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

Monday, November 30, 2009

New arrival and update on weekend's to do list.

Little Ginger has hatched out 1 little orpington chick. She is a great mum but I wonder what she's going to do when in a few weeks it going to be twice as big as her.

Yep it the fence again, all 50 posts down this side, all except 4 concreted in, and now we heading across to Pumpkin Patch. thank goodness we just about done. Nexttime I going to do a post count. Bets are on we should be nearing 250 posts.

Daisy follows you around where ever you working. She even hitched a ride on the little trailer behind the rideon, did go extra slow so not to spook her.

The lambs travelled really well up to the farm and back, the lucerne helped get them loaded for the trip back. When one jumps in the trailer the rest just follow.

Miss Daisy throw a little hissy fit, cause she got demoted to livestock. If I had not been there , there was no way I would have believed it. She refused to look around or get up when she was called. Just faced the "naughty corner" not even moving a muscle or an ear ... had the sulks big time.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Santa's helper

I just had to share this picture with you out there in blogland. This is my 13yr old cat called Rat. Weird name for a cat, but there's a good reason. She fell into the toilet when she was little cause someone never put the seat down hmmmm, don't we all known the struggle we have with the men folk. Poor thing looked like a drowned rat and it stuck.

I mentioned Tanya's party a while back and she asked me very nicely to please decorate the house. Seeing it was going to be just us 3 this year I was hoping to get away with just a nice meal. She very willingly dragged the decorations out and promptly dismissed herself from helping as she had urgent costumes to sew for the graduation night.

Well my helper looks very pleased with herself sitting amongst Santa's reindeer and trees.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cruising around Bellbrook and our favorite spots

When we have heavy rain for a few days, this bridge could be easy 1mtr under water, leaving the poor folk on the otherside stranded.

Early morning pic of the Maclay River, just miss a fish jumping check out the water disturbance ... must have been a big one.

Picnic spot in the park,it was here we had a welcoming picnic for the new comers to our villiage.

Bellbrook Hotel and pub, every town needs one ...

Beautiful arts and craft products sold here.

Two of the lovely properties as your heading out of the Villiage.

World famous Freddo Pies definately the best pies we ever tasted.Their sausage rolls are to die for


Lunch at Smithtown's Riverside Hotel overlooking The Maclay River, it's the same river that menanders past Bellbrook. It flows towards South West Rocks, one of the prettiest sea side towns. Anyone joining us for lunch ... best ribs and just to top it off some sticky date pudding, Yummy.

I hope you enjoyed this day out with us
Until nexttime

Lavender Hill ... our slice of heaven

Another weekend at the farm, we left Thursday 4am for the 6hr drive to Bellbrook. But first we stopped off a Nabiac for a quick cuppa with Tipsiepixie from ALS. She is doing great since our last visit, her garden is looking great and she also gave me a quick run down about Wicker beds, the vegetable kind. So I thought a few photo's of the farm would make a nice change. While the whistling kettle was warming on the hotplate, I went snapping pics, leaving George to make the coffee. I love the misty mornings. Maggie the magpie joined us for breakfast, she must have been handraised to come this close, but we have never touched her only given her some scraps which she happily takes. She brought her hungry juvinile baby with her, my but it noisy. Warning many people have been bombdived by magpies around this time cause of the babies.

Well thats just a little taste of life Up River. I still can't believe the place was so overgrown when we first started. Still got a bit to clear. We have had 80mm of rain since the last time we were there, and the grass is growing like crazy. Roll on December, them sheep are going to have a feast.
Please excuse the state of the garden but there really was no time to do any weeding, we had posts to concrete in.

Until nexttime when I will take you on a tour of Bellbrook

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Plans for december holidays and Christmas at the Farm

Every year for the last 3 years we have said we going to be at the farm over the holiday period, but then we head up to the kids in Brisane instead, only cause they don't want to drive down. Which I understand as we still don't have a house built yet. Need to do all the council soil tests, +++ For us two oldies it not a problem we just rough it out in the old caravan. Even the grandkids enjoy it there, but having no mod cons there just does not suit them. The sound of running water, hot showers and ice cold beers is more their style. If we manage to get them there we would hire a holiday cabin from my friend Jenny.

