2023 is almost done, and its been a year of big changes personally, and its also been a year in which I feel like the Farm is well on its way to evolving into a place I am really proud of and love to spend time working on.
I have some gentle visions for 2024, but have not drilled down enough on them to have them cemented in place, so until I have I will hold them close to my chest…
– laundry, sheets changed, watered big veg bed, did web work.
Had chicken strog w konjac noodles for dinner.
Did the grocery order for pickup tomorrow.
– collected the grocery order, and got a couple of pairs of shorts from Big W.
Did more web work.
Watered a lot of the gardens and trees.
We had a couple of brief showers today and it’s been quite overcast, but needing much more to even dampen the ground.
– went down the hill today to drop a friend off at the airport.
Then went to bcf to collect a water pump, then bunnings to collect two garden beds then headed back up the hill as it was the hottest I have felt down there in a couple of years.
Did some watering and some writing.
– work in the garden and then put together the two garden beds I’d bought yesterday, during the heat of the day.
Once it cooled back down again – I placed them around two seperate trees and back filled with soil and compost, then added some flowers.
I’m really please with how they’ve worked out.
– the two older dogs went to the ‘salon’ today for a haircut and nails trimming.
Did some blogging while they were gone, and started the laundry.
We’re in water restrictions in our Shire at the moment – plus a total fire ban – so I spent a couple of hours handwatering the trees along the fenceline between us and our western neighbours.
That property has now sold, and with the arrival of the new neighbours a couple of months ago, the lush grounds that used to be the shining pride of the previous neighbours, are quickly getting overrun by weeds, and already a few of the trees have died.
It’s really sad to watch…
In our own interests, we have decided to at least provide water to some of their trees along our joint fence as well as ours, as it’s a designated wildlife corridor and as such we want to help preserve it; but we also want to preserve the summer shading and the green-belt privacy the area creates between the properties.
– quite a busy day.
Did early grocery shopping then when I got home I pulled apart the bus loo cover I was making and decided to go in a different direction with it as I just wasn’t happy with how it was working out.
I ended up using some stick-on vynal that I’ve had in the cupboard for ages, and covered it in that.
It took quite a few hours but looks great.
I’ll probably still make a ‘throw’ for the top of it out of pretty material for when it’s not in use, but I’m happy with today’s result.
Watered the paddock beds, and started to move our potted plants into the new small pools that I got to use as water holding trays as they’re drying out so bloody quickly using regular ones.
– mostly a lazy day of very little getting done.
Worked out how I’m going to build the small shelf that will hold the tap and ‘sink’ in the bus.
Think I might have seen the first close-to-the-house snake for the season.
We also had our first noisy storm this afternoon (thunder / lightening) and had a decent downpour out of it.
Only about 4ml, but absolutely better than nothing!
We even lost power for a little while, which was rather nice.
I (almost) always enjoy a power-out during the rain, as it makes for some really nice ‘enforced’ reading time.
– went to a friends place in the next town over that I haven’t seen for a few years and we spent an hour and a half catching up.
It was nice!
Came home and did the post weekend cleanup.
Had a wonderful storm again this evening.
– went in to town early and did the grocery shopping.
Came home and cooked chicken breasts, and started on the laundry.
Made some projellyo ready for our weekend away, and made the shelf for the tap to sit on in the bus.
I’ve stained and varnished it, but will leave it to dry overnight then install in the morning.
Collected my Formulite order from the post office, as well as some vacuum bags for food storage for the home and bus, and a little handheld vacc pump for the bags that we can leave in the bus.
– worked in the garden some, installed the shelf in the bus and did various prepping for our trip away in the bus this weekend.
– early morning drive into town to pick up my friend L as her car was going in for work.
We drove to one of the next towns over to do some shopping and waste some time.
We went to the 2nd hand shops, hardware, rivers and rounded it out by getting some groceries that aren’t available in our own town.
In the afternoon I did some mowing of the houseyard and part of the paddock, and after work, my Love and I went and did grocery shopping for our trip away.
It’s a bit of a tradition that – when we’re going away – we do it together when we can.
– spent all day getting myself and the bus ready to go away.
Did laundry and vacuuming in between.
Finished installing the tap in the bus including putting in the water tank.
Also installed a toothbrush etc cup.
– packed up the bus, sorted out the cats, bundled up the dogs and headed off early for the kennels to drop them off for the next couple of days.
We then doubled back – cos it’s actually a shorter trip to do so – and headed off down the coast to a caravan park we’ve never been to.
It took a couple of hours, and we stopped off at woolies to get some fresh bread on the way.
When we arrived, the staff were very nice and said we could pick any site we liked.
We ended up choosing one a couple of sites down from our original allocation, as it afforded a bit more shade during the heat of the day.
