Dangling the Carrot

How well we remember this feeling from last year.  

The beginning of twice a day milking, the garden desperately needing weeding, the seedlings climbing out of their planting trays in the glasshouse in their desire to have fresh soil around their roots and the sudden influx of produce and eggs requiring clever menu planning, preserving ideas and barter-brokering.  Yes, that feeling hit us like a freight train this morning as we dragged our gumboots through the Sunday morning chore-list: exhaustion.

The weird thing is that, a fortnight from now, we know some voodoo magic stuff happens whereupon we will suddenly be refilled with vim and vigour. Maybe it’s just we become acclimatised to no sleep-ins, weeder’s back, and constant pot stirring but from where we’re slouching right now we don’t care why, we just want that euphoric feeling to arrive.  Now, if not sooner. 

In an endeavour to make it all seem worthwhile, we spent today’s coffee break investigating el cheapo holiday options for when this craziness slows down again. By Queen’s Birthday (the first Monday in June here in New Zealand.  As an aside, a quick google search reveals the reason it’s celebrated around the end of May/beginning of June is to coincide with good weather in the Northern Hemisphere…this information did little to lighten our bah humbug mood), the goats will be ready for a holiday at the farm and the attentions of Bachelors Number One and Two and the cats and poultry can be spoilt by the neighbourhood for a couple of nights. We think we’ve found the perfect place: a lone house in a bay on Banks Peninsula, about two hours drive away. No television, limited cell phone coverage, no internet, and nothing to do for two days except look at the sea and breathe.   From where we are right now this sounds like unadulterated bliss.

We’ve found from experience that when it all gets a little overwhelming the promise of future reward works very well for us.  Yes, we’re that kind of folk. After the budget blow-out of Homestead Birthday Season some sanity had to prevail and so it was calculators primed and Farm Girl’s best pens at the ready.  Visualising goals is always effective, don’t you think? We were almost definitely a family of mules in a previous life.

2014-11-16 18.23.47

It’s early days yet, but we’re galloping towards the new kitchen, the Nissan Pathfinder that looks like the answer to the Homestead transportation dreams is shimmering like a mirage lake on a hot tarmac road, and Farm Girl is adamant she’s celebrating her tenth birthday at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in London.  

We reckon we’re in with a chance; but for now it’s giving us a reason to keep shuffling those gumboots round the garden.

13 thoughts on “Dangling the Carrot

  1. It is kind of relentless this season you’re in…I get overwhelmed about then as well. For me, I think the reason it kind of clicks after a few weeks is mainly due to the routines finally becoming routine – I finally figure out where to put things for efficiency, when different chores fit best in the day, and my body gets used to getting up just that bit earlier. Until that moment, I exhaust myself just trying to keep up with feed and water and weeds and errands and work and weeds and feed…and then suddenly one morning it just all gets done when it’s supposed to and I stop caring about the weeds and I can raise my eyes to the horizon again. Keep truckin…the moment is coming soon.

    Goals – yup, hubby is very big on your kind of goal setting. The trip Down Under was our most recently achieved goal. Hubby pins pictures to his notice board at work of his goals – a car was on there one year and he got it, and one year he had the Pyramids pinned up – I had to get my gall bladder removed that year, so we didn’t go, and then their troubles started and we went to NZ and Australia instead. Maybe fate got the pyramids mixed up with the Sydney Opera House, although NZ was really my goal (my bedrroom wall in my teen years was festooned with horse pictures and a giant map of NZ instead of the more usual pop stars).

    Glad to see your stove is firmly on the chart….three stoves? or you just want it three times as badly as the vehiicle?. Fifteen! No slouch that girl! Why save all that money to go to the UK and just eat at any old cafe, when you can go right to the top? I hope she gets there, even if it’s just for dessert! She’ll need a chaperone or two, luckily…Should I ever get to London, Fifteen is on my list too, actually. Or maybe River Cottage. Or maybe both. I had better make a chart….

