Oops--more than a week since last I checked in here. I know that I have often thought of typing up our adventures (mostly in the lines of home improvement), during that week, but, somehow, I have been just busy enough that it hasn't happened.
Last week Friday some of our folk dancing friends were holding a garage sale, so we took a long lunch break and dropped by for a cup of tea and to "halsa på"
as they say here. However, they had a few things that looked useful, so, for 190 SEK (about €22, or $29 US, or £19 at today's exchange rate), we went home with a pick-axe, a birch bark backpack, lots of crochet hooks, a set of four soup bowls, a sleeve ironing board, and a clear glass solitaire game board with blue marbles. We spent nearly nothing for that pile of loot, and they are rid of some of their grandparent's things they don't need, so everyone is happy.
That evening we drove down to his parent's house, and returned the huge yellow jordfras (rotary cultivator)
that we had hoped to use to smooth out our field. However, at some point before we borrowed it someone had failed to oil it. When he went to use it he added oil, and it just poured back out. So he took it apart and discovered that one of the sets of bearings had been destroyed--instead of having round steel balls in that casing there was just steel powder and chips. I didn't know that was possible, so it was fascinating to see. However, after consulting with his dad they derided that rather than us trying to find parts and fix it we should take it back to him and he will decide after he looks if he wants to fix it or not.
So, after work we rented a trailer (picked it up just after 19:00) and did the 45 minute drive south with the cultivator. They used the tractor to lift it onto the trailer, and at the other end they just tied it to the roof of the shed, and then hoisted it up and drove the trailer out from under it, while I sat inside and visited with his mother (I am pleased to report that my Swedish is getting good enough that I can now converse with her when he isn't around to help with translations). Then we drove with the trailer another 30 minutes south to their property in Hemmingsmark, where they have some storage containers (and where we went for the wood cutting adventure
. There we loaded the trailer up with the cement mixer and a bunch of solid lumber boards that will be useful for lots of outdoor construction projects at our place, since they have been stored outside, and are already quite grey with age. We didn't arrive at Hemmingsmark till around midnight, and thus didn't get home until 03:00. Needless to say, we did NOT unload the trailer that night! (Luckily we'd rented it for 24 hours, so we didn't need to.) Instead we just did yoga/stretching and went to sleep.
Saturday we slept in (duh!) and then unloaded the trailer, returned it, and then organized the lumber (and the last load we had brought back some weeks before) and built a shelf to hold much of it over the wood pile. We still need to do another shelf to hold the rest, but that can wait.
Once that was done we returned to the yard-work in progress--I took up the rest of the old walkway (I had started that a few days before) and he used the tractor to do some sculpting in the yard--raising areas that were too low and lowering areas that were too high so that instead of getting puddles when it drains the water should just run away. We rescued some of the grass from the areas he was changing by putting it down in chunks where the walkway had been. It is kind of lumpy just now, but it may well get moved again before the project is done, so we aren't being too fussy yet.
On Sunday we rented a trailer again and drove back to his dad's house, where we loaded a bunch of wood that his dad had left over from building the new shed onto the trailer and hauled it away for him--this pleased him as he now has room to put the motor home back into the garage and he didn't need to drive it the 30 minutes south to their property in Hemmingsmark, and it pleased us as we have more wood for projects we want to do, nice new, fresh clean boards this time, suitable for indoor projects we have in mind, and we didn't have to drive the extra 30 minutes south to Hemmingsmark to get it from there.
The week slipped by quickly between work during the day and more progress on the yard work in the evenings. We couldn't do anything further with the earth cellar because we were awaiting the delivery of a load of gravel. That was finally delivered by our neighbour with the tractor
on Wednesday evening. Thursday evening we were too tired from a week of yard work to do anything with it, so we didn't start work on the next stage of the earth cellar till tonight after work.
Therefore we haven't gotten very far with it, but we have spread gravel in a thick layer across the bottom and then he used the tractor to bring in some large rocks and medium sized rocks to build the walls out of. We have started the building part and now have part of the first row of rocks for the back wall in place and cemented together with small rocks tucked into the gaps between to fill out the cement. We worked till we had used up the first batch of cement (two 25 kg bags, to which we added a scoop or two of gravel), and then decided we were done with that part for the day. However, it is Sweden in the summer, so, of course, daylight was still good, so we also took the time to use some of those old boards we got from his dad's property to build an A-frame roof to put over the earth cellar and we covered that with a couple of large tarps. It has been raining fairly regularly recently, and we had noticed that some of the dirt sides to the hole where the earth cellar is going had started to wash down small bits of mud and earth. Neither of us wishes to see that actually give way and fall into the hole, so we are hoping that covering it will be enough to prevent that till we finish building the walls and filling in the space between the walls and the edges of the hole in the ground.
With luck we will have time and energy to make good progress on wall building the rest of the weekend, so if you don't hear from me the next few days, you will know what I am up to...
In other news, I managed to get a good draft for the poster I am presenting at a conference in early August done, and sent it off to my colleagues for comment. That eases a fair bit of work stress, so I am free to focus on the projects at home. speaking of which, when we haven't been doing yard work or fetching supplies for projects I have also made time to do other projects. I managed to finish up a small tablet weaving project
that I started at the European Textile Forum in 2010
! A UFO no more--it is now complete! No idea what I will do with it--it is a short length suitable for a learning project, and it has a fair few mistakes in it that I opted to live with, rather than undoing, but boy it feels good to have gotten that one done.
In fact, it felt so good that I was inspired to start a new tablet weaving project, and chose project number 3 from the book Applesies and Fox Noses: Finnish Tablet Woven Bands
, which has a much easier turning pattern than the project I just finished, but takes way more cards. In fact, when I checked my card stash I didn't really have a good option for that project--I have a dozen small horn tablets, and 8 even smaller and much thinner wooden ones, and the eight largish cardboard ones that came with the just completed project. That pattern needs 22 tablets, which would mean mixing them up.
But then I remembered that when I was in Tassie I started a set of wooden tablets while visiting a friend's woodworking shop. We got as far as using his power tools to cut the blanks and drill the holes, but I never did the sanding and finishing. So I checked that UFO, and it turns out that we made 24 tablets, which is more than enough for the weaving I want to do next. Therefore, instead of working on weaving I am now doing a little sanding each day. Will take weeks at this week to get them all smooth enough to work with, and really, the wood is nice enough I kind of want to make them perfect, instead of just smooth enough, but, then again, I also want to do the weaving, so perhaps not...