Monday 13 July 2009

Young Grease Monkey

I see that my daughter has updated her blog with stories of working up at the shop - in particular the vast experience she has received in DIY plumbing and the subsequent discovery of a chunk of solidified fat that I was talking about in my previous post. She will probably explain the course of the day's work far better and with much more detail than I ever could ...

Sunday 12 July 2009

Flash of Genius

I love the Machinist. He is such an honourable man, and has many other admirable traits.

If I had to describe his character, I would have to say it was akin to Robert Kearns, as he was portrayed in the movie Flash of Genius. The Machinist is also an inventor and currently holds an Australian patent. Why not check out the movie. Here's a five minute trailer. Hope you're inspired!


The Machinist's Wife

Couch Potato and the Grease Monkeys

Another day on the couch....sigh....

Throughout the day, different family members came in to tell me of their progress; Number One Son was working on a beam for the shop's kitchen ceiling. Once the beam is in situ, we can add the ceiling panels. He had welded the beam, and was ready to clean and paint the welds. Later, he came in with a fully cut out stainless steel sink bench - complete with sticky plastic protective covering. This will be our prep sink bench. The hand-washing sink has already been made.

The Machinist and second daughter had been cutting into the cement floor to lay brand new plumbing and floor wastes. They had tested over 14 drains and lets just say they were satisfied to discover that all roads lead to Rome - ie - the grease trap and / or septic tanks and not just disappear underground or reach a 'Y' junction and not know which way to flow. During the course of the experiment, one particular drain proved difficult to clear and an arm was needed to extend into the hole and dislodge an unseen 'blockage'. And it wasn't the Machinist's arm that went down the hole, either. "Mam, I pulled this huge chunk of solidified fat out of the drain. It was massive. It was black coated, but the cross-section exposed white, solid fat. I didn't dare breath, because if I had of caught a whiff, that would have been job; over".

"Oh, and seeing as you weren't there, I've taken a photo of it, 'cos I knew you would be interested"

Lovely. Just what I needed.

Now I'm raring to go. Tomorrow, Lordwilling, I want to be gunning it like greased lightening...

Saturday 11 July 2009

Healing Love

The Machinist has banished me to the couch for the past three days. Well, I'm 'allowed' to go to bed, if I so desire, but nothing more. At first, I wanted to resist, but now that I feel stronger, I'm glad I listened to him. He spoils me so much. He stops work during the day, comes into the house, walks over to me and asks "Is there anything you need, Babe? Anything at all? Can I get you anything?" Then, when I assure him that he has done all he can, I can hear him carting wood into the loungeroom, loading up the fire. "Gotta keep the house nice and warm for you, Babe". Then later, he comes through with pots of chai tea with honey and soy, - even pours the stuff for me and declares "I'm off to the Shop to do a bit more work. If you need me, here is the phone. I'm just a phone call away".

Thursday 2 July 2009

Rainy Nights and a Peaceful Heart

Mam loves the sound of the rain on a tin roof and I always think of her when I hear it on our own. This follows a trigger reaction from the Machinist, too, as he says "It's your weather, Babe". I find it so peaceful and calming - almost comforting. It makes me sleep like a bairn. The Machinist, on the other hand, gets awfully nervous when there is heavy rain or blustering winds. He seems to think that something, somewhere might break or fly off or come loose or leak. He's the practical one and I'm the dreamer. He's often right, though, as whoever thought life in the country was slow paced and simple, has another think coming... It's hard work and constant repairs and maintenance and the familiar relationship one forges with grease traps and septic tanks is laughable.

The puppies are making a grand mess of the garden. They are automatic mulching machines. Where does all the poo come from? There's more that comes out than goes in. Surely? We've added wire and mesh to fences and gates, to prevent naughty, cheeky puppies from escaping into the vegetable garden and digging up the leaf mulch-covered beds. I've been working outdoors for the past week, and a routine has been set; pick up droppings with extra long set of tongs. Put in plastic lined bucket. Rake designated area. Pull large weeds and toss in wheelbarrow. Unable to leave smaller weeds, pull them, too. Take ages. Wheel away barrow and dump (recycle) in paddock next door. Repeat the process.

Emma and I had a productive day last week, cleaning around the septic tanks and grease trap. In the process, we cut and carted away a tree, which would have undoubtedly spread its roots and cracked the cement water tank. The Machinist came home and seemed somewhat forlorn at the size of the rubbish pile. It was bittersweet for him; he was glad and grateful we had cleaned up, but sighed at the prospect of yet another job for his list.

After a week in the garden, I've taken to the indoors and have been practicing my breadmaking skills. I no longer measure things out, except the bread flour. It's a pinch (or three) of yeast, a sprinkle of salt, a pinch of sugar, a splash of oil, a couple of finger-fulls of ground flaxseed and water to mix. I've been noting things like weather conditions, humidity, temperature, time, oven temp and length of baking. It's chemistry!

Paperwork always invades the day, however. I have to stay on top of it, as it can become so overwhelming. If all systems in the home are running ok, I am at peace. Chaos is simply blasphemous in my books.


 Table talk amongst our children is and always has been, -  a rabbit warren . We start off in one hole and end up in another -  quick smart....