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March 27, 2013 / diannegray

RUC Blitz

Have you ever watched those shows where someone comes in and fixes a house while the owners are away? There’s always a panic, the weather turns bad, they’re running out of time…you know the scenario… they JUST manage to put in the final touches before the happy owners return and see the job finished  <insert tears of joy here> all within a one hour episode…

This is what I’m living at the moment (delete one hour episode from above) . A couple of bloggers have suggested I should have hired a film crew for the movement of the RUC (and I agree).

Here’s the timeline:

January – old barracks on the farm declared officially dead and I was offered the old Rugby Union Club (RUC) to move to my block.

March – due to local government paperwork the RUC took almost 2 months to move.

One week after the move the first tropical cyclone (Sandra) threatened to hit (no roof on the RUC)

Two weeks after the move the second tropical cyclone (Tim) threatened to hit (still no roof on the RUC)

One day after the roof goes on the monsoon rain starts (phew!)

Next week (apparently) it’s going to be lifted to its right height and it’s ‘legs’ cemented into the ground (this is known as re-stumping).

Now my three kids (who live in different states) have decide to come and stay for a week or so with their partners on 16 June (YAY!)

So – between now and 16 June I need to:

Build a kitchen

Build a bathroom

Build a bedroom

Put a door in the second bedroom

Paint the entire place

Recover all the floors

Replace half the wooden railings on the balconies

Build a second set of stairs

Get a plumber in so I’ve got water and sewage

Get an electrician to wire the place

I’ve only got 12 weeks to do all this.

Do you think I should start to panic NOW?

Crazy writer lady - Copy

At least the RUC is now wearing her shiny new Easter bonnet (those roofers did a great job, don’t you think?)

New roof


Leave a Comment
  1. DaydreamsinWonderland / Mar 27 2013 7:00 am

    Oh boy – that would make my head spin. Hats off to you, Dianne. & Don’t panic yet! There’s still time! *hugs*


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 7:20 am

      My head is spinning! Now with the Easter long weekend coming up no one is working, so more to do next week – yikes! 😉

      I love hugs 😀


      • DaydreamsinWonderland / Mar 27 2013 7:26 am

        You’ll get it done. 🙂 We’ll all be your cheering section. If I don’t speak to you around Easter, I hope you have a lovely Easter Sunday. 😀


      • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 7:54 am

        Thank you so much – wishing you a lovely Easter as well 😀


  2. avwalters / Mar 27 2013 7:02 am

    Panic? Oh hardly. I’m so jealous I can barely stand it. This is a retirement dream come true, the opportunity to rebuild a life in an image that matches the breadth of the heart.


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 7:23 am

      Awww – you’re so kind (and optimistic). I need to take a deep breath and start believing it will all be finished on time 😉


  3. Theo Fenraven / Mar 27 2013 7:04 am

    “While You Were Out” was my favorite HGTV show when I was watching that channel. I liked the guy, Evan Farmer. So cute! (Yes, I’m shallow that way.) You’re not gonna finish all that in time. Pick the most important stuff and do that first (bathroom, kitchen, bedroom). When the kids come, they can pitch in and help with the rest.


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 7:26 am

      The kids don’t mind at all – they’ve all said, ‘hand me a paint brush when I walk through the door’ LOL!

      You’re right about the important stuff (definitely need a bathroom, kitchen and bedroom).

      I love those blitz shows as well (now I need to check out Evan Farmer!) 😉


      • Theo Fenraven / Mar 27 2013 11:15 am

        He’s moved on, but when he was hosting that show, my eyes were glued, I’m telling ya. Glued!


      • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 1:31 pm

        LOL! 😀


  4. ripe red berries / Mar 27 2013 7:05 am

    Quite the list…yikes!!
    A kitchen can be a burner (oh, but you’ll need that power), an outdoor fire pit perhaps? some water and a cooler (send the kids out everyday for more ice) (:
    A bathroom, well, how about an outdoor ‘solar’ shower (you know the hanging black bag, placed in direct sunlight) – lack of toilet, could be an issue…
    Set-up a tent as your second bedroom – amazing what can be done to a tent (:
    Hang a sheet over the open doorway instead of a door and pin back when needing it to be open (:
    Paint is overrated…ask everyone to keep their shoes on. (:
    Ask everyone to stay away from the edge of the balcony…(joking of course)
    Candles are not only great for when there is no power, but they cost less…
    This list is my attempt at humor…have fun with all the projects and remember what’s not ready in time, will be eventually…leave the painting for when the kids (and their partners) arrive…(:
    How fun to look forward to everyone being together!! Enjoy.


