Our petrol bill is astronomical, our expenses for maintaining equipment are not much better. If I told you what I'd spent so far on getting our various mowers, whipper snippers and quad bike serviced and maintained, you would weep for me.
Or laugh, depending on whether you were a nice person or not.
We've had snakes inside our house and whopping big huntsmans and snakes outside our house and maggots.
The reason we decided to move out here was to live a different life from what we were living in town. Our vision included veggie gardens and chooks and a few larger animals and quiet afternoons on the verandah.
We don't have veggie gardens or chooks or larger animals yet. Partly that's because we haven't had time and partly it's because it's been so hot and partly it's because every time I venture over into that section of our property to do any groundwork, I seem to run into a snake which puts me off no end, as you could probably imagine.
In fact, not two days ago, I finally psyched myself up after the last brown snake run-in to go back into the paddocks and spray that damn parthenium weed. One step in and I saw a leaf that looked suspiciously like a snake...? Oh, wait. It was a snake. Dead, just a skin, but very definitely the head of a snake.
Ha! You thought I was a leaf! But I was a snake! Fooled you.
It's just seems an accepted part of life around here, finding the occasional death adder or brown snake in your henhouse.
I just can't sign on for that. We had another red belly black at the back of the house yesterday (erm, shouldn't they be buggering off to hibernate somewhere now?) and I feel, honestly, that there is enough snakes in our life right now without inviting more in with poorly-constructed animal houses. And if we rush into it, that's what we'll have.
So, I have to wait for Dan to build our animal shelters, because he builds things well and he's already bought a tonne of snake-proof wire to enclose everything with, but - obviously - he has a few other jobs on his list right now.
Soon we will have our tenant's horses and we do have our neighbour's cattle, and for the time being, that's enough animals for us.
But there's a little paddock with my name on it, when I get the weeds under control (which won't happen until Winter because SNAKES), I want to put a few animals in there to keep the lawn down and to be pets.
At first I though goats but everyone who has ever so much as met a goat instantly tried to talk me out of it. Then I thought sheep, but we have a bit of an issue around here with wild dogs and I am not sure I could deal with the trauma of finding my pet sheep massacred. Now I'm thinking maybe alpacas. They eat grass, they are big enough to take care of themselves and - apparently - they scare snakes off.
Acreage and farm dwellers - give me your insights. Did you ever meet a goat you didn't hate? Are alpacas all they're cracked up to be? Should I be a sheep and go with sheep?