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, December 30, 2011

Tomato Jam to die for ...

Bottling a little summer goodness. I can't take credit for this pic above or this easy recipe, it's borrowed you see. Had a little hunt around the internet for Tomato jam, some even had grated ginger. Finally arriving at this recipe. The tomatoes were all from my garden, big fleshy fruit. The recipe calls for 4 1/2 lbs but I had 5 lbs.But by the time the jam is ready it has reduced to a jelly with little seeds, so very pretty.

Sweet Tomato Jam
4.5 lbs ripe red tomatoes
4.5 lbs granulated sugar
2 lemons

Using a sharp knife, score the bottoms of each tomato in a cross, then plunge the tomato into boiling water for about 20 seconds. Remove and let cool, and when cool enough to handle, peel and roughly chop the tomatoes over a large pot, to catch the juices. (This is not a neat process. You might want to wear an apron.) Discard the skins, and place the tomato chunks into the pot.

Add the lemon juice to the pot, and add the lemon halves to the pot with the tomatoes. Heat the tomatoes over medium heat. Add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition, and waiting about 10 minutes in between each addition. Lightly crush the tomatoes, or use a hand blender to puree slightly, and let cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the jam begins to jell and the entire mixture is bubbling like a swamp, being careful not to let it burn. Remove the lemon halves.

Ladle into hot canning jars with new lids, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Makes approximately 2 pints.

Read more:

Just had the thumbs up, a little taste testing of the pot left overs. Well I better get to cleaning that kitchen. Tomorrow I am going to make plum jam.
See ya soon

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Spare hour at Botany Bay ...

Hi Everyone, Today We had to drop of Elisa, my one day to be daughter in law, what a mouthfull, she's visiting her parents in Perth a good 5hr flight away. And then the boys and myself headed off to the beach, not the best weather, but they still had fun. Then back to the airport to pick up Neal. They had plenty of time for a coffee before the flight.Thought I'd share these pics with you.

We had a lovely Christmas, did the roast chicken and pork, baked potatoes veggies and trifle, was good too. Even make a second trifle for boxing day, finished that of at lunch today.

Well that's it for today
see ya all

Friday, December 23, 2011

Good Morning to all my blog friends,

Thank you for all the lovely Christmas Wishes left on the blog, very much appreciated thank you. Lovely to have such wonderful Friends and Followers. And May I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Lots of presents under your tree. Even if it is a little less this year than previous years, we need to remember it's about being with our families, and friends.

The Christmas count down is nearly there, not many days and hours left. Sure the kids have it all worked out too. The menu is all done, now just to take the chooks out the freezer, get the berry trifle made. I like keeping it simple! This year we will be roasting 2 huge homegrown chickens with stuffing, roast potatoes and sweet potato, veggies. A nice salad and a platter of fresh fruit. I baked a double batch of condensed milk biscuits with a red cherry on top (under recipes) and today I am going to bake a batch of chocolate biscuits with a small block of chocolate in the centre. First time I am going to try this one. Will post the recipe and pics later.

Done a little late night shopping last night for the last few presents, now it's just the wrapping I will leave up to Aunty Tanya, she's good at that:))) It's been rather hard this year even just finding out what was on Santa's list cause it seems to change daily. But I think we got it right without breaking the bank.

Well I'll be back later with the chocolate biscuit recipe and a pic or two
see ya later

Friday, December 16, 2011

We got a trespasser ....

Someone's got into the veggie patch can you see who that is? And she's found the tree lucerne I am growing as fodder, yummy Mum.

Maybe if I stick my head in this here rasberry bush, Mum won't see me.

Think I just have another nibble at this, very tasty.

Maybe I should hightail it out of here, cause I know I am not allowed to be inside the veggie patch.

Oh darn Mum and that boy are blocking my escape route, I just stand here and look pretty instead.

Opps Mum going to see I trimmed the rasberry leaves too. That was so much fun Mum thanks not shutting the gate properly.
See ya all soon

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Looks at bit like Christmas ...

A little tour around the house, packed most of the Non Christmas stuff awag and pulled out the big boxes of festive stuff. Most of them are up now, so thought I just take you for a walk through.

Oh my new rag angel is so beautiful, found her at the Goodwill store, why would anybody throw her out after so much loving work had gone in to make her. Her wire wings are so cute, and love the coffee stained lace collar.

Well that's it for now see ya later

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A few pics of our short trip up to the farm ...

Fairy on the mushroom looking after the herb/veggie garden while I am not there. She never did a good job cause the possums eat all the rasberry canes up.

Did a little mowing (2acre's worth)but not the whipper snipping. It was getting dark by the time I had finished mowing and had to load the rideon onto the trailer.

We left just before sunrise back to Sydney, managing to capture some lovely early morning pics. See if you can spot the cattle in the foreground. You might need to click on the pic to enlarge it.

Sugar Loaf Mountain

Maclay river winds it way from inland Armidale past Bellbrook and Kempsey to sea At South West Rocks.

Some yummy honey

Rather exhausted after the tripearly night here tonight I think. Thanks for popping in

Friday, December 9, 2011

Good morning dear friends,
Sometimes I find it so nice thinking of you all as friends. We visit each other regularly, pop in just to check out what we're up to, cheer each other up when something happens or someones ill, even just to share a cuppa. Ah don't forget, we even let off steam when something messes up our day. Comment are nice to receive but if you just want to read that is also fine by me. I don't always leave comments myself only when I have something to say that is important, so please don't be offended, it's just me being me. Hold on I just need to let the chooks out be back soon.

Hi guys let me just introduce myself I am Daisy, you know the goat, Mum's gone for a min, I better be fast before she gets back Now what was she on about in her last post, did you read it, a little cheeky don't you think. Can I let you into a little secret. Remember she went to a mind, body and soul festival a few weeks ago ... did she not tell you about that, shameful for not sharing! you know she had a reading done, two actually, no I am not going to tell you what was said, but someone mentioned she's going to start writing, then doing the illustrations too no way! her hasen't drawn for yonks (25 years atleast)talk about rusty! You starting to see were this is going ....... oppss this typing with hoove is not so easy Okay Here she comes I better go before she catches me bye

Hmmm see Daisy has been spilling the beans, so now you all know. It is early days yet and yes Daisy is right about the drawing skills they very rusty so lots of practice ahead. but first I must say there's a big difference between writing a blog and writing a book. I am just aiming at a short story right now. Lets just see where this goes before anyone starts ordering books. Oh now this is going to mean i can't back out of it! going have to keep at this writing thing ....... and no just incase anyone thinks I believe in everything said to me, no not everything. BTW we're off to the farm this weekend, just to do a little mowing, haven't been there for atleast 5weeks enjoy your weekend.

See ya later

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another Amazing Sunset ...

My bum feels like it been glued to the computer chair, then where's the blog post I hear you all say. Oh She's been a busy girl over at the story blog. no you can't see it sorry but you are very welcome to go visit there, you want the link okay here it is. But before you go heading off there check out these beautifull sunsets we had tonight. It's been raining since yesterday afternoon. and yeah we fiqure out why we ran out of water when it has been raining. I wish I could say we were true blond but we're not. the bottoms of the down pipes need replacing. How can you look at something but it just did not sink in that was part of the problem.All though Tanya say's she had mentioned that to the landlord before. Quess we need to again.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Survival plan, prepping and Rose Cottage ... reposted

Good day to all the visitors today, well you might recall towards the end of last year I was taking part in a survival story. But towards the end of it I got turfed off the forum (my Ozzie X South African humour did not go down to well) and I got accused of "You should have run out of flour a long time ago, Throwing undersized fish back and even for not cramming 11 adults and 4 kids into a very small cottage." well if it were for real then I might be in some serious trouble with the Law, a few people would be dangling by their ears, so getting a shed or cottage up if you have the building material and a few cans of paint to do some building work would be a priority. One of my pet hates is people wanting to be the centre of attention even if they don't mean too, it's just the way it came across to me And seeing it was just an exercise to see how our grocery stockpiling would hold up for 60 days in a emergency situation. Actually it was rather fun, an exercise like that, need only be done once, trying to milk it again and again is rather silly.

Just did the grocery cupboard tidy up and it made me think of the survival story, and I got to think, what I have managed to tick of my prepping list.

When I put up a pic of my grocery cupboard after doing the tidy up, tinned dog and cat food looked like that was all there was for dinner ... wrong!! My supply of meat was still running around outside, not canned. My meat chooks were just about ready to slaughter as well as being a good battering tool. Having a growing season still ahead meant we could still plant more.

Actually if we had played that game now, I wonder if those Girls learnt anything from it. I sure did. the economy is worse than last year this time for a lot of people but some people (American Girls) do have the advantage having just harvested and preserved and bottled ready for their winter months. Where we have just planted our crops and are just starting to see the first of the ripening tomatoes and the pumpkins are just starting to swell out. A fair way still to go.

