Jul 13, 2013

Gone to ground...

The professional keeping it real!
 There now, I'd nearly disappeared...! Nope, yep, everything is fine, just life, you know?
Work and home and all that...
My man is doing Great! Excellent even! Bloody Marvelous!
He is loving his new business, even sub-contracting others!
We can pay for our mortgage and bills and the cupboards are full. So far the winter has been kind, not many really wet weather days on which he can't work.
He's happy and fit.
The universe provides yet again.
Our Fox at 16 years old.
 Home life has had some changes; one of our friends needed a place to live for a while, as she was going through a separation from her husband, so we offered her one of the rooms downstairs. She stayed for a few months while going through some harrowing times, including major surgery.
So N. stayed with us until somewhere in May. And she was a wonderful houseguest.
Immediately followed by our brother T. from the South Island, and it was great to have him to stay, too!
 Then when he left, our youngest daughter also decided to leave, and live in with her boyfriend. Not that we are completely happy with that, but she is 19 and must learn about life in her own way.

And so in June we find ourselves together, just me and my Love in our own house, with our 3 geriatric cats. Just in time for winter, so we can cozy up by the fire at night.
We can have dinner when we want, and eat what we want, and go out anytime, or stay in.
 Utter bliss!
Sick of those dark bricks!
 Just before the fire-season started, in those 4 short weeks of Autumn, after 6 months(!) of Summer, my Love decided that part of those fireplace bricks just had to go! Too much light-swallowing darkness from the 1970's interior fashion statement. We wondered what kind of wall paper might be behind it...

The D.I.Y.Meister in his dust tent.
 After a morning session of satisfying destruction, he found out what was behind it.
 We could look straight past the building studs to the outside wall.

Much lighter already.
Well, at least he could fill it up with some insulation now... And putting on some plaster boards was easy enough.
This will be our last year of wood stove warmth. As we have always had free firewood through his former work, we now don't have that luxury anymore. In this house we also have to lug all the wood up the stairs outside, and there is no easy place to store and season it.
 Our firebox is becoming illegal in 6 months due to it's inefficient clean air workings, and the local council will subsidize newer and eco-friendlier models. Including gas fires. The newest energy efficient, high heat output, with timers and (get this!) remote controls....
No more screwing up newspaper, then putting on bits of kindling and bark, a few firelighters, then placing the dry pieces of wood in strategic places, lighting it all. ( I am very good at lighting fires you know, I pride myself on being able to coax a roaring fire out of a few glowing cinders in 10 minutes without accelerants. )
No more dust and wood-chips everywhere, and splinters in your finger,  and diving into the woodshed with a torch in the pouring rain. Or knowing you still have to do all that when you come home to a cold house from work.
 No more chainsawing, and filling a trailer, and unloading it and chopping it with the ax, then stacking it, in the heat of summer.
And cleaning the ash out of the firebox every week, scrubbing the little window. Or going up the roof a few times per year to sweep the chimney.
A fire place: Romantic... sure.
 But I'm over it.
I really like the idea of that 1 little button!

My turn at show and tell, felting retreat feb'13.
 Somewhere during my 4-day annual felting retreat in February,( to which I took my friend N.), I ended up volunteering as the blog-keeper of the New Zealand Felters' Blog. There seemed to be quite a large amount of techno-angst in our members, and I couldn't bear listening to them all freaking out about it, when it was announced in a meeting that it would close otherwise. So I put my hand up...
Well this felting blog needed quite a bit of tidying up and refreshing. I even prettied it up some. Luckily I am getting some guidance and advice from the other editor.
I guess it was also part of why my own blog was neglected somewhat.
 The felting blog is now getting good traffic from around the world, so that's brilliant!
I'm still having a few issues with the font, but no doubt it will sort itself out at some stage.
I'm just a volunteer.
Go check out the NZFelters blog, it's in my bloglist on the right hand side of the screen.

Kereru in the cabbage tree.
Wildlife in our street.
A kereru is a protected wood pigeon, as fat as a small chicken ( and according to former Maori cuisine, just as tasty! That's why it is protected now). A lot of native plants rely on this particular bird eating their seeds and berries for the plants' reproduction. If the kereru dies out, so will those plants and trees.