Mid-way through set up – as we were listening to the rumbles of thunder and wondering if we were going to get a storm – I heard a massive ‘crackle‘.
Looked up and one of the solar panels on the reception roof had sparked and started a fire which after the initial flash and flames, mostly smouldered.
In due course the firies were called and finallllllly arrived, but I’m glad it wasn’t a full blown fire or the place would have been ashes!!
We were both over-heating due to the humidity, but it was definitely doing a number on my Love, so we headed off to soak in the pool for the better part of an hour until her core finally cooled.
We ordered a pizza from the site cafe for dinner, and it wasn’t too bad.
Cheddar instead of mozzarella – but beggars can’t be choosers!!
Even with the heat – it’s been a good first day of ‘holidays’.
– we both slept quite well and after having breakfast, drove to MB to go to the markets.
It was very hot walking around, and we didn’t buy anything.
We were never big fans of MB when we used to camp aroun these parts 20+years ago, and from what little we saw this morning – we’re still unconvinced that’s its the hot-spot its touted to be…
Came back and had a swim to cool the core again, then had a hamburger and beer (for my love) at the site cafe.
We’re taking advantage while we can, as it’s closed from this evening until Wednesday – which is when we leave.
After lunch, my Love had a nap – and the bus was much cooler than outside, as I had turned on the new roof fan we got back from the MB drive, and it’s worked really well.
After nap-time – during which I read – we went for another swim and float to cool down some more.
Dinner was a home-made charcuterie board.
– woke up early but we managed to go back to sleep til around 8:40!!!
Almost unheard of!
Stinking hot when we got up and we were back in the pool before it had even hit 9:30am.
Drove into MB to have lunch at the pub, and I had some of the best sticky-date pudding I think I’ve ever had!
My love had her first proper (not crumbed) steak in months and enjoyed it for the most part.
Back to the caravan park and back into the pool.
Then some reading and scrolling and back into the pool once again.
Super hot and humid day but we made it through!
Cooked up some sausages for dinner to have on bread.
– much the same as yesterday.
Slept in a bit, got up and had a cuppa, swim, breakfast, swim, read, swim, to a different pub for lunch (another brilliant sticky date pud) a swim, a read, dinner and then a movie in bed.
Prior to dinner we packed up a lot of our stuff so we don’t have to do it in the heat of the morning.
Also turned the bed around to see what it’s like sleeping the other way.
Will see how we feel about it tmoro morning…
– i slept really poorly last night.
Not from turning the bed around, but from a discussion we had at the end of dinner which didn’t go so well, and i got really upset from it and felt horrible.
24hrs later and I’m still feeling pretty fragile..
We woke to overcast skies and whilst we were having our cuppa, rainy showers started rolling in.
We packed up in spurts in between showers, and by 8:30am had the bus all packed up, and were ready to start the drive back home.
It was a quiet drive, and we stopped off at a local dairy to have a coffee, and I had some of their yoghurt.
Very tart, edible but a little too ‘acid-y’ for me.
Once home we unpacked the bus and I started the laundry, tidied up inside, watered some plants, and we then headed back out to go and collect the dogs from kennels.
Filled the car up on the way as I have an early trip down the hill tomorrow for an appt with my dietician, and my friend L is coming too as she has a raft of appts as well.
Dogs home, dinner cooked, and we settled in to a quiet night of tv catch-up.
Got the houseyard mowed as I know I won’t get much time tomorrow for yard work, and I really want to make sure its done before the predicted cyclone rains come.
– an early start to head down the hill with my friend L.
Once we got down there I dropped her off at her first appt, and double backed to go to my Dietician appointment.
Dietician was encouraging as always, and made all the right noises – but in all honestly didn’t have anything much to contribute to what I am already doing. I feel like these days she has become more of a ‘cheer-leader’ than a resource and whilst that’s incredibly useful for some, it feels a bit hollow for me…
I think that unless something goes haywire, that I probably won’t keep going back, as the costs have gone from $90 per visit to $125 per visit in under six months.
– another busy day today.
There is a cyclone off the east coast of Australia and at present it is tracking toward us and if it continues on its current path is heading right for us – so as we tend to do every year, it’s time to get into ‘cyclone prep’ mode.
It’s a bit earlier than usual this year, so we need to get a wriggle on and get stuff done.
I went into town this morning and got some top-up groceries, and did a pharmacy and rubbish run at the same time.
Once home and all the groceries were put away, I started on mowing the paddock.
At about half way through I had to go out again to get fuel as I’d forgotten to put the containers into the car when I went to town the first time.
Home again and time for a protein shake, then back out into the heat to get the mowing finished.
After I’d done that, I got the house yard cleaned up – I only have to sort out the plants on the table, and lie down the table and chairs in the protected walkway along the fence-line and I think it will all be mostly done.
