Painting and other things…

It’s been a little over three weeks since my last post and so much has happened.

I had a call from a recruiter who found me via my LinkedIn profile. He wanted to know if I was interested in a full time permanent job. It turns out that the job was exactly what I’d love to be doing and definitely exciting enough for me to get back into the full time commute routine. The job was software support and training for some mining software. I had a great interview and then had to wait two weeks until they interviewed their other candidate before I had any news. Unfortunately I didn’t get the job. The feedback from the companty was great but I was pipped at the post by a geologist with experience in a similar role with a competitor company. I’ll always lose out to a geologist in this type of role. Oh well, yes, I was disappointed but I’ve moved on. I have too much else to do right now.

We got the new garage door. It’s great. So quiet and it doesn’t make a racket in the wind, either. Looks so much better than the old rusty cracked door.

We also chose some floor tiles that will (hopefully) look good with the existing tiles. They are different, but should be complementary . I got a tiler to come and have a look at the sample that I brought home and to give me a quote. He liked the tile and we liked the quote so we have him scheduled to do the work later this month. It should be finished a week before Stephen’s mum arrives. The only problem with that plan is that Stephen left for two weeks in South Africa (for work) on Friday night. He arrives home the day before the tiler comes in. That means we had to get the carpet pulled up before Stephen left. To pull up the carpet we had to move the heavy furnitue out of the rooms e.g. unstacking bookcases, moving them and restacking. We left most of the furniture in the rooms and just moved it around, cutting and pulling up the carpet in stages. Pulling up the tack board was a real pain with all the nails into the slab, but we got it all done. We’ll do the final emptying of the rooms on the day Stephen gets home. Things will be really cramped in the other rooms when that happens but it should only be for a few days.

Some before photos of the lounge room:

Early lounge room

Early lounge room

Lounge room before

Lounge room before

Lounge room before

Lounge room before

There was an incredible amount of beach sand under the carpet. We don’t know how long it had been down, but obviously some of that sand came out of our dogs – even though we always rinse and brush them after we’ve been to the beach and before they are allowed back inside. Since the carpet has gone I’ve really realised how much hair Anzac sheds and how much the carpet caught. I’m having to vacuum billowing clouds of grey and white dog hair every day. I know how much dust we get in the house and all that settles on the furniture must also settle on the carpet, so it’s definitely a good move to get rid of it.

The carpet removed

The carpet removed

I’ve been flat out painting since the carpet started to come up and I’m taking as much advantage as possible of Stephen’s absence and of having less furniture and no floor coverings in the lounge and main bedroom to get as much painting done as possible. Choosing paint colours is painful – even choosing white. There are so many different whites! I finally found one that we’re happy with for all the internal doors. They were painted in a high gloss white that had yellowed with age. I chose to use a semi-gloss. The trim is fiddly and getting a smooth, even finish on the door surfaces isn’t easy. Our doors are just cheap, hollow core doors with the flat untextured surface. They’d be easier to spray paint and even easier if painted before they were hung. I used a gloss roller, which was easier and looks better than my first attempt which was with a brush, but I’m not really happy with them. They will have to do, though; they’ve all had two coats and I’ve had enough of painting doors! I’ve moved on to the walls in the loungeroom. I’ve been filling cracks and chips, sanding back repairs that were poorly patched by the previous owners, and washing down.  We knew about the cracks and chips and the jerry-built repairs (including an unbelievable TV cabling job), but after a while you don’t see them any more – until you start trying to fix them. That’s when you realise just how much there is to do. There was also a wallpaper dado border that I had to remove. That was much easier than the vinyl borders that I had to remove from the bathroom and toilet when I painted them.

The previous owner told us he was an electrician. This is cabling for Foxtel

The previous owner told us he was an electrician. This is cabling for Foxtel

Choosing the wall colours was a real pain as well. We wanted something with a touch of colour, but not something too bright; and it has to match the tiles. I tried six different colour samples before we found one that we think we’re happy with. The wall was starting to look like we were painting it in camoflage pattern. Just what the paint will look like when the whole room is covered it is another thing. Experience tells me that paint never quite looks the way you expect it to when it’s on the walls. Hopefully two coats will be enough. Currently the bottom half of the walls is an apricot colour and the top half a lighter pink with yellow undertones. I should be ready to start cutting in tomorrow.

