Friday, 16 September 2011

Oh my aching bones!

Well, today was a glorious sunny day here in Healesville. 20c feels like summer is on its way! Having said that, I had to do some maintainence work in the garden to get my summer crops in and make sure the Aussie garden I am creating will cope with the heat we will no doubt get. Already this week after heavy rains, in only a few days the garden is dry. Water restrictions have been down graded from Stage 3 to Stage 2. This is due to the drought of 18 years finally breaking and filling up most of the cities dams to near capacity or in the case of our local reservoir, overflowing for 12 months. The rains we had this year were incredible!        
Maroondah Dam June 2008 This was winter!

Maroondah Dam February 2011 This is our summer. Big difference!

This means we can now hand water with a trigger nozzle at any time. This is great, but I still use the old fashioned bucket of rain water and an old tin cup to water in my seedlings till they have established. I have a drip system running through the main vegie patch and hope to connect that up to the rain water tank we have up the hill to gravity feed the drip system. I HATE using tap water for a couple of reasons. One; why should I have to pay for something that falls out of the sky, and two; most tap water has chemicals in it which only make the plants not thrive very well.

 I ripped out a lomandra longifolia today and potted up the individual corms. They had nice long strappy leaves. Whilst it is a lovely drought tolerant plant and the birds love to hide in it, it was blocking the new blueberry bush I planted. I will sell on the pots for $2 each. The soil came from the dig out we did a year ago from an old embankment. The worms have been doing a great job and now the soil is excellent! The pots I already had. So this is a good way to help reimburse some costs to get on with the jobs!

  So I hauled the soil back into the retaining wall and planted another blueberry plant (Sunshine Blue) I did a ton of that yesterday as well. Talk about a great abdominal workout! So nice to be able to reuse the same soil which now is a gorgeous pile of loamy soil instead of the heavy clay it was a year ago. Lots of rotting vegetation in it and the worms have created a masterpiece! I should be stuffing my face with a ton of blueberries next season!

  Tomorrow I hope to put in the other section of the drip system, continue putting dirt into the new vegie patch and plant out some tomatoes. That's after all the other work I have to do!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Bedroom door saga

I decided some time ago to replace the boring old plain core door to my bedroom and install something with a bit of character. I searched high and low for a door to fit. 75.5 cms wide x 2010 cms tall x 30cms deep . Easy you would think? NO! The standard Aussie door can be between 82 to 87 cms wide. Height is usually 2040cms. I went on a treasure hunt, scouring old 2nd hand dealers stores, searching demolition sites, checking on ebay regularly, but to no avail. Gah! Obviously who ever had done the renovation before me had a lot to answer for! 
  Many older houses had odd sized doors. That was perfectly ok with me. Having spent fruitless hours searching though, I came to the conclusion that either the door space needed to be widened and given some extra height or I would simply undress in the evenings for all and sundry to admire. After giving this some more thought, I do believe my polar bear suntan would be too much for poor innocent eyes, so the widening and heightening began!
  Alas! Yet again, more problems. The door jamb was made with left over odd bits of skirting board and hard against my teen son's bedroom. The fact there is barely any support in the wall above my door space made it impossible to open this up for a newer door. It was also discovered that the whole door jamb is out by 8mms! (almost an inch) It appears that the previous renovator was either drunk or had astigmatism. How the hell could it be so glaringly out? It was time for ME to get drunk!
  Eventually I bit the bullet and bought an older Californian Bungalow style door. I would prefer something a bit more individual but this will do for now. Amazingly enough it was cheaper than I expected to pay. Only $50. (Believe me in Melbourne, Australia this is cheap!) It was painted a dark almost black that is taking me forever to paint strip. It has many bumps and scrapes but it has character. Poor old thing needs a reason for living and my home is it. I will probably keep the side into my bedroom in the original wood and just clear coat it. The outer side I am umming and ahhing to paint in white. 
 We can't change immediately the original door frame and to do so would only invite disaster of the shrieking of this redhead kind. So for now, the new/old door is shaved and primped to fit. No lock or handle was supplied, so temporarily it will just have to suffice with a newer handle I bought a long time ago. 
Poor old girl needing a new outfit.