Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Have A New Sink

I have a new kitchen sink, and WOW, how great is it to wash the dishes in an actual sink :D

The other sink was plastic and stained and could never be cleaned, why anyone would install a second-hand sink in that condition is beyond me. However it is now finally gone and been replaced with a shiny new one and also a new tap which also works better than the old leaking one.

There was some discussion over how much to pay for a sink, but in the end it didn’t come down to price it came down to quality, we didn’t pay a fortune but we didn’t get the cheapest either. The cheap one didn’t feel nice, had shallow tubs and seemed thin, you have to feel it to understand.

There was quite a few taps to choose from, though they were all roughly the same with slight differences and of course different prices. We actually chose much the same as we had but it is more water efficient, doesn’t leak and we installed it correctly (the old one has been installed incorrectly, the lever to the back and it leaked and we were unable to change the lever and it was easier to just get new one).

While we were about it we solved our kitchen bench issue. The benches had been installed upside down to make them fit the kitchen and were (like the sink) YUK. We thought about recovering them but couldn’t find the laminate stuff, we thought about tiling them but word had it that was not a good idea for various reasons, and then we were just going to replace them, which seemed the easiest thing to do.

So we have been looking for benches for quite a while but obviously haven’t really found what we wanted (didn’t know what that was but we knew that we would know when we saw it). While replacing the sink we had to make a new frame to fit the sink into as the original hole was slightly too big, we decided temporarily to use ply until we replaced the bench tops. All of a sudden we decided to put ply on top of the whole thing to finish it off until later on, it now looks so good that it may be permanent.

The ply surrounds the stove as well as the sink and is on the extra bit of bench, we have put on a stain/varnish and we don’t use that bench for food preparation just the kettle, juicer, toaster and electric pan so all good.

So, suddenly I have a nice looking kitchen that works well, I can do the dishes in the sink (though will still use the plastic basin for really dirty dishes as we can’t put oil and stuff down the sink as it will kill our septic system), I can use the bench top without cringing and I actually want to do the dishes because the sink is all shiny and clean and I no longer mind touching it (though I am sure this urge will pass).

So that is my exciting week so far and I keep admiring how great it looks and what a great job my partner in crime and life has done, with some help from our number one and only son. Of course I had the most important job of supervising, only so many people can squish in under a cupboard or saw a piece of timber.

So now the next thing will be the splash back tiles behind the sink and stovetop, there has already been discussion over what, how and colour. Wonder how long before we find what we are looking for seeing we don't really know what we want :D


There is always talk about where there will be a double dip recession and so here is another article regarding this in relation to the price of oil. It is about the US but of course these things affect us here too in Australia and I believe we must keep a close eye on things going on around the world. The Ripple Affect, what goes on in another part of the world will affect us in some way, maybe small, maybe big, but it still does all the same.

Talking about sinks and doing the dishes, over at down to earth Rhonda has just done a lovely post on doing the dishes. I love her blog, it is so clean and wholesome and it is no wonder she is so popular, she writes lovely.

I have a lot of blogs I try and follow, I try and read them regularly as there are so many interesting ideas, opinions and lives that people lead, and they give me so many perspectives on lots of different things. I have listed a lot of those blogs on the sides of mine (though there are still more that I follow that aren't up, only have so much room for my lists), to see them all at once click the show all button at the bottom of the list.

A lot of work goes into writing blogs, and so I just want to thank my fellow bloggers out there in cyber land. Thank you for interesting reading and for allowing me (and everyone) the opportunity to read your thoughts, to glimpse into your lives and to learn from you. Not everyone agrees with other people's opinions or ideas but isn't it great to have the opportunity to be able read about it and sometimes to discuss it. Isn't technology fantastic, (I love technology) I wouldn't know any of you otherwise and am glad that I do :D

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Picked A Pumpkin

I have just picked the first pumpkin that has been grown on the property, and there are two more that shouldn’t be long. These things are always very exciting, to be able to produce your own food.

The good thing about pumpkin is that there is so many things you can do with it that you really can’t grow too many. Pumpkin soup is always popular, pumpkin scones and muffins and a most favourite in our house is pumpkin fruit cake. This recipe is my mum’s that she has been making for years, don’t know where it originally came from but my partner in crime and life just loves it, and so think it is time to make one :)


4 flat tablespoons butter (1/4 lb)
1 cup sugar
1 – 1 ¼ cup boiled pumpkin
2 cups SR flour
1 pkt (2 cups) mixed dry fruit.

