Sunday, 8 February 2015

Progress report

The new house is coming along well. We haven't been up to see it since before Christmas but the builder has sent some progress photos.

 The outside is basically finished except for a few trims and the garage door.
 The kitchen benches are done - just waiting on the appliances and sink.
The tiling and bathroom fit-out is underway
John will be taking the light fittings up there on Wednesday so the electrical work will be finished soon too.
Over the past few weeks, getting our current house and Missy's garden ready for sale has been our priority. I'm still working full-time so there's only weekends to work at home, and since John's illness he can't do what he used to, so my son has spent much of his spare time lately working in the garden.  I don't know what we would have done without him - not much I guess. We really appreciate his help.
The main reason we decided to move was that John was unable to look after the garden anymore and with me at work five days a week it all started to become too hard. I love gardening but there's only so much you can do. We've been lucky that much of the garden looks after itself but there's been a lot of garden maintenance jobs that just didn't get done over the last year or so... but  they are done now thanks to Andrew.

Our house really only needs a bit of spiffing up." Presentation" they call it. It needs to look its best of course. I read somewhere “Buyers are not looking to buy property! What they’re really looking to buy is a better life (property just happens to be the way they’ll get it).”

I'm taking that advice and trying to highlight to prospective buyers the lifestyle that comes with living in our house surrounded by Missy's garden.... and it has been quite a wonderful life. I will miss it, but I'm sure we will discover many new and different things to enjoy. It will be a huge change.

One of the challenges in downsizing to a smaller property is deciding what to keep, sell, give away or toss out. Luckily I'm not really a hoarder but we've still accumulated more than we need. I've been systematically going through each and every cupboard in every room. From photos and CDs to kitchen goods, linen and clothes, even furniture - I've been ruthless. If we don't love it or use it regularly it's not coming with us.

This sorting and deciding what to keep or not has been the most time-consuming. Sorting the photos took me a lot longer than anything else. Apart from the memories rediscovered, I found packets of photos from when we began the garden - so of course that got me thinking, before we go I must do some "Then and Now" posts. I've hardly taken any photos of the garden recently - but I will soon.

It's not long now. The house will go on sale in a couple of weeks and then we hope someone will want to buy it. The new house will be completed by the builder mid-March but we have a few things to do to it before we move in - like a driveway and floor coverings.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Better late than never

We have been very busy lately getting our house and garden ready for sale.
Amy at Crumbs asked me to participate in the Leibster Award for blogs quite a few weeks ago and I've only just found the time to post. (Sorry Amy)  I've been a slack blogger lately. The point of the exercise is to answer a series of questions and nominate more blogs to carry on the awards.

So these were the questions:

1) Why do you blog?
Missy’s Garden, the blog, started in 2007. It began to keep our family (spread far & wide) up to date with what was going on and to keep a record of our garden which began in 2006. Then, through blogging, I met some remarkable wonderful people from many corners of the world who also love to garden and find I spend much more time reading other blogs than writing my own these days. When I first started I thought it would be clever to write the blog from Missy’s point of view, but soon realised it wasn’t clever at all. There’s only so much a dog knows about gardening. So she only has the odd guest post these days.

 2) Do you have any pets? (Show and tell is encouraged!)

Missy is Numero Uno pet. Whoever said dogs have masters and cats have slaves never met Missy. She was born in July 2000 and quickly taught us what she needed to make her happy, and we’ve obliged ever since. She only weighs 5 kg but definitely owns the garden.
We also have chickens and fish but since they aren’t allowed in the house they aren’t officially pets, are they?.  
3) How did you come up with the name for your blog?

What else would it be called? It’s a blog about Missy and her garden. She’s been starting to feel her age lately. She still supervises all work done in the garden – sometimes from the backdoor mat nowadays… and she still keeps the garden safe.

Mostly now it’s by checking through the front window rather than patrolling the fence though.

It's quite a big area for a small dog to look after.
4) What's the average amount of time it takes you to create a post?

Depending on what’s happening I may take hours to work on a post or whip out one in a couple of minutes. Often I will take photos and write the post around the photos – but sometimes the reverse - I have something I want to talk about and take photos to illustrate the text.

5) What is your drink of choice?
This is going to make me sound very boring but my favourite drink is ice water, especially when working in the garden. I drink litres of it. Of course I won’t say No to a nice dry white or a red or even the odd friendly spirit, but I’ve even been known to choose water at parties as my drink of choice.

6) What's the best advice you ever received?
From my Mum -
“Love many, trust a few, but always paddle your own canoe”.
Be caring, be careful. Above all - Take responsibility and decide the direction of your life - your own fate.

7) What is your favourite season and why?
Definitely summer. Yes, I know it can get #%$* hot and it rains a lot but I like the heat and the rain. I lived in the tropics for a few years and loved it. Plants grow profusely and I feel more alive and energetic. I love the longer daylight hours too. I’m up at daylight in summer (5 am) but in Winter I hate getting out of bed.

8) What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Creating the garden ...... along with Missy and John of course.

9) What is your most prized possession?
I had to think a long time about this question. I discovered some time ago that possessions can come and go with very little impact on my happiness. Probably, at the moment, the garden is my most prized possession, but as you may know we are selling it.

….oh and the grandma coffee mug my grandson painted.

10) What is your favourite plant?
I have lots of favourites. It depends on the time of year and what's at it's peak. I have an addiction to bromeliads but when in flower, nothing can compare with a heliconia. I love ferns, but a frangipani in Summer ……. No, Sorry. Can’t pick just one.

11) What is your least favourite task in the garden?
I really enjoy the physical tasks of gardening. I like digging and pruning and watering. I love planting and propagating.  Weeding can be tiresome. It’s the job that never ends. When you think you've got every weed, you find one or two or three you’ve missed…. Or did they spring up just then to torment you?
If you look closely in photos of Missy's garden you'll often see weeds.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Progress with the new house

I took a day off work today so we could meet the building supervisor at the new house. They've been making good progress.

It's starting to look like a house. We have a roof and wall frames and windows and doors. The brick-layers will start in the next day or so and the plan is to have the house able to be locked up before the Christmas break. No work will happen then for a couple of weeks. So we probably won't go up again  to check on progress until the end of January at least.

Ours is one of a dozen houses currently under construction in our little area. All the builders are trying to get as much done as possible before Christmas. There are tradesmen and trucks everywhere.

I love the view of the canal we will  get from the kitchen window. We may lose the view when houses get built over the road, but until then......
This is what it looks like up closer (walking over to the canal). Some of the boats would cost more than our house.
The area I will have for garden looks SO tiny in comparison to Missy's garden but it will still be a challenge - starting from scratch again.
While we were there, we had to visit the beach of course - the ocean side this time. Because it's school holidays there were families enjoying the beach.
This stretch of beach was bordered by a grassy park with BBQs and tables for picnicking plus a bike path winding through the trees. If Santa doesn't bring me a bike I'm buying my own when we move. I haven't ridden one for over 16 years but they say once learnt, never forgotten.

AND a bit of a bonus - on the way home we stopped at one of the fruit stalls and bought a box of various fruits for Christmas plus a box of mangoes. Yum!!!

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone
and see you all in 2015.


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