Week 1 – Settling In
Also titled “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but I am willing to learn”.
Sunday and Monday – Moving Days
Yep, that’s right. I took us two days to move the bulk of our stuff. It alternated between hot and extremely steamy to teeming rain. With the help of one of Sim’s friends, we moved all the really heavy stuff monday.
We opted to spend a couple of hundred dollars and move ourselves in a hired truck as opposed to a couple of thousand with a removalist company. It was a hard two days. Between the heat, bored kids and a lot of driving we were all tired and worn out, but it was done. It took us one and a half truck loads.
I’m disappointed I didn’t have time to take more photo’s. Everyone pitched in. Leo became the master of the trolley and moved a huge number of boxes from the truck to the veranda, Zara and Quinn carried whatever they could and Sim and I did the heavy lifting.
By Monday night we had enough moved in to sit down to spaghetti cooked on the combustion stove and have hot showers before falling into bed, tired but happy.
Tuesday – Pumps and unpacking
Tuesday morning saw Sim leave to head back to Brisbane to work for the week. One of the questions I have been repeatedly asked for the last week is how Sim is working whilst we are here. For the moment he is living in Brisbane during the week and traveling down on his days off. We hope that he will eventually get a job closer or even telecommuting. The long term plan is to pay off the mortgage and be in a position to both work part time locally, that however is some time away.
So, we said goodbye to Sim and I set about working out how to fill the header tank by switching the valves and using the pump. Once that was figured out and filling, there was plenty of washing and unpacking to be done. I was proud of myself for figuring it out, once the tank was full, the whole time it was filling I was convinced I’d done something wrong and was wasting the water somehow. I really should have a little more faith in myself. By lunch the kids were over just hanging around half open boxes, so we went exploring. Unfortunately both tracks down to the creek are too overgrown for me to safely take the three kids down, although we did attempt to get there. Once we made it back to the house from our trekking we hopped in the car and drove down to the creek. It was a bit disappointing to have to drive, but the water was lovely and cool and the kids had a great time splashing around and making boats from bark, sticks and leaves.
Wednesday – Unpacking and investigation
Today was a concerted effort to get the kids room set up so that they had their stuff to keep them occupied when I was trying to get other things done. Each box yielded cries of delight at ‘new’ toys, ones that had been packed away for almost six months, forgotten and now rediscovered.
With the room almost done and the kids occupied I set to work unpacking the breakables in the kitchen. I had to leave this job until the kids were busy as my two year old like to help, getting most upset when asked not too. After a solid few hours of unpacking I needed time outside. The kids and I took a walk to the front gate. Along the way we investigated the chook pen and what repairs it may need, luckily not much and there is a roll of chicken wire under the hen house to do the little repairs that are needed. Then we wandered through the fruit trees, try to guess what each one is. At the front gate we checked the mail to find we had our first letter, from the bank outlining when our mortgage payment would be due. What a let down!
Thursday – Shopping and storm chasing
Boring I know, but it has to be done. Thursday we drove to Beaudesert to do a big shop in the hope of avoiding grocery shopping until after christmas. As we were finishing up out our last shop the thunder started. The woman at the checkout was rushing people through, they had been told there was a high likelihood of losing power. As we got to the car the rain started, I bundled the kids in and packed the groceries away as it pelted down and thunder and lightening crashed around us. Getting into the car I sat and wondered what to do. The storm looked as if it was coming from the direction of home. I could sit here, or I could start driving and see how I go. I opted to drive because it seemed easier than sitting in the car for an hour with the kids waiting and then another 45 minutes of driving once the storm passed. We got about 10 kilometers down the road when it was too hard to see, so we pulled over for ten minutes until it started to clear. We drove through the drizzling rain, listening on the radio to the warnings being sent out to Brisbane about wild weather. As we arrived home another storm started to rumble in, so we loaded up the wheelbarrow and raced the groceries into the house. There were to be four more storms and we witnessed quite a light show around the mountain.
Friday – To Brisbane Again
We awoke to yet another storm friday morning and no water. Once we had breakfast and filled the header tank we set off to Brisbane to pick up Sim for the weekend. We are still a one car family until we find the right secondhand four wheel drive for the farm.
Saturday – Niggles
Saturday morning we woke to once again no hot water. After flushing the house with the pump, the hot water flowed again and we put it down to an airlock forming in the heater tank. Sim set about determining the slope of the steepest part of our land so we can invest in the right ride-on mower. This was much to Leo’s delight as he had been itching to do some proper exploration and I had been reluctant to do so with a clingy 2 year old.
Meanwhile I did more…..you guessed it…unpacking, will the boxes never end! After lunch Sim went to wash up to find no hot water and very little water pressure for the cold. Dammit! After Sim checked I had followed the right procedure to fill the header, at my request, we determined we must have a leak somewhere in the pipes. Sim isolated the leak to a two square metre area up near the header tank. Unfortunately we can’t do anything to fix it this week, so we are limiting the amount we pump until we can dig and find the split section. I have to say this burst my bubble a little. I had dealt with the train noise (which I barely notice now), the dead bugs coating the window sills, the spiders webs everywhere and the clingy children. After a week of working hard to get the house together and feel like a home to find this disappointed me. It’s silly really, we knew that for the price we paid there would be issues, but this hit me at a moment when I was tired and worn out and a little fragile. I had a grump and gripe about it and then moved on to cooking dinner and sat out on the veranda to enjoy a beer and look at our ever changing mountain.
You may have noticed no mention of the gardens etc. Obviously it has been a busy week. I managed to mow the house area on thursday morning and that gave me more idea of what I want to grow where. We have a lot of work to do to start growing, but I want to get the house done before I start outside. Other things that have been happening is the general lead up to christmas, with decorating and advent calender activities each day, the daily egg hunt for the inherited chooks eggs and taking time to learn how we fit in this landscape.