Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Re-couping the coop costs!

If the chookies were still here, we could have celebrated the first anniversary of the new girls' arrival. Instead, their Fox-proof Fowl Fort (FpFF) sold tonight on eBay - for $105 less than we paid for it more than two years ago.

We're pretty pleased with that outcome.

Given other fencing costs, we spent a bit over $200 all up on the FpFF during the time we/the chookies used it. That's $200 for more than two years of feathered friend fun. On a rough calculation the expense reduces to something like 25 cents a day, which is even cheaper than Erin's van/house extension!

It's almost 11 weeks since we received the Notice to Vacate - and a little over a month before our final exit date.  We've achieved so much in that time and are justifiably chuffed with our efforts. Our current tally stands at 35 boxes of donations versus 48 packed and stacked to come with us. More items have been given away via various FaceBook Buy, Sell, Swap pages - and quite a lot of rubbish has been culled also.

We've generated heaps of recycling, though some paperwork was far too sensitive for the bin. I've burned what seemed like several reams of horrid history. It's hard to describe how light I felt as I watched the paper curl in the flames. I expected to feel good but was unprepared for how free I felt. I was smiling for hours afterward!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Cheap rent!

One of our first missions prior to moving here was to buy a caravan for Erin - it was an instant (and cheap) house extension!

I think Erin enjoyed having her separate living quarters, though does appreciate the far warmer temperatures inside our house.  It seems she uses far less bedding since moving back in with us!

We've been clearing and cleaning the van these past couple of weeks.

I listed it for sale on two FaceBook pages on Thursday, where it received considerable interest.  One couple were set to view it on Friday morning but canceled two hours after making the appointment.

Another lady messaged yesterday and organised to view the van today.

She and her husband arrived on time and were obviously happy with their inspection.

They chatted for a while, left a deposit, took the previous VicRoads permit to arrange an updated one and will finalise their purchase soon - hooray! I love it when a plan comes together!

When advertising the van, I thought to allow some room for price negotiation. The agreed value means that we've paid around 50c/day for using the van during the time we've owned it. How good is that?!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Farewell, feathered friends!

I cried a few happy tears last night when Steven made contact to offer our girls their new home!

He was happy for "the gang" to stay together and promised they would be "very well looked after and much loved". That email made my day, for sure!

Erin and I were up early this morning to prepare the chookies and their coop for departure.

I cleaned the coop, scrubbing the removable parts with some hot water and disinfectant.

Erin, Vaughan and I then used the trolley to wheel the coop around to the driveway - which involved some giggling!

Steven and his young family arrived to collect the girls.  We loaded the coop first then caught the chookies fairly easily, packing them into "Fragile" boxes.

Nagambie, Pooh II and Mrs Floosit travelled in one box.  Judge Judge, Obsidian and Shadow shared the other box.

Steven sent a text message a little while ago to confirm the chookies were settling well into their new home - which is lovely news!

Now the girls are adopted, we'll sell their Fox-proof Fowl Fort (described as twenty temporary fencing panels).  Fingers crossed it will be re-homed just as easily!

Friday, 17 July 2015

Ticking boxes?!

Chaos reigns at the moment.  I'm trying to contain it but moving is a messy business - and we haven't got to the actual moving yet!  I'm still culling those foam boxes.  Many more have been emptied.  Hooray!

I offered the empty boxes on FaceBook buy, swap, sell pages and one guy collected three today which put a small dent in our stash.

Hopefully there will be a rush of interest in foam boxes over the week-end.  In the meantime Bandit is benefiting from the extra insulation around his sleeping chair!  As well as foam boxes, we've been given lots of lovely packing boxes.  They need temporary homes too and there are only so many that can be stashed behind Bandit's chair.  Consequently, Bandit isn't the only one feeling boxed in!

Our op-shop tally rose to 33 boxes today.  I've set up one of our camping tables near the front door.  There is usually at least one box on the table, gathering donations. The stacked baskets are home to packing tape "guns", extra packing tape, permanent markers and the like.  One tray holds bits to offer to Vaughan's school and other items awaiting MIA parts.  (The library books are on the table too, contained in a shallow tray - hoping to elude packing)!

