Can you believe that it is February already? I knew that January was going to be busy for me this year, with the house move, but I really didn’t anticipate just how busy! Although moving house is meant to be stressful, in fact it was just busy. I seemed to be short of time to do anything, for days on end, and yet when I got to the end of each day I couldn’t report what I had achieved. However, the good news is that we are in, the house is now in our names (my parents and I) and we are settling in nicely. The danger is that those few boxes that haven’t been unpacked might never get unpacked……. but I am sure that one day I will remember something I need is in one of them and they will be emptied!
A photo by the artist-in-residence of the boy at our dam.
There are many wonderful things about our new home. There is room to spread out, for the kids to have adventures, for us to consider what animals we might get to fatten up in the paddocks, or which crops we might plant to generate some income in the future. There is room to ride bikes, find frogs and grasshoppers, to entertain friends, and to make new discoveries. The kids decided that swimming in the dam was a pretty awesome summer activity. Until a visitor spotted a tiger snake (extremely venomous) swimming across the top of the water towards them!! After that they returned to skipping stones across the water from the bank, after doing a full snake check first!
Looking across the biggest paddock towards the boundary
We can see the most beautiful sunsets from our property, but they are especially good when I climb to the top of our property.
The artist-in-residence has been enjoying taking photos of all the gorgeous roses in our garden
However there is one drawback in the midst of all this bucolic bliss. We are currently restricted to using mobile broadband modems as we can’t get cable broadband. 12GB a month for the four of us. Eek! Such a first world problem, but such a chore to work out! It has been quite good for all of us and forced us to change our internet habits, but sometimes it is just plain annoying!
I had already identified that I wouldn’t be doing any of my ‘work’ in January. I have managed to set up my sewing room (in what was formerly the formal dining room), and have made a laptop bag for my boy to use for going to school. But that is about it so far! As usual I have so many ideas, and plans, but the reality of being time poor means that I have to learn to be patient!
A lap top bag for the boy – waterproof of course, with a hint of Minecraft about it!
I have been learning a bit more than patience during the last few months too. I have discovered that I am very like my father in many ways. Once we moved house the first thing that was required was a new home for our chickens. Torrential, and unseasonal, rain put paid to the original plan to build something by recycling our swing set on the weekend we moved. (Okay – I was a tad ambitious in hindsight.) So a hurried purchase of a ridiculously small and even more ridiculously priced chook shed occurred and we moved the girls. Then Dad set to work, using completely recycled materials (bar the sheet of plywood we had to buy to build the nesting box). As he planned, built, measured, and interacted with the rest of us I saw myself reflected in many of his words and actions. (And not just the good ones!) After all these years of thinking that I take after my mother so much it has been quite an eye opener to discover that I have inherited so many traits from him!
The emergency purchase chicken coop – far too small for chickens, but pretty good for rabbits!
The first stage of the new chicken palace. Next steps include a fenced run, and an internal wall to provide shelter from the elements.
I have also had lots of reminders about why we have made this move, and that I can’t plan to do things with gay abandon as I used to, as my children don’t cope with it. I can’t say that this is a lesson that I have learnt as I seem to keep forgetting it. I thought that I could swan off the day after we moved, to clean the house we were selling. in hindsight that was a ridiculous plan but it took three phone calls from crying family members for me to realise that I needed to abandon that plan and return to the farm to support everyone through this massive change. (And I paid someone else to finish the cleaning!) I had also thought I could head off to the other side of the country for four days to attend the wedding of a dear friend. A few days before the trip I realised (after a particularly drastic action by my boy) that he was in no state for me to leave him for even a few hours, let alone a few days. So the trip was cancelled too. It is exhausting being ‘needed’ so much, but I am extremely lucky that I am able to be available so much. The generosity and support of my parents in helping us to move house has meant that while money has been tight over January, we could keep moving forward.
What else have I learnt? That my impatience stretches to myself! I have spent the last week setting up a book-keeping system that will (hopefully) save time and improve processes for the Shop that I support in an admin role. I kept wanting it to be perfect instantly, and wanting to fix everything that is associated with it instantly, and finally had to realised that I have to switch off, make a plan, and return to that dance of balancing family, work, obligations, fun, and time to let go. So – more life lessons for this old duck.
The final lesson? Purple hair die does not last! So now I have returned to blue, and added turquoise.
Other big news? My eldest has started high school and is relishing every moment of it! The two girls have been catching the bus home in the afternoon, and enjoying that new independence too. The children were given pet rabbits by their paternal grandparents at Christmas, and the bunnies very happily inherited the chicken coop. Unfortunately two of them died suddenly of unknown causes a few days ago, so there has been a fair amount of grief as a result. (And I had to dig two holes because the first one cut some buried irrigation pipe. The ground here is very rocky – more lessons learnt there!)
Three pet bunnies the day before the two grey ones, Pixie and Carrots, died. Mittens (white) is very lonely now.
I can also report a very positive start to the year for my boy. I am cautiously optimistic, as last year started well too, but he has grown a lot and is constantly learning how to manage himself, and he has made it through the first week remarkably well. His autism traits are becoming more obvious in his social interactions, so that will be a big focus to support him with over the next few months, but his other behaviours are responding well to his medication and allowing him to control his emotions much better. Phew!
There you have it – an update on the family news. Hopefully the next posts will have news on sewing, making, and farming!
One of the Campine chickens having a scratch around the new yard – so many juicy bugs to be found!