Thursday, July 30, 2015

Friends Furneral Today.

I'm still over in Mandurah housesitting but making a special trip back home today to go to a friends furneral.    This woman has been sick for a while now but lost the battle last week.  It will be a sad day,  there will be hundreds of people there, she was a well loved person with heaps of friends.

My heart goes out to her family...

The furneral today was the most beautiful furneral I have ever been to.  It was up at the weir in Waroona so everyone was overlooking the clear calm lake with green hills dotted with cows beyond.    The people talking all said lovely things, people wore colourful clothing and the rain held off until it was over except for a light sprinkle as the coffin was being carried back to the hearse.

Debbie would have loved it, such a pity she wasn't there to see it...or maybe she was...

Thursday, July 23, 2015


I'm housesitting at the moment, been here for just over a week and have just over a week to go.  There is a cat, a dog and a 13 year old boy.  
The cat belongs to the boy and is suposed to be fed and cared for by him...So far there has been at least 2 nights when he hasn't fed it.  I fed it 1 of those nights but I'm pretty sure the cat didn't get it's wet food last night either.  The boy will disagree and argue if I mention it.  
The dog belongs to the elder son that doen't live here at the moment.  He is is fed morning and night by me and I take hime for walks 2 or 3 times a day.  My shins hurt.   The dog is used to being *walked* by a runner, I am barely a walker so he pulls, I hurt.  I don't know this dog well enough to let him run loose, haven't found a leash off area here yet so we walk slower than he likes, faster than I want...Good fun.
The boy...this kid is different to how he was when he was little and lisened to me.  When he did what was asked and didn't argue, swear and call me names.  I don't like him as much as I used to.  It's sad.   The first 2 days here and I was ready to knock his block off.  We aren't allowed to do that any more but I tell ya, I wanted to!  So we wont be doing anything fun together, I don't really care if he spends his days home in his room.  I'd rather not talk with him.    I don't like the way he makes me feel.  Or another way, I don't like the way I feel after dealing with this kid.   It's sad but I think I'm getting to old for this shit!

I used to look after the kids in this family when they were little, probably started 10 years ago now but haven't been needed since the boys got bigger and started school fulltime.   That has been the way with all the families that I worked for, fulltime school puts an end to it except sometimes during school holidays.

I am here now because the owner has gone overseas to visit her family, it might be the last time she sees them and as she has had a crap year so far when she asked me to help I said yes.   I'm not sorry I did but I miss being home.  This is a big, clean, tidy, low care house, ours is small, messy, dirty, high care...I prefer ours.  Mind you, there are bits to this place that I need to take notice of and maybe incorporate them somehow into home, it's been good being here, it's showing me what I do like about home, what I don't like, what should be done and things I have whinged about but really now think they can stay.  And it's shown me that I really miss our yard and my gardens.  And the chooks.  Who'd have thought that I'd miss chooks that don't lay me any eggs!   I miss chopping wood for the fire and love how toasty warm our little house gets.  This big house gets cold and I hate turning the aircon on to warm it up so tend to leave it too long.

I am travelling back to Waroona to do my shifts at Vinnies, twice this week but 3 times next week and the petrol costs are adding up but that's to be expected.  I'm not used to travelling so far and wonder at the fulltime workers that do it 5-6 times a week.   Some travel further than the 45 minutes each way that I am, how do they manage that.  Less time at home with family, less time for hobbies and fun stuff, less money in their pocket after paying for fuel...So glad I don't have to be like that.

What am I doing while here?  Not a lot.  Reading, finally got that book finished.   Going on internet and looking at blogs and ways of doing stuff for when I get home.  I went into Mandurah on Tuesday and watched some dolphins play out near the marina.   That was pretty cool.  I think I like water, the peace and the calmness of it.    I'll go do that again before I go home.

Do you housesit?   Would you like to?  What would you do with a kid that lies, goes into your room, backchats, argues and calls you swearwords?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

It's raining, I'm boring.

