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



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

survival game part 7 ...

Day 45 ...
Somehow I forgot day 44, oh well .......
The rain is never ending, it just keeps on raining steadily, the river has pushed up over the bridge this morning there was no way anyone could get across. By midday it had crept up and covered all the rocks, and covered the concrete sides of the bridge. The closed road sign went up. Debris and logs came rushing down the river. The trees all got flattened with the force of dirty brown water.

There's not much we can do but keep ourselves busy. A little cheering up might help, so we decide now is as good a time to slaughter a few chooks for the freezer and get busy with that. Today we'll do 8 chooks, that's going to be full on, each one has their own chook to pluck, while George did the honours with the ax. A new experience for the girls too ... I chose 2 hens and a rooster to keep for future breeding. The man from the hatchery told me you should slaughter them all but maybe he just wanted me to buy more birds from him. When all's done, they go into the fridge to rest overnight, ready for the freezer tomorrow. All except one that is for dinner.

The 1000 ltr tanks fill up real fast and we have to pump the water over to the big tank, must look at finishing the work on the tanks. Lot's of bath water, and the kids pond also get cleaned and filled with clean water. The laundry gets a soaking too, then human feet treatment, rinsed and wrung ready to go up to dry.

Dinner is a chicken pasta bake, and small green salad with cherry tomatoes from the garden. After dinner Neal gets me one side and tells me Eliza is a little worried cause she late this month. Well that's bound to happen when you run out of prevention tablets. That's something I never considered when I stockpiled, prevention/condoms ... does that offend you, I sure hope not, for that is life. Time will tell I'm sure ...
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Day 46 ...
The full force of the brown water has crept up to 2 mtr above the bridge, boy it's a sight we hope not to see soon again. We meet a few villagers all come to have a sticky beak, dressed in their "dry as a bone" rain coats and some men look a little wild with their bushy beards and old akubra's on their heads. All that's missing is the brumby's (Horses), it's like the movie scene's from "Man from Snowy River"...
The rain is clearing a little later this morning, and the odd ray of sun shine shines through.

A pot of chicken noodle soup is cooking with a few carcasses of the chooks from yesterday. Cutting up the chooks in portions sure saved space in the freezer. A few sweet potatoes and normal potatoes, onions get baked together for dinner.
Tomorrow is swap market day, so we'll take a 6 baby chooks and a dozen eggs with us. We could do with a veggies, few pumpkins and carrots, a little flour and yeast. The veggie garden is going nicely and gives fresh greens, Chinese broccoli is ready to be picked. Maybe take a little bunch of that too. No fishing for a while until the river is settled again.

It's time to get the little boys out there riding in the dirt with the bikes, something Michael is good at, there's not a clean spot on their faces by the time they come in for a wash. But first the bikes need a clean too. They look tired and will sleep well tonight. Neal looks after the fires for the hot water.

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Day 47 ...

It's swap market day, so we head off after doing the morning chores, George stays behind to keep an eye on things here. It's nice to meet up and have a yarn (chat)Pete our Constable's wife is a bee keeper and sells yummy honey, hmmm would love a little. I get a small jar for 2 baby chooks and the small bunch of Chinese broccoli. Jenny only has a half bag of flour to spare, while she needs eggs and 2 baby chooks. Her hens aren't laying so well atm. A large pumpkin swapped for the last two chooks from the farmer up the road, he drove down with a heap of pumpkins on the back of his truck and is looking to swap them for anything he can get.

I going to get the boys to enlarge the run for them to free range a little with the few bigger chooks. Have to slaughter the rest of the big meat chooks tomorrow. So it will be only the rooster and 2 hens with the little ones. They 5 weeks old already!
It's all going to help with reducing the food bill for the little meat chooks (still got 20 or so) as the crumble is running short.

Piglets are growing up nicely, and nearly a good size to slaughter, maybe in another few weeks. Can't wait to try out the new gas smoker sitting in the container. I miss my bacon. We spend the rest of the afternoon doing weeding and planting a few more seeds.

Dinner is Chicken a la king with rice, Chinese broccoli steamed and green salad.

Survival game part 8 ...

