yeah, maybe, all of that…

Even after a second glass of wine, I can’t decide if this seedling sprouting from a discarded cleaning cloth on my potting table is a metaphor for how tough life has been lately, or to never give up, to keep trying no matter the environment.

seedling .jpg

I think it is a tomato seedling, once again proving that come the nuclear armageddon that we may still have tomatoes to feast upon. Just remember to pack the salt and pepper, and maybe a little olive oil, in your survival pack.

a house with a view and a plover

We have had some lovely spring rain and mild temperatures this year. Our garden has blossomed and we have enjoyed some plants flowering for the first time in the five years since we made our tree change.

The following photos are of the bauhinia shrubs ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bauhinia ) that I thought no longer had the will to live a few short weeks ago. They survive against the odds in the worst conditions, very shallow shaley soil on a stoney ridge.

 

And this is the view that I have from our living areas. The plover and its nest is circled in red.

 

 

 

this isn’t in the play book

tea multiple

I have a summer cold. This isn’t suppose to happen in my new happy ever after life. The only eucalyptus I can smell in on my tissues (Kleenex). It’s Mr FD’s fault. He has a chest infection.

To be fair, Petite Fille brought the virus into their home, and she shared it with her father and mother, and then with me, but I am quite sure that Petite Fille’s father passed the virus to Mr FD and then he incubated a more virulent version. After a night or six of coughing he passed his new improved germ cocktail to me. I am an innocent victim. Again.

Poor little Petit Garcon also has the cough, which is unfair when one is only 4 months old. Did I tell you that I have the most perfect little Flamingo Dancer grandson, ever? I do. Babies should be given germ protection for their first year because they just don’t understand. Life is cruel.

The summer weather is just heating up now, which is rather unusual, for most years we would have already had several weeks of “if it is so hot now, what will summer be like!” conversations. Our garden was almost dead from a warm dry winter, and we were planning memorial ceremonies for some beloved plants, but then the spring rains came and everything bloomed. We have some plants flower for the first time in the five years we have been in the country this spring.

Of course, it means Mr FD has to mow every three or four days. Plovers are having their second hatching in the middle of the lawn, and so the mowing only goes so far, before plover squawks alert Mr FD that he has gone as far as they will allow. I caught sight of him mowing with a long stick clutched in one hand the other day. Apparently if the Plover Pair are flying he eyeballs them, points the stick directly at them and they have second thoughts about their murderous intent.

We are a positive animal sanctuary – rabbits, hares, bush turkey, plovers, ibis, various parrots, magpies, bandicoots, wallabies, kangaroos. It is a hot bed of fecundity.

Luckily, Mf FD and I are too old for such things…

 

 

 

Things that remind you that you live in the country

Mr. FD was pruning the shrub at our driveway entrance when our neighbour struck up a conversation – about the trouble with rabbits and hares, and the chaos created by the local bush turkey.

The bush turkey is busy digging mounds to attract females, of which we have seen none, and creating chaos in our little forest plot, leaf litter and mulch tossed across both driveways to the extent it feels like I am driving off-road. We have had several conversations with the turkey about his behaviour, and we explained that though we are not American we could adopt Thanksgiving. I have suggested showing the large cooking pot to The Turkey as proof of intent, problem is I don’t like eating turkey!

Mad dogs and Australians

garden-1

Well, Augie dog isn’t mad, rather just hot, as we were. We waited until 4pm but it was a 38C summer day, and so it was still more than hot, when Mr FD and I decided to plant some of the shrubs we bought this week.

The next fault in our plan was that where we had decided to plant was right on our front fence; that meant a walk down the hill. Mr FD must garden with Augie, so down we paraded : Mr FD pushing the wheelbarrow with compost and plants, Augie on leash beside him (on leash was we were working next to the road) followed by moi, carrying an assortment of tools and some fish emulsion. Not enough tools, as we soon realised that the ground was not only hard but had long established tree roots crisscrossing the area. A crow bar was needed.

It couldn’t be found in the shed, so Augie and I walked back up the hill to ask Son if he had any idea of its whereabouts. So that pulled Son into our adventure, much to his dismay.

I commenced pruning some of the nearby trees while the gentlemen dug holes, but I had to admit defeat as I became seriously breathless – the respiratory issue. Admitting defeat, I walked slowly back to the house, leaving the gentlemen to their endeavours.

When they returned, soaked in perspiration and heat exhausted, I was ensconced in air-conditioned comfort, cold drink in hand. Son had been bitten  inside his shoe by an ant- he is allergic to insect bites, so that meant antihistamines. Honestly, there was no nefarious plan on my part…

Mr FD has plans to finish the planting and to mulch the area tomorrow. It is expected to be 40C tomorrow. Son has already said not to speak to him.

breathing-1

 

Yes, I think it was today, or maybe it was yesterday

garden-day

Mr FD and I ventured our into the summer heat to visit a new garden nursery in our area. As soon as we entered I felt sadness, as it is obvious that this venture has a slim chance of being a success. The centre has only been open three weeks, but already the plants look neglected.

