HOUSE & GARDEN

Murder, a Medicated Mumma, and More…!

We gave ourselves a bit of a treat last week, and stayed at the Farm three nights.

Its only five minutes from both of our work, but the difference in how we feel once we’ve been home here at the FarmHouse for just a short while, is immense.
Pretty sure if we bothered to check our blood-pressure, you’d be able to actually watch it going down…

We’re slowly working up to spending longer and longer stays at the Farm, as our obvious aim is to be moving there. (duh!)
We’ll be there a LOT over the coming weeks, as we’ve both taken some time off.
This is the time of the year when we usually make one of our pilgrimages to New Zealand, but this year we have decided to forgo that, in favour of working on the FarmHouse.

Another two windows were put in last week – one in the kitchen above the bench, and the other in the bathroom – above where the toilet will be.
Its made another massive leap in the amount of light that is coming in – but now that we have all these door and windows, we are going to need to start thinking about curtains and blinds!! 😐

‘Getting up with the sparrows’ has never been a favourite past-time of ours.
We aren’t the types who can sleep until lunchtime – don’t think we have ever managed that in our lives, when it didn’t involve an anaesthetic – but every now and then, its nice to be able to doze and nap for that extra bit of time, and to crawl out of bed at an outrageous 8:30am!!
But when the room floods with light, from about 4:30 onward – its not very conductive to that extra bit of nap time…

Some wildly long bits of timber has been purchased so that we can get cracking on the bathroom wall.
It did look rather comical sticking way up in the air on the truck, and made for a rather slow trip back to the Farm, but better than having to get it delivered!

The bathroom is the only actual room that the FarmHouse will have, and whilst the rest of the space will be totally open, furniture and rug placement will delineate the different areas of kitchen, dining, lounge and bedroom.

<another week has now passed since this was started!>

We’ve taken a fortnight off – though we use the term loosely when it comes to work, as we’ve both still been working via phone and email, and the occasional visit into our respective offices… 😐

The bathroom wall has been started, and so far is about 1/2 way done – but came to a screeching halt when the usual allergy to the pine-dust flared up worse than it ever has – to the point where the face that usually looks a bit red and lumpy and is a bit annoyingly itchy after a day of woodworking, flared into one big head-sized mass-swelling. Pretty much a bright red burning beachball, with a little teeny mouth peeking out from the lower third.
Some antihistamines, Aloe Vera gel, and a couple of days off from working on anything even vaguely wood related has resolved the issue, but we know its going to come back as soon as the build resumes, but we’re just hoping it settles back to its usual pattern, and that is doesn’t go berzerk again, like it did this last time…

In amongst it all, we have managed to get 2/3 of the floor painted, and it look fanbloodytastic!!
We’re sooo pleased with it!

We were originally going to use an epoxy coating with added flakes, which we really liked, and had purchased that months ago, but have been stalling on doing it, as the preparation work is bad enough, but then there is the two day curing time after each coat, which effectively means we can’t be out here doing anything at all inside – while it cures, and theres also the odour issue, which with epoxy is pretty chronic, and not something we decided might be on the ‘good idea’ side of things – particularly with each us already being ‘chemically sensitive’ in different ways, to different things.

So we ended up getting 10L of some specific cement paint from the local paint specialist, for a really good price, in a lovely stone-grey, which is also water-based, and had almost zero smell at all!
We did two coats on 2/3 of the floor after moving everything out of the lounge/bedroom/dining area into the bathroom and kitchen area, and the floor only required a couple of hours between coats, so both coats were knocked over in under a day, and we spent the night at the FarmHouse without any adverse smell issues.

