Green and Thrifty

I know practically every recent post features photos of my wood heater, but that is because my winter life revolves around it. Tonight, cooking vegetable soup.

I have been able to skip the gym this week because:

a) my gym buddy is on holidays, so no-one to nag me:)
b) yesterday I had more fire wood delivered. We have no off-street parking so I get the wood delivered in my car-park space on the street, then cart it, log by log down six stairs into the wheel barrow, then stack it in the shed. That took care of two hours, glutes, legs and arms.
c)today I spent two hours digging five holes for my retaining wall. That took care of back, shoulders and arms again. Tomorrow I expect I won't be able to move, but I want to saw the posts to size and put gravel in the holes, and maybe even cement... tonight I calculated how much cement I will need on an on-line concrete calculator. Using the dimensions of the holes I have dug I will need 31 20kg bags of rapid-set concrete! I may have been a little over-enthusiastic digging those holes, and might have to add a little dirt back in.. the cat really enjoyed helping me dig holes. He helped by sitting in the bottom of the hole I was digging..

The Girl was home for her mid-semester break, and while she was here she helped me finish the granny square rug that I started, oh, maybe two years ago now. No, hang on, found it, apparently I crocheted the first five squares in 2013. Well, that's only three years, not bad. Here are all the squares which we laid out to our liking then threaded with long pieces of yarn into rows and numbered each row. We had no idea what we were doing and made it all up as we went along.

Then we sewed the squares into rows, and then sewed the rows together. We did this while listening to an audio book, the narration of which lasted for nine hours, so I can tell you now that all that sewing took two, sometimes three people approximately nine hours and fifteen minutes.

The dog thinks it was all worth it.

It looks rather fabulous right now, but I am not sure whether I might crochet around to edge it. I will wait until my mum gets home from her holidays and ask her how one might even do that. All crochet decisions are best left to Grandma..

When we moved into our house the doorway up to the attic had no door on it. Rosy appropriated the attic for her bedroom, and for some picky, picky teenage reason she seemed to think she needed a bedroom door. So one day, to stop the whining, I told her I was going to the tip shop to buy her a door. "Yeah, yeah," she said, my precious little sixteen year old poppet.

In truth, I had very little faith that I would find a door, because I have seen the door selection at the tip shop.. and it is usually dire. But going to the tip shop is fun, and there are no whiny sixteen year olds there. Anyways, I came home with these:

Such darling doors, maybe from a wardrobe or pantry, and they miraculously fit the space perfectly and only needed a tiny bit of planing by the local helpful handyman. Admittedly they are blue and pink, but I have a paintbrush and a can of white paint, and Good Intentions. And Rosy likes them. Well, she will like them more when they are white, but she sees the potential..

Best part? $15 for the pair.

It is eerily quiet here at Chez Blueday, because the wee girls have gone to visit their dad this week. I am marvelling at the way the house remains tidy, but somehow I am finding myself still doing their washing five days after they left. How does that work?

Well, it is 8.38pm, which means time to tuck myself up with two cats and my book so I can be up at dawn to do Tradie Jo retaining wall magic (fingers still crossed).


Anonymous said…
Wow! And wow! A post with so many wonderful things.

Look at you go! You are going to be Muscles Jo. How lucky is that door find! And I love the monochromatic blanket.

Does the soup simmer nicely on the stove? We have ducted gas heating but I am tempted to get a wood stove. Surely I can find one that won't add much particle matter to Sydney skies?
Sherri said…
Well someone looks snug wrapped in your new rug. It turned out lovely and I really like your choice of colours. It is cold, wet, and really windy here today and if I had a wood fire I would be spending my evenings next to it. Cheers.
Fernglade Farm said…
Hi Jo,

You have one happy looking pooch! I love the tip shop too, and those doors are awesome. Plus vegetable soup on the wood heater. Way to go! I made a batch of toasted muesli in the wood oven tonight. Yum! How good is it to heat your house and cook food using the same energy source? The stupid thing was that when I first started using the wood oven to cook, I thought that I'd need all of this heavy duty cooking gear, but the wood heat is actually more gentle than either electric or gas. Mind you, silicone bread tins aren't anywhere near as good as the metal bread tins in the wood oven... Not sure why?

Haha! No one went to the gym in the old days. They didn't need too. Best wishes for your retaining wall and remember to enjoy yourself and take lots of breaks. As a gentle hint, with fencecrete, I add a bit of water to the top of the dry mix and that helps the whole lot set quickly. For some reason in the past people got into my ear about that stuff absorbing water from the surrounding ground and I just never saw that actually happen. You may be interested to know that they use fencecrete to hold up electricity poles. I only know this because I knocked one off vertical many years ago and had to pay the bill to get the whole lot fixed...


I loved reading this post! you make me feel very lazy, though, what with your improvised bootcamp! I love reading how your new home is coming together.
Mimi said…
Yep...rug fabulous! Workout improvisation even more so! Glad you're all settled Jo. Love, Mimi xxx
Jo said…
Lucinda, I have a supposedly super-duper European wood heater with amazing technology that burns the smoke or something so it doesn't emit particles. I have no way of knowing whether this is the case of course. It does seem to burn very clean.. is fire wood very expensive in Sydney? The joy of burning wood in Tasmania is that we are surrounded by trees on every side, wood is relatively cheap and doesn't have to travel far to get to me.

Sherri, surely it never gets cold in your sub-tropical wonderland??

Chris, I often use the top of my wood heater as a plate warmer/pancake warmer/toast warmer etc. Works well if you don't leave plates there for long and remember that they will be very hot!

e, yes, boot camp. Wouldn't be doing it except needs must! The wood that warms you several times over! It is great being forced out into the winter air. Vitamin D and all that..

Mimi, thanks:) our grannies got a workout every day because they had to. That's why they all looked so slim and gorgeous. All I have to do is haul heavy wood around every day to look just like them:)

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