I'm bored.    I hate saying that.  But I do think that I am bored.  I'm not home, I'm housesitting over in Mandurah, 40min from home.  It is cold, it's wet, raining.    I keep thinking of all the snails I could be searching for but in reality, if I was home, I would more than likely be on the computer.  Espesially if it was wet and cold like it is here.

I could get in the car and drive 5 minutes and be in central Mandurah, shops, forehore, eating places.   But I did that yesterday and have no wish to do it in the wet and cold.   I could, have been, reading blogs and websites, Facebook.  I have watched a few clips on Youtube.  But I am not getting out of it anything that I do at home.  And I think I know why.  At home people, husband and son, others, say that I am always on the computer.  Sometimes it does seem that way but it's not true.  I will go out into the garden and pull weeds, pick food.  I will chop wood.  I will sweep the floor, make the bed, wander around the yard...there is lots of things to do.  Sometimes I even think about doing some housework!  I might read, might not.  I think the fact that I could do any of that makes it less boring.  Even if I don't actually do do any of it.  Know what I mean?!

This house is big, our house could nearly fit into the main bedroom area I think.  I should find a tapemeasure and check that out as I do wonder.   It is clean, tidy, nothing needs doing.  The dog gets taken for a walk a few times a day, short walks as I have shinsplinty shins and too much hurts them.  The outside is basically no maitenence, it looks good but there is nothing to do out there.  I might pick up dog poo later on when it stops raining!

So what could I be doing?  I want to finish the book I have been reading for the last few weeks.  I will do that today.  I could bake a cake or make some biscuits but I don't want the kid here to have any!  I wont give treat food to someone that swears at me or wont do any of the things his mother expects him to.   And I don't need them.  I could watch TV but daytime TV doesn't do much for me and I can't find any DVD's to watch.  I could watch something later on on Youtube... 

It is nearly 11:30, I will take the dog for a walk, come back and have some lunch, decide what is for tea and start preparing it, finish the book...and I will need a plan for tomorrow otherwise I could be in the same boat.  

I rarely get bored, I think it's silly and you should just find something to do...I don't like it!

Do you sometimes get bored?  What do you do if that happens?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What's up, Barb?

1st July 2015.    Half way through the year already. 
What's up?  Not a lot.  Not enough.  I was whinging yesterday about being busy with not much to show for it so really need to start coming here more often to show myself that I am not the lazy bit** I sometimes think I am.   Mind you, I am too lazy too often but I do do stuff too.  What did I do in June?

I am at Vinnies 21/2 day a week but during June we had 2 vollies away on holidays and as we are short on volunteers down there I was covering for them.  Some weeks I was there 4 days out of the 5.   Too much considering I don't get payed or thanked for it.  But I love it, so do it.   The downside is if I am there then I am not here so some things are not getting done here.  
I have a few new volunteers that I need to train up this week so hopefully then I will have someone else to come in when needed.   But, 1of the better vollies has decided to drop her hours and take up studying, a reliable regular has left to do paid work and another has cut her hours in half.   How rude!!    haha, just joking there J, N and K.  It  does mean that we need more people in our system but finding willing workers is not easy.    We will keep working at it. 
Head Office also keeps asking more of us, a small shop in a small town, run by volunteers.  So jobs that need to be done and that others used to do too, as they get more complicated the others choose to no longer do them so it falls back onto the manager.  Me!  Banking now sucks.  Just sayin'.  The *new* way takes longer, involves more work, more concentrating.  If I didn't have to then I might choose not to too.  Eight months as Volunteer Manager now and still loving it.  I took the role on for 12 months, no-one else was interested, I was...but if I decide to get a real life and move on to other stuff too then I am not sure what will happen come October.    I really need to get more vollies who are interested in doing more, someone with the time and interest to be there more when needed.  

CHOOKS.  I have oiled their legs again, cleaned out their pens. There are a few that I catch and put away...every day.  No idea how they keep getting out but they are starting to make me cranky.  I have pruned trees to stop them climbing, trimmed wings to stop them flying...  They also scratch around in the mulch.  Good for bug control but I need to do more raking to keep the grass mulch free.  Soon, I think, we will be eating chicken stew.

