JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

The heating/cooling system is finished

This week the heating/cooling system of the house was finished.

Monday 10 July

Today DD cared for Merida while we went to the office. I came home in the afternoon to bring DD to the train station. DW went out with friends, so she came home later.

Tuesday 11 July

Today we worked from home. Merida stayed on the ground floor while we went to work at our desks on the first floor. DW works from the large room on the west side of the house. That is also the hobby room of DW. I work from the southeast room. Merida has not yet understood how to use the stairs; she stays on the ground floor. Some day she will explore how to walk up the stairs. I am curious how long it will take.

Today Gijs came to us to determine what was needed to finish the heating/cooling system. We will get thermostats in various rooms, and Gijs will replace the water pump. He expected it would be possible to return next week when parts arrived. We discussed the heating and cooling system, and he advised us to change the program to better use solar panels. Shower water is heated less during the night.

After work, I looked around the garden and was happy to see how well the crops were progressing. The courgette had large leaves and started producing vegetables. The beans got flowers, but there are no beans yet. There are a lot of grapes in the wine grape. This year I will not let the birds eat them. I will drape them in a net when they get colored.

Wednesday 12 July

This morning I worked from home, and DW had a day off. She had invited friends for a spinning activity. She is part of a group that meets from time to time to spin wool into yarn together. Since I was working, I was not involved in this. However, letting Merida be with the yarn-spinning group was inconvenient, so Merida had to come and stay with me on the first floor. I put a painting in the door opening so she could not escape the room. The driveway had five cars. I think it is possible to park two more cars, but then I would need to tidy up the end of the driveway.

In my room, I got a mirror leaning towards the wall. It still needs to be installed somewhere, but that is part of the moving we still need to do. Merida was roaming around in my home office when she suddenly came to see herself in the mirror. That was an unpleasant surprise!

Before lunch, the ladies of the spin group went home. I logged out from my work, and we had lunch.

Then came Gijs and his helper. They finished the installation of the heating and cooling system. This is an important milestone because from now on, we will have thermostats in the various rooms keeping the temperature as we want. Now you can argue it is not that important when we still don't have any doors, which is partly true. Gijs also replaced the water pump. We had one that was too powerful; it drew 32 watts. This got replaced with a pump that drew 19 watts. It was also more silent. Gijs also connected the system to the Internet so that it is possible to get statistics from it. Here is the outside temperature in Celsius first couple of days.

Here is the distribution hub on the first floor.

This is a thermostat.

Here is the distribution hub on the ground floor.

This is the main thermostat in the living room.


While Gijs and his helper were busy with the heating and cooling system, I worked on a permanent fence around our hazel tree forest. I finished that work late in the evening.

Last year these trees produced two hazelnuts. This season it is 9 hazelnuts. Can we keep increasing the production four and a half times every year?

When the hazelnut forest was secured, I rearranged the sheep fence so that it went around the hazelnut forest. This way, they got a larger area to graze from.

They can only stay in the current area because it has rained and the grass started growing. If the drought had continued, we had to move them around quicker. It is not good if they are getting hungry. On the other hand, they are "round" enough, so searching for grass is not bad for their stature. As long as they are calm and happy, we are happy.

Thursday 13 July

I worked from the office while DW worked from home. Merida stayed on the ground floor. At some point, DW took Merida to her home office to let her stay there while working. Just like I did yesterday, she blocked the door opening with two large bags. We still got no doors, so that is how we do it. Now Merida is tiny and cannot jump higher than about 30 centimeters (11 inches). Later it will not suffice with two bags if you want to block a door opening; at that time, I hope we have a door in the door opening.

Merida is making good use of the cat box. I must say that the cat nest "mom" handled this training excellently. In Dutch, they use a word such as cleanly to describe a cat like this "Zindelijk." She is capable of taking care of her fezes. You could say that Merida is clean, but that can be unclear because someone else could have cleaned her. We are looking for a word saying in English that someone is clean and has their own capacity to maintain that. How hard can it be to have a word for that? In Swedish and English, you say the cat is potty trained. How often have we not been trained in something but not really doing what we are trained to do? For example: How many drivers have not undergone driving lessons but are still not following all the rules on the road? In this way, I think the Dutch expression Zindelijk is stronger.

While we are at languages, I can explain my relation to US versus UK English. Since I live in Europe, you might think I am more into UK English. The thing is that I found that in Britain, there are so many subtleties embedded in the language and the way to express things that it is virtually impossible for a non-native like me to grasp and make good use of. US English also has that but not to the same extent. Using US spelling makes it clear to all Brits that I am not on their level of subtle undertones.

Friday 14 July

Today DW worked from home to stay with Merida. I went to the office. When I went to the office, the sheep were still happily munching on the new fresh grass.

Saturday 15 July

This morning I discovered new potato flowers. I do think the flowers are gorgeous! There are many different colors on the flowers.

My flower garden effort has failed this season. Nothing of my flower seedlings has made it, at least not so far. The thistle effort and the vegetable garden are a great success. The courgette got big yellow flowers shining as if they were electric lights! Don't get me wrong, I am not saying it like, "Oh, that is a beautiful painting; it looks just like a photo." The courgette flowers are radiant; they reflect sunlight so well that it feels like magic.

Today's main activity was going to various hardware stores to determine what color DW wanted on the back side of the cupboard. She decided on a color called "Genoeg." Now the idea was to send an e-mail to Duller and Co to have them make that color in the organic material that DW wanted to use for this project. I had suggested we go to Duller and Co and select the color in their shop in Haarlem, but that was good. It was too far away. I even suggested we go there by train, but that idea was discarded. Okay, then we do it like this instead.

We made a grand second-hand shopping tour when we were done searching for the color. We visited no less than three second-hand shops. We found a two-wheel barrow, a water pump, and a few smaller things on our tour.

At one of the second-hand shops, I found an AP sound system. It was expensive, so I refrained from buying it. I said to myself that it was too expensive to be second-hand. The shop Bax Music where I bought the DJ controller, probably got a similar system, complete and cheaper. Here at the second-hand shop, it was a group of separate used systems, no cables, and no guarantees. I was tempted, though!

Today, this came into my feed: "What is the key to being a good storyteller?" It is Vinh Giang, a top business keynote speaker, and award-winning entrepreneur, telling us about that:

To become a good storyteller, you first have to collect the stories. You have to write them down. What moves you emotionally, you need to capture. Who, what, where, and When. You will notice that you got a treasure of stories after a year.

This struck a chord with me; I am already good at writing stories. I need to better emphasize what moves me emotionally and present that here.

In the afternoon, I made the stairs, especially the reeling, kitten-proof. I was not too fond of having Merida fall over the edge because she easily gets through the reeling. The stairs are another story, but I have not figured out how to make them kitten-proof. I suppose that is something Merida will need to figure out herself. Until now, she has been afraid of the stairs, so that worked very well. I put up protective paper and taped this along the reeling. Right now, Merida is not very good at jumping, and she knows it herself, so I don't expect her to jump up and balance along the reeling. That is for later. Cats have extraordinary control over their balance, but that is not yet Merida. She is still the kind of cat that starts the jump towards the couch too far away that she almost reaches the floor instead of the couch. It is complex to calculate the trajectory that still has to be perfectioned.

Sunday 16 July

This morning we had tea in bed. Merida was on the ground floor. At some point, she decided to climb the stairs. Merida came to us in the bedroom. Now that was a major achievement for her, and she tried it the day after I made the reeling kitten proof; that is special. We got another mirror in the bedroom. This time I was prepared, and she reacted to the mirror just like last Tuesday, but this time, I had the camera ready. She got acquainted with the kitten in the mirror soon, this time. On Tuesday, she was more upset. This time after the first reaction, she was fine with the kitten in the mirror. A colleague told me that some cats refuse to look in the mirror because they can not stand it. Merida is more clever than that, so far.

One thing Merida is not clever about is knowing her limitations. She attempted to climb down the stairs via the steepest part of the stairs, and that did not work out well at all. Merida tumbled down the stairs, which was not pleasant for her. At the bottom of the stairs, she gave up a little chime. Merida did not break anything, so that was good. It is not clear how she will go about this experience. That is something we will find out in the coming days.

Here is the bean cave in full regalia. There is currently a full production of runner beans. In the background, you can see the scarecrow.

It is possible to stand inside the bean cave to pick the beans. It was windy today, so the hair of DW was messed up.

The sheep were running out of fresh grass. We decided to move them to an area between the two northern neighbors. Especially a little hill with nice grass looked promising.




This patch looked pristine! We asked about the grass, but it was not intended. This was grass that came up spontaneously. Now the sheep will help our neighbors to keep it short. We will see how this goes.

When the sheep were happily munching on the fresh grass, I worked on the last storm-damaged willows. Two trees had broken branches. I removed two torn branches and hoped the rest of the tree would survive. I brought the cut-off willow branches to the sheep, and they liked that a lot. They eat willow crust as a special treat.

This afternoon I found one flowering cornflower! I had made these seedlings and hoped on a blue carpet, but here we are: one made it! It feels disappointing that all this effort resulted in only one flower. The summer still has some time to go. Perhaps there is more to come?

This week I got a new badge from Grammarly: Breakfast Champion. I have been writing consecutive weekly blogs for two hundred and twenty weeks. That is a great achievement!

The house's main achievement must be that the warming and cooling system is finished. For the rest, we are obsessed with the arrival of Merida.

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.