the other tank is facing out so we can put a bucket under it. We have placed rocks around the edges and will buy a large paver to put under the bucket tap. I think it looks quite neat, it doesn't obstruct our view and water no longer splashes back onto the veranda :)

The antenna got put up while I was visiting the neighbour, so I came home to this massive thing on the roof. We now have two bars on the reception thingy for the Internet, five would have been better but two works, maybe on a clear day it might be better, who knows? However it is very very tall, it is a six metre mast so on top of our five metre roof makes it very high.

My wheat bags turned out really well, and now I have put some lavender oil on them they smell nice too. The first one I made too big and had to sew up one side to make it smaller, I also left the opening too small so it was difficult to turn in the correct way. The next two were just right (I am starting to sound like Goldilocks) and the last one was a bit small and had a bit of trouble sewing it closed but I got there.

We have also been enjoying these lovely bananas that a friend grew and then brought to Tai Chi class to share with us. They are really yummy :) I really need to get a banana circle growing, but I need to bring in stacks of dirt first, so I guess I will be waiting a little longer for this :( Never mind, there is always more things to do :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

We have had a lovely lot of rain, in the twenty four hours to this morning we had 40mm in the rain gauge, 35mm was from last night. We have also had another 40mm this morning, so the tanks are well on the way to being filled.

The dam is overflowing, not just at the overflow pipes but also over the bank, so we have water everywhere. The water is nearly up to my pots which currently live on the side of the dam and one of the overflow spots is just up from them.

Most of the water is flowing out of the next door neighbours dam, gushing would be a better word so we now have an incredibly large dam.

I have bought the wheat to make our wheat bags, and it is just as well I like purple as we are going to have a lot of purple, between the benches, the chair and the wheat bags. It is a very good colour :) So I will make them up this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We have had some rain the last couple of days which is great for the tanks. In the last three days we have had a total of 33mm in our rain gauge, it is really nice to see. However, according to my partner in crime and life we need about 280mm (or something like that) of rain to fill both tanks to the top, so I guess we have a way to go, and that doesn't include what we use.

I really need to start going through some of the packed boxes as there are things missing that we want. I am really missing our marble coasters and the calculator, I really need to find the start of the blanket I am crocheting for our number one and only son, and also the dive book so he can do his junior open water course in a couple of weeks.

I am also really looking forward to improving our shed, like tiling, while I can live with it, I would really prefer tiles over cement. I do have mats down, those interlocking rubber mats that I have used for training are now our walkways and mats for under our feet on the lounge.

We also really need to line the walls, we are particularly going to notice this in the winter, I am afraid of the cold :) and so will be making those wheat bags soon, dragging out the hot water bottles and crocheting blankets. Crocheting blankets means that I can have the blanket to be on my knees while working and be warm.

I have recovered my reading chair with the (lots of) leftover material from the benches (I really over estimated there). It was looking very daggy, a cream colour that showed up the marks when I spill stuff (I am a spiller) so the dark colour of the purple will be much better.

So, of course I sat in my newly recovered chair and had a read of my Grass Roots magazine, and it is all very comfy. The chair is located next to one of my bookshelves, it is the one that has my recipe and gardening books, also health, Tai Chi and self sufficiency books, basically all my reference books that I regularly look at. It is also next to my stationary cupboard so if I need to write myself a note or anything I can just leap up and I am there :)

Today I have to drag myself away from home for just a little while to go to the local post office, and I don't really feel like it. I have been home for three days and it has been lovely, but you gotta do what you gotta do. So off to the post office soon and I think I will also make some vegemite scrolls which are a huge favourite in our home :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today I have done some cooking as the men are getting hungry, or will be. It has been a true home day with being in the kitchen and just around the house.

I have been saying that we will cook hot cross buns as we have been buying them, and to get really nice ones with no preservatives etc it costs a bit. So all was going well, using my new handy dandy mix master (which I love and would never go back to a handheld one).

The crosses on the top didn't go on particularly well and I think I need to find a new recipe to get oven temperatures right. So I ended up with some mutant hot cross buns which look nothing like hot cross buns and it is just as well they taste like hot cross buns :)

So I was quite happy when my jam drops worked well and looked like they were supposed to, however this recipe also confused me. It is a very basic biscuit recipe with just four ingredients, 1 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup caster sugar, 2 cups plain flour and jam. Cream the butter and sugar then fold in the flour and make balls and put on trays then put a little dent in top of biscuit and put jam in it. Put in the oven for about 15 minutes and cook till lightly brown.

