Friday, 29 June 2012

Many pets

It rained all week! Mr Pickle and I did not leave the house between Monday and Thursday evening this week. It has rained all day, every day. The water butt is overflowing so we don't need any more rain thank you very much. I have had a stinky cold all week too and Mr Pickle has been my little companion in quarantine.

On Thursday evening we went to the shopping centre because it was late night shopping and two of the big stores started their toy sales (for Christmas). Crazy but true.

Mr Pickle wants a pet and I had seen, in the toy catalogue, that one of the shops was selling an ant farm. I asked him how would he like lots of tiny six legged pets and he said 'very well' which is Pickle speak for yes please.

We purchased the ant farm and excitedly checked the weather forecast for the next day. Hooray, a big sun for Brisbane.

That evening I built the farm. It took me longer than I thought it would but it is a structure fit for a queen (ant obviously).

The next morning we built a pooter from a measuring cup, a big blob of play dough and some plastic pipe.

Mr Pickle tested the pooter in the house with some random bits on the floor and we were very pleased with its success. Armed with this, a trowel and pots we headed out into the park to find an ant nest to raid.

The instructions said we needed leaves to make leaf doors and Mr Pickle ran off to find some while I jumped up and down in the vicinity of a known ant haunt.

We then got down to the business of sucking up the new pets. Everything was going swimmingly, little black ants were flying up the pooter pipe, until one rather large green ant ran into the suck zone! Disaster! The big ant started attacking the little ants inside the collecting cup. Noooooo, think of the children, oh the humanity! We quickly opened it up and saved the pets from a painful and slow demise. We put the lid back on and decided that we had enough for our little farm.

We collected two colours of earth from the areas around the nest to make the ants feel at home and then made our way back to our home.

The next job was to fill the farm with the earth for the ants to live in. We popped the ants in the fridge to make them sleepy (to make transfer into their new home easier) and got down to work.

We layered up the earth and then flipped it over to add the ants. 'Where are the ants' I said to Mr Pickle. At that point I realised that I had left them in the fridge a bit longer than I possibly should have. They were all very still when we took them out of the fridge!

We tipped them into the hole in the front of the farm and as we sealed it up they started to move. Thankfully we hadn't bumped them off before we started.

We fed them and watched the spectacle for about three hours. In this time Mr Pickle named his ants:
Herbert Manager
Blackie 31
Blackie 32
Fally Number 1
Jumpy Number 2
Eaty Number 100
Sea world

Two days later, the ants have settled in and are tunnelling around. We will keep the world posted on their progress.

Monday, 25 June 2012

The start of a very wet week

It was a bad start to the first week of Mr Pickle's two week holiday away from kindy.

It started raining on the Sunday afternoon and on Monday morning it was still raining. As we had no plans we decided to make pancakes.

We quite often make letter shaped pancakes. Today when asked what shaped pancakes I should make, the answer was dinosaurs! Not one to be deterred by a challenge, I think my T Rex pancakes were pretty good.

Mr Pickle was going stir crazy in the house by the afternoon and was desperate to blow some bubbles. He braved the rain in his waterproof monster suit and wellies.

He also did a bit of gardening while he was out there by putting the plants in the rain. He is very proud of his tomato plant.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Drain Fly Maggots......ewwwwwww

I came into the house after dropping Mr Pickle at kindy and went straight into the kitchen to make a cup of tea. I didn't even take my boots off because I clean the floors, so I am allowed (when there is no one else to see). I scrubbed them yesterday and they are very shiny.

I got to the corner by the kettle and something went crunch under my foot, I stepped backwards and there was more crunching. Strange, I thought, we didn't drop any crumbs over here this morning.

I looked down and saw a squirm of maggots coming out of the utility room drain, into the kitchen and up the side of the bin! What!?!?!?

Since when do maggots come from somewhere else and migrate to a bin? I have googled this gross phenomenon and have learned that these are drain fly maggots. The fly lays the eggs in the drain slime and then they look for a better food source.

Nasty! Now also very much washed away into the gravel outside.

You learn something new everyday and I will be regularly putting tea tree down the drain to prevent future grossness!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

He touched the Butt

That's for all you Nemo fans out there. Alternatively I was going to call this one My butt overfloweth.

