Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A wet wet Spring continues...

We were treated to a double rainbow this week. Huge black clouds rolled across the sky and then dumped bucket loads of rain and hail onto an already soggy farm! We stood under the carport and listened to the thundering bullets of ice move overhead. 
 Frans is very keen to get the roof finished on the cabin. The ridge capping still needs to be put on, as well as the gutters. We've made good progress the past few days as we have had no rain. Yay!
The South side of the cabin. This is the little extension where the bathroom will be and the window is where the kitchenette will be.  
 The straight pieces of tin are relatively easy to put up. It's when cuts need to be made that it gets more tricky. 
This is back breaking work! The most daunting piece of tin to cut was 7m long.  
If you know Frans, you will know that is rather pedantic, or rather, a painful perfectionist. We have spent a lot of time measuring, again and again, before putting up sheets. Every beam is marked and a level used to make sure all the screws are lined up neatly. 
This was the last side that needed to be done. We drew pictures, discussed, schemed and then just had to bite the bullet and try all our theories out! A long sheet had to have the window cut outs made before sliding this same long sheet up and under the middle sheet you see here. We couldn't do this bit alone, so our neighbour Graham came to lend a hand. We thought this would be a difficult task fraught with problems, but it all went up quite smoothly.  
All the while Nala is the site dog. Ever on her guard.... Not. More often than not she's under our feet, just wanting to be in on the action! 
Around 5.45pm last night, Frans put the last screw into the metal sheeting. While he did the last bit of fiddling about, I cleared all the scrap metal sheets from the grassy area in front of the cabin. The sheets have been lying on the grass for a few weeks and have caused the grass to yellow off and die in some spots. However, a week or two and it will turn green again.
Ahhhh... Doesn't it look cute? Still lots more to do, but this is a major milestone for us. Next Frans needs to put cement sheeting around the bottom of the tin. This is a fire protection requirement. So much ridiculous red tape. The flashing and gutters need to go up and then we move on to the inside. 
I'm really looking forward to doing the inside. We have purchased most of the bathroom and kitchen bits and pieces. I had intended to create a very plain and conservative kitchenette and lounge area. But at the very last minute I changed my mind and have decided to make a colour statement! I'll keep you guessing for a bit longer...  
In the real world of free range happy chickens, there is no 'one size fits all'.  
A sudden glut of eggs over the past few days has had me rushing for the big jars, vinegar and spices! We loved our pickled eggs last Summer. They're great when you serve them on a salad platter for lunch. I've made two sorts here. One is a brown vinegar base, and the one on the right is a white vinegar base with beetroot juice. The eggs will turn a lovely pink! 
One of my mid winter jobs is to cut back the ornamental grape vines that shade the North side of the house in Summer. It rained so much in August (wettest August on record!), that I didn't get to the cutting till this week. Some of the vines are already sprouting new growth. I managed to pick a morning where there was no rain and started weaving the cuttings into wreaths. I didn't want to just mulch them. It's rather satisfying to make something pretty out of what would normally be garden waste. These wreaths are making their way to a little store in Geelong called Frank and Dollys . Last year the lovely owners Joel and Rachel Cooper saw my wreaths at the Birregurra Festival and asked me to make some to stock in their store.   
I made a big love heart to hang on the old shed when we have all the wedding festivities in a few weeks. 
Talking about sprouting... the apple trees seem to be doing things backwards this season. We've not had any blossoms yet, and some of the trees are showing signs of leaves first. So who knows if we're going to get any fruit this season! After the driest Summer on record, we have had the wettest August on record. The trees must be confused!
I haven't put up a pic of our cows for a while so I thought it was time again. I fed them a little hay this morning. The chooks love feeding time just as much as the cows do!
Will all the rain comes the problem of WEEDS! The Cape weed is running rampant! The only way to get rid of it is to spray it with a nasty chemical or to dig it out by hand! We don't want to spray. So when we can, we dig this pesky weed out with a sharp knife or garden fork. 
It's not all weedy... Standing tall in a messy garden bed, this beautiful variegated pink popped up this week. I only noticed the little spider after I downloaded the photo.  
Have a very happy week and weekend. It's Grand Final weekend! 
Go Hawthorn!

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