Organic Design (blog)

De Organic Design

Don't call us, we'll call you

Posted by Nad on 10 de julho de 2016 at 13h02min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
We've been noticing ever since the recent tower upgrade that we'd occasionally receive TXT messages on our cell phone in the house, so we decided to stop being so antisocial and get a phone! Here in Brazil you can get cell phones that look like ordinary land-line phones, but they can run off mains or an internal battery and they have better reception than a normal cell phone. These phones also allow connection of an external antenna, so we installed our old net antenna on top of the house so we should have a reasonably consistent phone connection!
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Due to our power constraints, the phone won't be permanently running though, so we'll only be calling out on it usually and not receiving calls unless it's a nice clear day :-)

Never let a good crisis go to waste

Posted by Nad on 7 de julho de 2016 at 17h31min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
We adopted Winston Churchill's policy, "never let a good crisis go to waste", by taking advantage of the need to hire a car and visit the doctor over the last few days, to buy some more supplies. Most importantly was a huge bottle of gherkins, and a few other bits and bobs such as a new solar battery :-)
Gherkins.jpg
SecondSolarBattery.jpg

Ouch!

Posted by Nad on 3 de julho de 2016 at 07h48min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
Yesterday I was putting in a new fence post when my finer got pulverised with the sledge hammer somehow!

I knew it was going to hurt so I clasped by damaged hand with the other one and was horrified to feel the end of the finger moving about loosely in the end of the glove!

I ran back to the house, and on the way I was imagining the damage, it felt like half my finger was hanging off and I didn't know what state the other fingers were in either. And worst of all if no neighbours were home I may have had to suffer here in pain and loose the fingers completely. For the first time I was really scared of how isolated we are :-(

When I got back to the house I took the glove off carefully and found that it wasn't as bad as I had imagined, it was only one finger seriously damaged, and only at the very end. The ring finger on my right hand was a real mess at the end and snapped about where the nail starts.

Fortunately Vladimir, our closest neighbour, was home and drove us to the hospital in São Francisco about an hour's drive away. They didn't have a bone specialist there though so they just bandaged it up better and put anaesthetic in it since it was really painful by then, and sent us on our way to Canela about half an hour away.

The bone guy at Canela hospital took the nail off and stitched it up and reckons I won't have to lose the end of the finger. He said a new nail should grow back too, but I have to see him again Monday to know for sure what the situation is.

I'm Not really sure how my finger was in the way, but it's a powerful lesson about how we have to be much more careful, and account for the fact that the brain's not working properly after doing a lot of hard physical work! It's also a lesson about how we really do need a working car out here, because a real emergency could happen at any time, and it may well be the difference between life and death :-/

Typing with broken finger.jpg
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SmashedFingerXRay2.jpg

Click to see the gory details

Upgrading the kitchen area

Posted by Nad on 29 de junho de 2016 at 15h22min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
The job we've been doing over the last couple of days is to put a proper sink in the kitchen bench and add some shelves under it to the right and then make some sliding doors to cover the shelves on the right hand wall. Everything was just too disorganised and noisy, and although it's still pretty rough by city standards, it's definitely improved things a lot. Here's a photo of how it was and how it is now.
Dads photo in the house.jpg
KitchenShelveDoors.jpg

Mechanics come to visit Nivinha!

Posted by Nad on 26 de junho de 2016 at 15h47min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
We've always noticed another Lada Niva whenever we visit Canela, and last time we went there for supplies a couple of weeks ago we decided to stop and ask the owner if he'd be interested in, or knew of anybody who'd be interested in buying ours since it's just been sitting there for two years now.

It turns out that the owner of this other Niva, Riccardo, is a mechanic and he knows our neighbour Juca and said he'd be visiting him in a couple of weeks and could pop in and look at our Niva :-)

Well today was that day, and in late afternoon a whole bunch of them turned up, not only in the Niva, but another jeep and a "Gaiola" which is a car made up of all sorts of pieces of other cars and are not generally legal to drive on the roads.

Mechanics Niva.jpg
Gaiola.jpg

The instructions Juca gave them to find us was to carry on until they were sure they had gone further than anyone could possibly live and then keep going!

We heard all their loud engines stop in the field when they arrived, so I went out to tell them they should carry on through the forest. They thought I was kidding and I had to run ahead and wave for them to follow me!

A bunch of them adjusted various bits and replaced the coil for about twenty minutes, and then vrooom! she started! A bit smoky at first, but it cleared up after a while. Unfortunately they couldn't get it to actually drive, as they said they'd need to return with a few more parts, but apart from having a very old engine it's actually in pretty good shape :-)

Mechanics looking at Nivinha.jpg
Nivinha starts after two years.jpg

They're going to come back in a few weeks for lunch and more repairs, and then I think we may have to let them take Nivinha away to a better home with someone who takes proper care of her, but we'll be very sad to see her go :-(

The tiny garage

Posted by Nad on 24 de junho de 2016 at 14h14min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
We've all heard of tiny houses, but how about a tiny garage? Over the last couple of days I've been upgrading the trailer in it's capacity as a tool shed so that we could move them out of their temporary location in the house - after being there for over three years there was an extreme rolling pin risk associated with leaving them there!

Here's what the tools were like before and now:

Tools organised 2.jpg
NoTools.jpg

And here's their new location:

TinyGarage.jpg

Tanquinho

Posted by Nad on 19 de junho de 2016 at 14h21min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
You may remember our simple gambiarra washing machine from our first year on the land,
DIY manual clothes washer.jpg
Washing with DIY manual clothes washer.jpg

This idea has worked well for us, but we were starting to wonder if it may have something to do with the slightly sub-standard washing results get regularly, such as the following example...

DirtyLaundry.jpg

So Beth thought it would be a good idea to get a "tanquinho" which is a very simple kind of washing machine that's basically just a tub with a motor to shake the clothes about and a timer. You just fill it up with soapy water manually, and it only needs to run for about five minutes, so it's no problem to use with the generator. It's a lot less work and is a perfect compliment for the spinner dryer we got last year.

Tanquinho.jpg

Back to the land from NZ

Posted by Nad on 14 de junho de 2016 at 14h19min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
We finally arrived back at the land after our three month holiday in New Zealand! We stayed at Mum and Dad's place in Devonport and just spent time there to catch up with friends, family and spinach pies! We left a few days ago and after three planes, a bus and a hire car we've finally made it back!

We're always very nervous coming back to the land after a long while away as we never know what will be in store for us out here in the wilderness! Things weren't perfect when we arrived back, but not as bad as arriving back to a house burned down by lightning or sent off down the river by a flash flood!

The first thing we noticed when we got to the gate was that all the grass was still nice and short - that can only mean cows! There's no sign of any now, but there were cow pats all over the place, and when we got to the house everything was knocked over and the vege patch destroyed! They had snapped one of the corner fence posts and eaten everything except the lemon tree :-(

VegePatchDestroyed.jpg

It probably looks worse than it actually is though since this is the first time we've arrived back in winter after a long time away, so all the bracken is dead and many other plants are without any leaves.

But anyway it's really nice to be back home again :-)

Oh and one more thing before I sign off....

Party.gif Party.gif Party.gif Happy birthday Itamar from Beth and Aran!!! Party.gif Party.gif Party.gif

Cute well lid

Posted by Nad on 5 de março de 2016 at 04h53min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
We made this cute lid for the well out of the off-cuts from the wall boards :-)

CuteWellLid.jpg

Main work on second house done

Posted by Nad on 29 de fevereiro de 2016 at 16h54min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
We've been taking it a bit easier over the last few days since we got to the most important milestone of being able to take a photo for the power company :-) In the last few days we've just slowly put all the walls on, and now all the left over wood is stored safely in the house so it will stay in good condition while we're away.

We'll probably hire a car before we leave so we can pick up a bunch of nails and bolts since we've had to ration nails a bit and couldn't put the roof over the extension without it being firmly bolted in place.

We also have to put on the "matajuntas" which cover the gaps between the wall boards, but we're going to let the wood dry out a lot first since it had gotten quite mouldy sitting out in the rain for a couple of weeks.

WallsDone.jpg

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