Mischiefs' Folly

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by mischief, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Just watched the River cottage man. He had a part on a permaculture take over of bramble patch. Yay!!

    My grandkids have arrived for a surprise visit from OZ. I had been told that they couldnt come this year so I didnt have alot for them to do today.
    Grandson told me about a game he plays that involves setting up 'farm'. The first step, I'm told is to plant trees. He was very interested in my 'farm' and what I was doing and why.

    When I told him I was going to be building a greenhouse and pointed to the aluminium framing I picked up, he got quite excited and set about redesigning the backyard.
    Not bad for a 9 year old. Maybe those computer games arent so bad after all.

    He did want to know why the chooks were not living in their round house anymore, which was abit tricky to explain properly, but he was suitably impressed by their new home.
    They got to collect the eggs and take a dozen 'home' for their other nana to cook up for them.

    Unfortunately, Red and her chick must have gone into hiding so they didnt get to see them.
    Feeding the others seemed to make up for it though.
     
  2. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I finally got the new woodsheds ground levelled and have the woodshed pretty much built- just the roof to put on now.
    I decided against having 3 2 by 2 metre bays along the front of the chooks front fence, mainly because this would be over 2 metres tall and so would require a building permit to put up. With my neighbours large workshop/garage just a metre away on the other side of the fence, I doubted the council would approve it on the ground that it would pose fire risk to the neighbouring property.
    So, I very carefully measured everything up, drew heaps of drawings to make sure I knew what I was doing and came up with a 3x4 metre shed that is 2.275metres away from the boundary. The height of the shed is 2.175 ( or will be by the time I put the roof on).

    The original plan would have had a long path in front of the 3 bays which I realised was a complete waste of space, even if the bricks did look pretty against the gravel in the parking area.
    Now There is just the small path in front of the back steps to the garden and the side entrance to one of the woodshed bays.( steps still to be re- made).
    Yay! I have a secret path again. You dont really notice its there til you get close to it.

    I have still divided the shed into two bays so I can have one being filled up while I am still using the wood out of the other. At some point when I figure out how, I want to make a leanto between the shed and the boundary fence. ( and when I figure out also how to remove an old apple tree stump and the corrogated iron ring its grown into. I thought this would have rotted away by now, it had been there when I first moved in in '96 and had been buried by years of compost and clippings, but no and still very sharp as my arm discovered when I tried to pull it out.)
    The space between the shed and the fence will probably wind up as 'the recycling area' for the time being. I better put some weedmat down soon.

    I just had to paint the shed in forest green and now thats done, it doesnt look like Just another fence any more.

    One gate opens straight onto the parking area and the other opens at the side. I thought it would look too bitsy with two doors next to each other.
    I got two gates, the flat topped rectangle one for the parking area door and the curved topped one in the garden side. This side has the cabbage trees growing next to it so its pretty sheltered and not too much rain should get in the gap.

    Now that the shed is up, I can see that I could put another little garden in front of it- perhaps espalier something up the shed, there's 3 metres of wall to work with.

    Yes, I could have been getting the gutters hooked up to the tank instead, but I need the 4th quarter of the chooks forage yards made so I can rotate them properly and not have to let them out so much. Most of the space there is being taken up by the roofing iron so it sort of deals with two problems at once by doing the shed next.
    It doesnt usually rain all that much this time of year anyway.( and I needed to work on things I could do myself)

    Red and her chick still live in the compost bin, which is annoying. I havent been able to get her to stay in the run...and I dont think they really want to her just yet either, she beats the others up, including the rooster.

    I got That unwelcome visit this week from the council. I have to lose the rooster. Damn, I thought I had it sorted.
    I asked the manager of the timber yard if he happened to know anyone who would like a beautiful docile rooster.
    Well! He has a 10 acre block and thought it would be cool to have such a wonderful addition to his 'family', called the wife to make sure she was okay with it and is picking 'Their' boy up over the weekend- hopefully tonight. SO that went well.
    Now I have a soundproofed rooster house that no longer needs soundproofing.(shakes head).
     
  3. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Great news on the rooster! I'm sure you'll find outer uses for a well insulated chook house.

    The shed is just for wood storage is it?
     
