Bits and pieces

 This was my bed for the first couple of weeks, just a mattress on the floor in the lounge-room by the fire. But sunflowers!! And such a handsome bed companion too.

And this is the only real casualty from the entire moving process – just a pair of glasses. Of course, they are my only remaining pair of expensive prescription glasses that I need to use a computer, but hey. I’ve done worse to them and they’ve survived.

I put the lens back in and yes, the crew was missing, but I wired it together anyway. Now the only thing wrong with them is the missing nose-support bit thing, which I suppose I will glue back on one day. Oh and since then that arm that is taped on there, has fallen off, which I will also fix one day. Porbably with more tape. Becuase I am handy like that.


And for everybody who was not satisifed with cake, this is a picture of my cats.


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Moving Day is here! (or was, and is gone now)


I planned to leave The Old House early morning, all packed up and well organised, so as to be at The New House before noon. This would give me the whole afternoon to clean the house a bit, unpack, find wood, cook a meal, settle the animals and so on.


 Of course, being me, I didn’t even roll out of town until sometime after noon so arrived at the New House around 3pm. It’s winter now, so dark well before 7pm, which left me say, 3 hours to unpack the van, settle the animals… and so on. This is how I went:


 Arrived safely without getting lost. Picked up the front door key (which supposedly didn’t even work) from the real estate folks on the way. I wanted to take a picture of the full van before I started to unload stuff but I couldn’t find my camera, inspiring a mini-panic that perhaps I had Left It Behind. Eventually I found it in the piles of stuff and snapped a picture of the remaining vanload.


The dog had already been unloaded. He just really really likes to be in the van.


Especially the driver’s seat.

 I just brought everything in and dumped it in the kitchen, which left me a neat pile of stuff to work with.



And from disorder I brought forth beauty!


Whole foods, matching jars in tidy rows… better than cake any day.

Which is lucky, because I never got around to making any muffins to bring with me, and in fact, did not bring any sugar or flour with me at all. Enforced Healthy Eating anyone? I highly recommend it. Except it might be not QUITE always better than cake, because in my spice jars in the last photo there, I dion’t have enough of the yellow lidded jars so there are the green lidded ones on the right. Which is OKAY, but not optimal, because really, ALL the jars need to be the same. That’s the dream folks. You can donate here to make it a reality. Changing the world, one matching jar at a time.

And let’s just have a close up of my tea set here… because my tea set is truly awesome.

 What’s that you say? It’s just a pile of mismatched crockery? Well yes, but it’s FREE mismatched crockery, and therefore is made of awesome. I just need a teacosy and some reusable cloth teabags and I will be perfectly sateasfied…. ha, see what I did there? I know you did. Don’t pretend.

And maybe that is enough pictures for one post?

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Make a rollaway nest box

Step one: Obtain one of these boxes. Dog optional.

Step Two: Make a sketchy plan on some scrap paper. I did mine kind of fancy and involved-like. You don’t have to go to so much effort.  

Step Three: Try to prise the side staples out with the best breadknife you have. When that starts to look like it will take more than 30 seconds, give up and cut down the seam with the breadknife instead. Do the other side too.

Now you have this:

At this point I took a moment to consider giving up.

Thought some fancy tools might make the task easier and more fun so I found my cardboard clamp

and measuring device

and with a bit more cutting and some hearty application of duct tape, I had this

I took a break here, because seriously, making the hidey bit for the eggs out of cardboard seemed like kind of a stupidly ambitious plan at this point. So I had some soup. It had barley and split peas, and it was good.  I read about other people’s nextboxes, which all looked far far better inferior to my masterpiece.

The dog comes in handy here because he hates me sitting at the computer. I got tired of his stareful whining and went back to the nestbox, because it is easier to convince him that I am “busy” if I am physically doing something. Reading a book or a screen? No dice. He won’t buy it.

Anyway. With more cutting and duct tape I finally ended up with this. The chooks lay their eggs in the back part, whereupon the egg rolls down into the covered part. The whole thing will be on an angle in the pen to facilitate the rolling process. Once the egg is in the covered part it is safe from being squashed or eaten.

How do we get the eggs out without bending our arms at funny angles and sticking our whole head in there? Well.

Beats me.

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Moving Day Approaches! Uncertainly!

I found my house. My house found me. Love at first sight! We’re very happy together…

Well, we will be when I finally get there.  I take possession on Tuesday, just a few days away, and I was planning to load up my van with the essentials (including the animals) and head on down that day. Well! My van had other ideas, apparently, and is at the mechanic with a possible head gasket issue. Darn. Chances it will be back by Tuesday? Slim. Chances I might be able to get down there some other way? Slightly less slim. Even if I have to wait a couple of extra days (no! Noooo!)  I will get there eventually and the wait will be worth it. This is the view off my new back verandah

Yep. So worth it. But the sooner the better, in my impatient opinion :-P.