Cream the butter and the sugar, add eggs, then pumpkin, fruit and flour. Mix very well. Cook for one hour in moderate oven – 180 degrees.

I still haven’t planted out my seedlings but I really must, they need space to grow. I don’t think they will get any bigger in the little pots.

This weekend it looks like I will do a gardening workshop over where a friend lives about an hour and a half away. It is a good drive but we get to visit at the same time, just waiting for her to ring me today with the details, hope it works out.

If I do get to go, I will be able to take my friend some strawberry plants (ours are just going crazy), sweet potato runners and a gigantic cucumber which they can eat and also save the seeds from so they can grow them too. Gotta share the love :D

Looks like today we are going to go and get a new kitchen sink and tap. Our current sink is plastic and stained and disgusting, so since we moved here we have been using a basin in the sink to do the dishes.

Also the tap leaks into the cupboard underneath, my partner in crime and life was looking to fix it but word has it that it would be better to just replace it, so that is what we are going to do. Then, we later just have to replace a couple of bench tops.

I was given some homemade dog biscuits this week from a lovely friend (who made them all in heart shapes) and included the recipe. Our dog is allergic to preservatives and additives and we have to be careful what we give her, though she is addicted to peanut butter, and so these biscuits are peanut butter ones. The recipe came from the allrecipes.com.au site, and apparently there are more recipes.


280g wholemeal flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
315g unsalted natural peanut butter
1 cup low fat milk

Preheat oven to 190 degrees (fan forced), grease baking trays. Stir together flour and baking powder and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter and milk. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll out to 1cm thickness and cut into shapes using biscuit cutters. Place 2 cm apart on the prepared trays.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from baking trays to cool on wire racks. Store in fridge.

Now I know that I should have been making these all along but sometimes you just need a bit of a push. The dog just loves them, I know what is in them, and they are cheap to make, can’t ask for more. Thanks Robyn :D


This post at Monkey Butt Junction is one after my own heart. She tracked her rubbish for the day and then made a list of what she could have done better. As she said, recycling is good, but reducing the amount of stuff we use is better. Unfortunately, a lot of things are packaged in plastic, and there are only so many tins that you can cover and make into pencil pots :P

While surfing around I found this article that I found interesting about global energy wars. It is true that regardless of the affect on the environment or whether you believe in peak oil or not, our consumption is only increasing (you can't deny there are more cars on the roads) and that we are paying more and more for fuel, electricity etc and the price will never go down, only up. Certainly makes me think about alot of things, the ripple affect is huge.

I listen to Dr Karl on the ABC radio a lot while driving to and from town (commercial radio stations drive me nuts with their stupidity) and so I thought I would check out his site. He is a very interesting guy and knows lots about lots, so I am going to spend some time on his site, fascinating stuff :D

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Look What We Have Done

I have been thinking about all the things we have done in the last year since we bought our five acres up the mountain. While we still have a long way to go, we have also done a lot. The big and most important things have been done (and some small things) and now we can plod along to get the rest of my many lists done in the next twenty years :)

The biggest two things was building a room for our number one and only son, and while not quite finished he can actually live in it, and putting in two more water tanks (important as we have no town water). So we now can be working on the inside of the house. Actually, I can also probably add a clothesline to the most important things we have done list.

We have worked on the old ride on mower, replacing worn out parts and keeping it going, still cheaper to do that than get a new mower, which one day we will have to, but for now we don’t. I really have thank my very handy partner in crime and life for being so smart and knowing how to do so many things :D

We have built (from a blank slate) vege gardens, planted fruit trees in orchard, bush tucker and other native plants. We built our incredibly secure chook pen, put chooks in it and haven’t accidently killed them (always a bonus). We have put irrigation through the gardens and orchard, which will make it so much easier in the dry season.

The things we have planted include:
• Bananas
• Paw paws
• Pigeon peas
• Rosellas
• Strawberries
• Tamarind trees
• Sweet potato
• Potatoes
• Snake Beans
• Wild cherry tomatoes
• Gigantic cucumbers
• Mulberry tree
• Carombola/Star Fruit tree
• Lemon/Orange/Lime trees
• Indian Guava
• Pumpkins
• Various Herbs inc Aloe Vera
• Lychee tree
• Peanut Butter tree
• Custard Apple and Black Sapote (chocolate pudding fruit)
• Various bush tucker for us to eat, and some to attract the birds
• Passionfruit

We built a small yard around the house, are currently building paths so we are not constantly dragging the mud inside, filling holes in the driveway, chopping wood so we can light our fire during our few cold weeks in the middle of the year (yes we are big girls when it comes to the cold)and trying to keep our property clean in a greenie way so the wild ducks, frogs and other wildlife will want to stay here.

There is also the outdoor shower we made looking out over the dam which is connected to bore water, the fire pit which was already here but we cleaned up to make it better.

We put some insulation on the walls inside the house, we have a bit of lino down on the floors but need stacks more, replaced all the door handles in the kitchen, moved the water pump from inside to outside (so much quieter now).

While we have done an awful lot, there is more to be done.
• Plant more fruit trees, vege gardens, bush tucker and natives
• Fence two sides of the property
• Put more floor coverings down
• Get power to our number one and only sons room and put internal walls up
• Replace kitchen sink and a couple of bench tops (this is starting to get urgent)
• Put some cupboards in the bathroom/laundry
• Another water tank off our number one and only son’s room
• Paint the shipping containers
• More paths
• Get ducks
• Put internal walls in the house
• Enclose the veranda
• Build a carport
Some of these things are obviously very long term plans, and of course it is only a short list of some of the main things.

However we are very happy with what we have done in the last twelve months, some of those things were expensive, but necessary to get done as soon as possible. We have now of course run out of money, so will just slowly do all those other things as we can, but nothing is urgent now.

I think I can safely say that the most important thing we did was the water tanks, there was only one here and having the extra two is so much more important than a lot a people can imagine, that is all our water for the house. When the wet season is over there will not really be any more rain for roughly six or seven months, maybe a little, but nothing that will make a huge difference. We will be back to very quick showers and recycling the water in a hundred different ways, these are some of the things that help to make life interesting :)


With price of fuel only going up, and of course we are all watching it at the moment with all the events going on around the world that affect it, Aspiring Millionare wrote a blog about a book on keeping our petrol bill down. We can all use some help.

I was reading this article about the Great Artesian Basin here in Australia and how it could be at risk because of coal seam gas extraction. We can't afford to lose our underground water, they are already ripping our natural resources out but water is life, we can live without many things but not water.

Don't forget that this Saturday is Earth Hour, so turn off your lights at 8.30pm and show your support for the environment, I have signed up. There are also events happening around the place, for example, if you are in Sydney, and go to First Fleet Park on the Sydney Harbour Foreshore, they have entertainment and stuff happening. Go to their site and check it out, and don't forget to turn off your lights :D

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pumpkins and Paw Paws

I am having a day at home alone today as the men have taken the boat and gone fishing. I should be cooking and stuff but really don’t feel like it, maybe later.

Yesterday my partner in crime and I went to mulch and weed down the creek around the pumpkin and paw paws. In his enthusiasm my partner in crime and life ripped out the pigeon peas, only could find one to hopefully save, NOT HAPPY JAN is all I can really say about that. A lot more mulch needs to go on today, another job to add to the list.

The paw paws are coming along beautifully, so healthy seeing they were stunted little things in a pot. I plan on planting more down there and around the property, I eat them for breaky and so do the chooks, so can never have too many. We have also decided to plant some bananas down at the creek too, never have too many of them either :)

That is one of the things I want to do, apart from producing food for us, is producing food for the animals. We now have the chooks and the things I have planted for them so far are the paw paws and the pigeon peas.

We also plan on having ducks and I am considering geese. The geese would become the watch dogs of the place as we will be getting no more dogs, so the geese will make all the noise if there is anything unusual going on, but I am still thinking on these things.

One of chooks has been proven to be a rooster and I am very happy about it, my partner in crime and life isn’t so sure, but I believe it is a very good thing, of course it has to be the pretty one. As yet still no eggs but it is going to be soon (I am sounding like those annoying people who are always going to do something but never do yet they still talk about it a lot), I know it is going to be soon as nature is bound to just take over and they won’t be able to keep those eggs in :P

I have the biggest passionfruit, and they feel heavy too, only one of the plants is producing but it is making up for the other one which is not. Can’t wait to get some more in, another thing for the bottomless list.

I have been making some changes to my blog, a bit of rearranging and hopefully improvement, the blogging thread on Simple Savings has helped there, there is so much to learn.

I have lists of blogs I like to keep an eye on, people write about the most interesting things, however I have found the list so long that I needed to do something about it.

I wanted to be able to see when people have written a new post, but can't have them all up, so have decided to still have them all in there, but only the five most recent will be seen on the page. It will keep rotating through so different blogs will be up there depending on who has posted.

On Other Matters

I became a member of the Australian Conservation Foundation this year, it was an important thing for me to do, putting my money where my mouth is. I get a magazine six times a year and also get regualar emails to keep me up to date, outraged and remaining aware of what is going on. A lot of what I do in my life is because of these issues.

I have just finished reading Choosing Eden by Adrienne Langman. Great easy to read book about peak oil and why they chose to move to the country and create a permaculture farm in their mid fifties. Proving what I believe, that there is no excuse for doing nothing, everyone can do something even just small things.The Oil Drum is just one recommended site I am checking out.

I took a zillion photos of the supermoon last night, all of which turned out much the same, a white glowy thing in the middle of a black picture. There has been some speculation about what this means for the earth, however I got up this morning and nothing worse than what has already happened, happened while I was sleeping. Here is just one link to an article about the Supermoon, but there are many.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Good Life

I have been having a sort of content week, it has been busy as usual, but the evenings have been quite nice.

Our number one and only son has finally moved out to his room, with a long extension cord and no internal walls, but he is very content too. Once his furniture went in (after all the drama with the vinyl floor covering) he just moved on in, we thought he was a bit hesitant, but I think he was just waiting for his stuff.

The main residence (that sound very grand but really just means the big shed) is now very open and the middle roller door can now be opened again, and WOW what a difference that makes. The outside truly comes in, all the light and air, all at once, and of course all the bugs and dust too, but I can live with that as it is all so open and spacious (well, it will be spacious when the rest of the junk in the middle of the floor is sorted).

The bookcases have been moved and sorted out (I like order in my books so they are all in categories), the computers are together making a little office area with the printer, and my old desk from my teenager years holds my laptop and other stationary stuff but not clutter. Old drawers with animals painted on the front by me and two drawers missing, hold paper, telephone directory, sticky tape and all that sort of stuff.

I have gotten out my cotton mats that I love and my partner in crime and life doesn’t, and they are now on the floor and look just great, helping to cover our cement floor. The antique (supposedly) Chinese desk has candles, crystals, Buddha and a dragon on it, oh, and of course incense holder.

I feel like drumming every day now, and we have a great Djembe that sounds fantastic very loud. It doesn’t matter that I have no rhythm, I love it and no-one can hear. I heard an interview on the ABC radio a while ago with Emily Rodda and she said she realised that it didn’t’ matter if she wasn’t good at writing (obviously is) but she enjoyed it and that is the only reason needed. I really like that and try to remember that every day.

The afternoons this week have been so great. The doors wide open, letting all the light and air and space, dinner cooking, music up a bit loud, usually something folksy like the Indigo Girls or Joni Mitchell, The Waifs or Jack Johnson (not sure he is folksy but you get the idea) , and a glass of wine in hand. The birds in the trees are making some noise getting ready for the evening, so are the cicadas, and maybe we will see the wild duck families waddling around (one family is nearly grown but still together and now a new one has popped up with three very little ones, hope they survive out there in the world).

The world just falls away for me. It is out there outside our boundary, and a lot of the time I don’t want to go out there, just being content to be here on my own and doing my thing. I could easily not go out there at all except that after a bit I do crave some great company despite myself. But the rest of the time I can just be here, all that out there doesn’t matter (also except for my craving to be up-to-date with world news and to be aware).

Anyway, I hope most of my evenings are like this and my days too. Pottering in the garden and hoping one day to have enough to feed the family mainly from it, encouraging the chooks to lay some eggs (they have to be so close now), having a glass of wine while watching the sun set over the horizon while the bats fly over in the darkening sky looking for something to eat, or the rain falling in a fine mist over the bush, and letting the world just disappear. This has to truly be the good life.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I was going to write about other stuff today but the most talked about and devastating thing is of course the disaster in Japan. This disaster is on a scale that most of us cannot fathom, even seeing it on TV and the internet cannot make us understand fully how it feels to actually be there, it just gives us a glimpse.

It is just another thing that brings home to a lot of us that the world is a very unstable place. We (as in we the citizens of Planet Earth) currently, just this year, have had flooding, cyclones, earthquakes, civil war, job loss and more that I can’t think of right now.

The disaster in Japan has been made worse as it started as a natural disaster, the earthquake and then tsunami that has killed thousands and wiped out infrastructure and livelihoods. Now because of the natural disaster, another one that was created by man is taking place, a nuclear one.

I am not a fan of nuclear power, though I know it works well and can see the good, the fallout from any problems, I believe, always outweigh the good, especially if there are alternatives. Though, in Japan with their climate I am not sure the alternatives would be enough, there are always two sides to the story.

In saying all that though, maybe we are too spoilt and our expectations for our very comfy life too high. We live a life where we expect everything now and not have to work very hard for it. Even growing our own food is a lost art that people cannot even imagine, doing the actual physical work would make some shudder.

I have heard people say that it is just too hard, let me tell you, I am a very lazy gardener, and it doesn’t require too much effort to have some herbs and maybe some tomatoes and beans in the garden, potatoes are another chuck in the ground and let grow thing. Sure we have to water them and put a bit of fertilizer and mulch on, but it really requires very little time and effort.

Anyway, the point being, actually one of the points I want to make is, that being prepared the way a lot of us are is a good thing, from having a generator, extra food, first aid kit, torches and batteries. I have heard it said “Why bother, if all you are going to do is lose the lot, it is a waste of money”, a lot of the time though you don’t lose the lot. It may be just your job you lose, not a flood or a cyclone that takes everything out, then you will be glad that there is extra food in the house and a garden out the back. Or you have to leave the house and go to an evacuation centre and you are glad that you have a bag ready to go with the essentials in it (I can’t imagine having to stay in the same undies for more than a day).

Another point is that maybe mother nature is trying to balance herself, we are polluting like there is no tomorrow, (though some progress has been made in this area but the government really needs to do more) and this is her way of trying to make it right. That is not taking away from the disaster at all, just trying to look at it from another side.

We will be hearing for a very long time about the disaster in Japan, about the devastation of so much loss of life, personally, I have trouble imagining so many people just gone. There will also be the economic side, the infrastructure problems, the power and water, and also what it means for the rest of the world who trades with Japan. Many things are made there, what are we not going to be able to get for a long time?

Even though our discomfort about not being able to buy that new car from Japan or get some electronic part is in no way comparable to what has personally happened to these people, the ripple effect is enormous.

On Other Matters

I enjoyed this blog at Scathing Weekly I Don't Want To Be The Girl Who Killed The Printed Word

Also Mands on a Mission is not going into the supermarket for the rest of March and is going to doing lots of cooking and adapting, I think that alot of us could easily go to the supermarket less and save some hard earned dollars. Cross off the shop.

I am trying to cut our plastic in our life, and not succeeding very well mind you. Found this good blog over at Simple, Green, Fugal Co-op

Here is a blog on Penny Pinching, and while I know most of these things, I still like to read about it to keep the ideas in the front of my mind.

Here is a short article about the nuclear disaster in Japan that explains a little about it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Saving Electricity

I am a big greenie at heart and in practice do my best. There has been a lot lately about electricity going up and so with this (just one of many things) in the front of my mind, I thought I would put my thoughts out their into cyber land.

Apart from saving money, I also want to save the planet and pollute less and have my one and only son growing up on a clean planet, it is the only one we have, can’t go anywhere else. We have to remember we are citizens of planet earth, in every respect.

According to The Australian in March last year, electricity had risen by about 35% in the previous three years. We all know that it will continue to increase, and I know for my family, that no matter what we do at the moment, we can’t get our bills down, unless of course we want to live in the dark without our technology.

Here is a site that tells you why electricity is going up, it also has other articles about electricity, it is an alright site. Of course there are many articles out there if you Google them, so have a look.

Now we have a fairly small bill compared to a lot of people we know, about $100 a month, which to some seems quite small, and to others is still a lot, depends on family size and what you do. We don’t think we miss out on anything, we have three computers that we use, a desktop, a laptop and a mini laptop and various other technology, which we love.

We do however turn everything off when not in use, and here is our list:
• The microwave off at the wall,
• Oven off at the meter box (which is inside for us),
• LCD/LED TV turned off a the switch at the front of the TV
• Toaster unplugged and put away when not in use
• Computers turned off at the wall when not in use
• Currently small chest freezer and bar fridge turned off
• Printer turned off a the wall
• Lights
• Fans
• All appliances off at wall

These things are manual appliances, not electric
• Can opener
• Manual hand beater (instead of an electric one)
• Wooden spoon (also instead of electric beater)
• Broom to sweep instead of vacuum cleaner all the time

When things need replacing we search out the most energy efficient things we can afford plus also deciding if we really need it. When the bread maker blew up (there was actual smoke coming out of it) we decided we could make bread by hand, and in the end bought an electric beater that is on a stand (always wanted one of these and never had the room till now) and it has dough beaters, so it can perform more than one task (but still only use when really needed). We need the electric beater for bread as I suck at kneading bread dough :D

On the electric beater thing for second, one thing I try and do is only use recipes that need to be beaten with a wooden spoon, so I don't have to get out the electric beater. I am lazy and hate getting out, using and washing up unnecessary things :P

Apparently a lot of people get their electricity disconnected as they cannot afford to pay the bill, in my mind, one of the things to do is to use less electricity in the first place. What would I do? Even less lights than we do now, we already have energy saving bulbs and turn off the big lights and turn on a small lamp when we settle in for the night. Go to bed earlier so all the TV’s and computers are turned off (though of course this could result in more children for some and that is definitely not a saving).

There are also things like having a no technology day once a week, during the school holidays instead of going all hard arse about it, computers and TVs etc had to go off at 9am and could be turned back on at 5pm, it worked well and our number one and only son did other things like read some books on how to make stuff, one thing he made was a wire fish trap.

Join Earth Hour on March the 26th and turn your lights out for one hour, you could make it a once a week or month thing, listen to the radio instead, reconnect with your partner and children and have a chat about things that matter. Sit in the dark and talk about things like how can we stop children from starving, or rainforests from being destroyed and the orangutan’s habitat disappearing, save the cassowaries from starving now their home has been flattened and their food destroyed by the cyclone or just how to grow our own food and support local farmers and producers when buying the things we can’t grow or make. There are many things I can talk about while not using electricity.

At some time we plan on putting in sky lights to bring more light in, we use fans and have no air conditioners, I think it is important to challenge ourselves to find the alternatives, for so many reasons. I know that I am not saying anything that we all haven’t heard before, but I think it needs to be there in our minds all the time, and maybe we should just say it louder so everyone can hear it properly.

While I would love to have a stand alone/off the grid solar electricity panels on the roof and be self sufficient in electricity like we are with water, we just can’t afford that, and at this point, we can’t afford solar panels that are connected to the grid. So I have to think of other ways to use less, and also hope the government gets their butt into gear and builds big solar and wind farms so the electricity I am buying is renewable and clean.

So now I am off to plant some more potatoes, I have about four that have come up so will put in more today, and then have a cuppa tea and read some more of “Choosing Eden” by Adrienne Langman about Peak Oil and what they did to change their lives. So I guess that will be my next deep and meaningful :D

Monday, March 7, 2011

Loads Of Rain

We have had a huge amount of rain overnight. Our gauge only goes to 150mm and it was a bit above that, so I measured it with my fingers and think we got about 167m.

It was raining so hard last night that we watched TV in the bedroom while my partner in crime and life “watched” (which is another word for “slept”) the TV in the lounge room with all the rain noise.

When I took the dog for a walk this morning I discovered that the creek had come up so far that everything was flattened. All my little paws paws and pumpkin plants where flat on the ground and the mulch was gone, we haven’t seen it so high in the time we have been here.

