Packing for the country

Box count : 10.     

Sometimes I feel as though I am enacting a scene from Funny Farm, but as I make yet more lists, and think of more jobs to be done before moving day, I try to push any sneaking anxieties out of my mind. Got to get the doubting voices under control!

Resting on my laurels again tonight as I reached the magical target of 10 boxes packed. It has all been fragile glass items, and I have been using tea towels, hand towels, and bubble wrap. The bubble wrap ran out on box number 9, so it was finished off with items from the kitchen drawers, and box number 10 was filled with the slow cooker and other small kitchen appliances. Is this all thrilling you?

There is some challenge in working out what will fit with what in a box, a little like a puzzle, to make the best use of space – and my effort. As soon as I start to not care, I stop and have a cup of tea and a sit to ponder whether I am enacting Funny Farm (there is more than a little personality similarity between Andy Farmer and Mr FD, which is a worry). Then the back ache subsides and the catholic guilt crowds in and so I go back to packing. Once the 10th box is in sight I go the extra mile to finish (well, I have only accomplished 10 in any one day, twice, so I have gone the extra mile, twice).

The extra mile did mean sending out for pizza tonight, which led to a discussion between Son and I as to the possibility of pizza delivery in The Village. I think not. Pizza maybe, delivery no. We shall see the sacrifices we are forced to make…

Speaking of Mr FD,(I did somewhere), today I threatened to have the movers lift him in what seems to be his permanent position, sitting on his recliner watching television, out of the house and into the back of the moving van, if he doesn’t stir soon. The fragile items are now packed he has no excuse. Move it, or I may not leave a forwarding address.

Just another day in the country

Box count 2.5

Migraine count : 1 and continuing

Dog count : 1

We had boxes delivered yesterday, but I only managed 2.5 before being felled by a massive migraine that has continued into today, which has thrown me right off schedule. I think I got too dehydrated in all the racing about house hunting in the heat.

Today we went back to view the house with Daughter2 so that she knew what she will be coming home to when she flies back from Perth at Christmas. Then we went to visit Grandma Flamingo Dancer to tell her that we were moving nearby and that she would see more of us in just a few weeks. She is healthy, but her motor skills continue to decline, as has her short term memory. She has started asking where the baby is, and we know she isn’t asking about the expected HoneyBoo Flamingo Dancer. We just say that the baby is sleeping and Mum seems happy with that reply.

Speaking of babies – we bought a dog today! He is a golden retriever and his name is now Augie. He is 6 weeks old and the breeder will keep him until we move. Son has always wanted a dog and now that we have the space for one, I could no longer say no. I am a cat person, but I have to admit, who wouldn’t love this fellow?

Then we went to the local pub for lunch

Mr FD’s seafood basket lunch at the Village Pub

… and then Flamingo Dancer rested, on her bed as well as her laurels.

So much to tell you

We have found a house and our offer was accepted. Yes, it was the number one house on our short list. It is on one and a half acres, high on a hill overlooking The Village with the most magnificent gum trees in the front yard, and a garden beneath that is more forest floor than manicured garden, and the perfect place for Flamingo Dancer GrandBaby to explore when she arrives.

The house was built in 1986 and everything was top of the line then, however it is a little tired and dated now, but a little paint (it has double brick walls, so not a lot of paint needed) a kitchen facelift and the ensuite remodelled, and it will have every aspect of the home we hoped to find.

Even though I know The Village from my childhood, (my Grandmother lived there then, I grew up in a slightly larger town nearby) it is still a little daunting to go from a capital city after all these years, back to small rural town life. On the other hand, it is also exciting to have the change of pace and a chance to create a sanctuary for the rest of our lives.

A reminder that everything old is new again today  also, when we viewed one house with our agent, in conjunction with another agent. Mr FD was chatting to the other agent when we all realised that she was someone that I had worked with 36 years ago in a library long, long ago. I had not recognised her, as back then, well we were both a little younger, and she had natural blonde hair, and now she is a tawny red, and well, a lot older (not everyone can age as graciously as a Flamingo Dancer). I never, ever would have thought she would become a real estate agent, but apparently she has been for some 20 years now.

It just goes to show that while we can plan our lives, we can never quite be sure the path it will take. I have learnt that being open to change, flexible in choice and decision making, and embracing intentional living, the most amazing things can happen.

