Or “2012, a review”
So, here we are again. Another year passes. Another year commences.
I haven’t been around the internets lately.Time is a harsh mistress, not as harsh as Ingrid, but pretty close. Between work, farm and general day to day living, I have had to schedule arse-scratching sessions months in advance and with a mobile phone that is dying a slow death, I don’t have those “dead times” to recover with social media like I used to.
The farm is a slow but sure task master. We had organised for 4,000 tree saplings to be planted out across the property. We paid for the plants, we got tree guards, we got bamboo stakes, we built a basic temporary fence and we planted … and the cows ignored the fences, walked right through them and ate the plants! Not just the plants, but the super-dooper, organic, self-breakdown composting tree guards! They LIKE THE TASTE! We had to practically pull them out of their mouths!
Therefore, we have had to re-make the fence-lines, set up a small utility shed to store fencing equipment and batteries for a 12v system so we can also install an electric fence wire along the fence-lines we have completed. All of that extra work has come at a cost though, and not just parts and labour either. The extended timelines, along with said cows, a mob of Kangaroos and a rabbit population that will not stay under control have all nibbled away at the trees … and if that wasn’t nearly enough, after a couple of wet La Nina years, we happened to plant right in the middle of the driest spring in over 70 years (since world war 2!) so, well, long-story-made-short, less than ten percent of the plants that have survived are definitely the fittest.
That’s been a real kick in the guts. But, hey, lessons have been learnt … along with the unintended reset, new plans to start future proofing the farm for droughts are in motion that include reshaping the earth tank dam as well as new techniques for populating the wildlife corridor to be restarted … oh, and we make a great farm fences now :)
We ended up buying a 4WD as well, a 1998 Pajero. We needed something to get up and down the property and to cart things. So, I finally wore Ingrid down and she gave in enough to let me spend the money. But, as you know, we can’t possibly have a new toy and not spend more money on making it better, right? So, I’ve been getting things to add to it – extra battery, LED work light, had dad help me make a new roof rack … well, you get the idea.
I failed to set enough time aside to complete the diploma of agronomy, and while I know I can finalise the assessments off in practically no time, I have had precious far too little of that to set aside to the task.
Ingrid turned 40 this year as well. She is taking it pretty good. I think she wears it very nicely too. I bought her a brand new, super-dooper, top of the line all bells and whistles computer because she’s been wanting one for a while. Wouldn’t you know it, the game she wanted it for, is not compatible with the new Windows OS. So, I bought a software package called vmware to let the old version of windows run at the same time as the new version … and the game didn’t like the drivers! So then I had to start trying to find device drivers for the new hardware that would be supported by Windows XP (which is the one OS we know the game will work under … ) but you know, most places don’t make drivers for a ten year old operating system … I should have just bought her a pony!
On the family front, Ingrid’s sister died mid-year, my sister has gone mad and declared world war three on the family, we now live less than five minutes from my mum and dad – which means free dinners … but also means some “everybody loves raymond” type moments – and the outlaws have become even more recluse, refusing to leave their place for anywhere more than a ten kilometer radius of their house.
Health has been another roller coaster ride year, starting off with a return of the cancer scare (which thankfully wasn’t) and as always, the depression, apnea, the weight and my bad back were all vying for attention … But overall, I am ok, so am happy with what I have (and don’t).
The workplace became a “work is work” kind of place (but now with extra redundancy threats!) with much of the people focus and soul o the corporation ripped out in a global attempt to restructure and recover and the team is on an enforced recertification path as part of that process. At least I still am in the game though.
With no additional finances (nor decreases in expenditures) it also means no new house building on the farm yet, and since mortgages keep existing and redundancy threats are far too real, no additional loads are being risked.
So … That’s it.
Another completed year in review.