laura_seabrook: (Default)
I have been doing a "Pickup & Sort" since 8:30 this morning, in an effort to find missing stuff. This is where I just look at my rooms and spot stuff that doesn't "live there", or loose or cluttered stuff that should be checked and probably put elsewhere.

I do that each housework day, buy have been a bit slack of late. All the time I'm looking for a manual & receipt, a spare hat, and a library book. No sign of any of those, yet. I can't take action on the malfunctioning TV until I find the receipt (and the key to unlock it from the chain).
laura_seabrook: (Default)
These were each $25 each. K-Mart and Coles had "no name" electric kettles for $8-9, but the switches and tops looked extremely flimsy. The electric kettle I bought has a measuring window on BOTH sides of it (and in number of cups), whereas the cheaper ones had a window behind the handle - a pointless place to put it!

image

Yes, that's my reflection in the shiny new kettle.

The basic kettle was marked down from $40 (Target) which was a ridiculous price for a stove top kettle. This didn't stop two other places at Glendale (NSW, not California) wanting to charge that anyway. I almost got a pink one from Robin's kitchen but this will do fine. It'll be a backup for when the electric kettle blows, and when (not if) we get the annual power blackouts here I can boil up some tea on a camping gas cooker.

And how's this for timing?

While I was down at Stockland's at Glendale it started to poui8r down. I waited 50 minutes at the bus stop for the next bus. When I finally got off at my stop, the rain cut to a very light drizzle until after I got home, and now it''s pouring down again.
laura_seabrook: (Default)
As part of housework I took down the side gate this morning.

image
12-02-06 Side gate (before) by LauraEss, on Flickr

Side gate that was put up in 2010 to keep Hallie's pups around the front. Made from the two parts of the old front gate, which was disassembled years ago when the front fence came down. The side gate didn't work, because it was hel;d shut with elastic straps. the dogs found they could slip through by pushing with their heads, and the only thing it stopped was the humans at my place!

image
12-02-06 Side gate (after) by LauraEss, on Flickr

After the side gate had been removed. This will be a lot easier to mow.
laura_seabrook: (Default)
The guy came today to lay the framework for the new fence. It was good, but I got a bit of a shock. The first link was a dogleg in what looked like part of my backyard.

11-10-23 Dogleg Fence


As it happened however, that was not the case. You can see in the photo above a white peg which is the surveyor's peg marking where the boundary should be. The previous owner and his son built the existing galvanised fence and it seems they got it wrong.

11-10-23 Front Fence Post


A close up of the front. Select this image for an overview of the whole fencingSo in fact the existing fence was wonky, biting into my land at first and then in to next door's. And as it was built to an existing picket fence - that fence line was wrong as well, so for the last 14 years I've been using a small bit of next door's property!
Mind you I was still a bit upset when I first saw it. The real boundary line goes over what was the drain on the side of the nearest lawn, and the old Banana tree would have been right IN the fence. I'm going to have to re-think the drainage there. It wouldn't be product right now to rip up the front part of the fence and realign it, but it does explain a lot.
I was initially shocked because I expected the fence line to go straight to the peg at the back from where the old fence ended, but to do would rob Daryl of some of his land.

I am really looking forward to this being finished tomorrow.
laura_seabrook: (Default)

Just after noon the rain stopped long enough for me to dismantle the old duck pen that had blown over a few days ago. It used to look like this:

And after the freak winds of Wednesday, this:

and now it looks like this:

The thing was built back in 2000 by Steve (a previous boarder) and myself, to keep Muscovies in. I got rid of the Muscovies in 2005, and it partially caved in in 2006, so I removed have of it, leaving two walls and a roof for the cats to use when I fed them (Gabby especially loved preening herself on it). Later I put an old sofa underneath to sit in some mornings, but that was gutted by Hallie's pups.