During this year I have gained permanent employment in a job I adore, with people I not only enjoy working with, but respect professionally, and now we are downsizing our home, decluttering belongings,  shrinking debt and creating a new way of living our lives.  It doesn’t get much better than that does it?

happy trails to us

Box count : 10 packed on Tuesday

Trying to get everything packed in the next 10 days before the new school term starts.

Oh yeah, and find a house to move into!

Today we are back on the house in the country trail. Son is coming with us too.

Due to our arrangement with our bank and something about portable loans, we actually have to settle the sale on our existing house and the purchase of our new home on the same day, so the clock is ticking. We haven’t been able to ask for an extended settlement time as our purchasers need to be out of their present town house by the end of October, so today needs to be decision day is possible.

We have zeroed in on a couple houses in a small rural town (the same town where Mother Flamingo Dancer is in care). One really excites me. It is a little dated, but has great bones, or so the real estate photos appear to show. We haven’t actually been inside as yet, today is the day and so I might be terribly disappointed. However, we have more than one to view.

I can only hope that we have the strength to get through the next couple of weeks,

tell that again


I had my first student suspended last week. I feel as though I have been blooded as a teacher!

Spawn was sitting with his feet on the coffee table in the library and when I asked him to take his feet off the table he refused. I told him to leave the library. As he did so, he turned and wiped his shoes all over the couch. THEN he turned and gave me the finger (rude gesture).

I ordered him into my office and lectured him about respect for school property and respect for teachers. I then referred him to the detention.

When he went to detention he claimed he wasn’t giving me the finger, he was giving the couch the finger.

I said well, then in that case, both the couch and I are very offended.

He was suspended for a couple of days.

homes among the gum trees

So, we have theoretically sold our house. The contract will go unconditional in about 10 days now, then we will know it will proceed.

On Saturday we went house hunting for  ourselves. One area we found that the only land left was flood prone, had deep gullies or prone to erosion. Scratch that from the list. Other homes looked great on the web site, but were poorly maintained.

Also note to vendors – don’t have photos of birds sitting on branches in your living room,  free to fly about inside the house to poop anywhere in your house web page. It might also be a good idea to clean up the crap and air the place before buyers come looking. Also, don’t lock the multiple cats in the walk in robe.

One house we liked, but there had been no building covenant on the neighbourhood, so there was a mix of new houses and old houses trucked in to the site. One neighbour had grass growing out of its gutters, another grass growing to the roof.  The next door neighbour had an earth moving truck parked on the front footpath, and a ship container in the front yard that had obviously been there for some years. Poor people, they are goig to find it hard to sell that home due to the neighbours.

Two blocks of land we liked a lot. As we drove up to one a red bellied black snake slithered across the road in front of our car.  Great advertisement for a block of land, but despite the snake, we both liked the block. However, since then we have decided that perhaps building is not for us. The idea of moving multiple times just seems too much for us and all the hassle with builders so we have put that on the back burner for the moment.

Naturally, the one house we both fell in love with the moment we saw it from the road, it outside the budget we have. It appears to be the type of house where we could live until they carry us out to Forest By the Sea Retirement Home for Old Flamingo Dancers. We couldn’t actually view it, as their daughter was getting married that day and so we will return on Wednesday, by which time we hope that The Big Whatever will have delivered the extra bags of gold required to secure it.

Should The Big Whatever fail to come to the party (what are the chances – none and zero?) then we have a few more lined up to view on Wednesday.

It is so exhausting though, physically, mentally and emotionally. Realtors can rarely be trusted. One, yesterday,  kept showing us really shit land even when we said, stop showing us the shit, so obviously he is not going to see us again. One we came across we bonded with as he listened, and knew within a short time what type of people we were (he even showed us a house with a  plastic flamingo in the front garden!) and narrowed in on what we desired. Of course he also showed us the home we can’t really afford!

At the same time, Daughter2 is packing up for her move to Perth in Western Australia –  on the other side of the continent. Her car is being collected tomorrow for shipping across country, and on Tuesday she will come to stay with us for two weeks until she flies out to Perth to start her new job. So for the first time I will not have all my chicks in the one city.  I shall miss her dreadfully, she is my movie and lunch partner, but exciting things await for her, so I shall just have to tough it out.

Tomorrow, I start packing. I will have to buy some packing boxes. Thankfully, I am on two weeks holiday. I would hate to be trying to do all this and be working a full day as well! A few more weeks of stress and physical exhaustion and we should be Queen and King of our realm again.

If we live so long. It could be murder…