(Please note there can't any pics of bottled preserves, salsas and sauces cause they are still boxed and packed away, cause there is no cupboard space. Oneday I will be blessed with heaps of storage. nor have we taken a look at the freezer)

I made a mental note of where my prepping /survival gear was short, making a point of addressing it where possible. Items I purchased through the year are 2 extra fishing rods, gut, sinkers and hooks. Mud crab/yabbie traps. 2 light fittings and nets to go on top of a small gas bottles. A large 5 ltr kettle for boiling hot water on the stove. Filters and buckets for a homemade water system. updated the first aid box, labelling and boxing, sorting and added heaps more stuff to it. I also had a good look at the seed storage box and replaced a few seeds. Seeds like Mangles & turnip/swedes,(for pig food) sunflower, milo for chicken food and corn for milling to make flour.

Larger items included 2 single mattress and frames $900. A gas smoker, a secondhand bread maker from the Goodwill store, a plastic vacuum pack bag sealer and 5 rolls of bags and a electric meat saw. Electric knife sharpen and a chainsaw blade sharpener, a new axe. New Corrugated roofing for part the cottage and new deck. Treated timber sleeps for 10 veggie boxed. We carted trailer loads of horse poo, chicken poo and mushroom compost to the farm. Serious plans enclosing the kitchen area and hopefully parts of the new kitchen, and to extend the cottage are underway. The septic tank has been installed but not connected. Replaced the shower cubicle after the other one got damaged when a tree came down on it and bought a new toilet for the bathroom. Lots of work needs to be done over Dec/January holidays.

You might wonder about all the electrical stuff and yes we can run a generator when absolutely necessary. The last few times we have been doing a bit of works at the farm, the generator packed up and needed to be brought back to Sydney and now after a major service, carbbie service and a cracked head or something, it should be fixed finally.

I think we have done well for 2011.
It's never to late to start a stockpile, just a few items every week, just remember to rotate and keep a watch for used by dates
See ya

PS. I have posted the whole survival story in order of days below if anyone is brave enough to read it. Thanks for visiting

Intro ...

A few of us have been playing this survival game over at ___, a bunch of nice girls too. Anyway it's how we would cope with just what you have in your pantry at that moment, animals in your backyard and what you have in your garden growing. The point is that you can't run to the shops to buy anything cause there is non, no electricity so there is no way you can keep anything cold. It also means you don't have heating or air conditioning depending where you live. Don't forget there are lots of people that don't have much and would do anything for food. I think we're to start another round soon but you can play with a few of your blogging buddies.

I think survival would depend on your skills for hunting, fishing and being able to process what ever your can find/catch. The girls there have been canning/preserving everything even meat. I admit I have never gone down that road seriously and am willing to learn that too. (I can make yerky) Another element to your success would be how good your stockpiling is. Storage is needed for bulk purchases esp when you looking at your basic foodstuff like sugar, flour,soup mixes & legumes

What we have got out of it so far has been useful for our stockpiling, showing where what we would run out of in a few weeks. By writing daily it makes you think and soon you start living with that in mind esp when you go shopping, you just add a few extras in the trolley. Scan those junkmail adverts for sales and buy only what you need. And finding information on How too do stuff like hand craft, rug making, making cloth nappies, aprons & socks and mittens etc. Doing washing without a washing machine all skills we lost when life became easier when we got power.

It does not stop with food which is the first priority, but safety/security/health/education and craft/skills.Even discuss this with your family (just in case they think you have lost the plot) Mine think I have too but they all know if this did happen where to come.
Anyway this is my story so far.............

becky3086 said...
Everyone is welcome!

December 16, 2010 9:12 AM
Nilo & Des said...
Ek lees en lees en dag nee man hier gaat iets aan. Toe realize ek dis net 'n storie. Anyway, Dessie en ek sal julle join dan kan Georgie lekker rus terwyl ons die bou werk doen.O ja en Dessie is mos goed met die lektrieks en Solar panels en goete. And don't fortget hy't 'n hele hand vol green vingers.

December 16, 2010 6:14 PM
Rina ... also Chester or Daisysmum. said...
Lol Nilo You are most welcome to join us anytime, just bring everyone with you, plenty space.Love ya lots too

December 16, 2010 6:29 PM

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Survival Game part 1 & 2 ....

Mind if I play along, news filters slowly across the world, but it hits our island with such disbelieve and shock, very few people are prepared for it. Our Goverment tried to hide it, but they never counted on news spreading via the internet, our friends from different eco and simple living forums have put the word out before the TV stations broadcast shortages of food due to crops being poisoned. We're far from the problems and Goverment should have a back up plan, no need to worry to much! The supermarket shelves only stock enough food for 3 to 4 days, it crazy as people stock up on all the packaged goods,fill up their cars and boat jerrycans with petrol. Some folk lost their homes recently or are about to loss them due to the loss of jobs so they can't meet their morgage payments. We lucky our bush block's morgage is very low and we way ahead anyway. But we 6 hrs drive away from it and haven't got a lot on it atm, just an old caravan and a small unfinished cottage and no electricity. There a 20 ft container and most of the fencing is up, a chook house can be easily erected. Our jobs are not safe and with in 4 weeks we woun't be able to pay the rent anymore and we will be evicted anyway. We got enough diesel to get us to the farm. Dear Daughter drives a Territory and she manages to fill up her car and a few spare large jerrycans, Her car is loaded to the brim, even her sewing machines and over locker, useful if there is power but she's not leaving them she says. Her vet books take up a bit of space but they handy incase we need them as reference.

We need to get to the block asap before the masses leave the city. We start packing all the important stuff, food, medicial stuff, animals feed, bedding, clothes. All the livestock to go in the enclosed trailer, chooks go in wooden crates made especially for transposting them they squashed but that's just to bad, cats in their carriers. Everything packed on the suspended floor above the livestock, shade cloth covers the trailer to give the animals some relief from the summer sun. Niffy idea that was too. Count 6 sheep, 5 lambs,1 goat, 18 egg layers and 25 young meat birds. 6 cats and 3 large dogs.
It's time for stocktake, My food cupboard to well stocked and should carry our small family for 4/5 months easily. Before we leave all the fresh veggies need to be harvested and processed if possible. 2 queensized Mattresses and 2 singles get tied up ontop of the trailer's cage. Every man and his dog are on the road, some service stations are running out of fuel and we fill up frequently while it's still available. Nobody is very worried at this stage.

But I do have a secret stash at the farm, toilet papers, towels, sheets blankets, cooking equipment, clothes, canning bottles, gas stove and fridge, combustion stove with an endless supply of wood, water tanks, fuel tank with 200 ltr of petrol for the ride on, generators and other equipment, lots of building stuff and hardware. There's a veggie patch with sweet potatoes, a few fruit trees, bananas and prickly pears, not much to brag about. We do have a few advantages for a small village, a doctor, a local school, a pub, cop station, rural fire station and a river. Farmers in the area have cattle and a few sheep.
We arrive after being on the road for 10 hrs, exhausted ... the sheep have to be tendered too but the chooks can wait till the morning
It's Sonday, we have been here since friday and built a makeshift chook house for the black orpingtons, Harry and all the Matildas must wonder what happened to their nice accomodation. Clyde, 2 silkies hens and Issabella the leghorn have to make do with a A frame home. The meat birds are still in their wooden crate, it's big enough for another week or two. Daisy the goat knows the farm well, she used to travel in the Rodeo's canopy when she was little, only she now wants to sleep inside the caravan with us, not a good idea Daisy. She will need a yard and home too. The sheep have a shed and they happy munching the overgrown grass. Their fencing is well put up from last December, when they came for a 5 week vacation to the farm. I got warned then there were wild dogs and dingos up in the mountains but depending on how hunger they were they could come down this way.Only 1 water tank is connected atm, it's 4500 ltrs and it full.

The farm is overgrown with lantana again, it's a weed here did you know,it grows so densely you can't even get through. The bramble bushes down the creek have plenty fruit on them but to venture in there is looking for trouble atm, Need to get some gum boots/wellingtons and thick clothing for that. There is three problems we have to be aware of here ticks, spiders and snakes, they can make you very sick or kill you. Oh and the marsh fly, his a little green fly that bites ya and boy it is so sore, itches and then turns red and pussy.

We decide George needs to head back to Sydney with the trailer, to load water troughs, chain wire, timber posts and dismantle the chook palace and stuff we needed to bring but ran out of space. Tanya will go with him cause he is a type 2 diabetic and will find it hard doing all this by himself. And he still needs to give his notice at work and get the monies owing to him, he has a well paying job with lots of responsiblities. Lucky for us the owners of the business are money hungry creatures and will hang on to this business until the end. They refuse to give him money, only willing to pay half of his money and would rather give him the 4x4 ute (our company car)which is fully paid for. That's fine by us.

