Sunday, November 8, 2015

Country Living

a more thoughtful kind of life

One of our neighbours is always telling us "your in the bush now, everything always goes wrong and it costs you more then you thought"

I guess in some ways that could be true as we have had our fair share of miss adventures, bogged vehicles, blown up the gear box, spending all of winter in a muddy quagmire, new bearings for the trailer, blowing up our first gas shower (frost is very deadly to pipes), Betty's breaks were so bad they were wearing away the metal disks and not to mention the latest mishap, a crashed furniture truck. 

Spread out over the last 9 months it doesn't seem all that bad, mostly it has been a learning curve for both of us.
Andrew stresses and worries more than i do, mostly i just take it in stride, things go wrong and there is nothing you can do about it, you just have to keep moving forward.

Acquiring new skills, making friends and learning to work together can be quite difficult at times, especially the new friends thing, sometimes i feel like i'm over loaded and just want to hide away and not interact with other people. I don't do well with too many social engagements, Andrew on the other hand who never liked social stuff is now loving it.

Mostly its been about slowing down and taking each day as it comes, not running on any sort of scheduled for the first time in our lives is very rewarding.
There is nowhere we have to be and nothing so urgent it has to be done today.
Some mornings we wake to a beautiful sunny day and decide to go to the beach even if the night before we thought we might start the fencing or one of the other 100 jobs there are to do.
Now we run on country living time and the living really is easy.

Not many people our age have that freedom, they are so bogged down with stuff that they cant see the big picture, life is short don't spend it killing yourself working to pay for stuff you don't need and mostly deep down you don't want.

In March this year i wrote about why we were selling up and Moving to the Country and we are very happy that we did. 
We wanted to slow down but it took a quite a while to get the hang of it, especially as there are so many things that need to be chopped, built, dug, planted, fenced, moved...... that it can be very overwhelming at times.

This type of life isn't for every body, the no power, water, phone, flushing toilet and the being so far from town. 
It is very different, you have to think about what your going to turn on or charge, the sun my provide the energy but its limited not like just flipping a switch or pressing a button on a remote.
The same goes for water, it's not an endless supply every time you turn a tap or take a shower you think about how much you use and if you can reuse it for something else like the fruit trees or seedlings.
The phone and internet, well it all comes down to the weather and we know how unpredictable that can be at times.

As some of you know we live 40 mins from town and all but about the last few km's into Bombala is dirt. 
You have to watch for cows, sheep, kangaroos and wallaby's (who all seem to have joey's), wombats and echidna's on the road plus all the pot holes and not to mention the 9 cattle grids, oh and yesterday there was a pig and a couple of wild goats, we are lucky it only takes 40 mins.
It's definitely not a boring trip as there is always something to see.

When you do go into town its never for just one thing, you have to have at least 3 things to make the trip worth it. Like collect the mail, go to the library, go to the food works, going to the tip, getting fuel etc.... the days of nipping down the shop are over. On the bright side you spend a lot less money so that's pretty good.

 We miss all our family and friends and i guess when you move nearly 6 hours away you can't expect too many drop ins, lucky everyone is just a phone call away.
We have however made some new friends and making friends is not an easy thing to do so we are pretty lucky.

For the time being with just the two of us and Sally Girl, we can come and go as we please with not a worry about being back at a certain time.
In the new year we will be looking seriously at the stock we want to keep and then things will change as we will then be responsible for more than just us.
The goal for the next year or two is to try and grow and raise as much of our food as we can and share with our neighbours any extras.
Hopefully along the way we will work out some sort of small business to keep us afloat.

Any one who has any ideas for a small business, just leave us a comment below.

Happy Adventures Nicole, Andrew & Sally Girl

PS. to our beautiful niece Belladonna, thank you for your wonderful letter that you wrote, i was very impressed. I will make some time this week and write you and Talon a letter.

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Last week of October

Birthday Girl
This week Sally Girl turned 7, she has had big beef bones every day and doesn't like it when you go near them.

She really is a spoiled puppy.

This old house we saw on one of our drives, the yard was full of old farm machinery and big shady trees, love that they fly our flag in their front yard.

Last week i pick up my seed order from the post office, 78 packets.

These are the ones i got out of a box this week.
i love seed catalogues and on line stores, all those pictures of fruit, veg, herbs and flowers. Its the possibility of greatness, am i as good, can i grow that.
Its a bit like going on pintrest and seeing all those food photographs and you start to feel hungry.
Or maybe its just me.........
i think im a bit obsessed with buying seeds.

Found this green guy hopping across the yard in the scorching heat.

