The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple. ~Doris Janzen Longacre

The best way to bring a sustainable change in the world around me is by bringing the change in myself

Friday, May 26, 2017

Winter has arrived in New Zealand

Not officially yet but for me winter is here with full force. Maybe not like in Canada I gather where our house guests come from. Tales of having to dig yourself out just to get to your car. landing on your backside more times than she could count. Fishing though a hole on a iced up river, sounds like they enjoyed that experience. But it was all new experiences for them too No way that is not for me. We are childen of Africa and can't cope with that sort of weather. I like the sun to warm up my old bones, in that way I would do well as a cat basking in a sunny patch somewhere. I like working in my garden, my retreat from this world. I planted a summer veggie garden cause that is what I know, will grow for me. and it did grow and produce well. My fight with the monster weeds of all sorts was worth it. Beans were cut and frozen, some made it into bottles. Zucchini grew into monsters which I grated , drain the excess moisture and froze to use in fritters and slices and muffins during the cold winter. Potatoes were used fresh in our meals cooked either whole and ate with butter or in a stew. nothing nicer than fresh potatoes. and spinach pie, which we had a lot of during the summer. Yumm I regret not having a bigger veggie garden but will add beds during the winter and get them ready for spring planting. Learnt gardening here is different than what I am used too. Still got carrots and spinach in grow tunnels, which I bought at our local clearance shed. Great to protect them from the frost and also the chooks who had a feast on them before I closed the beds up with the tunnels.Motto for next growing season : get the seed in early for that I need a small green house or mini hot house. Get organized!!! sadly my kumera and sweet potato lost all their leaves due to frost, not quite sure if I will try dig them up and see what I got if anything. so that is the garden news Happy Gardening to our American friends xxx

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cyclone Cook

We are sitting here, prepared as much as you could possible befor Cyclone Cook. According to the weather man due to hit North Island as we speak. We are just south of Auckland, in the Franklin region and expecting 150klm winds and heavy rain. our driveway at the gate floods but so far we have been lucky in the storms we had this month. How bad this will get who knows. Our old villa we are staying in was built in the 1880's one of the first homes built here when the town was first established. A sleepout/granny flat was added with a breeze way. Thank goodness someone put a roof over it. the old wood stove was removed and a wood burner was put in it's place. the kitchen was extended and now we use the old space as a small lounge/home office/kitchen wish it was just a little bigger. but it is where we hang out most of the time. There is an old dairy which is now stables and wash bay for the horses and a small tackroom. Unfortunately this home has seem many years of neglect and tenants When we moved in about 8 months ago the garden was a huge weed invested area, wild turnips, thistles, celery and dock .. you name it we had it. Not liking chemicals weed spray I started hard pulling them and and letting them dry out on the concrete dairy path. Hopefully i got to them before they set seed esp the wild turnips. Weeding will be an on going battle but regular mowing should also help a lot. Digging new veggie beds was my first task so I set aside a sheltered area and as it turned out previous gardeners thought it was a good spot too. It was also the old pit and as I dug old pieces of glass and pottery and china showed up. I collected as much as I could find, washed, sorted out beautiful coloured glass into bags. I found old treasures, worthless to everyone else but they told me a story of times gone by. Maybe one day I will find out who lived here. Sorry got a little side tracked there .. we had a good crop of climbing beans, which I made into curry beans and bottled about 8 jars, a old South African recipe. You will find the recipe in the blog under recipes. We eat freshly dug up good crop of Nadine potatoes oh so fresh with butter. Zucchini in abundance, grated, drained the liquid off and filled ziplocks bags and put them in the freezer. Made pasata with most of the Roma tomatoes. We made beautiful spinach pie with lovely healthy spinach leaves. ATM we have sweet potatoes/kumera, pumpkins, peppers,celery, lebanese cucumbers and chillies. now something I have never tried before is an late garden, sowed carrots and pasnips and covered them with a plastic grow tunnel. the seeds have all come up. now to see if it will work for the winter. Next spring I plan on doing a bigger garden I need to figure out how to load pictures again. so until next time regards Rina update we got fair bit of rain but nothing like they predicted. the cyclone turned and swept down towards The bay of Plenty and then on to Wellington.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Hello Bloggers .. any one out there ...????

wow it has been years since I last blogged, so much has happened in my life. I would need a few posts to help you catch up. In short we have moved to New Zealand, North Island. Australia just made it impossible for us to get Permanent Residence, so all my wonderful retirement plans fell apart. I had to sell my farm we worked so hard at. I was very anger with my hubby for getting us into a situation where nothing worked out anymore for us in Australia. so now we are here in New Zealand. going back to Africa is no option either. But we are picking up the pieces and moving on. please say hi so I know someone is still out there.

Monday, July 8, 2013

News of Elena, Cold winter nights and lambing time ...

Well I finally get a spare moment to say Hi to Everyone again. Been ages since I last posted, so much has happened since then. Our beautiful little grand daughter Elena has had her first treatment for her little club feet starting the first consultation with the Specialist. They put casts on changing them every week for a new set. and then Drs did the little operation and put the next lot of casts on. By the 3rd week they had her in the boots and calipers. According to Mum she cried a lot that day which would have really unsettled everyone. Elena has to wear her boots 23hrs a day, only getting 1 hour to have her bath and a cuddle without the boots. Elena is looking more like her Italian side of the family with every photo I see of her. I finally have finished her Granny square baby blanket and a zigzag striped blanket and just need to give them a good wash and send them off to Brisbane. Never taken me this long to finish anything, lucky winter is not over yet. We did a quick trip up to the farm this past weekend, It sure was colder up there than here in Mulgoa. The frost sat on the windscreen you could not even see through it. We had to pour water over it to clear that up and turn the wipers on. The blades of grass were covered as well. no wonder I had to get an extra blanket out in the early morning. Having curtains up would have helped to but I feel while people can see in they are less likely to want to break in and steal as it looks like it's just a bed with a really long cover over it. It's what they can't see under the bed ... And as always I brought a few more supplies up and 20 bags of mushroom compost. I was hoping we would have stayed another day but no, he had appointments for Monday that could not wait. On Friday night just as we walked in from work and running around the whole afternoon with shopping, our neighbour/landlady was going into a panic again. One of her ewe's lamb was stuck in the birth canal and she was frantic yelling at her husband to do something. Poor bloke had to assist me pull out another of their lambs the week before too only the ewe would have no bar of that one afterwards, and so we learn from our mistakes. But hey Fernando had to help pin this one down for me again, first he had to set up some lights cause the ewe had chosen the worst dark spot to deliver her lamb. The feet and head were in the correct position and had been poking out just enough for me to grab hold of one leg first and pull a little to release the position just a little then grab both legs and pull him out. And what a whopper, he was huge no wonder mum just could not get him out by herself. Sy took to him straightaway ... So far they have 3 sets of twins and 4 singles and 2 ewes to go. We sold 2 and lost 2 old girls last year so this year we should only have 4 lambs with is just fine by me. Mr Rowan sure did a fine job servicing the neighbourhood's girls first before he made time for his own girls. So taking that into consideration we should start having babies by the weekend coming. There is a few more things I would like to share with you but that will have to wait till next time Hope everyone is keeping well Rina