Tanya also needs to get as much of his medication Insulin, needles and swabs as possible. And more chook food and what ever else she can find. I would like my dining room table and chairs and dresser, the meat safe for making jerky, chopping block and carpets, I got no idea how they going to do it. Our friends Nick and Adele have been so kind and put them up for two nights. They renting and have also just lost they jobs, and they at a lose what to do next. George invites them to come live at the farm for a while.

George and Tanya are back by wensday with a full load, and My toy, A done up VW Beetle towing a small trailer, also loaded. God do I love them, I resigned losing it forever. ( if George knows how much I spend restoring that Beetle he would have a heart attack on the spot) They got one more supprise for me, 30 baby meat chookies and heaps of chick starter. 2 huge bags of potatoes that are ready for planting nobody wanted them so that was reduced, 2bags of brown onions, 2 pumpkins and a box of pie apples. More toilet paper and laundry soap.
They are exhausted from all the hard work and travel, they off to bed early. Tomorrow is another day ...
After a good night's sleep Tanya is feeling heaps better, but George is having a bad start to his day, his feet are swollen and his whole body is sore, I knew it would catch up on him. So today all he will do is sit around giving orders and sleep, tomorrow he should be heaps better. Meantime we have work to do and we need to unpack the trailers. I need to make a list of the food stuff and pack it away safely, lock and key, a key around my neck and one in a secret place just in case I lose this one. There is a lockable steel mouse proof cupboard our friend Des left it at the farm for us, it was used to store tools in but now it will be used as a pantry.

The new chookies need a wooden crate for their home for the next 2 weeks. We'll use the silky's crate for now. The bags of feed needs to be stored in a dry place so it's under the old brass bed in Rose Cottage, plenty of space for now. 2 Water troughs need to be filled up and one placed next to the sheep shed so water can run into them from the soon to be installed gutter. We have a bowl of lentil veggie soup with a slice of bread for lunch.

The furniture and carpets stays on the trailer covered with a tarp for now. Rose Cottage is far from ready to be lived in as a home, all it is a large room with a big deck atm, and a roof better than nothing. We bought a septic tank up the last time we came for a weekend and during the Christmas holidays it was going to be installed. It's rough and it ours. Tomorrow the diningroom furniture goes on the deck and it will start feeling like home. We will have to enclose the deck and make a small kitchen area, and build a bush bathroom/toilet. The caravan will also have to move from under the trees to where the carport will go. It will be Tanya's room for a while, she is already complaining about the storage. And that's what we will do this afternoon.

After dinner consisting of pasta and sauce, we decide do a to do list and that way we will all know what needs to be done and not run round like headless chooks.
Get the gutter up on the sheep shed
Need a house and yard for Daisy for nighttime.Get a gutter on her house too and another trough for the runoff.
Fence off a section for the dogs, can't leave them tied up all dag.
Enclose part of the deck for bad weather with the cypress weartherboards we were saving for the main cottage. Put insulation in and nail liner boards on the inside. (while they take a coffee brake I just slap some paint on the walls)
Unload the meat safe and chopping block and dinningroom furniture.
Then sort out the kitchen stuff, remove all cooking stuff from the caravan, get gas fridge on the deck and reconnect it. What a blessing this fridge will be, no electricity means no fridge and your food will spoil. Move the bush washup sink and fix the drainage pipes, I need another shelf for the pots and pans and some doors please.
George better feel better by the morning cause his list is getting longer.
Tanya loves mowing the lawn with the ride on and tomorrow first thing after breakfast she can start with that. While we dig a few holes for the posts and concrete them in. Start enclosing the deck while the concrete dries, then late afternoon get the fence up. Daisy's house just needs to be reassembled with a few screws and she's right to go.

The cats are being a right pain just wanting to escape the room, but they have to stay inside for atleast 2 weeks, they going to drive us nuts for sure.
Thank goodness we stocked up on hardware and building materials, it's going to come in very handy. It's late and we all tired ...

Quick answer we just about leaving for work. Meat safe is a storage cupboard with fly screen netting on 3 sides, it has shelves and under the shelves are 3 wooden rods to hang up meat. We make beef jerky very different to what you do and only in winter. Check out my blog for better explanations and recipe. I have been collecting for a long time and have been living the off the grid life at the farm for nearly 4 years so have got a few things to make my life easier. still it very primitive. We have a few gas bottles 4x 9 kg, 2 large ones that should last for6 months just running the fridge. gas stove will only work when there is no other way out. (save gas for fridge.)see ya gotta go
Day 10 ... I need to journal our progress daily, it will make a great read when everything is normal again, but what will normal be? All ready there seems to be an angry city with lots of angry people asking why does the Goverment not do something, being realistic why must the Goverment be souly responsible for this mess. How about people trying to help themselves too. Fuel prices have shot through the roof and the shops have had to put their prices up too because of transport costs. The shelves are emptied by 9am of foodstuff still coming through and soon there won't be any deliveries. The local radio had a discussion today with our minister by phone, they doing the best they can she says.
The roads were extra busy with people leaving the city, and there is a shortage of fuel, some service stations have got extra security watching nobody takes off without paying for their fuel. I am just glad we left when we did.
We got some fencing done and enclosed the deck, got the furniture sorted out, and mowed the lawn. George had to have a rest by middag, his feet were swollen again, that is what diabetes does to you. Rest ... no such luck for us though. Breakfast was a boiled egg with toast, lunch just a sandwick with a cup of tea, Dinner was more pasta and sauce. That was the last of the store bought bread. Hens layed 6 eggs today

George is worried what we're going to do without an income, it the first time he has not had a job since he started working at 17. I am not that worried about that atm, cause I have been planning our retirement since we bought this bush block. It's here just a little earlier than I expected. While they were back in Sydney I had gone to town and withdrew a far bit of money, it is always good to have cash on hand cause the banks could close their doors and then your stuck without money. (withdrew the money the company owed George for long service, holiday allowance and our weekly wages) They were not very happy with me! wanting to limit my withdrawal. At home I stowed the money away in a few glass bottles with lids and dug some holes under the (It's secret not telling lol). only keeping a few dollars handy.
Tomorrow I will get out the secret stockpiling containers that's been in the container, go through them and get some stuff we need atm and the rest will go back in storage. No need to have it all out, in case we get robbed or something.
Everyone gone to bed already while I am writing this journal by tealight candle.

Day 11 ... plan on working on the to do list, finish the fencing, screw on the gates and assemble Daisy' house. Get the gutters up I think the weather is changing and we be in for a storm this afternoon. Maybe I should rotory hoe a patch for the potatoes, add the old composted lawn clippings in and get the potatoes planted in the ground before the storm hits.
George is doing better today, his sugar levels are better under control today, just need to watch him not to overdo the physical work. He can have a rest later.
Our friends Nick and Adele with their 2 little girls are due to arrive soon and we need to prepare for them, find them somewhere to sleep. I am expecting them to bring the minimal stuff with them.
Breakfast we had oats porridge and an apple, I always have a few packets in my pantry of quick cooking oats (Low GI food)Lunch we rolled two potatoe for each in tin foil and baked it in the coals. Baked a Damper in the black pot over the coals (damper is a big round scone looking bread great with jam or bovril) and made a pumpkin soup for tea (dinner)
Checked out the seed box and need to start fixing up the veggiepatch for planting. Hens layed 5 eggs today. Can't believe it exactly 4 weeks to Christmas. Just before it starts pouring down we hear a car horn and it's them, they have been on the road since early morning and are starving, the girls love pumpkin soup and even ask for seconds. after a quick wash they fall asleep on a single mattress. News from the city is not good there's riots and trouble around every corner, traffic out of the city is crazy, cars dumped when the fuel runs out not good at all.

Adele brought all her groceries and butter, cheese and powder milk with, and a few bottles of alcohol. Their mattresses tied on the roof racks (thank goodness George told them to do that) and some bedding. Their furniture was put in storage and they had to paid in advance to keep it there. We will need to build a shed/room for them to live in, Nick have done some renovations to his house himself so is handy with a saw and hammer.

(We off to the farm this weekend so no post for the next few days, hve a great weekend Rina)
It was a great weekend of mowing the lawn , cleaning up and cutting up a dead tree for firewood. I thought of a nice firewood stack like I have seen one a few American girls blogs, stacked all neatly , well I have requested one, now lets see how long I have to wait. George even used his new Alcheapo Electric Blade sharper for his chain saw I bought him from Aldi's awhile ago. Do you have an Aldi's store in USA?

