JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Staircase was measured

This week the carpenter came and measured the staircase in preparation for building it for us.

Monday 30 May

Today started the building of the house of our northeast neighbors. A group of German men in red clothing started measuring the platform. Then six hours later, they started lifting wall parts to the platform.

I had a regular work-from-home day, which was good because I worked hard last week. It was a beautiful day, although not that warm. I think it was perfect for the garden, though.

In the evening, I built my fourth slug fort. This time the surplus of already cut narrow PVC floor tile stripes was depleted, and I had to cut the stripes myself. I cut one tile in three stripes, so I can make three slug forts of one PVC floor tile.

The next phase is to make a stripe into a round shape. I do that by drilling holes and then tying the ends together with galvanized wire. Then I take copper wire (rests) and remove the plastic coating by cutting off the coating with a knife. Then I drill two holes and tie the copper wire to the outside of the fort. I tie it with galvanized wire. I tie the copper wire at even distances around the fort. Then, with the next copper wire, the same procedure. It is tied offset to the first wire so that the galvanized wires stay away from each other. A shortcut is not allowed. I let the copper wire go through holes to the inside. The main reason for doing it offset is that the galvanized metal wire sticks out on the backside until I tied all places. You could do it differently, but this is how I do it. I noticed that when the ties are too close, I get wounded fingers.

Then, I soldered a 9V battery on the inside of the fort. That is the entire electronics in this project. At some point, I might get proper 9V battery contacts to make changing the battery convenient. Either that or I connect the forts to a transformer at some point. I don't know how this will develop.

The slug fort means a world of a difference to me. It gives the feeling that this garden adventure is under my control, that I have more opportunities to what I am growing and where. I did not deploy the fort this evening; it was too late.

I see that we will make more raised beds with copper wire around the bed. I am absolutely done with slugs; I want to have my garden to myself. DW had an idea about gardening as simple as possible with a no-dig garden, but the reality is hitting back. The stuff is getting eaten.

Tuesday 31 May

This morning the stair builder came to measure our staircase. He had a machine to measure the walls. It had a string mounted on a spring on one end, and on the other, it had a pointer. He pointed out various spots on the walls to indicate the form of the staircase to the machine.

Quickly he recorded an actual 3D model of the staircase. It was good that he was quick because I had to go to work when he was done. He had separate engineering software for building staircases. The machine recorded the staircase model that he imported into the staircase program, and there he engineered the construction. Many of the shapes will be cut by CNC machines. It was interesting to see how he was working.

Here is a goldfinch in our garden! It is gorgeous. The more colors, the better. I know it is feeding of thistles, but I am not worried; we got plenty of them even if I remove some.

After work, I decided to put out the latest slug fort. This was for the Phlox Drummondii. This is an annual plant, so I will need to sow more of this if I want to have it back next year.

Now I made four slug forts. They are still holding up well. I have not noticed any intrusion so far. No slugs in the salad bed and no slugs in these forts.

I wish she salad would grow quicker, but I hope it will be grand. The feeling that I can control the slug situation energize my gardening efforts. This evening I checked the weed in the salad bed, and then I continued to pick weeds along the west and south side of the sea container.

It is much easier to keep an already weeded patch free from new weeds; I hope to keep it up with the bean and pumpkin bed. I still have to connect the beans to the strings to have something to grow along.

The pumpkins are doing fine on the south side of the sea container. There are five plants, and all five are doing fine. They have six or seven flower buds in the make per plant. I am curious how that will go. I see that one of the leaves is eaten by slugs, but the plant's core is excellent. The corn is growing here as well; it is doing fine. Corn is no favorite of the slugs after it has developed the first couple of leaves.

After the regular weeding, I worked on thistles along the dirt road near the pumpkin and corn plants. I worked along the road and then along the east border of the property. I decided on dragging out the thistles. The benefit is that you get part of the root system and other plants are intact. The existing plants get more light when the thistles are removed and start growing better. They get an advantage compared to the thistles. It takes a little more effort to drag out the thistles than to chop them off, but I hope it is worth it. Another benefit of dragging thistles is that there is no risk of chopping off shrubs and trees.