In fact, the only issue we have had thus far, is that Digby finds it slipperier now that the floor has a uniform coating, and when he is in full-belt run when he has his afternoon attack of the crazies, he does tend to go for rather spectacular skids, and winds up plowing into the furniture after his feet go out from under him, and he slides across the room on his side, with legs going in all directions.
Pretty damn funny actually :))

We’ve – (by necessity!) – had to turn into murderous bitches over the last couple of weeks.
[skip the next couple of paragraphs if you’ve got a weak constitution]

You may recall that we were having a couple of issues with Mickey, our little resident mouse, who was becoming just a little bit too bolshy.
It was entertaining at first…watching him do speeding laps around the cross-beams of walls, and seeing just how fast he could zoom around the interior perimeter of the FarmHouse, but when he started to come out during the day, and blatantly stare at us, while he munched his way through our loaves of bread, biscuits, etc etc – it became a bit less funny.
So we got a nice big plastic container with a sealable lid, and sensibly put all our dry-stores into that.
Problem solved.
Sort of…
When the food-source was removed, he decided instead to entertain us by dancing around on our clean cutlery, or our plates, or taking in a few laps round the insides of our bowls.

YUCK! 😐

Washing everything each time before using it, was becoming pretty old pretty darn fast, and was also a ridiculous waste of water and time.
We’d given him a chance to live in synchronicity with us – and he’d well and truly blown it – so off to get some ‘humane’ mouse-traps we went.
Well of course, as it turned out – when Mickey was tired, he’d been sending in a few of his family members to keep the show going, so that we’d think he was one energetic lil mousey – and by the end of the week, we’d ‘relocated’ about half a dozen ‘Mickeys’…
In the last week though – the traps have been untouched – so either they’re getting wiser – or we’ve knocked down the family to bearable numbers!

We’ve also had an issue with cane toads.
Not only are they disgustingly ugly critters, with not much useful purpose in life other than for racing or the making of kitchy tourist-type trinkets and the like out of, but they can be lethal to other animals – and we have no desire to have any of the dogs – ours or the neighbours – go down because of toad poisoning.
So a piece of metal pipe, a quick short sharp whack on the head, then scooped into a paint-tray, and ethically disposed of has been the order of the day, most evenings.
We have noted over the last few evenings when we’ve had none visible around the FarmHouse though, that the numbers are seemingly down for the time being.
Maybe word has got around the toad-world grape-vine.
We can only hope – but we will be remaining vigilant where they are concerned…

Ok – for those squeamish few – you can come back now!! 🙂

Some of you may also recall our al fresco dish-washing area that we set up a few months ago.
It obviously gets a regular workout, but we have had to move it in the last week or so, after William and Wilma Wagtail decided to set up house right above the ‘sink’ – which also happens to be not very far away from one of our most-used doors.
They were both getting more than a lil ticked off each time we went to put dishes in the sink, or to actually do the full load of washing up, so we went for the ‘peace all round’ option of moving the whole bench/sink setup a couple of metres, and now they are managing to cope with us going in and out the door, and over to the sink area – as they’ve got used to the pattern of it now, and have worked out we aren’t about to come raid their little home.
Everyone is happy, and its a darn sight quieter without them going off squarking every time we even look like exiting the building!

In other news of interest:
We’ve undercoated all the wall panels that we currently have up, and have no-more-gapped the entire front wall.
We’ve made our inaugural Strigidae Farm loaf of bread, and some rolls – which were thoroughly DELISH!
We’ve also had another huge glut of tomatoes, so have canned another dozen pots of Strigidae Salsa, meaning we essentially have enough in the pantry now, to last about a year! Happy Days!
We’ve got some seed planted out in jiffy-pots, to hopefully make a a bit more headway with the veggie garden, which has been on the back-burner for far too long.
We’ve started ‘smoothing’ down the huge pile of dirt that was left over from when the trenches were dug for the water and power lines, in preparation to do a small food-forest in that area.
We sorted out a better system of showering, as the solar shower wasn’t really doing it for us – and we now have a bag shower, complete with kids-clamshell-pool shower base to collect the runoff – which goes straight onto the garden 🙂

And considering the ‘facilities’ that we currently have, and the constant state of disorder that our little FarmHouse is in – we’ve had some stunningly good evening meals.
Risotto and marinated chicken
Spag Bog made with Strigidae Salsa
And of course, some more scrummy salads.
Tonights effort will be lemon-pepper marinated lamb cutlets with a mexican rice, and warmed rolls.
YUMMMMM

We were also blessed with a lovely visit from M&B, who hadn’t been out for a while – so hopefully could see a bit of headway being made!
(they made all the right noises anyways 🙂 lol)
We got to spend a few much-needed hours just drinking coffee, and shooting the breeze with them – definitely a wonderful way to spend some time, and a visit from them is always very much enjoyed.

