Guess how much I love you…

“Love you more than a toilet”

I’m sitting in the second hand (verge rubbish collection) lounge in front of a glorious fire that Parker built in his bushmans stove saved from a renovation and now installed in his shed. I’m warm enough although it’s definitely wool jumper weather: forcasts of 3 °C overnight and:
frozen tea towels in the morning.
I ponder life. Mine. My family’s lives. Everyone else’s. Meanwhile Kelsie sleeps instead. Maybe she has the better idea.
Where is the line? How much can you forgo if it means you get to be with someone you’d rather be with. Exactly what do you need to have to be living comfortably enough? More than just getting by, but thriving. And in those moments I find a humorous notion to exclaim to my Parker, giggling:

“I love you more than a shower
More than a troopy
More than a washing machine.
I love you more than a toilet…” (All things we don’t currently have. )

He laughed.
We actually have a lot that I am very grateful for. Like a shower at our workplaces. And life is rich and joyful. Mostly because we choose to be so.
We have good food to eat. A stove/oven and that aforementioned fire boils a kettle too. We have a mouse proof cupboard/pantry. (Something to be grateful for after not having such elsewhere.) We have a grand dining table that is almost as magnificent as my parents table. We have running rain water outside, collected from half the roof into a scavenged 7500L repaired tank. Both Parker and I do not have any qualms over using or even repairing secondhand gear if it’s available. We have a modest amount of power: enough to charge my phone which doubles as internet and maybe watch a hard drive movie on my TV. We have a brilliant LED “corn bulb”and hand held battery spotlights too.
Parker calls this our castle! And it is.

I have my dog here, which this time last year had been a serious issue as I was having trouble getting decent employment that included keeping her with me.
I have a cool little bit of an art table set up. I still love playing with markers and watercolours: there’s an Instagram feed to show for all that. However, it has been a long time since I could have art set out and not have to perpetually put it back into boxes.

I am loving the life I share with Parker on the farm. Watching lambs frolic over rock piles and dirt mounds and poddy calves grow strong; Colours of the crops and sunsets over the rolling hills.

Life may not be overly easy here, but it is good.

And of course I love Parker more than a toilet, but my point is that it is love strong enough to go without a porcelain toilet knowing that eventually we will build one here, and that the earth is loving the fertiliser we give it daily.

How to create a Planner page for important events or projects.

So here I am standing on the edge of the “planner girl” world. It’s not an unfamiliar feeling for me really. I like to take the best from many worlds and go with it. So I like only the best of Country Music; I’m fussy. But that means I can still thoroughly enjoy a good round of Daft Punk or Wintergarten or Handle or Kimya Dawson. It means that I love Pretty Western Shirts but ones with elegant patterns, not such bold, crazy patterns. It means I still prefer my Blunnies over Ariat Boots. And I still don’t feel incline to wear copious amounts of make-up. I stand on the edge of a few different worlds in the hope of Staying very true to the person I am meant to be.

But here is my planner girl story: I have spent time looking at planners with some confusion and some wonder. Some of the Asian overseas students at school were big on them with lots of “Hello Kitty” type papers and do-dads inside. I’ve had some such thing before. However I have never been a diary or journal keeper.

Being a Station cook changed that. Blogging became a regular thing and sitting down on monday to map out my menu for the week was very important to stay on top of my job cooking for 20+ people. The habit is sticking so far.

Introducing my planner:

I had a trial one for 2 months before this while I discovered precisely what I liked. This one is leather and comes from Kikki-K. It is acting as both diary and journal and general place to play with cool bits and pieces that I find in the scrapbooking world that otherwise I would hardly use (my art just doesn’t involve much from that world).

The right page, I use for a weekly spread; it has what I will do with what I did do added on Friday. I get to play with stickers and practice cool writing. The left page is for scrapy notes: post-it notes, lists, stuff that I need to remember but doesn’t fit on a day. I might doodle there or cover it with “washy-tape”(there is a prime example of a Washi-d page in the how to pics)… its a no rules page.

But when I start to get lots of notes and lists together on a specific topic, I figure its time to give it a page of its own. So my car got one. A page to dream of all the cool mods I’d like to do to it like Dual Batteries, and Funky Rims. But also a page to record more serious stuff like the internal light needs replacing and the front sway bar bush needs some TLC.

