Monday, December 27, 2010

Just so you know, I still love rain.

Today is the day when as many of Mum's brothers and sisters and spouses and my cousins get together. Because we live in the same town as my grandparents and grandad has trouble travelling these days, the party is normally here in town.

So we were all systems go this end.

And it rained.

And the first lot coming from Brisbane couldn't get through because the highway was cut about 20mins from here.

Then the lot from Toowoomba couldn't get through.

Then the second lot from Brisbane who were bringing my uncle, who had flown down from Townsville as a surprise, couldn't get through.

Then the lot from Toowoomba rang to say the road was cut on the way back to Toowoomba, and they'd had to get accommodation in the little town half-way home.

Then we got a photo emailed of both lots from Brisbane because they'd had a party at a stop half-way back to Brisbane.

So Mum, Dad, my Beloved and I jumped in the car and did the flood tour of the town we live in. Some bridges that I've never seen under are under, and it's very likely the main bridge into town will go under tonight or tomorrow when the water from up-stream gets here.

Then we got home and my Beloved was looking for his shovel to shift a tree that is not happy in our backyard and he found a little situation:-

This is our house. We are built on a slope, so the garage is downstairs at the back, but the front is not full head-height.

This means that there's a space under the front part of the house which is not built in. My Beloved has been very clever and put drainage channels to stop the water getting in under the house.

Unfortunately this meant that water that gets in can't get out. We inadvertantly had a good start for the first canine hydrotherapy pool in town.

My Beloved dug a ditch to let the water out. The LBD 'helped'.

There must have been about 5cms of water lying against the slab for the garage floor.

And this is part of the culprit. The ground is so sopping wet that we have springs developing in the cutting under the house. There were a number of spots leaking.
It seems the project to get a retaining wall and put a concrete slab that drains to the outside may be more of a priority than we thought.
How much more rain do we need around here?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Why I had to go to Donut King.

I celebrated the death of four kilos today.

You'd think that as a result I'd be bouyed up with resolve to hold onto it for the next week of plenty of opportunity to eat very badly indeed.

But no.

You see, I had to go to Donut King.

And they sell warm, cinnamony, sugary donuts there.

And I love warm, cinnamony, sugary donuts.

I avoid the shopping centre like the plague because they have a Donut King.

But today I just had to go.

Why? You may ask.

My Grandad likes thickshakes.

We usually buy him a voucher for Donut King so that he can get some when he goes up the street (he doesn't get out all that much anymore). The man who owns the shop knows him and has been known to make the thickshake so thick you can hardly suck it up through the straw. He's also happy to cross off part of the value of the voucher so that Grandad can have multiple trips. This is the beauty of living in a country town.

So I went to buy a voucher for my Grandad.

...and I smelled the doughyness of the cooking donuts.

And the chance that leaving the shopping centre my mouth didn't have that delightful doughy tongue-sticking-to-my-hard-palate post-donut sensation?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

You know you need to clean your house when...

I was Zumbaing in my lounge room (DVDs are not as good as a real class, but a whole lot cheaper and can be on at times that are convenient to me), pounding my bare feet into the hardwood surface as I twisted and grooved when I evidently picked up some stray LBD fur on the ball of one foot.

And the chance I would ever try to Zumba in socks?

Friday, December 10, 2010

A problem. A solution. A problem. A solution.

My name is Hippomanic Jen, and I'm a book-aholic.

I love to read books.

I love to buy books.

I love to reread books.

I hate to give them away, because I might want to read it later.

I once answered a phone poll, and among other things they wanted an estimate of how many books I own. The options were along the following lines:

a 0 books
b 1 book
c 2 or 3 books
d 4 or more books.

I was astounded. So astounded that I can remember that the first and last options were 0 and 4 or more respectively. Who would have fewer than 4 books in their possession? I still don't know what the question was trying to acheive.

When we were having Dad design the house one of the essentials on the list was a wall to place our bookcases against that wasn't in a bedroom. I've known people who have had to give away thier libraries when they are expecting their second child, because they need the spare room for the new baby. This was not going to happen to us.

But over time, one acquires more books (particularly if one is studying and/or needs resources for preaching).

Then one ends up with the following problem:

Books on a cupboard in my office.

One of two huge bookcases full of books against the book wall my Dad made certain was in the house plans (it would've helped if I'd rotated the image, but you get the drift).

Books on a small shelf in the spare bedroom (it needed to be rotated too).

Books on a shelf in the cupboard in our bedroom.

Hmmm. Even though I have brought myself to do some selective culling of the book population, there are a few issues.
1. I'm asthmatic and seem to be having a problem with house dust.
2. I'm a terrible housekeeper and never have time to dust all the bookshelves.
3. I really need to rationalise book locations. After all, there is a perfectly good book wall to have a consolidated library.
The solution:
We priced cabinets with doors to keep out / minimise the dust and that would take up the entire length of the book wall (which had some space for more bookcases - but inevitably not enough length to fit the little bookcase that lives in the spare bedroom).
We measured the lineal metres of shelf required. Checked out what was available, and ordered three units (2 x 1200mm wide units and 1 x 600mm wide unit). If the skirting and cornice was removed from the sides, and they were made to fit together, they should fit perfectly. We looked at the example in the furniture shop and decided that the shelves were reasonably spaced, and that if we got the 2100mm high rather than the 1800mm high units we would get an extra shelf and that would get us closer to our desired lineal metres of shelf.
They came today.
They looked pretty.
They were heavy for the blokes to manhandle.

My Beloved had to take the skirting board off the walls along the book wall so that they'd fit. We were really hoping that the walls of the alcove were plumb. We joined the three units together and then slid them back into the space.

My Beloved pushed on the joins with his feet and I ran back and forth and pushed the ends back little by little until it fit snugly into the space.
Beautiful, hey?

Unfortunately, despite their beauty and the functionality of the new bookcases there is a problem.
We decided not to specify the distance between the shelves, because we decided that what they had was about right, why would we stuff them around any more? They were already putting doors on, and taking skirting and cornice off, and making them to fit neatly together.
It didn't even cross my mind that a taller 2100mm high bookcase would have THE SAME NUMBER OF SHELVES as the 1800mm one. (Doesn't everyone want to absolutely maximize how many books they can store? Or I might want to have all my 4 books on separate shelves, you know.)
And who would guess that those shelves would be evenly spaced, so there's not a hope of putting an extra shelf in between two existing shelves, because they are all 370mm apart and my shortest books are all 190mm tall.
One of the things I was looking forward to was not having books stacked on their sides.
Another was not having two rows of books on the shelf so that you can't see the back ones.
But my very clever Beloved has come up with a solution.
The smaller books could be stored in two rows with one behind. But this means you can't see what you've got.
However, by putting a half width shelf along the back that is slightly lower than the top of the front row (and entirely behind them) we can raise a back row so that the majority of each spine will be visible.
He is very clever, my Beloved.
And the chance that I'll let him go?

Monday, December 6, 2010


As of 11pm last night our niece Giggles has a new little sister!

Just over 3 kilos (7 pound 10 for the ancient among you). She even has a real name - but not a blog name just yet. I will need to work on that, but need to wait until I've actually met her and can come up with something suitable.

Giggles has been telling everyone that she is going to be such a good big sister. The baby can sleep in her room and she can look after her when she cries, and carry her into Mummy and Daddy... Chances?