Sunday, 31 January 2016

Having a sort out of the kids clothes

I've been meaning to get this job done for ages, but you know how it is, there are always better things to do. Today we were off out at midday and so James did some outside work, but as it was raining I stayed inside with the kids. 

After the usual jobs of emptying the dishwasher (constant) and cleaning the kitchen sides (also constant) I was at a loose end for an hour or so. I knew I had to go into the garage and get some of the little mans old baby clothes out for a friend. Baby girl is 18 months old now and she's moving up into the next sized clothes. I had cleared the small ones out of her drawers a few weeks back but never had chance to sort them.

When the wee man was born we met lots of friends who were having babies at the same time through the NCT and various groups I used to take us along to. None of my friends or family had had a baby before me and all my new friends were all having kids at the same time. That meant we all had to buy new clothes and toys and the various baby things that we're all convinced we need. I'm not making this an anti-capitalist rant, I LOVED buying new things for my little boy. It did however mean that when baby number two was born we had a whole network of friends who had inevitably already had girls before us. I have literally had bin bags full of clothes for baby girl. It's saved me a fortune and saved the planet too.

Anyway, I digress, all these clothes have been used and grown out of and now I had to sort them into who gave them to me. Considering I must have had a hundred outfits I've done fairly well remembering who gave me what. It's always a sad time to put the clothes aside knowing the kids are too big for them and that time of their lives has passed.
A whole box of our baby toys, bouncers and playmats was also boxed up for the garage. That'll stay for a while, I'm not quite ready to let them go yet. 

Friday, 29 January 2016

Cadbury's World and cabin finishing touches

James took Thursday and Friday off this week to keep me company for my weeks holiday to do some reading for my new job. 

We've done a lot of work recently so we wanted to spend some time with the children having fun, so we had an afternoon out yesterday to Cadbury's world. We got plenty of free chocolate and they have a few short films, a 3D cinema, a turn of the century street recreation, interactive games, a little ride and a walk around the factory. They also had a big play park which the kids loved. We did a few jobs in the morning, had some lunch then set off. We said in the car that it was time for 'regimented fun time!' 

This week on the cabin we fitted the toilet, sink and made the frame for the shower. Some of the blogs I read said that you shouldn't fix anything to the walls over multiple logs. When the cabin gets damp the wood can swell and when the weather's dry the logs can shrink, fixing it in place can lead to problems. We made a wooden frame and attached plaster board to the front face. We then used grip adhesive to put a waterproof PVC board onto the plasterboard. After the adhesive had dried James made and fitted the shower cubicle.

This afternoon we fitted the final carpet and did some clean up. I took all of the film off the shower and kitchen and James let me put up some pictures and a mirror! I was like a kid at Christmas. Just a few finishing jobs on the internals and then it will need connecting to the water, sewer and electric.

This evening for tea we had one of the boys we dispatched the other night. The meal was pretty boring and neither the picture or recipe would pass muster on a food blog, but it was a first for us to grow and eat our own meat.

Monday, 25 January 2016

A new car and goodbye to the cockerels

This weekend we went up to Lincoln to buy a new car for me. In a few weeks I'll be starting my new job and the Focus that I had was slowly falling apart at the seams. It was time to part-ex it in for  something with fewer miles on the clock and a bit more fuel efficient. We got a two and a half year old Hyundai i30 diesel. I felt the difference driving it home, for a start the gears worked! We got three stone chips in the windscreen driving home though. That took most of Saturday. In the afternoon we spent time with the kids. 

Yesterday I noticed one of the hens, Penny, being bullied by the two cockerels and prevented from eating. The boys in the last few days have been pecking the girls when they tried to get into the coop at night and the girls were hanging round outside in the dark. We knew one had to go. Tonight I went to check everyone had gone to bed and when I opened the door Penny had a huge hole in her neck. No prizes for guessing what had happened to her. As I had seen both the boys ganging up on the girls I'm afraid our hands were tied and their time had come. In the end once they were to bed for the night James took his air rifle and took each one aside and finished them off. Penny is tucked up warm in the broody cage with some antibiotics to help her heal up.

I always buy free range chicken and then only occasionally, mostly I use quorn and I never buy pre-made chicken meals as I know they're probably battery farmed. I shed a few tears for them as they were both incredibly beautiful. They've been plucked and butchered this evening and at least I can say that they enjoyed a happy life, foraging, free-ranging and enjoying the ladies ;-) 

I'll do a post later this week on how the cabin is faring, I'm sure you must all be as sick of hearing about it as we are of doing it!

