Hello everyone. I'm back from a very enjoyable busy two weeks visiting my parents in Western Australia. The weather in the west where they live is warmer than Melbourne and it was sunny too which was lovely. How nice to get clothes dry on the line, to have dew on the grass in the morning but dried by midday instead of remaining the whole winter as it does where I live.
Going back to where I grew up is always enjoyable. I sleep in the same bedroom which is a guest room now. I enjoy my mum's cooking which takes me back to when I was a child. This visit home I got to taste home grown beef which was delicious as well as fresh milk from my brother's cows. Yes, he milks his own cows and the cream sits at the top of the bottle just like in the 'olden days'. Then there is the joy of feeding the chooks who are laying prolifically at the moment, up to 10 eggs a day. Chooks are such funny creatures with their different personalities, somewhat depending on the breed. Some come crowding around your feet when you enter the pen, others are flighty and run away making the most ridiculous clucking noises to ever be emitted from a chook.
So I spent time helping mum in the house vacuuming as she can no longer do that, although she is fabulous with a broom and a duster. Old farm houses get dusty very quickly and the Daddy Long Leg spiders seem to breed before your eyes. Mum has had two hip replacements, uses a walker for balance and is unable to bend down. She has arthritis in her hands and keeps her fingers as nimble as she can buy playing the piano and crocheting which she has just started re-teaching herself. Despite these impediments, she has found ways to do everyday things, she just does them differently now. Mum does not complain, is full of fun and in good spirits. Such a wonderful example to me and our family.
Dad has a respiratory illness which makes him very tired due to a lack of oxygen and he sleeps quite a bit during the day. He really enjoys jigsaw puzzles and is currently working on one I took over for him. Just between you and me, it keeps him out of trouble! :) (Well we try to keep him out of trouble.) He loves reading the farm papers and although not actively farming he is still very interested in everything that is going on. He started farming when he was about 16 so it's well and truly in the blood. He has lived on the farm for 84 years and that in my opinion is amazing. I'm sure he cannot believe where the years have gone.
Dad has always loved to cut wood for the fire although this is something that is becoming increasingly hard for him. While I was home he decided to cut down a dead tree by tying a rope to it, cutting halfway through the tree base and pulling it down with the 1 ton ute. It was a big job as there were all the branches to cut into pieces with the chain saw (which was temperamental) and then stack them on the 1 tonne and off load at the wood heap. I helped him load the wood on and off the 1 ton ute and enjoyed the physical work very much. It was good to be outside in the fresh air, wide open spaces and working with my Dad. And here he is, having a break before tackling the next branch.
Doesn't he look fantastic for 84!
I took it upon myself to bring in some of the barrow loads of wood for the fire each day. This job has now been made much easier with the installation of a ramp up to the back door which was organised by the government, part of the help being offered to keep the elderly in their own homes as long as possible. The ramp was actually installed to help mum get in and out of the house with her walker which means that the wheelbarrowing is much easier too.
The pavers need rearranging which is something hubby will attend to when he visits later in the year. See the white pot plant holder, I pinched it from another part of the garden, touched it up with paint and voila, now we have a welcoming entry to the backdoor. I also rescued this pot plant stand below, from a vine, painted it and potted up some petunias for mum so in a few weeks she will see lovely colour when she comes out the door.