Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Drip,Drip, Trickle, Trickle, not the sounds you want to hear on your roof. (unless it's rain) !!!

When we returned from our excursion away we returned to the slightly annoying problem of a leaking hot water service.
Our old evacuated tube solar hot water system  had sprung a leak. Brian got up and investigated  but we were really concerned that if we touched it ,the whole thing might totally  go.
So we started doing some online research and found one we liked and travelled to Dubbo to check it out. We  eventually decided on a SolarOz brand which was slightly different to our existing one, in such that the hot water that you use comes from a copper pipe coiled around the inside of the tank rather from just in the tank itself.
It took quite a while for it to arrive from Melbourne  to Dubbo and we  were very grateful  to Tammy from Central West Heating  
for her patience and  help in finally organizing the hot water service to be  there for us to pick up.
We had been managing with the old service by Brian climbing up and down  to the roof and turning the tap on and off as needed.
Our son AJ came over that day to help and we unloaded everything and he started erecting  the support frame.
Whilst Brian started connecting the header tank and some of the fittings.
The next morning My brother Don arrived to help and he and Brian  got up and emptied the remaining water  from the tank and tubes,by first draining the tank and then tipping the system up carefully to drain the tubes back into the tank and then repeating  a few times until all water was gone( this was still  surprisingly very hot)

  They slid the old empty system  across out of the way to  make room for the new frame .
Carried the new tank over and pulled it up onto the roof and fitted to the frame.

Next it was the tubes  turn ,Don and I did those while Brian and AJ did the fitting up top. Each one of the 30 had to be lubricated,  have a rubber seal placed on it and filled with water and then passed up to  the roof.

Finally the last tube was fitted.
The system works so well we all had hot showers a few hours after it was finished.
The next day  it was  working so well ,boiling water was spurting out the overflow pipe and we have had to cover with  shade cloth.
(Please note this  photo above is not a video,just a screen shot off a video)
Yesterday afternoon and today Brian started the slow and  difficult task of removing and storing the old evacuated tubes from the old system. We were lucky to get them all down with  any breakages.
We then dismantled the tank off the frame and removed both off the roof using a slide off with straps system.

Now that it is all down on the ground, Brian will take a look and decide if it is worth tackling a repair and if so we may decide to  rebuild at the back shed( on ground level)  to supply hot water to the laundry and our second shower that is  in the process of being sorted.
It's been a huge few days, but the effort has certainly been rewarded with glorious  abundant hot water. This type of system has worked extremely well for us for the past 10 years and we hope that this newer improved version may go much longer...time will tell.
So until we meet again, please take care of you and yours,
Jane and Brian.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Back At The Farm

There has been so much that has happened at the farm over the last month or so, that I decided to just pick a few things to show you.
Just before we went away, Rob our bee  friend came out and took some bee frames and extracted the honey and brought us back 3 X 2 litre mik bottles of honey( just under half of the total honey he told us)  We were amazed at that  as we had said at this point we would have been happy with just a few jars.
We decanted the honey into smaller jars, as we want to share with many people and this way everyone gets some.
We ended up with 25 small jars.
Our new Wisteria  flowered  this season,
As did the Cliveas,
One special treat in the garden this week was seeing my new lilac  bloom. They  hold special memories for me, a huge  shrub used to grow outside my bedroom window as a child.

My Iris's have been bloomin' beautiful, but all my colours seems to have been lost with the whole garden this year only blooming  these two colours.
Finally we received some very welcome rain. We recorded a total of 23 mm,
Not a lot but already we can see  what a difference it has made, all we need now is some follow up.
The weekend that we arrived home we attended the engagement party of our neice Jessica to Ethan over in Dubbo.
It was a wonderful night of catching up with family from my side of the tree and these cupcakes that served as the engagement cake were  totally delicous.
The next day our Son In Law arrived and  dropped off  out two youngest granddaughters who were going to stay with us at the farm for 5 days .
We had such fun, I loved watching Poppy head off to feed the sheep with a fairy and Ballerina in gumboots in tow.
We maintained a fairly busy schedule, with painting,
Bead necklace and bracelet making,

Lot's of running and bike riding which resulted in two skinned knees and special bandaids being applied,

 Lastly but not least there was chicken whispering,

This activity proved to be one of the most popular ,having to repeated a few times during the visit.
I loved my washing line this week, instead of boring old farm clothes and the odd "tidy " outfits,  my line became a rainbow of colour with dress up clothes and tutus and little girls clothes .
I did  major face reconstructive surgery on "Bunny"a very special toy that  our granddaughter has had since birth. Bunny has seen better days and after a nasty experience in a washing machine when Daddy didn't realize that Bunny was meant to be hand washed, she needed a mend.
With help from Bunny's owner, we overlaid her head with lace curtaining( to contain the filling)  added buttons for eyes and a new nose and mouth and a few extra stiches on legs and arms and all was good. We had a wonderful time with the girls and look forward to their next visit with us.
We were lucky enough to be invited  to a tour of a new Correctional Centre that is opening in our area,
I was so  surprised by the sheer enormity of the place, having never been in a jail before  it really was very confronting as to  the sterility and bareness  of the whole complex.
The communal "rooms" also were a surprise. Twenty Five prisoners will share this large room, sleeping quarters only separated by the  low walls, Each man will have a bed,desk and chair,tv
They will share  bathrooms, and a small kitchenette and dining area.
It was a very inteesting tour and one I am glad we made the effort to do.
Last weekend I attended a luncheon in Dubbo with my mother,
The lunch is held each year to celebrate the recipients of  certain medals, in my mother's case  the OAM (The Order Of Australia Medal)
Mum received her medal about 7 years ago for 50 years of voluntary service to the RSL Auxilliary , but  attends the lunch each year along with all the other past and current recipients.
Our Orchard is  progressing well, Brian has really been concentrating the water onto them. We have not planted any vegetable  garden this year m preferring to keep the fruit trees  going  as their loss would have been expensive and  a serious time loss.
Rob the bee man called out again last week, and he and Brian sorted out another set of frames to extract.
Today Rob arrived back at our place with another 3 litre bottles of honey9 approx another 8 kgs.)
This gave us another 28 small jars of honey, so much honey, looks like all our friends and family will be getting gifts of honey in the near future.
We are just still in awe of what a good bee hive can produce, they are just amazing little creatures.
It's been a big month and this is just a little.
Canning and preserving has taken a back seat for a while, but  I am sure it won't be long until I am back at it again.
Take care until we meet again,
Jane and Brian.