Archive for May, 2008

Mist and Frost

May 26, 2008

Things have been cooling down here lately.  We have had some lovely misty mornings.  I really like the misty days for some reason.  Maybe it is the sense of privacy you get when you can’t see the nieghbours house no matter how hard you try, or perhaps it is the mystery of wondering what is hiding out there that can’t be seen.  Or perhaps it is just that it is still a novelty for us to see the world regularly disappear in fog.

On the misty mornings we see millions of cobwebs that we normally do not notice, but the water droplets hang from them and make them stand out, particularly when the sun finally manages to break it’s way through as the day clears.

I should also introduce the turkeys.  The brownish one is Beauty, the larger male while is Turkettic and the female white is Turkepi.  They were named by Josiah who has claimed responsibility for them.  At least he is not the sentimental type so I don’t think he will be overly concerned when they end up in the oven.

They have settled in well so far, although it seems that they are naturally fairly flighty.

We had a couple of very cold mornings last week, around minus 5 C with lots of frost.

It was most interesting going out to feed the animals and having to remove the ice from their water bowls.

These young pea plants seemed unaffected by the frost.

As did the cabbage seedlings.  Everything that is cold intolerant has certainly been finished off now!

It was funny to see the pig area all white, compared with the fresh dirt that they had been working on that morning.

Work wise we have completed 3 sides of the paddock fence now and only have the northern boundary to do.  However we have decided that the nearby trees must be cut down before the fence goes up or they will only cause problems in the future.  Unfortunately when we checked that means there are 20 trees to fell and remove.  We started on Friday since it was nice and wind free and got 3 of them down and cleared up enough to fell more.  Just 17 more to go.  🙂  However the chainsaw started playing up a bit which is a nuisance, so Kim is currently outside looking at that.  I have recently been rooting out some bushy plants near the house to make room for the hothouse Kim is planning, and Lydia and I have been making yet another chook dome which still needs wire and a roost before it is complete.  Today is cool and drizzly so I am more inclined to sit inside and write emails than go out and get muddy.  In fact cleaning the house is almost sounding like an attractive idea.

Last week we had a visit from a young guy from Indonesia called Ade (pronounced Ar-day).  He is staying the Loones (such an unfortunate surname in this instance) for 6 weeks practicing his English before he is moving to Perth to go to Edith Cowan Uni there.  He showed us photos and video clips of Indonesia which were very interesting, was dragged on a tour around the block, had a jam session on guitars with Caleb and just generally talked a lot.  It was fun.  He has been going to our bible study as well, and has had some interesting input there from his experiences in a mainly Hindu and Muslim country.  I’ll quite miss him when he is gone.

Kim survived his experience of preaching at Deloraine Uniting.  He was pleased with the responses of people after the service as it appeared that they had even listened.  🙂  It can’t have been too bad anyway, as they have asked him if he will come back again in August, but he hasn’t agreed as yet.   It was a rather pressured day for him when he preached as we had to whiz back home soon after, swallow lunch and then head out to our own church where he was playing the organ.  He is still not confident of his organ playing, and not having an instrument to practice on at home does not help – but we have nowhere to put an organ even if we had one so not much can be done about that for the time being.

Currently our church is looking into finding a way to heat the hall, as our growing numbers mean we can no longer fit into the back room where the fire is.  I can assure you that it gets pretty chilly out in the hall on these cold days so we definitely need some heat!  They no sooner decided to buy a wooden fireplace that the local post office was selling, than it was sold to someone else, so it is back to the drawing board.  Last Sunday we were accepted into membership there.  Despite some misgivings about joining a Presbyterian church, because we are strongly into believers baptism rather than sprinkling infants, we are also firmly committed to our local church (the only one there is for miles) and believe that membership is the right thing to do.  They know of our baptist beliefs and did not object.  The Presy’s seem a bit more structured and formal than I am used to but I guess I’ll get used to it.

I decided I needed to improve my mind lately so I have been reading a few old classics.  The shorter days have been conducive to reading in the evening.  However I’m not really sure just what makes a book a classic.  My original private definition was that to be a classic a book had to be old and miserable – I came up with that definition in high school when I had to read Wuthering Heights.  However I just finished Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice and they were not actually miserable, they ended quite happily.  In fact I thought those two were just romance novels really.  Anyway, are there any other recommendations of other classics to read?  I have read Moby Dick too, and I’m reading Wind in the WIllows to Josiah.

Anyway, I did promise Lydia that I would move the chooks so it seems I must go out into the rain afterall.

Pork Anyone

May 11, 2008

Fencing has had to take a back seat since I last wrote and other than debarking some poles, putting in another corner post and running builders lines to show where the next two fence lines will go there has been no more progress.  We have however finished setting up the new composting toilet, which is a relief.  🙂  I would like it to have its own room sometime, it is currently in the bathroom, but thankfully it does not smell as promised and this time the system should fully cope with all of us using it.

