My rainbow wind chime looks very different at night.
A reminder of how it looks in daylight.
Many days now if we are not planning to go somewhere, we put the cat door in the doorway first thing in the morning so the cats can experience the Delicate Nirvana anytime they feel like. The cat door usually stays in right until bedtime. One day there was a large lizard which was discovered by Happy. She chased it around the BBQ. Luckily I was sitting out there and was able to intervene fairly quickly.
That lizard was smart enough to find a new home. But Happy kept looking for it, for days and days. Not unlike Dudo and Moose over in Spain, who have an obsession with balcony birds.
A couple of days later I ventured out into the Nirvana to discover Happy was obsessed with one corner of the Nirvana. I soon worked out why – a new lizard friend had arrived. I placed a shoe there hoping the lizard would crawl into it.. and that almost worked. But in the end any time I would approach the lizard would run back into the hole under the drain pipe.
So then I thought, maybe if I fill the hole with paper towel, it will look for another exit – this hole has an exit on the other side of the nirvana as well, though it had a couple of leaves kinda sorta blocking it. This failed on every level – it failed to prevent Happy from being obsessed, and it failed to prevent the lizard from pushing the paper towel out. So after a while I gave up on that and just put the shoe back.
This nearly worked again, because Happy had lost interest and moved to sleep on a chair. I went inside to empty and fill the dishwasher and I heard a scuffle so rushed back out to find this..
The lizard is up on top of the drain pipe. Happy is waiting patiently and watching. Lucky for me, The Other Half arrived home soon after this, and talked the lizard into leaving.
But Happy spent a few days watching the hole near the drainpipe, just in case. :)
It has been a while since we checked in on the Delicate Nirvana. Don’t you worry though, we’ve been enjoying it just as much as ever.
Once we completed the pergola, we wanted to get some wind chimes. We are wacky like that. Some folks hate a wind chime, my Mother is one such person. This is likely one reason why I wanted one, being a wind chime deprived child. If you want to buy a wind chime on the South Coast of NSW, Mogo is a top location to pick. We had plenty of wind chimes to choose from here.
The plan was we could pick two wind chimes each. I chose a sparkly chicken wind chime.
The Other Half was looking for one perfect sounding wood and one perfect sounding large metal wind chime. He found this large wood wind chime.
I chose this rainbow seashell wind chime.
The Other Half was unable to find a perfect large metal wind chime. A couple of weeks later at the Berry Markets, he decided on this silent windchime instead.
I also chose three long seashell and mirror strings – one blue, one red, one dark grey. I wanted green but they did not have the right shade of green for our Nirvana and The Other Half loves all things black and grey, so I chose that instead.
While there we discovered this stunning mirror which contained all three of our theme colours – blue, green and red – so we chose it for the wall.
We had a good month of great wind chime time, then once we installed the shadecloth it cut down the wind so much we rarely hear a wind chime anymore.. even when a big storm blows through we do not seem to get any wind or breeze.
Right next door to The Treat Factory, you will now find The Milk Bar. They have some indoor seating and a lovely covered outdoor deck area. You can sit and watch the cows in the fields opposite, and those cows provide the milk for the gelato, there was also some limited seating inside.
The staff are incredibly helpful and friendly, the place looks great. The house made gelato is pretty amazing, and the milkshakes and thickshakes use it.
On our first visit, we chose the ham and cheese croissant with tomato relish for an early lunch – and you can buy the relish right next door at the treat factory, it is delicious.
They have a lot of options cake wise, plus other food options.
Of course at a milk bar you want to get a milkshake. They do normal milkshakes, thick shakes, and those scary massive treat shakes which everyone loves to instagram. Most of them involve the gelato made right on site. We added coffee gelato to the chocolate thick shake, it was so delicious I grabbed a scoop of that gelato to eat on the way home, because I could.
We love the new milk bar addition and we will definitely go back to try more of the menu and experiment with some of the thick shakes, because they have some set flavours but you can ask them to put in any flavour of gelato you want.
Hidden out the back of Berry is a rather fabulous place called The Treat Factory. I only discovered it thanks to a local Facebook group where someone was looking for some pickling salt, and another member suggested to look in the downstairs area of the Berry Treat Factory.
That’s funny, I thought. I did not know they had a downstairs area. It turned out after over 10 years of living here I had never been to the REAL Berry Treat Factory which is way off the main street and hidden away behind the train station, at the very back of some commercial units.
So on a weekend not long afterwards, we made the trek to the Treat Factory and discovered so much awesomeness. Above you see their famed downstairs area. You can find all kinds of magical things here, everything from actual Australian dried apricots to hot sauce.
We have been back several times to buy many of their made-on-site goods, which can also be found at the Berry Markets where they often have a stall and in various shops. I took some photos to share with you.
They have gluten free and regular pastry in rolls and blocks, frozen pasta, cheeses, free range eggs, muesli..
