Thursday, 12 December 2013

A Few Thoughts For Friday.......

The pumpkins have started to spread out....can't wait until they really get going.

Strawberries coming along if I can only stop the wildlife from eating them..

Everything appears to be flourishing in the vegie patch....even the tomatoes look good..

The Christmas tree is up and the presents are out.....not long to wait now...

Finally finished the scarf.....modelled here by my I could get a photo....!!
It's Friday and the sun has been shining on and off for the last few days....a slow start to Summer but hopefully more beautiful weather to come....the vegie's are going great.,...also lots of greenery to feed the chickens....they are very happy about that...Christmas is not too far away.....Looking forward to that especially sharing it with my G baby who is very excited and has his christmas list prepared...which includes a ham sandwich???....hope Santa remembers to bring that one.   Finally finished off the scarf I was making for my mother in laws 80th birthday...hope she likes has been quite a project...Celebration is on Sunday so fingers crossed. As always life is good even when it throws obstacles in your way....just step over them and keep on going....illness is snapping at the heels of my elderly parents...but I guess that is all part of the aging process....another reminder to keep yourself as healthy as possible by doing whatever it thoughts are with them as we go through this hurdle together.....just putting the love out there !!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

A Few Thursday Thoughts....


It is taking a while but I feel I am slowly getting back to hysterectomy is quite a painful experience but at day 17 I feel pretty good....still taking things a little easy and haven't driven yet....hopefully not much longer to wait.    ......The weather is not helping today...the beautiful sunshine earlier this week is sorely missed....this winter blast of icy rain is not appreciated by me....however the vegie garden appears to be ecstatic.....the plant growth has gone berserk......they are bursting out of the ground....I love the vegie gardens.
Not having left the house much over the past 2 weeks I have managed to almost complete the scarf I am working is for a gift which I need next week.....I will be clicking away into the early hours at this stage.....Hopefully my mother in law ...who is turning 80...will appreciate all the effort that has gone into it.

Whipped up a frittata...using up all the left over vegies...chicken...feta..
Delicious....beautiful teatowel was a gift....too cute to use .
Unbelievably Christmas is nearly upon us....I am more prepared this year than ever....most of the christmas shopping was done before I went to hospital...only a few simple one to get and I am done....will not have to face the crowds at the shopping centre.....hooray for that...Just planning the menu...I should be fully fit by christmas day and look forward to sharing the celebration with my's a great time of year. ..!!

A gorgeous bunch of flowers arrived during the week...I feel very spoilt.
They certainly make you feel better while recuperating

The beauty of nature....the lillies burst forth into bloom......beautiful !

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Living Well Everyday.......

 Am now back home after having surgery last experience that I have managed to come through quite well all things considered......The very drugs that keep you alive and stop your pain however wreak havoc on your body....and the hospital certainly wasn't offering any organic fact the food was pretty awful..........makes me feel very aware that I now need to sustain my system with healthy foods to combat the chemical overload that I have been bombarded with over the past 8 days......

It has made me think back to when I first started seriously undertaking the need to eat organic, whole foods wherever possible......and the reminder of the dirty dozen list that warns of the high chemical load that these fruits and vegies carry.... ..I have listed them here to remind not just myself but anyone who is reading this also......even if you can't manage to eat all organic fruit and veg at least try to ensure you avoid the chemical laden variety of the following.........

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Sweet bell peppers
4. Peaches
5. Strawberries
6. Nectarines – imported
7. Grapes
8. Spinach
9. Lettuce
10. Cucumbers
11. Blueberries – domestic
12. Potatoes

Plus: Green beans, Kale/Greens – May contain residues of special concern

I can't wait until I am well enough to get back to my gorgeous organic vegie shop in Kallista and buy the beautiful seasonal , organic produce........wishing everyone good health...

