Week 4

I looked at the budget today and it looks like we’re going pretty well.  I went in town and the only food I bought was some choc-coated almonds and choc-coated peanuts (we’re human – we need treats) and a  bottle of white vinegar for the cucumber pickles.  I’m really surprised at how well we’re doing managing our budget.  Oh, and I should say that, although I only spent $20 on those food items, overall today I did spend about $100 -on algicide for the pool $60, a prepaid phone card from Aldi $20, mousetraps from Norco $13 and panadol from the pharmacy (for my toothache- can’t believe you can buy panadol for $2), a new library card and two overdue fines  $4.30 (it was hilarious because the librarian looked at me seriously, cocked one eyebrow and said “you don’t have to pay it all at once if you don’t want to.”  I was tempted to say “you do realise that $4.30 is like, less than a cup of coffee these days”).

Speaking of panadol- my life for the past week has revolved around the pain associated with my loose left lower lateral incisor (what a mouthful that is!).  It’s been loose since last November when, for $2000, my dentist peeled down my gums and cleaned around the roots of my teeth to try to stop them from taking a permanent vacation.  It seems that, by not flossing EVER, I’ve damaged my gums and the bed of bone that hold my teeth in place.  Anyway, I’ve had a loose tooth for some time but over the past couple of weeks it has become more painful, and for the last 48 hours, every time something (like my tongue) touches it, I jump in the air like I’ve been hit with an electric shock.  It’s so painful, it’s like being punched in the mouth.  So I’ve been on a diet of soup, smoothies and painkillers.  I would like to have tried chewing guava leaf for the pain but unfortunately, chewing is out the question.  When I wake in the morning I feel a dull throbbing in my chin. At this stage I can rinse my mouth with a mix of boiled comfrey, chamomile and clove water.   By lunch time I’m in serious pain so I take 2 panadol and they knock me out for about 2 hours.  I feel much better when I wake up, but by dinner time I’m in agony.  I take 2 nurofen plus and lie on the bed to avoid moving my mouth in any way.  It’s been terrible. I have an appointment with the Community dentist tomorrow.  The receptionists up there are lovely., empathetic women.  I arrived there at 8am this morning and they gave me a 1300 number to ring and explained to me how to get on the emergency high priority list.  After I called and added my name to the list, I went back to the dental clinic and let them  know personally that I was on the list.  One of the women wrote down my name and they assured me they would call me immediately if their was a cancellation. They called 2 hours later and my appointment is tomorrow at 11am.  Thank Christ (no offence, mum)!

I was going to invest some time in sharing the adventures of goat ownership with you.  I’m very attached to our does, Patty and Candice.  I also love love love the six month old buck who likes to gently lean his body on me, put his face in my hands and just have a good stare into my eyes, press his face softly but firmly onto my leg to let me know he’s there.  But I can’t let myself get attached to him 😦 because I got a book of goat recipes out of the library and Sali Boti is on the menu for next week.

Apart from my tooth, I’m enjoying my time immensely.  Do I have any complaints?  NO, well, maybe just one… OK, so the ‘year of self sufficiency’ thing is supposed to be 50% hard work balanced with 50% leisure/personal development time (in other words basically stuffing around doing whatever we like). But how can a person have fun when they feel resentful? Why do I feel like I carry the burden of most of the boring, monotonous daily jobs while Etienne seems to do the more interesting stuff?   Etienne assures me that he is doing his share when he disappears on the tractor, tinkers in the tool shed repairing a broom handle or making another gate (soooo many gates) or spends hours cruising around on the zero-turn, or climbing trees to collect mangoes… whilst I find myself doing most of the house cleaning, weeding and watering the gardening, making chutney, goat cheese and pickles, and tending of the animals.  The division of labour within the household has got to be the biggest challenge of modern day living. I don’t know if I have any female friends who think that their husband does his share of the chores (no offence fellas). Even though I can see that Etienne does just as much work on the farm as I do (and often more than me), his jobs are not the monotonous mind numbing ones.  I have to admit that we share the meal preparation and dishes equally (and Izzy does her share of both as well).

Highlights of the week:

  1. Last week I asked Etienne to drive me up through the back of our property to visit a friend. To get there we have to drive up a bush track to the ridge at the back of our property then further up mountain top to their place. Our ute struggles with the steep gradient so we put heavy logs in the back to improve the traction. Anyway the ute still couldn’t get up the rise so I hopped in the back to add some additional weight over the back tyres. Etienne ground her over the loose stones at the start of the rise and then we started to gain some speed. It was invigorating. I stood gripping the steel rack, looking over the cab, the wind in my hair as the ute, like a big steel monster, twisted and turned, wheels skidding, rocking wildly up the track. I braced myself anticipating each bounce and fall. I was laughing hysterically, dodging branches and cobwebs, sometimes my feet bounced right off the tray. We went over a small rise and started down the incline. The big logs started to roll into my feet so I put one foot on each of the raised sections over the tyres, in a weird kind of surfing pose. We gained some speed and I rode up the last slope with my head flung back and my dress flapping in the wind. When we arrived at z‘s place she said “Do it again I need to take a photo. You looked like Pracilla Queen of the Desert.”
  2. Etienne made rabbit stew with a local rabbit, baked with home grown veggies, herbs and bunya nuts.  Phenomenal!!!
  3. Kirstan at the Goolmangar store (our little store in the middle of nowhere)  didn’t have any vinegar to sell me so she whipped out her own and said “here you can have this.”  I have so much fruit and vegetable to bottle at the moment so I was extremely grateful.  Awesome community spirit.
  4. Cucumber pickles, mango chutney, mango sauce…

That’s about it. All the best to followers and visitors alike.  FYI – followers are people with their own blogs, visitors are people who visit the website but don’t have their own blogs (ie. Mum).






2 thoughts on “Week 4

  1. This was such an inspiring post. I don’t know that my hubby and I will ever live off the land as you and your family are, but we’d love to grow some of our own food, live simply, and live closer to nature. I truly enjoyed reading about your adventures. I hope your toothache is feeling better soon!


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