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, October 29, 2010

Another weekend's to do list ...

Post and rail fence around our property in Bellbrook, we still have a fair way to go before it's complete, then it's painting it which is my job. To the right of the pic is the main paddock where our sheep will be grazing.

The to do lists around here never get finished for as quick as you get one thing done you have added something else that needs attending too. Fridays is my day for getting the weekly feed bought and filling the black tubs. We normally come home a little earlier then, and with day light savings I am loving the extra hour day light. If only I could buy larger quantities but with out a decent barn or garage it's not worth it. It would be better if the animals could all free range only we are limited on space. We had some welcome rain lately with more forecast this weekend.

Our latest project is another chook house, made up of 4 panels that can unscrew when we need to move it again. It's not very big, made to fit on an existing concrete slab where the old outdoor BBQ used to be. George made it 2.4mtr high so it can be converted into a shed if need be. I have been so inspired by everybody's meat chooks that I have decided to try raising some for the freezer too. But first the orpingtons mums and chicks will need a larger chook house as all the other spots are inhabited atm. The wood used here is recycled, Thanks Des. Don't think we will be doing much to it this weekend cause I bought a pack of reject hardwood at the auction on Monday. And that needs to be cut to size for the fence rails, that something we can do in Sydney, cut and pack them in the trailer ready to take up. Then we just need to level and screw them on as the posts have all been concreted in some time ago.

Tuesday Don the shearer was here, for the yearly full hair cut, drench and vaccinations. He rubber banded all the tails of the lambs and Daisy got a hoof trim and her shoots. 3 ewes are still to lamb so he will be back. In the above pic you can just see Stella, behind Bella, She was orphaned at 10 weeks, missing out badly, it shows on her size too. She will have to fill out in the next 3 months or she can't be breed next year.

I guess a little housework needs to be done this weekend, so I woun't go to work tomorrow. Also I need to spend a little time in the garden. I bought some Milo and stripy sunflower seeds, hand sowed that amongst the pumpkins. Milo is chook food. Planted mainly to shade the pumpkins a little. I also want to spread a few bags of mushroom compost as a mulch around the pumpkin plants.
Well that all for now. Have a great weekend
See ya Rina

Monday, October 25, 2010

Your Busted Miss Daisy

Oh yah what going on here. Someones having a nibble on Mom's chinese broccolli

What about that juicy beetroot in the blue tube

Maybe I chomp that grassy thing instead

or what about those pretty yellow flowers That was mom's turnip that gone to seed.

Really do I have to get out the veggie patch?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rack of Lamb and Yummy slice of cake (esp for Des)

It's been raining steadily the whole weekend so far, it's turned cold again too. There's nothing you can do outside without getting drenched and having already returned the escaped horse and pony back to their paddock twice this morning, I don't fancy getting wet again. So spending a little time in front of the computer while waiting for the rack of lamb, potatoes, garlic and onion to roast. We're having butternut and ceasar salad with that. It's the last except for a few ribs left of our home breed lamb. Then a piece of cake I invented this morning. After tidying the pantry a little, found ...

Some dried apricots and pears and 3 bits of old crystalized ginger and decided to chop it all up. I would have added a half cup of coconut but was out of it.

Creamed 2 eggs, 1 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons of butter, added 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.
Too which I added 2 cups of self raising flour
1 cup milk and diced dried fruit.
Sprayed a baking tin with non stick spray and filled the tin.
Baked at 350 for 40 mins, remove it from the oven and add a glaze of Nilo's lemon marmalade and apricot jam which I mixed. Return to the oven for 10 mins.

I know one man by the name of Des that would love the citrus taste.

We having a shocker today ... last night one of the brown ewes started going into labour, she had a prolasped uterus last year and I never planned breeding from her again but the Ram from next door jumped the fence and serviced some of my girls ... not happy! It's been a day now and she is having problems giving birth, the uterus pushes out everytime she pushes. I have been in contact with a "Midwife" and we waiting for her to start bearing down ... personally I think it could be a breech and will keep monitoring her, I have googled difficult sheep births and have a fair idea what to do ... good chance it will be still born or we will be calling the vet at the livestock department at Camden University in the morning.

