Monday, April 30, 2012

Aww gawd .. is it Monday already?

Was laying in bed this morning, avoiding the inevitable, daydreaming about the plans I have for WG.  We were out there again yesterday, and I had time to plan out where we can put the kitchen garden.  I like the idea of having 'zones' and the different zones complimenting each other.  So this is what I came up with ...

Back door of Stable, chook pen and vege garden

The back of the stable is where the chicken pen,vege garden and orchard currently are.  At the moment, the vege garden, which is built up with sleepers, is in the wrong place and being one big area is very hard to manage and get to easily.  I would like this area to be clear for the horses and put in a wash down bay, and have a clear, and safe, area for horse preparation.  Having the vege garden here is not at all safe for horses. 

Vege garden.  oh, and sheep dog!

So if I pull out the garden bed and level this area, we can run a fence from the door of the stable straight out to the outside fence.  This will then fence off all the 'dangerous' things from the horses and also have a secure fenced area if a horse does escape.  We can also graze this area occasionally to keep the grass down and spell a paddock.


The sleepers we have will be plenty to have 3/4 narrower beds, easier to get to and better for bed rotation.  They will be next to the chicken pen and still close to the stables and compost bins.  We can also then keep the horses out of the orchard and if we have cyclone wire on the fence, keep the chooks in the orchard to do a good job.  Will make the watering set-up a lot easier too when its all in one place.

Compost Bays

The pile of old fence posts will be cut up for firewood this coming winter.  The compost bays will be moved, and I will cut back the overgrown Mulberry trees to let in more light.  This will then give me plenty of room for 4 vege beds and it can even be fenced off from the orchard so I can keep the chooks out or let them in when they are needed to clean up. 

Of course, these are all 'one day' plans - but having them keeps the dream alive for me.  I guess the one positive of not being able to move here yet is that LOTS of planning gets done. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend Cooking

Bought a shoulder of lamb yesterday after watching Mr Oliver make a very yummy (but way too quick) roast.  I had in mind something slower and more fall off the bone (must have been all the rain that made it feel like winter).  I went for the recipe on the Coles wrapping the lamb came in.  It had rosemary (of course), thyme, garlic, lots of salt and pepper, tomato paste and tinned tomatoes, red wine and then some celery, carrot and potatoes.  Plonk it all into my red Staub french-oven and cooked for 3.5hrs.  It smelt divine as it cooked and when I lifted the lid, the meat was falling apart and sitting in a rich sauce.  Served it with creamy mashed potato and some steamed green beans.  It was lovely, but a little rich for me. 

One of my favorite pots in the kitchen.

Just had leftovers of this - cooked the mash and meat in a frying pan a-la-bubble&squeak and it was really delicious.  Still have lots leftover, will make a fritata of it tomorrow night.

I later found a Maggie Beer slow cooked lamb recipe, which uses red wine vinegar, she says to cut through the  richness, so next time I will try this .. Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder

Mr Kirsa was eyeing off tinned rice cream in the shops, something I find very strange and abnormal - to eat a basic creamed rice from a tin.  I persuaded him to not buy tinned stuff when I could easily make the real thing, WITH sultanas and FLAVOUR.  Its such a comforting desert, they even call it Nursery Rice!  1 cup rice, 1.2litres of whole milk, 2/3 cup sugar, vanilla, sultanas and a grating of fresh nutmeg.  Cook, stirring often on low for an hour.  Stir in 300ml cream when cooked.  Yummo, and when the boys are not living at home, we have this for breakfast and desert for many days to come. 


Or this?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

WG - Progress so far and still to do

Progress at WG has been steady but sure.  We are ready (but not at all willing) to hand it over to new tenants, when and if we find suitable ones.  Sadly, we don't have the luxury of not renting it out, there is no way we can afford the mortgage on this property without rental income.  If that was the case, I would have moved in weeks ago! 