So here goes...Day 13
Where to house all these guests is going to be another thing, we barely got enough space for ourselfs. My worry is how are they going to intergrate and cope with our lifestyle for one Adele and the kids don't eat veggies, that will have to change if they want to live with us. Nick is easy he ate anything I gave him when he stayed with us for 2 weeks about 3 yrs ago. And Adele hate creepycrawlies of any kind.

We decided to turn the wooden shed into a one bedroom cottage, add a little deck on the front, just somewhere for them to sit with the kids and it's large enough to house a double bed and double bunks for the kids and a chest of draws. Later we could add another room and a bathroom to it. Nick and George start the renovations.

Adele keeps the little ones busy while I put together a macaroni, cheese and a little bacon dish for dinner, and an apple pie with custard for dessert. While the boys recharge the battery packs on the tools/drills, dinner is cooking in the small electric oven run by the small generator. It's lighter on fuel than the big one. I find some of the garlic is sprouting and needs to be planted if we to have garlic next year. Hens layed 5 eggs today. A jug of iced tea to quench thirst today. During the afternoon I try to phone my Boys in Queensland from the public phone booth in the village, I am relieved when one answers. They about to head to the farm as well. Jokingly remind me of all my mad ideas so they coming to see if we can all survive there. Yeah right ! That will mean 4 adults and 2 kids extra.

Tomorrow is washday so tonight I will cart water for the tub outside, add soap and sock cloths overnight, then it easier to scrub tomorrow. Tanya helps a little but keeps to herself a lot.
Day 14 ...
Wash day blues, swirled the washing around a bit, drained most of the dirty water and added some fresh water with a little laundry soap. The girls got into the water with Adele and they walked all over the lighter soiled washingaggitating the water and quess what it was all clean in no time. We wrung most of the water out and placed that in another bucket. Then she added boys work clothes to the soapy water and repeated the process, who needs a washing machine when the little ones had so much fun. A good rinse and wring to get rid of the excess water, and hang it on the line. A third load is put in to soak a little.

All this hard work is rewarded with a cup of tea and some apple and cinnanon muffins, baked while the boys were recharging the battery packs for the drills, there's even a few muffins for the freezer. I just mixed a homebrand cake mix packet with two diced apples, squeesed a few drops of lemon to stop the apples from going brown and sprinkled some cinnanon powder into the mix. How easy was that! It cost only 70cents for the cake mix! The boys were also glad for a treat with their coffee.

The cottage is getting on nicely, they found a small window to put in and all that's left to do is make the double doors, then add the bull nose roofing over the little deck, a gutter and a 45 gallon drum for water. Tonight they will be able to move the mattresses in, tomorrow George can sort out some beds for them.

I still got some mince and decide to make a meat loaf, rice, gravy and green beans mashed with an onion and a large potato. We have a full 10 kg bag of rice and then a small bag which Adele brought with. 3 cups is all we need tonight, tomorrow the chookies can have a little rice too. The young meat chooks are growing nicely, another 3 weeks and we could slaughter a few for the freezer. The babies are nearly 3 weeks old now and eating us out of house and home (not really)
Dinner is a sit down affair, time to gather everyone together and be thankful for what we got
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Day 15 ... (part 2)
This morning I walked over to our neighbours farm, they are a friendly bunch, very helpful too. I got the son to help me put up fencing last year and bull doze some trees and lantana in the crownland next to our property in the name of "fire prevention" Paid him for the job too. They farm piglets and sell them to the Asian market here in Sydney, only now they might have a few spare cause they would be low on petrol. It's just a friendly visit and too see if I could buy a piglet off them. They happy to batter for my 2 silkies hens and 1 leghorn for eggs and rooster and 4 young meat chooks. I think thats fair and we'll deal tomorrow.

The boys drop what they doing and start get a yard ready for 2 piglets, it not very big but it sturdy. I hope I will score in the long run.Give a few months and we will have pork on the table.

Late afternoon the kids from Brisbane arrive, very squashed and tired, the small car is packed to the brim. Michael and grandson Cobi nearly 8 yrs old are not with them, so we very concerned. They left Brisbane a week ago on bicycles, and were going to ride during the day, camp in a small tent and sleeping bags. There was no sign of them on the road. Another well thought idea Michael doing nearly 650 klm with a small child but then he always did things his way in any case. His's one tough boy, did his first cycle endurance race when he was 13, 100klm in 5hrs and that with a normal street bike, we had to follow him all the way by car as he was the youngest to take part for a while. He was laughed at at the beginning of the race, most thought he'd never make it. Now he takes the young one on weekends for long rides in rough territory. Anyway if all goes well it should take them atleast 12 days.

With an extra male Neal around they quickly start work on Lavender Cottage again, just need to change the design slightly to add a second bedroom. That means we are going to be short on weatherboard cladding but we cross that bridge when we get there.There's about a week of work left to do to make it sort of livable. If only the weather stays good they get a move on.
Elize is Italian and an excellant cook so she'll be a great help in the kitchen. we use the dehydrator to dry a bag of onions , making dinner as we go. Pasta Bake with some garkic bread rolls they brought with. Hens layed 7 eggs today

Late afternoon we do some weeding and planting, add more compost to the sweet potatoes and just tidy up the place a bit. The seedlings I planted the otherday are just coming up and I carefully transplant them and water them. There's Comfrey, common mint, Rosemary, chillies and Galangha plants going very well so I sow a few parsley seeds, basil, coliander, lemon balm and thyme. I plant a varity of pumpkins and squashes, carrots, beetroot, turnips and parnips

Yeh Becky That's exactly what worries us too, only it early days for us into this disaster.
They would have set off around day 8, that might count in their favour. This is something my son would do in real life. He carted those bikes all the way from africa 4 yrs ago. If it not a motor bike it will be a bicycle trust me. Father and son have a wonderfull relationship and spend lots of time riding. My other son Neal is not sporty and would rather read or play on the computer. Elize is his fiance and Luke is from his first marriage. I am in two if Linda should appear on the show?!

Day 16 ...
Still no sign of them it's early days yet. What was he thinking, even if they travel safely how is a 7yr old going to cope? No sense in worring yet, Michael is a smart street wise kid. Soon to be ex daughter inlaw is not worried. Can they patch things up ... don't think so. Tanya is not at all happy with her brother (understatement) or Marna.

The boys are very busy getting the housing in order, only take breaks for teatime then get right back to it. The pace is to heavy for George and he takes a afternoon nap. It the first day of summer for us here in Australia, it hot and humid, the flies hang around waiting for you to open your mouth. They need an ozzie hats one with corks on, so when you turn your head it wacks the flies lol

The girls are bored and they decide to try a little crafting, so we knock up a weaving frame of sorts, string it and make a small shuttle from wood. Meantime they start cutting up some old tee shirts (from the secret stash boxes)in thin strips, join them and roll them into small balls. Then start weaving them into a small rug. They having fun! Tanya joined in too. She does not like Marna atm and just ignores her.To finish it off they add a broad binding around the outside with the sewing machine. I show them how to make a calico rag wreath for Christmas, soon we got 4 wreaths. My material stash just got smaller. Luke and the girls have been reading stories the whole afternoon.

The piglet swap happened as planned and our neighbour Faye was every so happy to have the 3 eggs for the day too. The meat chooks should be ready for Christmas Dinner, they only 3 people atm so one should be more than enough. Faye drives the local school bus, she's not to sure what will happen if the council is still going to run the bus service. She gave me a few lemons from her tree, that was very kind of her, so we will make a little lemonade syrup for cooldrinks.

Hens layed 9 eggs today
Baked a banana bread with an overripe banana.
Made damper and thick chicken noodle soup, a few carcasses from the fridge, added onions and grated carrot, noodles from those 2 min packets I had from the lasttime the boys visited. It's been boiling on the coals the whole afternoon.
Day 17 ...
Another day in paradise, so far we have been very lucky not having any unwanted guests, it's because we off the beaten track. Our Village is 60km from the main Pacific Highway, towards the mountains, even in the good days it's mostly the farming community and then the canoeists going to 5 Day creek camping grounds, they canoe down the Maclay River, must be stunning up there. The river passes at the foot of our villiage and goes all the way to the sea.

There's a few good fishing spots but that the local fishermen secret, and we not that local! The boys really want to go fishing and decide to try down by the bridge. Early morning and late afternoon is normally a good time here. They don't get anything worth keeping. So return and continue building. They mood is so much better, their step it up a notch.