We do have a generator that is strong enough to power up lights, fridge and powertools but I hate the noise it makes and only use it when we really have too. The only thing I miss is the computer. We don't have a TV but we could take a spare one with a dvd recorder for DH's cowboy movies (God forbid)as if he doesn't see enough of those during the week at home. Weekend's it normally sport. Otherwise we just run a camping fridge and 2 gas burner hotplate. We also BBQ a fair bit or cook in the Texas smoker. Evenings we burn citronella torches for the mozzies and light. Normally I have a bucket of water in the shade where I just pop in cooldrink bottles, milk and juice, that work really well in wintertime, add a bag of ice and you got icecold drinks.

Bath time is a little more challenging, you need to boil a kettle and sausepan for hot water, pour that in a large old cast iron freestanding bath, and add required cold water, only difference is it outside. There is another method but it sounds a little like a witches pot to me, but I will give it a go oneday and make a small fire under the bath, only got to watch I don't burn this fat behind. Wood I got a plenty. Dear Husband hates making the fire but I really don't mind it, no little white starter blocks or other strange methods, just newspaper, thin kindling and matches. No I did not go to girl guides when I was young.

We might even try catching some dinner this time, the river has Bass and catfish and some other edible fish. and it's only 5 mins away. If that fails we just head on to Smithtown to our hang out joint and have a nice Barramundi with chips and salad. What a great venue on the river bank where you can moar you boat and sit outside enjoying lunch and a beer. Nexttime we there I will take some pic to show you.

We still have to do a bit of fencing at the farm so the sheep can go there for the month, that idea is slowly disintergrating cause I just can't see it being ready in time. We heading up this weekend with yet another trailer load of sand stone. The ground should be nice and wet for digging holes as we have had heaps of rain there.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Basic waffle mixture
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 egg
2 Tsp melted butter or oil
3/4 cup milk

Sieve dry ingredients into a bowl.
Add melted butter, milk and egg together,
Add gradually to flour mixing well.

Serve with your favorite topping. (which would have been syrup and ice cream)
DD made us dessert on Sunday evening and she drizzled warm honey, a scoop of frozen yogurt 97% fat free and freshly chopped strawberries. Oh so yummy!
Makes 4 smallish waffles.

Today's to do list

Here's enough work for a whole troop of strong workers, but no my DS moved to Brisbane to get away from his mother, can't say I blame him but more than 14 hrs drive? Did he have to go that far? and I thought giving him a good feed and letting him use my washing machine was good payment.

So back to that list: I know I said it before but this is tops on the list ... Daisy the goat's yard and house. She is in trouble with DD for jumping on her car, it's the first time she has done that. She perfers to lie in the boot, supervising all the workers. And to do her job properly she needed to have "the best seat in the house", just stay away from my Bud ... story for another day.

I am past feeling sorry for poor husband who is going to help me today with the above house. Treated posts have been concreted in, gate is hanging but no fencing yet. DD thinks Daisy is going to live there permanently, and is suggesting we give Norman a home. He has been castorated and is only a week older than Daisy. But Norman has a great time at University. That's the Livestock Department of cause where his is allowed to walk freely, all the medical care he needs. What feral goat could ask for a better life.

So please come back later today and I will post more pic of our progress.

And I am still looking for 2 readers wanting to take part in my Pay it Forward give away Will that be you ... I don't mind sending overseas.

Srr ya later Alligator... in awhile crocodile.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Homemade Cinnamon Doggie Treats

I read in free magazine "Urban Animal" from our local Pet Barn that cinnamon is very good for humans and dogs. "Cinnamon contains sulphur, dogs like cinnamon but fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and flies hate sulphur." also a recent study suggests Cinnamon has healing properties, reducing muscle and joint pain. It suggests that cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory compounds which may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. The Chinese knew about it as early as 2800BC....

Anyway I like the sound of these biccies for the dogs, being Xmas time and we're all starting to think of present to make. Why not make some of these for the Mother-inlaw's dog, she will love ya (I mean the MIL)

Cinnamon and Honey Crunchies (they looked so good I thought they human biddies)
1 Lge Apple
1/4 cup Honey
1/2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups whole meal flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/8 cup of whole meal flour for dusting the tray.

