Monday, May 30, 2011

Last day of Autumn.

So tomorrow is the first day of winter here in Oz, the months are just speeding by and apart from a few chilly weeks the weather has been so mild. The summer flowers are almost finished and winter colour is starting to appear. Some pics from the garden this morning - Aspasia MacArthur a lovely old style camellia with varying flower colours on the same bush.

The Chrysanthemums are almost finished, they were one of the few original flowers here when we moved in. Opening a deep amber colour and fading to a golden yellow. Not a common colour nowdays.

This is how the fuschia salvia is looking at the moment, it has had mutiple

prunings and still manages 6ft. (not a good photo)

The bathroom in the reno cottage has had the cement sheeting attached and the joins meshed with some webbing? I can't remember what it's called. I think fiberglass?

Mr CH doing the two-step.

The bathroom ceiling has proved to be a real pain in the neck. If you remember, we used Preplock paint to help seal the ceiling from moisture because it is such a tiny room with limited ventilation. This paint seems to fuse itself onto the existing layer of paint, which is fine but regardless of how well the celing is sugar soaped, rinsed and allowed to dry, if that coat of paint was painted over a dirty ceiling it's not going to work. So after a coat of Preplock the ceiling bubbled over the next few days and when peeled off exposed the dirty ceiling underneath. And being made of old fibro the choices were to peel, clean, skimcoat and re-apply prelock or install a false ceiling. We chose the first.
Mr CH patched and painted a few times until it no longer bubbled, if it looks too gross we will add a new ceiling. The ceiling has had 2 coats of white gloss in this pic.

Getting ready to undercoat.

In other news, this was Lily cat in the morning sitting in the bathroom, grooming herself and enjoying the sunshine. Little did she know she was about to go to the dentist for her yearly teeth clean.

Later that afternoon she looked like this!

Ouch!!! $400 later.

She's a cross-eyed girl but this is ridiculous.

She needed a few teeth out, being a dainty eater and not the chewy type and getting on in age. Medicine for conjunctivitis has also caused some damage to her teeth. I lit the fire and slept beside it with her and she's a happy girl again sleeping in her pod, enjoying the sunshine and talking as much as usual..

Speaking of sunshine, get out in it!

Spoilt rotten we are!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Creamy fish chowder.

Just a quick post to share a soup that went down well at dinner the other night. It's the kind of soup that would go down well if you were feeling a bit under the weather. Unfortunately the photo doesn't make it look that appealing. Haven't made a "chowder" for ages, for some reason that word makes me think of clambakes? Or is that Mr CH and his ukulele?

2 tbs butter
2tbs plain flour
1 leek washed and sliced
garlic chopped
4 rashers bacon chopped
1 litre chicken stock
2 large potatoes,peeled and cut into cubes
600gms white fish fillets cut into small chunks(I used 800gms for the 6 of us)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
broccoli cut into small florets
dash of milk or cream
parsley or chives

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan.
2.Add sliced leek, bacon, and garlic and cook until soft.
3. Add flour and stir to make a roux, stir in chicken stock and add potato cubes and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are cooked.
4.Add the corn,broccoli and the fish and simmer until the fish is cooked.
5.Add some water/cream or milk to get the consistency you like.
6. Season to taste.
I grilled my fish in whole fillets then broke apart the pieces into rough chunks to cut down the cooking time and I also added 1/2 cup of leftover cheese sauce.
You could add leftover or frozen veges.
I prefer using a leek instead of a onion for this soup as it has a more mellow taste that doesn't overpower the fish.
Note to self-make more for lunch the next day! Yum!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What a dump!

Poor little ugly ducking. Now that the computers are up and running again I can show progress on the reno cottage from the Easter holidays. We've been working on the inside but problems with the ceiling in the bathroom and kitchen has tested patience and we've left it for the moment to continue work started on the outside walls (south side).

A real before shot.

Peeling paint has been scraped back on and off for a few weeks and the old window hoods have been removed. We were going to repair them, however they would take a fair amount of cut and pasting and we figured it would be better to make new awnings instead.

The new veranda sill for the windows to sit on, had to be replaced as it was too far gone.

A few new treated pine weatherboards replaced rotten boards near the stumps.