Everywhere I look, I see so much that I just want to get done.  I have such plans and see such potential in this property.  Patience ... patience, just a little patience :-)

Jobs that have been completed:

  • Rubbish and junk removal
  • Pruning Trees/Shrubs/Roses
  • Mowing
  • Whipper Snipering
  • Weeding
  • Cleaned off the roof
  • Raked up leaves/branches
  • Cleaned out stables
  • Fixed Electric Fence
  • Emptied and cleaned troughs and water bowls
  • Restoration of Pool

Jobs that still need to be done:

  • Fix stable doors and latch's
  • Replace and repair few fence rails and posts and gate latch's
  • Replace fly screens to back door
  • Organise a cleaner for inside house
  • Property Condition Report
  • Pressure clean veranda
  • Check for white ants on veranda
  • Pressure clean around pool paving
  • Put up and secure shade sails.
  • Move rabbit hutch under cover
  • Bonfire.
  • Roundup - Grass edges and veranda
Water Trough

Pump and Control Box

Shade Sails - Paddock 1 & 2

Walkway between paddock 1 and dressage arena

Bonfire all ready to go in dressage arena

View up driveway

Creek and orchard.  Where Jimmy is buried.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Being Kind Comes Back to You

Just a little lesson on how kindness does get noticed and repaid.  Not that I would ever be kind to get repaid for it, I get a buzz out of making people feel welcome and comfortable and cared for.  This is why I like to cook!

After our tenants 'left', the pool - our beautiful 12 month old pool, looked like, and was in fact, a duck pond.  It was completely black and needed to be emptied out and cleaned before we could even think of restoring it.  The guy who drew the short straw to do this job was the off-sider of our pool guy.  On the day of our busy bee, which was Easter Saturday, he started early and with buckets and a shovel moved the sludge and mud and muck from the bottom of the pool.  It was a warm day, and it would have been an awful job to do.  We tried to help as much as we could by emptying the buckets and wheelbarrow so he didn't have to get in and out of the pool. 

Before the clean-up

I also made sure he had cold drinks and morning tea.  When I got lunch for the volunteer workers ready, I invited Col to join us for some lunch too.  He left when the job was done and that was that.

Mr Kirsa gets a call from Mark, the owner of the pool restoration business, who employs Colin.  He thanked us very much for looking after Colin so well, Col had told Mark how nice we were to him that day.  All we really did was be a little bit 'country' and offer hospitality in the form of drinks and tea and some lunch.  Today we met with Col again as they were replacing the pumps and filter on the pool (yes more tenant damage).  The boys were going above and beyond what they really had to do, and I know it was because they liked us - Colin told us as much.  He said that he and Mark had discussed how it was not fair that nice people like us (awww) could be treated so badly by the tenants.

After - Part 1 of the cleanup

It was so nice to hear this, really made me feel that good people are still in the world and by being ourselves and treating others as we like to be treated was the best way.  I will admit I got very jaded and angry at what happened with the tenants, I was so tempted to be cold and hard and bitter.  Lesson learnt - being angry and holding a grudge only hurts you.  Opening up, rolling with the punches, getting back on track - all lead to a better and richer life than closing down. Being angry and bitter only allows the person who did you wrong to win.

New Pump, Chlorinator and Filter

Onwards and upwards ... At least we now have all new equipment!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Empire strikes back

After the day off yesterday, today felt like it was Monday.  But that's OK, as it will only be 2 days and back to the weekend.

Went to watch Son #2 play in his band tonight at the new hip place to be in Perth at the moment.  Its called the Aviary - a restaurant on one level and then upstairs a very funky rooftop bar.  His band, Empire, play there every Thursday night, and at this venue he goes on at 8am.  So this old mum got a chance to see him play before she needed her bed.  Met Son #1 there and had a very nice counter meal. 

Love watching my boy play, I am always so blown away by how cool and confident he looks on stage.  And I LOVE the way he looks like he is having the best time of his life.  It must be amazing to be able to create music and be in tune with other musicians, all playing the same thing at the same time and feeding off the other band members.  These guys are exceptional at this.  They are all great and talented musicians, all WAAPA students, but they create this energy on stage that is very contagious.  This is what feeds back to the audience and why they get people so engaged.

Looking forward to seeing what these talented boys do in the future!  So glad they have found the Aviary - its was really made for them.  Here is what the Aviary are saying

Empire at The Aviary

Available: 19 of April 2012 - 25 of October 2012
Empire is comprised of five talented young men from the WA Academy of Performing Arts.

