Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ March 30

On my bedside table:
Like last Monday I have finished reading my book.

On my TV:
At some point this week my eldest daughter was watching a modern Alice In Wonderland, I admit I don't know much about it, but it looked good. I think it was this one.

On the menu for tonight:
Chipolatas & Turmeric Pancakes our son is going to try to make them, they are more like a German potato cake.

On my To Do list:
I have started dusting, but have only done a 1/4 or less. More since I typed.

New Recipe I tried last week:
Polish Sausage Bigos, very nice. I talked about it recently. We think we like this recipe better.

In the craft basket:
Still the hem of my daughter's school skirt. Thankfully it is still OK to wear shorts.

Looking forward to:
The local festival being over, though it seems very exciting already and it hasn't started yet. However, the roadrules were a little bent this morning, I had two four wheel drives pulling out from the curb, one wanted me to turn right in front of them, the other wasn't prepared to wait until I had gone past.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Has anyone got any ideas about old-fashioned cross-over curtains, and how they can be used in a modern way. Maybe they are good for a bedroom in a place that no one looks in?

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Gently Rebuked in Blogworld

Favorite photo from last week: Along the theme of Joolz post. This was taken Monday morning around 10am. It is still around so it was smoke. It did look smokish. They must be allowing burning off, which also means we can use our chainsaw to collect firewood too.

Lesson learned the past few days:
All the friends of my daughter that I had trouble coping with being here all the time, I missed them when they stopped coming as much!

I should try watching all the movies mentioned in the novel Blue Heart Blessed by Susan Meissner they sound nice.

On my Prayer List:
I probably wanted to pray for myself. But a day or two seems to make a lot of difference around here.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Same. I was engrossed in lots of things, but none come to mind now. However, I did see another scripture with the one I posted for Simply Kind Tuesday last week on a blog post that I can't find. I know it was Colossians. So I have looked up Colossians 3:12-25 and it is astounding, especially in KJV.

This meme is from Sandra's blog.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook ~ March 30

FOR TODAY Sunday...

Outside my window... a sunny day, a car driving by and looking as they often seem to do

I am thinking... I think I want to get back to reading my book

I am thankful for... I thought I saw a pair of gang gangs outside my window during the week. They are another of my favourite birds.

From the kitchen... a quick dough pizza with homemade sauce made by my eldest daughter who cooks for a restaurant at school

I am wearing... my black shorts and orange t-shirt, I haven't worn the shorts all summer, it was a very hot summer and they are not cotton. Yes, I wanted to be bright today

I am creating... places for our son to go next year. I am going to get the paperwork ready for some accommodation, though you are never sure where you are going to be offered a place at uni, it does pay to get organised early. I am reading up on ENTER scores, courses, but have only worked out a little bit so far, but doable

I am going... open classes for my daughters' jazz, neo-classical and ballet

I am reading... a great little book Blue Heart Blessed

I am hoping... my school holidays will be event free. The plans have changed a couple of times. I have done the budget.

I am hearing... the news on the radio, it doesn't help to think, now my daughter playing the keyboard while awaiting her anchovies that we can't live without, now Taylor Swift, as my daughter likes it and thinks a new CD would be nice, my kids aren't usually into country. I am sure her looks have influenced my daughter's decision, but she says not

Around the house... the newly painted block of wood that helps keep my hooks on the back of my door, the hooks had fallen down, previously they were glued to the door, and had been there many years. The block of wood is purple, from my Mum's folkart goodies that the girls like to use

One of my favorite things... my daughter handed me the rest of her lime milkshake, it is a first for me, I don't think I've had a proper milkshake for years. At the time my favourite was chocolate thick shake? Malt? I did keep malt in the cupboard, that is nice with just milk

A few plans for the rest of the week: the school holidays start for two weeks

Here is picture thought I am sharing... not yet finished pizza

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Simply Kind Tuesdays ~ Week 21

Claudia the hostess of Simply Kind Tuesdays speaks about Silence this week.

I did lots of reading for this post this morning (now yesterday). I wonder if I can remember all my points. I got to the end of this sermon I think and was having a hard time. I had been looking up Ephesians 4:31-32.

"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 4:32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." KJV
Here are some points in the sermon:

Bitterness - smoldering resentment. Clamour - outward acts of violence. Anger - a deep subtle feeling of sin. Evil speaking - slander, criticism, gossip. Malice - hatred on the inside. Wrath - a wild explosion of rage. And, according to Paul, we must remove "all" of this stuff.

Replace it with...

