Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas one and all

Dear readers,

Just signing off for the next week or so while I prepare for the festivities ahead.

The new house will be packed with visitors so we are looking forward to seeing how the house will cope with so many people in it!!!

John will be home over christmas and Tim & Chris (John's kids) will be over for a week before they all go their separate ways again. Sarah, Tim & Chris are now officially step-children so the beatings and brain washing is completely legal now :-))

To all our friends out there in cyberspace, have a very very safe and happy christmas. Eat and drink far too much but more importantly, enjoy the time with those people that you love the most.

2007 has been a stellar year for us .... here's hoping 2008 will be just as great.

Love to you all,

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Editors note

To our readers ... please let it be known that grumpy Santa is not really grumpy and a miserable old thing who won't buy his wife something she really wants :-)

It's just Mrs Clause having a minor hissy fit because she can't get something she wants right now.

Santa is truly, still ace.


Half way there

Well last night I had my 2 hour 'pre learner' course with Ride-Tek. They are accredited to run these courses and they will also be the people testing me for my licence.

There were 3 of us doing the course... me and 2 guys. They were both in their mid 20's and I had a horrible feeling that the next 2 hours was going to be me watching my back for them hooning around me.

The trainer asked us what our intentions were for riding and why we wanted our licence ... I said that I wanted to commute to work as well as do rides with hubby (even though I wouldn't be able to keep up with his bike for the moment). The next guy had it all planned out to get to a Harley ...... then the second guy ........ wants to ride a scooter to work. Boy did I feel better after that. I figured that perhaps all young guys aren't 'hoons' and I was going to enjoy my 2 hours after all.

We rode the Honda CB 250 ... nice little bike and I felt pretty comfortable on it.

Anyway ... without boring you too much it went really well.

I was booked in to do my test on Friday ... but after chatting with 'santa' I've got a better chance of wearing a size 8 pair of jeans than getting a bike this side of 2010 so I'm reconsidering the whole thing.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pretty flowers

Well hubby is only 4 sleeps away from coming home ... but this is what greeted me at the reception desk when I returned from lunch today .....

how lovely :-)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Houses are boring

OMG ... did I say that????

Well yeah I did ... and it's only boring because my husband isn't here with me [insert awwwwww here].

So to pick my mood up, I am getting very excited about next week's events ..... going for my motorbike Learners.

Woo hoo!!!!

Bit nervous but very excited at the same time. Tuesday night I am attending a 2 hour pre-learner course at the riding school where they will teach me all the things I need to know to pass the test. Then if all goes well I will go for my test on Thursday.

This is my christmas present to myself :-))

Being a rider from way back, John wants to make sure my first couple of years is on a 'safe' bike (read: boring) so I have a couple of choices ....

The Honda CB 250 ...
or the Yamaha Virago 250
If I pass my test, I just need Santa to buy me one for Christmas.
And I've been very very good ....

Monday, December 10, 2007

Yay for the concretor

Well the concretor was in my bad books for a while. The scenario went something like this:

1. Coloured the concrete with the base colour - which also went all over my deck and the plants
2. Next day top colour goes on and there are some areas that look terrible (like a junior concretor has done it and didn't give a toss).
3. Ask him to look at it but he says he can't do anything about it but the sealer should even it out
4. Sealer gets put on and it doesn't even out the crappy bits but now that it is sealed, he again says can't do anything about it
5. Get home that evening and there are bubbles all over the driveway and the sealer has dried

Not happy Jan!!

Fortunately John got on the phone to him straight away and said that I could have lived with the other bad bits but I wasn't going to pay for it with bubbles all over it.

So concretor bad.

However on a quick trip home yesterday (have been away at a friend's place for a couple of days) I notice that the driveway is all shiny again (from new sealer) and he has also re-coloured it so there are no crappy bits!!

So concretor good!!!

It looks really great and I am so pleased with the end result. It's quite different to everybody elses in the street so we are pleased that we don't look the same!!!

So next weekend it will be re-doing the garden bed around the letterbox as I need to extend it out. Will have to say farewell to my hedge as it just isn't growing very well .. think I need to improve the soil a bit more before I replant stuff.

And you know what that means ... I can go to the nursery and spend some money!!!


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

We have driveway

Well I think as I was writing about not having a driveway .. they were laying it yesterday!!

They have to come back today and put the sealer etc on it and hopefully clean up the mess they have made!! Was a bit annoyed as the colour they sprayed on is now all over our deck and over the plants. grrrrrrrr

I'm happy with the way it's turned out .... but of course now it makes the portico colour look even crappier (if that was possible). So the re-painting has definitely been moved up the priority list!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

New job .. no husband

Yesterday (Monday) was a bit of a mixed emotions day. Started back at my old employer and it was so nice to hear everybody pleased that I was back. Certainly was a boost to my self esteem with one person commenting 'everything is better now that you're back'.

On the down side, I had to take John to the airport to start his job in Brisbane. Was determined not to get sooky about it as he will be back for 2 weeks over christmas ... but .... as much as he annoys the crap out of me sometimes I love him to bits and the house is very lonely without him.

