Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Funny Thing Happened Leaving Work

Now you are going to have to use your imagination because i have no photos, obviously.  The people in the car who slowed down to watch might have some (how embarrassing) but not i.  The really stupid thing is, its not the first time I've done this which means i am by definition stupid.

Our factory office has a roller door on the outside of the building that operates from a button inside my office.  So to close it i have to be in my office.  Trouble is, when i want to leave (and I'm on my own) i have to hit that button and run across the office, through some glass doors, down some steps and scoot under the lowering door.  Its usually about my chest height by the time i get there and so i have to do a slight bend to get under.  No Problem - usually!

Push one door and open the other then duck before the roller door comes down on top of me.  

Yesterday i was carrying a heavy box with two hands.  Now for most people this would have sent alarm bells that A. its going to take you longer to get there and thus the door will be even lower and B. you cant bend forward when you have a heavy box in your hands in front of you. Gravity is going to make you keep on falling forward and that's exactly what happened.  Talk about out of control!

I hit the concrete and it all happened so fast that i have no idea how i ended up wholly on one side with the box  (wooden with steel legs) not broken.  There seems to be a couple of seconds of memory missing.  I'm having all these visuals of being stuck under the roller door with my stumpy legs on one side and head, boobs and arms on the other and my roundish stomach in the middle.  Can you imagine!  Come on try - if you are not splitting your sides laughing then you are not trying hard enough.

Question is, how would i have gotten out of that one!  At 5.30 pm in the back streets of Footscray i could have been stuck under that door for quite a while.  Do you think the car stopped to help me? Nope, they probably were wishing for a video camera to record my misadventure and send to a TV show in the hope of getting $500.

Apart from a few aches and pains today I'm feeling fortunate and have made a firm commitment that i will learn my lesson this time.

Note to self - if you must take something out to car then do it in two trips.  OR, close the bloody door and go out to the factory and go out one of the big ones that move slower.   Truth is I wasn't even on my own.  There were plenty of guys in the factory working back but i just didn't want to bother them.

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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Packing Crate Magic - Potting Bench

Ta Da!    The moratorium on projects was lifted a few weeks ago and yet again i turned to a free packing crate from work.  

There is no lengthy instructions of "how to".  Six legs ($2 pine offcuts) were added using screws,  holes were drilled into the bottom of the crate for drainage and the pieces of wood which hold the lid on were cut off. Thanks, as usual, go to my onsite tradesman, Rob.  This could have been turned into a veggie trug but i really needed somewhere to put my seedlings or small pots.  There was an extreme amount of gum on the bottom and so i don't think its going to rot in a hurry but just in case it has a full 2L (double coat) of acrylic extreme external paint that has UV protection and mould resistance.  I checked the miss tint table and got exactly the colour i wanted for $16. A light grey to contrast against the blue fence.

See those red splotches?

Well those splotches are my childish attempts at adding some ladybug characters just for fun.  I'm sure ill get better so bare with me. i can only get better.

So what have you been busy doing?   Check out my projects tab for other creations made from pallets and packing crates.

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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Age is no barrier to Dance - Go Paddy

I still haven't worked out how to insert a YouTube in a post but was so inspired by this "older" lady, Paddy Jones. Goodness, does she has a zest for life and great pins.  This really made my Saturday night.

Audition on BGT 2014  Dancing 80 year old lady   -  Golden Buzzer, straight to live shows

Semi Final Round 5  - She Bangs!!!!!!

BGT - Paddy & Nico - Live Final 2014

Paddy took dancing up in Spain after her husband died.  She joined Nico's dance school.   He truly is such a gentleman.

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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Anniversary Meal - Dining In

Today is our 21st Wedding Anniversary and since we went all out last year (20th Anniversary Getaway) its a quiet night at home.  Our celebration extended to a home cooked chicken schnitzel meal after work with our preferred topping.

For Rob, its our version of a chicken parmigiana  - herbed tomato paste, triple smoked ham, melted tasty cheese.

For me a schnitzel sitting on a slice of Jarlsberg cheese and covered in avocado.   I know this looks likes it piled on and it is but I'm the only one who eats avos in this house and i had half on a salad last night and had to have the other half tonight.  
At a restaurant these meals would have cost $18.50 each plus with the glass of ginger ale we imbibed in we would have been lucky to get out of there for $50. The schnitzels cost me $2.50 each from IGA and everything else was from the fridge.