Day 48 ...
Harry the rooster, let the world know the suns up at 4.30 am, time to rise and shine. Thanks Harry, boy his got a beak on him, nothing wrong with his crow! We up early anyway, having a mug of milo and maybe just manage to catch another hour of sleep too. It's the normal morning routine, feed and water the chooks, talk to the sheep and give Miss Daisy a scratch behind the ears. Serve breakfast, do the dishes and then have a second cup of coffee. Asked the boys to work on a run for the young meat chooks, they started one using some school fencing, bird wire tied to it and over the top, (for protection from the lace monitors/goannas)and covered it with some shade cloth. I wonder if they have seen the claws of a lace monitor lately, he will just rip it apart if he wanted too. Lucky I haven't seen one for a while.

Today is nothing different to any other day. I find a little time to study the Home Cheesemaking book by Neil and Carole Willman some more, I can kick myself for not having done a cource in cheese making, haven't got half the stuff needed but have to improvise I think. Some fetta would have been nice. The butter and buttermilk still looks the easiest. We have to make butter soon anyway.

Fishing is still a waste of time, the river has gone down but it's running to fast. You won't even get a nibble and might only have caught a cold. lol Maybe this afternoon I spend a little time sorting out the pantry and taking stock. This morning I get George to chop the last of the bigger meat chooks heads off and get them plucked. Except the chosen few kept for breeding purposes, that might be a bad idea but worth a try anyway.

Well there is one bright highlight for the day, it was only a false warning, Eliza is all smiles again. Darn a little girl would have been nice!

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Day 49 ...
The yesterdays stocktaking went rather well, all the shelves have had a wipe over and jars have been filled up with half packets and we still looking alright atm. A huge dent has been made but the veggie patch is starting to produce a little, green beans and Chinese broccoli, sweet potato, still getting some cherry tomatoes. I'll send for some lemons again to make a little syrup/cordial for drinks. Without the extra food everyone brought along we would have been in a sorry state by now ... Every bit helped.

Talking about the veggie patch, those potatoes I planted when we first got here have heaps of purple flowers on them, so not long to go before they die off and the stool dies back, then only can we start digging the potatoes up, a few stools at a time. Next swap meet I take some with. Later today We'll bake a cake for Luke's Birthday tomorrow, (it's mine as well, our wedding anniversary and George's dad died on the same day) so maybe now you'll understand why it never a good day for me. Can anything else happen on that day... not!

The boys need to collect wood again to keep the supplies up, cut and stack, that should keep them out of trouble for the day. Atleast the rain has stopped, but it's humid. We took a walk down to the river after breakfast and the water level is just under the bridge. So tonight the boys can head off to help with the milking, maybe bring extra milk home. I want to bake some buttermilk rusks and we'll be needing a little butter soon.
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Day 50 ...
Daylight comes and it another beautiful morning, a group of kookaburra sit laughing at us while we having breakfast. (Cheeky birds.)That's the one thing about living here, there's birds lots of birds. At night you can hear the Tawny Frogmouth with his deep voice calling. And if it dark enough you can look up and see the whole milky way, it's awesume. We all sing Happy Birthday to Luke, and share a slice of cake with him.

The morning chores are soon done, the Matildas present us with 9 eggs for the day.
The boys continue collecting wood, cut and stack, they must be thinking let's just get this over with so we can go fishing again. Truth be told I would love it if they could catch a few fish for dinner. Tonight we need a nice meal to go with the celebrations, so I marinade a few chicken breasts with masterfoods portugese marinade and cook a pot of spicy rice and make a green salad. Eliza makes a loaf of bread, 4cups of flour with sundried cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs through the mix. It smells so nice. Life is good with our family and good friends to share this day with us.

We even get to open two bottles of wine to go with dinner ...

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Day 51 ...
Today we'll bake some veggiemite scrolls for lunch, it only uses 4 cups of flour to make them, we'll have to watch our usage of flour from nou on. Use the homebrand cake mix packets for making muffins and just add required fruit to them. It works well enough and there is still 8 vanilla and 4 chocolate pkts left. Tanya used to buy heaps at a time cause she loves making cupcakes. While the ovens still warm from the scrolls, a tray of chocolate cupcakes are ready to be baked. I found a tin of caramel to spread over and chocolate chips to add to the mix.