Every Thursday night from 8pm Empire will be bringing their smooth, contempory tunes to The Aviary rooftop.

Already with an extensive Perth following, Empire are definately one to watch.

Check them out here ... The Avairy

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bunting ... excuse for a garden party?

Not sure what is wrong with me lately?  Have been getting a little 'girly' and wanting to make and do 'pretty' things!  Last week it was cupcakes, and this week its taken a step farther with bunting and party things.  It's all leading to a OTT Garden Party.  Look out!

I made another batch of cupcakes today, all in the name of perfecting the recipe and technique.  Mr Kirsa has just 'trialed' 2 for me and said they are almost perfect!  Soft, fluffy but moist, not too sickly sweet.  I iced them with Incredible Hulk Green royal icing.  I was aiming for soft pale green, but a drop of food colouring was actually a bit of a splosh. Oops. It's all a learning curve.  Of course I am yet to procure the order of cupcake paraphernalia I found online, which will give me much more creative scope.

So ... what about bunting?  A little bubble of excitement happened when I saw all these pictures of pretty and floral and gingham bunting, fluttering in gorgeous gardens or dangling over Alice In Wonderland style tea parties.  Oh, I so want a party like this.  And then I remembered all those sumptuous materials I have collected over the years for no other reason than I loved them.  Sure, I have done a few quilts and cushions and other crafts, but now I know the REAL reason I saved them.

I am so tempted to start tonight, but I really am going to discipline myself and get my craft/office room set up first.  How's that for incentive!

Stay tuned for the garden party invite :-)

Lest We Forget

Today is ANZAC Day.  As I write this my sons are both attending the Dawn Service at Kings Park in Perth.  I am very proud of them, getting out of bed at 4.30am and giving up their sleep to show their respect for our ANZACs.  I know they will be walking in the dark, quietly and solemnly, with thousands of other people, all towards the memorial and service.  It struck me when I was thinking of this, that in another era, my two sons may well have been going off to war.  This thought filled me with horror and fear, I could not imagine my beautiful sons going away to a foreign place to be shot at.

So what of all the other mothers who did have to go through this horror?  How on earth did they say goodbye to their sons?  Today, my heart is with these women who had to endure this sadness.  To my great grandmother, Sarah Eliza Smith.

My heart is also, as always on this day, with the grandfather whom I never met.  He was my dads dad - Harry.  Christened Henry Edward Smith, he was born on 26 January 1890 in Croyden, NSW.  At the age of 26, in the year of 1917, he joined the 45th Battalion AIF.  He was unmarried and left his recently widowed mother to grieve and worry. I have his enlistment records, and it is a very detailed insight into a man, a gentle and kind man I have been told, that I was always sad to never have met. He had blue eyes, was 5 feet 8 inches tall, was 25 and 8 months, weighed 140lbs.  A little note at the bottom of his medical report on the enlistment shocked me at first - 'Is not keen on enlisting'. But reading his medical records, it seems he was not a very well man at all and I can understand how he would not be very keen to go to war! Maybe he knew what was to come.

He spent the next 18 months in France, and in and out of camp hospitals, after being wounded and gassed many times.  It is very confronting to read a soldiers records, and see that he was Wounded in Action with Barb Wire, or Wounded in Action - Gas.  Finally in early 1919 he was sent home due to a painful scar from an operation.  At least he was alive when he went home, so many others were not.

So thank you Granddad for giving your health to go and fight an enemy in France so that the western world could be free from oppression.  I am sorry this happened to you, and I am sorry that eventually you died from complications of injuries suffered at war. 

They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.

Lest We Forget

The national Archives now have all records of soldiers online.  Go to this website for more information -

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Things my parents taught me

I am so grateful for being taught how to be curious.  I could never say I am bored when there are so many new things to discover, learn, try.  The trick is finding enough time and energy to do it!

I think I should have been born 100 years ago and to a wealthy father so that I could spend all day indulging my curiosity.

Thanks Mum and Dad for the gift!

