Friday, 20 January 2017

Horrible Bug At Our House!

The gastro bug struck big time at our house this week! And when you have six people in the house, it is loads of fun.

Last time we had gastro, everyone was sick at once. It was about 36 hours of a horror movie, but it was over with fairly quickly. This time, it was a one by one illness, so it has lasted about a week so far. Last child down now, so thank goodness the end is in sight!

Hope to be back on board properly next week!

Monday, 16 January 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

Linking with Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday.

On the Weather Front

I don't want to be hot any more! I really do not like the summer at all, which makes me feel very unAustralian and makes people think I am strange. So I was happy to read an article in Earth Garden magazine, where the writer was equally unimpressed with summer!
As Tanya Jenkyn writes in EG No 174:
"For the record, I am NOT a summer person by any stretch of the imagination. As everyone around me stretches with joy like a well-fed housecat as the first rays of summer sun hit their upturned faces, I recoil like a vampire in the face of a garlic wreath."
I agree!  Tanya then goes on to say she should just move to Tasmania - my all time dream!
So I am hoping for it to cool down and rain very soon.


May I Be Happy - A Memoir of Love, Yoga and Changing My Mind by Cyndi Lee. I am really enjoying this, although I do tend to love these self-discovery, introspective journey type books. I picked this up as I am planning to incorporate yoga into my everyday routine this year (won't be standing on my head any time soon though!)
Not me!!


I watched the new Ben Hur DVD last night. It was easy to watch and quite interesting. I haven't read much about Ben Hur so cannot comment on the historical accuracy.
Tonight I plan on watching The Butler. I saw this when it came out a few years ago and loved it, so am looking forward to a re-watch.

I'm Hoping

Same as last week - that the school holidays never end. As the end draws closer, I (and the boys) are getting more and more upset that it looks like they will have to head back for another year of school. I just need to try and pretend to be positive about it, but it is very difficult.

I'm Learning

Or trying to learn and remember some of the names for the basic yoga poses. I'm sure it will become second nature after a while.


I have been getting in some knitting, later at night when the weather has cooled down a bit. Working on a heat mat for my teapot. And still quilting away at grandbaby's first birthday quilt (31st March deadline - I've got this!)

Grateful For

My sweet boys. Away from school, their true natures are beginning to shine though again. Particularly Mr 12, who doesn't have to try to be 'cool' in the holidays.

Dreaming Of

Same big dreams every week! But I need to start having some smaller dreams, so also dreaming of fields of flowers. I have been looking through the spring bulb catalogues that are just starting to arrive - so many gorgeous tulips, daffodils, ranunculas.

Favourite photo

I haven't had the camera out very much this week, but I think this photo of my surprise chick is my favourite. One of my hens (who I thought had been taken by a fox) appeared last week with this solitary chick.

Devotionals, Scriptures, Key Verses

I mentioned this one a week or two ago when I said I had decided to make it my motto for 2017. I had been reading Living Courageously - You Can Face Anything, Just Do It Afraid by Joyce Meyer. I always find Joyce Meyer to be an absolute inspiration for me and this book was no exception.  I found it amazing that I had reached my age and not worked out this simple concept - that if you don't do the things you are afraid to do, you will never do anything. So obvious!

Have a lovely week!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Using Your Own Containers When Shopping

After mentioning that I have decided to finally be brave enough to ask to use my own containers at the deli and meat departments in this post, I came across these two blog posts the very next day.

Gippsland Unwrapped talks about what the law says about using your own reusable containers. This was particularly handy as Tammy is from the same state as me, Victoria, so the legislation is valid for me.

I am thinking of using the above plastic containers as they are light. I would love to hear how other people manage their shopping.

Our Permaculture Life talks about is my reusable cup illegal.

I am planning to work harder toward zero waste this year.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Independence Days Challenge: Week Eighteen

As I've gone through all of Sharyn Astyk's Independence Days, I will now move on to her Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front. This is the more hard core discussion, without the recipes! One of the first books I read that I felt really called it as it was - no tiptoeing around the issues, saying we can fix it with technology and still live the way we live now. Brutally honest, but I feel this is what everyone needs to read so we can all accept life needs to change and move on.