Us girls keep ourselves busy weeding the garden and tending the animals. Hens layed 7 eggs today. The baby meat chooks will need another home soon they getting bigger by the day, some want to fly out the crate already. There is still plenty of chick starter. Piglets are happy with the uncrowded and non-smelly conditions from nextdoor. They kids think they so cute ... I can see tears coming when we slaughter them. Adele spends sometime with the kids colouring in and reading a story. After dinner we talk about the kids going back to school next year if they have a teacher. Tomorrow we will take a walk to school and have a chat to the teacher. It's have 45 kids at the best of times all kids from the district farms, some won't be able to come anymore due to saving petrol/diesel.

Still no sign of Michael and Cobi ...
Day 18 ...
After breakfast we head down to the little school, it's only a 10 min walk from us, there's only a few kids there atm and one teacher. She lives in the village with her husband and is going to try keep the school going, Our kids are most welcome to join. They have a veggie garden that her husband looks after and a few ducks. She does mention now that they are not getting paid anymore, she was hoping that the kid's parents will be contributing to maintance and cleaning of the school and yard and maybe in kind to her as well. (Hint taken) There is also a meeting in the park this afternoon, and we very welcome to attend, might be a good idea to introduce all my guests to the villiage, before they get concerned about the new faces around. Dr Paul and Constable Jade will be there to see things run smoothly. The village has a population of 160 so everyone know everyone, mostly are elderly.

The discussion is how we are going to cope without being able to drive to town 60klm away for our needs. Most villiagers have a small veggie patch and a few hens or ducks, meat is no major problem atm The good Dr is very much a tribal leader here and says he expects us to look out for each other and help where possible. Any problem need to be reported to Himself and Constable J, man what a team. Also the school will stay open for now, it's right nextdoor to the Constable's home, so he will keep an eye out for the kids and teacher. The good Dr will keep doing what he needs to do. Medical supplies could run short sometime down the track. They will risk going down to the Hospital in town tomorrow for medical supplies and any food stuff they can find. We are truly blessed to have them both!

Also we will have a swap and batter market every saturday morning in the park. Village security is inportant to everyone, please come introduce any family or friends arriving. The elderly are warned not to just open their doors to anyone they don't know. Keep doors locked and windows closed at night. Constable J will patrol the street at about 9pm, just to make sure there's no problems yet, also if everyone can be at home before it gets dark will help him a lot. Mark his neighbour offers to walk with him.

It hard having elderly residents around, extra care needs to be taken for them. If we look out for each other we might get through this thing together. It's the Aussie way! Christmas Carols will still be held in the park, it's a bring a plate affair (that means you need to bring a plate of something with you if you can afford it) Tea will be supplied.

Walking home we all feel a little relieved that the villiage is going to work together, and everybody was welcomed into the fold. We got to meet the dairy farmer cross the bridge and made arrangements to get some milk from him if possible. He want to batter milk for help around his farm. Dennis the Menise, that's our neighbour across the road, planted watermelons and rock melons which he normally sells from the back of his truck, it's just to dangerous selling on the highway atm, gives them away too anyone wanting any. He also sells firewood in winter.

Not a lot was done today ... dinner was some pasta and bolonaise sauce.
Still no sign of Michael and Cobi
Day 20 ...
Washing was done early this morning and hung up, the big girls took turns in the tub, good thing it's not winter here, their little tootsies would have frozen off. I think their just wanted to give the furniture another coat of paint, lol nothing like having your own space. For girls they have got on reasonably well. Tanya will not forgive Marna easily, nobody c..... on her brother and gets away with it, no love lost there, but I take it with a little more understanding, Michael is not the easiest person to live with, besides she did give me the best little boy ever. They will have to sort out their own problems.

Late afternoon the bed frames are ready and the boys carry them in, they start scheming for more bits of furniture lol, will have to talk to George, his wood stash has had a good workout. My secret stash boxes are next to be raided for extra bedding, shampoo/soap, candles & towels hmmm I need to watch them lol. A simple coat rack and a boot stand is needed too. One thing he does have to do is a small kitchen with a wash up basin, shelves and place for the little gas stove I used to use before I got the nice chef I bought with my small change challenge money. It's just for making warm drinks, cooking is done over at the Rose Cottage.The 3 ltr gas bottle will last 2 months if they carefull. They still need to add the bathroom and a hot water system of sorts. Woodfire & Beer kegs!!!! They trying their luck for the camping fridge to keep their milk and water cold, should I give in, it means extra gas useage? Come winter then they can use a bucket with water, in the shade, that is so cold the milk is fine for a few days in the water.

Tomorrow the kids start school again, it's nearly the end of the year, and it's good to keep things as normal as possible. Would have been great if Cobi was here already. They can atleast meet some of the kids from the village.

We need to use the candles sparingly until we can make more. The garden solar lights come in very handy, charge them during the day outside and bring them inside at night.

Firewood needs to be collected and cut it up with the chainsaw, stacking it properly. The weather is building again for a storm, I don't mind it raining at night. Today we saw our first snake a red bellie black, he just wanted to be on his way, not very aggressive but very poisoness. He's the good one of the snakes around here. The building materials and yard need to be cleaned up, no hiding places for Mr & Mrs Snake and their babies.
It's not wastefull at all, a treat is good for the spirits and gives a little hope too. A more balanced meal if possible is better, so stockpiling more legumes, rice, pastas, soup mixes, stock cubes, spices, and salt is important. If you buy homebrands they really are not that expensive. Portions should be just smaller, no seconds or heaped platesfull. thats my motto! We need to try cook for a diabetic so have to have more balanced meals.
Day 21 ...
The kids got up early they very excited going to school and meeting new friends, For morning tea they got an apple muffin each and one rockmelon/watermelon cubes on a stick each and a bottle of water. The mums walked them down to school something that they probably never did before, everyone drives and drops off these days.

It's good exercise for the mums too and great for their moods. Tanya power walks them around the villiage. She's a Zumba intructor and likes to keep fit, lack of exercise is maybe part of her mood swings. The Boys decide to try their hand at fishing again, lets hope better luck this time, they going to try further up the river and with earthworms.

The kids can't stop talking when we fetch them around midday. It's very different to their regular classes being all different ages and levels and only one teacher. The bigger kids help the little ones with their reading, and maths, then they get to have sometime to draw, while the older kids do other subjects. Then it morning tea break and run around a bit. Afterwards the little ones have a rest, while the older kids do some more work until 2pm Tomorrow they going to do Aussie history and maths.

The boys return successful with 2 bass, George fillets them and there's fish cakes for dinner with rice and a few peas mixed in from the freezer and tomato, 1grated carrot, diced onion and a little fresh chilli salsa. Apple pie for dessert and a small scope of ice cream Now that's finished too. We need to start emptying the freezer for those meat chooks we got to slaughter the week after, then they will be 8 weeks old, that should cut down on the chick starter too. The fish was nice and our fishermen promise to go fishing again soon.

It nearly bed time when Michael and Cobi announce their arrival by yelling and calling us from the road. They're in good spirits having just completed 650km from Brisbane. It joy you haven't seen in sometime, we all crying and laughing at the sametime. I look at Michael with such warm proud feelings "My Boys made it, he knows that look too". They a little skinnier than before, and they're alive and in one piece. Tomorrow we hear all about their adventure. It's a light meal for them tonight, bath and then off to bed.

Day 22 ...
Morning comes and we can't wait to find out more of the adventure. Michael is up early but Cobi wakes up at 9 am. The other kids have gone to school already. We all sat down with a cup of coffee and rusks (will give you the recipe later)and dunk will we listen to Michael.

They were very lucky and early on in the trip got a lift from a truckie going to Ballina about 180klm from Brisbane. Michael meet him at the service station and begged a lift. They rode for about 10klm out of town and looked for the nearest farm, where they knocked on the door and asked if it was ok to camp there. Explaining what and where they heading too. That area is topical and they farm with macedania nuts and avocado pears, coffee. Before Michael left he went to thank them and they gave him a few green avo's and two ripe ones. Micheal had made a small enclosed trailer to tow behind his bicycle and on top he had a spare bike for them each, spares for the bikes and a few tools and a foot pump,a small tent and a billy, some fishing line and hooks,2 tin plates and mugs,sharp knife 2 spoons and 2forks and 2 towels & soap,2 sets of cloths for them each. Energy bars, 2 min noodles, pck soups, 3 tins of bully beef (spam),salt, a few teabags and a small container of sugar, a little powder milk. and some apples. From his boys scout day he remembered how they make bread on a stick on the fire, so he took a packet of self raising flour too.They had two bottles of water on each bikes. Sun screen and caps

They road early morning before the heat got to them, have a midday break,eat and rested under a tree , then later did another 10 klm before they looked for another farm to camp at. That way they were reasonably safe, always offering to do small jobs in exchange for the night's safe camp. Sometimes he had to chop wood or help fix a fence and Cobi helped feed the animals. Some farmers invited them to join them for a meal. Wifes normally got Cobi to have a bath and wash his hair (typical women), one even washed his cloths.