Monday, April 23, 2012

C'est la vie

Literally translated from French, it means "It is the life". Better translations lead to "That's life" or "it's life". It has to be said with a shrug and a relaxed, accepting tone of voice - of course with a French accent.  It does not mean you  are giving up, but rather accepting that you can't fight life, it is better to just go with it.  It is a gentle, serene saying.
It also reminds me of the Serenity Prayer, a modern take on some old texts by American theologist Reinhold Niebuhr. 
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
I like this saying very much, I just leave out who I am asking for this state of mind.  I don't know why, but I always thought this was an Irish prayer, an old Celtic wisdom.  Maybe that's because the first time I heard it was when (Irish) Sinead O'Connor started her song "Feels So Different" with it.  AA has also adopted this as their opening prayer. 

Ned Kelly said something similar when he was told what time his execution had been set "Such is Life".  Nothing much he could do about it, better to just accept it and be at peace.  Kelly has been placed as rebel hero status in Australia and his words have been immortalised in tattoos and tshirts throughout the bogan communities.  It is a very Australian attitude, and one that is better for our health than fighting the inevitable. 
Then dear sweet Doris Day sang Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be. So the Spanish also have a take on this saying. 
I bought a cushion to remind me to not take life so seriously.  Or was it just because I like the colour?  But no matter how we say it ... c'est la vie, such is life, que sera sera, or the serenity prayer .. the same message is there. 
Chill out man!!  Have a great Monday all.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cupcake Day 1

There seems to be a bit of a trend back to the old fashioned crafts.  Which really surprises me in this generation of instant gratification and technology.  It could be the current financial crisis making all of us much more frugal and thrifty.  Or, maybe its because we go farther away from our roots as humans and want to touch base with our basic needs.  Maybe this is why crafts like knitting, home making and cooking are so popular again.

I have always had a great love and get great joy from making things and being crafty.  And I have always loved cooking.  But it never extended to the skills of cake decorating.

Until now ..

Seems I have been bitten by the Cupcake Bug.  And oh my goodness, there is a HUGE amount of stuff to play with.  Gel colours, glitter sprinkles, fondant flowers, themed cases.  A far cry from the days of hundreds and thousands.

So here is today's first attempt.  LONG way to go , but we all have to start somewhere.  I used the basic cupcake recipe of Nigella Lawson's.  I will keep working until I get a perfect basic recipe. 

Then I made a basic Royal Icing, which was quick and easy.  I can see these babies in lovely pastel colours.

The first attempt are adorned with little edible rose buds that Jules gave me last Christmas.  Mr Kirsa thinks they are a little girly, but I bet I catch him having one later :-)

Royal Icing with dried rose bud
Set of 3 cupcakes - love the gloss on the icing

Oh so pretty!

I think I may take it all a step further and see if there are any decorating classes.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Futility of Ignoring

I woke early this morning.  Wasn't planned.  I normally wake at 4.30am, get up, do-you-know-what, and try and go back to sleep for a few more hours.  It sometimes takes me ages to go back to sleep, my mind going a million miles a minute, thinking WAY too much about WAY too many things.  I catch myself sometimes, telling me off for thinking so much.  I just want an OFF button for my brain.  I tried to do a little meditation but back came thoughts of work, the property, this house, my relationships.  Gee its hard to empty it all and think of black spaces.  Maybe I will try and get a meditation on my phone to plug into.

This morning, my head won, I was wide awake.  I don't think having a nasty cough helps either, tends to keep you awake.  So after an hour I got up. 

Who do you think you are taking my photo?

Which woke the cat and he started the usual routine of meowing until I fed him.  Doesn't his stomach know that it was two hours early?  There is no point at all in ignoring him, he has the art of persistence down to a fine art.  Besides, he is an old cat of 13 and my routine is put the kettle on, feed the cat.  The kettle was on so the next logical step was feed the cat.  He has gone back to (my) bed now, curled up in cat bliss.  I need to learn how to sleep like cats!

But another little animal had its routine changed too.  My little Minty Mups lost her source of warmth when I got out for bed and she will NOT lower herself to snuggle up with the cat, despite the cats best efforts to be bedfriends.  Might be something to do with the cats sense of humour when he lays in the hallway and ambushes a poor little blind dog.  I think I might hold a grudge at that also.  So Mups let me know she too was ready (reluctantly) to get out of bed.  Being blind, she can't see to jump off the bed, so she has a little bark to let her human know to come and lift her down.  If you don't jump when she barks, the bark becomes a yap.  Don't ever ignore a little dogs yap! She is a bed hopper; if she was human we would call her a host of other names, but as a dog she just gets into any bed with a human in it.  As I write this, she has hopped onto the lounge with Mr Kirsa and is tucked up nice and warm. 