It's a basic system but it's working successfully.  The camping table was only put into use this week, after I sold off the previous IKEA storage unit!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

No drooling!

Nick and I are very chuffed with all we managed to achieve today - particularly as it was quite cold outside.

Erin's van has been moved onto firmer ground, ready for it's final clean and photo session.  That was a major mission and Nick did wonderful work, in spite of a few hiccups.

The largest pic shows the storage container this morning.  Compare that view against the pic at top right, which was that state of things in March 2013 after our belongings arrived from storage.  The two smaller pics are of our 50 foam boxes in storage at the end of 2012.  Nick brought 25 of those boxes into the house today and by the end of the day I had culled them heavily.  I have seven empty boxes.  Three are filled with op-shop donations, set for delivery tomorrow.  One is full of recycling.  Another is holding some of the rubbish (four large garbage bags in total).

Three boxes are packed and the rest require further consolidation.  Generally they are being used to hold sorted paperwork, so are not very full.  I'm very pleased with progress and for the most part enjoyed poking through and rediscovering all kinds of stuff.

What did I find?  Old cards and letters, examples of my schoolwork from early primary days (including artwork displayed by the NSW Correspondence School and Katherine School of the Air),   certificates from my Rural Youth stint ...  Lots and lots of memories.  One of the highlights was the house rules Erin, Nissa and I created many years back.  "No drooling on the table" is listed.  I can't recall drooling being a problem before the house rules came into effect but obviously someone thought it was important enough to have in writing!

Monday, 13 July 2015

Wanted - Happy New Home!

We've been doing some excellent culling these past two months but there are some missions that are trickier than others.  I've been putting off this one.  Since we moved the girls to new quarters in June, we can hear them from the house and it's nice to listen to their chatter.

Our original four chooks were one of our first acquisitions when we moved here.  Judge Judy is still with us and was joined by Mrs Floosit, Pooh II, Shadow and Obsidian last year.

Those five were all getting along quite nicely until Nagambie came along and I needed to gently dispense some chook discipline!

The girls are all friends now and we are still getting a few eggs in spite of the cold.

One of our very early purchases for the chooks was their Fox-proof Fowl Fort - and that is something we now need to sell off, preferably sooner rather than later.  It will be advertised as soon as the girls are established in their new home, wherever that may be.

I started advertising the girls today.  There was a small community noticeboard where I did my shopping and I wrote a quick card after paying for my groceries.  Vaughan's school has a noticeboard and I have permission to display a flyer there.  I'll print a few extra copies to pin up when we are out and about.  Wish us (and the girls) luck!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Packing and stacking ...

It's been a little over a month since my last entry.  We've achieved a lot since then - but there's still a lot to do!

Fortunately there are 50 days left before our final exit date and we are making good progress, particularly as we've taken a bit of a break these past two weeks due to school holidays and playing as a family of five and six!

We thoroughly enjoyed unexpected "bonus" visits from Nissa and Tanya, so wanted to make the most of our time together - hence packing and culling were put on hold for a while.

Erin has now moved into the house and is very appreciative of the warmer quarters.  Her caravan was pretty cold, so quite a lot of extra bedding is being packed away!  Once the van is fully cleared, it will be listed for sale.

There are plans to de-hire our large storage container also.  Even before receiving the Notice to Vacate, we were keen to reduce our belongings - and 30 large items have been sold, given away or disposed of since January (15 of those items were released these past two months).

The container isn't empty but there's a lot more clear space than there was and we'll continue to cull the remainder - working inside the house where the temperature is far more pleasant!  We've started preparing for the influx of more boxes, by stacking our 32 packed keepers into the back built-in wardrobes.  (The wardrobes are not easily accessible, so are good for storage).

As well as those 32 packed boxes, our donated box tally has increased to 26 boxes.  A few things have been FreeCycled. Many smaller items have been sold.  Vaughan's school has also benefited from some of our overflow.   We've had our first hard rubbish collection and the rubbish and recycling bins have been chockers each week/fortnight.  I reckon we are well and truly on track for (at least) a 50% reduction of our worldly goods - hooray for us!

I've found a reference to our moving truck holding 100 cubics in total - and 70 cubic metres of our belongings.  It'll be interesting to compare figures at the end of August, when we move to the next phase of our adventure.