The treat factory has all kinds of goodies for sale, including lots of chocolate covered nuts and chocolate treats, many of which would make great gifts to take home for friends and family. They also have some samples of the things for sale that you can try.
My personal favourites are the lime aioli and the tomato relish. The dark chocolate coated nuts – particularly the almonds – are a regular purchase for us, and the dark chocolate covered coffee beans are must buy if you like that kind of thing. We will continue going back and trying different things until we have tried them all. ;)
They have local honey, too.
The large bags of lollies are excellent value in my opinion at just $9.50. They are super huge!
On this trip we bought tomato relish, dark chocolate coffee beans, belgian chocolate mini frogs, a large bag of dark chocolate almonds and the wicked hot chocolate chai flavour for me, a small bag of the almonds plus some rock and jams for a gift for someone else.
Thanks to a different Facebook group, I found out they had opened a milk bar with gelato made on site right next door to The Treat Factory, we have now been there twice and I will post about that on Wednesday.
Our final purchase for 2017 and hopefully our final purchase for the Delicate Nirvana was wood, potting mix and portulaca seedlings to build a special custom plant pot for the corner of our wonderful paradise. After a quick trip to Bunnings on New Year’s Eve, I started off by giving the area a good vacuum, then we unloaded the wood and potting mix from the car.
I left the other half to build while I prepared dinner. By the time I got back, he’d finished building and also put in a layer of sarlon at the bottom, to stop soil from escaping the pot.
The sun was going down, so we called it a day. The next morning we kicked off by adding in a layer of sand formerly from the chook coop and run, which contained plenty of chook manure.
You can’t do a job around here without Happy the Helpercat. Once the helping was complete, the planter looked like this –
The ferns were in a small self watering pot and we are pretty sure they will take off beautifully in this planter. Since we put the shadecloth in, the ferns are really loving the atmosphere out here and growing very happily. I really wanted a small tree fern to go in the middle corner of this pot however we could not find one. We will keep looking, though.
We’d been planning this planter for a while now and having finished it, we now feel like the Delicate Nirvana has reached perfection. Half the fun has been the journey but we have now arrived at the destination. Time to sit back, relax and enjoy it. :)
I took only one photo on Christmas Day, see above. I took it so I could send it to family in Adelaide. This is in tune with my “be in the moment, put my phone down” policy which I have enacted ever since the Duchess of Cambridge visited Australia and I saw a photo of people who went to see her, most of whom were taking photos of her on their phones and cameras.
You best believe if the Duchess of Cambridge is in my presence I will not be taking a photo of her. I’ll be looking at her with my actual eyes. I have seen more than enough photos of her. I know what she looks like. I could identify her in a lineup, even if they brought in all her impersonators to stand next to her. I’m not too sure how I would go with a sketch artist but I would give it a red hot go.
When I raced back to Aldi to get the wine glasses, I also grabbed this cute set of cheese knives for the INSANE price of $4.99. I’d bought the serving platters earlier in the day. These items were so useful at Christmas lunch because we had a table full of nibblies.
I mean seriously how cute are these? They got a LOT of use. I am loving the tumblers we bought too, they look great with soda water in them and they go so beautifully with the copper coasters.
Google Mini was a hit with the visitors who kept asking it questions, many of which it did not know the answers to. You’ve got some work to do, Google. It amused my parents by telling them their store is normally closed on a Monday but Christmas may affect their opening hours.. This was news to them, seeing as they are there every Monday!
In preparation for the year of buying nothing, I grabbed a couple of items from the TVSN sale. I’ve had these Yankee candles on my wish list for a while, and they were the cheapest I have seen them. Usually one melt costs $3.99 at Spotlight, so this is good value for so many melts plus all those votive candles.
These are half price and they are an item I use a LOT but I only have two in black now, so I bought three colours in my actual size, which is now 10. I would have bought more if they had them in my size and colour. You can see the sale here.
It was a happy day and we all enjoyed it. That is the first time we’ve hosted Christmas in a long time, and we’ll probably do it again now that we have the delicate nirvana. Not one single blowfly or mosquito bothered us. It was brilliant.
I wish all my readers maximum compliments of the season! ;) Many blogs will be posting not much today so I thought I’d hit you with a large-ish post today.
My previous post Christmas Preparations = Complete – may have been somewhat incorrect. I should have said Christmas Buying = Complete but even that would be wrong. Wronggity wrong.
Some bright spark namely myself purchased a new piece of exercise equipment mid-December which has meant it is time to move things around in the house. The art room is becoming The Other Half’s computer room so that he can have airconditioning in there, which means his computer and tv room will now become a tv and exercise room.
At around lunchtime on Wednesday I downloaded this video – The Best TV of 2017 With Sam Esmail – from youtube and listened to it while cleaning out the art room. Sam is the writer and director of Mr Robot, still one of my favourite shows.
