March 30, 2011

Sign of the Times

It seems totally ironic to me that these days, I count the fortunate days as the ones that I don't have to use the car.  If the car does not leave the garage in 1 or 2 days I feel this is a real bonus.

Living where we do, it is at least a 10-15 km drive to shopping centres, schools and further to social events.  The car is used a lot on the weekend, but during the week I am happy for it to sit in the garage.

So why is it, that I am always watching the clock and that the day just rushes by!?  I know I am not alone in this, and that the stay at home workforce always has a lot on the go.   However, I have just shot myself down in flames with the first paragraph haven't I?

But there are just so many things to do.  In my previous existence, I did have a busy career and know the benefit of time management.  It's just that now (after almost 4 years) I am still just so thankful to be at home and enjoying my day, whatever that brings.

The trouble is - there are just so many blogs to read - especially about ways to save money and gardening and cooking and Labradoodles (check out the gorgeous Sophie ) and home life and the chances are if you are reading this - then I have probably read yours!

Luckily for me however, I found this gadget  recently.  I'm hoping that it will work a lot better for me than the kitchen timer method.   Step away from the computer now.

Sorry there is not too much decluttering going on at the moment.  Still a few things on ebay.  I have been working on our family budget, trying to tweak the figures a little - and trying to justify my 'stay at home not in paid employment' existence.

Oh - and another sign of the times and the fact that the weather is cooling down ...... Dexter is nesting!

Cheers Wendy 

March 29, 2011

Objects of my affection - Week 9

A Tuesday Theme

Lately I've been thinking that since I started this blog I have been looking very judgementally  (and rightly so) around the house for things that I can declutter.  All a bit negative.

As a bit of light relief, I thought I might make Tuesday a day to appreciate the things that I do enjoy having around me.  Not because of $$ value, but just because they are special to me for whatever reason.   

Please join in - I apologise in advance if this is a bit twee or it has all been done before. 

This electric clock goes back quite a way. It was actually made in 1930's and presented to my Dad much later (I think early 50's) following his long history as President / Treasurer of a local association.  It used to hang in the hall, and the hall was about to be demolished.

It was stored in a cupboard for a long time (I don't think Mum really liked it whatever reason) and I found it again when I was clearing out her house before it was sold.   I don't think it had been in use for at least 20 years, but worked as soon as it was plugged in!  Quality tells eh.

So now I use it here.   It is lovely and seems to sit well on our brick walls.  It still doesn't miss a beat - as long as the power is on!

March 28, 2011

Waking from Summer

The photo is actually a sunset - which could be considered symbolic of the end of summer perhaps.   I am the first to admit it, but this is probably the first time I have admitted it!  I am definitely a summer sloth.  

The summer sloth in this case, retreats from the heat around about December and comes to life in the latter stages of March.  However, this year,  it is almost April.  My husband is currently reading the book  Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter_Planet and insists on reading out extracts.  Not a feel good mood maker for me.

This weekend however, for the first time, I felt the promise of Autumn.  The temperature dipped to a heady 27⁰C and it was even  a little breezy.  Hold me back!  Although we had a busy weekend which is typical with a busy and active teenager, and the odd social outing for us, I still managed to get a little excited about the garden.  Venturing  out and doing physical work.  Heavens. 

Even if that isn't a wild enough theory, I have been invigorated enough to encourage The Others to agree to a Garage Sale (you may know this phenomenon as a Yard or Boot Sale)  in mid-April.  So it is marked on the calendar.  Although the very thought gives me the chills, it is another thing that has to be faced.  Yuk Yuk Yuk - people trawling through our unwanted possessions, trying to beat us down on price. 

However, the good side is that The Others (in particular my husband and his Shed)  will be doing some clearing out of their own.  Lots of works in progress in that Shed.  

Also,  I had to include a photo of something that I'm not letting go.  Not quite in the Objects of My Affection Category, but I do really like them both.  I decided not to include these items with the other part of the dinner set that has just sold.  So I'm keeping the gravy boat and the platter, as a reminder of the rest of the set.  For the time being anyway, this may change later when I go through the whole lot again!


Cheers Wendy

March 24, 2011


Can I start off by saying that, as previously mentioned, I am definitely of the animal loving variety.  We as a family encourage wildlife to our property.  Specifically native wildlife.  We have planted heaps of  koala-friendly trees, we have possum boxes and bird boxes to encourage their little families.  We have banana trees that feed a small army of flying foxes.  We have trees planted to attract native birds.   etc etc.