The walls were sanded and sugar soaped and washed clean
and undercoated with oil-based undercoat. The walls had been neglected for so long the timber had dried out so it needed heavy duty protection. It's getting harder to by oil-based paint with many hardwares not even stocking it anymore thanks to the EPI. Walls with bare timber exposed should use oil-based paint to seal the kooties in otherwise you get stains coming through.

Girl in the baggy britchers painted the wall by hand with an extra dose in the dry spots.
After looking at a dirty, mouldy wall for 10 years there was no way the outside walls were going to be painted white. So after casing other house colours during drive-bys for months and finding most were quite dull and monotone we chose "Neptune" green for the walls to go with "Ox blood"(Qld colour of course) for the trims and vivid white for the windows and doors(nippon paints-Solareflect). The idea was to pick a colour that was old-fashioned yet clean and cheerful after the house looking revolting for so long and the deep burgundy to hide dirt and such. Keeping it simple.

Mr CH has a love/hate relationship with our spraygun which requires a test before you get too excited.

It's working, he's happy.

Poor little ugly house, waiting so long.


Looking much better.
After all that I haven't taken a full wall shot yet. Not bad for a few days painting. I will get back to the inside next post.

Bye until then.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hello again!

Wow!, 2 1/2 weeks without using a computer has been a little strange. Two out of three computers decided to "chuck a spaz" at the same time, but after Mr CH had wiped and re-built one and it still wasn't co-operating we thought that a new computer was inevitable. Apparently blogger was having troubles and we have just had a speed upgrade and the local server was down for a few days - poor Mr CH, he spat a few chips when he couldn't work out what was wrong. But it's all good now, I missed visiting all the wonderful blogs but I got lots of work done. I just have a 3 week reading list to catch-up on, so if your stats show someone stitting on your blog it might be me!!!What have we been up to? lots at the reno cottage. Mr CH had a week off over Easter and we painted and painted. We've joined in with everyone else in the neighbourhood and started planting vege seedlings. It seems we are all renovating and gardening at the moment and thank goodness the grass has stopped growing.

But I said last post that I would show a few of the things I brought home from the shed. Nothing big or fancy just a few things to clutter-up home sweet home.

A vintage chenille bedspread in the loveliest shade of blue came home with us. Slightly worn in two small spots but really in excellent nic.

What I really want is this, can you tell what it is?- a cast iron bathtub, not one with a roll-top but I can see the advantages of a flat edge-somewhere to put candles,a glass/cuppa,book etc. However the bathroom is not on the to-do list, so thoughts of floor weight issues can wait and it might come home another time, I wonder if the family would mind if I left it "rustic"?

The remnants of a Hostess dinner set, ornamin ware, orphan saucers from Japan and Czechoslovakia(yep I had to look that one up) and an English juicer.

A vintage sugar and cream set.

A forty year old bottle of port bought for the princely sum of $1.89.

To get the other stuff you have to get a dud score and this would be it, a souvenir cup from a family holiday to Binna Burra mountain lodge bringing back memories of walking the "blind trail",a ropes course and a very interesting presentation on the joys of fungi!

A strange hand woven basket from the 1960's (what am I going to do with this! kinda thing)

All that remains of a 1960's?vintage coffee set.

A set of six cup and saucers from 1973.

A handmade wax candle holder that looks lovely glowing at night. The super-ugly (formerly) sideboard has new handles thanks to ebay. Mr CH isn't sure if he likes these.

And My Grandfathers trunk that came to Australia carrying all his wordly possessions from Carlisle, England in 1922. Made by Joseph W Morton ironmongers , a 19th century ironmonger from Louth Ireland who is getting a pub named after him,apparently.
I'm still on the hunt for an old birdhouse I know is in that shed somewhere. That wasn't too much, only because we went there for firewood not "stuff".

And no.1 son bought flowers (and a vase) for his Mum on Mother's Day. A lovely bunch of liliums.

Maybe he was trying to make-up for coming home with THIS!!!!!

And he's my good, quiet, no trouble at all child! Having been given a beep beep barina from a distant relative and adding the all essential accessories a teenager needs and suffering his parents through 100 hours!! of instruction he is now a P plater!
Installing a CD player. Look out world here comes another teenager!
Have a great weekend everyone, the weather is just gorgeous.
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