Happy New Year…

A combined New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day post.

Yesterday we had a fairly busy day. We went shopping to buy some gifts for a Chinese auction that was to be held at the neighbours New Year’s Eve party last night. We also did some other shopping and I’m now the proud owner of a 1 litre Bodum french press so if you come and visit us (or just me) I can now make you coffee!  We also threw in some grocery shopping and a visit to Bunnings.

We weren’t familiar with what a Chinese (or gift exchange) auction was. Once it started, though, we realised it was the same game played on My Family the other night on the (replayed?) Christmas 2009 special. That’s the only other time we’ve heard of the game. It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed the game and the party. It was the first time we saw the New Year in for years.

We slept in this morning. Ha! some might say 8:30 isn’t much of a sleep in, but for me it is. It was warm enough to put water in the pool for Anzac. He splashed and paddled and went to town in it as usual. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned the way Anzac likes to play with his water bowl, pushing it round the paving, tipping it over and running round with it tossing it in the air. Here’s a video to show you a little of what I mean:

You can probably guess why he has a plastic water bowl and not a stainless steel one. He pushes the stainless steel bowl around the pavers with just as much (if not more) vigour. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that he likes to do the same thing with buckets:

Well, this morning he decided he could drag the pool around. That’s a clamshell pool with water in it. He’s not interested in dragging the pool when it’s empty; there’s no water to splash over the sides. He grabbed hold with his teeth and did manage to move it several inches before I told him to stop. He made several attempts and moved it a bit each time.

This afternoon we watched the Hopman Cup tennis and I caught up on some ironing. I’m really not looking forward to Stephen’s new job where he has to wear a business shirt each day.

Housekeeping…

I do like it when the house is nice and clean. I only wish it would stay that way for a while. With the weather here being so dry and windy and the whole area being so sandy the dust is a real nuisance. You wipe a shelf clean at lunch time and by tea time you can see your finger trail as you wipe it across that same shelf. And with our hairy dogs, when you vacuum and wash the floor it looks lovely. But by the time you’ve rinsed the bucket and put the mop away there are new tumbleweeds of hair rolling across the floor.

Today was a housekeeping day. I worked inside and Stephen worked outside in the garden. Then this afternoon a trip to Bunnings.

The security screen installer cam and fitted the new screen in the bathroom. All of our windows and doors finally have security screens. It’s only taken me 3 years to get around to getting this last screen.

Still no word from the fencer. I guess he’s taking this week off. No word from the neighbour’s insurance company yet, either. Hopefully they’ll approve payment of his half for the entire length. There are strong wind warnings out for tonight.

And to finish up, a couple of pictures…

The veggie garden today

The veggie garden today

A dog and his man

A dog and his man

Raindrops keep falling on my head…

We had rain today. Beautiful rain. Not a lot, but any is better than none at all.

I went out mid-morning to work in the veggie garden. I wanted to finish the watering system we’d started installing on the weekend. The rain chased me inside a couple of times, but for only a few minutes at a time.

I wasn’t really happy with the layout that we started with on the weekend, so I took it up, plugged the holes in the poly pipe where we’d put the first lot of flex hose/trickler sprays and relaid it.  I worked all day, putting in the little short lengths of hose and the sprays. Stephen had gone into the office and I was still working when he got home. He went to Bunnings for me, to get bits and pieces I needed to finish.

When it was finished (well, the first time finish) we found that we had so many sprays on the one line that the last couple of beds were hardly getting any water, due to the low pressure. We have 33 sprays in all in the veggie garden, three of those are on citrus trees.  Back to Bunnings for Stephen to get some fittings to split the line into two sections while I started planting out seedlings.

Making two separate sections made a huge difference. The coverage of the sprays is perfect.  The system isn’t fully automatic, with timers etc, but it’s a lot better than putting on a sprinkler and watering the paths as well as the veggies. It’s a matter of turning on the tap and making sure the correct area is switched on. On this system we have the two veggie areas and the rose garden. It’s not such a hardship to walk out into the garden and switch the splitter.

The veggie garden suffered while we were away. We hadn’t planted much because we knew Tanisha wouldn’t have too much time to be out watering. The tomatoes were past their best, the leeks also suffered. The broad beans had finished and we wanted them to die down to be dug in. But we do have nice looking capsicums. There wasn’t much else in the beds. Now we have: tomatoes, basil, chillis (several types), rainbow chard, beans, eggplants (thanks Gino),the capsicums, leeks, sweet corn and sugar snap peas. I think that’s everything. We also have sundry other herbs growing in the herb bed.

Now that the watering system is up and running, I need to build a shade structure to protect the plants in the heat of summer.

Veggie beds with the new watering system

Veggie beds with the new watering system

There was no walk today, but the dogs enjoyed spending the whole day outside with me. It was quite warm and muggy and even Anzac was happy to lay around chewing bones and toys, just expending bursts of energy every now and then. I’m sure he’ll make up for it with ball throwing requests as the evening wears on.

More ball training and gardening…

This afternoon we set to work in the veggie garden. We pulled out all the strugglers and stragglers, added compost to the beds and dug them over. We went to Bunnings to buy seedlings – tomatoes, basil, corn, rainbow chard and a couple of chili plants. We also bought bits and pices to set up a trickler watering system in the veggie beds. Before we went on holidays we set up a similar system in the rose garden and it’s working well. The veggie beds are a bit more of a challenge because they are separate raised beds, but we want just one continuous line to go around all the beds. We got the tricklers installed in the first bed and it looks like they’ll work well. Once it’s all done, I’ll plant up the seedlings then order a load of mulch to top up around the beds.

I also spent a lot of time today throwing the ball for Anzac (he could chase the ball all day). He’s already really  good at dropping the ball in the hat. Tomorrow we’ll try it at the park. That will be the real test. There are lots of distractions at the park. Not like at home where his sole focus is the ball.