Digby has been eating less of the things he ‘shouldn’t’ of late – but there was an issue recently when he was particularly annoyed at being left alone with the other dogs – after having us all to himself for a few days straight – when he decided that taking a pair of reading glasses off the (really high!) breakfast bar and eating them, seemed like a good way to impart his displeasure upon us 😐

Thankfully – and ohhh so very fortunately – he didn’t manage to either cut himself, of ingest any of the shards of glass – but the specs certainly came out second best, and will require replacement.
In another stroke of luck – we’ve got a number of pairs each – so we’re not wandering round not able to see anything, without said glasses!!
(and YES! – Molly still hates him with a passion…)

And in another of the ‘things you may remember us doing’ list – a while back we’d bought a post hole digger, as we’d figured that not only great for erecting the fence, but great to make holes for the trees that we want to plant.
Our Ninja-Smurf John has used it for fencing and tree-planting – but to date we hadn’t managed to find time to get around to it ourselves.

But the day arrived and we decided we had best get some of these trees into the ground, before we had to pot them up into bigger pots – so off we headed, dragging the post hole digger to where we’ve mapped out that the next tree was being planted.
A couple of false starts (ok, about 50!) when it didn’t want to spring into life when the rip-cord was pulled, but eventually it burst into action, and the hole-digging began!
It was time to bore that nice biiig hole for our tree.

Well, the weather has been dry – very veryyyy dry, and as we were to find out with our maiden voyage of said digger, the ground has become hard as nails!
What felt like 20 minutes of bone-jarring shuddering later, with both of us holding a handle each to try and make it a little easier – we were devastated to look down into the hole, and it was barely deep enough to plant a seedling, let alone a tree!!
Digby could have (and has!) dug a bigger hole, without even breaking a sweat.

We wanted this tree planted before the sun went down on the day – so it was a matter of plonking down in the dirt, and attacking the hole with a bucket of water, and one of the smallest trowels ever to have graced the earth.
After much persistance and some choice words of colourful encouragement, and about an hour of chipping away and digging – that damn tree was eventually planted!!

We have since learnt that if we dig a new hole just a bit, and then fill the hole with water and let it sit for 30+ mins, then retry – we should get much better results.

We haven’t tried since that day, mainly because our bodies have only just stopped shaking & bouncing, and our boobs – which were down to our hips before, are now bruising our toes having been shaken loose from what lil grip they had left on our chests – so we need a little bit more recovery time…

We also figure that as we’ve got rain due to be coming in soon, we might hedge our bets and hope that we get enough to make the ground a damn lot softer!

And last but not least – if you’re enjoying the ride so far – feel free to sign up using the form below the photos, to get each new update sent directly to your inbox!
Until next time – have a good week!

Another glut of tomatoes means….

More Strigidae Salsa being made and canned!

Our super slick shower set-up

Our sexy newly-painted floors.

Our sexy floors from a different angle – just in case you didn’t get enough first time around 🙂

This is how manky the floors looked before being sexied-up.. 😐

Inaugural bread baking for lunch.

Bringing in the timber for the bathroom walls.

Wall # 1 whoohooo!

An exterior look at the new bathroom window

And a new window for the kitchen too!

Lots of undercoating being done.

William and Wilma Wagtails nest.

Digby helping to ‘smoothe’ out the dirt pile, where a small food-forest will go.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

One Comment

  1. Creative Journey - Our Small Farm 14 December, 2016 6:23 am

    Love this catch up and it sure looks like a beautiful space. 🙂

We'd love to hear from you!

%d bloggers like this: