JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Third bucket of plaster in the staircase hall

I plastered three buckets in the staircase hall this week, and we fetched more hay.

Monday 8 January

It is already the second week of the year! It was below zero degrees Celsius this morning. It was a smidge to chill for my taste in our house, but I did nothing about it.

Tuesday 9 January

Today, both DW and I went to our offices. But before going, I took this photo of the sunrise.

It has been three weeks since 19 December when Merida had her last epileptic seizure. We are happy that it has not happened again but also aware that it can happen anytime.

I decided to change the NIBE heating and cooling system's heating curve in the evening. The system has a curve to translate the outdoor temperature to the amount of heating to apply to the house to keep a stable indoor climate. Since last autumn, we have had our own custom heat curve that is very flat. In fact, it is so flat that no built-in curves match our needs for the house. When I finally understood how the system worked, I decided to make our own curve with a mental note to myself that when it was not working anymore, I would change it so that it worked. Today was such a change moment. I made the system increase the heating slightly when the outdoor temperature is below zero. It takes several days for the change to take effect.

I sat polishing my glasses at work when I realized how ridiculous the situation was when I bought the glasses on 12 October 2022. All the frame models were locked, and the salesperson had to constantly unlock the cabinet. It was tedious. The salesperson tried to push me into something I did not want that looked ridiculous. At some point, he even locked in my old glasses. I wanted the same shape on my glasses as my previous frame, and he almost did not want to allow me to buy those. Now, that isn't very pleasant in itself. What I do regret, though, is that I could not explain to him that his behavior did not suit me. Have I learned something from this? Well, not really. These situations always come as a surprise to me. Long after, I came up with what I should have said. It would be nice if I had the guts to offer myself a timeout in situations like that, get time to figure out how to handle it, and then go on like a happy person. We will see, work in progress. It surprised me that I did not write about this experience in the blog of 2022.

Wednesday 10 January

This morning, it was -5 degrees Celsius! I worked from home in the morning. Merida came to sit behind me on the chair.

Merida came to lie behind me on my chair. The little brown thing is her toy mouse. All three of us fit on my chair.

After a while, Merida made it more comfortable for herself.

Wrapped around me.

Clearly dreaming of catching a mouse with her left paw.

It was warm and comfy, and the sun shined. Things were great until…

The sunshade I mounted on the window fell with a loud bang. Merida concluded it was not safe to cuddle up on Jens's chair. It is probably much better on DW's lap.


After lunch, I started plastering the upper part of the east wall of the staircase hall. Before starting, I had to clear out the table I used for mixing the mud. It felt great to clean up more areas and tidy the workplace. The theme of the beginning of this year is to tidy up the work area to make it fun to work.

The lower triangle was incredibly challenging to plaster. There was a bit too much of a level difference.

With a clear sky comes starry nights and cold weather. I am fond of lovely sunsets.

Thursday 11 January

I worked at the office, and DW worked from home. She went to the hairdresser. I suppose I was not eligible for the job. It was cold today. Our heating system was doing fine, although I have to say that before lunch, the temperature came above zero degrees Celsius and stayed there.

On the way to work, I noticed a car. It was a Volvo V60. It had two exhaust pipes, and it was an all-wheel drive. The car was also a plug-in hybrid. It is like extra everything, including saving the climate. That will obviously not work. Either you save the climate, or you don't. We arrive at a t-crossing. Either you turn left to save the climate or turn right to destroy the climate. This Volvo appears to turn both left and right. The driver only turns right, though.

During lunch break, I went on a walk in the city together with a colleague. We went to a shop where I bought a web camera. I will try to use it for my visual effects program, but I will also use it for work.

Friday 12 January

Office for me, and DW worked from home again. Before going to work, we were having a cup of coffee. The idea was to enjoy the coffee in DW's office; after that, I would go to my office. Equipped with a cup each, we walked up the stairs. I discovered chunks of plaster mud on the stairs halfway and stopped to wipe that to the side. DW came walking behind me, and we had a mid-stair collision. There was a lot of coffee spilled, but not all of it. I put down the remaining coffee at the top of the stairs. DW and I started wiping the stairs and the wall because there were also drips on the wall. While we worked on the stairs, Merida helped us clean around the cups, wiping with her paws.