I have been working on a big for me project during June.  I look outside our kitchen window and see an Orange tree, an Apricot tree and a peach tree.  And grass, lots of grass that needs mowing all the time and edges around the trees that need cutting and pulling.  Daughter suggested that we cut down on edges and mulch the whole area.  I had a pile of wordchips so why not.  Why not?!  Cause I need to dig up the grass and spread mulch, bleedin' hard work for a fat unfit lazy person.  But I'm doing it and glad I am.  It looks good.   Husband brought in a pile of the mulch with the dingo so that saved days weeks of me wheelbarrowing it in from out the front so a big thanks to him.  He will bring more in for me when we get the dingo back so I need to get more grass dug up before then.  Could be out there doing some now but...I'm not!

Husband pruned the Apricot tree so I had to help clear those up before starting,

This is the first load of mulch brought in with the dingo.  It looked like there would be more than enough but I could probably go through a couple more.

I am going to remove the grass from this area too.  I will come across from the corner of the pen and join up with the mulched area near the Apricot tree.  It means more digging but will be worth it when it is done. 
We're still eating from the gardens as well as heaps of Oranges every day.    But of course, that too takes time.  Add in some time out with friends, reading and computer...Busy!
And for most of the month husband has been off work with back problems.  I never get as much done when he is home and it might be another week or so before he goes back.
Only thing is, July is going to be another busy month so not sure if that area will get done this month or not. 
What will I be doing throughout July.   Hmmm.  We're away this weekend, Vinnies 2 1/2 days next week and maybe a train trip to Perth because it will be school holidays and we might go up to the zoo, I need to do an extraction and get the hives sorted ready for Winter finally gets here.  Hopefully we'll fit that in before he goes back to work.   I'll be housesitting over in Mandurah for 2 weeks from the 15th so coming in for Vinnies but having to get back to other house before dark so not enough time to come home here and do anything.  Freemarkets on the 19th...maybe, I will be over in Mandurah and will have to come in then get back before dark...I want to get out the beach for a couple of days but probably wont be able to.  And depending on how this weekend goes we might need to go away again.
Life is busy, but life is good. 

July 1st 2015. Early morning.

I went outside this morning, around 7am.  Camera in hand, visiting dog following.  It was cold, misty, nice.  I love mornings.

Looking back towards the house from the dam area, so looking Eastish.  I never noticed how rusty and crappy looking the fridge gardens are from out here. 

One of the Orange trees in the front yard.  They fall off overnight, we pick them up, next day we do it all again.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Back again... Need a plan.

Wow, 2 months since I have been here.  More than that really, how slack is that for a blogger that needs motivation and record keeping.

I have been busy with Vinnies but I have also spent way too much time reading about other peoples gardens and what other people are planting, growing, doing...What I need to do is get out there myself and plant, grow, do.

What is everyone else planting?  Growing?  Doing? 

This last week I have been trying to get my bedroom a bit cleaner, roomier, nicer...It's still a long way off all of that even though there have been bags and bags of stuff leaving the place.   Last night though I could walk down my side of the bed and not walk on anything.  No papers, clothing, bags, nothing to trip over in the dark.   I emptied the bottom shelf in my cupboard and found a mouse nest, that's pretty feral of me really but it's all gone and cleaned up now.  The shelf is no longer empty though as I have put the bags that were on the floor in there!   But the floor is clear!!   And I have more than 40 pairs of socks!  How does that even happen.  I threw out a few pairs but have others in the wash so more than 40 pairs of good condition socks that I mostly wear.   All too good to bin and seeing as they all fit into the drawer they will stay.   Husbands side has a box of *spare* shirts and shorts, good condition and may be needed one day in the distant future...I have asked him to go through them and see if he want to keep any of them.  They are too good to throw away but not good enough to be sold at Vinnies.  If he really doesn't want them I will take them down to the Really Really Free Markets.  He has 2 days to go through them or the box will be there for another month.  Not my side though so I don't really care.