Since we moved into our new house we have not had much success with our downpipes and water butt. This issue has featured heavily in my daily life over the last three months and you might have seen any one of our household, including Mr Pickle, inspecting the butt and various bits of water catching paraphernalia, including complicated tied up plastic shopping bag structures, buckets, tupperware, the list goes on.

I am sure that most of you are wondering why that would be such a big part of my existence. Quick answer, you can't flush the toilet without water butt water!

Our landlords changed the pipe work arrangement trying to get the water tank to fill, to no avail, and I carried on catching water in a paddling pool, etc (see previous list) and tipping it into the massive water tank by hand.

I had reached the point of obsession on the day that I found myself outside in the pouring rain emptying the full paddling pool into the tank so that it could fill again. While doing this, Mr Pickle was happily jumping up and down in the rapidly emptying paddling pool fully clothed!

I have watched the flow of water down the guttering (we have open topped drain pipes to prevent forest fires), during rain storms, over the last few months and decided that we needed to plug up one particular downpipe to encourage a greater flow to the tank filler. This post my have started to sound a bit dull but it is very important that everyone out there has the full picture of quite how obsessed about collecting rain I have become.

Anyway, having plugged the appropriate hole, you can imagine how excited I was to see a veritable flood of water gushing out of the gutter and into the downpipe. You would be forgiven for thinking the story ends there. No! But now I have sucked Jeremy into the obsession.

There was no water coming out of the pipe!

This piece of pipe, that had been resited and rearranged, was still the problem! We ran some tests involving Jeremy standing precariously on three stacked up dining chairs (we have no ladder here), me standing on just one under the pipe and a litre of water so we could measure output. Mum and dad, aren't you glad my scientific education hasn't been wasted!

As it turned out, all we really had to do was take the filter off the end of the pipe and shake out the dirt that had collected in it. On the day of testing it was gloriously sunny, as was the next two weeks. Never have I wanted to see rain more.

The rain arrived yesterday. Mr Pickle and I ran outside in great excitement and did a little victory dance on the patio because we could hear the water gushing into the butt. Mr Pickle had to go and touch the butt to feel the level of the water (it is opaque and you cannot see in). Such is the logic of a four year old.

We rang Jeremy, who is in the outback again, to give the glad tidings and I think he was more excited about tapping the butt to guess the level of water when he gets back than he is about seeing us!

We have had torrential rain for the last 36 hours and the water tank is now full and overflowing. Luckily, there is a fully working overflow system that hasn't seen a drop of water for a very long time.

Jeremy, you will not need to touch the butt when you get back! I have hung up my water obsession hat and have moved back to an old obsession of making friends out of socks.

I think I need to get out more. That could also have been a potential name for this post.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Ha ya

Mr Pickle and I went along to a karate club yesterday and joined in.

All was going swimmingly, Mr Pickle was being attentive and focused, he was staying put in his row and was following instructions. I was amazed!

Sensei then said the words 'and with ki ai on the reverse punch. Oh dear! One very sad and soggy small boy attached himself to my leg and got himself elbowed in the head for his trouble!

He didn't run away though, he got back into his row and carried on. Each time there was shouting he covered his ears and cried but he kept kicking air like his life depended on it.

We are going back again tomorrow so we shall see how he fares. I have told him that we have to go for two weeks before he can have his own gi, which for him is what it is all about!

I will be wearing my gi tomorrow and am wondering what the others will think of the embroidery on the back.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Mr Pickle goes to school

Mr Pickle has started Kindy in Brisbane and he loves it!

After months of waiting and with great excitement he joined 22 small people for their first day of school.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Possum patrol

We, like most in Brisbane, have a family of possums living around the house. At night they rampage across the tin roof and they sound like a herd of elephants.

In the evenings, Mr Pickle and I (or daddy) go on possum patrol down the road. It is very exciting for a three year old and it gives him a bit of exercise before bed. The last few patrols have not been very successful so we have taken matters into our own hands.

Mr Pickle likes to eat apples and pears and we have started chopping the cores into pieces and saving them in one if my many Tupperware tubs in the fridge. Tonight we placed the fruit leftovers out on the fence and we had a little visitor for our viewing pleasure.

I have pics to share but I can't work out how to suck them off the iPad onto the blog.