Don't know what I'll do with the space now. At one point I a vague idea of putting a water tank there but can't see the point of that now.

laura_seabrook: (Default)

I was going to demolish the old duck pen and fix the fence today, both of which fell down in a freak storm. However it was nice and wet last night and drizzling today. Not the best environment to use an electric drill in. I could try and remove and screw in hex nuts manually, but that's a LOT of effort.

Instead, I might have an "off day" and catch up with webcomics, tv, and forums, and generally do not much. Work tomorrow. Mind you, if it's dry by the afternoon...

Photo #1

Mar. 2nd, 2011 09:18 pm
laura_seabrook: (Default)
The banana tree was also blown down (partially) yesterday by the freak winds.



I've had this since 2000 when it was a present from a friend of a friend. I am going to have to hack big chunks of this away before I can hang the washing out again.

laura_seabrook: (Default)

There was a huge thunderstorm when I was at uni, and I thought it might be a good idea to go home. When I did I discovered this: 

Side fence collapsed, again.

 Hopefully the fence will replaced soon. I have half of what I need to pay for my 1/2 of the cost. With no big dogs here, there's no need to rebuilt this to full height - a bout a metre high should do it until the new fence goes up. 

The old duck pen which was hand built in 2000, finally collapsed.

 I ripped away a third of the old pen  a couple of years ago, and had used it as a spot to sit while it was raining. Now it will all need to be pulled apart before strong winds do more damage. A long tedious job. 

The outside sofa

At left is where I sit and read comics, or was. THis was the easiest thing to restore, just put the cushions back in and clear away the branches.

The banana tree also fell over - a photo of that tomorrow morning. Apparently the power had been off for an hour as well. That's Barnsley for you!

laura_seabrook: (angry)

I've come to believe that I used the wrong flea bombs last time, and am going to flea bomb the front of the house again. See, I think I used a "general purpose" type that comes ion a pack of three (I bought one pack). The special flea-only sort comes in packs of two. I just got back from  buying a couple of packs of that. I think Ebony's patches are flea related. Not sure about Gabby - I will take her to the vet on Wednesday.

But for today - flea bombs!

Luckily this is easy to do at one one only - I just have to shut all the windows and the two doors to the front end of the house. The rear end is all lino covered and there's not much of a flea problem there. Have moved the laptop down there and even one of the PVR hard disks for entertainment. Last time I tried to flea bomb, I only waited 2 hours. This time it will be six, and I'll need to vacuum as soon as I can.

Good job the kitchen and the toilet's down the other end. :)

laura_seabrook: (Default)
My counsellor suggested that the artist's date for this fortnight was bombing out on comics. Certainly within the last three weeks, I've read all of The Invisibles, some of Promethea and am making inroads with Sandman. This morning after doing my morning pages I decided to read the Sandman volume Season of Mists.
Mainly, I wanted to sit outside on the sofa under the trees which faces the garden shed, and do some reading. I hadn't done much of that in the last year due to the pups (especially the last 6 weeks they were here), partly because they chewed out the cushions that used to be on it (which I've roughly replaced). Sigh. Sitting out there and reading something, probably with a pet or two beside me, was one of the pleasures I savoured. Well today I got my wish.
I was reading Season of Mists, like I say, and of course Bobby came up to sit on my left. A little while later, Gabby the cat came up and sat on my right. This was unexpected - she's been sick for the last week or so, and has generally been sleeping on a cushion on my kitchen table. I was really pleased. I had Trip[le J on the radio, and I read my graphic novel.

Bobby looking a little hot . . . Gabby with her one good eye

Anyway, I got to the end of the story, and there on the last page was a quote from The Man who was October by G.K. Chesterton. Now understand, this book doesn't exists as such in our world. At best it will be in the Library of Dreams, for found perhaps in Hicksville, because it never got written. Anyway the quout read:

October knew of course, that the action of turning a page, of ending a chapter or of shutting a book, did not a tale end

Having admitted that, he would also avow that happy endings were never difficult to find: "It is simply a matter," he explained to April, "of finding a sunny place in a garden, where the light is golden and the grass is soft; somewhere to rest, to stop reading, and be content."