Just becasue I am blind doesn't mean I dont see that camera in your hand.  I havent had time to do my hair  yet!

Then there is Tom Dog.  Its dark outside, he too should be still in his bed.  But the slightest movement inside the house and his antics begin.  He yips and yaps to try and get our attention.  When we try and ignore that behaviour, he ups the ante and jumps at the door.  Each jump gets more violent.  Its very hard to just ignore it - we keep the mantra with this dog - ignore the bad behaviour, reward the good.  While we still are (trying to) ignore him, he runs around to the cat door and yips through that.  Its so hard to ignore him, he gets louder and louder, more and more determined to get our attention.  When he finally is quiet, I then go out and we have a cuddle and a chat.  He is so excited, but trys to stay still (fails) and calm (also fails).  But we have a nice little time, and he soon settles down.  As much as I would love it, I cant stay here all day, but have to distract him so I can sneak off.  Sometimes a chew stick works, other times the cat wanders out and distracts him.

The cat has learnt the 'Ignore' technique.  He also perfects the 'Ignore with Disdain' movement - this is only for Cats and Professionals

This morning, despite the early hour and darkness, Tom is more than usual demanding.  Mr Kirsa goes out for a smoke and they have their cuddle.  But on his return inside, the performance resumes.  Ignore.  Ignore.  Ignore.  Its so very hard to ignore a large border collie throwing himself at the door.  I wait for the performance to stop so I can go out and give him some attention.  I sit on his 'bed' - our outdoor couch that he has claimed, and when he has dropped nicely he gets a cuddle.  He is so very sweet, its hard to be cross with him.  He just loves attention and humans talking to him.  When we are in the garden, or out at WG, he stays by your side, watching intently every little thing you do.  When I plant seedlings in the garden, he watches and then tries to dig holes for me with his nose.  He is a dog that needs to be with you all day long, and just loves that interaction.  Very Hard to Ignore!

Its all lies what she says about me - look at my face - I would never do the things she says!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Working from home?

I don't know why this didn't occur to me sooner as now I have thought about it a huge black cloud has lifted from around my head.  I have a little more energy and zip and actually feel something.  A little voice has been niggling away at me, that we went into this business so we could have a better lifestyle.  And at first this was true.  We both worked from home, there was a LOT less stress, we could take a day off together if we wanted to.  We ate better, were far healthier and a hell of a lot happier.  Now we are both stressed, both unhappy, both terribly unhealthy and unfit.  We spend way too much money on junk food and junk .. a symptom of being unhappy.  I would make this sacrifice IF we were making money that would one day buy me a better lifestyle.  BUT the reality is that we don't and in fact have gone backwards and have more debt .. so to me, it's a no brainer. The other half of the partnership is not willing to do anything other than what he is doing, so my only option is to change what I am doing.  In the absence of being able to move to Dream Property .. this could be a good alternative.  At least I might be able to save my health and sanity.

In fairness I will do the old pro and con list and see if I can compromise on the cons to make this a reality.  But first, what will it take?


  • PC with terminal server working PROPERLY
  • Documents Scanner so that I can scan and archive all invoices etc - we were going to have to start doing this anyway.
  • Printer
  • VOIP phone - connected properly.
  • Office in a separate room with a desk and bookcases/returns for printer/scanner - old guest room
  • Need to go into the office one day a week to get invoices, mail, touch base with staff etc.
  • Office Chair - one that is supportive and better for my back

