Quick Catch Up

Callala Bay on a 34 degree day, where my cousin’s wife and I chose to do a 7km walk because we could. It was actually lovely, a nice breeze blowing for much of the time. But this is one of just three times I have been anywhere near the beaches since School Holidays started. Too many tourists, too much traffic, way too much litter, and not enough patience within myself.

We’ve been offline for almost 7 days thanks to our internet service provider. It began the Thursday evening before the Australia Day long weekend. We’d gone out for dinner and when we returned home, no internet. Friday, no internet. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, more of the same. Tuesday we put in an application to move to a new provider because we’d had enough. The internet returned finally on Wednesday.

I actually did not mind so much. I had some teevee to catch up on and my Sticky Prints arrived on Friday so I had two collage walls to build. Sticky Prints are amazing – they essentially work like octopus tentacles – you don’t need any adhesive, no hooks or nails or anything at all. The back of the print is like a mass of tiny suction cups.

You simply peel it off the protective sheet it arrives attached to, and place it onto a clean wall. You can peel it straight back off again, or leave it there long term and when you are ready to remove it, you simply peel it off. They will stick to most surfaces – fridges are another popular place to put them, but you really can put them anywhere you like.

One of the collage walls I can show you – the other one has a lot of photos of people including myself, The Other Half, Sephyroth and various family members, so that one will remain private, but I might take some photos of the non-people photos.

This is a memorial wall of our Big Cat and our chickens who are no longer with us. It is a happy-sad. Happy that they were with us and had wonderful treat filled lives, sad they are no longer here.

Speaking of treats, drumstick x messina is now available in supermarkets and is half price (AKA $5 for 4) at Coles this week. I’m about to go try one and then catch up on a LOT of reading your blogs.. ;)

OMG I had the mango and salted coconut.. amazing. Get thee to Coles!! :)

country life, Home

So Much Happening

Half of it I can’t talk about here, and the other half I haven’t had the time or energy to talk about here. So let us go back in time to Christmas Day. After just one year of hosting Christmas, The Other Half and I have this down to a fine art and really do not need to do much food preparation at all, just putting out nibblies, cooking a BBQ with steaks and sausages, and Mother provides the dessert of Pavlova.

Only this year I had gone on a Christmas Shopping expedition to The Treat Factory and found out they were making gelato logs. What a fantastic idea. I ordered one in dark chocolate and salted caramel. It was fabulous and we had leftovers which we have greatly enjoyed on all the hot evenings since.

I did mostly forget to take photos, we were having too good a time really. It was lovely to be still and enjoy each others company. However I knew it was back to work the next morning, so it was a little less relaxing than usual.

I worked on Boxing Day, not a long shift. I gave a Christmas present to a fellow co-worker and they told me it was the only present they had to open on Christmas Morning, which also made me a little sad – but extra happy I went to the effort to get something for them. I remember many years of having nothing to open, which is why I go to an extra effort now to make sure I do have things to open even if I bought them for myself.

I haven’t had a chance to write up the No Spend for both November and December – and not sure there is much point now we’re in a new year other than for the sake of completion. December was a spend month but mostly spending on presents for other people. I did have two things I wanted to buy in the Boxing Day Sales – Bras and Kiehl’s Moisturiser in the super large size.

I’ve worn the same 4 bras to work for 6 months now – these were the same 4 bras I’d been wearing for almost a year already – and while they are still semi-wearable, they were past their use-by date. I figured it would be a good idea to pick some up if they were on special. I’d bookmarked them in my browser. I hoped to buy them on super special on Boxing Day, but none of them moved in price at all, at least not online.

That is a really smart thing on the part of Bras N Things, to have an inhouse brand which you fit customers in and sell them but don’t ever discount, not even on the biggest sale day of the year. I thought maybe they might be on special in store or maybe there might be something else I could try on which was on special, so I suggested to The Other Half that he drop me off at the shops and I would go for a wander. I thought he wouldn’t want to go. Surprise, he did join me! Because it was mid-afternoon, the sales rush was over and we even managed to find a decent park.

There was a shopping incident where I thoroughly spoiled myself with new bras. I tried one on and it was so comfortable I gave it to the sales assistant and said “please can you go and find every bra like this in my size, I will take them all” – she found 7 in my size. Perfect! One for each day of the week, and I got two navy blue polkadot ones which I have officially allocated as work bras.

A few days later another family member needed bras so we went together and they had more in my size back out on the shelves – I bought 5 more because they were so comfortable and even cheaper on sale than they were the first time, because they added “spend $100 get $20 off” on top of the great sale prices and I had two $5 vouchers as well – one of which I gave to my family member..

I had not bought any bras at all since mid 2017 after my big weight loss, so I think I did pretty well. I wish I’d done it sooner because I did not realise how uncomfortable the old ones had become, and I got to a point where the minute I got in the house I would take them off – not anymore, now I am enjoying wearing these all day long, the same way I once did with the old bras.

I got my Kiehls for 15% off. Sometimes it is really handy to have signed up for the mailing list, as I was able to go back through the emails since September and realised 15% off is the best deal they’ve done in those three months. I still have 1/3 of the jar left from my Canberra shopping trip.

This new jar is 3x the size so I should get 9 months out of it at least. I’ve maybe missed two mornings since I bought it and on those missed days I can really tell that I missed applying it. I’m so glad I found this moisturiser and have to send another big thanks to Sydney Shop Girl for making me aware of this brand.

I bought a few things from my TVSN wishlist for crazy discounted prices, including this one I mentioned in my April did not buy post for $9.95 instead of $64.95, what a bargain! The material is so gorgeous. I’m glad they had it left in my size, I was not so lucky with some of the other items I wanted.

