First let me say, Real Estate agents (or at least our current one) are FAIL!  As previously posted, we applied for a great place on Saturday (and the potential agent seems very nice, good vibes there) and it started the approval process yesterday morning.  Several friends and family members have reported they were called and gave us glowing references, which we so obviously deserve *gryn*  so all is well on that front.  So when the phone rang this afternoon I assumed it would be the YES you got the property call... but it was the 'we are having trouble getting your current agent to return the rental reference' call.  *sigh*   So I ring their office and am told they are 'waiting for information' but that yes, it will be faxed back today.    What information they could possibly be waiting for is beyond me and also beyond the new agents, since they merely want to know if the rent has been paid on time and if the property is maintained in a good manner.   The new agent said she'll give them another half hour (they've faxed them the paperwork 2times over 2 days) and then she'll ring back and tell her that I'm in their office waiting to sign the lease, so we REALLY need that reference now ;)     What a winning, proactive attitude that girl has... I am going to like these guys LOL.

I really sorta need to know, so I can transfer the absurd amount of rent & bond money into our daily account and get a bank check to pay them. @@  On the packing front, there are currently five boxes packed *yay*.  All my craft stuff, most books, the magical cupboard contents are all happily packed & stacked.   

AND I just got a call from the new agent, everything looks good from their end, they'll call us back as soon as the owner agrees to the lease, which they are recommending  (because we are simply put, awesome fucking tenants)  WOOT!   We have just rang & booked the moving truck as well as the crapet cleaning for this place.  Yes... I said crapet, because this stuff is so faded and discoloured with age that it's pathetic... ffs you can SEE the backing grid in spots all over. CRAPET SUCKS... TILES ARE WIN!

In other news, some of our new History Odyssey books have arrived at mums!  I had them shipped there because estimated that it would be mid to late April before the last of the 3 shipments would arrive, so I didn't want them sent here in case WE were no longer here.   I can't wait to get them so we can have a good browse through... it's like Yule morning when new school stuff comes in the mail :D

I am off to enjoy a cuppa with my hunny in celebration of all these joyous things :D


Gone!  are the TWO deceased television sets that inhabited my shed, and the broken baby cot (thanks 4yo son), and the sad ancient lawnmower...and the pile of musty mildewy cardboard boxes saved from our last move.  And probably a lot of other crap that doesn't come to mind right now... DH loaded up his van and for the bargain price of 5bucks, dumped it all at the landfill.  I say landfill, but according to him this was no great gaping pit in the ground like 'dump's used to be.  There was a huge area for green waste where it composts down over time.. and a giant metal barn with sections for non working electronics (yay our tvs went there) and companies come take them for parts and such, and cardboard/paper/glass recycling too.   I hated having to put all that in landfill, so I'm glad that at least some of it might be reused & recycled by someone.   

Either way.. it had to get OUT of my house, because we are at T - 10 days till the 'moving' starts, and it wasn't going with.   Tonight Strider & I will both take a box and fill it with something we won't need for the duration.. I'm heading for my craft supplies, and I'm tasked him with the magic cupboard and other assorted books.  Then we'll sit and watch Taken, just because we love that movie and we both have had a stressful few days.  Maybe I'll see if we have a bottle of wine hiding somewhere...  

Think good thoughts, tomorrow arvo or Tuesday we should hear about the application we put in for a house we liked.


Let me start by saying I'm not loving the new layout I picked... so I'll go back to the drawing board on that one!  Needs more colour definitely, and I think I want a 3 column thingy... but not sure.

Now.. for the stuff.  I'm talking specifically about our household stuff.  Since we have decided to wait out our time to buy a house in a new rental (where all small people can have their own bedroom YAY) we are commencing THE PACKING.   We're going to hire boxes for this from these guys , for several reasons.  One, they get reused and I'm all about recycling & reusing stuff. Two, it will cost less! and Three, I can arrange for them to pick them up anytime within 3months and *I* don't have to have them hanging out in the shed/garage.  Win win situation really.    

Anyway, I was looking at the presets on their 'how many boxes will you need calculator' and was astounded to see that for 2adults and 2 children their hire history shows you will need 25large boxes, and 50 smaller ones.  Now we have 3 children so I'd guess they would suggest like 28large and maybe 60smaller ones for us.   OMG that is a lot of boxes!   We have actually looked around our house and decided we will order 15large, and 20small plus 2 'wardrobe hanger' boxes (so we can be lazy and just move our hanging stuff without unhangering it :)   Hubby is actually thinking that may be slightly too many even, but I think better to have too many than not enough! 