  4. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    If/when I do get the lean-to built as well, I was thinking I could probably store my work tools in one, using whichever bay was empty and not needed.Its not so important that I Have to do it Right Now. Maybe next year after I have a better idea of how much wood will go into each bay and how much I actually use over winter.
    I'll have to keep in mind that this will probably change again when I get the pizza oven built in the courtyard.

    The garage would then be freed up for something else.....like a cheese room/cold store.. Its an old garage with half the walls underground on 3 sides and is abit too narrow for modern cars. I did fit my truck in there but it is also alittle damp. As it is on the south side of the house it also doesnt get alot of direct sun in summer and none in winter.
    With the sole window on the south side replaced with louver and fine mesh screen and the roof insulated, it should be quite cold.

    The rooster didnt get picked up.....I've got to pick up the last lot of timber for the roof.....so maybe I'll suggest dropping it off to them instead.Otherwise, I will be having rooster for tea tomorrow.

    I was over the moon yesterday when I looked up at the big Avocado tree and saw lots of little fruit and TWO big ones dangling within ladder reach.
    I decided this was a really good excuse to go over to see the neighbour on that side about a tree he had planted right on the boundary next to the garage. I was abit worried that when it grew full sized that it would wreck the concrete wall and be very costly to replace, especially if this neighbour decided to sell up and move before that happened.
    He didnt know what sort it was as it was something that had self sown along the fence on the other side of the yard(had to go cos it was in the way of his new firewood shed).
    He promised to keep an eye on it and if it looked like it was going to cause a problem, it would get cut down.

    He had also planted a lovely little conifer under the big avocado tree.....a golden yew which I learnt in my goggle search, will grow 3x3 metres and will also cause afew problems. I asked him if he knew much about this little tree, which he didnt, so I told him what I had learnt and said I would probably just treat it like a hedge plant and trim it nice and neat so it doesnt swamp my avo's.
    Overall, I think our little talk was quite productive. He said he'd cut the Yew out as well if it became a problem.
    I'll have to make sure it doesnt, cos I'm pretty sure it's leaf fall should be just the thing to help acidify the ground for the avo's.
    The little forest he planted (so he doesnt have to mow so much lawn on his one day off), is going to make a lovely micro climate for the avo's.
    I didnt have the heart to tell him that he had actually planted way too many trees for the area they are in, they may just prove me wrong.

    He had also, just had a contractor in to trim his bamboo and other trees. For some reason, they also trimmed my Loquat tree of the branches that were gracefully draping over his driveway. hm, severely hacked at, but apparently some were starting to catch on the aerial of his work truck so they chopped the lot back like a hedge. Looks terrible.
    We are going to work out how high we need to keep the branches so this doesnt happen. (He apparently had been avoiding me for ages after he lopped off the lower branch of the big avo cos it tore the aerial off his truck ......goddess, I only look like an ogress!!!!)
     
  5. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Mischief the scary eco witch on the war path again! Hopefully he scared enough not to spray glyphosate over your side of the fence!
     
  6. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Ah no, actually, I do find the odd 'brown' patch here and there but as I havent actually caught him in the act, I havent said anything yet.

    I dont know, whats wrong with males.
    I went down to pick up the last little bit of timber I needed for the roof and was told that he would pick the rooster up the next morning and that his Wife (word emphasized) would collect it from there....he didnt turn up and as I had Henry all packed and ready to go in the cat cage, I took him down.
    I got the idea that while he was thrilled to be getting Henry, he didnt want to come up to my place to get him (shaking head), I hope thats because I am supposed to be an ogress and not that word is out that I am single again, small town talk 'n all, you know how it gets).
    The wife did apparently pick him up not long after-I mis-cut a board and had to go yet again, to get a replacement.
    I did also mention that Red's chick is starting to look rather roosterish as well and that I had another hen I found clucky on a nest and did they know anybody else who would love to have such a delightful creature?
    I'm allowed to put a notice on their counter when the time is right to find it/them a home.
    It's perverse of me I know, but I just had to let broody mum raise my last ever clutch of homegrown chickies. Maybe this time we will beat the odds and have an all hen clutch this time.
    Think I will do alittle digging somewhere and give the timber yard a rest from my presence for a bit. Maybe now is a good time to borrow mums chainsaw and start coppicing my black wattles.