Anyway, we soldiered on, determined to support a new local business, and chose three native grevillea shrubs, two native ground covers and some potting mix. The shrubs were obviously thirsty, so once home,  I sat them in a seaweed/fish mix for a couple of hours. Mr FD has promised to dig a couple of holes in the garden tomorrow, before the heat returns

Earlier this week, I was pruning a shrub on the boundary line. It was hanging over onto our neighbours drive, but as there is no fence, I was easily able to cross over to prune it. I cut a large section from the middle of the shrub and was trying to tug it out when the neighbour appeared. He offered to help me, and proceeded to give the branch a tug. Suddenly, he jumped backwards, releasing his grip on the branch. Something, possibly a bee or wasp, had bitten him on the lip.

Instead of going into his house for first aid, he whips out his mobile and calls his wife. He was about 10 meters from his door! His wife dutifully appeared with ice wrapped in a tea towel.

So I was trapped having to be nice. I had to stand and make small talk as he iced his lip, just in case he went in shock or something. Who said gardening was relaxing?

Mr FD, who had been further up mulching the prunings, decided he should find out what all the high society was about. Upon hearing of the misadventure, his only remark to our injured neighbour was, “Didn’t I tell you she is a dangerous woman!”

Just as dangerous he may yet find out.

 

clearing skies

country 1

The black mist is gradually leaving me after months of illness and exhaustion. It may have just been a series of winter viruses and work exhaustion, but it has left me depleted. Spring is trying to break through and I sense my mind and body are trying to lift as well.

Sunday morning, I was on the deck, trying to exercise on the bike for a few minutes, the first time for a few weeks, when Augie Dog came to sit in the sun nearby. A number of green lorikeets were feeding in the grevillea trees in our garden. The sound of their chirping and the energy of the community was just such a delightful form of much needed nourishment for me.

Thankful that we were guided to our tree change and we had the wisdom to follow our call to country.

a new cycle

The view from our deck by day

The view from our deck by day

This weekend we got an exercise bike. It’s not new; in fact it is second hand, unwanted when its owner went overseas. We have placed it outside on our deck, for the moment. I did circle it for an hour or two, as I am not an exerciser – as I joke, my idea of exercise is moving from one end of the couch to the other!

I was out trying out the cycle this evening. The weather is unseasonably warm, and the evening was just lovely, not too cold, no insects. Our house is on the side of a hill and overlooks the Village and the entire valley, to the ranges in the distance. It was evening and the street lights were twinkling like stars and it was just magical.

Augie Dog was outside with me, standing at the far end of the deck. Son came out and was of the opinion that Augie was watching a wallaby somewhere in our garden that we could see. He was certainly standing very quiet and still the entire time I cycled.

It was just perfection, and I felt so happy, cycling and enjoying the moment. It was a very, very nice end to my weekend.

I just hope I can walk in the morning!

Bored by that view? Then try this one!

Bored by that view? Then try this one!

Sunday going down

home 2

The rain has been pouring down for the last couple of hours, and the fire is lit. Our family are all home, Petite Fille tucked up in her bed.

It’s Sunday night, so no hope of a cosy sleep in, but it is a pupil free day, so that is about as much as can be hoped for. Five days of work and then two weeks of semester break. Almost there.

 

not being able to see the trees for the trees

garden wise

When my blood pressure sank to 90 over 60, I sat on the kitchen floor and waited to black out, but I didn’t and eventually made it to my bed. I have struggled with high blood pressure for years and in recent weeks    I have been prescribed a new medication regime. Obviously, it worked too well!

I am going through one of those health episodes where lots of niggling issues come together to make life less jolly and more uncomfortable. A shoulder issue means if I raise or stretch my arm too much I experience crushing pain; blood pressure out of control. Sigh.

The last few days of the working week witnessed me absent from the workplace and journeying back and forth to my doctor. I am not sure how much rest I am getting, with a three year old in the house, and tree loppers working in the yard to remove a number of trees.

tree loppers

The tree men, are back today, removing a number of ugly palm trees that are too much work with their habit of dropping fronds continually. Palm fronds are too fibrous to mulch and so have to be carted away, more money. Disappointing also, because when we lopped the native trees we were able to keep the wood for our fire and mulch everything else to put back into the garden. I try to salve my decision to remover the trees with the knowledge that we will be planting more suitable native trees, smaller trees, in their wake.  Any garden requires regular maintenance and renewal.

We are also trying to remove issues that will become problems as we age, so that we can stay here as long as possible. We learnt from our parents lives that it is vitally important to plan ahead, and to prepare our home for when we are old, if we want to stay independent as long as possible.  Eventually, we will need to move back to the city, to a unit or townhouse, closer to our children, but not for a long, long time, we hope. Though a number of our adult children are resident with us, so that is a bit of a reverse issue right now!

Lately, I seem to be writing a lot about age and age related issues, but that is the cycle of life and smart people accept it, work with it, and I hope I am wise enough to remember that.

On the other hand, I am going out to select wood cuts from the trees already felled, to create fairy houses for my two precious granddaughters. I am sure, I will not be tempted to play fairies at all..never ever.