Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Garden Bloggers Muse Day ~ October 1


Rolling its blues against another blue,
the sea, and against the sky
some yellow flowers.

October is on its way.

And although
the sea may well be important, with its unfolding
myths, its purpose and its risings,
when the gold of a single
yellow plant
in the sand
are bound
to the soil.
They flee the wide sea and its heavings.

We are dust and to dust return.
In the end we’re
neither air, nor fire, nor water,
neither more nor less, just dirt,
and maybe
some yellow flowers.


Picture of a flower from our new house that we put there. I think it is a mahonia, originally I thought it was a agarita. Please visit Sweet Home and Garden Chicago for more October Muse Day posts.

Jelly Cake Heaven

I came out into the kitchen to be greeted by this jelly ball! What is it you say? Left over jelly and coconut from my son's first attempt at making jelly cakes.

He has been wanting to make them for a week or so, and I got out my Nana's recipe. He wasn't overly impressed so I printed up the best one I have found on the net so far by Kylie Kwong, called Mum's Jelly Cakes. Hubby and son says to check the jelly around 25 minutes. Hubby says he can remember making them, I think maybe I saw Nana making them once, but usually she made lamingtons. I was pleased I had a packet of the right coloured jelly, I was worried for a moment.

Please let me know of your jelly cake making experiences.

I begged to taste one with my cup of tea and it was absolutely gorgeous. Not much cake, the cake wasn't very tall. Apparently the cakes have been saved in the fridge for our eldest daughter's birthday in two days. I thought that was lovely, especially since they are a gorgeous shade of pink, and there are three girls in the family. So on party day, I will have to have one less!

My Nana used Simplicity Chocolate Cake without the chocolate for the lamingtons. It is in imperial measurements which I think means a cup is a china tea cup.

Simplicity Chocolate Cake

3 tab butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 level tabs cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 cup Self Raising Flour
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla.

Melt the butter. Pull all other ingredients into a large basin and pour the melted butter on top of them. Beat really hard for 3 (8?) minutes. Pour the mixture into a prepared tin and bake in moderate oven. Be careful not to overcook. Time will depend on size and shape of tin.


Make simplicity chocolate cake without using the cocoa.

Lamington Icing:

1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup hot water

Place in saucepan and bring to boil. Thicken with 1 dessertspoon custard powder (Bird's if you are in the US) and 1 dessertspoon cocoa. Boil 5 minutes.

Cut cake into squares and dip into icing. Sprinkle with coconut.

Apparently there was a mishap and the jelly cakes and ball were made with Port Wine flavour. That is why it is so pink! No wonder I liked it. I don't think it tasted un-jellycake like. I love port wine flavour, it reminds me of trifle.

Semolina and Coconut Slices

Semolina and Coconut Slices

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6 people

175g (6oz) unsalted butter
175g (6oz) coarse semolina
225g (8oz) desiccated coconut
350g (12oz) granulated sugar
250ml (8 fl. oz) canned evaporated milk
250ml (8 fl. oz) water
100g (4oz) chopped mixed nuts: blanched almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios
75g (3oz) raisins (not golden raisins for those in the US)
Seeds of 6 cardamons, crushed

Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the semolina. Dry roast the semolina by stirring it until it turns lightly golden. Spoon onto a plate. Dry roast the coconut in the same pan until lightly golden. Add the semolina, sugar, milk and water to the coconut. Stir the mixture over the heat for 5-8 minutes. Add the chopped nuts, raisins and crushed cardamom seeds. Mix well and stir over a gentle heat for 5-6 minutes, until the mixture is thick and the oil begins to separate. Pour into a shallow dish, smooth with a spatula and allow to cool. Cut into diamond shapes or sqaures.

From: Vegetarian Cooking by Lalita Ahmed

Jam Melon Recipes

These are the names of the jams, pickles and chutneys we have tried with jam or pie melon.

Jam Melon & Apple Chutney May '07
Melon & Golden Syrup Chutney 2007
Jam Melon Pickles
Lemon and Melon Jam

Lemon is a common recipe. The pickles recipe is in a previous post. I believe these are the other two recipes.

(Jam) Melon Chutney

6lbs melon
3 onions
1 1/2 pints (UK) vinegar
1 cup golden syrup
2 small cups sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2lb sultanas
3 chillies
1 piece garlic (size walnut)
1 dozen cloves

Cut the melon into small dice. Sprinkle with a handful of salt and stand overnight.

Strain off the liquid and add the onions cut small and all the other ingredients. The cloves should be tied in a muslin bag.

Boil very gently for 3 hours, till the melon is quite soft.

This recipe below has come originally from a printed sheet with hubby's writing on it. This one is more peppery that the one below, great with meat.

Jam Melon & Apple Chutney

2.7kg jam/pie melons
800g apples
1.75kg onions
1.5kg sugar
4 cups vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons white pepper
2 teaspoons ground cloves
500g raisins

Chop melons finely, as well as onions and apples. Put 1 cup of vinegar with mixture on low heat. In meantime finely chop raisins.

When starting to boil put in the sugar, the longer the sugar is in the darker the chutney.

After the sugar is well dissolved and the chutney is cooking add the raisins.

Wait until everything is well cooked. Add rest of the vinegar, simmer on low heat in two pans, until thick.

Will take about 2 hrs to get to correct thickness.

Takes a couple of months to 'mature' in flavour, should improve with keeping and store for two to three years.

This one is like a fruit chutney you buy at the shops, if you like fruit chutney you will love this.

