Friday, June 22, 2012

Strawb & Jago - The Beginning - Roleystone

At the beginning of the year, my bestest friend, Strawb and I pledged that we would make much more of an effort to have quality time together - well actually - any time together.  Despite living in the same city, we see each other very infrequently.  Its a sad indictment to our busy lives, the aversion to travel across town (we are really only 45 minutes away from each other, well when the traffic is not peakhour) and ... I dont know any other excuses?  Were we taking our friendship for granted?  We love hanging out together, but we do have different lives I guess, we always have since adulthood. 

Despite this, after 40 years of friendship, when we do manage to get together, its as easy as it ever was. We are so compatable and so comfortable with each other. We really are more like sisters than anything and I feel truly blessed to have her as a constant in my life.

It's 1975, we have been best friends for 3 years.  It was Christmas and I think Strawb got this teddy bear as a present.  I KNOW she got the funky beanbag from Santa ... imagine it today!  She hasnt changed one bit.  Except her fashion sense has improved - socks and sandels hahaha (Shhh I am wearing socks and SLIPPERS as I type)

So, back to the pledge.  It was decided that once a month we would have a day all to ourselves to do exactly as we wished.  We planned it out, even went as far as writing out a schedule for the whole year.  On the 2nd last Friday of each month, we would take it in turns to plan a special day. 

It's now June and we have just managed to go on our second outing!  Life just keeps getting in the way, it's neither of our faults, it's just how the mop flops!  But I guess 2 outings is better than we managed the year before and we can only get better.

The first trip was Strawbs pick ... we caught the train down to Mandurah and walked around and had lots of coffee, cake and then lunch.  I will admit we also found a few empty wine bottles at the end of the day, but it was a very hot day and we did walk a lot!  It was a great day.  Wish we had taken photo's.

Outside Roleystone Primary School.  It hasn't changed much at all, unlike me!
(Strawb hardly looks a day older)

So, yesterday was my pick.  I wanted to surprise Strawb with a trip down memory lane, well down and up some lanes actually - where we grew up was in the hills of Roleystone.  Maybe thats why we both still have good legs at a few years shy of 50 - all those hills we hiked up on foot and bike. I only realised after we had taken this photo, that it would have been 40 years ago this year that we met in grade 2 at this amazing school.  We had such freedom here, the bush that was our playground is still there, if a little trodden down!

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Great and inspiring idea at Dawson's where we had our first stop and cup of tea.  I have Dad's old work boots to fill with flowers.  I think a mirror in the door panels would look great too!  This is going to be a spring project for sure.

But first we stopped into a well known plant nursery for a cup of tea and spot of breakfast, as you do.  A pot of tea, savory muffin and piece of apple pie, (all shared of course) later, and we were back on the trail.
What is it with us, photo's and mirrors!

The final phase of the day was a walk around (yes more plant nurseries .. I did have a theme here!) Melville Rose Farm and then lunch at the cafe.  The food was nothing special, but we did manage to chat away two and a half hours. 

Must make a note here - everywhere we have gone so far is full of oldies (you know, real oldies). Friday must be their day out too - so I guess you could say Strawb and I are just getting into the habit of Friday Frollicks early as I know we will be doing this well into our 80's and beyond.  I think we need to decide now who will be the one to have the walking frame and who will have lost their mind!

Thanks for an awesome day Strawb, and an even more awesome 40 years of unconditional friendship.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Onto the next Project

So now that we have the office sorted with new showroom counters and the techs have their new helpdesk bench, and the tenants are happy (for now) with the work we have done out at Wattle Grove, and the boys have finished most of the big projects at their place, its time to turn our attention to our very neglected home.

It's a bit of a "there's a hole in the bucket dear Liza" scenario - we have to do each part in sequence.  Two time critical projects -
  1. Now that I am working from home I need a dedicated office that is not in the loungeroom and
  2. The guest wing needs to be finished for when Mum has her hip operation in September so she can come and do her re-hab here in comfort and with her own space. 
I am hoping we can take 2 weeks off work (our holidays) to get stuck in and do the whole lot at once.  Its not much fun doing it in dribs and drabs on weekends, and I really am ready to have a few weekends to myself to do normal things, like the weekly washing, vacuum the floors and maybe, just maybe, read a book or go to the movies. 

So, for now, some inspiration to keep the enthusiasm up ...