So my how to is a Quick Demo on my Process for such a page in my planner:

I grab an A4 landscape sheet of paper and size it up against one of my homemade custom planner pages. I want the fold out to fit nicely in with the other pages to avoid overhang and therefore unnecessary wear and tear on this import.
Here you can see the fold.
I then bunch the holes. I have a somewhat cheap puncher so I punch the holes then repunch as I go to cope with paper thickness.
On the back of the page I apply two strips of paper. On the left will be the “title” or cover. It wants about 4-5 cm only because it will be decorated. Washi Tape is good too. On the right is the back; It is the strength of this foldout.
Repunch those holes… and you can see how this is going to work out now I hope.
On the inside I start applying paper or tape and stickers.
Layering tape and scrap book stickers over the holes creates depth and provides reinforcement for the paper. I hope to be accessing the page a fair bit.
Add the Pretty Stuff to the front. And start trimming the over hang.
This is the inside spread. I’ve chucked the offcuts from the gorgeous floral sticker on the front. I keep the edges fairly low key; no wider than 4 centimetres.
And there you go. All ready to use.
Outer spread

So for this particular foldout, I’m collecting the ideas I have for a girls night in that I like to have with my family. The way I see is, I can keep all my notes in one place now and then I can add photos to the page after the event as a memory keepsake. For me part of the joy of an event is in the planning of it.

So I’ve decided that my guests fit nicely on this side: it’s a working page. You can see I can add or remove as I continue planning.
Inside I keep my lists and brainstorming. Activities, food Ideas and drinks. This is where I might stick a post-it note with an on-the-go idea like “jellycups” for the food list that way I don’t get to the event and realise the event could have been even better if I’d only remembered that one cool Idea I had while driving to work. Other things to consider; location! Good grief… quick add it to the page now. Oh wait, themes! Maybe we should all wear pyjamas.


Every title page needs a title, So I’ve whipped out the brush markers and put the event on the front: another chance to practice nice writing but sticker letters would have been just as handy here.

Side bars part two 

Thursday 9th March. 

Manufacturer the brackets to mount the side bars. (One naked troopy) Remove the existing side step and generally eat Alexandrian dirt. 

Friday 10th (are we done yet?)

Eat more dirt construct the plates to weld onto the bars so that I’m not using fencing wire to hold the bar to the brackets 

Officially all manufacturing is complete. No more cutting or welding required! Hooray!!!!


Putty and paint day. 

An extra trip to Bunnings cos I ran out of paint too. So I let the paint set overnight 

Sunday 12th march. 

Final product shot: and a few lessons for dad on how he’ll do it in his if he gets a land cruiser one day. 

Side bars part one

Friday 3rd March.

A trip to the awesome guys at EdCon to by steel 12 m of 40 mm pipe

Saturday 4th March

Bend pipe to fit the car. Apparently my bull bar has scoliosis!

Sunday: nothing much on account of the welding PPE not being up to scratch. So we are delayed til…

Monday: welding! Oh and pork roll for lunch. An important tradition when I visit Sydney…

Working for the (old) Man

The back story; me spending way too much time sifting thru semi ridiculous tasks on Air Tasker to find the next cool holiday task; somebody arguing with a chain mesh 7 ft gate whilst accessing a radio site in their vehicle that my father consults for. 
The job was released for repair, my dad was in the know for getting the task. 
And so I find myself sitting out bush. Here:

…With my Alex fencing pliers (don’t worry I own these, purchased and documented in 2015) and a pair of too big gloves from Bunnings because clearly girls don’t do hard work round here, and my work shirt on; I set about repairing a chain mesh fence.  

Yeah I know. The white sunnies are something special but that’s how life is outside. Besides, I’d rather wreak them than my newer nicer ones while yanking on fencing wire. 

It’s not too dissimilar to sewing really… or weaving. And I possess no ideas of grandeur regarding my abilities… however I’m not well practiced or trained: just having a go. 

It was a lovely hot Sydney day, which after a few days in the yards on the Barkly were hardly hot at all. And we had a lovely place to eat our midday tucker just down the road. 

On the way home, an apple turnover was the order of he day: apples are healthy right? 

If you’re in the area, I recommend the mulgoa valley bakehouse. Delish!

A chaise

Found a bed up the dump (woollies). 

Shrunk the bed, added the ‘side’ and the mesh to make the new back. 

Lots of welding, cutting and grinding. 

All extra material is sourced from woollies also. 

Back into the full swing of work and exercise tomorrow so I’ll paint it later. And find some cushions too.