fog over lake
photography

Last photo challenge

Foggy days at the Home by the Sea are rare. This one was a delight.

I am a fan of foggy weather, you see. Walking through a fog is an ethereal experience for me. Perhaps it reminds me of my beloved Denmark?

Post the last photofor October from your chosen device.

Brian at Bushboys blog will explain more on the challenge.

australian beach
environment

DIY Freshener for the Home

Why buy spray cans and fresheners for the home and bathroom. It really is cheaper to make your own and far better for the environment as well.

Not only can you avoid using harsh chemicals but you have a lovely natural fragrance from the essential oils, which are easily purchased in bulk.

Here at the home by the sea, I do like to care for our environment, even if it is a small contribution on my own home turf.

Toilet Freshener

10 Homemade Recipes for Beauty Products: DIY Poo-Pourri Toilet Spray 2

 INGREDIENTS:

  1. 15 drops bergamot essential oil
  2. 10 drops lavender essential oil
  3. 10 drops lemongrass essential oil
  4. 2 Tablespoons of rubbing alcohol (eg. Isocol is fine)
  5. 4 oz. distilled water
  6. 1 teaspoon of vegetable based glycerine
  7. A manual spray bottle to store it in

DIRECTIONS:

1. Fill a small spray bottle with water and rubbing alcohol.

 2. Add essential oils and glycerine then replace top and swirl gently to combine.

To use:

Before you leave the bathroom, give the bottle a shake then spritz the water around three or four times.

That’s it!

[Source and photo credit: http://www.freebiefindingmom.com/10-homemade-recipes-for-beauty-products-diy-poo-pourri-toilet-spray/]

A Home by the Sea
lake newport sunrise australia
blogging, environment, writing

Good Morning

It is the start of a new day.

sunrise on the lake


When you are in the midst of your working life,  the morning can be rushed. 
Not so, in retirement.


I delight in a stroll towards the lake at sunrise, watching for the old man fish Sir Mullet, jumping high above the water.

Why?

To show off his physical prowess like a maritime body builder or as a way to energize himself for the day’s forage feast for food.

On the banks and weedy littoral zone, algae trails dance rhythmically with the tidal ebb and flow of the waters. Always moving, always dynamic.

Meanwhile, triggered by the sun’s first rays, the Willy Wagtail frolicks and flits back and forth up and around on the grassy lawn, in a courtship dance sure to impress a mate.


Me with my dogs alongside of me, skirt the lake’s perimeter, soaking in the natural forces of sun, earth and wind about me.

This place energizes me, urging me to rise with the light and optimistic for the day ahead. Something not felt in my previous chapter.


A meditative time for newly retired me.

books
blogging, home

New Year New You Challenge


I have been remiss in posting the last week, so here is the catch up in one post:

Day 3 – Remove negativity – I am often trying to do this, even when the world rallies around handing out negative vibes everywhere. This week has been particularly trying as my son has had some incredible challenges which have not been easy to watch. But all the more reason to roll on to

Day 4 and 5 – Message someone special and Think of the Positives – Completed

My positives included a variety of things but especially being able to enjoy a restful and relaxing Christmas now that the hard work of getting the new house ready was 90% complete.

Is a home ever really finished? There always seems to be some little thing that needs doing in one’s home? Weeding the garden and attending to plants is a never-ending task; a shelf needs to be put up, photos attached to the bare Snowy Mountain white walls and there are still some boxes to unpack…. but we are concentrating on the positives here so my mind drifts back to Christmas.

Day 6 – Smile More

Very good advice

I have the key to the door! The house is finally mine!

There were plenty of smiles on House Handover day – and every morning I wake up in this new house and look around at the fruits of our labour over the last year. It is a joy every day to live in this place. Sunshine, cool breezes, away from the bushfire threats and tonight, glorious rain! I felt like recording the sounds as it is a sound we so rarely here at the moment.

This one’s smile is pure heaven

Day 7 – Cook a Healthy Meal – completed

Before cooking in the oven

I made these yummy vege frittatas with ricotta and parmesan cheese. Delicious. They freeze well too.

Day 9 – Take a long walk – I walked for 90 minutes – that should do it.

Day 10 – Do Something New – Still debating about what I can do…. I did co-start and join a Ladies Walking Group in my area. Yes, that ticks the box for this day.

Day 11- Read a good book – I finished reading Mons Kallentoft’s crime fiction novel from Sweden – Autumn Killing. A good twist at the end was a surprise. Not a bad read but I couldn’t focus on it properly as I started reading it so many months before.

Roll on Day 12…..



building

It’s All Happening at the Home by the Sea

The workers have really ramped up the action a notch.

