Saturday, 20 June 2009
Oh, the grand ideas and plans for today!
Alas ... after pegging washing out, folding laundry, tea with Granny and cleaning and disinfecting items of furniture from the barn and organising their place in the house, numerous glasses of orange juice (with pulp), I found myself lolling around on the couch, with that tingly feeling in my ENT body area, which usually indicates the onset of a cold.
A cold and a case of The Guilts. For not having done more...
I'm my own martyr.
Friday, 19 June 2009
The girls and I spent the day on the continuation of Project Sort Barn. Uncovering, moving, carting rubbish to the utility, wheeling other items to their rightful places, establishing a 'U' shaped set of shelving within the barn - that we intend fitting out with containers of 'electrics', 'plumbing', 'hoses', 'motors', 'garden', 'hardware' etc, - seeing as we now have the two properties to upkeep. As the barn grew emptier, I would rake the 'moving out' mess and place it in the dustbins. The only thing left was to move a pack of corrugated iron sheets to another location in the garden.
Emma stood with the sturdy rake, lifting each sheet, while Sarah, with gloved hands, slid the sheets out of the barn, one by one. I went to ask the Machinist where exactly he would like us to put the galvanised sheets, and when I returned to the barn, the girls were excitedly debating about something Sarah had seen - which had retreated under the last sheet. Emma slammed the rake on to the metal, and several frogs jumped out from under it. Relieved that they were only frogs, Emma proceeded to lift using the rake.
Then we saw it - despite 'it' being in a state of semi-hibernation, a Tiger snake lifted its head and reared up. That's when the action began...
I just stood outside the barn, screaming. I surprised myself at the sheer fear in my voice. Sarah retreated down the garden path shouting "Dad! Dad!". When she got to the workshop door, she began doing a jig (later to be called "the Snake jig") while shouting "there's a snake in the barn. A snake!" Emma had moved swiftly backwards, in her calm manner, and stood ready for battle. I had screamed some more, and Emma was trying to calm me down. "It's all-right mum, I'm watching it..." I saw the Machinist slowly walking towards me. Slowly. Why was he walking so slowly?
"Where is it?" he asked.
"Over there, near the wall. Can't you see it?"
"Let me just get my eyes focussed.."
Why was he taking so long?
"Do you want me to pin it, Dad?", Emma asked.
"No, it's fine. You just stand back..."
"Have you killed it yet?", I asked hysterically
"Helen, calm down. I've got it."
"Why is it still moving then?"
"They always move like this when you whack them. It's a nerve reaction. I'm going to burn it. That's what they do in Africa. It sends off a scent and warns the others to keep away..."
And with that, the Tiger snake became Guy Fawkes.
That'll teach 'em to come on our property. Threatening my family and pets. Hummmph.
Thursday, 18 June 2009
Then came extraction day. I'm convinced that mothers suffer so much more with sheer worry.
On the following day, I was scheduled to go to Cookery School, to learn more about shortcrust and puff pastry with chef Christoffe . While at the class, I learned about Harry De Wheels, - a pie vendor, (established 1938) and Sydney icon - from a fellow student (thanks for the tip-off, Di!). The Machinist took good care of our dental patient while I was away (oops, nearly said mental patient! She would be pleased... not).
During the course of my gadding around, I must have picked up a chill, which was a great reason to keep said DENTAL patient company - for a whole day. Then it was back to the road, as we travelled to Mulgoa to pick up cafe chairs and secure an order for crockery and cutlery and other cafe-needful things.
Finally, a day catching up with paperwork was well over-due. It settles the Machinist's mind, too, knowing that all is administratively in order.
