Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Roos and Rainbow Lorikeets

We had a red sky this morning and the roos were out in force.

Then when I got home the pear tree was alive with rainbow lorikeets.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Cheeky chicken

One of our chickens has a bit of personality.  She's taken to getting up on the roof of the chicken run and house.  When she hears us come near she rushes to the edge of the roof to peer over.  It seems that she's worked out that if she flies down off the roof onto Klara's side of the fence she might be in a spot of bother.  She watched Klara for ages this evening.  Very funny.

And then there's a couple of photos of Klara to show good she is inside these days!  It's a tough life.


Saturday, 21 March 2015

House - Permits at last

We hit a milestone on Friday.  At last we have all necessary permits to start building our little house!  It's been a long and expensive process.  It will be a few weeks away before the project begins as we need to pack up the house yet again and move out to live in the temporary living quarters at the shed. 

We've been spending a fair bit of time out there lately.  Mick, to sort out the living arrangements, and me to sort out the stored belongings again.  We need a couple of the cupboards that we have been using for storage to change duty into wardrobe and linen press.

Klara has a new run under cover at the shed with a good view of proceedings during the building process.   Today we went out there for her to give it a try.  My brother and his wife (and my stepmum) were coming up to collect a storage unit Mick had built them for their upcoming trip to central Australia.  Klara didn't seem to mind being in the run too much and she had a good attempt at playing with Anthony and Leanne's elderly mini schnauzer who is a bit of a "grumpy old man".  Shame I didn't think to take a photo.

It's been a tough few weeks coming to terms with the fact that Barry's gone.  Carol sent us the photos shown at the funeral and everyone's memories of Barry.  We think of Carol all the time.  She's back on the boat now and we know that must be extremely hard for her.  We've spent ages looking at photos and I've read the blog again from the day we left to go to England.  It's so bittersweet to re-live those memories.

Now we're looking forward to when we see Carol again. 

Photos : a bounty from neighbouring veggie gardens, Klara's obviously been up to no good (involving a bag of cement!), a lovely day at a patchwork quilt group, Vic's current guide dog pup Patrina (definitely not allowed on the couch), and Klara the angel and devil by turns.


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

What's been happening....

We feel like we've taken a bit of a beating lately!  Sometimes it really does feel like one thing after another.
But, it isn't all doom and gloom.....
The Summer has been kind to us.  Instead of the long heatwaves we usually experience where the daytime temperatures exceed 35 degrees for 10 days at a time and overnight still 25 degrees, we have had about half a dozen days over 35 the entire Summer!  There has been just 3 nights that have been too warm to sleep properly.  We don't have cooling in our bedroom here.  We had a wild storm Friday evening of the week before with lots of rain and the Sunday night we had a huge thunder storm and more rain.  The grass was green in February!

The mild weather has been fabulous for veggie gardens.  We don't have much ourselves but there has been a bounty arriving at our door.  Tracey, who bought our old house has opened the garden gate to us.  It's been lovely to still have access to the veggie garden we worked so hard on for many years.  My mum arrives regularly with a bag of goodies from her garden and Mick often brings home produce grown by whoever he happens to be working for at the time.  It's the nice thing about a small town.

Last Monday I looked at the growing collection on the kitchen bench.... zucchini, cucumber, apples, peaches, plums, strawberries, pears, tomatoes, spring onions, eggplant and decided I must have a cooking day.  Mum came and joined in.  I made a batch of tomato relish, a container of passata, stewed a pot each of plums, pears and peaches, and prepared the vegetables for a batch of sweet mustard pickles.  I roasted a couple of trays of eggplant, zucchini and red capsicum and we had some for lunch on bread with the tomato relish. Delish!

Mick's been happily forging ahead with temporary living quarters out at the shed.  He has painted up the little bedroom and we went and bought a bed..... flat pack so that is my task.   The old toilet is gone in readiness for a laundry and the kitchenette area is painted and ready too.  We have ordered some flat pack cupboards for in there.  I'm in charge of flat pack as Mick doesn't have the patience to read instructions and put them together.

The permits are almost sorted now.  We are just waiting for the building permit to be issued now that we have the energy rating lodged.  The house will be a minimum of 7.2 stars which is great. It should keep cooler in Summer than where we are now.

We feel we have made huge progress with Klara in the last few weeks.  She comes to lie at our feet in the evenings now!  We had almost despaired of that ever happening as she is such a boisterous puppy.  She jumps and runs and plays and leaps and rolls all day long.  I read a forum where someone said that some dogs need to be taught to relax.  Perhaps it is working.

She was spayed a week and a half ago so that's been a real challenge.  She isn't allowed to jump or use stairs or over extend herself and certainly not to remove her own stitches.  Mick and I shared having time off work to supervise.  It's been tough trying to keep Klara calm.  We've had broken sleep and cabin fever staying home with her. 

Mick was sick for well over a week.  Some sort of stomach bug.  It's not at all like him to take to his bed  
and his was up half the night for a week.  He seems to be on the mend now and with Klara having her stitches out tomorrow we will be getting back to normal.

Mick's childhood friend in NZ lost is father last week and that left Mick feeling pretty sad. 
Then, to top it all off Barry passed away much earlier than we expected.  In all, it's been a tough couple of weeks.