Friday, July 30, 2010


The week has flown by and so has the month, August is knocking on the door and before we know it Christmas will be here. I really don't like the commercial hype surrounding Christmas (and Mothers Day and Fathers Day and Easter.... well, you get the point). Every year I try and think of gifts I can make at home to give and I really struggle as I am not very imaginative or talented. Lots of things haven't worked very well over the years but there is something in me that wants to keep persevering.

So I will again do chocolatey things, I have started on some coat hangers (of course I HAD to get new wool for this, just to add to the collection) and I am not sure what else. I need to do some research (very soon) for some ideas, and they must be things that don't take too much time as I have a very short attention span :D

My Granny rug is coming along really well, the idea was to use up wool but I have found that I have a LOT of wool. It is keeping me warm as I crochet, though I am currently only doing one row per night as it is big enough that is takes a while to get around.

I actually pulled real food out of the garden the other day, some bok choy, radishes, carrots, and beetroot. The bok choy went into a gorgeous chicken soup, and the next night the carrots and radishes went in to a salad. Very yum. Haven't used the beetroot yet but will soon.

The tomato bushes are like Triffids (just love that book) and look like they will pick up their roots and start walking. I tied them up to the stakes but there was really no need to as the stems are so thick they just stand by themselves. And of course the smell of tomato plants when you brush the leaves with your hand is just gorgeous.

Today I went and bought some more blocks for the next garden row. I haven't done one for a while as they had no reject blocks. They didn't today either, but they had the ones inbetween rejects and good, so I got those, otherwise I could be waiting a while. So now over the weekend I will go and get some garden soil, I find it quite exciting planning what I will plant next, funny the things you find exciting as life goes on :P

The rosella and pumpkin seedlings are coming along really well and it will be good when they start to get some bulk on them. Talking about bulk, the other day the little mulberry tree, which has four leaves on it, was growing what I thought was new leaves. Turns out they were mulberries, little tiny ones, very cute, hope some new leaves follow :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Weekend In Cooktown

We have been away for the long weekend to Cooktown and it was good to have a break from our routine and our regular life.

We packed up the trusty truck, of course forgetting many things as you do, but at least we had the important things like the tent, camp beds, sleeping bags, pillows and food. We really could have taken more pillows just to be more comfortable, rain coats would have been handy, an extra plate and the stand for the gas stove. There was more we forgot but nothing that made a big impact.

We just wandered on up, not rushing anywhere, enjoying the fact that we didn't have to be anywhere, do anything, not on any schedule, not being in mobile range and just enjoying the scenery.

It was really windy in Cooktown and it rained, the tent nearly blew away and that is no joke. Luckily being a modern tent it bends in the wind, and it really bent, it was really, really windy. The weather did mean that we couldn't be outside too much and we spent some time in the tent, but it didn't really matter too much as we were just relaxing. Cooktown is apparently the second windiest place in Australia but no-one could tell us where the windiest place was, and it is hard to imagine anywhere windier.

We went to the museum which was interesting, of course being mainly about Captain Cook, but also the Gold Rush and the major part that the Chinese played in the area. There was also a great view from the verandah over Cooktown and the Endeavour river.

We tried to go up to the lookout but they are doing work up there and we were stopped on the way up. We did get out of the car and nearly got blown off the hill it was so windy, it was really strong, but good views.

We had good views from various mountains in the truck.

As soon as we left Cooktown the weather improved, the wind died and no rain. We just went slow going home too, and stopped at Little Annan River, just because we could. It is a really nice spot and the water is really clean, which is something you don't get everywhere.

We came home to 5 1/2 mm in the rain gauge and by this morning there was 10 mm. I was worried that some things in the garden might keel over but not at all, in fact some pumpkin seeds have popped out and also the rosellas have come through. Though the wind break at the rosella garden broke in the wind so I need to fix that.

So now it is time to get back into it. Gardens to fix and weed, washing to try and dry, tents to try and dry, wood to collect and try and dry. My partner in crime and life reluctantly went back to work this morning, not knowing when his next day off will be, so having a weekend away was really important for him. Our number one and only son also reluctantly went back to school, he had a good weekend but was glad to get home.

Time to get back into it I suppose, but I think maybe one more cup of tea may be in order, just so I can phych myself up :D

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Some Cooking and Crochet

Time does get away when you are busy and it is Wednesday already, the weeks are just flying. It has been nearly a week since my last post, and I didn't intend for it to be that way.

I have started a granny blanket to use up all the wool I have, I have stacks and there is a lot I can't use for anything else. However, we now live where we can use blankets so that is just fine with me, and as I am crocheting I am keeping my legs warm :)

It is my birthday today and so I have been working, no rest for the wicked :) At least I won't have to cook tonight as we are going out, so we are all looking forward to that, pity I still have to do the dishes from my cook up this morning. Our lovely number one and only son thinks I should do nothing today (and he should stay home from school to celebrate), however there is too much to do, washing, cooking all those sorts of things. I did spend yesterday in town and when I do then nothing gets done a home.

So I have just put into the oven my birthday cake (the round tin), banana bread (the rectangle tin) and chocolate brownie slice (the other two tins). We did make banana bread and chocolate brownie slice the other day, but when I was out yesterday the dog decided she needed them and got the containers down and ate them. She wasn't even sorry either. I am really looking forward to these coming out of the oven.

So I will be freezing this lot, which is what I normally do anyway as it then will last and not go stale or mouldy, and they will also be out of reach of the dog.

I took some photos of our fire one night. It looks pretty good in the dark and a really good thing to do is sit in the dark and watch it while drinking a port :P

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tree Cutting

Another tree came down the other day, was a rather large one and it didn't want to fall, and when it did come down it didn't quite fall where we wanted. The new chainsaw works well and we are so glad we got it.

The timber from this tree is gorgeous and it is a shame that we are going to burn it. My partner in crime and life said it is blood wood, and when dry it is a light red colour and when wet it is a beautiful dark red.

The tree got wedged around another tree and it got stuck but I eventually we will cut it out.

Our number one and only son is away on a school camp for a couple of days and he is going to have a really good time. He is hoping to do archery and raft building and he really doesn't want to participate in the talent show (neither would I). So we are having a quiet time together at home, while doing all our stuff that keeps us busy :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

We Ate Our First Strawberry

Well, we have had a busy week, but one where we could mostly sleep in, and now it is suddenly Friday.

We ate our first strawberry the other day and it was really good. Pity there are no more. There are some flowers coming on but they are a way off yet, and one pot of plants is looking better than the other, but I can't figure out why.

So, I guess I had better feed them and talk to them more :)

The garden in is going along well but still no actual food to eat from it yet. My partner in crime and life is concerned that if there is some emergency and we had to live off the garden, that he would have to survive on herbs and leaves :) Though I do think the beetroot is getting close :P

I am going to start some seeds of in seedling pots and peat pots. My friend gave me some peat pots with the gardening apron so I am inspired to do this more. I am usually too lazy and just sew straight into the garden but would like to get some started in pots.

The only thing is mice have taken some of the peat pots so I am going to try an old food over and see if that keeps them out. If not I will have to think of something else.

Well, nearly time to go split some wood for the fire. Haven't split any for a bit and we are getting low so I had better do it today so I don't have to do it tomorrow. Just trying to manage my time better :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Our First Tree For The Fire

We cut our first tree on the weekend to fuel the fire. We only have a couple of dead trees to remove and we don't have much hardwood either, which is what we have to burn in the fire.

The tree really didn't won't to fall and my partner in crime and life had to cut it a couple times to make it go, so there was a bit of running in and out to give it a push.

In the end it did come down but not with the big crash that was expected (by me anyway), it actually came down bit by bit.

The tree had been eaten out through the middle by termites, but there was still plenty of timber for us.

So while my partner in crime and life was cutting it up, our number one and only son and myself split the logs with our new axes, so we now have a little wood pile happening. Though we do need a lot more wood than that to keep us going.

We also killed the chainsaw, so this week we are going to buy a new one. Our current one is electric, and we had to take the generator down there in the back of the truck so we could use it.

So our new chainsaw will be petrol, which we really need as the next tree we are going to cut is a fair bit larger and a bit further back. Being mobile is important, and being attached to a generator by a very long extension cord and dragging it through our bush is not a good look :P After we cut the next tree, I am not sure if there are anymore dead trees on our place to cut so we may have to buy wood but we will go searching a bit more first, though there are not as many trees on our place as it first seems :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Has it really been that long since I have written anything? Life has been busy with just ordinary stuff, which is enough to make me tired and slack :p

The star of my blog today is my very talented friend who has given me my birthday present early (though she is naughty for doing so). She made me this wonderful gardening apron with lovley large pockets on the front to put my stuff in. I had actually been thinking about something like this, though this is WAY better than I had in mind.

So now I feel very slack as I haven't even made a little bag for my new mobile phone and pretty much have done no craft at all, actually, none. I have so many plans but have done none of them, so once again, I am determined to get my act together.

The apron is something that I will use all the time, though I am worried about getting it dirty as it is so beautiful, wonder if it is possible to garden without getting too dirty?

Talking about gardening, I am about to start on the third row of garden. Yesterday I went and bought blocks, and in the next couple of days when I have the time I will go and get a trailer load of dirt.

This week the pump of the septic system went, the switch was turned off so the alarm didn't go off but the light was on. This is very bad as it is very expensive to fix, actually not fix, replace. Haven't actually got the bill yet (they are very prompt with the fixing as you can't go without a septic system for long) but it will be about $700.

From what I understand this is the pump that pumps the processed grey/black water up to water the area of paddock where the pipes are. Yes, it is very green there :) So the other side of the system was still working just not the pump, it had actually been getting louder and louder since we moved here, and this pump had better last a long time.

So it is now the school holidays. I don't have to get up in the dark, and the other day (though I felt very guilty) I stayed in my PJ's till nearly lunchtime, and when the postlady came to deliver a package on Tuesday I was still in bed reading.

However, despite all this school holidays do have a down side. As I am out of routine and probably a bit more relaxed I always feel like I am coming down with something, I am always tireder (is that a word?) and this week my back has gone out in a big way so I have bitten the bullet and am going to see my Chiropractor early.

My Tai Chi classes go on as usual, people are away, some have returned, one friend has just returned from gallavanting around the UK so we are awaiting all the photos. The hall has a lovely breeze going through it at the moment with all the windows open so doing Tai Chi there is great.

The hall is gorgeous to do Tai Chi or anything in and this time of the year especially, due to the weather and it has lovely wooden floors that are way better than cement. It is a hall that was built by the community in the 1950's and so has a lot of history and atmosphere. We have spent a lot of time there over the years, it was where I first started my classes, been to school dances, our number one and only son goes to Warhammer there and various other things. I love it.

So, I had better go water the garden, we haven't actually got anything to eat out of it yet except some leaves but I am very optimistic about the future :)