Day 56 ....
After breakfast I call a meeting with the "family" now that we know what our future plans are going to be, we need to start preparing for it. My boy's need to help me with some of the work and collecting wood is one of them. George is not really able to do a lot of the physical work of hauling wood, cutting and stacking so we need a good supply to see us through the winter. A good 2 day's work. And it gives them something to do while they waiting to put their plans into action. This is where I am going to find it the hardest doing myself.We might have to look at getting some gas heating for the water or get the solar panels up and working,that means getting a gas booster and tank. A lot of the work is now going to rest on my shoulders again.
Under normal circumstances I would have paid Dennis to deliver wood by the trailer load. Another paddock needs fencing for the sheep to rotate them, and also a crusher and ramp to load them if needed. For that they just going to have to fell some trees for posts. Dig a few holes and plant the posts, add a few rails and make a gate of sorts. Buying a steel crusher is just to expensive and this wooden crusher, will work well enough for our needs. Loading and off loading the sheep has always been a problem in the past.
My secret plan is to get a 2 Bobby calves, now for those not in the know, that is male calves born to milking cows. It's a cruel world out there when they get ripped of their mom's teat, so we can drink the milk that they so badly need to grow strong on. Some get sold at the markets for a "Bob" as it was known in the old days cause they worth no more than that, very sad. So We will need a small shed for them to shelter under, next to the crusher, the boy's think they just adding a little sheltered area.
The girls are weeding and watering the veggie patch, a job that I love. We dig up 3 stools of potatoes, and are rewarded with about 1 1/2kg worth of potatoes. There's nothing like a fresh spud with butter, Yummmy if only we had a little savoury mince, grated cheese and sour cream to go with them. We harvest enough silver beet/spinach that we're going to cook with a little onion and 2 potato as a base for a quiche, 5 eggs and a few cherry tomatoes in a pastry shell. Maybe not a true quiche but it will do. Jenny sent over a few baby pears for the kids to snack on but I have a better idea and make a pear pie and a little custard to go with them for dessert. A feast of chicken drumsticks, were defrosted and roasted with herbs and lemon, served with the quiche and pear pie for dinner.
Day 57 ....
The boys are doing great hauling wood and even found a few straight tree trunks for the posts (12), it's hard work. George and I decide to measure out the area and dig the holes ready for the posts. That should save time when the boys get back. We're so lucky to have 10 acres of crown land around our place. Where we can cut dead trees for wood. Coffee and rusks on demand this morning. And large bottles of water cooling in the fridge. George making sure the batteries are all charged, so the generator is running again. That is my chance to get the slow cooker on making a mild butter chicken. The rice won't take long to make. The kids get to play Xbox so that keeps them out our hair a bit.
We"re all exhausted and happy to have a swim in the river late afternoon. Peaches and custard for dessert.
Day 58 ....
Us girls get lessons on how to use the chainsaw, on the smaller branches and get them hacked up and stacked while Michael and Neal chop up some of the larger pieces. Chop and stack, it's team work and soon the jobs done. We won't be using quite as much wood as what we have been cause we'll be fewer people needing hot water. A hearty breakfast keeps everyone going, by lunch time a light pasta salad is served with a slice of watermelon.
Late afternoon the posts are all in, there's no cement to concrete them in, so the job cannot be finished, Tomorrow I'll visit Russell the plumber and see if he's got any, or maybe the builder that's just finished building his small retirement home, a better bet I think. If not then the job can wait until we can go into town and get some there.
The kids want to go for another swim so we head down to the river. Taking the rods and hand lines with just in case we lucky and catch something. no fishy bites but a dozen yabbies will make a good lunch tomorrow.
The tubs get filled with water for the washing and the dirtiest clothes get soaked overnight. Exhausted from the heat and hard work, everyone glad to get to bed early.
Day 59 ....
Another wonderful cool morning begins the day, after the first cup of coffee the milking boys return with a few litres of milk for our breakfast. I get thinking about what I going to do about milk, may have to buy it off the farmer until we can get regular milk or powdered milk. Sure going to miss the fresh stuff.We'd better make some deal .... After breakfast I head on over to Ken and Russell's place to ask about cement, it's 8 bags between the two and I happy with that.
The girls have the washing done and hung to dry by morning tea, it's a larger wash than normal cause they starting to get ready to leave. They spend the rest of the day sorting out their little homes and doing a spring clean. The generator gets taken over to the cottages so the Dyson vacuum cleaner can be used. And even the windows get a clean, anyone want to do my cottage? I better see to the meals while all this is going on. Yabby and pasta salad with cherry toms and a few greens. I make a loaf of zuchinni bread with sunflower seeds on top.
The boys concrete the posts after drilling holes for the wire to go through, then it's just wait for the concrete to dry. It's not quick drying so tomorrow they be able to pull the wire between the posts. Nick gives his car a wash and shine, vacuum inside. That starts the others off too. It better not rain tomorrow! Late afternoon the boys head off to go see the Constable to see if he's heard anything new.
They report back that the power came on that morning, went off again and come back on again this afternoon and it's still on. He's been listening to the cop station for any reports, or news. There is still problems in the cities, trying to get supplies throw. There is very little food on the shelves cause of the lack of petrol for the big trucks. But they working on it. The West of Sydney is know as the food basin for Sydney, and the farmers have pulled together and decided to take their produce straight to the veggie shops and independent supermarkets and sell direct. That is a smart move I'd say. Bakeries have started baking again and bread is available at most small bakeries. Deliveries of other products are slowly happening again.
He says people are asked to return to their homes and jobs. The trains will be running free for the next 2 weeks, no matter where you come from or going too only you still need to book. It's getting better but far from right. The national guard will still patrol the streets with the police force.
Day 60 ....
The boy's decide it's time to make a move, and today they will finish off their jobs here. Do the last milking tonight and leave early morning.Nick has decided to take the train to Sydney cause they have another car there in storage. His train leaves at 11am tomorrow, it gives him a few days in Sydney to get organized again, go see friends and maybe stay with them until he can find accommodation again. He calls them from the local phone booth and manage to find them at home. His job is still waiting for him which is just wonderful ... Adele and kids are sad to see him go but Nick will be back in a few weeks to come fetch them. He will get a lift with Tanya and Michael to the station.
Michael & Tanya decide to leave for Brisbane with Neal, Eliza & Luke, who is dying to see his mum. Linda has been with her parents and grandparents. And will be returning to her old job and unit. Tanya will have to start over again in Brisbane, maybe start looking for a job somewhere. Atleast she's nearer her brothers.
Anyway it's for them to sort out. Before they leave I make survival parcels up with the basic foods and toiletries enough to see them through for a few weeks. And some money for petrol. Micheal has left his bikes here for now. Marna and Cobi have stayed behind until he sorts things out that side. Cobi is safe enough with us here.
Monday School starts again and the 3 kids will be there bright eyed and bushy tailed ....
The house feels so empty without everyone around, We're all a little worried for the family that left, but I know they can't live here forever either...
Soon it will be just the two of us here, oh and all the animals to keep us company.