Sunday, 30 October 2011

Trick or Treat!

Seems I can't miss a trick lately. Old Aussie saying. However, it is true. I am really very despondent today. Let me explain;
 My friend David, (who has been working in Adelaide, South Australia) flew back in the early hours of Saturday morning with the intent of fixing the driveway which was washed away a week ago from the heavy deluge of flooding rains. So much for that idea! Here is the cause of that not happening! 

 Yep a ruddy great tree on my neighbour's boundary decided to drop in to say, "Hello!"
  Whilst it may look easy peasy to get rid of, it is actually about 2 feet in width in the trunk. David got rid of the canopy and tossed it over the neighbour's property. (It is the law, you are allowed.) We had no working chainsaw so............

The SES (State Emergency Service) came to the rescue! It seems lots of trees are falling down and causing havoc due to the high winds and unseasonal rains. They have their work cut out for them! Ha ha!
 You can see me on my deck looking down at the activity.

 I hate Halloween, yet it seems we are having our own spooky adventures right now. I just want a treat! Nice spa, massage, glass of champagne.......aaaaaaaahhhhh.......

Monday, 24 October 2011


Well, golly me! Two days ago we had really lovely hot 32 celsius (near 80F) then around 6.30pm the thunder rolled in, then the lightning and then..BAM!!!! All hell broke loose with 35mm (1 and half inches) of rain in less than 14 minutes! I live on a very steep hill and the gravel brought down the pathway backed up, and created a levee, and then a diversion for the water to come to my front door! So, it was battle stations to hurriedly sweep and shovel away the water whilst dodging the lightning strikes.

 The next day we saw the damage. The poor old pathway now devoid of helpful gravel; Gone. The long driveway which we had just put two truck loads of gravel on last week; Gone. Gouged out creeks are now part of my landscape. Today the rains still continued albeit lightly, but the damaged sections are allowing the new channels of water run off to continue scouring the ground. This is not good. 

 Whilst I could look at it as being a terrible event and cry and carry on about the work now involved with redoing the path and drive, I can only marvel at how Mother Nature is intent on doing what she does best. As my 18 year old son said as we hoisted loads of gravel away in frenzied madness all the while getting drenched to the skin; "Wow, you can see how rivers get created!" Yes, indeed, Mother Nature doesn't care if we are in her way or not. That is why I respect her and love her dearly.
Cheerio for now whilst I dry off and pour a glass of wine. Tonight the heater is back on and coziness abounds!
Here are some photos of the damage.

There is a drain under those concrete blocks but it couldn't cope with the deluge coming from the top of the pathway. I am standing right near the front door. This is after we got rid of most of the gravel from the night before.

Side pathway with all the gravel from the top of the property. Things fell over or got washed down the hill. Sigh.......
The exposed 1950's fill on the driveway which had lots of broken glass and broken crockery in it. Lost all the topsoil and gravel.

My poor old dog Tess halfway down our driveway. Photo looking at the rear of the house. We started painting it in a nice blue grey. The house not the drive! LOL!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Finally coming together

   Last evening I felt very happy and content after a long hard days slog. I went out to sit on the deck with my magazine and glass of wine. I had forgotten we had changed the railing. The joy I felt at putting the items down safely was something akin to looking at your newborn baby. Such a simple thing for most, but for me I almost cried. I could not stop smiling at how wonderful it all seems to be coming together ; Finally!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A light bulb moment!

I often sit out on my deck with a glass of wine at the end of a hard days renovation/gardening. I have a little old chair I use as a table. It's a bit wonky but does the job. As I swing on the patio deck chair I love to look out at the sunset over the mountain and relax. Just one problem! The top rail of the deck surround is right at eye level. I've been wanting to change it for ages but was wracking my brain on how to make it without spending a fortune. I intend to put marine grade cable across there instead of the wooden rails, but wanted to put perhaps a tube of steel along the top as a safety rail. Well, to cut a long story short, I figured out if I just cut the top rail at the position of the poles, the middle pole is flat, just turn it and TA-DA! Instant safety rail, which is flat enough to allow a view AND will hold my glass of wine, plate of sandwiches or a cup of tea! The only cost has been 7 new brackets with scrolls on them. 2 on each end, one in the middle on the far side as the plank is wider than the pole and needs support on the overhang, and two in the middle to add extra strength. (Plus they look pretty) I intend to do the whole deck which is in effect, 3 sections. 21 brackets, and a new coat of paint.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

David my friend, attaching the brackets.
View toward the east side of the house. You can see Oscar's cat enclosure on my deck, which also doubles as the drying washing space.

