Adelaide ANZAC and welcome back.

Despite leaving Adelaide at the unconscionable  hour of 6:10am, the drive back home was pleasant. Rain had been forecast, but as generally happens, such  predictions are based on hope rather than reality,  and  the journey was without rain.  I love the element of uncertainty of weather forecasts – on Monday evening  they tell you that it will rain on Tuesday and on Tuesday evening, they tell you why it didn’t. Part of the reason I saw the fire trucks coming was that I was standing at the window – as I said- watching the rain because we don’t see it all that often in the Arid ands of the North of the State.  We don’t get anything near the rain that Adelaide and the “bottom” area of the state gets Anyway it was a nice drive  and it was nice to be home again, although herself didn’t really expect me until mid afternoon.   The dogs were pleased to see me and I sat down with them for a while. I was only home for one day and I was off to Adelaide again, this time with my son . He own property in Adelaide and was going down for meetings with his agent. . The one day I was home was not really a “free day” I was back up at 5am and off to Memorial Oval for the Dawn Service of Remembrance at 5:45.  Thursday 25th April is set aside as ANZAC Remembrance Day. I generally go to the Dawn Service then meet up with some people and go for breakfast at McDonald’s – mainly because it’s the only place that’s open at 6:40am.  Most businesses stay closed for the day but the supermarkets generally open at 12 noon as do other businesses who wish to do so.

Friday and we set out for Adelaide again. Twice in a week is very tiring and I am due  back there again next weekend. However, I’ve had enough for the moment so I think I might put in an apology for next week. I need the break considering that I will be spending the last week of May in Adelaide.

I have examined all my settings and as far as I can tell they are still in operations and I know that I have not made any alterations. I do know that, according to site stats, I have had no visitors since 6th April – which is a little bit of a concern. I still get  notifications from the sites I follow but not nearly as many as I used to. I don’t generally delete things but rather archive them so I still have posts from mid 2012 in the system——–WooHoo    welcome back…

Firetrucks and Conferences

20130422_185132The Monday drive to Adelaide was very good. It was a nice clear day and I didn’t meet any rain until I was already in Adelaide. I met up with a friend and had coffee and cake.  Had a very interesting afternoon.  I did deliver the paperwork I was asked to at North Adelaide and posted the other things off at the Central Post Office. In the evening I had some excitement as two big fire trucks, with sirens blaring and lights flashing came around the corner and, much to my concern, parked at the front of the hotel – right underneath my room window. The reason I saw them coming was simply because I was standing at the window watching the rain come hammering down.  Anyway, they were there for about 40 minutes and it turned out to be a board fault that triggered the alarm.  I know the photograph is not all that great but it really is one of the fire trucks underneath my window at the hotel.    Sleep ??   Slept like the proverbial log.

Tuesday and the conference was good as conferences go – more ‘touchy-feely’ than controversial,  wandered round the issues without really getting to grips with them.  All broke up warm and fuzzy without anything being really settled and the communication issue still not resolved.

By the time the conference finished up it was too late to start driving back home. I really didn’t feel like a five hour drive in the dark, so I stayed  until the following morning. I was on my way by 06:10 and yes it was dark but the road out of Adelaide is a four lane divided highway for 100 kilometres and by the time I reached the end the sun was coming up and I did the rest of the journey in daylight arriving home at 10:45. Hitting a Kangaroo always ends up badly for a private vehicle as well as the kangaroo. They are big and solid and while running into one kills the animal, it also destroys the whole front of your car – it’s a write-off.  This has never happened to me but it did happen to several friends. Most of the time you are  all right – just the odd occasion when they decide to move around in the general direction of the roadway.