That's it for another weekend.
Have a great week

Strength .....

Normally I would post this in my other blog but it is so beautiful I thought I might share it here instead. One of our friends Estelle posted it on FB
Thanks Estelle,

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grandma's Ginger Pudding ...

Ginger pudding is my most treasured recipe, you had to leave enough space for this wonderful easy pudding, served after a sonday roast, made with love by my grandmother. She passed it down the line to my mother, who passed it down to me. Now I want to share it with you.

1 tablespoon butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon apricot jam
Cream together
Mix in a seperate bowl
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon ginger powder
Pour 1 cup of milk and add 1 teaspoon of bicard (baking soda) to it and stir. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar ( I raised my eyebrows too at the vinegar but it works)
Now mix everything together and pour into a pyrex baking dish after you sprayed it with non stick spray. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 mins. remove from the oven and pour over the following sauce
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 sugar
Bring it to the "boil" pour over hot pudding and return to the oven for 5 mins, allowing the sauce to soak in. Serve warm with ice cream, cream or custard.

This is a true treasure and you will not be disappointed I promise you
Will add pic soon

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A little bit of crafting for pink ribbon day

Now what can I do to help decorate the hall for Tanya's Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Girls Night in. Just the sort of thing I love doing, putting myself under pressure, thats when I function the best.

(Friday)I bought 3 glass vases from the 2Dollar shop this morning, just right for some pink roses. I have a large white damask table cloth for the snack table. Need some pink plates and napkins, Pink, silver and white balloons to hang from the ceiling ... I need to go to the party shop for that

Then on to spotlight for some pink fabric for a garland flag thingy (Bunting). I bought 2 mtrs of fabric at $7 a mtr and 10 mtrs of cord. This is so easy to make. Fold your chosen material double, placing the top bit of the material on the fold, pin and cut a triangle, fold it open and it should be a diamond shape. Cut a few more ...

I bought a thin pink cord that is going to be sewn inside the flags, fold flag back to the triangle and placing cord along the inside of the top/fold. Pin and sew the sides on top. Leaving atleast 1/2 mtr each end of the cord to tie it up with. So we're not even going to fold it inside out or anything. Quick and easy sewing on top. (Might have to make two of them)

(Wensday)Why is it when your not looking for something then there's heaps in the shops, but when you want some there's none available. The hunts on for tiny disco balls ... 8 in a box, pink ribbon and little roses. Today I found the disco balls and ribbon 2/3's of the way there. and pretty paper cupcake holders and paper doilies. You will have to wait for the big reveal, sorry no pics yet
Still waiting for a date Tanya??!!??

We will a serving pink champagne, strawberries dipped in white and milk chocolate, cupcakes decorated beautifully. Hmmm did we not buy one of those wire cup cake holder thingies the other day. Some coconut ice might look nice too. Freshly baked puff pastry with ricotta fillings and bite size sausage rolls. Carrot and celery sticks with a dip sauce. Tanya got a plastic container with two trays inside esp to transpost or store 24 cup cakes in, very nice but a little expensive. Did I tell you how she conned me into buying her stuff and a book for decorating cakes a while ago, with promises of doing a decorating cource soon Hmmmm Will need to remind her about that.
Now all we need is a date before the end of the month

Friday, October 15, 2010

sheep and little chicks update ...

Mom Matilda and her 3 chicks, very protective of her babies making my life very difficult getting pics.

An old pot plant saucer is just the thing for them to scratch around in for some food.

This is Miss Lashes close up and she's due anyday now. Check out those eye lashes, she is definately my favorite ewe.

Here the twins Bella's mum had this year Roman and Sally on the left. I an a little disappointed with Sally markings, very blotchy face not like Bella's more solid markings. They are having their tails docked Saterday and Roman can keep his manhood to become a daddy oneday. Maybe swap him down the track for an unrelated Ram. PS The Boy's named them)

Miss Bella with her lamb, hmmmm blasted ram from next door is the daddy. He's nasty and has got big horns ... poor sausage she's very cute even if she has his face.

The shearer will also drench and vaccinate and shear the sheep except for the ones still to lamb. Thr whole breeding season is late this year (my fault)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A little on decorating and collecting ...