Core,slice, grate/mince apple, use a food processor if you have one. Combine apple, honey, water, cinnamon and oatmeal in a large bowl. Gradually add flour to form a stiff dough. Gently Roll into small balls, flatten and place on a greased baking tray and bake for 30 minutes on 180 C. Remove tray, reduce oven to 160 C and flip the cookie to brown evenly on both sides for another 30 minutes. Cool and then seal in a airtight container

Makes about 3 dozen crunchy cookies.
I love this magazine cause there's always handy hints and things to make for our pets.
Until nexttime

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pay it Forward Post

I invite you to read my post about Pay it Forward, it's in my other blog Past and Present.

Have you got a Pay it Forward story to tell, I would love to hear from you.

Some of my posts are in Afrikaans so if you can't read it them, don't worry. There are a enough English posts for you to enjoy.
Pay it forward

From Here
I will make a handmade gift for the first 3 interested people who comment on this post. I have 365 days to do it in…What it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise!
The catch is that you must participate as well: you must have a blog and before you leave your comment here, write up a pay it forward post on your blog to keep the fun going. Just cut and paste this one if you like, which I did.

Until nexttime

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Party time ... some yummy fingerfood

This time of the year it's hard to get friends over cause of all the work functions and christmas parties. You need to get in early. Dear Daughter want to hosts a Pool party for her friends and students, she runs adult dance classes. Have you heard of Zumba... latin cardio/fitness We looking at 50 guests max.(This my son and his partner's website, click on Zumba and it should take you there)

So yesterday I have been going through a few Good Food magazines, November 's has a Lovely Carrot cake on the cover, that's why I bought it in the first place. There are some great ideas for fingerfood in it too.

Here some ideas from the magazine.

Caramelized onion and artichoke Pizza ... homemade pizza base topped with tomato base you would normally use (tomato passata),
1/4 caramelized onion
280gr artichoke drained and quartered
sprinkle a little Blue cheese and some pine nuts
drizzle a tablespoon olive oil
Bake and garnish with a little fresh rocket
(Try Dear Daughter thin crust pizza base it very easy and quick under recipes)
Make 1 pizza

Tomato, bocconcini and herb Brushetta
Combine 3 chopped up tomatoes with 3 chopped up bocconcini balls
2 tablespoons each of chopped mint and basil add 2 tablespoons olive oil
mix in a large bowl. slice and toast 12 baguette slices and rub with garlic.
Top each with tomato mix just before serving
I would add a small red diced onion to the tomato mix.

Mini cheese and bacon frittatas
Whish together 4 eggs, 1/3 cup cream and 2 tablespoon plain flour.
Stir through 175gr chopped bacon, 1/3 cup chopped parsley and 1/3 cup grated
mozzarella. Spoon into a greased 12 hole mini muffin pan. Bake at 180C for 12 mins or until just set and golden. Remove and serve.

Tomato Puffs
Lay 2 sheets of puff pastry on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Score a 1cm border around the edges of the pastry and drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil (each) Sprinkle parmesan and top with sliced thickly sliced tomato. Bake at 200C for 15 mins, or golden and puffed. Cut into squares to serve.

Now something you can prepare ahead

Chicken and celery finger sandwiches
Finely chopped up BBQ Chicken Breast combined with 1 cup whole egg mayonnaise
2 finely chopped celery stalks and 1/2 finely chopped red onion.
Spread over slices of whole grained bread.Remove crusts and cut into fingers.

Ginger and Honey Drumettes
Combine 1tsp grated ginger and 1/3 cup honey. Add 1kg chicken drummettes, turn and coat well.Bake in a 200C oven until golden and cooked through. Serve hot or cold.

Now with a little more thought into preparing the food done, we can get on with the rest. Hope you found something you could take with you for a plate.
Have you been asked to bring a plate to a function, well I wondered about that when we first arrive in OZ, don't these people have any plates. When we were invited for an BBQ or function we always took a good bottle of wine, salad and chips.

Did I ever tell you about my friend Gill and Graham, no I suppose not but I will oneday in my other blog. We got this arrangement the one coming over bring dessert and wine. Works well.