Home Office

Guest Wing


Library/Gentlemans Room

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Place

Now that the work has finished and the flurry is over, I am left with my own thoughts and feelings.  I am not sure which is better - to be busy and have no time to feel, or to have time to dwell on things and have 'feelings'.

There was a little moment on Monday as we pulled out of the driveway, leaving behind all the hard work and this ...

... that I had a little weep and felt such a sense of frustration that I can't be here like I want to.

I know they say good things come to those who wait, and I know this property is certainly worth the wait, but some days, like today, it's very hard.

I wonder what the next year will bring?

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Mop Up Day

While the poor people were trudging off to day jobs, we got to spend one last day out at the property to finish off the weekends jobs and to clean up and sort out tools to bring home.  I love it when we have the luxury of time to do these things properly, all the pressure is off and work can be done according to my new manta - DO LESS BETTER.

So while Dad pottered about fixing the existing stable doors and making it all horse safe, Mr K redid the concrete ramp so it looked better and was safer, fitted gate latches etc.  I started sorting tools and cleaning up.  Moved all the sharp pointy things out of the yard, raked and leveled the soil, moved bricks and tiles and pallets.  Moved all the tools into the breezeway and sorted them into crates and gathered all the sets together.

Fence and Gate all finished. 

Door complete and re-worked concrete ramp. 
Breezeway all cleaned out, stable doors all repaired.

Inside of the Tool Shed doors.  Bob made these amazing doors out of timber that was all stacked in the day yard.  We have so much lovely timber to make many great projects when we move here.

By 2pm, we realised we hadn't had lunch yet, so much for just doing a half-day mop up!  So we took the time to sit down by the creek, listening to the water flowing over the little waterfall, the birds and hows the tranquility!  This little magical place is one of my favorites (amongst many) on this property and where we will build the long table out of the slab of jarrah Dad has set aside for us.  It will be the place of many long and delightful lunches.  While we ate our Red Rooster, I told Dad to remember this day when we have our first proper lunch here. 

And a well earned rest and late lunch down by the creek (Yule Brook).

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Making the Yard and Tool Shed Door

Day 3.  Sunday, the day of rest!  haha.  So much to get done today.  Bobby will make doors for the tool shed now that we have widened the doorway to fit the ride on mower in.  Kim and I will make a gate for the day yard and put in posts and rails to make it enclosed.  We have to concrete a ramp so the horses can get into the stable easily and then there are a million other little jobs to finish it all off.  When I say 'finish' I mean the most pressing things, I don't think we will ever 'finish' the things that need doing and what we want to do here - but that's all part of the future fun.

The day yard is something I am very lucky to have.  It is fully covered in, and now has direct access to the stables.  It will be great when the weather is either too hot or too wet, when you have a horse that needs confining, for the farrier to work in, to saddle-up in etc. 

The trusted old cement mixer was dragged out of retirement and dusted off and the old trooper actually worked, despite not running for 2 years and being left out in the weather.  This is the corner of my day-yard looking out towards the dressage arena.

Bobby finished off the stable doors with panels above so the horses don't get a draft ... haha .. a draft horse!  (that was Dads joke!)

The Gate all made up and hung.  Just need to finish off filling in the posts and we are done.  The posts were cemented in the bottom to make them really secure.

The new doors on the Tool Room.  We had to cut a bricks width off the doorway as the ride-on mower was too wide to fit in the original opening.  Then Dad made these doors, that are now solid and lockable so all the equipment can be secured even when the stables are open.

It was a very long day, and we didn't get all that we wanted to get done.  The tenants came and brought us drinks, so it was kinda tools down before we had packed up tools etc.  We had an audience while we made the concrete ramp and it got rushed and I was not happy with it at all.  Way too steep and not wide enough for horses to move on safely.

Made the decision to come back on the Monday, Mr K and I will take the day off work. 

Cam called and said he was going to make us dinner!  I had a lovely piece of pork to cook, and my angel boy took it to his place and cooked it on the BBQ.  With roast potatoes and steamed beans, a few bottles of wine and it was the perfect end to a hard but satisfying day.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Demolition Day

Mostly a picture blog today as I show the days progress from a stable with only one door out, to a stable with a second door that leads into a undercover day yard.  This was planned when we first bought the property to be a 'someday' project.  I had grand plans for my stables and yards, but when we found we could not move here for some time, the plans were all put on hold.  But when the new tenants asked us to do one of the stables as WIWO we agreed.