They did a little bit of yabbying (like a fresh water prawn) with a bit of road kill (dead animal hit by a truck) at some of the river banks. Tie a piece of meat on a hook and handline, dangle it next to the river bank and slowly bring it in. Yabbies can't resist soon they got a few and drop them into boiling water until they turn pink. Peel and eat yummy. One afternoon they had a far size catch and decided to take the yabbies to the next farm and present the farmer's wife with some. They all had a feast that night.

At Coffs Harbour they got a large hand of bananas from the indian man and gave him 2 avo's. He let them camp but not close to the house. Next stop was Grafton, now we heading into the sugarcane area, farm houses are not close to the road, so they stay on the edge of towns. There is a bit of trouble at some places only we stayed as far away as possible. Somedays they had a few flat tyres, more patches than tyre, someday none. One day rolled into the next and he had lost track of what day it was. Cobi did not complain about the distance cause of all the different people, animals and swimming and fishing along the way. Just the flies!!!!

Just outside of our nearest town, another farmer stopped to give them a ride and asked them where they heading, cause if your heading up to the purple caravan. He can offer you a ride "They expecting ya Mate" He must have been at the villiage meeting.
Someone must have been looking after my 2 Boys, a silent prayer of thanks to Him for keeping my kids safe.
Today Grandma is going to cook a nice meal, a lamb leg roast with half a pumpkin, potatoes and rice/gravy. I been hanging onto that roast for today.

Day 23 ...
First we have to get their clothes washed after socking them over night, boy they are stinky! Cobi decided he also wanted to go with the other kids to school today, sure he would have told many a story to the new friends and teacher. There are stories of looting and protesting that Michael did not tell yesterday. That is why he could not wait to get here fast enough with Cobi, they could have been in all sorts of trouble if it weren't for the kind farmers letting them camp on their properties. He had a few avocadoes left and some overripe bananas, and a bag of pecan nuts, he traded for a avo and a three bananas.

The to do list needs to be looked at again, most of the jobs have been done, and everyone has a bed to sleep in. Still a couple of little finishing touches to the cottages like painting, putting up the veranda railings, a gutter here and there, and connecting rain barrels/tanks. It will happen as there is spare time available. One of our biggest problems will be water for everyone, baths are limited a basin fulls, more a wash than a bath. The kids get a plastic sandpit shell with a few inches of water to splash around in all day, cause it is hot even in the shade, bath time they have a little wash in the basin. All water get saved for the veggie patch. Today the boys concentrate on the roofing and gutterings, maybe just in time for the storm brewing.

I decide to set up my bookcase, most books I have read and was keeping them to sell at the Bush Market once a month. Only now the girls might want to have a read instead. There a variety of kids book and activity books , recipes and craft books too, I need to speak to George about a book case. Tanya might want to add her vet books and so freeing a little space. George is happy to make one and soon it painted and drying too.Tomorrow we'll fill it up with books and puzzles and games. Starting to fell more like home everyday.

My first attempt at baking bread was succsessfull , not very large loaves but tasty. Everyone attacks the tasty bread, smeering it with a little butter and veggiemite. We open a small jar of bread and butter cucmbers, and they polish that off. Served with a little tea. We're going to need milk soon and will have to go see the dairy farmer tomorrow. Neal and Nick offers to walk with me. Dinner is Pasta and sauce, Jelly and tinned fruit, we still got some rock melon left over and cut that up too. After Dinner Tanya and Michael take a little walk down to the creek, it's like the old days, they spending quality time talking and laughing. I am sure she was upset about him taking Cobi on such an adventure, her favorite nephew.

It's been a long day for everyone ....
Bored yet?
Please remember this has a Copy write on it for those persons that think this is worth anything ..... Thank you

Answers to your questions ...

I love the questions asked on ALS about the survival game. The one that I liked most so far is.
I was interested in your survival thread. In your first post you touched lightly on the fact that you husband was a insulin dependant diabetic. (Type 2?) Have you made any plans to deal with this? Have you included anything special to help him cope? I would really like to hear as I am a diabetic too and have wondered what I could do. regards,

That is a great question cause half the population will have diabetes the rate we are consuming processed foods, junk food and "soft drinks etc"Lots of sugars and lack of exercise. I am the first to own up to lack of exercise. We do need to look out for their needs too by making sure we planned smaller balanced meals,Low GI foods. Hell I need to listen to my own advice sometimes.
My aim in this Survival Game is to list as many meals, trying to keep it as balanced as possible.
Besides keeping as much insulin as we can lay our hands on, we have to keep them cared for esp their feet and legs, as they have bad blood circulation at the best of times. A while back George landed in hospital with two foot ulcers, it has been 6 months to get him healed so far. So a good supply of dressings, bandages, footbath to soak the feet ... yeah I know it's not adviced sometimes but bear with me. Tape for the dressings, pure lanolin cream, vinegar, a scotchbrite soft pot scourer. Our specialist runs an ulcer clinic once a week,but it was through her that we got to meet the most amazing Dr Grace Warren, who still at the age of 83, get to be a guest speaker at Conferences all over the world. She gave us her book Dr 49 all about her work with lepers in Asia, India, Korea. She even got introducted to Prince Diana We left in Awe of this Lady.

It was her advice to soak his feet in vinegar water, scrub lightly with a soft pad to get rid of dead skin cells. Blisters, callouses etc are where the ulcers hid underneath the skin and they burst open into angry ugly volcanoes, (ulcers)Magnaplasma ointment on the dressings changed daily. And good old pure lanolin cream for their feet and legs.

Which American forum did you mentioned in your post? I'd be interested to have a look ... You're most welcome to have a look.

If there's more questions please email me, and I try answer the best I can.
Seasons Greeeting to every body
See ya Rina

Survival Game part 3 & 4 ....

Day 24 ... (part 3)
After breakfast we let the big chooks out to free range, get the little chooks feed and watered, they doing really well, havent lost any yet. The bigger meat chooks need another 2 weeks before we can start slaughtering them. There's not much left in the freezer alittle bit of bacon pieces, puff pastry, frozen peas and carrots, chicken wings and some lamb bbq ribs.

We discuss what we going to do about the helping the dairy farmer, bartering our labour for milk. Neal and Nick have teamed up deciding they don't mind helping with the milking in the morning and evening. I am thinking of fresh milk, butter and cheese, buttermilk rusks. Even the little piglets and cats are going to benefit from this arrangement. And something I can barter with! The kids can do with some fresh milk too.
I walk with them to the Dairy Farmer's place cause I spoke to him at the villiage meeting, and we come to an arrangement. He also needs a hand at fixing some of his sheds and we decide the whole boys crew will go over and help with that the next few days.

That leaves them with a little time for fishing before the evening milk, bringing home 3 bass for Dinner. Elize helps with the fish cakes and offers to make a fish stock with the heads and bones for some soup for tomorrow. I try my hand at baking bread again and make a few veggiemite scrolls too,(marmite spread on rolled out dough, roll it up again loosely and slice into 6 or more pieces & bake)Tomorrow we will go yabbing for Elize's soup.

Marna , Adele, and Tanya are busy with the rug making again. And walking the kids to and from school. They discover a bush lemon tree on the crownland next to our property, (I knew it was there all along)and bring home a bagfull. We make some more lemon syrup/cordial for drinks. Boy it another boiling hot day.
Yabby is a local fresh water crayfish found in our river systems. Yabbying is catching them, done with a handline with any sort of meat on a hook. You drop the line so it drags in the water against the river bank where they dig into to make their home. They cant resist the meat a bit like the crabs they catch on deadiest catch TV program all going for the big fish. You cook them by dropping them into boiling water, no sauce is required. Size 1inch to rare et12 inches depending.
I have seen nice sized bass in our river that would feed 2 comfortable so 3 would be plenty if you made fish cakes with it.Heads and bones cooked in water with onions, carrot would make a nice stock for fish soup, you would need to use a colander to strain it, and then strain it again.
Lemon syrup/cordial or lemonade as you'd know it ... juice 6 lemons, add 900mls water, 3 cups sugar, 1 tablespoon citric acid, 2 teaspoons epson salts.Strain lemon juice, add to other ingredients, stir till disolved. Cool and Bottle. Dilute with water for drinking. Keeps indefinitely.
Day 25 ...
It's friday today meaning we should go down to the swap market tomorrow, we don't really need anything atm but it will be nice to see whats available. A few veggie would be nice and I know Dennis might have a few rockmelons and watermelons. Leslie his wife sells jams, I know that cause I gave her a heap of glass jars a few times. Could swap him for a meat chook. Then there's the Pom and his diabetic wife next to the park, they have a good garden too. Had a good chat to him over the fence, and gave him a few sweet potato runners last year.