When I went down with my partner in crime and life he found, while walking through the debris, a passionfruit plant with fruit on it. Must have been growing amongst the guinea grass and lantana, so I hope it recovers.

The creek had also gone over the bridge leading out to the highway, washed a bit of road away and there was debris on the bridge itself, with lots of flattened grass around.

There are some road closures in town and lots of traffic having problems getting around, hope our number one and only son has made it to school, he was disappointed that the bus made it up the range :P

We use two sites to watch the weather, the BOM site and also Weatherzone.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Gumboots and a Sarong

Do you think that gumboots and a sarong are proper farm attire? Not really sure that many would agree but it is oh so comfortable, everyone should try it :D

After an afternoon of total indulgence, which in my world means hanging out with great women for hours and not thinking about going home, my jaws are sore from laughing and smiling for so long. I don’t do this very often and completely enjoy myself when I do, nothing beats such great company and interesting conversation.

Between lunch, a couple of wines and a swim, the conversation swung between books and Tai Chi, and other secret women’s business. I hope to enjoy this indulgence again, it is very uplifting....and fun :D

So on getting home, after kissing my partner in crime and life as he goes out the door to work, past me on my way in , I put on gumboots and a sarong. Such is life living in the tropics, I think we can get away with nearly anything up here :P

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why We Stockpile

Doesn’t time fly? We are now into March and the year is already getting away from me. I had things that I wanted to have started by now but life has gotten in the way, but they are on the list so I will get around to them.

The rain is still hanging around and everything is sodden, no mowing can be done but cooking can be, so have done a bit of that.

Before the rain started back we were getting some lovely sunsets.

Now the rain is back it is all mostly grey and the creek is running high a lot of the time.

We have started replacing the door handles on the kitchen cupboards. We have been trying to decide what to replace them with for a while and decided to go with plain black, which looks better than plain white. Such a simple decision after all, it is a wonder it took so long :D

My plan for this week (despite it being half over) is to organise my kitchen cupboards a bit better. I am following a food stockpile challenge on the Simple Savings site and really need some organisation. I do always have a stockpile, however it is unorganised, I don’t really know what I have, and there are things that don’t have dates on them. One of the things I have recently started doing it putting the date of purchase on everything that doesn’t have a date on it, like tinned food, at least then I know how long it has been sitting there and it is also easier to rotate.
So now I am going through the cupboards, checking everything and make a separate space for a stockpile. It is good to follow a plan, even though I am much organised in other areas of my life, this is one of the areas I am not.

It is important that we have a stockpile of food, water, first aid, toilet paper and toothpaste etc, despite what others think about it. Some people think we are crazy, though we actually don’t tell many what we do (of course this is going out into cyber space for all to read, so now everyone, potentially, could know :D ). We have lived in the Top End for, I think, 16 years, firstly in the Northern Territory and now in Far North Queensland, and flooding and cyclones are always around. We have been lucky in that we haven’t been overly affected by these, missing out by only timing, or a smaller category cyclone, or by just a short distance on the map, it is really only luck.

Of course there are other reasons to be prepared, like job loss (we also have done that one, not for long luckily), bank computer glitches (that is a new one but not one we have been affected by, yet), rising prices (electricity is the big one this year I think, though of course food is also the other at the moment), crazy weather, and you could probably add your own thing to the list of what you want to be prepared for.

After the recent Cyclone Yasi, my very lovely partner in crime and life has told some mates that he is proud of his crazy wife, as we were quite prepared and apart from a few last minute small things, we were all good. We also didn’t have to go crazy at the stupidmarket buying trolley loads of food like I saw many others doing.

We have been cut off from town (when we lived in town) by flooding on the roads, and there have been blackouts, loads of rain and cyclones, it is the price we pay for living in a fantastic part of the world. And we are prepared to pay that so we can live the life we want, have great weather (mostly), grow a garden all year round, have like-minded friends who get us and accept us (I dyed my hair red with henna the other day and all have accepted it wonderfully :D ) and sometimes we get to go diving on the Great Barrier Reef, can’t ask for more.

So I had best go and do some organising and admiring of the new door handles (part of the organising, makes me feel better having a nicer looking kitchen), and I also better do some more cooking. I am having lunch with friends tomorrow so I think I will make a banana cake, I have a great recipe, actually, better make two, one to take and one for us :D