Possums LOVE pasta!

old pearly jenkins

old pearly jenkinsold pearly jenkins

Nothing like some warm leftover spaghetti and burnt garlic bread to fill the bellies of our little furry friends on a cold winters night!!!

The one nibbling on the spaghetti  is the same possum that has been living in the roof of the house when we first moved in.  The little possum in the top photo is her latest offspring.

 

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Possum eviction Part 2.

This afternoon we hung the possum houses on a fence down the side of the house. It’s very shady and hopefully the possums feel it’s safe enough too!
I managed to entice one of the resident possums into the first house in the row. We call him Sniffer because he sniffs really loudly.

old pearly jenkins

Each night I’ll keep encouraging them to go into the boxes.  I really hope it works (fingers crossed).

Why??

I’m not happy with the possums!
Look what they’ve done to the seedlings.

old pearly jenkins

This is what they looked like two weeks ago.

old pearly jenkins

It could be the little Ringtailed Possums that live in the neighbours Lilly Pilly  tree.  After all ‘our’ possums should know better.

These possums are a lot smaller that the Brushtail Possums that live in our roof.  The ones we’ve seen in the garden have been the size of a large rat.

I brought some chicken wire netting last weekend to protect the seedlings but  cutting it is AWFUL! I started it then ran out of patience.  I will persevere with it tomorrow.

What’s for Dinner?

Sometimes when we can’t think of what we want to have for dinner I take a drive down to the West End and go the George’s Seafood on Boundary Street.  It’s as authentic as fish and chip shops get.

fish

The seafood is fresh and delicious, the hand cut chips are amazing, they remind me of how they used to look and taste when I was a child.  Whenever we go, there is always a queue. One of the ladies that works there that may come across as a little gruff and unfriendly but it kind of adds to the atmosphere.  I have witnessed a softer side to her though, one Saturday afternoon last winter.  My youngest son was quite unwell but still wanted to come with me to get some dinner.  She was quite concerned about him and told him to make sure he ate ALL of his fish and to squeeze lots of lemon juice all over it.  The next time we went, she smiled when she saw him and said it was good to see him looking better.

Last week we had fish and chips and we had a few chips left over.  It was dark and I thought the possums would be out for the night.  I decided to leave them in the cupboard for their breakfast.  To my surprise ‘baby’ was still home.  He didn’t even bother to sit up when I gave him a chip.  He loved them!!!!! I hope he saved some for his mum.

SAMSUNG

SAMSUNG

The Possums.

I know I shouldn’t but I worry about our little furry friends in the roof when the weather is this hot.  Its been in the  mid 30’s celsius (approximately 90 degrees farenheit) and under the corrugated iron roof they must be sweltering.  When we open the cupboard to give them their dinner late in the afternoons they are often  lying spreadeagled on the floor of the cupboard.  Is this their way of keeping cool?  Why do they choose to live in these conditions???

A few weeks ago we decided to put in a little water bottle usually used for rabbits, guinea pigs etc.  It looks like they’re using it too because the water disappears.  I did wonder if the water was dripping out, so I put a little bowl under it to see and so far its remained dry.  I’d really like to put a small fan up there but Mr F, who isn’t that crazy about the whole possum ‘thing’ thinks I’m going a little overboard.  I know he’s right, I just can’t help it.

I took these photos this afternoon when I came home from work.

old pearly jenkins

old pearly jenkins

The extended family members living in the kitchen!

Someone described the suburb we  were about to move to as a “Possum’s paradise”.
Knowing this should have prepared us but what sounded like a pack of dogs running on the roof scared the crap out of us on our first night in the house.

Old Pearly Jenkins

Rosebush and Possum

We have two and only two cupboards in our kitchen and we don’t use either of them. Why? because the insides are gross and had a weird smell, so we just put an old ‘meat safe’ in front to use as a pantry and pretended they weren’t there.

Old pearly Jenkins

The top cupboard

Old pearly Jenkins

The substitute pantry hiding the yucky bottom cupboard

I’m not sure which member of the family opened the top cupboard to investigate one day and discovered a possum sitting inside. The top cupboard has the only access to the roof.From the state of the inside of the cupboard it looks like its been a home to many generations of possums.
Now at this point in most people’s stories about possums in the roof, a trap would be borrowed and the possums evicted!

Old Pearly Jenkins

It just never happened. In fact they’ve become part of the family.
Its gone from asking the middle son “have you feed the cats?” to “Have you feed the cats and the possums?”

So one day in winter when we were opened the cupboard ( you have to climb on a chair and stand on the kitchen bench) we discovered that Possum had become a mummy. For the past six months we have all watched  ‘baby’ grow. It’s been really quite special and we’ve enjoyed being able to hand feed and stroke them.  We’ve learnt that they’re actually very clean animals and also very friendly. (they’re not idiots – they get feed).