I was just in my bedroom (air conditioning ftw) relaxing and looking around at what needs to be packed in there.. There's my jewelry & perfumy stuff, which will go in a reuseable shopping bag and go over in the car; the contents of the night stand drawers and the altar bits on my dresser.. those can go into a small box; the top of my closet has my massive collection of craft mags & supplies... LARGE box there, except the giant bag of polyfill stuffing, which will be it's own packaging :P, hanging clothes = wardrobe boxes; folded clothes not in drawers = large box; clothes folded in drawers = will ride in the drawers.  I'm not 'packing' anything that doesn't really require it I guess.   So that's maybe... 4 boxes (2lg, 1 wardrobe, 1small)  I suspect most of the rooms in our house will be 3-5 boxes (even the kitchen) ..not counting the bathroom that's 6 rooms or at most 30boxes, WAY below the box hire guys estimates!

We live a pretty simple life but I guess it never ocurred to me HOW different my mindset is compared to the average Aussie.  I have NO need to fill my space with 'crap' just for the sake of having it filled.  Hell, it's a million times easier to clean WITHOUT all that stuff!  Granted there ARE a few things I'd really love... an expedit bookcase from Ikea (for our homeschool stuff) and a few items to use for storage in the kids bedrooms.   But I have no interest in the very latest household gadget that does one thing only.. even if it DOES do it very well ;)     I can't imagine how much money people spend on that kind of stuff!   

And know what?  I'm going to declutter more stuff before we go even, so HA! take that consumerist society! ;)


But I'm not terribly upset about it ;)  The consultant said basically that if STrider had been self employed for 2yrs or longer, lenders would be falling ALL over themselves trying to give us mortgages of what I consider ridiculous proportions (we're talkin nearing half a million bucks *faint*)  I do NOT WANT a 400k + house that's for sure!   Anyway, since he's only been self employed for about 6months, he's just not mortgagable.   She laid out the best plan for us to be as appealing as possible to the widest variety of lenders though, so in 18months we will be all set to buy just about any house we choose!  

So for now, we have given our landlords 30days notice *eek* and are shopping the rental home market.  They were raising the rent up to 295per week LMAO anyway.. sorry couldn't contain my laughter at that absurd price.  It's an older home, with termite infested trees falling all over, and plumbing that is a right pain in the ass to deal with... add in to that horrible crapet that is threadbare, lino that is peeling up around the edges (AND thru the centre of the kitchen floor!) .. the whole place is just a nightmare to deal with.    The market is looking good though, and I'm sure we'll find something great for only a little more than they want for his hole. :) 

In other much happier news.. today is Samwises' 5th birthday!  When I woke up this morning I gave him his gift which is a firefighter costume and case of firemans tools (complete with extinguisher/water sprayer and badge!.. and mega phone that I'm going to try to avoid putting batteries into at all costs lol) and he has worn it the entire day hehehe.  We went on a drive to peek at houses and Merry spewed all over the car AGAIN (i've decided he has some sort of milk issue, because this is the second time he did that after having milk.. but it had been 4hours since he drank it so it should have been LONG out of his tummy!).. and then Sam had to have a bit of a chuck when he got home as well @@  Mummy needs a nice stiff drink right about now!!

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Today I am missing my is the first anniversary of her death, and it sucks.  Day after tomorrow is the date of her funeral last year.. and also my 4th sons' birthday.  What a total emotional roller coaster that will be.  This past year has been somewhat hellish, at least in large chunks.  Some things just require mom.  Sitting by your sons bed while he lingers in a coma is definitely one of them.  She died of lung cancer that had spread throughout her body.  She was diagnosed in October, and passed away in march.   I still have moments of anger where I just want to scream WHY didn't she stop smoking for good when HER mother died of lung cancer 16yrs ago? If she had, she might still be here...  not that what iff'ing does much good.

This was my momma, the last time I saw her, at Christmas 2002. She flew down to Australia to surprise my older sons when they came to visit (and to see me of course :)  She was a nurse for many years and she enjoyed it.. I remember helping her study for her tests when I was in high school & she was in college.  It definitely influenced my career choices in life.  She was all about her family, her sisters, her grandchildren .. they were so important to her.  Christmas was just about her favorite thing ever.  She spent all of her last December making sure her last Christmas was special and one to remember, and she succeeded.  She had said she would do chemo, but not radiation, because she remembered the hell it was for her mother.  But in the end, her wish to live trumped that.. actually, it was her wish not to leave everyone who cared about her in pain that won out I think.  She had the radiation and went downhill very fast.  I so wish she had done the chemo, and then enjoyed her last months with family & friends instead of suffering as she did. 

