Saturday, 27 November 2010

Minding our Own Beeswax

Caleb recently purchased a new laptop. He's paying it off by working for us on a low $5 hourly rate (more for excellently completed jobs). He helped me hammer the nails in his room, Trev punched them in. Caleb puttied the holes and washed the floor and then using my freshly made beewax polish, polished the boards.

The colours in the timber came out beautifully. Not like you'd see with estapol etc where it looks like a layer of reflective water on the surface. Much more subtle.

Beeswax Floor Polish100 grams of beeswax chopped into small pieces and placed in a wide mouth glass jar.
In a small pot of boiling water place the jar with the lid loosely on. Heat the water slowly (do not boil) and stir occassionally to help melt the wax. Wax has a low melting point, do not over heat. We used some of our own beeswax and strips of old beeswax off cuts from the hive. The cheapest way to buy it is from apiary suppliers. Or, if you have a friendly neighbour apiarist, ask them.

When the wax is melted remove the jar from the water and, while stirring, blend in 100mls of mineral turpentine. Allow to cool.

With a lint free cloth rub the wax onto your floor boards. 'Dries' within half an hour, you can then buff it for an increased shine. We tested a spare board for staining. Water simply beaded on it, and dirt wiped off. We realise it's not going to have the same kind of durability as synthetic finishes. But that's a compromise we're willing to make.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Little Brown Pigs Big Adventure

I was in the garden and heard an outbreak of piggy noise. It was coming from two directions. Off I flew and sure enough, there's a little brown pig at the gate wanting to come through. Bleeding from under her eye, and her mouth and looking thinner than her little pink piggy mate. We did the re-capture dance... she runs and squeals, we turn and dive... many times. Finally Trev had her and we reunited the pair.

Little pig piggy has been getting lots of smooches, and scratches. Scratch her belly and she falls over in ecstacy. So she's been getting very used to interaction with humans, especially of the food producing kind. Not so little brown pig, but hope to inaugurate her to the delicacy of home baked bread soaked in goats milk and have her eating out of our hand soon.

Wonder just what adventures she's been in.

Also apologies for the last title. Not sure what I was thinking, 'something or other' not 'rather' Doh!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Empress of Blanding and ... something or rather

We have two new wee piggies. A Large Whites and a Berkshire. They're about the 6-7 weeks of age and cute as buttons. Though there was a lot of muttering, 'I like suckling pig!' under Trev's breath while we ran hill and dale retrieving the wee buggars from neighbours when we discovered their fence breaching powers. Both gilts. We hope to eventually raise guilt free pork/bacon for Trev and Cal to eat. These two are breeders. They'll largely be fed on whey, comfrey, boiled spuds, windfall apples, carrots, sunflower seeds and food scraps. They're free range so will supplement their diets on grass and bracken fern root while ploughing up areas and fertilzing it for us. Very much looking forward to having them happy to see us and the scrap bucket at the moment it's the sound of stuck pig when we go in for the cuddle. A bit more positive food reinforcement to go yet.

Trev wants to call them the Empress of Blanding and something else even longer as they're references to pigs in PG Wodehouse books, which he loves. My guess is they will end up being Piggy and Wiggy or something less illustrous.

Busy as a beaver and as bald as one too!

Trev's hair could have been said to have been coming out at a rate of knots (it was pretty tangled). The bald spot from the bedsores on the back of his head is slowly coming back, but just as fast everything else is falling out. Trev hasn't cut his hair since 1993, so today was a bit of a shock to the system. Apparently high temps and severe illness can make the hair go into a resting phase. As such everything falls out, and well, it's time to start again. So a scissor cut followed by a number 3 buzz cut and Trev's hair twirling days are over for at least the next three years. (He gets his pig tail and twirls it in his fingers, thumping it on his shoulder). It's going to take a while to getting used to Trev's longest hairs being the nasal variety.

Trev's mum will be pleased, even if he does look like a bit of a crim. When he was in a coma she did mention, with a certain gleam in her eye that now would be the time to get out the scissors.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Cheap Christmas Copies

Give someone a giggle this Christmas... copies of Who Killed Dave usually retail for $24.95, I'm selling them for $20 (including postage) up till Christmas. Saves you around $10.
My Christmas fund, your Christmas fun :-)

Cheap Christmas Copies

Remember to ask if you want them signed to a particular person

reviews here and here

The book is printed on recycled paper, printed with vegetable inks and is carbon offset. While it's an environmental print, it's definately not about the environment!


Dave died in mysterious and grotesque circumstances and the murder has caught the imagination of a
nation. There’s a television poll running and 46% of voters believe Robyn is guilty.

Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t, she wasn’t in any state to remember.

But hey, if you’re pointing fingers then Kaos Court is full of people crazy enough to commit the crime.
This part time masseuse, part time tarot card reader is going to need all her skills to find out who killed
Dave, because it’s the only thing standing between her and Detective Mark Hood, a man she could never
marry, not when your first name is Robyn. Right?

A whacky whodunit comedy that cartwheels from one chaotic moment to the next.

And who killed Dave? ... You’ll never guess!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Did I mention...?

That I've mastered the final coat of mud on two rooms and am quite impressed with the final result. Played with types of sand, clay (including hacking out an old Kaolin hill in the area with Cal and Trev) adding various 'hippe' additives of cooked flour paste and linseed oil and tried lots of techniques to get it right and seemed to have got it right enough to have no cracking and not too many lumps. I keep seeing hand rendered walls in movies and remarking, 'Hmm, should have got me to do that, look how uneven that is' kind of remarks. In jest, believe me, in jest. Once these walls are done I'm hanging up the trowel for good.

The Progress Meter

It's been sitting on the same mark for almost two months and then, within two days had a sudden, not that inexplicable, leap forward.
All down to John 'The Workhorse' Fibbens. Workhorses in carpentry are usuable fairly stationery objects, and John doesn't really come under that category. The photo of John is perhaps not his best view point, nor his most distinguishing feature. He's a force to be reckoned with. Thanks John. Trev working alongside and Caleb offsiding, two rooms have now been enclosed, insulated and a floor laid down, plaster walls are up in two rooms. It's amazing to see what a difference a floor and internal walls make. Yeah, seeing it written like that you'd expect a fair bit of difference. But I've been walking across gaps and joists for so long now a solid floor is fairly miraculous. Caleb occupied the room within two shakes of a lambs tail (not yet born). Unfortunately he decided to revisit his old room where the insulation was stored and watched TV for an hour using it for a pillow. Not unsurprisingly we had a red cheeked Cal visit us late one night complaining he had an 'agigitated face.' A quick shower appeared to have resolved those issues.

Of course, human nature as it is, now I want ALL the rooms finished. Another day on Saturday will see a third room completed. Then up to Trev to finish off the last upper windows. But due to the ulcerated bedsore on Trev's heel it's still hellish to climb ladders for him.. But he is getting there. A week or so ago he had a sudden turn for the better, energy, stamina and strength seemed to, after what seemed a long gradual return, make a leap of there own on the progress meter.

Little Lambinos

Louise has been wandering around doing the woolley beach ball thing for a while now. She spent most of yesterday near the top fence (they always go as high on the property as they can, a flood instinct perhaps) and had two wee female lambs. We left her to things for 24 hours, but now it's time for a cuddle. Born female they're off the butchers list, thank God. Lamboghini is due to have first sometime soon too. I don't think she has any idea why she's stacked on the weight of late.