At that point I put the book down. I looked to the left and saw...

Looking from the sofa to my back fence.

...and then I tooked to the right and saw...

Looking from the sofa to the house

...and I realised that the light was golden, and that the grass (such as it was) is soft, and that this part of my home (if not all of it) was somewhere to rest, to stop reading, and be content.

laura_seabrook: (Default)

I realised this when I was talking to Rudulf yesterday, just how much stuff K & M left behind.

I have a green top SULO bin, and a yellow top SULO bin. The green is for general garbage and the yellow for recycled stuff. I pretty much stopped using the yellow bin while K &M were here. I have a green crate in the kitchen for recycled stuff (paper, cardboard, drink contains et cetera) but removed it because K & M would just use it as an "overflow" box for the kitchen rubbish bin. They thought it was a joke when I got upset over that, but I was the mug who had to sort out that stuff for the yello bin, which had two internal divisions (one for paper/cardboard, one for everything else). How are plastic bags and single slice cheese wrappers recyclable?

Anyway, after they went I brought my recycle crate back in and have been using it (and the bin) again. It does make a difference. But for the last three garbage pick-up days (always Thursday morning here) the green bin has been 75-80% full of their crap! Lots of stuff pre-bagged in black bags. Other stuff was just left lying about, like all the used hair product bottles in the bathroom, or the dope pipe I found in the bedroom.

At least after tomorrow I'll have some usable space in the green bin for further cleanup. haven't even touched anything in the backyard yet!

Out back

Feb. 5th, 2011 09:39 pm
laura_seabrook: (Default)

It was quite pleasant sitting on the re-cushioned sofa out the back under the trees - reading a volume of The Invisibles (Morrison knows his pop culture) while the TV in the garden shed played an episode of Iron Chef.

I hadn't done that for sometime (mostly because it was impossible while the pups were here) but I used to do it a fair bit in pre-digital TV summer days, sit out there with Pegasus and occasionally Gabby the cat.

I keep writing notes in my morning pages about the need to clean up and do some housework. Did the dishes this morning and that was about it. It's just too fucking hot to have anything other than the minimum amount of energy. When I went out on the bus for shopping yesterday, the wonderful air-conditioning was starting to put me asleep! If I have the money for it I should investigate getting something that will cool this place down in Summer (air-conditioning is only one answer).

And maybe I've got this backwards. Maybe instead of moaning about not getting to the housework, I should be moaning about not getting to the comics. I mean it was so frustrating the last few days not having either Fireworks or Photoshop, and now I do.

Time to do something about that.

Busy Day

Jan. 31st, 2011 08:37 am
laura_seabrook: (Default)

Had a good day yesterday cleaning up and puttering around the house.

IThe old clips got: last bit of outstanding washing up (left by my boarders - 90% they had used only) done; I did two loads of washing; remade the bed; fixed the computer and phone cabling (see below) and moved the modem into the lounge room; I drilled in holders for broom and mops in the laundry hallway; and still had time to sit down and read a comic. I chose not to get on the PC in the study (and hence the net) until today, and was less distracted for it.

Cabling and Modem

I replaced the LAN and phone cables that the rats had chewed through, and decided while I was at it to replace the clips that I'd had on the walls for these. The existing clips where either the single-cable-nailed-in variety, or the adhesive-pop-clip variety, or just plain nails. In both cases they had a habit of failing in the heat, or at awkward moments. I went to Bunnings and got a bunch of plastic water pipe clips, some screws, and PVA glue to replace them (the glue helps keep the screws in the plasterboard/masonite interior walls). The photo below shows the result:

11-01-31 Cabling

The clips are all larger than they need to be, so that old and damaged cables can be easily removed and replaced. They are all pretty solid however and can take a lot more weight than the old variety did.