Geckos are different.  Unfortunately though, when I get steamed up about something I can't let it go.  Geckos are one of those things - and they are an introduced species.  They first appeared about 2 years ago and in that time they have settled in very nicely thanks very much.   Great spot here - word has got around.  

Yes they do eat moths, but that is all I have seen them eat.  I understand they eat spiders too.  I don't have a problem with moths and spiders.  I have a problem with geckos, and there seems to be no easy way to deter them.

Actually I was ok until they moved i n s i d e the house.  Not very many mind you.   But enough.  I can hear them and I sometimes see them, and nasty little blobs of evidence left behind.  The house is fully screened, but somehow they have managed to infiltrate the barricades.

So I have decided to take action.  I am going to use reverse psychology on myself!  It has worked  for me just recently when a particular ad on the radio used to really grate on me.  You know the type - fingernails on chalkboard kind of feeling.  

Reverse psychology worked!  I just told myself that I really really loved  that particular advert and raced to turn the volume up whenever I heard it.  Seems it worked and it doesn't bother me at all now.   Actually it is rarely played - it may have been taken off air because other listeners complained!  

Really I just posted this to say how much I love those little guys.  Cute little critters aren't they and I just love the chirpy noise they make all the time.  In fact I came across this cross-stitch pattern the other day, so I think I might just have a go at it and have it framed and installed in the kitchen. Seeing I love geckos so much.

(Photo taken from Cross Stitch Australia Magazine, Oct.93)  Leaves and snail were in the photo not on my kitchen bench. 

I suppose I have better not take the reverse phsychology method too far - I might end up keeping and loving all my clutter.. lol.

March 22, 2011

Objects of my affection - Week 8

 The Tuesday Theme

Lately I've been thinking that since I started this blog I have been looking very judgementally  (and rightly so) around the house for things that I can declutter.  All a bit negative.

As a bit of light relief, I thought I might make Tuesday a day to appreciate the things that I do enjoy having around me.  Not because of $$ value, but just because they are special to me for whatever reason.

Please join in - I apologise in advance if this is a bit twee or it has all been done before.

Another  time to appreciate what I do have and enjoy to have in the house with me - my red leather chair! With apologies for the bad photo.  Where it is located in the lounge is dark and not good for my limited photography skills.  Decided to include my favourite crochet granny rug with it.

I totally love this chair.  It was another hand-me-down which I have had for quite a few years.  However, it was badly in need of re-covering for a long time.  The previous upholstery was a floral velveteen type with swirls and leaves in autumn colours.  Unfortunately I didn't take a before photo - but you would know the type, popular in about 1960.

I had the chair for at least 15 years before I took the plunge and had it recovered about 2 years ago.  I'm not sure how old the chair actually is, but it is nice and solid and after I had made a bit of money selling some other furniture, I decided to have it redone.  In red leather no less.   

Definitely the right decision.  It is so comfortable and the leather is just gorgeous.  The Others know that is my chair and my chair only!  Sure I slouch about on the couch sometimes, but this is where I sit mainly for watching TV or knitting.

What's your object of affection this week?   Maybe leave a link to your blog if you have one.


Progress on the declutter from yesterday going slowly.  Big sigh.  

Cheers Wendy

March 21, 2011

Working from home today

Well that's how I have decided to think of it when I have a day of just putting items online to sell.  I have to steel myself up to get things sold and out of the house!

So that's what I will be doing today.    I pulled out a box of things that I had already set aside in the garage as potential ebay sales.  Then I combined this with the items I pulled from the cupboards last week. 

This is what a work in progress looks like -  mainly glassware today.  These are all items from my parents house.  And possibly some going back to their parents.  Things I have to photograph, describe and sometimes do a bit of research into value etc, then list.  Sigh.

I figured if I try and remove the emotion from the process, it is really just like going to work.  Then I won't feel so involved.  That's the theory anyway. 

Thanks for much for all your words of encouragement.  It's nice to think that I might just feel better and lighter when this is all done. .... there is so much to do though!  However, today is a work in progress.

Cheers Wendy

March 18, 2011

Friday fun

(This is a totally unrelated photo I thought I would start with because I just like it.  Our bamboo 'forest' way down the back of our block.)

I have done a bit of decluttering and a few listings on ebay.  A difficult decision on a couple of things, but I knew that I had to do it.  After reading so many inspiring stories lately about getting rid of emotional guilt I knew that I just had to face it.   

These two dinner settings are old vintage ones that I have inherited.  Whilst I totally love them both, they are incomplete and I already have at least 2 other complete dinner settings. 

We haven't really used them, the blue set is almost an antique (1930's I believe) and I was always worried about dropping them.  The pink one I treasure will retain fond memories of as it was the one that comes to mind when I remember family dinners from my childhood (and that would make it vintage not antique!).  

However, one is already listed and the 2nd one will be soon.  So they are going.  Hopefully they will make someone happy  and make me a few dollars maybe.
So these are the sort of things that I am dealing with - emotional clutter.   Guilt about not hanging onto them, but we have only one boy and I can't hang onto everything for him in the hope that in another 10-15 years he might want some old family things.  I have offered and given lots of things to my nieces who are all adult and have their own homes etc.  They are not really interested either.  (Sorry that was just my little justification rant).

I feel that my taking a photo of them and showing it here is a fitting way to say goodbye to some emotional clutter.
I did pull out some things from the unit in the family room.  Remember I did the drawers, and then I had to do the cupboards underneath.  I forgot to take a 'before' photo, but these are a few things I have pulled out.  Possibly it could have been a lot more - may have to go through again and fill up this box!
However!  the moment you've all been waiting for - the winner of the giveaway.  I'll step you through the process.  Very official.  So official in fact that instruments were used in the process.  I was here by myself and figured this was the fairest way to do things!


 My helper kept an eye on things. The excitement was building ......


Congratulations Bruise Mouse (from the lovely livingalittlegreener) blog!   I have put my email address on the side bar if you'd like to contact me with your address.  Enjoy.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment.  I hope you'll stay around and comment some more!

Cheers Wendy

March 15, 2011

Objects of my affection - a Tuesday Theme - Week 7

Today's object has been a featured recently.  I re-discovered it when I went through one of the many boxes in The Garage.  One of the many boxes that will have to be tackled when I get to Phase 2 of decluttering.  Which may be some time away, as I am still in Phase 1 of the house. 

 However, this plate is lovely, and I remember it well from my childhood.  For some reason I remember jam tarts being served on it, but I'm wondering if that is just a visual memory on account of the pattern.

It was one of my Mum's favourite plates. purely because of the colour I think.  I can remember it occasionally sitting as a centrepiece on the kitchen table with fruit or maybe flowers on it.

Thought I might show you my favourite summer drink as well.  Favourite cool drink on a hot day.  This is ginger cordial, lots of ice, soda water and a big slug of lemon or lime.  Very nice.  We don't grow enough grapes for my other favourite tipple.

A couple of bad photos of our first Tamarillo.  Another easy to grow plant, not sure why we haven't tried it before.  Very nice, unusual taste.  A little bit tart, but nice in with other fruit, or just scooped straight out.

Now I have a question for the keen cooks/gardeners out there.  This is a Taro I bought recently.  Having been informed by my gardener husband that he has planted some, I thought I had better investigate what to do with them when a bucket of them is tossed handed to me.

Sure I have googled it, and have looked at recipes, and it all seems a bit of a bother to prepare.  Has anyone actually cooked them and/or enjoyed them in a meal?  Pretty ugly brute (was my first thought) maybe I can be proven wrong ... and this was only a small one!

Will be back later in the week with more decluttering - because according to my survey, that is what you'd like to see the most of - with a smattering of what we produce around our yard.

So pretty much more of the same, just more decluttering. Which is really what I should be doing anyway, so thanks for pointing me in that direction.  Thanks for participating in the survey - in fact, just thank you for reading any of this!

Cheers Wendy

March 14, 2011

Pumpkin post

This is our latest batch of pumpkins.  I thought that they were early this year, as I always seem to associate pumpkins with pumpkin soup and winter.

However my husband informs me this is not the case.  I must have a bad memory as apparently we have had more than one crop a year in the past.  These little beauties are a nice size, one a little scarred on top (probably from the mower) but will be nicely shared amongst our neighbours on either side of us  and ourselves. 

Maybe not the right time for pumpkin soup just yet, but I have made a nice pumpkin risotto in the past, and pumpkin cake.  Not so good on the pumpkin scones!

Thought I would include my red plate in amongst them, as there were several nice comments about it on an earlier post.  Plus it looked nice against my new kitchen tiles.

These are probably the prettiest ones. .... as if looks count for much right?!

