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Posts Tagged ‘fire’


My husband once said to me, “I’m glad you’re not afraid of work”. I took great pride in hearing that. And yet there I was, stomping around in my gumboots trying to find the mini tractor and trailer so I could get a load of wood for our empty wood pile by the bus.

I was very irritated and bothered because the trailer was full of grass and needed be emptied. Also, because it was really hard for me to reverse the trailer into a good spot to load wood from the bulk wood pile. And, because I would also need to back it up to our woodpile near the bus, only to then unload it with a baby on my back and a two and a half year old helping not helping.

For some reason I felt that this job was too hard, and not fit for me to do. It was real work and I’d have no help. I’d done it once before for the same reason. Darren is usually at work when it’s a good time to do it. Yet my irritation raged because I was forced into doing it again.

It’s getting colder at nights and we need the fire. Many people in New Zealand heat their homes this way. It’s a lovely feeling, sitting in front of the warm glow, cocooned in from the elements. But, along with this privilege of being comfortable and warm comes work.

I said a prayer for help. Not for help doing the wood, but for help with my attitude. I believed that I was being a cry baby. I was having an internal tantrum because I grew up a soft city girl and didn’t want to struggle with this job.

My prayer was answered. My attitude slowly softened and melted. “This is what it’s about. Whoever is able and free does this kind of work. Living in the country means learning to look after yourself without being pampered. Learning to reverse the trailer without help is a badge to be worn. I can be proud of this rather than wounded.”

I was almost finished unloading the wood and taking a rest when I stopped to watched Boy run down the hill to the tree swing. He was yelling back to me, “That was fun Mummy!” It was a beautiful, still, sunny, Autumn day. Perfect. Nothing to complain about. This was an opportunity to be outside with my children, an opportunity to grow my confidence, my patience, my skills.

Sure, I would prefer if Darren did it. If he had time, he would do it. But if he did, I’d really feel better if I was helping him, so we could at least spend his time free working together. And if I was helping him, I’d be doing much of the same work that I was doing now. My irritation was unfounded. I wish I would have at first not balked at the job but lived up to the compliment, “I’m glad you’re not afraid of work”.

I’m a bit better at backing that trailer now… Give me a few more years and I’ll be a pro… Maybe.

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I’ve been sewing curtains for the bus. One of the first things we need finished before we can start using the bus even for camping in, is the curtains. This will provide a bit of insulation, but mostly privacy. We are planning to take the bus to Rotorua for Darren’s Nana’s 90th birthday party which is at the end of August, so I’m very busy trying to finish the sewing.

    I got some quotes for how much it would cost to pay someone to make them for us and the total was going to come to over $1000. Even buying curtain fabric and making them from that would be near the same price. So, I found a great deal on thermal curtain backing fabric online and bought some flat sheets and am sewing them up into our curtains. It should cost just over $300, which is more in our budget. I didn’t have many colours to choose from, but liked the royal blue best. I’d love any suggestion for an upholstery colour to pair them with when we make our couch. So far I’ve finished four curtains with eight more to go! Three are up in the picture below.

    Darren has also put in the couch frame. We just need to put proper cushions on it now.

    In other news, on Tuesday I left a pot of beans on the stove and forgot about it for probably 2 hours. I came back to the bus we are living in and found dark smoke thickly filling the inside. I cleared it out as quickly as I could, but despite washing nearly every article of cloth, and wiping the walls with vinegar and sprinkling baking soda all over, the horid smell of smoke remains, and it has been making me feel quite sick. The day it happened Boy started coughing, with me starting the next few days. We have cold like symptoms and I’m note sure if we just picked up a bug at the same time, or if its been caused by breathing the smoke fumes. 

    Anyway, after three nights of hoping the smell would get better and realizing its going to take weeks to really leave, I’ve moved us into the new bus. I’m really very disappointed, because the new bus isn’t home yet, and the other one was. I feel a bit like we’ve actually had a house fire, suddenly kicked out of our home. But, I’m very thankful nothing was actually severely ruined and that we have somewhere to go.

    I’ve had many people express their surprise and confusion at how burned beans could hang around so long and so strong. I did some research and found that smoke from a fire is much harder to remove than cigarette smoke, and that it is very damaging in how it clings to materials. It’s not just burned beans that I had in that pot, but a mini fire. Those beans had reduced to charcoal and ash when I found them. If you could be here and smell it, you would agree it stinks…regardless of the why.

    So, here we are camping in our bus!

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