Sunday, May 31, 2015

Weed Busters, and the saga of the Fairy Garden

WEED BUSTERS and the saga of the Fairy Garden.

Damn, there are SOOO many weeds to contend with before this place is in any healthy shape!
My husband is getting much satisfaction mowing down anything that needs to be eradicated in the acreage paddocks - we have to wait to do occasional legal burns, and so create weed mulch heaps in the mean time.  I am now a seasoned ride-on-mower driver - well practised, with some scary 5 metre sheer drops along the creek fence line under my belt. This creek bend was ravaged during the worst of the floods. There are several wooden fence posts with more than 30 metres of their connecting wires hanging several metres out in mid-air.

Otherwise an easy and leisurely flat paddock experience with an occasional grinding stop if I hit a hidden rock (get out, pick it up) or a tree root (just avoid next time). I still have my husbands voice "accelerate, accelerate!" ringing in my ears.

I spend so much time trying to tame just the house area weeds, that I am inadvertently teaching Lucinda the intricacies of identifying and pulling weeds by the roots, carefully  bagging the seeded weeds, mulching areas, and of course planning her little fairy garden.  Lu has her own gloves, little wheel barrow, a set of garden tools and an eager disposition; though short lived with dashes to her swing, trampoline or playhouse to continue her rich imaginative life, burning up her almost 4 year old's energy. 

We have blocked off Maisie's attempts to madly race through the side open walls of her little play house, thus landing on and destroying ALL the hardy geraniums and succulents we planted last month to keep her little wee fairy company (Fairy does need a friend!).
It was a dust bowl when I arrived.  Now I have strategically placed large pots along the garden too, as any freshly dug areas also attract Maisie like a magnet - 'only helping us' I'm sure she thinks.  Her dug 'nests' have increased to 3, plus who knows what under Little House, where she loves to disappear in the deep dark spider zone.

Lucinda helped paint the few boards that are on the fairy garden side of playhouse - purple and pink splotches. It is great to have an area that it really doesn't matter what is done to it, but remains the cherished work of the child.  I know I said photos on the way - will get there!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Easter 2015 has come & gone

Easter has come & gone but I couldn't resist this one - hunting for eggs is never boring with a sneaky rabbit.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hi to all The Old Post Office enthusiasts.  I shall, with Dan's input, try to keep the marvelous story of this property, and the families adventures, alive.  Though I am missing Edwina and her natural writing flair, and have yet to master the art of adding photos, this I feel is a story worth continuing.

My name is Anna, and I am Dan's Mum, and Lucinda's Granma.  Very recently my retired husband David and I have taken on the delight of share ownership and management of The Old Post Office property with Dan.  

This turn of events follows my years of devoted looking at country land/homes to potentially purchase and move to. I had never been able to make a firm decision about letting our current comfy cottage near the beach go.   As a keen, though a little erratic gardener, I like nothing better than growing a successful crop of eatables to cook up or share with family and friends.  Our  small suburban block is well planted with easy care native plants, and can be quite productive when I have my act together.

When one is in the latter years, and still harbours dreams of renovating an old Queenslander, and living (at least a little) off the land, the practicalities of what the old bod can do need to be at the front of decision making.  Hence after falling in love with The Old Post Office property, (it has felt like home anyway) we threw in our lot with Dan to help keep the family property alive and well. We have been able to keep our lower maintenance cottage near the beach (with easy access to all medical facilities, many coffee shops, stores, etc.).   It means more driving than I am sometimes comfortable with (mainly due to other drivers who have not learned simple road courtesy or rules!), but my heart sings when I/we arrive.

The surrounding beauty, wildlife, slower pace of life, and the more physically demanding chores on an acreage is a healthy contrast to suburban living (and we keep our local masseurs and physio in business).  I just have to educate myself on all things farm - like driving a reconditioned, bright red 1963 Massey Ferguson tractor to slash the flat paddocks (NO WAY I am going near a slope after viewing Internet videos of tractor accidents!).
Also the 'farm dog' Maisie was brought up in the suburbs, and is a little dippy - chases shadows instead of rounding sheep, but is lovable if one can get used to her manic anti-any engine noise phobias.  She has many redeeming qualities - not least is that when I am in the garden with Lu, I will always have a faithful snake guard dog.  Lucinda loves to run wildly with Maisie around the large mowed house yard, and throw tennis balls to fetch (forever if Maisie had her way).  Our little ancient maltese/yorkshire terrier cross Buster looks forward to our car trips there, and adores Lucinda.  Maisie and he are quite companionable even though our dog is beyond games.  He is keen then to go home and sleep all day after a visit.

