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July 16, 2013 / diannegray

Man-sized bug and ceiling thingys

I was going through some photos yesterday and thought I’d post the one below because I know you just love big bugs!

My brother-in-law was doing some gardening last week and I walked over to ask him a question. When I saw what was crawling on the back of his arm I said, ‘Don’t move. I’ve got to get my camera!’, (I’m such a caring person). He didn’t move and I snapped the shot. If a man has to have a bug on him – it needs to be a MAN-SIZED bug.

Don't mind me - I'll just sit on your arm for a bit

Don’t mind me – I’ll just sit on your arm for a bit

The RUC doors are finished and now I’ve started working on sanding and painting the windows (26 of them!) Ouch. I’ll post some before and after shots of the windows next time.

I thought I’d done well with the doors, but hubby has been working on the ceiling thingys and they’re not too bad. He scraped off the old paint and polished them up a bit (I think he’s pretty happy with himself). Some fool in the way-back-when-past (when the RUC was the Rugby Union Club) decided to punch a hole in the middle of them to hang ceiling fans, so hubby had to come up with a solution to cover the awful hole. He decided to put small LED down-lights in them.

Ceiling thing2Close-up of ceiling thingy below

Ceiling thing

I don’t know the real name of the ceiling thingys, but if you know I’d be happy if you could let me know because I’m sick of calling them ceiling thingys.

The veranda is looking a lot less like a construction site now.





RUC before1The RUC is looking a little neater (but not much!)

RUC now

Thank you to all for downloading Manslaughter and Other Tears last week. I hope you’re enjoying the stories. And a big thank you to Dan Thompson for his review!


Leave a Comment
  1. Rick Mallery / Jul 16 2013 6:55 am

    Looks great! Let me know when you get the BBQ grill in. 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 6:57 am

      LOL! The gas fitter is coming this week and the BBQ grill is going in the ‘man-cave’ downstairs 😀


      • Rick Mallery / Jul 16 2013 10:27 am

        Awesome! Along with the pool table and big lcd tv?


      • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:42 pm

        Exactly! How did you guess! 😀


  2. Theo Fenraven / Jul 16 2013 6:56 am

    Love the bug (fascinating stick creature!) and the RUC pics. Really coming along! Sorry, no idea what the ceiling thingies are.


  3. / Jul 16 2013 7:01 am

    That is a BIG bug. Historical info for you on the ceiling medallions from

    History. Ceiling medallions may be traced to the Middle East, though their exact origin and time period of original use are unknown. However, their popularity spread throughout Europe, with designers in France and Italy becoming particularly fond of them.

    Styles. Many styles have been incorporated in ceiling medallions over the centuries, including Neoclassical (heavily influenced by Greek and Roman art and architecture), Georgian, Baroque, Adam (known as Federal style in the United States), Empire (borrowing heavily from the arches used in Parisian architecture), Victorian and Art Nouveau.

    Read more:


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:01 pm

      YAY! Thank you. They’re ceiling ‘medallions’. I’m heading over now to take a look. You are wonderful! 😀


    • Irish Katie / Jul 17 2013 9:47 am

      I like ceiling thingys … it has a more … ‘thingy’ sound to it nod nods.

      But …good work lifeonwry nods.


  4. Tracy / Jul 16 2013 7:13 am

    Amazing stick insect! And the RUC looks great Dianne, what a brilliant home. Here we call ceiling thingys ceiling roses 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:02 pm

      Thank you for that info, Tracy 😀

      That stick insect was HUGE – I just couldn’t resist the pic! 😉


  5. nrhatch / Jul 16 2013 7:24 am

    The veranda is looking more like an oasis of calm in a sea of activity. Hope no one has “one too many” and walks off the edge where there is no railing.

    Most ceiling medallions I’ve seen have holes in the center to run electrical wiring to chandeliers, lighting fixtures, and/or ceiling fans. They did polish up nice.


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:06 pm

      I’m hoping no one falls off the end, Nancy – maybe I should put the Olympic size pool there 😀 The railing is going up in the next few days (I say that, but who knows when someone will get around to it…)

      Only four of the six ceiling medallions had holes cut in them (very crudely) so I think they must have been made ‘pre-power’ and were converted later. He’s done a good job of cleaning them up (but don’t tell him that) 😉


  6. John / Jul 16 2013 7:29 am

    The house certainly does look neater! I think hub’s solution for the light fixture is great. Still not sure why the house is so high up though. Critters?


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:09 pm

      More room downstairs for the ‘man-cave’ (pool table, darts, etc). Personally, I was very dubious about putting it up so high, but was outnumbered by boys who want a bar and games room 😀


  7. Sheila Morris / Jul 16 2013 7:36 am

    Aha – things are really beginning to look up with RUC!! I love the before and after pictures and continue to admire your tenacity in the restoration. I’m trying to picture the biceps – I wonder if they will be as colossal as the man-sized bug!! Here’s hoping. 🙂
    My copy of Manslaughter arrived Saturday,and I am enjoying immensely!! Who’s surprised?? So delighted to read your short stories…excellent.


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:12 pm

      I’m so excited so that you’ve got the book (and you’re enjoying the stories)! Woo Hoo 😀

      My biceps are certainly looking healthy, just hope they don’t all turn to flab when I’m finished – or I’ll have to hire myself out to sand doors and windows! 😉


  8. avwalters / Jul 16 2013 8:22 am

    Great bug. It’s always nice to be able to truly appreciate a cool bug–made possible by the fact that it’s not going to eat you or poison you. The RUC looks marvelous. The veranda is looking like somewhere that you could actually go for a glass of wine, or a beer, after a long day of restoration.


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:15 pm

      The veranda is certainly a great place to rest and have glass of wine. The positive energy is amazing and I just love sitting there. After a hard days work it’s the best! 😀


  9. JackieP / Jul 16 2013 8:33 am

    Now that’s an impressive stick bug! Just don’t want it on me. ha! The place is looking awesome! Can I come visit? Have always wanted to visit your country, 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:18 pm

      The stick bug was really like a ‘stick’! I placed it on a tree and it vanished into the background – it was amazing. So glad you like the place, if you’re ever this way let me know 😀


  10. EllaDee / Jul 16 2013 8:34 am

    Your blog posts are an endless source of fascination to me 🙂 I love the big stick insect, love love the ceiling thingies… I’ve never seen or heard of them – they are gems, and you guys have made such amazing progress restoring the RUC. Above and beyond all that, I started reading Manslaughter and Other Tears. Having read a couple of your books I already know you are a great writer but the short stories have such creativity and talent that I’ve never encountered before.


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:20 pm

      Oh, now I’m blushing! Thank you so much for the beautiful compliments! 😀 You’ve made my day 😉


  11. mcwoman / Jul 16 2013 8:34 am

    We have “walking sticks” in Wisconsin, but this Australian variety makes ours look like baby brothers. I hope you’re starting to enjoy the RUC. You and your hubby sure have put a lot of elbow grease into the place. I so love the veranda!


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:22 pm

      It’s still got a long way to go, Barb. But the ‘big things’ are finished now, so the rest should just fall into place. Just painting and a bit more wood-work underneath and it’ll look like a star! 😀


  12. 1girl4adamwest / Jul 16 2013 8:35 am

    This is great! Don’t move let me get my camera…hahahaha!! I soooo adore RUC updates!!


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:23 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoy the goings on around here – they can be pretty funny at times 😀


  13. ramblingsfromamum / Jul 16 2013 8:49 am

    Ceiling thingies? You made me laugh – Hmm what about Rosettes or Medallions? I love Mr. Stick Insect – how calm are menfolk, ‘don’t move I have to get my camera’, whilst he sits not knowing if he has a scorpian, black widow or another creepy crawly, stepping up his sleeve. I’d be jumping about like a banshee! Love the RUC it is so coming along, you are going to have the verandah all the way around? I look at the view – the one where your family stood for the photos and understand how you love this place, your writers retreat. Will you work the sugar cane? It seems very close (in the pic). xx


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:30 pm

      I think the ceiling thingies are ‘medallions’ – they must let the air flow up into the ceiling on hot days 😉

      We’ve closed in part of the veranda for our bedroom, kitchen and bathroom – but when it was first built the veranda went all the way around (quite spectacular indeed!)

      The sugar cane is ours, but we lease a few hundred acres to another farmer to cut the cane and take it to the mill. Father-in-law had a stroke last year and can no longer work the cane, but he’s trying to get back into it (old farmers never really give up!) 😀 It is quite close to the house, so I’m going to get them to take it back a bit. They don’t burn the cane here, but I still wouldn’t like it if there was an accidental fire that close to the house 😯


      • Irish Katie / Jul 17 2013 9:48 am

        Again … votes for the term ceiling thingys
        I don’t care if there is no vote…I am doing a write in nod nods. *smirkles*


      • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 12:17 pm

        LOL! 😀


  14. kford2007 / Jul 16 2013 8:52 am

    Love Mr. Sticks!! so cool. He looks like he’s about 10 inches long???? Love the ceiling medallions, too. The small LED light will add a nice ambiance. I love watching your home come together. I have to ask, though…how steady are those supports? It’ looks like you could go up to one and knock it over. LOL. 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:34 pm

      LOL! The supports are very strong 😉 Each is cemented into the ground and cross-beam welded underneath. Once the walls go in downstairs and it has a concrete floor it won’t look like such a stick-figure anymore 😀

      I’m so glad you like watching the progress – it’s certainly been an interesting journey 😉


