Friday, February 27, 2009

Thankful Thursday ~ February 26

Another week where I didn't get more than two days accounted for with what I was thankful for. My week goes much better when I am thankful everyday. The theme for this week is basics. Please visit Iris to read more entries about this theme. It speaks about having the basics of life. Iris speaks about the people of the Yukon running out of food. I know of the history of the Yukon by reading novels by Tracie Peterson, like Ashes & Ice, part of a series. Which means I can understand this pdf from 1901 when a similar thing happened. I can't find any modern day news reports, am going to follow Iris' link.

Last night I read about the Back to Basics host Belinda who today is leaving her home for the day because it is a high fire danger day. Please pray for her home and that Victoria's fire danger season to be over soon. I read in my local paper that we are having a local memorial service for those lost in the fires this Sunday. They think that some local people will be reminded of the 2003 fires and need the extra encouragement.

I am low on money this week and today I am going about a pantry challenge or counting again, just to make sure everything is covered. I do appreciate the provision of food.

Friday: The older girls had a lovely evening at Youth group. They had an abstract art night and one of the games was based around Mr. Squiggle.

Saturday: My husband had an accident while backing out the car. Thankfully no one was hurt and minimal damage done. I am thankful we had enough money for what we wanted to do, and that included a second hand desk for my daughter's computer.

Skywatch Friday ~ February 27

Below is my favourite mountain. The smoke is from the Victorian bushfires, that has made its way to Southern New South Wales. A pretty uneventful drive except for the motorbikes making their way to Phillip Island and a wombat in a very tricky place. On the way home I was very relieved it had been moved.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My feathered friends

I thought I was so clever getting closer to my birds than Christian did in the video. Christian is outside of Melbourne, out of the bushfire area. I did feel clever until my cat noticed how close they were too and tried to catch one. I wasn't impressed with him. One of the birds is a baby and they live around our house. We don't water much at this house, we don't have a watering system, but we do water more at our other house. We got a very large bill recently though, so it is just as well we have only watered parts that we want to water more, like some of the beds and bushes.

I was very impressed this morning when I saw a flash of red in the buddleia bush out the back when I was sitting at the table. It was a crimson rosella I think.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nearly Autumn

Five more days. This is the week when I usually notice the leaves starting to turn. This year is very dry. I really notice it when I drive around. There even seems to be heat affected leaves in gutters. Smoke, as you can see, very dry grass, an awful drought look. But in some ways pleasant, there seems to be wind or breezes, I suppose you have to enjoy it before the weather turns colder. It does remind me of days long gone by on the farm. Did I tell you one day I thought I could remember what it was like walking through a sheep yard in summer, a memory of the dust etc. It actually makes me happy though I would deny it lol.

We got a hammock for Christmas in 2007, and found a small tree and another tree to hang it on. I was absolutely amazed after I was invited to lie in it, what a good view it had. My own resort in our yard. However, I don't think I will test my luck in it, will leave that to our daughter who has been enjoying a book. It is actually her hammock, and I am glad she is able to use it now.

We found our fourth blue-tongued lizard. I wonder how many others there are in that hatching?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kinglake Magazine

Tonight we are listening to 774 again. It is a Melbourne radio station, tonight they are broadcasting from Kinglake. They are discussing a magazine that Kinglake produces called Mountain Monthly. I think after living here for 5 years, I threw my copies out, just before the fires. Not sure if all of them went or not. I used to get my copy free from the Flowerdale Shop I think. I was only thinking "I wonder will happen to Mountain Monthly" yesterday I think. Obviously they are still well etc. and by the sounds of it their headquarters still functioning.

My Mum and I discuss Kinglake and I try to remember things about it. If I do find an old magazine I can refresh my memory for her. Or now since hubby mentioned it from the radio, read it online.

I remember reading about the different special kindergartens, things all new to me at the time. I remember having an opinion on the choice of the magazine covers each month. After seeing the memorial service for the bushfires I missed the trees, so can look at them in the magazine. Hubby mentioned that there is a subscription for it.

Another area of Flowerdale

At the Well ~ February 23

Gathering At the Well

This seems to be timely like it was last week. It is something I have been thinking about this week.

Are there areas of hardness and coldness in my life? What are the roots of these? Do I need to release someone who has hurt me in my past? Do I need to confess and release myself from the bondage of sinful patterns in my own life?

What are some ways that I can turn the conversation around when other women begin to gripe and complain about their children?

Name some creative ways we can create warmer, more inviting environments for our children.

Today (yesterday now) I find I can recognise or think I recognise the effort one of my child's parents are doing for their child. I doubt my ability to do the same kind of things.

I was annoyed that my Dad passed away before we had a second chance at a more day to day level of seeing each other. This morning I felt I could thank God, even though he has passed away. Perhaps it was better for me this way. I thank God though for the lovely 14 years that I did spend with him. I don't remember any yelling or anything like that, but I find my memory is getting more hazy by the minute. There are many things I draw on that I have noticed Dad taught me, even yesterday a little saying, not a nice one particularly, but "they'll keep". Does anyone else use that one. It is probably a bit private to be sharing that about Dad's thoughts, but it is a good saying in one way because the person has upset you, but by appointing the retribution to another time, that never actually happens is probably good for everyone. Basically it is for those situations where you have been wronged. Maybe it even means that God will take care of it.

The warm environment I took this question to be, was the home and the provision, the organising basically. However, I find adult talk around the children in some instances stressful, and have tried to avoid it lately, but having mixed success.

I find my children's tastes are different to mine.

From The Women's West: "If was chiefly Ma, Caroline Quiner Ingalls, who had who had to reconstruct that homelike place in the succession of log cabins, shanties, and the little frame houses the Ingalls family inhabited as they moved westward. In every book we learn how red-checkered tablecloths, bedsheet curtains, Ma's plump down pillows, and patchwork quilts made the most pinched and unlikely of habitations - for instance, the dirt-floored, one-room railroad shanty at Silver Lake - a home."

I think it is the time expended. The thinking about it, what is needed. For example the boxer shorts.

In the end I decided that my Mum had a warm and inviting home. Still, I was raised in essence as an unbeliever, though if my parents are believers in some form, and lived/live a fairly godly life. So I came to the conclusion that the very nice old-fashioned atmosphere is not all there is to it.