Weekend lunch - more lettuce under potato fritters made from whatever i can find -  potato, onion, bacon, cheese, corn, parsley, egg and flour, salt and pepper.  
We are eating lots of lettuce these day as the garden is full of it.  Its not even summer yet and i think he might already be a bit sick of salads. I go out every other day and bring in a bunch of mixed lettuce along with herbs. Both are washed, spun and placed in a sealed container with a drain rack on the bottom.  I love the fragrance from the dill and the parsley when you open it.  It penetrates the crunchy leaves.

Since we are trying to cut back on bread, i usually add lettuce to a wrap with some kind of protein and vegies for a quick packed lunch for Rob each morning.  This is usually accompanied by a yoghurt, apple, small can of flavoured tuna (yes everyday, plenty of omegas), an oatmeal bar and two bottles of water (from the tap).  I know its old fashioned but i do think its a wife's job to send her husband off with a home packed lunch each day.  A lot of the boys at our factory grab take away each day for morning tea and lunch.  It not only the cost but how can you do a full days of often physical work if you don't have proper nutrition (and they smoke to boot - Yuk!).    

Of course, only one of us knew it was our anniversary today but that's OK (i guess it would be me).   We both work hard and there have been lots of other things going on in the last few weeks, so he is forgiven for forgetting the date.  I'm not a girl who craves reassurance by spending lots of money on gifts so i passed on the offer from one of my friends to remind him so that he would rush out and get me something that i probably dont need.  That seems a bit contrived and greedy.

I feel lucky that we get to go to Bunnings each weekend for a coffee together and  i can buy the odd plant or seedlings while im there.  He regularly provides both tech support and hands on tools for my projects and i feel blessed.  We wont go into the long list of things i do for him or we would be here till next week, but im hoping he feels like he got a good deal as well.

So, what else has been happening around here.

Oh you have got to see this.  Remember our visitor that has come to stay, Stig, Tilly thinks he is real and keeps placing her balls at his feet and barking to get him to throw them.  Poor Tilly, not much action happening there.

I have more metal artwork in the garden.  Rob was given some metal animals to test a plasma cutter he had just repaired. I took them to our metal shop and had spikes put on them and powder coated.

I was hoping this one might scare the real birds away but nope, they ate my zucchini seedlings today.  Arghhhhhh

Sharon - you cannot breed this one and Anne, you cannot eat it!

My potted mandarin is covered in flowers now i just need them pollinated.

Go bees!!!!!  There are lavender plants surrounding this pot.  
This will be my first real crop of blueberries.   Im watering everyday to keep them hydrated.  I think that was my problem last year.  I'll soon have to think about shielding them from the Tilly the veggie eater.  
Baby Tomato Seedlings - these are from the heritage plants i had last season.  
Isn't this flower's colour just divine.   Good contrast with the Lobelia.  

Till next time.  For those of you who have been following my marathon of country weddings this year, i have another one next week.  My nephew Ashley is being married back up home and it will no doubt be as awesome as the last two.  Glenda and I have another girl/sister trip planned so i have one week to dream up some mischief.

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

A Dogs Purpose - What they can teach us

A Dog's Purpose
?   (from a 6-year-old).

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said,
''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?''
The Six-year-old continued,
''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Wind Turbines for the Burbs are Here

Its here people, the technology needed to have a wind turbine on your roof generating renewable energy is here.  I think we have all seen and heard the controversy related to wind farms.  I don't know about you but i think they are beautiful but then im not living under one.  I know that ole Gav (hang on, i think I'm a few months older than him) from Greening of Gavin actually takes the odd trip out in his hybrid for a family picnic overlooking the wind farm at Warbra.

But no one imagines that we are going to be able to put one of those big buggers in among the burbs.  I went to the Grand Designs Live Expo today in Melbourne CBD and there in front of me were 3 household turbines, spinning away and not a single sound was heard.   Now the neighbours cannot complain about that can they.  

