It’s raining men… well not quite!

Welcome to my (Claire)’s first blog. I know it sounds strange but the other day I realized I have never loved our shower like I do my shed shower…why? Glad you asked.

Here are my reasons all organised in dot points:
1. We made it from scratch including sheeting, proofing and designing an original genuine one and only shower from things we have bought cheap or recycled. The floor was made from aluminum with grids on it like workmen use on their utes. We had it bent up on the sides and creased so water can go down the drain. The walls are made from recycled packers which have been water-proofed then two pieces of a white composite sign sheeting material water proofed. We used this instead of glass or tiles for reduced cost and a great time saver to get it finished and sealed. The taps and spray part were seconds from a shop. Finally there are 2 very bright and water design shower curtains were purchased new from Ikea.

2. The water is mostly from the river so is super cheap… yes it is a bit brown but you can’t see it in shower! I say mostly as we can change it over to rain water when we have surplus and there is more expected.

3. The hot water is heated using the sun or the water booster wet back of our wood fireplace depending on the season… so again basically free and we haven’t run out of hot water yet.

4. I can have a quick cold shower 3 or 4 times a day when it is really hot (37 degrees yesterday, 38 today and 36 tomorrow) and not feel too guilty.

5. I guess it acts as our air conditioner or way to survive summer in the Riverland with no air conditioning. We all shower just before bed then go to bed damp to allow our fans to cool us enough to sleep.

6. It is also huge so one child can be going out one side while the other is going in the other side which makes showers quicker in the end.

So there you go, I can’t believe how much I love that shower!!

One day come and check it out and let us know what you think.

Reimann Ridge

Screenshot 2015-06-21 18.44.08We’ve agonised over a name for our piece of heaven, our block, and have pretty well settled on “Reimann Ridge”. Although we haven’t made a driveway yet with a main gate, so who knows, things may change yet.

Another suggestion has been “Reim-moor-ridge”, which combines Reimann, Moorook and Ridge!

A couple of weeks ago we received Planning Approval for our house from Loxton Waikerie Council. It was very exciting to receive this letter, and there aren’t very many conditions on the approval so that’s great.

Before we can start building we need to apply for and receive Building Approval, which is a bit more complicated as we need to decide on our wastewater system, get soil samples and who knows what else.2016-05-08 16.49.52

Getting planning approval also meant we could apply for and receive a Rural Property Address, which came through last week, and that in turn meant we could get council to deliver a general rubbish and recycling wheelie bin, and we should have our first rubbish collection this week!

And added to all this it looks like we can now apply for NBN fixed wireless internet connection – YAY!

My data on my phone plan account is fast running out.

2015-12-29 14.13.45So in this area we’re certainly further ahead than what we were hoping for by this time.

It’s been interesting trying to proof our address for centrelink and changing over our licences etc. We don’t have a power bill (off grid power only), water bill (rain water and irrigation water only), phone bill (except mobiles) with our address on them.2016-06-01 10.12.24

We are really enjoying the ability to live with less of a ‘footprint’ on the earth with off-grid power generated from the sun, low power LED 12 volt lighting, a wood heater that we can cook with and heats up our hot water, and a solar hot water (no power needed).

We’ve started a compost bin and a small vegie garden – it’s been an emerging dream for the last 7 years or so to get to this point, and it feels deeply satisfying to be here, even at this early stage.2016-05-08 17.09.12

So far we have planted over 60 trees, shrubs or ground covers. It’s been great to start an orchard too, with 4 fruit trees so far – a lemon, two peaches and an apple tree!

It’s great to be starting to fulfill our dream of creating a more sustainable future for our family.

Let us know if you’ve got any other ideas for names for our farm!

 

Dust, dust and yep you guessed it, more dust!

Welcome to the Riverland they say… this week saw our first duststorm.

On Monday it blew and blew and blew.

Our weather station (a present from Claire to Brenton at Christmas) was reading over 30km/hr winds at one stage… and then the weather speed sensor blew off!

It basically blew all Monday, and much of Tuesday.

Now here’s the challenge – living in a shed that isn’t sealed (there are gaps under all the corrugations on the roof sheeting) with the sliding doors that have gaping holes between them and between them and the concrete slab – means any dust makes itself very welcome – and I definitely think too welcome!

So we’re still cleaning up the dust, 5 days later.

But despite the dust, we are appreciating these 10 acres God has entrusted to us more and more each day. It’s so quiet, peaceful and full of surprises.

We’ve had visiting kangaroos over the last few days too which is lovely. One even had a joey in it’s pouch that Daniel and Caleb and I tracked down.

Life is full, exhausting and yet chock full of goodness.

2016-05-08 16.49.52

If you squint a little you should be able to make out 2 kangaroos in the centre of this picture. These are the ones the boys and Brenton tracked down on our block. The one on the right has a joey in it’s pouch. You’ll just have to take our word for it!

The Shed’s Up!

Phew! What a great feeling to have planned something for months, and then completed it in a very short time window.

We were planning our shed build for 6 months last year, with the plan to put it up with the help of my uncle, Phil Obst, the week between Christmas and New years and the first week of January.

This was the time we were home in the Riverland visiting my family and friends.

During this time Claire also needed to fly back to Canberra for 3 days nursing work as she couldn’t get anymore time off in leave since she only started her job in September.

Want to see some pictures? Thought you’d never ask! 🙂

Here’s a few pics, then I’ll share some of the adventure afterwards.

Just trying a new way to show the photos!

My intention is to show how we started with nothing (the big one at the start) and then it gradually took shape over the 7 days that Uncle Phil and I worked on it.

The weather was suitably hot for that time of year in the Riverland, although no 40+ degree days while we were working on it, thank you God!

There were a couple close ones though, but also some cool changes which were very welcome.

I certainly learnt a heap working with Uncle Phil who could put up a shed easily in his sleep. He’s been doing it for 30 years and this shed was SMALL compared to the ones he usually puts up.

From boring the holes, to laser leveling the posts, to raising the back wall, using the hyraplat, crane, tekscrewing on the wall sheeting and roofing, concreting the holes etc it was non stop flat out.

But what a sense of achievement.

It was very very helpful being able to leave the kids with family to look after too – Caleb had almost a week with Grandma and Grandpa (my mum and dad) on the farm, and Abbie and Daniel stayed at my sisters and brother-in-laws place in Waikerie with their cousins. They also got to attend Vacswim Royal Life Saving Society swimming lessons at Waikerie Pool.

So putting up the shed chapter closes, and the next chapter beckons – getting a concrete floor in it and moving over!