Goundhogs and garden plants.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I made the long promised trip to the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens. Had a nice lunch and then  went into the  plant nursery. I bought a range of plants and although they didn’t have quite what I wanted, they were able to do as I hoped hey would – suggest a suitable alternative. But in some ways it feels like Groundhog Day in that I have been down this path before where I get all excited and plant things, water, feed a fertilise them only to have them die anyway. The little man got through the fence I put up and I can’t see where he did this. And this is another thing, if he digs up the plants again (he’s cost me hundreds of dollars) I will  just give up. I would rather just put down weedmatting and pine bark rather than get angry with my dogs and risk starting to be resentful. I am too fond of my dogs for that ever to happen. Perhaps I really should stop trying to pretend I’m a gardener when everything I plant dies on me. I’m sure things go into self destruct sequence as soon as I hand over my money.

Gallipoli  Rosemary (from ANZAC Cove in Turkey)  2 of these

Dianella revoluta – Large   2 of these

Eremophila Hygrophana – 2 of these (lilac flowers)

Eremophila Glabra – 4 of these (different colours)

Correa Glabra  – 2 of these

Goodenia ovala – 2 of these

Frankenia serpyllifolia – 1 of these

I stared the first of the concreting. I did one area and will slowly move down. Although, I have to say that it would be a lot easier if I had a cement mixer ‘ ’cause mixing cement by shovel is fun.  I should be able to do another part this afternoon. I have to take  Herself for her fortnightly shopping this afternoon. The reason for this is that i usually take her on a Monday, but I will be in Adelaide this Monday and not back until Wednesday, so she decided that today is the day!

Water, plants and Organics

Kind daddy started clearing a new sun area for us

What actually happened with the GPS ws that it was doing the right thing and directing me towards the Southern Expressway , the fastest way out of the Southern Suburbs. However, what it didn’t know was that that particular section of the Expressway was being upgraded and where the GPS was taking me was a construction site. Adding to the confusion was the fact that I had never been there before, had no knowledge of the area and was totally dependant on the GPS for directions. It was all very confusing but I survived, although I have to say that sometimes the GPS can be a real trial.

I hope to be able to get out to the Arid Lands Gardens sometime this week. At the weekend, I will be heading off to Adelaide again –  for a Conference.  I’ll be away for three days this time. That should be me until the last week in May when I will be away for a week – well almost. The conference will finish late Wednesday and I’ll stay over until Thursday.   I have not been out in the garden since I came back from Adelaide, I have just had so much that was set aside for three weeks that I now have to catch up on and things that I borrowed  and hired to be returned. However, I hope to get out later this morning. The area I am working on is not a big area but if it is  fixed out and some nice plants will take and grow, it could look nice. Even the local garden centre admits that the soil in this area is very thin and not all that good and I rather suspect that  there has been strong weed killer and possibly poison used by the previous owners. When we first bought this place and moved in I started to clear that particular area and planted roses – not one of them survived.  Sixteen rose bushes, bought from different places and all died – despite feeding, watering, mulch and rose food – not a one survived, and of the six additional roses I planted out front, only three are hanging on for dear life. So given that track record, I will do this area and plant the things I get from the Arid Lands Garden and see if they survive. If not, well I hear the  new season concrete is very nice this year  :o)

Nasty little things

When I finally  moved the dogs I  covered the whole area with two bags of organic soil improver, dug that in and then used a wetting agent and watered the whole area. I think I have given it a fair chance, so, now all I need is some plants and a bit of cooperation from the dogs. Mind you, I tried to avoid anything that even had a whiff of Blood and Bone to keep the dogs from digging. We will see how things go.These nasty spiky things are growing outside. I have no idea what they are but I don’t like them and I think they could injure the dogs.

Motorways and a GPS

Was at the doctor yesterday and the Warfarin is playing up and  the  doctor required that I take him for blood tests. I think it’s all that iced tea that he’s drinking. We get the results in the morning.  On  Thursday I head off back to Adelaide and should be on my way home Thursday afternoon. If I get the opportunity I would like to stop off at Bunnings and look for some additional fencing as well as a few other odds and ends. I may stay overnight ( actually I probably will) and spend some time in town before starting off for home. I have done it in the past and  I am not so keen these days to drive almost 900 klms  in a day. I have seen the day when we drove to Adelaide, went shopping and drove back in the evening, but  these days, a trip to Adelaide is an overnight stay.