Another task is washing that never seems to end, atleast that is done for the day and hanging on the line. Then there's the weeding,the cooking, washing up ... it never stops does it. Tanya decides it's time to mow the yard a little and it takes her an 1/2hr before she's done. The sheep have done a great job of the first paddock and they just about ready to be moved on to the next. We don't have a ram to service them this year or just have to make do with another breed's ram which I would rather not do. There's 1 weatherer ready to be slaughtered but that's not going to happen before easter cause there really is no space in the freezer with all the chooks. So it's going to be chooks and fish for a few weeks still.

We might start thinking about another kangaroo for more dog and cat food, still enough for another week. The ones we have around here are not very big, so it does't go to far. Only this time we'd just make burgers with some of the meat. Can't say I like the taste to much. Well that's another day survived ...

Survival game part 9 ....

Day 52....
We wake up to another beautiful day, there's not a cloud in the sky. Breakfast is a bowl of oats and a little weetpix for the kids, they getting just a little sick of oats and begged for some cereal this morning. Not so fussy anymore heah, no fruit lops or cocopops at grandma's house, they got way to much sugar in them anyway.

Morning chores are soon done and the boys are back from milking with some milk. There's enough to try making buttermilk and butter, sure hope it works. We could do with a batch of rusks for our coffee. Well today is the day.

A little bit of weeding is needed in the veggie patch and watering the veggies, but by lunchtime we know we're in for a scorcher(heatwave) for sure, the birds have all disappeared, it's just the bush buzzing with sun beetles. Everything dies with this heat, even the weeds hang their heads from thirst. I am so thankful we gave the veggies a drink, and later this afternoon we will have to water again. The patch has afternoon shade so that should help.

The animals need their water checked and filled up. The meat chooks need to be watched carefully for heat stroke. I remember reading about it somewhere, you need to dunk them in water and keep in a cool place to recover. Making sure they get a drink of water regularly. I get the hose out and spray the floor/ground and chookhouse to drop the temperature,inside the runs. Even the birds are happy for a sprinkle. It's 42 by 2pm. Two chookies need extra attention badly, first aid for chooks, they get the whole treatment and after 3 hrs they are steady enough on their feet to walk again, snatched from deaths door.

It's a full on day for me, some don't understand why I bother reviving them,they just chickens. I'am please the girls decide to make dinner. Before going to bed I check on the chookies again, they doing heaps better with the cool south westerly blowing. I am buggered!
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Day 53 ....
Today is wash day, the girl get it all done and hung up after breakfast. Need to make use of this lovely sunshine. The ingredients for the rusks are mixed and placed in baking trays, while the boys get the wood stove ready. Pots of water are filled and warming on top for the dishes. While they were doing that I had been watering the veggies, and getting all the troughs filled. And getting the chooks sorted, one meat bird did not make it through the night, looks like it got trampled. always sad when that happens.

We're all flat out with the day's chores, preparing food and keeping up with the cooldrinks. It's another hot day, but not quite as bad as yesterday.
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Day 54 .... The south westerly broke the worst of the heat last night, nothing worse than waking up with a headache from the heat, lack of sleep trying to keep cool. The chooks all made it through the night thank goodness. Today promises to be cooler and maybe we could even have a storm this afternoon, that would be great.

After lunch we have a visit from the constable telling us their power came on for a few minutes last night, then died again. We have no power to our property so would not have known about that. It could only mean the world out there could be trying to fix things, get the power up and running again. Everyones excited about that, and start brooding what they going to do. At dinner they express their thoughts about their plans, but George thinks it's way to early to make plans. People are still without food and very protective of their space. So he convinces them not to rush out without testing the waters first.

They decide to wait until the power is on properly before going down to town for more news. I wonder what is going on in my husband's head does he want to go back as well? I decide to stay no matter what happens..........

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Day 55 ...

School is due to start soon, and the kids are getting real excited to going back. After breakfast we decide to go yabbing and fishing down by the bridge for what ever we can find. It's more a picnic than a real fishing trip, the river is all gentle again, the swimming spot is soon invaded by little kids and parents splashing around.
It feels like we all on holidays again, refreshed we head on back to the farm empty handed.

