April 29, 2011

Bantams and Snakes Don't Mix

Sorry have been missing for a little bit.  I don't know how these daily bloggers manage it!  This is my pitiful attempt at a quick post.  We seemed to be busy over the Easter break and the end of the school holidays.  Husband survived the Blues Fest and had a great time. Now school has been back for a few days and off again for a few.  What a life!  We are off over the long weekend to the Gold Coast and meeting with friends there.

Just about all my items I had listed sold on ebay.  Selling them is good - the photography, listing and packing all time consuming though.  Still I guess I can safely say that the house has been slightly decluttered over the past week.

A snap of my fave little hen at the moment.  She is so sweet - but very clucky a lot of the time.  I'm thinking she is a silkie/pekin cross.  Any thoughts on that fellow fowl owners?

Unfortunately we had a run of bad luck with a resident carpet snake last year.  The snake had an extremely successful year, but we lost several hens.  Including this hens' one surviving chicken she hatched from a dozen fertile eggs I bought online!!  That was one expensive carton of eggs - and unsuccessful as it turned out.

The carpet snake lingered for quite a while, meandering between the hen house and the garage.  We would often see it on the rafters of the garage.   While it is not uncommon to see them occasionally, it was unusual to see this one so much!  Eventually I rang a snake wrangler who removed the snake from the garage and relocated it elsewhere.

So that, dear readers, is your story for the day - the little hen and the big bad snake.  A happy ending  (apart from the loss of 3 hens and one little chicken).  Little Banty (the one in the photo is still doing fine) is waiting for some more eggs to hatch).

April 23, 2011

I have actually been doing a little decluttering, with no less than 10 items for sale on ebay at the moment.  Hopefully a good result.  Here is a snippet of what's online. 

I hope to do a little more clearing out over the Easter break.  I've got a bit of luxury "me" time as my other half has actually wrangled a leave pass for an overnight visit to the Byron Bay Bluesfest.  

Some friends had a single ticket suddenly available.  He is thrilled to be able to see his all time favourites Jethro Tull perform on the Monday.  I can't really handle big crowds, and although I love many of the performers, I'm not feeling too left out.  I have to admit that it would be a good (big) day though.

Instead, I'll be dragging our teenager out of bed to go to the dawn Anzac service, so I'm feeling that's a bit more appropriate - and hopefully a better example to him!

Happy Easter to one and all.  Enjoy the break and take care on the roads. 

April 21, 2011

Aerial photography

This is what our place looks at the moment.  Unfortunately it is on a different scale (and a different angle) but you get the picture (lol).  You may have to double click on the photo to show detail. 

We now have a small wholesale nursery on one side.  They are great neighbours and luckily aren't too heavily into chemicals which were first worried about when it was sold to become a nursery.  Luckily too, they have kept a lot of their bigger timber at the back of their block.  

Actually when I first saw this aerial photo (courtesy of Google maps) I was a little shocked as it doesn't seem to show as much clearing as I had thought.  There has been wide scale clearing in the 5 - 10 km radius, but this little snap doesn't quite get it all in.  It does however show quite a bit of growth on our place!

Unfortunately, as a result of the surrounding clearing, we have noticed a significant drop in the number of koalas visiting.  I have a sticker on my that car says *no tree no me* (Australian Koala Foundation).  When a property is cleared and houses go in, koala habitat has gone.   I could say more, but I think I'll leave it at that.  It is very easy to do a little research and realize the extent of the threat to these beautiful creatures.

This is a photo I took of one of our visitors (not a very good one, I keep apologizing for my photos, must get a better camera).  Can you see the dark patch on his white chest?  When the males climb a tree, they leave their scent as a marker on it -  this leaves a dark stain on his chest. 

On our clothesline at the moment.  At last I don't have to dive into that carry bag with a peg on my nose!

Cheers Wendy

April 20, 2011

Lessons in Learning Part 1

A word of advice from someone who has just found out something new.  

Never (and I mean never) leave washing your sons' football team jerseys for a couple of days because it is raining.  In fact it might be better to leave them out in the rain for a week before you wash them.

We (the footy Mums) take turns at washing the boys jerseys after the game on Sundays.  It was my turn this week, and I made the mistake of waiting for the weather to clear up so they could dry nicely in the sun.

Bad mistake.  I am still gagging from the smell.   16 year old boys.  oh my.