Driveway still hasn't been done ... and we had a knock on the door from the lady on behalf of the developer of the area to tell us that solicitors letters are going out within the next 2 weeks to people that haven't done their front yard as per the contract!! Eeek. Unfortunately terrential rain down our way yesterday meant that bugger all was going to get done. Let's hope when I get home today there has been some action.

So other than that, the lead up to christmas is going well. The tree is up and looks beautiful ... I bought myself a present on the weekend (which will be from Santa) and is under the tree. Official shopping starts on the 17th December (after pay day!!!).

Only 20 days to go!! Woo hoo.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's the final countdown

da da da daaaa ..... da da da da daaaaaa..... da da da daaaa daaa ... da da da da da

yeah go on admit it .. you sung along didn't you?? (if you are old enough to know the song).

Well it's Tuesday afternoon ... and I figure that although there are officially 3 days left in the week, I only have half a day left of work.

Andynomics working again??

No .... I'm going to work from home tomorrow and Thursday .. then pop in to the office on Friday to drop off my laptop and other bits and pieces then that's me done for this 6 month prison sentence!!

Of course my first day back at the old employer is going to be an easy one as I have to leave at lunch time to take Johnno to the airport!!!

Some people have it easy hey :-))

Friday, November 23, 2007

Greetings from Mt Black - nothing to do with the house..... sorry girls

Howdi all,

Greetings from Mt Black, My office in Rosebery Tasmania. If you think the place looks like a hole in the ground well your dead right...... it is, a bloody big, bloody deep hole in the ground that extends over 4ooo meters deep and they pull all the good stuff out of it. They mine some Copper, lead, and even some gold (between 30 and 50 kg/month, enough to cover payroll Im told), but by far the biggest product they mine here is zinc, some 660,000 tonnes of it last year. my job here is to look at a mine expension that will involve a new flotation line, a SAG mill and a ball mill that will boost the mines output to 1,000,000 tonnes of zinc a year. So the last couple of days I have been involved in a site survey of the mines HV electricity distribution and to finalize the location of several substations as well look at various other bits and pieces for different projects.

Ive been staying in a place called 'top pub', the local hotel where I have been meeting a few of the locals. Good, honest (mostly) straight talking folks that pretty much call it as they see it. The food here has been absolutely magnificent. You can get beautiful tender piece of scotch fillet for $22 bucks, great stuff.

The only bad thing is that this morning I was woken at 5am by the sound of the beer truck reversing, then the sound of the guy firing up the fork lift to unload it. Apparently I should count myself lucky that the guy slept in........ the beer usually arrives at 4am most weeks !!

Well its been a great trip, Ive finished all the stuff that I came here to do, had my trip down memory lane (I was last working here 17 years ago) and had a few good steaks as well, so all there is to do now is to drive back to Burnie, jump on the plane and be back in Melbourne for dinner with the ol ball and chain :)


I love this time of year

It's scary to think that Christmas is only 5 weeks away. Why is it that the older you get, the quicker life seems to go by?

2007 has been an awesome year for us. We have built a beautiful house and got married. No, there won't be hearing the pitter patter of tiny feet in the new house so it's a good thing that John's niece was born this year ... that's the closest we'll ever get!!

Sarah is in Grade 5 next year and before I know it she'll be off to high school.

Christmas is my all time favourite time of the year. I love the carols ... the decorations .. copious amounts of food and alcohol .... but more importantly, spending time with the people you love the most.

While there are some disappointments at this time (John going to Brisbane, paving area not done, front landscaping not finished) the joys of the silly season will far outweigh the negative stuff.

So deck the halls and joy to the world ..... heat, famine or flood could not ruin my good mood for the next 6 weeks!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A new driveway ... and a runaway husband

So I'll start with the good news.

Driveway has been cleared ready for the concretor to come in next week. Can't wait!!!! Although I've gotten so used to looking at it the way it is, it will take a while for me to get used to having something that looks good (fingers crossed anyway).

We are having stencilled concrete and the pic below is the pattern we have decided on. Colour will be Uluru Red. Bit worried about the colour as I'm sure a printed brochure is somewhat different to the colour the actual concrete will be .. but I'm putting my trust in the concretor that the colour comes out the way we want it.

I guess at the end of the day it's a driveway ... as long as it isn't pink or purple, it's not going to be such a big deal.

So on to the bad news .... my husband of just 3 months has decided that digging holes and building a paving area is far too difficult so he is going to work in Brisbane for 3-4 months to try and get out of it!! :-))

Just kidding about the 'getting out of work' bit ... not kidding about working in Brisbane.

He's off to work on some sort of gold mine or something like that and I'm hoping that he is back by March at the latest.


