Soo…. my lil hiatus is officially over! Did you miss me?? So what have you been up to? How’s the farm and kids? What have you grown lately?
So I’ll be blooging regularly again. I’ve missed writing to you and quite frankly I’m not sure why I’ve been gone so long when we have so much to talk about. Here are some highlights of happenings while I’ve been gone:
Seriously though not much has changed since my last ramble. My place is still on the market, I’ve come close to getting an offer a couple of times but their finance has fallen through. I had an inspection last weekend with a really nice couple and I’m hopeful they love it enough to make an offer. It seemed to tick all the right boxes for them and it’s what they’re looking for so I’ll just have to be patient and wait to hear from them. I’ve got another inspection this coming weekend so that’s plan b I guess 🙂 One of the bonuses to having a house inspection is that my house is so sparkly and clean, it’s a really nice feeling.
Check out the sky the other day, it looked painted after the storm so I had to take pics 🙂
One thing that has changed is that I’ve started Geoff Lawton’s online Permaculture Design Course and totally loving it. I can’t remember if I mentioned wanting to do it here before (I’ll have to read my own blog!) but it’s turning out to be more than I hoped for and I’m seriously inspired and learning so much. I’ve had a few ideas on things to do around the place but I’m still going to move as there are too many things that just aren’t right about the place for me that even permaculture can’t remedy.
BUT I have found a new plot of land recently that would be just perfect to build my straw bale house upon. I’ve even come up with a name for it but I’m not going to share just yet as I don’t want to jinx it. And I need to sell this place first before I start looking too far ahead. I may or may not have looked up domain names and WordPress names for this place and contemplated buying a domain for it… again… trying not to jump the gun too much hehe.
Duck update: I’m down to two – Bruce and Blondie. I had 4 for the longest time and then 3 of them did a little disappearing act but came back a few weeks later after I’d rehomed the drake (Frank) who was left behind as he was stressed out living all alone. The two girls disappeared for a week a short while later and only Blondie came back so RIP Chicken, she always was a big ole scaredy cat. I was almost a grandmother again this year as Blondie went all broody in the coop again this last month but fate stepped in and the weekend that they were due to hatch, the eggs mysteriously disappeared. I have a feeling this big guy:
snuck in the coop and had himself a lil duck dinner. I’d seen him hanging around the house for a week or two and of course now that all the eggs are gone I haven’t seen him back. It’s also starting to get colder so that could also be why. While I love the ducklings cuz they’re so darn cute I really didn’t want them right now if I’m about to move out (depending whether the new owner is interested in keeping them of course) so while it’s sad that they were eaten, it’s also, selfishly, a good thing. The circle of life n all that.
Anyway I just wanted to pop my head in and see how you are, glad you’re well 🙂 I won’t be a stranger, I promise!
ffffffffftt fffffffffttt ooh sorry bout that… had to blow the dust off you. Hi remember me? 🙂 Still haven’t perfected that post from my head implant yet. Can you tell? Well so much has happened since my last post. Sadly Mummy and one of the boys (Doug) were taken on the same day. I found Doug half eaten and Mummy was just nowhere to be found so I’m not sure if she flew off and got lost or was taken away to be eaten in private. So now I’ve got two boys (Bruce and Frank) and two girls (Chicken and Blondie) left. I was going to post about it at the time but I think this blog was becoming The Duck Death Blog of DOOOOOM so decided not to. And I really felt the loss of Mummy as did the remaining babies, they were really lost for a couple of days. The other ducky deaths I’ve managed to kind of shrug off but I kept hoping every morning and afternoon when I went out to the coop that she’d be there, that she was just lost and found her way home. But it’s been a couple of months now so she’s gone 😦
Just one other duck update before I tell you about everything else that’s a bit more exciting that’s going on right now… You know how I was hoping that the girls wouldn’t inherit Mummy’s super broody biatch behaviour… This week Blondie started making a particular peep that the broodies do when they’re sitting on eggs and I’ve been watching the coop but haven’t seen any eggs yet so I didn’t think that they were laying yet. She was looking a lil ruffled and manky too and low and behold on Tuesday morning she didn’t come out of the coop for breakfast and was sitting on a feathered nest lookin all pleased with herself. BUGGER!! Luckily for me as I was driving off to work I spied her out of the coop so raced down and locked the coop up to try and break her broody. That afternoon I went to have a look at the spot she’d been sitting in and the sneaky bird had half buried her eggs and there were 15 of them! No wonder I couldn’t see anything. I’m not sure if they’re both laying in that spot or if it’s just Blondie but I’ll have to keep an eye on them now dangit. But the broodiness is broken for now PHEW! Also looks like there’s been a change in leadership as Bruce has always been the boss but since the spring Frank has taken over. He’s grown up to be the spitting image of his dad so it’s no wonder. And just as big of a doofus as his dad too (although he can fly pretty well suprisingly enough!) The boys get on OK for the most part but there’s occasional pecking order reminding going on. Them getting on with their sisters is a whole other topic that I won’t go into now.