Dennis from across the road, calls with a watermelon on offer for some chain and bar oil for his chainsaw if we got any spare, that we do have and make the swap. It's soon cut up and in the fridge ... cold watermelon is most welcome. The kids nag to play cricket and soon we got a match going.

The hens have not been laying that well atm, must be the heat getting to them too. No one mentions the power thing again, not wanting to spoil the mood. Today was really relaxing and fun.
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Day 56 ....
We decide to try our hand at a little fishing and yabbing again, the kids are quick to catch a few yabbies, then a bass decides to take the bait, and another can't wait to join his mate, dinner for sure. A few more yabbies to go and we set. An eel thought to join them but he was not welcome. It's the first time the kids have seen an eel and one to many for me yuk! soon we decide enough for today and start for home. They can't wait to try a rusk with their coffee even if they not quite dried out enough , they taste so good.

Morning chores are soon done, and everyone can relax a little. Talk of when the power comes back on starts again, and it seems Nick and Adele would like to go back to the city. But they worried about the rioting and lack of food and work. They decide for Nick to go first and sort things out before Adele and the girls join him. That is a wise move I reckon. Micheal and Marna are happy to leave Cobi with us until they know what's happening in Brisbane, Maybe they will even move closer to us.
Neal and Eliza have decided to go back to Brisbane because of Luke and his mom Linda. But there is no hurry for anyone to leave. Tanya decides to join up with Michael when he leaves. That leaves just Cobi, George and Me, Adele with her two girls until she joins Nick.

George finally decides to tell me what he wants us to do, I only hope he has seen the difference this forced rest has made to his health. I for one am not going anywhere, This is now My Home, I am going nowhere ..... he can go if he want to, it's his choice.

With that sorted, I need the boys to do a few things for me before they leave. Firstly a good supply of wood, cut up and stacked for the winter. Another paddock to be fenced with posts and wire for the sheep. We will be needing a kangaroo for animal food, so I send them shooting tonight. Tomorrow they can lend a hand butchering it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Survival game part 10 .... the end at last

Day 56 ....
After breakfast I call a meeting with the "family" now that we know what our future plans are going to be, we need to start preparing for it. My boy's need to help me with some of the work and collecting wood is one of them. George is not really able to do a lot of the physical work of hauling wood, cutting and stacking so we need a good supply to see us through the winter. A good 2 day's work. And it gives them something to do while they waiting to put their plans into action. This is where I am going to find it the hardest doing myself.We might have to look at getting some gas heating for the water or get the solar panels up and working,that means getting a gas booster and tank. A lot of the work is now going to rest on my shoulders again.

Under normal circumstances I would have paid Dennis to deliver wood by the trailer load. Another paddock needs fencing for the sheep to rotate them, and also a crusher and ramp to load them if needed. For that they just going to have to fell some trees for posts. Dig a few holes and plant the posts, add a few rails and make a gate of sorts. Buying a steel crusher is just to expensive and this wooden crusher, will work well enough for our needs. Loading and off loading the sheep has always been a problem in the past.

My secret plan is to get a 2 Bobby calves, now for those not in the know, that is male calves born to milking cows. It's a cruel world out there when they get ripped of their mom's teat, so we can drink the milk that they so badly need to grow strong on. Some get sold at the markets for a "Bob" as it was known in the old days cause they worth no more than that, very sad. So We will need a small shed for them to shelter under, next to the crusher, the boy's think they just adding a little sheltered area.

