Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Up a ladder, and more rat holes....

Been up a ladder all day doing this....

.... painting the dining room/music room and myself, because I am a mucky painter, always cleaning up the paint splots as I go but not bothering to get rid of the paint splattered on my person.

Now I love those shelves, but trying to get a sharp edge when wood meets wall is, to me, almost impossible, but I do my best, although it is slow going. And another thing, when a paint splot lands on the wood it is devil of a job to get if off again despite having a damp handy rag nearby to mop up with. Not to smudge the splot immediately, that is what I have learnt, but to dab gently to get the worst of the paint off, then a vigourous rub on the remainder of the paint seems to do the trick.

Also, I have learnt to pace myself with the kitchen timer: 30 minutes painting, then 30 minutes doing something else, then 30 minutes painting, etc. This seems to stop the feeling of climbing Everest, which tends to come upon me after only a few minutes with the paint brush. By using this method I have managed to do quite a lot today although it doesn't look like it because all I have done are those shelves, which took ages to do because of having to marry the wood with the wall.

I am now in the rest zone, so thought I would have  a chat with you, although I shall have to walk the dogs in a minute because they are restlessly padding around me.

..... the small black lump is Maz in her dog bed, sulking because I wouldn't let her chew the paper cake tin liner from the cake I had just baked. The rottweiller girls sleep in this room, but soon we shall have to move them into the back kitchen.
Anyway, this is the lounge.........the grey mass on the lower right is the fire surround which has just been made, and today our builder has been filling in the gaps between the beams and the walls, which are rat runs. (top left, the dark bits in between the cross beams). Mentioning rats..... Lester heard movement in the back kitchen last night. Went to look behind the storage shelves and there was a rat hole, newly dug. It was big, and upon investigation with the torch, Lester was able to report that the hole was being used as a larder, and that it went through the wall out into the middle barn. Oh dear. Well, that was last night, and put us both into a frump with each other, although I don't know why we were like that, because neither of us had asked the rats to come and live with us. But we were tired, and it had been a long day,........
So, first job today was to put cement into the hole, and then went on to block loads of other, smaller, holes both in the back kitchen and the middle barn. And it has been decided that we cannot risk the rats burrowing through into the house again by digging out the stones in the walls, and that we shall put a lime mortar plaster (or some such.....I can't remember exactly what the stuff is called) over the walls and cover all the stones up so the rats can't burrow through again. And we are going to look out for a Jack Russell type of dog to help us with this war with the rats, who, after all, were here before us and had established a haven of rat runs both inside and outside of the house as well as in the actual walls themselves and really would like to continue co-habiting with us, but we think not.....the war continues.
On a more cheery note, a couple of photos of the front kitchen......
......please excuse the vacuum cleaner, but it is waiting for a good fairy to come along and use it.

...... and the sink area, still without its curtains which I have not had time to make, but even if I had made them I wouldn't hang them yet because the house is still full of dust. Yesterday, for instance, it was like a desert sand storm in the house as the walls of the lounge were cut into with an electric thingy. Although all the doors were shut the dust refused to be contained and it covered everything.

As I mentioned yesterday, the plate rack has not fallen off the wall despite being fully loaded with plates, most of which are in the dishwasher at the moment, hence the empty plate rack!

So off over the field with the dogs now, with instructions from Lester not to walk through long grass. While on his mini tractor cutting the paths round the back field this afternoon he said he saw several snakes. He said that one in particular did not look the same as the others. He said it was an adder. Hokey dokey, I shall only walk where he has cut, and I shall tread heavily so that any snakes will go away from me tout suite.

The biting flies are zooming in on the udders of our two cows, who have been coming in from the field quite wounded from their attacks, their udders full of lumps and scabs from those horrid flies. So he has had to put a fly, tick, flea, etc.... product on them. Not sure what we could have otherwise done. We don't like using chemicals on the animals, but if we don't then the animals suffer. Anyone else have any ideas about what to use to help protect our cows out in the field? Any info would be welcome.

Off for the walk now....surprisingly I did not get bitten by any mozzies on our walk last night, neither are they trying to get us while we sleep, which is a good thing because I still haven't got the muslin curtains back up on our four poster which protects us from insects wanting our blood.

Bye for now,



the Goodwife said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! It's just beautiful. I can't say enough how lovely those white wall and rich wood are together. I'm sorry about the rats, and think a "rat" dog is just the thing. We had a boxer once who loved to kill the rats in the chicken house. She got 13 in one night once! Enjoy your walk, and take plenty of rest breaks while painting, I think setting the timer is a wonderful idea! Here's a hug for your neck from Kentucky!

Kerry said...

I love painting, I like seeing how it transforms a room. Your kitchen is looking great, very traditional. Hope you win your fight against rats, it must be awful having them coming into the house x

Vera said...

The Goodwife, bless you, and sending you a hug back from here in the Haute Pyrenees in the South West of France! Wow, that boxer sure sounds like one hell of a ratting dog, but think we shall wait for a smaller dog to help us out with the rats!

Kerry, I like painting as well, even though I get in such a mess while I am doing it! As for the rats......we shall win this war because my husband is telling me we shall!

Kev Alviti said...

Oak is quite open grained so that makes it tricky to remove the paint. If you seal the shelves first it might make it easier to remove. That room looks great though.
Not sure what I'd do about the rats. I hate them so much. I'd put loads of poison down I think!

Vera said...

Kev, thanks for the advice about painting the oak....the shelves have been oiled so the paint does come off the wood eventually, it is just in those tricky corners when it becomes difficult!
And we do put loads of poison down, hence the occasional dead rat smell in the house!

northsider dave said...

It looks wonderful Vera. Enjoy your walks. I am doing lots of walks and my back pain seems to be going. It's not raining though until tonight. A good cat or terrier would get rid of any vermin for you.

Mizumatte said...

yes, win the war agaist rats. why don't you have cats? mine are coming with some presents time too time. your kitchen looks more than lovely, so long way from it was when you moved it. take care Jaana

Vera said...

N Dave....we keep thinking about getting a terrier and no doubt one will come along eventually!

Jaana, us and cats don't work unfortunately....mostly because of their habit of getting all over the furniture and kitchen worktops...and the last cat we had took to going to toilet upstairs on our newly laid chestnut flooring so the floor boards are now covered with no cat, but perhaps a terrier!