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.. :)

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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.

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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

General Goings On.

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Via Dancing with Frogs who borrowed this meme from secret suburban – here is the current state of SnoskredLand.

Admiring: My $5 Kmart snowglobe pictured above.

Drinking: Almond and Soy milk – I swapped out dairy milk for a while. I love almond milk in my lunchtime protein shakes and I love soy milk for my coffee.

Cooking: Cottage Pie on a 36 degrees Celsius day. But it is The Other Half’s favourite.

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Waiting: for Aldi to open on Wednesday because guess what goes on sale? The food covers I have been waiting for. I’m not fussy, I will take one of each colour more than likely, I will buy the teal ones for Mother if they are there.

Wanting: My streak of clumsy to end. On what we are now calling my Weekend Of Fail, I fell over the chook fence. About half an hour later I dropped an ice cube sphere shattering it into pieces that flew across the room – I am still finding pieces of it days later. I was advised to sit down and do nothing for the rest of the day and I actually felt like that was wise advice. The following day, I opened the car door into the back of my leg somehow. It is a mystery to me how I managed that.

Playing: with my new Samsung s7 phone.

Wishing: I had not somehow managed to dent my new Samsung s7 phone before I bought a case for it.

Questioning: How I managed to dent my new phone. I know I didn’t drop it, I know it didn’t hit anything. I am wondering if perhaps I just looked at it wrong. It was on the Saturday of my Weekend Of Fail.

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Reading: I recently finished Helter Skelter – I started reading it the week before Charles Manson died. I had been hearing Charles Manson references for 42 years and having no idea about what happened I felt it was time to know more about it. The book was excellent but because it was a book for my tablet there were no photos and I have a feeling there might have been some images in the published book I would not have liked to see.

Deciding: To go back to some old faithful books which do not keep me up at night. Currently it is The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, before that it was Persuasion.

Hoping: for a warm Christmas but not too warm! 25-30C (77-86F) will do nicely.

Marvelling: At the talent and skill of The Other Half.

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Enjoying: my freshly painted nails. It was not what I had in mind colour wise but it is super sparkly and I love how it turned out. This is the shortest they have been for a while. I felt like a break from length. :) As always the photos do not do them justice.

Buying: all the things, way too many things.

Thinking: About trying a year of buying nothing other than groceries in 2018

Making: The Other Half crazy by asking our new Google Home Mini all kinds of questions.

Hearing: Google Home Mini tell me it can’t help me with my somewhat bizarre questions.

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Wondering: about this La Brique cheese I bought at Aldi for Christmas Day because I liked the shape of it and I liked the name of it. Yes, I did ask Google Home Mini to tell me more about La Brique, and it could not help me. So I had to resort to actual googling and am really still none the wiser.

Wanting: To eat some cheese. I took 6 months off from eating uncooked cheeses of any kind because it appeared to be the cause of the majority of my sinus issues – sinus headaches, congestion and sinus pain. Weirdly if I eat cooked cheese I do not get the same reaction.

Cringing: at all the Christmas marketing in my inbox, and on social media. I’m over hearing about it! This is why people grow to hate Christmas, because they are just force fed it 24/7 for 4 weeks ahead of it. It is just one day of the year, no need to make such a fuss.

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Watching: the chickens and kitties while I relax in the delicate nirvana.

Needing: to stay at home for a bit. The usual holiday traffic has begun here.

Smelling: Tahitian Lime from my Costco reed diffusers.

Sorting: through the art room which is going to become a computer room so the computer room can become an exercise room.

cactuscar

Giggling: every time I see one of these “Cactus”. What a name for a car! If it breaks down, you could say “My cactus is cactus”.

Loving: having a new foxtel box because the previous one went “cactus”.

Disliking: some truly terrible television which I am addicted to. Yes, I’m looking at you and hating myself for doing that, 90 Day Fiancé and Real Housewives of Melbourne.

About Snoskred

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

The Old Chook Pen

Any chicken owner who has built a chook pen of any kind will tell you all the things they would do to improve it next time. I have a list of things so, so, SO long. Some of them we have already done – you see the winged roof we added to protect the run a bit better from rain. There is just one thing I would never change..

That one thing I would never change is the type and colour of the paint we chose to paint it with – both the exterior and the interior.

I first heard about Taubmans Endure on the TV show Selling Houses Australia. I’m not usually one who follows recommendations but the folks on that show explained enough about how the paint works plus I read the tin when we bought it.

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Seven years later, this chook pen has been out in the weather 24/7 and we have only had to replace one door just a couple of weeks ago – due to our bad design water runs straight off the roof onto the nesting box lid and due to a poor choice of materials water collected there and ended up, eventually, after a heck of a lot of abuse, causing a small area of rotted wood.

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I chose my favourite shade of teal green for the exterior and a pale yellow for the interior. Here you see some recently painted batons which we used for the sarlon screens with my most recent manicure in the foreground. Is it coincidence that they almost match? Nope. Not even a little bit. I love that shade of green. ;)

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We have just replaced the door with a new one – this time we are using marine ply, and we are protecting it better with some plastic tablecloth material, instead of the leftover linoleum flooring we used from inside the chook pen.

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You really cannot tell the freshly painted door from the 7 year old painted parts. There are some areas where a good clean of the surface might be required however for the most part it looks as good now as it did when we first finished it.

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And that is quite a feat considering the amount of dirt, rain, dust, chook poop, and that one time Rosie tore off a toenail and splattered blood all over an interior wall. Lucky for me I already knew what to do after that one time I cut her toenails – you dip the toe into cornflour and it stops the bleeding.

That roost in the photo above is where the chickens sleep at night – you would expect it to be a lot more dirty from 7 years of chicken sleeping and pooping but this Endure paint is a bit awesome.

Anyway, if you have something you want to paint once really well and then forget all about it, I can’t recommend Taubmans Endure highly enough. They rather sadly are not paying me anything to say this.

If they happen to stumble upon this post and wish to offer me another tin of paint I will take it, in the exact same colour of green – and that is another point. We are still able to use the leftover green paint from 7 years ago. I’m sure that is probably a big No No and not supposed to be done, but it works for us. :)

Chickens

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.

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.

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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.

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

What Is It?

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Anything in this shade of green stops me in my tracks, but in this case it took me a little while to work out exactly what I was looking at. Shades of teal green are my favourite as well as a great favourite of my Mother.

I very nearly bought it for her for Christmas, but it turned out to be $77. It is quite large, so I can justify the cost. However I cannot justify buying her random glass items just because they are her favourite colour, or because they are something I might love to own. ;)

shopping