Wednesday, 27 January 2010


No, no, I haven't been hitting the wine least not this early in the day  :) We had the water tank installed today!

At 6:15am it looked like this .... just a pile of nicely compacted sand

At 6:30am the truck arrived. Who would have thought it would all fit on such a small vehicle?! It's hard to see $9,500 in it, isn't it?

And then away they went. It was all over by 11:30am.

And here's the "action" side  - ladder, hatch, and all the inlet and outlets. We're just filling to the warranty required level from the bore for now, until we get the gutters plumbed in, the pump moved and the piping sorted.

The nice thing is that I can now say with some degree of truth that I have a water view from my kitchen window!!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Quick laundry/pantry renovation update

Top L is the "canning cupboard", R is he main pantry, and bottom is the space for the chest freezer(s) and space for assorted other storage.

Making matron's sourdough english muffins

Yesterday I was inspired by the matron of husbandry's post about her sourdough english muffins, as well as completely envious of her lovely wooden stove. She hasn't been happy with the results on gas or electric, but undaunted I decided to give them a go anyway, as I already have sourdough starter on the go.

I won't go into the recipe - you can find that on her blog in the link above, but here's a pic of them cooking.

To try and compensate for the issues she mentions, after heating the pan I turned the heat right down, and increased her cooking time by a few minutes each side.

The result? FANTASTIC. They are really yummy, MUCH better than shop-bought in taste, and if Jerry is very lucky there may even be a few left by the time he gets home!

To finish here are a few photos of the garden taken this morning. Sunflowers and tomatoes...

 Capsicum (bell pepper) and eggplant in flower

Violet queen and scarlet runner beans, and the viola / rocket / herb bed.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

On our way to greater water security, part 1

Today has been just crazy! At one stage on site we had 5 men, 1 tip truck, 3 utes, 1 large flat bed truck, a trencher / mini excvating machine and a mini bulldozer. Poor Jerry was very sad to be at work and miss all the fun.

Why all the men and machines? Well apart from the obvious (grin) today while work on the laundry renovation continued, work on the site for the water tank began. After our Home Sustainability Assessment last last year we opted to take out a green loan to allow us to do this now rather than keep saving. The great thing about these loans is that they are fee-free and interest free, so it is not costing us anything more to do it this way compared to saving the money in the bank (other than lost interest I guess).

So today we've gone from this

via this


to this

This is about the only flat spot on the whole property  :)

For those of you thinking that this is a huge're right!  The sand pad area needs to be at least 10m in diameter. The tank itself has a diameter of 8m, and is 2.18m high. It will hold 110,000L of water, and will be connected to all the gutters on the house so we will finally be able to catch and store almost all of our rain. We will then use this in the house, except for the toilets, which will still run off the bore water.

Stay tuned for an update on the laundry renovations .............

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The new pantry is taking shape

This morning there was a lot of measuring, and dragging out all my kitchen gear to work out shelf spacing. I think Dave is actually a bit frightened by all my kitchen bits and pieces. He was certainly looking at me a bit strangely after the first 15 mins. LOL. However it will be great to have proper shelves to store the canner, dehydrator and fowlers unit as well as places to put the flour bins.

The "canning cupboard" (left pic) will store all the canning and preserving bits and pieces, as well as most of the empty jars (and probably some full ones in peak canning season). On the right will be the double-door pantry (with a wall down the middle so I can squeeze in a few more shelves!) which will store everyday food supplies, as well as jams, chutneys and more canned items. There will be a mix of full and half width shelves, to make the most of the space (this will make more sense when you see a pic)
Tomorrow it's insulation, plasterboard, and more shelf batons........

Monday, 4 January 2010

Laundry renovation update

Work resumed today on the great wardrobe-to-pantry conversion. Demo has been completed, and Dave's started framing up. We now have a wall in the bedroom. It's weird to see proper framing and boarding in this house. I'm getting excited about actually having something to paint!!

The bedroom wall will be insulated before the plasterboard goes up.

Dave has also filled in all the air gaps which will help keep critters out as well as too hot or too cold breezes!

Tomorrow - more framing and shelving!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

New year, new cookies!

Another of Jerry's excellent Christmas eBay finds was an old fashioned cookie press. A proper metal one too, not a plastic one, and it came with about 8 different discs for different shapes.


He also googled some recipes for me too as it didn't come with instructions, and apparently the mixture and consistency is important when using a press. Here's my first attempt - just a basic vanilla shortbread. With practice I think I will be able to turn out some posh looking numbers! Oh, and they taste pretty good too!


Friday, 1 January 2010

New year, new skill

Well, I exaggerate, but I've made a start.  Today I made a simple sundress to wear around the house... if you could see the uneven hemming and the dodgy bias work around the armholes you'd know why it's not a party dress! However, at least this won't scare the meter lady as much as me in my dressing gown :).

This year I'd like to get a little more proficient at sewing. I have no illusions about being a master seamstress - I just don't enjoy sewing that much - but I would like to be able to make simple items, and maybe learn to hem straight!

Here is today's dress - took about 4 hours. L: front, and R: back. For those who are interested it's a New Look pattern 6700, and it's the version the model is wearing. I used a 100% cotton fabric I bought from Spotlight, and a corded ribbon for the tie. All up this cost about $35. It's certainly not going to win any awards, but it's certainly wearable for around the house, and will be very cool on hot summer days. I also really like the colours in the material.

And finally - Happy New Year everyone- I hope it brings you everything you wish for!
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