  15. Jill Weatherholt / Jul 16 2013 8:54 am

    Oh my word! That bug is huge! It looks like a tree limb with legs! You crack me up with your bug photos, Dianne. The veranda is nice! I’ll bet you can’t wait to get out there and write your next book. When I read your title; I thought you were referring to more bugs when you said, “ceiling thingys.” They’re some sort of medallions..they look great! Thanks for the update…things are coming along nicely. 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:37 pm

      Yikes! I’d hate to have a ceiling full of man-sized bugs. It certainly was the size of a small tree 😀

      I’ve actually got another veranda out the back that I call the ‘writer’s nook’ – it will give me a lot more privacy for writing (I haven’t tried it out yet because I’ve been far too busy). I’ll post some pics of it soon 😀


  16. bodhisattvaintraining / Jul 16 2013 10:03 am

    Great photo of your brother in law 🙂 I love how those insects can be on you without you feeling it!

    Yeah I’ve grown up knowing them as ceiling roses though I’ve never seen one that looked like a rose…


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:41 pm

      For some reason I always thought ceiling roses were plaster so that’s probably why I was a little confused as to what these things were actually called. I’ve never seen brass ones before (although, the ones I’ve seen may have just been painted brass). Whatever they are, I really like them and hubby’s done a good job (but don’t tell him that!) LOL 😀

      I don’t know how my brother-in-law didn’t jump out of his skin when I told him not to move – but I guess he’s just a casual and calm kind of guy!


      • bodhisattvaintraining / Jul 16 2013 1:55 pm

        Doh of course ! Don’t know why I didn’t register brass v plaster…in that case I have no clue 😉 I’ve never seen a brass one either.


  17. Peter / Jul 16 2013 10:35 am

    I’ll stay a long way away from man-sized bigs if you please.

    WOW! The RUC is looking GREAT. Not long from now all this hard work will be just a memory and you’ll have a great home. Good On YOU!

    Love the bright airy look — I’m usually not keen on WHITE paint but that room looks FAB with all the light. I love it.

    A retired Photographer looks at life
    Life Unscripted


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:45 pm

      I’m glad you think we’ve made good progress, Peter – it’s been a long hard road to this point – but I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel now. Just some more painting, sanding, cleaning hammering and then relaxation! 😀


      • Peter / Jul 17 2013 3:57 am

        How about the word ESCUTCHEON?

        When we moved into the school EVERYTHING was still 1950’s walnut paneling — dark, heavy, overbearing. We started in painting — pastels mostly, except for the first coats of paint in the kitchen which we did in primary white, red, and blue

        This will give you an idea of what it looked like at the end..

        I can’t imagine painting all those windows though…. NOT my favorite job, windows aren’t.


      • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 7:11 am

        The walls aren’t really going to be white – what’s on them at the moment is just undercoat. I’m going for Spanish Cream. Painting the windows isn’t too bad – it’s making the dowels to keep the glass in and painting them that’s causing me a bit of grief at the moment. I decided to go that way because I didn’t want to putty, but maybe now I’m thinking putty might be easier! 😀


  18. Penny L Howe / Jul 16 2013 11:47 am

    Well darn Dianne, I thought your post’s title was the title of a new book by you! It sounded pretty good especially the ceiling thingys. Great photo’s. As always your posts are fun, I’d love to be your neighbor, if it wasn’t for this feeling I have that there are critters and creatures of all sizes abounding everywhere … as if they have an affinity for you or something … nah!!!! Your home is really coming along, so much hard work but worth the effort, I’m thinking! Have a great rest of your week!

    ps, I missed your give-away of Manslaughter and other tears, last week, got pulled away from being online for a bit, but wanted it anyway so just downloaded to my kindle. Looking forward to a great read. Also an excellent interview, by Dan Thompson! 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:48 pm

      Thank you so much, Penny. I really hope you enjoy the stories. I would have kept them free for longer, but Amazon won’t allow it, unfortunately. You’re an absolute darling for purchasing a copy and I’m thrilled 😀

      I’d love it if you were my neighbor as well – imagine all the things we could talk about and write about! 😀


      • Penny L Howe / Jul 16 2013 1:51 pm

        Yes Dianne, I can imagine … that would be awesome I must admit! 🙂


  19. Janna G. Noelle / Jul 16 2013 11:54 am

    My God – did he not notice that giant bug on his arm. I mean, it’s cool and all, but that would have freaked me right out! (For the record, I’m fine with snakes and geckos, but rodents and giant bugs – nuh-uh!)

    The house is really coming along! I’m curious about the stilts, though. They do look rather spindly to hold up an entire house. Are they quite strong?


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:55 pm

      They are really strong, Janna. They’re cemented way down into the ground and cross-braced and welded underneath. You could run a truck into them and the place wouldn’t move. It won’t look so spindly when the downstairs area is built and the walls are up. Before we moved the house it had the same sized stilts but half as many, so it’s twice as sturdy now 😉

      That bug really cracked me up – you’d think my BIL would have felt it, but he’s lived on the farm all his life so he’s probably used to these kind of weird creatures crawling on him 😀


  20. Pagadan / Jul 16 2013 1:51 pm

    What a giant walking stick! I see people have already identified the ceiling medallions. The RUC is looking good!


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 1:57 pm

      I’m glad you think it’s looking good. It’s a slow process, but we’re getting there. All the major things are out of the way now so focusing on the finishing touches is fun 😀


      • Irish Katie / Jul 17 2013 9:50 am


        Say it with me … ‘ccceeeiilinng thiiinnnnngggyyys’

        Hehe…I bet you are going to kick me off your blog comment now damn-it


      • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 12:17 pm



  21. Kate is / Jul 16 2013 2:54 pm

    Thank you so much for the photo’s, it’s looking amazing. Wow that was a grandaddy of mantis’ or is that manti?
    The best part is coming. Bringing it all together and making it Dianne!


    • diannegray / Jul 16 2013 2:56 pm

      It’s been an interesting ride, Kate, but I’m nearly there 😀 Woo Hoo!


  22. DaydreamsinWonderland / Jul 16 2013 3:13 pm

    I hate that I’ve been so busy because I’ve missed so much here! 😦
    I’m just starting to catch up on my blog reading tonight.
    Anyway, if I saw a bug like that on my back – I think I’d faint.
    &I don’t know the name of the ceiling thingies either – but they’re pretty. 😀


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 6:31 am

      I’m feeling your pain – I’m also too busy to catch-up but putting some time aside this morning to read through posts I’ve missed. 😦
      I’ve found out the ceiling thingys are ‘medallions’ – very interesting indeed 😀 Thanks so much for coming by to say hello! 😉


  23. DaydreamsinWonderland / Jul 16 2013 3:20 pm

    My first comment didn’t go through so I apologize if this shows up twice later on.

    I hate that I’ve been so busy lately because it seems I’ve missed a lot here. I’m catching up on some of my blog reading tonight, though. You were 1st on my list. 😀
    If a bug that huge was on my back, I’d faint.
    & I don’t know the name of the ceiling thingies either – but they’re pretty.


  24. bulldog / Jul 16 2013 4:21 pm

    I think the RUC is looking magnificent… and the ceiling thingies might be called “whatca ma call its” (Medallions?).. love the ceiling lights that Hubbie put in the “whatca ma call its” holes, great idea….as for the stick insect, that is a really good example of how big they can become… would frighten the bejinkers out of anyone should those thorny feet crawl across your neck…


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 6:36 am

      You’re right! They are “whatca ma call its” – LOL That is something I’d say 😀

      I’m sure you get bugs that big in your neck of the woods where everything is man-size 😀


      • Irish Katie / Jul 17 2013 9:51 am

        *ponders the term ‘whatca ma call its’ …. hmmm…


        THINGYS! *giggling*


  25. starproms / Jul 16 2013 8:41 pm

    It’s so interesting to read about your RUC conversion. You’re going to live in there, right? So different to anything over here. You’re really close to those sugar cane plants too, I think? What lives in there? I presume the insect on your brother-in-law’s arm is a stick insect? It looks more like a small tree than a stick, actually. Your work is coming on beautifully. Keep at it!


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 6:40 am

      Yes – we will be living there, Oma 😀 The sugar cane plants have a lot of creatures in them – bandicoots, snakes and (sometimes) pigs. The pigs damage the cane so they need to be kept away somehow.

      The insect is a ‘stick insect’, but it’s the biggest I’ve ever seen. I thought it was great photo opportunity 😀


  26. the eternal traveller / Jul 16 2013 10:08 pm

    The house is really starting to look wonderful. How exciting and a fitting reward for all your hard work. I know that stick insects are harmless but I don’t like the thought of wearing one on my sleeve!


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 6:43 am

      My brother-in-law is not a small man so the size of it was amazing! It didn’t worry him, he’s lived on the farm all his life and is probably used to huge insects jumping on him.

      The house is really coming along. I’ve got some great ideas for the colour coordination for the handrails and a design for some lovely front stairs. It’ll take time, but it’s certainly worth it in the end 😀


      • the eternal traveller / Jul 17 2013 8:24 pm

        It’s going to be lovely when it’s done. Did you ever find any green glass for your kitchen?


      • diannegray / Jul 18 2013 7:39 am

        I did find a couple of pieces. But it’s not nearly as prolific around here as I thought it was so I’m still searching 😀 (but the good news is I found more green glass windows – the 26 I’m referring to in the post. I forgot to mention that) 😀


      • the eternal traveller / Jul 18 2013 8:06 pm



  27. Britt Skrabanek / Jul 16 2013 10:10 pm

    I love how you made your brother-in-law stay put with the gargantuan bug on his arm so you could catch that epic shot. The things we do for our blogs…take no prisoners! LOL!

