After a rather rushed end of 2011 & a busy start to 2012 up in Queensland, it is wonderful to arrive back here at Sunnyside & have the time to finally write you. I trust you had a wonderful Christmas time & a Happy New Year. I love the New Year & the new beginnings it symbolises. Sure we have new beginnings all the time (for which I'm very thankful), but for some reason a new calendar always feels like a special new beginning for me. I am always amazed that God has decided to give us another year. I wonder what His purposes are for us in 2012?
Our farm is still alive & well cared for (thanks to our farm-sitter who managed to take care of everything even though he was still busy finishing off harvest). We are very thankful for the large amounts of rain we received after Christmas as my watering system decided to stop working at some point in the week. Our yard now resembles a jungle. The mower will be working triple time to try & tame all the grass & the paddocks are in desperate need of slashing & spraying for weeds. It's true that the jobs never end, but we'd rather be busy than bored, so continue to count our work as a blessing ~ even if we feel it is going to be a full time job to maintain this piece of land.
My garden has about quadrupled in size since we left. The many tomato plants (remember my slight addiction to tomato seedlings last year) are loaded down with fruit & we are already enjoying their produce! Home grown tomatoes are the most delicious you'll ever get & I always look forward to this time of year when I can bypass the hard, tasteless shop ones & instead go out into the garden & pick my own. Last year fruit fly got all our tomatoes, so I'm thankful to not have found any sign of them yet.
Unfortunately with the garden growing so well, the weeds have also decided to set in, but the twins & I have been out weeding the worst of the beds this morning & we will continue throughout the week to tackle these intruders!
Our chickens have reduced their laying while we were away, but I'm not sure if that's due to being restricted to their hen house with only grains for food when they are used to a full, open-range diet, or if the erratic weather patterns is confusing them as to what season it truly is ( it was so cold this morning that we were all in jumpers ~ in the middle of summer).
Our pigs were missing when we arrived & we were slightly concerned as they have begun to wander wider afield. We are also aware that they are at the perfect size for eating and we are bordered on three sides by roads should they push under the fences. So yesterday Eli & I decided to embark in a search mission. Eli was wonderful, he'll make the perfect little tracker ~ following manure & hoof prints, we were able to find them down near 'treasure forest' & bring them home again. They seem to have doubled in size as well ~ especially Boris ~ he's going to be a big boy. We are currently in the process of purchasing a solar electric fence so we can restrict their movements a little more!
Sadly our farm-sitter decided that my sour-dough starter in the fridge needed to be thrown away. I'm not sure why as there was other food that probably needed it more, but it was disappointing to arrive home to a dead "Nana". I will begin another starter later today.
Oh & the other animals ~ the ducks are fine, the sheep are at a friends farm & the cat, well he's missing, but that's not unusual. He often goes 'visiting' for a couple of weeks at a time! As for Bessy.... well that's another post ;)
So we are home. I will post about our holiday, but just wanted to wish you a very Happy New Year from all the family here at Sunnyside!
I will endeavour to fix up this layout ~ New Year welcomed in a loss of background image ~ did anyone else have this problem?
(All photos in this post were taken today)
May God bless you throughout 2012!