2017 has arrived!

Well here we are…
Happy New Year Folks!!

We haven’t had any more mice caught, and also haven’t seen any – so either the rest of the family has got the memo not to come visiting us, or they’ve moved on to more productive pastures.
And – only two toads have ventured close enough over the last fortnight, to meet their demise.

We have however, had an evening invasion of small brown hard-shelled beetles.
There were positively zillions of them inside by the time we were ready for bed, which had obviously been attracted by the light, and once we settled into bed, they spent the next hour bashing themselves up against the roof insulation, before they got tired/bored, and gave up.
By next evening, we had set up a temporary screen hanging over the doorway where they had come in the previous night – and there were almost no beetles inside by the time we went to bed. WIN!

One more solitary piece of insulation has been put up, and there is only one more to go on the underside of the roof – plus a few little filler strips, and then it will finally be complete!
(have been a bit pathetically feeble about getting the last of this knocked over, of late – after getting a mega attack of ‘the willies’ for some unknown reason, on the last big inside venture up the ladder 😐 )

On an overcast morning last week, we figured it was a good day to get the gutters and roof cleaned out and gurneyed.
Murphys Law of course meant that about half way through the job, the sun came out in full force, and sunburn was the order of the morning.
Numerous bottles of Sunscreen now grace the shelves of the Farm like bad-taste decorator items….

We had two of the kids drop through home for christmas breakfast – so we decided it would be our first family/christmas breakfast at the Farm.
Our son, daughter, daughter-in-law and son-in-law, and us all managed to fit around our small little table, and feast upon ham, eggs, toast, stone fruit, croissants, jam, coffee and juice.
We then played a few hands of cards – amidst much laughter – before the kids headed off in their seperate directions to have the rest of their day with the other halves of the various families.
The rest of our day was spent alternately napping, calling absent family, nibbling on ham, and movie-watching – as one does post christmas!!

It was a really enjoyable way to spend the day, and the first day that we haven’t let ourselves feel the need to be “doing stuff”, and just revelled in sitting back and doing quite a big bit of nothing – with no obligation to work, being felt…BLISS!

Boxing day we’d been fortunate enough to score an invite to M&Bs place for lunch.
On our way we stopped in at Harvey Norman to have a look, and see if anything exciting was on sale, with a dehydrator at the forefront of our minds.
We’re also keeping our eyes out for a nice big upright freezer – as we’re pretty sure that sometime in the near future, Murphys Law is going to decide that we’ve had our big fridge/freezer combo for quite long enough – and will decide its time for a new one – so we thought we’d to be on the lookout so as to have some idea of what we might like to get, tucked up in our back pocket “in case”.
We didn’t find anything madly exciting – but thats ok – the place had airconditioning, so it was a cool way to waste twenty minutes – because as is always the way – we were running madly early for our lunch date.

Lunch was a smorgasbord of deliciousness covering numerous yummy salads, zingy dressings, roast chicken and pork, coconut prawns, and rounding it all out with the most decadently scrumptious bailies, nut, cherry choc ice cream.
We could barely move by the time we headed home – and definitely had belly-ache for a couple of hours after.
(moderation has never been our strong point around good food!)
But what really made the lunch truely wonderful – was getting to spend it with such lovely people.

We’ve slapped down the first coat of paint on the kitchen side of the floor, and managed to get that done on christmas eve – so at least the floor didn’t look quite so much like a mechanics workshop for the xmas breakfast…

The wagtail babies have grown at an amazing rate, and this morning was finally the day for them to be leaving the nest.
Mr and Mrs Wagtail have been zooming around, chirping at the top of their lil birdy lungs, and dive-bombing anything that even looks like thinking about going anywhere near where their babies are doing their trial hop/flights.

More mowing has of course been done, but we still need to get some poisoning done along/under the fence lines – but each time that job gets discussed – rain clouds loom, and we hold off as we don’t want it all washed off before it has time to do its job.

