Tuesday, July 07, 2009

No, we havent disappeared


J here Just letting you guys out there in cyberspace land that we havent disappeared or lost interest in the blog.

Im still over here in Adelaide, attempting to earn enough to pay the bills, A is back in melbourne still holding the fort.

So with all of this and the recent wet weather, we havent been able to make any further improvements to the aforementioned fort, so therefore no blog entries.

But stay tuned :)


Monday, May 25, 2009

Garden beds underway

Yesterday was a busy day in the backyard putting some of the garden beds in.

Unfortunately my brilliant maths mind was unable to calculate how much soil & mulch we needed so of course ..... I fell short!! D'oh. Due to Sarah's birthday completely wiping me out of cash, unfortunately I couldn't order more to finish. Oh well .. there's always next pay :-))

I would have been VERY happy if it was finished, but at this stage I'm just mildly pleased with how it is looking. EXACTLY as I wanted it to :-)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sarah's birthday

Well a little bit of 'non house stuff'. Sarah turns 12 on the 23 May but we had a birthday celebration yesterday for her as she will be with her dad next weekend.

Saturday was shopping day and she was given a budget so that she could buy whatever she wanted. Twilight is the big 'thing' at the moment so you'll see by the pics below that a lot of things were Twilight related!!

Sunday was a low-key lunch with Poppy & Nana Liz, Aunty Min (Godmother) and the Ho (aka Kirstie). She's having a big birthday bash with her school friends next week so we didn't want to invite kids to 2 birthday parties. The day was a good one though and she seemed to enjoy herself.

Another year closer to becoming a teenager!! Yikes.


Me and Kirstie (aka the Ho)

Sarah in her much beloved Twilight t-shirt

Aunty Min (my BF), Nana Liz (step mum) & Poppy (my dad)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Paving ... harder than it looks on TV!

Well yesterday was a very productive day. The weather was absolutely beautiful so it was time to give these pavers a go. After this experience, all I can say is tradies are a god send (if we could afford one!!). Laying the pavers was easy ... it's getting the bed of sand perfectly flat that is the impossible task. We decided that when it comes time to do the main patio area, we will definitely hire somebody qualified to do it.

So our path is almost done .. we didn't quite get finished yesterday so hopefully John can finish today or tomorrow.

It's not perfect .. but neither are we. And I figure that when the water feature is done and garden beds are planted, you won't notice how wonky the paving is (let's hope not anyway).

Pics below to tell the story of the day.

Oh Mr Hart - what a mess!!

This sucks - why can't I pay a little man to do this!!!

Well I've done that bit ... now what will I do!

It's dodgy ... but it's ours. The larger area on the left sits outside the formal lounge.
The paving will be surrounded by plants and will be a a seating area.

Looking from the water feature

My only backyard plant! Magnolia Kay Parris - 2 flowers soon to bloom.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Is that a light at the end of the tunnel I see?

Yesterday was officially 'Wacker Packer Wednesday' at our house.

I decided to 'work from home' (read: help John in the backyard) as he is in Tassie this weekend so we wanted to keep progress going.

We managed to get all of the road base layed for the path and then hired a compactor (we call it a wacker packer). We also took the opportunity to get the road base laid properly in path at the back of the house next to the grass.

The pond is also in... that was a pain in the *ss trying to get that level I can assure you. It's out of level by about 1-2mm but we figure nobody is really going to notice. I sure hope not anyway!

J's off to Tassie this afternoon so his jobs this morning are:

1. Bring sand in to make a bed for the pond to sit on
2. Attach sheets to the side of the pond
3. Sand join in feature wall

If this gets done I will hopefully be able to at least get the sealer on to the boards over the weekend (well, Sunday is going to be horrible weather so I'll aim for Saturday).

Then if all goes to plan, J will start laying the pavers next week.

Then it's just a matter of painting, bringing in some good soil and mulch and that will be all we can do for now until we save some more money. I've picked out the urn I want that will sit in the water feature and I know what plants I want as well. Ideally I'd like to have all this done by winter but $$$ will play a big factor.

Anyway ... it's all going really well and looking just how we planned it. Very exciting!!

Forgot to take photos yesterday so will do so on the weekend.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Our own Backyard Blitz

It seems that Backyard Blitz has come to Lyndhurst.

Unfortunately not the TV show but our own little "non-handy-man" version of it!!

We were going to commence works on Tuesday (following Easter) however given that the weather was too perfect we decided that a bike ride was far more important.

So the real work began on Wednesday. A few trips to Mitre 10 and Bunnings throughout the week to pick up wood, nails, screws, woops ... wrong nails, go back and get the right ones ... you get the picture ... has resulted in some great progress.

The backyard looks a bit like a bomb site (you'll see below) but it really is starting to come together.

We were actually waiting on a couple of things to be delivered before we could move into the backyard so a lot of the work was done in the shed. The poor bikes copped a beating of sawdust on day 1 & 2 but the result is a pretty sturdy frame for the pond insert. John did a great job of the frame and you'll see over the next few posts how it all comes together.

By the way .. the pond isn't actually going to be a pond .. it will be a water feature.