The girls are weeding and watering the veggie patch, a job that I love. We dig up 3 stools of potatoes, and are rewarded with about 1 1/2kg worth of potatoes. There's nothing like a fresh spud with butter, Yummmy if only we had a little savoury mince, grated cheese and sour cream to go with them. We harvest enough silver beet/spinach that we're going to cook with a little onion and 2 potato as a base for a quiche, 5 eggs and a few cherry tomatoes in a pastry shell. Maybe not a true quiche but it will do. Jenny sent over a few baby pears for the kids to snack on but I have a better idea and make a pear pie and a little custard to go with them for dessert. A feast of chicken drumsticks, were defrosted and roasted with herbs and lemon, served with the quiche and pear pie for dinner.
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Day 57 ....
The boys are doing great hauling wood and even found a few straight tree trunks for the posts (12), it's hard work. George and I decide to measure out the area and dig the holes ready for the posts. That should save time when the boys get back. We're so lucky to have 10 acres of crown land around our place. Where we can cut dead trees for wood. Coffee and rusks on demand this morning. And large bottles of water cooling in the fridge. George making sure the batteries are all charged, so the generator is running again. That is my chance to get the slow cooker on making a mild butter chicken. The rice won't take long to make. The kids get to play Xbox so that keeps them out our hair a bit.

We"re all exhausted and happy to have a swim in the river late afternoon. Peaches and custard for dessert.
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Day 58 ....
Us girls get lessons on how to use the chainsaw, on the smaller branches and get them hacked up and stacked while Michael and Neal chop up some of the larger pieces. Chop and stack, it's team work and soon the jobs done. We won't be using quite as much wood as what we have been cause we'll be fewer people needing hot water. A hearty breakfast keeps everyone going, by lunch time a light pasta salad is served with a slice of watermelon.

Late afternoon the posts are all in, there's no cement to concrete them in, so the job cannot be finished, Tomorrow I'll visit Russell the plumber and see if he's got any, or maybe the builder that's just finished building his small retirement home, a better bet I think. If not then the job can wait until we can go into town and get some there.

The kids want to go for another swim so we head down to the river. Taking the rods and hand lines with just in case we lucky and catch something. no fishy bites but a dozen yabbies will make a good lunch tomorrow.

The tubs get filled with water for the washing and the dirtiest clothes get soaked overnight. Exhausted from the heat and hard work, everyone glad to get to bed early.
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Day 59 ....
Another wonderful cool morning begins the day, after the first cup of coffee the milking boys return with a few litres of milk for our breakfast. I get thinking about what I going to do about milk, may have to buy it off the farmer until we can get regular milk or powdered milk. Sure going to miss the fresh stuff.We'd better make some deal .... After breakfast I head on over to Ken and Russell's place to ask about cement, it's 8 bags between the two and I happy with that.

The girls have the washing done and hung to dry by morning tea, it's a larger wash than normal cause they starting to get ready to leave. They spend the rest of the day sorting out their little homes and doing a spring clean. The generator gets taken over to the cottages so the Dyson vacuum cleaner can be used. And even the windows get a clean, anyone want to do my cottage? I better see to the meals while all this is going on. Yabby and pasta salad with cherry toms and a few greens. I make a loaf of zuchinni bread with sunflower seeds on top.

The boys concrete the posts after drilling holes for the wire to go through, then it's just wait for the concrete to dry. It's not quick drying so tomorrow they be able to pull the wire between the posts. Nick gives his car a wash and shine, vacuum inside. That starts the others off too. It better not rain tomorrow! Late afternoon the boys head off to go see the Constable to see if he's heard anything new.

They report back that the power came on that morning, went off again and come back on again this afternoon and it's still on. He's been listening to the cop station for any reports, or news. There is still problems in the cities, trying to get supplies throw. There is very little food on the shelves cause of the lack of petrol for the big trucks. But they working on it. The West of Sydney is know as the food basin for Sydney, and the farmers have pulled together and decided to take their produce straight to the veggie shops and independent supermarkets and sell direct. That is a smart move I'd say. Bakeries have started baking again and bread is available at most small bakeries. Deliveries of other products are slowly happening again.

He says people are asked to return to their homes and jobs. The trains will be running free for the next 2 weeks, no matter where you come from or going too only you still need to book. It's getting better but far from right. The national guard will still patrol the streets with the police force.

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Day 60 ....
The boy's decide it's time to make a move, and today they will finish off their jobs here. Do the last milking tonight and leave early morning.Nick has decided to take the train to Sydney cause they have another car there in storage. His train leaves at 11am tomorrow, it gives him a few days in Sydney to get organized again, go see friends and maybe stay with them until he can find accommodation again. He calls them from the local phone booth and manage to find them at home. His job is still waiting for him which is just wonderful ... Adele and kids are sad to see him go but Nick will be back in a few weeks to come fetch them. He will get a lift with Tanya and Michael to the station.