After the very-much-failed attempt at holidays recently – we’ve pretty much decided that we’ll be saying a big fat “NO” to having joint ‘holidays’ at home ever again.
Very little got accomplished that we’d hoped to get done – but a lot of time got wasted by us both, but somehow amongst all that – it also wasn’t really particularly even the least bit restful either!!

It was made that bit more difficult in the first instance by the fact that our ‘worker’ suddenly got a full time job, and therefore couldn’t come and help us – and secondly we still couldn’t use the trailer we’d bought months ago, due to first not having a towbar on the car – and then not having the right electrical setup for the lights to work.
We’ve now been back at work about a fortnight, but with the Xmas holidays and such, we’ve had a couple of extra days of break we’ve been able to slip in, in the midst of it all – and on the good news front, the trailer business is finally all sorted, and we’ll now be able to use it to move the furniture, plants and such.

However – this week we were fortunate enough with the kids being in town, to have had a working bee – with our daughter, son, son-in-law and daughter-in-law all coming to give us a hand for the day, and our daughter and son-in-law gave us another day after that, then our daughter gave us yet another day on top of that!!
(spoilt much…!!??!!)

As a result – the shed is finally finished (its been re-christened as ‘the office’ – even though it contains all the shed-type stuff one would expect lol); and all the mammoth timbers have all been cut to size for the big veggie garden.
The moving of most of the plants from the back deck at the house in town was done by our daughter and daughter-in-law – which was a huge feat on its own.
The big old heavy sideboard has been bought out by our son and son-in-law, and they both also helped with the redesign, and moving around of ‘Palais de Poochi’, which is also moving closer to the finish-line.
Our daughter and daughter-in-law got the first coat of paint on the walls, and then our daughter did the second coat by herself.
Our son-in-law and daughter got in and did the framing for the second wall of the bathroom – with our daughter learning how to use a circular saw, the drop saw, and how to drill and insert screws at angles.
She was super impressive for a newbie!!

And as an added bonus – our daughter-in-law and her niece did a huge beautiful art piece on our outdoor shower screen.
Its currently in the ‘office’ drying, and will be hung pride of place once its dry.
Once we get the inside bathroom completed – the art will feature on one of the walls in our outdoor area.

All in all, we got an amazing amount of work done, and they’ve help us do stuff that would have taken us literally weeks, to get accomplished.
I don’t think they truly appreciate what a huge difference their help has made to us – and how appreciative we are of it!!

We’ve had a couple of really good down-pours over the last two weeks.
The first one was a bit disastrous, with only one of us being home at the time and so the protective tin that we lean against the doors didn’t all get put up in time, and the FarmHouse got a bit inundated with water coming in under the roller-doors.
No damage was done, just a lot of sopping up with towels – which was later followed up by the digging of some trenches, to reroute the runoff in future downpours.
The second downpour there was only one small leak, and the the trenching did its job well, and happily drained the water away.
A rainwater tank can’t come soon enough!

Last week, we also added a pile of Herbs to the garden bed under Horation.
We’ve got Amaranth, Oregano, and purple Basil in there at the moment, as well as some chives – with a couple of beetroot to round out the corners.
We also managed to score two Ducasse banana trees from one of the local fruit and veg Gurus, so have planted them in pride of place at the top of the ( wanna-be) mini food-forest hill.
Another small raised garden bed has also been constructed and filled and mulched, and is awaiting plants.

One of the things on our “wish list” – is a dehydrator.
As you’ve heard, we’ve been making loads of Strigidae Salsa, and have enough for about a year currently, but still have lots of tomatoes already off the bush, and loads more still coming on – and one of the things we’d really like to make (amongst a zillion other things!), is tomatoes powder – for adding to sauce, soups etc.

