Spring Holidays

With energy returning, we’ve been walking and walking and walking. With me often sneaking an extra one in, at sun up with Tyson or taking Tim for a longer bike ride on the road.
In anticipation of rain to come, we went checking out the gully, (any excuse for a walk will do). 
After 4 dry months, only the deepest two waterholes had a tiny puddle of murky water left.
 Yes, I’ve come to love rain...
 The stone is wet... The rainwater tank halfway full again. Some refreshing thunderstorms and lots of sprinkles predicted this week.
 Walks, walks, walks. With or without a bike, dog, horse, grandparents,...
 or nap...
 Mixing paint. Fascinating how you end up with a beautiful off-white.
Granola drop off at the markets. The first jacaranda trees are coming into bloom.

 Making pizza. All keen on making their own.
 Leaving the grandparents in charge, going walkabout, just the two of us.
Keeping the energy up with a massive load of Anzac biscuits. An Aussie favourite brimming with oats and coconut powered up even further with walnuts, millet and molasses.
Making a longing yard for Laura, to get her to the next round of training.
No round yard, I don’t like to be closed in.
Utilising the old pool fences, fence posts and a curious horse that loves to play.
Getting ready for the Full Moon gathering. Another great night by the fire.
We dropped of the grandparents with a tent in Sawtell, giving them a well deserved break. We’ll pick them up again next weekend.

Making the most of the last day of the spring holidays. Taking on the current in Bonville Creek.
Term 4, always a busy one, is about to start. We’re rested, energised and ready for the challenge.



Anticipation: a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen in the near future.
As with most pleasures, it’s not so much the experience itself as the anticipation that is enjoyable...
My youngest sister, Lisa, will be rowing the A-finale at the World Championships in Sarasota.
For more info and live coverage: http://www.worldrowing.com/events/2017-world-rowing-championships/womens-single-sculls/
What is he whipping up for us today?
 Sourdough bread takes time. Lunch.
This grape vine was planted 5 years ago.
First grapes.
 Mango blossom. Will they form?
 A monster egg, what surprise will it hold?
 Remember the work we did on the deck at the front in January?
We finally found a concreter to finish the job.
Putting the hose to a just poured concrete slap.
 Exposed concrete, like magic.
Flour, butter, sugar, aniseed and a smile.
 Afternoon tea.
Doors, putty and a sander, waiting for the roller.
Mulberry hunters. Which ones are ripe today?
Anticipation. Gardening. Waiting for rain.
Clouds have been forming in the last couple of days.

We just heard a couple of drops on the roof and all joined the frogs with a happy chorus.


Bucket Parade

Well, the last 5 weeks have been one big bucket parade. It hasn’t been pretty with vomiting, diarrhoea (hence the buckets), many days of fevers, sore throats, more vomiting, ugly snotty head colds and many, many days in bed. It just kept on coming and went through all of us.
 Brother love: using your hot, feverish body to warm up your brothers cold, feverish feet.
When you just want to stay close to your mum, but she finally has enough energy to attack that huge pile of dirty dishes.
 Battling through Virus #4
Stocking up on vitamins, a mulberry tree sagging on the load of a monster crop. No complains from the kids!
When you haven’t had the energy to collect eggs for a couple of days, since the chooks have started hiding them.
 When you’ve been in bed for a week, the laundry pile doesn’t take a break.
No rain for almost 4 months, it’s dry, brown and crackly. The days are smokey from the many bush fires around. We’re in the first month of spring and we’ve already reached 38 degrees!
The horses stand by the gate in the morning, demanding breakfast now as well.
Some weeks (months) can be trying. But that’s it with the drama and whinging.
The garden is looking good, bit by little bit the veggie beds have been planted and it’s coping with the heat. Thriving I dare even say!
We might even get our first crop of plums this year!
Everyone is better again, although we all tire easily, it’s a start. School holidays have just started, giving us all a much needed (virus) break. The kids have all lost quite a bit of weight, a snack box on outings, or snack plates for morning tea are a welcome addition.
The pool is open again.
A special day with the eldest three. Enjoying the sun and the river breeze.