But on to more exciting news…. my house is going on the market next week! You know how I’d posted that I’d have to wait and yadda yadda, well I met a neighbour who lives a couple of properties down from me and she mentioned that she’d had a real estate agent round (who sold a place in the valley recently within a month of listing) to give an evaluation of her place and she said that he already had a buyer lined up if she was interested in selling (which she isn’t). So that spurred me on and I contacted my bank to find out what the actual payout figure is to break the fixed portion of my loan and it’s WAAAAAYYYY less that what I thought and something I can definitely afford so I’m not going to wait a year. I’m going NOW!
So lately I’ve been busy packing and painting and doing little cheap cosmetic renos to make the place look really good and the same agent is coming over this weekend and I’m going to put it on the market. Fingers x-ed that buyer is still there at the ready but if not I know it’ll get sold pretty quickly. I found out yesterday that one of the properties that’s currently for sale on my road is under offer and it’s only been on the market for a month or two so my spirits are buoyed! It’ll be great to get moving on this dream of mine and I’m keeping an eye out on the land offerings. So yay for the new blog category “New House 2.0”. SO exciting! I’m excited but I’m still trying to remind myself of the patience lesson… I’ll post some pics of what I’ve been doing next post as I’ve just changed phones and all the pics are on my old phone 🙂
So I was watching Nick Knowles Original Features on the weekend and the show was about a couple who were doing up a ramshackle ole farmhouse which was really cute. BUT one of the things that struck me deep within my lusty decor heart was a little segment towards the end of the show where they were finishing off the bathroom and they trying to squeeze the bathtub through the bathroom door. Not just any ole bathtub but it was a copper bath!! I’ve never seen one before. It was almost a rounded egg shape. It was SO beautiful. I’m seriously in love with it (but not enough to marry it though…)
Promptly had to google it to see if such a beautiful beast can be found in my fair land, which is not usually the case, and YES! At aptly named copperbathaustralia.com.au hahaha! It’s a different (but equally beautiful) shape than the one on the show and it looks deep enough to get your whole body in for a delicious soak. Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL?!!
(image from copperbathaustralia.com.au)
(image from copperbathaustralia.com.au)
Only thing not so beautiful about it is the price tag 😦 But tis to be expected for something that solid. They also do beautiful basins so I’m seriously considering placating my desire with one of the oval ones instead. hmmm don’t think I’ve said the word beautiful enough have I? *sigh*
(image from copperbathaustralia.com.au)
I love the brand new shininess of them but also love how it patinas. It’s funny because ages ago I wanted a copper roof. I think it was on Grand Designs or something similar that a woman did a round copper roof and the verdigris patina was just lovely. I gave up on that idea because of the cost and heat aspect but a copper basin in my ensuite… I could drool over it every day and it would go with my ensuite colour scheme (which is either grey or light teal/sage). mmm yummy!
(and just FYI – I have nothing to do with copperbathaustralia other than bumping up their site page count with all my drooliness and lustiness)
So a friend lent me a really fancypants Canon camera and I was going to take some superdooper pics of the babies and do an individual profile on each of them now that they’re teenagers with proper lil personalities… but then yesterday happened.
A MFKN WEDGE TAILED EAGLE GRABBED ONE OF MY BABIES!!! Yes!! AN EAGLE!
