Sunday, 25 May 2014

And things happening on the house...

We have pretty door handles – it took me the longest time (weeks of active looking and having a go at trying them) to find these ones that I liked! 

Cheeky Ralf the tiler, said he was going to just texta on some lines onto this glorious green waterproofing – and call it done!  No, I didn’t quite like the green that much!! 
We did get the jarrah kitchen cupboards inside – still a bit of work to get them to fit our configuration – but so good to see them starting to look like our kitchen J.

We have glorious door jambs – mostly jarrah but some other hardwoods mixed in there from our wood pile.  I always thought I would paint the jambs – since we are definitely painting the internal doors (they are a second-hand mish-mash so need a bit of TLC) – but Jeff has done it again, and these look stunning in raw wood!!  Oh, well, I am sure we will do something sometime…

And Ryan has also put in these recycled jarrah doors in our entry hall – they look great - was going to paint them too, but will wait to see how it all looks when the jarrah floorboards are in because right now, they contrast beautifully with the white walls and cream strawbale render.

Now these..these I wish you could see IRL!  Ryan and Michael got all the window seats lined with recycled jarrah floorboards – they are just incredibly gorgeous – you can see nail holes, and dings and bits of old paint-looking colours – perfect!  And we will seal them with the clear sealer to be used on the floorboards that will be on the floors so all this gloriousness stays visible forever J!

Must take a better photo actually because  they are stunning!  And very comfy too – I am really enjoying sitting in them and re-connecting with our home.  Can’t wait until we have the library set up and I can sit with my book, in a window seat, and while the day away.


Saturday, 24 May 2014

Time for some photos:
Here’s the big excavator:

 And here it is making easy work of those huge rocks in the way of our water pipe:

They got out five about that size!!  Not sure where we are going to put them in the garden…

Thursday, 22 May 2014

So, it has been a fortnight and a bit since I last wrote on this blog.  That’s not too bad – it included a trip to Perth for Mother’s day weekend, so we could be with the biggest girl – and a lovely time that was.
The rest of the time has been somewhat more difficult – and it got a lot more difficult for me with one thing and another, and there have been tears - I had a bit of a meltdown last Thursday and Friday L.

I therefore took some time over that weekend to examine how I was really feeling about the house – how the house was feeling to me – and if all my angst could go away.
Well of course all my angst can go away, that is just a matter of choice of reaction – so I needed to take the time over the weekend to examine my reaction and work out how to make it calmer. 

There is always a positive to angst though isn’t there?  There is always a lesson.
And the positive is that I have learned *a lot* about how your tiles might look different to what you had envisaged, different even than what you had planned when speaking about them – and that plenty of that comes down to circumstances and the decisions of others, way back in the build.  In the grand scheme of things, despite my massive feelings, I had to let the angst go.

But here’s the scoop – you might not be told otherwise! – it is perfectly normal for your tiles to have cupped edges and therefore never be able to be level when laid – I now know this from our building supervisor, our tiler and the tiling retailer.  Just wish they had told me before ‘seeing was believing’ L.  And I know now I would have (and you might be!) been better off planning the tile layout before the plumbing was installed – that way the potentials might pop up then when it is a bit easier to change plans…
Now before I got to the stage of letting go of my angst…(actually I am still getting there…) I got all in a tizz about so many things – big things, deep!! Like – what right did I have to get upset over tiles when everything else is so good?  What right did I have to get upset over tiles when there are people in my own ‘backyard’ who have so many bigger problems?  What right did I have when that is so a ‘first world’ problem?  What right did I have to even be building such a reasonably big, reasonably expensive house when there are people in the world starving and without any shelter at all?

Far out, I really did have to see if I could find a way to justify to myself why we are building this house at all – with such an investment of our time, energy and money – when perhaps we could/should have been putting all that into helping solve a world problem! 
So, is there an answer?  The only way I can justify it, is to remember why we are building in the first place.  We are building this home as a way to show our love for our family and for our world.  We are building to help the world be a better place by this home being around for a long time – for our children and our grandchildren and their children.  We are building this home to share it with visitors.  Does all this justify our time, effort and money?  It only does because I believe that to show love to people in the world, we first need to show love to those closest to us.  So, if we are building this 'environmentally friendly' home for our family, then it is a step to healing the world.  And that is just.