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 7:31 am

      Thank you so much – I needed a bit of humour! 😉

      The kids and their partners have volunteered to paint and that would make a great party. I guess there is a lot of sugar cane fields around and this is a perfect ‘boys toilet’ 😀

      We won’t all be together at Christmas time, so this is our attempt at Christmas in June (July). I can’t wait! 😉


      • ripe red berries / Mar 27 2013 1:46 pm

        Sounds like a great party to me! Have fun…Christmas in July sounds perfect! enjoy!!


  5. sherrylcook / Mar 27 2013 7:11 am

    My favorite show for the longest time was trading spaces! This is an exciting time for you…delegate the work and make sure you oversee everything! The kids will just have to understand! Enjoy!


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 7:33 am

      Thanks Sherry – I love those kind of shows as well.

      I’m very good at being the ‘overseer’! (because I’m so picky) LOL 😀


  6. Polysyllabic Profundities / Mar 27 2013 7:13 am

    It’s so exciting that we get to follow the RUC’s journey along with you!! The shiny Easter Bonnet is beautiful. 😀


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 7:36 am

      It looks lovely – the roofing screws didn’t really show up in the picture – there are 2,200 of them 😯 and they’re all straight 😉

      I’ve got some great pics of other things (like pulling down the petrol tanks) and I’ve decided to put them all together for a later post that will just be all pictures 😀


  7. on thehomefrontandbeyond / Mar 27 2013 7:16 am

    you are going to be one very busy girl, but even if it is not all finished you will all have a great time


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 7:40 am

      It’s going to be wonderful. I just like things to be perfect (one of my major faults!) 😉 I certainly need a dose of your ‘bliss’ at the moment 😀


  8. bulldog / Mar 27 2013 7:19 am

    Now that roof does look good… as for all the other work to be done… when the kids arrive give them a spade and show them a spot where they can go to use the toilet.. a couple of buckets for water and torches for lights… hell let them rough it… only joking.. I’m sure with your organisation skills and abilities, everything will be done on time… and just picture sitting on the stoep with the kids.. wine in hand and admiring that beautiful view you showed us.. what a reward for you… I just love what you have done with that old RUC is amazing… typical Aussie, nothing to difficult to tackle.. they built you lot tough… I don’t think there’s an Aussie woman that panics…


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 7:45 am

      LOL! Thanks for bringing me back to earth, Bulldog 😀

      There are plenty of cane fields for the boys to use as a toilet and torches and candles would be kind of romantic! We’ve got plenty of hammocks and there’s room on that veranda for about 20 people to sleep comfortably. I’m sure we’ll have a ball (if I don’t panic) 😉


  9. JackieP / Mar 27 2013 7:21 am

    wow Dianne you don’t have time to panic! poor girl. it will all come together or it won’t. can’t help what will be. I’m sure family won’t mind, they know what you are going through. But I’m pulling for you and RUC! Sending light and love to help you.


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 7:46 am

      Thank you, Jackie! I love when you send me light and love because it always seems to work 😀


  10. Rick Mallery / Mar 27 2013 7:22 am

    The roof looks like a hat…and there are the eyes, and there is the nose…and where’s the smile? Ah, it’s a Mona Lisa smile!

    Place looks great, Dianne! And don’t forget to add to your list to finish your current WIP! (No pressure) 😉


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 7:53 am

      LOL! Writing – what’s that?

      The RUC does have a Mona Lisa smile, Rick – and it gets bigger every day 😀


  11. Bonnie / Mar 27 2013 7:34 am

    OMG…all of that between now and 16 June? OMG how will you do it? OMG, that’s crazy!! I[m just teasing…sorry, I couldn’t resist! 🙂 You will get it done, bit by bit and what doesn’t, will, in time, and I bet that your kids might even like getting to be part of the finish! Sending loads of productive thoughts your way!!


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 7:57 am

      LOL! Thank you, Bonnie – I’m not usually a panic merchant but I think it’s those ‘perfection chromosomes’ jumping around in my brain! I’m sure there will be enough done for them to have a comfortable stay – I just need to realise it’s not going to be ‘perfect’ (and then I can relax) 😀


  12. John / Mar 27 2013 7:36 am

    Hi Dianne! The house is looking great, glad for you. Such a nice location. I have left self hosting am at a new web address: Take care!


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 7:58 am

      Thanks for letting me know, John! I’ll be over soon 😀


  13. EllaDee / Mar 27 2013 7:43 am

    Panic now, to get it over with, and get on with it 😉 Triage the jobs, and leave some for the kids so they have a part in the new place. Love the roof 🙂 When we got ours – thank you CGU insurance – I kept losing the G.O. and finding him at his backyard vantage point gazing at it… like the roofing ad on TV. Have fun, you’ll never for better or worse, do this again so enjoy as much of the process as possible 😀


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 8:01 am

      Awww – thank you my dear! It’s really hard to keep the eyes away from the new roof because it looks SO PERFECT! I totally understand the G.O.’s feelings 😉

      Okay – deep breath – enjoy – thank you 😀


  14. 1girl4adamwest / Mar 27 2013 7:48 am

    They did, do a great job!!!