In other family news, my cousin and his wife have arrived for a long-ish visit. They are replacing a couple of staff on my parents side of the store, who had two staff members resign leading up to Christmas. Not sure if this will be temporary or long term. I’d not met his wife before but it turns out we are like twinsies and get along super well, plus she loves to walk which is great for me.

In blog news, at this stage I am not sure if and when I will return to regular posting. A few things are up in the air at work right now, and I’m waiting for things to settle before making any big decisions. I’ll try and get in one post a week but I’m just not making any promises because I don’t know my future schedule.

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Sorry All..

At the moment I’m pretty amazed if I can remember my own name and where I live, I certainly have no spare thoughts to put together comments for your blogs or a decent post for this one. I do manage the occasional comment, sorry there are not more of them.

My offsider has mostly flaked out on me, I can’t rely on them to do any of the essential tasks that need to get done at this time of year, so it is all me all the time. It is a lot more work than I was expecting, but it is 100% work I am capable of and suited to. The levels of organization.. alphabetization.. I’m feeling pretty happy about it, while at the same time completely exhausted.

Today is my first full day off where I have no intentions whatsoever of dropping into work to make sure things get done, and I have some plans – hairdressing, Christmas Shopping, a nice lunch in Berry, then a stroll around a late night Christmas Shopping event. I might see if I can park the car somewhere it can be washed, too. Hopefully this might be fodder for a post next week.

Tomorrow I have another day off and I am going to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING all day. I need a day like that, before heading back into another 5 day stint of insanity. I might see if I can manage my November wrap up post, though.

Chooks are good if perhaps inundated with treats, kitties are good. We seem to have a rodent problem. They started chewing on the coop/run as they are locked out of it at night, and that is where the food now resides.

We’ve had to put some metal capping on. We may shout ourselves an electric chair for Christmas.

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An Hour Out

It is going to be the first of our super hot days here today. Luckily I am at home to deal with the kitties and chooks.

At 9:30 this morning I let the kitties out into the Nirvana – they LOVE the warm weather even when it is super hot. Happy found a lizard to chase right away, it found a safe hiding place pretty quickly.

It was already 31 in the Nirvana. It was 35 outside the Nirvana.

I set the chooks up with fresh cool water and added an icecube, then they got an entire punnet of just taken out of the fridge blueberries as I discovered one had burst – when that happens mould is not far off. They were extremely pleased by this turn of events.

As I was filling up the birdbath I realised there was a bit of a chicken kerfuffle going on. I put the hose on to mist to keep the girls cool, and went to investigate.

We’ve had a couple of eggs laid from the perches recently and today I found out why – the two Pekins are bullying the younger girls out of the laying boxes. We’ll need to work out a longer term solution – they will need more laying boxes in a different place – but for now I have put a couple of boxes with wood shavings out for the girls to use.

By the time I finished putting this together, changing the water for the chickens, filling up the birdbaths, watching my lovelies dustbathe and generally faffing around here, an hour had passed. It was now 34 in the Nirvana. The kitties had settled in. Happy is lying on the cooler concrete.

Grumpy is on her favourite Nirvana chair.

Today I would have posted the monthly Year Of Buying Nothing update post, but I ran out of time to put it all together. Hopefully you will see it on Monday. :)

It is heading into our busy time of year and in my new department at work I will be dealing with Christmas, which likely means working 5 days a week, so I might have to take a break from posting. We will see. I will get to wear Christmas stuff, which makes me super happy.

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True Bargains

Sometimes you are not sure if the thing you are buying is a bargain or not. Especially if it is not something you regularly keep an eye on the price of. An example – you may recall in June, I bought a new blanket. I paid $42.50 for it. I use it on my recliner and Grumpy LOVES it.

So I thought I might go back and see if I could get another one around the same price, giving her other places to sleep other than my lap which she finds disruptive as I tend to get up more often than she would like AKA not stay perfectly still in one place for hours at a time. :) It turns out though, this was a genuine bargain.

At $79 she is going to have to put up with my disruptions. I will wait to see if these go on sale again and if they do you bet I will get another one because they are toasty warm and very pleasing to the Grumpy. Though we will soon arrive at a point where I switch back to my other rug – there are some days where this current rug is *too* warm especially with a cat added to it.

But not this week, as it is icy here at the moment. We got down to 3.1 on Monday, yet these past couple of weeks we have been having bushfires. Very little rain, no clouds in the sky, gorgeous blue sky days, but many of us are wishing for rain. Not flash flooding type rain, just long term sustained rain.. We need it.

Home, kitties

Delicate Nirvana – Chimes Akimbo

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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.

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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.

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The plan was we could pick two wind chimes each. I chose a sparkly chicken wind chime.

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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.

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I chose this rainbow seashell wind chime.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Delicate Nirvana, Home

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Something Different

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Many places held a bit of a Christmas shopping night this past Thursday, with nibblies, bubbles, free gift wrapping, live music, and an atmosphere of happiness. We dropped into a local shop, and then to Aldi to pick up mushrooms for a late pizza dinner.

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We are hosting Christmas this year in our delicate nirvana. While in the first shop I had mentioned to The Other Half that I wanted a cheese board. The first shop did not have one, but Aldi had.. well.. something quite unusual.

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I rarely buy anything glass but this was quite special and just $24.99.

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If you like it maybe drop into your local Aldi – they had a few other awesome things. I wish I’d seen the marble knife set, might have to drop back and grab that.. I get the Aldi catalogue delivered to my email address, so I can always search it to find out what time last year they had certain things I am wanting to get.

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The food covers which went on sale Dec 24th 2016 – which we did not need back then but definitely need now – should be placed out in special buys on December 23rd, if they stick to the schedule. I bought some teal ones for my Mother last year. I hope they have teal again this year!

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The box has already been repurposed as a Kitty Haven.

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