We've had fantastic visits from family ( it's always awfully sad when they go home, though) I had a great trip back to Scotland in April ( it was mum's 70th, my niece was born and I had a huge school reunion), the dental practice is pottering along. We've worked out how things work now, and I don't go into a state of meltdown panic if the bookings are not there for the following week when Lloyd leaves on a Friday, because without fail it always fills up anyway, so we've tried very hard not to worry! We also bought the building that the dental practice is in. ( That'll be our retirement then!)
Lloyd had a BIG birthday which was celebrated in the most wonderful way - all our friends in fancy dress, dancing into the wee small hours. He felt very loved that day - and so he is!
We've done an awful lot of building work. We had a new bathroom put in, done up the laundry and also ( I've not written about this really) completely re-done the old woolshed. This has been a dream of Lloyd's since the day we moved into this farm over 6 years ago. Finally we had the savings to do it. The actual building work couldn't have gone more smoothly. The painting took longer, mainly due to weather constraints - we did choose to get the work done when the weather decided to turn very nasty. But it's done and it is beyond amazing. I really will have to do a post on it. I can't tell a fib though, so I should say I found this incredibly stressful. Not the work itself, everyone that worked on it was amazing, but the mess digging new drains made. The garden was like a mud bath and needed a lot of re-seeding. It's all back to normal now.
In August we had a trip to Bali with 2 friends - Lloyd has known Chris for over 30 years. Bali was spectacular and so are Chris and Dan. My only regret about this trip is that about a month after we got home I was reading a blog and found out that there were orangutang babies, that I could have visited, about half an hour away from one of the places we were staying. This is a life long dream of mine so I was very sad not to have known about it before we left.
We also went to Sydney and met up with Chris and Dan. I had never been and it was the best trip ever! I loved it.
On the farm we've fed up steers, sold them, then got a new batch in. We've added 3 alpacas to our animal family and this has been a monumental success. Sheba a new donkey friend for Rachel arrived. We re-homed the highland cows. We've gained chickens by broodys hatching eggs and we've lost a chicken. We've also lost a duck. The downside of having animals.
We had the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand!
I've been doing a lot of diving ( I've swam with turtles twice this year!) and I took up swimming again. Originally I had a goal of doing the state ocean swim Russell to Paihia - a mere 3.4km in open water. Sadly I realised that I actually am a bit of a scaredy cat swimming in the sea ( odd when I have dived for years under the water and I'm sure this must be a lot more dangerous!) however, I did manage to do one of the shore swims. I was incredibly proud of my friend, Carol, who I swim with. She did the long swim in the most amazing time. I had brimming eyes when she crossed the finish line!
There's been lots of baking, sewing, painting, tree planting, veggie growing, dog playing and just plain old living going on.
As I type this I can see that finally, after days and days of rain, the sun is shining and the cicadas are singing. So on that note...
...we shall close the gate on 2011.
..and welcome 2012.
Wishing you all lots of health and happiness.