So I was relieved when I read this week's post. It also made me feel better. I have had three step-children and five children of my own and the things that the post encouraged I have done. The problem now is the final tenacity at the end amongst more obvious pressure that there is today. Even perhaps the pressure to keep a nicer home.

Have you ever watched Super Nanny USA? I am quite taken with the large proportion of people on the show that have nice homes. I wonder how they achieve it sometimes. It is a good illustration that sometimes it is not enough.

Well, I just realised that I never did read in the lexicon Titus 2 and how the word philandros related to children. Will do that. I found this article about it.

From philos and teknon; fond of one's children, i.e. Maternal -- love their children. From here.

This is what I wrote last week:

My husband looked it up in the Lexicon for me and the word is used like "I am fond of country living" or "I am fond of travel". Like these days when someone asks how do you like you new job, and they might reply "I love it". (I wouldn't use that phrase, always hard for me to think in those terms about something like a job or a place of living, I usually mumble a yes, and then wonder if I really do love it.)

There is: fond of blood, fond of wailing, fond of watching the contest, fond of being in the contest, fond of flowers, fond of your sister or your brother. Yes, they are all in the Lexicon.

It is so modern isn't it? You can imagine people categorised by these fondness for things good or bad. So we have to be categorised as being fond of our husband and children.

So yes, I have heard complaining about children, it was years ago when I was in my early 20s, I am now in my mid 40s. They were the children we didn't have custody of at the time. I am now at the point in my life where I can relate. I think the age my kids are at now is difficult. However, I feel letting go partially of the idea of having more babies in our relationship had something to do with that. My husband had to tell me what other people's ideas are about children, having two children only and how having a large family is harder etc. which I would never accept. So the more I accept the differences between me and other's lifestyles, the more the temptation is to complain.

I did dearly wish to talk to my 12 year old more, and this has happened. Not by anything I have done, but by some perspective she has gained about others. She always says a cheerful goodnight or goodbye, and it is very heartening. Peer pressure shouldn't be disregarded. How to handle it, lots of faith, and I suppose treading lightly. Sometimes I have let myself be a bit more vocal about it.

In the article I mentioned: "Now, the words "they may be sober" are one word in the Greek, the verb (swphrwnidzw) -- "to teach to be mentally stable; to bring someone to his senses". We have seen the adjective form (swphrwn) in previous verses, so maybe even the Greek is becoming a little more familiar to you."

My advice to those who I have been reading that feel they are not doing enough to make their house cosy, spend lots of time with the kids, or hug them, remember you mental health is very important. If you are tired, you need rest more than a clean house. I remind myself of that, but today I did a little cleaning job, and that is my challenge for this week, one a day.

This morning I thought back to a time where I looked after the 5 kids, one was 2 months old when my husband was on day shift. I got them all ready for school after changing and feeding the baby and having a shower, and driving them to school before the traffic. I am still that person, even if I feel "lazy" at the moment. I hope getting my reliever as it has been smoky will help. A few days ago, silly me who is not taking her preventer asthma (I have only had it recently after the flu last year, prior to this I hadn't used it for ages) remembered I could use the preventer instead until I could get to a shop.

However, I do caution, always get up to find out what your kids are doing or to supervise. It is very important. I always know where my kids are, have for nearly 21 years or over. My husband said that to me recently, I always at all times know where they are. Being lazy or sick or tired can't be used for that at all. Not necessarily in the same room, but you do need to be able to hear and to listen.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

On my bedside table:
Lauraine Snelling, A Dream to Follow I haven't got very far with it yet

On my TV:
Nothing planned. My Super Nanny watching is now repeats.

On the menu for tonight:
Mince Stroganoff

On my To Do list:
To put in an order with Hamper King.

New Recipe I tried last week:
Bean & Pumpkin Stew with spices 1/4 teaspooons of cumin, tumeric, paprika, coriander and small amounts of nutmeg and cinnamon.

In the craft basket:
Sewing on a button.

Looking forward to:
I tend to look forward to having the latest challenges behind me. I guess hearing about my daughter's first piano lesson, which has arrived after a unavoidable delayed start

Homemaking Tip for this week:
To use a vanilla wipe to freshen up a school bag that has had food spilled in it.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Home Wash at Seeking Simplicity
A Letter from Your Great-Great Aunt by the Mennobrarian

Favorite photo from last week:
Smilie has a heart

Lesson learned the past few days:
I really liked the discussion at At The Well this week.

On my Prayer List:
Some people I saw on the TV at the National Day of Mourning for the bushfires.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
There were no scriptures in the National Day of Mourning (if there was someone remind me) except The Lord's Prayer.

This meme is from Sandra's blog.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

National Day of Mourning

Australia Flag by David Wall

At 11am this morning I was on the telephone with my Mum, she had rang to wish our son all the best for his 18th birthday. I heard a fire siren followed by a church bell. My Mum told me there was a service on the TV. So I have been watching that. They mentioned the Australian flag.

I always cry at the official bits, how it is important enough for Princess Anne to be present. I don't know what I expected to see, it was a nice service.

I think I enjoyed the speech by the Governor General and the Leader of the Federal Opposition.

I could pick out the people who represented Kinglake but couldn't guess which ones represented Flowerdale which I thought was a shame.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Back To Basics Challenge ~ Week 19

This has become a two week check in this time. I wasn't able to finish it the other day.

Sowing seed or Planting

I think we only planted a modern flower an heuchura.

Planning for The Future - meal planning, the next seasons garden plan, working out storage plans or more long term goals and projects like plans for digging root cellars

I have been looking at a preserving pan on the Ezibuy site. It looks very nice. I wonder if the money I saved when we made our own jam on a sweltering February 8 can be an excuse for buying it? More on the pans etc. here.

We made a new pumpkin & bean recipe. It has middle eastern spice in it. It turned out great, we put the four main ingredients that are listed on the jar of the spice as we don't have it (McCormicks website). Have made a note to buy some, although it worked quite well. There are so few recipes to work with when you are doing a pantry challenge that sometimes you have to think outside the square.

We used 1/4 teaspooons of cumin, tumeric, paprika, coriander and small amounts of nutmeg and cinnamon.

I am seriously thinking of buying these online seeds. One year I went to a bit of trouble finding punnets and packets of sweet peas to plant in March. They made a lovely show. Some were shorter growing ones. Some did come back the next year. You can find lots of Yates seeds at that hardware shop online.

