September 15, 2014

Time to put down the clippers

I love to prune.  I love this time of year when pruning is fun and it shows rewards quickly.  I pruned back our wisteria vine - hard - about two weeks ago.  It has sprung back beautifully and the flowers are going to be lovely.

The veggie garden is powering on.  Some lovely carrots which has been a nice change from the weird ones we produced several seasons ago (planet-carrot).  Just proves a bit of effort and TLC does work!
This is different wisteria vine, growing on one of the sheds and just coming into flower too.  It is a native wisteria which can be seen in another post (here) with photos taken later in September.  It is a nice vine to have, because although it has rambling growth, it does not lose leaves and creates a nice shady vine in summer.

Some nice jonquils have popped up.  Such a nice surprise when they do.  We planted some bulbs purchased on a visit to Armidale NSW.  As is it so much hotter here we weren't sure if they would take or not - but they they have just been getting better and better.  Not much scent at all last spring, but quite scented this time round.
However, enough garden talk.  Time to put down the clippers for a while.  Hubby & I are off on another grand adventure.  This time a fly/drive trip to South Australia.  Neither of us have been there before so it will all be new to us.  We have a few ideas of things to do, and a rental car waiting for us at airport, but no real plans.  This seems to work best for us, unplanned and spontaneous.

Transitioning to retirement is such a great phrase isn't it?  I sure my husband rolls that idea around in his head at least a few times a day, lately anyway. He has taken some long service leave, so we don't have a fixed return date, nor any return travel plans, but will be away at least 3 weeks.  I have to add that I am so much younger than him! 

A running joke in our household is that I used to tell our son when he was young my age minus about 10 years.... which was fine until he could do the maths.  Then in one conversation he overhead me saying that I was 5 years younger than my husband.  He piped up with 'well if you are 5 years younger, why is he 10 years older than you?? Oh well it worked for a while.....

Personally I am transitioning to being an empty nester.  Our son will be house and pet minding while we are away.  Although we will be in touch via phone/text (probably more then he would like) I'm finding it easier to think about him leaving home sometime in the near future - if we leave home first. Reverse psychology at play?

cheers for now

September 3, 2014

Today I .......

....continued with my healthy eating program.  I've been reading the I Quit Sugar website and trying to go along with a sugar free September.  Whilst I don't necessarily eat a lot of sugar, it is a real wakeup call to see how much sugar is in just about everything.  Well, most processed goods and (gasp) alcohol.  So I am reading labels and trying to follow the Just Eat Real Food (JERF) strategy.
Big breakfast / lunch of rye toast, some cottage cheese, home grown greens (parsley, baby spinach) with home grown tomatoes and eggs.

Prior to this feast, I had acquainted myself with my new best friend (who am I kidding?).  A kettleball purchased recently (Aldi $8).  I have to say I am surprised how much I am enjoying exercising and following some beginner kettleball exercises found online.  I think 4kg is possibly the lightest kettleball ever made but it still gets heavy after 5 minutes or so.  I remind myself that my son weighed over 4kg as a newborn and I certainly did my share of lifts, squats, bicep curls etc. back then - so this should be a piece of cake.
All part of my new found Spring enthusiasm.  I am alternating this with increasing my daily walk just that little bit further each day.  I'm up to about an hour at the moment.  You see, we are off on another holiday soon which will involve a lot of walking.  Not organised walking, but tourist walking and bush walks.  I think I will to be a bit fitter - our holidays certainly seem to involve a lot of eating!  As long as it's healthy right!?

cheers for now

September 1, 2014

Play on Words

Word of the day is Leaning

From a gardeners' journal ........

I am leaning toward thinking that this year has brought us the best crop of broccoli we have grown for a long time.

From a childs reading book (or maybe an adventure movie)

Look!  The clothes line is leaning!  See Wendy run (not pictured)

With apologies for my weird sense of humour.

cheers for now

August 29, 2014

Spring has Sprung. Apparently.

I think it's a tropical apricot or maybe peach.  It's down in the 'back half'.  The back half of our five acre block which is pretty much left as bush, apart from a few things we have tried to grow over the years.

This tree was one of a few 'tropical' stone fruit trees that we have tried to grow.  However it doesn't fruit very well, but the blossoms are pretty.  For the 5 or so minutes that they are out.  Or so it seems.  I saw it in flower one week.  Intended to take a photo the next week.  Actually went down to take a photo.
and found that only a few of the blossom remained.  Still pretty.
The signs of spring are everywhere.

Our garden has really been producing well.