Tomorrow morning we’ll be picking up the grandparents from the airport. They’ll be staying for a month. The kids are all very exited.


Last weeks of Winter

The last weeks of Winter. It has been rather mild with only two or three days where the day temperature didn’t manage to climb above the 20 degree mark. 
Lovely nights by the fire, listening to the roaring August winds.
Winter & Spring is the time of year we get Autumn colours. Everything gets dry and brown, colours get muted under a layer of dust, the air often hazy from all the bushfires around. 
The sky gets that special colour of blue, so typical with “cooler" temperatures.
This is the first time that I’m not looking forward to Summer. 
Still a little traumatised about last crazy hot Summer, many are relishing the beautiful Winter days.
Sander had to go to a training in Sydney for a couple of days. The kids were not impressed, Tim of course woke up the morning of the flight with a nightmare that dads plane was going to crash!
A bit reluctant Sander left for the airport, only to hear that his plane had needed to make an emergency landing in another city, but it would be ready to fly out that evening... 
Just in case, he drove to the next airport, booked another flight with another airline...
 Even managed to find a climbing wall on his free evening. 
Alex has outgrown ours...
Very patient bear rides
Really, all yours...
 Water fights and rockmelon. 
A little baking, I found a French cookbook at the library. This one was the bomb, thin pastry with caramel to glue the brain looking walnuts.
The kids decided on the name “Brain Pie”.
Trying to work out strategies to keep dinner time a little less chaotic. Too many hungry, tired, cranky meltdowns to my liking. These grazing platters seem to help.
First training with the roller and lunging rope. 
Laura was a bit confused about needing to walk circles around her human. “Really?!?!?”
 Still working on my own ragtag quilt. Not completely happy yet, so instead of rushing to finish it in time for Winter, I’ll take a little more time to make sure I’m happy with the end result.
Going for walks along the river, while Tim has his guitar lessons. 
The last game, carnival and training is behind us, looking forward to a couple of quiet (soccer free) weekends...
Sander finally bit the bullet and bought the coffee machine of his dreams.
 My mum arrived two weeks ago, the kids gave her the royal treatment. 
 A week later my sister turned up with her family. It has been 4 years since we’ve seen each other.
David took about 5 seconds to warm up, I’ve been told we look alike...
Tim and his niece Lotte 
Day trips, Mulligans Hut is always a favourite.
Fall in the water, take of your clothes and just keep going. 
No longer hampered with shoes and such.

Way before my family started booking their flights, I had booked Playgroup in for a fundraiser at the local hardware store. And since I’m the one organising and running it, my family got roped in to a true Australian experience: a sausage sizzle.
Enjoying a day trip to Woolgoolga
 My brother in law, Bram. Soaking up the sun.
A day after my sister and her family resumed their travels through Australia, it was time to say goodbye to my mum at the train station. It’s awfully quiet now at home...
 Watering the fruit trees with the gang, it has become so dry.
Loving the drip irrigation, this will make a huge difference for the perennials and fruit trees in the border. The garden beds have been mostly planted out. The watermelons, rockmelons capsicums, tomatoes, zucchinis and eggplants all have had an early start. Hoping that they’re established before it gets too hot.
Comfort food, my favourite salad: grilled vegetables and haloumi with garden salad and crunchy sage leaves.
After a couple of crazy busy months, I have worn myself a little thin. Resulting in my knee issues playing up, emotional eating flare-up and getting sick too often. Three days of horrendous fevers, a throat where every bit of saliva you swallow feels like broken glass and 5 days of not eating have been a wake up time (again) to take stock. It’s a balancing act, besides the kids I need to look after myself and prioritise. Taking a couple of balls out of the juggling act. Too many times I’ve found myself with a flutter of panic in my chest and a jumble of thoughts and lists in my head.
Making sure that besides work and chores there is also fun and time to just be.
Well, yesterday evening that became a dancing act: salsa lessons with my hubby. Did we have fun!!!
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