12 January 2011

House and yard maintenance

Before I write today's post I want to let everyone know Hanno and I, and our family, are all fine.  I received an avalanche of emails overnight, so I want to put your minds at rest.  We've seen many of the flood reports on TV and it must be terrible wondering about someone being involved in them.  We've had so much rain here, it's something I've never experienced before, even in the tropics.  We had rain on and off since the beginning of December but when this heavy and relentless rain started last Saturday morning, it just didn't stop.  It was common to have nine or ten inches in a day and as the creek in our backyard drains much of the town of Maleny, and they were having even more rain than that, it started to worry us.  Luckily, all our natural systems worked perfectly, the water drained out into the Pacific Ocean, and the only mishap we had was when one of the steps down to the creek gave way when Hanno walked down to check it and he fell.  He's sore, but okay.  Overnight the rain eased off and I just checked the radar and the cell that's been there since Saturday has finally broken up.  Today everything will start drying out here.  However, an hour away, in our State capital, Brisbane is expecting severe flooding as all that water flows down from the west towards the sea.  Then the search for those missing can start and the clean up will begin.  Families are still searching for loved ones and many thousands of pets and wild animals have been lost.  Please keep those people and the emergency service workers in your thoughts and prayers.

Just before all this rain hit us, I think it might have been around Christmas, Hanno started looking into a leak we had in our kitchen skylight.  When it rained, a small amount of water drizzled down into the plate of the light.  He got up on the roof and checked it all out.  Luckily he isolated the problem, fixed it and before the heavy rain started, he'd changed most of the screws on the room, replacing some that had rusted or were damaged.  That chore saved us from a wet kitchen and possible damage to the space under our roof.

Like housekeeping, home maintenance is an ongoing story.  Hanno has made himself a regular schedule of cleaning out roof guttering, cleaning the solar panels and the roof, checking fences, checking that water tank drains are clean and flowing properly, checking drains are flowing in the backyard, and the roof on the front and back verandahs are sound and not leaking.  That is on top of his yard work, lawn mowing, chicken keeping and gardening.  There may only be two of us here most of the time, but it's a full time job for both of us to run our home as we wish it to be.  Of course, we've both slowed down quite a bit so while we do what we have to do, we take our time.  It's our payoff, we can work at our own rate and if something is not finished in a day, well, there is always tomorrow.

There is a bit of a forest out the front and Hanno has been eager to remove a few of the weed trees out there.  There is a camphor laurel that should be removed and a couple of paper barks that are weak and keep losing branches.  But just after Christmas, one of the older tree dropped a huge branch with no warning.  The next day, Hanno got out the old chain saw and removed the tree.  When summer is over, my friend Beverly and her husband Michael will spend a day here helping Hanno thin out the trees.  Beverly hates it when I tell her that Hanno is climbing trees again, so with her and Michael here, I'm sure we'll be able to clean up the front garden and make the area safe again.

Having a capable and willing partner to carry out all these tasks is a real blessing.  Not only does it save us money, but we have the satisfaction of being self-reliant and knowing that we can look after most things ourselves.  We know we can ask family, friends and neighbours to step in and help with the really big jobs, and maybe in the future that will happen more frequently, but in the meantime, we're happy to be pottering around here doing for ourselves.



  1. Good to know you guys are ok. We are in south east Brisbane and are just on the out skirts of the flooding. So glad to wake up to blue skies but the king tides wont relent and the flooding will get worse. Cant wait for it all to be over so we can help with the clean up. Its horrible just sitting here and waiting!

  2. hi
    Good morning Rhonda,
    Happy to be the first one to write to you....
    I was going to sleep and I knew that you must have written your first post as you are a early riser...
    and so decided to check your post before retiring....
    Its 1.00 here in India and I sleep late after sitting at the computer...

  3. glad u are okay!

  4. So glad to hee you are both OK. This degradation of Qld is beyond belief, but here in Victoria, the weather has been so unpredictable with flooding in several areas and not in others. Where we are in Kyabram, we are safe, but Mother Nature, could change. I wish you all the best. Time precludes me reading all the blog posts but I still pop in briefly, while I plan my retirement.

  5. Glad your good. Your tanks must be full. With a good deep watering buy howdy the harvest off the trees is going to be big. Get those canning jars ready Rhonda.
    Glad Hanno is alright

  6. Hr Rhonda glad to hear you are ok. We live just north of Toowoomba and though we had flash flooding here it was nothing on the scale of what hit Toowoomba itself. I cant imagine what the poor brisbanites are feeling waiting for the water to hit.

    I guess this is one of those times a stockpile would be really useful - unfortunately ours is relatively low as this was our weekend to shop :) BUt we have enough to get by - with bread flour and longlife milk. DH went down to our local supermarkets yesterday afternoon to try and get another bottle of frsh milk and there is no milk of any form or bread, or flour or sugar. He said he has never seen anything like it. We are cut off from Toowoomba so I can't imagine anything much is going to get through to restock the shelves. Crazy times!

  7. So pleased that all is relatively OK with you and Hanno. Our heart goes out to all the Qlders who are doing it tough right now. You are lucky that you have a capable soul like Hanno to keep up with all the jobs outdoors. I dare say that when the rain eventually stops, everything will grow like mad!

    Take care


  8. God bless the child that has his own. It's always nice to have friends (if you have any) and family to help out with chores, but it's always satifying when You can do them themselves.That's what keeps one in good shape..Tell Hanno he'd give a younger man a run for his money with the musles in his legs being in such good shape, shows he eats well and takes care of himself :o) or I should say he is living with a good cook :o)...Ginny

  9. glad you are safe.
    we are between Strathpine and Caboolture and all the roads we use daily are underwater. We are so fortunate to be living on a hill. It is a devastating and tragic situation.

  10. Dear Rhonda,

    I'm glad your okay. I have a friend from school who's living in Sydney with his family. He's also got friends and family that they're concerned about. I'll keep all those people in my thoughts/prayers!!!

    The photoso of your yard are lovely..and so GREEN!!! It's beautiful!! It does have a tropical feel to it ;) :) Take it easy!!! Extra love and hugs to you and Hanno...from Oregon, Heather :)

  11. Hi Rhonda, so glad you and all the family are good. I was a bit concerned when I saw Hanno and the ladders, I'm glad you are have some help dealing with the trees. Pampa had to climb up to our roof last year to replace a corner tile that had come loose and I had a nervous breakdown holding the ladder. Keep safe.

    Pippa x

  12. Rhonda Yes all our prayers are with those poor people going through this horrible time.
    You are lucky that Hanno can do the outdoor work I am sorry he got hurt but that is just one of the things that can happen. I am also lucky enough to have a husband that is very handy.Be safe.

  13. It's great to be so prepared. It's going to be so frustrating and agonising for owners of newly renovated houses, and shops. Unfortunately being prepared and stocked up doesn't help when you have to be evacuated by boat, but hopefully most affected people will manage to save their most important bits and pieces!

  14. It is good to know you are so far not affected by flooding! I am waiting to hear from my dear friend Mary Ellen ( She lives near a reservoir in Brisbane). I am so worried about them.

  15. Your country's floods are terrible. I am praying for the poor folks that have lost loved ones and homes, pets, etc.

    It is good to keep on top of home maintenance .. and should the time come to move .. it's much easier without a long laundry list of fixes.

    Good post.

  16. Glad to read you and your family are fine. Hope it will stop raining soon!

  17. You are an inspiration.
    I am 43 and already realising that my hour in the limelight will naturally come to a close to make way for my children's generation. That is as it should be. I am in the fast paced, everchanging world of advertising and although I live on a small Caribbean island, I have witnessed the phenomenal changes that technology has made to my industry as well as the death of so many professions. I know I am only seeing a glimmer of things to come and am trying to keep the pace. It has woke me up sufficiently so that I have already begun to plant my property and harvest its rewards, all in the hope of becoming as self-sufficient as I possibly can to sustain me for the coming years. It is young yet but I can envision it in a few years. It feels right. I remember my grandparents raising 12 children this way, and I believe it is time to return in part to these old ways. We have lived the easy convenient life, but it is important that we teach our children some of the things we have let slip away.
    It is good to feel and smell the earth again.

    Blessings to you and yours
    keep the dream alive,

  18. So glad to hear that you are okay. I kept hearing news reports about the flooding and was concerned.

    Will be keeping everyone affected by the flooding in our prayers.


  19. how tragic that the flooding continues. Pleased to learn you are okay. Your Hanno reminds me of my hubby, so good have around!

  20. We had a very wet spring and summer but nothing like the flooding your part of the world has had.

    It was not kind to our raised bed garden!

  21. Hi Rhonda,
    There has been so much rain here on the coast as well, we are counting our blessings that the worst we have to deal with a rotting herb and vege garden. My mum, born and bred in Toowoomba and surrounds is findng it difficult and upsetting to deal with however. Can I post a link here from "Dr Happy". (He had a show in SBS last week.) He is running an online webinar for people affected (directly or indirectly by the floods). People who are affected can register here:

    All the best :-)


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