Merida enjoyed lying on DW's lap while she worked. I am not jealous at all. Not the slightest. Well, perhaps a little.

In the evening, we had pizza for dinner, and DS joined us. It was nice. I discovered that my monstrea plant is sending out a new leave. It has been a long time since the previous leave.

Saturday 13 January

This week, I have been bad at blogging. I started on Monday evening but just wrote a couple of sentences. Friday evening, I blogged again. Now it is Saturday morning. Today's plan is to buy more hay for our sheep. We will do that with the large trailer. DS suggested we walk up at 7 AM, which was fine enough but too early. I had time to blog again. It was not so early I could mix a bucket of mud and plaster a wall.

DW sliced an orange to dry it in our new second-hand food dryer. We envision making various sorts of tea from herbs in our garden. It could be challenging to try oranges because they have moisture trapped in little pockets. If you don't try, you will not know.

Merida came to join us when we sat on the couch. The expression on her face was as if it was too early to get out of bed.

Then, we went to the horse stable in the neighborhood to buy more hay bales. We had 4 still in the sea container from 29 November 2023 and bought 18 new bales. DW thinks that the ladies are eating two bales per week. That would mean we got hay for 11 weeks. That means we will be fine until around week 13. That is the end of March. We noticed they eat more when cold, which can change things. If the weather is mild and dry, we might be able to let them graze early. Two per week might be too much, and they actually eat less. In that case, we reach into April, and then I think all will be fine. We will see.

We managed to load 14 bales into the temporary hay house. Then, it was packed to the brim. The four remaining bales went into the sea container. It was a little moist in the air, but did not rain, and it felt mild. All went fine, it was nice actually.

With the hay done, DW continued to spin wool, and I continued plastering the east wall of the staircase hall.

I plastered around the doors. This is still the course layer of mud. Later, I will go over and plaster everything again with fine plaster, TopFinish.

Next up, I prepared to plaster the north wall. I applied a scrim band on the joints and inner corners. I used an extra wide scrim band along the top of the wall since we think the joint between the wall and the ceiling might need that.

I also taped the doorpost so it would not be covered by plaster.

With all that, I was seconds away from making my second bucket of mud for today, but before that, DW noted there were fresh chunks of plaster on the stairs and asked how we should deal with that.

I refrained from mixing the next bucket, but instead, I started to cover the stairs in protective paper. Before doing that, I cleaned the stairs again, which smelled like coffee, due to the incident from yesterday. It looked nice when I was finished.

It took a lot of time to cover the steps in protective paper. Merida did not like this at all. She got annoyed by this change in the house. When she walks the stairs, she tries to walk outside the paper. In some places, that was not that easy. Strangely, she gets this reaction because we have the same paper on the floor in the staircase hall. It is even paper from the same roll. The only difference is that the floor already had this paper when she came to us, and now it is something new on the stairs. We will see how this develops.

In the evening, DW made a batch of thin slices of carrot to see if that worked in the food dryer. DW has been working on knitting a sweater. Tonight, she decided to undo all the knitting and start over.

Sunday 14 January

This morning, DW woke up a lot earlier than I did. She went downstairs and started frogging the sweater. It is called so because US frogs sound like that when you drag yarn from a knitted project.

I recorded her doing it. So here it is; this is what a frog sounds like.

Today, I plastered the north wall of the staircase hall with course mud. I am taping the doorframe so DW will not be mad at me that she needs to clean the doorframes from plaster before painting.

With the previous bucket, I showed the ingredients into the bucket: 1,7 liters of water, 2 kg MP75, and 400 grams of TopFinish. Then, I mixed it with the mixing rod. It was stiff already from the start. This time, I let the mix "drink" before mixing it. That means the mix stays for a while. This mix became like custard, and this stayed throughout. It had been a bit better here and there to have it stiffer, but I did nothing about it.

DW went out on our property to prune trees. I helped her with the corkscrew willow. We had one branch damaged by the previous storm. Not the last storm but the storm before that. It looked majestic in its new form. I do hope it will be fine against storms.

In the evening, I worked on the visual effects program. It is not progressing swiftly.

This week, I plastered three buckets of MP75 in the staircase hall. We fetched a new load of hay bales. Merida had no epileptic seizure this week; that makes me feel better.

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.