We off to the river early after dropping the kids off, before it gets to hot. Success we catch 15 med sized yabbies and George catches a small bass. Elize is happy with that, it smells wonderfull ... Garlic and a little tumeric flavour. She makes a bowl of penne pasta with basil pesto and a dash of olive oil. Gosh this Italian girl is a good cook. No wonder Neal has a spare tyre lol. Before those bananas Michael brought are too overripe I need to bake a few muffins for the kids lunches. The girls take a small loaf of Banana bread and 6 eggs for the teacher. The hens are laying 10 eggs a day now.

The boys see to the hot water fire for baths and the dishes. They have the hot water system going ... remember the beer kegs and fire, it's worked a treat. They built the outdoor bathroom and skullery next to the hotwater system. It stands apart form the cottages so everyone can use it. The 2 x 1000 ltr cube water tanks are connected to the

Tonight after milking the boys bring 4 lts of milk home, the kids are just loving it esp Cobi who wants a second glassfull. It's no cause I would like the milk to settle so I can scoop off the cream tomorrow for butter. Got to save a few days worth of cream for the butter.

Need to get up early in the morning ...
We don't smoke so it could happen to us to, it does in Sydney when we have a blackout, got candles but no matches lol.

Day 26 ...
It swap market this morning, we don't need anything urgently except maybe some pumpkin & carrots if any ones got any. Maybe a bottle of jam from Leslie and a rockmelon or two. Going more for a sticky beak (look) Looks like everyone is still stocked up, that's the thing with country folk here, they used to having days where they stranded cause of flooding or bush fires, they prepared for anything. Can't say the same about our city cousins. The regulars at the pub are just a little annoyed that the pub won't have any beer soon, yeah right. Someone's bound to make their own brew or start making some.

The boys decide to go fishing again taking the kids with them so they can try yabbying. The kids have more success with the yabbies while the fish are not biting, wrong time of the day maybe. Well they will have to go into the rice dish (spanish paella)with a few chicken wings, onions, tin of tomatoes and lemon juice& wedges. today it's missing the peas, capsicum & calamari rings. It's still a big dish and everyone has seconds.

It's full moon tonight, so we up till late just chatting, everyones had a nice day
Day 27 ...
Today 's Sonday, after the morning milking The two N's (Nick and Neal) return with some yummy fresh milk. I made a large pot of oats for breakfast, the kiddies love it with sugar and a little milk, It's George's favorite breakfast too. (Chooks will be happy too)And a cup of coffee with a rusk for morning tea. Today we going to not have one hammer going, just silience from the generator charging batteries a little piece.

We girls decide to pick some berries from the bramble bushes, not a easy task, watching for snakes and spiders, and thorns. We well protected and come away with a small bucket full, having only made marmalade before, berry jam will be a first, it's not to bad when it all cooked over the fire, bottled up and cooling. Only 3 small bottles better than nothing!We open a bottle of bread and butter cucumbers and a small bottle of pickled beetroot that I made just before the cricis started, with our potato, sweet potato,onion and bacon pieces baked dinner. Piglets are happy with their boiled potato skins

Tinned cat food is running low so it's only one can a day with a little dry food and the dog food is a little low too.Jellybean is the only cat that hunts so she looks after herself pretty much. The others are old cats, one does not even have teeth anymore, they have never hunted at all.

We will have to kill a kangaroo for them and freeze the fresh minced meat.Roo is a very dark red lean meat only ever bought it once at the supermarket George hated it cause it's a skippy the kangaroo. Only now I know how to tenderize it so maybe I can get away with it this time.I have heard it's best to try shooting them at night when they come to the road, sitting in the headlights, boys need to go for a little drive upriver tonight after milking.
We have nearly a 3 cups of fresh cream saved for butter making. Nick pours it into a glass bottle and starts skaking it, he hands it over to the girls and they shake until there's little yellow blobs and soon it thickens up nicely, add a little salt and work it with the paddles.It tastes good for us inexperienced butter makers. We save the liquid from the butter in the fridge.

The girls have finished their rug and and sewn the blocks up
and have added a binding around the edge. It's colourfull and feels nice to walk on.
No Kangaroo tonight they will try again tomorrow.
Day 28 ...
The kids head off to school after breakfast with the fitness team of mums, Tanya upfront. It's just a warm up to the school, then as they march on past the homes a few ladies join them. It's become quite the thing to do here. Us older ladies just stare after them, there's no way in hell you catch me doing that, my sore knees and feet woun't make it up the first hill at that pace.

The hens have been laying 10 eggs a day like they used to, thats great. Normally I would have sold 3 dozen eggs a week covering the chookfood bill, and still have a few eggs for ourself. Now we need to use them wisely and mostly in the baking. There's eggie bread for breakfast (french toast) and coffee.

While they out walking I have started making another batch of bread and soak the beans for a bean soup, Now this always causes a bit of a problem, so I need to make another soup for the ones that refuse to eat bean soup. I don't like it much cause you fart alot from it lol. So a packet of chicken soup powder with diced onion and instant noddles and a small can of corn kernels. An apple pie with custard for dessert. That takes care of today's menu.

It's getting harder to keep the meals balanced without fresh meat, but I refuse to slaughter the weatherer at this stage, he needs another 3 months to grow, even then I might not do it. It's not long to go before we slaughter the meat chooks, so we will just have to fish more often. And wanting a kangaroo for the animal food I need a little space in the freezer, we might even try some ourselves. Lots of marinade and gentle cooking.

The veggie patch is producing nice sweet potatoes, garlic is nearly ready to pull out, even found a cherry tomato plant with lots of ripe toms. The passion fruit vine has lots of flowers on and from experience it bears well. The small fig tree is forming 8 little figs will have to net the tree from the bird. The quince tree has a few yellow fruit on it, nearly ready to stew. This is still a young garden, so we not expecting to get much from it yet. The soil is still poor and it needs more composting. Our potatoes we planted a few weeks ago are coming up nicely, so that should be a good crop. We spend our afternoon watering and weeding.

After dinner the boys go looking for a roo again. Success this time with a young one, it's late by the time they get in and now they have to clean it up and put it in the freezer till I can sort out the cuts in the morning. Nobody knows how to cure the skin. That's not good so nexttime I see Derick I can ask him.

Day 29 ...
It wonderful having a little freetime from the kids, all the noise and the mess.Trust me I love my grandkids and they enjoy working with me planting seeds and collecting eggs etc ... If only I could send everyone away for one day for a little peace and quiet, A little time to read might be nice. I find running the ship hard sometimes, cause even now some people think it will just happens, dinner will be on the table, I just wish I don't need to always be doing something to make this work. My crew don't really have any survival skills and keep looking at me for ideas. Hell can't they think for themselves, the boy's did great with the building, milking over at the Dairy and shooting the roo last night. Thank god they don't read this journal!
This morning we are going to have a meeting and it's time they start doing more around here. It's not a holiday!
But first I need to cut up the roo into small pieces, I have decided to mince everything except the legs and the tail, that I want to try cook like oxtail very slowly and with a little vinegar after I marinade it. That will be for Wensday's dinner. The boys cut the pieces small enough for the hand mincer and take turns if they have too. With the spices and herbs added to the best pieces it gets rolled and flattened into burger patties. We have two meals from that. Fresh roo for the cats are made into small packets and frozen. The rest of the meat and liver is minced and cooked with a packet of pasta, dried split peas and garlic & olive oil, gravy powder gets added when it nearly ready, will be cooked outside. I refill the empty cans as a measure so we feed them the right amount of food and then fill the large freezerbags and seal. Somewhere I had a recipe for dog biscuits.

After the meeting, some people decide to start doing more, esp as their make a really nice pizza from scratch (I'am not going to name that moody person cause already I am deep in s--t for even mentioning it to her father) it's always been that way ... Everyone needs to do their bit. The acrylic nails are growing out fast and there is no salon to go to (bugger)

I send them yabbing and fishing for dinner. But make a lentil soup and a damper just incase they don't catch anything. It's been a long day for me.

Day 30 .... (part4)
I am losing track of what day it is, they just seem to roll into one another. The girls want to make another rug for one of the other cottages, it's a great idea. It's nearly Christmas and the wreaths go up on the doors. While they took their morning walk, one of the ladies offered a little Christmas bush foliage ( very pretty redish bush foliage , comes around this time every year.)I got a few pine cones I sprayed gold last year to add to the decorations. A string of fairy lights (solar) to add a little sparkle at night. Cat food tins become lanterns with little holes punched, lit up with a tealight candle inside.

