A few firsts.

Screen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.24.20 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.22.34 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.22.55 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.20.31 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.20.45 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.21.03 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.22.16 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.22.23 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.23.02 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.23.15 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.23.23 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.23.47 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.24.07 amThis past week held a few milestones for me.  Some of of the tasks worked well and some were a bit of a fail.  Either way, in taking these tasks on I’ve learned quite a lot and grown even more confident in what I can accomplish.

  1. Drove on my own for 1000km over the course of 6 days. To Perth and Back and then to Geraldton and Back.  My solo venturing for longer distances is giving me this sense of freedom and adventure that I really love!
  2. I picked up a large table and 6 chairs from Perth with Wesley.  Strapping the set on and driving 6 hours was a huge day but so worth the adventure!  At one point I had zero battery on my phone (no charger despite topping it to 100%) and it felt like I was in mission impossible driving up the highway wondering if I was going to find the house before the battery died.  It made for an exciting last 25 minute stretch of road.
  3. I removed a screen door from the front of the house and then helped Mike me install the new door and lock.
  4. Caught a photo of a baby mulga.
  5. Fertilised the lawn with organic lawn feed – but completely over measured and put the entire bag onto the grass (despite using a scale to weigh out a small portion).  The good news – we hope is that organic fertiliser is a lot less likely to burn your grass/garden as it’s slow release.  Fingers crossed!
  6. Strapped on a screen door and drive 4 hours to bring it home.  When I undid the strapping it had sadly been punctured through the box as I’d strapped it too hard!
  7. We dug in and installed a brand new line of sprinklers which will seal off the grass in our yard to fill in the edging.
  8. Tomorrow Mike is going to attempt to harvest his first ever batch of honey from his 5 hives that have been placed on a farm 20km up the road in a dense patch of Red Gum Trees.

Wesley has had some firsts here too!  His past few weeks the words have been spilling out and he’s starting to connect two words together now.  Here are some of the latest words:

Blue, Blue Fish, Eyes, Nose, Hair, Up, Down, Shiny, Yellow, 1,2,3 Down, Yah, Bye Bye Daddy, Roll, Frog.

We have some ongoing projects at the house at the moment, one of them I work on each week Mike is away – and that involves painting the trim and doors of the interior of the home.  That’s really freshening up the decor, I love seeing it all come together.  The project is taking a while but I am enjoying taking the time to put love into each project.

Till next time!

x

Lake Hāwea Station, New Zealand

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.12.51 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.13.57 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.14.04 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.13.50 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.14.53 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.15.02 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.15.16 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.12.38 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.15.25 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.15.33 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.10.25 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.10.05 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.10.18 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.15.40 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.15.50 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.16.11 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.16.37 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.17.23 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.17.40 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.18.04 amOur time in New Zealand was wonderful.  We dashed around visiting family and friends across the Manawatu the first few days and then Mike and I parted with Wesley (he stayed with his Aunt Stacey and Nanna Ann) as we boarded a flight to Christchurch.

I almost forgot to add here – that I had a terrible flu and was running to the toilet for a few hours before boarding and praying that I wouldn’t vomit on the plane ride.  Surprisingly I managed (with a lot of will power and a lot of deep breathing) to get through the flight and a harrowing 7 hours drive.  Mike was sooo good to me during that time helping make the journey less brutal by driving, feeding me and getting me into bed promptly as we got to our accomodation in Twizel.  I fevered that night but woke much refreshed the following day.

The area we were driving through was new for both of us and thankfully I managed to stay awake and soak up all the views for a few hours.  The first day it was 30 degrees and quite balmy.  The following morning we woke in Twizel to 8 degrees (the high for the day).  We certainly weren’t prepared for that drastic drop in temperatures – it was unusual for the area as the tail end of an ocean storm had crossed the entire country causing flooding in areas and heavy rains or even snow in our case!

Right, the reason we were on the South island sans wee toddler was to celebrate our friends (Tracey & Elliot Signal’s) wedding.  They are a wonderful couple we’ve known since Mike and I first met at Baker Creek Chalets over 8 years ago.

Mike and I spent one week alone together at Lake Hāwea Station (a merino and cattle propertly) in an old cottage, hiking, skippng rocks on the lake, gold panning, eating, reading and resting.

Our gold panning experience here was quite good – the weather was sunny and warm  which made the cooler waters rushing at our ankles feel a bit like a soothing spa treatment.  It was alot of fun, though we didn’t find anything this time.

Just a little note – The Hāwea Hotel Pub is very well placed with views of the lake and has some excellent food on offer to go with the views!

The little cottage has incredible sweeping views of the lake and some mountainous rugged terrain tucked just behind it for hiking.  Moving through the hills it really contrasted the merino farming we are used to seeing Australia.

There are plenty of decent hikes in the area of Wanaka – and on the first day we did Mount Iron which will have you towering above the little town.  Mike lamented to me that Wanaka wasn’t the same quiet little place as it was when he first stayed back 10 years ago.  It’s now a bustling little town with throngs of tourists.

To paint a picture for you – we went to get groceries the first day at the only supermarket and had to pass through roughly 1000 other patrons to get any food.  It was a frenzy!  There was plenty of produce as this grocery store has come to terms with the influx of shoppers but we hardly bought anything and just rushed to get some essentials for breakfast.  It was insane!

The wedding was an intimate setting on a hill with the view of the mountains as a backdrop.  There was also incredible catered food (it wasn’t a sit down meal but more canapés and little boxes of brisket and charred salmon and plenty of lamb chops!).

