the ongoing search for a decluttered way of living - combined with a stroll through our semi-rural lifestyle

April 17, 2014

Having a little blogging - and Easter break



(thanks Graphics Fairy)

Best wishes to one and all for a happy and safe Easter break, however you choose to celebrate it.

We are off on another little driving holiday (husband's fave) where we have a couple of nights booked to see us over the peak of the Easter break, and then off into the wild blue yonder.  Never quite know where we are going to end up, but we usually manage to find something to do and somewhere decent to stay!

I'm just happy to be enjoying some slightly cooler weather.

cheers for now
Wendy

April 11, 2014

In the garden - rain!

This is what 55mm in 30 minutes looks like .....
the lovely storm and rain we enjoyed Sunday 6 April.
Gutters and spoon drains overflowing - garden appreciating it! 
and  the pool overflowing!
Sending positive thoughts to those much further north anticipating the arrival of Cyclone Ita.

cheers for now - Wendy 

April 7, 2014

In the garden - this/last week

I am a bit slow with this post.  I was all set to join in with Jacqui's dusty country road Friday link up.  I have found this to be a great incentive in taking photos around the yard, and a good way to keep track of what is happening too.  A bit of appreciation for what is around never goes astray either - I'm definitely guilty of that - particularly in summer when it all becomes a bit much.  Winter blues?  no way - I suffer from summer blues!
All photos (bar the top left) are the newly planted winter veggies in the now cleared shadehouse.  Planted are: tomato, capsicum, silverbeet, cauli, kale, broccoli, tomato, beans, snow peas, carrots, lettuce.  I think that's it.

The photo top left is a cape gooseberry bush - growing on the fence next to shadehouse.  It's the first big crop by the look of things.  We've tried this in the past without much success.  Love gooseberries!
Going clockwise - top left is our prolific passionfruit vine powering along on the front fence.  First time we've had success with the purple variety too.  We've had lots of the yellow ones in the past.

My first asparagus in the ermmm rose garden.  This garden is in our front driveway and has been firstly used as a herb garden, then I converted it to a rose garden - without too much success.  Although it gets lots of sun, it's also in the shade of a gum and the roses never really did well.  So this winter I plan to transplant the roses elsewhere and revert back to a herb/ish type garden.  The asparagus was planted there by my husband, not sure why he thought to put it in that particular spot!  However now that it is actually producing I guess I'll leave it there.

I took the photo of the chook pen before the mulberry tree lands on it!  I feel sure that it's going to topple soon, but in the meantime it has provided a lot of summer shade.  We have several mulberry trees, none have ever really produced prolifically, and to be honest I find them a bit of a pest.  I'm always hacking away at them and asking husband to chop them down next time the chainsaw has an outing.  So far he has declined.

The last photo is the remants of the outdoor sunflower patch.  More news on these next time, plus the lovely storm we enjoyed last night, with lots of rain - 55mm in 30 minutes.

Sorry Jacqui - hope to be back on track next week - I mean this week!

cheers for now
Wendy

April 1, 2014

declutter - march

As mentioned in this post my personal declutter challenge, I am well aware of the need to keep up the declutter regime.

However, sometimes to actually display on the blog the items that I offload can be a little daunting.  This month to be honest, I have one garbage bag full - but who really wants to see a lot of our family's old clothes/ books/ general househould dregs as they head off to the op shop?

So I've come up with this idea (can you tell I'm enjoying playing with the new to me Big Huge Labs service?). It's free and a lot of fun.  I haven't investigated it all fully, but I'm sure in time I will be.
vintage declutter is my user name on ebay for my vintage and retro declutter sales.  So I've decided to include photos of my March sales.  As I didn't get around to listing too many things in March, there are also a couple of sly February ones as well. Hopefully the new owners don't mind me displaying the items this way.  I don't have anything listed at the moment, but hope to detail some items soon and put them on the site.

I'm sure in total I have tallied up my 31 items for March. The most important part to me, is the fact that all these items have left the building!  Here's to April and lots more - and some cooler weather hopefully!

cheers for now
Wendy

March 29, 2014

The Year in Books - March - Belle Cora

Several reasons for this post, which follows on so rapidly after the garden update.

Firstly, I'm so glad that I discovered Circle of Pine Trees - the year in books blog link up.  Laura started this in January, so I'm pleased thatI have found it reasonably early in 2014.
The two books I've read in March are - Stay Alive by Simon Kernick and Belle Cora by Phillip Marguilies and two more different books both written by male authors would be difficult to find.

I'm sure I've read Simon Kernick before and he has a reputation as a good thriller.  So despite trying to swerve away a little from mystery thriller types, Stay Alive did sound like an interesting read.  However (to this reader anyway) it was a disappointment.  Claiming to be a fast page turner, it was just that.  I couldn't wait to finish it and get it over and done!  With clumsy writing, an unbelievable plot with bodies dropping left right and centre. (I couldn't escape the mental imagery of the movie 'Home Alone' with the boy outwitting the baddies constantly). The ending seemed a bit rushed as the author tries to tie (the many) loose ends together. All in all I would consider it a holiday read - airport or beach!  

However, the book which really engrossed me was Belle Cora - oh my goodness, what an enjoyable read! This is riches to rags story of a daughter of a New York merchant who went on to become a millworker, a prostitute, a notorious madam, a murderess and eventually one of San Francisco's richest and most revered dowagers.

It's beautifully written - a spellbinding story of a single woman ahead of her time - the tale of an epic life.  She managed to rise above many difficult situations to make something of her life when it seemed there was no hope.  The book is tastefully written by Phillip Marguilies (can't believe a male wrote this particular book) and manages to celebrate a particularly strong woman. 
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Have a look over at Circle of Pine Trees for all the details of this wonderful virtual book club!

cheers for now
Wendy