Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Kitchen chaos !!!

This merry go round of renovations never seems to slow down to let people off. We  have surged forward and  everything seems to be finally falling into place with just a few hiccups along the way to mess with our minds.
This has been a physical ,mental and emotionally draining period, but I know the end is in sight now.
After the chimney was demolished,  hubby started ripping out the internal linings of the walls , then  the  builder returned promptly and began framing up to put in our new back door.
 Once the new door was installed, the  existing small window that let in minimal light was removed to make way for a much bigger aluminium slider.
They then  replaced the  hardiplanks  and brought it back up to lock up stage. I often have to stop and remember  that our builder is now  80 years of age, I think he  really does a remarkable job for his years, we think he is amazing.
We then got busy , covered the doorways with drop
sheets  and removed all the  old smelly insulation from the ceiling , we found mouse poo, a rat nest, and spiders... they seem to be popping up everywhere. It was a filthy job  but didn't take too long and we cleaned up quickly afterwards.
Our  neighbour( and our electrician ) then helped pull out the last of the remaining cupboards, and sink unit and helped hubby with re- routing the gas and water pipes that  ran outside the old chimney and into the  sink  cupboards.
And then we began using the camp kitchen.  All good as I know it is only for a few weeks.
The next step was  to lift the old vinyl floor covering, only to our dismay it was firmly glued to the floor with massive amounts of adheisive.  I pulled with all my strength while Brian drove a spade under it to seperate the vinyl from the floor.
We had hoped to re use the vinyl but it was possible.
It is hard to imagine  that all this mess, came from my kitchen( and that's not including the chimney bricks.)
We  borrowed a friends truck and went to Dubbo to pick up the new lining sheets and the  two new bookcases that I ordered . I had sorted out all my precious coloured glass and   good china and was able to sort it out and display it finally.  We also saw the kitchen installers, and they have done a measure and quote and will install my hopefully beautiful new kitchen on November 16th, I can hardly wait.
Below is the design layout.

While all this was happening, we also in our wisdom with the neighbours decided to kill a beast, it was one of those things we should of not done, as everything went wrong that could go wrong, and as luck would have it , our coolroom chucked a wobbly and  stopped working and we had to rush the beast to another friend who also  had a coolroom. He is a wonderful friend who also offered to cut it up for us.
We are so very grateful for all their help., as we would have been  in such a mess without them.
We hatched another lot of chickens out, 11 this time, and we have just moved them from the brooder to a new outside coop that we have just been generously given by our neice. The first batch of chickens are growing fast and will soon be leaving us ( well the hens will be).
The turkeys also managed to hatch out 5 baby poults but we lost two of them that were very tiny. but the other three seem to be doing well and  the two hens are both looking after them.
Our broad beans  reached maturity and we picked, podded and froze them for future use.
We are getting a few flowers around the garden, the Jacobean lillies are beginning to flower,  I just love that splash of red from them and a few geraniums around the garden.
Mine and my sister in laws( pictured) rain cactus is out in full bloom, this flowering always indicates that rain is on it's way in a few days.
What I call my butterfly tree( but really is an orchid tree I think) has began to flower, last year it only had one bloom, but is covered in blooms this year, I really love it, it is  very spectacular  when a larger tree in full flower.
And lastly, but certainly by no means least, My Mum celebrated her 91 st birthday last week.
I travelled over and enjoyed a lovely lunch with  Mum, my brother and sister in law and my neice, at my brother's home.
I took this photo of my lovely  Mum, I think she looks really well and is keeping in reasonable health for her age. I hope she is around to celebrate many more birthdays with us in the future.
There is much to do, and I apologize that this is a long drawn out  post, but  our life is a bit crazy at the moment, and I expect that is reflected here,
Take care until we meet up again,

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Demolition time

The time has finally arrived for us to move on with the renovations to the kitchen.
We knew  well that this would firstly involve the total demolition and removal of our old chimney and wood cook stove  before the builder can return..
The stove was badly burnt out inside and was leaking smoke terribly and the chimney brickwork leaked like a sieve every time it rained.
There was a huge amount of brickwork inside the house and out( probably far way more than we anticipated.
The builder had loaned Hubby an electric jackhammer to help with the demo,
so he gave it a quick try out as I was leaving for  a few appointments in the next town.
When I returned home, he had removed all the brickwork above the roof line and had made a big hole in the back of the chimney.

The next morning a good friend and nearby neighbor called by to offer a helping hand and he and Hubby  made a great team, quickly removing the old stove and more brickwork.
The boys worked really hard , but it was a massive job.
They erected a few support props inside the kitchen to hold up the ceiling, and continued to demolish.
This was where we got to at the end of day 2. We would only work until lunchtime as it just was becoming too hot on the western side of the house, and we have been having some early extreme heat this last week.
The third morning they started to remove the chimney header,
We loaded all the bricks into the utility each day and every afternoon Hubby  and I would take them to his brothers' farm and drop them off into wash aways to help prevent erosion.

We reached the end of day three, and were exhausted, the helper said that we should have a break the next day and he would return, but Hubby  and I continued on ( we decided that if we stopped we may never start again)
We continued on and got the right hand side of what was left demolished and dumped.
When our friend returned on day 5 he was surprised to see what Hubby  and I had accomplished in his absence .
While they worked away on the bricks I erected a shade shelter that we used to have two of until a windstorm attacked, so I made one out of the two. I thought that it may add a bit more sun and heat protection for when the builder  comes.
The boys finally removed the last two sections of brickwork,
This was the  final load of bricks, we estimate that we dumped  between 4 and 5 tonnes of them, even though I was wearing gloves and Hubby's  hands are tough as nails, our hands and arms  are a mess.
The biggest issue we had was the horrendous influx of blowflies, they nearly drove me insane over the week, especially the last two days, more flies than I have ever seen here in 12 years.
Finally we realized we had the shade cloth
 from a previous shade area that we had on the coast, so Hubby  nailed that up to the opening and the fly issue ceased to exist.
It has really opened up the house, allowing so much more light into that back area of the house.
Our builder will return on Monday and I hope to be selecting kitchen cabinets and tops and have it measured up in the next week or so. We will start demolishing cabinets in  about a week.
It really feels good now, the kitchen destruction  is a small inconvenience  compared to the rest of the house.
I will do a follow up post as the work continues,
so until we meet up again,
Take care,