Forget wheres Wally, Wheres Earl!

Hi All,

Today is Christmas Eve. Hasn’t the year gone incredibly fast! I can still remember the day that we moved in to Serendipity Farm, shell shocked and weary and sitting out on the deck just before our son Stewart got here for a few weeks sharing a beer and slowly letting the stress of the previous 6 months seep out of us as we surveyed our new found kingdom. 4 acres might not seem like much of a kingdom to you, but to us it was amazing to own something when we were 2 penniless hippies with no chance of ever owning much let alone a house in town and 4 acres on the river. It sometimes feels like a dream and we never stop feeling amazingly lucky to have gained what we have. Don’t get me wrong, there is an amazingly huge amount of work involved with untangling these properties from the neglect and disrepair that they fell into. We are well aware that it is going to take us years to get to a maintenance level where we can fall into a pattern of keeping everything tidy rather than wading into the wilderness to do battle with the various weeds with a machete. This year I wanted to take Christmas back from commercialism. I wanted to actually think about what Christmas means. It’s a day for rejoicing whether or not you believe that the son of God was born (approximately) on this day. I do. It’s a time to wind down from the stress of the year, to have some time off (for most of us), to relax and enjoy the company of our family and friends and to share a celebratory meal. We don’t need to even listen to the media or to the masses of retailers trying to manipulate us into burning our credit cards into the night for the sake of their profits. That road leads to ruin. We all have to learn to be happy with what we have and to spend accordingly to customise a Christmas especially for our circumstances. No one should be depressed at Christmas time because they can’t deliver what is expected of them. Let’s give up ‘expecting’ anything apart from being able to share what we have with the people that we love. I don’t think that is idealism.

We have the full rat pack together today. Bezial, Earl and Qi are all tumbling about the place trying to get our attention. I might be typing this the Sunday before, but I know how much chaos these 3 dogs can create. No doubt I will be vacuuming several times after Earl and Qi dismantle every toy in their toy box. Qi loves coming to visit us out here. She has now accepted that she lives in town with the girls but her little tail wags like crazy when she knows that she is coming out to the country for a visit. She has a ball barking at the cats, possums and wallabies that come to the house. Felix caught a rat today so she is back in the good books again. It appears she has moved back here for now and has taken up residence in the large conifer on the driveway along with her adult kitten Jacko. Pinkie comes and goes but seems to live somewhere else. The other two are now quite used to us and know that the dogs are not allowed in the garden because of the chickens so Felix feels safe moving back here. She and I have come to a sort of an agreement. I think she understands that the chickens are off limits. She can have all the rats that she wants, however, and should she keep catching them, there might just be a bowl of cream to accompany their special Christmas cat meal tomorrow. Steve and I will look a bit like Ernie from Sesame Street when he had the count stay overnight. He got NO sleep and that is Steve and my fate for the 2 nights that Qi is here. I must admit, the last time she stayed, she didn’t jump in and out of our bed anywhere near as much as she had on the previous visit. We bought a king sized bed specifically so that the dogs could sleep at the end of the bed allowing us room to get a comfortable and good night’s sleep. Qi tunnels and spends a lot of time burrowing around and jumping in and out of the bed getting herself comfortable.

Here’s a little slideshow of what life is actually like here at the moment. Earl helped me cook yesterday as you can see and I predicted the state of our loungeroom and here is the proof (along with Qi who has apparently died of shame…)

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We found that bamboo back scratcher when we moved in amongst the stuff left over in boxes and it is surprisingly useful when I need a back scratch. Qi loves this scratcher and so Steve decided to make her one to take home with her. The original was a bit too wide for comfortable scratching around dogs ears so Steve’s prototype has 3 extra long fingers for reaching those hard to get spots and giving them a tweak. Qi is in heaven!

We lost Earl today. Steve had been cleaning out cupboards in his music room and had put some Frankincense incense on to burn. The room still has a bit of a Pingu scent to it and Steve is going to have to burn a bit more incense before that delightful eau de poultry smell departs. We had the middle room door open as well. Mum is going to be sleeping in there and as Steve had been storing his shoes in here (away from Earl’s eager advances) the scent was somewhat less than stellar. We left the door open so that some of the wispy smoke would flow into the room and render it habitable. Don’t worry mum, it will be sweet smelling and fresh as a daisy by the time you have to sleep in there! Steve closed the doors to make sure that Earl didn’t take advantage of the open doors to liberate some of the contents in either room and headed out to water the plants. I was tapping away here and after a while Steve came in and asked where Earl was. We could see Bezial on the couch (where he usually is) but no sign of Earl. When Earl is absent, it is time to panic. Earl is chaos on legs and when he goes A.W.O.L. it could be expensive. We hunted about looking outside because he is prone to laying on the side deck near our bedroom window in the shade. Not there. We looked under the bed hoping beyond hope that he hadn’t found something ‘interesting’ and taken it to his happy place to dismantle at his leisure…nope…not there either. We wandered about checking rooms and Bezial decided that he would join in the hunt. We couldn’t find Earl anywhere! We were starting to get a bit worried as we were beginning to think that he might have hurdled his way out of the compound (despite never showing any interest in doing so before today even when his chicken culling instincts were honed) and was on a wild rampage of chicken destruction. Nope… no clucking, or noise of any sort to be honest. We were baffled! Where was Earl? We decided to call him. Much like when you lose your mobile phone and ring the number to find it…After wandering around outside and coming back into the house, I called Earl again and heard a bang from the middle room…I opened the door to find a puzzled Earl who had obviously been fast asleep on the queen sized bed full of pillows wanting to know why we wanted him! Mystery solved and 10 points to Earl who didn’t eat ANYTHING while he was shut in the room

