Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The fence is complete! (Almost!)

Last weekend we spent two days finishing off the construction of the fence. There is still some digging to be done to fill in the gaps under the fence, and cut the tops off the posts, but other than that it is complete! No more digging post holes! Here are some photos.

The old view from the front door.


Looking from the front door now


Along the house side
What the path looked like before

The new footpath. It is now wider.

Looking down the driveway. Look at that curve.

Back towards the house

This is how we dealt with the gaps under the fence. Looks really good.
It has really changed the whole look of the area. The pool looks like a proper pool now! I would like to give it a good pressure wash after all the construction and it will look pretty fresh. While we were there to prevent future damage we cut down the horrible Traveller's palm that was next to the front path.

Before. OH looking very happy.

Oops! Fell over. Now we can see our Banksia.
I have been busy in the house too. We were given a cupboard/bookshelf by OH's stepdad that he didn't have use for anymore. I cleaned it up over the weekend and we put it in our loungeroom. It is got just the right amount of damage/patina to look interesting but not ratty.

Fits perfectly

We also had a totally delicious roast vege dinner last week. All of the root vegetables were from OH's work. The sweet potatoes were especially good.

Extremely delicious
This weekend I expect we will be doing some digging and some tidying up inside the house. I have bought a bed frame for our spare room so we will need to make room for it and assemble it. My parents will be coming over next weekend so it would be great to catch up on some things in the house. They haven't been to visit since we moved in in March, so I think they will be quite surprised with our progress!

I will leave you with a photo of a small cat being licked by his mumma cat.

Milkshake (Ma) and a very happy Pillow
So fluffy! Have a good weekend!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Time to Build A Fence

A week ago we had a pool inspector come and check our fence for us. It is in quite terrible shape and now needs to be replaced. After a couple of quick designs we went and picked up some materials to start building the fence. It was very busy! Here are some before and after photos.

The old deck fence. There was a lot of grass over the deck

Now
Along the back edge

Now
The little snake that we found! Don't worry, it isn't dangerous.

All of that took us about a full day. This long weekend we will be finishing it off, I will take lots of photos to show! Hopefully the weather holds up.

Have a great week!

Gardenias from my tree in my fab new art deco vase.

Monday, 5 June 2017

June Update

Hello from a fairly chilly Queensland! After our last busy month we are keen to slow down and do some catching up. Because we have been so wild with trying to get things done the house has been a bit neglected. I would like to get the downstairs and all of OH's tools sorted in particular.

Last weekend we must have done something, but I can't remember right now! I remember a good night at the wood fired pizza oven at OH's Dad's. I spent time on my assignment which is now finished. I am now 1/4 way through my post grad certificate.

During the week we had some local blokes come in with a chipper and chop up the branches we have accumulated over the last few weeks. Now we have a great big pile of wood chips to use in the yard. This is part of our permaculture plan to try and keep all organic matter on the property so we don't have to buy it later.

Orange flag on the stick was where it was supposed to go...oh well.
On Saturday I went to the Maleny Agricultural show with my BIL and his son (who is disabled). It was a beautiful day and we saw lots of animals which my nephew loved. He got to pat a Peppa Pig (his favourite TV show!). I pulled out my Pop's old Nikon camera for the weekend to take better photos for the blog and I have enjoyed myself, I must do it more often.


There were some impressive cows and bulls at the show, and we saw some show jumping too.

Moo


And some crazy chickens too!

I'm not sure where its head is?
It was a great way to spend the morning. I also did a little walk through of my property which is something I do quite often. I focus on a small area and try to identify a few of the trees around. Unfortunately a lot of what I find are weeds! But I did find some lovely flowers.

This tree has been threatening to flower since we moved in in September.



Golden Penda is flowering now...a few weeks after Brisbane

Bees love it!
Unfortunately on Sunday I came down with the flu and haven't got much done since then!

Have a good week!

Monday, 22 May 2017

The first of the big trees comes down

Last weekend was a busy, but also relaxing one for us. We didn't get out of bed until 9 both days! What a luxury. After we got going on Saturday (after lunch) our arborist friend came over to help us with our trees. We had a very large leopard tree out the back near the back deck. It was in the total wrong spot. In between two retaining walls, within falling distance from the deck and covering the morning sunshine. So down it went!