Oh and the washing machine packed in, along with my second hand iPhone.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Plodding on with the jobs

Sorry I haven't got any photos of this weeks work yet. Most of it is done via flood light so it's no good for pictures. This weekend we had a few birthday celebrations to go to which were lots of fun, so we haven't gone too mad around the house. 

We had some lino delivered on Thursday for the cabin and in true style something went wrong. I opened it up and thought, 'Hmm not sure if I like the colour, it wasn't how I imagined it' Guess why? They'd not sent what I ordered. I got onto them but they couldn't deliver over the weekend, the earliest they could do was Monday. That cocked up the weekend plans of getting the bathroom completed. We arranged for them to leave it in the old pig sty and to take back the wrong lino. James returns Monday night from work and they'd left a sorry we missed you card. Bloody idiots. Another call and they apologised but they couldn't send it the next day and they promised to send it Wednesday. Let's see if the driver reads his delivery information tomorrow as we're both at work so they've got to leave it unsigned for.

In the evenings we made up some off the shelf kitchen units that we managed to get not only on sale but from a shop where a friend works. He got us 20% discount on top! yay my favourite thing, a bargain. It was nice to spend a few evenings in front of the fire working rather than outside in the cold and dark.

The shower isolator switch was put up by James. He broke three back boxes in the process and was a broken man by the end, but as always he's done a tidy job.

The last two evenings we laid some carpet in the main room and started putting the kitchen units along the back wall. It looks amazing, by far the nicest part of our house now ;-)

We have managed to watch a few episodes of some series we had recorded, Klondike and Texas Rising. I love stories of people on the frontiers of civilisation, sometimes I wish I was back in the settling times. I know for sure I have a far too romantic notion of it though.

Have a lovely week all, tomorrow is Wednesday so it's all downhill from there x

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Wiring, plumbing and playing

We've had a productive week on the cabin. Who knew the little jobs took so long?! I suppose I did, but I always forget and want it finished.

Last weekend we got the roof all insulated. The frame was cut at new year and we added some batons across for strength. This was nailed to the roof trusses and filled with insulation. We covered this all over with felt and nailed it down. We have done a few coats of paint on the fascia boards in the evenings ready for fitting this weekend.

In the evenings after work James has been wiring up the lights and sockets. We found some old lights out of the garage that we had in the hallways of our old house. It had lovely high victorian ceilings and I was in love with fisherman's lamps. Our house now has low cottage ceilings so we have to have wall lamps and I am so glad to have found a use for my favourite lights.  

James used plastic trunking to cover the wires in the bathroom. As it's been painted in a waterproof white oil based paint the plastic isn't visible. He even trusted me to put the trunking under the plugs.

In the other part of the cabin where we've varnished the walls we decided to make some trunking out of pine to make it less visible. We used two pieces nailed together to make a channel and have started putting them up. We've still got a bit to go on these.

This week we also put up some curtain poles and I did the thing that ladies like to do which is to furnish (inappropriately early) and James humoured me by letting me hang the curtains! I got them from George by ASDA so they are a bit thin but are enough to block out anyone looking in at night and keep down the drafts.

Yesterday we did some plumbing for the bathroom fittings. We are using push fit fittings in the cabin, where in the house we've always used old fashioned copper fittings. It is so much easier than copper! Today James tested them to make sure they were water tight. He's so careful and patient, I just wanted to put them in untested and take the chance (I know he's right by the way). I also did some overtime at work on Saturday morning, the list of things we needs is always growing and is somewhat expensive!

Today we took the fascia boards and put them up to cover the end of the roof felt. They were originally designed that they'd cover the roof trusses but they're not big enough now as we added extra height by adding an insulation frame. I'm not bothered I still think it looks good.

James also put up a junction box on the external front of the cabin for a LED flood light.

We also cut two holes in the bathroom wall. One for the toilet waste and one for an extractor fan.

Next job was to start laying the floor in the bathroom, the last one to lay. It's not quite there yet, but James is hoping to get the last boards down once the kids are asleep. 

It feels like we're in the home stretch now and it'll really come together soon. We're just figuring out how to make a false wall to go behind the shower and keep water off the wood. We think we've got the basic idea, we'll see how it all fits. I'm also looking for a few kitchen units for the back wall. Even with the so called January sales they're not the price I want to pay (I'm super tight) so we'll keep looking.

The kids were out in the cold with us making potions out of mud, sawdust and rainwater. It really helps us get things done when they play outside as we can keep an eye on them and work, otherwise it's only nap times and evenings. They were very good for us and I love to see them enjoying the outdoors.

Last night we had a bit of a crash as the kids were having their teeth done for bed, the tiles fell off the wall in the toilet. It's got to be the worlds crappest bathroom and I cannot wait to demolish it!