Tenderheartedness - the opposite of being hard-hearted, calloused, unfeeling, refusing to understand another person's feelings or circumstances. If you will remove all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking and malice and will replace what you have removed with tenderheartedness you will have created an environment in which you can keep God's command to be kind one to another."

I had my husband talking about it to me to make sure I hadn't done anything wrong. I was talking about an incident that happened yesterday (now the day before), that I thought happens a lot around here around town. His explanation of malice was clear. When I read these types of words they have not a very clear meaning to me. How about you? In the meantime this is some of my thinking about myself.

"The Memory That We Were Kind ~ Mark Rickerby

Does anyone know where the little boy went?
The little boy who used to be me?
He’s still alive somewhere inside this shell
Though the shell is all you can see.

Can you still see him reaching out for love
From behind these time-worn eyes?
The child with a heart as bright as the stars
Hiding beneath this thin disguise?

What a cruel trickster Father Time can be
Changing our costumes as we age.
From infant to child, and from young to old,
A new character with every stage.

We might as well be four different people.
The adult barely resembles the child.
The external transformation is so complete,
Young and old are rarely reconciled.

But there are some whose eyes still twinkle,
For whom the child within never dies.
The outside world can see only the surface
But they know how the surface lies.

What can we learn from all this changing?
From the fact that nothing is real?
How can we judge by a deceptive fa├žade
That hides the way we truly feel?

The only path to true knowledge, it seems,
Is to think of everyone that we see
As the child they were, who they are today,
And the old person they soon will be... "

The people who were in this incident were advised to forgive each other. Also that people who are married liked each other and still do just can't live with each other. Well, that is perhaps going a little too far.

This brings me to the point about myself, advice given and forgiving people all over the place, and criticising. My husband said I wasn't criticising, just learning what has gone on and understanding.

The scripture then came up in the book I have been reading by Catherine Palmer called Wild Heather.

So basically my husband didn't think too much of the sermon. I didn't think too much of the advice given to the people in the incident. The line in the poem is confusing "Can you still see him reaching out for love..." not sure how that fitted in.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook ~ March 23

FOR TODAY Tuesday...

Outside my window... lots of cars

I am thinking... I suppose thinking and hoping should be the bits I fill out first before my mind goes onto the things I am writing lol. I am thinking maybe I shouldn't stress too much about Year 7 homework. My daughter is very social each night, but that is probably fine for her age.

I am thankful for... my middle daughter going off to school happy.

From the kitchen... we may make some sweet potato chips, the sweet potatoes were huge this week. However it takes what seems ages. May make something with polish sausage instead.

I am wearing... green capris, pink t-shirt, it is slightly chilly as 22 or 23oC is a hard temperature for me, but I seem to be coping better with it than usual.

I am creating... I have found some curtains on ebay, lace, the right size for the last three windows that need it in my newer house. I need to work out the widths next, I have a book somewhere with measurements.

I am going... my daughter has her monthly after school activity at church. I am so lucky/blessed she can go there each month, not just at Christmas time, because they do learn about Jesus and have a lot of fun and learn songs.

I am reading... it is hard to say, I have one book to start but maybe the library will bring another one I like better. Anyone read Wild Heather by Catherine Palmer? While writing this it seems it is book 2 in a series. That is disappointing. I have read Catherine's Town Called Hope series and I enjoyed it.

I am still visiting blogs, probably not commenting as much as usual.

I am hoping... we can all get hair cuts organised. My daughter went last night, but the shop was closed. I suppose you have to keep trying these things.

I am hearing... computer noise, ticking clock

Around the house... my daughter and her friend cleaned the bathroom. They put roses, a new burner from what we call the $2 shop but it isn't. Lots of things, but I modified it yesterday a little, which was probably disappointing to her. It was very pretty.

One of my favorite things... I have been enjoying my new sauce, like ketchup made from apples. I ate it on canned braised steak and onion I think on toast yesterday.

A few plans for the rest of the week: taking up the hem on my little girl's school skirt. I hope to make sense of the bills to work out if I can go on a daytrip to see our son. Though he thinks he may be able to see us next time (May). For his 21st present he has asked for money for a BBQ, which is near the end of April. He asked if I could come and meet his girlfriends parents during Easter.

Here is picture thought I am sharing... my Italian cabbage plant that I bought at IGA. I love seeing it out there. The little bulbs coming up at the bottom of the plant are very tall bulbs, so there is not much room!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

On my bedside table:
In between books, I wonder if it happens on Monday more than other days?

On my TV:
Wii games

On the menu for tonight:
Toad in the Hole.