    • I reckon you’re right about working out the most efficient places for stuff and just getting into the groove. All of us are intrigued about your teen adoration of our country- was it the horses? I confess right here that mine was plastered with the more predictable pop stars.
      No, just one stove, one car and one world trip 🙂 And River Cottage would be top of my list but I’m happy to ride shotgun for the fifteen visit. Personally, I think she’ll be a tad disappointed – currently she visits Jamie in his kitchen every evening while he “wazzes” up something “pukka” in under 30 minutes…nothing can compete with that 🙂

      • Haha…nothing so practical as the horses.
        Grab your cup of tea, and here goes:
        The love affair with NZ had very soppy roots – probably as it does for One Direction fans and their ilk. When I was about 14, the world was not yet inflicted with vampire lit for teen girls, so I delved into romances, of the Mills and Boons variety. Crappy stuff, but probably overall more wholesome for my sheltered mind than the stuff that gets targeted at teen girls now (Gossip Girl, Twilight, etc) Anyway, short rant aside…one of the writers was from NZ and wrote of women paragons who found themselves quite by accident stuck on giant sheep stations and saved the day by helping round up sheep on horse back, or being good at vet work or something and of course, marrying the station owner. Her writing skills were pretty run of the mill for the genre, but her ability to describe the beauty and splendour of NZ was remarkable, and since I was by then a seasoned if not competent rider, and had been raised on a farm, I felt I would be perfect for the life. So it began then. Like I said pretty soppy.

        Of course, life happened, I joined the Navy, met my future hubby a year or so after that and eventually settled down right here where I was raised. But I never really lost the desire to go see NZ, and stayed in sporadic touch with a cousin who had moved there from England to work as an engineer – I figured he and his wife would give us a bed for the night if we ever got down there (he was in England the month we were in NZ last March – how ironic). Hubby got a chance to sail in HMNZS Canterbury in the ’80’s for a week during a fleet exercise and loved it, not least because they still had the daily tot. He found the tendency to pour custard on their dinner a bit odd, but otherwise really enjoyed the Kiwis down to earth manner and sense of humour, and became good friends with one of them in particular. They stayed in touch for a while, and so he too wanted to visit someday. Lord of the Rings did it for the girls. It took us a while (20+ years!), but we did achieve the goal, and you can probably tell how much I enjoyed it.

        Farm Girl be warned – the only problem with goals like travelling overseas is that when you’ve been once and loved it just as much as you thought you would, you might just want to keep going back, For me, in middle age with a job and a family and a farm, this isn’t very practical. On the other hand, Farm Girl has youth on her side;.she has more time to go more often, and more opportunity to start saving up – she’s met Jamie at a much younger age than I met all those sheep station owners in the Mills and Boons books :). My goal when I was 7 was to get a pony of my own. I got one when I was 10. Good stuff happens. Well, it doesn’t just happen, exactly, but I don’t plan to go all lecturey! I look forward to seeing the plane on that chart becoming a plane with Farm Girl in one of the seats. Fifteen when you’re ten? Go for it.

      • HA!!! I too whiled away a fair bit of my teenage years reading the old Mills and Boons and I remember quite clearly a story based on a sheep station down Queenstown way because in that story they came to Christchurch and walked down High Street! I knew, however, I had no chance luring the station owner/manager as I would be useless at mustering time being totally incompetent on horseback – those animals are just soooo huge.
        I agree totally re: Mills and Boons v twilight/hunger games/blah blah blah. At least our heroes got copped a few UVs and sported a rugged tan!!
        Can’t really comment on the nautical side of things: I know we tend to be the butt of a lot of jokes when it comes to our military in general. The whole custard thing…hmmm, odd, but yay for the tot. I hope the politicians haven’t stuck their noses in and got rid of it.
        Good old Peter Jackson definitely did wonders for tourism here. Personally I’m not a great fan of Tolkien (way to wordy for me) and when those slow walking tree things made an appearance in the second movie it was all over for me. Still, as a country we scrubbed up pretty good 🙂
        I love that Farm Girl can cut to the chase so quickly during these round table discussions we have. A chance comment by The Bean Counter put the possibility, if all stops were pulled out, of this all happening within three years and the next minute she”s blowing the candles out on her tenth birthday cake after being sung to by Jamie and team. 🙂

      • LOL…glad to know someone my age shared my low taste in literature, even if it was a wee while ago.

        The tot is gone from your Navy. Has been for a few years, and you were the last hangers on for that old tradition. All of us Commonwealth Navies can still bring it out for ceremonial occasions, but it has to be pretty big – the last one for me was the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Navy, and I was actually aboard a Scottish minesweeper for the occasion. The way the Scots measure someone else’s rum is quite a bit more generous than I was used to…especially since they skipped the bit about offering water to cut it with…

        Yes, the trees are pretty strange in #2. And the battles tend to go on a bit, but then they go on for pages and pages in the books (I used to skip chunks of book to get past them).

        I have every confidence she will be eating cake in Fifteen in London in 2017. Someone might have to alert Jamie to make sure he’s got it booked 🙂

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