Archive for June, 2007

Milkenunny

June 23, 2007

Hi There

It seems  like ages since I managed to snaffle the computer and had enough time to sit and write an email.  We are going fine, despite a few sicknesses running through the family including Kim having some mild kidney stone trouble again, but everyone seems to be adjusting to life here in Tassie pretty well.

Highlights lately have been the frozen dam, and our first sight of snow this week on the top of Mt Barrow which we can see from our lounge room.  On the first day we were tossing up whether it was snow or not but on the second day there was no doubt.   There was also some good snow fell on Ben Lomond which is near here, but unfortunately I didn’t get a photo and most of it is gone now.  😦  I suppose this is all old hat to those of you who come from colder climes, but it is all new and exciting to us.  Driving to town today with the car showing the outside temperature to be -4 at 9am, we had to be rather careful as there was quite a bit of frost on the road, and some was still there on the way home at 3pm.

We have now been over and stayed the night on our block for the first time!  We got power connected to the pole and Kim wired us up some lights which was great.  We also now have a proper door handle and lock and have well and truly tested out the fireplace.  The fire draws well most of the time but does smoke on odd occasions so we are keeping our eyes peeled for a second hand inbuilt wood heater with a fan which we will put in the fireplace instead.  We are also pricing insulation and lining materials so we can get the place draft free and looking pretty.  However we did manage to stay there in reasonable comfort so we were quite pleased with ourselves, and I think I did a pretty good job of cooking on the Coleman camping stove too.  Caleb has chopped down a couple of in-the-way smaller trees and sawn them up into poles, and we have been tracing the path of our stream to work out where it is best to get our water supply from – that is probably the next most important thing to organise so that we can stay there for longer periods.  Our shed now locks up, the windows of the shack are clean, the front yard has all the leaves and twigs raked into piles, the bath is cleaned out and drains properly, the roof is free of leaves, we’ve extensively measured up rooms, windows and fireplace to take insulation, lining, curtains and the new heater and there is a cleared path to the shed and power pole.  We’ve pulled up or cut down a bunch of bracken around the house and mulched it up and have hung up a tyre swing in the front yard for Josiah.  We’ve also found an EK Holden ute and two trailers in the scrub.  We have determined that we have to dig a trench from the Telstra junction 186 metres to the house so they can lay a new cable for us and then we can have the phone connected there (fingers crossed everyone for ADSL!!!!).  We are going to hire one of those little diggers to dig the trench with and I think the boys will actually have a lot of fun doing it (I hope so anyway).

After a family conference we have agreed to name the property “Milkenunny”.  This is a biblical reference as when we were considering coming over we would joke that Kim was looking for the Promised Land, just like the Israelites in the Old Testament, and we had the feeling that we were going Amish – only with electric lights and internet.  🙂  So anyway, when God took the Israelites to the Promised Land it was described a land flowing with milk and honey, and He has given us our block in Mole Creek which has both dairies and honey production as its major agriculture so the name seemed appropriate, even though we have no plans to produce milk or honey ourselves.  Others have obviously thought along similar lines since Promised Land and Beulah are on the map just to the north.  We feel very blessed to have our own place and to see that we may actually be able to put some of our dreams into practice, it will be a lot of work and we have a very limited budget but it will be well worth it if we can get it all happening.  I can’t wait to actually get there so I can get some chooks and start growing things again, still, one step at a time.

We are enjoying going to the church here, it helps to get to know people and feel like you are becoming part of the community you live in, and the people have been very friendly and welcoming.  One couple even travelled all the way out to Blessington to visit us which was rather nice, and we have been going to a bible study group one night a week as well as to church on Sunday so we are being well socialised!  We are getting to know Launceston a bit better now too, and are getting used to finding our way around it.  I didn’t like Lonnie at first but it grows on you, and the locals love the place so it must have something going for it.  What we don’t like is having to pay for parking, it just doesn’t seem like a big enough city to warrant it somehow, perhaps Albany just spoilt us too much.  The hills are interesting in Launceston, we drove down this road today which went down steeply then went flat as a road crossed it, then down steeply again and then flat again and so on, it was just like I’ve seen in the movies and I reckon if you put your food down hard on those flat bits that you would fly – at least briefly…

Caleb has still not found any work and has been considering going to TAFE and doing a Business Certificate in semester 2.  Sam, Lydia and Josiah continue to homeschool and seem to be doing just fine.  Josiah is difficult to motivate at times but his reading is coming along well.  We are supposed to have someone come and assess our homeschool programme, but there has been no sign of them as yet.  Hopefully they will get here sometime soon.  Tassie just finished school holidays, they still have just 3 terms over here which is a bit different.  I wasn’t going to give my kids the holidays but since they all got sick it ended up that they didn’t do any work anyway!