Here's to you momma... we'll be corking a bottle of wine tomorrow night in your honour (that's the anniversary back home).. a nice chardonay, her favorite.   And I'll keep right on telling every smoker I know to stop now for the sake of their families....

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So last week on Thursday or Friday I get woken up around 7 by my dearest calling me on my mobile.   He says to me 'Lindsay and Dad both said we're idiots if we don't try to buy a house instead of moving into a larger (and more expensive of course) rental.  *sigh*  I had made peace with the idea that we'd likely never be able to afford a mortgage (or get one even if we could afford it!) and he throws this spanner in the works .. that's monkey wrench for you American sort ;)  

So I had a look online ( I love this site for browsing the market) figuring I'd find a LOT of things we just could not afford, and I did, to a certain extent.  But what I also found was a new development being built a mere 40minutes from Striders workplace, with land cheaper than I've seen in a LONG time, and entire packages that we could have for a few dollars LESS a week than what we would be paying in rent if we moved!  (that's mortgage alone, not other associated home ownership costs)  Soooo... Sunday we took a nice drive out to the lovely Brisbane Valley.  It was gorgeous.. lots of tall gum trees, cows grazing in paddocks by the roadside, and rolling hills as far as the eye could see.   The little community where the development is being built is a small country township (what's the next size down from that called? cause it may fit better there lol) with a volunteer fire dept (not to worry, it's not THAT far from the nearest real fire dept!) and everyone is all excited about the brand new shopping centre going up with a Woolworths, newsagent and more.  

The development itself is VERY new..  probably less than 40homes completed and it looks to be very nice, going on the master plan and what is there thus far.  We wandered through the neighborhood to be and looked at lots vs prices on our handy list and we found one that we love.  It's on a cul de sac with a drainage ravine (ravine might be too strong of a word, but it's a definite 'wet area' that will not be built on) at the rear, and a water run off easement on one side.  So we'd never have anyone right at our back fence.. and the easement is a bit of a buffer to the neighbors on the one side.   About this time I'm feeling us both get a little sucked in... this has turned from a what iffing, nice sunday drive... to something that feels like real, live, HOUSE HUNTING! *insert panic here* 

We drove back to the very bright green little sales centre to have a chat with Jarrod, the eager to assist rep and wonders never cease... this particular lot is kinda funky shaped, so they have already picked out THE perfect house to fit on it and flipped the plan on its side.  So now I have a house to visualize on that plot of land too.    It's not a huge house, only 19square (dunno how many square feet that is my dear American mates, sorry!) but it's got 4 bedrooms, 3 are smallish but serviceable... a separate family/meals area, which was high on my list so as to house all our homeschooling goodies... and it's got a nice kitchen with a DISHWASHER!!!  Plus a spiffy walk thru closet to the ensuite in the master suite.  

I'm totally sucked in.  So is Strider.  The possibility of owning our own home seemed so far beyond our grasp a year ago, that when our circumstances changed we didn't give it another thought.   How sucked in am I?  I have the printout of the lot shape with the house plan sited on it taped to the inside of my computer armoire  *sheepish gryn*   and we have a representative from Mortgage Choice coming out wednesday night to see what she can do for us.   Please Goddess, if you're listening, help me find a way to make this work.  I'm dreaming of my own little chunk of Australia.

ps.  Here's the object of my affections, no not Strider, the house... it's the 19square model if you clicky the floor plans page ;)  Think good thoughts for me!  Below is the little slice of Aussie that we want to make home.

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I do believe these are mortgage lifter variety.   I've got 4 heirloom varieties this time (green zebra, mortgage lifter, tigerella and black russian) and they all seem to be doing really well.

 And this is a beauty of a black russian!  

I also have heaps of herbs, and some new cucumber & bush bean plants, but no photos of them at the moment.  I've just about given up on the Zucchini.. not sure if it's where they are (or we are) but the mildew on them is giving me the shits, and the fruit has ALL gotten to about little finger size and gone rotten.  I think I'm going to let the damn things die and be done with them for this year!  

