Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Progress Report


Tractor is back in action. New battery, properly emplaced in the holder. Of course, the lead to the negative terminal was too short for this new battery (by scant millimetres, naturally) so I had to unhook it from the body of the tractor and find a new bolt I could use to anchor it. No big deal. Tractor runs. Tomorrow is out of the question. So is Friday. Saturday is incredibly overloaded. Sunday is no good either... but if it's fine on Monday, I may just be able to slash a couple of the paddocks. Yay.

Whipper-snipper and chainsaw are still with the repair-johnnies. This time of year they're busy as hell. But I expect to hear from 'em pretty soon, so maybe Monday, maybe Wednesday? I dunno.

Short story completed, sent off to the editors/publishers of the anthology. It's too soon for me to be sure what I think of it, but it worked out okay once I figured out which POV to use, and got rid of the first 2000 words. Yeesh.

Programme for the ju-jitsu demonstration on Saturday, for the Xmas Parade in Scottsdale has now been settled. Every kid has something they can do or contribute. We've got demos of throwing techniques, groundfighting, defenses against knives, free-fighting, lots of smashing of pine boards by kids of various ages, escapes from various grappling and grabbing attacks... should be enough to keep people entertained, what with the patented Flinthart patter to introduce each player.

Unfortunately, Natalie is on call over the weekend. This is particularly unfortunate because the two boys are involved in the Cub Scouts float. This means I can't just run away as soon as the ju-jitsu demo is over. I have to stick around for the whole show... and immediately after that, apparently, I have to throw the kids into the car and make a dash for the Launceston airport, where the next of our visiting medical students is due to make her arrival. Like I said: Saturday is a total write-off.

Garden beds for the rocket and cabbage are now prepped, waiting under weed-mat for the seedlings to be big enough to plant out. May have to throw a bit of compost and loose soil under there too, but overall it's ready to go.

Pruned the lower branches of the big Bay tree. Discovered two attempts at air-layering I did about a year and a half ago. Both have been extremely successful. I lopped both branches and planted them out, with lots of water. Might get a couple new Bay Laurels... hopefully.

Snow peas and strawberries producing nicely. Still have to add more growth support for the snow peas. Tomatoes are now in place, doing well.

Will drive to Launceston tomorrow to purchase more insulation. Probably grab some more pine boards for kids to smash at the demo, too. And maybe some structural timber for some of the garden work.

Elder Son's "Silent Night" progressing nicely. Note: when is the school event where he's supposed to play?

No progress at all on Younger Son's birthday party. This could be difficult...

Sword techniques progressing nicely. Noted with some satisfaction that I weathered the repetitive, strenuous training exercises with more aplomb than in recent past. Fitness moving up again - very good.

Stoopid baby chickens still alive. "Chicken Dome" device/cage to let them have days out on the grass now 3/4 complete. Need to finish applying bird-wire to the polypipe frame, and hang a watering station.

And in other news: jeez, I'm tired. Early night tonight. I've got a bit of work to do, reading and appraising a manuscript anyhow...


  1. It's that three-to-one kiddie ratio. Allowing for kid involvement with school, scouts, musical instruments, martial arts and cricket, one immediately begins to see the pattern...

  2. Just wondering how steep your slopes are? I always get paranoid about tractors rolling.

  3. You got raspberries down there at the Flinthart compound? I suppose the strawberries would be rolling in there before long. Tomatoes about, what, January?

    I take it you do home canning? That's the world's messiest job if you're putting up tomatoes.

  4. Raspberries? Naturally. Not as many as I'd like. They don't adore the local conditions as thoroughly as the blackberries. There's probably something I need to add to the soil. Strawberries are doing okay, but the growth troughs are definitely not deep enough. Must rebuild The Device more effectively over winter.

    Home canning... never bothered. But I do have a dehydrator.

    NatV: there are places where the slopes are NOT tractor-friendly. I only go upwards and downwards on those bits. Sideways is reserved for slopes that won't kill me.

  5. I echo Sue. I've been thinkin' about doin' stuff around here for years but inevitably...I nap.

  6. Really? No canning? That surprises me a bit since you seem pretty self-sufficient there. It is a pile of work, though-which it looks like you don't need right now.

    Good luck with the berries!

  7. YD -- put it down to my addiction to the fresh stuff. It's very, very rare that I open a can at all. But if I ever do wind up with Tomato Overload, I'll give it some thought. Mind you, I rather like semi-dried tomatoes...