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November 28, 2012 / diannegray

Farmhouse antics

When I was out at the old farmhouse on Sunday I took a photo of the snakeskin on my laptop. Maddie suggested I use it as a bookmark.  What a great idea! Now when I’m reading, not only can I keep my place, but people won’t be too keen to disturb me! (particularly on the bus) 😉

Who knows – there may be a market for them.

I also took a photo on Sunday of a gecko eating a cockroach – what a yummy lunch he was having!

Maybe we can find a use for him…

The old farmhouse is coming along well. For those of you who don’t remember the pictures I took a few months back I’ve put a before shot of the TV room below and what it looks like now.

Love that air-conditioning!




Finally – for those who are interested, Tiffany is doing give-aways of my books – Soul’s Child and The Everything Theory.



Leave a Comment
  1. Tarina / Nov 28 2012 4:36 pm

    Wow – the whole walls gone! That’s a lot of work to do! Cool that geckos eat cockroaches. I’m not entirely sure we have a natural cockroach-eater here… :-/
    Also, that is a great idea about the snakeskin – what a brilliant bookmark! Everyone will want one now! 😀


    • diannegray / Nov 28 2012 4:40 pm

      So true, Tarina! I’ll have to find some more snakes to make more bookmarks! 😯

      I hate cockroaches, so I’m glad the little fella was doing his job so well 😉

      A lot of work is EXACTLY right for the farmhouse 😀


  2. Polysyllabic Profundities / Nov 28 2012 4:42 pm

    I can’t wait to see the final product….a place for your dreams and your creativity to thrive…..good for you for following your dream!!


    • diannegray / Nov 28 2012 5:07 pm

      Thank you so much! Everyone else thinks I’m insane (Lol)!

      If the dream is there we really need to work hard to see it through 😉


      • Polysyllabic Profundities / Nov 28 2012 11:19 pm

        At least you have the guts to follow your dream!! Too many people will only ever have the dream…you’ll have the reality. 🙂


      • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 5:53 am

        I love the way you think! 😉


  3. Bonnie at {PaperKeeper} / Nov 28 2012 4:46 pm

    Wow wow wow! I love the whole ‘work in progress’ phase..the promise of something good to come! Keep sharing the photos as you go…fun to see the transformation. The cockroach eating gecko, well, I can’t quite say it’s as fun…but I saw your comment above and yes, good that the little guy is doing his job so well, but still, ewww! 🙂


    • diannegray / Nov 28 2012 5:10 pm

      Hahaha! There are a lot of cockroaches in the tropics (yes – ewww!) and they’re big suckers! Yuck!

      The house is coming along well – there’s not much of it left, but it has to be taken back to ‘bare bones’.


  4. John / Nov 28 2012 4:46 pm

    A good way to go for completion, but it’s warm there! The gekko has a dandy meal there. That’s a huge cockroach!!


    • diannegray / Nov 28 2012 5:12 pm

      They grow them very big here in the tropics, John – huge ratbags they are! If I squash one I feel like I’ve just killed an animal 😦

      I’m looking at round Feb – May for completion 🙂


  5. bulldogsturf / Nov 28 2012 5:01 pm

    Well I see the aircon is up and working….. lol


  6. Maddie Cochere / Nov 28 2012 5:19 pm

    Wow was my first response, too. Your abode is going to be like new when it’s done. That is awesome! You are so funny … soon you’ll be marketing snakeskin bookmarks -and- geckos to eat cockroaches. 😉


    • diannegray / Nov 28 2012 5:48 pm

      Geckos-to-go! LOL!

      The farmhouse will be like new! Gotta get those snakes out of the roof! 😉 Imagine how many skins I can get 😀


  7. Janna G. Noelle / Nov 28 2012 5:26 pm

    I know it won’t be ready for a while yet, but I can’t wait to see photos of the newly reno’ed farmhouse. I do already love it now with all the nature and critters, but I know from personal experience that they don’t always make the most considerate roommates.


    • diannegray / Nov 28 2012 5:52 pm

      They’ve got pretty bad manners sometimes, Janna! I once had a snake take over my hot water system in winter – he didn’t want to be cold, but it was pretty hard for us to take a shower 😦

      I can’t wait for the farmhouse to be ready either – wish I could hurry it up! 😀


  8. ramblingsfromamum / Nov 28 2012 7:08 pm

    Oh Lordy better you than me honey… where’s the jacuzzi and the plasma???? 😉


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 5:49 am

      Hahaha – don’t worry, they’re coming! Lol 🙂


  9. Deborah Hawkins / Nov 28 2012 7:20 pm

    Can’t wait to see how the house turns out. Bet it will be great. I’m not a fan of snakes. Finding the skin would have really creeped me out! But a snake with it would have been worse!


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 5:51 am

      At least it was an empty packet! 😀

      I have every confidence that the house will look great, Deborah (and maybe surprise a few people) 😉


  10. Vikki (The View Outside) / Nov 28 2012 11:10 pm

    Wow, you’re so brave! Can’t wait to see it finished 🙂



  11. justinwriter / Nov 28 2012 11:16 pm

    Ha, ha, that gecko looks like it won a meat tray at the local pub. 🙂


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 5:53 am

      LOL! That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time, Justin! 😀


  12. Britt Skrabanek / Nov 28 2012 11:23 pm

    Dianne, if you decide to do the snakeskin bookmark thing on the bus, please make sure someone videos people’s reactions and post a vlog. Some of us will want to see that! LOL!


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 5:55 am

      Hahaha! Great idea, Britt – Not only would no one interupt me, I’d probably clear the space around me as well! 😀


  13. ly / Nov 28 2012 11:25 pm

    Love the before and somewhat after photo. I know you are looking forward to taking the real after photo.


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 5:56 am

      The real AFTER photo will be the best for sure, Ly! 😀


  14. Sheila Morris / Nov 29 2012 12:07 am

    Love your pics of the farm and hope you’re enjoying the work in progress…well, as hard as it is to enjoy when time stands still during construction projects. Also love the gecko pic since the only gecko I’ve seen is a cute little green one on our TV commercials in the US…he wants us to buy insurance and I’m afraid I worry about his Australian accent. 🙂


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 5:58 am

      Hahaha! This gecko didn’t speak to me, but if he did he would have told me to get away from him because I chased him around for a while before I could get the right picture. I think he thought I wanted to steal his lunch! 😯


  15. harulawordsthatserve / Nov 29 2012 12:36 am

    Can I place an order for a snakeskin bookmark? 🙂 Love your air conditioning, but not sure it’s suitable for the climate in Northern Scotland! I’m up for natural pest control any day…bonne appetit Mr Gecko, rather him than me. Thanks for the laughs as usual…


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 6:01 am

      Thanks, Harula! Snakeskin bookmark coming up 😉

      I’m sure that air conditioning would be a blast in Northern Scotland – literally 😀


  16. Don't Quote Lily / Nov 29 2012 12:37 am

    Looking forward to the end result! And wow, a snakeskin bookmark…SO original! 🙂


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 6:02 am

      I can’t wait for the place to be finished either, Lily. Patience is not my best asset 🙂

      I think the snakeskin bookmarks would sell like hotcakes! 😀


  17. Anna Scott Graham / Nov 29 2012 1:11 am

    Good for geckos!!

    And wow, that is a change. I can’t recall if you mentioned a timetable for these renovations, but what an incredibly creative project. Sort of like a first draft going through revisions, hee hee!!


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 6:05 am

      I’m looking to have it near completion between Feb and May (depending on the weather – we tend to get cyclones here).

      The analogy to the book is great, Anna. We’ve ripped it back to the bare bones and now it’s time to add the flesh! 😉


  18. jmmcdowell / Nov 29 2012 1:49 am

    Either you’ve got mini geckos in Australia or huge cockroaches. And I’m afraid it’s the huge cockroaches!

    Taking the entire house down to the studs and framing? That is a massive undertaking!


