Down on the Farm

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In my last post I promised that the next post would be about what we could and should be doing to reduce other single use plastics.  However, we headed off for a rare weekend getaway.  So, here are some fun photos from our weekend away while I work on the other blog post which will hopefully be ready tomorrow.

Yesterday morning we packed up the car and headed a couple of hours west of where we live to catch up with some friends from interstate who are currently farm-sitting.

We had perfect Queensland winter weather with clear skies, pleasant days and chilly nights.

Machinery shed, windmill and old vehicles………………

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Local scenery.

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Bottle trees up on the ridge.

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Heading for home………….

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Just for show – don’t expect a bucketful of milk……………………

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My friend actually milked No. 16 and the chickens enjoyed the some of the spoils.

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We enjoyed our getaway to the country.

Field Day, Freebies & a Film

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Just in case you think I spend all my time cooking, washing, ironing, mending and gardening this post is to tell you otherwise.

Yesterday we started the weekend much the same as most others – washing and kitchen chores for me and GMan mowing the front lawn.  However, we had a grand plan.

We headed out after an early lunch so that we could go to the local hardware store before it closed at 1pm.  They have an excellent nursery section and our plan was to buy some more blueberry bushes.  We are now the proud owners of 6 new blueberries ready to plant.  We continued further afield to Conondale where the council were holding a field day to showcase information about feral animals and weeds.  We gleaned some useful information on weeds in our area as well as the prevalence of wild dogs.  The best part was the 8 free trees we were given.

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The trees were all in small tubes, however, GMan has repotted them into slightly larger pots in the hope of getting them more established before we plant them out.  The area where we want to plant them is on the steep, fairly inaccessible escarpment at the back of our property where they will have to fend for themselves once they are planted.  No mollycoddling around here.

A loop drive through Kenilworth and the Obi Obi road took us back home via Mapleton and Montville.  We stopped at the cheese factory in Kenilworth where we bought a large (2.4kg) block of cheese and treated ourselves to an ice-cream.

Our final stop was at Montville Joinery to review the progress of the restoration of an old chest of drawers which Hans is working on for us.  This is the ‘before’ shot.

Chest of drawers

Once it is finished I will do a blog post showing the end result.

Last night was film night at the Maleny Film Society, where we saw a contemporary Australian film, ‘Saving Grace’.  While it is perhaps not the best film I have ever seen it was interesting with a couple of unexpected twists.

Welcome to the Weekend

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It is Saturday morning here.  The sun is shining and have lots of plans for the weekend.

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These flowers bring a smile to my face.  They are on the side table in the front entry.  I brought them home yesterday evening and yes, they are a little past their prime but I am happy to have them for a few more days.

We have a fresh arrangement of flowers each week in the reception area of our corporate office and they are discarded on Friday evening unless someone takes them home.

I finished work late yesterday and was happy to re-home them for a few more days.

May your weekend be full of smiles.

All Work and No Play….


….makes Jack a dull boy, according to the rhyme.

Well, although I have been busy with work at home and in the office it is great to ‘play’ a little, too.

On Wednesday I visited the retirement village where my mother lives and joined in their Ekka Day.  For those of you who are not Queenslanders – the Ekka is the nickname for the Royal Agricultural Show which happens in Brisbane each year for about 10 days in early August.  To celebrate this occasion there was a morning of games of chance, bags of sweets, art and craft displays followed by a themed lunch.  In the true tradition of this time of year it was a bright, sunny day but with a bitterly cold westerly wind so I was rugged up.  Mum and I inadvertently managed to match our outfits.

IMG_0736_1_1GMan and I dined out on Friday to celebrate his birthday.  We went to a local Italian restaurant for pizza.  They have the option of a gluten-free base for the pizza which suits me and we indulged on dessert as well.  Waffles for GMan and pavlova for me.

We have been socialising again today when we went to visit some friends who have recently moved into their new home.  Instead of driving down the highway we took the scenic back roads.  At Mt Mee we stopped at a lookout and captured the views.  This is looking north-east towards the Glasshouse Mountains.

010An old cottage and bunya pines.

017North-west towards the Blackall Range.

020We enjoyed a leisurely lunch, lively conversation and a stroll around the back paddock.  What more could we wish for on a sunny Sunday afternoon in winter?

I hope you have had a wonderful weekend with time for both work and play.

My Day


Most of what I post is about a particular project or activity but tonight I thought I would share my Saturday with you.  Our weekends are precious and we try to make the most of the time.

I work full-time and have a lengthy commute, so during the week it is usually all I can manage to prepare and eat dinner and make our packed lunches.  Sometimes I do the ironing but that is about the limit.

The Duke and I are the only ones at home and many things have been simplified and streamlined.

I woke at 5.30am so I quickly hopped up and put a load of washing on.  I am trying to be more diligent about using power before sunrise and after sunset.  This means we maximise the benefit of the solar panels by exporting to the grid at 50c/kWh and using it (at night) for 28c/kWh.

Once the washing was on I crawled back into bed and read my book for an hour.  Then it was time to be up and going.

