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 🙂
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.
Poor lil neglected blog! It’s been positively ages, my apologies, hope you didn’t miss me too much. Things have been super hectic in the last month. Spent a week packing and shifting my stuff into storage and am now ensconced back at my Mum’s house. While I was moving I had some odd moments of looking at all my things after playing a massive game of tetris with them in my storage unit and just feeling really strange that my “life” fits in a 3m x 3m box. As I was talking about in the previous post, the things that define who I am and what I’m about. Pare that all away and it’s just me 🙂
It’s always weird being back with the parental unit but it’s different this time and in all reality I have it pretty good so I have no complaints. Probably the only one is that I miss being alone 🙂 So the house is sold, the money’s in my bank and the new house owners have moved in. Hope they’re enjoying it and are immune to incessant irritating dog barking. I’m enjoying the peace and quiet at my Mum’s. Only thing bugging me there is the carport gate banging in the wind but that’s nothing that a lil foam tape won’t fix!
Other than that just been busy with work work work. And now on to the housey stuff! A friend sent me a link to a straw bale house builder that I hadn’t come across yet:
I really like their philosophy and will probably give them a call to see what we can do. Reading their website has made me start seriously thinking about what I want my house to look like and get down to some of the nitty gritty details.
ooooh which reminds me, did I mention that I’ve found my dream bit of land? 40 mins away from work, mostly bush with a little bit of cleared land and with a giant stretch of river. BUT there are two problems…. 1) they want more than what I want to pay for land (although there are existing unapproved “house” structures on it that I could live in which are actually glorified sheds) 2) they may not accept my offer as it’s on the low end of their price range and c) I may not be able to build my house on it. I went to have a look at it last week and it’s glorious. Very hard not to fall in love with it. I’m going to have to talk to the council to see whether it’s eligible for building approval because the way the agent was talking made it sound like it would be tricky. Not sure why as there are other houses in the valley. The sheds are livable as the current owners have been living in them for the last 9 years but that’s not my “forever home” ideal. So if I can’t build there’s that property out the window 😦 And if I can then that means that I’m going to have to wait a few years before I can afford to build as it’s over my land budget and eats into my house building budget. So… we’ll see….
So I’m about 3/4 packed up… 6 days to go til I have to be out. Just the big furniture things which the movers are taking to storage on Thursday. I’ve been taking boxes of stuff over there already and there’s 43 boxes of stuff lined up against one wall like a giant Tetris puzzle. Funny how when you look at a wall of a boxes and think that it contains your “life”. In a way it’s just stuff. Things that when I look at they make me happy. As I’ve been packing my stuff it’s given me a lot of time to think about the things I’m packing and why I’m keeping them. I do have a hoarding trait but it’s because of my upbringing. Since I was born, this is my 18th move (I think, and not that I remember all of them of course). But I’ve become a pro at moving in a way. And it’s partly the reason that I want my land and to build my house. To plant MY roots. I’ve never felt like I belong anywhere, that anywhere felt like HOME.
When someone asks you “where are you from” how do you answer? The place you’re born? the place you grew up? Your hometown? For me it’s not an easy question to answer. I was born in a foreign land that my parents lived in for a few years, growing up I never lived anywhere for more than 3 or 4 years until I came to Australia when I was 13. And my hometown is the place I live right now by default because it’s the place I’ve lived the longest. I don’t have any affinity to this place other than that. So I guess my quest for land and to build a house on it is in a way my quest to stake a claim in this world and make it mine. And hopefully something that my children will think of as theirs. The future is uncertain but it’s something I hope they will feel.
When I look at the things I’m packing, a lot of them have memories attached and I think that’s why I hold on to them. Because growing up and moving so much I was never allowed to keep things. I feel silly for holding on to two boxes of Barbie stuff but the feelings that are attached with that stuff are so intense that I don’t want to let go of them yet. It’s memories of my childhood and the place I was when I used to play with them every day for hours on end and make clothes and furniture for them. There’s like a golden movie haze that I associate with that time. My Dad built me this giant Barbie house and I was SO thrilled to have it. I remember sneaking down to the basement to watch him build it and wish he’d hurry up so that I could put all my Barbie furniture in it and start playing with it. Like a lot of my childhood toys I don’t remember what happened to it but I can see it so clearly and still treasure it whenever I look at my Barbie stuff.
I guess packing up your stuff stirs things up. Makes you evaluate your life and your “things”. Makes you remember the memories attached to certain items. Funny but I miss my stuff already even though I know it’s all in boxes in a storage warehouse. But the things I own make me happy and dare I say it, define me. They make up my past and present. So with them all locked up in boxes in a warehouse it’s freeing and saddening at the same time. Because it is just stuff and life is made up of more than that.
Anyway I’m insanely tired and as you can read, probably over emotional. Just another step in the journey. More ranting and housey stuff another time.
Have a great day 🙂
3 weeks TODAY til I have to be out of my house! How on earth did that happen so quickly? Who’s been fast forwarding time eh? Fess up! I’m a little bit at panic stations now… I’ve been slowly getting stuff sorted but I think I need to kick it into high gear now or else I’m not going to make it in time!
I’m starting to come up with the vision for my new place. I’ve got an idea that’s rumbling around in the back of my mind, marinating in creative juices. I’m not totaly sure that I want to voice it yet purely because it’s not very clear to me yet, I’m not just trying to be coy. But rest assured that I’ll spill the beans once I’ve totally worked it out (and also whether it’s actually a viable idea and not just a romantic notion).
And now I need to get down to the nitty gritty details on what I want my new house to look like because my feeling that the right bit of land will come up when I’m actually financially ready to buy it could mean that I’ll find something in 3 weeks! Yes, yes I’m an optimist 🙂 Dreaming of all the tiles and taps and carpet and curtains. I’ve got a vague floorplan worked out but I need to talk to some professionals to firm up my ideas. But all the other details need to be attended to as well. Truely exciting (and keeping my mind off packing!). Feel a bit like Alice’s white rabbit!
Got my first offer on the house yesterday! But… too low 🙂 I’m pretty impressed considering it was exactly one week from being listed so I’m pretty confident that I’ll get my magic number. And hell if the place hasn’t sold in 2 months I’m happy to revisit if the offer is still there. But was just a lil chuffed that I actually got an offer in the first week. The last property I sold took 3 months to get an offer but circumstances are different this time and I think that the “I can’t wait to sell this place” energy helps. While I was painting last week I nearly went insane with the neighbours dog barking ALL DAY. And I don’t just mean on and off but ALL DAMN DAY! By 3pm I had to put my headphones in because I was gonna go positively bonkers.
Just reinforces why I’m doing this really. Was doing some more lunchtime reading on straw bale houses because I was thinking of doing a building workshop and came across these people who suggest hosting a workshop on your property to help build your place: http://glassford.com.au/main/click-for-workshop-menu/custom-workshops-examples/ what a great idea! That would certainly help with the labour costs. And part of their conditions for hosting is that you do one of their workshops so that works out well for me! I’m gonna have to start dreaming up a floorplan and all that fun stuff soon.
Anyway back to the ole grind…