Sunday, October 6, 2013

Going 'round the Bend

Now that I know at least one person is listening I will continue the story of building a house!
(Thank you Edward!) (And I am joking)

More garden edging. I think I am a victim of my own stage setting. This weekend's work looks less impressive because the last photo looked like it was more finished than it was. In fact, when I finished on Tuesday, those beams were simply standing in place. This weekend I have hammered stakes to keep them in place and screwed the riser to the ends.

And then completed the second step down.

No surprise to anyone, but I am not all that fit so I have to replace stamina with doggedness. Crow bar work wears me out after 5-10 minutes, then I turn to shoveling.... then leveling ... then whatever....I simply need to keep changing the action to be able to keep going because I simply can't crowbar, or shovel all day.

So after 2 hours of cycling through the options, I was hot and knackered!

However I am on a 'diet' or 'lifestyle re-adjustment'. Again 'whatever'. But sitting down and/or being tempted to eat is not an option. So I figured the coolest thing to do was wash the dog.

Which then highlights the dog hair he drops, so then I vacuumed the house.

After all this resting, I returned to the garden.

Only the first two steps are in place. After that, the sleepers are balanced to help me visualise.
It feels like a lot of work - trust me.

Going round the corner with sleepers. Not shown to the left are the two crimson rosellas eating while I keep the mad dog away from them.
I have stopped for two reasons:

  1. A ferocious dust storm has swept in. My gutters are buzzing as they resonate with the wind.
  2. I have got to the corner and I can't decide how to go around the bend.
  3. My hands are aching from dragging sleepers around the yard. Lego would be lighter.
ugh.. that was three...really only realised the third reason once I had packed up and showered :)

I can change the distance between the sleepers and give the corner a little standing room. Or just go through the bend, holding the width constant. I am definitely in favour of the first option, but I am struggling with the angles.

Decisions, Decisions.
Time to think about dinner and nudge Mark awake :) 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Talking to myself

I wonder sometimes why I blog.

Who's listening?
Who do I want to listen?

Would I do it if it wasn't a public forum?

Mostly I guess I blog when I really need to say something. And I guess we all like to be heard, so I blog.

I don't think it would continue to have appeal if it were just a diary.

Does it bother me that hardly anyone visits? Not really, this isn't common fodder, or scintillating specialness - so it isn't going to attract bulk people or even a special audience.

Does it bother me that there are never any comments? Somewhat. 

Right at this moment there is a family gathered at the front of my house and they are all watching the black and white nose of Ponyo thrust under the gate. The family is walking away but the littlest lingers, lingers. He is hardly taller than my plants but he crouches lower, staring intently at Ponyo....and now he jumps up and skips off after his family.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Long, Long Weekend

Canberra gets an extra long weekend. "Family and Community Day". I tacked an extra day onto it and had a long, long weekend.

My project for the weekend was to decide and commence on a path for the back yard. At Easter time I had done some path building and blogged about how I thought I would finish off the back yard by adding some lawn.

Over winter however, the dog has worn such deep, unlovely tracks into the lawn on the top half of the garden, I have no appetite to watch him do similar in the bottom half of the yard.

There is also the issue of the slope and potential run-off cutting tracks into whatever path I lay.

So I have been trying to decide to put steps or not, and how to mark the boundary of the path and what material to use.

Also the dog impact on the pebble and paver path has not been good either. He rampages up and down the path scattering rocks, bark chip and making it look a frightful mess.

The circles show where there are plants... not to aid the dog to discover and eat them, but might as well have been for that purpose... In the foreground is the beginnings of the scatter mentioned above.
As a result, I decided to pull up some of my Easter work and rethink.
And think....
and think...

I put in my tax return a few weeks ago and have received my refund so I am cashed up and ready to try again.

I have decided to try long gradual steps. The first two will be three meters apart and then the last one, just short of the corner of the house.

That was the plan.

So yesterday, having procrastinated on decision making for 2.5 days of my 4 day break, I ran in at 10 minutes before closing and ordered the timber.

After sending my poppet off to sleep in the UK this morning, I looked outside and it was promising. The forecast was for chance of showers which usually means it will be dry. Usually. 

As the wood hadn't arrived, I started off by breaking the concrete that had held the pavers in place. I shifted the pebbles to around the fish bowl, hoping that it might slow down the digging that the dog has been concentrating on there. While doing that, I made another dog related discovery.

To keep it from floating, I had used plastic straps to attach a large rock to a water plant that had been growing in the fish bowl. It had grown really well over the year, but I had noticed that the top of it was gnawed down. Only one potential culprit. But worse! He had chewed through the strapping. Really? Did he have a snorkel on while he pulled that trick off?

Anyway, I finished up the preparations for today's planned activity and it started to rain. The wood hadn't arrived so it seemed like a very good time to go inside and get dinner made on the off-chance that later in the day I would be busy in the garden. Of course, as soon as I started, the timber arrived.

I helped the delivery chap unload. He asked me if i came from the bush. I think that is Canberra speak for "most city ladies don't help unload timber".

Anyway, it was cold and wet but I did make some progress. Not nearly as much as I had hoped, but my hand is aching badly now, so I am glad that time allowed me no more.

By the way, the lasagne was great. I included one single large mushroom to give a little extra depth of flavour. The kids pulled the pieces out. And the leaves of basil. sigh