  1. I can work just as effectively at home than I can in the office
  2. Stop being distracted (and stressed) by the goings on in the service area
  3. Can hand over jobs that are not related to accounts and have the correct people dealing with them i.e RA's, stock issues, domains, staff issues
  4. Will see sunshine and daylight instead of doom and gloom in a basement
  5. Will be home in afternoons to make healthy and cost saving meals
  6. Will be home to keep doggies company
  7. Have time to do some meditation and exercise to combat pain from stress
  8. Will be better for K and I to have some time apart
  9. Wont feel so frustrated when I am expected to be a partner but in reality have no voice
  10. Wont have to go to and from work in a smoky car
  11. Can work my own hours - get up early and start work early so I can leave work early and do things that feed my soul.
  12. One day a week in the office is plenty to collect post, invoices, stay in touch with staff.
  13. Stop being the 'go to' person for staffs little problems that if left alone they can (and will have to) work out for themselves.
  14. Will have time to keep the house tidy and organised and therefore much more relaxing to be in.
  15. Won't have to spend money on a cleaner, so many clothes, lunches.
  16. Won't be tempted to eat naughty things like chocolate and chips as I wont be close to shops.
  17. K's life will be better - he will go to work in an ironed shirt, come home to a cooked meal.
  18. Will be able to work in a much nicer and 'girly' environment that is better for my work style.

  1. Won't be in the office everyday to deal with problems that come up - but I will be only a phone call/email away.
  2. Will lose the daily contact with staff - may be a good thing to be less involved and they may feel better
  3. Won't get a good cup of coffee everyday! - oh well, will have to buy some good tea.
  4. May get too isolated and become a hermit - Oh I wish!
  5. Will leave SB being the only female! - she will love it.

It's a no brainer huh?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Colds/Flus that force you to rest

A Sunday sleep-in is not really a proper sleep-in when you are unwell.  It kinda takes the indulgence out of staying in bed longer than is proper.  But when you are sick, it is a formal permisison to stay in bed a little longer.  It doesn't feel as wicked or forbidden and therefore it lacks the thrill.  Mr Kirsa bought me coffee in bed which was most welcome, but try as I might, I could not go back to sleep or even to languish in Sunday morning freedom.

The next best place to be was on the lounge, remote in hand, blanket a-la school holidays and early birds and a weeks worth of taped gardening and home shows to watch.  And that's pretty much where I stayed all day.  Mr Kirsa went to a military swap meet (that will end in more junk collectibles to find a home for).

I had promised the doggies that I would make them their favorite dinner, and promised myself a vegetable soup - so despite still feeling like death, I kept my promises.  While I was sweating over the stove, I kept a promise that I didn't make and made Mr Kirsa his favorite rice cream.

I don't know how, but the dogs know when I am doing a batch of their dinner.  It really is not much different to a savory mince but they get so excited when I start to cook.  Its a big pot full of mince, plus any meat in the fridge that is past its used by date.  So it could be bacon, chicken, sausages, or if they are lucky, prime steak!  I blitz it all up in the food processor and tip this into the browning mince.  Then its a clean out the vegetable crisper moment.  Any vegetables not quite at their best get blitzed, along with potatoes, garlic, parsley and any frozen vegies that are a little stale.  Add one cup of rice and water and simmer for an hour.  Then I fill old Chinese containers and let it cool before putting into the freezer.  They get their dinner that night, its fresh and warm and they go nuts for it.  Lasts about 2 weeks and costs very little, plus I feel good that I have put food normally wasted to good use. 

The garlic is a natural pest control, especially worms.  Parsley is good for doggy breath and all canines need vegetables and rice.  Our vet endorses this diet, as a supplement to a good dry biscuit.  But the best reward is how excited they get when I feed them this.  Tom Dog wont eat his biscuits if he doesn't have a topping of this on top. 

I feel good knowing I have a weeks supply in the freezer now, it was worth the effort.  Vege soup worked for me too, feel better for it.  And we have leftovers for tomorrow's dinner.  Its a family recipe handed down and refined from my Grandmother to my Mother and then to me.  I have taught both my sons but they prefer to turn up on the doorstep when I make it.  As one of them did tonight!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Have a Special Visiter Today

Despite waking with a killer cold (on a damn Saturday damnit!), I got a message that propelled me out of bed, got me taking more 'soldier on' drugs and head out to WG.  My bestie, Strawb was coming for her first ever visit to see my beautiful property.  I have been dying to show her round our place, describing it to her as 'the perfect camping spot'.  She is my favorite camping buddy and we share the same love of finding that ideal place to make camp.  But despite owning WG for over 2 years now, we had never been able to match up a visit.