I have been digging out grass, putting down mulch, digging, spreading, mowing.  Massive job that made me hurt but it looks good.  I have more grass to dig up, more mulch to spread....I'm hoping to get the rest ready for mulching by the end of the month and that's totally doable if I do.

I have Vinnies all day today, again tomorrow morning, RRFM on Saturday and may be out on Sunday.  Vinnies again 3 days next week...

I need to have a proper look in the gardens and see what needs doing and start writing things down as it looks like I haven't done much outside but know there was more than this.  Chooks legs were oiled so that's something else and they will be done again next week sometime...but surely there was more...

Hopefully I will start writing things down here more, it reminds me of what I have done so I don't feel like such a slacka and it tells me what I need to do so I don't be such a slacka!  I need a plan.   Will write one up when I get some time, and remember!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


It been raining here, on and off over the last few days.  I love it.  The gardens love it.  Husband doesn't!  There is stuff that needs doing by him but not when it's wet.   Me, I'm not doing my stuff either but I can't blame the rain! 

I have been home for a couple of weeks now and everything that I was going to do...hasn't been done yet.  But I'm sure it will be, I just need a day or 2 at home, by myself, with no-one else here.  Not sure that that is gunna happen any time soon though.  Husband has a few days work coming up then maybe a week or 2 more but the talk is that there will be a few months of nothing.  At least we have food and money in the bank to pay the bills.  HoHum, another lean Winter.  If there is no work for him I might get some bookshelves put in, that would be pretty cool.  But I went away and came home to a patio out the back so hoping for bookshelves might be pushing it. 

The gardens are looking good.  All the seedlings that we planted are growing, I don't think we lost any of them to slaters which is unusual.  I think having the chickens out and scratching around in them when I was away has gotten rid of most of the slaters and other pesty bugs.

I have picked the last of the Grannys! Husband thinks they aren't quite ripe but I like them.  A bit tart, just like a Granny should be.  We didn't get all these apples, the parrots got a lot, the chooks got some...but we have a few kilos here, I will need to cook and freeze some as I think I will be the only one eating them and I don't want them wasted.   I noticed while I was out there picking them that the mandarins are starting to turn orange so we will need to net these before the parrots make a start on them too.

I have Chokos.  Not many are big enough to pick yet but there are heaps of flowers and maybe 1/2 dozen that will be ready within the week.

Chooks are still laying.  they started again while I was away and though I'm not getting as many as they say they did, we have a fridge full. 

We haven't done the extraction yet but will need to really soon.  Husband put another box on a couple of the hives when I was away so I have a couple of triple deckers out there now but we'll need to get them extracted and back down as doubles before Winter gets here.   I have cleaned the extraction shed so it is all ready to go, just waiting on us to be here with the time to make a start and I am thinking that the next warm day when we are both home might have to be that day but we are both busy for the rest of this week.  And next weekend.  And Monday, Wed and Thursday next week I am at Vinnies all day...It will happen though, it has too.

We have a pig in the coolroom, son will cut it up next week and it will be added to the near empty freezer.  We have a bit of the young bull left in there, not much but something we do have is...Venison.   And it is so nice!  Son has been wanting to get a deer for the last few years, he sometimes sees one when he is out pigging and a few weeks ago he was in the right place at the right time and BANG!   Venison on the barby.   By next month there should be another young bull in there too so meat for the rest of the year will be sorted.  If I can just keep the gardens stocked and growing then work or no work, we will be able to survive for months.

I am looking after the granddaughter again tomorrow, at Vinnies on Thursday, out to lunch on Friday, FreeMarkets on Saturday, visitors on Sunday and Vinnies again next Monday.  I remember not so long ago when I had nothing to do and nowhere to go...Sometimes we have to be careful of what we wish for...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April. Time to get back into it all.