The Big House is having the old internal doors (of which there are many) stripped, sanded and painted up by Dan to suit the heritage era of the home.  Not much spare time for him when working so many hours away.   For Dan, being an available Dad is first priority when Lucinda is there, and they enjoy much around the house and yard together.  I can't wait for the big verandah unveiling when the hideous 1970's aluminium cladding is removed to reveal the bones of the verandah.

So slowly, but surely little things are constantly being done to make a property more of a functional home for Dan, and his daughter has the best of both worlds with her loving parents.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015



I planned never to write another entry here, but with all the support we received along the way for this journey it seemed a bit mean not to come back and let you know we are all alive and well.

Dan and I parted ways at the start of last year and my time at The Old Post Office came to an end, which may seem a little abrupt to you but possibly less so to us.

I moved back to Brisbane with Lucinda, and am still here, living a very different life from the one I shared on this blog, but a great life nonetheless.

Dan has taken over the renovation and continues to transform the house, with a bit of help from Lucinda every second weekend.

He has mentioned one day taking over this space to keep telling the story of the house - I hope he will.

I've had a few people ask if it was the scope of the renovation that ended our marriage and I always say no. It probably didn't help, but it wasn't the reason.

For now, onward and upward. Thanks for following along with our adventures and I wish you all the best with your own.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Tiling The Kitchen and Other Stories

In one of the most exciting developments around here in a while, Dan has started tiling the kitchen in Big House. 

This is just before he started...

And this is him getting into the swing of things. 

They're floor tiles, so a LITTLE thicker (actually, a lot) than your average wall tile, but I think it's worth it for the pattern - which I just love. I'll show you what they look like close up when the grouting is all done so we can judge whether it's been a success or failure. It's definitely a gamble. 

Outside, we've been enjoying Autumn. Warm enough to enjoy the days, cool enough to...enjoy the days. 

Queenslanders will understand this.

We'll soon be farewelling one of our residents, with Roger the Ram now looking for a new home. He has succeeded in his mission of knocking up Sheepy and has gotten quite aggressive, as rams do. 

I took photos of him today for the ad to sell him - and then saw photos of what he looked like when we first got him. He was so tiny, and fluffy. Not the big boofhead we have now. 

It seems like forever since Lu and I used to head out there in the mornings and bottlefeed the sheep.

Still, with a new lamb on the way, we'll get hit with a new dose of cute soon.

Speaking of cute, look at these kids in their favourite spot in the tree. 

Life's tough, hey?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Where It's At

\When last I wrote, I talked about the job of cleaning up the back paddock of weeds. This is what it looks like now.


We can't take credit for it - our neighbour did all the work to get the ground ready for his cattle over Winter. 

Him using our paddocks has really been the ultimate win-win situation.

It did inspire Dan to get out and do the side paddock. At times like this, we REALLY need a tractor - he was out there most of the day.


Meanwhile, a cold snap and plenty of rain has meant I can finally dress Lu in some of her cute winter clothes...

...and her equally cute wet weather gear (she has a new haircut - gorgeous, no?)

In the Big House, work continues as always. Soon, I'll have something more dramatic to reveal here.

I'm starting the process of surrounding the Little House with new flower beds...

And beyond that, we're settling in for another cool Winter and desperately wishing we had a log fire - but we improvise outdoors in the afternoon...

Friday, April 18, 2014

An Overdue Post

Once upon a time, there was a blog. 

There was a woman who wrote this blog, let's call her Edwina, and she also did 679 million other things and sometimes she sort of had to let the blog fall away a little to keep the wheels of her life from wobbling off completely.

So, hi there. I've been slack. I apologise. I'm here today. Incidentally, today was the first really cool and misty morning of the season. Soon it'll be frosty again. We're almost coming to our second winter living in Little House. 

How terrifyingly quickly time flies.

Recently, we've had some rain. It was long overdue and has turned the whole valley green and lush again. This is Big and Little House (can you see Little House, hiding away there?) as taken from our neighbour's property.

We've been out the back a bit, getting the weeds under control. It's pretty down there. Weedy, but pretty.

But mostly, we've just been getting on with the process of living our lives.

In what must be one of the slowest journeys ever, we have nearly finished the undercoating in the big room. Nearly.

I don't know if this is becoming the slowest renovation ever, or just top five, but hey - good things take time. 

And when there's so much else in life to do and enjoy, why hurry?