This was the garden back in April this year 

Plenty of kale and cauliflower and broccoli outside the shadehouse too.  It seems to be quite the season for broccoli - it seems just about every blog I read is proud of their broc.
Everything nice and green. Some nice rain has helped, but more would be nice too. 
I have to wonder though how many more Spring seasons our old girl Angel will see.  She is such a funny dog, always happy.  She has some weird habits though.  She will be 12 in December and has really just started to slow down.  Prematurely grey, she does look a bit older than her years.  Probably a bit  like me after surviving her first TEN few manic years! 

cheers for now 

August 22, 2014

On Anonymity

I should be ironing.  However, I've had this post running around in my head this morning and really thought that I would put it out there.  To the universe.  To the readers of my humble blog.
.... and I have to say that I am always astounded that anyone even reads my ramblings, let alone follows my blog!  Thanks so much for doing so.

My point of this post though, is anonymity and more definitively - blogging under the radar.  I've been blogging now for some 3 years (January 2011 to be precise).  My initial feelings were to blog about my decluttering process.  Ha.  Ha.  It hasn't quite worked out that way.
So, recently I read online of the Problogger Event happening soon on the Gold Coast.... and I realised that I never really want to 'come out' as a blogger.  Just my personal feelings, but I don't want to front up and shout about my blog. I don't want to make money from my blog.  I really like anonymity.  I like that no one really know who I am or where I live.
I have always been a quiet voice on my own blog, as I am in life.  However it has taken me a couple of years to feel comfortable about blogging.  About not having to try too hard.  That people aren't always judgemental, and that over the years I have some online friends who are always there with a comment or a thought.

No one in my family knows that I blog.  I keep it quiet.  I am neither ashamed or overly proud of my blog, it is just a work in progress. I show photos of aspects of my life and our rural lifestyle, and hopefully some decluttering or I will have to change the name!

This was not really intended to be a 'deep and meaningful' post.  However I have been thinking about my blog a lot lately and working on the best way to present it and the thoughts I want to put across.  Maybe this is a start.

How about you?  Do you blog under the radar or are you loud and proud!?

Can I give a shout out too for another blog mummy spits the dummy.  She is actually my niece (and of course she doesn't know I'm mentioning her here) and she is new to blogging.  With post titles such as I was once a paragon of parenting then I had kids and ruined it she is a witty and creative writer.   Just don't tell her that I sent you!

cheers for now


August 12, 2014

Taking Stock.02

Another taking stock post - a quick way to catch up with what's been going on around here.

Firstly though - a super moon.  Has it been lovely in your part of the world?  Although I didn't take this photo, I certainly enjoyed the glow last night.  

So what's been happening?

Making: pathetic attempts at crochet granny squares.  Still knitting squares in a variety of patterns.  One day I will crochet together.

Cooking: made chicken parmigiana last night.  Easy leftovers tonight.

Drinking : English Breakfast w skim milk.  Some things are constant.

Reading: Simon Beckett’s new novel Stone Bruises.  Liking it.

Looking: through window at lovely blue sky morning

Deciding: which jobs to tackle first this morning.  Clean windows?

Wishing: that the flu bug hadn’t caught us this winter.  It did - well & truly.

Enjoying :  the wonderful library services we can access online. 

Waiting: for my first try at preserved lemons to be ready.  Thanks Fiona @ Life at Arbordale Farm for the prompt.  Still a few weeks to go.
Liking: lots of eggs our hens are giving us lately.

Wondering: whether any exciting mail awaits at PO Box – or bills?

Loving: my stitching from the lovely Claire @ Sweet Birdy Love.  Just loving it in my kitchen.  My poor photography doesn't capture the beauty.
Pondering:  if I can get back into my regular walking routine soon.

Considering: cleaning windows next week

Watching: Offspring finale.  Big sigh.  I loved this season.  

Hoping:  that our house really is snake-proof.

Marvelling: my husband and I married 8/8/92 and we have just celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary!

Needing: reassurance that carpet snakes don’t really want to get inside the house!

Smelling: Nothing specific.  Still getting over flu.

Wearing: jeans & cotton peasant top.  Mild day here 22 deg.C

Following: some new blogs  - I’ve added to my bloglovin list + my blog

Noticing: how much plastic is on every product

Knowing: that it is possible to avoid plastic.  Must try harder.

Thinking: about victims MH17 disaster  - National Day of Mourning

Sorting: out my priorities in next few weeks.  Time flying past.

Buying: groceries in bulk where possible.  I think it is working - combined with managing household expenses more strictly.  One wage only goes so far ......

Getting: excited about some travel plans in next 12 months.  Ignore previous comment.

Bookmarking: some new farmers markets to attend soon

Disliking: loud rap music son favours.  Sorry, sound like oldie here!

Opening: Some of those lovely window faced envelopes.