The pavers arrived on Friday morning (woo hoo) and I am really really happy with them. They are perfect for what I wanted. Frickin' heavy though!!! They are 20kgs each paver and I moved about 1400kgs of them into the backyard. Boy was I in a world of pain that night!

These 2 pics show the mess that is currently our backyard although the dogs are loving having lots of new things to smell every day. They certainly enjoyed us being outside for the week.

Yesterday we headed to Bunnings to get some sample pots for the screen and the water feature sides. This is the bit I like ..... seeing some colour! We had originally decided that we would have a red feature wall behind the water feature however I think I'm going to go for this plum colour. Kind of hard to see but it's a lovely deep plum and then the walls of the pond will be the green (as you can see below). We went with green on the sides because we already have a green screen in the BBQ area (you can see that screen in the photo above).

Zach wouldn't get out of the way for the pic below so you can just see the top of his head!

For those that have been following our blog for a while you will know that J & I tend to have some ripper discussion/arguments when doing stuff in the backyard .... generally we can laugh about them after. You'll be pleased to know that there was only one major meltdown .... quite good I think!!
Stay tuned for more pics!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

New benchtop, an ass groove and finally some landscaping

Well after my 'negative nancy' post not so long ago, I thought I'd post again with some better news.

No, unfortunately J still doesn't have a job.

The couch however, is getting an awesome workout so much so, I have to keep asking him to sit in different seats each day so that we don't get an ass groove in one seat (and yes, it would be the chaise!!).

The new benchtop FINALLY got installed last week and it's nice to have a benchtop that has no scratches on it!!! It's been in for 5 days now and not a scratch on it so the last one was definitely a dodgy bit of manufaturing.

And the other good news (well good for me, not so good for J because we know how much he loves landscaping with me) ... our Easter break will involve laying a path, building a water feature and moving in some mulch!!! I'm very excited.

How did this come about?? Well I was fortunate enough to get a little bit (and I mean 'little') of a bonus from work. So I figured 'screw it'. It's a bonus ... it's not effecting any bills or anything else so I'm going to spend it on some landscaping. I've made a deal with J that I will budget so that we can do as much as possible in the little area from the side gate to the patio area. This will involve a path, build a water feature and put some mulch down. Unfortunately I don't think there is going to be any money left for plants but we'll wait and see! I dragged both J and the child down to Pots Galore and Garden World yesterday and I think we found the pot for the water feature. The pavers will be ordered this week (hopefully) so that they arrive by Easter.

So while the main patio area is still not finished with the paving, at least the weed infested area next to the patio should like nice.

Stay tuned for photos and the arguments that will come out of this little exercise!!!!! lol

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

2009 ... going downhil!!

Yep - it's been a LOOOONNNGGG time since I posted.

Basically, since we arrived back from Tassie after the Christmas break life has been a blur of work ... go home... have dinner ... sleep .. and start the cycle all over again. My work is flat out and I've been putting in 11 or 12 hour days which as you all know, becomes very tiring after a while.

J lost his job a couple of weeks after we got back from Tassie and has still been unable to find work. It's a really bizarre feeling having the economic crisis hit us (which probably sounds bizarre in itself) but generally, we just keep on going and feel sorry for all of those that it effects. Now it is actually effecting us. Because of the type of work J does (and in the mining sector) he's struggling to even find work interstate.

So, with just one salary, child support to 3 children, mortgage and the other bills, you guessed it .... no pavers ... no more plants ... no landscaping. Sigh.

On a positive note however, the new couch did arrive. We were considering cancelling the delivery when J lost his job however it would have cost at least 50% of the cost of the couch so we just figure 'stuff it' (much harsher word used mind you). It is unbelievably comfortable so we figure when we have no money, we can close the blinds to block out the lack of landscaping and eat baked beans on our lovely couch. Ha ha.

I don't have Sarah this weekend and John will be sailing on Saturday so I'm going to use some of the day to catch up on everybody's blog!!! I can just imagine what I've been missing out on seeing!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New year ... new couch

OK .. so a long time between posts... but also there has been nothing of note to report on over the christmas break!!

Our lawn looked very sad when we got home from holidays however a little bit of water and a mow it has picked up and looks lovely again.

The garden beds held up well with no love or water over the holiday break, to the point that I need to prune some back as some are looking a bit tatty. My brown thumb has definitely turned a very light shade of green.

One very exciting thing that has happened is that we ordered our couch for the family room!! Woo hoo. We had been looking at it for a few months and always anticipated to order it around March/April but for whatever reason (and who am I to question the reason!!), we went into Freedom on the 28th and placed the order. I think the 10 week delivery got us across the line because we figured that if we were to order in April it would be middle of the year before we get it.

And my (very large) backside cannot bear to sit on the old blue couch for much longer I can assure you!!

The old couch has been good to us however (Sarah's dad and I bought it about 12 years ago) so it's time to go somewhere else. I'll give it to the Salvos and maybe somebody will be able to use it. For an old couch it is still in pretty good condition ... really only needs new cushions to make it comfortable again.

So why don't we just do that I hear you ask? Well, it's blue ... and there is nothing blue in the house.

So other than that .. nothing to report. We haven't heard from the carpenter about the kitchen benchtop replacement yet so hopefully that will get done sooner rather than later.

Andy out.