I’ve also chosen the paint for the family room/kitchen/hallway area – just an off-white shade for that area – but I don’t think I’ll get that done before the mothers visit. Stephen’s mum will be here for two weeks and then mine for four. They’ll overlap for a few days. On one of the days that they are both here we’ve booked a Swan Valley vineyard tour. Our neighbours run a business called Perth Luxury Tours. A couple of weeks ago they took us and two other of our neighbour couples out for the day on a Swan Valley tour. We had a great time and decided to do a similar tour with Maggie and Mirella.  I highly recommend one of their tours to anyone visiting Perth, or to anyone who wants to see more of the Perth area. They conduct a variety of personalised tours.

While I’m busy advertising I’ll mention my hairdresser. He’s now working from his salon in his home in Tapping. If you live close enough to give him a try I doubt you’ll regret it. He’s a great hairdresser (for both men and women) and is very reasonably priced.  Hair by Ben Williams 0416 019 922.

In between all of my painting and prep work I’m required to throw the ball for Anzac every few seconds for about half an hour to an hour at a time; then he sleeps for a while – or lays looking out the front door, watching the world go by – then we start again. Without the carpet on the floor the ball does tend to roll under the sofa. Anzac tries his best to get it out, but can never quite get to it, so I have that job as well. We’ve also been getting up early and walking down to the park each morning. We do a few circuits of the park; Kaz just wanders and sniffs and says hello to the other dogs. Anzac wanders and sniffs and says hello to the other dogs, and chases the ball. He doesn’t often bring it back because there are too many distractions so I always throw it in the direction that we’re walking and he gets planty of exercise chasing it.

Speaking of Anzac, it was his first birthday on Friday. I bought them a couple of new toys, a cockatoo and a pelican; of course I had to give them a toy each, but they do share.  The toys are very popular, they honk when they are squeezed and the have plastic in the wings which makes crinkly, scrunchy noises when its chewed or tossed around.

Birthday Toys

Birthday Toys

We also went down to the beach on his birthday. It was a hot day so we all went into the water. Kaz is funny, though. She doesn’t trust us not to take her right in for a swim. She wanders back and forth along the shallows, but turns her back on us if we turn to look at her. If we call her or move towards her she heads off in the opposite direction. She won’t let us get close enough to get hold of her.

Beach fun

Beach fun

Anzac is absolutely loving the water. He swims out to Stephen without any hesitation and isn’t phased by waves splashing over him. Luckily he doesn’t feel the need to swim out on his own. He likes to keep checking on Kaz  and us and any other dogs that go past.

Swimming fun

Swimming fun

Snoozing in the car on the way home from the beach

Snoozing in the car on the way home from the beach

All in all he had lots of fun on his birthday.

Dog paddling…

All of Anzac’s dog paddling practice in his pool is paying off.  😉 He’s swimming really well at the beach and loving it; he went in for a few good swims today.. It was lovely at the beach today. The water was glassy and calm enough with just a bit of a shore break.

Kaz loves the beach as well, but she is so funny. She prowls up and down the shallows and stays about 5-10 metres away from us. She certainly doesn’t trust Stephen not to take her into the deeper water.

Two videos today.

Kaz prowling in the shallows.

Anzac swimming.

The temperatures haven’t been as high as were originally forecast, but still very warm and unpleasantly humid today. Last night was hot as well, the heat and a mozzie conspired to keep us awake for much of the night!

And so this is Christmas…

40°C that’s about 104°F.
So this is Christmas…in our part of Australia.

It was a lovely day, if somewhat warm. Santa was generous. Amongst it all there was an iPad for Stephen and some fairies and Native Australians for me. New toys and christmas treats for the pups. My Native Australians are Bower Beads designed by the wonderful Tasmanian Jewellery Sculptor Ruth Waterhouse. My fairies are a Silverado bead and two Iron Fairies (terrible website!).

Christmas Joy

Christmas Joy

Anzac with all the good stuff

Anzac with all the good stuff

This one belongs to Kaz

This one belongs to Kaz

Christmas treat fun

Christmas treat fun

More Christmas treat fun

More Christmas treat fun

Stephen with his new iPad

Stephen with his new iPad

My new beads - Fairy, Little Penguins, Baby Tasmanian Devil and Turtles

My new beads - Fairy, Little Penguins, Baby Tasmanian Devil and Turtles

Bracelet with all the beads

Bracelet with all the beads

Chante and Jade

Chante, the Tree Fern fairy, and Jade, the Jacaranda fairy

My whole Iron Fairy family

My whole Iron Fairy family

It was hot ealy so we had breakfast outside. Put water in the pool for Anzac to play in and he went to work trying to dog a hole in the water – as he does!