    I did get confirmation on an interesting tidbit about (NZ) timber.
    If you are going to build something important and it really does matter that it stay straight etc.... buy it a month before you are going to use it and store it somewhere cool and dry keeping it all straight and level.
    This may just be in NZ, but the trees they are cutting are mostly from 15 year old trees and not the 25 year old as it should be. All the good stuff gets exported and we, as usual, get whats left.
    I had sort of wondered about this so with the timber for the retaining wall, I had it stacked in the parking area with clumps of bricks along the top and each day I turned the boards over and restacked them while I was getting the courage up to build the wall.
    Apparently, there is the risk of the posts or boards bending towards the sun if the wood is wet or still sappy.....shouldnt be sappy cos its supposed to be kiln dried, so something is not right there.

    After being told this,I checked the retaining wall, which was bone dry when I built it and its fine.
    The wood for the fence was wet when I put it up and it does look like the posts have bent alittle towards the neighbours.
    That was noticeable from their side....I got asked to go over and take a look at their tomatoes as they werent growing right.
    I took my famous in NZ Yates garden book with me and we looked over the tomatoes and the book and decided that they were suffering from sun scald. Homework for the day was to google sun scald and learn more about it.... I didnt want to tell him that it was from the way he had been watering the plants when he got home from work when it was still stinking hot and was watering the foliage instead of just the roots.
    If he's done the homework I set him, He should have found out by himself by now.

    Haha, as a thank you, I got all the reject fruit tossed over the fence ( for the girls) and the next empty egg tray that arrived at the back door was full of lovely red vine ripened toms for me.
    I give them my surpluses and had been giving them too many eggs, so we devised a system where they leave a 6 pack or two at the door when they would like some more please.

    I finally got the roof on, it took all day to get the timber bits on and the another to go through the pile of recycled corro iron,pick the good stuff and nail it on. I discovered that the garden side of the shed IS wider than the other side
    Its because when I put the chooks fence up, aka the woodshed back wall, its not perpendicular to the fence. Good thing you can only tell when you're standing on the roof.
    By the time I had figured that out though, I was getting rather cross- the iron wound up being too short, needing two pieces.
    Not a problem I thought, I'll just slide another piece in underneath as far as the first purlin (or so I'm told its called-those cross pieces that you actually nail the iron onto) and then trim down the 4 sheets with the angle grinder.

    After smacking my thumb twice with the hammer I decided that I had better just push them right the way up to where I need them and not run the risk of cutting anything important off- I was too hot, getting dehydrated and not in good humour by the time I finished but it does look rather good if I do say so myself.
    And of course, I had to follow tradition and have a 'roofing beer' or three at days end.
    There's just the flashing to put on now and to cut up the pallets that are lying round that will go in as the floor to keep the wood off the ground. I couldnt quite make the floor space 2 metres wide so some pallets have to be cut to fit.

    This week I got to pick up the beast from the homekill butcher. My brother loved the last lot so much he wanted more and encouraged my daughter and her husband to do the same. So bro took half, daughter and co took a quarter and me and mum are dividing the last quarter between us.
    This one is an Angus/Fresian cross so it wont have that lovely yellow fat that the jersey cross had from last time, but the meat is supposed to have a nice fine grain. At $5.60 per kg its definitely worth keeping the freezer and better still, I know where it came from and how it was raised- from a friend of mine with 10 acres and organic.
    I asked for and got the offal as well and that has been cut up and cooked up with a load of brown rice (that I am not sure of) that somebody gifted to me, I think because its old, but never mind.
    Thats cooling off now and will go to the cat and the chooks.

    I was abit peeved that the butcher had forgotten to put the fat in as well. I wanted to render it down for cooking lard and had a rosemary flavoured recipe to try. Basically, it was just put a handful of rosemary in at some point til it gets a slight greenish tinge and smells heavenly.
    Maybe next time.
     
  7. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I like the 6 pack system - tomatoes in - eggs out. Perfect!
     
  8. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    err, well, my problem is not a male that is doing the spraying, but a female, so ...

    anyways, progress comes sometimes in easy ways and other times with a bit of sweat, swearing and some celebration when the job is just done already. congrats. :)
     
  9. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Ta songbird.

