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


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



Monday, July 8, 2013

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

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

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sadly there comes a time for a send off for us all, nothing we can do about that. Here it is no different, animals are born and animals die, those are the facts of life. Harrry the rooster I blogged about a while ago passed on too. Now Dennis rule and Clyde the 2nd, being only a little silky rooster has to take second place. He has his two girls to look after. Sadly we said good bye to Remi the pony this morning. He was a gentle boy who love his carrots and apples. Remi was just a 12 hands tall if that. I found him standing inside the dam where he was halfway sunken in the mud and freezing water. Exactly how long he had been there was not known. But I know he was absolutely frozen. The Blond One with her long legs dragged him out with a rope and a material sling around his bum, a lot of shoving and pushing we finally get him out and walked him to the sheep shed. She washed his legs and belly, dried him off with old towels and wrapped him up in an old blanket taped up with packer's tape. I had by that time returned with 2 borrowed horse rugs/blankets that a kind hearted customer from our produce store, which she took out of the back of her ute, when she heard what had happened. Remi was very cosy with the rugs on and had by morning warmed up nicely. Remi had recovered enough to chomp on some apples and his Lucerne by night time. But when I visited with him the next morning he had a huge temperature and was down on his side, eye's glazed over and gasping for breath. It was over even before the vet had arrived. So all things come in 3's, and sadly that was once again proved correct. Friday evening Honey the tabby cat suffered a stroke, her back legs were affected and the emergency vet explained that it was really best to put her to sleep. And that was what The Blond One decided to do, it was her cat. Let's hope that all is well for a while:))

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A New Arrival ...

. Welcome to Elena Grace, is she not the cutest little bub you seen for a long time. Not even 2 weeks old yet and already creeping into our hearts. What a peaceful little baby, she loves feeding time, and a light burping session, pooping and sleeping. Enjoys her bath time too. We drove up to Brisbane just to meet Elena and her Nonna Rina, yip Nonna is Italian for Grandma and would you believe it we even share the same name. Mom and Bub are doing well after a difficult birth. Dad Is taking it all in his stride, lending a helping hand with changing diapers, burping and soothing bab to sleep. One of Elena's favourite spots is sleeping on her dad's chest.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Easter weekend and a fun day in Sydney ...

How about 2 birds with one stone ... Easter weekend friends of our joined us at the farm with their 10 year old , which was great cause our grandson Luke is here for the holidays from Brisbane. Very little work got done for a change, except mowing the property and enclosing the doggie deck and bathroom for extra sleeping space. Turned out a very enjoyable weekend I must say. On the way back to Sydney we stopped off and did a spot of strawberry picking, yummm fresh strawberries. The boy's and myself went looking for fat earthworms for bait and I was impressed just how fat the worms were in the veggie patch. We went down to the river around 5pm not quite sunset when the water just came alive with fish. That gave Luke lots of time to learn how to cast his line thanks to Grandpa showing him the ropes. On his best cast he caught the first fish a small bass which was a kiss and release cause it was undersize. I caught a fair sized bass which we kept. in total 3 returned fish will have the chance to grow big. Luke was doing real well, we did have the odd sinker and hook get stuck in a snag and lost them. Today Luke and myself went fishing again at the Nepean River. We bought a packet of prawn bait to try out. And we used a float after Luke lost the second set of hook and sinker. But not to many nibbles at the bait , Except this Eal which was the last thing I wanted to catch. It was a lovely few hour we spent together with a packet of lamingtons and chips and a cold drink.

Monday, March 4, 2013

No Knead Bread and Vetkoek ... you got to try vetkoek

. Got the recipe from my friend Carelene, it is in afrikaans but below I have translated it for you. Now what is vetkoek I hear you say and how is it made. Wel it's very traditional for us South Africans and it easy as pie my friend assures me Using the same bread dough below or your own bread dough recipe. You need to deep fry small handfulls of dough you pinched off, pull and stretch it this way and that a little, drop it into hot oil and fry it until its just golden on oneside before turning it over on the other side. Drain on a few sheets of paper towel. you may serve it after it cooled down a little, with a curry savoury mince. Or with a little jam or marmite. A tip I always have a little oil in a bowl just to smear on my hands, it helps the dough not to stick to you. PETRA SE "GEEN KNIE"BROOD MAKLIKE ROER WITBROOD Jy kan sommer met jou huiswerk aan gaan met die brood ! Hier is die resep weer ... Toe verander my hele lewe met die resep! 7 koppies meel (Dis presies 1Kg)(Koekmeel) 4 Koppies Water(lou water) 2 teelepels sout 1 Pakkie suurdeeg.(10g) Meng alles goed deur, gooi in panne, laat rys, bak vir omtrent 1 uur tot gaar by 180°C Dis dit, niks knie, af knie nie, net meng goed deur, laat rys en bak. Ek gebruik nie heeltemal 4k water nie, anders is die deeg te loperig.... Okay nou for the english version of it NoKnead Bread/vetkoek 7 cups (1kg) of all purpose flour 4 cups of warm water 2 teaspoons salt 10g yeast Mix all the dry ingredients very well then add the water cup by cup stirring it in as you go. Work it a little to get all the dry ingredients blended in. I covered the bowl with cling wrap and folded it all nicely in a warm towel/blanket and set aside for 1 hr to rise. Meantime you could make a savoury curry mince and have it cooking and ready. Add oil to a big pot and have it just heated enough before you open the dough mix. saves time trying to do it all at once. turn the heat up to fry testing the heat with a little dough it should bounce right up when it's warm enough. (That last bit was for anyone not so knowledgable as some of you lovely ladies.) Hope you all had a lovely weekend Rina

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Rooster's World ...

Black feathers tinged green in the sunlight, red comb redder than red, a fine specimen deserving a fine name Harry. His harem of assorted Matildas gathered close, submitting to his every whim, in return protected under black beaded eyes. Strutting around the place like He own it. Who could crow louder and clearer than Gentle Harry. Matildas have eggs to lay and chicks to hatch and bugs to catch. Life was just right here in his backyard. One fine day a new rooster peeped from under his mother's black wing, a whole new world out there Halve a dozen fluffy chicks learning the ways of being a chicken under Matildas watchful eye.Nothing rocks Big Harry's world
Until a fateful day Harry injures his leg protecting his girls, he wins the fight but loses his dignity. The lady of the house can't do much for his broken spur and bust up leg. Time will heal those wounds and save his dignity, Harry crows no more. His girls left to protect themselve now.They stay close by. The only crow now is the young rooster just practicing his stuff, no father figure to keep him in check no more. Until now he has no name but Dennis comes to mind when he sees the lady of the house. Dennis starts winding up the girls as his testosterones work overtime like any teenager rooster. He pesters every single hen within his sight. There is little Harry can do about that. A new order is slowly starting to take place, one where Harry is not the Boss anymore. It's time Harry need to heal that leg, first Mom used to carry him out to sit in his shady spot under the tree, where he could keep and eye on his girls. Slowly Harry is starting to hobble along again like an old man with a walking stick. Mom still scoops him up when he's to slow getting back to the chook palace before bedtime. But Harry is hanging in there waiting for the day he can sort out that Dennis the menise, show him who owns this here backyard!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Agenda 21 & chemtrails & more... something that concerns us all

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sES6_OXPwOU Every person should take note and just have a listen to this video. it would be great if you could post this and pass the message on. and yes preppers are mentioned so they must also know who we are? are we on their list? We all know China has a one clild policy right sp how do the plan on reducing the population? http://joemiller.us/2012/10/lawsuit-epa-conducted-gas-chamber-like-experiments-on-elderly-infirm-at-university-of-north-carolina/ Old folk did seldom live to be "Old" and but with the medical help available now days they can easily fill up the aged care facilities and then they need care. Don't get me wrong I like oldies Or is it the homeless they are going to get rid off, the ones on the streets? the ones on deathrow? so who are these people. https://www.freeconferencecallhd.com/playback/?n=86-17-65-6733-49-12455777573-17-65-67-17-65-6793056-17-65-67%3B0NTk3Nzc0NTM%3D1 Chemtrail: Australian & New Zealand Geo-Engineering Protest shared a link. Sunday.This is a Must listen radio interview with Dane Wigington regarding the Methane release from the East Siberian Ice Shelf caused by Geo-Engineering - There is no greater issue facing mankind right now - We must ban Geo-Engineering now to give the planet a chance to heal itself. http://www.ameg.me/ Arctic Methane Emergency Group - The Arctic Sea Ice is collapsing as AMEG predic...ted. The heating implications are now massive for the region & for the whole planet which means we have a planetary emergency

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Apricots are in season here in Australia ATM and they are at a really good price too. We (I) just love jam made of apricots, there just has to be chunky bits of golden fruit in it. Spread on a little toast or a dollip of jam on a bread roll cut in half and baked in the oven till light golden yummm. As if I don't have anything better to do right now, when I should be cleaning the house, washing the last few loads and packing to go on holiday. Well I have decided to make us stick to the original plan and leave on Friday, Giving me enough time to make my jam and dry another batch of onion in the dehydrator and bake a tray of biccies to take with. Not head off half assed as hubby suggested as he has now finished what he had to do. Well that was an post I had started just before we left on our working holiday. And in all this rush I forgot to save the recipe, now I can't find it ... THAT WOULD BE RIGHT!!! ( you could wonder what the pic below has to do with any of this, well she's blabbering on sounds just like these rainbow lorikeets) UPDATE found the link ......
Continue ... We are having some much needed rain in Mulgoa (West of Sydney) THE GRASS WAS JUST ABOUT DEAD, the sun baked it good. the only bit of green was where the laundery water was diverted onto the lawn. We had been buying bails of lucerne and bags of my special chaff and pony mix for the animals for a while now. While the rest of Australia is having fires and other part are flooding we have had wonderful heavy rain filling up every pond all along our street, from one property to the next ... a chain of ponds over flowing, the ground soaking up every drop ... new blades of grass already turning the fields green. lucky we had no flooding into our lounge or the house, only because we were ontop of the pool as it filled up to the rim, drained a good 6 inches out into the field. I am sure that did help that we were spared. Pool watch continued until the early hours. 26th January was Australia Day, really I hear you say, no post to celebrate! While everybody was off having a BBQ and waving a flag.
A Bride and Groom were getting ready to pledge their lives together, in sickness and health, and all that.This will be one anniversary date the groom will not be able to forget in a hurry. New Zealand looks like a wonderful destination for a honeymoon.
The brides mum, my Japanese friend Pina was putting on her lovely blue dress and getting her hair done, looking stunning. And then the bride's Japanese grandfather walked her down the aile to the waiting groom. The church was packed with family and friends. At the reception a photo booth was provided to take silly photos of the guests. (must be a new trend)Like weddings go, it was after midnight we got to bed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

More pics of Rose Cottage ...

You can't say we did not work our little butts off the last few weeks. George admits we did just great getting so many jobs ticked off the todo list. We had a week off to rest and had to be back at the farm to recieve the delivery of roofing sheets we had ordered. The weatherman had predicted rain and only a small gap of fine weather our way. The section needed to be prepped, old sheets off, a small deck built only because it lended itself to make a cosy corner for the doggies to sleep out of the cold and rain. The corner post had to hold the roof up
The bathroom frames had to be erected and squared up. New roof trusses had to be screwed into place, that in itself took a whole day to do, all double jobs as the old had to be removed first. At this point I need to mention a beam had fallen and nearly sent me off to dreamland. I do have a nice shiny bump to proof it. trouble come in 3's they say and that day was no exception. next I tripped and fell om my bum walking backwards pulling and pushing the big beams,just lucky it was a soft landing. Then up went the sheets all 7.70mtr of each sheet, after I wrestled them in the correct position. It took both of us to lift them up and push the sheets up.
With rain on the way we had to work fast to get the sheets secured.
lucky we had done the stand for the cube, and installed the first gutter, when we first arrived. George admiring his handy work.
The stand is made of treated sleepers for the box and rails screwed on top.
The kitchen window had to be moved, to make space for the 3 door cupboard sbove the bench top.
The man was not a very happy chappie.
We installed the blue boards ready for the next step.
Which created another job for him to fix the cladding. While he was cladding we just continued around the corner. One of my jobs is painting which I just love. Colour scheme info is here And then another window had to be installed in the bedroom, it was 45 degrees and we were dying cause there was no breeze through the bedroom. Once again he wanted to go the easy way but then the window would not have been centre. I won that one. The red cedar cladding had to come off and replaced with cypress cladding. How we managed to get through all this work in 10 days I don't know but we did it.
Until next time rina

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Two weeks at the farm ... work, eat & sleep

No problems with George feeling a little unmanly in my straw hat, it does the job keeping the sun of his near bald head. Check out the screw in the mouth lol. I have since bought him his own hat.
Awhile back we had bought a few sheets of new corrogate roofing for this side of the cottage, being a little to long they barely managed to fit over the ute without the cops pulling us over. But we got them up to the farm alrught tied up on a few 2 x 4's to give them extra support. This roofing project was the first item on George's to do list.
First he had to remove the doggy roofing and so called roof trusses, and build new ones. Of cause I had to make his life difficult by wanting a storage compartment in the roof. Somewhere to store my empty fowler vacola bottles, misc stuff and years supply of toilet paper.
The compartment is accessable from inside the kitchen/diningroom. He still needs to put doors on the front. Always wanted a large kitchen with a table and chairs to have meals at, just like my stepmother had. We would visit around the table, everyone used to help with laying the table and it was just such a lovely atmosphere.
The kitchen cupboards are also still waiting to be installed properly, that will be done as soon as the bathroom walls are up and the new roof trusses on that side of the cottage are replaced too. We are expecting a delivery of corrogated sheets for that side to be delivered as they are nearly 8 mtrs long on the 11th January, we will be leaving for the farm on the 10th with the gutters and more corrogated for the next project he has been working on.
The new roof extended over the small deck making it a lovely spot to sit in the morning. By afternoon sun filters through the gum trees and manages to bake onto the deck. George has promised to put a lattice screen up to help solve that problem. another job for the to do list.
This was never on the list George said but it was something that was needed esp after finding 2 snakes in one day. Racks to store building material off the ground, solid as a rock and pretty strong to hold all the materials. As usual I had to add a little supprise to the project, a lean too for the sheep with gutters to catch the rain. I was given a lot of small corrogate offcuts and thought they would work really well here.
Looking good so far George, he works hard but then so do I being his apprentice hold here, bring that, fetch this, switch off the generator, start the generator, hold the ladder and then still doing all the painting. We even concreted 4 posts and hung the gate. All this working with the sweet running down, consuming bottles of water by the dozen. This Ozzie sun can get hot, by 10am it's nearly 38 degrees already.
Christmas day we were installing the pink carpet in the bedroom, a hand me down from a friend who had bought a new home, pink was not his colour and being in a near new condition offered it to me. Yeah thank you I will have it. Carpet laying will not be a job we want to repeat in a hurry even if this one came out great. Another small job that got done was the hole in the kitchen floor. Finally it got closed up!!!And then he started on the wardrobe ... by this time we were both ready for a proper shower and a good hair wash, George was missing his remote and the cricket so a few days at home resting was in order. I did miss my washing machine, not so much fun doing the rain dance in the blue tub with the washing soaking from the night before, no you can have that thank you. As I mentioned before we have to be back at the farm on the 10th

Friday, January 4, 2013

a little wild life ...

found this little fella sitting in a black plastic pipe, see we disturbed his home and was not aware he was in the pipe, only after hours in the hot sun he stuck his little head out just enough to catch my eye. Quickly relocating him into a shady place near the bird bath.
Baby possum will have to relocate too along with two bigger possums living in our roof. Right now there are just to many access points to the roof to get them to move on. Not even the banging of hammers and working on the new roof seamed to bother them to much.
Hand reared Maggie the magpie still comes for her breakfast of cooked oats or scrambled egg depending on the cooks choice for the day.
Mr hairy huntsman thought a visit on the building site could be enough to scare some folk. but it inside a car while your driving and you eye catches a sudden movement hmmm not so funny then. Then there was the snakes and 4 mice, the later coming to a grizzle death while trying to nibble on a piece of bread with a little peanut butter on it. unfortunately they had to step on a little plate which set of their untimely end.
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