A large amount of time has gone into the planning, preparation and work of turning our little boy pig Wilbur, seen here rooting happily around his yard ….

into this.

No spider called Charlotte in this story.  He was only 4-5 months old but our sources said that we should do the deed before his hormones kicked in.  We also figured that it would make it easier for us to do a much smaller animal the first time.  So Kim shot the poor fellow and then he and Caleb did the hanging, skinning, gutting thing.  Kim said it was good to find that those wasted years of his youth when he was into hunting should come to be of some practical use after all these years.  Caleb did the butchering of the carcass the following day into dinner sized portions.  He was also pleased to be able to put his experience from his days at the abattoir to good use.  He still had his knives too which was useful.   I took photos of the whole process but managed to restrain myself from sending them to you.  🙂

I am however pleased to report that Wilbur suffered no stress in the process, that was a definite advantage of doing the job ourselves as he was quite unconcerned to the end.  It was a bit like in Babe where the pig wonders if food comes out of the long shiny barrel.  We figure that at least with us he got to enjoy his short life and he could root around to his hearts content as a pig is meant to do.

We have ordered our replacement boar, just a slip of a thing (pun intended just for all the pig people out there).  He is a Tamworth and is coming over from Victoria as we have not found any of that breed available in Tassie, and Caleb particularly wanted a Tamworth.  (His second choice was Saddleback.)  According to the breeder he is a “stunning boar” and the pick of their 50 odd freshly weaned piglets.  I wish we could afford to get a girl to come with him but we will have to wait a bit longer to start our purebred breeding.  Pigs are such social creatures though that it would have been nice to think that he had company on the trip.

Enough of pigs!  Our boldest neighbourhood possum has taken to visiting us on a daily basis now, or rather a nightly basis.  He was getting so tame that he would just about knock on the door each night.  However the other evening the dog managed to get out while he was on the verandah, which has made him a bit more cautious!  However he will overcome a lot of timidity for the sake of an apple.

I have decided that we are definitely changing in our expectations of life.  Yesterday the boys were heading off in the car to watch a game of soccer in Devonport.  Lydia and I had been considering the option of getting turkeys and since there were some advertised in the paper I said, somewhat tongue in cheek, that we may need them to collect some turkeys after the game.  I was expecting some raised eyebrows or mildly sarcastic comments but instead they just said “Oh, okay, should we take a box or something to bring them home in?”  And they did.  So we are now the owners of 3 young turkeys, two hens and one gobbler.  I haven’t had the chance to take photos of them yet so that will have to be in the next email.  They are such wierd looking birds.  Josiah has declared himself to be responsible for the turkeys, and was very keen to get out and feed them this morning.  Hopefully the enthusiasm will last.  The only worry is that he wants to name them, and he isn’t coming up with very creative ideas yet.

We continue to enjoy being involved in our little church.  We are currently transporting both Torrie and Diane to and from church since Torrie’s fall.  Kim has also been roped into playing the organ twice a month.  He doesn’t feel that he is really good enough at it, but no one seems to mind if he makes the odd mistake and I think he is improving all the time.  He is also going to preach at Deloraine Uniting this coming Sunday.  He would appreciate prayer for that I am sure as it is rather different to speaking to our own little congregation – which after all he has only done twice.  He is reasonably confident in what to say but not so sure about the whole public speaking side and it tends to come across very much as if he is reading.  However he was asked if he would speak there and he felt that he should not say no.

Wren

May 1, 2008

We were working on the second fence line the other day and a whole bunch of Superb Wrens decided to ignore me and bounce around all over this old stump that Kim had recently chopped up.  They were only about a metre away from me.   I had to stop working and go and get the camera because I just love wrens.  We only have one male still in breeding plumage and he didn’t come back again but a few of the others did.

We have finished our second fenceline now.  Half way!  We have to cut more posts before we can do much more though.  Kim’s health has not been so good lately, but we soldier on.  However he is our main chainsaw man so we are hoping he is back on deck soon.  The weather has been cool lately, with lots of frosts in the mornings followed by pleasant days.  The fire has been getting a good workout both in the mornings and afternoon/evenings!  Today however it has been not quite so cold but has been raining fairly constantly, with more rain forecast for tomorrow.  I can’t get over how quickly the days are shortening.  It seems like just a few weeks ago we could keep working outside until 8.30 or 9pm.  Now it is getting dark about 5.30, and by 4.30 it is getting chilly.  Coming off daylight savings makes it appear worse I guess.

Anyway, I best be off to bed.  I’ve been hoping that Josiah would go to sleep before I ventured up the stairs but I think he is still awake.  He is no doubt hungry since he refused to eat his tea and got sent to bed with no supper – although he could always just eat his dinner to resolve the situation.  Children – sigh!!!