JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Good progress

This week I had good progress plastering the staircase hall.

Monday 19 February

I worked from home, and DW went to the office. We talked with the veterinarian and did not get the answer we had hoped for. We thought that Merida would get a higher dose of the medicine, and that would be it. No, that did not happen; instead, we got the message that the dose should not be increased. We were advised to let Merida endure another medical test. To us, this was a conflicting message.

She got her blood tested on 20 December last year. Then, she got her first anti-seizure pill on 30 January in the evening. Back then, the message was that the veterinarian could not see if something was wrong with the liver; no toxins in the blood could cause seizures. They did not find any issues with the blood, and they did not say this blood test was insufficient. Now, suddenly, the previous test did not matter. She had to be tested again. We could not understand that. We decided to talk to the veterinarian again tomorrow.

In the evening, I took in planks to dry that I will use on the scaffold in the staircase. It had been nice to find a moment when the planks were dry before moving in the planks. That kind of moment does not exist this winter. It is always wet, damp, or raining more or even a lot. So they went in wet and possibly with additional animals. I do hope they will be dry enough for Wednesday.

Tuesday 20 February

Today, we switched roles; DW worked from home, and I went to the office. Merida looked at me through the workshop door when I reversed out from the driveway as usual. I think she will miss me, but I am convinced Merida has a great time with DW.

DW called the veterinarian today. The new explanation was that the toxins that can cause epileptic seizures in a cat can quickly evaporate. It is challenging to measure these with regular blood tests. Besides, the test prescribed in this case is for a blood shunt in the liver. That is tested differently than regular blood tests. We were recommended three animal hospitals where they can carry out this kind of test. I felt the previous test was unnecessary, but DW disagreed. This new test is more expensive and more thorough than the previous test. Oh well. We have to do it.

DW had a more challenging thought for me as well. If the problem with Merida is indeed a blood shunt issue, then the operation for this is several thousand euros; it is not clear if we have that kind of money to spend on this issue. When that moment comes, we must make tough decisions; it will not be easy.

Wednesday 21 February

Today, DW had a day off. I worked from home for the first half. DW started to figure out what kind of permits we will need when we build an additional shed and animal stable.

After lunch, we had a nice long walk. We had forgotten that a package would be delivered so we missed that delivery. Darn. We also missed the phone call from the animal hospital.

After the walk, I started working on bringing the planks to the scaffold in the staircase. DW removed weeds from the front garden until it started raining again.

It was not feeling entirely okay up there on the planks. I think I will make minor adjustments to make it feel better. I need to do some other things before I can start plastering. I must cover the stairs and remove the handlebar from the north wall. I finished all the preparations, so I can start plastering next up.

How is the stench project going? It is better, but we have not eliminated the problem. I filled up the void around the windows and the doors. Now it is leaking air along the walls. Today, I decided to fill up the cavity along the floor. I used the foam I bought the last time. The professional handle works fantastically. The excess foam that came up got covered with paper because I didn't want Merida to get stuck in the foam. That would not be pleasant. When the foam cured, I cut away the excess. Now, we will have to wait and see how this works.

Excellent composition in this photo; this is the so-called dominant diagonal. Personally, I think it is dominant only for right-handed people. Left-handed people can also put the diagonal from the top left to the bottom right. I talked about this in February 2018. That was six years ago. Time flies when you are having fun.

Thursday 22 February

Today, it rained. You are surprised. No, you are not. Neither am I. Why is it raining so much? Because warm air can hold more moisture. This is all fine if we get some rain in the summer, but I am afraid that the summers will dry up and the winter will become wetter. The jury is still out on this matter. I was aware that it would become windy today but that it was a storm and had the name "Louis," which I was unaware of.

I went to work as I usually do on Thursdays. DW worked from home. Merida came to sleep on her lap two times today. I am slightly jealous of this. I had loved to have Merida sleep on my lap. The last time she did that, the sun protection in my room came loose and fell, and she got scared. I have been trying to persuade her ever since that everything is fine, but she doesn't believe me.

One of my nearest colleagues had vacation, and the other worked from home. From a strictly cohesion perspective, it was not much of a reason to be at the office, but I was okay. I could concentrate well and brought my project in significant steps towards finalization.

When I came home, I realized that the stench was back, not massively, but noticeable. How is it possible? It has to do with the storm "Louis." The air pressure on the south side of the house is building up, and with that, the remaining openings can continue to let through stench air. I took out my new professional foam gun. I cut off some inches of a UTP cable, removed the core part, and fastened the UTP hose to the gun's nozzle. Now, I could slide in the hose in narrower cavities. I lost my illusions of beating this issue in an absolute way, like "Now it is finished!" but I am okay with the incremental approach that I nudge the issue in the right direction a little bit each time.