Tracey and Elliot looked wonderful and really put on a great event for everyone to enjoy.

We spent the last evening in Christchurch in town, where we enjoyed some wood fired pizza from a trendy quarter in the city.  It was really cool to see some of the new architecture (wish I took some photos!) that has been commissioned.

Wesley had an incredible time playing with Tess, the cats and all the new toys at his Nans.  He was whisked around with Stacey to play dates, swims and all kinds of adventures with family.  I was so eager to see him when we got back and he hardly took any notice of us ahah.

Blue Blood Super Moon Eclipse, Western Australia

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.01.40 amScreen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.30.06 amScreen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.27.40 amThese are some images from last night’s super, blue, blood moon eclipse.  We stood out peering at the moon in wonder as the earths shadow slowly swallowed it whole.  The third image is a section of the milky way that was visible in the darkness as the moon was hidden.  It was such a nice night with friends – we’d had a pretty massive dinner together and then were enjoying the sunset on the porch before we noticed the super moon.Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.01.58 amScreen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.02.12 amIt’s fascinating how many orb spiders we’ve seen around the area – this one particularly is striking.  I found a few days back.  The red on it’s legs and abdomen stopped me in my tracks.  It’s also giving me serious cooked seafood vibes with the deep orange red hue.  I cannot stop looking at the perfect like 4 square set up it’s eyes have.  Such a unique placement!Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.03.43 amBrian and Wesley heading into the lambs paddock to stir up some trouble!Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.04.00 amThis tree is the biggest one for kilometres.  You can see it at least 6 km away on the drive up to the property.  We’ve planted a few trees here ourselves (bottle brush) to help close in the yard and provide more shade around the home.  We’ve got quite a bit of firewood to sort out and I think we might set up some form of bonfire pit over winter.  Maybe.Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.04.10 amThese are some gorgeous figs that we’re patiently awaiting.  They have been sitting unchanged for months and only just today are they showing signs up plumping up and darkening to a pale purple pink.  Tessa makes this incredible stewed fig desert with brandy.  I ate it 6-7 years ago and I can still recall the flavour.Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.04.47 amThis last image was taken last week in the light of the half moon.  I was stunned to see this many stars when I reviewed the image on my camera.  It was incredible to see how much light my eyes were missing!

Have you ever taken any night photos?  This is kind of unchartered territory for me, and I’m still learning the basics.  Hopefully the next time I’ve got a bit more skills and can show you the milky way in the next new moon here in Australia.

 

Heres to being open.

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 1.33.24 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.28.08 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.16.04 pmScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.51.32 amscreen-shot-2017-02-27-at-1-14-34-pmScreen Shot 2016-02-17 at 7.09.48 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.21.40 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-21 at 4.35.49 PMLife on the farm is simple, minimalist and starting to shape itself toward being a sustainable little treasure.  We’re excited to now see progress as we take the small but inevitable steps toward a life with less and more good wholesome home grown food.

Our chicken coop is nearly finished, the lawn is drought hardy, the compost is heaped to the brim and the plans for the next phase are nearly under way.

Lately I’ve helping the community rally together against the Fracking Industry (as that fight is unfortunately still ongoing and will be a long process) in partnership with Lock the Gate, immersing myself in the joys of raising Wesley, copywriting from home and learning alongside Mike that the potential to make inner change is huge.

We have both been reading a number of books on mind development, cognitive decision making and positive communication.

Do you ever read books like this?  What’s a book you’ve read and felt really resonated with you?

For me the #1 is The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer – it’s simply given my mind a real shake up.

This is another year that is going to be filled to the brim with love, adventure, open hearts, cuddles, dancing, singing, photos, hiking and plenty of learning.

Warradarge, Western Australia.

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 10.00.05 amScreen Shot 2017-08-11 at 10.00.14 amScreen Shot 2017-08-11 at 9.59.51 amScreen Shot 2017-08-11 at 10.00.20 amScreen Shot 2017-08-11 at 9.59.37 amWhen I first started this blog nearly 6 years ago it was in this exact region of Western Australia that Mike and I were working.  In fact we were working on a cattle property just up the road from this little farm house.

To move back here feels so surreal, and wonderful – it’s as if we never left.  The house is just as charming as when we last lived here and the view… I doubt we will ever tire of these spectacular sunrise and sunsets.

Wuzza and his mates sleep in the driveway in front of the house, and at the right time of morning you can just catch a hint of a grey silhouette and the stunning soft pink and purples that fill the sky just before the sun cracks over the horizon.

We have a number of projects we’d like to jump into on the house, and when Mike returns from work (he’s working offsite on a mine up North) next week we’ll sit down together and come up with a plan and start to prioritise tasks.  For the time being Wesley and I have been doing quite a bit of gardening and have also dug in a watering system for the yard (lucky for us it’s sand so made it really easy).

Wesley is hilariously obsessed with the pet sheep, from the moment he wakes till the moment he sleeps he points them out and asks in his own little way if we can go and see them. Once we are near he squeals and chases th wee lambs and is unstoppable until I scoop him up.

Wuzza is weary of my human baby, but he has come over to say hello a couple of times. He’s my first wooly baby and I have missed him dearly, not sure the same could be said in return… but I’ll be sure to offer him some bread to reestablish a bond of trust.

When we first arrived to the home late last Friday afternoon, there was a gorgeous bouquet of wildflowers, some free range eggs and wonderfully juicy oranges for us to enjoy from Tessa and Brian.  Such a welcome package for a couple of tired travellers!