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 6:08 am

      Massive undertaking is exactly right, JM – you’ve hit the nail on the head 😀

      The gecko is probably about eight inches long = very big cockroach! ewwwww 😯


  19. Theo Fenraven / Nov 29 2012 2:00 am

    Nice capture of the gecko! I’d have swooped in much closer. I mean, he was busy. He wouldn’t have minded. ;/


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 6:12 am

      I think I chased him for a good ten minutes, Theo – he thought I wanted to steal his lunch! I really need to buy a camera instead of using my phone because I don’t know how to zoom on the phone (or if it’s even possible)

      He was a pretty cute fellow! I think he finally stopped because he was tired of running away from me 😀


  20. robincoyle / Nov 29 2012 2:30 am

    Snakes, cockroaches, geckos . . . remind me to NOT come over for a cup of coffee.


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 6:13 am

      You’ll be here, Robin! And you’ll absolutely love it 😀


  21. mcwoman / Nov 29 2012 2:32 am

    Ten years ago, my husband and I bought “a fixer-upper.” The house needed everything from a roof to a hot water heater. But, my dear, you have topped the renovation that we did. At least we had walls–and any wildlife except for a few mice, stayed OUTSIDE. Good luck with this huge project. You’re more of a pioneer than I am, my friend.


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 6:15 am

      Thanks, Barbara! This is the fixer-upper of fixer-uppers! 😉


  22. ocdreader/Elisa / Nov 29 2012 3:14 am

    I love the work in progress pictures – such fun! And I love your gecko pal, make sure he sticks around to help out with those monster bugs! Dang.
    I also can’t wait for the stories as you use your snake skin bookmark – that is just begging for commentary, or at least strange looks. Perfect fodder for an author


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 6:32 am

      Thanks, Elisa!

      All the bugs are bigger here (and there’s plenty of them!) I saw a beetle the other night that was about three inches long and I couldn’t figure out what it was (I didn’t grab my phone in time to get a shot). I can see I’m going to have to buy myself a camera so I don’t have to get so close the nasties to capture them 😉

      I love the idea of the snakeskin bookmark! 😀


  23. Jess / Nov 29 2012 3:32 am

    It’s almost like starting with a flat peice of land. I love the idea of being out in the country. Do you have pictures of the surrounding town and area, too? If, so, I’d love to see.


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 6:35 am

      I do have pics, Jess! I’ll put them up on a post soon so everyone can see them. The picture at the top of my blog is taken of us standing at the side of the farmhouse, so that may give you an idea of how beautiful the surrounding landscape is 😀


  24. adinparadise / Nov 29 2012 3:32 am

    Love the bookmark idea. I’m so glad to know that geckos eat cockroaches, but I don’t need pictorial proof. 😆
    Can’t wait to see your farmhouse when it’s finished. I got quite as shock when I saw the second pic. 😆


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 4:38 pm

      I got a shock as well! Seems I was taken literally when I told them to ‘rebuild’ it!

      LOL – pictorial proof – I love it 😉

      I cant wait for the day I can take some snaps of the farmhouse and post ‘here it is is – finished!!!’ 😀


  25. Rick Mallery / Nov 29 2012 3:51 am

    Do you have the after after pictures yet? BTW, I finished the first draft of my novel yesterday. Maybe I’ll get my head out of the sand now. 🙂


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 6:37 am

      I won’t have the after after pics until Feb next year, Rick! It’s such a long wait 😦

      So glad you’ve finished the first draft – CELEBRATION TIME!!!! 😀


  26. gabrielablandy / Nov 29 2012 5:47 am

    This is certainly a project!


  27. EllaDee / Nov 29 2012 10:01 am

    I hope you are joking about the snake skin book mark but I suspect you aren’t… I just knew I was going to enjoy being a virtual tag-a-long on your adventure 🙂


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 4:45 pm

      LOL! I may or may not have been joking 😉

      I’m so glad you’re on my adventure as well! 😀


  28. / Nov 29 2012 10:03 am

    That’s a cool gecko! And a huge ass cockroach! What a fun project, I love fixing up old houses.