The good thing is that it can be used in conjunction with solar to create a hybrid system that utilises up to 83% of weather resources.  It works both day and night, all year round.  There is an inbuilt lightening arrester for safety and it requires no ongoing maintenance or fuel.  So much like your solar systems, the capital outlay initially is soon recovered (approx 5 years)   There were 3 models on display and they ranged from $8,000 to $12,000.

Honestly, no sound!.    The ones i am showing are Maglev Vertical Axis Wind Turbines and they can and are being used now in a number of applications around the world, including Australia.

Household Power Systems
Ships Power Source
Traffic Signals
Agriculture and Fisheries
Rural Area Power Systems
Street Lighting.

Of course there is no use generating all this renewable energy if it cant be stored and used.

Deep cycle gel batteries are available that are designed for deep cycle discharge applications such as off-grid wind solar hybrid telecom station system, off-gird wind solar hybrid street lighting system. The battery bank specifications can be customised to what ever your needs are. Normally they are either 24V, 48V or 96V.

Deep Cycle Gel Batteries Range:
12V100Ah and 12V200Ah---used for off-grid Maglev wind solar hybrid street lighting systems or others;
2V500Ah, 2V600Ah, 2V800Ah---used for off-grid Maglev wind solar hybrid telecom station system or others.

Having spoken recently to a solar power company the next big push in renewable energy is going to be in the area of battery storage. Just like the first computers, at the moment they are too big, too expensive and not efficient enough to store an adequate amount of power. But, things are on the move and there are alot of people working on first creating the demand that will bring the prices down making them more affordable. Just as we all carry around PC's in our pockets now, so will this form of energy storage become smaller and more efficient.

This was a home battery storage system that i saw at another expo in Ballarat in April 13. Its call My Own Powerstation and you can see more about it here.
OK, so where do you get these wind systems from and where can you go to ask lots of techy questions.

Apple Energy is the exclusive distributor of the Maglev Vertical Axis Wind Turbine(MVAWT) from TYPMAR and related applications such as MagLev wind-solar hybrid off-grid street lights, and MagLev wind-solar hybrid on-grid / off-grid home power systems. I have no affiliation with them what so ever but if they want to send me one for helping to promote them, i wont say no.

Living in what is known as the Werribee Flats we get some pretty powerful winds coming through here. Perhaps its something for those who have already paid off their solar systems to consider. Seems to me its the next logical step toward being self sustainable.


I spoke to Max Clements from Apple Energy about the colours and this was his response:

HI Lynda

there is no significance  we were told that it was to keep the birds away  but the birds in fact like to sit under the turbines as they are turning.  We are receiving the new stock with neutral colours as silver anodized or blue and white if you  support geelong.
I think the silver would be fine but i think id like a plain charcoal finish.

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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Crazy Weeks

I'm well aware that the first few lines of a post get printed beside the opening picture on a Blogger reading list and based on that brief extract some may decide whether or not to open the post.  Surely its not another post of Lynda showing pictures of her lettuce and herb bed.  Its so absolutely gorgeous why wouldn't i do a whole feature article?  Well you would be wrong.  This is a mixed up post of all that has happened in the last few weeks around here apart from all the drama surrounding Rob's injury, recovery and then poor Rob's Dad passing (meant respectfully, of course).  If there is one thing that Aspie's don't handle well its change in routine and intense emotional crises. So here's hoping that we can all get back to our normal boring routine life, for a while anyway.

I've got to show you one of the guy's from work.  He's Irish and since we have more than one Paul on the premises, we call him Irish Paul. It took a brains trust to come up with that name.  If IP's accent doesn't make you burst into laughter (honest, he funny just giving a lunch order) then get him to tell you a story (he's full of them (it) as are most Irish).   He came into my office the other day wearing one of his favourite T-Shirts. I almost spat my coffee out.

and this was after a hair cut - see any resemblance?
Speaking of work colleagues, remember i introduced Olivia on 7th July, well look at this beautiful girl now.

 Click on this one to enlarge - her face is so full of joy and happiness.
Olivia's  Polish/Aussie Daddy, Janusz, still thinks he's going to be in control, but i see great things in her future that involve having Daddy wrapped around her little finger.  Its going to be so fun watching!

Which is a great segueway to another cutie.