1. Only have to cook and clean up after myself
2. I can watch all the Seinfeld, Simpsons and Gardening Australia episodes I want to without a smart ass comment
3. I might be able to get my motorbike a little quicker if he doesn't spend his money on booze and hookers


1. Will get lonely
2. Paving won't get done until mid next year
3. Who will I nag?
4. With no internet connection at the moment, how will I download the guide onto the Media Centre??
5. Will have to purchase another X-Box 360 to act as a media extender as he will take the current X-Box with him (mind you this one is also a positive because then when he gets back Sarah gets the X-Box in her room as another extender).

Unfortunately the nature of John's work is that this will be happening for the next 20 years or so, so I've learnt to just suck it up and deal with it.

He's off to Tassie this week for work and as he was packing he said "When I go to Brisbane, can I send you a load of washing each week?".

Good thing I wasn't holding something very sharp and pointy at the time.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Ok .. so stop your winging

OK ... I had my vent before regarding the heat and our lack of air conditioning. Hoping to gain some sympathy from my cyberspace buddies, I was quick to learn that my women friends are far more willing to empathise.

The men however ... [scoffs loudly]

So, I have decided to post a good news story instead.

As most of you know, my job for the last 6 months has allowed me to 'work from home' (or as John tenderly puts it 'shirk from home'). This has enabled me to visit loads of nurseries and do work in the garden!!! (I'm pretty certain none of my bosses read the blog so I've no worries about getting sprung).

On the down side of course, is the fact that for 40 hours a week I have been going slowly insane due to the lack of work and I think some of my brain cells have even died off with lack of use.

OK OK ...... I'll give you time to have a giggle to yourself about the fact that:

a. you didn't think I could lose any more brain cells
b. why is the last 6 months any different to the rest of my working life
c. insert own comment here

Anyway .... I have been lured back to my old employer. Something I am very pleased about. Won't go into the detail about why I left to start with but basically it was a BAD move. So at the prospect at going back and starting a new career is very exciting. It is also only 20 mins from home (although I have to tackle the Monash car park in the morning) but if I can leave early enough in the morning, I should avoid most of the traffic.

Of course the downside is that I will actually have to work quite hard and unfortunately visits to nurseries will be postponed to weekends ... but, it's a price I'm willing to pay.

Oh .. and the other cool thing (no, not the weather ... literally) is that I have been given permission by my other half (yes ... he actually wears the pants in the relationship ... except for 'pants off Friday') to get my motorbike licence and buy a motorbike.. which I will do by this time next year.

So .. woo hoo!!! Very very excited about that as I have wanted one since I was a kid.

So for those in south east Melbourne ... I'll give you plenty of warning when I get on the road. :-)

#1 Regret

For those that have previously built or in the process of building a house, there are always the 'I wish we had thought of that' or 'Dam, I wish we put an extra one of those in there'.

While there are a few of those niggly, not very important regrets, there is a HUGE one that has to be rated as the number 1 regret of this decade.


[insert angry face here with a gutteral growling sound]

'We'll be fine' we said ... 'we've lived with no air con for years now' ....

Well dam it ... I want air conditioning!!! I'm getting older and crankier and a bad night's sleep due to the heat doesn't help the situation at all.

Quite simply, for the saving of a few thousand dollars during the build ... I can only say 'We're idiots'.

Must be off now ... my sweaty fingers are causing concern for the laptop.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A cute baby and a cool looking deck

Some piccies!

And here is the reason for our trip to Brisbane ... our gorgeous new niece, Grace. Got to be the 4th cutest kid in the world (behind Sarah, Tim and Chris of course).

The deck fairy

We have just spent a lovely 4 days in Brisvegas (although the weather was crap) attending a christening.

Arriving home very bleary eyed and tired at about 11:15pm last night, we pulled up out the front of the house and I admired how beautiful my petunias were growing ... how many roses have come out over the weekend .... and then the front step/deck caught my eye. It was finished!!!!

I pointed it out to John and he said "oh great .. the deck fairy has been".

It was a great surprise but we still can't work out how our fairy got into the shed to get the wood and finish it off!!!

It looks absolutely fantastic .. he has done a brilliant job. Can't wait for the driveway to be done now... hurry up concretor!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now if we only had a paving fairy, life would be almost perfect.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Winged Rats, The tale of stumpy the Pigeon


I was sitting at the train station the other day, watching a nearby asian couple fed a growing flock of pigeons on the platform. When I sat down, a group of them came over to me looking for a feed.

Now I hate pigeons, they befoul the cities statues, they carry diseases, they are in effect winged rats and I feel more should be done to get rid of them. The only thing that stops us is that they are perceived by many as 'cute' with people feeding them at every oppurtunity (sorry bout the spelling F7). Its weird because you wouldnt see people feeding rats now would you?

I was just contemplating stoving the boot into one of them when I noticed one of them was different and was hobbling about. Closer inspection revealed that the bird had lost all the toes on one foot, leaving only a stump where his toes would have branched out from his leg.
I christened him 'Stumpy'
As much as hate pigeons I couldnt bring myself to inflict further injury to a disabled pigeon, I figured life was tough enough for him already.
So I kicked one of his mates instead.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

It's finally happening ....

the driveway is going in mid November.