    Yeah, pity he's not doing his homebrew at the moment, being handed a cool glass of whiskey or Kalua through the fence was kinda special. I get a kick out of sharing surpluses. It really does fall in quite neatly with my new found pay it forward approach to life.(with no expectations for reward).
    I think he got a kick out of giving me something for a change, he hasnt had the time to do much with his garden due to working insanely long hours and is doing tomatoes and pumpkins. He point out one vine growing through the fence on my side, so I have closed up that forage yard so the girls dont peck it to bits.

    As my spiritualist friend says, giving freely, is a start to walking empty handed into the void (her term for the unknown/future).
    Not too sure about that bit, I like to feel that I have some semblance of control in my own life.
    "Trust in the Universe", she says. I cant help recalling all those times I was told to trust in God. Sometimes its quite unsettling how Christian like she sounds with what she says but is a completely different sort of personality complete with potty mouth. Gives me abit of a brain strain sometimes.

    I'm having a problem now with a different sort of Being now.(female)
    I went round the back of the woodshed to nail up the bit that the gutters will be attached to, only to be told in no uncertain terms by Mama Hornet, who has a nest about a foot from the end of the shed, that she's had enough of my banging about her nest.
    I got stung on my finger so fast I could only drop my hammer and stand there in shock at how quick she was about it.
    Luckily she only stung the once and it stopped hurting after an hour or so.
    I think I'll leave that bit til she's finished with her babies.

    I went off to have another beekeeping lesson.
    This time it was how to remove frames from the boxes without breaking anything - propolis sure sticks everything down tight.
    They have a hand cranked machine to spin out the honey, so I got to use the heated knife to cut the caps off the frames and spin out the honey.
    Its amazing how light the frames are after they have been spun out.

    Also got to have a wander through the Orchard after I asked if they knew anything about prune plum trees. They have two different types and are going to be pulling one of the trees out next winter. I can have it and am thinking of planting that infront of the woodshed instead of another pear tree.
    They have some lovely plums growing, one in particular called an Elephant heart Plum.
    It does look alittle heart shaped, freestone type with red skin and a beautiful goldy flesh with a quite small stone and so divinely dribbly.
    I'm eyeing up my Christmas plum tree now (again) and might see if we can graft some of the different types they have onto this.

    My experiment with my Nectarine aka Peach tree has been going really well. So far I have harvested over a dozen peaches off this. Its only three years old and was only transplanted to its current spot last winter, so I think its doing fantastically.
    As a last ditch effort, I planted it in the most exposed site I had, meaning it had to go right down the front by the road, right on the edge of the rock wall.
    It hasnt been hand-watered since it got planted out and even with the humidity starting to creep up, hasnt suffered from the dreaded brown rot or leaf curl or whatever makes them weep sap from the branches.
    My brother was peeved when I told him cos all his fruit got blown off by the fierce winds they have been having up in AK.
    I noticed that there is a rogue blackberry starting to grow beneath it which I am going to have to remove before I get another visit from my local council for having noxious plants growing here.Nasty thorny thing it is too

    I did borrow mums chainsaw, but still cant get the stupid thing to go. I'm getting a load of dried firewood delivered this weekend, so I might ask nicely if my friendly deliveryman can take a look at it for me, or help me cut the trees down. That would be a better option as I havent cut such large trees down before. I think he'll be happier to be paid for doing them, than worry about me hurting myself.
     
  10. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I got my first ever load of firewood for the new woodshed delivered this weekend.
    It definitely made a huge difference having it here, so much easier and faster than walking all that way to the old one.
    My firewood man is a workmate who does firewood as a sideline. He and his mate were hell impressed with the changes I have made since they was last here. They thought the yard looked bigger now, somehow.
    They wanted to see the chook pen and forage yards, which they liked and were rather amused by my 'recycling centre', but loved the idea of using the internal fences for growing the grapes on.

    When I showed them my harvest of kindling, I think they were getting alittle worried that I wouldnt be buying much wood any more and again when I asked them to take alook at the trees down the front that needed to be cut out.
    They seemed to relax when I mentioned Pizza oven over summer and that I wanted to make sure I had at least one bay of the woodshed full at all times. They were definitely happier when I told them I was going to put the lean-to on when I figured out how, because I wanted to get to the point where I was always at least a year ahead of my firewood needs.

