Thursday, February 24, 2011

How sweet - an award :)

I have been nominated by Sharon at Roses Among the Veg for a Stylish Blogger Award!  Thank you so much, I'm so humbled and speechless!  I also tried to hotlink her blog but for some reason blogger won't let me.  Go and visit her site - the link is in my side bar.  Not now, wait until you've finished reading this first :)

So, before I reveal 7 things about me, I wanted to update you all on Yasi.  

We have finally got most of the vegetation debris cleared.  There are a couple of tree trunks still laying on the ground that we've chainsawed up but they're too heavy to remove.  We'll wait until the ground hardens up enough to bring the bobcat in and get them out that way.  There are still some bottoms of trees and their root systems still in the ground but on an angle, but they're not posing a hazard at the moment so they'll stay there until later.  

I'm still waiting for the power company to arrange to have the leaning gum out the front removed.  It's on a weird angle and one side of it's roots have lifted out of the ground.   It's been reported so if it falls and takes out the power line it won't be my problem (other than we'll lose power for a while).I've signed the permission papers and returned them, now it's another wait.  

The mahogany tree that fell over in the chicken yard and landed on the gate and fence was cut up but the bottom and roots are still there.  The chickens think it's great to play on or scratch around under the roots to dust bathe in there, so I'll feel bad for them when it's time to dig the remains out.  There are also two other mahogany's in there that are still leaning over and we need to get the bobcat or ute over there to use to straighten them back up.

Okay, that's it for us.  Oh, and the chickens have each laid an egg each day since the cyclone, with the exception of one or two who may have missed the odd day.  But we're getting half a dozen eggs each day on average and that's good.  We've got so much I'm having to give them away.

My 7 things about me:

  1. I love to sing.  Notice I didn't say I sing well.  I'm dreadful, actually, but I love singing at the top of my voice whenever I can, and if I can add a dance to it then that's even better.  I'm the weird looking person in the car next to you doing an excellent imitation of Wayne and Garth's version of Bohemian Rhapsody.
  2. I'm not afraid of snakes or spiders but I go to pieces if a frog lands on me.  Little Man and The Princess take great delight in exploiting this fear.  I have been known to burst into tears and do a hand wavy-fluttery thing and do that thing with your feet where you step quickly from foot to foot in a side-ways movement.
  3. The first ever concert I went to was Demis Roussos.  It was with my family.  I didn't know we were going but I did like his music.  My first 'real' concert was Culture Club.  I threw a letter on stage asking Boy George to marry me.  I do not have a working 'gay-dar'.  
  4. I can write in mirror-writing and love psyching kids out with it :)
  5. I can pick things up with my toes.  It's handy when you're too lazy to bend over.
  6. I have almost dead-straight hair, with the exception of one single ringlet at the back.  The Princess suffers from the same affliction.  I also do not dye my hair and may consider doing so when I find my first grey hair.
  7. I loved being the duster monitor in primary school.  I liked hanging out of the first floor window seeing how low I could reach and bang the dusters on to the bricks.  There were always two monitors and we used to see how many bricks down we could reach.  
So there you have it.  Go and visit Sharon now.

While you're at it, please visit:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Yasi has left the building, thank you and good-night.

Oh, what a night!

We lost our first tree, around 6pm, a ti-tree which broke in half.  That didn't bode well for the night to come when they said the cyclone would cross about 100klms or so north of us around midnight!  We were really thanking our lucky stars by then that we'd made the painful decision to cut down the rain trees!

Around 8.30pm, The Princess and I heard a massive bang outside my bedroom window.  It was dark and howling with wind and rain so we couldn't find out what it was.  The following morning revealed a giant iron bark gum from next door at the fence - it was snapped off at the ground.  The wind was blowing sideways that it pushed through the mesh vents built into the bathroom window and drenched the towels on the towel rack, and reached all across the room to the doorway.  

By 9pm our power went out.  We've been running on generator power until almost lunch time today.  As much as I am grateful for a generator to run the fridge, and we didn't lose any food, I was glad when we finally turned it off and I could hear the sounds of the birds again!

