Saturday, 16 March 2013

A year ago...

A year ago...
CONGRATULATIONS to us!!!! We survived the first year of country living and although we didn't kill any of the animals, we did lose a lot of vegetables LOL!!  WOW, time has passed so quickly (goodbye matching nails and shoes!) and it is hard to remember what we have done...

Big dreams
- moved in to a farmhouse on 17 acres with three cats, three kids and a big dream
- introduced 15y.o to District High Schooling...a school bus comes to pick him up at the end of our road (there is no public transport/shopping centres/movies - but there IS internet connection YAY)!
- Husband successfully coordinates and manages the first private psychiatric ward in Launceston.

- We started to purchase farm 'stuff' including an old tractor
- I took a big breath and joined playgroup with 2y.o and...I found a group of women who are artists, viticulturalists, farmers and full-time Mum's!

- Painted the inside of the house - it was dark, dark blue.  Even the light switches and power points were painted blue! Got rid of curtains, pelmets and light-fittings!

- ripped out, chopped back and slashed the whole front garden. We found a platypus in the creek,

a couple of tiger-snakes, and started the 'relocate-a-possum' program

(17 possums later and we are still moving them on LOL).
- USED to walk to the mailbox, now we drive to it - just not enough time!!!
- Built chicken mansion...

we got our lovely chickens...and they escaped...

over and over again...staying out all night...we finally have a chicken-proof ranging area - the whole half of the back-garden!  We can now see each other from the deck and the kitchen window (where I can pull the window up and throw them a scrap or two).

- we gain two little steers, who cry all night and eat out of a bucket.  They trash the fencing, and we discover a new world of electric fencing!  We gain four more bigger steer, and they jump the fence - electric and all!!  I have to 'surf' the fence to try and lower is enough for Daughter and Husband to chase the (stupid) cow back into our paddock.  That was a lot of cow running at me...we fix the fences AGAIN.

- Daughter and I research Alpacas, and we are bought one each for our respective birthdays - Hamish and Sherman.  We had decided that they would be good pets and we would get them fixed and they would eat grass and just walk around looking cute.  Well...
- We then saw an ad online for a couple of pregnant alpacas, and went to see them - hello Vodka and Malibu! They were in poor shape, long curled toe-nails, two-year fleeces, never seen a halter... but we just couldn't walk away :(
- the Alpaca Collection came thick and fast with news of a dispersal sale at Bruny View Stud.  Three girls and our stud Eclipse were purchased, but we wouldn't get them for many months.  Meanwhile, a few more Alapcas popped up in the paddocks (we grow them LOL)!
- Alpaca woman gives us (and the Alpaca's) a crash course in husbandry.
Hamish - May 2012

Sherman - May 2012
Big boys - Dec 2012
Daughter and I successfully halter-train Hamish and Sherman YAY!! 
- Daughter takes a make-up chemistry course at uni, and gets into a pre-med course in Hobart.
- Little one turned two, still wasn't talking much...still isn't with only 60 words!
- We lost Bailey - our first cria, but we gained Poppy the second cria.
Malibu & Poppy
We added two more cria (Poppy needed the company!!) and their Mum's!!
- Burnt the fence-lines, then two days later they re-lit and I was left to put out a fire by myself - very scary!!!

- We ripped out all of the veg gardens and made our own raised beds.
- We lost our grey cat Mavis to a snakebite, then we were adopted by a black kitten who had been dumped on our road with his sisters and brothers. Welcome Jasper!
- We got used to showering in pond water, drinking rain water and in drought...looking for bottled water whilst digging out the dam.

- We had to kill our first tiger-snake :( Too risky with a 2y.o

- (Husband) dropped the tractor in the dam!
- Turbo chickens eat all our veg seedlings in the raised beds, but the orchard yields buckets (and buckets) of apples, nashi pears, pears and more apples.
(just yesterday!)
We learn that we have to net the apricot, nectarine and plum trees next year if we want to keep the fruit from the parrots!! LOL Everyone is sick of apple pie, apple slice, apple crumble etc

- We learn about Alpaca mating first-hand, and complete our own husbandry tasks.
We can't believe a year has gone, we still have lots to learn, but wouldn't change it for the world!! :)

What makes this place heaven?  The fresh air, the space, the changing weather, the return to simplicity and what's important.
Our little one can collect eggs every morning

 and stroke a chicken,

 feed an alpaca

and eat fruit straight from the trees.


  1. A really impressive first year Lisa - well done to you all. Certainly different having a Platypus and snakes around the place, we moan about the rabbits! Keep up the good life - and the hard work! Shirley & Robbie

  2. Thanks Shirley and Robbie :) The snakes keep the rabbit population down here, the cats scare off the snakes and also keep the rabbits in check!

  3. I remember the days of matching nails and shoes (over 6 years ago now) and I wouldn't swap it for the world. Although a brief change from wellies to heels at the British Alpaca Futurity at the weekend ment it was back to matching nails and high strappy sandals for one night, but I soon realised how I'd lost the ability to wear them!

  4. What a year of achievement! A fascinating summary.