This is Charlie, a Papillon about 18 mth old.    
Charlie is so soft and weighs only about 3.5kgs. We had a black and white Papillon when we were first married and when Tom arrived we made the decision to give it to Rob's brother, Trev's, family.  (Crazy grammar people) Gizzy was a lovely family dog and so when he passed they searched for another.  I know that Charlie spends a lot of time upstairs with Grandma and he is great company.

The obligatory Tilly pictures, just so she doesn't get jealous.

Tilly, stalking a fly.   We leave the french doors open to the pergola most of the time and the house fills with flys (I'm not fussed).  Summer is going to drive Tilly nuts.   The short of it is that the fly lived to be hunted again on another window, and another, and another......

This is Tilly asleep.  We have to do a search and rescue before we sit or lay down on the bed these days.
OK, if you can stand it, just one more cute photo.  This is Maison and Chelsea.  I shouted them a ticket to Sovereign Hill, Ballarat, during the school holidays and they had this photo taken for me along with a jar of real humbugs.  I love love love these children.

I have an announcement!   The Great Wall of Tom's bedroom has finally come down!  It took a little while because it is a supporting wall and Rob had to put in a beam above and then side supports.  We are opening up two bedrooms to give Tom more living space.

Mr Safety

See how this bottom picture is grainy.  This is not a cute picture.  I walked in from the corridor and he was barely visible with plaster dust.   Open door to the whole house and there was dust all the way to the front door.  Tom's room (bedding, xbox, discs, drawers, his clothes (open wardrobe as usual) were covered in it. The room next door had the ironing all hanging up right in front of the door so you can imagine what it looked like.  The filter in the air con in this next room is complete chocked.   MEN!!!  I'm still cleaning.  Of course it was my fault for not being there to help (had to be)  so i grabbed the vacuum cleaner and placed it near the blade. Guess what?  No Dust.    What can i say, he's a genius at work and cant be distracted.  So singularly focused on the task at hand.

Now he finds the vacuum cleaner. 
The next job is to fix the plaster in the opening and continue the bamboo floors across and into the second room. It will look great when its finished and of course in one of the corners of this room will be the lifesize Stig.

OK its garden time.

My tomato seedlings need a few more weeks but hey, i dont have to wait.  Look what is coming up among the dead Kikuyu grass.  They are everywhere.  Do you remember that a certain Tilly liked to eat my tomatoes last year.  Well she left them all over the yard and so here they come.

Now that's what i call a survivor.  
A few larger ones were in amongst some stinging nettles. When i was spraying the nettles i realised that with them were almost 20cm high tomato plants. I rushed them inside for a good wash and planted them.  A week later they are going strong.  You have to be tough to make it in my garden.

I have a small crop of about 6 cauliflowers on the go.  Im not sure if they will make it if the temp stays up by hey, its winter again today.
Peppers, just starting to change colour

Very productive wormies, just not as big as Jessie's monsters.  I dont have a bath full of horse poo rotting away and my neighbours thank me.  
and just because it beautiful, my lobelia in the french prov. pot Rob gave me for valentines this year.  

Have you noticed that ive started using his name.  Rob instead of Hubby.  I've slipped up so many times that i don't think its a state secret any more.  Since he reads my posts (Gulp! was i putting it on him above) i'm not hiding anything.  Just don't tell ASIO when they knock on your door, OK!

Here is a tidbit to keep you until next post.  The moratorium on projects has been lifted and i have these freebies from work in the fernery waiting for magic to happen.

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Saturday, 11 October 2014

James Dyson - Rest In Peace

On Wednesday morning my husband's father passed away.  Though we are saddened, Jim had endured many years of dementia and had reached end stage several weeks ago.  Robert and his brother, Trevor, were able to spend this last weekend with him, giving him comfort and grieving.  

Our thanks go to the staff of BlueCross Baradine in Mooroolbark who ensured that he was comfortable at all times and died with dignity.    

Thursday, 2 October 2014

What is This?

Fran from The Road To Serendipity  has asked the question "What is this?  Her husband Steve has put it on his photography site as a competition.   I've enhanced it to try and work it out, but i cant.  Can you?

This is the original photo from the site.

It looks like some kind of filter.  Light passes through and it looks like dust or dirt around the edges.  Originally i thought it was old photographic film but it seems attached to the solid bit underneath.

Up to you.   I promise i wont take credit but its driving me crazy not knowing.

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