Pictured is the makings of the pickles on the left in the recycled jar.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Op-shop Finds

On Monday a lady from school rang me about netball. We have a comp. that doesn't involve any travel with the football teams. My eldest daughter was in one during the football season, but there is another comp. starting up after the school holidays, next week. My daughter wanted to play but I had to do some organising and I hadn't done that. So she is all organised now, no thanks to me. But my husband was going to go to the op-shop for me to see if there were any netball skirts in the netball skirt bin there. Since there is only our teenage son home with us at the moment I went with him, a rare thing really.

No skirts, but have a plan B. We did remember to look at the cookbooks and found these. I like the pasta book because it has a prosciutto recipe, not easy to find and also a borlotti bean recipe. I hope to compare it to the recipes I have. So far so good. The Good Fruit book is from CSR a sugar company in Australia. It suggested mulberries were in season I think. There are some printable labels on the site. Has anyone tasted jam setting sugar? I don't recommend it in tea, which is all we have used it for so far.

The Vegetarian Cooking book was great for recipes about okra, an interesting semolina slice, it was great really. The potato book had some lovely photographs of potatoes on a childs plate dressed up with vegetables as characters. A little like what you see in the Agricultural Show sometimes, but completely ready to eat. It is the best I've seen like that. Remember those pizzas on Playschool as funny faces etc. better than that.

Some of the 1980s ish books have gorgeous photography.

Because of these finds I found an Australian Cookbook Collectors Society. How interesting!

There was also a Clifford book for my six year old daughter that was hiding under the pile. I am pretty sure she wanted to collect these. The other book for her has lift-the-flap, she loves those. Can't wait for her to be home again to read with her Dad.

Jam Melon Pickles

Tania at Out Back posted recipe for Wild Peach and Melon Jam or Quandong and Jam Melon Jam or Citron Melon depending on where you live etc. In Australia we don't use watermelon rind for making pickles like in the States, as far as I know.

I commented on Tania's post: "We have some jam melons that are hopefully still OK. We hope to make some pickles, guess we should get on to that soon. We have run out of the pickles that we made last time and need some more."

Our son missed the pickles and it was he that said we had run out. I have a tiny bit left in one jar that I asked hubby to keep as a reference point. It tastes like cauliflower pickles. It is yellow like the cucumber and apple pickles my mother always made. It is my son's homework you see in the picture!

As you can see we have cut up the melon! In our family there is a tradition of helpers cutting up melons. Apparently my Nana got her kids to help, in our family hubby and I do it. Pickles is great because you cut one night and do the rest of the work the next day.

Some of ours were stored in a cupboard on the verandah. These were off, but the two inside in the kitchen in a box were OK. They have been salted down for pickles. However, they were very pale, the skin soft and you will notice something like bean sprouts in with the seeds. The jam melons have sprouted. The sprouts are very awful to taste, so we were very careful to try to get them all out. It is spring here, and these seeds are very mature. Jam melons have two coloured seeds depending on which one you have. Ours is the one in the middle. I am not an expert because my husband and I didn't continue on the jam melon legacy of my Mum and Nana until recently, so we are learning it nearly from scratch.

The recipe we used.

(Jam) Melon Pickles

5kg melon approx.
6 large onions
2 tablespoons mustard powder
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups white sugar
6 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup salt
4 tablespoons plain flour

Cut up melon into 1cm slices remove rind and seeds. Dice slices into 1cm cubes. Chop onions, sprinkle everything with salt, mix thoroughly and stand overnight. In the morning strain off all liquid and discard, mix the dry ingredients with half the vinegar, put into the pan with fruit and vegetable, and stir till it boils. Then add the rest of the vinegar, and boil till tender. Takes about 2 hours with lid removed. Add flour 10 minutes before the end, after mixing it with a bit of the pickles liquid in a small mixing bowl, ensure there are no lumps and that it is still runny.

Makes 13-16 jars.

It is a bit like cauliflower pickle.

More recipes tomorrow.

Menu Plan Monday ~ September 29

Because of my trip to the regional centre, I was able to get a Fajita kit and some souvlaki bread, yum. The salad recipe at the bottom has been adapted from the link (from memory).

Monday ~ Pies, Peas, Chips & Gravy
Tuesday ~ Fajitas
Wednesday ~ Polish Potato Salad
Thursday ~ Souvlaki
Friday ~ Pork Chow Mein
Saturday ~ Macaroni Carbonara
Sunday ~ Bucatini with Sausage, Tomato and Caramelised Onion

Polish Sausage Salad

6 large potatoes
6 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
2 slices thick 1/2 inch double smoked ham, optional
1 cup garlic chives or
(garlic & red onion chopped finely)
1 tablespoon mild mustard
8 polski or gerki (gherkins)
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons salt
cracked pepper (optional)
1 (KR?) Polish Sausage or 2 sticks export polish sausage chopped
1 green spring onion chopped

Mix onion, mustard, mayonnaise, garlic, set aside.

Serves 6.

Our children love potato salads for meals. This one was just as nice as any others we have had.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Butch Cassidy or the Sundance Kid?

Which did you like best?

I am talking of course about a movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, played by Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

I have named my cat Cassidy but the Sundance Kid was my favourite. David Cassidy was a big favourite too.

We were discussing the real names of the real Butch Cassidy only this week. So it is really an end of an era to hear that Paul Newman, the actor who played Butch Cassidy has died.

My Dad, who has also passed away was a big Western movie fan. In the early days of my parents divorce I used to visit Dad and see him watching these movies. It is ironic that I love Western novels now, like Stephen Bly. We both like horses so maybe that has something to do with it.

