Friday, October 21, 2011

Finally,We Have Some Rain

IT IS RAINING, YAAAAY. We were starting to think about what to do about our water situation. Didn’t want to buy water, so we increased our water saving to extreme water saving and we checked out the old bore hole which is in the middle of the property.

Here is the old bore, the chooks like hanging out here sometimes :)

Turns out that water is very sweet. My partner in crime and life dropped a rope down to see how deep it was and turns out it is quite deep (can't remember how deep), then he brought up some water in a tin and WOW, very nice. So we are going to get the water tested (just in case) and put a pump on it and then we can use it for anything including pumping into the tanks for the house. My partner in crime and life is also looking for a windmill to put on it, which would be pretty cool :D

It really makes us wonder though, why another bore was put in with a pump and all the taps around the property connected to that, and the water is awful, to put it mildly. It smells bad, tastes bad but is potable, it is fine for the gardens and the outdoor shower but that is it, and yet there was a perfectly good bore already here, the mind boggles.

This is last week

This is this morning

With all this rain our dam has gone from a puddle back to a dam. Most of the water has come from runoff from the road and hill and it just so happens that there is a sort of gully that runs from the road down to our gully into our dam. If it wasn’t there, there wouldn’t be so much water and we would also have to wait for the dams above ours to overflow.

The chooks are very bedraggled and have a “not happy Jan” look about them as they are used to the very fine weather where they can go where they want and do what they want. Their pen is also a bit of a mess and we have been working to improve that and need to put more roofing on as there is now so many of them that they need to be able to come out of the house and into the pen.

The Lime

The Lemon

The gardens are very happy and I have more corn to put in and sweet chilli and eggplants. Though I really need more garden space and so have to expand. I have also bought a lemon and a lime tree to put in pots for the front veranda, always wanted plants out there and if you are going to bother it may as well be something productive. I also love the smell of citrus flowers, I think it is the prettiest smell of any flower, and to have them on the veranda means I will be able to smell them anytime without having to walk to the orchard. These trees are also supposed to be quite productive. Now I will be searching for elephants.


Honestly, I wish people would stop putting up yummy recipes on their blogs as I just have to make them and then eat them (of course I have to sacrifice myself to see it they are any good). Here is the latest one I am going to try from Domesblissity, it is a Caramel Apple Crumble Slice, sounds terrible doesn’t it ;P

At the Simple, Green, frugal Co-op is a post about Handmade Manly gifts that I am going to check out a bit closer as this is always a bit of a problem. I can make girly gifts as the world of craft seems to revolve around girly gifts but manly ones are a bit harder, so I think we can use all the help we can get.

This is the second article this morning I have read about population growth, urban density, the housing problem, lack of infrastructure and that sort of stuff.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Getting Ready For Christmas

School is back and we are going full throttle into the fourth and final term of the year. The silly season is upon us and the Christmas decorations have been out for a while now, I think Christmas would be a very nice time but for the commercialism and expectation of lots of money spent.

We only buy gifts for the very young on each side of the family, and even then I personally don’t do the buying giving the job over to the grandparents. The reason for this we live interstate and it would cost a small fortune to send through the post, so we hand over some money with vague instructions for gifts. If I had to do it personally, I am really not sure it would get done as I hate Christmas shopping, especially when everyone has everything and nothing is left over for special occasions.

I have started on some handmade gifts for friends, and these are the gifts I enjoy the most as I enjoy making them. This year I am crocheting some dishcloths and sewing a shopping bag, I think, I always make chocolate balls for my Tai Chi classes and I am thinking of some other stuff too, though I may run out of steam.

The Dam is getting quite low, this area has a lot of water in it during the wet season.

We still haven’t had any rain and our water saving skills are really coming in handy, at least we know how to get by and still be clean (always a bonus, to be clean and not smell). We are putting the hose through the window and filling the washing machine with bore water, filling buckets with bore water or saved rinse water from the machine to use to flush the toilet and having navy showers (you know, turn on the water and get wet, turn off the water and soap up, turn on the water and rinse off, done). We are really looking forward to the wet season.

The gardens are going along OK and are growing, though the watering I do is never as good as a good shower of rain. I really want to expand some of the gardens, widen them actually, and build my banana circle near the gully, however I will wait till it starts to rain, not much point in doing it now.

I have some good looking loofahs growing, I have left these ones to grow large to save the seeds and use for cleaning. The small ones, when I get more, will be used in cooking in things like curries, they aren’t very nice steamed.

Our chicks are growing fast and running and jumping and doing the things that chicks do. The big chicks hang out by themselves as they are at the bottom of the ladder and get picked on a bit by the others (life is hard in the flock) and the golf ball chicks are now bigger than a golf ball but the term has stuck.

Best get back to the full time job of running after the chooks, growing food and saving water while trying to stay cool and not get sunburnt, in our, currently, dry heat.


I am going to make these biscuits today, how can I not. The title of the post over at The Glass Half Empty caught my eye straight up “The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie” and how could I not look. So of course, now I have seen the post, how can I not make them? I will sacrifice myself and be a guinea pig to see if they are good, however, I am pretty sure they are, how could they not be, they have chocolate chips in them.

I haven’t been over to “The Greening of Gavin” for a while, not because I don’t want to it is just life is busy and I have a lot of blogs and sites in my favourites it is hard to keep up with them all. However it is time to catch up with what Gavin has been doing, check out his blog, it is always interesting.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Walls and Benches

The school holidays are just about over for us, today is the last day. They have been reasonably productive for us, as in we have gotten a few things done. We rarely go away during the holidays due to work, the inflated price of everything and the crowds, would rather have a weekend away at another time.

So, we have gotten in the electrician to finally hook up our number one and only son’s room with electricity and he will be back to finish the job soon. There will be plenty of power points, two ceiling fans and two overhead lights, and while he has had power out there by means of an extension cord, there will now no longer be cords running everywhere. Good thing to get done before the wet season begins.

So while the electrical cords have been run through the room, we have had to put up the internal walls before the rest can be done. Actually, I didn’t do it, but my partner in crime and life and our number one and only son did. Now all that has to be done is get the electrician back to finish up, we can then paint the walls and it is done (thank goodness).

The other thing they have done is weld up some bench frames. My partner in crime and life brought home two heavy bench tops from work that were going to be thrown away, but they would be perfect benches in our work container. Can never have too much shelving or bench space.

So, they went and bought some square steel stuff (I am sure there is a special name for it but it won’t save the rainforests if I know it or not so therefore it is not important) and made a plan.

Our number one and only son did some fantastic welding and there you have it, two very useful benches. We gave the front part of the container a bit of a cleanup, put some of the gardening stuff into the bore shed with some of the other gardening stuff, and we have some very useable space in the container.

The other thing that I finally got done was the irrigation through two of the garden beds that I have had to hand water all the time. It is so dry at the moment that it has been difficult and having some irrigation through them makes it that much easier. Though, of course it would be better if it just rained :D


Something we haven’t heard of for a long while is having a hole in the ozone layer, I had completely forgotten about them. There have been other big news things we have been concentrating on for a while but I guess some things don’t go away no matter how much you ignore them.

Here is a link to a site that I am going to check out, it is called Go Self Sufficient, it is a site from the UK and it looks like some interesting articles.

I read an article in my ACF magazine about this woman who is trying to live plastic free and I have just found her blog. I am sure we can all find some inspiration here.