Wednesday 1 June

Today I worked at the office in the morning. Then after lunch, we connected the large trailer, went to the old house, and dismantled the cupboard in our walk-in closet. We brought the closet to the recycling center. Disposed of all wood parts of the closet.

I kept the shelves and the hinges, nuts, and bolts, metal things from the closet. I think I will try to make a new cupboard myself, and for that, I can use the hinges and whatnot.

After visiting the recycling center, we took down the shelves hanging in DD's old room. We only got the sofa and the dining table as the remaining large object, suitable for the large trailer. All other parts are small trailer worthy. When doing this, I worked with my hands above my head. It was feeling okay at that time. I should know that using a lot of force above my head is not the best thing to do, but I did not think so much about it.

In the evening, I went out and continued on the thistles project. I was feeling indestructible this evening. Had I known better?

Thursday 2 June

I woke up with a stiff neck. It was a beautiful day. The house of the northeast neighbors is assembled. It just needs to get an isolated roof, windows, and interior. That will take some time. Now we know what the horizon will look like on the northeast side of our property. It is still a question of the final façade will be; we will see it as it happens.

We had a regular work-from-home day. I had it pretty awful with my stiff neck. I took a couple of paracetamol and did my work as usual.

The lobelia seedlings are doing fine. They are so tiny and precious right now. I sat wondering if I could transplant them with tweezers, but perhaps they break. I just need to be patient on this.

We did not do any DIY or moving. I got to rest my neck this evening.

Friday 3 June

The neck was still bad this morning. I decided to treat it with a scarf. That is my usual method for neck aches, besides paracetamol. I can chew the paracetamol tablet without any water. I understand that there are not many people that can do that. A couple of years ago, a colleague taught me this trick. He talked about the taste and how to appreciate the taste of chewing paracetamol. Since then, I have found that different brands taste differently.

At the end of the day, the neck ache had subdued sufficiently. That was feeling good!

We decided to rearrange the sheep fence. The sheep got an area on the northeast side of the property, inside the dyke. The area reached behind the sea container.

When this was done, we went to the supermarket, it was really late. The reason for continuing so late was that we wanted to be able to work without sheep troubles tomorrow. We planned to get to a garden center to buy their food supplement.

Saturday 4 June

We bought some plants and seeds as well. Here is a photo of the shopping cart. We also bought the copper tape for a more straightforward form of slug forts without a battery. When we came home from the garden center, we just tucked the plants into the heap of wood chips, and then we hooked the large trailer to the car and continued to the old house.

The plan for today was to move the wardrobe of DD's old room and put it in DS's room.

When I started working on dismantling the wardrobe, I noticed it was actually two separate units. One is 50 cm wide and another 100 cm wide. We decided to move the small wardrobe into one piece and dismantle the large wardrobe into pieces. It worked out pretty well. The small unit had a door with a mirror that I could remove to reduce the weight. The shelves were easy to remove as well. Getting the unit from DD's room to the hall was difficult because it had to be slanted to get through the door, but on the other side, we could not straighten it because of the lamp. I removed the lamp. It was challenging to get the wardrobe through the staircase of the old house because it barely fit the hall's space. It got better when I removed the door of the bathroom. When the door was removed, we were finally ready for the stairs.

It was possible to move the wardrobe from stair to stair. We got the unit down to the hall on the ground floor, step by step. It was impossible to let it stand in the hall because of the lamp, so I had to remove that lamp too; DW had to hold the wardrobe while I worked on it. Now we could slant it to get it through the door to the living room. Now it was just a question of putting it on the trailer. First, we placed blankets on the trailer to avoid scratches. It was the first part of the move today.

With the small wardrobe out of the way, there was room to start working on the 100 cm wardrobe. First, I removed the doors and then laid the wardrobe on its front. This is the reverse of how I built the wardrobe many years ago. The backpiece was nailed to the back, so I had to get all nails out. I used a screwdriver to get under the head of each nail. With the back piece removed, the sides and the top and bottom came off pretty easy. I decided to leave the hinges and all hooks for the shelves intact. Although each individual part of this wardrobe is much smaller on its own, it was still better to move it with two people. Up and down we went, filling up the living room with wardrobe pieces.