Michael & Tanya decide to leave for Brisbane with Neal, Eliza & Luke, who is dying to see his mum. Linda has been with her parents and grandparents. And will be returning to her old job and unit. Tanya will have to start over again in Brisbane, maybe start looking for a job somewhere. Atleast she's nearer her brothers.
Anyway it's for them to sort out. Before they leave I make survival parcels up with the basic foods and toiletries enough to see them through for a few weeks. And some money for petrol. Micheal has left his bikes here for now. Marna and Cobi have stayed behind until he sorts things out that side. Cobi is safe enough with us here.
Monday School starts again and the 3 kids will be there bright eyed and bushy tailed ....
The house feels so empty without everyone around, We're all a little worried for the family that left, but I know they can't live here forever either...

Soon it will be just the two of us here, oh and all the animals to keep us company.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Quick Tour of my garden ATM ... livestock





I need some help ID this pumpkin. Thought these were an amish pie pumpkin but being my first time every having purchased some seeds, I was not to sure what I was growing. Love the idea that these are white pumpkins.







Lots of green tomatoes, very pleased with them so far



The first of the Cherry tomatoes



Did you call Mom? Last count was 16 sheep and 1 adopted pony.





Thursday morning these 32 babies go for processing. I had 8 birds that did not make it, 3 just gone missing presumably cat food, 3died of heat exhaustion and 2 died within the first week. Not a good rate this time. 22 birds are sold leaving 10 birds for my freezer. I woun't be starting another batch before early March

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Come for a quick visit? ...



Good Morning to all my visitors today,

Well where's the post I hear you ask?

Well, come on over to my other blog,

What you missed it!

See you there

Rina

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Explanation of God ....

Got this from a friend...

It was written by an 8-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista , CA . He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to 'explain God.' I wonder if any of us could have done as well?
(and he had such an assignment, in California , and someone published it, I guess miracles do happen!)

... EXPLANATION OF GOD:

'One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.'

'God's second most important job is listening to prayers An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.'

'God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.'

'Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista . At least there aren't any who come to our church.'

'Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.'

'His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.'

'You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.'

'You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God!

Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.'

'If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.'

'But...you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.

And...that's why I believe in God.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

General update ...

Conserving water is one of our priorities, esp here on Mulgoa farm 2 households using one 22 000 ltr tank. Only thats not always possible with a heap of washing, 6 troughs to fill regularly between us, and then topping up the pool. We have all become rather lazy this last year, not doing the water run, filling up a 1000 ltr tank from the villiage hydrant and carting that home, which becomes such a pain to do. And then hoping it rains enough to keep topping up the tank. Well the Landlord is in charge of keeping a eye on the level of the water, only we all got caught out on Monday afternoon yes you guess where I was heading, it ran out. What a mission to get a water tanker in with 10 000 ltrs and only at 6.30pm last night the water arrived. (could have kissed the driver)

No eggs here ATM, just sbout all the hens have gone broody they drive me crazy. Bought 5 leghorn hens just 10 weeks old 3 weeks ago and am hoping they could come into lay and help with a steady supply of beautiful big white eggs when they are old enough. Lost 3 more meat chooks, am thinking it could be our killer cat Jellybeans who may have finally worked out they could be her dinner, (expensive dinner) still to catch her red clawed.

The veggie patch is going well this year. The tomatoe crop looks ever so promising so far. Need to plant a few more seedlings now that I have cleaned out the bed with all the plants that went to seed. Just work it over a bit and see what comes up. The corn I planted last week have started popping up everywhere, am very pleased about that. Planted some beans but they did not come up well and will need to get back too them.

Inside I have started on all the UFO's and repairs , thats going well hoping to update my other blog with pictures soon. well I better get back and start doing some chores ...
See ya later
Rina

Friday, November 11, 2011

Strawberry jam ... & new CD ...



What a bargain 5Kg of ready to go strawberries for $10.00 ATM they still sitting in the pot with 2kg of jam sugar mixed in, drawing out the red yummy juices. Then I add 8 tablespoons of lemon juice to the mix and cook it up for 15 mins. Do the testing thing with my nifty candy thermometer. What a mission to find a thermometer, not every store keeps them, supermarkets only have meat thermometers, even found a milk one for cappuccinos, not what I need sorry. Eventually found one yeah now I can make my jam without guessing.



One good thing came from shopping I bought Susan Boyle's new CD "Someone To Watch Over Me" it's so beautifull, very different to her last two CD's. Well I was secretly hoping to get it for Christmas from one of the kids, even if we only do presents for the grandkids.

Be back later with pics of the jam making ...

Hi Debbie, it really worked a treat mercury was at 105C according to the recipe, found it on the internet. There was more instructions on the back of the packaging for different stuff so maybe save it for later reference. Another good idea from the same person was, to wash your bottles with warm soapy water, rinse and shake dry, then pop them in a warm oven to dry until you need them.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

video

Well this is the first time I put up a video and it's taking for ever to load. Do you have the same problem? let me know please

Thought a video would be nice of the latest batch of meat chooks, got 40 chicks again in the September school holidays, two died within the first week. Then another died two days ago with heat wave we are having, it's amazing I haven't lost more. Dog food I thought why waste it, so did the whole butcher thing and cooked it up for the dogs. Weight it first and it was 1,25kg. Still got a fair way to go.

Over the weekend George cut in a backdoor to help with ventalation and we also enclosed a new yard for them to run around in. Most of the day there is some sort of shade available. But still not enough so I found some old workhorses and a bullnose corragate roof sheet and put that up too for them to hide under. What I really need is shade cloth to provide more shade.

Last night before closing them up for the night, I could see they're still sitting with their little becks open and wings spread, tempature still to high. So decided to put a old box fan in the chookie barn. and checked up on them at 11pm before heading to bed myself. that fan will now be part of the chook raising equipement lol.
Well finally it done
until next time
Rina

A quick tour around the veggie patch ....



Good Morning to everyone visiting today, No I know roses don't go in veggie patches but these are destined for the farm, with the asparagas and yesterday, today and tomorrow shrubs I bought. The roses are so pretty and have a lovely perfume too.





Hmm look at them yellow queen peaches, grow babies grow. The leaves on this little tree have got leafcurl, unfortuneately I never sprayed for it in June/July according to the nurseryman, just have to live with it until next year.




Strawberries anyone? A small variety of sweet strawberry, the other tub has pink flowered strawberries bearing larger fruit ever so yummy.



Look what I spied, The first of the Rasberries.












In the backgound there's a healthy crop of spinach is growing. The cherry toms are doing good too, great for summer salads.



Going to be a good crop of tomatoes this year. there's cherry toms and beefsteak too



Some beetroot destined to be bottled.



Aren't these too sweet, they have self seeded from last year.



This whole bed really needs to come out, only most of it has gone to seed which I will be collecting. Italian parsley, rocket, beetroot and chinese broccolli mixed up. The lemonade tree needs to go to the farm, it was a mother's day gift from Tanya

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Farmers Expo at Richmond ...



Catering mostly for the small hobby farmer, this Expo was well supported and in todays market that is good to see still. We planned going first thing in the morning but time got away a little with a few chores that needed doing first. Richmond is a good 45 mins from home, the sun was shining what more could you ask for. We are still looking for a smallish tractor with a 4 in one bucket and a rotary hoe at the back. This little Massey Fergason, ticked a few boxes but the price did not, oh well we keep looking.



So hard which one to choose






Antique Farm equipment and old trucks









A sheep herding display, first working was the older dog then a 4 month old pup just showing off her natural instinct. Keeping the mop of sheep together weldone little Amy. Her Brother also had a go.



Lots of baby moo's



Some great poultry on show.



This doe and kid angora goat stole my heart, now that was always my first choice goat, never mind Miss Daisy is still a keeper.

We had been wanting to go to this Expo before something always gets in the way, this time we did and it really was a lovely day I got rather excited about the lovely fleeces some ladies were spinning and the the knitted items made from that lovely fleece. Did buy a home cure meat book hoping to one day grow a piggy or two to make a little bacon.

Until nexttime
Rina