Sunday 25 August 2013

Red's World, Red's World...

...Garden Time, Excellent !! (with full apologies to the theme of Wayne's World)

Make hay while the sun shines, and that's what we've been doing this week. Busier than two busy things on national busy day. I've been busy at work, which leaves little time for renovation chores, and Kate has been Queen of the Tradesmen running a couple of projects at the house, including the demolition and construction of new stairs front and rear. Which is exactly why there has been no blog posts, and sadly no Sunday Slide Show (in the historical format of how we post them).

So we thought what better than a celebrity post, and get the resident site foreman and head of security (Red), to show you a few snapshots from his world, being the garden. So without further ado, over to you buddy...




Anyway, its a tough life, hope you enjoyed the tour.
Cheers, Red

P.S. What did the dog say when he sat on the sand paper? Ruff Ruff !!

Sunday 18 August 2013

Sunday Slideshow (Aug #3)

Well it's been a bit of a lazy weekend, and we have been playing a bit of catch up on chores, plus my super muscular lifting skills were in hot demand this weekend (more to follow - riveting stuff - stay tuned)...

Saturday I spent about four hours under the house sorting and rearranging everything after we had the Termidor termite barrier installed a couple of weeks ago (read about it here). After bumping into a few items in the dark I finally decided I had to get everything back to its rightful place, so that was job number one done. Job number two was a Daddy-Daughter date, as I had promised to take Sasha to see 'The Sound of Music' that the Townsville Choral Society was presenting at the Townsville Civic Theatre...

All in all they did a sterling job and we were two happy theatre patrons - love the arts !
From here we were off to collect Kate and Poppy, and go over to some friends who needed a hand lifting some heavy items in preparation for putting their house on the market as they are moving interstate (insert sad face and boo-hiss faces here....) So having done a collective ten minutes of heavy lifting work, it was time for some of these...
Followed by a few of these...

...followed by a good nights sleep, which is what you need after such a busy day - you can see from the three photos above that we enjoyed the culture of Austria, Tasmania and Scotland just in one day!!
After a restful night I was up early and decided it was time to get a few jobs done in the garden, in preparation for some demolition and construction tasks being done this week. The back stairs and landing is getting torn down and replaced, and the back carport (currently standing by good fortune only I think) is coming down piece by piece and being replaced with new materials. This will open up the carport to the pergola by the pool, and giving us a bigger entertaining area for when we have people over and the weather decides to rain on our parade.
So in between clearing up I decided to do a little bit more work to the vegetable garden area down the back that we started on three weeks ago. So the area behind the carport and pergola started off like this...
And then it progressed to having a few little garden beds created for the girls to plant some tomatoes in (and other veggies as it develops over time). They were pretty chuffed with their first efforts...
We also planted some sugar snap peas along the back fence. Whether they come to anything or not is beside the point, as part of growing them is to produce some green fertilizer and put some nitrogen back into the soil (one of Peter Cundall's tips from Gardening Australia).
Anyway, back onto today and I thought it would be good to carry on the working bee theme of the weekend (thanks Alana) and rather than just plant a few new plants, why not prep a few more garden beds and put some pavers down around them that we had picked up out of another area of the garden last weekend. On top of this I pulled down some timber panels that the previous owners had put up, so now it looks a little like this...
This is the start of the path and the new garden bed on the right will eventually become a herb garden bed.

The path wraps around the garden beds, past the peas along the back fence, and then the tomato plants planted two weeks ago (far garden bed where the marigolds are) and then another tomato plant and some Greek basil (middle garden bed).

Its opened up the area quite a bit at the back now, and where I am standing is the possible future location of a chicken coop for 2-3 chickens (the jury is still out on that one - any thoughts?) We also think that a small rainwater tank installed in the bottom right of the picture would capture rainfall off the carport and be ideal for watering the veggies and herbs with.
Anyway all this gardening is thirsty work, so the girls insisted on cooling off in the pool (as you do in "winter") before tucking into a tasty ice-cream...
How's the serenity...??
Note 'Red the Lifeguard' keeping watch in the top corner from his doggy sunbed!
"Ummm, excuse me girls, where's mine ?!"
Hope your weekend was great as well - have a great week everyone!
Cheers, Col

Friday 16 August 2013

Sunflowers and Paint Pots...

...minus the paint pot part!

Although this week I was supposed to be getting on with painting, I have to confess I haven't done a single bit! (The Boss will not be happy)! I have had loads on this week, photo days and prep information night at school, morning tea with the kindy mums, shopping trips to find all the extra art equipment Sasha needs for this terms art workshops, (jeez they don't want much!?) appointments with tradies to come and look at different jobs we have pending, an electrician visit to re-route our pool pump supply, Poppy beginning back with her Reef Kids education program (which incidentally was cancelled the night before she was due to start Term 3, so I had a few hours notice to put together a 5 week program of our own - there was no way I was gonna let the kid down she loves Reef School sooooo much.) Not to mention the 5 phone calls, of 4 or more hours collectively, that I have spent on the phone to our ISP this week with connectivity issues, oh and the return and subsequent re-purchase of our new printer which has never worked properly.  