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 8:04 am

      It looks spectacular! My pic doesn’t really do it justice 😀


  15. Anna Belfrage / Mar 27 2013 7:52 am

    Beautiful roof! And you know what? If the house is unpainted, the second bedroom “un-doored” who will care? (The single big MUST is the bathroom – and maybe the kitchen) Have a great Easter!


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 8:05 am

      Thank you, Anna! Time to prioritize – bathroom is a MUST 😀

      You have a lovely Easter as well 😉


  16. Jill Weatherholt / Mar 27 2013 7:56 am

    Yowza!!!!! Well, if anyone can tackle the list, it’s you Dianne! One project at a time, but with family arriving, I’d take care of the bathrooms and kitchen first. Good luck! 🙂


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 8:07 am

      That seems to be the consensus at the moment, Jill. That’s it – I’m calling the plumber today 😀


  17. Photos With Finesse / Mar 27 2013 8:41 am

    It’s time to call in one of those tv shows and say ‘have I got a challenged for you…’. 😀
    The new ‘lid’ looks lovely! – Suzan –


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 9:18 am

      Now that’s an idea! Maybe I could get 10 builders in who want to compete with each other 😉

      I’m so glad you like the ‘lid’ – it works! 😀


      • Photos With Finesse / Mar 29 2013 5:49 am

        Of course you could always gather the to-do list together and present it to the kids upon their arrival!


      • diannegray / Mar 29 2013 8:14 am

        Great idea – my kids love lists! 😀


  18. danpentagram / Mar 27 2013 8:41 am

    How on earth are you going to get all that done? I hope you are going to rope your husband into helping!


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 9:19 am

      ‘Rope’ is the word, Dan 😉 he’s in the trade so he should be very helpful indeed (or no supper for him) 😀


  19. Billy Ray Chitwood / Mar 27 2013 9:02 am

    Your roof looks great! If you don’t have all the work done by the time the kids arrive, put them to work. Wish I could push a magic button for you, but guess what, there are a ton of hugs on the way! You will get the house work done and then it will become a wonderful new novel…


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 9:21 am

      YAY – I’m looking forward to getting back into the novel writing. I’ve started a couple, but alas, they are on the back-burner at the moment 😦

      A magic button would be great, Billy Ray – now I just need to find me one of those… 😉


  20. Penny L Howe / Mar 27 2013 9:05 am

    Ah come on Dianne – I mean … really, no biggy right! You’d think you had like a zillion different things to accomplish and a ridiculously short period of time in which to accomplish them … Oh wait, you do!
    Well here’s to you and all the good stuff that is just waiting to happen. I wish you good fortune, good days of weather, Bountiful loving help in which to accomplish same, and the ability to stay sane through it all my friend! 🙂 xx


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 9:22 am

      Thank you so much, Penny. I absolutely love all these best wishes coming my way 😀 You are an absolute gem 😀


      • Penny L Howe / Mar 27 2013 10:09 am

        My wishes are sincere Dianne, you hang on and hang in there! 🙂


  21. Rebecca Bradley / Mar 27 2013 9:06 am

    Is panic going to get you anywhere? If so, then hell yeah! If not, do that quietly under the water swan thing. It WILL all work out. 🙂


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 9:24 am

      So true, my dear! I like the look of my legs paddling madly while all above is calm 😀 I just love your positive attitude (it’s rubbing off on me already) 😉


  22. kford2007 / Mar 27 2013 9:11 am

    You’ve got so much work to do, but look at that view!!!! Stunning. It’ll make all that hard work worth the time and effort.


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 9:26 am

      Once I have a working bathroom I’m definitely moving in. I can work in the afternoons on the place then and not have to worry about driving ‘home’ to my temporary accommodation in the evenings. Plus – the view of the stars out there is something to behold! 😀


  23. harulawordsthatserve / Mar 27 2013 9:13 am

    Well I got tired just reading that list! The Easter Bonnet looks stunning and I have no doubt the rest will evolve with just as much perfect timing. Roof, JUST before arrival of rain. Everything else, JUST before arrival of kids armed with pain brushes. Don’t forget to enjoy it – you won’t be having an experience like this again in a hurry! Oh, and I’ll lend you my Angel of Efficiency, who’s kindly joined me for 2013. Perhaps she can help out…?


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 9:29 am

      Woo hoo! I love the Angel of Efficiency and I’m sure she’ll love the RUC 😀 Thank you so much for the loan, I’ll take care of her as if she were my own 😀 Thank you again, my darling friend 😉


  24. Darla Welchel / Mar 27 2013 9:33 am

    Good luck with that long list of “to dos” – do you plan to sleep or eat in the next 12 weeks!
    The new roof looks good and I’m glad it was put on before the rains came.
    Have fun, be creative and enjoy your family!


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 1:18 pm

      Thank you so much, Darla. I’m thinking of a priority plan – bathroom first, then kitchen – once that’s done I’ll move in and work day and night! LOL 😀


      • Darla Welchel / Mar 29 2013 2:22 am

        Wow, I hope you have some help. My hubby has remodeled just about every room in our house (including the garage; its now a game room), and I know how hard that is to do, especially if you have other work too.


  25. nrhatch / Mar 27 2013 9:38 am

    I have complete confidence in you. Keep breathing. By the time the kids show up, you’ll be waving from the balcony with a batch of drinks ready. 😀


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 1:19 pm

      LOL – That’s my dream, Nancy! Fingers crossed xxxxx


  26. Peter / Mar 27 2013 9:40 am

    I only wish I had as much of a to-do list as you do. But we’ll be rooting for you and sending good JuJu your way. When it’s all done it’s gonna be SO worth it!
    My only thought being that with 10 items on a 12 week list you should stop writing and get out your hammer and start working.
    Cheers, Dianne — 13 weeks from now you’re going to be so tired you might even sleep through their visit.


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 1:22 pm

      I hadn’t thought of that, Peter – imagine being so tired I sleep the entire time and miss them! Yikes! I think I need to slow down a little 😀

      Looking forward to receiving all that good JuJu! 😀


  27. / Mar 27 2013 9:50 am

    You go girl. Piece of cake for you.


  28. Jenny Ackland / Mar 27 2013 9:52 am

    The roof looks great Dianne, and that list? Pfft, you can do it, like the little train. How nice to have all your Fam with you at once, on that verandah!


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 1:23 pm

      I can just imagine the looks on their faces when they arrive, Jenny. They’ll say ‘how come it wasn’t like this when we lived here as kids?’ They grew up in the old rundown barracks! 😀


  29. Irish Katie / Mar 27 2013 10:22 am

    Ohhh…that is a lovely new root top! Wooo. But….just 12 weeks? Holy jaysus. What are you doing blogging … time’s a wasting! Wow …that seems like a LOT of work.

    Ohh, if you don’t get done in time you can tell the children that it is a home building gathering lol. Hammer’s for everyone!!!!


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 1:25 pm

      LOL! Hammers, paint brushes and sand paper handed out as they get off the plane! 😀 Hmmmm – great idea 😉


  30. justinwriter / Mar 27 2013 10:26 am

    Nice roof! Are you like those people in the TV ads where they stand out the front admiring the streamline beauties on top of their houses? I know I would be. 🙂 I’d chuck the kids and their partners into a few tents and extend the timeline to something more comfortable like September. After watching Grand Designs, Property Ladder and the rest, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone reach their deadline. But a goal is a great motivator and can quicken decision making. 😉


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 1:28 pm

      So true, Justin. I think I need to ‘push’ a little (after all, this is the ‘laid-back’ tropics and nothing gets done in a hurry) 😉

      I often find myself gazing up at the roof just like they do in the ads – it’ll probably last about two weeks until I start sanding and painting the hand rails 😀


  31. Carrie Rubin / Mar 27 2013 10:41 am

    And that list is in addition to all the other things you have to do in life! Phew! I wish you well.

    By the way, the term ‘re-stumping’ made me smile. Sounds almost surgical to me. 🙂


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 1:30 pm

      Haaaaa – please don’t tell me what ‘re-stumping’ might mean in medical terms or I could puke 😉

      Thank you for the well wishes – I think I need it 😀


  32. moderndayruth / Mar 27 2013 11:33 am

    For some reason i am, like, CERTAIN you’ll make it in time! But, please, don’t force yourself too much, ok? Some things are urgent, like bathroom and kitchen, but painting and balcony rails… i think it can wait and i feel your kids will be more than happy to give a hand when they are there xx


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 1:32 pm

      If you’re certain I’ll make it, I KNOW I’ll make it, Lena! I’ve decided not to push myself too much or I’m likely to sleep through their visit 😉


  33. mcwoman / Mar 27 2013 12:05 pm

    Hang in there kid. You know how to manage time, after being in a stressful job for so many years. Just make a plan, stick to it and take one day at a time. At least you have a roof over your head. If you don’t get done by June 16, tell the kids you’re all on a camping trip! It will be great fun no matter what state the RUC is in when they arrive. Don’t sweat the small stuff. HUGS — Barb


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 1:40 pm

      I’m thinking as long as I have a bathroom and kitchen in working order I should be right, Barb. I’ll move in and that’ll give me the opportunity to work there morning, noon and night 😉

      Thank you for the reminder of the stressful job, how quickly we forget how awful life used to be. I’m so much more relaxed now and I need to throw that stress right out the window because it’s nothing compared to what I’ve been through in the past 😀 You are a star…


  34. Ruth Rainwater / Mar 27 2013 12:05 pm

    I have the utmost confidence that you will have all the important stuff done in plenty of time! The roof looks gorgeous, and the rest of it will, too. 🙂


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 1:41 pm

      Awww – thank you, Ruth! I’m so glad you have confidence in me. I called the plumber after I wrote this post this morning 😀


  35. Jacqui Murray / Mar 27 2013 12:07 pm

    What a task. what inspired you to do that much renovation? I’m exhausted just reading the list.


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 1:46 pm

      The RUC needs it, Jacqui. The ‘kitchen’ used to be a ‘bar’ and has been a home for rats for the last 5 years (YIKES). The bathroom used to be a ‘ladies’ toilet so it has no shower. The ‘weather side’ to the left of the picture was left run down and exposed to wind and rain for a while so the floor boards and balustrade have rotted and need replacing. It’s a big task 😉


  36. Janna G. Noelle / Mar 27 2013 1:15 pm

    Why do it before they all come? I say wait until they arrive and increase your labour force by 6! 😀


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 1:49 pm

      LOL! What a brilliant idea, Janna! You just made me laugh so much I choked on my chocolate 😆


  37. amb / Mar 27 2013 3:18 pm

    Fingers crossed it will all get done before they arrive … and if it doesn’t, you can always say, “we’re going camping!” and insist that was the plan all along 😉


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2013 4:18 pm

      LOL! They’ll probably love that 😀

      Thank you so much for the crossed fingers, Amb – xoxoxo


  38. Zen A. / Mar 27 2013 6:27 pm

    I love watching those shows! You’re thinking of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, aren’t you? 😉
    That said, sounds like you’re going to be extremely busy during the upcoming weeks! That’s a lot of things to be done in such a short time. Good luck, Dianne! Oh, and that roof does look nice. =D


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2013 7:05 am

      Yes, Zen! Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. There are also some British shows (can’t remember the names) that are the same. They usually do it when someone has been sick or is in need and don’t have the funds and a whole group of builders come in and do it ALL! I love that kind of stuff 😀

      Now I just need to ‘push’ a little because apart from the fact that some of the floor is missing (um, I nearly fell through the other day) I also need the handrail fixed (you know how clumsy I am) and some stairs. I’m telling the builder to get into action, but this is the tropics and nothing happens quickly 😯


  39. Rohan 7 Things / Mar 27 2013 8:35 pm

    The roof looks amazing 🙂 Haha, 12 weeks for all that huh, talk about motivation! My wise old dad has a rule for this sort of the thing. First Safety, then Comfort, then visual Aesthetic. If you do things in this order everything will be fine and I’m sure the “kids” won’t mind roughing it a bit if there is still a bit of work to be done on the cosmetic side 😉

    Can’t wait to see it all come together, the stilts in particular, it’s gonna look great when it’s up!

    All the best Dianne 🙂



    • diannegray / Mar 28 2013 7:09 am

      Your dad is SO right, Rohan. Safety first – part of the floor is missing and I nearly fell through through the hole the other day when I was walking backwards and forgot there was no floor behind me 😦 So that’s on the top of my priority list because I’m known to be a ‘little’ clumsy (or ‘a lot’ clumsy!).


  40. ramblingsfromamum / Mar 27 2013 9:59 pm

    Pretty Easter Bonnet looking good- shove the kids in a Motel and relax 🙂 xx


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2013 7:10 am

      LOL – they’re actually going to stay at a resort at Port Douglas for a few days as well, so I might join them! 😀


  41. jmmcdowell / Mar 27 2013 10:29 pm

    The new roof looks great, probably just in time given the looks of that sky! Hey, three months to do all that work? Easy peasy, right? 😉 I bet you can do that and knock out the draft of a novel! 😀


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2013 7:12 am

      LOL! Thanks, JM – I wish I had as much faith in my super-powers as you do – time to get that Wonder Woman suit on right now! 😀


  42. the eternal traveller / Mar 27 2013 10:49 pm

    You’d fit right in on Grand Designs. Some of those projects take forever to complete. Good luck.


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2013 7:13 am

      I need as much luck as I can get at the moment 😀 I’m just getting my Wonder Woman suit on as we speak 😉


  43. bodhisattvaintraining / Mar 27 2013 11:58 pm

    It’s looking gorgeous 🙂
    I say save a little work for them to do while there – a real family blitz then! xx


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2013 7:17 am

      I’m so glad you’re liking it, Annie. It feels like my baby at the moment – I just wish it’d grow up a bit! 😀 I’m so looking forward to moving in 😉


      • bodhisattvaintraining / Mar 30 2013 10:07 pm

        All very exciting – I’m not sure I’m built for it (ha ha oops pun NOT intended!!)