    The RUC is looking fantastic. : )


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 6:44 am

      No prisoners here, Britt – it’s all for the greater good! LOL 😀

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the pictures of the RUC – it’s getting there 😉


  28. char / Jul 16 2013 10:46 pm

    Ceiling thingies sound good. And please, if you ever see a bug that big on me, don’t grab your camera, swipe that thing OFF! Wowzers! I love the veranda. I was wondering why the RUC is so tall on stilts? Do you have water come through occasionally or are you by the ocean and its for tidal waves?


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 6:49 am

      The RUC is high because I was ‘persuaded’ by the boys in the family to do so. The underneath is going to become the ‘man-cave’ with a pool table, darts and bar etc. I’m outnumbered on this score. But it will come in handy if there is a flood (though the boys won’t be happy if their ‘play area’ gets washed away) 😉


    • Irish Katie / Jul 17 2013 9:52 am

      HIGH-5 Char.

      Seee…..she knows the real term for the thingys nod nods.


  29. Denise Hisey / Jul 16 2013 11:22 pm

    AAACCCKKKK!!!!! That man-sized bug gives me a full-body shiver!!

    On another note, your RUC transformation is fantastic, Dianne!


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 6:50 am

      The bug doesn’t bite, but I can’t say I’d be thrilled if it crawled on me! 😯

      I’m glad you’re liking the RUC transformation. I’ve got some great ideas for the finishing touches 😀


  30. adinparadise / Jul 16 2013 11:52 pm

    Man that is one BIG bug. I was so relieved that your brother-in-law was wearing sleeves. I don’t think I could have survived seeing it on bare skin. 😯 The RUC is looking fantastic. Hubby had a look at your ceiling ‘thingys’ and says that they are called ceiling ‘roses’. Nowadays they’re usually made of plaster, but the old ones were pressed steel.

    I read Dan’s review, and agree with him wholeheartedly. I’ve only read two of the stories so far, and they are awesome. I’m still recovering . 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 6:56 am

      I’m so glad your liking the stories, Sylvia. They’ll all very different because I love mixing things up a little 😀 When hubby saw Dan’s review he said. ‘This is fantastic. Are you sure your mum didn’t write that?’ LOL 😀

      I was a bit confused about the ceiling roses because I thought they were supposed to be plaster so I’m glad your hubby took a look at them. The house is over 130 years old so it makes sense that they would have used pressed steel. I really like them and think they’re a bit of a feature 😀


      • adinparadise / Jul 17 2013 3:09 pm

        Definitely a feature, Dianne. WE had pressed steel ceilings in two of our house in Johannesburg. They were so lovely. 🙂


  31. ocdreader/Elisa / Jul 17 2013 1:21 am

    You are right, I love all your bug pictures, especially because I am nowhere near them in real life 🙂 And the ceiling thingies look great, they are so pretty. You guys are doing an awesome job getting the RUC fixed up.
    Just finished the first story last night, love the descriptive writing juxtaposing the girl who won’t talk. Lovely but sad!
    Anywho – things are moving right along, keep the pictures coming 😀


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 7:03 am

      That story won a HarperCollins award. People either love it or absolutely hate it (but at least they feel ‘something’ when they read it and I guess that’s what writing is all about). She has no voice and no name which is a big part of her tragedy.

      The bugs here are amazing and I love catching one when my camera is close by (my poor BIL had to stand there waiting for a few minutes while I went and looked for the camera!) LOL 😀

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the RUC pictures – I’ve got some great ideas now that the major work is out of the way 😉


  32. Bonnie / Jul 17 2013 2:20 am

    Woweee…looking great Dianne! Such an amazing transformation and that veranda is just to die for! Oh gosh, just noticed the comment just above mine and yes…love the bug photos because I don’t have to actually see them up close. I am not really afraid of spiders, buuuutt…those are some damn big BUGS! Creatures! Love the updates – keep it coming! 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 7:05 am

      Thanks, Bonnie. Yes – those bugs are good as long as they’re on the screen and not on your back! LOL 😀

      I’m glad your enjoying the transformation. It’s been a wild ride and I can’t wait to get those veranda handrails painted and finished! 😀


  33. billyraychitwood1 / Jul 17 2013 3:46 am

    “Ceiling Things’ sound perfectly fine to me, particularly when I don’t have a clue for another name. The ‘big bug’ needs to eat more! It’s too skinny! Love watching the RUC ‘become.’ 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 7:06 am

      Thanks, Billy Ray. The RUC is ‘becoming’ something now instead of just being a construction site! I’m really enjoying the transformation 😀


      • Irish Katie / Jul 17 2013 9:54 am

        *adds a ‘y’ to the end of ‘Thing’ in BillyRayChitwood1’s post.*

        Oh my god…LET IT GO KATIE! lol


  34. Maddie Cochere / Jul 17 2013 4:16 am

    Of course you have walking sticks four times the size of ours! Your ceiling thingys are really pretty. I’m so impressed that you’ve accomplished all this. It’s really a dream place to live and a dream home. 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 7:13 am

      Thanks, Maddie. I really want it to be a dream home because I’ve needed something like this for a long time. It’s had it’s ups and downs but it will all be worth it in the end 😀


  35. Roy McCarthy / Jul 17 2013 6:26 am

    Now look here Dianne, I’m beginning to back away from my laptop every time I click on a post of yours 😯

    But on the plus side that was a great review of Dan’s and hopefully you’ll get another wave of fans by re-offering that collection.


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 7:28 am

      I’d love to have it up there for free for much longer, Roy, but Amazon won’t play the game. I think it can be free for only a week every nine weeks!

      Sorry for the bug pic – I’ll put up big (bug) warning signs next time 😉


  36. Betty / Jul 17 2013 9:02 am

    I lost the ability to read after seeing that bug. I’m afraid I couldn’t read the rest of the post. In fact, the wiener dog is typing this comment with her nose.


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 12:15 pm

      Hi wiener dog! Thank you for helping Betty out here. Nice to see you 😀


  37. Irish Katie / Jul 17 2013 9:56 am

    Phew….made it to the bottom without another medallion-whatca ma call it – thingy comment. 🙂

    But that bug. OH. MY. GOODNESS.


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 12:19 pm

      I’ve been sitting her laughing reading all your comments! So entertaining – there should be more of it! 😀


  38. ripe red berries / Jul 17 2013 12:54 pm

    That was quite a bug! WOW! Everything in Australia is bigger (: The RUC is looking amazing!! Yeah for your home!! (:


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 1:39 pm

      Woo hoo – that’s what I think of the RUC. I just love it! 😀 (and yes – the bugs are very big) 😯


  39. Teepee12 / Jul 17 2013 1:01 pm

    I’ve seen walking sticks. They seem to live everywhere. But good GOD that is GIGANTIC. It’s like the walking stick that ate Chicago, or maybe the entire state of Illinois!


  40. donnajeanmcdunn / Jul 17 2013 1:39 pm

    The RUC is looking great! You’re getting there. I don’t have a clue what the ceiling thingys are really called. I didn’t have time to read all of the post, so did anyone else know?


    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 1:41 pm

      They did – it’s called a ceiling medallion 😀 I’m so glad you think the RUC is looking great – it’s certainly been a journey 😉


  41. maggiemyklebust / Jul 17 2013 4:03 pm

    I would have ran for my camera too if I saw a bug that size… Wow! They really do grow them big down there. And your husband did a great job on those ceiling thingys, they look good. It’s really starting to shape up, Dianne. You must be so happy 🙂
    I’d love to sit with a cup of tea on that verandah of yours 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 18 2013 7:34 am

      I would definitely love to sit on the veranda with you, Maggie, we would be so relaxed looking at the lovely view and we could talk about our families and writing! 😀


  42. helpwithyourlife / Jul 18 2013 1:30 am

    Yikes! Good thing he couldn’t see the bug before you took the picture! 🙂 How fun to see the RUC in the various stages of transformation! Must feel very gratifying! Also gratifying must be reading the wonderful book review by Dan Thompson! Wow! Your stories and writing skills sound amazing! Congratulations on all your success Dianne!


    • diannegray / Jul 18 2013 7:43 am

      Thank you so much for the congratulations, Cathie 😀 I was blown away by Dan’s review.

      The RUC is coming along nicely and I think it’s because I love it so much and just want to take it back to it’s former glory. It’s a very exciting project 😀


  43. jmmcdowell / Jul 18 2013 6:34 am

    Holy cow, that is one HUGE walking stick!!!! You go for giant insects in Australia, don’t you! 🙂 “Thingy” is such a good term, even though it does call to mind a certain Monty Python sketch where a government committee is looking for new “things” to tax. And someone suggests, “You know, thingy.” And Eric Idle’s character goes on to note that it would make chartered accountancy a lot more interesting. 😉 Yes, I’m a Python nerd….

    Love these RUC updates, but I also hope you can find some writing time soon!


    • diannegray / Jul 18 2013 7:49 am

      I’m a Monty Python fan as well. I remember my father used to sit and watch it laughing so much that he would be in tears! (and he was a chartered accountant!) LOL 😀

      I’m thinking of dropping everything in about three weeks and setting myself up to start writing full time again. At the moment I’m only blogging about once a week, so I’ll probably drop back a little more in that area. I need to set up a routine 😀


  44. Letizia / Jul 18 2013 6:34 am

    What a gorgeous stick insect!! I love your reaction : quick, get the camera 🙂

    Such beautiful ceilings in the RUC – I love seeing it come to life through your posts.


    • diannegray / Jul 18 2013 7:52 am

      The RUC has so many little hidden gems. I didn’t notice those things in the ceiling until hubby pointed them out because they had been painted over a hundred times! It’s just such a wonderful project and I’m really beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel now 😀


      • Letizia / Jul 18 2013 9:37 am

        It’s so cool to discover/ uncover hidden gems. When I redid my house (a smaller project than yours! we just redid part of our existing house) we uncovered parts of a great looking fireplace under the hideous one- I was delighted!


  45. T. W. Dittmer / Jul 18 2013 8:13 am

    Now that’s a bug. MAN-SIZED, true and true.

    Liking the RUC, but wouldn’t want to navigate the steps from the veranda with a few in me. Maybe you should put in a slide. 😉


    • diannegray / Jul 18 2013 9:16 am

      I’m putting in a stair lift 😀 I need it for the in-laws who are elderly and haven’y been able to see the inside yet. It may even come in handy for me after a few! 😉


      • T. W. Dittmer / Jul 18 2013 11:00 am

        A chair lift. Very wise. The slide sounds like more fun, though. You could run water over it. Slip and slide. 😉


  46. ly / Jul 18 2013 9:04 am

    Knowing your bugs down there I would not have been surprised if you had said the bug is on the left in red!!! Love seeing how your place is coming along. That gate on the porch is great–history?? Your work is really paying off.


    • diannegray / Jul 18 2013 9:19 am

      LOL – now that would be a big bug!

      I’m not sure about the gate yet – there were three of them with the house. I’ll investigate 😀


  47. Polysyllabic Profundities / Jul 18 2013 11:20 am

    I love following the transformation of the RUC…..I’m glad it is becoming home with the completion of each project!! 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 18 2013 12:36 pm

      Thank you so much! It’s such a labour of love 😀


  48. agjorgenson / Jul 18 2013 11:03 pm

    Wow, what a bug! As for the RUC, from what I can see it is kind of grand and homey at the same time. Looking good.


    • diannegray / Jul 19 2013 5:54 am

      Thanks so much, Allen. I’m absolutely loving fixing it up, it’s been an interesting journey indeed 😀


  49. Rohan 7 Things / Jul 19 2013 12:27 am

    Haha, what a huge stick insect! They are one of my favorite bugs! The RUC is looking great, good to see the insulation in the balcony roof, you’ll need that alright!

    And the ceiling thingys are cool, very clever putting the lights in.

    I’ll get onto your book when I have time and write you a review. Things are very hectic at the moment, moving into a new place next week and all! 🙂

    Keep well Dianne.



    • diannegray / Jul 19 2013 5:57 am

      We’re covering that insulation with tongue & groove, Rohan – so it should be a lovely cool balcony when the real heat hits 😉

      Best of luck moving into the new place – take it easy and no rush with the book. You’ll get there 😀


  50. thaygoulart / Jul 19 2013 1:00 am

    Heavenly Lord, I’d pass out if this bug was on my arm! Hahah!


    • diannegray / Jul 19 2013 5:57 am

      LOL! I’d have to take the pic with you lying on the ground (no – I’m really not that mean) 😉

      Thanks so much for coming over to say hello. Much appreciated 😀


      • thaygoulart / Jul 19 2013 6:34 am

        (Maybe you are and just want to be nice, hahaha either way it’s okay! :D) and plus: I’d want a picture of that!
        You’re welcome! I’m new to the blogging world, trying to check as many blogs as I can 🙂


  51. Jacqui Murray / Jul 19 2013 3:41 am

    I assume that massive creature isn’t dangerous? I wonder how nature evolved them so big? What preys on them–you need a few.


    • diannegray / Jul 19 2013 6:04 am

      This massive creature isn’t dangerous (unless you’re a bug or insect) 😉 I think birds and snakes eat them (but I really don’t want any more snakes around) 😉


  52. amb / Jul 19 2013 11:00 am

    ACK – now THAT is a bug!! Oh my goodness, I’ve never seen anything like that!


    • diannegray / Jul 19 2013 6:41 pm

      It’s fine as long as it stays a photo – I certainly would like it on my back 😀


  53. bluebee / Jul 19 2013 11:29 am

    Huge stick insect – must show my husband – he loves them, weird man. The RUC’s looking fab!


    • diannegray / Jul 19 2013 6:42 pm

      I hope he likes it – it’s a mega-insect! lol 😀


  54. Kozo Hattori / Jul 19 2013 7:32 pm

    Had to come out of blogging break to check out this huge bug. Something intrigues me and scares the poo-poo out of me about the creatures at the RUC. The great thing about this huge bug is that he doesn’t seem to have huge jaws or stingers.
    Loving the way the homefront is developing, Dianne. So much space to breathe. Blessings.
    {{{Hugs}}} Kozo


    • diannegray / Jul 20 2013 6:05 am

      Thanks so much for taking time out to comment comment, Kozo – it’s great to see you here 😀 {{{Hugs}}}


  55. Vikki Thompson / Jul 19 2013 8:57 pm

    That’s definitely a BIG bug! Lol

    Wow, it’s really coming along isn’t it 🙂



    • diannegray / Jul 20 2013 6:06 am

      The RUC is going very well, Vikki – it’s definitely a labour of love 😀


  56. harulawordsthatserve / Jul 20 2013 4:00 am

    What a bug! Makes we reconsider believing in life from outer space. Did your brother in law just calmly shake it off afterwards or did he jump when he saw what you’d begged him to host long enough to get a photo? RUCs looking great…so….mmm…how’re those WIPs coming on?