Old Pearly Jenkins

Old Pearly Jenkins

I’m sure there will be someone reading this who thinks we are doing the wrong thing and interfering with nature and prehaps we are. It’s just been really special being able to share this with my children and its something that I know they’ll remember for a long time.

Until we know what we are doing with the house, we are happy to leave them be.  Apart from coming home every morning around 4.30am and making a bit of a racket.  (I wish we could teach them to tiptoe)  They’re not bothering us at all.

A NEW CHAPTER!

I’ll start from the beginning!!

Before I do start this blog. I have to quickly say that I am a complete novice. I’ve never done anything like this before. So please excuse the odd sized photos, photos that are placed haphazardly. It’s all new to me and I will be learning as I go.   Some of the photos may not look the best either, I’ve used the camera on my phone.  So here goes nothing….

Late  2011 we brought a new house to renovate.  It’s a little house, a very little house and  we are a family of five (three sons), two cats and two possums (they were here  when we moved in).

We moved from a bland yet spacious brick and tile, four bedroom, two bathroom, media room, swimming pool etc… in an equally bland suburb. To a much smaller two bedroom + sunroom, character house. But this house is oozing with personality.  It’s in an older suburb closer to Brisbane city that’s bursting at the seams with vibrant, interesting people and beautiful older homes. We love the house and the location but the house is just a little too small for us lot.

So… the renovations began!  We started with clearing the back garden. The house has been a rental for many years.  The previous tenants had kind of  let things go.  Please don’t be fooled by the photograph above.  It was sent to us by our lovely real estate agent.  I think it has to have been taken at least five years ago.  As there is now an enormous tree by the back steps.

This is what we were up against on a stinking hot day in January.  It was quite a satisfying job. The neighbours on one side didn’t seem too impressed though, the overgrown jungle had given them privacy and she told me so.  I felt bad for a few moments, then took the opportunity to explain to her in  the nicest way possible that we’d brought the house to live in. It was going to need some work,  but hey ” No more tenants ” !!

Old Pearly JenkinsOld Pearly Jenkins

She   just  snorted and walked away.  But you’ll be pleased to know that since this first meeting we’ve got to know her quite well.  It took a while for her to warm to us (remember the three boys) .  so anyhoo we’re  keeping  our neighbours well-informed of whats going on and I think she’s secretly pleased that the ‘old girl’ is getting a makeover at last.

It might not  look like much when you look at the photo above  but it was a great start.

A month or two later the lovely neighbours on the other side gave us some fence panels that had been removed from their place and they had no need for them.  A couple of bottles of wine, a dozen beer and the new/recycled fence was  passed over the fence .

We cleared the mess down the back, demolishing the bits and pieces that had for many years been some sort of property divider. Then replaced it  with the new/recycled back fence.  A few trees from the house behind us  needed a few limbs cut off and one particularly ugly one that had been planted too close to the old fence line had to go. We were given the thumbs up from the owner, we just needed to find the right person for the job .

We decided to try using ServiceSeeking.com.au to find a suitable person for the job. We placed a job description and waited for the quotes to come in.  We decided to go with a man called Grady Simon.  His passion and knowledge was incredible and he was extremely well priced.  I would recommend his services to anyone needing something done in the garden anywhere in Brisbane (North and South side), Ipswich etc.

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The next job to do was to build  a low retaining wall to level out the garden.  We wanted to put a small swimming pool at the far right hand corner.  The cooler winter evenings set in and it was harder to motivate Mr F to do anything outside.  But with a little encouragement and acting as his labourer, we completed the wall in time for the hole to be dug for the swimming pool .

The new recycled back fence and the markings for the new pool.

The  company that we chose to construct our swimming pool was Thomas Pools. They’re based in Capalaba but have been putting in pools all over Brisbane for many years.  They did my parent’s swimming pool in two of their houses.  My dad, who does everything ‘by the book’ was very impressed with them and so by late August, Brian from Thomas Pools  ( thomaspools.com.au ) came over and measured up and sent the diggers in.

I think I’ll just fast forward this week. We had a few hiccups with Brisbane City Council, we had to get a permit to have a fence over two metres on the boundary. As usual the paperwork disappeared and then ended up on the wrong person’s desk. It was a massive delay but FINALLY last week we got the certification and started to fill the pool.

Woo hoo its been so hot these past few weeks and looking at an empty concrete hole was pretty rough.

We did use the time however to have Indo, from Pro Fence ( profence.net.au) build a hardwood deck around two sides and install the pool fence. In our previous house we decided to have glass panels installed instead of the standard powder coated type. We found it to be a bit of a pain to keep clean. So this time we have gone with the  standard powder coated type. Pretty boring, I know  but its one less job to do on a weekend.

It’s nearly done. We just have to clean and seal the pavers, clean up the decking (tradies just don’t seem to care about making a mess), lay some turf and we are set for Summer. Bring it on!!!!

So this is what the pool looks like currently.