19.3.17

This week: water fun

Two little piggies found themselves a puddle.
Last weekend was a Tim's birthday bash.
From us, all Tim wanted for his 9th birthday, was playing Lastertag with his best mates.
All spending the night, in the tent, pillow fights, playing spotlight by a full moon, running off all those pizzas. The big stack of pancakes was gone just as quickly and off they went with their bikes, finding all the new tracks in the forest. Enjoying the beautiful sunny weekend in the pool.
So lucky to have such good mates, they bonded in kindergarten and are still going strong in year 4.
Sophie has her best friend living next door, they’re only two weeks apart! Her younger brother and Alex have a year between them, but are finally starting to find each other. So nice to have good mates, it’s even better when you can ride your bike to visit them.
 The rest of the week was wet, very wet. David loves going on Puddle Patrol.
 The rain is bringing up all these creepy crawlies. Going for a walk includes at least one bite by one of these bull ants (or bully ants as the kids call them), ouch!

Rain, lots of it. Grafton copped 145mm on Saturday alone. 
Flash flooding galore.
 The garden is loving all this rain. In love with my new, funky chilli plant.
 Sander’s weekend project: new stairs to match the front veranda. Such a skilled handy man.
We could have filled 10 rainwater tanks if we’ve had them... We’ve already had 300mm of rain this month.
 Like a kid in a candy store, adding little pockets of happiness to the garden.
 Doing a little repair and diverting work on the first spillway. We had lots of practice as kids, we grew up Dutch after all. Taking it to the next level with the next generation.
Baby quilt in progress.
Seeing all the waterholes filling up, the make such a beautiful picture. This week I got to spend a lot of time with the boys looking for all those noisy frogs and counting all the different kinds of dragonflies.
 Before.
The cushions are machine washable, the frame not so much, spray just doesn’t work anymore ...
After.
The carpet cleaner had his work cut out... A cream lounge, what were we thinking?!?!?
(in our defence, we bought it 11 years ago, before kids)
We’ve talked about replacing the carpets, but with the kids still so little...
A professional carpet clean has given us a couple more years to decide.
Pretty bug
Highlight of this week was seeing the dam fill. Having dinner on the deck with lake view...

18.3.17

The dam project.



January ’17, dozer at work.

January ’17, dozer finished, the kids have a perfect BMX-track
Feb ’17, first bit of rain, a puddle!
February '17, another heatwave with a record 46 degrees, puddle gone.
March ’17, more rain, back to a good size puddle, we sow more grass seeds to strengthen the dam walls.
March ’17, a couple more rainy days, the crater is becoming full,
It’s still another 2 meters until the top of the spillways. From here on, the water will go outwards and backwards first, backfilling the gully before it can go up again.
March ’17, waterholes are filling and the gully starts to run.
The next morning, we wake up to this.
 80mm of rain falls overnight,
18th of March ’17, we have a dam at top capacity.
Both spillways in action as designed.
Rain keeps pounding, 110mm at lunchtime and not letting up, the erosion is starting to take it’s toll at this first spillway.
On the hunt for rocks in pouring down rain, trying to alter the flow outside. It holds.
More permanent enforcing on Sunday, rain keeps falling, more is predicted.

26.2.17

Happiness is...

Slowly seeing the dam starting to fill. It has become the highlight on my walks.
The boys safe back home, after a flying trip to Sydney. 
Three Dutch passports sorted for the next 5 years.
2 nights in the city, making the most of it. 
Sea Life being the highlight of their trip.
 Tim turning 9
 Weather predictions, sweet anticipation...
 It might even take care of all of these cracks!
I love working side by side with my hubby in the garden.
The Dragon fruit looks much happier.
 Laura kisses...
We’ll be starting basic training next month.
Quite sore after spending the weekend sorting the garden, in preparation of a good rain.
So much weeds pulled, seeds sown, mulch carted, frames build and trees planted.
So much satisfaction...
 David’s favourite place on a hot day when not in the pool, the horses don’t seem to mind....
We have a huge bookcase.
Tim: ”Mum, I’ve got nothing to read! Can you please go to the library again, today?”
Another 20 books “eaten” by our bookworm.
When you let Sophie decide what we’ll have for dinner:
Blue Pasta... (2 drops of food colouring added to the boiling water made me mum of the year)
Little Miss is doing great on her new medication, a girl showing initiative, wanting to do things and go places.
Enjoying a cuppa on the deck, preferably after a walk, with a good friend.
Thinking of organising a monthly potluck dinner with some nice friends, a bottle of wine, space for kids to run. Would be fabulous with a full moon. Hmmm....
 Sander, making the deck a little less bouncy on the corners after just having finished a roll-in spot for the pool cleaning robot.
A baby quilt project, waiting for a rainy day...
In another months time, we’ll be welcoming another niece to the family.
Home, looking forward to many garden goodies this autumn.
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14.2.17

Heatwave

We battled through another heatwave last weekend. It got hot, so very hot. 
With 43 degrees on Saturday and a whopping 46 degrees on Sunday. A record, no medals involved, just a relief that we made it through the weekend without casualties and close by bush fires.
We went to bed on Sunday at 10 and it was still 38 degrees outside, a jump in the pool was no longer refreshing, the fan going so fast that you worried it might fly off with the roof. And even after having drunk litre after litre of water, you still felt dehydrated and dripping with sweat.
Most of Australia copped it bad. With exception of the Norther Territories (monsoon), Western Australia (floods) and Tasmania (snow).
This was the first time that our state had to add a new colour to the mix: catastrophic. Black lines added to the red. With fire brigades, volunteers and park rangers all on stand by.
A good thing too, because as the second day heated up to boiling point, many fires started to pop up, a whole village went up in flames. Nothing close to us.
 Mulching, the garden and fruit trees, trying to keep everything alive.
A very dramatic sight, the kids just wanted a cool place to lay down in the playground. Time to head home, to the aircon. The solar panels just about paid for themselves this summer...
The chickens copped it bad.
At one stage I found them unresponsive, they left the coop too late and started to overheat.
I thought we lost them, just laying there all floppy, but after 15 minutes in a cool bath, with us holding their heads above water they came around. After that, putting the sprinkler on them every 30 minutes did the trick, they’re still with us.
Tyson stayed inside with us, the horses in the coolest spot of the gully, next to a full waterhole. They came through fine. Many birds and animals were to be seen around the horse through in the top paddock. Many other birds were sitting around all the bowls of water set out throughout the garden, getting topped up with cool water every hour.
No-one likes ants in the kitchen. But...
Ants on the scrap bucket is actually a great sign, rain is on its way and the ants are coming up for higher ground.
For the last couple of days we had some lovely cool days (28 degrees), with gentle sprinkles. You could hear the joy (and relief) from the loud cacophony of birds soaking up the cooling rains. Some serious rain would be very awesome, filling up the dams and waterholes, bringing relief.
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