I have been slowly packing up my stuff ever since I began looking for a house, but since I actually found this one I have been packing with a bit more enthusiasm. What to take… what not to take… I don’t have to move everything at once (thank goodness) because DH (whose house I am moving out of) is happy to let me store stuff here indefinitely. This is awesome for two reasons. First, no killer moving marathon trying to get it all moved at once, and second – I get to really decide what I want to keep and build a minimalist cosy country home from scratch, which sounds MUCH easier than taking a full house of stuff and trying to pare it down to cosy essentials. I have already been decluttering my things for a year or so now which has really helped.


Things I Still Have To Do Before The Move

  • Finish making the latest batches of cat litter (post coming soon)
  • Mooch around the gardens of everyone I know to get spare vegetables to take 😛
  • Go shopping to stock up on pet food
  • Organise to pick up my cats (who have been living with my sister for the past 7 months)
  • Bake a triple batch of lemon muffins to keep me company on the cold lonely nights
  • Arrange somehow to get some tools from somewhere (so far I have 3 leads but nothing concrete… no actual tools in my packed-pile)
  • Finish deciding what to take
  • Finish packing
  • Buy stamps (!!!) so I can send Actual Mail to people

What’s that? I only have one more day before I was planning to move? I should have had this organised by now? Really? Hmm. I have two things to say to that.

Jolly Good Point!    and      Moving Right Along!

toooo…. another picture of my awesome new place.

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Dog Toys from old Ties

Today I made a dog toy from some old ties. I have had the ties in my fabric stash for a very long time, because i couldn’t think of anything to do with them (that didn’t involve, you know, actual time consuming effort) and yet surely, ONE DAY, I could do SOMEthing with them.


Today was THAT DAY.

Last week I made the first tie dog toy for my boy Moose, out of three ties plaited together. it worked great, but was a little thin. Today i wanted to see if I could ramp up the action a bit for his more active siblings, so I took FIVE ties, braided them together and added in one of their existing Kong toys for added flavour.

Ta da!

And an action shot

So far it’s a huge hit! We’ll see how it stands up to more rigourous testing over the next few weeks and if it passes the test I will be making more of these. I also want to experiment with some denim ones because my fabric cupboard is also full of old jeans (because one day they will come in handy!)

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Being Frugal

When I was younger I used to help my friends and aquaintances out by constantly offering practical lowcost solutions to their many problems, adding “It’s frugal AND environmentally friendly!” after each wonderful suggestion. I am still keen on things that are frugal and environmentally friendly but you know, I just don’t have those friends anymore for some reason.  That’s a puzzle I’m sure we’ll never solve.

When I finally move into my own house (soon!), I will be on a very limited income. This will be brilliant fun, because I can play the frugal game! The extreme version! Not only will I be running a house and supporting one person,

one dog  

and two cats

(well, okay, that is a photo of a cake, but I don’t have any of my cats so… high five!)

but I will also be attempting to save a goodly amount of money too. It’s definitely doable, but I have a feeling the journey will be fun!

More specific frugal posts to follow, of course.

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And a soap-chunk was born

The thing about soap is that it’s lazy. Plain old lazy. You can ask it over and again to put the ingredients together and create itself but it’s so contrary, It Just Won’t. And it’s so easy too! A little oil, some water, caustic soda and viola! The soap comes into being.  

But here’s the thing, folks, you have to make it yourself, because the soap won’t do it for you. Or you could buy some from the stupormarket, but that is not very wilde of you. Shame. Shaaaaaame. Anyway. I made soap recently! For the first time ever! You could at this point say to me, “Aha! Made it for the first time!! So up until now you have been buying it from the stupormarket and are therefore steeped in hypocrisy when you bah your shaaaaame-filled vitriol at us!!” And you would partly be right, but lets not go down that windy track. The point is, making soap is fun and awesome**


I forget. Probably something organisationally inclined. Actually I spent all day doing this part so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed by the Neat and Tidy pre-Planning-ness of it all. I suppose this would be summed up by: Gather necessary equipment. Which, just a heads up – takes a loooong time if you are not organisedly inclined. Which is me, obviously.

Then you measure some water. In a black bucket.

Some time later you mix the caustic soda/water and oil together. With a drill.

And hey! Magically, you have soap.

note: Please do not attempt to make soap according to these instructions. Find a nice sensible recipe by a nice responsible person, that actually includes all the steps. Feel free to be passionately motivated (into finding said recipe) by my freestyle account though.

** Definitely less fun and more dangerous if you have kids or pets you can’t keep safely out of harm’s way. Caustic soda can BURN, folks. As a childless person with pet-proof doors, I realise my advantage in this situation. If you have no way of making soap for yourself, persuade someone else to do it for you. The soap made in this way is still wildish and still tastily awesome.


The finished product, if you follow my lead and drag it out of the mould kicking and screaming before it has set properly, looks a little like this: Well, that was before the kicking and screaming part, while it was still sitting comfortably in its makeshift mould, looking soapy and tidy and skilled.

And this is what it looked like after the gouging and the chopping and the impatience. Awesome, right? I know. It’s so easy. You should try.

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