Before

After
The view is so much more dramatic. Our bedroom and loungeroom get more morning sun and now the breeze comes through where the tree was. I was expecting that when we cut down the bigger trees the view would open up more, but this has done a great job already. Can't wait to get the others down too!

The pile of branches!!!!
We also cleared some of the small weed trees that were creeping up along the back yard. The area is feeling a lot more open now.

Open to the left as well
On Sunday OH rewired the lighting in the house. It was installed incorrectly and was unsafe, so it had to be done. We have an electrician coming in today to install a new electrical board because the existing one didn't have a safety switch and wasn't big enough to install one. So we got a really big new board so that we can add solar later. It is not something we can see but it will futureproof our house a bit and give us piece of mind. He also put in fresh new light switches to replace the old grubby ones.

On Sunday I started to clean up the pool area. The pool fence isn't compliant but doesn't need a lot of work to get it up to scratch. First I cleared the weeds around the perimeter so we could actually get to the fence!

Before from front door


After from front door


Dead cobblers pegs at the end of the pool

Much better

Little bit wild with weeds in there. Note the fallen down bricks

After weeding...how satisfying

After the weeding I started to straighten up the bricks around the border. Its not a great solution but it is what was there and will do for now. I think when we put a new fence in I will make the pool area a bit smaller. It is a really weird shape!

The bricks from the previous photo straightened up
OH was going to go on a trip next weekend but isn't going any more. So we have another weekend up our sleeves before the 3 months after purchase is up and we have to get the pool safety certificate. We are getting a lot of things done this month! There are still some things to do around the pool area but at least I could do a few easy little bits and pieces.

Until next time!


Sunday, 14 May 2017

New wood burner!!!!!

Now that the cold weather has well and truly hit us we pushed ahead to install our new wood burner over the weekend. First we started by building the hearth.

Our hearth
The hearth was built was leftover tiles from my mum's bathroom, leftover quad to match the rest of the house, leftover cement sheeting from OH's mums, and we are reusing some of her grout too. All we had to buy was tile adhesive for a grand total of $35! Not bad for a few hours work. I think one in the shops was about $500. After we built it though we soon figured out that the adhesive would need 24hrs to dry, but we wanted to get it going. OH whipped up a 'hearth' made of fibro and tile offcuts. It's not pretty, but it will work for now!

It is going!
It was lovely to use it for the first time last night. It wasn't super cold but we had to let it run for 4 hrs to get rid of the smells. The house was lovely and warm this morning (a nice change) and now it is ready to put the hearth under.

Smoke coming from the (short) chimney
Now we have really made a big change to the house that we really love. It is starting to feel more like a home. I can't wait to come home one day soon and see smoke coming out of the chimney and a warm house inside. Once we installed it we went to pick some guavas from OH's mums and some pine cones for fire starters. There is still many kilos of guavas on the tree! I'm not sure if I'll make more jelly (it is OH and Grandma's favourite) but I'll have a look around for some other recipes. Might have to buy some more jars!

All of the guavas in Big Bertha
I only did one batch of it because I didn't really feel like a whole day of cooking. I cooked them in water for half an hour and left to drain for a couple hours. I then added the sugar and lemon juice and left it for a few more hours. I had the liquid with the sugar cooking for about two hours and the lemon made it set just fine. I am going to add the recipe here because I can't remember what I did last time: http://www.food.com/recipe/guava-jelly-40343. I like that the recipe had lemon juice in it. I was able to use my own lemons from my little tree! Guavas and lemons ripen at about the same time so it is a perfect combination. I haven't tasted the final product yet but from the little cooking tastes I had I think it is going to be better than the previous batch. Might have to make some more, just for Grandma. I had to ration them out last time!

The finished product. 7 jars plus a baby
I am happy with the colour and the amount I made. The last batch of jam I made (Rosella) was at the end of December! I do like doing it and the results are delicious.

Next weekend will be fixing the pool fence and odd jobs around the house. I have to get the pool fence fixed within 3 months of settlement and get it re-certified (?). Until next time!