Hopefully this post finds all of my constant readers (reading for a start…) rested, relaxed and ready for tomorrow when the full force of Christmas descends. It’s a much more manic force when Children are involved. There is something about a house full of boisterous kids excited beyond belief and let loose on a pile of brightly wrapped presents and the ensuing shred fest. It’s a lot more civil now. We take turns opening gifts and admiring what we got. Everyone pretty much knows that they are going to get something suitable and no matter what we get we will smile and thank the giver. Age brings the understanding that it’s not the gift, it’s the thought that counts, and the thought sometimes runs to how much it will bring on eBay and who it can be regifted to next year. I am not saying this from experience, but from the many and varied sites that specialise in post-Christmas gifts and their disposal. I, personally, don’t need anything for Christmas. I am not just saying that to expound my “anti-consumerist” Christmas ideals. I truly feel that I have everything that I want right here, right now. I know that I am incredibly lucky. I thank my lucky stars every day that I have 3 wonderful, bright, intelligent and funny children. I have a fantastic husband who might have difficulty understanding where I am coming from sometimes, but who allows me my eccentricities and does his best to let me be me. We get to choose how we want to live and that is something that most people never get to do. I feel like one of the most blessed people on earth and hope that all of my readers know that each and every one of them are counted as one of my blessings. Thank you all for sharing the past few months of blogging. Thank you so very much to Harvey for showing me that blogging is for everyone and thank you for putting up with my random rants, crazy life and winsome wanderings. I won’t be stopping any day soon, so should you wish to tune in to the eccentric and manic pace of life here on Serendipity Farm, please feel free to drop in any time you like and join us in our quest for living life to the fullest in the most creative way that we can. God bless you all, and see you all for a very special Christmas tomorrow :o)


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pinky
    Dec 24, 2011 @ 14:37:49

    Hi Fronkii, Did you know that there is a spammy thingy at the top of this page asking me if i want to win an I phone 4, imac or ipad2? Sponsered by planet49 no less?
    Christmas will be wonderful however we choose to spend it. The seven of us will be down Middleton beach or Emu point or somewhere else eating good food and soft drinks et al and I have bought some bug spray for humans for the first time in years. I’m gonna make Jamie Olivers puff pastry fruit mince scrolls to take along with my gluten free fruit/boozy cake. We’ll call you from wherever we end up and i’ll be mum and take lots of embarrassing photos of everyone. I want to see you all in your bras and undies on the deck ok? Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!


    • narf77
      Dec 24, 2011 @ 16:52:37

      Did you win me one? I just checked it out and apparently to keep this service ‘free’ we will occasionally have the odd ad but I guess thems the breaks. We spent yesterday making a large spanakopita, 7 large Italian chicken scotch eggs, 7 large Thai chicken scotch eggs, 42 squintillion mini quiches, small pork pies and home made rich egg custard and chocolate mousse for the amazing dessert Steve is making (we already made a zillion meringues). Christmas is well and truly sorted as we spent today making potato salad, roasted veggie salad and enormous quantities of Marinated chicken skewers and we have more food than our entire neighbourhood could eat and when you add what mum and the girls are bringing back tomorrow… I think we could feed Beaconsfield twice over….


  2. Kym
    Dec 24, 2011 @ 18:06:03

    Well I have finally sat down to read your post! I have made the potato salad, with a lovely new dressing that was in Women’s Weekly. I didn’t buy it as I would have to hock one of the dogs to afford one, but I read it while my hair colour was cooking in the salon yesterday. I have made the dressing for the noodle salad, on the pack so very easy, and I have made my margarita slushie, which is now in the freezer. We went out early this morning to the markets and got all the veges etc, have gone to Drover’s where Chris works and purchased the prawns, and picked up our rolled beef roast from the butchers. I have just finished the glaze on the ham and it is in the oven, hopefully glazing away. I haven’t done this to a ham before so I hope it comes out. Well the weather is perfect and all is well with our little part of the world. I hope you and yours have a wonderful day. Merry Xmas xxx


    • narf77
      Dec 24, 2011 @ 18:40:05

      We have just finished off most of the Christmas prep and all I have left to do today is whip up a small batch of coleslaw for Madeline (eldest daughter) who can NOT be without coleslaw for Christmas. I hope santa brings us a bigger fridge for Christmas as I have buggery bollocks idea how we are going to fit all of our stuff in ours! Have a fantastic day, all of you. It sounds like you have an amazing feast and that Margarita slushie is making me drool. I have just sat down to a Rekorderlig strawberry lime cider. I love this brand and I will imagine that my Swedish cider is a Mexican Margarita as I sip it. This is most certainly a drink that I deserve! :o). I hope your Christmas is fantastic with Bruce’s family and that everyone behaves and has a ball. They will be most replete from that delicious spread that you are putting on. If anyone is still hungry, tell them to come over here because we could feed your entire suburb on what the 5 of us have cooked up in our respective homes! See you when I next see you as I am posting right through Christmas (by cheating and doing posts last Sunday ;o)


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