Woo freakin' hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cannot wait to finally get this done. I think it will really make the front look better and hopefully compliment the garden and paths.

Of course our 'fly by the seat of our pants landscaping techniques' have made it all come undone yet again when I realised that my little garden bed around the letterbox will need to be extended to the deck area. Of course the plus is that I get to go to the nursery and buy some more plants!! Just hoping that my little hedge plants will survive a move .... lots of seasol, love and talking to should do the trick.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Show us ya' deck

Not quite finished ... but almost there.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Not dead yet

I was just checking on my plants and was very excited to see that the Bird of Paradise that was on it's last leaf, is actually looking a bit healthy.

It has some new growth and fingers crossed it is going to come back.

I also noticed that we are about to get our first bottle brush flower (Purple Cloud Calistemon) which is pretty exciting!!

Yes, small things make me happy :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Haemorrhaging Money

Andy is 'shirking' at home yet again today..............

As many of you are aware I sail on Saturdays and one of members of the crew is soon to be Andys boss again. After the race on Saturday I said to him 'for gods sake Seppo (he's an american from some place called n'york), get andy back to work with you ASAP as she is running about 'doing' lunch with her mates and boosting the profits of the local nurseries spending money while she is supposedly 'working' at home !!

As she dropped me off at the train station this morning I asked her what she had to buy today. She correctly answered 'wood for the deck........ ' , but then followed it up with '......but I also might just pop into a nursery just for a look'

Dear reader, Andy going into a nursery for a look, is like an alchoholic popping into a bar ........ just for a look

But then again its also like me going on ebay 'just for a look'

Peace out :)


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stage 6 started

8:00am Saturday morning and John jumped out of bed, quickly finding something to wear because Dave was coming to help put the posts in for the front entrance deck thingo.

Of course there was a tight deadline to adhere to ... 23 degrees, slight breeze and he was going sailing for the day so there was much to be done before he left!!

So step 1 complete and we have 3 pink posts at the entrance (pink so we didn't run into them and knock them while the concrete was setting).

I'm at home tomorrow (working .. ha ha) so after lunching with a friend I'll head down to Mitre 10 to pick up the wood that we need for the bearers. Then stage 2 will be complete on Monday then it's Dave on the job to finish off the deck.

I did get a giggle when we were talking about what needed to be done though .... Dave was trying to be extremely polite about John's 'lack of knowledge with deck building' and made it blatantly clear that as he wanted the job done 'properly', he didn't want John to participate in Stage 3. All I could do was giggle. Of course it was me that received the middle finger :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Photos of the front ... at Stage 5

Stage 5 complete

Well yesterday I worked from home (read: worked in the garden). I enjoyed the morning driving around various nurseries, working out who had the best plants and were reasonably priced. Ended up going to my favourite nursery on Blackburn Road.

I also had a delivery of river pebbles for the garden beds and the path. As opposed to the black pebbles that were trialled and then painstakingly removed, I will NOT be removing these pebbles. Not that I want to .. they really look great.

So Stage 5 is now complete (photos to follow when hubby sends them to me).

Stage 6 is the entry deck ... we are relying on a neighbour to help us so we have to fit that in when he is able to. He is the king of the decks (that's decks with an 'e'). :-)

On an unhappy note however, I think one of my Birds of Paradise plants is going to die. He is looking very brown and unhappy and I have been told that no matter what I do it won't come back to life. I'll try cutting off the bad leaves and see if that helps. :-((

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

To my dear husband

Bite me


Ahhhh the Joys of Mobile Phones

Lonely Old Me..........
The minister for war and finace left town yesterday to go to Sydney for work. I spent the day at work planning the mischief I was going to get up to at home that night..... feet up on the coffee table, watching episodes of Stargate SG1, geeking out with my computers, eating macca's, Playing my xbox 360 and if I was feeling extra naughty, NOT USING A COASTER (HAHAHAHAHA Im so evil :-) ).

I was nearly home when the old boot called to nag me about how I dont listen to my voicemail messages. I listened intently, said 'yes dear' in the appropriate places and then told her that I was missing her too and if she felt the need, she could call me again later that evening to nag me some more if it made her feel better.

I was told in a rather loud voice the GET F'D !! Im hoping she meant that Im on a promise......... but Im tipping it will probably mean the couch again *sigh*

I am convinced dear reader that the original intent of a mobile phone is not to make business easier, not to make it easier to call and say that your caught up at work and going to be late, but rather to make it easier for that special someone in your life to give you an earful whenever she feels like it.

Still, I am looking forward to going to pick her up from the airport tonight :)


Monday, October 08, 2007

Brown thumb? I think not

OK ... so for those that have been following the saga of the front mud patch, you will remember that it has been a bit of trial and error. More error than anything (we remember you dear Nandina's).

Anyway ... after having a look back at the old pics of when we first put in the front garden bed, I think you will agree that something is going right because we have growth!!

This is the pic I took on the 17 July when we first planted the front bed:

Well this is the same garden bed (minus Nandina's) on Saturday ....

and my very first Rose!!!.....