I'm home after 3 weeks in Tasmania.  People back here have been busy while I was away.  The fridge gardens are all shifted, painted to look better too.  All the lawns were mowed, the edges whippersnippered, the yard looks really good and should be easy to keep that way so hope I do...  Tiff had tidied up inside for me and the place hadn't looked so good in a long time.  After a few days of me being home though...looks like I need to go away again so she can get it back the way she had it!

Had a birthday, lots of pressies some of which were seedlings for the gardens.  Great, I was needing these and now they are planted and the gardens are looking good too.  Husband has put in a new watering system so it will be easy to keep everything watered.

The young chickens have been out of their pen since before I left so at least the slater population is down.  Downside to escapee chookens?  Anyone with a garden and chooks that escaped will know the answer to that!  We have put them in a different pen, hoping they can't get out because if they do...goodbye seedlings and hello chicken soup!

I am going to get all the gardens back up and producing heaps of food this year, enough for us with extra for selling.   I want the yard to start paying for itself and think that I might be able to manage it with the honey and excess vegetables and fruit.  And plants that I have been talkin about potting up but haven't yet.  I will get the pots cleaned up and a few things planted in them over the next few weeks so come Spring...they will be ready to sell.

The hives need extracting so we will have another batch of honey for sale soon.   I still haven't all gotten the hives moved into the Apairy but now that the days are getting shorter and it is darker and cooler earlier I will be able to start moving them closer again.  I can only move each hive a foot or two at a time but because I forget or the bees are still flying around when I go to do it it is taking forever.  They are quite close now so should be able to be moved the rest of the way over the next month or so.

Chooks seem to have started laying again, had a fridge full of eggs when I got home.  Gave most away so hope the chooks keep up their end of the job and we don't run short again.  I need to oil their legs again soon too, a few are looking a bit scaley.   I think I still have enough oil left in the big drum but will check and get more if I need too.   This leg oiling will be a job for the weekend.  It is a messy job but something that does need doing on a regular basis.   The oil smothers the mite that causes the scaley leg.  I use old oil that I get from the fish and chip shop, it works by smothering the mites, there is no need to fork out money on chemicals or expensive oils at all.

There are Chokos on the vine, only small but they grow quite fast so shouldn't be too long before we can start picking and eating them again.  I really need to get a couple of vines growing elsewhere too.  I say this every year but for one reason or another they like the spot in the tank gardens out the back.  I want them to grow up over the chookpen fences out the front.  I will keep trying and eventually they will get the message!

I will take photos of how things are looking out there over the next week or so.   The whole yard has had changes made to it while I was away, it looks really good so thankyou to everyone that stayed home here and helped with it.  A big thankyou to husband for doing everything he did for me while I was away...Love ya Babe!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Fridge Removal.

We've got another hot day here yesterday, it's starting to get a bit much for me.  Still it is Summer so only what is expected.  But all the is hot here.

Yesterday morning I was out whippersnippering an area that has been a mess for ages and still is but soon...One day it wont be such a mess.  It is the area where we have all the fridge gardens and what used to be a sweet potato patch.  The grass overtook the SPP, sticks fell from the trees, I used it as a dumping became an overgrown mess.   The fridges still worked as gardens though and we were/are getting food from them.

We had another overgrown messy area out the back, along the fence.  This was a garden edged with rocks and over the years has had different stuff planted which eventually becomes overgrown with grass.  
One day last week we were saying how messy these areas were and talked about shifting the fridges out and putting them out along the fence.   This would make one area at least easy to keep clear and mown.

Husband has had 2 days home and decided that enough was enough and he started the clean-up.  The rocks were removed from the back fence, the fence-wire was removed, the grass was scraped away and the whole lot was levelled off.  I get home from Vinnies yesterday and he has already started moving the fridges.  It is a big job as each fridge needs to be emptied before it can be moved...but I have food growing in them.  It will be a work in progress and may have to wait until it is cooler. 