This is happening just outside our backyard, right now.

Perhaps the tradies are getting a bonus to finish before Christmas? the MotH asks.

Tradies or Tradesmen?

I’m not sure if other countries call workmen on construction sites:-‘tradesmen.’

We don’t either.

In Australia we always like to shorten things, especially names, so tradesmen and not called tradesmen, but “Tradies.”

If someone says they will, “See ya in the arvo,” or “See you thissarvy”– they don’t mean they will meet you in some seedy bar in town, they mean they will see you after lunch, in the afternoon. If I was to say to a friend, see you in the afternoon, I would almost sound British!

But I digress.

Tradies might be Electricians, Carpenters, affectionately also called ‘Chippies,’ Plumbers, Crane drivers, Tiler’s, Glaziers, Concreters or anyone that performs a trade and often this is related to construction.

These guys and girls, do a certain amount of study at a vocational college but most of their training is practical, on the job. It is usually an apprenticeship of three or four years. They are often very fit, strong and heavily tanned young men and their language is often colourful.

So whatever you do, when you visit Australia and the Home by the Sea, don’t ask for few ‘chippies’ with your meal! See you later on thisarvy!

P.S. There goes on view to the East!

seachange graphic logo
building

Sea change Completed

The wind in your hair, the smell of salt water in one’s nostrils, and the laid back lifestyle. That is what we think of we most of us think of living at the beach.

Four weeks ago, we moved to a home by the sea, after more than 35 years living in the suburbs but that wasn’t the original plan.

The key to the Door

After selling the house my husband had built with his own hands, we went looking for a minimalist low maintenance lifestyle close to family and friends. We were, for quite some time, set on re-locating to a townhouse in the inner city and having a weekend flat at the beach. The Minimalist Inner city lifestyle. Close to restaurants, all kinds of services and facilities and unfortunately, the sort of place, workers and commuters all love to live. So it is busy, too busy for us now that we are nearing retirement and the quieter lifestyle that provides.

Sometimes, the universe intervenes. We searched and searched to find the right townhouse for us. It wasn’t there. Or, if it was, someone else got there first and outbid us. I must admit we had a contract on another, but it didn’t feel right and there were problems so the contract was terminated. We decided the townhouse hipster lifestyle wasn’t for us. All the time, the universe was sending us here, to the sea, where we wanted to be.

The city life Millenials love

The adult kids moved out, as there was no way that they were going to live up near the beach, some 20 kms away from the trappings of work, friends and the inner city lifestyle.

So it is quite a change – a sea change to move in to the house we have been designing and building for the last year.

There have been frustrating times, and some problems along the way, but overall the building process was a lot of fun. And we made it. Yay!

The Moving process, of course, is not at all fun. Most of our old furniture didn’t fit into a townhouse – so we disposed of it. We had so many boxes packed away in storage, and a lot of new boxes for the new furniture. They all had to be unpacked and removed.

But that is all behind us now. The boxes have been recycled, the packing materials dumped and we settling into our new routine.

The Universe was right, and we were lucky to find the right piece of land, negotiated with a builder at the right time and voila, now our house is our home.

Now we are ensconced in our new house and we are happy. We’ve met many new neighbours, many in the same stage of life as us, and travelling to work hasn’t even taken near as long as I thought.

The MOTH is busy with little tasks around the house, and happy again, and the Schnauzer is thrilled she has a yard to play in once more.

Would I build a house again from scratch? Yes, most definitely.

Would I move again? No, definitely not.

So here we stay! We are putting down roots.

Us
blogging, building

Nearly There

Welcome Home

Set for ‘Practical Completion’

We have a Practical Completion Date for the Home by the Sea, and it is very close.

Moving date will actually be a further couple of weeks after that. That gives the builder a chance to fix up all the defects, (hopefully none or not too many), prior to handing over the house keys to us and us handing him the big fat final cheque!!

It is getting exciting, but also somewhat daunting knowing what I have yet to do, before I can lay my head down on the bed in my new home by the sea.

The Carpenter returned to re-do the beautiful Western Red cedar roof on the alfresco area, and on the front panel above the famed and maligned cornerless window.

Just awaiting a ceiling fan and lights

You can see him there hard at work, cursing and teasing me a little good heartedly for making him re-do the section at the front. He is a lovely guy, despite all his intimidating skeletal tattoos!

And for all his tattoos, I asked him if he would let his young daughter get a tattoo when she grew up.

“No way,” he said shaking his head emphatically!

“Good luck with that,” I thought, under my breath.

Further progress included the installation of the Energy Efficient Air Conditioner (an absolute must in northern Australia). Yay!

