It’s planting time!

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It’s all happening here at the moment.

Remember, we finally had rain – yay! – and just so you realise how much rain we’ve had, I’ll show you exactly:

January – 4th: 22mm ~ 25th: 117mm ~ 28th: 14.5mm ~ 30th: 53mm ~ 31st: 1mm (JAN total: 201mm)

February – 1st: 19mm ~ 2nd: 5mm ~ 3rd: 20mm ~ 4th: 91mm ~ 5th: 61mm ~ 6th to 8th: 61mm ~ 9th: 4.5mm (FEB to date total: 261.5mm)

That’s an awful lot of rain, particularly for the majority of it to be in a block, so the kids managed 3 days off school due to being flooded in. We went for a canoe across our flooded flat, which is below our house:

If you look in the bottom right hand corner of the photo, you can make out the road. We canoed from there across to the bank on the other side and back again. It took us an hour for a 4km (approx) round trip. I was rooted by the time we got back. There were waves, and I pretty much paddled only on the left side all the way back, with my smallest child of 12.5kg in my lap. I didn’t need to go to the gym that day… The water is gone again now, just so you know.

And so, we are planting sorghum and corn – yay again! – and will do so until the end of February. Weeds and grass are being sprayed prior to the planter going through the paddock, and once planting is finished, the paddocks will be fertilised.

Busy on the farm front!

How much rain have you had lately?

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Wrap-up on rain and writing and in-between

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We were really starting to think that we weren’t going to be planting any sorghum this year. You know, no rain and all. But in the last 9 days we have had over 9 inches, so it’s safe to say it is wet at our place. In fact, maybe even too wet to plant, if it doesn’t dry out soon before the curtain closes on the planting period! So we’ll see. But as Nigel says, you can plant in mud but not in dust. It may simply mean we plant something different at a later date.

The calm after the storm

                     The calm after the storm

It’s a busy day for the kids today. After school there is guitar lessons for the 7 year old and tennis lessons for the 9 year old. Both new activities, and both are super excited to start them. I can foresee tennis being rained out though, as the storms have been rolling in around four pm each day… Hmm.

I started the day with some laps at the pool, and managed to get in 17.5 before a god-awful cramp hit my calf muscle. Ouch! So I pulled up stumps, grabbed a coffee and I’m now perched in my little corner of the library watching the weather through my window.

I’m slowly catching up on the Australian Writers’ Centre podcasts (they’re at number 94, but I’m still at 52) for ‘So you want to be a writer’, which I listen to in the car or while ironing or wandering around the house doing my jobs. They are bloody awesome. I was a late starter to them and am quite enjoying listening to them in order. One tip I’ve just heard is to write character page notes for those in your novel. That is, you have a page for each character with their important information like hair colour, habits, etc, that you might forget or accidentally change half way through your novel. So, I’ve just written down each of my characters and skimmed through what I have written so far in both my manuscript and notes (through a number of different notebooks – I really need to condense them into one!) and put their details on each separate page. And guess what – I had forgotten that I had written that my main female character has black hair and blue eyes. I have been imagining her with blonde hair as I write. So there you go.

What are you up to today? Writing? Any after-school activities? 

 

Am writing, am reading, am doing

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How’s everyone going these school holidays? Coping? Doing exceptionally well? Or ready to chuck the kids back into the school system a week early even if they won’t be supervised? We are doing ok, with occasional bouts of intense sibling squabbles. You know how it goes… Here’s a round-up for me this last week or so:

READING:

So, after reading The Lake House, I’ve continued on to read A.L. Tait’s final book Breath of the Dragon in The Mapmaker Chronicles series. They are great books for young readers to clap eyes on, and let their imaginations run wild.

I am currently reading two books at once: On Writing by Stephen King and All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews. King’s book is recommended as The Book To Read if you dream of being a writer/author but until now I had never delved into it. He has some great ideas and  interesting theories on not only writing but also life. I haven’t finished yet, but am enjoying it so far. Toews’ novel is interesting, and as the quote by Margaret Atwood on the front cover says, it is “funny but wrenchingly sad” and for what I have read to this point, this is a very succinct statement.

WRITING:

Anthology – the next exercise that is leading towards our finished pieces is due Sunday and I finished that last night. I’ll leave it a couple of days and then go back and edit it before posting it for the group to critique.

Manuscript – editing what I have previously written and swapping the order of a few bits as suggested by my writing group. I’m having fun with it again and look forward to being able to work on it. Once I’m through with these edits I’ll get back to the proper writing again. Do you edit as you go or just vomit it all out onto paper or screen and edit at the very end?

FARM:

We’re still waiting for decent rain! There have been a few little showers (11mm, 22mm, 3mm) but at the moment they’ve been good for nothing except grow weeds and grass in the paddocks. So Nigel has been spraying the last few days to get on top of the feathertop and weeds, but we can’t plant any sorghum yet until it rains properly. The nice green tinge that was on my lawn is slowly disappearing so I’d best water it in the next couple of days.

EVERYTHING ELSE:

We had two nights out at the dam for New Year’s Eve and New Year. The first day was great – a bit of skiing, nice enough weather (it’s wasn’t melting hot) and not too many boats on the water at all. The next day though, the boat had a bit of a hissy fit and so we were left to kayak, swim and laze about. It didn’t end up being a terrible thing, as the dam was inundated with boats for New Year’s day festivities and quite frankly the water was rather choppy. With the water level down a bit also, it doesn’t leave much room for too many boats on the water.

The 3.5 year old on the kneeboard by herself, with dad next to her on another

The 3.5 year old on the kneeboard by herself, with dad next to her on another

Heading off to check the pots for red-claw

Heading off to check the pots for red-claw

The kids and I have just been to Rocky for a couple of nights to do back-to-school shopping. Now we just have to pick up the school books from the local Newsagency and uniforms from the school and we are set. The lady who sold us our school shoes said that she had done 17,000 steps in one day in her shop and lost a kilogram in a week it has been that busy! Craziness.

Today sees us heading to the pool in town with a few other kids and lunch at the pub after. So very civilised 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week!