We’ve been bringing out drinking water since we first started coming out to the Farm, as we have yet to get tank, and the water in these part can be known to be dodgy at best, at times.
Well this week we were very glad that we had our 40L containers on hand.
Popped out the tap to fill the kettle to do a load of dishes, and looked down to see the kettle full of what looked like black paint.
It has to be seen to be believed – so we’ll add a photo below.
The joys of being in a part of town where the water supply is immediately effected when there is a downpour. lol
As we said earlier – the installation of a tank really can’t come soon enough….!

We had a couple of deliveries last week from the local landscaping place of soil, vermiculite for the big garden – and some gravel rock for the driveway.
We couldnt be there for the deliveries due to work, so a map was drawn for the driver of where the particular items needed to be put.
Of course – we had to have the luck on the first delivery, of having a driver who was unable to read a map.
Actually – were questioning whether he was actually able to read at all
Firstly he rang to say he couldn’t find our place.
He was about 2kms past our place – and our number is very clearly displayed.
He also had said map remember…
On later going out to the farm to check on the delivery – we then found that the vermiculite had been put in the far back corner of the property – not right next to the very obvious vegie garden to be, where the map indicated ?.

A couple of ranting phone calls later questioning how easy did they think it would be for two women in their 50s to lug 3 cubic metres of vermiculite – in a plastic garden trolley – half way across the property; and the owner of the company kindly conceded, and came out later in the day with his bobcat, and moved the lot gratis.

The other two loads were delivered in the right spots thankfully (by a different driver) but the soil seems a bit dodgy compared to the last load we got from another place.
We’ll see how it goes though – but just in looking at it, we think it’s going to need quite a lot of additional compost, nutrients and mulch added to it, to make it suitably healthy…

Soooo……back to where this started at the top…
Here we are – 2017!
Its not going to be a ‘good’ year, or a ‘bad’ year – just as last year wasn’t.
It is simply a period of time – and each day, time ticks over, moves on – through good periods, and the not so good.
And each of us will view what is good and bad – through different fields of vision.

At the start – we’ll each have around 525600 minutes assigned to us.
For some – those minutes will be cut short – and they won’t see the end of the year.
Others will get to use them all.

Few of us can for-see which group we belong to – but for all of us, we need to be more conscious, and use our time more wisely.
As you get older, those minutes seem to fly by, and one often looks back and ponders all the stupid shit that we wasted minutes, hours, and/or days on…

Life isn’t meant to be the leftover scraps of evenings and weekends.
Life isn’t a prize earned someday off in the distant future, in exchange for years of settling.
We aren’t meant to just settle for stress / struggle / sacrifice / repeat.
Life is whats happening to us RIGHT NOW….!

Try and make it the very best, happiest, most loving version you could ever dream for yourself…

As always – if you’re enjoying the ride so far, feel free to sign up using the form below the photos, to get each new update sent directly to your inbox.
Until next time – have a good one!

The ‘water’ coming our of our tap after the storm, left a LOT to be desired.
We need a tank asap!
Xmas breakfast crew.
Shed construction crew.
The shed construction crew at work.
And the shed (aka ‘The Office”) is now complete!!
Discussing the mighty job of timber cutting for the big veggie garden.
The redesign of ‘Palais de Poochi’.
‘Palais de Poochi’ well on its way to completion.
The painting team – all hands on deck for the kitchen, prior to installation of the backsplash
We’ve had some decent downpours.
Design commences on our ‘shower screen’.
Hows THAT for a flash shower-screen eh!?! (Digbys a bit unsure about all that colour lol)
Our daughter learning how to wield a circular saw.
Weilding the drill.
Heaps of fruit coming on the strawberries.
The boys bought over the big ole sideboard.
Storage!! Yaayyy!
First coat of paint slapped on the kitchen floor in time for christmas breakfast. (and yes, that is a mousetrap you can see under the bench!)
The start of the mini food-forest hill, with tomatoes, basil, peas, taro, corn, zucchini, and ducasse bananas
Horatios home had some herbs added to the lower bed, and one of the lettuce already has seeds coming on, for collection.

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