That all sounds good but there was no temperature for the oven so I put them in at 180 degrees and that was good. The thing that confused me was that I was supposed to make 60 biscuits and I think they would have made the smallest biscuits in history as I only managed 26 average sized ones. What are some people thinking?

So I will make these biscuits again, but I think the hot cross buns requires more research. So off I go researching :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Well, we still seem to be connected, so I will try and put some photos up, we only have one signal bar, we really need two for this to work (of course five would be better) but if one will work today I am going to take it.

Our other house is now finished and there are some people who want to rent it so that is good. It has taken us a while to do but we have done it alone, while trying to keep two places afloat, on weekends and after work for my partner in crime and life. So we are looking forward to this week as it will be the first week when he can come straight home after work and our weekends our now our own YAY :)

Our new and exciting place (that we will now have time for) is slowly looking habitable, we have a list as long as your arm of things to do once we have money again :) Things like a clothesline (that will be soon), paving, improving the outdoor shower, vege garden, building our number one and only son a room, carports, another rainwater tank off the veranda and whole stack off other things.

One thing I can cross off the list is recovering the benches on the veranda, they have been driving me crazy, so now they are fixed. Amazing what some material and a staple gun can do. There is also enough material left over to make wheat bags for this winter (pretty sure we are going to need those) and to cover my reading chair.

Actually, the benches once belonged to my parents and they were around when I was very young, I remember getting a large Easter egg one year when I was about seven or eight. I was so excited about it because it was a big one, and I then put it down on one of the benches that now adorn our veranda and of course it rolled off and smashed :( That is the only reason I remember how old they are :) so about thirty five years, give or take :)

My reading chair came from my in-laws quite a few years ago when they were working in Sydney, and is an old but comfy chair that I have recovered, but now I have a handy dandy staple gun, I can redo it better.

We now have to develop a new system for bottling beer because of the water situation, so we are going to wash in bore water (outside in the shell pool, very sophisticated)then rinse in rain then bottle. There is nothing wrong with the bore water just hard and not very nice, but clean, so we use that for the main washing and than continue.

We actually brewed two batches for the first time, but that is because we have no beer but bought beer and that is expensive, so in a week or so we will have home breww ready to drink.

So that is us for now, hopefully the internet will continue to improve and stay connected, not even going to discuss the issues, and not even sure how we have the internet but we do so I am not going to talk to loud about it in case it goes away :)

So here is hoping for some more rain for our tanks, hope all those people hit by the cyclone get their power and their places cleaned up without too much trouble, and hope all is well in your world :))
Just a very quick blog while I have somehow managed to log on. We are still having internet issues and so are not online (but am now with a very slow connection). We are not sure what the problem is but things are moving very slowly with it and I miss blogging but am taking lots of photos of out life so when we are back I can post.

We have had the two tanks connected, we have played golf around the property and luckily for us the cyclone was well below us but not so good for those who did get hit with it.

Best post this now in case the connection gets lost :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

We managed to get the tank into place, not as easy as they made out it would be, but there you have it :)

At first we just tried to pull it with the ride on mower, that didn't work so we had to get the truck (which is now fixed without too much drama) and give it a gentle push while also pulling with the mower.

There was a couple of pushes and pulls that went on, but we actually got it nearly to where we want it, and that is where it will stay. It looks quite good.

So this morning I rang the company to come out and hook it up, "OK" they said, we will send you out a form to fill out, then send it back and then we will ring you to organise a time. What? I just want to organise it now, so someone can come out soon, but that is not the way it is done, so we are emailing so it should go a little faster than snail mail.

Well, I had better finish hanging out the washing, it won't hang itself. I really can't wait for a proper clothesline, with a path to it, and it has to spin around in the wind and all that. We are going to put it out near the future vegetable garden, I have the exact spot picked out, but for the time being I am just imagining it all there :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Our new tank has finally arrived, YAY, very exciting. After waiting what we think is a long time it is here, apparently they are unusually busy, this is the first year when so many people want tanks in the wet season. Who knew?

