Saturday, 22 June 2013

the slough of despond...

Sorry to sound gloomy. I am. 

Pat the local businesswoman has been stuffing me around for over two weeks now, still owing me about $600. Oh, boy, a great fundraiser that wasn't for us! I won't bore you with the details of how she messes with one's brain, going to come, not turning up, not answering her phone, then turning up and not having the money or the list of items. It goes on and on, and I severely want to scream, but it would worry the dogs greatly if I vented!

On a more cheerful note, my harvest goes on going - I have an embarrassment of crops, varying from the potatoes, oca, yacon to a huge yam bean root I found today quite by serendipity, and the winter salad leaves are just starting to approach picking stage. So far I have only gathered rocket leaves, but very friendly they are picked fresh from the plant. The first radishes are not too far away now also, though my peas are still thinking about life. The broad beans are looking happy, not at all minding the frosts. Amazingly there are still a few tomatoes hanging on, though most of the poor things have to be picked up green as they fall off after the heavy frosts. I have discovered that goats adore green tomatoes and squelch them up with a faraway expression of bliss. I also managed to pick the last of the capsicums despite them being frosted. Add to those El's excess purple yam and sweet potato and I will scarcely go hungry. I have a problem with the yam, though, as it sort of exudes snot all over one's hands during preparation. Not only is this very off-putting but is very hard to get off skin! Oh, well, look not a gift yam askance...

The magpies are once again singing my praises as they have a breakfast of pet mince, their baby growing daily. I'm quite expert now at flicking a surreptitious spoonful to the butcher-birds so they can have food without it being taken by the much larger magpies. The wallabies are a bit hungry by now, but there's little I can do for them apart from putting out water regularly.

And I must go again. I thought I'd look in though with a whinge - hopefully I'll be back a bit sooner next time! I have just had scratching on the door, groaned and got up (I am a revolving dog door) so Mischief and Cody could come in and look reproachful because they reckon it's time to go out - but I only took them out an hour ago. Sigh. They keep me exercised!

with apologies for pinching this!

Very best wishes to everyone, and I hope you are all surviving the rush of dramas that seem to be affecting every country at present.

Cheers - Fliss

Saturday, 15 June 2013

...and we very nearly had a tornado!

Hi all,

And folk in Oz would know about the tornado that flattened Pratten. It happened thus: on Wednesday the forecast for the Southern Downs was for clear weather with a cool change coming in overnight. Then a weather forecaster happened to glance at the radar.

'I wonder where that band of storms came from?' he wondered idly before it occurred to him that the storms were about to hit an area not forecast for rain. The met office then hastily, and somewhat late, issued a severe weather warning; but they later changed their minds and cancelled it - before the storm hit!

On the ground we knew that there was severe weather happening, from about 6.45p.m. onwards.A line of storm clouds rumbled to the west, with lightning constantly flickering brightly across the night sky. The dogs said they didn't like the sound of it at all, and it certainly looked and sounded ferocious. It roared steadily across so I went to look up the radar, puzzled by the huge impending storm. The picture was certainly fierce, a line of storms working from west to east. The severe weather warning had appeared on the screen forecasting the probability of heavy rain and hail.

Dogs and I watched it come over until it hit, when the driving rain was too heavily lashing for us to stay out on the verandah. I felt very sorry for the poor goats up in their pen as they hate storms, but I definitely do not have goats in the house. Not only was it intense, but the booms and flashes went on far longer than usual for thunder storms.

Eventually it calmed down and I was able to squelch the dogs up the paddock for their nighttime relief before bed. The goats were wet but philosophical.

Come the morning news, and Pratten and Bony Mountain, both close to here, had been hit with a small tornado. I tried to import a Google map to show you but, sigh, I couldn't do it. Instead here are photo's from the news:

This was a mostly-built dream home that the owner-builder hadn't got around to insuring. There's a moral there!

This is a little girl and her pup Market, who had been tethered to his kennel. Dog and kennel sailed 30m through the air... the dog bit through his tether and fled, taking some time for the owners to find, poor thing.
And this was what a few houses looked like, rather demolished. While it doesn't compare to the US kind of tornado, it still was very unfriendly. Amazingly there was only one casualty, from flying glass, and he was alright after treatment.

We were so lucky here with just heavy rain, plus today we had a few hours without power from damage done to the power supply. That's life - bored with drought one minute, squashed the next!

I hope I haven't made this mailing too heavy, but I hope you enjoy the news report...

Take care of yourselves. everyone -


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

omg, what a week!

Hi, friends,

And as I predicted last week was a doozy - though not all in the ways I had expected. The people supposed to view the house didn't show (what's new?), so that work was wasted.

Then on Friday, when El came to work with me to price everything up for the garage sale, someone left a gate unlocked. Banjo the boofhound forced his way through and ate a whole rat bait - the only one I had laid, in the best spot for waylaying the mice - and so I had an emergency visit to Warwick to visit the vet's. Banjo thought it all quite an adventure, except for being made to throw his nice bait back up again. Sigh. the idea of a garage sale was to make money, not spend it on vet's bills.We were also about four hours behind with our timing.

Somehow we managed to have everything doen and ready for the 7.30 a.m. start on Saturday, and it all started off fine. Then there was a lull, as people whistled past on the main road to Allora to view the auction things laid out for Monday (it's a huge, once-a-year fundraiser). I figured the folk would call in on their way back from the viewing, which started to happen. Then a local businesswoman bustled in - and cleaned us out! She has numerous children and grandchildren, and wanted nearly everything we had for them all. It was highly embarrassing having other people standing around open-mouthed and unable to buy anything. So we had to close the sale early - I have never heard of that happening before. 

Next the lady, P, said she couldn't actually take everything that day but would return on Sunday morning to pay and take all the stuff. She did return but only paid part of her dues, saying she would come back this morning and pay the balance. Guess what? No sign of her. Granted I still have a lot of the things she bought, but it's a bit of a worry. She didn't answer her phone, didn't show, nothing. Given that she has a frantically busy life there may be a good explanation; I do hope so.

Tomorrow I have to take Banjo back to the vet for his check-up, which will make him a happy doggy but me not a happy owner! And I caught bronchitis from some sweet soul at the garage sale... Bah, humbug!!!

As it's cold and raining, why not smile?

Take care, everyone - 

Cheers - Fliss

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Garage sale... help!

Hi, all,

You may have noticed my absence (or not). This week is total chaos as El and I are preparing for a garage sale, both of us short of time to do it, plus the space in my workshop is rapidly running out too. They currently have one of those renovation competition shows running on TV, and I can for once really relate to the hassled people trying vainly to be ready in time.

In addition I may have someone coming to view the house as well. Oh, my ears and whiskers, too much happening for me - how do I focus on pulling stuff out of the house while trying to make it respectable for a viewer at the same time? The two don't mesh!

So, having said this, please forgive my absence from now until after the garage sale...

 (isn't that a gorgeous depiction of chaos?)
Love you all, speak to you soon...

Fliss the hair-on-end feral