All in all, I'm pretty happy that I've got tomatos and capsicum growing well (damn forgot to get photos of the capsicum! but trust me, they look fab and have teeny fruit popping up all over) so I figure I have made huge progress this year and I am not gonna stress over the zukes :P

I meant to post these the other day but blogger was being schizo about pics, so here they are straight from the garden!


I got an email letting me know my only remaining Grandmother passed away 2 days ago :(  Not the BEST way to find out, but it wasn't exactly a surprise.  She was in bad health for a little while, and to the point of not recognizing people (she still knew her children which was a blessing I guess, I can't imagine how hard it would be to have your parent slip into dementia and not recognize you)  And being the fiesty lady that she was, she insisted on going home,  she didn't want to leave this world in some hospital or nursing home.    She was a sweet old lady to me growing up.. she always made us lots of yummy things and sent us home with little goodie bags when we visited (only a few times a year at most, my parents were divorced from early on).  I think she thought I was too skinny lol.. well if she could see me now I'm sure she wouldn't think that anymore!  Haven't been able to get in touch with my father since I got the news, so I'm guessing he' handling arrangements and such :(

In other news.. it has been spectacular out today :D  Quite a change from the disgusting heat and stickyness we've dealt with lately!   The boys & I spent most of the morning outside, much to little Mr. Merry's delight.  That boy could be outside from dawn till dusk if I didn't drag him back inside when it's just too hot for humans.   It was almost like an autumn day, cool & breezy and the grass is beautifully green & soft (thanks to all the rain we've had lately!) So lets hope that this is a taste of what's to come SOON.  Samwise wandered around the yard taking pics with his little camera (and he's just announced to me that if we ate a slug, we'd get SICK! lol).

 Frodo made a batch of eggy pies almost entirely by himself (I chopped & cooked the bacon, he shredded everything else, mixed and filled the muffin cups).. he's getting pretty good at this cooking gig!   


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I sincerely hope that you bring some AUTUMN LIKE weather with you March, or I'm taking my toys and going home!  I am OVER summer tyvm.   I was on the veranda this morning at 0730 with a glass of iced tea and it was steamy & disgustingly warm already.  The madness must end, and it must end soon.. please?

We had a pretty mellow weekend here... Saturday I went ot Aldi.. awesomest grocery store ever for bargains, and I popped through Bunnings to pick up some more seedlings & soil for the other half of my stackable planter.  I potted it up yesterday.  I now have 6 more basil plants (what can I say, we like pesto!) that are tiny, but VERY bushy so they'll shoot up in no time, 4 parsley plants, 4 cucumbers (i figure if my zukes are not gonna thrive maybe these will and I'll almost have a salad from my own garden... minus lettuce cause it bolts insanely here), and 4 bush beans.  It said the beans were suitable for containers... I'm gonna be grumpy if they lied lol.   

Saturday afternoon we had a bbq with the distance ed school... GETTING there was an adventure (note to self: avoid inner city bypass at all costs in the future @@) but once we did the kids had a great time playing, the adults got a bit of essential info on what we're going to be doing as far as group activities, and everybody had yummy snags from the barbie (that'd be sausages/hot dogs from the bbq for my american friends ;)   We didn't stay late, allegedly because our kids are early to bed types (srsly, 7pm is when they need to be in bed reading & winding down or they go mental) .. but really because Strider was raiding in WOW  ;)   It was a nice evening out and driving through the CBD (city centre) has me considering moving a little closer in.  We live in the FAR outter suburbs and it takes forever to get anywhere COOL *sigh*  Plus the older houses in the original city suburbs usually have great big yards which rocks.  We'll see how that goes.

Yesterday was veg out & clean at home day for me, and go steal dads mower (ours went tits up) so he can cut the grass day for Strider ;)  I bbq'd some particularly tasty steaks for dinner and chopped up some chives fresh from the garden to go in the sour cream for the wedges.  Yum.   Strider raided again in WOW.. but we won't talk about THAT out of respect for my blood pressure. ;)   

Today.. I tried to call Jon but he's gone up to his dads for the weekend.  Chatted with Jon, Derrick & their dad for a minute online though :)   When Strider gets home around lunchtime, we shall journey to Ikea where we shall deposit the bigger 2 into smaaland and take wee Merry shopping with us.. and will probably have to bribe him with a chocolate pudding or something to pull that off, cause he's gonna be pissed that he can't go into the playcenter until he's 3 :( 

The battle cry of APPLE! has been heard, so I'm assuming it is snack time...