Sunday, March 27, 2011

Passing time in the valley

So we've been here since October and we're really settled in now. I keep waiting to start pining for the city, and I do sometimes have moments of longing but at the end of the day we moved here so we could have this lifestyle, and it does seem to be that it was exactly what we wanted!

Every couple of days we get a massive number of beautiful plump broad beans off the bushes in the hothouse and a whole bowl of juicy ripe tomatoes of all different colours and types. I've planted some new basil and coriander seeds and brussel sprouts too, but the chooks got in and scratched the garden bed up like mad so I'm not sure if any will come up.

The chooks have gone back to laying lots of eggs and we're planning on getting a couple more in the next week or so just to keep us on top of demand. Spikee has finally decided that he will eat what we call an "egg cup" or a microwaved scrambled egg (I should hang my head in shame) and we are all rejoicing because it is ONE source of protein in his diet.

Today we took Vinnie for a nice long walk and picked what is starting to look like the last of the blackberries for the season. We have a tin of them that we're gong to have with chocolate cake. I'm also going to get around to using my frozen banana supply in a low gi self saucing banana pudding.

The front of the house is nearly fully scraped and within a day or two it will be painted, that'll leave the side and half of the back only. Waiting for a few days without rain has been the challenge, but this week si supposed to be fine most days.

The weather has been gorgeous! Not too cold at all, just pleasant. The thermometre said it was 17 today but it can't have been because I was wearing short sleeves. I think cold is different down here to in Sydney. But once the dead of winter hits I'm sure it'll have quite a bite, so I'm buying lots of second hand cardigans.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A House of a Different Colour!

THE PAINTING HAS BEGUN! After a month of more of scraping back the worst outdoor area of the house (the ugly room and kitchen) we painted it with undercoat two days ago, and then today A put two coats of our chosen mustardy yellow on. It looks amazing! it took all day to do just that area, although he did do two coats which rather effectively doubled the time it took.

I spent the day trying to maintain some semblance of order indoors, which is complex when you have a teething baby and you haven't slept well for 6 nights. Nonetheless I managed to wash and fold lots of clothes and completely reorganise the system in the boy's wardrobe.

The chooks are slowing their laying now that the weather is cooling down, but today we got an extremely long egg, and a small one. I think the phantoms are living on borrowed time now, they both look rather elderly and haven't laid a single egg (today withstanding) for a month or more. The emus are laying less, too. We have plenty of insulation on their shed but apparently they're quite hardy in cold weather and it's hot weather that they dislike.

Summer is in death throes at the moment. Yesterday and today were so lovely and warm, but you can feel the change in season is coming. Soon we'll have the doors on the hothouse closed tightly!

A climbed up on the roof to clean the chimney because we weren't sure if the fire was working very well. Turns out ... we were right. He stuck a rope to both ends of a chimney cleaning brush and he and Dad pulled it up and down, but in the process A dislodged the flue. It was a very dicey procedure to get it back in, it involved unscrewing the top plate on the inside of the fire and wriggling it around lots until it wouldn't wriggle anymore. Finally it went back in though, and A decided that it might not have been in there properly to begin with, which would explain why the fire wasn't burning well. We suspect the last people who lived here tried to clean it, dislodged the flue and didn't know, or couldn't work out how to get it back in place. Now it's burning beautifully! We have plenty of firewood to last winter, and that's largely due to the fact that A bought a raffle ticket and we won second prize which was 3T of wood.

I keep meaning to update on Vinnie! He is finally settled in and for the most part behaving himself very well. He's toilet trained, and is still learning to walk on a lead but doing better.