And the new garden bed to the left of the house. From this ...

to this ...

This weekend I am hoping to put in some of the feature 'pebble' areas and plant up the little bed on the other side of the path.

Then will be the hebel wall, followed by mulching the rest of the front .. then finishing off the path.

For those that are interested, planted in the garden bed above are:

- Camelias (1 red and 1 white)
- Calistemon (1 red and 1 yellow)
- 3 x Bird of Paradise
- 4 x Boronia (the pink flowers)
- kangaroo paws (yellow and red varieties)
- Agapanthas along the border (white)
- Dietes (front border)

Cool huh! I like it anyway :-0

Marriage and landscaping don't mix

A little while ago I posted that John and I should never try landscaping together.

Well it appears in the moments of wedded bliss we forgot about our previous attempt and got stuck into digging the holes in the back yard for the paving area.

Went something like this ....

A: "Why do we have to dig so many holes?"
J: "Because they need to support the paved area. Just dig the hole will ya."
A: "But we're not holding up the Great Wall of China ... we are putting in some pavers."
J: "Just dig the hole will ya."
A: "Why are you over engineering this?"

Aaaaah the joys of married life :-))

On a positive note however, ALL of the holes have now been dug (yes, I only dug 2 and the hero did the rest!!) and we have some of the biggest pieces of wood in the universe to act as the posts.

The front yard is starting to look good now. I have made a garden bed to the left of the house and have graded the front yard ready for finishing off. We are going to make a small feature wall out of Hebel blocks and in the next couple of weeks we are hoping to have the front deck finished.

We have also agreed that we will get the driveway done by Christmas so hopefully within a couple of months all I need to do is water my plants and keep the weeds out.

Andy out

Monday, September 24, 2007

Always check the contents!!

Lesson learned ... always check the contents of your purchased project PRIOR to throwing out receipts.

The aforementioned clothes line that should have been in use by now ... is sitting lonely and unusable at the moment.

John worked out that some bits were missing ... I'd thrown out the receipt (der to me I guess) ... and our old friends at Bunnings wouldn't do anything without a receipt.

anyway ... after a bit of a sob story to the girl at Bunnings that his wife was going to nag him beyond recognition, she felt sorry for him and said we could take the bits out of another clothesline and they would deal with the manufacturer. God love them :-))

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Andy's brown thumb

I may have a brown thumb, but if enthusiasm is an indicator, it far outweighs the fact that I have no idea what I'm doing in the garden!!

The weekend was a very successful one in terms of work around the house.

Now .. are you sitting down? I hope so because what I'm about to tell you will shock you. May even render you speechless for a moment.

John didn't go sailing on Saturday, and instead put up the clothesline and installed the doggy door in the laundry.


Just giving you a minute to digest that piece of information. As unbelievable as it sounds, yes it did happen.

My darling husband did an excellent job installing the doggy door and while Zach and Roxy took a bit of time working out what it was for, they are now enjoying the warmth of the laundry whenever they feel the need to get out of the weather.

The posts of the clothesline are in, giving it the week to cure properly, and then we will put the rest of it up so I can stop using the dryer!! A lower electricity bill will be more than welcome.

While hubby was out the back, I got stuck into the garden bed down the left side of the house. I've decided that nurseries are my favourite places (the plant kind, not the baby kind) and I spent quite a long time choosing what are hopefully unkillable plants. I hear the Nandina's laughing at me now ... from their dirty grave.

Although the plants are quite small now, I'm hoping that they grow up well and the garden bed looks OK. Looks good at the moment anyway .. well, better than the mounds of dirt.

I planted some Kangaroo Paws (which i love) but am hoping that I did enough preparation of the soil as they need good drainage. There are also some other natives in there (the names escapes me right now) but they are pretty cool looking plants.

Photos will follow once the mulch is down this weekend.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Green thumb?? I think not

OK .. so let's pretend that gardening is all about trial and error. Having said that, I have made an error :-))

My lovely Nandina's that were planted under the front windows have died and slow, and possibly agonising death.

While a few plants dying is certainly not a huge concern, the fact that those plants are supposed to be 'unkillable' is my major concern right now. If I can't even keep a bamboo plant alive, how the heck am I supposed to keep anything else alive??!!!!

On a more positive note however, my wobbly hedge is looking great and growing very well and the roses seem to have a bit of growth on them so ... maybe it's the Nandina's fault??

Will be planting another species in their place over the weekend ... probably a dwarf Hebe. Will posts pics on the weekend.

This blog dedicated to the Nandina lying in the compost mound.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The clay .. that is now rock

Well, it feels like rock anyway!!

Because the weather was so sensational on the weekend, we decided to spend a day in the front garden. The plan was to level all of the mounds of dirt, and start to get the garden bed on the far side of the house ready for planting.

In accordance with the instruction from my newest friend on TV Peter Cundall, we bought some blood and bone, cow and chicken manure so that we could dig it through the garden bed.