The package got delivered today. Cool. The animal hospital called DW, and they discussed Merida. We have an appointment next week on Thursday.

Friday 23 February

This morning, I served the sheep their breakfast hay. I was curious about the damage Louis had caused; it was not bad at all. I took the time to replace one of the wires holding the tarp of the rain roof. Initially, I did not have enough proper multistrand steel wire when I installed it, so a couple of points got single-thread steel wire, suitable for holding the roof briefly, and then the wire broke. Now I have replaced it, so finally, all points of the rain roof are held by proper multistrand steel wire. It works very well. I noticed the sheep did not like the rain roof for several days. I think when the wire broke, it started to give sounds when things were moving in the wind. The sheep are sensitive to things like that.

When I waited for the water bucket to fill up, I had a look on the south side below the rubber sheet. The place I had cleaned had been littered with rat poop again. This also explains how it took some time to get the stench back. How can that animal be so obsessed with hanging out here? We will capture it and deport it to a place far from here.

After these exciting findings, I went to work. DW worked from home. Today, there were no more people in the office, but there were others. Usually, I do not comment on things I do at the office, but today, I did something extracurricular. We had problems with the sink in the canteen; it was not draining correctly. I fixed that. So, not only can I make and fix extremely complicated software, but I can also fix a clogged drain. I think I am more valuable when I work on producing software, though, but this was also good.

In the evening, we had pizza and watched an episode of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's YouTube movies. It is old, with meager pixel resolution, but Hugh is enthusiastic and fun to watch.

Saturday 24 February

Today, it was overcast, and we had a drizzle and regular rain. It was not that cold, 8 degrees Celsius. Duh, you who are reading this in the future know how bad it became. Living in an ever-warming climate each winter is a new surprise. We will come to the situation that the grass never stops growing. DW planned to do work in the garden. My goal for today was to plaster, plaster, and plaster again.

DW loaded the rat trap that we bought. Last year. I tried to find out when we bought it, but I cannot find that I wrote anything about it on this blog. Is this another example of the self-censorship I talked about last week? We bought the trap last year, I suppose. It was lying idle for a long time before we loaded it, and shortly after, we got a rat in the trap. It was not happy to be caught. We brought it far away from here. Now, we hope to do the same thing.

It was the first time I climbed the scaffold for real. It was not a pleasant experience. The west wall was okay, but the north wall was too far away. I decided to make a platform outside the scaffold to solve this problem.

It worked; I could stand on the platform and felt okay.

The inhabitant of this corner was not entirely happy with my intrusion. I did not catch the spider and bring it out; I just let it be. I even contemplated naming it, but it left the corner after a while, so I did not need to bother.

First, I filled the top ridge. Then, all seams and corners (also a seam) got scrim tape. I plastered three buckets of coarse mud. Today. I also had a nice power nap after lunch. Merida came and slept beside me, which was so lovely of her.

When I stopped plastering this evening, it felt like I had one bucket left of MP75 mud to do on the west wall.

While plastering, I listened to podcasts. Ukraine: The latest by the Telegraph in the UK. They had a special episode for the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Russia into Ukraine. Today, two years ago, the tanks rolled in.

Today, I also learned that Donald Trump received the judgment in the persistent fraud case. This means that he has 30 days to pay up to appeal the case. Apparently, he needs to pay half a billion dollars.

Sunday 25 February

The first thing I did this morning was to check the rat trap. We had not caught any rats this night. Letting the rat stay in the trap for too long would not be nice, so I wanted to know if it was there as early as possible.

Today, it was epic winter weather. No rain for the first time I can remember.

I went back to check and found that May 1996 had one day that touched zero degrees Celsius. Today, in February, we had one day that touched zero. I understand that randomly comparing one month is unscientific, but that does not matter to me. It is about the feeling; it is warm. Too warm. February is the new May.

So, did I enjoy the beautiful weather? The first beautiful day in many months. No, I plastered. DW pottered around in the garden. She enjoyed the weather.

I did one bucket of MP75 mud. With that, I finished the coarse layer. Then, I continued in the TopFinish mode. I plastered the south ceiling section.

After lunch, I plastered the north wall with TopFinish. There is one spot near the lower ventilation opening that needs some extra attention, but the rest of the wall is done. I am grateful for the ventilation openings. They are great to hold on to when standing on the external platform.

Now I have the north ceiling part and the west wall, and then the staircase is plastered. I might be able to finish this on Wednesday or Thursday next week. We will see.

In the evening, DS came by to see how I administrated the medicine to Merida. The idea is that he will learn how to do it to give Merida medicine while we go on vacation at the end of next week.

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.