In Australia we have the Paul Newman's Own brand of groceries. It was he that introduced me to a salad dressing that I didn't realise at the time was very popular in the US. I think it was Ranch dressing. I haven't seen it for awhile though, maybe it is because my shopping style has changed.

Having said that, I think I remember the charity helping the people of the Outback. Not sure if this was the same donation but here is a similar story, at the bottom of the page.

What are your memories of Paul Newman or Butch Cassidy or even Paul Newman's charity or products?

I have added in how to play the right hand of The Entertainer on piano! Thanks JGH from Nyack Backyard!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook ~ September 29

FOR TODAY Saturday...

Outside My Window... it is a beautiful sunny day. I noticed the pear blossoms floating to the ground, how lovely. This is the first year they have had nice flowers. We bought three advanced trees when we moved here, which is something we don't have the opportunity to do very often

I am thinking... about Christmas presents, not sure I am doing a good job of it so far

I am thankful for... all the lovely work my husband has been doing weeding and things

From the kitchen... we hope to make some jam melon pickles, but need to do some planning first

I am wearing... I admit I haven't had my shower yet this morning, so dressing gown etc.

I am creating... I have been deciding placement of trees at our new house as it is early spring and I was a little late planting a dogwood, but have other plants, like moving a aucuba

I am going... to pick up my girls and yet another trip to the dentist, which I had been putting off making appointments for all winter as so much is involved with actually going there

I am reading... The Confession by Beverly Lewis

I am hoping... the name Miki is OK for our dog, usually I love searching for names, though I think I have given it a lot of thought, it means Moon, his kennel name has Skye in it after his Mum. He has a moon shaped spot on his back. Hubby tried out the name this morning, but we have a mental block and want to use our old dog's name who recently passed away. They are very similar to look at, especially the spot, and have a similar nature. Our daughter also things the other two spots make him a little like Mickey Mouse

I am hearing... just a ticking clock it is very quiet. Hubby decided another load of wood would be good to collect after all, which I thought would be the case. Now I am hearing a parrot, lovely!

Around the house... piles of homework and calculators as our son only has a few weeks left until his VCE (Year 12) exams

One of my favorite things... cuddling the puppy, he sits on my lap, though he is quite big, he scrabbles up with a bit of help

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: giving my Mum a chocolate vine hubby potted up yesterday, I don't usually get a chance to do things like that as Mum lives quite a few hours away

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hawthorn & Geelong

I thought about it too late, but I really wanted to get some balloons for my fence. Why is that? Tomorrow is the AFL Grandfinal that apparently is telecast around the world.

My uncle played for Hawthorn so when I was growing up my brother wore his jumper all winter with the number on the back. So I was wondering if there were brown and gold balloons at our local shop.

The other day when I was at the regional centre I looked at a large bag of balloons and didn't buy them, I had forgotten about the Grand Final. Last year Geelong was in the final, and my daughter got the balloons and put them on the fence. Yes, we have a problem. My husband is from Geelong, and all the kids barrack for them.

Does anyone know of a family that puts two colours on their fence? I couldn't imagine that.

My daughter is away on holidays, and her sisters. So far I have asked my son if he would mind making some Coconut Ice with blue instead of pink colouring in it. I have hinted that I want some party pies and sausage rolls which was our usual custom on Grand Final day. I must admit the last few years after we moved here, my Grand Final watching has started to diminish.

I was trying to find out which year they played against each other last. Some family came around with the said Coconut Ice, that is how I got the idea. Anyone know a brown and yellow recipe that is similar? Can't have the Geelong supporters having all the fun! Chocolate sounds nicer anyway! I did find which year in the end.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

At The Well ~ Words We Speak

I found this meme a little while ago, but hadn't done a post for it. A Magnolia's Heart Beats left me a comment on Word-Filled Wednesday and it led me to her hosting of this week's At the Well. So I thought I would try to answer her questions about The Words We Speak which is this week's topic. To find her page click on the image on the left.

Here are the questions:

  1. Do the words you speak reflect your reverence for Christ?
  2. Would you consider your speech to be self-controlled and pure?
  3. Do you find gossip and slander hard or easy to avoid?

I find that watching some TV shows with a surprise at the end, when the homeowners come home for example and they say Oh My *** I find that difficult. Most of them say it, which is very distressing. I also have had difficulty after Steve Irwin died, because I found myself echoing his catch phrase, then had to stop it again.

I have found myself in a discussion with a family member about a word, that during my life I have replaced with the word sugar. It is a s word that one member who doesn't swear uses starting with c. I find when trying to find alternative words, that owl on Winnie the Pooh is a good example. I think my Nana used the word Blast.

My Dad was very good with soft answers etc. Proverbs 15:1. He died this May and that was the legacy he left me. I find that it is harder to hang onto that as time goes by.

I do find gossip easy to avoid. The only difficulty with me is finding a private place to discuss things with my husband. I think after my step-children left home it changed me quite a lot. The trouble is, it is quite a long time ago to share about with great accuracy.

I have a new problem with what seems or could be complaining. Phillippians 2:14-15 It relates to doing what my husband asks about moving and if we should stay here or go back to our hometown. It is hard to discuss issues like that. My usual approach would be to stick things out, and not to back out of a decision already made. In this case a snake really did make me do it. A snake in my house. I have had a lot of miracles lately so I think I do know I would be OK. It is probably just cold feet.

