Dream house, dream life, yeah right. Dream on…

Archive for May, 2014

Getting a roundtuit

Honestly, I could be the President of the Procrastinator’s Association, if they didn’t keep postponing their meetings. 

FlyLady has been a big help in making me Do It Now but I still manage to put things on a never ending ‘to do list’ that never seem to get done.

Three years ago a plumber knelt on my closed toilet and cracked the lid. 

Two years ago last Easter I had to replace the cistern downstairs. It came with a new toilet seat which wouldn’t fit the old toilet downstairs. I thought “I must put it upstairs and get rid of that cracked lid”.  So it sat around inside the back door for a few months, then one day, before visitors arrived, I put it in the shedlet.

A few weeks ago the plastic on the seat started to peel. Yuck.  So finally, yesterday, after putting it off all day I went and got it from the shedlet. It actually looked like it might even fit (So many things in this house aren’t standard, I assumed I’d have to much around with pliers and  adjusting bolts and whatever to make it work).

Instead I simply unscrewed the old seat by hand,  wiped down the loo, and installed the new seat. Took all of about, oh,  7 minutes and that included cleaning the hard to get to bit at the back.

Seven minutes! Seven!

Image

 

Lawnmower update

I’ve been accused of not posting enough cuteness, so be prepared for a picspam. (And don’t worry, there’s a happy ending)

Rufus was first seen in daylight (wallabies are nocturnal) in Dec 2012. I mowed the lawn the week he appeared. I didn’t mow again until October 2013. (I don’t usually get a fortnight off, let alone months).  I didn’t mow much though, Rufus was here at least every week if not more often.

In January this year, I had bed and breakfast guests and somehow he managed to show up, irregularly, but at least once for each guest’s stay. On Australia Day weekend I had a BBQ and we laughed as one of the guests had to come in the long way round because Rufus appeared to be guarding the front steps. And that was the last time I saw him. The neighbour who often saw him coming across her lawn asked me a couple of weeks later if I’d seen him. No, not even the usual piles of poop that showed he was around at night if not during the day. There was a dead wallaby on the side of the oval just down the street but the council took it before I could look closer.

Two months went by and I started to plan the things I could plant in the gardens that wouldn’t get chewed before they could grow. I started to plan gardens that didn’t include cages to lock the vegetables in.  And then on April 7th I opened the blinds to see this:

 

(That’s the view between the monitors from the study.) He’s sitting in his buffet – the garden bed I had dreams of planting out again. He wasn’t too impressed at my attempts to weed it; he kept looking at the empty spots and glaring at me.

He’s been back twice since then. Not often enough to keep an Autumn lawn under control unfortunately.

Now, a lot of people up the hill (backing onto the reserve) put out vegetable scraps etc for the wallabies at dusk. I’m the only person I’ve heard of who gets to enjoy them in daylight (Yes, on farms you see them across the paddocks, but I’m in suburbia!).

He apparently likes to get good reception – one visit he spent a lot of time tucked up close to the house and the temporary aerial stand.

This morning I went out to hang the washing and realised I was being watched.

Then he came up and sat below the bedroom window so I managed to get a few photos.

Relax, that’s his TAIL.

He does a good rabbit impression too.

In the afternoon I took him a handful of pellets, because I still have some from when he broke his foot. It has healed well. Despite still looking quite swollen, he doesn’t favour it at all and moves around very naturally. Quite a change from the way it hung limply, obviously both bones broken through.

Despite the dire predictions of the wildlife park that if I fed him while he was injured he would become dependent upon the food, he hasn’t, but he has remembered that when I toss things on the lawn he doesn’t have to run far away. In fact he let me get the closest ever; I even walked behind the chair and sat on the lawn on the other side of the clothes line to take some more photos.

Check out those claws.

Of course there is one concern. When I got back at dusk I glanced out the window to see this.

He’s standing below the study window staring up. He stayed there until it was too dark to see him. I think I’m being stalked… for pellets.

If you like Rufus please leave a comment here, and share this post. I could do with the extra hits 🙂

 

Tour time: House layout

My house was built 60 years ago this year. Most of the houses in my street were built within about 5 years.  The majority of them have a hallway with a few bedrooms off it, and a lounge room, possibly with double doors into a  dining room. Only one place in the street has full length windows (and only in the sunroom out front). They all feel old when you walk inside. Maybe I’m biased but my house has aged well.  Firstly, with 4 bedrooms and three living areas it was huge for the times. Having them all open plan and interconnected makes it feel even more spacious and modern.  The kitchen separated from the living room by a breakfast bar was I believe very modern –  I don’t know of any other in the street that had this as an original feature.

Then there’s the passive solar layout, way ahead of it’s time. The house sits  almost exactly square to the compass points.  The Western wall is large windows into the main bedroom, the lounge room and full length glass wall of the livingroom.   Deep eaves provide protection from middle of the day Summer sun while the Winter sun floods the house with heat and light.

