I like to write about simple healthy living. This blog has evolved over a few years and includes some time living in the country and enjoying raising chickens, walking dogs and growing our own veggies. We are back in the city for a while to build the bank account so that we can retire back in the country in the not too distant future. Till then it's two days at a time.

Friday, 30 September 2011

On My Mind........

This post is part of a Friday photo feature called "On My Mind" over at the Down to Earth Blog. 
http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/

This photo reminds me of why I love morning walks with the puppies.  Everything is fresh and new.

Happy Friday

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sunflowers and Others

I love Sunflowers. I love the colour and I love how tall they grow.  King Parrots also love sunflowers.  We were walking in the area not long after we moved in and found a garden full of sunflowers and a King Parrot feeding on the seeds.  It's was such a beautiful bird to look at, I decided I must grow sunflowers to attract the parrots. 

I bought a packet of seeds and sowed them in a few different places around the garden.  Unfortunately I only managed to grow ONE sunflower.  It's obviously not as easy as it looks and I also discovered that ducks love sunflowers.  They especially like the sunflower seedlings, 10cm seems to be about the perfect height for a duck.   

My one sunflower was pretty spectacular though and I was happy that I had managed to grow it.  Maggie liked to sit under the Sunflower and I think that's probably why we never saw any King Parrots.  When the petals had fallen off the sunflower we gave the head to the chickens who thought it was a real delicacy.

We use the hay from the chicken coop on the garden and it's always a surprise to see what springs up out of this mulch.  We have many many cherry tomato plants and we haven't planted a single one.  This flower also grew from the mulch and at first I thought it was going to be a sunflower.   I don't know what it is.  It could well be considered a weed but I think it looks lovely in the vegetable garden. 


I'm waiting for someone to invent google for pictures.  I often have pictures of plants and birds and I don't know how to find out what they are.  Try typing in yellow flower with petals into google and see what you get................

If you know what this flower is please leave a comment I'd love to know or if there is a google for pictures please let me know.

I

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Maggie (Oct 2010 - Feb 2011)

Some will think it strange that I’m writing about a pet that lived such a short life and is no longer with us, but Maggie was something special.   Garry and I had been talking about getting a dog once we were more settled into the house and had the lawns and fencing in order. We both thought that with a property like ours it would be a shame not to give a dog a home here.  To be honest I wasn’t too bothered, up until this point I wouldn’t have considered myself an “animal” person.  Garry had dogs most of his life so he already understood how life is enriched when you own a pet.


Maggie was found by a colleague of Garry’s on a country road west of our house and Garry decided Maggie couldn’t be taken to the pound and he must take her home.  I was home at the time and when he opened the car door and showed me Maggie I didn’t know what to think.  All the reasons why we weren’t ready to have a dog filled my mind.  No fences, we were going away for the next 2 weekends and it went on and on but it was too late.  I’ve since learnt that if I pick up a puppy and give it a pat that puppy now belongs to me, I can’t put it down.

So we made Maggie comfortable in a box under the house, left food and water and thought if Maggie is here when we get home from our weekend I guess we have a dog and if not then we were just part of Maggie’s journey to her new home.

OF COURSE she was here when we got home.  It was much more comfortable than walking along a country road on your own !!!!     As the weeks went on we fell more in love with Maggie.  She was a smart dog and part Kelpie so she loved to jump and run.   Over the next few months we built fences to keep her safe.  When she jumped over those we made them higher and higher. In the end Maggie was scaling fences taller than we could build.  We just couldn’t keep her contained.  I called her our free range dog.

Sadly the story ends pretty quickly.   Garry got a phone call about 4 months after we found Maggie to say she had been killed by a car on the road just outside our house.   Garry called me and I’d just finished work and was waiting for a bus in the city.  It was one of those heart renching moments.  I came straight up to house to be with Garry and we both had a very sad few weeks.  Maggie showed me how important animals are in our lives and I don’t think I could ever not own a pet again.  Thanks to Maggie we now have two more puppies that we saved from what could have been an unfortunate life.
Rest in peace Maggie.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The First Step - Our House

Our house started to be built in March 2010 on a block of land we had sub divided off an existing investment property we had on acreage.   At first we were building this as another investment house to rent,  Garry was living in an aparment on the Sunshine Coast overlooking the beach but with his work being more concentrated further north where our property was it suddenly made sense for him to live in the house we were building. 
Kangaroos at the side of the house
My commute from the city on weekends would now take 3 hours.  I must say I was nervous about how I would go with the drive even though it was only Friday nights and Monday morning this is also the worst of peak hour traffic.  We were both also a little concerned about how we would cope with country living this wasn't anything either of us had experienced before.


Front View of the House


Funny how we started to think differently about the house as soon we knew we would live in it.  Much to the builders despair there were changes we wanted to make and it really was the 11th hour!   A bigger window in the bedroom that would become my office so that I could sit at my desk and clearly see the dam and landscape outside my window.  Then there was the need for a more compact laundry to give us more kitchen space.  There were things we were too late to change, like adding a bath to the main bathroom but in the end I'm sure we saved ourselves a lot of money by being too late to change too many things.


View from the deck


We moved into the house in July 2010 and that's when all the work really began !