No photos this week.  My camera has gone AWOL - so here's one I took another time.  It seemed apt. 

Cheers for now 

April 13, 2011

Looking back is not such a good thing I feel.  I try very much not to be too retrospective as it's so much better to be looking ahead.  However, I had occasion to search on www.nearmap.com  recently for something in relation to the 2011 Queensland floods.  What a great site! 

However, then it made me think back to an aerial shot we have of our property (taken by SunMap).  This photography was taken not too long after we purchased way back in 1991.

It was most definitely a drought year, as I remember distinctly how dry and dusty everything was on our place.  Our 5 acres had been extensively over-grazed by horses so there was effectively no grass.  There were however, thankfully, quite a lot of original gum trees.

I have outlined our block in green with a red arrow - can you see it?  You may have to double click on photo.

We had moved from the suburbs of Brisbane.  Close to the city actually.  A ten minute run off-peak, or an easy commute by ferry when I went to work.  I had grown up on acreage, and while the appeal of living close in was great for a while, the urge was strong to move to our own acreage.

So, this is what we bought.  5 acres and a house, for the price of a very basic house in Brisbane at the time.  Lots of move to room, lots of trees to plant.   My husband, a dedicated 'greenie' from the start, and I started to plant.  Lots.  While around us, the development started in full.  

It's not all negative of course.  We are now 10 minutes for a regional shopping centre, railway station, movies and all the trappings.  My husband has been fortunate enough to work locally for the last 10 years or so, and I stopped the long commute to the city about 4 years ago.

However, it is interesting to look back.  I'll show a photo of how it looks now some other time, but this is how it looked then.  The encroachment of development.  Slow and steady.


By the way - those who may have initially followed this blog looking for inspiration on decluttering must be sadly disappointed!   I apologise - that will happen I promise.  At the moment it is school holidays and I have
my chauffeur cap on almost constantly.

Cheers for now

April 12, 2011

Objects of my affection - a Tuesday Theme

Not a very good photo of something so old.  116 years old in fact.  This little frame is something that means a lot.  It is a sewing sampler done by my late grandmother when she was quite young.  I'm not sure exactly, but I know it was done in primary school. 

I didn't meet her, she died before I was born.  My Mum was the youngest (by about 10 years I think) of four siblings.  So her mum would have been a fair age when she was born.   Strangely enough this trend has perpetuated, both my mum and I were both older first time mothers.  So that is why I now have such an antique memento  of my grandmothers'  early days.   

Actually this is just my way of justifying the fact that I really am not that old.  Those of you with grandmothers who were born many many years later will find this difficult to work out.... but it's true!

I love this little sampler.  So neatly done.  Something that my grandmother laboured over, either in the classroom or by the gas light at home -  is something that I cherish.  I'm just glad that my Mum thought to have it framed and that it wasn't just stored away somewhere.  

Oh yes and I have (not very expertly) covered up her name which was also embroidered.  Somehow I just don't think that she would have liked it on the internet.

Cheers for now

April 8, 2011

All I have to report

Well someone will probably find these in an op shop somewhere!  This is all that I can drag up for a quick post this morning.  The sum total of the decluttering this week.  Off to the charity shop today with them.

Actually these all came out of the big cabinet that I sorted earlier, but I had a box set aside which I culled through further again.

Some cardboard beer coasters.  Well these are just about vintage ones, because I collected them (as you do) when I went on a 3  month overseas trip ... umm.... in 1990.  I don't know why I thought they were a good thing to collect, light to travel with I guess.  Someone will love them I'm sure, I'm just surprised they kept as well as they did.

The leather coasters actually look quite good in the photo.  They are old Australiana ones and the leather had been neglected and the bases are are wonky.  I oiled them with leather dressing thinking they might present better, but decided to pass them on.  

The little framed pressed flowers were lovely when they are new (also about the same vintage) but the colour has faded and I just don't see the point in hanging onto them.

The little Easter ornament  was a real cheapie from the $2 shop (just a little bit broken on the hinge!).   However, my son bought it for me when he was about 6 with his own money!!  But I'm being strong and moving it on for someone else to maybe give to their mother.   
This same little boy is nearly 16 and is going to a concert tonight (Good Charlotte) Now we are really fast tracking into the stay-up-late-to-ferry-son-to various-social-events scenario.   Sadly, The Wiggles don't seem all that long ago.      

