One of Those Weeks

We all have them; those weeks where it feels like the universe is out to test you. We’re just coming out of one.

Not that it’s been anything like that currently being experienced by those in the North Island. In fact, when held next to the plethora of extreme weather events, earthquakes, famines, wars and – you know, there’s a lot of ugly stuff going on out there – what we’ve just experienced amounts to absolutely nothing. Truly! But I’m going to tell you about it anyway because, due to this and that, there’s not really been a lot of other news.

But first, something that made me smile. With The Farmer moving out of the house and Farm Girl nabbing his bedroom, the teensy space she had as a literal BEDroom (because nothing else would fit) became fallow. Today it is dismal and rainy and I am tip-tap-typing away in *fanfare please* The newly appointed Office. If that is not enough to smile about, when I looked up from my efforts, I found

I am not alone (not sure where Colin appropriated the blanket from)

Maybe the inside animals feel I need to be kept an eye on, which brings me to the first annoyance of the week which happened whilst ensuring I did not inadvertently get swept up in a spirited game of goat paddock tag. I took my eyes of the rugged terrain for a moment as the bleating, bucking, thundering herd made another paddock circuit, stumbled a little and, a couple of days later, it became apparent I hadn’t came away from it scot free. Seems the two audible, in the moment painless, pops that resounded from my knee were actually my medial and lateral meniscuses…menisci?? tearing. My physiotherapist assures me that with rest, not-pushing-past-the-pain, and undertaking the prescribed exercises my knee will make a full recovery, “… but it will take time.”; kneeling is strictly forbidden. Kneeling! We are having to do a serious ergonomic rethink. I’m guessing I’ll have to look past weeds in the garden and a bit of surface mess for a spell in the interest of having a knee capable of carrying me into my dotage. It seems a fair trade-off.

While the knee debacle was still unfolding, we were hit with the Irrigation Irritation. Something that I find incredibly reassuring, having lived through ‘The Earthquake’ (which had it’s birthday this week: twelve years!), is the level of control we have over what we accept onto and send off our piece of land. We control our waste management (maintain our pipes, drains and septic tank and organise its emptying) and, while we are still on town water supply, if the need arises we can literally turn the toby valve and take responsibility for overseeing the usage of 10 000 litres of clean, drinkable water. Of course, as the pump we use to get the water from tank to tap is electric our pressure may be a little compromised if the worst happens but all in all this not having to rely on the lowest common denominator acting responsibly is really appealing. We know; we’ve been there.

The presence of a water pump took me a while to get used to. Any water that is drawn in the house or paddock is followed by a hum from the pumphouse audible from all parts of The Homestead except the living room when the television is on and/or the conversation is lively. Sometimes this water-use indicator can be an irritating thing such as when I forget to turn off the hose to a feed trough on a warm night so that each time one of the paddock dwellers quench their thirst: huuummmmmmm… but for the most, it’s just part of the soundscape and a useful tool in warning of leaks, drips and general plumbing malfunctions.

The water supply sits above the pumphouse, the place where everything we cleaned out of the barn but didn’t know where to put it now lives

Unfortunately, the irrigation hose fitting at the chicken coop chose to give way after the dining room had been vacated on a night so hot we decided to watch another episode of Bones before attempting to sleep. How long does it take to spill 10 000 litres of water into the paddock through a faulty hose fitting? Less than three episodes of Bones plus a couple of pauses for spirited discussion. No showers that night, but by morning the tank had filled enough to make sure offsite workers were pleasant to be around and a quick trip to Farmlands for a new fitting, coupled with a bit of grunt from The Farmer’s muscles to ensure it was firmly in place, made it an easier fix that it was when we first moved out here.

The third annoyance is actually a little emotional for we human Homesteaders; well, all except Farm Girl who is dancing a jig of utter joy. It involves a core member of the Homestead fleet, The Cube. Bought in a hurried ten minute, stopgap-measure panic because Nana was unable to co ordinate herself into our other vehicles, we (including Farm Girl at this point) grew to love the hearing-aid-beige box on wheels. Easy to park, nippy, roomy and incredibly fuel efficient, it happily (I’m assuming) trundled up and down State Highway 73 each day conveying The Bean Counter to his place of paid employment (unaware that it’s one time number-one-fan now viewed it as a humongous embarrassment)…until that fateful day when it decided enough was enough.

“Maybe it’s an easy fix!” But it wasn’t. Well, in truth it is for someone who knows what they’re doing and has the time to do it, but for we Homesteaders: not so much. When a vehicle’s mending is going to take more dollars than the vehicle is worth, it’s time to kiss it goodbye. But this parting is a little easier as the Cube is now living down the road at our mechanics where it will, once it comes down off the hoist they reserve for their down time projects, become one of their fleet of courtesy cars. The perfect occupation for Nissan’s salute to The Little Engine that Could.

So, to take stock: the irrigation is mended (although we’re down 10 000 litres of water) and the Cube sold (saving Farm Girl many blushes) however, we are now down one vehicle while we make the huge decision on what the replacement vehicle will be and I am, to all intents and purposes, marooned on the Homestead as I struggle to walk further than the mailbox.

Not that I’m really complaining, but we need to sort something out as, sooner or later, I’m going to need to go to the supermarket.

Note: All that was needed, when I stopped typing last night, were some illustrations to make this blog a little more attractive. In the intervening twelve or so hours, we have another annoyance: last night the microwave exploded…yep, one of those weeks.

11 thoughts on “One of Those Weeks

  1. Death by a week thousand paper cuts kind of week. So many things! Glad you have wee office now though I question Farmers decision to presumably begin the Tiny House lifestyle just as winter approaches seems a tad courageous, to misquote Humphrey of Yes Minister fame….I agree with others. Be careful with that knee. I’ve known people with this injury require months of healing….

    • The paper cuts…sooooo accurate 😆 as for the office… There’s been a development on that front and it’s now a shared space (more on that next time). The Tiny Housers got the best part of summer so go into autumn pretty streamlined. As for the knee… Slowly slowly… Still hobbling

Thoughts? Comments? Advice? We'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s