'So far the message most of us have received about climate change and peak oil and our financial situation is "We can go on exactly as we have been, with just a few little changes to renewable energies." Unfortunately, that's a fairy tale.'
Depletion and Abundance by Sharon Astyk pg 7

Really, I feel like the typing out the next two pages of the book as I feel getting that mindset change is so important. But instead, I urge you to look for the book at your library, if you haven't already read it, or one similar.

1. Plant something

I planted a few more zucchini seedlings, but really it is time to be thinking of autumn plantings. It just doesn't seem like it with the heat!

2. Harvest something

Same as last week really. The chooks are laying really well at the moment, especially considering they are all 'elderly'. They would be considered well past laying age commercially, yet most of them are four to six years old and still laying consistently. They are doing a great job scratching through the weeds as I pile them up.

Note the new fence in the background - yay!

Even had a little surprise this week - one of the hens, who I thought had succumbed to a fox, appeared with a little chick. Only the one unfortunately. If I'd known she was sitting, I may have been able to keep the others warm. She is one of those hens that hatches the first one and hops straight off the nest, thinking 'thank goodness that is over!'


Still harvesting some flowers, but I will be leaving the rest to set seed.

And one of the dahlias that I grew from seed. They have all formed tubers so will stay in the ground to over winter and hopefully will have more and bigger blooms next year.

Some wild garlic hubby found in his travels.

3. Preserve something

The very hot weather has made me slack off here. I just couldn't face canning in the heat! We just ate our last jar of applesauce and are down to one jar of mint jelly and we use a lot of both of these. Definitely need to make some soon.

4. Minimise waste

I have decided to be brave enough to front up to the supermarket and ask to have my deli and meat items put in my own containers. I know that sounds silly and I don't really know why I am reluctant - all they can say is no. I'll have to work out which containers weigh the least!

5. Want not

I am hoping to get lots of upcycling done this year, in various areas. Also planning to add regular op (thrift) shop trips to my to-do list. I keep a running list in my handbag of items to look for at the op shop, but then I hardly ever make the time to get there!

6. Cook something new

I must admit to loving those tie-in books they always come out with when a series or movie is successful, especially the cook books.
Enter The Outlander Kitchen.

I made Father Anselm's Almond Pastry - yum!

The end was a bit bulgy, but it was delicious! And very simple to make.

7. Manage your reserves

That whole getting organised thing is a work in progress!

8. Work on local food systems

You guessed it, a work in progress!

I will just show you some photos of one of my veggie gardens so you can see why my harvesting is not great. I am ashamed but I will show you anyway!

On the plus side, look at that lovely healthy rosemary in the bottom left!

And also a huge plus, hubby did the fencing! Which means that the gardens are now fenced off from the paddock and we can get some sheep again.

Very dry at the moment.
How are things in your neck of the woods? I would love to hear your plans for 2017.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Back To Yarn Along

Linking today with Ginny for Yarn Along.

It has been stinking hot here for the last week, so not really the best weather for knitting. But I still managed to achieve a little bit.

I felt like a little fun knitting and I just love making tea cosies. So spent a quiet afternoon watching Little House on the Prairie and knitting up this cosy. I am really hoping to make an owl cosy next.

Next project in the works comes from the wonderful Arne and Carlos - just love these guys!

This is a fantastic book - love all the projects. And that gorgeous afghan is my motivation to set aside a few hours a week this year to teach myself crochet - finally!

But for now, I am knitting a mat for my teapot.

There are a few different flowers in the book using this method, including a chair pad made by joining a few of the flowers together. My wooden computer chair is not very comfortable and definitely needs one!

For reading, I have just started Hannah and Emil.

The Amazon blurb says:

An inspiring novel of great courage and enduring love set against a backdrop of the turmoil and devastation of World War II.

I am only part through chapter two but it is wonderful so far. I like the use of the reminiscing technique whereby the author started with Hannah's granddaughter sorting through some of her grandmother's possessions and then going back to when Hannah was a child.

I liked this post from The Wayward Knitter on feeding your stash. I totally agree, yarn on sale doesn't count, ever!

I look forward to the knitting that is taking place in the northern hemisphere, in front of your cosy wood fires!