On my To Do list:
Continue my shopping list.

New Recipe I tried last week:
In the past two weeks sometime we tried Spicy Sausage & Bean Hotpot that has chipolatas in it. It was very rich with the Guinness.

In the craft basket:
Not sure.

Looking forward to:
I am enjoying the warm weather again, enjoying the garden freshening up, looking forward to seeing more of it, and more parrots and butterflies.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Try foam in cracks to keep out the mice.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Time to guide change

Favorite photo from last week:
Wild Apples:

Lesson learned the past few days:
Being cosy is good. Read about it here and here.

On my Prayer List:
Bits & pieces here and there.
Edited to add: urgent prayers needed for Sue, who faces a possible sleepless night.

"I have just got home from the hospital. DH has been admitted with some serious health issues. His left lung is filled with fluid and is causing pressure on his heart and right lung. The left kidney has a very large lesion that is possibly cancerous. It would appear that this has metastasised to his lungs. There is also something blocking a vein to the heart.

Tonight the medical staff are slowly draining some of the fluid off, they can only drain a little at a time as it could cause the heart to be startled. Tomorrow he will be transferred to the medical ward, and then he will probably see an oncologist and have some tests to get some answers.

At the moment we are all a little stunned. Please pray for DH – he is very uncomfortable, for each of the girls, R, E, and E, are all a long way away for something like this. H is shattered and I am struggling."

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:

"Even in the wilderness times, the Lord does know our lot, And he alway makes our boundaries fall on pleasant places." ~ from the last page of the novel What Once We Loved by Jane Kirkpatrick.

"The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage." Psalm 16 4-5 which tells me that even in the "wilderness times" of my life, the Lord does know my lot and He will always make my boundries fall on pleasant places. From here.

Psalm 16:5-6 "Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup; You have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance."

This meme is from Sandra's blog.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Back to Basics Challenge

Sowing seed or Planting

We were given some broccoli and cauliflower seedlings. The rain we had last week has worn off, and the soil in the front garden was quite dry. However, they are planted now, and watered, and the dog won't be able to touch them out there. Though he is a good puppy really, but he does still like stalks.

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 sent hubby off to measure three curtains in the newer house. I will look on ebay for some lace.

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

Chilli Apple Sauce continued from here.

On Saturday my husband made the apple sauce we wanted to make last week but we had to wait for the delivery of the fruit because we couldn't find any green chillies in the local supermarket. We buy Thai green chillies. A work friend of my husband's made the sauce as well. She thought the sauce was hot, so I guess it makes a lot of difference which green chillies you use. When we found the recipe in the 80s, it is quite likely there were less chillies on the market.

brevete food mill no. 3. We have always called it a mouli, and then found when making the sauce it had Brevete written on it. We have had it as long as I have known my husband, i.e. he had it before we were married.

How did it turn out? I got a fright when I saw it. I am used to kiwi fruit sauce and it looked pale. It smelt like Ezy Sauce to start with, but that went away. The spices and the fruit haven't blended yet. You get the taste of the apples first, then the spices second. It is unusual because of the cardamon. I feel it would look good on pork like the recipe suggested, as you expect to see apple sauce on pork.

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 caught up with the Bushfire Edition of Mountain Monthly this weekend. I helps me feel like I know a little more about the fire affected community I lived in not too long ago.

Learn a new Skill

On Tuesday my fifteen year old daughter learnt to use an overlocker at school. I thought that was great!

This meme comes from Belinda's blog.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Words & Pictures ~ Cosy

It is Saturday morning. My daughter is sitting right next to the cat on the carpet playing her DS. There were a stack of pancakes earlier on a plate in the kitchen. Our eighteen year old son and his twelve year old sister started out discussing what is on their respective phones and are now watching Austar together on the couch. Hubby is filling a tablespoon with a dark spice to add to his two simmering pots of apples and green chillies and other ingredients for sauce.

What does cosy mean? Check it out here.

This afternoon I pulled out an old Australian Country Collections magazine. They always had some words from Rick Rutherford in the front, and he describes country homes and I suppose their cosiness. On Rick's website if you click on House Tours, you will find the word cosy mentioned in various places. What wonderful photos!

This seems to be a Tuesday meme at Hello! It's Meet Me At Mikes! The link up for this week's post is here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Turning Japanese

What a wonderful time our 18 year old son had at lunchtime. Our son's brother, our eldest, and his girlfriend have been going to a lot of effort to make up a special box for our son's birthday. Finally it arrived, not too late, and I think it was very much worth the wait for him. He had a lovely time.

Some of the items I think are from the new Asian shop in Belconnen called The Hub, which apparently has more lollies/candy than the Gungahlin store. The Hub has been specially made to make everyone feel welcome, and I know I felt very welcome there, in Gungahlin.

Even the box was Japanese. Our son loves Japanese things so much, he would love to learn the language. The box looked wonderful when we opened it, but by the time I got the camera it had been well rummaged through! So many goodies. Lots of things our son hadn't seen before. I love being a parent of older children and watching their thoughtfulness, and also our son's girlfriend who is especially gifted when it comes to making gifts look special.

What I particularly liked about the shop last winter, was the landscaping plants, and the fresh fruit.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Talking of Freezers...

What an interesting post over at Heavenly Homemakers. It shows the inside (by request) of the family freezer. It was very interesting. I thought I'd show you mine.

It is more embarassing than I first thought. No I didn't put away the meat!

Here is my pic. Yes, I suppose I could have tidied it up first. Usually it is reasonably neat. Since then the bread has been delivered and it is full I think. We get 23 loaves. The meat will last until the end of my menu. At the time of the photo we were at day 5 of 14. This shopping week is the first time I can remember that I have bought pork schnitzel. The recipe I chose from the Taste site, I ended up finding in an old magazine. My husband had tidied up the cookbooks and I decided I could make some room for our new cookbooks we got at the op-shop by taking the magazines away.

The place I keep my recipes is a kauri pine dresser.

Why was the cheese in the freezer? We freeze it when we don't want the kids to eat it until we are ready. It was for Cauliflower & Bacon and Macaroni Cheese. The berries are the last thing I had to use up from the Chrisco, Castle and Hamper King deliveries before Christmas.

At the top I have souvlaki bread, and I think pita bread. I think I have polish sausage in there. I am so silly, I seem to hang out for Rookwurst for making Bigos. This time I am using a recipe that says Polish Sausage is OK. I'm sure my original recipe would have been fine all along with Polish Sausage. It is getting harder and harder for me to buy cheap pancetta and prosciutto, and things like that. I think I liked to buy Knackwurst too, but my shop doesn't stock it anymore.

You may notice the freezer thermometer. We try to keep it at -15oC. If it gets up to -10oC hubby defrosts it. We don't know where the locals get their freezers serviced. We have taken ours to our hometown, but I suspect we need a new freezer.

Speaking of stockpiling. I have been reading an interesting book so far (it may get too scarey for me) called Last Light by Terri Blackstock. It starts off where everyone's electronic gadgets stop working. Their cars are the most noticeable at the start. The atms, the phones etc. After the fires in Victoria it seems to fit in, about being prepared. At the moment in the book, the Mum is looking in her freezer to see how much food there is.

Lentil Soup with Knackwurst

1 pound lentils -- rinsed and drained
2 medium onions -- chopped
2 medium carrots -- chopped
1 medium red bell pepper -- chopped
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 small dried red hot chile, crushed
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 10 oz cans beef broth
3 cups water
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 pound knackwurst*
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

*Can use Kielbasa, cut either into 1/2" thick slices. In large crockpot, combine all ingredients EXCEPT tomato sauce, meat and vinegar. Cover and cook at LOW setting until lentils are very tender when mashed with a fork (7 1/2-8 hours. Remove 2 cups of the mixture and whirl in a blender or food processor until pureed. Return to cooker. Increase heat setting to high and add tomato sauce and meat. Cover and heat about 30 minutes more until meat is heated through. Stir in vinegar.

Our variation:

In saucepan Cook Knackwurst and slice into 1 cm slices, continue cooking until well cooked.

In frypan cook carrot and onions, when nearly cooked add garlic

Drain two cans 400 gm Brown lentils

When carrot onions are cooked add to knackwurst, add jar of Five Brothers oven roasted tomato and garlic sauce

Add 3 cups water 4 stock cubes (chicken), 3 or 4 tabs of oven roasted capsicum, 2 teaspoon fresh chopped Rosemary

1 small dried chilli (less seeds), fresh ground pepper, 1 teasp salt and 2 tabs of red wine vinegar

Boil 10 mins

Modified a long time ago from a recipe from Hungry Monsters, the variation turned out a rich chilli like dish. Yum.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Favourite Train

Simply Kind Tuesday

I really enjoy this meme, haven't accepted the challenge to write for it for awhile, which is my loss. Please visit On A Limb with Claudia as she shares a great inspirational song this week in This is the life you have. If you would like to know about Simply Kind Tuesdays go here.

The subject This is the life you have is something coincidently my husband brought up to me a couple of nights ago and we discussed it the next day. He said he wouldn't like to be me or something like that. Then I asked about it later. This morning I was thinking about how I would start describing my whole history to someone. I got to the fundamental basics about three minutes into it and stopped. Luckily I view life as Claudia's song. It starts out like this, but my words would be different.

"In another life
You might have been a genius
In another life
You might have been a star
In another life
Your face might have been perfect
In another life
You’d drive a better car

In another life
All your jokes are funny
In another life
Your heart is free from fear
In another life
You make a lot of money
In this other life
Everything is clear"

Anyway you get the idea. It ends with:

"In your real life
Treat it like it’s special
In your real life
Try to be more kind"

Relating to the first part of the song, I like to think of all the things that I was blessed with instead.

I was just thinking the other day about where we have lived. Our first house we had for 16 years. In that time it was close to my husband's work, he could ride his motorbike, the step-children could walk. We needed the doctors more then and everything was handy.

Our second house, lots happened with employment, but my husband could still ride his bike to work to save money on petrol. Can't remember if that is why he did it, but it was very handy. I'm forgetting the details of what exactly I thought. But that house was still close to the other factory he worked in too before that. He was able to quickly drive home for lunch. No twists or turns, just very easy and quick, all of them were about two or three turns. Well five at the most.

Then the farmhouse we rented. Right by the school for the kids. Sometimes they got off the bus and walked home, the older ones. In Flowerdale. My gatepost is now singed. A pretty tree gone, but mostly what I enjoyed still there in that particular part. The gatepost worried me anyway, I thought a snake could like in a crack. I didn't bother locking the gate, probably for that reason.

Then here, so close to everything. You can't plan everything to work out that well, but it has.

I have been reading a paperback novel. It was bought by an unknown person and left in a thrift store or op-shop in California. My friend bought it and gave it to me for Christmas. It is full of nice thoughts, some harsh parts of life, it is an historical novel.
"That's what living is. Friendships, marriages, partnering, becoming a mama or a papa. those kinships expand us like a yeast cake, and they drain as a dance. But it's where meaning lives."
~ What Once We Loved by Jane Kirkpatrick. The book is part three, very hard to follow from book three but not once you get into it. Based on an actual 1852 Oregon Trail incident, "All Together in One Place, Book One in the Kinship and Courage series, speaks to the strength in every woman and celebrates the promise of hopethat unfailingly blooms amidst tragedy and challenge." ~ Barnes & Noble.

Do you ever think about the sunspots you could have avoided or things like that? I guess that is very minor, and that is the point I suppose.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What if being a mum is enough?

Pomegranates in a Terracotta Bowl by David Loftus

This morning I read two things, a post called What if being a momma is enough? at She Looketh Well, and Women's Liberation Through Housework by Rena Corey at a newspaper site posted by a friend. Here is what Michelle wrote (in part):

"I have often heard it said "I am looking forward to the day when I can really minister or follow my dreams" or "this ‘mothering’ is just for a season..."

It is one thing to be willing to lay down all your hopes and desires for being a mama, believing that the Lord will bring them about someday. It is quite another, I am finding, to fully embrace being a mama.

Laying down your little box of desires to hopefully pick them up again certainly is a worthy and admirable thing, and definitely a great step. But what about not just packing them away in a pretty little box, pining away for what could have been and might yet be?

What if you actually totally let them go and completely and fully embrace your calling of being a mama?"

Having looked around the blogsphere today there are plenty that have the box things still unpacked, which I notice. Possibly they in their circumstances don't need to do it, not sure. Myself my box is packed. Has been for awhile. Though I have some time, I don't have the energy. I am not going back to scrapbooking in the foreseeable future. I have given these things a lot of thought lately.

I must second Michelle's thoughts:

Don't let this discourage you or condemn you. We are all somewhere on this spectrum, and wherever we are is by God's perfect will. Rest in that and know He will bring you to that place where you find complete fulfillment, complete joy, and peace in His perfect will for your life.

I did entertain thoughts of maybe going out to dinner, hence the purchase of the new to us house. But I think I am over that now. If I do shift there, I wonder if I will keep this attitude or is it the lack of money talking?

I actually wanted to stay having babies and having my box put away. My husband is a lot older and does a lot of the work, and he was concerned at this remote location how I could look after the older teens at uni for example. I worried about blood loss and the delivery hospital being 1 1/2 hours away. So, my youngest being now 7, this box is an issue. However, my energy wouldn't sustain extra activities just now. I was taking a year to work things out in my mind when she started school two years ago. Then midyear we bought the house. My husband works on it any spare moment. I pay two lots of bills, think about two gardens. So an ongoing thought process.

And the other article:

"Myself, I am not a Martha fan. I could never hope to replicate the perfection of her housescapes -- not with six kids and a pack-rat husband. Towels never will stay draped elegantly on the towel rings; more often they're pulled off by toddler hands and left on the floor in a soggy heap. Wicker baskets scattered around the kitchen aren't content to hold only a few polished apples or a still-life arrangement of bananas and grapes. No, they attract all manner of household detritus, until they overflow with old mail, unsigned school papers and the latest pizza coupons (what does Martha do with her pizza coupons, anyway?)." From: Women's Liberation Through Housework by Rena Corey

I worry about my fruit bowl a lot. Sometimes I fix it. I do enjoy it fixed for however long it lasts. My fruit bowl is a Depression Era glass bowl. It reminds me on one my Nana had but in a different colour, and I found it at an op-shop. I did have a fruit bowl of my own, a present. Rustic like the one pictured. It was broken quite a few years ago.

My lost point I think is that what happens after you ..."actually totally let them go and completely and fully embrace your calling of being a mama?" then found yourself a bit lost afterward, years afterwards. What is the natural conclusion? I don't actually want to get the box out, but is it somehow expected? Does that only mean that I have to clean more? What else does it mean? I know what I used to be like. Do I have to go back to that, or modify it somehow? Remember I have parented three extra kids as well for some years. What about the fact that I am older with still fairly young children? I should be looking past my Mum's generation of Mums who had all their children before 30 and look for role models back further.

Maybe I am fine how I am, more relaxed about things. Maybe that is a positive thing. I think working out where we are to live, as I have mentioned before is the first thing, and the other stuff will follow. On that subject we have a few weeks of renovating left. The weather fading quickly. Other renovating would be nice, lots of it is painting though. If our house was ready we had interest in someone renting it yesterday.

My conclusion is that encouragement must be a big help. So thanks Michelle and all those other great bloggers out there. I am able to read way more than I was able to before, and that is wonderful.

I like Michelle's comment:

"WooHoo! Amanda, you go girl. Great comment and encouragement. I just wanted to let you know that more than likely when you least expect it the Lord will bring some of your 'hobbies' back into your life. And when He does, it feels like such a treat. There was a time when I made soy candles like crazy and it felt like such a gift from God to be able to do it. Or even this blog, I fully realize that it is a privilege to get to do this with my time and that He could close the door at any moment. So I cherish the extras I get to do."

Why I Live where I Live

This is a response to Caroline's question. I did hope to do something like housework this morning, but it is so cold, I came to the computer to have a cup of tea. These photos are from November 2005. Other photos can be found by clicking on the Australian photos tag at the end of this post. We came here because my husband teaching contract was to run out and this place offered a "permanent" job. Prior to this after his first initial teaching stint of 17 years he was in manufacturing. Very dicey, but at least he got to go to the US and Canada.

These photos were taken while our eldest son was learning to drive.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

On my bedside table:
Nothing again. I have finished the second book in the series by Annette Smith.

On my TV:
I haven't been watching any. The girls watched a movie last night after camp, there was a nice bit I noticed when I walked past. My older kids watched a documentary on art in the afternoon which sounded nice. It sounded like the guy who hosts Grand Design? from the UK.

On the menu for tonight:
Cauliflower & Bacon Macaroni Cheese

On my To Do list:
To pay a very large water bill. I think the price has gone up.

New Recipe I tried last week:
Lentil & Chickpea Soup with Chorizo
It was very nice. I researched lentil soups once and did variations in my Italian Australian Woman's Weekly cookbook, two variations, one was zucchini & curry I think. I am going to write in this variation to the zucchini variation lol.

In the craft basket:
My daughter is starting her dress at school today. My little girl has been doing some bead threading.

Looking forward to:
I find this is a worry. I think I have nothing to look forward to, but don't think about it. I'm sure I could organise something, so maybe I just want to chill.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
If you have a large knob of sandwich meat and feel it is a little uninviting compared to other meats, try it with mint jelly.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Bee-Content Ranch, Laundry Day.

Favorite photo from last week:
My rose we moved to the new house, an Easter daisy and some white flowers that have naturalised themselves that were already there.

Lesson learned the past few days:
Maybe I need to make sure my lamp that we use for blackouts has a good battery in case of bushfire blackouts as well and storm blackouts?

On my Prayer List:
Robert's brother.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
I am afraid I haven't been on a lot of Christian blogs this week to have a good read, and nothing has popped up in any of my reading, and nothing has come to mind, although I suspect I just didn't take note of it.

This meme is from Sandra's blog.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ezy Sauce Substitute

I have been asked if Ezy Sauce is available in the US. It doesn't look like it is, but if anyone knows please comment.

I remembered that there was a Ezy Sauce Substitute in a book I have, so here it is.


15g/ 1/2oz mace
15g/ 1/2oz cloves
15g/ 1/2oz allspice
7g/ 1/4oz chillies
15g/ 1/2oz pepper
30g/1oz ginger

Mix all ingredients together and you have easy sauce.

From Outback Cooking in the Camp Oven by Jack & Reg Absalom

Ezy Sauce is a liquid so maybe you have to add some extra vinegar?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Barry Gibb & Olivia Newton-John

I found these videos after watching the concert for the fire victims on TV tonight.

Back to Basics Challenge

Sowing seed or Planting

I bought a carvolo nero from IGA on Thursday. It looks really good in the rose garden. I am hoping one plant is enough as they are around $4.50 each. They are called Pot Vegies or something like that.

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 am anticipating the recipes that called for carvolo nero that we ate last year with a substitute and what they will taste like if my plant does well. Surely we will get at least one meal out of it.

I bought the ingredients to make apple sauce that you use at the table. My husband has enough small bottles saved to put it in. You have to have small bottles to exhibit in the local Show. I am unsure if they have a section for it, and plan to look it up.

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 ordered a battery for a secondhand phone online. If it works out it is a phone with bluetooth, that my daughter wants rather than the phone she bought at Target fairly recently.

My husband tied up the loganberries/boysenberries? I had the idea all along to use the carport as I knew we wouldn't have the time for something more substantial. They were planted in spring 2007 and I specifically selected that spot. The string was recyled I think from straw bales.

On the way home we taste tested some wild apples for future reference. I also got out the themal shopping bag I keep in the door of my car and my husband picked a kilo or two apples because he thought we could use them. Right next to that tree was a beautiful plum. We all had a taste. The trees looked like what I imagine Laura Ingalls plums along Plum Creek to look like, though I am probably very wrong lol.

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

Well I read the local paper. I find it hard sometimes, but I do learn what is going on. When I first moved here I had the opportunity to join Red Cross. I found that some local ladies were involved in the bushfire registration process. They spoke about their experience in the paper.

I was asked by the library to archive part of my blog, and I gave permission for that.

Learn a new Skill

I revised my sewing skills ever so slightly again this week. My daughter and I went to the shop, the Emporium, and got two types of material, some cotton, zip and a pattern New Look 6644. She is learning sewing at school. I took particular notice of the sewing machine the lady at the shop uses and how it is similar to my vintage machine. I looked at the sewing goods on the wall, especially the quilting things.

This meme comes from Belinda's blog.

Simple Womans Daybook

FOR TODAY Saturday...

Outside my window... wet earth

I am thinking... the Women's Weekly still leaves me cold sometimes

I am thankful for... my son going off to camp

From the kitchen... bought rocket pesto

I am wearing... clothes for the hot weather

I am creating... trying to be creative in what to order, buy and pay

I am going... to ballet with my daughter and picking her up

I am reading... just finished another book in the series by Annette Smith A New Day at Tanglewood

I am hoping... the library has another book for me soon

I am hearing... the TV, kids shows

Around the house... washing drying

One of my favorite things... raspberries

A few plans for the rest of the week: lots of dancing classes, and balancing books, maybe some parcels in the mail

Here is picture thought I am sharing... my sunflowers.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fowlers Vacola ~ Bottling Apples

Bottled Apples for Puddings Pies and Stewed Fruit are most handy. They can also be served with cream or custard for dessert as you would Peaches or Pears, and are delicious. Any variety of Apple may be bottled satisfactorily, either in Water or Syrup, preferably Water, as they can be sweetened when used. Many bottle this Fruit in Water for Pies and Puddings. When bottling Apples in any form, do not add Cloves, as these tend to cause discolouration of the Apples.

Drop the sliced Apples into a solution of 1 dessertspoon of Salt to 4 pints of Water, until ready to fill the Bottles. This solution prevents the Apples from discolouring, but just before finally packing the Fruit into the Bottles, rinse in Water to remove any "salty" taste which the solution may have imparted to the Fruit.

We recommend blanching the slices before bottling. This can be done quite easily by using the Wire Blanching Basket and Boiler illustration on page 138. The Apple slices should be immersed in boiling Water (keep Water boiling) for 2 minutes, then packed in the Bottles. If this is done, more slices can be packed in each Bottle and the slices do not take up so much of the Water or Syrup during sterilisation, as do slices of raw Apple

Place Rings on Bottles. Peel, core and slice the Apples into the solution mentioned on page 37 to prevent discolouration. Rinse. Blanch, as per instruction given above. Pack slices in Bottles. Fill Bottles with Water or Medium Syrup. Place Covers and Clips on bottles.

Bring to 200 degrees, allow to fall to 170 degrees, and hold at 170 degrees until 2 1/2 hours have elapsed since the Therometer first registered 200 degrees.

Fowlers method of bottling fruits and vegetables 27th revised edition.

Our latest preserving/canning project

My husband is very lucky in that sometimes he is given fruit and vegetables. This time he was offered some apples. He said to me he wanted to make apple sauce. It turns out he means apple sauce like tomato sauce or kiwi fruit sauce, the stuff you put on things at the table.

This sauce is from an Ezy Sauce book from the 80s I think. It seems like it can be used for Asian things perhaps. It says pork, lamb, continental frankfurts or sausages.

I have the ingredients I think, then we will go from there. Possibly on Sunday. Though some don't get here until the fruit delivery comes.

Chilli Apple Sauce

2kg green cooking apples
1kg onions, peeled
6 green chillies
3 cups water
100g (about 8 cloves) garlic
12 whole green cardamon pods
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 bottle Ezy Sauce
1 1/2 cups sugar

Core and roughly chop apples and onion. De-seed and chop chillies, place in a large saucepan, with apples, onions, water, garlic, spices, Ezy Sauce and sugar. Stir until boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to pan base. Cool slightly, push through a sieve then retrun to rinsed out pan. Bring back to the boil then fill, using a small funnel or jug, into hot serilised bottles and seal. Makes 3 litres.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I had a chance to read some of the entries for this lovely meme a couple of weeks ago. For some reason being grateful seems to get more typed about it than being thankful. Do you think it is the word? Maybe it is just a coincidence. Do you feel it is easier yourself to be grateful than thankful?

I have not been very organised for my thankful posts but wanted at least to mention this week something we saw while outside in the garden. I assume my little girl wanted me to come out the front one night. My middle daughter pointed out some bats flying over the house. I haven't seen any since we saw some at the creek a couple of years ago flying over the water. I love people being observant.

I have had a very busy evening. But thankfully some nice things have happened too. Hopefully one blessing will pan out for my son in the next few days.

Today also during another difficult time, my husband rang to ask how it was going. He just thought to ring me today.

We had a little rain. I am sure it all helps. I noticed some street trees, well two that look like they are going to die. Hopefully it shoots again enough only to have some dead branches.

My pantry challenge is officially over. I had a meatball soup that wasn't going to turn out, the recipe and the idea, and we were able to change it to minestrone, by altering some of the ingredients, and we all enjoyed it.

If you haven't been to Heavenly Homemakers before, do yourself a favour and pop in for a visit.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ March 9

On my bedside table:
I just finished a book. Apparently the library have some more coming.

On my TV:
I haven't been watching TV. I caught a little of River Cottage Treatment about learning to homecook. They made Chicken Kiev.

On the menu for tonight:
Fish, chips & Salad.

On my To Do list:
Ordering fruit and vegetables, paying bills.

New Recipe I tried last week:
Curried Sausages & Pumpkin

In the craft basket:
My daughter is writing a letter to her sister's friend.

Looking forward to:
Having our new to us house livable.

Homemaking Tip for this week: pictured is frozen Yorkshire puddings that I got in a Christmas hamper club that had to be used up. Our middle daughter found on the packet that you can have cream and berries with them, which we also got in the hamper. She bought the cream and icecream this afternoon and made us all a treat! The puddings actually are made in Yorkshire.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Thanks to Cultivating Home, I found something I want to share with you that I enjoyed. It is about Depression Era recipes. Possibly I found it at Simply Heart and Home first.
Spring Bedroom Makeover

Favorite photo from last week:

Lesson learned the past few days:
Well, I hope this counts, I have found there are lots of online shops that sell pond plants in Australia. The key word is water celery.

On my Prayer List:
Little prayers here and there.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Ones I come across on other Christian blogs including this one:
"They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." - Isaiah 40:31

This meme is from Sandra's blog.