(not the actual eagle… photo from broomebirdobservatory.com)
This thing was HUGE! It had a wingspan of at least 6 or 7 foot! Here I was thinking that foxes were going to be the problem with the babies but nuuuuuu goannas and eagles. Who woulda thunk it…
The babies have worked out what those feathery things attached to their bodies are and spend a lot of time jogging and flapping around the yard which is just insanely cute. Some of them can get off the ground and fly a little ways (not the boys cuz they’re too big and goofy). So when I was getting dressed yesterday morning and heard them flapping around outside I didn’t really think much of it until I heard one of them quack. Now my ducks, being Muscovies, don’t quack at all so I had a look outside to see what was going on. I saw three of them flap flying down to the coop and bonk into the fence that separates the yard from the coop! I just thought to myself “silly duckies watch out for the fence ya doofuses!” thinking it was flight lesson time. I watched them a little longer to make sure they were OK and saw them continue down towards the coop so I continued getting dressed and out the door for work.
Just before I hopped in my truck I noticed that they were nowhere to be seen so must have been in their coop house (which is inside the fenced part of the coop) which struck me as a little odd as their usual morning routine after being fed breakie is to forage in the grass inside the yard. Just before I drove through the gate I caught a glimpse of a bunch of feathers out the corner of my eye so I stopped and got out to investigate only to see this GIANT eagle with massive wings take off over the fence, wind whoooshing as it flapped away.
My brain stopped working because I wasn’t sure what I’d just seen. A mfkn EAGLE!!! Almost pinched myself to check… I went over to where it had been on the ground and just found a lot of plucked feathers and realised it must have nabbed one of the babies so I went down to the coop and found them all scared shitless hiding out in the coop house. I cracked the door open just a little and counted them… 6 not 7 😦 I had a quick look at them all and worked out that it was lil Mabel. She was one of my favourites as she was the “guy’s gal”. The other two girls (apart from Mama) are dainty princess scaredy cats where as Mabel was a little bigger and always used to chum around with her three brothers and was a bit bolder than the rest. She was the first to really get off the ground and fly too.
I let them all be and continued on to work with my mind completely blown that a) I had just seen a giant wedge tailed eagle and 2) that it had taken one of my ducks. All day I was just in amazement at what I’d seen. Until I got home and the babies were still traumatised. Usually when I go down to give them dinner and lock them up they’ll meet me half way or up in the house yard but this time they didn’t really set foot out of the coop and seemed happy to be locked up. I gave them some peas (their fave) as a lil soothing treat. I went back to the pile of feathers and actually found the half eaten carcass so I’m not sure if she was there and I overlooked her or whether the eagle came back with her and ate her there.
This morning they were fairly happy in the coop when I let them out and fed them breakie but when I left for work a little while later they were all back in the coop house again so they’re not happy lil ducks. I’m heading home in a bit so I hope they’ve been out of the coop (and the coop house) so I’ll have to wait and see how they cope with this. Poor lil bubbys.
I really hope that this eagle doesn’t come back and pick them off one by one as the goanna did with the last batch. It nabbed her in my yard close to my house so it’s bold. I had a chat to a friend who lives rurally and she mentioned that “wedgies” are known to take little lambs, small dogs and chickens too! I’m thankful I got to know lil Mabel and happy that I gave her a good life while she was with me. I’ll still take pics of the feathered family and give you a proper introduction to them… just minus one 😦
Dun dun duuuuunnnnnn!!
I found these things on my pillow this morning, I think they may have come out of my ears!! I’m feeling a bit dizzy and scared out of my mind!
I joke I joke!
They really came out of my nose…
OK fine, I found my first mealworm pupa. But you gotta admit they do look alien freaky. Even managed to get one half way through shedding it’s last skin. They twitch and move around too which adds to the freakyness. Now I’ve just gotta wait til they hatch into beetles which are awesomely called darkling beetles. Then they can make lil darkling babies and we start the life cycle again. Ooh creepy alien goodness 🙂
Update 23 May 2015 – so umm I realised last night that the previous post about me buying 500 mealworms to start breeding them as tasty treats for the duckies back in May is still in DRAFT and not posted and as such unless you have x-ray vision or something you can’t actually read that so the above post might make no sense at all… far out blondie… Here’s a pic of them settling into their new digs, complete with executive cardboard residence (only the best for my wrigglers).