11-01-31 Modem

Also, I decided to move the modem from the kitchen (where it was sitting on top of a china cabinet) to the lounge (where it sits on top of a bookcase). I did that for two reasons. Firstly it meant that only one cable instead of four had to go through the wall where the rats had chewed them the other week. Secondly, I have three power-points in the vicinity of the bookcase, whereas in the kitchen the only power had to be supplied by extension cord from the next room (or by a complex set of power boards/double adapters)! Just made more sense to me.
laura_seabrook: (tired)

Was not happy when I woke up today. In fact, I was extremely angry, which continued for most of the morning. Initially this was over what I'm betting will be a rip-off deal with Kevin. The agreement was that they would get the red curtains that I bought to hid a partition provided that a) they did some washing up in the dish washer and b) Kevin fixed the bathroom door. The upset was that they took the curtains only after the first. Kevin has yet to do the second. What's the problem with the door? This:

They put Bella the pup in the bathroom for some reason and the above is the dame she did trying to get out. Kevin has agreed to replace the backing and repair the door. But - once they've moved out, how likely is that? Hence I was upset that they'd already taken the curtains. But wait - things developed! I tried going on the net to check film sessions, but no net connection. How come? This is why:

The above is the end of the new LAN cable I added a couple of days ago.  That, and both the ingoing ADSL phone cable (and a regular phone cable going to the back rooms) were severed! At first I thought Kevin had cut them - the phone cables looked neat enough, but looking at the above you can see that it's been chewed, most likely by a rat. Pretty strange that it happened today. I was going out anyway because the stress was getting to me, but now in addition to seeing a film I had another reason - getting a replacement phone cable.

There were other complications as well. A couple of days ago I'd swapped a LAN cable cutter for Kevin's cables which we'd been using until now. The cutter cuts the ends of LAN cables clean, and helps put a plug on. This means that unless I get such a tool (again) and do that, the above cable ($20 for  20m) is useless. Cheaper just to be a new cable. Anyway, I got away to Glendale Supercentre.

I was going to run myself ragged looking for those but decided to see a film first. I caught YOGI BEAR (in 2D) and loved it. Yogi and Booboo  (voiced by Dan Ackroyd and Justin Timberlake) were favourite sof mine as a kid, and they've captured the flavour of the cartoons quite well for a live/3D action film. Had a bit of lunch (probably ate the wrong thing (a works burger from KFC), because I later had the runs, and then shopped around. It transpired that Bunnings had the cheapest stuff - $10.50 for a 10m phone cable, and (had I bought it) $17 for a 15m LAN cable. I also bought some PVC pipe for $3.  Came out of Bunnings and my bus home arrived in under 5 minutes. I had though of visiting a friend, but to me that was a sign saying GO HOME.

I did. They'd loaded up almost everything with the help from Michelle's family when I got there, including my trolley, which was taken off and left behind after I mentioned that. I had thought the dogs would be with me until tomorrow but they took them as well. Just as well, considering that I'd pounded on them a few times in the last week. There is still a lot of stuff to clean up and crap to remove, which will be a long process. My immediate problem was reconnecting to the net. I removed the damaged cables and enlarged the holl in the wall where they'd been chewed until I could fit the PVC pipe through. Sawed off a short bit of that and inserted it through the wall (the idea is that rats will have to get through that before getting to the cables). After a lot of fiddling I got everything connected again. What a bother!

Went to the chip shop  while walking Bobby, and got a real works burger for dinner. Watched a bit of TV and read a bit on the sofa in the backyard, had a bath, and here I am writing this. Been a long long day, but the bulk of this is over.

I do not, as yet, have a forwarding address. Kevin has not fixed the bathroom door yet (no $$$ for materials) and over the last week Kevin and Michelle took their toilet paper to the new house, and used 15 out of the 18 toilet rolls I'd bought! Sounds trivial, but indicative of the esteem in which they hold me.