Monday, 8 May 2017

K'Gari trip

We left on Friday morning to get to K'Gari on the low tide (Fraser island in local language, pronounced gurry like curry). There were a lot of cars waiting to get over! The event is the Fraser Island Cleanup which is when several 4wd clubs of QLD are invited to volunteer for a morning of work in exchange for a couple meals, free camping and half price ferry. All in all a great deal!

I only spent around $90 for our weekend away which I am quite happy with. I love camping! Before we left we finished off the camping drawers that we have wanted to install for ages. I didn't take any photos of K'Gari, but I did take some of my car! Haha! We were in narrow 4wd tracks or on the beach so it is hard to take photos.

Here is a photo of our whole set up on the particularly beautiful Saturday morning:


Our little tent is there which came out a bit worse for wear with the wind. Our chairs are up on the dune where we read and drunk tea before breakfast. Our new awning is there too. It did well in the intense wind on Friday. Here is a photo of our awesome new drawer/shelving system:



The back and sides of the canopy open out which is great for access. On the right is our big esky (which is going to be on a rolling tray some day). On the left is the drawer which is the full length of the ute tray. It holds cups, plates, cutlery, torches, toilet paper, washing up things, everything we need quickly. Above both of these is a solid top to put things on top of. The other bits and pieces we are trying to sort out (like where to put food) but it will come together soon. We only just figured out how to attach a proper gas bottle to our cooker so it was kind of chucked in at the end. We will put it on top of the shelf in the corner. I would like to get a tall, large water jerry as well to squeeze in the side.

We will have to go camping a lot to figure it out. What a chore! (not!). We spend Friday keeping out of the wind and rain and setting up. On Saturday we went for a drive with half of the club to the Land of the Giants, where there are some massive turpentine trees. Couldn't fit the largest tree in a photo! We then went to an old abandoned airfield where there was a tower on top of a hill with a fantastic view of a lot of the island and the mainland. Again no photos, you can't take in that much beauty in a single photo! We swung by a nice freshwater lake on the way home. On Sunday we helped with the cleanup by doing a lot of weeding. I had focused my eye on lantana (a particularly invasive viney/bushy thing) and pulled out many small plants. It was a good feeling and easy to pull out of the sandy soil.

It was a very relaxing trip for me. I find when I go camping my brain turns off. Not in a bad way, but in a way that all of the things swirling around my head stops. On the way home they started again. I forgot how nice it was for it to stop for a little while. So onto the next camping trip, perhaps after winter hehe.

Have a good week and stay warm.

Kat

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Beginning of Winter

The last two long weekends have been busy, and slow in a good way. On the Anzac long weekend (whatever we call a Tuesday off!) we helped OHs boss to lay a new decking/pathway. The previous deck was 30 yrs old and was needing replacement. I don't have a before photo, but just imagine an old deck with the classic thin wood. We replaced it with big sleepers for something a bit more sturdy. This is the result:







It looks really great and is super sturdy. That took us a day and a half to assemble. On Anzac day we went to the local dawn service, then went to OHs Dads place to build a set of shelves for the back of the ute. It is going to be custom built for camping. I haven't seen the finished product yet but here is a dramatic photo of OH and his Dad building it into the evening.



It is built out of welded tubing, and it will have a pull out tray for the esky, a very large drawer and a small cavity for our mattress roll and other items. There will be a shelf on the top to put other things on top if we need to. I will take a photo of it all loaded up with camping gear soon.

We got paid for our work on the deck so we used it to buy some camping gear for our trip to Fraser Island next weekend (and stuff we have been wanting forever!). Some of it went to the items to build the shelving, and the rest went to some items that we were planning on getting like an awning, water jerrys, a recovery point for the tow ball and a snatch strap kit. OH installed the awning which arrived yesterday, and it looks very useful and sturdy. Can't wait to pull it out on the weekend! We got a sidewall for it as well which can be put on any of the sides for extra shade.

Woo!
This past long Labour Day weekend I spent the weekend in Brisbane working on uni assignments and OH went to a shooting competition nearby. It was good to spend the weekend not doing heavy physical work!

Next week I will put up photos from the trip! The weather is looking like its going to be good, probably overcast but warmer overnight temps (happy face from this gal!). Have a great week!