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Is It Ball Time Yet?

Is It Ball Time Yet?

We took the dogs to the beach late in the morning. There were people everywhere, either getting in an early swim before they went home for the big Christmas feed, or setting up their Christmas picnic lunch at the beach. There were far too many white bodies on the beach that would be going home red! I got a little too pink myself from our walk along the beach.

Of course there were plenty of people and dogs on the dog beach as well. Anzac was very well-behaved – he still gets easily distracted and is very excitable in a crowd. He likes to swim but he prefers to be close to Kaz (unless there’s another dog running around who is happy for Zac to chase him) so Stephen took Kaz into the water, Anzac followed and they both swam out together.

Christmas Beach Fun

Christmas Beach Fun

Christmas Beach Fun

Christmas Beach Fun

Getting treats at the beach

Getting treats at the beach

Deb and Anzac

Deb and Anzac

Deb and the pups - Christmas Day at the beach

Deb and the pups - Christmas Day at the beach

Stephen and the pups - Christmas Day at the beach

Stephen and the pups - Christmas Day at the beach

Anzac catching a wave

Anzac catching a wave

Swimming with Anzac

Swimming with Anzac

Out of the waves

Out of the waves

Kaz is not so sure this is really necessary

Kaz is not so sure this is really necessary

Kaz and Anzac swimming side-by-side

Kaz and Anzac swimming side-by-side

Stephen polished off the remains of yesterday’s crayfish for breakfast and then had the last of his tiger prawns for lunch. We relaxed outside for the afternoon. I noticed Anzac just standing staring at something along the back of the house, then realised we had a very handsome Christmas Day visitor. A Stumpy-tailed (or shingleback) Blue-tongued lizard. His colouring was very pretty and he looked very healthy, shiny scales and a nice fat tail. Anazc was curious but didn’t harrass him as he wandered though into the garage and out into the front yard. What a wonderful visitor to the yard; I wish he had stayed a while.

Curious Anzac

Curious Anzac

Our Christmas Visitor - A Stumpy-tailed Blue-tongued Lizard

Our Christmas Visitor - A Stumpy-tailed Blue-tongued Lizard

We had a delicious risotto for tea. Not traditional Christmas fare, I know, but with it just being the two of us Stephen wanted to make something that he knows I really enjoy. We finished that off with Christmas pudding with brandy custard and Irish liqueur flavoured cream!

Pea straw, plants and pups at play…

The last couple of days have been quire warm and unpleasantly windy. You’d think I’d be used to the wind and wouldn’t dislike it so much.

We bought a couple of bales of lovely pea straw for mulching the roses and veggie gardens. It’s nice, clean, white, dry straw. Perfect. We’ll get it laid next weekend.

We went to Zanthorrea Nursery to buy a couple of plants, and to have a look around. We haven’t been over there for a while. As is typical when we go to Zanthorrea we come home with more than we planned. We wanted to buy a wattle to replace one that died in spring after flowering; we bought two. We wanted a coneflower (Isopogon formosus); we have one already, but it’s quite hidden, so we wanted to plant one somewhere where we can see it. We bought two; Isopogon formosus and Isopogon latifolia that has a more protea type leaf.

We took the pups to the beach and had a lovely time, as always. Kaz is going into the water more and more all the time now.  She even stepped into the pool yesterday when I filled it for Anzac. Normally she won’t go near the pool of her own accord, we have to really coax her. And at the beach she’s running in belly deep even when there are crashy waves. It’s amazing the way the beach changes over time. At this time of year the surf is so rough that it sweeps the beach away. Lots of rocks were uncovered and so much sand was washed away that instead of a flat beach we have a sand cliff. It’s the same each December, but in the autumn the sand comes back .

Talking of the pool – we have a clamshell that we fill one side of for the dogs. Usually only Anzac uses it and, oh boy, does he love it. He loves to get under the hose as you fill the pool and then he gets in and splashes like crazy. He’s so much fun to watch!