I don't know if you have ever dug clay .. but it's a royal pain in the butt. Of course we appear to have had no rain over the last 3-4 weeks, and when we started to dig, it's as hard as a bloody rock so all it does now is break into smaller rock-like pieces.


So even though we levelled the dirt (sorry, levelled the rock-like pieces) and put the poo through, I'm struggling to believe that it is going to break down the dirt and make it lovely for the plants.

Not sure if I'm supposed to be watering the dirt/rock/compost/poo or if I just leave it to do whatever it is that it is supposed to do.

Double grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

What a frustrating process. Why oh why can't I win tattslotto and hire Jamie Durie to come and do my landscaping.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

3 month inspection ... and the road base .....

Well blow me down with a feather, we had our 3 month inspection by PD yesterday. It was actually overdue (on account of us enjoying a leisurely sail around the Whitsundays) and I just can't believe that we have been in the house for that amount of time. I still get excited every time I walk through the door!!

More scary is the fact that there are only 4 more pay checks before christmas!!!!!!! aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Anyway, we only had a couple of minor things we wanted them to fix, but by the end of the inspection, we had 13 things on the list!!! So glad that the guy knew what he was looking for. Most of it was external stuff (on the brick work) but there was also a couple of things in the tiling that he noticed. Thank you PD man!!!

Now ... on a far more exciting note. Remember the road base that has been sitting in the driveway (that I'm too embarassed to even look at a date to see when it was delivered) .... well ..... it's now down the side of the house!!! I spent all yesterday afternoon moving it (one dam wheelbarrow at a time) and have spread it down the side. Still need some more to get to the end of the house but it's starting to look like a path now. Will go looking at pavers on the weekend and will start calculating costs for getting this side done. Not going to do anything more than a path with some pebbles and will do some potted plants but it should look nicer than an uneven length of clay soil!

This weekend I am going to get back onto the front yard and start getting the soil ready for the garden bed down the side.

My little hedge plants are growing at a great rate of knots .... the Nandina plants however aren't doing so well .. poor little things. Might give them all some fertilizer on the weekend and give it a couple of weeks to see if they perk up. Otherwise .. I think it's off to Nandina heaven for them and I'll find something that I can't kill!!

Oh .. and I'll stop writing wedding stuff on here and update the wedding page. Will gradually update over the next couple of weeks with photos etc and the eventful day!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Deed of Power has been signed

Well it's done. I am now officially an old married woman :-)

I must say that it doesn't feel that different except when you have to remember what your new name is!!!

The wedding and honeymoon went brilliantly. Will bore you all with more detail over the next few days (change of venue, weather conditions etc) but we are so happy with how it all went. John is a huge spunk and looked gorgeous (as he always does) and both Min and Sarah looked fantastic. There were a few other weddings at Daydream Island on the day and we got lots of comments about how great the colour of the dresses were.

The guests had a great time and we had a lot of laughs throughout the day. Fortunately not many tears were shed .. just enough to make their speech sound sincere :-))

Looking forward to seeing the professional pics but I have put some on here that we got from one of the guests.

And as much as we enjoyed being away, it was lovely to come home to our beautiful house ... with everything still where we left it!!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Single one minute ...

Nagging bitchy wife the next!!!

Amazingly this is not John blogging .. this is Andy!! I've come to realise that as much as I never wanted to be, I'm just as painful as any other wife ... 'pick up this', 'do that', 'don't do that'. :-))

Anyway ... I just hope that these moments of naginess don't send him packing in a few years time!!

Today is my last day of work ... well, last 'day' is an overstatement. Last couple of hours more like it :-)). Tomorrow is cleaning house day, finalising the packing and lunching with friends then we head off to the Whitsundays on Wednesday morning.

The road base is still in a pile in the driveway and the backyard is once again full of tiny swimming pools, but never fear, upon our return this is the first thing we will get sorted out.

So I bid blogging farewell for a couple of weeks, in preparation for an inundation of crap upon my return.

Catch ya later alligator

Monday, August 06, 2007

Progress is slooooowwwwwwwww

Well I think I posted a pic a couple of weeks ago that showed a pile of road base in the driveway that needed to be moved to the side of the house.

Aaah yes .. I recall now that I posted when my beloved was FAR too ill to move from the bed with the only movement being his hands (to enable him to play X-Box 360) and his mouth to call for refreshments.

Anyway .... or ... anyhoo for some people ....... I'm embarassed to say that the road base is still in the driveway and we have done nothing about it! This weekend we are going to have to get off our ample rear ends and get it moved before we go on holidays.

Now ... at this point in the posting, I would advise all men to stop reading and to look away as the next section is wedding related. .................


OK .. I think the boys have gone ... amazing how the word 'wedding' can scatter the male species.

I thought I'd post some pics from the lead up to the wedding day (which is now only 13 days away).

Here is Sarah in her outfit ... I call her a junior bridesmaid but I keep being corrected and told that she is a 'flower girl'. personally I think she's too old (10) to be a flower girl so I'm sticking to Junior BM. How gorgeous is she?? She's really looking grown up. I'm not sure if she actually looks anything like me (I think she looks more like her dad) but probably a good thing if she doesn't have any of my looks as she gets older!!!!

