Building · Family · Ruminations

Strange Obsessions – Ovens

One of the many things you don’t get told as a kid is the strange obsessions you develop as an adult. I can remember (vaguely as my memory isn’t that great) as a kid obsessing over games, books, music etc. And then as an adult my obsessions go more varied.

I have found myself obsessing over insulation, double glazing, lawn mowers and paint colours. One constant obsession recently has been solar energy for the house.

For many years now I have had obsessions over different ovens. The makes and models can change but there are a number of constants. I always obsess over two ovens, one a wood fired oven with wetback, the over is a duel fuel oven with a gas hob and electric oven.

matriarch01Currently my wood range fetish is focused on the Homewood range crafted in the far north. They have three beautifully manufactured wood stoves and I doubt I will ever have the room in the kitchen for the largest one but I do so want it.

classic_deluxe_110_df-cran-exportI have fairly consistently wanted the Falcon oven as a duel fuel one as well. It is also a lovely looking piece of cookware and would sit rather nicely along side the Homewood.

Maybe one day we will have the dollars to remodel the kitchen/dining room and I could fit them both in.


Vegetable Garden Beds – Research Time

I have been doing a little more planning for my building projects. I was looking online for kit-set raised vegetable gardens. It would probably be cheaper just to by the wood and nails etc myself, but my DIY skills are very basic, so a kit-set works better for me. 😆

I found these beds from Redpath. We think we will over the year save up and buy one at a time of the 1*3 with cloche at the four board height.

We will save up for one, buy it it in, fill it, and then plant it out. We would then save for the next. We think four or five would be about right for us, with four being vegetable beds and one berry bed.  Of course it may be that we need more 😆

Animals · Building · Family

First Day Plans: 2012

One of my lofty and vague goals for this year is to do more around the house. In particular I want to get how we live functioning better. I have therefore thought of three building projects to complete this year.

Project one: To be completed end of March (have to save for the materials) – Chicken run.

At the moment our chickens are completely free range, which is in some ways nice, but others a right pain. They hide their eggs, eat bits of the gardens we don’t want them to, and poop everywhere. I want to build a nice large run, I think around 4 meters by 5 meters  would be a good size. I want to make it expandable so that if  we get more, or decide its not large enough, I can do this easily. Therefore I think I will do it in panels which will be tied together rather than nailed. One panel will be hinged to a support to act as a gate, but the rest may be tied to supports. We can move the chicken houses in the orchard into the new run. (Or do I build the new run in the orchard? It might be nicer to have it closer to the house.)

Project two: 3 High Raised vegetable beds and berry beds in the back yard (to be done by the end of September for spring planting)

This will help our vegetable production by keeping animals out and making it easier to maintain without bending over. I want to build them at least a meter high.

Project three: Build in bookshelves and computer desk. (by end of October)

This is the most ambitious and complicated of the projects and will stretch my very dodgy skills to the max! Currently our computer is on a rather large (but nice) glass desk in the hall. It takes up a lot of space. We also don’t have enough book shelves. So my plan is to build a unit where the desk is with floor to roof shelves and space for the technology (computer, printer, phone).

First thing I need to do is price up the materials for the chicken run. 🙂

What fun….

Building · Family · Humour

What A Ride

What a year it has been. This time last year the house had just been put back on piles on the new site, after being carried on the back of a truck the 12 kilometers from town. We were living out of the caravan and tent waiting for the power, phone, septic and water to be connected. There was no driveway, no real fencing and a lot of mud everywhere!

During the year I finished a novel and podcast it, I also changed jobs to start commuting to Wellington for part of the week. We took the eldest to Melbourne for a trip, and then he won a trip back there as part of becoming a toyologist. I ended up visiting the hospital after waking up with cramp and fainting after standing too quickly. We blew through four water pumps, and had a stinky septic tank.

We now have fences, gardens, a garage, driveway and a ride on mower so my nightmares of grass overtaking the property have eased. Our fruit trees are providing us with a small amount of fruit and promising to flood us with produce in future years. We have had happy sunny times on the riverbank amongst the willows, and every morning we wake up to a beautiful view.

Hopefully this year will be a year of solid consolidation, but knowing us that ain’t gonna happen. It’s likely to be another wild year 😆

Building · Humour

A Flower And A Filter

So the third pump died. The only good thing is this time we think we know what’s happening. Somewhere along the intake pipe from the roof, grit is getting into the system and ripping apart the filters in the pumps. So we have to close off the intake, empty the tank, get it cleaned, install a new pump, and then find and repair the point of contamination before reconnecting the  intake to the tank. Hopefully the tank will be cleaned tomorrow. The company doing it will also clean and store 16,000 litres to put back into the tank, all in all it’s not a good.

Below are some pictures of what has been killing our pumps. But before we start with those here is a daffodil from the garden 🙂

A flower
Builders paper that was in the pipe
Damaged filter

We Are Not Amused

I have decided that i would like to cancel August and September this year…

On the good side of the coin, our Internet connection is back up and running. The new modem arrived and we are no longer getting intermittent drop outs. Funny thing though, the new filter for the phone seemed to stop the phone ringing. 😆 When we realised we were missing calls we swapped back to the old filter and lo and behold the phone rang..

The really not funny thing though is that our pump has packed a sad again. This one only lasted two weeks before stopping. Sigh. We are so over this now. I have sort of got it restarted, but we don’t seem to have hot water….