Breakfast eaten, dishes done and washing hung out.  The Duke put a loaf of bread on to bake in the breadmaker.  The bed stripped and remade.  A second load of washing sorted and ready to wash this evening.  Handwashing done.

Floors swept, vanity and mirror cleaned.  While I am doing these jobs, The Duke is sorting out finances and adjusting the budget.

That is enough housework for the day so it is time to head outdoors on this gorgeous autumn day to work on some of our projects.  It is not quite 9am.

2012-08-05 01At least one of the chickens has been doing a fine imitation of Houdini recently so we need to make some repairs to the chicken run to make sure they are contained.  We use some tent pegs to anchor some of the wire to the ground so hopefully that problem is sorted.

In January The Duke and my brother-in-law replaced a large portion of our front boundary fence.  We also put new wire along the front of the house below the verandah.  This was not finished off and tensioned and it has been a source of much debate as to exactly how we would do it.  A few weeks ago, The Duke painted some timber which he attached to the metal posts at each end so that we could secure the wire.  Today we tensioned the wire and attached it to the posts.

2013-05-04 02Time for a break and lunch.

We also needed to find a solution to securing from the end of the wire to the wall of the workshop and had decided that we would construct a concrete block wall and then top it with a piece of timber lattice.

The Duke painted the lattice last weekend.  We had also poured the first part of the concrete footing for the block wall.

Today we laid the first few blocks.  It is quite a challenge working in a confined space so we will be very glad when it is done.  We are certainly not giving up our day jobs but I am very happy with what we have achieved so far.  Once the wall is built to level at the left-hand end in the photo, we will place the lattice on top of the wall and secure it at both ends.

Block wallEven though almost everything we have constructed recently has come from second-hand or salvaged materials I am mindful that I do to not want it looking like Steptoe & Son.

I have been working on the design and plans for our vegetable garden fencing and a new chicken run adjacent to the garden.  This afternoon we marked out the position of the corner posts and discussed the location of the hen house.  We also checked how many posts we already have and it looks as though we will only have to buy a few more.  These are mostly the longer ones which we need for the higher fencing around the chicken run.

2013-05-04 04Once the sun had set I put on the load of washing I sorted this morning.  Then it was time for a shower, prepare dinner and watch Gardening Australia (my inspiration).  I checked the solar inverter – the panels generated 19kWh today.  That is pretty good when it is only a little over 6 weeks until the shortest day of the year.

Dinner was eaten, washing hung out and the final load put in the machine.

The last load of washing is finished and once I finish this post I will hang it out.  I use the clothesline under the verandah so it is safe and easy to access at night.

It has been a full and productive day.  I am happily exhausted and will enjoy a good night’s sleep.

I hope you had a good day and I am looking forward to doing it all again tomorrow.

Getting Back on Track


I have had 2 weeks back at work since my holidays and I still feel as though I am chasing my tail at home.  Somehow everything has been done but the smooth process seems to have flown the coop.  In fact, last Friday morning I had to iron a shirt for The Duke as there were no business shirts in his cupboard.  That was not good.

This weekend has been pretty busy as Miss O and Izz came to stay and that certainly limits what I get done.  However, I have managed to finish the washing and ironing, written a menu plan and have the meals prepared for Monday and Tuesday.

006Do you plan your meals?  What is your process?

I have have also decided what I will wear to work tomorrow so I feel as though I am ready to start the week.  How about you?

Where Did the Weekend Go?

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Here it is Monday night and I am still trying to work out where my weekends go.  I start with great intentions of achieving so much and by Sunday afternoon/evening I am left wishing that I had another day or two and then I would get everything done that I had planned.

No, of course I would not.  I would simply have a longer list.  When I was considering all of this last night I realised that although I do not seem to get everything done that I hope to, I do usually manage to make some forward progress.

By forward progress, I mean achieve something that will not need to be done again next week.  So this does not include regular jobs like cooking, washing clothes, ironing or even mending because I know they will all be back to be done again another day.

This weekend I helped The Duke re-hang the freshly painted doors on our new storage cupboard.  That is an achievement – we now have a completed cupboard in the downstairs entry.  I do not have to think about that again.

We have also been working on planning our trip.  We have finished the itinerary and have booked about 3/4 of our accommodation.  My goal is to have that completed well within the next 3 weeks.  That will mean I have 3 months clear before the trip to focus on reading guidebooks, planning sightseeing and things to do.  In short, making sure we make the absolute most of this ‘trip of a lifetime’.

I have not posted for a while about Project 333.  This is all ticking along smoothly with the minimum of fuss which is good as that is the essence of the challenge.  Tomorrow I will tell you a bit more about some of the things I am learning along the way.

Work and Weekends

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I am very pleased that it is the end of the week at work and we have time to relax and unwind.  To some, our weekends seem very busy but it is a different kind of busy from our Monday to Friday office jobs.

Tonight we went to a local pizza restaurant for dinner.  We enjoyed our meal and the singer with his guitar added very pleasant background music.  A relaxing start to the weekend.

Tomorrow we will see Missy and Belle plus we want to look for some new handles for a silky oak dressing table we are restoring.

What do you have planned?  Or do you let the weekends just unfold as they happen?

Have a great weekend whatever you do.