I have been doing some work outside and an almost finished with the area clearing. It has been neglected for a long time, including by me. It’s not a big area but if I can regenerate it and use native plants to do it, it should be a nice  area. With Alan being here and being at a doctor or hospital every other day  – Monday, Tuesday and today –  I really don’t feel like doing anything after sitting in a doctor’s surgery or a hospital waiting room. His INR has shot up to 5.2 (should be between 1.8 – 3.0)  He will have to see his own doctor as soon as he is back in Adelaide. His carers are aware of this – I telephoned them this afternoon.


On the way back home I stopped off at the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens. Not a great success. The place was busy and there was only one lady to look after the shop and the plants and the shop seemed to have taken precedence. I know next to nothing about native plants – actually I know next to nothing about plants period and my sole reason for buying things is that they look nice.  Sorry but there you are. Anyway, I really needed help between the book on local native plants I had bought (“Plant me instead”) and what was available and/or close to what I wanted. So, I thought it best to try another day and  came on home. Excellent weather on both days, although my GPS wanted to take me places I didn’t want to go – like onto a Motorway that is not completed yet – or onto a freeway that changes traffic direction depending on the time of day. I finally found a road that looked like it knew where it was going and took that. Fortunate in that it brought me to the Main South Road, which is where I did want to be. It’s a worry  :o)

They even had a Bear in the Air :o)

The Feds and the military just want a little  piece of land – this little piece   and that little piece,  and that little piece and that little piece – you get the picture.  I am not in any way anti-military – we should always support our troops – I just don’t see why  a  medium size  (31,000 regular) military force such as ours, requires  an area of land that is bigger than Scotland, Ireland , Wales  or Virginia, to play their soldier games in. Actually, it’s bigger than two or more of these countries put together.

Spy CamA few posts ago I said that the drive to Adelaide to pick up Alan was without  any drama, well, as it turns out that was not strictly true. In the preparations of the house and the car and myself to get down there I had forgotten one tiny little thing – just a tiny thing – the car Registration!! A letter arrived yesterday from the South Australia Police to inform me that I am to be fined for driving an unregistered car. I was picked up by the spy in the sky. Years of driving with a perfect record. It was due on the 21st March;  we left am on the 22nd and I was picked up by the spy in the sky on 2.43pm 0n the 23rd.  Well at least I don’t get demerit points.  Still,  it just proves the saying ” No good deed goes unpunished!”   :o

A week to ten days has turned into three weeks and I should be taking him back to Adelaide this weekend. He has no medication and no scripts to cover anything beyond this coming Friday and that really does not impress me much because it being the end of the school term, the roads out of Adelaide when I am returning on the Saturday, will 20130405_192159be packed.  However, all that aside I think it has been good for him to have been here these last few weeks. It has been a change for him and we have got him out and about, athough he does spend much of his time sitting watching daytime TV  ( which drives herself potty  :o) ) I haven’t been able to get much done outside – and the weather has been good for working outside.  If I do go to Adelaide this weekend then I will try and get away early Saturday morning and miss the traffic and perhaps go into the Arid Lands Gardens on the way home

Auctions, Munchies and Federal land grabs.

