A quieter day…

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A quieter day…

Had a lovely long walk with the doggies this morning – Aussie behaved himself and didn’t wipe out any native spieces on the way!  Returned to check on my little “farm” – the veges are “leaping out of the ground” to use Haydn’s words; mushies are flourishing; and the worms are chewing happily through their pile of lettuce and carrot remains.  Sat with the birds and rabbits for a while and checked on all the amoeba plants.

Separated the eucalypt nuts for seeds and prepared the toilet roll containers – can you believe we have collected 50 toilet rolls since returning from Africa!!  That is 10 per week – enough to wipe the bottoms of an elephant herd with Bali Belly.  Anyway, that project is up and running – have read enough and i think the best thing is to just sow the seed and see what happens.

Started to measure out the sleeper bed behind the shed but ran out of time today – stacked the sleepers for Rob to cut when he is home!  Need that Dingo!!!

Then took the afternoon off for a beautiful facial in Busselton.  It was a bit of an anti-climax after looking forward to it for so long but lovely anyway and did the shopping in town after.

All in all a great day!

Powering on…

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Powering on…

Busy day today…walked the dogs of course, then mulched all the bamboo, mowed the back lawn and raked up all the clippings.  Generator shed is built and generator inside – the first stage of Rob’s self-sufficient power generation scheme!!  Ross came to collect the shed plans and information and has submitted it all to the shire with the house application – will save us some money to do it all at once.
Happy day with the animals!  Rosellas visited today.  Am getting closer to the 28s with one of them coming in very close to me at the laundry corner of the house and the others getting much more used to feeding while i am around – they do not all fly off when i go to the back yard anymore.  The kookas came back in the afternoon and i was throwing them meat from about 5 metres away.  They are young and i think will be easily tamed.  Also – exciting news of the day… four white cockatoos came to check out the seed – hope they come back!  The baby rabbits also getting very bold in my presence though we don’t want to encourage that do we??  By the way – Aussie doesn’t help much – today he chased ducklings and an adult duck at Supa Golf, plus my kookas and the 28’s in our yard – he was chased home with a beating and lots of growls.

Took all day to copy my docs onto my home laptop (Boy this IT stuff takes AGES!) I was getting worried about the longevity of the Verbatim drive so have made a back up just in case!  Did i mention we now have the domain silkroad.net.au?  .com was not available.

Veges are growing like the radioactive ones on Gilligans Island and the mushies have reached pea-sized (about 5 days later than they should have).  Thats it for today…

Catching up..

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Catching up…

Am putting in an extra post to get up to date and ensure short daily postings in the future….

Started the day with the doggies as usual – they are getting used to the routine of a walk and bone in the morning.  Have been popping in each day for a little while too – keep them company and hopefully stop Aussie from geting lonely and visiting me for company!  Met Ron next door yesteday – he now waves when he sees me.
Did i mention that the cemenet mixer has been in the last few days and the house footings are poured.
Planted, bagged and mulched 11 peppies in the wetlands – hopefully these ones will do better than the last lot with me here to keep an eye on them.  Picked up the chopped wood from the laneway so the woodpile is just about full and did about 10 loads of mulch onto the amoeba (while Aussie made like a blade of grass at the fence and watched.).
Small glitch with the house sale – this morning the bank rang and said they will have to sort out the family guarantorship for Adam’s loan before the house can settle – sounds like lots of paperwork and running around.  Never mind – will do whatever Christine at the bank needs us to do and get it sorted asap.

Finished the accounts (to date) and plan to spend tonight sorting out the office….

Though impossible to tell from the weather, Spring is definitely on the way with birds nesting and baby everythings including all types of ducklings and those pesky wabbits! (They are very cute though!) The first pair of mountain ducks have 12 striped balls of fluff waddling around after them, while one of the pairs of wood ducks have seven and the many pairs of wild ducks have several each. The Supa Golf wood ducks have seven too, much to Aussie’s excitement.

Veges are looking fantastic and mushies are threatening to burst through any minute.  I sat in the garden quietly for a little while this afternoon while 8 28s watched me from the big tree – they didnt run away so it is a first step to feeding while i am in the yard….

The Farmer’s Wife…

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Farmer’s Wife…

Rob left for Perth and Kalgoorlie on Sunday afternoon but life on the farm goes on!  Have raked up the back lawn ready for mowing / mulching and taken the bamboo and tree stump down to the fire.  Measured out the Mulberry Paddock for the building licence and am starting to re-think the marris on the verge – these will have to go if we are to put a crossover in at the discussed spot.  Spread the soil on the amoeba and prepared bags for the trees.

Yesterday I discussed the house building contract with Ross and signed it satisfied with the cost-plus 10% proposal.  Printed out a google map and drew on the shed position too – now Ross can submit the building license.  Need to do an overall plan for the property – hopefully will have a draft to discuss when Rob is here on the weekend.