I met a lady last week that I described to myself as a Salt of the Earth type. She was older than me, and I hope not a dying breed of person. She was such a blessing to me, it would be nice to bless someone else in the same way.

Thankful Thursday ~ September 25

The theme for this week is Change.

I got a phone call from my daughter to say she was on her way home from music camp. She had called to see if we had a new puppy at our house and we did.

Friday: Our daughter arrived home from music camp in the morning. I am thankful her friend's parents were able to pick her up for us. Especially as I have had to make a similar trip this week, and will probably do the same next week. They stayed overnight to save arriving home around midnight or a similar hour after a drive three hours and back. We didn't have to stay anywhere, and they were able to stay at a friend's house for free. Our daughter had a wonderful time and loved her puppy as well. She learnt lots and wants to go again. She was playing the clarinet.

Her new clothes that came in the mail while she was away were a success, though one pair of capris she doesn't like and another will only fit for a little while. Her little sister should be able to wear them, though there is a gap in between them.

Saturday: I am grateful for all the washing that got done at our house. The vet found out we had a new puppy when earlier on in the week hubby had gone there to ask about special puppy food. She was sad our old dog was put down, and really wanted to see our new puppy which I thought was lovely. We went there and got a collar and the vet and her assistant were great and she gave him some ointment for his eye which has worked really well. He had a sore eye when we got him, some sibling antics had caused it.

Sunday: Our daughter got another trip out with her other friend. It was wonderful in that she was able to continue on her colour coordinating her accessories for her pup. She was able to buy a blue dog lead. Because she was taken shopping in the regional centre, which is quite a way from our home, she was able to buy a dog football (Aussie rules) as the dog kept taking hers. Our son got home safe from his 18 hour drive, he had a nap at the end just to make sure he got home OK. We got a large amount of rain.

Monday: I was thankful that by this time the puppy who we had had six days was used to his kennel. Hubby had gone in with him, and the cute thing had gone to sleep with hubby in there, but always woke up when he left. What fun. Anyway, it rained all day and the puppy had his nice dry kennel and he was happy to be in there for the day. The weather was wild so I was very thankful my son wasn't driving in it. It would have been a horrible first trip after getting his licence and car. It was a lovely cosy day by the heater for us and our wood is holding.

Tuesday: I finished packing the girls case for their holiday with their grandparents. We had a great time with the dog, who thought the chain was a snake and was barking at it. Then after he knew it was safe he started carrying it off. It is great he is a snake dog, but maybe he shouldn't go near one until he is a little older. My Mum said that my Grandfather was the one who suggested chickens/chooks when Mum got married to keep the snakes away from one side of our house, you know I don't remember seeing a snake in the orchard where the chooks were. The snakes at our new house are out the front, not sure I want chooks in the flower garden, but thinking a lot about how close to the front I could have them. Got any snake tips?

Wednesday: I am thankful today that the library brought another Beverly Lewis book so I can continue on with the series.

I was able to buy much needed underwear that I can't buy here. It is so hard to coordinate these things. I was thankful there was nothing wrong with my teeth or gums, I went to the dentist and dropped off the girls at the same time. I have a proper appointment next week, but I had an infection. The dentist suggested the problem was related to sinus.

I was thankful that the car I didn't see until it pulled in front of a truck had time to pull back in, maybe you only focus on the front cars? On the road we drive on, you have to concentrate all the time. I was changing songs on my CD, and looking at the road, but you can't even do that it seems, though I did know that. The only way around it is to make sure you have nice music, it is a must I think. Then just put it in at the start of a trip and during breaks and leave it on.

Dollar Five have some lovely new American styled cake sprinkles, so I was able to restock my cake decorating shelf where my mugs live. The imported ones are very expensive. I resisted the urge to buy the Halloween coloured ones, and got pink and white ones for the girls. I get things like that when I got to a larger place when I have the time. It was easy today as I was by myself and didn't have to hurry home to pick up anyone from school, or fit in with a school routine. We have a two week spring break at the moment from school.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday ~ September 24

Exd 24:17 "And the sight of the glory of the LORD [was] like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel."

Earlene Fowler ~ Quilting Novels

I was wondering if any of you have read any books by Earlene Fowler? I was introduced to her by an online friend, and since that time, I have read the whole series. Which is amazing really as I usually don't read mysteries, obviously because I find them scary? Or not something to dwell on as per the scripture.

Whatever the reason, the first book I read in this series was Goose In The Pond, which is a murder straight off, thankfully Earlene Fowler was very kind, and I was able to read all the books that starts with the one pictured. I was able to work out the reading order using the website Debbies Idea. I love that particular website, it is a great help working out where to start reading with a particular author. You should consider adding things about your favourite authors.

This interview is interesting as it talks about Baby Boomers and what they like to read. I know it rang true for me. There is also a reference to seachange or treechange in California in one of the other parts to the interview.

The only warning that I have seen in discussions on the web, is the issue about adult themes would you call it? It is not too bad, but some people would prefer it was totally a gentle read, like At Home It Mitford or something like that. Like I said the author gives you a break from everything so it is safe to read on usually.

Since we are all writers here on our blogs, the interview is very interesting. The gist of the first part is here.

Since I read Fools Puzzle after a long while, it doesn't seem as well written as the ones, but is still a good read. You can get a good idea about the Benni Harper series and the quilts from this page. Here is a lovely blog post about a book group that discussed the books, and an excellent introduction to the books.

If you like craft novels, the Benni Harper series is here, and maybe you can find something.

New Poll!

You will notice at the top of my sidebar a poll!

My blog is starting to get off track from my old blog's review that prompted this blog, and the original way this one started out. So when I feel better from my cold and since we will be doing lots at our new house and different things I will be ready go off in the right direction.

Maybe you have had an idea all along, so you can anonymously add your ideas in a few seconds. If there is a category that I haven't added please leave it in the comments, it is more than welcome.

The poll lasts nearly three weeks.

Thanks for your vote in advance!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Muddy Kind Of Day

I was reading Out Back today and Tania mentioned dirt in the air. Our light went an eery colour and hubby took these photos. It has been raining pretty heavily here today. Some of the photos look like black and whites.

Looks like washing the car is a job for the near future.

Our son and his girlfriend arrived home safely from their big trip last night.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ September 22

Monday ~ Spicy Bean Stew with Sausages
Tuesday ~ Sausage Casserole
Wednesday ~ Rigatoni, Pork Sausage, Sage, Tomato, Garlic & Chili
Thursday ~ Spaghetti Bolognaise
Friday ~ Penne with Tuna and Tomato
Saturday ~ Macaroni Carbonara
Sunday ~ Spanish Chorizo & Bean Soup (Family Circle AU Winter) left over recipe from August

Our family favourites are the Spicy Bean Stew with Sausages, Sausage Casserole and Spaghetti Bolognaise.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook ~ September 22

FOR TODAY Saturday...

Outside My Window... the white blossoms on our flowering pears

I am thinking... it has been very hectic around here today, not much time to think, so have forgotten

I am thankful for... getting the bill for the work on my car paid

From the kitchen... Salad, homemade potato wedges, pork sausages

I am wearing... another pair of op-shop jeans, a spring top with a polar fleece v-neck jumper over it

I am creating... a name for our new pet

I am going... grocery shopping

I am reading... Beverly Lewis, The Shunning

I am hoping... I find a name soon

I am hearing... our second son talking to his Dad in the kitchen

Around the house... lots of clothes getting washed, packed, sorted, unpacked, first washed

One of my favorite things... pictures of German Shorthaired Pointers in a wheat straw paddock

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: doing some jobs up the street, getting the girls ready for their holiday

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Australian Comedian

Usually I don't watch a lot of Russell Coight. But these are pretty harmless videos and interesting to watch, well droll at times. If you haven't seen Russell before let me know what you think, good or bad. The first video is about the start of his drive to help out his friends on a cattle muster. The second one I have watched as well, and it is further along in the trip.

I must admit I don't know a lot about Alice Springs. It seems it is the size of my hometown when I first went to live there.

Below is a picture of Jemba Rock that I think is larger than Ayers Rock but has trees on it.

PhotoHunt September 20 ~ Road

Snow has been melting quickly after this photo was taken, though some more may have replaced it since. The view on that road in North East Victoria can be stunning sometimes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Skywatch Friday ~ September 19

This was our last wood cutting effort for the year, hopefully. Our son has a lovely time discovering minibeasts.

You'll have to use your imagination...

and think what some more rocks, and a good mow and nice weather would do to its looks. This is the new garden bed hubby has been working on with the help of our second son. I had a little to do with the planning.

We are not exactly starting from scratch, but this part of the garden is disheartening. It is starting from scratch, though we made a start on it this time last year. At that time we took all the plants we wanted to move from our current house. Some remnants came back again so we have lots in both places. My Mum gave me some camellias for that garden.

There are two blocks, one was developed and one wasn't. We resized the bed next to this one so we could get around it more easily in snake season. One rose bush was under the front verandah so it is here now. Some were in a damp place and would have died. Same with the standards on the fence, they were here and suffered from the liquid ambars. The box were randomly placed in a bed like landscaping, there were also some conifers the same shape. We left the conifers where they were and put these in a line, such as it is, undecided about that. I haven't been reading a lot of gardening books lately like I used to.

The iris are early ones, and here there was only one small piece. At that house they bred up. It is an amazing place for growing things.

We have to paint the fence, it may take two full months to do it.

Thank you so much Denise xx

I received this award from Denise at An English Girl Rambles. Denise's blog is wonderful so I am truly honoured. One of the many highlights of Denise's blog is her photography. I love your blog as well Denise.

Blogs I love?

Hill upon hill
The Old Dairy
Out Back

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thankful Thursday ~ September 18

The theme for this week is Truth.


Was a good day. People were very nice to me at the shops. I was well enough to put the groceries in the trolley, into the car, and out again into the house, with the exception of the eski, that I left for hubby. The water was turned off in our street, and I was thankful it was at a time when I was out. I was able to get up early and after our water was turned off as instructed I was able to use the public toilets as there was water and soap there.



Was a good day as well. I had been putting off getting my eldest and youngest daughter and my hair trimmed. Eldest needed a cut but a shorter version of the style she had. We walked to the hairdressers and had a nice time there.

I was worried about presents for a party, the girls were able to get those and wrap them ready.



My daughter came into my room with a white turnip with long leaves hanging down. I am not sure how far back I posted my daughters vegetable garden pictures. She planted them late in the season. She really wanted to do it, and had some vegies that we thought would work. She has lots of turnips as far as I know. They moved some of the vegies to a place with deeper soil and they grew the most.

I was writing about our late dog's breed and found a place that has dogs of that breed that no longer have someone to love them. I found one in our State, and amazingly we had to take our daughter to a camp an hour away from the dog. The camp is about 3 hours away. She wants him in place of a Christmas present so she can take a dog for a walk with her friend. He was a show dog.



I was thankful my son and his girlfriend had some nice moments on their very long car trip. They saw the Big Banana and arrived there safely. They hadn't done a trip like this before.

Hubby and second son did a great job on the new rose garden at our new house. They took photos for me to see. The girls had a nice time at the party.



I looked out the window. I have been following the progress of a tree. Last time I looked it had a few autumn leaves on it, the odd one here or there. I mustn't have looked for a few days or more, because today it has tiny new leaves! What an amazing tree to have something to look at all year round on its branches. The others in the street lost their leaves ages ago. Our leaves are a little later coming in the mountains.

We got word that someone had bought the dog before us. Apparently the dog liked to sleep inside, and we prefer to have our dogs in a kennel with straw, some maybe a puppy would be better for us when we are ready.



Well a lot can happen in a day. We have a puppy. There were two puppies on the road we were going on today, in a town, just off the main road. We woke up very early to take our daughter to a camp. We had talked to the puppy owners. One sold in that short time, then we got the last one. We are very happy with him.

I am blessed that I got an appointment with the doctor and he gave me antibiotics for an infection. My dentist couldn't see my today, I rang about ten or so. So I have these antibiotics until I go to the dentist soon. I got the infection when I had that awful cold. Not I understand why I felt so miserable. I am looking forward to feeling normal, since the coughing has stopped and I feel much better already, though tired, and after our trip a little pale.

I got to see my Mum today, she said she hasn't seen the kids for nine months. They plan to spend some time together soon, so this was an extra surprise and we had morning tea.



The puppy slept well. He was still asleep when hubby went outside early to check on him. The girls played with him before school and I played with him at noon. He is doing all the right things. He is very much like our old dog and I am thankful he is so well behaved. He is a good size so quite manageable.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday

"Isa 60:20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and thy days of thy mourning shall be ended."

Blue letter Bible.

I found this meme and followed it to its owner lol. Please visit the great named blog The 160 Acre Woods.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What blood type are you?

Today I had lots of stress for one reason or another. Nothing very bad to worry about, just slightly overstretched. It was affecting my heart I thought. I have had it checked lately and it is normal. Anyway, I felt a good dose of ACDC It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll would fix it lol. I wonder if I am developing a drunk's personality! Probably not very funny. I have never been drunk so not an expert.

I wanted the CD out of hubbys car, so got this from YouTube instead. Not quite the same, not loud enough! I remember reading on a blog recently about some pet things a lady didn't like. One was bagpipe music and a lot agreed. Which brings me to a point this post was originally about.

My husband and I were discussing O- blood. My son had asked me what type of blood he had, then told me his girlfriend's blood type. We all have O- blood I think. Apparently hubby had found out that people that have O- blood are of Celtic descent. My son has a Celtic name, so now I won't wonder if I have misnamed him. I think I was being a bit keen. I am not a Celt expert, but our main claim to Celt fame is via Cornwall and Orkney.

New Zealand and Australia have the same distribution of O- blood. No surprise there really. Less in other Western countries I think he was saying, with the exception of the British Isles I assume. It made me wonder about the rhesus issue.

Anyway, I do like bagpipes. I don't celebrate my Scottishness (genes, though my Grandmother was born there) as much as I used to. Besides which, the kids are more English than Scottish. We have an English surname, and I liked genealogy at the time, so after my very Scottish name for my second child, two were family names only and the other an English name and family name.

Outback Tania's wind she was speaking of, hit us at 1.30pm today. So I am bracing myself for when I go out.

AC/DC did help I think. The foot-tapping and smiling.

As an added note, the kids in our town sing the AC/DC song as "It's a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll..."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Day in My Life

It is 10am here and already it is a struggle to remember what I have done today lol.

I had a small sleepin. My husband woke up earlier and I reminded him about our son's first driving lesson at 8am. He brought me a cup of tea sometime while our son was at his lesson.

I ended up drinking some of it by the computer because I wanted to check if a lady had sent me some photos of a dog we wish to buy. It is a mature pure bred that a family can no longer keep due to unforseen circumstances. He is two years old.

I woke a few times in the night. I think I would have been thinking of our son who woke up at 3am to drive somewhere for a holiday.

He rang not long ago to say that he had got through a major city OK and things were going well.

It is raining heavily now. Hubby and son have left to do some work on our other house. He was to do gardening but that may be put off by the rain. I am going to get dressed to take our little girls to a party. The sister of the birthday twins is friends with our little girl, so the big girls are going to be face painting and helping.

Before this hubby and I discussed things we are doing because it seems there is a lot going on and we are afraid we will forget something etc. I paid for an ebay purchase.

Lunchtime sees that I have spoken to the lady about the dog we hope to get. I have had a shower and taken the girls to the party at the pizza place. I spoke to hubby on the phone, who took a faulty part out of the griller on a ceramic cooktop. Last time we used it it was going to start a fire. Now at least that part is not there and I don't have to worry about anyone accidently turning it on. Amazing that such a nice stove could do that.

I dug the Austar remote out and watched a little Jamie @ Home about broad beans. I ate some sandwiches that were in the fridge. Second son had made them this morning, he thought we were coming to the other house and made some for us.

Had a cup of tea outside in the garden. The girls came home and youngest daughter gave me a mini Time Out bar. I sorted through a large fruit box full of clothes with the girls after middle daughter came back from walking the dog with her friend. It was the friend's dog.

Son and girlfriend rang again they had seen a nice tourist attraction and are an hour in front of their schedule which is great.

Will figure out from my menu what we are having for tea.

Well tea is over now rather dinner. I watched some TV and listened to a very excited girl about dogs.

The photo is of my double headed daffodils that I have had a long time. They are at our fourth house, and started at the first.

Simple Woman's Daybook ~ September 15

FOR TODAY Saturday...

Outside My Window... it is dark, with the odd lightening flash

I am thinking... about the new dog we may buy

I am thankful for... the nice evening we had at the gymnastics display

From the kitchen... we had spaghetti bolognaise

I am wearing... a new spring top, that did look nice on, it looked like I tried

I am creating... organising the kids clothes, wisdom needed I think, lots of thinking to be done

I am going... nowhere, but maybe I will go help with the dog if I can and we decide to do that

I am reading... in between books

I am hoping... my son and his girlfriend arrive safely they are going on a special holiday and are driving all day tomorrow starting early (please pray for them they haven't done this before, I would feel better at least)

I am hearing... very heavy rain and water rushing over the gutter and thunder

Around the house... lots and lots of clothes to put away that were washed in the warm weather before the rain, thankfully the hot water is more plentiful in the warmer weather

One of my favorite things... my tulips (below)

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: a birthday party, Christmas shopping we hope

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tagged ~ 8 Random facts about me

Peculiar at Where do we go from here has tagged me. I have put this off for a few days, because I could only think of one thing. Then today I lost the other excellent post like Peculiar's, oh well. I am still tired each day, I hope it gets better soon.

Here goes:


1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

Random facts:

1. I would have been working in the Navy if it weren't for my ezcema that kept me out at the last minute.

2. I had a loss of blood after the birth of my first three babies. The other two were fine. Should I write this? I don't know, but I will see if I can find eight things to write about.

3. I went to a Chinese restaurant once and loved lychees and love eating them cold, canned ones, preferably with icecream, though we don't have icecream often in our freezer. My middle daughter loves them too.

4. My late Dad and I broke in a horse once. He did the work, I was just the first "victim". No actually it was fine, Dad did a good job.

5. I learnt Pitman 2000 shorthand. Well, that is the number that springs to mind.

6. There were 370 children in my year when I started High School (Year 7) and I ended up in Group one for maths in Year 10 or form four. Why did I learn shorthand instead? I enjoyed typing as you can see. I got put off cutting up a cows eye in science, somehow didn't do so well in Physics either, probably just a comedy of errors, though I am not that technical or have become lazy. Funny thing is that my family had a minor slaughterhouse for their butcher shop, country butcher shops were common then. Yes, I did spend time there, but they were sheep not cows. I loved the smell of permanent markers that I used to record the weight of the sheep to hang on the hook.

7. I am unusually tall.

8. I was given some bantams as pets when I was twelve or thirteen and some sat on me which I thought was amazing.

How's that? I haven't got time to debate with myself, how conceited, shocking, repetitive etc. this post is, lol. I hope it is OK.

Now who would enjoy having a go at this? Not sure, so hope you don't mind.

1. Delicioso Mama
2. A Woman of Notes
3. Not So Glamerous Housewife
4. my house by the river
5. Quill Cottage
6. Still at Home
7. A Different Drum
8. Flower Garden

I will officially let you know in the morning.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Skywatch Friday ~ September 12

This photo was taken on what we hope to be our last wood collecting day for the year. We heat our home with wood. It was Snow Day. Not the Snow Day of movie fame but fun just the same. The rest of our State celebrate school holidays that we don't find appropriate for us. So we have a day to visit the snow if we wish to.

We were just saying, though it made some of us sad, that our dog wanted to go on this trip wood collecting. How quickly he got sick.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thankful Thursday ~ 11th September


Two of my children had a good time at the school social. One fell on some spilt Coke and got a bruised knee. I am thankful that that was the only injury.


Hubby bought some wood. The school had a day off. We had wanted to buy the wood some time ago, but initially I I think, got confused about getting it to our other house. Then other things happened to compound it. It is great because it is going under the floor and will make such a big difference to the house.

The kids made one dough ball for pizza and shared it. The two girls cooked their half.

We think we got the last load of wood for the season for the heater. It has still been frosty apparently.


My computer wasn't as it was Friday, but hubby was able to rectify things for me. Our tulips came out. It was a miracle I think. We were moving and took the bulbs up. They were in a pot in the back of the new house, inside. We halved them up and for some reason have just as many tulips as before, I think a complete ring, and they flowered!! So they are here as usual, and hopefully going well there as well.

Hubby and second son did some gardening there and we got the final rose planted. They are shooting, though here in the mountains much slower than everywhere else I think.


The girls had some nice mugs with hankies and chocolate and homemade comfectionery to give their Dad, which we think if a fantastic present. It was Father's Day here in Australia. The mugs are an important part of our life we like a certain sized one and needed some. It also had a comb in each. Hubby did have to work, but I am sure he is grateful to get the work done. Though I am sure he would have liked to have watched his favourite AFL team play.

Our daughter was invited out. It was great because they travelled to the regional centre. She was able to buy herself an MP3 player. They came over at one point with a video of our daughter with a helmet on being swooped on her friends bike by a magpie. (Think Maggie on Bananas in Pyjamas.) For some reason the magpies here are not doing anything at our end of town near our house. They had fun watching the video.


I had a rest to help get better. I have had a good supply of books. I picked in the washing and enjoyed my dog's company. He was asleep under the clothes line. We have a small osmanthus outside the front door that gives a lovely spring smell when we go outside.


I got things written on the calendar that I have to remember and other things like that done. I had a good chat to a parent there, well small but nice chat, when I went to pick up our middle daughter. We were unsure about the recipe we wanted to use, but it turned out very nice. We did change it to be more like our own paella. It was Jambalaya. Hubby likes to fry the rice first.


Our dog was taken by hubby to be put down. I am thankful to God for giving him to us. I won't talk about him yet, maybe another day. I am thankful that the day was just at the moment I felt better from my flu or virus as it made me feel not my usual self. Also I am thankful it wasn't shopping day as it is a big day for me. You may remember he had cancer and yesterday the vet said he only had a week before he had to be put down. Yesterday he went downhill suddenly after speaking with her. I think that is how it goes, it is all a fuzz. He wasn't well this morning. It feels strange that the native birds are still singing away and he isn't there. I am OK, slightly shocked I suppose, I will go and lie down and read for half an hour.

I am also thankful that I got some organising done today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cocky Watch ~ September 5

What are those cockies doing now??

I have heard of them or seen them or galahs in Canberra, and heard of them in Benalla. How hungry are they? You may have to enlarge the photos to see them.

Here are my previous posts about sulphur-crested cockatoos.


Sorry for the confusion!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Book Review ~ Laura

I am reading a book that I read about (and later bought) on the blog called Laura's Little Houses. I bought the book from BuyAustralian.

The book reads like a family history book. I helped do a little bit of work on a family history, so the style is much like my distant cousin and our book Dear Clark (by Jean Clark) at least in a small part.

I found it interesting that Mr. Zochert seemed worried about explaining disrepancies in people's ages or birth dates. From my experience with family trees, there can be disrepancies of up to two years. Also I have found on reading another family tree by George Diffey and in perhaps other places there were mispellings of names also, particularly on shipping records for Australian pioneering families.

The impression I have, and I have read just past when the Ingalls family left Wisconsin for the second time, is that it has modern parallels.

The Little House books are so much a statement in Simplicity. It seems people could choose that lifestyle even in the time of the books, Laura being born about the same time as two of my great grandparents in the 1860s. As the family left The Big Woods over the lake, Lake Pepin; which seems to isolated and perfect, we find that the town on the other side of the lake was like a resort. Also there was much danger even around Lake Pepin and some people didn't have such a happy life as the Ingalls.

The simplicity relates to downsizing, getting rid of debt. Even Independence, Kansas was an amazing place when they left just before this part of the story that I am up to now. The shops there had far more things in it that any store I have heard of in novels before. Things that modern people like to buy.

I was surprised that the author didn't write about Ma's time in Milwaukee before she was married.

Because of the style of writing and the print size, the little paperback is hard work.

I can appreciate how many hours work the author put into reading original material it seems to write this book. I suggest reading Maria Wilkes as well.

I was reading near the end of the book last night. Pa died when Laura was fairly young in adult terms, this would explain why she felt she had to write the books because of her love for Pa.

I will have to find out the rules for book reviews if there are any so I can do some more if I feel I want to sometime.

There is a great new book here.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ September 8

Monday ~ Pies, Chips & Gravy
Tuesday ~ Tuna & Sweet Potato Cakes & salad leaves with mayo
Wednesday ~ Chops & Greek Salad & Chips
Thursday ~ Red Curry Beef & Bok Choy Stir-fry
Friday ~ Spiced Spinach & Potato
Saturday ~ Corn & Potato Chowder
Sunday ~ Osso Bucco & Mashed Potatoes

My Girls Fast Homemade Pizza

My Girls Quick Rise in Microwave Pizza Dough

1 1/4 cups of plain flour
1 teaspoon of yeast (Lowan wholefood instant dried yeast)
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar
150ml of warm water

Put ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and mix together.

Put mix in the microwave on high for 15 seconds and leave for five minutes.

Repeat step 2.

Knead the dough.

Cook on 200oC until it is cooked properly. With toppings on? (10 mins about.)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

How to tell if your novel is American or not

This is a bit of fun, I hope it is taken as that.

What I have noticed is that in the types of novels I read, historical Christian fiction usually, or inspirational, or even romance, is two things in particular.

Usually by page 5, there is a reference to steaming. Like a
steaming cup or something like that. Sometimes someone spears something with a fork.

Somewhere before page 200, there is the word

Next time you read an American novel like I read, check it out and see if it is true.

No I don't think Australian novels would have those words in them. They always seem strange to my ears, but they can put any words in there they wish! I love them.

Simple Woman's Daybook ~ September 8

FOR TODAY Saturday...

Outside My Window... pale blue sky and puffy clouds, osmanthus and tulip flowers

I am thinking... I hope we get a new UPS battery, my computer was a little worse for wear this morning, but all is good

I am thankful for... that I am feeling better each day

From the kitchen... a homemade quick pizza that the girls make

I am wearing... still middle of winter gear to make sure I stay warm to get well

I am creating... blog posts and resting

I am going... hopefully grocery shopping, I should feel up to it by then

I am reading... still Laura

I am hoping... I get a birthday card and present sent

I am hearing... eldest daughter singing one of her favourite songs

Around the house... an extra table we brought back from our son's house, we lent it to him and it has my newish sewing machine sitting on it with second son's practise costume

One of my favorite things... historical Christian romance novels, I found some great ones on ebay, ones that are not in my library and the matches to some I have already read

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: collecting water before they turn it off this week, to clean it yet again, I am assuming the survey they did turned up some consumer dissatifaction about having chlorine in their water

Here is picture thought I am sharing...