We could not leave the front door unattended because of the neighbors' cats. They are so curious, so we would get them in our house, and then it would take a really long time to get them out, and they would probably leave excrements. The solution was to build a stack of stuff in the living room with the door closed and then start moving the stack to the trailer.

We put old blankets and textiles between the different parts of the wardrobe pieces, and on top of it all, we put two nets. One green net on top of a red blanket and one black net on a brown striped blanket.

Then we drove to our new home and unloaded the wardrobes. All in reverse. We put the 100 cm wardrobe in DS's room and the 50 cm wardrobe in our own bedroom.

DW got two rows in the salad bed of "Palmkool." They will grow enormous, so they will not stay here. This is to make seedlings from them.

I bought a mix of wildflowers that I sowed along the road. I like flowers very much, and they are suitable for insects as well.

Then I started on a larger project, preparing a new bed for strawberries. I used the same method as I did for the beds around the sea container. Removed weeds as much as I could to one shovel's depth and then added compost on the top of that. The soil must be loosened up because then I can continue to remove the weed, and that will be essential because we got a lot of thistles on the compost heap.

The fussy green thing is a Prunus Avium tree we planted last year. It is not such a good photo because it was late when I was finished. We got this tree from our neighbors as part of an exchange deal. They got chestnut, and we got this Prunus avium. We also planted a raspberry shrub from the same neighbors in this bed. I did not blog about that yet. It was earlier this year we got them. It was two plants. One was big and strong, and the other was tiny and almost dead. I repotted both immediately and let them regain strength indoors. For the more prominent raspberry, we will need to find a place for still.

They also gave us a loganberry. I wonder why I did not blog about these gifts right away. I suppose we were busy at that time. It was a beautiful evening tonight, charming for gardening until late. I noticed that our southeast neighbors were weeding their new lawn for the first time. They have not been especially active in the garden, so that was nice to see.

Sunday 5 June

We started off with the large trailer. The weather forecast predicted rain. Different weather services had different predictions, but the local service gave us rain in the afternoon. We decided to rely on the local service, so we took the large trailer. This time we took cupboards that had been in DD's room, the cupboards that brought me a stiff neck. It is made up of small blocks. They were hanging on the wall in an arty way, leaving many screw holes. We don't really know what to do with these in the new house, but we have to empty the old house, so here they are.

We got to the new house with this load, and we even unloaded the trailer without any drip of rain. When we were almost done, I could feel the moisture in the air. It was about to happen; the rain would come anytime. We decided to unhook the large trailer and hook up the small trailer to the car. The small trailer has a hood suitable for rainy weather.

On the second and last ride of the day, we decided to mainly load boxes into the trailer. We had a small cupboard in the living room hanging on the wall that fitted nicely between the boxes.

You can wonder, and I also wonder, why it could be of any interest to read about how we move stuff. It is backbreaking work to move, but it is part of the journey. This blog is about the journey. When moving all this stuff, we are often telling ourselves and each other that we really should not have this much stuff. We need to get rid of a lot of redundant things. It is good to write it down, so we remember that promise.

While loading the small trailer, the weather held up most of the time. When it was fully loaded, it started raining heavily. We drove to our new home and let the car stay loaded on the driveway while we had a cup of tea to await a better moment. We talked about the kitchen offer that we received from the kitchen carpenter. It looked nice; we just wanted a couple of adjustments. It looked like there would not be many completely dry moments this evening. So we decided to unload the trailer in the rain. It was not pleasant.

Was there no room for doing anything fun today? Well, I made more slug forts. This time I made them from larger PVC pipes. We still got a stack of PVC pipes lying behind the sea container, so I took one. I used the copper tape we bought at the garden center for this series of forts. It became nine slug forts.

Then I placed these forts in the garden. Every strawberry plant got its own fort. Three of DWs plants got a fort as well. It was really late, raining heavily, but I could not resist taking a photo of the result.

This concludes the efforts in and around the new house for this week. We did a lot of work, and it feels like we will meet the deadline of emptying the old house before the end of June.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.