    I had been tucked away in the recycling centre when they arrived, carefully taking the old leaves of the cabbage tree, bundling handfuls into thirds and tying up with another leave.
    I only ever take the leaves off if they will come away easily when I grab a small handful and make a sideways movement. If they dont just come off I leave them and move on to some where else.
    I think it damages the trunks if they are removed before the tree is ready to let go of them. I have noticed that the bare trunks are furrier than when the leaves are simply ripped off.

    I have stacked these bundles, temporarily out of the way in the middle of the tree. Its seems quite dry under this tree even after rain, so I'm waffling about leaving them there or moving them to the woodshed.
    I got this idea of using the leaves for kindling from my yoga instructor. They have a whole stack lined up against the wall between two carved posts. Theirs are under the cover of the verandah, so it is probably wiser to move them to the shed.

    Getting these old dried leaves out of my way means I can now see which of the multiple trunks I need to remove so I can finish the end wall of this forage yard.
    I have already cut out some of the pups growing at ground level and have these sitting in the half wine barrel full of rainwater that is on the path side of the tree.
    I read somewhere that they grow a better root system if they are left to soak in water and as only two of my first attempt at regrowing these actually survived, I'm hoping this idea works.

    Actually, it was quite a surprise to see how much space had been taken up by these old leaves and I think I might be able to fit the steps up to the roof after all, if it is made more like a ladder - steeper incline. There is just one trunk I will need to cut out along here as it bends out towards the shed.
    That will mean that I will have to go down off the roof backwards, the same as you do on a ladder, but that shouldnt be too much of a problem.
    If I put this in before the fence, the girls will still have a nice spot for a dust bath over winter without me Having to let them out for this, cant see what else I would use the space under the steps for.

    I can see tiny little knobs on the trunk that I think are the start of new branches and am thinking that if I cut the trunk into lengths so each has a little knob at the top, I might get more baby trees to plant out.
    I'm going to plant one each in the other forage areas so they will give the girls a nice dry area for dust baths. It always seems to be dry under the big multi branched tree. There are a few high spots in the yards that they could use to fly out, so if I can get the placement right, they wont be able to use them.
    There is alot of new growth starting in the middle of all the trunks too, which should grow straight up.
    So long as I leave enough of the old branches to flower (hopefully, they will do this next spring), I have quite bit to play with.
     
  11. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    My friends finally got qround to cutting down a couple of my trees for me- some of the smaller ones and I am embarassed. lol. This quote I have been parrotting, "cut when fist wide at chest high"....ummm dont think it applies to wattles.
    My harvest so far is pathetic.
    I think I got more mulch to put around the other trees than I did useable firewood. Oh well.
    My poor friend was too tired to cut the larger trees down- they are technically challenging seeing as they are twisting in a most unbecoming manner and he will have to be careful not to drop them on my baby olive tree that is fruiting for the first time right next to them, so....next weekend.

    I'm thinking maybe this space would be better utilised by growing native trees and help feed the wildlife,give me decent privacy from the road and a nice windbreak and maybe forage for my to-be bees. Have to figure out how I can fit them in taking into account that my cut down trees will probably sprout again.

    Broody mum gave me a hiding today when I tried to go into the chook house to retrieve an egg somebody had laid in the far corner.
    I have never been beaten up by a chicken before!!
    I got stuck trying not to knock over the nest box and have rather nasty scratches on my legs where she leap at me, clawing me with her dirty toenails.
    Of her 6 eggs, she's hatched out 4 (that I could see) chicks, probably yesterday morning going by how fluffy and mobile they were today.
    I hobbled inside and got some leftover dinner-rice and chicken salad for them to eat along with some torn up dandelion leaves and moved the old chook water container back into the scratch yard for them.
    I know they wont be able to drown in this, so no having to put pebbles in the water.

    Red and her chick roosted on the perch with the other girls for the first time last night, mainly cos I tricked them into going into the scratch yard for a feed and locked them in for the night so they really didnt have lot of choice in the matter.
    Tonight, they are back in the nectarine tree cos I had yoga and didnt get back before they went off to bed.

    I'm still waiting for my cat carry cage to be return from when I delivered the rooster to his new dad....he can bloody well turn up here with it.
    I've busted my budget somewhat and am going to have to do things that dont require spending money, so no going down to buy more timber or paint for little while....not exactly sure yet for how long cos I have put off doing my books,sigh, have to do them tomorrow cos I have the monthly bills to pay.