The sunroom on the Northern side has a high ceiling and a wall of glass that extends up to the cathedral ceiling. In Winter the sun spills into this room from just after sunrise until the early afternoon. It’s only missing the slate floor to store the heat. In Summer the sun passes directly overhead, hitting the windowsills but doesn’t shine into the room at all.

Of course it’s not all perfect. The only bathroom and toilet is located beside the front door (well from the outside,  inside you have to walk around a bit between them), but the number of times someone has arrived at the front door while I’m in the toilet is ridiculous, and there is pretty much no way to pretend you aren’t there, or sneak out without it becoming very obvious.

Just in case you love looking at floor plans as much as I do, this is one I drew up when I was planning the renovation. It is ‘close to scale’.

Home2011

The Lounge is now the new study. The corner suite has found a new home. Bed 4 which was my study is now the nail salon.

When one door closes…

 

A neighbour came in the other day. It was COLD, so I had the hall doors closed to keep the heat in the living areas. First time she had noticed the doors. I’m pretty sure she has gone home to plot how to change her hall door, she asked so many detailed questions about the process. When I think about it, it probably is the biggest change I’ve made to the house.

When I took over the house I moved into the main bedroom, the opposite end of the house to my childhood room.  Originally I planned to  let out the 3 spare bedrooms, so the nail salon moved into my new study. I started coming and going through the front door instead of the back door which was closer to the old study and old bedroom. And  when I heated or cooled the house, I’d shut the hall doors to halve the space.  Problem was,  it halved the space visually too.  Visitors were stunned to find out I had more than 1 bedroom.  Despite walking down the full length of the house to get to the door,  most people apparently were quite happy to believe that only the back part existed and that I lived in a small one bedroom unit. Even though I had to go through the hall doors to the bathroom I found I rarely ventured further. It was like a different planet (and it was usually a different temperature too.)

The front hall (yes there’s a front and back hall), as it was for most of my life, varied only by the potted plant or vase of flowers on the hall stand. Master bedroom off to the right of the entrance.

Image

 

hall3

 

The other end of the hall leading into the living room after I started converting the hall into the library The closed door leads to the living room/kitchen. Open it covered half the DVD shelves, closed you couldn’t open the cupboard. Over the years I spent a fair amount of time trying to get out of the way of that door.

Image

The middle of the hall from the new study/old lounge room which has a glass wall into the hall. The closed door leads to the back hall,  bathroom and sunroom and other bedrooms.

Image

 

From the other side –  the back hall

ImageThe door took up so much space in this tiny hall.

I started out dreaming of a door with glass in it.  I even found some unfinished ones that had 10 panes down the full length. I considered frosted glass and eventually decided I would probably get clear and then frost/etch/or do something to it to obscure the direct view. But doors aren’t cheap, and the new ones were not the right size, they would have to be cut down (of course my doors aren’t standard, the standard came in long after this house.) So I dreamed on and did nothing.

My sister and my best friend both have  bi fold doors in their houses which I have long coveted. But holy cow, the prices! Nearly 3x the price of the cheapest single door.

I mentioned my dream to a client one day who responded that she had 2 spare bi-folds that wouldn’t fit their house. Some measuring and bargaining later and I had 2 doors –  5mm too wide!

They sat in my shed for ages (5mm was not a width I was willing to tackle). I bought the tracks (Nearly twice what I paid for the doors!).

I pulled the doors out and propped them up to see how they would look.

Image

The fake stained glass had to go. I could, I suppose have lived with the red highlights (red is  one colour that does not appear in my  house as a rule), but the kookaburras –  no way. If I wanted doors with pests on them (kookaburras are introduced in Tasmania, not native, and take many native birds from their nests) I’d rather have something furry. Rats maybe. I pulled the glass out and sold it for enough to buy plain glass panels as replacements.

The doors got varnished.

Image

Finally I got a friend’s husband over to trim the 5mm from the middle of the doors, and help install them.

What a difference!

Image

The hall/library now feels like a room instead of a passageway. I can’t wait to be able to replace all the temporary shelves with floor to ceiling built in shelves.

hall15

 

hall13

 

The back hall feels so spacious now you don’t have to walk around the door to get to the toilet.

hall12

I love my new doors, feels like a different house.

hall14

hall-bef-aft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tag Cloud

Silver Birch Homestead Blog

Blog and history of Silver Birch Homestead

The Tortoise Whisperer

Tales of the Lost and the Loved

Carol Naylor

Contemporary textiles, making, exploring and communicating ideas

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry

Found This Painted That

Decorating Solutions for the Dollar Challenged

28gumtrees

Dream house, dream life, yeah right. Dream on...

FLOOD SAVVY

The Art of the Lift

littlecrazyhome

Just another WordPress.com site

Unlikely Explanations

This site contains humor, satire, comedy, and/or whimsy. Please don't take anything you read here seriously.

Crone and Bear It

The red-headed stepchild rocks mid-life

Worst 2 Best

Renovation and extention of a 1921 Californian Bungalow

There was movement at the station…

...the unblocking of a quilter