Giggling:  have recently rekindled friendship with 2 old school friends.  We have picked up where we left off many years ago and recently had a girl’s weekend away.  Fabulous time.

Feeling: somewhat better now thanks.  Being sick is no fun.

Snacking: stewed apple, plain yogurt & cinnamon.  Yum.

Coveting: Virginia @ Ock Du Spock's garden!  Serious Garden Envy.

Wishing:  we really could do with some rain. 

Helping: our household budget by being more aware of what we buy

Hearing: washing machine competing with old 70’s song on radio - Joy to the World –Three Dog Night: {Jeremiah was a bullfrog - Was a good friend of mine ....}

cheers for now

PS - has any one else noticed that there are 5 Sundays in August this year?

August 6, 2014

This Time of Year

Ahh.  The simple things in life.
a little gathering from the veggie garden, including a bouquet of greens.  Kale, silverbeet and parsley.
 Some lovely tomatoes at last.... it's been a while.

Flavour of the day - on rice biscuits with cottage cheese and avocado - with a sprinkle of salt and pepper!

a few small pumpkins which have been very sweet indeed.

My favourite (and it seems, only) flowers at the moment. Nasturtiums.
Then there is this......... the warmer weather means that carpet snakes think it must be time to make a move. Maybe a spot in the sun somewhere whilst deciding on dinner material.  Just stay away from my hens big fella!  

There is definitely merit in having the house safely screened (I hope)!!

Cheers for now

July 25, 2014

Self Appointed Slack Blogger Award!

Yes it's true - I am a slack blogger.  It is almost the end of July and no post update.

Probably for the following reasons :-
  • I have taken a whole lot of photos to include here - but cannot find the cable link thingy for my camera.  I guess I could re-take some on my phone - but haven't.
  • I have a huge case of blog envy and spend way too much time reading other much more interesting blogs.
  • I have taken to online shopping in a big way and spend way too much time looking.  Just looking, and sometimes buying.
  • Not really an excuse - but the weather here at the moment is just glorious and I've been spending time outside enjoying it.  Not gardening so much as just enjoying it.
  • I'm learning to crochet.  Not succeeding very well.  Even after a lesson, even after many youtube tutorials, and viewing many online how-to's.  Being left handed isn't really an excuse, I just can't get my head around it...... and it looks so easy.
  • My husband has just bought a saxophone.  No, he has no previous experience (in anything musical).  Yes he is having lessons.  Yes, he does practice.   A lot.  I am very proud of him for tackling it.  Not so proud of myself wearing headphones
  • I knit a lot.  Still only squares which I am hoping to crochet together one day.
  • I read a lot too - have just finished Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod.  A good read.
  • Have taken advantage of some cheap interstate flights.  Planning some trips.
Not really meaning to sound despondent or desperate!  Just telling it how it is at the moment.

For no other reason than some photos of laundry trolley I've added a nostalgic one of our boy (now 19). Just loving the spider watch gadget!  I had forgotten all about that one.

So .... any other recipients of  the Slack Blogger Award out there?  I'd be happy to pay it forward!!

cheers for now

June 27, 2014

June in focus - lots of orange and green

Our lovely orange trumpet vine has survived another year!  Back here I mentioned the last of the winter vine for the second time. 

Another year has rolled around and it is turning into more of a monolith it seems!  The tree it is covering is long dead if we remove the vine we (or he, dear husband) will have to remove the tree too.
and there's plenty of green in the choko vine, citrus trees - plus a rather petite green frog I spotted.  I couldn't believe it, we don't get many frogs these days, mainly cane toads.   This guy was so cute.
Cannot believe that it is July next week!  Hopefully July will see the rewards coming through in our veggie garden too.

By the way, there's some retro orange featured in some of the homeware I'm selling over at vintage_declutter at the moment too, with more to come!


cheers for now

June 12, 2014

When Life Sends You Chokos

and you are just a little tired of steamed, fried, grated, juiced, stir fried or baked choko.  When it seems as that the choko vine keeps churning them out at a rapid rate of knots.

Then they are easily disguised as apple and blueberry crumble!

I know that a lot of people have grown up only knowing a choko which has been firstly overboiled and then swamped in white sauce.  Not a good look (or taste).

In my opinion, there is nothing sweeter than a young choko quickly steamed and tossed in a little butter and pepper.

However, this is a good trick if incognito is required!  When the family gets just a little tired of the never ending green vegetable making an appearance at yet another meal.
I just made up some poached fruit - in this case sliced chokos and apples and added some frozen blueberries for a colour change!  For sweetness, just the usual dash of vanilla
and covered with some crumble, just some rolled oats, butter, brown sugar and a bit of cereal mix.