View to the Stables

Today was the day!  Strawb came along with my #2 Mum and her new puppy, the very sweet Willow.  Sadly Tom Dog did not share our views of little Willow and wanted to show her who the top dog was.  He can be such a bully.  We took everyone on a tour of the property hoping that Tom Dog (who was now on a leash and under the control of his Dad) would relax and think twice about being mean to Willow.  We just did what every good parent should do, we ignored the bad behaviour and rewarded the good.  They settled into a kind of stand off eventually.

Strawb and I on one of our Camping Jaunts

Strawb and Mrs C rolled up their sleeves and helped clear the driveway ready for the mower to run down there.  It wasn't long before we had it all cleared up and worked up a good appetite for some snags on the BBQ.  Each job we get done, the place looks better and better.  The jacarandas are looking better, and when the grass gets mown beneath them it will look like the place is loved.  At this point I had a major wardrobe malfunction - bent over and split my pants big time!  Teach me for letting my rear end get so big.  Did the ole tie a jumper around my waist to hide it, but I was fooling no-one. 

My cold was making me feel pretty ordinary, so it was a welcome break to get the BBQ going and have a not yet earned, but very welcome pear cider.  We now have two more converts to the PEAR CIDER fan club and another debate on where the name Rekorderlig comes from.  I always thought it sounded a bit like an IKEA bookcase, and it seems I wasn't far off!  Vimmerby, Sweden is the birth place, which is very close to where IKEA was founded.  The pear is my favorite, but the other flavours are not too shabby.

Probably wasn't a good idea however, having a cider in the middle of a hot day, all we wanted to do afterwards was have a nice little nap under the shade of one of the beautiful gum trees we have growing.  Strawb, Mrs C and darling Willow made their farewells (Willow could not jump into the back of the XTrail quick enough!) and left Mr Kirsa and I to potter about the rest of the afternoon.  It was hot, (are we sure this is Autumn?) and I did feel very drained.  So just put myself in low range and slowly raked leaves, filled the trailer with dead branches and prunings.  Had a little sit down, then a bit more raking and pushed the trailer to the bonfire heap.  It took me all afternoon to get done a job that would normally take just a few hours, but it was better than nothing.

Respite arrived in the late afternoon in the form of our wonderful and fun neighbours.  They love a good sundowner on the veranda and when we work out the property it becomes a daily treat.  They had been working hard all day too, pruning, moving mulch, keeping fit.  Its so very peaceful and pretty siting on the veranda as the sun goes down, the red-tailed cockatoos heading home, the pink and grey galahs coming in for a drink and a play, the maggies chortling and fossicking about in the newly mowed grass.  Its the closest we get to being camped way up north.  All this only 16kms from the CBD. 

Early morning on the veranda, looking towards the pool

Makes me want to move here even more, this few weeks I am just putting out of my mind that we have to relet this property.  It truly breaks my heart. Hoping for a miracle - or at least a lotto win.

Friday, April 13, 2012

And here is the cold!

After the week/s that was I have been waiting on my body to show the signs of stress and here it is ... a cold.  I should have guessed it would be today, after all it is Friday 13th!

It’s never a good time to have a cold, but I guess it is your bodies way of saying “hey, I have had enough of what you have dragged me through and I need a few days in bed resting”.  So I am sitting at my desk, medicating myself with Codral, Butter Menthols and Eucalyptus 3 Ply Tissues.  My head hurts, my nose is running, my throat is sore and I feel hot.  Can’t concentrate on any work, so am playing about blogging and Pinteresting.  Just want to go home and crawl into bed. 

I know a little doggie that will love having a sick person in the house.  She loves being in bed with a human hot water bottle.  She is a very good recovery companion.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Where we are at now

While I wait for Mr Kirsa to make me a cup of tea, I will give a run down of where the drama's have left us.  (yes he takes THAT long to make tea!)