Too simplistic??  That would be too hard for me to decide…
And it wouldn’t matter anyway – this is my feeling and that’s ok by me.

I know that my going back to paid work full-time 5 weeks ago has led to a lot of these feelings for our home – I have lost my connection to it L.  Part of my feelings is grief - I had got to thinking I would always be part of building this house and that is no longer the case.   Who would have thought that going back to a job I absolutely love would have made such a difference?
I am, and I will continue, working hard to get the connection to our home back.

And Richard, I tried to be normal once – worst two minutes of my life ;-)!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

So, this is today…and it started with a falling star in the east when I woke up at 4.45sm – that has got to be a good omen, eh?
Since this is mostly a building blog, I had better get some building photos on here too:

Our bath is bricked in, the floor screeded and tiling has progressed! 


So happy to see that, because as soon as we have grouted tiles in the kitchen area we are moving in our second-hand jarrah kitchen cupboards – and that will be a big relief, because it has been quite a lot of ferrying them around under the verandah to escape the few rain showers we have had so far - and they are just a tad massively heavy!

Can’t wait for them to be in J.
So, this might be mostly a building blog, but be warned - it will slowly turn into a gardening blog, because that will be our biggest ongoing adventure when we are actually living in sunny strawbales.

And you wouldn’t want to miss out on seeing Michael being a hamster, would you now?

That is how he moved our fifth water tank garden bed into place – worked quite well. 
Then I got on with painting it with the water-proofing gunk (still so much happier that it is ‘nicer’ than the smelly stuff we had first off) – and today we filled it quarter full with rubbish sand (just to save on how much good stuff we need to fit in), then a quarter of cardboard (we’ve been saving all our recycling paper and cardboard for over a year), then it had a good layer of straw (what else?!) with some chook poop, and now it is sitting for a bit until I get the urge to add a six-inch layer of Mumby Magic mixed with some good sand, another thin layer of straw(!), another layer of Magic and sand, and then….a good layer of straw to mulch the top!!

It sure does take quite a bit of stuff to fill them up – but the benefit to my back and knees will be well worth it – and it is good to use up some of what we have around the block.
We will still have too much straw (this is just the loose stuff!):

 but hey, the garden is young, so this won’t’ go astray in the next year or so.
And we actually need a sixth water tank garden bed – to complete the mandala – so if you know of one (about 6’ wide – that is 1.8m-ish), let us know please J.

And after the gardening, we painted – and still plenty more to go…only two walls in the whole house that have their second coat – and they look like they need a third, so I guess that means everything will get a third coat :-/
We will need to be progressing soon from gardening and painting to plumbing – because without the plumbing, we won’t be able to move in!  And that is kinda the whole point!!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Some other bits of life lately.. things fall out, get a wee bit broken – it’s all part of the game…
Render falls off when your jarrah door frames get chiselled out for the hinges:


Excavators seem to find your guttering:


And pipes they are not supposed to:


Oh, well – and hey, all already fixed J.

This morning started with a stunning fog – the trees down the valley with the sun just rising on them were gorgeous:

And the other way, east, the sun rising through the foggy trees - amazing:

Then our day got busy – scouts sausage sizzle for four hours, soccer for a couple, then home to work in the garden J.
I am very proud of this pile:


My first ever compost bolognaise!  (I usually make it lasagne).  And it is brewing in the spot of a future fruit tree so it will be doing triple duty to burn out the weeds and fertilise the ground too – gotta love permaculture principles for that.
I am basing our garden on Linda Woodrow’s Permaculture for the Home Garden book – I’ve been reading it for years, and following it as I could with our previous garden, but this garden is pretty much designed fully around her mandala system – hence the round tank garden beds – one of which I planted with seeds on seed planting day last week (I’m using this great moon planting calendar) – and the others that are waiting for planting days next week – and thereafter.

There’s been plenty of shovelling of Mumby Magic into those tanks – so I am as happy as a pig in it J.  (Ok, so you gotta listen to the Mumby Magic radio advert song – which I would share with you if I could find it online!).
Oh, and when you edit photos and find this on your camera:


You know the bubba girl has been taking snaps again and finding pretties too J.
Even with so much beauty, life it not all rainbow ribbons and sandals – this mumma ended the day with a very unhappy boy – and he’s been having words to me – and I wish his words were different…

So, today is done and tomorrow is a new day…