Next up I went and put some of the loose garden bits into the shipping containers, and turned over and lay down the wheelbarrows and big garden cart, along the fence-line too.
Then cleaned up the majority of the cement area next to the container.
There is a limit to how much stuff I can move away from there, and I’m hoping that the area is pretty protected, even when the wind turns.
I also have created a pile that needs to go to the dump, which we’ll do tomorrow.
It might all be for nothing, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
– ducked into town to get an anniversary pressie for my love as it’s on Monday.
10yrs since our new zealand wedding.
Replaced the pandoras she broke about a year ago, and added another charm to it. Still need to wrap it properly though.
Spent all day doing cyclone prep, including getting up on the roof and blowing out the gutters. (eeep!)
Also did two dump runs worth of crap to the tip.
Cooked an all-day delicious curry 🙂
– a productive kitchen day with the defrosting of some foods I’ve been going to can.
First up was some blueberry and strawberry compote, then I got out all the ingredients for salsa, which will defrost over the next 24hrs and I’ll make and can the salsa tomorrow.
I also need to get a few extra onions to top up the recipe.
I then made some elderberry syrup which is good for immunity boosting, as well as reportedly being good for a whole lot of other ‘ails’.
Did some grocery shopping and also have an order to pick up in the morning.
– another busy day which started with picking up the grocery order, and then coming home to spend the rest of the day making and canning salsa / pasta sauce.
– laundry, cooking, cleaning and cyclone prep.
– Did some pruning of the lillipillis when we first got up as the wind and rain had bent them over and they were rubbing against the side of our lil house.
Other than the usual household chores, not a lot to be done other than a lot of sitting around, reading, scrolling, singing, chair dancing and just generally waiting for the wind, rain and cyclone to do its thing and pass on by.
We moved the bus back away from the house because if we get as much rain as is expected, it’s going to be weeks before we can move it, due to it being so heavy.
We’ve parked it out near the shipping container next to my Loves car.
We’ve already had over 70mls…
– cyclone Jasper crossed the coast yesterday evening and other than very gusty winds and ceaseless rain, we’ve been incredibly lucky!
The cyclone moved more northerly in the final few hours before crossing, which meant that we were spared a lot of the possible devastation that could have come if it had stayed on the original trajectory.
Our power is still on, our roof is on, and despite the fact that everywhere is very very wet having had well over 100mm, we’re safe and sound.
Can’t ask or hope for much more than that!
My Love has gone back into work today after having the day at home yesterday, with the office on official cyclone closure.
As I was sitting writing this morning, our middle dog Molly suddenly jumped up from where she had been sleeping being the couch, ran toward the door, fell over, fitted three times, and then lay very verrrrry still for a couple of minutes.
I rushed straight over – heart pounding (mine) – to sit next to her one the floor to give comfort and to look her over, and to watch and see if there was anything ‘obvious’ happening.
No ticks (that I can find), heart rate ok, she’s a bit vague, and it took her a few minutes after the fitting stopped before she chose to get herself up, and then another little while to reorient.
She then took herself back behind the couch where she likes to sleep because its cool there – but where she can still keep an eye on anything going on in the house, as well as having a birds-eye view of the doorway and can watch us all going in and out.
I’ll be keeping a closer eye than usual on her today…
– a very quiet mostly indoor day with the pelting rain continuing.
– more downpour.
We’ve had over 400mm in the last couple of days.
Most of the Farm is under water.
Had to go out to the work Xmas party this evening which we weren’t keen on leaving home for.
It was 10 pin bowling followed by dinner.
It didn’t turn out tooooo bad to be honest.
I’ve been wanting to go bowling for a while so this may be the poke I need to get me back into it!
– another day of more rain and not too much getting done.
Having said that though, we went and got a few groceries, did the laundry, and did some cleaning up and a bit of weeding in the rain in the vegie garden.
Just needed to be outside for a while.
The reports of devastation all over far north qld are just so freakin sad, and we’ve been so incredibly lucky here at the Farm.
The house next door I noticed this morning has a tarp on the roof, as does another house just around the corner.
All the ranges and highways to our area are closed with trees down and major land slides.
Due to me being very conscious of us always having ample supplies on hand, we have plenty of varied foods so we’ll be ok, and certainly have fared a lot better than so may others.
Feeling pretty damn lucky right about now…
My next post will be in the new year, so until then I hope you have a lovely Christmas if you celebrate it and I hope that the New Year brings all things wonderful for you and yours!
Making dandelion salve.
A trip away to the coast for a few days.
Making salsa with tomatoes, onion and capsicum.
One of the best sticky-date puddings I’ve had!
We live in a truely magnificent part of the World.