Counting Silver Linings

We’ve been a bit off lately. Life is busy, we’re tired, having a school teacher in the mix has ensured we’ve all been down with the obligatory start-of-the-school-year bug, and we’ve had a series of less-than-lovely experiences. Yes, it’s going to be one of those posts; set the co-ordinates for Self Pity Central and hit hyperdrive, we’re gonna wallow. 

It’s just that…*sigh*…

The recent seismic activity has resulted in our resident Rodent Catcher, Mr Dave Cat, disappearing. We are not alone in missing four legged family members after the recent ‘quake activity, but we’re selfishly feeling very sad. On the positive side, it has been wonderful to hear, as we door-knock and put up flyers and the like, of his antics and liaisons around the neighbourhood with the local felines and their families who all join us in trusting he’ll saunter back into our lives and our living room very soon.

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Because, as a group, we’re a trusting bunch. In turn, we like to think the world is full of nice folk we can trust. Folk who, like us, would return, intact, the wallets that regularly plummet out of carousing weekend bus travellers pockets and into our spinach bed, or hand the keys dangling in the car door into the supermarket help desk.  It’s just what you do, after all haven’t we all had days like that?

Unfortunately, recently the Homestead was dealt a glancing blow by a bunch of folk whom don’t subscribe to our way of thinking. Instead, when they spotted The Renovator’s bike, locked up in the cycle compound at work, they felt it was okay to smash the lock and take it as theirs. We know this because the school’s security cameras saw it all: the three of them nonchalantly strolling in, demolishing the lock, and taking something we’d saved for and picked out and prized because it was exactly what he’d wanted!

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But just to prove nothing is ever all bad, the more hardy mountain bike the school is loaning him has allowed him to  shave five or so minutes and the death-defying Bridge Street roundabout off his journey with its ability to negotiate the sometimes rudimentary river cycleway. There you go: silver lining number one!

Trust in our fellow man took a further dent over the sale of one of the Homestead fleet. Our trusty Serena van has a good many miles left in it.  Whilst not a vehicle of beauty, speed or performance, we are all very fond of this trusty means of conveyance for what have been some of our best adventures but it is really surplus to requirements. It has been parked outside the Homestead with a home-made sign in the window and the other day a gentleman expressed interest, named a price, we haggled a bit, and it ended with a hand shake and a promise to return with the dollars that evening. Except he didn’t; come back, that is. Now, everyone we’ve shared this story with to date has assumed that we actually gave the guy our van without receiving any payment which has had us questioning just how the world views us. Trusting we may be, but we’re not stupid! But what a bummer that someone who shook our hand in a trustworthy fashion turned out to be the exact opposite. 

In the spirit of silver linings, we’re glad. He didn’t deserve the solid, well-serviced, reliable, personable ride that is Miss Family Conveyor 1997.


Oh, and remember the appointment we made to update our wills and generally do all that sort of unpleasant paperwork you sometimes just have to do? Some of us took annual leave, we gritted our teeth and ventured to the dark  *ahem* other side of town for the appointment for which we had prepared all the paperwork (this used to be The Bean Counter’s area of expertise). The meeting, scheduled to take one and half hours, was done and dusted in twenty minutes because, well, The Bean Counter knows his stuff, and we were sent of with a cheery, “We’ll be in touch once the documents are prepared, within five to ten days, to have them signed and witnessed.”  After four weeks, a series of polite email prompts and a couple of telephone calls it was determined that the service for which we are required to stump up more than the asking price of an absolute gem of a 1997 Nissan Serena had “stalled”.  We don’t tolerate that kind of mechanical failing in our vehicles, why would we allow it in one charged with drawing up our legal papers? Public Trust: you’re fired! We Homesteaders are getting very D.I.Y savvy.

And we’re up a couple of thousand dollars – silver lining number three. 

Oh, there’s been other blots on the landscape: Farm Girl’s schooling situation is still in No Man’s Land, our land line was rendered a cracklefest by a summer downpour that initially didn’t meet the stipulated “fault” criteria (despite our call having to be abandoned and resumed on a cell phone), and off-Homestead empathetic listening seems to have been decidedly thin on the ground but talking to you good folk has cheered us right up whilst reminding us of a few more silver linings.

Like the installation of our new bench top


yes, we’re still waiting for the plumber to finish up but, hey! we love it!

and the joy that comes from learning new stuff together without having to do the whole school drop off/pick up malarkey.


The human body is a marvel!

And best of all, a new addition to our extended family across the ditch in Sydney.


Congratulations, hugs and lots of love to the Jays and the Gees and the Vans, too. Nothing beats another twig on the family tree for driving those black clouds away and reminding us of what’s really important in life.



9 thoughts on “Counting Silver Linings

  1. Babies – you can’t help smiling just thinking of them – congratulations on a new twig to the family tree.

    Trust is a fragile thing, isn’t it? So many situations in your lives right now depend on other people coming through for you, and when they don’t – well. So frustrating and downheartening, I’m glad you’ve been able to find so many silver linings this past week or so. And the guy who made the countertop certainly came through – looks fabulous.

    Poor Dave. Well, except the evidence of his passing throughout your neighbourhood implies that he’s enjoying his walkabout. It’s more like Poor Homesteaders. Was he with you for the shake in 2011? It must be so unsettling for animals, not knowing. Did the goats or chickens react?

    We sympathise about the colds/flu that come with school start up – we’re in the tail end of winter here and the winter viruses are giving it their all to find hosts and have their way. I’ve been gargling with organic apple cider vinegar off and on for more than a week, staving off something that wants to infiltrate but so far hasn’t managed to get a good grip. Eldest daughter succumbed to a really fabulous case of strep throat, right when uni mid terms were happening two weeks ago. At least – silver lining – your cold bringer won’t be Farm Girl this season.

    Wills cost so darn much, don’t they? it makes no sense when they’re largely formulaic. We had ours redone a while back and really, I could have just about managed a ticket Down Under for the cost of two wills. Well, at least half way 🙂

    Unbelievable that Farm Girl is still in limbo – though frankly, that’s probably better than “them” saying a flat – NO. Maybe she could take on a new identity and just never be registered for school at all – maybe I’ve been reading too many kid’s spy books 😉

    • I very much like the way your brain works. I feel that the flat NO is hovering on the horizon but am flattered that the emails we have been cc’d into suggest that the powers that be are looking at the situation seriously rather than just searching for ways to fob us off.
      How did the mid terms mix with strep throat? Did she sit or could she site medical problems?
      Don’t even mention wills to me…what a cheek! All the work had been done and just needed rubber stamping. He spent most of the twenty minute appt laughing at the idea of a family coming en masse to make their wills. Apparently families aren’t meant to enjoy being together.
      No, Dave had missed all the big shakes and proved to have a very definite “flight” reflex to them. The goats seem to sense them long before they arrive (they get skittish and grumpy) and so almost seem relieved once they actually happen. The ducks and chickens find a dark corner and sit in a heap.

  2. What a really mean lot of people you have met recently, how can they destroy one’s faith in human nature, or not as the case may be. I am so sorry. I hope the bike thieves are caught using the CCTV.

  3. I am so sorry you have had such a hard time recently – ‘it never rains but it pours’ as the saying goes. You are such an optimistic clan that I can see you haven’t let it all get to you too much! Congratulations on the newest member!

  4. Hi, It is so frustrating when things which could be so simple are never straightforward. As for the thieves, they clearly did not believe they were going to be caught – karma will get them in the end!

    I love the Xray version of the human body. I wonder if I have a fluffy large intestine?

    Good times will roll back again. Somebody will knock your socks off with their good will and random kindness.

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