This next shot is me at the hairdresser getting my hair done ready for a hair trial (before and after shot)

This last shot is of Melinda's dress (my BF and BM). She made the dress herself and I'm so impressed!!! I must admit that I was very nervous as I didn't want it to look like it was hand made, but she has done a fantastic job. I think the colours are beautiful and against the beach, they should look awesome!!!

And here is Min and I .......

Friday, August 03, 2007

Sing it with me ...

Spider pig, spider pig
Does whatever a spider pig does
Can he swing
From a web
No he can't
He's a pig
Look ooooouuuuuttttttt
He is a spider pig

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

See what I put up with?

Now you see why I haven't let him add blog messages previously!!!

Well the path is ready to be paved ... well, almost. Just need to lay some paving sand and then the pavers and pebbles. At least you can walk on it now without getting muddy feet.

This sunshine has been fantastic and has dried out our multiple pools in the backyard. I just hope that when we get back from the honeymoon the ground is still quite soft to dig!!!

FYI - 3 weeks today we will have arrived at Airlie Beach!! woo hoo

Monday, July 23, 2007

hehehehe - revenge is a dish best served cold :)

Hi there everyone, its John here, Andys other half.

I managed to get a hold of geek girls password and thougth I might have a crack of putting up a bit of a blog entry myself.

I started to suffer the effects of the flu on Friday. It got so bad that I was wearing my motorcycle dryrider jacket and a beanie in the office and I was still shivering. I rang Andy and told her of my intentions to go home. She said she would come home to as she had the car and house keys and I met her on the train home.

BOY did I some crap on the train. Aparently Andy told a work mate (another woman) that she was going home to look after me. This other girl says 'is he sick sick or is he man sick?' to which The love of my life replied 'hes man sick' and and the first woman replied, well youd better go home and look after the poor dear.

But was I looked after dear reader ???

Oh no. Instead of the call bell, sponging of my feverish brow and general pampering I was expecting, she threw some cold and flu caps at me brought me a jug of water and a glass and left me to it....... all afternoon.

On saturday I wasnt much better. I was berated again for being 'man sick' and I stayed in bed feeling guilty as hell while Andy boxed a path in front of the front garden bed and shifted about a meter of road base. I had to make do watching double impact, a movie where the only thing dodgier than Jean Claude Van Dammes acting was the 80's hair styles and fashion

Sunday I was feeling quite a bit better and I was still feeling guilty for not being able to help her on saturday so I took her out for breakfast at your fav breakfast place, sassy's in nunawading.

Anyway Sunday night Andy started to feel a bit off colour herself, we were sitting on the couch when she told me so I gave her a list of symptoms, headache, limb pain, back pain, 'frozen' eye balls etc and she nodded to each of them. I told her that I thought she wouldnt be getting up in the morning to go to work. 'bullshit' was the reply and I was given a run down about how she was a healthy as a horse and hadnt taken a day off in 3-4 years through something as minor as the flu.

Well the alarm went off this morning at 5:45am, I got up, showered got ready and said to Andy 'well what are you doing?' and she told me to take her car.

I couldnt resist and said 'whats the problem, feeling a little man sick this morning are we?'

I didnt receive an answer, but in the half light from the ensuite, I saw a hand snake out from under the doona, and a middle finger thrust straight up towards the ceiling before going limp flopping on the bed and retreating back beneath the covers.


Poor dear, I hope shes ok when I get home tonight (she needs to cook my dinner).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Who needs Jamie??

Who needs Jamie Durie?? (well, other than for his biceps). I've been playing around with a garden design for the front and backyard. You'll see from my previous post that the front yard has started (hopefully it looks a little bit like the drawing!!)

The mini swimming pools we have in the backyard at the moment will have to dry out before we can make a start but I figure that if we have a plan before we start, it should make life a whole lot easier!!

I reckon the puppies are going to love running on the grass, ruining all my plants!!! :-))

Note; drawing not even remotely to scale!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Gardening Guru

ok .. so I'm no gardening guru but I'm definitely loving this idea of having a garden to play with.

Made some great progress on Saturday while John was away finding his wedding outfit (duly noted that he did not return with a puffy shirt and an eye patch!!). I'll post photos when I can work out how to get them from the camera to here but it's starting to look really pretty in the front.

Next weekend we are going to complete the next pathway and I'll hopefully do the other garden bed .. then it's just getting the dirt ready for the grass and the garden bed along the side of the boundary and we are all done!

Fingers and toes are crossed that the plants grow now!!! After I had planted my roses I was told that they will not grow there as it is too windy, but, I'm going to leave them there and see how they go.

Planting the hedge was a pain in the a*s ... 40 tiny little plants that will take an eternity to grow!! The line that I have planted them in is a bit wobbly when you look at it down the side, but I'm hoping that when they grow you don't notice it so much :-))

Friday, July 13, 2007

Baby it's cold outside ...