Who would have thought they started out like this - well I didn't add the beans.   The truth of the matter is the humble choko is really a bland flavour which will take on another influence very easily.
My little kitchen secret - and no one was any the wiser!  The trick is to slice the choko and the apple the same way and not too thickly - and the addition of quite a few blueberries or another berry.  Enjoy!

cheers for now

June 4, 2014

Taking Stock 01

Pip over at  meetmeatmikes is taking stock, so I thought I would have a bit of fun and join in too:

So here's my list:
Making :   knitted squares – it’s all I seem to focus on. 
Cooking :   orange cake - soonish
Drinking :  English breakfast w skim milk
Reading:   All the Birds, Singing
Looking:    at learning to crochet
Deciding:   must take more photos
Wishing:  to be more motivated
Enjoying:   everything about June espec NRL footy
Waiting:   for the long weekend, though sadly we have a funeral to go to
Liking:   avocado on rye toast
Wondering:   why I can’t lose weight
Loving:   the cooler weather at last
Pondering:   the weather in Hobart February 2015 for our holiday
Considering:   stepping away from the computer and going for a walk
Watching:   The Voice 
Hoping: to get a lot done today
Marvelling:  at how I procrastinate
Needing:   avocado on rye toast for breakfast soon
Smelling:   toast and fresh morning air
Wearing:   jeans & old Regatta trackie top
Following:   an eclectic lot of new-to-me blogs (Strayed from the Table / The Apprentice Extrovert / Walk Among the Homes / Zaranne Handmade / Learn This Phrase
Noticing:   veggie garden doing well.  Will do a catchup post soonish.
Knowing:   I can push myself more with my online sales
Thinking:   how much I can still achieve this week
Admiring:   son as he effortlessly juggles work/play/mid-year uni exams
Sorting:   out old clothes
Buying:   trying to give up the habit (Live-Like-a-Minimalist - ha I wish!)
Getting:   reflective about son turning 19 on June 9.  Tho it seems ages since he turned 18
Bookmarking:   wool I want to buy right now! 
Disliking:   news and current affairs atm - so have vetoed altogether. 
Opening:   plans for extended travel next year if $$ allow (refer disliking)
Giggling:   at some silly movie last night.  So much more fun to watch.
Feeling:   very sad that we have lost a friend recently to cancer
Snacking:   almonds
Coveting:   chocolate almonds
Wishing:   son wasn’t planning a tattoo (sorry mate, just being a mum)
Helping:    to get house sorted out / decluttered?
Hearing:   lorikeets in Poinciana tree just outside window.

Thanks Pip!

cheers for now

May 30, 2014

The Year in Books - May

This is actually a bit cheeky - sneaking in a post at the very end of May!
As I'm joining in with The Year in Books with Laura at Circle of Pine Trees, one of the books I've read is on the suggested reading list.  This was Life After Life which many have read and recommended.
So, also in keeping with the theme of The Year in Books, I'll just give my two bobs worth with regards to the book - as opposed to a review.

Life After Life - well, let's be honest here.  I liked it, but I didn't love it!   I probably have more of a liking for her Jackson Brodie character in her mystery themed novels.  I prefer definitive endings and the lack of a real ending took away my enjoyment. The concept of Life After Life was a little repetive but Kate Atkinson brings a strong sense of place and time.  The Nazi connection did not work for me - but it was a good read, though I had to push myself at times to finish it. 

Our library system tags books with a code for easily identified genres.  I'm assuming other libraries do that too?  Notice anything about the three books I've read? It seems that I'm firmly in the 'mystery' classification. The little cap and spyglass shows that I gravitate to a suspenseful or mystery theme.   
I've read a couple more books since these three which I didn't photograph.  The one which stands out of would be Lisa Scottoline's - Keep Quiet.  It was a great read.  A good mystery with more than one twist in the tale. 

Next month (next week!) I will be starting All the Birds, Singing which promises good suspense.  It's not on the suggested reading list for the Year in Books, but I thought I would give it a try.  Might be able to recommend it for the list later.

Do you like reading as much as I do?  I'm glad I've joined this group.  I'm pleased to be keeping tabs on what I read, and to see what others are reading.

Oh!   I was pleased to see that one of my favourite authors Tana French has a new book out which I have reserved from the library.  Can't wait for that one!

cheers for now

May 18, 2014

From the garden this week

The fruits of the garden at this end of this week.
 The ubiquitous choko.  Lots of them.  Beans just coming on.
Eggs from the girls.  Plenty at the moment.
Pawpaws saved from the possums.  Very sweet to eat no wonder they are popular.   
Not so good with the citrus this year.  Juicing only - except for the lime in a G&T!

cheers for now 

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