    I relaid the pavers outside to second bay of the woodshed. I had tried a herring bone pattern but it looked too busy so it has been redone in the basketweave pattern and looks much better. The girls were annoyingly scratching dirt all over it so I had put up a temp barrier of more pavers to stop them from burying it.
    I was sitting down admiring my handwork when my neighbour frightened the hell out of me- that will teach me for sitting with my back to the driveway. He'd brought over the next lot of egg cartons.....and a bottle of Bourbon he'd just brewed ( for my brother cos I dont drink that anymore, only because I think it taste foul without lemonade and I have weaned myself off that ages ago).
    I was trying to figure out how to make my little barrier permanent, but have never done a brickwall before and after a bit of a chat about it decided to give it a go.
    He lent me his trowel and chislely thing you cut the bricks in half with- has a fancy name that eludes me at the moment.
    I knew I had a half bag of mortar somewhere. Took me awhile to remember where it was. "Just mix it up in the wheel barrow with enough water to make it workable", he said....hmmm
    Nah, I decided to mix a Little bit up at a time in a big ol plastic bowl, I wasnt having it go off on me like the first lot of gib plaster did on my first go of that.
    That went quite well, except the bowl was so old that it started to develop holes around the bottom every time I used the borrowed 'proper' trowel to dig the mortar out to it. I graduated to a bucket for the next load and eventually ran out of mortar. I did use some of this to brush into the cracks of those laid out on the 'floor' and watered that with the hose to set it and I now have a small section of curved brick wall beautifully curving around five feet out from the plum tree over an equally beautifully paved path.
    I'm using the Plum tree as the centre point and when I do get to buy more of this magical powder, I'm going to continue this masterpiece up the steps as the back entrance to the garden.
    Thanks to my son in law, I have alot of pavers to play with and will use these to make the steps as well as the edging.
    Its not perfect, but damn! it looks good.

    After years of listening to Kimbo spouting on about ...wee, I decided that maybe I could extend my horizons just that little bit further.
    I have been practising not using so much water in readiness for when I go volunteerily onto tank water, having short showers, showering early evening when I prefer a cooler shower, etc....
    My biggest change was to ahem, start peeing in a bucket and using this to fertilize my fruit trees.
    It was quite surprising to realise just how much water I have been flushing away.
    It got annoying to be out in the garden and have to go all the way back to the house just so I could pee in a bucket, so I was trying to work out where I could put alittle 'wee house' so the neighbours dont see.
    At the same time I have been trying to work out how to get safely up onto the roof of the woodshed to do my bees and food drying without having to involve the local council.

    I hit on an ingenious plan that meant I would not have to go down my ladder backwards, laden with produce, Nor race off to answer the call of nature at short notice, as old ladies are wont to do.
    If I build a little shed next to the woodshed that extends just alittle further into the last forage yard and take it down a couple of steps, I only need to build a short step ladder up to this roof from the garden.The cabbage tree is alittle in the way of a straight run up,so the wee house has to extend out to compensate.

    I have had to lower the floor of this by...you guessed it....yet more digging. The soil from here has gone to level the ground up on the garden side.
    I think the cabbage tree will appreciate this too.I noticed that it has been trying to send down roots from the trunk, probably cos we seem to be having drier than normal summers.

    On the creative side of things, I have dug out the old long drop seat I discovered years ago up in the rafters of the old wash-house(currently my old woodshed). Its abit too old to be useful,(full of borer), but will make an excellent template for a new seat. I'm going to paint up the old one and put a mirror in it and hang it in my wee house as a tribute to the history of my house.
     
  12. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Ahh the blessed rewards for honest toil. Great luck with your considerable endeavors mischief.
     
  13. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Hi purplepear, thank you.
    Lovely to see you gain, I've missed you.
    I try to only look at the next step or sometimes it gets alittle overwhelming.
    I'm off to pick up my friend and go off collecting Plums and Pears from my Yoga instructors, going to be bottling in a few days, all going well.
     