But never fear ... in 38 days we will be here ..................

And then flying into Whitehaven Beach by this ......

Then honeymooning on this ....

i can feel the warmth now :-))

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Aaah stuff it .. it's only money!

Well ... all is not lost! We've come to the conclusion that it's only money and you can't take it with you when you go, so it looks like the driveway might be getting done!! Woo hoo.

Actually, I won't woo hoo too quickly just in case it doesn't happen. John's job is about to come to and end which means he has to look for something else (being a contractor and all). Very bad timing due to upcoming nuptials and I am just hoping that he doesn't head interstate for work. This is a strong possibility as there is loads of work for him in Queensland at much better rates than here in Melbourne. Anyway .. cross your fingers in the hope that he doesn't go away again! Imagine coming back from my honeymoon with no husband!!!!!!!!! One that I hadn't killed anyway :-))

It was a beautiful day in Melbourne today and I was working from home (yeah right .. 'working' from home) so I took the puppies out for a walk in the sunshine. Had to drop off some gardening tools to Sarah so she could help out in their garden and I was amazed to see how everybody's front yards are changing. Some people have really put effort (and money) into their front landscaping and they look fantastic. Even those that have simple front gardens look fantastic so it bummed me out a bit that it's going to be at least 2 months before ours is looking decent. Good thing we are at the end of the street I guess!!! The plus side is that we get to see what plants do well in the area and what plants don't (although I've pretty much decided what I want .. I can always be persuaded to do something different!!).

The estate is looking really busy though with more and more houses popping up every day. It really is a lovely place to live.


39 days to the wedding

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Need a second job!!!

40 days to go :-))

I promise I won't count down every day until the wedding!!

Well the minister for finance has put the kybosh on all spending on the house until after the wedding. Where is that never ending money tree when you need it??!!!

I have permission to put some garden edging into the front garden bed so that it doesn't collapse into the path we have dug out, but that's about it!!! Boooooooo.

So will just have to bore you with wedding plans until the big day ... :-))

Monday, July 09, 2007

Always remember to plan!!!

OK - so normally I am pretty organised, have a plan in place before I commence anything and do a lot of research before purchasing stuff (from previously living with a 'research king' for 10 years :-)).

As you know ... we were sick of the mud so made a little path to the front door. Decided on black polished pebbles in between the pavers etc etc. On the weekend we started to dig out the next stage of the path (that will run across the front of the house and around to the gate at the side).

Big mistake .. HUGE ... getting these black pebbles that is. It's going to cost around $800 just in pebbles if we continue with these black ones.

So ... plan B.

I'm going to pick up all the black pebbles that are currently in the path (yep ... that's going to be a great job) ... and we will use them out the back for the feature that is going to go around the paving area. Once we've dug out the path completely at the front we'll have to go for something a little more budget conscious. Not sure what yet. Maybe those browny coloured river pebbles?? Will start investigating that next weekend.

After learning the hard way yesterday we watched Backyard Blitz (why was this show cancelled?? I watched it for years when I had no garden to tend to .. now that I need some ideas the blasted thing isn't on anymore!!!). Anyway .... BB stated last night "it's important to plan ahead ... don't just do a bit .. then decide to do a bit more'. Yeah OK, maybe they saw what we were doing!!!!

Anyway ... we made fairly good progress yesterday. Saturday it was raining virtually
all day so nothing got done. Just had a very lazy day indoors.

41 days to the wedding!!!


Friday, July 06, 2007

44 days ....


Correction ................ before WE get married :-))

I know that this isn't a house related blog but this afternoon has been about googling plants and finalise wedding arrangements. Wedding arrangements have won out!!

On a more housey front however, this weekend we will be starting the horrible job of digging an 18m drain ready to put some pipe and bits and pieces so that there are no more pools of water for the puppies to drown in!!

we have started the planning of the backyard which is pretty exciting .. now it's just the hard work of getting in and doing it!!

And because it's so cold here in Melbourne, I thought I'd warm everybody up by showing the location of where we are getting married (in 44 days ....) :-))

Monday, July 02, 2007

The gardening bug has bitten

While our front yard will not win any awards, we are pleased with our efforts so far and can definitely picture how it's going to look.

The money tree has run out this week so I was unable to get the pebbles to finish off the path (probably a good thing anyway as the plumbing association is going to check the depth of the water pipes as we believe they are way to high up).

I have started to dig up the garden bed under the windows and have added gypsum and mushroom compost to get the soil ready. Hopefully in a couple of weeks (ie. after pay day) this area will look better.

There is a small 'black' strip down the left of the pathway .. that is a compost/gypsum bed at the moment and in a few weeks will add some topsoil and plant some mondo grass down that side.

Still wondering what to put in the black pots by the front door ... you can see that they are a bit wonky!! i need to level out the ground there a bit. Don't want to muck around too much in that area as that is where John will make a little deck/step type thing from the front door to the top of the pavers.

Anyway ... it's starting to come together. Would love a driveway but ... want to get married more!!!