Archive for February, 2008

Finally More News

February 20, 2008

I finally have found some time to sit down and send you some news.  I really should be outside putting boxes back into the storage shed but after much grunting and huffing I have decided to wait for my boys to get home and to ask them to do it for me.  Writing an email seemed a much more preferable task.  I had to pull numerous boxes out of the shed to get to my homeschool box which had all the books in it that I wanted for this year.  I’ll make sure it gets put back in a more accessible spot!  School in Tassie has only just started up again on the 14th with it’s 3 terms instead of the 4 we were used to in WA.

We have been keeping busy.  Since I last wrote we have run another roll of 1.5″ poly pipe, replacing the 1″ roll that was part of our water supply gravity feeding from the creek.  Having the larger pipe means that we get a greater water flow.  We have also installed filters and non return valves and things like that to make the system better.  The 1″ pipe now runs from just above the house down to the vege gardens where we have some reticulation and a tap set up.  It is wonderful to be able to water the gardens with the turn of a tap instead of having to carry water down on the ute and run back and forth with the watering can.  We have 5 gardens growing now with another one due to be planted out.  Six more to go for this particular chook dome.  The veges are going okay, they will do better next year when they have had the chooks work them over a couple of more times, but we are enjoying eating our own produce again.  Our sunflowers have been a delight, it’s the first time I’ve grown them and they really are fun to have in the garden – so large and impressive and we loved the way that the buds followed the sun before they opened up.

On the vehicle front our little VW Passat has been going well so far, as has our rusty old ute and to add to the collection we now have an old road/trail motor bike which the boys love.  Sam & Caleb have plans to restore it to road worthiness and get it licensed.  Caleb has started using it to ride up to the manor each night, and I’m sure that will be very useful in winter.  Sam usually rides up and down on his mountain bike.  We have been working on lining the manor lately too, and have almost finished the ceilings, it makes the building much more pleasant on a hot day to have the ceiling insulated.  Now we need to get more lining and one more bag of insulation so we can get going onto the walls.  Definitely want the place lined and insulated before winter.

We also decided to get some pigs and to this end the kids and I made a pig house.  We were very pleased with it because we made it with no help from Kim and used only materials we already had so it cost us nothing.  Not only that but it actually keeps out the rain.

Then we extended the electric fence that is around the vege area to accommodate them, blocking them off from the gardens in the process, and finally travelled over to some friends and bought our 3 little pigs.  We have 2 girls called Mirax and Pigachu, and 1 boy (destined for pork, ham and bacon) called Wilberforce.  I never knew that pigs were so cute!  They are really sweet, although they tend to assume everything is edible – including your shoes or fingers.  Caleb is in charge of the pigs and he just loves them.  One purpose for the piggies is to be ploughs, and they are doing a great job so far despite being so small, it also appears that pigs are fairly tolerant of bracken so long as they are not exposed to it for long periods, so they may be useful for digging that up too.

After settling the pigs in the kids pointed out that it was still holiday time over here and that we hadn’t done much holiday stuff.  We decided that we really should visit the Mole Creek caves since we live in such a well known karst area.  So we went to Marakoopa Cave, which was a most enjoyable visit.  We particularly enjoyed seeing the glow worms there.  We have also become acquainted with a fellow via the church who loves to go exploring in the caves and he has said he will take our older kids to do some “real” caving sometime soon, which I think will be a great experience for them.

This last week we have had some friends of Caleb’s, Judson and Cath (I know Cath from uni), come to stay.  Somehow they managed to squeeze into our little home and we all had a good time catching up.  They explored the local areas as well as spending a few days away down in Hobart, before leaving yesterday.  While they were here we all went over to Cradle Mountain and had a good long hike around the area, up to Crater Lake and down past Crater Falls.  We saw a wombat grazing next to our walkway at the end of the day, close enough to touch.  Judson also very much wanted to see an echidna, and we were able to find one on our own block – as well as some possums, pademelons and a quoll.  They also got to see the platypus in the river around the corner really well too.  I am very much looking forward to having my parents come over for a few weeks in March.  A couple in Caveside (not too far away) are going away for 2 weeks and were hoping to find someone to housesit their home, so I suggested it to my folks and now mum and dad will have some free accommodation for most of the time they are here.  I’m looking forward to showing them around and spending some time with them again.

We have been going to the monthly community get together at Bob Loone’s place which seems like a good way to get to know folk in the area.  Bob Loone is our deputy mayor and a mover and shaker against the wholesale turning of Tassie into tree farms at the expense of local communities, and he and his wife have an open house on the first Monday of each month where everyone is welcome to come and have tea and a chat on a bring a plate basis.  There have been about 30 people there on the two times we have gone along, and it was here that we met the family that we bought the pigs from and we also played a game of soccer together which was fun – at least for the boys.  I have started going to a ladies bible study in Mole Creek twice a month, and Kim and I are also going to a bible study in Chudleigh on Sunday nights at Bob Loone’s place.  We have been made to feel very welcome at both places, and it has been really wonderful to get back to talking more in depth with other Christians about God and His word again.  Funnily enough Bob has asked Kim to run the bible study this coming week (we’ve only gone twice so far!) so we’ll see how that goes.  We are trying to tread softly in what we say as many people seem very unlearned about a lot of Christianity here, but we don’t want to avoid important truths either.  Kim is also due to lead and preach at the church service again on the 30th March so please keep him in prayer for that as he feels very inexperienced.

Anyway, I think I better get going.  We have been having some warm weather lately (high 20’s) and tend to do our outside chores in the mornings and late afternoons and try to find hide from the sun inside during the middle of the day so I best get outside again and get more done.  I have finished up with some photos taken during our hike at Cradle Mountain.

Addendum: We just found out that the organist at church, passed away last night.  Rather a shock to us all, even though he was 80.  We will miss him greatly.