He has moved 3 of the fridges though so now it is my job to start clearing where they were and getting rid of all the sticks, grass, crap that should never have been put there.  Fair deal I reckon.

In this area is a Comfrey plant.  I need to find somewhere else to put it before I dig it up.  We have a massive purple pot and husband suggested I use that for the time being so if  can't find a better, in the ground place, that will have to do.

It's still looking messy but will have to stay that way for a bit longer  I will be busy then away until end of March but hopefully the weather will be cooler when I am back home and it will get finished then.  The comfrey is now gone, I put that in a big pot and dumped it in some shade.

This is back fence area.  Soon all the fridges will be along here.

A Passionfruit vine will be planted here in the hope that it will take off, up and over the structure.

We can't move a couple of the fridges until the plants are finished.  this one has beans and tomatoes still growing.  But another is full of strawberries and another chillies, potatoes and tomatoes...

It will look good, or at least tidier, when it's finished but that may be another month or so.  But it's started!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Twentyfour For Two...Really?

Hot weather is here still with more to come so I am inside, taking it easy, not doing anything much...went to get a cup out and saw something move in the cupboard.   Bugger.  Cockroach!  Big one too.  I have actually noticed a few of these in the bathroom over the last week, unusual after not seeing any for months and thinking the resident skinks were keeping them down.  Seems he/she/they are slacking off.  

This cockroach looks like it has been in this cupboard for awhile so I now have the big job of taking everything out, cleaning the cupboards, cleaning the stuff, putting it all back.   I am not going to put it all back though.  Most of it is not regularly used, some is just being saved for...whatever, whenever...
Two people live here and in this cupboard alone there are 24 glasses and I know I have more in another cupboard.   We don't use glasses.  Maybe sometimes, once or twice a year if we have people here.  I used to use plastic cups but have since gone to using mugs or pewter or SS cups.   

One side of the cupboard emptied onto the top and floor.   So much stuff in there...

I'm thinking that most of these glasses can go.  I have been thinking this since I took them all out of the cupboard 1/2 an hour ago...There are also jars and bottles in there that I haven't used since last Summer so maybe I don't need those either...

Now 2PM...Why is it so bloody hard to get them in a box and out of the house!

It's an hour later, I have finished this 1 cupboard.  There are still too many glasses but I bought them because I like them and the set of 10 is up the back of a shelf, not in the way and this way I didn't cry.  Maybe next time I pull everything out and clean they can go...or the time after that.  I also kept a set of 5 for visitors to use but alas, there is 1 less now because I dropped it.  
The glasses that I like are at he back out of the way so they too don't get broken. 
The shelves are looking OK, they are clean and what is in there now is mostly used on a daily or weekly basis.  The cockroach is squished dead.  There are a couple of big SS bowls that go in here too but they are being used at the moment.

 Pleased that all this is going to the op-shop tomorrow.

I cannot understand why it is so hard for me to get rid of un-needed stuff.   Maybe it will get easier and so quicker as I do more.   There is still so much to do...

So how much stuff do 2 people need?  Not 24 glasses and the 14 that are still in there, too many.  Two people live here, a 7 year old stays quite often, others visit...We have 8 dinner plates, 7 b and b plate, 2 bowls that match them plus 1 other now.  ( I removed 2 others today)  I am looking for more bowls that match the smokey glass plates and this is an ongoing thing for me at op-shops and garage sales.  There are 5 kids cups that I am wanting to get rid of and will soon, 6 metal cups that I use instead of plastic or glass but I don't need this many.  Two cups and 1 saucer in here now, I use the cups as small bowls so I don't have a huge amount of icecream or custard.   We rarely use those metal pie dishes, there are 3 in there and I think I will end up putting them out with the camping stuff.  Two round casserole dishes, 2 glass bowls, 2 rectangle casserole dishes...Two big glass bowls...I use these things but maybe don't need them all.  It will do for now, at least I will be able to see if any more roaches get in there. 

I dread the time when I get to the cupboard with the coffee mugs in...

How many plates, bowls, things, do you have?