One of the shows they talked about interested me – Mindhunter – and it was on Netflix. On Thursday I was just going to watch the first episode to decide whether The Other Half might like the show. I decided he would not, but I also could not stop watching it. What an amazing show. If you have Netflix and have not seen it, I suggest you put this on your must see list.. :)
Set in 1977 – in the early days of criminal psychology and criminal profiling at the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Mindhunter revolves around FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), along with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), who interview imprisoned serial killers in order to understand how they think with the hope of applying this knowledge to solving ongoing cases.
On Thursday night we did present wrapping, at which time The Other Half realised we did not have much in the way of presents for my parents. At bedtime I was up to episode 7 of Mindhunter.
On Friday morning, I did some cleaning then watched the remainder of Mindhunter while waiting for the postman to arrive with a parcel we needed to fix Dad’s ute. The afternoon was spent cleaning the kitchen to a level I am most happy with.
On Friday night we went to a local place which was having a special late night shopping event. I won a door prize and we were successful in finding more presents. My parents are so difficult to shop for, so I just aim for something different and quirky these days.
Driving there was bizarre. We were expecting a lot of holiday traffic but the roads were almost empty, eerily so. We thought perhaps the zombie apocalypse had happened but we just did not know yet. We also went to Bunnings where we found some awesome plants and hatched a plan to drop by and steal a pot from my parents which did have plants in it but they had died, so we have replaced them with new plants as another gift.
There was so much cleaning I needed to do on Saturday, and after getting up at 6:30am to go and get our Christmas BBQ Meat which is very Aussie – sausages, scotch fillet and lamb chops – we ran to Aldi to pick up some more serving platters and I found these gorgeous tumblers in my favourite colours which are plastic. They also had wine glasses and I contemplated grabbing them but decided not to. Big mistake. Huge!
We successfully thieved the pot while my parents were out, and drove back home where we parked the car fully intending not to take it out again. HAHAHAHHAHA. Funny joke!
Much cleaning was done, including the chook pen. I realised this is the first time we’ve done it with the new girls as I did it right before they arrived. They were so freaked out by the scary rake and the wheelbarrow and worst of all, my hair was annoying me so I put it into a bright pink scarf thing and they thought I was someone else they’d never met before.
At some point during the day I began to feel Not Great that The Other Half had no presents to open at all. He is getting a new motherboard for his computer and did not want any presents. But that is really not cool in my book. So 7pm that night after the crazy traffic died down, I talked my parents into going for a Kmart run.
With a stop at Aldi for the wine glasses, and Woolworths for a couple of last minute things. You don’t even know how rare this is. Well, the part about me going to Woolworths is probably almost as rare as my parents going to Kmart, because you may recall I broke up with Woolworths long ago.
Sunday was spent deep cleaning the Delicate Nirvana, the lawns were mowed and leaves on the driveway vacuumed up, and then the doors were built. I forgot to take a photo when we were done and it is dark now, so I’ll save that for another post.
We’d put some plastic door curtains up in the meantime which you can see in the above photo. They will remain there as it protects the doorway from flying creatures when the doors are open.
I don’t have much in the way of cooking to do today, just roast potatoes. We’re having loads of nibblies, a couple of cheese platters, prawns aka shrimp, then a bbq. I just have to do some chopping of things for the nibblies.
On one of our many trips to Bunnings, while purchasing the plastic for the chook pen door and bemoaning the fact that The Other Half would not let me buy the glittery plastic they have there for the task, I spotted another plastic that seemed interesting. It is a diamond pattern – in the right light it produces rainbows. We have two small side panels that needed doing and I suggested we try this diamond plastic as I thought it might produce an interesting effect. Almost like glass.
I believe Bunnings consider all this stuff as plastic tablecloth material. Sure, it works for that, but there is really no reason it cannot be used for other purposes. We made this panel the same way we made the sarlon panels and I am sure all of you are looking at that photo and thinking – the wood batons are the wrong way around. Yes they are – because The Other Half worked in a place where they made large canvas for art and he saw how they did it.
So you first staple the plastic or (sarlon shadecloth) to the wood like this, then you roll the wood over so the corners meet up, like this –
When you are finished you staple the corners together and you have something like this –
The finished product – yes that is a chicken on the other side, shaped into almost something else entirely. I’ve left this as a slightly larger file so you should be able to click on it to make it bigger.
What do you folks think is the learning curve on a cat? Having put the actual flap into the cat door now, I’m going with never. Far better to wait for your human minions to have a need to go into the house than to learn how to get through the door yourself!
There is a lot of staring at the flap willing it to open magically via the Jedi Cat Mind trick. They can go through it in an emergency, eg The Other Half is operating the masonry drill. or Snoskred is vacuuming inside the house and they need to get outside to safe and less noisy surroundings.
We are now two doors away from full enclosure here in the Delicate Nirvana. The second small plastic panel was completed not long after the first, and then the other half shocked me with a large side panel which is Not Square. He can do magic. :)