        I’d have loved to do something like that when younger…I’m just tired now and enjoying it from this distance 😉


      • diannegray / Mar 31 2013 6:44 am

        I thought I’d be too old for his kind of thing, Annie – but it’s amazing how a job like this puts a little ‘spring in your step’ 😀


      • bodhisattvaintraining / Mar 31 2013 11:02 am

        That’s so nice to hear 🙂


  44. Elisa / Mar 28 2013 1:36 am

    Hahah, no pressure or anything 🙂 but it is the perfect type of pressure, because it is family, they will understand and you can warn them now that they might be sleeping on the porch and BBQ or cooking on a camp stove for food. Plus, you should keep some of the “easier” projects for them to help with.
    I always have those mini breakdowns and things work out somehow. The panicking is fun in its own way though, isn’t it? Get a glass of wine and figure out which bits you really would like done before they get here and which are nice to have done and work from the must list.
    The roof looks amazing! Things are really coming along, you must be so happy that even mother nature is cooperating – she usually isn’t so accommodating, she must really like the RUC 🙂


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2013 7:28 am

      Your line “even mother nature is cooperating” sparked a thought in me. The entire thing has been a bit weird, Elisa. Not ‘bad’ weird, ‘good’ weird! We’ve had so many ‘almost’ things happen that I should write about it one day. There’s been a series of very odd coincidences and it just seems like everything relating to the RUC has some good coincidence about it. When people walk in there, they seem to be overcome by some kind of awesome energy (and it’s hard to get them to leave!) I’m thinking it might be the ‘pyramid’ shape of the building, they say that shape always brings good energy and I’m actually starting to believe it!
      Panicking about it being ready is actually a good panic because it’s better than the life I was living 12 months ago when everything went haywire! I just have to keep reminding myself of that and I’m fine 😀
      A glass of wine on the veranda is definitely in order this afternoon 😉


      • Praussie / Apr 2 2013 7:18 am

        I’m sitting there in cyberspace around sunset having one too. 🙂


  45. Denise Hisey / Mar 28 2013 2:41 am

    You are a delight and a wonder for all you’ve been through, Dianne!


  46. vishalbheeroo / Mar 28 2013 3:09 am

    Hey, delightful post. The world has gone mad and guess thgs that hit us like a bolt from the blue. Great pictures:)


  47. starproms / Mar 28 2013 3:42 am

    Don’t panic just go outside for a moment and admire your new roof. That, after all is the most important bit isn’t it! You’re doing just fine.


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2013 7:31 am

      Thank you, Oma. Taking a deep breath now (and the roof is very spectacular!) 😀


  48. Sheila Morris / Mar 28 2013 4:49 am

    Roof – Fabulous!! Timeline…tricky. Happiness when finished? Off the charts! 🙂


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2013 7:33 am

      LOL! I couldn’t agree more! I’m actually loving this project (just have to control my eagerness to get everything done at once) 😉


  49. Kozo / Mar 28 2013 6:52 am

    Don’t forget you have to get up on that roof and scrub it down during the next lightning storm. Otherwise, the neighbors might file a complaint against you. haha.
    I agree with Bulldog, but I would just have the roofers drop off a porta-potty. I guess when you quit your job, you really did take on a new career as a house-flipper. Hope the writing nook takes precedent over all the other projects. Can’t wait to see pictures of your family reunion. {{{hugs]}} Kozo


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2013 7:41 am

      Hmmm – porta-potty, what a brilliant idea! 😀

      I’d love to get up on that roof, particularly in a lightning storm with loads of soap suds under my feet, Kozo. LOL! I’d probably meet my maker a lot quicker if I did that, but I’d make sure someone got pictures 😀

      The writer’s nook certainly takes precedence. I can’t wait to sit there and have a wine and a great conversation with my muse 😉
      {{{hugs]}} my friend…


  50. Lynda / Mar 28 2013 7:09 am

    Dianne, in spite of all the setbacks you are making terrific progress! You may not get everything done by June/July but you will have the essentials I am certain. (plumbing, electrical kitchen and bath) All the rest is icing and your family will make do I am certain. It is shaping up to be a very beautiful home, and I am so happy for you! 😀


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2013 7:43 am

      Thank you so very much, Lynda 😀 I actually have made a lot of progress and I shouldn’t forget that, I guess I’m just impatient and have to learn to breathe and enjoy the whole experience! 😉


      • Lynda / Mar 28 2013 7:44 am

        Yes, you do! 😉


  51. Jess / Mar 28 2013 8:01 am

    It is so great to watch it all come together. Have you considered work exchange kind of things maybe to help get the house done? I am wwoofing…my host provides room and board and I work (my behind off) and in exchange get to experience their culture and countryside. Many hosts only offer a tent as long as there is some type of bathroom. If you would like to look into it there is wwoof (organic farms and homesteads), help-x and workaway.