Went for a drive out the back of our place a couple of days ago and came across the wild heard of goats that live here. Sometimes they are in our front paddock, i do like to see them especially as they had a couple of kids.
National Parks is always sending out forms to all the land owners, wanting to cull them on our lands, everyone says no, so they can only shoot on their lands.
They say they are a pest and bring wild dogs, its them that bring the dogs and foxes cause they aerial shoot and leave the carcass on the ground and to me that's like leaving the pantry door open.

This is one the Kangaroos in our small heard that like to hang out at our place, we have 4 with joey's, they are very cute and fun to watch.
However im sure i wont be smiling if they decide to have a feast in the veg patch, if and when we get the fencing done that is.

Last but by no means least is the cutest Australian animal ever, the shy and elusive Echidna .

I saw him down near the containers and he got scared and hid under a log and started to burrow in. I waited around and watched till he came back out.
Wildlife photography is certainly a waiting game but well worth it when you get to see animals like this. I ended up taking about 20 shots but didn't want to bore you all so i settled on just two.

How cute is that face..........

Happy Adventures Nicole, Andrew & Sally Girl

Friday, October 30, 2015

Furniture Finally

We had kept all of our furniture in storage for so long because it was so wet here and we didn't want the removal truck to get bogged. Cars were bad enough but a truck is a whole other story.
Andrew found out that we have two underground streams coming from the front entrance and cutting across toward the cabin. With that plus all the frost sucking the water to the surface our place was like a quagmire.
On the 22nd of September we booked in to have our furniture delivered, the ground was dry and no rain or frost for 3 weeks, i couldn't wait. Every thing had been in storage since march and there were lots of things we could use.
There was no sign of them by lunch so Andrew rang up the company to see what was going on.
Well wouldn't you know it, they crashed the truck just outside Pambula.
For the next 3 weeks the only things we were told was the truck was recovered and towed to a storage facility in Bega, then all our stuff was transferred from there to Pambula for storage. The truck was wrote off and all they would say was most of our boxes were in tact.
Finally they delivered on the 19 October over two days as they used a smaller truck.

As we watched them unloading we saw just how much damage they had done, pretty much all our furniture was in pieces.
The two guys who delivered told us they also unloaded from the crashed truck and told the company that everything was totalled.
I was ok to start with but then all of our good furniture was unloaded......... needless to say i had a bit of a cry. People say its only stuff, most of the time i would agree as it can be replaced. However there were other things that can't be replaced.

This was my dressing table, the mirror didn't arrive and neither did the missing timber.

I had 19 of these crates and all were either broken or missing.

This was a coffee table that Shanna made me, some of the pieces are missing, oh and its broken.

Apparently there were lots of stuff not in boxes any more so they just dumped stuff into new boxes.
These are photos they are not just bent but the box is full of dirt and gravel, needless to say there are quite a few damaged.

This is our Butchers Block that Andrew's brother made us as a wedding gift, lucky it can be repaired.

These next two photos are my Dinning Table that Shanna made for his year 12 wood class.
The frame and legs are broken and the top is in pieces and there are bits missing. :o(

This use to be a hall table that Andrew's Brother made us, not only is the sides and top broken but two of the legs are missing.

Shanna made this solid jarrah coffee table, we could have fixed it but one of the legs is missing.

 Bedside table with a missing leg and shelf.

I think Andrew was most upset about his BBQ, he was looking forward to using it. Not only was the stand broken and that was in a box but the lid and base were broken also.

I guess these next two photos tell you how hard the truck hit when it rolled cause both of our ladders were cracked and bent.

So for the last 7 days we have spent all day every day pulling everything out of each container and checking every box and furniture item. Listing and photographing every thing for the insurance company and finding replacement prices. 
Now we are just waiting to see when an assessor will be out to go over it all. Not looking forward to that as i am over moving boxes for quite a while.
You might have noticed that i said things were missing, well quite a lot of stuff was missing and not just broken items, like mirrors and pieces of furniture. All the long frame pieces from our green house didn't arrive along with our trolley wheels, tools, toys, and even a tea-chest box full of new fabric for my Early Bird Kids business.
What i have shown you is just a small sample of what was broken we estimated it to be about $49,000.00 and i'm still finding things broken. 

There is going to be quite a few trips to the tip when all is said and done.
The only other time we had broken things was when we moved to Tassie and then it was just two mixing bowls and two terracotta pots.
We have moved a lot and i am very good at packing but when a truck rolls it does not matter how good you are, you still end up with a load of broken stuff.