Well, I will leave you with a few more photos, I hope you can see them okay.  Firstly there is one of ice on the dam – how thick does ice have to be to hold your weight incidentally?  I want to get an old swimming pool or something and put about 6 inches of water in it and leave it in the shade so that it freezes and makes a home made ice rink!  Then there is a photo of a frozen dripping tap (small things amuse small minds I guess), after that there are photos of the first and second days of snow on our mountain. and finally one from the outside of our shack with candlelight showing in the windows (before we had the electricity).

love to you all

Cathy

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Our Block

June 9, 2007

Hi All

Our block settled with no problems on Monday and Kim and I went over there on Tuesday for a little while.  Unfortunately everyone is still battling a nasty stomach wog so we haven’t been up to doing much but I did get to take some photos to show you.  Now there are only so many photos you can take of trees on a bush block, but I still managed to take about 50, and we didn’t go up the back of the block where it is a bit different, but don’t worry I won’t make you look at all of them.  🙂

First of all, here is our turn off just before the Gog ranges on the road between Mole Creek and Sheffield.

This is out the front of the block looking down Sykes road.

Kim at the gate.

This is the view from the road.

Trees.

More trees.

The driveway.

Did I mention it was a bush block?  Incidentally does anyone have any hints about controlling bracken, there is quite a bit of it in some spots.

These are some sort of foundation stones near the main shack (Kim says I have to call it a house, but I think it needs to be lined before I can call it a house), goodness knows what used to be on these stones, something about 6 x 9m.

This is inside the main shack, we have quite a bit of work to do but it is weatherproof and basically sound so at least there is something to start with… I want to try out the fireplace and see if it works well.

The place came with our own Australian made “International” truck.  I think the shelter it is under could do with a bit of help though!  The truck still has rego plates on, you wouldn’t get away with that in WA.  There are a few other vehicles buried in vegetation around also, but the truck is the most interesting.

I’m getting used to this sign, this one is near our block just before the Mersey river.

And the bridge over the Mersey itself.

And if you continue on towards Mole Creek this is the view of the Western Tiers.

When we were there last someone was burning off between Mole Creek and Deloraine, my guess is that it was a tree plantation burning after cropping or something because the smoke was huge.  It somewhat wrecked the view.  When I first saw smokes like this I used to worry that it was a bushfire but I don’t think so anymore as it is a not uncommon sight.

And the smoke spreads too.

And here we are driving through the suburbs of Launceston on our way home to Blessington.  A rather frequent view for us.  I like the way you are never far to the paddocks and countryside.

Well, that is enough photos for now.  We have been allocated a phone number at the block already, even though there is no phone or connection there yet , and we are keeping our fingers crossed for ADSL/broadband ability as dial up is rather frustrating.  A local electrician is going to check out our private power pole and do whatever is needed to give the thumbs up to Aurora power so they can connect power to it again.  His wife was very friendly and keen to find out about the newbees in the neighbourhood.  It turns out that Howe is a common name in Mole Creek, and she said our neighbours are Howes also.  That should make collecting mail fun.

Anyway, thats enough for now.

lots of love

Cathy

Cold Days in Blessington

June 2, 2007

Hi All

I’ve been asked for photos so I took some of our frosty morning today.
It was -1 when I checked outside at 8.30am, and when I went out to take photos after 9 this puddle had ice on the top.
This was the view from the letter box across the paddock, all that whiteness on the grass is frost.  You can see the spring fed dam well in this shot.
I decided to walk over to the end of the paddock and take a photo looking back at the house from up near the road.  Lupo had to come with me of course and she didn’t seem at all fazed by the chill
.
I however had on tights, jeans, singlet, shirt, jumper, jacket, gloves and beanie, and then I didn’t feel cold. This was the view looking back at the house.
This was taken a bit later, about 10.30am when the sun was up a bit more.  You can see the mountain quite well in the distance, Mount Barrow I believe.
I found this mushroom in my walk and decided it was worth a photo too.
Lupo has always had a habit of putting her feet into her water bowl, and she has decided now that the dam is the greatest water bowl ever because not only her feet but her whole self fits in!
You just want to keep your distance when she gets out – see the drips.

And finally the shake.

Well, thats it for now.
Cheerio
Cathy