Working for the Future - storing food, managing stores, preserving, building that home made cob or solar oven, adding house insulation, saving for manual grain mills etc

We tried a new recipe that is really great on cutting down meat. It was really nice. Like frajitas with more basic ingredients. I posted the recipe.

Today, my husband and two younger girls took the dog for a walk in the morning. The middle daughter asked if she could pop into the op-shop. She found a desk for AU$15 and after the walk we organised a list of things to buy and set aside some money for the desk. They went to pick it up. Then they washed it on the lawn. It dried fairly quickly and there was a space to put it in her room. Now we have a stable surface, that is not a machine table for her computer and it is finished.

Building Community - volunteering, donations, joining an existing community group, forming your own community group, taking a cake to a friend having a hard time, calling someone you just let drift out of your life, etc

I suppose just talking about the fires, and keeping people's spirits up. Trying to keep up with it as one of the places was a community I lived in. I suppose talking about it when necessary and not talking about it when people are struggling with it.

I have had some kids around after school a couple of times.

Learn a new Skill

My daughter built on her fishing skills. Here I talked about her eel fishing experience. She loves fishing that much that she wants us to move to the Saphire Coast so her Dad can take her fishing all the time. She was said officially to be the fishing star of the school camp with two flatheads and her photo taken.

It has been interesting reading blogs about the subject of air-conditioning relating to the hot week we had ending last weekend here, the day after the Black Saturday fires. I have been to the chemist during the week to discuss my heat rash. Here is one of the posts I read, and the other, I have lost, but it discusses boredom. I also feel you lose a month of being able to do things like decluttering when it is hot.

I may be updating my rabbit hunting skills. My daughter asked to go see a car for sale. We drove into the road alongside it, rather than stay on the main road or turn around and miss it, and saw two rabbits. A great place to take our hunting dog for a walk. There has been a lot of talk about keeping ferrets at our house lately, but I am not keen to go back to keeping them just yet. As what usually happens with rabbits, there were none the next day. They seem affected by the conditions.

We have our new crank radio for listening to news about fires if the power goes out. It works very well, you can buy them from Dick Smith.

I reacquainted myself with baking old-fashioned puddings, this one modernly easy. Sweet Impossible Pie with cream.

Home of BTB Challenge, Belinda's blog.

Simple Woman's Daybook ~ February 23

FOR TODAY Saturday...

Outside my window... light smoke haze

I am thinking... why do packet cookie mix say to bake one tray at a time, I thought they were supposed to make things easier?

I am thankful for... the fun time the kids had at Youth last night

From the kitchen... sausage stir-fry and packet cookies left over from a hamper

I am wearing... green cotton capris, brown sleeveless shirt

I am creating... making sure we have everything ready for ballet

I am going... grocery shopping

I am reading...
Dream To Follow, Lauraine Snelling

I am hoping...
we don't get another 40oC day, but one is forecast

I am hearing... a fan

Around the house... lots of different bits of the kids homework

One of my favorite things... my husband's new laptop bag

A few plans for the rest of the week: still the first piano lesson and ordering camera batteries

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
blue-tongued skink/lizard

Friday, February 20, 2009

I'm nearly over Queen

I like Eagle Rock better. How about you?

Flowerdale Pub ~ Bushfire Hub

On the news lately and on different news videos you can find on the net and youtube, there have been scenes from the Flowerdale Pub. It is a very well known pub. My husband took this picture in November. We lived in Flowerdale over 5 years ago, so my husband took photos of where we lived, and the pub was the last photo he took.

I wish he had taken more on his way down to Melbourne so I could remember what Flowerdale looks like, as from what I understand there is not much of it left. My Mum had a list of the buildings that are gone, from the papers, but hasn't found it yet, she had meant to show it to me.

We lived there as my husband had to work 20 minutes away. I had found a picture on the net of King Parrot creek and had wanted to live there. I grew up with creeks and after living in an urban area for years I wanted to experience that again. Though I was very reluctant when we actually did live the life, I remember resisting the feelings or the experience when we took the kids to swim in it. It is like I have shut the door on my country life that I grew up with on the farm.

I had rung the agent about a house to buy, and he suggested we rent until we knew if we wanted to live there. The house to buy may have been burnt in the fires. He suggested a house that was large for our family. Since in had built in beds and that meant I didn't have to shift any there, I couldn't believe my luck. We were keeping our own house and visited on the weekends, and at the end of the year moved back to it, while we reestablished ourselves here. The job contract ran out, and we got a permanent job here at the last minute.

Mum has been worried about what if we were still there and had lost our life. Before the boss kindly gave us plenty of notice about our situation, we had been looking at a house to buy in Broadford, although at the time it was expensive.

We were very happy there, the farmhouse and the garden really suited us. The people accepted us. I also feel an affinity for Kinglake as the girls went to the Spotlight on Christmas program, I bought gas/LPG there and sometimes did grocery shopping. We went to school interviews there as well. I do remember being amazed at the weather in Kinglake. I was so thankful that I wasn't driving home from in during the windy days. In winter I hurried into the shop, so cold just getting from the car to the shop. I wonder now if it would seem so cold now that I have lived in the mountains for awhile. It did get me used to wearing a jacket in winter, which I also have to do here.

My fondest memories were of the view from the powerline driving into Kinglake of the city skyscrapers, the fact that it snowed in Kinglake West in winter (I didn't see it though), and the Santa sitting on farm machinery? at that vantage point, I only wish all my family had seen him.

There is also a magnificent view somewhere in Kinglake West of mountains and trees, forest, that goes on forever.

I also shopped in Healesville sometimes, and made the trek from Kinglake to Healesville. After awhile I decided the driving was easier on me to shop in Mill Park. There I had memories of international flights getting ready to land at Tullamarine. I was very excited.

Here is a post I wrote awhile ago about that year at Flowerdale.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm sorry but I am not very organised with my Thankful Thursday post. Here is what I was thankful for earlier on in the week.

Monday: I found a complete ballet leotard, wrap and skirt that I didn't remember I had. I was worried that the one I got for my little girl she would grow out of very soon. Hopefully the other one will fit well when the time comes. I felt like God had given it to me. I am relieved now I remember buying it. It took awhile lol.

I got so much joy from two rabbits that ran across the road. It reminded me of other times with hubby.

We also had a garden visitor, a blue-tongued lizard.