Everyone I speak to has tried to explain what the sound of the cyclone was shortly before its crossing.  We all differ in our wording, but I likened it to the sound of the sound jet engines make, as the plane is just about to take off.  Do you know that sound?  It just roars loudly, but this lasted for hours.  I felt it would never end.  It was that loud it drowned out the sounds of the trees crashing to the ground.  And there were a lot down.

Little Man went to bed at 8.30pm and pretty much slept through until 5.30am.  Poor thing, he is most upset that he 'missed it'.  The Princess got sent to bed close to 10pm and she slept on and off during the night.  I got up at 5.30am to survey our new world.

What a mess trees make when they've been blown here and there.  Not only were there trees completely uprooted, there were branches strewn all over the ground, snapped in half but still attached to the trees, or dangling in amongst other trees.  One of the trees in the chicken yard came down and landed on the power pole post and gate, knocking them partly over.  We fixed that later in the afternoon.  The ladies were very pleased about moving out of their temporary accommodation in the aviary, back to their home.  

There was a gum tree along the side fence that had snapped in half and was hanging over the fence, just missing it.  After I took a photo, it fell within half an hour, taking out the fence.  Another job to do on the spot.  The Groom righted fences, chain-sawed what he could and we made piles of branches where we could.  We didn't get much done, though, because we had to work in between the howling wind and rain.  

The Groom had to head off on Friday for work as now the recovery and restoration begins.  The neighbours will come to lend a hand on Monday, so that is good.  As long as we get the trees and branches into piles, that is okay.  There is way too much for us to take to the tip by ourselves in the ute, so it will have to eventually be burnt.  Unless someone is offering free removal services, but the ground is that sodden even the ride-on mower gets bogged.

The creek came up really close to the creek fence.  I found it funny how the two ti-trees both snapped together; it's like they're twins.  Or brothers-in-arms sort of.  A death pact.

I'm amazed, though, at what did and didn't come down or blow away or whatever.  I had left a shovel standing next to the aviary that was still upright in the morning!  A can of insect repellant on the back patio had barely moved.  I found an empty water bottle in the front paddock in amongst a tangle of branches, but the orchids on the rain tree didn't suffer any damage or loss.  I still can't find one of the dog bowls, though, despite all my attempts at finding it.  I've borrowed an old saucepan I use for food scraps in the chicken yard for the time being.  

In the interim, we've lost water for a day and a bit, mobile phone reception was pretty hit and miss, we lost our landline for a couple of days, but other than that, we fared rather well.  I feel for those who suffered far worse in Tully and Cardwell.  They are such beautiful towns, especially Cardwell.  The Groom said last night that he saw such saddening sights of people wandering around in a daze outside what was left of their homes, many of them elderly.  But, we've done it many times before and no doubt we'll pick ourselves up again and start over somehow.

I'm still trying to decide if it's worth trying to save some trees that have been knocked over a bit.  I'd need machinery to try to stand them but the ground is so wet the truck would get bogged, but if I leave it too long the ground will dry up and it'll be too late.  The last owners planted too many trees that weren't obviously suitable so maybe that'll sway my decision.  

If anyone would like to help in some way, please consider contacting the Red Cross or Salvation Army to find out what they would prefer.  They do a wonderful job in times like these, and they are also focussing on the Victorian floods as well.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yasi in on her way...

Well, we're as ready as we can possibly be in Townsville.

Here's hoping she doesn't move any further south as we've been told to expect Category 2 conditions where we are.

We've cut down the massive rain trees that overhang the back of the house.

I'm already missing the Barking Owl family.

And the back of the house looks somehow - naked.

But it does make the inside of the house brighter.

And I won't have to worry about sweeping up all of its shed leaves from now on.

Only the mess of the aftermath of the cyclone in the meantime.

We're set and ready to roll.

Gale force winds are expected to start here around midday but at the moment it's alternating with lovely sea breezes to next to nothing.  

Have fun!