Now that I have finally come out in the open about my Hoarding habits, I might as well tell you that I am a collector of old wares too. (Just look at my old man lol, we have been together for nearly 40 yrs)For a few years I went to an auction house every Monday, Gavin's Auction was where dealers bought their stuff, and I was in the thick of it with my servo(Caltex) uniform bidding with the pros. Gavin used to joke about it, Which bowser are you going to stick that on? he'd say. But there was a plan to all this buying. I wanted to start a Antique Barn one day and I might even still do that too. But you need stock to do that and the right place to have your shop. Bellbrook is very quaint but might not be the right place to have it. Combining it with something else might just work. Maybe a small nursery/coffee shop/gardens/veggieshop. But help will be needed for all that and I would have to employ someone to help me unless I only open 3 days a weekNow what have I collected you could ask ... fine bone china sets, green depression glassware, old rusty metal wares, carpenter's tools, tins and other stuff too. Most are packed away in boxes. At the moment I an interested in kitchenalia. George is very handy with woodwork and could make cutlery trays, bread boards, bird houses and other items. I love restoring bits of furniture too. Maybe now you can see my frustration somedays still being here in Sydney, when I could be doing what I want to. But "Living Simply " comes first I just need to get out of Sydney.The next two years we need to concentrate hard on getting Lavender Hill finished.

I think I need to go back to my goals list. We in for some wild weather again this weekend, so decided to stay home and not head up to the farm as planned.
Until nexttime have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Confessions of a hoarder ...

Declutter is a word I don't understand very well, cause I am a hoarder, I find it very hard to throw USEFULL STUFF away. Not like those poor people on the Oprah Show with not an inch to turn around in. But I still a hoarder. My poor husband complains about it regularly, and even drags out the story about one local council clean up everytime someone is willing to listen. Ok I'll post it ...

So we have our local cleanup and everything you don't need or want goes on the curb/verge, then the council comes around and carts it away for you. Our single garage is so full of stuff from the kids that have moved out and will be back to fetch it and ours as well. Not much rubbish at all... so there we are sorting out stuff and we having a wonderful time "Not" Him putting out stuff I don't want to throw out, After repacking the garage the old mans rather tired and decides to have a afternoon nap.

Well that gave me just enough time to retrieve some stuff and cart it back into the carport and hide it behind my car. He never goes into the carport so there was little chance of being discovered until after the clean up. He wakes to find half the stuff is gone and even shakes his head at the "scavangers" being so fast. I let him carry on believing that to be the case. But yep you guessed it, he leaves his house keys at work about two weeks later and now the only way in is through the carport and to try the back door which is always unlocked cause of the dogs. I got busted!

So there you have it
Until nexttime

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Orpington chicks ...

First chookies for the spring/summer ... they little orpingtons aren't they just so cute

Cobi and Luke holding a chookie each, just before heading off to the airport. Good byes are always hard but there is always the next holiday.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Making the most of the long weekend ...

A view of the muddy road Up River, this gravel road winds it way through the mountains, eventually bringing you the the main road to Armidale. Being scared of heights I have only been that way once and it was a beautiful sunny day.

It rained the whole weekend but that did not stop us ... we got soaked to the bone and carried on working, a fire burnt and hissed as drops of water fell, making our shower water warm using a coiled copper pipe that is placed amongst the wood. It is connected to a large drum of water and a small pump.

Wondering what to get upto next!

A ride on the back of the trailer after loading firewood. enjoying a little rest.

Water tanks have been waiting for a while now!

Many hands make light work, or so they say, but if it was'nt for Des and Henk then it could have been sometime still before the tank got a stand and was hauled up on it. Thanks Boys!

Secondhand mezanine flooring I bought at auction about 2 years ago. It was covered with a tarpoline, all it needs is a good sand and varnish again. Plan to build a kitchen and bathroom on top of it.

George cooking the BBQ for dinner!
Thanks Carelene for the nice pics. It was lovely having you and Henk for the weekend. Thanks Nilo and Des for all the hard work once again. Going to miss you heaps when you move to Ailie Beach. Good luck with the move next week. Love ya!
Until nexttime