Hmmm so it seems another month has gone by…. how is that actually possible?? Damn you WP for not posting all those kickass mental posts that I’ve thought up in this past month. Geeeez.
I’ve had the last two weeks off work to sort out some shit and during this time I’ve come to a very regretable/sad/kickingmyselfinthebutt/dumb realisation. This place is not “The One”. I’ve almost been here a year and it’s taken me all of that time to work it out. Dumbass.
The fact that I still haven’t fully unpacked and have only just recently unpacked my ‘study’ should have been a clue. The fact that I was so fkn impatient and just wanted to get out of my Mum’s house should have been a clue. The fact that the tidy sum of money that I had saved from the sale of my last place and which I’d intended on using for the renos etc to make this place what I wanted it to be but was wiped out because I had to use it as part of a 20% deposit due to the size of the land should have been a clue. The fact that there is no area for grazing animals should have been a clue. The fact that I should NOT have trusted the agent when he said that the council had been out inspecting weeds and found nothing should have been a clue. I should have tested the soil depth and quality so that I didn’t discover that I’m basically sitting on shale rock with 5 cm of soil on top so I can’t really plant or grow anything unless it’s in a raised bed. The house is functional but needs updating and now that we’re back to winter again it’s really cold and I wryly find myself thinking… wouldn’t be cold if it was a fkn strawbale house dumbass.
Don’t get me wrong I LOVE this place, the seclusion and serenity, it’s just not the right land for what I now know what I want to do. And I’m never going to be able to save up enough money to do the house improvements that I want to do or install solar, or improve the soil or plant an orchard etc etc etc ad infinitum ad nauseum. When I had to give up my little pot of money for the deposit I thought “oh it’ll be fiiiine, I’m not in a rush, it’ll work out when I need to find money to do things”. That day won’t come. There’ll always be something cropping up (like the weedspraying which I still haven’t done and have to get cracking on this winter). So many things I need like a ride on lawnmower/slasher to keep this place under control but that’s not gonna happen either. I should have fkn clued on and said impatience begone! and walked away from it. I do remember having second thoughts about it but just brushed them aside because of the strong strong feeling of just wanting to get on with it and have my own space again. Maybe this is also a lesson in second thoughts and gut feelings for me.
And despite finding this place and loving it, I have to acknowledge that I still have in my heart that need to build my strawbale house that I’d planned before. I should have stuck to my dream and just given myself an uppercut and waited til the right bit of land came along. Instead I compromised. Bzzzt, wrong, thanks for playing.
So I’m going to sell. But of course, in this Part 2 of LESSON IN PATIENCE I can’t do anything for another year because part of my mortgage is fixed (also a mistake) and reading the fine print says that it’s going to be super expensive to break that fixed portion early. AND I’ve still got to find the right land AGAIN. Last time it took me one and a half fucking YEARS to find this place… I just need to have faith and hope that because this time I am doing what I set out to do in the first place that it won’t take as long. I have already started to have a look around and found a nice parcel of land that meets those previous criteria (except there’s no real water on the land except a couple of dams but with all I’ve been reading on permaculture and dam building that shouldn’t really be an issue, just on the wishlist) but I can’t do anything yet.
I don’t want to torture myself too much with looking because financially I can’t do anything til that fixed portion can be changed back to variable but it’s so hard not to. I just feel so dumb about all of this. To be back at the start again. I’m trying to just concentrate on the fact that it’s just a giant lesson in patience and sticking to your dreams and not compromising on what you want.
Soooo I think I shot myself in the foot from the start with this Friday photo thing a) because with winter daylight savings going on, by the time I get home from work it’s just light enough to feed the babies and tuck them into bed and 2) there’s only so many misty morning sunrise (or my ducky babies) pics I can show you before you want to poke your eyes out with a toothpick and eat them. Which only leaves me the weekends to take pics at the moment.
SO for the wintertime I’m going to make it a monthly thing and endeavour to take pics on the weekends for you. Hope you don’t mind too much, a thousand pardons if you do!
I did manage to capture this amazing sunrise this morning. I actually saw it through the crack of the bedroom curtains when I woke up and thought there was a bushfire!
Hopefully that’ll tide you over til next month 🙂 Have a great week!