Sunday, May 31, 2015

Never-Ending Gravel

Every weekend this month, since Saturday the 2nd, we have tried to spread the crusher dust for the water tank to stand on. And every weekend something has impeded our progress. We had to wait for various other bits of work to be done before we could finish the last section. We were all ready to get it done today, but...
The rain overnight has saturated the area, and all we could do was dig some channels to allow the water to drain away. Looks like we will be back to spread gravel next weekend, too!

So back at home I made little Dot some fleecy pyjamas to help her through the cold Ballarat nights:
She's ready for winter!

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Scruff, a terrier cross of some sort,
August 1998 to 29th May, 2015.

She came from the Lost Dogs Home at about 3 months old. She was almost black as a pup:
But her furry coat became grey as it grew longer.

She didn't gnaw on bones, but she loved to bury them - thus this dirty snout:
She needed regular hair-cuts, and as dirt stuck to her fur she needed more bathing than the other dogs.

She enjoyed the beach:
And relaxing on the couch:

She made me laugh when she jumped to pick persimmons and eat them:

In her later years she became deaf and almost blind. She followed Merle around:
She was very lost when Merle died two weeks ago. 
Today she was buried beside Merle at Lal Lal.
Merle's grave on the left, Scruff's on the right, with tree-stump markers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Meet Dot

Late this afternoon we went for a drive to look at this:

 A litter of 8-week-old Jack Russell puppies. Is it possible to "just look" at puppies?

There were two females available. See the one who has her neck through the handle of the bag?

Meet Dot!
Picture from the online ad. She is very cute with her black eye-liner, and heart-shaped nose.

Jack isn't quite sure what to make of her:
But I'm sure he will enjoy having a playmate who will run and romp
as poor old Scruff doesn't do much but sleep these days.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Another Catch-Up Post

The last week in one post (again).

Interesting "plaid" pattern at a railway station:

Actually did some sewing:
In-progress blocks, using improvisational techniques, from the book Cultural Fusion Quilts by Sujata Shah.

Meanwhile on the building site, electricity has been connected. It should be a lot quieter without the generator running. Our verandah posts have arrived:
Big thick chunks of a hardwood species allowed in our BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) zone. They will be erected in a couple of weeks.

The brick wall is complete:
It still needs washing down to remove mortar and dirt from the face of the bricks. Then we will know for sure if we love it or not!

Some more bracing ply has been installed:

My parents came to visit:

Australia Post advised us where our letter-box should go:


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Catching Up

The last week in one blog post:

We planted a callistemon seedling beside Merle's grave

It was grown from seeds collected from my old garden. It should be able to cope with the clay soil, but I don't know about the cold winter. I hope it will grow and thrive.

I've been worried about Scruff, as she wouldn't eat for a few days after Merle died. But she is gradually starting to eat again, and we are gradually finding things she will eat. She likes cheese. She will eat pancakes and pasta and porridge. Not quite a balanced diet for a dog! She won't eat anything she needs to chew. She likes cat food. And this morning she even ate a little bit of sloppy dog food.

I don't want to leave Scruff alone in the house, so I wait until she's asleep to take Jack for walks. He enjoyed all the rain we've had. Splashing around in puddles is great fun:

In between the rain, the carpenters have most of the wall frames up:

Now we can get the feel of the size of the house,

and the volume of the rooms. It feels wonderful!

Fortunately the weather cleared up for the weekend. Here's an amateur carpenter making his contribution to the house:

And an amateur bricklayer trying out a bit of brick patchwork:

Fortunately the professionals were on hand to fix up that wonky brick, and by the end of Saturday the full length of the wall was up to head height:
The brickies were planning to continue on Sunday, to get the wall finished. I haven't been back to see it yet, but the weather was beautiful, so I hope they got it done.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


23/9/1998 to 12/5/2015
A pomeranian/koolie cross, she was one of a litter of about 12.

My beautiful blue-eyed girl. 
She was my velcro-dog, who wanted to be with me all the time. She even sat on my feet when I went to the loo.

She loved stuffed toys.
She also loved running on the beach, but I can't get to those photos at the moment. I'm limited to those I've already posted on this blog.

Here she is with Scruff, in my second-ever post, from Sept 2009.

Licking herself dry after a bath. She was a bit cat-like.

Wearing her coat when she was about 15 and starting to feel her age.

I thought she might enjoy having a puppy around more than she did. But eventually she allowed Jack to snuggle up.

Just a couple of weeks ago, when I made all the dogs some polar-fleece pyjamas.

Her kidneys failed, and late today she was buried at Lal Lal.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Bit of Weather

Last night it rained and rained. Today it rained more, on and off. Not brick-laying weather!

Water everywhere:

No brickies, but eight kookaburras watched us eat what we had brought for the brickies' morning tea:

So after some impromptu earthworks to drain water away from the building,
we took some builder's rubbish to the tip, loaded the dogs into the car, and headed back to the city.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Few Bricks in the Wall

The brickies made an early start, and already had a couple of rows down before we arrived:
I love the colour of the mortar, and like the way the bricks are looking so far!

Nick the labourer collected a few bricks from each pallet on each run, to shuffle the colours:
That bright orange sand is what is giving the mortar the beautiful colour.

As the wall went up, I loved it as much as I hoped I might!

Remember the "lucky brick"?
Now it lives next to the light switch in my sewing room!

I love these walls!
Can you see the brick in the top row of the left wall with "OG" chalked on it? Graeme's parents came for a visit and brought a couple of bricks from their house in Ocean Grove for us to include in our walls. Having mementos like this in the walls makes them feel very special.

Here's a beautiful brick which just turned up in one of our pallets:
Kangaroo and emu brick! Set sideways so we can enjoy it forever. Appropriately we had a couple of kangaroos hop through the block today. No emus unfortunately, but a couple of wedge-tailed eagles soared overhead. They are pretty big birds.

Tomorrow the last section of our curvy wall will be built to the same height:

Then the top of the wall will be done next weekend. I love our patchwork brick wall!