Until nexttime

Friday, November 6, 2009

Lets Celebrate ... my 50th post

I can't believe it, My 50th post, never thought it possible to talk so much about our lives and our animals. Normally I am not a very talkative person, yeh I am a Capricorn but I am also an only child. So I talk alot to myself, is that a bad thing?

Anyway seeing I am on this huge diet cause the old knees won't take my weight any longer without damage and "Authuritise" (spelt wrong on purpose)I nearly hit the doctor over the head the first time he dared mention it. Man how could there be no sign of it, no joint pain, nothing and then I hurt a muscle by stepping wrong, Then a xray confirmed it. Now as Dear Daughter put it very nicely, "Your going to need a wheelchair oneday". Well it better be one of those Motorized Scooters with a flag. Have you seen them oldies go ....

So to Celebrate I am going to invite you to try this Tipsy Tart, I love making it and it's easy ... one of Moms favorites.

Mix 1 cup roughly chopped Dates, 1 teaspoon Bicard and 1 cup boiling water in a large bowl.

Cream 2 large Tablespoon butter or marg, 1 cup sugar and 1 egg. Add dry ingredients 1 1/4 cup plain flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and pinch of salt. Add this to the dates mixture. stir in 1 cup of walnut and a few glased cherries.

Pour mix into a 9 inch baking dish and bake at 375*f for 15/20 mins. then pour over the following syrup

Bring to the boil the following ingredients, 1 1/4 cup sugar,3/4 cup water, 1 Tablesp
butter. Let it cool a little before adding 1/4 cup cheap Brandy. Pour over Tart while it's still warm, soaking up the syrup. Serve cold with whipped cream.

PS Might add a pic later but I don't have the willpower to make it and then not try some, very sad I know. Might have a cup of coffee with you.

Until nexttime

Update on sheep, chooks and veggie patch ... oh and Daisy

Warning to prospective sheep owners .... if you don't have enough space don't keep to many sheep. And then we had 6 lambs ... We started off with 1 ram 6 ewes, thats how they came, a good deal too, we were even 3 city slicker owners at one stage, one caused an huge argument, dunno what happened to 2nd one?? and I am left holding the bill. They have exhausted the paddocks and the rain has not be that good, but I thought I was doing the right thing and supplementing their feed and then the green grass ran out too.

The *xxxx* hit the fan and but finally we got answers ... but we not out the woods yet. Having run out of grass for the sheep sometime ago, we have been supplimenting their feed with ponymix which has molasse in it, sheep pellets, fresh bails of lucerne +++ for the last 4/6 months while still herding them to fresh grass around the house and yard, all while ewes gave birth to 6 lambs. BTW they fat as pigs. Had all the tails & nuts done, vaccinated, wormed regularly. In other words done the right thing.

But mum's condition has not been that wonderful as lambs has sucked them dry,and they really need to put some wight on. Partly my fault as I should have weaned then earlier . They were shorn on Wensday and wormed. Today lambs are all getting weaned, so we better get the earplugs out for the next week or so. By doing that now the ewes should put on weight. Some of the sheep (one died, lucky one I was not going to keep)have picked up a tummy bug, confirmed by the vet, who gave them shots of antibiotics and meds for the next few days. Monday we get the bill when we pick up more meds.

The veggie patch at Mulgoa has been fenced and raised beds made, planted with corn, bean and squash in one larger bed. Tomato seedlings, parsley and mustard plant which is now going to seed in another. Spinach,chilies, capsicums, a few strawberry plants, more mustard seedlings and rocket in no 3. bed. Potatoe in tubes, Italian parsley and oregano in pots. Got another bed that needs building this weekend, where I would like to plant Leb zucc.

Well thats today's job. Monday/tuesday we are expecting orpington chicks to hatch, will update soon.


One week on, and the lambies are doing great, Miss Bella, Molly, Polly and the orphan Stella, and Boys have settled in the paddock next door to mums. Today I will need to move them to the shed area, where the grass could do with a little mowing for the next week. Mums can graze around the house for the weekend. They are looking a little better as well.

