Plant Pot

vacuumed

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.

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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.

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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.

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You can’t do a job around here without Happy the Helpercat. Once the helping was complete, the planter looked like this –

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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.

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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. :)

Delicate Nirvana

Christmas = Completed

Christmas

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

Christmas, Delicate Nirvana

Happy Christmas

snowbees

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.

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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.. :)

mindhunter

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

wines

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.

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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.

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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.

Christmas, Delicate Nirvana

Delicate Nirvana – Panels.

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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.

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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.

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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 –

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When you are finished you staple the corners together and you have something like this –

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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. :)

Delicate Nirvana, Home

Delicate Nirvana Part 3

kittieszen

Thus far we have talked about why our new pergola is known as the Delicate Nirvana while showing you the beautiful fairy lights we installed, then we talked about what we did to make it a Kitty Delicate Nirvana.

So what did we need to make it a delicate nirvana for humans? Oh, just a few things, which will take at least two posts to describe.

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First up, my most favourite thing out here thus far – copper coasters. These came from a shop in Berry called Few and Far – there are other locations of that same store, too. Why are they such a favourite? They are gorgeous, reflect the fairy lights, and somehow probably because of science or because of the design, they do not attach themselves to the bottom of my cup as a surprise.

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The KALAS bowl from IKEA is perfect to protect ones cup from flying creatures and dust. It is dishwasher and microwave safe, plus it is plastic, so I have a lot of them in my cupboard. :)

Until we have the sarlon installed, we need citronella candles and mosquito coils.

lantern

I found these gorgeous BORRBY candle lanterns at IKEA. They were originally $19.95 each but on our Take That visit these were on clearance for just $5. Candle lanterns are a must when you have candles in a place kitties can reach, you do not want them sniffing at flames. These lanterns are huge with a big height of 44 cm.

lanterns

We have these cute and colourful citronella mini lanterns – if we are sitting out here they might sit on the table – generally the kitties do not get up there and if we go inside, these can hang from hooks far from kitty noses. This has inspired a bit of a primary colour or rainbow scheme out here for various additions.

Sneak peek – we did get one of the sarlon panels installed this weekend. Now two are up, late Sunday as I type this.

sarlon1

Long story made shorter, we had to paint the wood to go inside the sarlon and we had some chook pen paint left over, so we have used that. You can’t see it anyway – it is more to protect the wood from the weather. I’m going to talk more about that paint on Wednesday. :)

Delicate Nirvana, Home

Delicate Nirvana Part 2 – 4Kitties

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One of the main reasons we wanted to build a Queensland Room was for the kitties to have a safe outside space they can visit when we are not at home. This is still our intention but we are not quite there yet, obviously the panels with shade cloth to screen the room in are still a future plan right now. Until they are built, outside time is mostly still supervised.

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I say mostly because we do have surveillance cameras out there, and if we need to go inside and do a chore or task, either one of us can fire up the cameras on our phone or tablet and keep an eye on these occasionally bad kitties. I cleaned the toilets while Grumpy remained napping outside, we’ve emptied and filled the dishwasher, cooked dinner, and various other things.

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Mainly the kitty to keep an eye on is Happy, because she likes to pretend stalk and chase the chickens, who are just one tantalizingly thin chicken wire fence away from her. Grumpy does not chase the chickens. She likes to watch them and have conversations with them, but she does not stalk and chase.

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We are not concerned with their escaping the yard. Our kitties are not jumpers. Grumpy cannot jump up onto our bed, she pulls herself up with her front paws and claws. While Happy is able to jump, she generally does not like to jump anything over 1 metre tall. She is able to get over the fence between the yard and the shed/mancave area.

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So what makes our delicate nirvana = kitty nirvana? Plenty of cardboard boxes placed in strategic positions. A lot of box swapping goes on as you can see in the first two photos of this post – same box, different kitty. But they have many boxes to choose from and you see here just a small selection of those –

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Plenty of kitty friendly chair sleeping options –

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The ability to watch chickens from the boxes and chairs – and for humans the ability to watch all of these –

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A large water container for kitty drinking at the perfect height so kitties do not have to bend down at all – turns out the Christmas lights containers are perfect for this purpose –

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Cat grass specially cultivated for kitty use –

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A kitty door so they can come and go as they please without filling the house with flies and mosquitos –

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Coming soon will be some shelves purpose built for kitties to climb on, and maybe a custom built kitty tower or two.

Delicate Nirvana, Home, kitties

Delicate Nirvana Part 1

outside

Our delicate nirvana aka backyard Queensland room project is almost completed. We only have one final step which is screening in the room, and we will likely tackle that on upcoming weekends around Christmas and the New Year due to the tourist invasion due to hit from mid-December onwards.

ledlights

We bought two sets of LED fairy lights from Aldi, and one set of LED blue icicle lights. At 16.99 a set these were very reasonably priced, but they might have an even better deal coming up this week if you are looking for a set of fairy lights.

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Delicate Nirvana was born thanks to our love of Seinfeld. George Costanza has a rant about “delicate genius” which is one of my favourite moments of that show ever.

GEORGE: I love these people, you can’t ask ’em questions. (getting excited) They’re so mentally gifted that we mustn’t disturb the delicate genius. Unless it’s in the confines of an office. (worked up) When huge sums of money are involved, then the delicate genius can be disturbed!

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We mustn’t disturb the delicate nirvana. :)

Delicate Nirvana, Home

Snoskred On Holiday

magnificent

The Other Half just finished his holidays. He spent much of that time building a fabulous pergola which we are enjoying far too much. This is only half of it! It is almost impossible to get a good photo of it, but I will spend some time trying over the next week or so.

kitteholliday

Sitting out there with the chooks and kitties is my idea of perfection. I’ve not taken a holiday from the blog for a little while now, and I would like to get some posts written ahead of time and scheduled, so I’m going to take a time out. I’ll take the laptop out the back and enjoy the magnificent space we have built. Not sure if it will be one or two weeks, I will see how I go. ;)

blog housekeeping, Delicate Nirvana