Archive for May, 2017

Family Visit and other updates

May 29, 2017

We just had a terrific time with my folks who came to visit for 2 weeks.  They stayed at the Mole Creek Guest House, which we thought would be rather more comfortable for them than it would have been here – with an ensuite and level floors and other such luxuries.  🙂  They had a lovely view of the creek and gardens from their rooms.

Autumn Leaves at the Mole Creek Guest House

We decided to all have some time off ourselves, to make the most of the short time we had together.  Given that the folks are not quite as spry as they used to be, we did less long days out and hiking and more short day trips, and we went to a few places that none of us had ever been to before.  To begin with we visited the Deloraine Museum.
Cathy at the Deloraine Musum
and saw the Yarns display there, which was quite fascinating and very well presented.

Deloraine Yarns Display

 We saw water birds and platypus in the wild at the Tasmanian Arboretum too, which was a more interesting place than I had expected.
Tasmanian Native Hen (Tribonyx mortierii)
One of the longer day trips was to the Wadamanna Hydro Power Museum, via the Great Lakes up on the Central Highlands.
Turbines at at Waddamanna
We had a lovely $5 fish and chips lunch at the Breona Pub on the way.
Cathy, Vern and Judy at the hotel in Mienna having lunch.
It was also interesting to visit Home Hill, the home of Tasmania’s only prime minister Joseph Lyons and his family (thanks for the idea Auntie Judy!).
Sam, Lydia, Cathy, Judy and Vern in the dining room at Home Hill
The other long trip we did was to go up the Tamar Valley where we stopped at Platypus House, Seahorse World and the old Beaconsfield Mine.  This was a rather special trip as all of the family managed to come along for once – it did make it a bit expensive though!  We managed to time it well so that we had the platypus tour to ourselves and all the critters were out and about for us to see.  They have some echidna there too.
It was nice to be able to see the platypus from under the water for once.  Kim got a lovely bit of video which I hope to put up on my blog soon.
Platypus (Ornithorhynchus Anatinus)


Then next door there were lots and lots and LOTS of seahorses!
After that we went down the road to the Beaconsfield Gold Mine museum.
There were plenty of hands-on activities at the mine, which made it fun and interesting.  We ran out of time there in the end, and would enjoy going back again one day.
Grandma at the Beaconsfield Mine Museum
Vern, Kim, Caleb, Josiah, Lydia, Sam and Judy at Beaconsfield Mine Museum
The photographer kept busy as always!
Mum and Dad were also dragged along to various church related events, of course, and did lots of talking!
Judy Pascoe
Dad’s new hearing aids get the thumbs up.  🙂
Vern Pascoe
They also got to watch us doing some odds and ends around the block – including re-running the water pipe from the new pickup area down to the house,
The 1 1/2
and hooking it all up.  The water pressure is much better, and should not slow down and need pumping anymore as it self primes with this new system.
Turning the pipe back into the pickup area was a bit of a difficult job.  The pipe didn’t want to turn, the banks were slippery and the water was freezing – so we had to come up with an innovative solution.  🙂
Sadly the time flew past, and all too soon Mum and Dad had to head back home.  I confess to getting just a little bit teary!
Judy Cathy and Vern at Launceston
Qantas did a great job of helping them on and off the planes on their trip though, Mum even got to have a wheelchair ride up the ramp.
We were very sad to see them go and our life has somewhat reluctantly returned to normal again.  Still, we are left with lots of good memories, and Skype is wonderful to catch up on.
I’m not planning on drowning my sorrows, but I did end up with 95 small bottles of apple cider on the weekend.  🙂  I hope it tastes good when it has fizzed up a bit.
In other news our fridge died recently and we had to look around for a replacement.  We decided we should take the effort to find one which suited our new off grid system and used very little power, which reduced the options a lot and pumped the price up a fair bit in exchange.  In the end we bought a fancy Fisher and Paykel and I am left with a bit less freezer space, which I miss, but a lot more fridge area, which I am enjoying.  It also gives us filtered cold water and ice cubes!  It was another big expense (sigh) and was a major job to shift it into the shack, but hopefully it will work well for many years to come.
The new fridge
Lydia and I also went down to Hobart one weekend to go to a dog show.
Lyd has a bit of a passion to breed corgis, and this seemed a good way to contact some breeders and see what the scene is like.  We saw a lot of corgis, both Cardigans and Pembrokes, and have definitely decided that we would prefer a Pembroke.  Having Okami has made us realise we enjoy having a cheerful dog, and the Pembrokes seem pretty cheerful while the Cardigans come across much more soulful (but don’t you just love that face!).
The result is that we have our name down on one breeder’s list to get a female pup, possibly in about 6 months though it may take longer.  There is a major lack of available corgi puppies in Australia at the moment.  We stayed overnight in Oatlands and watched some dog herding in the morning before heading home.  We even saw a corgi herding, but I have to say the Border Collies were better at it.  🙂
And I think that is all our news for now.  Best wishes

