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Blessings for the New Year!

My first blog of the new year 2013! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that this year will be crammed full of laughter, joy and enough challenges to keep you growing. I have had lots of people staying over the last few weeks. We celebrated Chris’s 5oth on the 29th so there were 32 folk staying here for a few days. The barn was full of people again and the volleyball court and swimming pool in constant use. So was my dishwasher. And washing machine. 🙂 Thank goodness we’ve moved on from the composting loo.

The day our last visitors left a new sort of busyness began. A digger arrived and we began our garage! Chris can’t wait for the magical moment when he can hang up all his tools and have a proper workshop. Chris’s cousin Steve lent a hand with the digger and insisted I try my hand at it. Fun. I want a pet digger all of my own.

The only down side of progress and building is the mess it generates. I’ve got used to having lovely lawns and no dirt piles around. We also had to lay a much needed drain right across our driveway so that was even more mess added to the garage mess. Yesterday Chris and I worked from 7am to 9pm, compacting the metal and then the sand on the pad, laying out the polythene, and bending all the steel. Kate was a huge help in cleaning out the ditches, and  Sam and Josiah helped for a while raking out and levelling the metal.

So all going well, we will finish laying the steel by Friday and be ready to pour the footings on Saturday. The weather is looking great, thank goodness.

Necessary mess for drainage

The exciting off shoot to all the digging is that finally we had the soil to fill in the last part of the front line near the stone wall. There’s been a gaping hole there for eight months. Once that was filled in Kate and Milly helped me plant the last of the box hedging. The grass will have to wait till autumn of course.

And then we filled the rather dodgy circular stone-walled bed that I made all by myself – mostly because Chris wasn’t interested, but also to prove to him that I did know how to lay a stone. (He removed every attempt I made at helping him build our stone wall. Very frustrating.)

Then Josiah planted the crab apple tree that my three sons bought me for Christmas!

Exciting. It’s a Jelly King crab apple. I’ve just been reading in Lynda Hallinan’s inspiring book Back to the Land – A Year of Country Gardening about making toffee apples from Jelly King crab apples. I’m going to give that a try next harvest. (Just a funny aside. Last June my mum and dad gave both Penny and I a Whitcoulls voucher each for our birthdays. Neither of us redeemed it for six months, but then unbeknowns to each other, we both went in the same week and bought the same book! How weird is that! Twins. :))

My vegie garden is full of food! The strawberries have been amazing and we’ve eaten salads most nights. I really am enjoying my garden. 🙂

My flower garden is looking beautiful with hollyhocks still taking centre stage and the second flush on some of my roses. My all-time favourite is Abraham Darby.

Allium flowers

Well, I’d better put some sunscreen on and prepare myself to venture out into the heat and lay some steel when Chris gets home from work. have a wonderful day/month/year!

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