Tomorrow is school holidays and if all goes well will resume in middle of January. I raid the secret stash box for the suitable pressie, Some nice smelly soap and hand cream, a bottle of jam and caddy of tea and a set of hand knitted dish clothes. We decide to bake a double batch of condensed milk biscuit with red cherries on top and some sweet star shaped biscuits and divvy it up into small bags, tie with a little piece of string attaching a small greeting card to it. Card stock and Paper raided from my scrapbooking box. Tomorrow the kids can deliver them to the elderly residents in the villiage.

The boys chop wood and stack the wood room, it's full, the rest gets stacked for the hot water system fire. They decide to build an outdoor workroom from treated timber posts, shade cloth and lattice screens. A place we can cook preserves, bake and process the meat. The old rayburn woodstove can be installed and used to bake in. And a basin to do the dishes in ... one thing leads to the other and soon the camphor laurel wood slabs have a purpose as bench tops. No complaints from me. With promises like that, I am happy to cook a really nice meal on completion of this outdoor kitchen. Starting tomorrow. This will be the last project they will be able to do as the building wood supply is nearly gone, lucky there is still a bit of roofing left that Des brought from work, we should just make it. The veggie patch needs a little watering and weeding.

The chookies are happy with the bottom of the pot of oats from breakfast , pasta and tinned tuna with some cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced onion and a little mayo salad for lunch. Dinner ... Rockmelon and cup of soup with a slice of damper. Hens layed 9 eggs today

Mushrooms are a good idea, my favorite is button mushrooms. Thanks Veggie PAK.

Day 31 ...
After breakfast the boys level out a site not to far from Rose Cottage, and cement in the corner posts, doing a little form work with old wood crates brought up from work, to be able to pour a cement floor, lay the mesh down(I had bought a large piece of mesh for the bean garden but never used it, had to dig it out under the overgrown lantana). They were a little worried that the cement would not be enough, so had broken up a lot of old bricks and paver and put that under the mesh. That took all day waiting for the posts to dry. Tomorrow the boys will mix the cement, pour and level it ... thats a bid job by itself.

Well it time to try that marinaded leg of Kangaroo sure hope it going to be tender, Michael and Neal get to make the fire in the Texas smoker, and soon it hot enough to put the meat in, wrapped in foil and on a old baking tray. They have to look after it and keep the coals going, while working on the outdoor kitchen. The kids and I dig a few sweet potatoes out in the veggie patch and peel an onion & potato for each, some garlic and olive oil drizzled over it, that goes on another tray with tin/alum foil. Dinner should be quite a treat tonight.

George has used a bit of redwood/recycled wood we got given many years ago that was used as railings from the Old Canterbury Race cource. We been carting it around for years and now is going to be my new outdoor kitchen.A old cast iron sink that nearly found it way back to the tip gets to be a main feature again, it's a creamy buttercup yellow same as the old rayburn wood stove.There's even going to be a pantry with doors, a place to hang up spoons and spatulars. OMG I am so excited ...

While the boys are busy there, us girls have the lattice screens on workhorses and crates painting them, cause once they up it is very difficult to paint them with the shade cloth attached. Posts get a slap of paint too so they can dry overnight.

We buggered come night time, it's been a very busy day.

I added some photo's in my album for you to see, so you might know what I talking about here ...

Day32 ...
Kangaroo meat was not that bad esp if your hungry lol they polished it. Well tonight we going to try the dreaded tail, not so nice on the nose, and hard to cut too. It been marinading for a few days now, give it another go at cutting it into smaller pieces. Going to cook it with onions, garlic, no salt at this stage. We 'll see how it goes, maybe the dogs will have it for dinner........... it's cooking on the coals outside even the flies have come to this party.

After breakfast the boys get the concrete mixer out and start mixing, pouring and leveling, they need to work fast and in sections. George is no help to them, so gets on with the woodwork instead. I just need to paint, what can I paint...have to just sit back and wait. Maybe I get on with feeding the animals and I will do some weeding instead.

The girls wanted to do a little knitting after cleaning up the breakfast things,then raid the wool tubs for some 8 ply and no 5 needles, good thing I have a few set of no 5's, so they are going to knit squares to sew together. Winter's still far off but it will take them that long to get a few finished.

The garden is coming on nicely, potatoes are up and growing fast, shovel extra soil around the plants. Really need a few small tree trunks to raise the beds a little, beg them to cut some later. The corn are 10 cm high now, I planted all my spare seeds and more I dug out of the chook food bin, cause I need chook food as well. Milo seeds are up and the sunflowers are coming on too. it is really looking good. The carrot, beetroot, beans, chinese broccolli and bok choy are growing fast. The assortment of pumpkin seeds & zucchinni are doing well, starting to get flowers on them. The little boys shovel soil into the little trailer hitched to the ride on, then around the potatoes.

Elize got the bread making done for the day by the time we finished in the garden, yummy bread with a little of Lesley's jam and a pot of tea. Poured the water off the meat and pour in some fresh water, onions, garlic, aheaped spoon on curry powder and olive oil, it smells better. Adding a little vinegar to it again, next a few potatoes and baby carrots. Cook a pot of rice to go with it.

There's a storm building sure hope it does't rain tonight. Maybe tomorrow we need to top up the tanks.
Day 33...
Well yeah it did come bucketing down, you should have seen us, running for the tarp dripping wet like ducks gone for a swim. Just had to get the floor covered cause the cement floor was just setting nicely. We should have screwed the roof on as George adviced but it was nearly dark by the time the boys were done cleaning everything. Not to worry it did not last long before moving off again. Still need more rain to fill the tanks again.There's no stars tonight cause of all the clouds still hanging around.
Michael was kind enough to cut a few saplings and drag them over for my raised bed in the veggie patch.

Can't say I enjoyed the tail much, dog meat nexttime. I need some cooking inspiration so consult my grandma's old book, wow I haven't had dumplings and stew for a long time. Maybe I make that tomorrow the last of the lamb ribs stew. Just get a pot of soup going so long. The kids and I can go yabbing this afternoon for a bit, take a rod with incase I catch something.We can't be to long as it Carols in the Park tonight. Only a few yabbies and 2 bass. We did see a small turtle swimming.We cook the yabbies and refriderate them and clean the fish, to the freezer.

We all toddle off to the Carols with our plate of crumpets and lick of jam ontop. It's nice being with other people. Only upon returning home, the dogs seem a little edgy, everything looks ok but the kids can't find a sleeping bag, I can't find the matches and the coffee is gone. Everything else looks good though.That's not good... now I wondering if it's the same person that stole the small tent, candles and medical box a few months back. Again the place was tidy and you'd never say anyones been there........ Maybe someone need to be at home all the time

The animals are all accounted for except a meat chook, dinner for sure!

We do really have a survival guy, ex abbitoir worker/murder convicted Malcolm Naden who murdered two of his cousins and a mother of two (girlfriend?), he escaped in 2005 and has been sighted a few times since then. He lives in dense bush and moves around alot. Breaking in when he is sure no ones around, all you find missing is food and such missing, he cleans up and even locks the place again. And thats no lie! We made the front page The Sun-Herald January 18th
He has been at my place too, I am sure cause for 4 yrs since we had the place not once did something go missing only recently. He got a small lightweight tent, candles and my big medical box. He left everything like radio, cloths etc. That tells me it's someone like him. Constable J also agrees with me. You must all be having very bad days not to post anything lol I am beginning to feel very lonely here!
Day 34....
Everyone here want to know who this person is and the whole story, I only know what I heard and read in the paper, and that he's been spotted in the area a while ago.At least he will sleep warm and have a nice roast oh and a cup of coffee lolThere was really not much food he could take cause the cupboard was locked remember. Just the coffee and tea, a little sugar was out. There's hardly anything in the freezer to feed a big man.And he woun't want kangaroo for sure.
We agree to always have someone at home just incase he or some other not so nice person comes around.Also to lock the animals up at night with a lock, even the sheep. Their shed is just on the otherside of our cottage, so if anyone is busy there we'll know about it. It locks and bolts time!
Lucky there's still a few tins of coffee ...

Later I just go tell Constable J what happened, when we head to the river to try for more fish and yabbies. Paella tonight if we're lucky
We only Just started , a few more parts to go
Remember it is copyrighted so please don't post this anywhere else or you know ....

Homemade Quilts by Granny said...
Keep your doors locked sweetie...Have A Merry Christmas. God Bless Trish

December 22, 2010 2:19 PM
Rina ... also Chester or Daisysmum. said...
It lucky it's only a survival game Trish. We quite safe. A Merry Christmas to you too, enjoy spending time with loved ones Regards Rina

December 22, 2010 9:23 PM
Nilo & Des said...
Love your survival story Rintjies! Keep it commin.
Hope you have a Very Merry Christmas.

December 22, 2010 9:57 PM