    • diannegray / Jul 20 2013 6:08 am

      My brother in law wasn’t fazed in the least – he thought it was kind of cute! 😀

      No WIPs yet – I’m too busy, but am thinking I really should start on them soon 😉


  57. Lisa Bradshaw / Jul 20 2013 5:49 am

    That is a wierd bug.. The RUC is looking fantastic!!


  58. shelharrington1 / Jul 21 2013 6:04 am

    “Bug” is almost too cute for such an entity – maybe the ‘buginator’? Pretty impressive (and that’s just your bro-in-law’s composure!)


    • diannegray / Jul 22 2013 6:30 am

      LOL! I like the ‘buginator’ – my bro-in-law was fairly relaxed about the whole thing 😉


  59. jannatwrites / Jul 21 2013 5:36 pm

    That is a super-sized bug! I don’t know the official name, but we’ve always called them walking sticks (for obvious reasons!) My older son freaked out when he saw one that was about 3 inches long on our screen door. I have to show him this one! (It’s 12:30 am and he’s in bed, so it’ll have to wait til tomorrow.

    The RUC is coming along well. I love to see the progress pictures. I don’t know what the ceiling thingys are either- sorry I can’t help!


    • diannegray / Jul 22 2013 6:32 am

      Thanks, Janna. I’ve been informed the ceiling thingys are ‘ceiling medallions’ (thanks to this blogging world!) 😉

      I hope your son likes the bug (and doesn’t freak out) 😀


  60. kartikasays / Jul 21 2013 9:19 pm

    That is one lovely bug! Very good at hiding I suppose. Also love the ceiling thingy!


    • diannegray / Jul 22 2013 6:34 am

      I love the bug as well! When it was put back in a tree after the pic it vanished into bark and was really hard to see – clever little insect! 😀


  61. timkeen40 / Jul 23 2013 5:50 am

    The ceiling things are awesome. Even though my rational mind tells me the walking stick can’t really hurt me, it still makes me cringe. I grew up and still live in square in the middle of the country (I have the chigger bites to prove it), but I still hate bugs and snakes.


    • diannegray / Jul 23 2013 6:01 am

      I think things like this just give you the creeps when you think of finding one on you. I’m just glad it was on my brother-in-law and not me! 😀


  62. restlessjo / Jul 23 2013 6:54 am

    It’s getting there! It’s getting there! I’ll come back to you if I think of a name for the adorable pup. 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 24 2013 6:16 am

      I’ve nearly finished the kitchen windows – hopefully I’ll get some pics today 😉


  63. tchistorygal / Jul 23 2013 2:20 pm

    That was an amazing bug! I’ve never seen any bug that huge! RUC is looking great! What a lot of work, and an awesome place! 🙂


    • diannegray / Jul 24 2013 6:23 am

      I’m finishing the kitchen windows today, Marsha, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to take some pics (although I’m not sure if I have ‘before’ pics – that’s very remiss of me) 😉


      • tchistorygal / Jul 24 2013 10:29 am

        It sounds normal for me! BTW, I loved your research ideas for Leanne! 🙂 Such an interesting place she found to photograph. 🙂


  64. The Bumble Files / Jul 25 2013 8:55 am

    The RUC is shaping up nice, Dianne. I don’t know the name for the ceiling thingy. That’s what I would call it. How about ceiling fixture? That works for me. Yikes on the bug and how many windows you must paint. What a project!


    • diannegray / Jul 25 2013 1:05 pm

      It’s a huge project – but it keeps me out of trouble (lol) 😉


  65. WordsFallFromMyEyes / Jul 28 2013 9:42 am



  66. Zen A. / Jul 29 2013 7:12 am

    Oh my… if that bug had gotten anywhere near my arm I assure you I would have fainted. That is too big for comfort!

    Also, your house is looking incredibly lovely now. I’m happy to see that


    • diannegray / Jul 29 2013 7:45 am

      Thank you, Zen. I’ve got a colour scheme up and running and am hoping to post it soon 😀

      That bug was HUGE! I don’t know how my bro-in-law stood still for so long while I grabbed the camera LOL 😀


  67. moderndayruth / Jul 30 2013 4:56 pm

    Oh, dear… the best thing about being away from WP for sometime – is catching up with your great posts afterwords! I love your blog!


    • diannegray / Jul 31 2013 7:12 am

      Thank you so much, Lena. I love that you love my blog! 😉


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