Have a great weekend all.

Cheers for now

April 7, 2011

After my post yesterday I realised that I hadn't included some beans I'd just picked.  So here they are for your enjoyment looking very cute on my retro plate.  I like retro plates and have quite a collection going on - you may well see them now and again as props along the way!

I have been following with interest Library Girl's grocery shopping quest to break up with the Big Two.  She has set a shining example to me that it can be done successfully.  I felt that this was particularly relevant currently with regards to milk price discounting.  This past month I have been very aware of where I shop and have been going out of my way to frequent the independents.  It is difficult, and I've only had about a 85% success rate.  Next month I'll do better - it is achievable but sometimes a little effort is involved.  

Then I found this list and realised that things are so deeply intertwined that even buying a nice bottle of wine is linked to the Big Two.  Oh dear!  More thinking and planning involved, but it's all good.

Also, if my brain wasn't fuddled enough with all those thoughts trampling around, I am endeavouring teach myself to crochet.  I'm left handed and totally bamboozled by it all.  I find knitting a breeze and have my own self-taught quirky style.  I've seen so many lovely projects to do - nice bright and modern, not the dull colours of old.     So if anyone out there has any clues, I would appreciate it. 

Again, no decluttering to report, I'm sorry.  Hopefully today I will get stuck into a few things.  I didn't have a good week at all last week with selling things online, so that was a bit disappointing.  Might give that idea a break for a little while and sort more things out.

Cheers for now

April 6, 2011

This and That

Hello all - sorry no blogging for last few days.  No reason really, not a lot to report.  I realise a lot of you may have been waiting with bated breath for my Tuesday Object of my Affection post.  [totally off subject but as I typed that phrase 'bated breath'  I  pondered what the phase actually meant as I tend to use it a lot.  With the wonders of www I checked and found this  amazing!.  See this blog is informative as well as entertaining lol].   

Well I did think of the Objects post yesterday and then I thought .... meh.  Is this what my blogger friends really want to see, my personal belongings dragged out for a show and tell.  So at the moment, this theme is on hold.  Maybe to appear again at a later date.  Stay posted.

So after I had cast aside all thoughts of the Tuesday post, I then had to come up with something else!  Maybe I have bloggers block, I'm not sure as I've never really had it before.  I'm hoping it won't be prolonged or infectious as I really do enjoy just putting random thoughts down.

I seriously don't have a lot to be proud of in the decluttering stakes.  In fact I did a little browsing yesterday at  an op- shop  that I used to like.   I really think that things have changed in that area.  As much as I have always loved browsing op shops, charity shops, fetes, displays, antique shops etc.  I've lost the thrill of the chase a little.  Maybe it's just  where I'm looking,  but there don't seem to be many bargains and the prices are quite high.  Having said that though - I'm really in the business of getting rid of things rather than buying, so maybe it's just as well. 

So today, a snap of the weekly produce.  In fact, apart from the pumpkins, the rest were just sitting on the kitchen bench.  Produce clutter actually.  Taking a photo then encouraged me to put them into their respective spots, so I guess that was productive.  It will be a wee while before the bananas and monstera will be ripe enough to eat.  I put the monstera into cheesecloth bags to keep any little nasties away as the outer skins sheds as it ripens.  The bananas just sit until they are ripe enough.  Usually we give some to the neighbours, eat, bake, and make smoothies with the rest.  The pumpkin cut well and tasted very nice baked last night. 

Sadly, our avocados have been pretty unspectacular taste-wise.  Hopefully they will improve next season, but although they cut and ripen well, they consistency is very putty-like and bland in taste.

Then as I opened one of the kitchen drawers to get something this morning, it occurred to me that, while this drawer was a bit messy and cluttered, it works for me.  I use all these gadgets a lot, I know where they are straight away and they are easy to get to.  

After I took the photo too I realised that I have more plastic than I am comfortable with, so will be looking at clearing some of that plastic away.   In all though, that drawer might look cluttered to some, but it works for me and that's the main thing.  I guess everyone just works best in a manner which is comfortable to them.

Cheers for now

April 1, 2011

1st April already!

Have a good weekend everyone. 

I'm hoping to have more to report on the decluttering front on Monday.  In the meantime, I'm saving up for one of  these for Dexter!  I'm joking, ok.

Cheers Wendy