So here is the progression.  I have to give a heartfelt thanks to 3 very special men in my life who gave up their time and energy to make this happen.  3 generations of men who care so much about their daughter, wife and mum to make her happy.  Thank you .  xxx

The Day Yard 'before' full of timber and bricks and tiles.

The end view 'before'. Note the white posts that have been sitting there waiting for the yard to be done.

A Man and his Ute.  Not sure where his Dog had got to.  Maybe his Dog saw the bib he was wearing. 
The first cuts.  Note the Ute being used as scaffold. It was pretty messy and quite dangerous.

Don't mess with the Brick Cutter (if anyone is a fan of Mad Max, they will know him as the Toe Cutter's brother)
.." up there Cam ..."

... "that's where you need to bash it"

A window that would be fine if we had giraffe's. 

The Demolition Team!  3 Generations of men who like to knock things down!

The Foreman had to come and check their work quality.

"ok, so now you have a walk-in walk-out stable.  My work here is done!"
Cam doing hard labour - with a hangover!

Putting up the door all in one piece.

NOW its a real stable door.  It looks amazing, the timber was all salvaged and Bobby did an awesome job of making it look this good.

Tada ... what every little girl dreams about.  Old fashioned stable doors.  Now bring on the horses!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Planning Day

Picked up Dad from the airport this morning, he has come up to help us with a big project out at Wattle Grove.  The tenants have requested that one of the stables is converted into  walk-in walk-out, which we were going to do when we move there eventually, but to keep the tenants appeased, we said we would do one stable now. 

What I wished I had

It was a planning day today, so we went out there to measure up, make plans, make a list of all the equipment we will need and decide on a plan of attack.

The fun part for the boys will be cutting a doorway through the brick wall, so they will need a kick-ass brick cutter from the hire place. 

Very flash walk-in walk-outs

Most of the timber we need we already have, so there wasn't a lot to buy at Bunnings.  I know Kim was itching to justify another new power tool, but he already has most toys tools now, so he is running out of excuses to buy new ones.

Quiet night at home, just Mr K, Dad and I and some very yummy takeaway Thai from our local restaurant.

If I had an old farmhouse this is what I would like.  These will be like the doors we will have.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day, so to bed early was welcomed.  We did however watch a very cute movie - Hugo and introduced Dad to the last episode of series 2 of Game of Thrones.  I know, mean right!?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Western Australia Day

Today is a public holiday in WA.  Perfect time to pull apart the showroom at the office and put in the new counter and rearrange the shelves and furniture.  Of course, whenever we move anything, there is $100K of stock to move, dust and re-display. 

The new bench was flat packed and the boys started to put it together on Friday night.  Today we:

  1. Glued, fitted and fixed the bench-top
  2. Put in all the shelves and screwed them down
  3. Cleaned down all the shelves and counter top
  4. Sorted and stacked the stock back into the new shelves
  5. Cleaned  and moved the glass display cabinets
  6. Moved sale stock and generally had a huge sortout/clean-up
  7. Moved the stock set aside for clients to new shelves in the back
  8. Moved the techs library to a new bookcase
  9. Set up chairs and white boards for a library nook.

Feel tired but satisfied.  Looks great.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Farm day

That's what the doggies call it!  They count .. seven sleeps and then they get to go in the ute.  The ute ride ends in them jumping from the back out into their idea of utopia (mine too)

This weekend we achieved;

  1. Replaced shower head in the wet room
  2. Sprayed round-up around all the garden beds and paths
  3. Ooohed and Ahhed at the new lights in the stables.  Looks great now
  4. Planned where the timber and bricks and tiles will be stacked to open up the day yards
  5. Fitted the pool light back and put the cover back on
  6. Made a list of the globes that need replacing
  7. Went to Bunnings to buy globes.
Will need another mow next weekend, but thrilled with how the paddocks are looking. 

One rose has started flowering - this made me smile.

Tenants are taking property from 20th June.  Lease will be drawn up today.

Are we really getting back on track?  Wont count my chickens yet, or even hope it will all work out, but looking like on the right path!

Still to do :

  1. Fit new light globes
  2. Paint ceilings where water stains are
  3. Move and stack and cover timber
  4. Cut doorway into stable
  5. Fit door frame and stable door
  6. Finish day yard fence and gate
  7. Dog proof the house yard
  8. Fix chook pen