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2013 8:56 am

      Thanks so much, Jess! I’ll look into it 😀


  52. restlessjo / Mar 28 2013 9:06 am

    No problem! We’ll all come and help.
    Loadsa time…. 🙂


  53. John / Mar 28 2013 10:24 am

    Great to see the home approaching completion! I’ve enjoyed your blog sooo much Dianne. 🙂


    • diannegray / Mar 29 2013 8:03 am

      Thank you, John! I headed over to your new blog – I like it a lot!!


      • John / Mar 29 2013 10:07 am



  54. Anna Scott Graham / Mar 28 2013 11:54 am

    Sometimes deadlines are great ways to get things sorted. It’s usually how I clean house! 🙂

    Roof looks fantastic. I love the sky behind it. Not that my observations of your beautiful home assist in any way, but… Darn, but that’s a very cool RUC you have there.


    • diannegray / Mar 29 2013 8:05 am

      Awww – thank you, Anna. I just love it and can’t wait until I move in! 😀


  55. Hazy Shades of Me / Mar 28 2013 1:31 pm

    You can do it, you can do it!! Look how well you’ve laid out your list…ha a.

    The place is looking great so far!


    • diannegray / Mar 29 2013 8:07 am

      Actually, now you come to mention it, I do look pretty organised! 😀


  56. Vikki Thompson / Mar 28 2013 8:59 pm

    Wow! 🙂

    Honey, you’re gunna be exhausted!!!!!

    Worth it though 😉



    • diannegray / Mar 29 2013 8:08 am

      I’m taking a leaf out of your book, Vikki, and writing copious lists! It’s working! 😀


  57. jannatwrites / Mar 29 2013 4:34 am

    Aw, come on…if they can get the places fixed up in an hour on TV, surely you can do it in twelve weeks 🙂 Haha. You’ve got a lot of work left to do – that must be so overwhelming. I’m rooting for you, though!


    • diannegray / Mar 29 2013 8:11 am

      Thank you, Janna! Just keep those fingers and toes crossed for me. I’m heading out there soon to wash walls (yuck!) because it’s got to be ready for the painters soon 😉


  58. Sheila / Mar 29 2013 5:02 am

    Yikes! I’d be tempted to not to do any of it and to tell the kids to bring their tents. Either that or have them bring a bunch of tools! I’m glad you got that roof on before the rain. Good luck with all the rest – we’re all cheering for you! 🙂


    • diannegray / Mar 29 2013 8:14 am

      Thanks, Sheila! I need a cheer squad to get me over that line 😀 I’m going to hand the kids tools as they walk through the door 😉


  59. adinparadise / Mar 29 2013 6:41 am

    Love the Easter bonnet, Dianne. Well if the place isn’t finished, you can rope in the kids to help. No need to panic, it won’t do any good, anyway. A very quiet and elegant nervous breakdown would be quite in order though. 😆


    • diannegray / Mar 29 2013 8:20 am

      That’s how we do it, Sylvia – a quiet and elegant nervous breakdown 😀 This reminds me of when my parents were living in Fiji during a coupe. My mother sat in her gold chair and crocheted small, delicate handbags, saying that this was the only way a lady should deal with such a situation! 😉


  60. pommepal / Mar 29 2013 10:40 pm

    That wwoofing idea is great lots of willing workers, but make sure at least one of them is a cook or you will find yourself preparing endless meals 😦 The old RUC will look a very majestic lady when she is finished. A regal Queenslander of the old school


    • diannegray / Mar 30 2013 1:40 am

      She certainly is a regal Queenslander. All the old farmers keep stopping by to take a look – they say it reminds them of the old days! 😀


      • pommepal / Mar 30 2013 9:44 am

        Good on yer mate keeping the old traditional building alive


  61. 4amWriter / Mar 30 2013 10:38 am

    Wow, that is one spectacular looking abode. When are cocktails being served? 😉


    • diannegray / Mar 31 2013 6:25 am

      The cocktails start at about 4 every afternoon! 😉 I spent yesterday scrubbing the inside walls – it was a great workout for these old arms of mine! 😀


  62. Praussie / Mar 30 2013 1:32 pm

    wOW exciting. Being that you’re in QLD just wondering if the RUC came with all the “little friends” that fly or crawl around. I once moved into a house that was half undone. They were renovating but left huge gaps between the windows, etc. We had so many spider hanging from the ceiling since the house was left uninhabited for quite a while. Otherwise, it takes a lot for me to read a blog and I’m a faithful reader of yours. 🙂


    • diannegray / Mar 31 2013 6:31 am

      Thank you so much for reading and being a faithful follower, Praussie 😀 It’s always good to see you here!