Happy Adventures Nicole, Andrew & Sally Girl

Monday, October 26, 2015

Water Tanks

Rollin Rollin Rollin 

We had 2 x 5000 litre water tanks delivered from tank world, they were $750 each.
They sat in the paddock for a couple of months until we dug one of the pads, we are on a slight slope so needed a relative level spot for the tank.
It was a night mare the ground was so wet and muddy. 

We opted for putting them straight on the ground, we were going to add sand to the bottom but just didn't get around to it.
We did add an old carpet to the bottom, then just rolled the tank over to it, too easy.

All the plumbing was either already here or we had brought back from Sydney.
Now all the wonderful rain we have been getting is slowly fill up our tank.
When its full we will pump it up to the other tank further up the hill and that will in turn go to feed the Cook House.
At the moment we have been pumping the water up to the shower cube as we have not added the gutter to the shower house yet.

When i get some time i will be adding a stone wall at the top of the slop with some drainage pipe, i would hate to have our tank slide down the hill over winter when its so wet.

Happy Adventures Nicole, Andrew & Sally Girl

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Sundays Down Under # 21

Saturday, October 24, 2015


A few random shots of the last couple of weeks.

This is Andrew's winter beard, it even had its own special brush.

A couple of weeks ago he went back to his summer face, now that the weather has turned warm. I do like the big beard but i think i prefer the trimmed one better.

Our Sally Girl she does take a great photo.

These little guys spent the first weeks of spring building mud nests on our cabin. There are 4 in total and boy are they noisy first thing in the morning. The fly around the out side of the house like bats in a bell-free.

Speaking of bats, this is one of the micro bats that lives here. We haven't seen them for a few weeks and you notice it because we are now getting spiders in the cabin.

This little guy was out looking for some lunch.

You have to be quick when photographing birds cause they don't stay still for long

This weeks sign- 
down here we dont have wires we have NANA for all our injured wildlife, how cool is that.

Just another day in paradise......

Happy Adventures Nicole, Andrew & Sally Girl

Saturday, October 17, 2015

New Shower

Good Bye Old Shower, Hello New Shower House........

This is what our Shower set up looked like a week ago.

We came home from trip to the beach and it was pouring rain and it had been hailing. The top of our shower was shredded, it wasn't just the hail these type of tents are not meant to be permanent structures. All the sun had made it very brittle and it had lots of vent holes in it. 
It had done its job for over nearly 8 months so we cant complain.
Wow 8 months the time has flown by....

Pulled it down and now it was time for something a little more weather proof.

These 4 posts Andrew put up a few weeks ago to use as loo walls and now they will be turned into the shower corner posts. First up the pallet was set level for the shower base to sit on.

We had purchased a few fittings for the shower the last time we were in Sydney.

There was a small stack of roofing iron up the back and they were dragged down to cover the roof and walls.
As always Sally Girl supervising all the work. 

At the end of day one and time to try it out.

This back opening will have a lift up shutter so you can close it when the weather gets cold again.

Someone has to test it out, as the back wall is a little low for shower photos of me, Andrew was the one to have first go.
The shower curtain is a tarp, its a bit of a pain in the ass.

Day 2 we went into town to pick up our new shower from the post office. 
The last shower had an accident with some frost and has now been retired. Above is the new gas hot water shower attached to the water cube Joshua got us.

Day 3 we decided to build a more stable floor for the shower base, thank goodness we have some timber already cut so it was just a matter of going down to get it.
This whole thing was built using the chain saw, socket set, bit and brace and hammer. 
Don't ya just love hand tools, it might take longer but i think it is more satisfying.

The foreman is always sunning her self.

The base was put on the joists and the timber flooring was cut and laid around it.

It turned out awesome i am so proud of Andrew he did an excellent job.
I always say we but Andrew does most of the work, im just the gopher and ideas man.

All water goes into this bucket and eventually it will be filtered through a sand and charcoal system but that's for another day.
This is a small trug bucket, it holds about 15 litres, it is filled after we both have a shower.
I think 15 litres is pretty good for 2 showers.

The gas bottle is sat on pieces of slate. The pump and battery will be put on a shelf around the front side out of the weather.

We moved the water cube to the back of the shower and next week we will add a piece of gutter to the roof and catch all the water to fill the cube.

The water drains well and the floor looks great.

Added a shower curtain and a basket to hold all the shampoos and soap.

This is not our permanent shower, we will be building a Wash House with windows and doors. This is just to tide us over till then.
I think when you live on a farm you end up with lots of buildings that are used for temporary solutions till you get to the ones you really want.
I am finding that i really like it here, but i can tell ya i really miss my kitchen and oven. I can't wait till i have a cook house.

Happy Adventures Nicole, Andrew & Sally Girl

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