BUT THEY"RE GONE. Just me, Bobby the Dog, Ebony, Xena and Gabby (all cats) now. Who knows, Xena might even come into my back yard again.

laura_seabrook: (Default)

Today is community throw-up day (or whatever it's really called where you dump stuff you want to get rid of on your verge and the council takes it away. What really happens is that the council don't tend to take it away straight away, and inbetween dumping and pickup it's time to go out and see if there's anything one wants.

About 90% of my outdoor furniture and 25% of my indoor furniture comes from this, and today's no exception. I picked up: a circular metal table; an oblong plastic table with a small hole; several lounge cushions (good for dogs); a short bookcase; two medium sized wardrobes; and a think on wheels that you can put your breakfast on. I chucked out:  old garden bench; old garden chair; two rotted things; and 12 rolladoors.

The last bunch didn't go out on the curb. Rather I met someone stripping aluminium frames and being a scrap-meta;l merchant, they took the lot. We got them out through a gap in my fence, three loads worth plus some old pipes and a battery. Glad to get rid of the lot. Especially the rolladoors. A previous boarder convinced me to get 13 of these from a friend of his back in 1999 in order to make a fence out of them. Useless for that purpose and the board shot through a short time later.  I was always going to get rid of them, but never got around to it, sort of reminding me what I mug I was.

Gone now - hurray!
 

It transpired that Allen (the guy taking the rolladoors away has a builder friend who might give me a quote of fixing the piles. Things might happen after all.
laura_seabrook: (Default)

Spent all day off-line until now, cleaning up a bit, doing some dishes et cetera. Felt good and the lounge room seems a lot nicer now, as does my bedroom. The study's another matter, and will have to be sorted out before my drawing webcomics tomorrow.

Michelle also worked very hard cleaning her end of the place - 9 rubbish bags worth, plus lots of missing cutlery made a re-appearance! Kevin is away at the moment with his university racing team in Victory attempting to finish building a car to race. Chatted with Michelle a lot today, which is a change. It transpires that giving them a proper notice might actually be beneficial in getting advances for bonds and such like - who'd a thunk it! :

The PLAN

Jul. 27th, 2010 10:17 am
laura_seabrook: (Default)

Here's what I'm doing this semester.

  • I'm taking another leave of absence. Instead, I will be working through the book ARTIST'S WAY with my uni counsellor, who will have purchased a copy as well. Instead of taking each chapter a week at a time, we will be taking them two weeks at a time. There are 12 chapters to work through, so that's 24 weeks, or the whole semester. Feel good about this.
  • I will be getting quotes and opinions, and fixing up my house. I may be using some of what's left of my rollover to do so.
Those two things will keep me more than busy for the next six months.
laura_seabrook: (Default)
This is what it looked like before I did spot repairs:


 


The gap becomes apparent when looking from next door's.

laura_seabrook: (cartoon)
What?! Strong winds in the Newcastle area have brought down a section of my fence. A post has snapped and one part has fallen in, while the other part has fallen out. There's nothing safe I can do on a windy night with a new moon, so I shall have to wait until tomorrow to assay the damage. Also, a corner of the shed may be blowing off - same again for that too.

Now the timing on this is interesting. A section of fence fell out the other year, but the bushes and treeson the other side held it up until I could do some repairs. The new neighbour next door cleared all that in preparation for laying a colorbond fence. That will probably be a necessity now. Sigh. Still, nothing can be done until tomorrow. I may be missing NOWSA tomorrow.
laura_seabrook: (Default)

I was kept awake all night because of Hallie, and someone moved the stepladder I had placed aside for later use, so that when I staggered to the toilet I fell over it and almost through the glass door! If that wasn't enough when I went outside to feed the cats with the dogs (before taking the dogs for a walk) all the pups got out - with the gate still apparently shut! I had to round them up before I did get a walk. Then I find used dishes sitting on the kitchen workspace instead of the proper place (so that I would have to move them before i could do anything).

NOT HAPPY. Am going out ANYWHERE to calm down.

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