My latest project is making Daisy the feral goat a yard and house for herself. the posts have been cemented in, gate attached to the post. This weekend I plan on closing it in with 1200mm high wire and building a house for her. That might not keep her in but running some hot tape around the top might. Mainly a place for her to sleep and stay when we not home.

Daisy keeping an eye on the workers.

Another recycle and reuse idea. Had this crasy idea at work yesterday, asked one of the young blokes to cut me a 44 gallon drum down the middle. This is going to be the roof. The sides we going to be made from scrap wooden crates all stuck on a wooden pallet. The other half is going to be turned into a small chook house for the incubator chicks adding a little run of their own around it. If this works good I want to make a few more and move the broodys on their own. We're so running out of space for different aged chooks atm. Ginger and Henny have gone broody and are sitting on 3 eggs for Ginger (Frizzle)and 4 for Henny (Austrolope) Still waiting on PM from the lady whose incubating them orpington eggs. Have you see how big they get? nice big meat birds have to sell a few to get my investment back.

Lets hope for many little chookies ... got PMed but we only got 2 babies, one with a leg problem and it died this morning.
Harry whats going on my Boy?

Please come back later for pics but now I need to go shopping with Dear Daughter, we might even have lunch at the mall. We need to spend more quality time with her, me and my purse. Don't you love them kids!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lucky Find at the Op shop ... One of Jackie French's books

It's amazing what you can find at Op shops especially coming across one of Jackie French's books an oldy Beyond Organic Gardening "The Wilderness Garden" for $4 cheap as. This Lady has wonderful gardening ideas and all do able. I love the wire mesh circle idea for beans to grow on. and the bicycle rim on a steel post anchered by string for peas. Growing cucumbers in a tin anchored to a post so the plant can trail downwards. Making compost a few different ways and dealing with weeds and bugs, and more interesting stuff ....

Aren't these so cute. The little set is from Pumpkin Patch , hardly worn. Check out the little jeans. The leather sandles are in such good nick. Their off to the secret stash box, until I find an owner for them.

I picked up a queen sizes bed spread in wonderful condition for $5 awhile ago, that has gone straight to the farm. and it's even the right colour I was looking for. And a large mohair blanket for $10. Since Donnas and Quilts have come along, blankets and bed spread have gone out the door.

No wonder their are called Oppertunity Shops.
Until nexttime

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Melbourne Cup Day

The Melbourne Cup is held every year on the first Tuesday of November, A Race that stops a Nation. White Marquees, Rose Gardens, Lots of betting, Fashion and Horses. Never had the privilage of actually being there, maybe someday.

We normally have a sweep at work, $5 and $2 bets. Boss gets a few beers and cooldrinks, chips and dips and we all hang out in the lunchroom in front of the TV. I got the Luck of the draw this year with Shocking coming in first, won a whole $60 bucks. Riden by Corey Brown, his first Melbourne Cup win. The horse Roman Emporer and Alles Wonder were my favorites for this year. Oneday I would love to go to a big race just to experience the smells, noise and excitement of it all.

Have a wonderful day everyone,
off to go earn my living for the day

Monday, November 2, 2009

Especially for Ladies, Moms and Grandmas (personal hygiene)

Why does nobody want to talk about this problem!

Yeh I know what has taken me this long to wake up to Clothpads... to be truthfull I don't need them any anymore, so maybe that's why. Then I got thinking us older ladies have our own problem caused by childbirth ... the dreaded leaking bladder when you cough or sneeze ... god forbid picking up grandkids ... you know what I mean. So why are we paying dearly for Tena Ladies or Depend (or what ever other brand you use)? Can't we use the same ones as younger ladies do, maybe a bigger/thicker shaped one for night time use. Maybe save the Tena Ladies for when we go out!
We can make our own clothpads with a little waterproof lining and an extra layer as shown in this link for clothpads
The pattern given is so easy to make. I think I want to make a few to try and then if I like them, make more. for my secret stash box as well. Washing them does not seam to be a big deal either. a small bucket of water with nappysan or bleach in the laundry until you wash them, and they good as new. Maybe add a nice smelly softner with your rince water ....

Not sure why that link did not work ...

thought I just share
Until next time