Archive for February, 2019

Jobs on the go

February 22, 2019
It seems like ages since I last wrote, so I thought it must be time for an update.  Despite there being many fires in Tasmania again this year, caused by dry lightning, none of them have been near us – for which we are very grateful.  We prayed for, and received, quite a bit of rain recently which has thankfully helped to slow the fires down.  Meanwhile we have been busy doing lots of improvements while we have the warmer and usually dryer weather.
Firstly we finished the main work on Josiah’s bus.  It now has all the walls lined, blinds installed and a laminae floor to boot.  There is still some finishing trim to do, but he is feeling quite comfortable in there right now.
Then we bought yet another bus.  That means we now live in 2 shacks, 2 buses and a caravan and annexe.  Not very normal I suppose!  This bus has been allotted to Lydia as her own space, and will mean that Kim and I will get to have the caravan and annexe all to ourselves.
The bus was camperised many years ago with a kitchenette, bed, shower, lots of cupboards, and even has a back room with a ramp that was used to transport miniature ponies to shows – a motorhome and horse float in one.  It seemed eminently suitable for Lyd and worth the $4500 asking price.  It is unlicensed but arrived here under its own power and, although we have not bought it to drive but to be living space, no doubt it will be convenient to be able to easily move it around.  We have already made a few changes to make it more useful for Lydia.  We thought with it all being timber inside it would be fairly easy to modify, but whoever put it together meant it to stay together!  They never used one nail if they could use ten.  We have mostly traced the wiring system now and have removed an old VHS player, DVD player, car radio, speakers, some confused cupboards and even found a hidden safe!  We set up a portable hot water system so that we could get the shower working quickly too.  We still need to organise fly screens and a few other odds and ends and one day will work out how to get the kitchen taps to work, but it is getting more useable all the time.
In fact the shower in the bus is coming in extremely handy right now because the main job we have been working on is renovating our bathroom.  It was a rather small and very basic room, unlined, with a shower over the bath and the composting toilet squeezed in there as well.  Not surprisingly, after 12 years of all six of us showering there every day, the vertical board wall had started to rot away and the floor (which when we pulled it out turned out to be just a door lying flat) was making threatening creaking noises and we knew we had to fix things up this summer.  We began by removing the outside wall and the bath and floor and you can get some idea from the photo of how rough and ready the room had been.
We decided to use the Bondor panels that had come from the small building we had to demolish late last year for the replacement wall.   Kim also had the brainwave of continuing the Bondor wall from the bathroom all the way across the rest of the shack, thus closing in the ramp and carport and meaning that we could make a separate toilet and another living room at the same time.  We had lots of materials, including flooring, from the small demolished building and it seemed a good use for them.
However it did made the job somewhat larger!  Our workforce is a sickly bunch, and Kim’s chronic fatigue is not helping, but we are slowly making progress.  The new living room, unlined so far, is mostly full of tools, building materials and dangling extension cords while the front yard looks like a building site.  🙂
The new toilet looks nice though.
Hopefully in my next email I can send pictures of the new bathroom too.  There will be a spa bath (bought from a second hand shop), a shower enclosure (given to us by a friend from the craft group) and a small vanity (raided from the caravan).  Despite saving costs as much as possible, it turns out that renovations are still reasonably expensive.  🙂  We have bought some nice waterproof wall lining and flooring which should be good and strong and last many years.  We also got a delivery of pine wall lining for the new living room and toilet, and ordered enough to line the 40ft container as well.
It rather feels like the renovations have taken over our life lately, but hopefully it will be done one day we can consider some of the other jobs that need doing then.  🙂  Our man with machinery has been booked to come sometime soon as we want to prepare the container shed for a concrete floor, have the driveway graded and clear some trees away to extend Lydia’s arena (since we stole some of it for the container shed).  Hopefully we will have most of the bathroom done before he comes.  I also have a bunch of hay rolls to bring home from Mole Creek, one roll at a time, and my electric fences are in serious need of maintenance.  It is the season to be cutting firewood too, which isn’t getting done, and the veggie garden is getting neglected although still producing a little. The vehicles have their ups and downs, but are also getting ignored at the moment because of the renovations.  Too many jobs to do!
In other news we moved the ponies to their new area up in the bush and they have settled in well.  It is good to have a place to put them to get them away from the fresh growing grass that causes laminitis.  Silk has recovered from her lameness now, but did have a couple of hoof abscesses come through as an after effect.  Hopefully we can avoid all such problems next year.  Lydia has been quite enjoying training the young pony, who is a totally different character to Silk.
My cow is still producing lovely milk and her calf is growing well.  The calf is a bit too happy to go through fences though, much to my chagrin.  One of the chooks managed to hide away and emerged with a dozen chicks, just when I was congratulating myself on having stopped them all from going broody this year.  The dogs are going great and get on really well together.  Willow is part of the family now and a great character.  She hasn’t been to many shows as Lydia is pretty busy with work, and it turns out that dog shows are actually rather boring!  LOL.  Hours and hours of waiting around for 15 frantic minutes while all your breed goes through the ring.  However we hope to get her to another show next weekend.  I think that she will not do terribly well at conformation shows as she is a bit on the heavy side for a Pembroke Corgi, however she is a smart cookie and it might be fun to do obedience with her instead.
Well, I think that is probably enough news for now.
All the best….