I won’t have solar power again for a little while, so the less we use it, the better for the planet, right? Mind you, the breeze that persists at the water’s edge might mean we can save a little of the planet’s ecosystems and shut it off for most of the year.

We see that the house has had a QA check and they have found some, well many spots to touch up with the paint. So there are blue dots of tape sprinkled throughout to identify the spots that need fixing with paint.

The bathroom mirrors and shower screens were installed. And I now have somewhere to hang my towel and toilet roll! Yay for that!

The stairs also were dressed with timber grade handrails this week.

All the timber work is to be stained in a teak colour.

The Lows

We discovered that the lovely oak bedside tables we purchased for a reduced price, during a closing down sale won’t fit in our master bedroom with the existing bed frame. Darn it all.

They can go with the two lamps I purchased that were also a mistake. The MOTH took the opportunity to remind me that I had purchased seven lamps this year! Surely not.

**Lesson learnt here. Don’t buy furniture or lamps, without measuring accurately and before your house is complete.

The Highs

We have a resident Mamma Kanga and Baby Joey in our park and sporting fields. Eager to find some freshly watered green grass, I spotted them safely tucked away behind the fencing this morning.

I think we need a name for them.

Do you have any suggestions?

building, home

Another Brick in the Wall

Bricklaying the First Storey

What a change a week makes. The Bricklayers are all but finished, so we can finally get an idea of what the base of the house will look like.

Bricklaying construction

You might notice the bricks are different on the front of the house – a bit patchy compared to the rest. This is because there is rendering to be done on the front of the house. The rendering and wrapping of the corner of the house, abutting the two street frontages, meets the Estate developer’s covenant requirements – not so our wishes.

Building a house
Clean smart lines on the rendering on the neighbours houses

I suppose it adds a level of interest and a certain look to the estate?

Internal Plastering

The plasterers are finished the walls inside and the waterproofing of the shower recesses and wet areas have been completed.

Plastering in progress

Cladding the Second Storey

The scaffolding that has now been erected is necessary for the builders to install the cladding to the upper part of the house.

Scaffolding in readiness for the upstairs cladding and completion of pier work

I was very excited to see bundles of vertical lined cladding and my treasured cedar roof arrive ready for installation on the next vacant block.

Of course the cladding is going to be painted.

I have chosen a Dulux Teahouse colour, at least I think that is what it was called. It is a bit hard to remember every paint selection, but in my head I have the colour hue itself, even if the name is wrong. It is a little bit like the cladding on this Stockholm house, (slightly different facade to ours).

Next week, the staircase will be installed and perhaps some cabinetry?

Then we get to walk through our Home by the Sea.

building, Uncategorized

Another Step Closer

If you have been following our building journey, at A Home by the Sea, I can tell you that we are yet another step closer.

The weather Gods were not kind to us this week, but it is becoming more and more apparent that our building team are the very best. The forecast of rain so concerned us given that our upper floor would be open to the elements and the floor is not at all weatherproof!

So we were extremely relieved when our weekly visit revealed the builders had finished the complete guttering and roof (at least the roof that is over all upper floorboards) in just one day.

Timber Frame and Roof Trusses

Great team effort guys! (and girls?) *

*Note: No sexism on A Home by the Sea.

Perhaps they tried their very best given that a week of rain was on its way. I like that they are so conscientious and pro-active. They is very reassuring. We have come this far in four weeks!

And now the remaining roof, more plumbing/electrical on the lower floor comes next!

We decided to take some time out to support local business and mingle with the locals at the Boat Club. There is a great view of the Marina from there.

The large boat in the foreground of the next photo is a Marlin fishing boat, and the official weighing station is on the right of the photo.

I have to say that view was pretty hard to take!

More next week.

Uncategorized

Wilderness It Is

The builder informed us an error had been made and they had delivered the wrong brick to the Little Home By the Sea.

I thought it had to be wrong, but what do I know?

Tim checked into it and found they had delivered the wrong bricks. Austral will swap them over. That feels a lot better now. I can sleep again.

This is the Wilderness design – Blackbutt – with two shadows looming over.

It even looks black. Quite different from the grey with white flecks, seen below. They realized the bricks delivered on the palettes that had sat there for several weeks were completely wrong. Thank goodness we checked.

The waterproofing was complete and excess soil removed and spread out. So now we were starting to get an idea of the internal size of the rooms and yard.

More will become obvious when the frame begins at the end of this week. Then it will really look like a house.

Frame starts soon

Looking forward to that.

It was a gorgeous day in the bay with only a SW zephyr. Perfect beach weather, really. How lucky are we to have a piece of paradise to retire too.