Wednesday, 25 March 2015

All About Autumn.............

You know Autumn's here when the apple tree branches are weighed down with the last of their fruit and the pumpkins are being harvested.  Have managed to give away heaps of the apples I picked...also cooked some up to freeze.  They are great eating apples too.  I tried to juice some in my juicer and after it made horrible brown foam I realised that you usually cold press apples.....lesson learnt!!  Wish I had an apple press....if I ever get apples on my own trees I will definitely have to look at getting one.

Cooked up some of the foraged apples to freeze ...... should make a lovely couple of crumbles with those
Pumpkins were a bit a problem this year....lots didn't make it to adulthood.....dropped off of the vines...the ones that did make it however are so appreciated....I love pumpkin.
Have got the pumpkins outside under the veranda for the next couple of weeks to dry them out before storing.

Cut up my first pumpkin for the year.....roasted some up and into the risotto !

The tomatoes this year have been quite disappointing also..... there are still quite a lot on the vines but they are still green and not sure if they will ripen up..... haven't been able to get enough ripe ones at the same time to make my sauce....2 years ago there were so many tomatoes (I was picking about 50 a day).. I didn't know what to do with them's funny how each growing season appears to be different.

Only 3 bottles of my homemade tomato sauce this year....tomatoes are very slow on the vine

Compared to 2 years ago when I harvested about 1000 tomatoes over about 5 weeks...!!
Did manage to pick my potatoes this morning.....I emptied the potato patch so that I could replant it out again to keep a constant supply of spuds coming along... I have two potato beds now so should hopefully get plenty...they are very easy to grow.

picked the potatoes.....will put into hessian bag and keep in a dark cupboard...they last quite a while that way.

I think Autumn in the hills is my favourite time of year....the leaves are all starting to fall and the slight chill is already starting to reach us even though the sun is shining...the air is fresh, it's beautiful. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Let Loose in an Orchard......

For the first time in my life I've picked apples fresh from the tree..... the lovely lady who teaches the community writing group that I attend let me loose in her orchard. ..... I always bring her any goodies I have growing in the vegie garden and she said she would bring me in some apples but I said I was happy to go and pick them myself . ... She is widowed and in her 70's ( although very fit for her age) and the orchard has become quite overgrown and a little neglected but there were masses of apples just waiting to be was fabulous and I ate one straight from the tree and somehow they just taste so much better ...... simple pleasures I know but such a lovely experience.
The orchard is a bit overgrown but there was masses of fruit on all the trees... no pesticides so make great eating.
So many had already fallen wasted onto the ground...... such a shame.
Now I need to get busy and work out how to preserve some of them.....maybe apple sauce or cook them up and freeze.
Delicious apples......I even grabbed a couple of lemons and a few pears....
When I got home I checked the vegie garden and picked tomatoes, rhubarb, a couple of small eggplants and some new potatoes.  Beautiful to have so much lovely fresh produce around. 
Picked from the garden today
Only one little lonely egg today....the young girls still haven't laid any eggs yet but they can't be too far away. they are nineteen weeks old.... so hopefully egg production will be on the rise again soon.

Aging Gracefully.......

I had the misfortune the other day to be sitting in a waiting room and the TV was on one of the morning programs and they were all excited about a new eye cream that someone has invented that when applied instantly begins to reduce the wrinkles around the eyes.  The effect lasts for up to 8 hours the spokesperson went on excitedly, and yes you could actually see the skin tightening when the camera was on the models face.  All I could think of was why would anyone want their wrinkles gone for just 8 hours and how much are they prepared to pay for that.  The fascination with how we look really is an eye opener.  I guess I am on a bit of a bandwagon since I made the decision to let my hair go grey....would like to think that I will let myself age gracefully without the need for surgical, lifting, plumping, or magical potion assistance.  Mother nature truly has taken care of us as we age....greying hair is supposedly less harsh against a women's skin and our eyesight gradually weakens so our wrinkles and nasty bits are not so for us easy to pinpoint. The media and cosmetic industry would like us all to think there is something wrong with aging.
Eileen Kramer the most amazing woman is still dancing at 100 years of age.
I happened to tune into Compass on the ABC the other night and saw the most fabulous story about a truly amazing woman. Eileen Kramer is 100 years old and still teaching dancing and also dancing herself.  She is a beautifully eccentric woman who has lived an amazing life.  Her story is truly inspiring.  We could all take a leaf out of this ladies book.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

A Perfect Day.....

We spent Monday at the Zoo celebrating my Gboy's 4th birthday.....he wore his superman costume which he has already grown out of .... he is a very tall four year old...but so cute !! He has Batman, Superman, Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Spiderman and now Captain America costumes...he loves super heroes
We all had a cupcake for his birthday....he had superman...what else !
He couldn't wait to take me into the butterfly enclosure as I had told him that it was my favourite exhibit and that the butterfly's would land on him....he was ecstatic when one landed on his cap.  He stood so still waiting for them to land on him.
I love this photo... the innocence in that little excited to have a butterfly land on him...
The Butterfly's are such amazing is definitely one of my favourite places to be..... I don't really like the idea of Zoo's as such...much prefer animals to be left where they belong....but I have to admit kids love seeing all the animals.... at least the enclosures are a long way from the cages that were at the zoo when I was a child.

Love the sentiment on this sign at the Zoo.....

The lion's were beautiful...even though I disagree with taking animals out of the wild....

 We had a great day and were lucky to enjoy lovely mild weather....sunny but not too hot...just perfect.  If you haven't been to the Melbourne Zoo recently it's well worth a visit...they have done an amazing amount of work there and are focusing on protecting endangered species and educating children about wildlife.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Montly 9 Link Up for February 2015.....

Happy to be joining in with Linda for the monthly 9 for February....Wow it's already March.....time flies when you're having fun.

Nourish:  At last the girls have decided to favour me with a few more eggs....thankfully I was able to get out a few zucchini slices...needed to use up the glut of Zucchini's that I had.....also stewed up was delicious and there is plenty more out in the garden so I'll need to get onto them.

Zucchini slice is a bit favourite...also uses up excess of zucchini's and eggs.
Prepare:  I had planned to make the MOO washing powder this month but unfortunately didn't get around to it....I did prepare 4 new garden beds ready for planting...a big load of soil and compost to top up the beds....need to plant out some lettuce mixes and whatever else is in season.

Reduce:  Still working hard on trying to reduce food wastage....had some dried apricots that had been hanging around for way to long....used them up by making an apricot slice...had enough to make two of these during the month.

The slice was a bit crumbly but tasted lovely....great way to use up old apricots.
Green:  Nothing new to report here unfortunately ....  the compost bins are slowly turning to compost...should be ready in the next few weeks....worm farm is going well.  Trying hard to be conscious of electricity usage....and water conservation.

Grow:  Things are winding up in the vegie patch although the tomatoes are finally ripening...seem very late this year...planted heritage variety and they have been very poor producers....the Grosse Lisse have done okay though....I love home grown tomatoes....people are also very appreciative to receive the excess.

Tomatoes ripening on the bench....the chooks won't leave them alone if I leave them once they start to ripen.
Create:  Devastated that I have nothing to report here.....have been so busy ...I know...poor excuse...but I haven't had the chance to work on the mosaic or the quilt ....have done a couple of chapters on the novel though so it isn't a complete waste of a month.

Discover: My man and I took a couple of days holiday last week... stayed at a friends coastal property which was great (nothing like a free holiday) daughter and grandson joined us for an afternoon and we went on the ferry to Queenscliff....I rediscovered this beautiful town...haven't been there since I was a was an amazing day out....spending time with the little guy is one of my favourite things...he is fabulous.

Even managed to take the dogs on the ferry....Daphne is a nervous passenger so I had to nurse her
Enhance:  As always my love of reading which I truly believe enhances our everyday lives..... this month book club is The Invisible Girl...a memoir written by the father of a young woman who dies of anorexia....its was incredibly sad and moving...not sure that it helped to understand this terrible illness but it was a very poignant reminder of the vulnerability of the young.

Have also gotten back into my yoga classes....haven't been for ages and I really missed's difficult to find the right teacher and luckily I have found an amazing women who if just perfect... it is Ashtanga yoga which is new to me...have done Hatha  yoga for many years on and off... it's similar but I think a lot more spiritual....I love it.

Enjoy:  I celebrated my 56th birthday this month....nothing more enjoyable than sharing it with my husband and daughters, complete with a homemade birthday cake decorated by my gboy....... I received loads of lovely gifts and was very spoilt as always....
Making my birthday wish with the help of my gorgeous Gboy.....Grandchildren are one of life's treasures.
 My absolute favourite gift  was a painting from my special little's a painting of us husband and I on the left (that's me with the grey hair and my red headed man), his mum and auntie on the right and him in the bottom right hand corner...I have hung it on the wall in my home office.
He finger painted this for me .... with a little help from his mum
I had such a busy much to enjoy.... had a few difficulties with my fathers illness and not reacting well to his medication and suffering early dementia.... but you have to take the good with the loving getting back into's so helpful in dealing with tough times...Namaste !

Monday, 2 March 2015

Remembered With Much Love......

It's 12 months since my girlfriend passed away from liver cancer....time goes so fast...her family chose to commemorate the anniversary of her death by inviting family and friends to a memorial at the lake where her ashes were spread last year.  It was very moving to watch Richard and the kids release balloons which we had all written messages on ..... a really beautiful tribute to her memory.  She is so sadly missed.... but I think I could feel her presence there... RIP beautiful Heather.

Rich and the kids ...hopefully time will heal their hearts.