28 February 2008

Here's to new beginnings

I'm not going to work today. Hanno and I are totally exhausted. With the help of the removalists, a few volunteers and various spouses, we moved. On the penultimate load I thought we might not get everything into the house but when we starting moving a few things to their permanent places, some chairs were rolled to other rooms and boxes stacked, slowly space opened up and when the last truck load arrived, it did fit in the house. Phew! I got cold drinks for everyone, we sat outside in the garden, and I realised we had done it.

We had moved!

I wasn't sure I'd be writing those words today because it rained constantly the night before. When we woke, however, the rain had clear to a sunny day. Not too hot, not cold, just right for moving. We woke everyone in the neighbourhood by cutting off the avocado branch with a chainsaw at 6am. Not a great start to the day but necessary if we were to get the large truck in. The removalists arrived at 7 and it was all systems go. We finished at 2pm.

There will be four people at the Centre today so I've decided to stay home and go in tomorrow. There are things to be done here, and I'm tired. I need to regain my strength and get back into it tomorrow. Hopefully most of the unpacking will be done today and I can set up the computers tomorrow. The phones will be connected then so I think I'll spend a bit of time answering messages left on our message bank, the rest of the time I can fiddle around moving this and that and making the house as warm and inviting as it can be for our people.

There is plenty to be done here today. I checked my precious Brandywine tomato seeds yesterday afternoon and they were underwater! I planted one seed in each tall seeding pot and placed them all on a layer of gravel in an old plastic container, so they didn't fall over. I didn't expect the entire container to fill with water overnight and submerge the six inch tall seedling pots. When I saw them yesterday my heart sank. These were the last of the seeds from the best tomatoes, I have no others. I started picking the pots up and draining them and noticed a tiny shoot, then another. The seeds had floated to the top of the soil and germinated there! So I drained the water out, sprinkled over some new seedling mix to cover the seeds and Bob's your uncle. They're still growing.

A small miracle.

I'll check the rest of the seedlings today. I also have washing to do, bread to bake and some quick sewing that Bernadette needs done. Hanno is going to look at this car for Shane. Some of you will remember that Kerry rolled the 4x4 that belonged to the resort, now there is no car for Shane to get to the resort from the fairly isolated house he's living in 12 kms (7 miles) away. They told him he needs a car, so Hanno and I will buy him this one and he will pay us back. He has always refused to buy a car (for environmental reasons), using instead a push bike to get around. With this ute, he'll be able to keep his bike in the back for riding around the bush, but still be able to get to the resort, to town and, most importantly, to home. ; - )

Ulterior motives.

I have another sad update for you all. Our chook Sarah, the one I photographed on the nest the other day, died. She was about four years old and not ill so we're guessing she was bitten by something. Hanno found her lying on the floor of the chook coop when he went in to feed them. We're having a really bad time with our critters lately and it makes me very sad when any one of them dies.

One of the ladies who reads this blog bought our aquaponics system so that will be gone soon. I accept that death is part of life and that all living things will die, but I hope we have the death part of it behind us for a while. I want to settle back into our steady routines of growing food and enjoying the time we spend with our animals and chooks. All we want is to live a quiet and productive life here at our home. This past month has been one when disappointment, grief, hard work and change mixed in with the joy we find in living this way. I hope our new beginning at the Neighbourhood Centre is also a new beginning here - for us and our backyard friends.


  1. Hi Rhonda,
    I'm just wondering if you've deliberately chosen not to allow full feeds? I'm a little disappointed as I enjoy reading what you write but don't always have time to visit every blog I read. I do try to visit each one periodically to comment etc. Obviously it's your blog and your choice but wanted to let you know how I feel. :)

  2. Hi lightening, yes, it's a deliberate choice. Thanks for letting me know, I appreciate it.

  3. Hello Rhonda Jean, it seems that you have had mixed fortunes lately. I am so sorry about Sarah she was beautiful.
    Congratulations on successfully completing your move. You work so hard I don't know where you find the energy!!
    Warm regards Julie.

  4. It seems that adversity and disappointments come in waves. I certainly hope that your season in that is coming to an end. It's hard to keep plodding along when it goes on for too long. You've had a lot of stress in your life these last few weeks, so make sure you take good care of yourself.

  5. Glad to hear that move went weel, but sorry to hear about more of your losses :( I too know that everything goes through the "circle of life" but sometimes it is too hard to take when it all happens at once. Here's to new beginnings :)

  6. You have had a lot on your plate with this move and your frustrations with your animals. So sorry about Sarah. Keep the faith and take care of yourself!


