Even the most boring items can be transformed at night time in the Delicate Nirvana. What is it?
It is a spray bottle we use for the ferns.
A few years back we had an influx of white tailed spiders in the house. We believed they were mostly living in the ceiling and on days when it got too hot they would find a way to enter the cooler house, and then walk around the cornices like they owned the place. This was Not Cool. So one weekend we packed up the cats and went to visit my parents for a few hours while those pest bombs fogged the house.
The cats were Not A Fan of this concept, and Happy hid in the kitty litter tent or the cat carrier for most of the time we were there. Grumpy spent her time sniffing the house, perhaps looking for scents from other cats. Sadly my parents do not have a cat. When they go away for a trip, we often drop over after they leave and pest bomb their house.
It is not so easy in Chez Snoskred. At least, it wasn’t. Until we added on our Delicate Nirvana. We’ve been planning a pest bombing for some time, and we figured Good Friday was as good a day as any to “lock” ourselves and the cats out of the house.
So what does one need to take out into the Delicate Nirvana when one knows one will be
stuck happily ensconced there for at least two hours? The cats need very specific items.
1. The Kitty Litter Setup. Our eventual plan is to have this out here all the time, once we work out a safe and secure way to install a 24/7 cat door. We would like to put this inside a box but we find these two will lay in wait for each other unless there are multiple entrances and exits – that is also a difficulty we have with the cat door.
2. The Kitty Food Setup. Our cats have access to kibble 24/7, though one of them perhaps should not have. They already have a water bowl out here but we brought a second one just in case. It turned out to be popular, perhaps because of the novelty factor.
The humans required –
1. Lunch in the form of protein shakes – not pictured as we drank them fast, it was warm out here! – and snacks just in case. I brought all my vitamins, too.
2. Laptops, tablets, phones. I had actually suggested we leave all of this inside and bring out actual books, but The Other Half was not a fan. I am writing this post out here right now, and we are 45 minutes into our two hour exclusion from the house.
3. I did bring an actual book. I am not the slightest bit interested in scuba diving but this book is amazing and you should seek it out and read it. I wrote about it on the blog before.
We don’t need to bring drinks because we have a fridge out here filled with all our favourites – for me, that is San Pellegrino mineral water and teeny tiny Cascade ginger beer.
On top of the fridge – which used to be a freezer but The Other Half reprogrammed it – is the favourite sleeping spot of Grumpy.
About 15 minutes before we were due to be “allowed” back into the house, I felt a blast of cool air approaching. A cool change, just in time for us to open all the windows in the house and let the “fog” out. The kitties were left outside for another hour while we vacuumed and wiped down surfaces. The minute we put the cat door back in, they lost all interest in going back inside and found themselves warm places to remain in the Delicate Nirvana.
After that, I got a head start on dinner = spinach, bacon and ricotta canneloni. I wanted to cook once this Easter weekend and then eat leftovers for the rest of the weekend. First I made The Bolognese Of Snoskred. While that bubbled and simmered, I cooked bacon and fresh spinach, and added that into 1kg of ricotta to make the filling, which simply gets placed inside fresh lasagne sheets and rolled up.
Aldi have fresh lasagne sheets now, and a much better price than the Latina Fresh ones. $2.59 VS $5.17. I found the Aldi ones much easier to work with as well. The Latina ones tend to be easily breakable, the Aldi ones are far stronger and much easier to roll up once you have placed your filling inside.
Not only did this cook once feed us for the rest of the weekend, but we got 6 lunches out of it, and I made Fake Lasagne the following Thursday with the leftover sauce.
While this was going on two loads of washing and two loads of dishwashing were done, and overall we got Shiznit Done. Dinner was delicious. It was a great day.
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.
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. :)