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 4:46 pm

      Me too – especially when they’re mine 😉

      The cockroach was enormous – I think the gecko thought I was trying to steal his lunch when I was taking the pic 😀


  29. arielpakizer / Nov 29 2012 10:18 am

    I saw the snakeskin bookmark comment and laughed. That is such a brilliant idea!


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 4:49 pm

      I love it! I’d get so much space around me to read 😀


      • arielpakizer / Dec 1 2012 3:59 am

        It’s great! I want to try it myself, but I need to find a snake skin first….


      • diannegray / Dec 1 2012 7:54 am

        Maybe a fake one to start with 😉


  30. 1girl4adamwest / Nov 29 2012 10:46 am

    This is so cool, I’m enjoying following along with you!!!


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 4:52 pm

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying it (let me know if I get boring) 😉


  31. Kozo / Nov 29 2012 11:19 am

    Beautiful, Dianne. Is that the B-52 video “Love Shack” playing on that television set? “Tin Roof, rusted.” I was going to say, “I can’t wait to see the finished house,” but I’m enjoying all the shots of the construction that I’m happy with the renovation stage. Hope you feel the same way.


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 4:56 pm

      Strangely enough – we used to call it ‘The Love Shack’! 😀

      I asked for it to be rebuilt and it is certainly being ‘rebuilt’ – I’m truly enjoying every moment of it 😉


  32. Carrie Rubin / Nov 29 2012 11:40 am

    In keeping with my most recent post, that gecko is one organism that does NOT mind snacking on a cockroach. 🙂


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 4:59 pm

      LOL! I had to chase him to get the shot because he thought I was trying to steal his lunch (hmmm – un-yum) 😀


  33. lunajoonok / Nov 29 2012 2:28 pm

    Snakeskin bookmarks and cockroach lunches…very entertaining. Love it.


  34. The Bumble Files / Nov 29 2012 5:03 pm

    I definitely think there could be a market for the snakeskin bookmark. You are so chic! I’ll pass at anything to do with a cockroach. I enjoyed all your pics. Looks like your farmhouse is a nice project!


    • diannegray / Nov 29 2012 5:06 pm

      A very nice project indeed! I just can’t wait until it’s finished (hopefully Feb next year) 😀

      I like the idea of me being ‘chic’ – hmmm I think I could work with that 😉


  35. maggiemyklebust / Nov 30 2012 2:04 am

    Maybe its not so bad in this cold country after all….
    Just kidding… I’m sure your farm house will be an amazing place and it looks like you’ll have a lot of company 😉


    • diannegray / Nov 30 2012 10:20 am

      Loads of little friends to be had, Maggie! Admittedly, the little creatures in the cold countries are a lot cuter! 😀


  36. jannatwrites / Nov 30 2012 2:16 pm

    I don’t know which is more interesting – the gecko eating the cockroach, or the fact the cockroach could bench press my cat. (That thing is huge!!) Roaches give me the heebie jeebies. {shivers}

    You’re making some great progress on your house. Love the transformation.


    • diannegray / Nov 30 2012 2:53 pm

      Thanks, Janna! I love the comment about the cockroach bench pressing your cat 😀 It was HUGE and I had to chase that gecko around for about ten minutes to get the shot because he thought I was trying to steal his lunch (Hmmm – not very yummy for me).

      I’m looking forward to posting more pics up in the new year 😀


  37. tchistorygal / Dec 5 2012 10:24 am

    Hi Diane,
    I came across this article as I was browsing your website to feature your blog today. Eleven years ago we tore our house apart, stem to stern, almost every wall, almost every piece of siding. Only the roof and the outside frame stayed put. What an amazing experience you are going through. My heart is with you. If you need a vacation from it all, we now have a beautiful cabana looking out to the pool. You’d love it. Meanwhile, check out my review and featured blog. I am pleased with how the review turned out. I’m going to proof it once more then post it.…rything-theory/


  38. eof737 / Dec 5 2012 2:03 pm

    Love that view of lush green . 😉


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