I’ve been trying to get back to the blog for what seems like forever. School holidays seem to be my most creative times, mainly because I actually have a little time to focus on things other than the essentials. I seem to go on about slow living, but I’m not always great at actually slowing down at the moment.
In my spare moments, I have been attacking the outside of the old house with a fresh coat of paint. The actual painting bit is quick and not hard, but all the stuffing around preparing and getting everything we need is not fun at all. The upside is that I can already see how much better the house is looking. I’m really trying to have the veranda completed before December and the really hot weather hits.
C has been making inroads in the garden too. We hunted down some mondo grass to plant between the old veranda and the deck, together with some type of shrub thingy (I leave the name of plants to C) to edge the new deck. He has planted box plants along the border of the north veranda and has then mulched the whole lot. The vegetable garden is also coming along well after being so neglected last summer. He is slowly clearing out all the winter plants, and in the next week, the tomatoes and all the other summer vegetables will be planted out. In no time at all, we will be inundated with vegetables and I will be sharing ways to be creative with zucchinis all over again (seriously – is there any way to be creative with zucchinis??).
Inside the house less has been going on, though goodness knows we need to sort a few things out. We had a reverse cycle air conditioner installed a few weeks back. We had a few warm days and realised we wanted it installed before December (and the hot weather) hit. Our office nook still needs some cupboards installed, but I have bought a wooden filing cabinet to store all our paperwork in. The office nook cupboards and the shelving for the pantry are the big two that need sorting, but I’m also on the hunt for an area rug, and a few other bits and pieces. We will get there slowly! Despite the fact that the house is an ongoing project (and probably always will be), I totally love it. The red door makes me smile still, as does the light and space. I hope I never lose this feeling of gratefulness for such an amazing home.
We have unofficially put the firewood away for the season, though I haven’t cleaned out the fireplace yet. I hate doing it – so dusty and dirty. I do miss the radiant warmth of the fire if we get a cool evening, but the fire takes a while to get going, and then the next day, the house is too hot. Obviously, our new insulation and double glazing are working well.
The girls have begun a great business venture which is taking their spare time. They have invested in some silkie hens and a rooster called Fred who crows at all hours of the day, and are planning on breeding and raising silkie chickens to sell. Throughout the school holidays, they built a separate chicken coop for their silkies, and have closely (very closely) monitored their silkies behaviour. One of the silkies has begun to sit on a clutch of eggs so fingers crossed we get some results. A few very excited girls here at the moment.
The kids sorted out their skull and bone collection in their cubby house the other day. Some parents have kids who collect lego, or stuffed animals, or trading cards. Mine collect skulls. I’m not sure what that says about my parenting. They do look very dramatic all lined up on logs in their cubby house.
Perhaps my most exciting news at the moment is that I have a new job. At the start of next year, I will start at a new school, in a higher position. I love my job and will be sad to leave it, but the opportunity to get a promotion was too good to pass up so I went for it. The school is a little farther away so my commute will be slightly longer (and on a dirt road), but I’m ready for a new challenge and I’m excited about the possibilities of this job.
Social media is reminding me that Christmas is getting closer. I haven’t started on planning yet, but this is the week to get going to avoid that last minute stress, so I’m going to get the kids to write a list of books etc that they would like to read, and other things they would like so I can get my skates on and start shopping. Fortunately, we keep Christmas fairly simple around here, but I am looking forward to hosting family and friends in our new home. If you need some inspiration to keep Christmas simple and (relatively) stress-free, have a look through some of my old Christmas posts here. I will also put a few on my facebook page over the coming weeks. Just this morning Meg requested that we make some stained glass windows to go on our new windows. I think we will tackle that in the next few weeks for sure!