Tuesday: A lot of nice things happened for my son. I thank anyone who has prayed for my son and his English and schoolwork so he can have a smooth start to his adult life when he finishes this year of school in November. He had free periods and he had double booked, he was able to do his English work quickly and get to do his other work as well. I liked his attitude. He had to come home to get a book, and he was really determined. He knows what his absolute top priority is and is not afraid to stick up for it.

He had another teacher lend their ipod and they are Christian and he really got into a song by Petra called The Colouring Song. It is a cheerful song, a little graphic at the start.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Feeling a bit flat?

Spare a thought for our little garden visitor.

He is a baby blue-tongued lizard that the dog has been barking at, I think it started yesterday. He was behind some salvia and a few other plants. The puppy kept jumping back and barking a lot. I think he has himself flattened out on my husband's hand. This is one of the many things we enjoy about our treechange/seachange experience. He has been removed from the area with the dog. Edited to say here is one we had in the garden another time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

At the well

This is how the post goes on the host site relating to the bible verse Titus 2:4 "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,":

Recently I discovered a POW (pearl of wisdom) in Titus 2:4. I had always simply read it like this: "to love their husbands" – period, - right?


The original word used is actually a single word philandros. Philos, the word it is derived from, means to love in the sense of "to be friends with". It means, “friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well.” When expounded upon in the Greek lexicon we can find that the meaning of this “love” is different from the “love” of John 13:34, agapao, which means: ” to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly.” I don’t know about you but that gives me a whole new perspective of that verse. The same can be said of "love their children". The word philoteknos is the original, single word used.

I will just be honest here. There have been times when I was not a friend to my husband or my children but I never stopped loving them. According to my old interpretation of that scripture I would have believed that my nonexistent friendly acts towards them was okay. However, I realized while studying that we are to befriend them and that we can also teach others how to befriend their husband and children.

Wow. I had to meditate on that for a while.

Here are my thoughts:
In regards to our children, we must overcome the old wives tale, “you can’t be friends with your child if you wish to parent them.” Obviously, God disagrees with that. For both our husband and children, what needs to change first is our perception of friendship and the love it demands. In part two we will discuss this scripture as it pertains to our husbands and in part three we will discuss this scripture as it pertains to our children.

Discussion Questions:
  • What is your definition of friendship?
  • Did you follow the belief that we should not be friends with our children?
  • Has that changed?
  • In what ways can we befriend our husbands and children?
  • What can we do to teach those skills to someone else?

My husband looked it up in the Lexicon for me and the word is used like "I am fond of country living" or "I am fond of travel". Like these days when someone asks how do you like you new job, and they might reply "I love it". (I wouldn't use that phrase, always hard for me to think in those terms about something like a job or a place of living, I usually mumble a yes, and then wonder if I really do love it.)

There is: fond of blood, fond of wailing, fond of watching the contest, fond of being in the contest, fond of flowers, fond of your sister or your brother. Yes, they are all in the Lexicon.

It is so modern isn't it? You can imagine people categorised by these fondness for things good or bad. So we have to be categorised as being fond of our husband and children.

Fond of one's husband, conjugal, with a secondary meaning of loving men.

I was reading a teen magazine article that caught my eye recently. It was basically how to get a boyfriend, I think. They suggested a way to be comfortable and being able to relate to men from memory. And that was to know people, other men. Like brothers, father, uncles, so you know how to relate to that half of the human race.

I am thinking at the age now, that perhaps having two sons has helped me with this, or perhaps being married for 24 years and spending many hours in my husband's company.

What I took Titus 2:4 to mean is perhaps we have to love the man part of our husband. You know that lots of woman have been known to say "Men!" I'm not suggesting then they shouldn't help you around the house if you need it.

I was thinking about this this morning, being friends with the kids. I was thinking about a comment a nearly adult member of my family said last night when he walked in the door. "I don't like the smell of this house", or something like that.

I was thinking that that was wrong to do that. I was thinking about how maybe I am being too soft. I don't think I said anything. Then I was thinking about how I enjoy his company around the house. No we are not trying to keep him here indefinitely, just another year to give him a good start in life, perhaps longer if necessary.

"In regards to our children, we must overcome the old wives tale, “you can’t be friends with your child if you wish to parent them.”"
I think some of the old wives tale still holds true.

I have been watching Super Nanny USA. Although not obviously I think she has dealt with some Christian families, in one particular family the husband was a pastor. I felt the parents were encouraged to be kind, but also to still make it known that they were the parent, by the tone of their voice, while still being kind. It is really interesting to watch. She enables families to be kind but still have ground rules that are not broken, although sometimes comprises are reached if they are sensible. Often the parents haven't gotten their head around how old they are for example, have a bad experience that needs resolving, or in one case, just had to meet the kids friends and they were pleasantly surprised.

That's My World Tuesday

These photos were taken on Saturday.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror --
The wide brown land for me!

Dorothea MacKellar

I'm not sure I loved being here too much lately, I think I wanted to run away! Last Sunday the day after Black Saturday really seemed to dry things out. We did have a little bit of rain though I think.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Don't Give Up ~ Kate Cebrano & Shannon Noll

The song was at the start of a telethon to raise money for the bushfires last week.

Here is another version.

If you don't quite understand the song, this one will help.

Happy Homemaker Monday

On my bedside table:
A Town Called Ruby Prairie.

On my TV:
My son and youngest daughter have a wii wheel in the post from their brother so there are cool looking ships or subs on my screen.

On the menu for tonight:
Beef & Red Lentil Curry

On my To Do list:
To get batteries for my new secondhand film camera, the first one was from the US and I accidently dropped it in a shopping centre many years ago.

New Recipe I tried last week:
Spaghettini with Tuna, Capers & Chilli

In the craft basket:
My daughter finished her ruching for textiles homework.

Looking forward to:
Getting some more bills paid.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Try Sweet Impossible Pie, you'll score a few points there.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Preserving hints.

Favorite photo from last week:
my husband took this on the weekend

Lesson learned the past few days: it is hard to drive while you are deep in thought about fires for example. Also I learnt you can help yourself survive a fire with wet towels. Mine are so thin I doubt they would be any use as a group. Must work on that. I did think about buying some on shopping day but didn't.

On my Prayer List:
The friend of my friend on Bee~Content Ranch.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Philippians 4:8
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

This meme is from Sandra's blog.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Colourful Inspiration

Psalm 18:30

I found this and others, there are a whole album of them, all inspiring, you can click on this one to take you there. It reminds me about a book I read in this theme. It is called A Tender Flame by Al and JoAnna Lacy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A day in my life ~ February

I thought I would do a day in my life post as it is the last in the series, and I was thinking about my day anyway for the Simple Woman's Daybook post. I think this is my 7th post. Thank you very much for hosting these Jenny. Here are my other entries. I must read through them again and reflect on my year. What an amazing time of the year to both start and finish a day in my life.

The graphic above for those who don't know it, is Jenny's kitchen, her dishwashing is inspiring.

Today my husband woke me at 9am, as he knew I was complaining about sore eyes and not being able to read well yesterday. The girls beat me to the shower so it has been a very slow start to my day.

My husband fixed the door handle to my daughter's room. We have a 60s extension in our house and the door knobs have broken in the four rooms, toilet, bathroom, and two bedrooms, though not all at the same time. Not sure what number we are up to now. The toilet one broke while my little girl was in there, thankfully she didn't have to stay in there too long. We were able to buy the part to fix it no problem. That is one thing this town has plenty of, little things like that to fix things with.

I found I had dreamed about fire related things again last night, not sure if watching on TV has been good on not in that case. I suppose it gives the subconscious and memory a good stir around. I lived in the area five years ago, and it is good to remember some of the smaller things that happened there that I had forgotten.

My daughter had phone calls and visits from her friend in the middle of all of this, she ended up going to her house.

My husband and son went to the school to do some vital English homework. Basically if he doesn't pass it he can't get an ENTER score, and will have to try direct entry or look for work. He has been getting extra help this week, which has made me feel a little better.

My daughter wants to do something for Valentine's Day. One of the nicest things I like about Valentine's Day is a TV episode of one of the Pooh Bear shows. We used to watch it a lot on video. Thursday I saw some gorgeous red shiny hearts, I assume they were chocolate. I didn't buy one though, I was tempted to.

We had some canned ham and cheese toast sandwiches for lunch. Our daughter cut out a colourful heart. We discussed how our middle daughter is going better at school than we first thought. There had been some recent tests and it was a relief.

My husband and son on the way went to the tip with the trailer loaded up with cardboard boxes. It is not free to take them to the tip, but we decided they were a fire risk close to the house. We were saving some for moving and things like that. Not sure if these were an excess or all of them. When we recently moved our son and his girlfriend we found the large fruit home delivery boxes very good. I guess they have been designed to take heavy weights, like potatoes, cordial, pumpkins etc.

We had two cups of tea. I guess after last week in the extreme weather not being able to enjoy a cup of tea, we were making up for it. I read my old a day in my life posts. It turns out it was hot on the 14th day of January, I didn't think that was the case. I wonder if that was before or after we bought a fan. I seemed to manage to be able to blog after I got the fan and blew cold air onto my back.

I picked in the washing so the dog could be allowed off the chain. It wasn't particularly pleasant outside. Last weekend, the day after the terribles fires started in Victoria seemed to be the last straw for gardens locally, the ones that are not watered regularly. There is a slight smoke haze to add to it now. Our backyard is basically watered, but as I said before we hadn't been watering the lawn because we had thought we weren't allowed. So it is recovering slowly.

I took the towels in over my shoulder, yes dropped one when I got inside. Then picked in a washing basket full, that was at least double in size. I find I can manage an overfull basket OK. It wasn't all clothes, lots of rags and tea towels.

I was shocked. My son said he needed new boxers. He washes his clothes, and yes, they are definitely worn out.

Put on a few fans, standing outside made my heat rash itch.

I read a little from my book, and helped dd make an impossible pie. It said a flan or casserole dish, I'm afraid ours was neither one or the other. We have never made it before. The butter wasn't quite soft enough and the sugar, white, processed hopefully to caster. I guess as long as it goes hard we can eat it.

Well I am pleased with the Impossible Pie. It is nice having tea/dinner at Nana's house or something, nice with cream. We don't eat pudding here, but if we did I'd make it often I think. I have a tip, don't eat it after rice wheels.

I watched a little of the CMC Country Music Awards, I didn't enjoy it as much as I did the last time, so only watched a little bit.

I read a bit more, we had tea late and the older girls are watching a movie with Dale Midkiff, we all like him, and I like Kirsty Alley who plays the Tooth Fairy! I seemed to be hot or running a temperature, haven't got to the bottom of that yet.

My little girl is getting a book read or reading a book. We ran her a bath, and afterward she gave me a cuddle and said nice things to me.

Hubby watering the garden at the other house and weeded while our boy mowed grass. I was fending off lots of questions about sleep overs and things like that, it took quite a long time.

During tea/dinner making my daughter did her sewing homework, a sample of ruching or something similar. I think she is very pleased. She is using the material my Mum made up in a kit a few months ago. I guess it was to encourage her with her sewing.

I saw a great sunset too, which was nice and reminded me of the sunsets I saw last autumn. Next week or so it will be bulb planting time. I heard a cricket I thought, perhaps it was last night.

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Saturday...

Outside my window... a little cloudy

I am thinking... how much today is different from last Saturday, I was worried about another day of heat

I am thankful for... the cooler weather

From the kitchen... thinking of making a Sweet Impossible Pie

I am wearing... green capris and an old t-shirt

I am creating... just making sure we have bought everything we need for the next two weeks

I am going... no where that I know of yet

I am reading... two books, this time I have started The Saddlemaker's Wife by Earlene Fowler, I hope it is not too much of a crime book

I am hoping... I can continue to remember what we need to do and to buy or pay for, we have two milestone birthdays (an 18th and a 21st), the start of ballet, lots of things on the go

I am hearing... Disney Channel and the fridge

Around the house... another cottage chair broken, it collapsed while I was sitting on it, apparently it still has the original glue which is the problem, thankfully I was able to hold onto the table a little

One of my favorite things... old cookbooks

A few plans for the rest of the week: to buy ballet shoes. The shop people drive all the way up here to sell ballet items, 1 1/2 hours drive

Here is picture thought I am sharing... our crepe myrtle

Simple Woman's Daybook site.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Catching Up

I have been meaning to post all day. My daughter was home from school today. Her bus got in at 11pm last night. It broke down. From what I understand the bus driver was very resourceful. They were in a town while they waited and got to see some movies.

Some of my comments to people's blogs were brief and I left out bits I was going to say. All very interesting. Tania, I love tomato relish. It is a must have I think. From memory I think I like it with cold silverside, would that be it? Mandy I don't remember corn that tall from my childhood, I could be wrong. I think the corn is great.

Apparently before our daughter went fishing hubby told her his fishing line was old and that it wouldn't take a lot of weight. She was bringing in an eel. A boy somehow was "helping" her with it and she lost it. However, she says that they said she got the biggest fish from the yearly camp so far, and some asked for tips. She said it was only the second time out for her. She told me she loves fishing. That must be true as she had to get up early at camp to go fishing. There wasn't any stronger line to buy here apparently. The fishing spot had a scaling station which was interesting.

I have been so very tired today. I have heard that mentioned on a couple of blogs today. Maybe from the weekend and previous days hot weather and/or the emotions of the fires. My eyes felt terrible, felt much better closed. I had a power nap in the afternoon and that seemed to do the trick.

The smoke has gone from here, but popped up in other places, like the Eastern suburbs and South Australia. The wind must have changed direction perhaps. A cool day, but you can feel it is slowly warming up again.

I went to the chemist, talking to the lady about heat rash. Basically I have to keep it cool. I wonder if I can get it cleared up before the hot weather comes back. One can hope.

I have been happy about things like being able to use the oven, everything seemed more normal. The kids went swimming today and said it was freezing in the water. Unfortunately though our town pool is often like that.

The economic stimulus package has apparently gone through. Our routine at school still a little choppy. Some homework getting done, with relapses back into holiday like behaviour.

Our little girl was at a disco tonight and it seemed like it was much easier to talk to the older girls. Most times we don't notice one or two missing attention-wise.

The picture above is a graphic I once posted in a forum signature when I was feeling hot. I am not hot today, but I thought I would show it to you.

Tomorrow is the last of Little Jenny Wren's 14th day of the month series a day in my life.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

The theme for this week is love.

I was so pleased that our piano teacher was able to reschedule times for my little girl so she could continue on with her ballet classes. I was so worried about it.

Friday: I got my car back from the workshop. It has been there for a very long time.

My brother had a heavy tree limb fall just short of him, sparing his life. In the hot weather the eucalypts drop limbs.

Saturday: My daughter got to have a nice day out riding the river rapids, not big ones, just big enough for fun I imagine.

An awful day in Australia's history. We lived there in 2003, and were disappointed that my husband's contract couldn't be renewed so we could stay there. One of my daughters were saying she is very glad we were not living there anymore. I guess it will put it to rest for me too. I have been trying to recall lots of memories of my time there, I guess more will come to me as time goes by.

We were twelve hours without a radio or tv transmitter in our town. So glad no fires came while it was down.

Monday: Having one daughter away at camp made it easier to dealt with a fire threat we had, and also to help the other three kids with some of the things to do with school and their activities so they got extra help.

I was so thankful for the cooler weather, it felt more normal our life on Monday night going to sleep with cooler air etc.

I was very thankful we were able to sleep because the weather was favourable for the fire fight.

Tuesday: My son and his girlfriend offered to buy a cheap crank radio for us, I put in some money and we got a nice one. I appreciated the care for us.

Wednesday: It appears all the fires close to us are out, so unless others break out we are able to relax. Still smoke in the air, but after the 2003 and 2006 fires we are used to that somewhat. The weather report seems very nice, and we are now not expecting other 40oC days, unless some come along next week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Friendship Award

I popped over to my friend's blog Bee~Content Ranch, and look what I found. Thank you so much.

This award was created with the following in mind: "These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

So without further ado, I am awarding the Friendship Award to:

1. Catherine @ Dispatches from the Deise
2. Caroline @ The Simple Things
3. Paola @ Spades and Spoons
4. A Bite of Country Cupcakes
5. Tania @ Out Back
6. Mandy @ The Old Dairy
7. Nyack Backyard
8. Scrappy Quilter by Frugal Carol


Today sees the radio and TV transmitter out again. In the meantime my son and his girlfriend put a lot of money towards a crank radio for us. I can't wait to see it. They got it from Dick Smith. There is smoke here, all it does is make it feel hotter than it is, and it is only a couple of degrees over the forecast which was quite cool. The dried up gardens here and there from the weekend makes it feel hot too.

I woke up very tired. In the end I ordered the fruit and vegetables online like I usually do and decided to buck myself up. I had been watching two videos on the Today site about Flowerdale and had a bit of a cry. I had wanted to remind myself of Flowerdale since I did live there, if only for a short year.

Though I was reminded of how serious it is at A Bite Of Country Cupcakes blog.

I am in the here and now though for my kids, and doing what I have to do.

My daughter wanted to go to the library, so we went there. It was good. I haven't bought a parents magazine for many years, and had just recently thrown out my copies that I had hung onto perhaps for seven years. The new one is excellent. It talks about large families which is why I borrowed it. Lovely references to the net.

The tiredness bothered me as I have a big day ahead shopping and driving. My daughter will be coming home excited from camp as well, so this is my last day to sit and think, though I will still be doing that I think. I think when I am trying to go to sleep, but I do sleep.

I have since watched the Prime and ABC news. My son called after he watched the Prime news. It was sad for us.

Having said all that, I do have an award to pass on, and have been happy to receive it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fire Preparedness

This was particularly important to me last night as I realised how unprepared I was. We have been listening to the radio since the first evening of the Kinglake fire, my husband had listened in all day then told me about it. We listen to 774 I think. It is the station you listen to if you want to know what is going on and they give out instructions to people who are in fire prone areas.

My son rang me last night with details of a fire 1/2 hour from us by car, but actually closer in miles I think than 30 miles. (30 miles 30 minutes at 60pmh.)

This morning it was featured heavily on this map, and now it has been removed which I guess to mean good news.

Last night my son was urging me after I spoke with him about if we were had to leave here early where would we go; to go onto the NSW Rural Fire Service site to see where other fires were that may be blocking roads. On this site I found details on what to bring if you chose to leave your house. This was discussed on Kez's blog and I thought rather than post more comments, sorry Kez, I would post my own things I have learnt the past few days.

Here is a pdf of a relocation kit. It includes battery operated radio and spare batteries, eye glasses, mobile phone, medication, wallet, clothes, money, bottled water for each person, phone numbers, documents, photos and those things, natural fibre blankets and toys.

We have been looking today at a radio from Dick Smith, I feel we need to have one. Not sure if it is the right one for us yet, still working on it. In the meantime, our daughter's mobile phone has a radio in it, but I heard my husband mention something about earpiece. For those with a Telstra mobile phone for the new network, our battery isn't working at the moment, have to get a new one, did try and have to try again.

Early on we heard that you have to know to leave or stay yourself, by listening to the radio. It was a few days ago so I am sketchy on the details.

The fire we were worried about last night was near a power line so we were worried we may have lost power.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

Today in our State, this particular homemaker, has lots of emotions, I would say mourning over my fellow Victorians.

Here is a thing called Lend An Ear.

On my bedside table:
I did start A Town Called Ruby Prairie by Annette Smith

On my TV:
Nothing. The last thing I watched was a special news report about the fires on ABC last night (Australian public broadcaster).

On the menu for tonight:
Curried Mince & Vegies we are having this as we have no beans to make the usual Chow Mein.

On my To Do list:
If things settle down I will be making a shopping list and start doing normal things again, like shopping. Our kids have been in school for six days so far. So the weather, fires, smoke and school and after school activities and a child away at camp make things abnormal. I have my car back and will get used to using it and the new motor again.

New Recipe I tried last week:
Taco Salad with Sour Cream Dressing. I think it was our first taco salad, as they are not common in Australia. It was a fairly hot day and a change came through while we were eating it so it was quite dramatic, wind blowing through the house.

In the craft basket:
We have the sewing machine on the table. Our eldest daughter learnt how to thread up a machine again, she had practise classes before the Christmas break, then one lesson and wanted to have a quick reminder before school today.

Looking forward to:
cooler temperatures.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Aquaint yourself with the pectin test if you want to learn how to make jam. It requires using Metholated Spirits.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
These posts are about an Australian TV series called Outback House. The blog owner was able to visit the set.


The Moment in Time's Australia Day fun. I found her blog at Amanda's Australian Story. Please view the video in celebration of Jamie's 13th birthday.

I also enjoyed looking at the Ship Full O'Pirates blog.

Favorite photo from last week:

Our piano lesson girl!

Lesson learned the past few days:
That we are not adequately prepared for things. More work needed there.

On my Prayer List:
Mandy has asked for prayers for her seven children, particularly the ones who have grown and are young adults away from her home. Their father is very ill. Please visit Mandy's blog, she is a very strong lady and you will find it a positive post, though it brought tears to my eyes. I know that was days ago, sorry Mandy. But I know you would appreciate the prayers.

The parents of two children I read about on a blog this morning.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
I thought of a scripture, but can't remember it at the moment.

This meme is from Sandra's blog.

Fire post again

It is hard to know what to say about the fires. Yesterday I found my blog googled because I had specific towns mentioned as someone was wanting an update.

It was 44oC here yesterday. I felt hot when I woke up, we had a small amount of rain. The temperature is expected to be 5oC cooler than I thought it would be today, still 33oC. It is smokey.

Here is a news article, a small part of it says:

"It's a little bit milder than normal, except from the fact that Beechworth, because it's north of the divide in Victoria, the temperatures are a bit hotter, therefore the fire runs a bit hotter," he said.

I think that is why I was so worried, after watching the footage on TV and feeling so hot at the time.

There are fires to the north of us in NSW, Wagga, Cabramurra, Tumut, and also near Tallangatta in Victoria, I think.

All a distance, but waiting until things settle down, not sure what the weather is doing.

I especially liked Tania's post this morning, I think that was the best and most appropriate post, not that there are many that I have seen, but thank you Tania.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fires update

Well it was our hottest night yet here. We haven't had the weather change that caused all the trouble in the rest of our State. 24oC overnight and expected 41oC. I don't mind so much, I guess you slowly get used to it. My Back to Basics post was written before the fires, and put on the timer.

The town I am concerned about today is Alexandra. I know a lot of these towns because I lived near Myrtleford and Beechworth most of my life, and in 2003 lived near Melbourne, and went to Kinglake often, lived in Flowerdale and went every week to Alexandra. The unconfirmed deaths in our State are very high.

Please pray for Melbourne itself apparently the newspaper has called it a Horror Day. Still there are so many country people who must be so scared and grieving this morning.

We were without radio or TV for twelve hours. We were worried about not having batteries for our radio and plan on buying one that doesn't use batteries, but our transmitter wasn't transmitting. Thankfully nothing happened here last night. I hope our weather change is relatively straight forward. My husband says we may not get one, which is probably a good thing.

Not sure if my daughter will still be able to go away for her trip to the beach. Today we are making our jam despite the heat. It is more pleasant to do things in the morning. I probably will be sick of the heat again by the afternoon.

Belinda's Back To Basics Challenge

Sowing seed or Planting

We have decided to start taking the two soaker hoses to use while we are at the new house working on the house. The raspberries looked bad, but Mum assures me it is a seasonal thing.

Planning for The Future - meal planning, the next seasons garden plan, working out storage plans or more long term goals and projects like plans for digging root cellars

I finally got my fortnightly menu plan finished. I found taco salad was great for a hot day.

Working for the Future - storing food, managing stores, preserving, building that home made cob or solar oven, adding house insulation, saving for manual grain mills etc

I read in the newspaper about the government giving out money for insulation. From memory the insulation here is old, there are modern standards of insulation. I haven't had a house (all were built before 1966) that didn't need something done to the insulation. We have owned four houses. Our newest house, we have got part of the way to insulating it. But it also needs the tin taking off the roof and the sisalation putting there as well. At the very least you should have the paper as they used to call it in the old days under the tin, if you have a tin roof. With different heights of the ceilings it can be tricky as the heat comes into the higher ceiling parts, we think we will use some insulation on the wall bit in between. We noticed this house in the lounge has some vents that are still open. I don't think in modern times you still need vents in the walls (in Australia). But anyway, do you research.

You may remember from last week we were using frozen water in cordial bottles to drink during the day. They were melting too quickly so we now sit a group of them in the Eski. Also that means no one is opening the freezer door, which is all good for the freezer.

After my alergic reaction to cordial, I have switched to Ribena. The cordial, good name brands, one that has juice in it, a good Australian company, so I am disappointed. In particular I think I am alergic to the additive 211. I have already given up soft drink or soda, I have reactions just after I go to sleep. Swelling behind the knee, sometimes nightmares. This additive is a benzoate. If wish I could articilate exactly what it feels like. I tend to try to forget things and don't dwell on them, but it doesn't help when you want to recall things.

On Saturday, I don't usually swear at my computer, but something mild came out. The forecast for Sunday was as bad as the days before it, 41 or 42oC. We had planned to make jam on Sunday, plum jam. It was to be a few degrees cooler which makes a bit of difference, especially if the overnight is cooler too. I decided we would have to make it early in the morning. We have had the fruit for a few days and we will be busy next week. I weighed the container and the plums at 17 1/2lbs. Took all the fruit out of it and weighed the container which was 2lbs. Have organised for hubby to buy at least 6kg of sugar while he is out. I checked with an old Department of Agriculture book for ideas about plum jam.

I found out our heat was much milder than other places. Poor things.

Building Community - volunteering, donations, joining an existing community group, forming your own community group, taking a cake to a friend having a hard time, calling someone you just let drift out of your life, etc

This has been a challenge. I was nearly hysterical, well on a minor scale, over a business publishing a distinction about which customers they were providing a certain service for. I am going to think positive that the community will survive and still blossom despite this set back.

Learn a new Skill

Living without air-conditioning has been challenging. The past two days have been nicer in the mornings, but I think the extreme weather is upon us for another couple of days. It is all I think about. I have heat rash everywhere, but thankfully I am not scratching much. I tried Blackmores Ezcema Balm this morning, as usually it is very soothing. I am constantly washing out my baggy shorts as they are more airy. Despite me being thankful for the two cooler days, I needed them to be able to cope. They were still hot in the afternoons.

On Wednesday we had a birthday, and we baked the cakes before school. My daughter actually did the baking, or part of it. We did try ordering a cake from the bakery one year (we have been here five years and used to buy Coles cakes before this), but now we make our own, this year we used packet cake. We knew we wouldn't want to use the oven in the afternoon.

Here is a video of a wood stove, and the alternatives that can be used in summer. My Nana had a plan B for her woodstove.

The guy who made the video is a Victorian and living his self-sufficiency dream. He has put his recipes on the lifestyle food website. Here they are. He is also publishing his experiences and they will be available on a new website soon.

We are using one car, and this means hubby is picking up my little girl from school each day.

She is going to be learning to play the piano, as is her sister which has been my dream for them for years. I am so pleased there is a music teacher and she has been willing to take them on as students.

The fishing was a success. Our daughter enjoyed it. She has since bought some new sinkers. Apparently the ones her Dad had were homemade. Can you believe that!

Belinda's blog.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I apologise for my wingeing about the heat. I have been listening to the radio for about an hour. So many homes in our State have been lost. But, I wanted to let my readers know how our family is just in case you don't know my State very well and don't know from reports if our region is OK.

I was sad when I heard that the petrol station I used in 2003 before we moved here has burnt down.

My husband's sister, her home was threatened but the danger has passed.

It is very hot tonight, 2 1/2 hours late cooling down. Our weather change is due in the morning, if we have lightening like the other parts of the State we could have trouble too.

Here is where the information is. We have dust at the moment.

There is a fire about nearly 2 hours away threatening a tourist town. My brother was nearly killed by a limb falling from a tree in the heat.

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Saturday...

Outside my window... my nylon windsock blowing around

I am thinking... how could they change the weather forecast for tomorrow! A few of here in Aussie blogland though today would be the last day like this we would have to suffer for awhile.

I am thankful for... the shop having cordial this morning. Cordial is probably like Koolaid. (It is non alcoholic.) Apparently my husband heard them saying the other day that stocks were low.

From the kitchen... I like to have lunch with my husband, but it is just our little girl and I today and I have to find something appealing soon

I am wearing... sleeveless shirt and my new second hand board shorts, they turned out to be very unflattering. What do you guys wear for togs?

I am creating... working out how much sugar to buy for jam

I am going... if it is cool on Thursday, which is possible apparently, food shopping after a long break

I am reading... it is still too hot to read, and still stuck on Annette Smith's A Town Called Ruby Prairie. Apparently it is like reading Mitford or Phillip Gulley. I like both of those, sometimes they seem slow. I could possibly read before the late afternoon sun heats up my bedding. I even considered putting something thermal over it once, yes, I am heat addled, and thankfully thought better of it quickly

I am hoping... I stop feeling like there is always lots going on to manage

I am hearing... my little girls TV show, Dora and a fan going

Around the house... everything seems dark and dull, though we did some of the bathroom this morning

One of my favorite things...
recipes that others love cooking like Impossible Pies

A few plans for the rest of the week: Packing for the beach for my middle daughter, first piano lesson for my little girl

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
it is not a very elegant photo and the weather had got to the flower. But, it is a spider lily that we accidently left behind when we shifted the other bulbs to our new house. We haven't painted our trims yet and they are desperate. Maybe this year. They are very nice plants. Apparently they are in the streets in Singapore.

Friday, February 6, 2009

February Recipe Box Swap

I finally settled on a recipe or two for this month's theme of Fun Foods.

I bought a fundraiser cookbook and found a Sweet Impossible Pie. I would love to know if any one has tried this.

Sweet Impossible Pie

1/2 cup plain flour
2 cups of milk
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
4 eggs
125g soft butter
1 cup of castor sugar
1 cup dessicated coconut

Put all ingredients into a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well mixed and pour into a greased flan or casserole dish.

Bake for one hour at 175oC.

This pie will cook with a base, a custard filling and a coconut topping.

I am not trying it out in this weather, but would love to when I get the chance.

This second cake I found on a blog called Belinda Moore. Apparently though it is an Aussie classic that I somehow missed originally. I have taken advice from Sue an online friend, and have it is great because it is ready to bake as soon as my oven has heated up.

Five Cup Cake

1 cup SR flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup sultanas
1 cup milk

Combine first four ingredients, add milk. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Pour into greased and floured loaf tin. Bake 45-55 mins at 180 degrees C. Serve hot with a dollop of cream or cold.

I know I have experimented with the time and temp, and I use raw sugar. Sue uses raisins sometimes and Belinda has some great options. You can put butter on it to serve. It keeps well.

These recipes are metric. Cups are 250ml to the US 200ml. Sultanas are golden raisins, castor is superfine sugar. 1oz is 30g.