Friday, May 01, 2009

Projects galore

I'm a little late showing the peas that we planted. Today I took a quick drive down to Essendon because we found a supplier of lime putty! It's pre-slaked lime that's perfect for the re-pointing and plasterwork we intend to do on the walls. It was a 6 hour round trip, but hopefully it'll be well worth the effort.

We have since tested the mortar mixture we had put into the walls earlier, and it's very hard on the outside and quite soft and sandy on the inside. This is fine for what is known as a sacrificial mix - it's designed to attract the moisture (and salt, if any) into it and deteriorate much quicker than we would normally want.

Now we have isolated the cause of the rising damp (it is the concrete floors and fill that has caused the problem in our case), we can feel more confident about re-pointing in a more permanent mixture.

We have found all of the best information from the Heritage Victoria website. They provide the information mostly for heritage listed homes, but it's also very useful for old homes like ours.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the photos of the potato cages which hopefully will provide a good climbing area for the peas we planted the other day.

The wind had knocked over some more of the zinnias in the front garden bed and they were leaning all over the lettuce and beetroot. I cut them out today and would like to keep the seeds for next season. I assume hanging them upside down is a good way to dry them out!

Near the flowers you can see our front door! I havn't yet showed off our front door. We got it many months ago now. Hopefully once it's painted, it'll look nice on the front of the house. The current front door is just an internal door, and isn't really suitable. I'm looking forward to it being hung, but it's one of many projects "on the go" right now.

We've been having a little trouble in the kitchen lately. The "new" electric oven that came with the house is dying - only heats up to 150°C now (about 300°F) and getting lower every time we use it. The other thing is that we have this old stove in the fireplace that is rusted out and taking up space that could be otherwise more useful.

On top of all that, it's absolutely freezing in the kitchen, and it's definitely not comfortable to spend time in or cook in.. so we have been searching for a solution.

Yesterday we wanted to go see what a Nectre Bakers Oven looked like in the flesh, and the only one available to see was in Ballarat. Marty and I took a drive there and really liked what we saw. We're going to pick it up on Monday - with the help of Michael's truck, "The Bone Crusher" - and hopefully we'll get it installed in the kitchen ASAP.

It will provide a working oven, some heat, and as a bonus, a couple of hot plates on top (handy for a kettle)! It will go in place of the old rusty stove, so won't take up any more space, and make that area more useful again. We've never cooked using wood before, so it'll be a steep learning curve for us both. Still, I'm looking forward to the challenge (and the heat!). ;)

Other than that, Marty is about to attempt fixing the windows in the shed, which have rotted out so badly that rain gets in there. Things are being done on a "putting out the fires" basis - ie: the most urgent things are being done first. Hopefully we're not getting ourselves in too deep with all these projects on the go at once! One thing's for sure, we can't complain that there's nothing to do!

Until next time!


  1. Whew! You make me tired just reading about all that you have done and still have to do. I hate to hear that you are cold. I hope the new cook stove helps out in the kitchen. So its a wood burning cook stove? I haven't seen one of those since I was a child.

  2. The Bakers Oven looks great :-)
    Your kitchen will become a such cosy place to be during the winter months.
    My dream kitchen would have two stoves, wood for winter and gas for summer.


  3. Hi Mom - yes, it's a wood burning wood stove/oven. It should save money on electricity and a little gas, too. With the solar being installed in a few more months time, and a solar hot water system replacing the electric hot water system, hopefully the bills will be tiny!!

    BevB - we're thinking of maybe a cob oven outside for the summer. Best of both worlds, cross fingers!