Springtime in the Flinders

I have not done the concrete work yet. I have blocked the area off and it is only the one area where the  properties abut. The problem is that the fence was raised from the ground level up, whereas it should have  been buried two or three inches into the ground. However, I will attend to this shortly.  Tomorrow (Thursday) I do have to attend at auction at the Tregalana Homestead. The family have owned this property for the best part of a century, but when the Feds want something they have the power of a Compulsory Purchase Order to see that they get it.  Quite a few properties have been lost this way and by the time it’s all over the area under control of the military in this region will increase from 500 square kilometres to 2300 Square Kilometres. This is over and above the 127,000 square kilometres of the Woomera Testing and Exercise Range  further north – which is the largest testing base in the world.  Tergalana will close this week and all the house property and farm equipment will be up for auction tomorrow. The Royal Flying Doctor  had been asked to do the catering for those attending the auction. It’s quite disconcerting to realise that as you drive along the road everything , as far as you can see on either side, belongs  to the  Military. At first we thought that moving the armoured brigades down here would be a boost to the local economy, but in the last year they have just taken control of more and more land and council concerns have been ignored. And yes, we have a Constitution – you can have it if you want it – we don’t use it.

Bummer about the Munchies!!! 

flinders flower2
More Flinders Flowers

We had a local pet supply and groomer who made her own dog munches and sold them for funds for the Dog Rescue. However, although the dogs liked them they didn’t keep and within a few days they were going hard – like build a wall hard. But it was too far to drive every other day just to pick up a handful of munchies. We do  give them a treat every morning and they are happy with that. Sometimes the little man is not the best so I will sit down with him and break the treat into small pieces and hand feed him.  She  who must be obeyed said that ‘ he has me well trained”. Hey, considering he has no teeth, he does pretty well. Took them out last night and had to carry him for a bit – time to get his second wind. As far as I am concerned this is all part of the job description.

PS. I thought some photographs of the spring flowers of the Flinders would have a calming effect.

Easter, rain and digging dogs

The covered in pergola
The covered in pergola

The rain stopped for a while last night and as it was not fully dark yet, I decided to take the dogs  for a walk.  It was so funny, Chienna – being the lady she is – delicately  jumps over the puddles whereas, Mannie, on the other hand, just walks right through them – no variation of the path he wants to go, just directly ahead, puddles and all.

Because of the rain and my feeling not quite the best, I have not been to the Arid Lands Garden, but I really must try and get over this week. I said before it is  150klm round trip but  it’s a good morning out and the prices in the Nursery are very reasonable. I am not in a great rush because I have not quite finished the area I want to put the new plants into, but if it stays dry tomorrow (Monday) I will see if I feel up to continuing with the cleaning and preparation. It should not take all that long.  Tomorrow is a public holiday so we can’t go anywhere anyway All-in-all, it has not been the best Easter we have had for a while.. I also have some concreting to do. Some dogs  (Two) on the far side of the property have started to dig under the fence. They are big dogs and they can’t possibly get through, but they have dug a hole big enough for my little ones to get through. It is only an area  9 feet long by about 14 inches wide so it should be fairly easy to do. I have just  closed one of the gates to keep the dogs out of that area for the moment. I could complain to the neighbours about their dogs but that could led to complications.  The House next to me is a State Government owned house and it is a police house – we never see them, which is probably a good thing.. Better I  just attend to the area and leave well alone.  I hope to be able to do this in the next day or so.

The “Dreaded Lurghi”  is starting to loose its grip and whilst it still hurts a bit when I cough, it’s not nearly as bad as it was. Still, I have to be thankful in that I have heard of some people being confined to bed and being really sick and it’s only just the start of the “Flu Season”.   I will just have to keep an eye of things and make sure that I don’t overdo things and allow myself to get run down.  I have to take Alan to the hospital again this morning and  see how the Warfarin  is behaving.

I don’t think I am going to be able to get over to the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens until after I take Alan back to Adelaide. Given some of the things that has been happening I think it’s safer ( for  my peace of mind!) that I delay the trip for the moment. Anyway, colds and flu notwithstanding, I have enough to be going on with at the moment. I have to say that we are only a week or so into Autumn (Fall) and since it has been a hot and windy summer there are no further leaves to come down from the tree, so once I have cleaned up this present lot, that should be it for a while and I can retire the vac-blower for a bit.  I might even be able to sling mu hammock without getting it covered leaves.