  Here are some photos of some pretty flowers and my kitty kat, just because.

$3 roses! Supermarket end of week special. Isn't that orange just gorgeous! Reminds me of the sunset!

$2 lillies in the op shop vase I recently purchased.
Oscar the Siamese looking innocent. (Yeah, right!)
  Hope all in your life is going well!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Sun's out, Smoke's in

Today is a nice sunny day, (sort of) Friend helping to lay the 2 tonnes of crushed rock for our long driveway. Me digging out agapanthus and replacing with azaleas. Neighbour starting burn off....Uh oh! 
 Why, oh why, do people still need to burn off in this day and age of composting and council green waste pick up? I have severe asthma, these neighbours NEVER let me know they are about to burn off, ( I have asked nicely and given them my phone number in case they are too lazy to walk to the house) and besides, who likes their house, clothes and furniture stinking of wet grass smoke? 
 So no more work today outdoors! Mutter, mutter, mutter.........
The smoke coming up the hill into my house. Taken on the back deck of my place. Below neighbour's property starts just behind the caravan. Cough cough splutter choke.....

Below neighbour burning off. Taken through my cat's enclosure on my back deck.
 Off now to get away from the smoke to go bargain shopping for some bits I can do up and sell! Woohoo!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Raining again! Gah!

Hey! What gives with this crazy Aussie weather? I mean, come ON already! Yesterday I was pottering around and trying to get the garden ready for Phase 2,978 of the plan, thinking, 'Oooooh, I CAN have my gorgeous roses and fruit trees, too!' and daydreamed of sitting under an apricot tree with the scent of roses wafting past my nostrils:.....Aaaaaaaaah. Heaven! Then today, TODAY! The thunder boomed loudly, the dog scurried under my desk, the rain started like as if we had moved to the Tropics. I then put back my gardening gloves and hat, sat down and thought, "Well, I DO live in Melbourne; the city of 4 seasons in one day....but this is ridiculous!" Record rainfall and it had to be the year I feel able to do all these renovations in one hit! Oh well...........

  So instead of getting much done outdoors in preparation of the hot summer we are due to have, I decided to fiddle with the banner on my blog. I reckon it looks ok, but I am only learning, so give me a kind-hearted break. 
 Then after having a nice hot cup of tea and thinking of what else I can do that doesn't involve me getting drenched, I got to thinking of all the gorgeous sunsets we get here in Healesville. I am of the mind set that I will never miss a sunset! No matter what is going on, I will stop and watch and admire nature's farewell of the day. I'd like to share some of my photos I have taken over the years of some gorgeous sunsets with you.  I hope you like them!

  Cheerio for now!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Time to show you my 'projects'

Ok the moment you have all been waiting for! Ok, maybe not. It's just that it's been cold, miserable, raining, thunder, lightning, very very frightening all week. Supposed to be Spring! So I haven't been very enthused about laying the vinyl tiles in the bathroom. With little light in there and so cold, I just couldn't be bothered. So now I shall bore you or excite you with some items I am doing up. Some will be for sale and some to stay in the hovel, I mean, home. Tee hee hee.
 Some before and after shots of my handiwork!
The 'op shop' special. There are two identical.  

In her new 'outfit'!The pics really don't do the piece justice. I wish I had somewhere nice where I could show these off to take photos.   
I even added some 'dings' to where it would be likely someone used their thumb to open the drawer.
Please ignore the mess! The old Wertheim sewing table I bought on ebay. The dog was not part of the purchase! Had her for nearly 7 years and she follows me everywhere!

Looking much prettier with a fresh coat of paint and black wax. The base is a dark green but will be sprayed black once the weather is nice again.
Detail of the top. Lovely aged look. It already had some great wear on such a new pine top. The black wax brings it out beautifully I think!
  I do have some more projects I am doing and will endeavour to show you soon. The light is really poor this week to show them off nicely. Plus, I am still getting used to my new camera, too!
Someone gave me a huge bag of red chillies and I am making Sweet Chilli Sauce, so I'd best get it off the boil before it turns into sweet sticky stove top! 

Till next time!