Thanks for all the comments lately and hello to new followers!  I'm really chuffed to have you here.  For those who completed my little survey (sounding really official here) I'll run it through the machine and report back later.   

Keep the comments coming to be in the draw for the giveaway!!

Cheers Wendy 


Thoughts and prayers to all in Japan.  It is extremely difficult to comprehend the magnitude of it all. 

March 12, 2011

So Sweet

I was up and about early this morning so I thought I might throw in a little home produce post - and show off our latest sweet potatoes.

A before shot - just to prove I don't buy them from the supermarket! 

Library Girl wrote a great post during the week entitled Breaking Up with the Big Two (Woolworths and Coles)  - have a read.  I'm also trying to meet that challenge. .... and it is a challenge.  They are everywhere, and so convenient, they lure you in.  We have several alternatives near where I live, it is just the case of making the effort.

We don't eat much meat at all, and when I do buy it, it is usually from the local butcher who has a good selection of farm reared meat, including free range and organic chicken.   I would prefer to buy good quality sparingly than buy meat that isn't ethically raised. 

Fruit and veg I try and buy from the local farmers markets and of course we do produce some of our own here.  All the other bits and pieces I am going to try and source from a local IGA.  Another smaller IGA (further away) stocks milk from an independant regional dairy, so I will be sourcing milk from there.  We'll see how it goes.  Every bit makes a difference and it seems to me to be worth the effort.  I for one am tired of handing my hard earned money to the Big Two.   

These are our sweet potatoes prettied up a little.  Don't they look nice!

This looked so nice I had to take a photo of one of the end results as well. 
I found myself eating alone the other night, when The Others were elsewhere.  This was so easy to throw together!  I had already roasted some sweet potato the previous night.  So the other bits were - a small amount of goats milk feta cheese (yum), some leftover red salmon flaked, mixed lettuce leaves, sliced avocado, and before I ate it I squeezed a little lemon juice on the top.

Home grown produce from our place included  - sweet potato, avocado and the lemon.  The avocadoes have been lovely, we are on to the third one picked now.  So much nicer than the ones I had been buying that turn brown the minute they are opened. We will soon have tomatoes and lettuce producing.

The salmon was nice too.  I hadn't tried this before, but it was of the Tasmanian pre-packed smoked refrigerated variety, and this one was marinated with Sweet Chilli.  The previous night we had some of the roast sweet potato and the salmon in  a quiche.  Very nice actually.    I'm hoping my new store stocks the salmon!  

Enjoy the weekend.

Don't forget my little giveaway (see previous post).  Just leave a comment between now and 18 March.

Cheers Wendy

March 11, 2011

Show and Tell and a Giveaway

Well I did get the 3 drawers done.  Offloaded  some things and I did a bit of a shuffle around.  Why did I have Christmas decorative napkins and candles there?  Hard to know just how much to fine tune these drawers being so close to the kitchen and dining area.   At least they are a bit tidier which is something.

Actually I have to admit to sorting these through twice.  When I took a photo the first time I realized that not a lot had changed.  Lucky I have this blog to keep me motivated!


This is the result.  A little bit tidier and a bit lighter.  I know that looking at this particular drawer I'm still not frameless - but I do need these for future framing!

Next week I'm going to focus on the cupboards underneath.  I'm also hoping to put quite a few items on eBay, even though it is so time consuming.   All worth it for the little skip of excitement when something actually sells .... it does happen sometimes!

Giveaway!  I am just so chuffed to have friendly people who read my little blurb and watch what's happening in my cluttered world.  So in return I thought I would offer up a little giveaway.

Now those who do not like the idea of being the recipient of someone else's' belongings, look away right now.  These beads and earring have been worn by myself ... umm maybe twice?  They are clean and well looked after (if you can call it that, just sitting in a little drawer in the dark).  They are pretty and sparkly and deserve to be worn!. 

The crown jewels they are not!  Just a few things that someone else may be able to use.  Just another step in the declutter process, so think of it as helping me out.   The little book is an unused Pocket Organiser with little sticker notes inside.  Maybe handy for marking what is being kept and what isn't. 

 Oh - by the way - I'm quite happy to send these overseas if that's how it goes.
Just leave a comment between now and 18 March.  The winner will be chosen randomly - probably from a hat.  I am leaving it open for a week because I'll be away for a few days in between.

Don't forget to vote on the survey on sidebar. ... I'm interested in seeing some feedback on the blog.

Cheers Wendy