Lease at WG

We have now reached an agreement with the tenants to end the lease, releasing us both from it.  They have signed over the full bond to us and the girls father has very generously paid all outstanding rent.  We have had an exceptional outcome and avoided the court process which is a huge blessing.  I hope the two young tenants have learnt a valuable lesson over all this, and hope too they recognise when people are trying to help them.  So we have rent paid and enough money from the bond to repair the major damages like the pool, ride on mower, flyscreens, cleaning inside, replacing fence rails.  Certainly a great result for what could have been a financial disaster.  I wont ask for any more lotto wins!

Note .. just received my 'tea' .. it tastes very much like coffee .. sigh

WG and the state of it

We went out on the Saturday and Sunday to assess the damage and make a list of all the work to be done.  The pool was in such a state that it had to be pumped out, pressure cleaned and refilled.  Had to also evict a family of Maned Geese ( I think they are also called the Australian Wood Ducks?  Mum?)  who had moved in.  Went around and made a big long list of all the jobs to do.  Put the word out that we needed some help this time.  There was 10 days work to do in only 4 days of Easter - we could not take a week off work like we did last time.  I was heartened to get so many people offer their help - for the physical help they offered and the emotional boost it gave us.

The Easter weekend came around, we had the pool guy come and start pumping out on the Friday.  While I started cleaning out the stables, Kim cleaned off the roof (so many branches and leaves).  We cleaned off all the duck droppings around the pool, and cleared out all the rubbish from the sheds and around the paddocks, stacked into a pile on the lawn.

Kim Blower Vaccing the roof, Tommy marking his territory (he did that to EVERY post .. thats about 400!)  This is before the mowing was done.  My beautiful white fences stood up really well.

Saturday was an early start.  We arranged breakfasts, morning teas, lunch and lots of drinks for the workers.  By 10am most volunteers had turned up and the place was a buzz of activity!  Chainsawing, Whipper Snippering, raking, moving junk on the Ute to the rubbish collection on the road verge.  Sweeping, weeding, stacking up the bonfire pile with branches and trimmings.  The compost bays once empty, were filled with grass, leaves, manure - very exciting!  It was a hot day, but with so many hard working people, an awful lot got done.  By the end of the day, we were very tired but so glad by all that was achieved.

We had planned on a sausage sizzle in the evening, but most people had left to pursue other things!  So it was a very pleasant evening spent with Cam and Abby, Julie and Mark from across the road and a BBQ, snags and a few well earned drinks.  I went to bed that night very tired and very content.

Flooded showroom

So in the midst of all the WG drama, the gods throw in a bit of a red herring.  They thought it would be a laugh to burst a water main in Hay Street, spewing litres and litres of water into the air and into our basement.  We got the call from one of our techs Sunday lunchtime ... and yes it was Aprils Fool Day.  When we arrived at the office, the insurance assessors for the water corp were there and they came and had a good look. Rescuing what we could off the floor, we then had a very long wait for the initial water removal by the contractors.  Uncle James was our sanity saver and arrived with Gin and some company.  There was no point in being anything but resolved at this point, not much we could do but save what we could.  Its all insured. 

Monday, and the insurers send in big fans and dehumidifiers and the dry out process began.  It took 7 days to dry out the carpets and at this stage it has done a very good job.  There is no musty smell and the carpets are bone dry.  They will come in this weekend to clean the carpets and deodorise them.  We have lost only about $2000 worth of stock and water damage to 3 or 4 display shelves. 

Again, very lucky.


The Monday that I should have been sorting out a flooded office, I was in hospital all day with our Ash.  He was having an operation to correct his deviated septum, not a very comfortable procedure but one that we hope will help his sleep problems.  Although he was at the private hospital Mercy in Mount Lawley, I had little faith in the nursing there to leave him alone.  I found from my own experiences there, that you need to watch your care very carefully and not have faith that you will get a good nurse.  He was a little scared too, so of course I would be there as long as he needed me.  It was really nice actually, we got to have some good talks especially when he came back from surgery and he was a little gone on the pain killers.  No matter how old they are, they are still your babies.

His sexy socks and gown!

He is recovering really well and he should see some difference to his breathing in another week or so. 


Have just done the first quarter review for the finances and KPI's.  Its looking OK, but March was a very big month with projects and sales - it has pushed up the profit but its an anomaly.  The trick now it to repeat this next quarter.

Maybe I do need to ask for the lotto numbers to come up after all.