  14. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    God you've been busy! Puts me to shame : /

    Hehehe about getting beaten up by the chicken. I'm not afraid of any animal (ones that I'll come across in Australia that is!) but man oh man am I scared of broody chooks! :) Sorry about your scratches :( And it was very nice of you to have gone & gotten them rice & chicken salad after such awful treatment ... or was the chicken salad a subtle threat? ;)

    I can't get my head around anyone not peeing in a bucket. We had a thread going on here ages ago didn't we? Burra & I were the top bucket pee-ers if I remember rightly :) I sure do hope you can find a spot in the yard to put one because it would be a darn nuisance to have to take your boots off & go in the house every time you want to pee. Some days I think I want to live in a unit on the Gold Coast - & other days I remember exactly why I live in the middle of nowhere & can pee where & when I please :) Simple pleasures taken for granted :) I can't tell you how beautiful it is to sit on the old (3 walled) dunny late at night, when the sky is black as velvet & the stars shine like diamonds, & look out over the valley & the shadows cast by the bush. On nights when there's a full moon & a frost it is beyond magic (although I try & limit the time I spend with my dacks down on frosty nights :) ) Sometimes I figure I'm the luckiest person in the world.

    Be careful getting on the roof! I was washing my roof before the people came for the inspection the other day & came bloody close to falling off a couple or 3 times! I never have liked being on the roof, but this time it occurred to me that I'm actually not 21 any more & should be a bit more careful about things. I was wearing my reading glasses so I could see the dirt better & I think i got confused about distances or something : / Anyway - be careful when you're up there with trays of fruit! It would be awful to end up on the ground in the middle of a fruit salad :)

    Having said all that ^, it will be awesome if you get your peeing/fruit drying hut happening soon, so you can pee in private & dry without risk of injury :)
     
  15. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    LMAO!!!

    um... I only sound busy. I am really lucky in some ways with my job, cos I dont have to work as hard as alot of people do, so in some ways, I should be getting more done than I am. I like to think I work smart not hard, the down side of it is that I think I probably only have another 5-6 years before I have to find something else-it is Hard work, but not alot of days to it.

    There are so many things and areas that just havent been seen too,that if you knew about would leave you shaking your head at my FOLLY!!!!....but I dont talk about those.
    I have had to put the blinkers on and tell myself that I will get to them soon.

    I am working my way around the yard fixing things up and trying to finish things that I start. I got all tangled up with too many bits to do and wound up running around in circles yet again, with the whole thing looking like shit, to be quite blunt.
    Now, its getting to the point where there are alot of things that look bloody marvellous and I m happy when people visit- I dreaded what they would say and hoped nobody would turn up.
    So long as I get to eat every day and get something dealt to, then thats okay. At some point it will be as it should again.

    I remember That thread and remember shuddering at first, then I thought about it and gave it a go til it the turnip that was in flower did its thing and had to be pulled out. I had a wee moment going in an empty compost bin there for a while and then it got too cold.
    I had my eye on the cabbage tree as a good spot in general to have a wee house cos its pretty much in the middle of the back yard.
    I need the spot I had worked out for my step ladder up to the woodshed roof though and just had to come up with something that will work.
    Its going to be quirky but hygienic (or my mum said she wont use it). haha, when I told her it would have proper seat and she wouldnt have to squat, she was quite okay on the idea so long as she didnt have to deal with the bucket.
    This week, I have taken it a step further and have another 'bucket' to put the 'wet wipes' in, still in the bathroom for now. It occurred to me that it was rather stupid to be filling the toilet up with paper that could be going into the compost.

    Funnily enough, these two 'buckets' are the recycling bins that I got for the kitchen- the sort that go under the sink and you pull out to drop things into, rectangle rather than round. Never worked for me in the kitchen, but now they are now.

    I deliberately made the woodshed roof as flat as I could. Its 3.2 metres wide and and the difference in height is only 100mm, so almost flat.
    I could have made it less than 100 mm, knowing that I was going to try to use it as a drying platform but wanted to make sure I had a decent fall so I could collect the rain for the chooks water tank. Too flat and the driven rain might not wind up where I want it.
    Then I realised that I might be able to build top bar hives up there along the edges and wouldnt have to worry too much about falling off.