  7. I am so sorry to read about Sarah. She was a beautiful hen.

    It sounds like you have had an amazingly hectic period lately. I hope things settle down for you now.

    Thank you for visiting my blog again. I always enjoy hearing from you.

    I don't know where that little chook came from; it came to us from my mother-in-law and she died in 1997, so I can't ask. I always have her around my kitchen somewhere as she's a cheerful little chook!


  8. Hello Julie, Tracy, Lis, Kristina and Kate. : - )

    Kate, I think your chicken may be Scandinavian. I have a Swedish grandma and my Swedish meter went off when I saw your chicken. It's very sweet.

  9. Rhonda,

    I am sorry about your loss with all of your animals.

    You always stay positive:)

    I am looking forward to hearing about how things get much better for you.

    Sometimes when it rains it pours.



  10. Hi Rhonda,
    Sorry to hear about your stock losses recently.

    There really seems to be an overall theme of beginnings and endings in your life at the moment. I can only hope as with all cycles in life it has a useful purpose.

    Kind Regards

  11. Hello Rhoneda:

    I wish you and your mates all the best in your "house of new beginnings." A new beginning seems to add new life to whatever we are doing. I am sure you put just as much love into that place as you do your own home!!!!
    Sorry to hear about Sarah. It seems as though you and Hanno have had a heavy load this past month.Make sure to nuture yourselves in the process. May I ask you a question - what does "and Bob's your uncle" mean? I am Canadian and do not know what that means - I am curious. Have a wonderful day at home.

    Liane :)

  12. Hello Renee, Belinda and Liane. : )

    Liane, Bob's your uncle means that all will be right. Everything's okay. http://alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxbobsyo.html

  13. So Rhonda, have you nominated as a delegate to Kev's 2020 Summit?
    I think you should.
    You have until tomorrow to get your application form in. Just google 2020 Summit Applications - there's a form - online I think. At the very least you'd have a holiday in Canberra, at best your ideas would be considered up there with everybody else's. How to encourage more gardening, less consumption, more thrifty ways, living within your means, and generally everyone being nicer to each other. The sort of stuff we could all use more of.
    Think about it. I don't think that all these high fliers necessarily have all the answers.

  14. I'm sorry to hear of the hard lessons you have been suffering lately, Rhonda. It's sad knowing you are sad but also very lifting knowing that you are strong enough to lift yourself from these adversities.

    I'm glad the move went well. I hope you haven't alienated the neighbours with the 6am wake up call, I'm sure they'll see the good work the centre does and be forgiving.

    We say 'Bob's your Uncle' all the time, is it just an Australian thing? Mind you I do have an Uncle Bob, also my dad and FIL are Bobs, a BIL is Robert and my son's middle name is Robert - you think we'd be more adventurous with names, wouldn't you ? Cheers


  15. We had a run of deaths in our pet family. We had a cat a dog a ferret 2 budgies, 4 chickens and a goose all dies within the same year. I was beginning to suspect something in our water. But Layla(the cat) was the final blow in that bad run and we haven't lost anybody since and that was 3 years ago (BTW the cat and the dog were both really old, 23 and 15 respectively). I 'm sorry about your fish and Sarah.

  16. Hi Rhonda,

    So sorry to hear about Sarah. She had a good life and a long one by commercial farming standards. I too had a bad run like that and I lost 3 alpacas and a chicken and came very close to selling the remaining ones. It does make keeping animals hard.

    I'm glad the move went well and is now over and that you are taking a rest. You have worked hard and it will take time to settle in and get used to the new surroundings and places for everything, not to mention emptying boxes.

    All the best

  17. Oh Rhonda - poor old Sarah - it is very sad when a chooky friend dies (I KNOW!) COngrats with the move - what a lovely new space - and that lovely garden - lots of opportunity for projects and composting and veggies etc. HOpe it is all unpacked by the time you go back to work!

    Have a good day off ok!


  18. Sorry to hear about your loss of Sarah.

  19. Congratulations on your move! We are hoping to move sometime in the next year,
    asklhiowkkkkkkkkkkkkiii nijhihih... ok... that was from my 14 month old while I washed todays eggs and made my dd some oatmeal with maple syrup. lol... anyway... I wish you tons of luck on your move and hope you have a relaxing move-recovery.




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