It didn't take too much to prepare the site, moving the rock pile was the hardest thing, and then all that we had to do was level the site. So we were out there with a spirit level, of course it had to be perfect :)

The truck arrived with little fanfare and the whole thing was not traumatic at all (compared to the container fiasco), it was all over and done with in about 15 minutes. The tank certainly looked bigger on the truck than what they do on the ground.

The tank was just bounced off the truck, I thought it was going to bounce into the other tank. It was a very simple process, it was just lifted up and it fell off the truck.

So now it is sitting on an angle waiting for us to put it in place, it is about 350kg so it will take a little effort to get it there. I am thinking that we could just push it down and hope it doesn't run into the shed :) but it may be harder than that.

Of course you should be careful what you wish for, I wished that the rain would hold off until the tank got here. I should have been more specific, the rain did start after the tank arrived, it just isn't ready yet, and now the existing tank is overflowing. We need to move it and get it hooked up, soon :) So will do some tank moving this afternoon :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

We are still connected to the Internet and all is still going well with it and it is so great to have a good connection and be able to catch up on the news from around the world. I have a few things I read every day and it is nice to be able to do that, a cup of tea and the news of the world, very relaxing start to the day.

We got those plants into the ground yesterday and it was good to relieve the guilt of neglecting them overnight :) So hopefully they will take off, will put some fertilizer on them today, actually everything needs some fertilizer so will do that late this afternoon.

Our new rainwater tank is supposed to be arriving today, so we will see if it happens, we so want it to arrive so we can hook it up and wait for the rain to fill it. We are also planning on putting a smaller tank out the front to catch the rain of the veranda roof. This tank we want to put on a stand and just have a tap so we can use it for filling up the dogs water, washing the car, and any other outside stuff.

We finished the mowing yesterday, my partner in crime and life hasn't mowed for a fair while and just had to go out and mow. I did one paddock and he finished of what was left, so we are now all caught up with that (until next week that is). So off to do some brush cutting today and we will be all squared away :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

I think we may finally be online properly, except when we use the phone, something about it being close to the same frequency as the Internet or some such thing.

We had a lovely fog this morning, I missed most of it as I didn't hear the alarm so my partner in crime and life went walking without me. However, it was lovely and cool to start the day, even though you could feel how warm it was going to get during the day.

Our new secondhand ute we bought had a seizure yesterday, clutch went and apparently it is actually the slave cylinder? Which really does I don't know what, but it is very important as we can't go anywhere without it (that is such a blonde thing to say :) So the poor truck is sitting in the paddock waiting for my partner in crime and life to get back from town with parts to fix it. Hopefully it will be reasonably straight forward :)

I brought some more plants up from the other house yesterday. We were there taking some loads to the tip and going to the hardware store, of course I had to run into a friend, luckily I had on clean old clothes :) Later in the day we went back to the hardware store and I had on dirty old clothes and just prayed that I wouldn't run into anyone I know, and we didn't, but it is usually the way. And amazingly all the other times I went out really really grotty I didn't met anyone so I can count my lucky stars :)

Anyway, so brought up some lemon grass, galangal and more aloe vera. Things is we were so tired that I didn't plant them when we got home, so this morning they are still wrapped in newspaper waiting for me. I did lay awake last night for a bit feeling bad that I didn't plant them, but they should be right and I will plant them today. I really think they will do better up here.

My partner in crime and life brought up the fruit salad plant that was given to us by our neighbours. They are currently enjoying fruit off theirs so hopefully ours will settle in and produce some fruit sometime. We decided to plant it next to the paw paw (which is doing quite well) and we think it is a good spot for it, it looks good anyway :)

Our number one and only son was not happy that his (our old) lounge was probably going to lounge heaven,so put on the sad face and we relented, it is now back (again) up here sitting on the veranda till we find space for it and squish it in. All our number one and only son needs to do is sit on the lounge and play the banjo and we are in Deliverance country :) We so need to move it soon :)

So off to do more mowing today, and also planting out my lemon grass and stuff, I think I will make them the start of the vege garden. Much work to do, and I think I need about 48 hours in the day at the moment to fit it in but we are nearly at the end and then we can kick back and enjoy being here :)