    I'm really hoping the bee hive idea works cos it would put them out of the way of people- I have a friend who is allergic to bees. I look forward to the day when I no longer need to buy sugar.
    I think my neighbours are looking forward to getting to taste fresh home honey too- just wish they would get on board and do alittle more of the same- be fun.

    I've never had a problem with the other hens just 'Broody mum'- one of the white hens, I never remember which type they all are.I got such a fright when she started, I thought at first I was mistaken but soon learnt otherwise.
    She is an excellent mum, just as well cos the neighbours semi feral cat still looks like he'd loved to hunt my girls, she'll certainly see him off if he tries anything with Her babies.
    She even bailed 'Red' up, who promptly ran into the now empty nest box to hide from her, leaving her own chick all on his/her lonesome for about 15 minutes, much to its obvious displeasure.
    The babies were quite happily eating along with the big girls tonight. I stood by just in case they got abused, but they all got on really well and 'broody mum' behaved herself too. Really cool to watch them all together.

    It wasnt a threat feeding her chicken salad...I went to have it for my lunch and realised that it was over three days old and I wont eat rice that old. I thought it would be soft enough for the chicks to be able to eat and they thoroughly enjoyed it.
     
  16. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Oh God Helen - I was about to poke fun at your for cleaning your roof before someone came to look at your place, when I remembered that I was planning on cleaning the solar panels on my roof this weekend ready to put the house on the market. Just in case someone looks at them. We are both hopeless perfectionists!
     
  17. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    um eco....are you going somewhere???
    The thing to do if you want to sell, is to take all your person stuff out- box it up and store it off the property. It makes the place look more spacious and people can see where Their stuff will go.
    Perc coffee to scent the air and turn all the lights on so it looks light and airy.
    Creates a vacuum.... the universe hates a vacuum and will fill it up....with somebody elses' stuff.

    Good thing you cleaned the solar panels- they will be more efficient. You'll need it with the lights on more than you usually have them.
     
  18. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    Yeah - I am a hopeless perfectionist. It's a crappy way to view life & makes me miserable when there's no need. I'm a bit dirty on the F.O.O issues that caused it at the moment. I try to remember the perfectionism also contributes to some of my wonderful qualities & to embrace, or at least allow, the duality.

    Yes - I'm nuts enough to clean the roof anyway (when I bought the place it was one of the first jobs I did - just because I wanted it to look nice :) ), but in this case it needed it. I have a huge, stunning English Oak near the house. I'm delighted to be blessed with it, & I'm the envy of all the hippies in the Northern Rivers :) (Robyn Francis often expressed her burning desire for one, & tried a few times to create different methods/micro-climates/techniques to get one to grow at Djanbung, but sadly never did succeed.) However it does cause a sooty powder on the roof, which doesn't look nice on the Laserlite panels, & it prevents the light coming through as effectively. The hose, a bucket of SugarSoap & water, a soft broom & 3 near falls later, the whole roof was clean :)

    Good for you for cleaning the solar panels :) As mischief said, they'll be more efficient :) We all need more light in our lives :)
     
  19. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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  20. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I was reading "creative sustainable gardening in NZ" by Diana Anthony, from our library.
    In this she points out that urine that is 3 days old is supposed to be good as a herbicide for couch grass.....I'm hoping that week old will be excellent to kill off convovulus!!! So I now have todays lot hidden away in my watering can til next week.Just hope it doesnt dissolve the can.
    Its supposed to be very ammoniac when aged.

    I never thought of flannels. I might give that a go.
    On showers, or rather, drying off after them, I accidentally found that those micro clothes were excellent for drying me off and I couldnt even squeeze the water out of them afterwards....not bad for less than a square foot of cloth, and they dry really quickly too- less laundry.

    I got left with some treated ply when 'he' finally got all his shhstuff out of the yard.
    I have the old long drop seat probably from the first owners and have just used this as a template on the ply. Mum is going to lend me her jig saw to cut it out so its the same shape as the original.

    I think abit of sanding and a jolly good paint job and it should be good to go.
    Only trouble is.... I have just started taking note of how often I do a number 2 and realised it would take ages to fill up a 20 litre bucket even with using leaf mold and/or compost so I'm in a quandary as to whether or not to have 2 buckets under the seat and a two gap seat instead.

    Any ideas on that one?

    ps: my daughter said she loves that I do crazy shhstuff (like this)
     

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