Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year's Eve, Everyone...

Here's the latest kniting effort. It's actually all sewn together now, but sadly it's a bit small. I'm going to try to block it with steam to make it a little larger...it's my first time knitting with cotton, using Rowan Cotton Glace. Pretty color, though, don't you think? And it's not a Partridge in a Pear Tree, but how about this cheeky visitor to the apple tree outside our bedroom window a couple of days ago? In the few minutes I watched him, he devoured about 15 little apples! There are flocks of these sulphur-crested cockatoos that swoop into the trees in the yard here...very beautiful, raucous birds that can inflict a LOT of damage!
It's New Year's Eve in Exeter, and we'll probably do our usual: in bed by 9:30PM after a glass of champagne! I tellya, we're real ragers around here!

Hope you all have a safe and sane New Year's Eve. Here's wishing you all the best of all good things for 2008.

Monday, December 24, 2007

And A Very Merry Christmas To All

The builders wound up their 2007 activities around midday on Friday, and have departed till 7 January. Thought you might enjoy seeing where things are at this point. Here's the new "kitchen" in the garage. Pretty neat to have all this available out there...makes washing up after the cats much easier. I can also wash and dry their bedding easily, and it never hurts to have an extra fridge for wine, beer and soft drinks out there. This is the other side of that wall, with the new outdoor fireplace. The renderer has started with the chimney, and it's looking good. I think we'll use this area a lot, don't you?
And here's our bathroom, just off our bedroom, with our closet on the left. The brickwork here will also be covered with sheetrock and painted...no brick will be visible anywhere.
This is the view from our bedroom. The wall on the right will move to the right about one metre, and the opening shown will be much larger. There will be a large set of French doors there onto a verandah, where I'm sure we'll sit in the mornings with our coffee...it faces east.And here is the lovely view from our temporary digs. It was raining when I took this shot on Thursday, but isn't it pretty? I hope to catch a shot sometime that has the two sheep, Mary and Martha...they are a kick, always looking for a treat.
Finally, I wanted to share this lovely poem I came across today, that expresses my wishes to you all as this eventful year ends and we look forward to 2008:

A Lyric Day
Robert W Service

I deem that there are lyric days
So ripe with radiance and cheer,
So rich with gratitude and praise
That they enrapture all the year...
To-day has been a lyric day
I hope I shall remember long,
Of meadow dance and roundelay,
Of woodland glee, of glow and song.
Such joy I saw in maidens' eyes,
In mother gaze such tender bliss . . .
How earth would rival paradise
If every day could be like this! ...


Merry Christmas, everybody...may you enjoy this special day with family and friends, and may the coming year bring happiness and joy beyond measure.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Demolition Derby!

Woo-hoo! They've started demolishing the inside of our house, and here you see me (left), with my darling in-laws, surveying the damage. Feels SO good to have this kind of progress, especially given the terrible weather challenges of the past few weeks. DH looks like a happy camper, don't you think?
Patch is inspecting a big pile of windows and enjoying the lovely sunshine this morning...yesterday was glorious, too! Now, this afternoon, it's beginning to cloud over again, and we are expecting MORE rain this week. I tell ya, we should be building an ark, not a house!
Can you believe this incredible pile of lumber that's come out of the house? Patch and the others find this all very interesting...especially on Saturday, when there aren't workmen around to make noise!
As you can see, the connection between the house and the new garage is still a bit tricky! We're thinking of auditioning for the high wire act next time the circus comes to town... Do you see the cool new outdoor fireplace to the left? Can you just see us sitting out there on a warm evening, sipping our wine and enjoying the fire? The renderer is coming Monday to start rendering (stuccoing over, for you Northern Hemisphere types) the fireplace, so it will match the garage. The house will also be rendered when it's finished.
It's so great to have this project really underway, at last. The mud everywhere is a bit of a worry because we still have big open trenches on one side of the house. They can't fill them in because the ground is so soggy that the bobcat can't get back there. If only we'd get a couple of weeks completely free of rain, they'd be able to take care of this...pray for dry! I know, I know, that's positively un-Australian, but it would really help...just for a couple of weeks.

The new garage is going to be absolutely wonderful. They've moved the old kitchen cupboards out there, plus my old fridge and dishwasher. How easy will it be to barbecue, then keep the mess confined to the garage?! I'm also going to put the old washer/dryer in the garage, so I can wash the cats' bedding out there and avoid having lots of cat hair and twigs in the "nice" new dryer in the house!

In the next couple of weeks they'll have the new internal rooms of the house framed up and I'll be able to give you a glimpse of the new quilting studio. It's going to be really great, with closets at one end with shelving for stash and mess, AND...a large windowseat with that incredible view.

In knitting news, I've nearly finished my first cotton sweater - pics next post. No quilting news as yet. I haven't discovered a place in the temporary digs to set up a quilting station, but my Bernina is here and I made sure to park the plastic tubs with my stash near the front of our new shed, in front of all the furniture and household stuff. Gotta be ready when the mood strikes, doncha know?!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Moved Out!

Friday was moving day, and over the weekend we got settled in at our neighbors' house. The cats moved into their new digs on Saturday: What you see above is the two outdoor screened-in rooms, with the two inside rooms just behind. The cats are allowed to roam around freely outside this complex during the day, and then they get locked inside each night.

Here's what the inside of one of the indoor rooms looks like. We'll be adding more places for them to "roost" up high on some shelves, I think, but this works for now. You can see Cassie lounging in the camp chair. Since not everyone gets along with everyone else, the division allows for the two more agressive males to inhabit one half of the complex, while the other five more mellow types live in the other half.

And both rooms have this view from the windows and from the outside screened-in area:
Meanwhile, at the house, here's what's happening to the kitchen:
After a few hours of messy work, the skies opened up (AGAIN!) and here was the result:
Today there are no workmen here, the ground everywhere is a giant mud bucket, and there are pools of water everywhere.

This will be short, because I'm writing while sitting on the floor of the empty bedroom. Our internet connection isn't up at our temporary digs, so we have to come back here till tomorrow to send e-mail and such.

More later...pray for some sun!