The plastic curtains reflect multitudes of fairy lights.
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.