In all honesty every time I began to think about prepping for painting, it was always too close to the school run, or Poppy needed help with something or I had to get lunch or I needed to be somewhere!   So it took a back seat to the rest of 'life' this week and that means not only am I waaaay behind, it also means I will need to crack on and do double next week!  I have no idea how I am going to achieve that as we have loads of 'on site' work starting on Tuesday...but I will have to.. somehow!

So why am I telling you about all the stuff I didn't get done??  Well basically all of the above means that I have nothing 'reno-specific' to write a post about this week.  But because I promised Col (and myself) that I would keep at least one post a week going I had to think of something.  Then, I was sitting at the PC yesterday trying to sort out our printer issues and I heard a little voice (no, not in my on) at the gate.  And there, just like that, my inspiration for a mini fill-in post literally walked by.. was a little boy and his Dad leaning over our front gate with an iPhone taking pictures of, and admiring, our HUGE sunflower.  (In fact our sunflower is probably trending on Instagram right.this.minute!) They stood there for about 10 minutes talking all about it, his dad (who was British) was telling him about the fields in England that are full of them as far as the eye can see.  And it made me realise that as this little lad had found such wonder and amazement in this flower, we shouldn't keep it's beauty strictly to visitors to our little should all be able to see our Poppy Mae's fantastic effort too!!  (She will be chuffed that it's on the blog)

A few months ago Poppy planted 4 little sunflower seeds (I thought we had photos of the planting session but can't find any) gradually they poked their little shoots through the soil and she was ecstatic to see them begin to grow.  Unfortunately some birds ate three and she was left with one teensy, tiny plant.  She was so sad and cried for ages when she noticed her cute little plants were gone.  She watered the remaining seedling  On the days she was at kindy, the first thing she would ask when she got home was whether I had watered her sunflower yet.  If I hadn't, off she'd go to do it.  She was so proud of it.  Due to the fact that the others were eaten, we never really thought this one would come to anything (we thought it would succumb to birds too) and so didn't take any shots of it growing.   I wish I had now, but anyway before we knew it, literally, there stands this 10 foot high gorgeous flower, with a stem on it that would rival any Jack and his Beanstalk efforts!!

Last week the flower, still green, bent over toward the afternoon sun, and a tiny bit of yellow began to poke through
A day later it was fully open, and still it grew, and grew!
Here is the flower today in all its glory, it's HUGE!
The leaves are bigger than her head, and it towers over her at nearly 3 times her height
The plant is the talk of the neighbourhood and we have one extremely proud and happy little sunflower farmer!!
K xx
PS -to our Pommy readers - it reminded me of the Blue Peter tallest sunflower competition that they used to run every year.  Do they still do that?  Is Blue Peter even still running?? We sooooo would have won!

Sunday 11 August 2013

Sunday Slideshow (Aug#2)

Today's slideshow is brought to you from the beautiful Magnetic Island.  A place we fall in love with all-over-again every time we visit.  We were lucky enough to have friends looking after our children for the night (thanks Lynnie) so we could spend the evening over on the Island celebrating our cousins 50th birthday.  It was an awesome night full of fun, laughter, great music, wonderful food (well done Jennie it was all amazing) and fabulous company.  The party was held in an amazing house called Nahmahlu a luxury villa available for rent just a short walk from the ferry terminal.  It is built on a hill and spans 6 levels with the house itself being built around the huge original boulders that make up the hillside.  It really is an exquisite house and the perfect place for a party or get together.  Check it out here.
We headed over on the Sealink Ferry, along with many others who were also heading to the party
We managed to sneak in a cheeky vino at Peppers Blue on Blue before heading up to Nahmahlu

When we arrived at the house our cousins told us to knock ourselves out and explore the entire place. The house has magnificent views, surrounded by trees and nature.
We were greeted by a group of rock wallabies hopping around the driveway...too cute!
From the driveway looking up to the pool area
One of the many wonderful seating areas
Such a wonderful mix of different seating options, textures and styles
One of the incredibly huge boulders that the house is built around. It is amazing, words and photos cannot do justice to how well they have integrated the house into its surroundings.
The owners obviously have a fancy for guitars and country music. Col thought the signed fiddle from the Charlie Daniels Band was AWESOME!!
Side view of the house and one of the many Balinese inspired statues
Beautiful exposed beams, which according to their website were sourced from an abandoned WWII establishment.
The endless decks and outdoor living areas were divine
As the moon came out, the lights in and around the property switched on and transformed it into a tranquil, relaxing, tropical paradise....

All in all it was a fantastic night. We caught up with old friends and family, met some wonderful new friends, and fell in love with the island all over again. Our forever house is quite possibly somewhere on this island, every time we visit we end up discussing living there.  But that is likely to be after the girls finish high school. Till then, we'll live the Queensland tropical life over on the mainland...knowing that with just 20 minutes and a ferry ticket we can be back in paradise.