I also posted our first Team Blog, bringing the Silk Road into the twenty-first century and out to the world!!  (By the way my work computer is dead – sent an email to Ritesh to see if there is anything he can do by remote but I think I will be returning a useless carcass to Buly when I go.)

Was a computer-type day – took all day to download Microsoft Office for my home computer and update windows and explorer – my initial aim was to purchase Project as I can no longer use the Silk Road project plan on my work computer.  Did not buy as it is $750 and wanted to think about it.  Spent last night entering accounts into the spreadsheets – very good template – will run it past the accountant next time i visit.  (Reminds me – must do tax (x 2 x 2 years).

Found a couple of old starpickets which have surfaced with the increased traffic down the laneway – potential tyre killers.  Tried to dig them up but buried deep and bent over – will see what i can do next time i have the tractor / loader down there.

That was yesterday!!

Getting Started…

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Getting Started…

As always, at the end of our five weeks leave, we felt that we had not achieved nearly enough and were cursing everything from the constant South-West rain; our debilitating brush with Swine Flu (!); and every necessary trip to town for banking, posting, picking up tools, etc that took us from the paddock and away from more “work”!

However looking back, i think we actually got an enormous amount done… here’s the list!

    • Cleared the laneway – Rob mulched and burned piles of wood for days
    • Bought soil and created a beautiful vege garden in the rainwater tank and five wine casks – we will have brussell sprouts by october / november!
    • Stocked up on farm equipment… purchased the ute, generator, cement mixer (gave Rob hours of trouble), the Toro super mower (Molly to help out her little sister Milly) and a small truck with a HIAB (as yet unnamed).  Consequently Rob is now broke!!
    • Built a new amoeba over the Leiper rubbish pile – finally!  At least 20 loader buckets of dirt shifted from the Dam One pile – made a little mess in the paddock but will fix when it is drier.
    • Got a bargain on established trees at Mitre 10 ($10 each) and planted them in the laneway and amoebas. Still have 5 melaleuca to plant in the sodden north-west corner.
    • Planted about 20 tubes around the amoebas and potted the rest to get an plant nursery started.  Hope to have about 30 reasonable sized trees to go out in the paddock next May/June.
    • With the help of our faithful neighbour Haydn, Rob re-roofed the Lieper carport achieving a life-long goal to have a dry barbecue area!
    • We pulled and mulched enough bamboo to feed a pair of Pandas for their entire life!  The purpose is to clear the back of the shed for a native garden and tidy the back yard.  The lambs had fun on the mulch piles…
    • Our hardest two days was probably laying the cement slab for the generator shed.  The labourer (amanda) made up cement batches in the new mixer while the skilled artisan (Rob) did the laying and fine finishing work (in between cursing the rain which fell for an entire three days and ruined the slab surface.)  The weather also prevented building of the shed once the slab dried too as it turned windy and too dangerous to erect the sheet metal shed!  Will ask Ross to do this.
    • Rob whipper snippered and mowed the front and back yards and they look beautiful!
    • Together we chopped and sawed enough wood for the rest of winter – Ollie did a fine job but the pieces don’t fit in the woodstove.
  • We paid our first house payment and Ross got busy with approvals and site preparations – has it been approved – need to check!  Ross did the levels, dug the footings and starts concreting today.
  • Our future showroom (Shed) is ordered, deposit paid with plans given to Ross for submission to shire.  We have selected a barn-style from Widespan Sheds in Qld with plans for a pond, pagoda and bridge entrance as our “brand” for the Silk Road.
  • Margaret River Silk Road Pty Ltd came into being!!  We didnt really celebrate this enough did we?  Our Trust was set-up and the bank account opened.  Our business now exists!
  • Both houses in Cairns sold very quickly and there was a lot of runing around associated with this – 28 settles on Tuesday and 39 is awaiting finance approval.
  • Radiator in Subaru – some things didn’t quite go as planned… Amanda will have to do something about getting it fixed – waiting till Donna and Haydn return for advice on a local Subaru mechanic.
  • Managed to fit a bit of social activity!  Got to Pinnocchio’s twice and to Winos with Donna and Haydn.  Had my birthday somewhere during this time too!
  • Ian came and took the lambs away to new pastures!  Ours are a little soggy.  That was fun – Ben did a great job and Aussie joined in the fun.
  • Have also been walking the dogs every day – getting me used to excercise again and feeeling good for Kili!
  • I am sure there is more – rob can add in comments…

Phew… no wonder we are exhausted!!  Rob drove off to Perth yesterday afternoon.  He will pick up Ghuhen and Shufaa at the airport ready for their grand tour of Kalgoorlie, then drive back down through Esperance / Albany for a last few days at the Silk Road.  They will then fly to Cairns and back to Africa.

As for Amanda… well she won’t be going back to Africa this time and will begin the next phase of her exciting life as business developer, manager and farmworker at the Margaret River Silk Road!!  She has a HUGE list of jobs for next week so stay posted for progress!  Next entries will be shorter!