New Tractor

May 6, 2017
I had to share the excitement of getting our new tractor with you!  Our old 1967 International has a terribly stiff clutch and Kim is the only one confident enough to use it, whereas this one is SO much easier to drive and we should all be able to drive it.
I have to admit that new machine is a bit unusual to look at, it is a 1983 Mercedes Benz  MB Trac 700.  For any of you who might be interested (and know what it means) – it is 4WD, 68HP and has some cool things like 2 seats in the cab, power steering and brakes, a quick release forklift on the front, 240V power plug on the back, 3 point linkage, front and rear PTOs and front and rear remotes – all of which makes it very versatile as to what implements it can use.  It has an air compressor plug on the back too which needs a replacement hose, but it will be very useful once it is fixed as we use a lot of air tools.  Kim had the fun of driving it home from Deloraine.
It still needs a few jobs done on it before Kim will be really satisfied, but in the meantime it is already being well used.
The upgrading of the water pickup area has been finished and seems to be working well.  We still have to run all the pipes down to the house from it, but we have a nice trench to bury the pipes in all ready and waiting.  Now if we can just find the time to do the work, and have some good weather to do it in….
Our Pond
In other news Lydia has bought herself a cat!  It is a 1 year old female rag doll called Fee.  She is a pretty little thing and although she was a bit shy at first she is settling in well.  Lydia has a big multi level cage for her which the cat likes a lot.  She obviously feels safe there and uses it as her home base as she explores the caravan and annexe where she has been installed.  Having her there means that she is not bothered by the dogs and also Lydia can have her snuggled up on her bed at night.  There is nothing quite as nice as a purring cat!  Fie wont be allowed outside to chase the birds, but to be honest I think she is perfectly happy staying inside as she does not seem to be the adventurous type.
Fie In Cage
The Targa Tasmania rally came through recently.  Our road gets blocked off so Kim and a friend took the opportunity to take lots of photos from the end of our street.
Targa 2017
Kim also happened to be in Sheffield one night this week when they had lit the place up with coloured lights.  It was quite a sight!  They are putting on a laser light show on Mt Roland at the moment too.
Sheffield lit by coloured lights
It seems to be fungus time of year at the moment.  I do love the red ones with the white spots!
Orange Mushroom
We enjoyed having some visitors last month, my auntie and uncle and an old school friend with some of her family came by.  It was really great to catch up!  I am now looking forward to having my parents come to visit for 2 weeks.  They arrive on Thursday evening.  We have organised to put them up at the local Guest House where they can be a bit more comfortable than they would be at our place, but they will be spending the days with us at home.  There is a lot that we want to show them as I think it is 7 years since they were last here and things have changed a bit since then.  We have a few day trips planned too and Lydia has organised to have most of the time off so all of us will be here to catch up.  Hopefully we can keep them warm enough as it is a bit cooler here than they are used to!
I juiced 3 small sacks of apples today which produced 20L of apple juice which I am going to make cider with.  I hope it turns out nice as there will be a bunch of it!   Anyway, I gotta go.