      The RUC came with some cockroaches, but I haven’t seen a spider yet. I’m going to ‘bomb’ it before I move in and put screens on all the doors and windows. I’m not a big fan of bugs 😉


  63. EJ / Mar 30 2013 2:31 pm

    That is a lot to do but look at what you achieved in the last 12 weeks! Personally, I’d go for the niceties – plumber and electrician – first. I like a little luxury 😉
    So glad the cyclones left you alone to get the roof on 🙂


    • diannegray / Mar 31 2013 6:38 am

      The cyclones were very polite for doing that! I was so grateful 😀 I spent yesterday scrubbing the walls and they came up beautifully. I bought a ‘truck wash’ broom from the hardware store that you can attach a hose to. It’s brilliant 😀

      Plumber has to be first (can’t live without a shower and loo!) and hubby is an electrician, I just need to give him a good kick and he’ll get started 😀


      • EJ / Mar 31 2013 6:56 am

        I’m with you on the plumber!! I love the idea of truck-washing your walls; I can imagine that must have been hard work, but kind of fun 🙂
        How much higher will it be when re-stumped?


      • diannegray / Mar 31 2013 7:56 am

        It will be 2.8 metres off the ground (high enough to build in rooms downstairs if we ever need them) – so I need to get into sanding those hand rails before it’s too high! My arms aren’t as sore today as I thought they’d be after all that scrubbing yesterday 😀


  64. bluebee / Mar 30 2013 4:54 pm

    I’d tell them to bring their own accommodation – i.e. hire/bring their own caravans, LOL. The RUC is looking fab


    • Praussie / Mar 30 2013 5:39 pm

      You don’t mean the spiders right? LOL If so, I hope they bring the Chardy. hehehe


    • diannegray / Mar 31 2013 6:42 am

      LOL! They’d probably like that 😉 The RUC is looking very good at the moment – I washed the walls yesterday and she’s a very solid old building indeed! 😀


  65. Seabell / Mar 31 2013 9:29 am

    I am sure one day you’ll miss all that excitement. Is the roof white? I really like the white painted zinc roofing I have seen lately in Durban (South Africa). 🙂


    • diannegray / Mar 31 2013 6:17 pm

      The roof looks white – but it’s just the reflection of the sun, it’s actually just a steel colour 😀 But a lot of people ask if it’s white (even when they’re standing in front of it!) 😀

      I just love the excitement 😉


  66. WomanBitesDog / Mar 31 2013 10:39 am

    Oh god. We are about to do something similar. Must be mad


  67. donnajeanmcdunn / Apr 1 2013 3:19 am

    I know a little about what you’re feeling. Whenever our 3 daughters and their broods are planning to show up all at once with just a couple of weeks to spare, that’s when their father decides to do some major remodeling. I have faith in you, though. You’ll get through it even though your’s are much larger projects.


    • diannegray / Apr 1 2013 7:41 am

      I think I’m like this all the time, as well (I often go into a cleaning frenzy when people are coming to stay) just this time it’s on a major scale! 😉 I totally understand why your hubby does this (it keeps us on our toes) 😉


  68. maggiemyklebust / Apr 1 2013 5:31 am

    It looks great, Diane!
    You do have a lot to get done before the kids come but once the inside work gets started, it usually goes fast!
    If it doesn’t get done before they come… Well, you’ll have plenty of helpers 😉


    • diannegray / Apr 1 2013 7:53 am

      I seem to have done a lot in the past week, Maggie. After washing the walls I’m stunned at how beautiful they are and if they don’t get painted before the kids arrive I don’t think it’ll matter 😀 The floor is a different story altogether, but maybe a rug or two may help 😉

      I’ll just hand the kids paint brushes as they get off the plane 😀


  69. Pagadan / Apr 8 2013 12:07 pm

    Thanks for giving the timeline and sharing your adventure. I love your roof! (Hip roofs are best here in Florida for hurricanes.) I enjoy reading about–and watching on HGTV–house building, remodeling, and the moving of houses. We thought about buying an old Florida Cracker home years ago; the one we were looking at had to be cut in half to be moved. We enjoyed watching the process, but didn’t get a home until a few years later…


    • diannegray / Apr 8 2013 2:45 pm

      I think I should have hired a film crew for this move. There were so many scary moments and the threat of cyclones and weird things going on. It’s a big job, but I’m loving it 😉


  70. eof737 / Apr 11 2013 7:11 pm

    It’s shaping up nicely I’d say. 😉


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