Today was spent in the barn with daughter Emma. She is strong and is able to move things and she keeps me on track. I call her Hitler...smiles... and salute her, clipping my feet together, in a semi-Nazi, semi-Julie Andrews -in-the-sound-of-music kind of way. We've had to sort the barn to make room for product storage. It's dirty and dusty and the amount of stuff in there has us at our wits end. The puppies have enjoyed it tremendously, because they get to sniff and explore and jump up on us and get fussed. You have to really keep your eyes open whilst in the barn, because there are nests of all kinds - mice, rats, bugs, spiders and all manner of creepies and hairy marys. "I'm surprised we've had no sleepers, muv" said Emma, kicking a pile of leaves / dirt / carpet fluff. By 'sleepers', she means snakes. I reiterated that if anything along those lines moved, I would be out of there in a (jumping jack) flash.
A bale of hay that the Machinist had bought for the chickens had to be laid in their coop, and as I hauled it over there, and opened the coop door, one of the hens lay cold and hard and all screwed up in a corner. Poor girl. There were marks on the back of her head where her fellow sistas had attacked her. I sometimes think that humans are akin to chickens, by the saying 'kick a man while he's down' and this sure gives new meaning to being 'hen pecked'. I've scooped her up into a bucket, which currently hangs on the latch - a task for the Machinist when he gets home. Truth is, I don't know what to do with her, as he usually deals with this type of thing.
For now, though, it's back to sorting what I can before the rain arrives.
Friday, 12 June 2009
See the leopard print item in the left hand top corner? It's my brolly. A girls' gotta add a touch of feminista to an all-male arena, yes?
Here's another cracker:
See the clear plastic container on top of the plasma cutter? That was the puppies' take-away milk container. Goodness knows why it was left there. Do you know?
And what do we have here?
Old methods and new ones. The anvil blast from the past...
And lest you think you can escape, think again...
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
"Hello Helen, nice to meet you at last. This place looks terrific. I just know you will do well..."
What a greeting! There was more to come, however, as the hours slipped by - all so very encouraging and timely.
All this to say that our first ad for the Daily Pie will be in the August / September edition of High Life Magazine.
After the meeting, I raced home to tell the Machinist all that was discussed and - all is well. The grunt, the moxie, the determination, the excitement has returned, and we are now committed to a month.
Roll on August!
Our children were raised in the Machine Shop. They know how to grind, drill, weld, cut, fold, notch and more of recent years - they can use the CAD system to transfer designs to the plasma cutter. Only the Machinist can machine, though. Number One Son is learning to machine, but as the Machinist says "...real skill takes time...", also adding the phrase "wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off..." (the Karate Kid).
These pieces of equipment are the backbone of our businesses (erm.. of course the Machinist is also the backbone...). They have made NUMEROUS trolleys for hospitals, laundries and hotels, as well as other ergonomically designed manual handling equipment. Now they are going to also create beautiful pieces of useful and needful metal art, under the Metalsmithery trade mark, which will be on display at The Daily Pie. Without further ado, let me introduce you to -
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Anyway, the facts....
Today was spent pulling down walls within the Shop, preparing for the commercial kitchen, which will be our bakery kitchen. The whole shop was built in the 50's and was formerly a Golden Fleece petrol station. I'm told that Golden Fleece memorabillia fetches in quite a lot now days. Not that we have any memorabillia. We were left with the chaff of a former-flourishing restaurant, situated on the side of a main highway. Our village has since been cut off from the highway, and anyone driving from A to B would have to exit to visit us. Fortunately, we are between the snow-fields and the city of Sydney, which still brings tourists in. Hungry tourists. Tourists needing petrol. Tourists who are running on the fumes of their last refill.
We've probably had around 25 cars pull into our parking lot over the past weekend, all wanting food, drink or petrol. The local corner shop has recently closed down, and there is only a cafe and a hotel to service them. I find it quite exciting to think that these could have been our customers, had we been ready.
Which drives me with more determination to do whatever I can so that we can open soon. For now, though, I need a bath, as I have a film of gyprock plaster on my face and my hair feels like a badger's brush.
Monday, 1 June 2009
These are jars on the kitchen shelf, which I use mainly for cold cereal, sugar, rice and spaghetti storage: