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22 Jan 2019

Hot, hot, hot.......

That's not an advertisement for a new product but a comment on the weather over here, in the Central West Plains of NSW, Australia, the last fortnight.

Temperature has broken local records at 45.8 deg Celcius. Thankfully the newly installed solar power system has saved us a small fortune as the air-conditioners have been in operation 24 hours a day, unlike previous years, as even the lowest night temperatures have been 24C or more. We had a hen die last week from heat stress. Ice containers cooling the water, wet patches on the ground where they can sit under the trees, and even shallow dishes to stand in didn't help on the day when the winds were hot and brisk. Two days before that one of our hens hatched 6 chickens in 44C heat! One died the next day, but it had a difficult hatch and was possibly blind so it may have been kinder that it did die, even though we took over the care and did our best for it.

Even the outside dog has been encouraged to come inside. She's 14 now so she feels the temperature changes more keenly.
 

Of course the cat is mostly inside as he "owns" the place....hahahaha....



The temperature dropped to 38C over the weekend but the humidity rose so the weather was still difficult to endure. I will definitely be glad when Autumn weather arrives with cooling breezes and the possibility of rain.

Mulching and deep watering infrequently has kept the  few vegetables and fruit trees alive, though my little Emperor mandarin has dropped all it's fruit. The lemon and the lime tree haven't flowered this year, but as they too are small, I'd rather the energy go into strengthening the tree than into fruit. The worms are still producing their type of fertiliser and I'm grateful for it as the compost isn't breaking down very quickly in this dry hot weather. Photo is about 2 litres of worm juice that I gather once a week.



I participated in a Christmas card swap last year, in a forum I am a member of, and received cards from 2 members in England. I should have posted these earlier, but it doesn't alter the fact that they are beautiful cards, and much work has gone into the making of them. Thanks again, Sarah and Josey.

Sarah's card

Josey's card

My card to Josey

Cheers,
Robyn Louise XO






10 Jan 2019

Solar Power!

Yesterday was the completion of the solar power installation. This installation should give us the electricity we need to perform daily household tasks as well as power for hobbies like sewing, woodwork and welding. There were already 3 phase power lines installed on the property when Hugo bought it.

Installation - that's the roof of my craftroom with the mechanical workshop next to it.

It was surprising how quickly these were set up and screwed down. 

The solar panels all angled nicely to collect the sun's rays. They also have the effect of shading the buildings below them reasonably effectively but not interfering with the air flow over the roof.

The Inverter

The inverter is linked via internet to my mobile phone and also to the computer, so we have a record, whenever it is collecting power, of the kilowatts of power being collected, the kilowatts we are using and also the kilowatts of power going to the grid. 

Basic Statistics
Fronius Symo Inverter 8.2-3-M
36 x Phono Solar Technology Hyperion Solar Panels which delivers 9.9kWp
IR = 116% (allows for degradation over time of panels)

Cheers,
Robyn Louise XO


4 Jan 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR! ,Procrastination and Intentions

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

No resolutions but I intend to stop procrastinating....again...and begin intentionally planning as I have a couple of times previously. 

To fine tune this I have purchased a book, which uses a method that I have researched extensively, over the past year or so. At first I thought it was just another scrapbooking gimmick as social media was flooded with it. I have learned though, that if you want to know the real facts you go to the source, so I searched other areas on the internet and found these: -
both of which interested me as I'd read similar before but didn't realise the importance of it, to me, at the time. 

 I discovered that I could relate to what Ryder said, then he wrote a "manual" about it, which resonated with me as I have always been a reader, but I find some learning methods need a mixture of reading, hearing (audio) and doing (kineasthetic)  for it to capture my interest and for me to learn it. The basics of this is simple but I needed the original version, with all the later "fluff" and  everyone else's version absent, to visualise how it could work for me otherwise it seemed just another collection of lists, but in a notebook and not on loose pieces of paper.



I have also discovered there are many everyday items, that use up my time ineffectively, so I am evaluating what is necessary and what is "pen twiddling" or just something to do to fill in time when I cannot think of something more practical to do. It is surprising how much can be achieved in 5 minutes if you just do it! My friend Rose, from the DTE forum, taught me this but I let life direct me in recent years and lost the habit of intentionally finding something purposeful to keep me occupied.

Blogging needs to be scheduled as well or it becomes intermittent and then non existent. Routine is something I've always had a problem with but if I can make the daily living tasks routine then I figure I will be able to meet unexpected challenges with the time and focus needed than if my mind is cluttered with trivialities that I can solve/complete in a spare 5 minutes of clear thinking.

Trying something gives a better understanding than just looking at it from the sidelines so that's my plan this year.

Cheers,
Robyn Louise XO




30 Dec 2018

Life, the Universe and Everything

Thanks to the author Douglas Adams for the title to this post.

It seems as if 2018 overwhelmed me as I haven't had so few posts in a year since 2016, when my life was in a spin due to odd working hours, finance problems, bad landlords and an offer I couldn't refuse. Previously 2015/16 was my longest break from blog posting (199 days) but I've exceeded it this time by not blogging for 323 days in a row.

Life during 2018 was busy but, to me, confusing and sometimes depressing.
The universe seemed to conspire to interrupt my progress to advance with the pursuits I was most interested in.

There were more doctor's appointments and looking for employment.  I attended 3 courses during that period, for employment searching purposes, that kept me occupied and I had to attend 120 hours of unpaid on-the-job training, part of which was attended while I had to assist PC with his recovery from a major operation in the second half of the year.

Two of my pets died (RIP Krakatoa and Maddy Cat). I also gained another - Welcome Fibonacci, aka Wild Man, Furball or Trip Hazard!


Mad Cat or Maddy


Fibonacci being a Wild Man.


The yard and vegetable garden cleanup continued. Craftroom activities ceased due to lack of time and weather irregularities, where it was too hot/too cold to use the room. Bills rolled in and money rolled out. Any plans I made seemed to be unstarted, interrupted or came to a stop. It was a time of circling and repetitions that seemed to go nowhere. 

November/December brought about a serious decline in the mental health of my Mum, who needed to be admitted to an aged care home. Five days after I arrived home from this my Step-Dad had a heart attack and is still in hospital.

With the coming of 2019 I have a new job waiting for me, the craftroom has just been upgraded with the addition of reverse cycle air-conditioning, solar electricity panels are being installed in early January and PC is well. I can only hope my Step-Dad recovers and continues to live whilever Mum is alive as she will be lost without him.

Wishing you all a new beginning for 2019, if you need it, and hoping your "everything" happens how you would like it to.

Cheers,
Robyn Louise XO




10 Feb 2018

Clothing Recycling

I am spending too much time with Facebook lately, though it does have some benefits. One of which is a local group, that I am involved with, that posted this link on their page. It is a 15 minute video that was made in November 2016 that describes what happens to the excess of clothing that goes to op-shops (charity/thrift stores) in the UK/USA/Japan. I wonder if a similar occurrence happens to the Australian excess. I think some of the comments of those interviewed could be more true than we would like them to be.

There is still much fabric to be sewn in my craftroom and I will be giving more thought to what I make from it and how much use it will have. I really dislike waste and I'm trying to reduce as much as I can in my life.

Cheers,
Robyn XO