Some of the flowers that I received from well wishers 

On a happy note I have finally managed to overcome the slug the rolled up newspaper did not work.....I bought little containers from Bunnings that I put in the ground...filled with beer ...and voila the slugs quite happily it seems....drank themselves to oblivion.....a well spent $8 I think....the seedlings are all now popping up beautifully....can't wait until the new year when the vegie garden will once again be full with gorgeous veg......
This is the weird looking little slug trap from Bunnings....I also threw red petal
into the garden.....a website advised that slugs don't like red !!...who knows
between the beer and the slugs ...yay !!

Some of the winter crops now ready for harvest....the garlic bulbs drying out...
just need to clean them up and plait and hang.....delicious organic garlic !

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Lone Fig....

The Lone Fig......there were a few tiny ones but unfortunately they dropped off...what to
do with one fig !!!

The single lemon.....hopefully a sign of better things to come next year !!

It would be reasonable to suggest that I am not the most patient of would beg the question why would I plant fruit trees......after 12 months my fig tree has produced "one" fig..(it had four figs when I got it last year)...
The lemon tree....which was laden with lemons when we planted it early last year....has also produced only "one" lemon....the apricot tree is only 12 months old so needless to say has produced no fruit......I'm hoping for bigger and better things next going to plant mature apple and avocado trees.....hopefully the wait will not be too long.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Friday Follies.......

My chickens are laying every girls, seven eggs....they need to
take some time out....and have a rest.

Moments in the Kitchen.....spring in a vase....avocado in with a banana
to ripen up...delicious organic oranges

No happy with my onions.....haven't produced a bulb...look more like leeks...
looked it up in my gardening book and apparently soil must be too rich...
there's always next year......
The end of the week brings some much needed sunshine to the hills.....a cold blast that felt like winter this week was not what I expected this time of year.....the bushfires in NSW bring a reminder that summer will soon be with us and the associated danger of living in the is worth the risk to live in beautiful country surroundings.  ..I wouldn't want to be living anywhere else. 
On another note, my chickens laid all throughout winter ....with the exception of the two light sussex who have the good sense to take some time off .....and are still laying every day....this has caused them to loose a bit of condition and they are on the skinny side....have been working very hard to try and fatten them up...they seem happy enough but I would like them to take a break, and gain weight...anyone else have this problem?

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Rudimentary Reflections ........

A little bit of sping on my office desk....jonquils from a local farmer..beautiful

I have started to wear these necklaces daily....the amulet is from Nepal and
is to remind me of all things spiritual....the beads were a gift that I hadn't worn..
I read an article that was about the average life expectancy and you deduct the amount
of days that you have been alive from the amount of life expectancy days....and that's about
what you have left....seems grim but the beads are to remind me that our days on earth are
numbered, the individual beads symbolise days................a subtle reminder to enjoy everyday..and be happy!

After the beautiful sunshine yesterday, todays gloomy weather brings a more sombre mood and time for a little reflection on where things are far so good....the lifestyle changes that I started working on so long ago now have become second nature and I love the simplistic way I am now trying to live my life.....I try to surround myself with small reminders of what I am trying to achieve....a few of the more simple ones on the list....Start eating better; be yourself; help others when you can; eat Salads; do something you love everyday; eat less, move more; buy less, make more: eat organic food; try to learn something new each day; try a new recipe at least once a week; grow my own food; avoid processed foods; stop putting your life on hold; create an amazing life...................the list goes on.....I encourage everyone to find their bliss and appreciate every isn't infinite, so enjoy every single sunrise and sunset.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Tuesday "Tidbits"..........

Nearly lost these fuschia's over winter....they were gorgeous
when I got them late last year....big full standards.....
they got sick and looked like dead sticks......Spring
has thankfully bought them back to life.....gotta love that.

Planted an early tomato plant....usually
don't plant until Cup Italian
friend advises that you should wait until
then....see how they go !!

Some early snow pea shoots....growing in pots to see how
they go....hopefully all should be least the
snails haven't found this pot yet.....
Today at the organic food store getting vegies,
saw these zucchini seeds.....will have a go at
setting these up in the greenhouse.....if the
snails don't eat them as soon as they pop up...!

Spent a beautiful afternoon on Saturday planting out my seedlings.....the
snails have spent the last two days trying to eat them all....because of my girls I can't
use any snail bait....have tried diatomacious earth......egg shells and far Daisy has eaten
the egg shells and lapped up the beer !! an article that if you leave rolled up paper the
snails will look for shelter and go in there and then I can dispose of them........sounds good ??

Both the girls went to the Clippers today.....they don't seem very impressed....
in fact Daphne looks a little mad at me......!!

Daisy just looks a bit confused....but then she always looks a bit cute !!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Opening your Heart......

I am a regular contributor to Oxfam and I also buy from their store and give their gift cards at Christmas.....have given chickens, goats, school books and friends love them, they don't really need a gift themselves and are happy for a donated gift.......Today I have received a copy of the quarterly brochure which highlights the projects that Oxfam are working on around the world......there were some sobering statistics which I would like to share....2 Billion people lack access to clean water......121 Million children each year are denied the basic human right to an education......39.5 Million people around the world are living with HIV and AIDS......2.2 Million children die each year because they are not immunised.....20% of the population of the developed nations consume 86% of the worlds certainly makes you take a look at what you can do to help........consider joining the Oxfam global community and work towards ending the cycle of signing up as a regular contributor, shopping at their stores and buying Fair Trade tea, coffee your heart and do what you can to help.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Wellness Woes.....

Yarn bomb.....reminding us all to stay well.........loving this new art form.....

Spring time........reminding us that the seasons really is everywhere !!

Influenza has hit the hills.....I have been sick with the flu for the last 3 weeks...can't remember a time when I have been this sick...very slow to get over the symptoms, but hopefully on the road to recovery.....Illness makes you reflect on how we take wellness for granted.  My mum has had a recent scare with bladder cancer and thankfully prognosis is excellent.   A lot of illness around in the last 3 weeks....including one of my chickens....she had an impacted crop and after a $100 trip to the vet for an injection and a range of medications, she was no better after 8 days....a beautiful lady at the local feed store volunteered to put her out of her misery for me.....she was very emaciated and vomiting, but oddly enough still continued to lay eggs even though the energy required was killing her.......nature is a strange thing at times.....Being unwell has encouraged me to spend much more energy on the pursuit of WELLNESS......taking the time to eat well, get plenty of exercise, enjoy everyday, find magic in the simple things and laugh often.....wishing good health to all .

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Remembering the Years...

Flowers from my man....every year he makes sure they have favourite
I recently celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary and it gave me the chance to reflect on the passing of time.....hard to believe that 20 years has passed.....where did it go?....It's great to acknowledge special occassions....we went away for the weekend with some close friends who were also celebrating their anniversary.....a nice dinner at a local restaurant in Red was lovely.....we received cards from family sending their love to us both...and a fabulous voucher to a local restaurant for my man and I to have a quiet dinner...just the two of us....looking forward to that.
Mum and Dads wedding photo....hand painted as they were black and white in those days.
I certainly won't get the opportunity to celebrate like my parents.....last year we celebrated their 60th wedding that's a milestone.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Mid Morning Musings.....

Camelia's from the garden...reflected by two of my paintings...need to get back to the easel

Spring is just around the corner.....daphne and daffodils are out..

Beauty everywhere you just have to take the time to look

Even a few hyacinths popping their head favourite flower

Not much happening in the garden.....but the beetroots are doing really well....yum

Book club book for July........I loved it

Winter is hanging on and giving us a very chilly blast before it hopefully heads off and allows Spring to burst forth and shower us with glorious Spring sunshine and warmer days.......can't wait to get into the garden and do my Spring first Winter of trying to grow vegies has not been very successful, but Spring brings great hope with it....time of renewal and splendour...........I love the seasons as the chill of winter makes you appreciate the warmth of summer....autumn leaves signal the start of all highlights the importance of seasonal eating....eating what you have in the garden....although if I had to rely on this Winter,I think we would have gone very hungry.....we try to eat seasonal foods and local, organic foods whenever we can....avoiding processed and chemically contaminated foods at all costs......a little self sufficiency is very rewarding.....stay warm and healthy .

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Great Cholesterol Conundrum

Like a moth to a flame....I am always drawn to a beautiful cheese platter....
Life is full of unexpected things that will trip you up from time to latest is that my recent blood test, just for a check up, indicates I have elevated cholesterol levels, which while not dangerous need to be reduced........oh dear....not entirely unexpected I guess when you consider my love of cheese and all things love affair with the cheese platter is well known among my family and friends....I am unable to resist the delicious creamy texture of soft cheeses, and the bitey tang of hard cheese.......I happily devour platters ...chatting with cracker and cheese in one hand and chilled glass of sav blanc in the other......I now have to reconsider the amount of cheese I consume....which should probably be none, but I don't think that is possible.....Also my love of the humble favourite breakfast .......this will also need to be the moment life without my favourite things seems bleak.......but a girl has to do what a girl has to farewell to my cheesey habits....hello to special occasion only cheese....and no more than 6 eggs a week....farewell also to delicious butter which I lavish generously wherever possible....hello to cholesterol free is still good if not quite as delicious.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Perfect Poached Eggs......

Thanks to Gary on Masterchef I have mastered the art of the perfect poached egg....he made it look so easy that I just had to give it a try.....never been able to manage it in the past.  Simply bring your pot of water to a rapid boil, add good amount of vinegar and a pinch of salt.....bring back to the boil.....drop your eggs in and gently move the water so that the egg rolls over on itself.....cook for 3 minutes...and voila !! ....perfect poached eggs.

Beautiful colour yolks on home grown, free range eggs...
Tip:...eggs need to be very fresh....

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Stop the world, I want to get off......

Well the purchase of the new fridge went well, all done and delivered, and the old one is off to be repaired, reconditioned and hopefully resold, happy about that.......but walking through the store to buy the fridge I was shocked to see a 100" TV...really , who needs this.....I then find out the largest TV about to be released is 150 inches...over 3.8metres.....OMG.....what is happening....while this TV will obviously be out of the price range of most people, why do they insist on making much radiation does it emit and how much power does it use to run.....when I think about my everyday attempts to do my bit for the planet and realise that it can all be undone by just one person buying and using this TV I could come something that is so obvious to me...that huge TV's are a ridiculous use of energy and still not something that others can identify, they are just happy to have a larger TV than their friends or neighbours....Wow, people need to really start thinking about what we are all doing and how much longer we can continue to act this way....TV is just one of the thousands of things that we all need to sapping, resource devouring, planet destroying purchases.........stop updating TV's, phones, computers, cars, appliances, clothes...try to repair, reuse, recycle, or just be happy not to have the latest gadget....advertisers and marketers want you to keep buying and spending....but think about the environmental impact of all purchases, the carbon miles, the cost to the environment to produce, energy required to run them......stop this crazy consumerism.....stop this crazy cycle and live that we can simply live....

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Things that go "BEEP" in the night....

Why is it that there is always something around that house that decides to stop working.....for the past week our fridge has been beeping every 50 minutes.....until we called the repair people and the lovely girl on the phone advised us about holding in the button for 20 seconds and it will only beep every 12 hours....okay, until the guy can come to look at it in 3 days time !! least this stopped our requirement of getting up every hour overnight to stop the beep...which we did for the first night....then realised that turning it on and off at the wall stopped the beep for 5 hours.....oh dear !!

The culprit.....our fridge is on the blink.....
To cut a very long story short the repairman tells me that the fridge is on the way out....can be repaired for around $600 as the fridge gas has a leak in the thingmybob inside..very rare he tells me...and they will take the fridge away for 5 to 10 days....what the !!!...what am I supposed to do without a fridge, which is now full of food.......the fridge is 7 years old....big dilemma ....what is the more eco way of sorting this much longer will a fridge last...perhaps another 3 years??? if we are it worth repairing which would reduce the carbon footprint of buying a new may not last much longer anyway.....should we buy a reconditioned it possible to get one second hand  the exact size as our fridge space???......feeling very conflicted but the decision has been made to buy a new one....Probably not the best choice for the planet......but don't think there is an alternative ??....It is not easy being GREEN.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Winter garden woes.....slowly, slowly....

Well winter in the garden is certainly different to summer in the garden......the crops are very very slow...there's a bit going on underground I hope.  The onion, beetroots, garlic and leeks seem to be going along nicely...if a tad slow.....I miss the glorious display of goodies that was in the garden last season...this waiting and waiting to see what happening is a not as much fun...also some little bugs are getting into the broccoli, cabbage and spinach...making a meal of most of it...have spread out scratchy straw and thrown around some diatomaceous earth...which is ground up fossils so fine they cut the ecoskeleton of insects they tell me anyway..things have improved slightly but I didn't have any bugs at all in the summer garden beds, so not sure where they have popped up from....hurry up Spring....

Beetroots look like they are going OK..
Onions ...hopefully something going on under there.......

On a brighter note, bulbs from last year have popped up !!
Garlic and leeks look okay...but ssooooo slow ...

Thursday, 4 July 2013

When the Country is in chaos...make cheese !!

Wow what a political nightmare we Australians are facing.....don't really want to get into politics here....hopefully our wonderful country will survive the dills that we have put in charge and the other dills who want to take just seems like chaos and I don't think anyone is really running the country....they are just fighting to see who can take over....hopefully our economy, environment and communities will survive their poor behaviour, and when the dust settles and whoever wins gets into power, things can hopefully settle down and they can all get back into the business of taking care of this beautiful place that we call home heart goes out to the people of Egypt whose Political woes are a million times worse...I hope the unrest settles down before any more lives are lost....peace to all.

Feta curds in the baskets....separated from the whey.....curds settle down into blocks of feta
Meanwhile amid the chaos....I thought it was time to try my hand at making feta (which I have learnt recently at a cheesemaking course)......with the help of my friend who also attended we set about making the cheese.....warmed the 8 litres of organic milk ...into our sterilised container...added the starter, renet and lipase mixes, gently stirred, waited for the curds...90 mins....then cubed them, rested the curds, seperated the feta curds from the whey....into the feta baskets ....flip them a couple of times and there you have feta...into the brine solution and into the fridge.....perfect, delicious and creamy we are learning Camembert......can't wait for that one......!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Homemade, Healthy and the girls are Happy .........

My first batch of homemade yoghurt.....huge success...didn't know that making yoghurt was this simple...Just boiled up the 7 little jars in the boiler......mixed the organic long life milk (must be long life as this has been heat treated to 91c)........with Acidophilus Biphidus culture.....added a few tablespoons of full cream milk powder...only added if you like thick yoghurt.....mix and pour into the sterilised jars...into the yoghurt maker for 6 hours and voila.....beautiful creamy pot set yoghurt...easy and economical.....

Boil jars to sterilise, mix milk and culture

Into the jars and then into the yoghurt maker for 6 hours.
 Have also been into the far only doing carrot, apple and a bit of kale.....tastes great but need to get a bit more adventurous with the ingredients....would like to do all green juices but they take a bit of getting used to .....will continue bit by bit and see how it goes....good news is the girls love the scraps that are left behind in the juicer......they peck away happily, so it's a win win.....everybody's happy

Prepare vegies and  fruit and into the juicer....goodness in a glass...

The chooks love the remains from the juicer......the girls eat it all waste...fantastic
The joy I get from making things myself, trying to avoid waste, and making healthy and nutritious things to eat and drink is really is the simple things that make life inspires me to think there is so much more I can do.....Life is what you make it....and I am determined to do whatever I can to reduce my impact on the planet, cook from scratch, live well and laugh often....PS: happy birthday to my man.