Sunday, May 31, 2009

Back to Basics Challenge

Sowing seed or Planting


Thinking up some plants to buy for a sundial garden. I can use the lavenders we have in pots, a miniature rose that we already have. Will check ebay for tubes. I have a plant list from an old issue of Our House magazine.

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


My husband weeded a garden so it could take the leaves we had already raked up.

We took advantage of the lower interest rates on our mortgage to make money available to drive to our new house more often or save for university, books and deposits for accommodation.

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


My husband put the leaves that were already raked up onto the weeded garden.

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


We decluttered the built in wardrobe and got four shopping bags full of things to take to the op-shop.

Learn a new Skill


My husband helped my son learnt how to make buttonholes on the machine. It was a bit harder with the fur fabric.

This meme comes from Belinda's blog.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thankful Thursday


Hosted this month at Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

I am thankful this week for:

~ a continuing supply of firewood to heat our homes

~ that our cat's eye was treatable, and that he hasn't had any setbacks after his surgery

~ that my daughter's sewing that she does at school is going OK, she is making a dress

~ our dog got away, but he was not lost and we didn't have to search for him

~ Major Mitchell cockatoos visiting our other neighbours' tree

~ the sound of corellas from my bedroom window, they visit the other neighbours tree lol

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday


On my bedside table:
In between books, may read the 1st novel from the Return to Red River series.

On my TV:
Selling Houses Australia, River Cottage Autumn

On the menu for tonight:
This is written on Saturday, we are having bolognaise

On my To Do list:
Find more things for my menu. Perhaps buy some meat.

New Recipe I tried last week:
Barley & Red Lentil Pilaf

In the craft basket:
My son's costume for a school event. He is making it not me, see this post.

Looking forward to:
My husband says I am looking forward to peace & quiet lol.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Bread bag garbage bag in the kitchen. Putting the other rubbish in a finished bread bag.

Favorite Blog Post of the last three weeks! (mine or other):
I found the link on Joyce's blog, Mom's Musings
Balance? What Balance?

Favorite photo from the last two weeks:
I thought this was a thoughtful thing to do for the parrots, my middle daughter made it



Lesson learned the past few days:
look more carefully when you are buying used furniture

On my Prayer List:
I have been praying, can't remember exact details

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
I have been reading a novel that relates to Genesis and other parts of the bible. Not sure I liked it altogether but it was The Novelist. Perhaps a little modern thinking mixed with Christian thinking? Not sure.

This meme is from Sandra's blog.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook


FOR TODAY Saturday...

Outside my window... it is now dark

I am thinking... about why the dog is barking. We haven't had him loose in the yard at this house in the night before

I am thankful for... travel mercies and my new shoes

From the kitchen... I have a bottle of some milkshake flavouring I found in Safeway, I chose vanilla

I am wearing... old jeans, windcheater, red, and blue t-shirt and my new shoes!

I am creating... a menu plan, I have some meals planned but not enough

I am going... to my other house to sleep, it should be an interesting drive

I am reading... I have just finished a novel

I am hoping... I get a clear focus on our priorities

I am hearing... my son's music

Around the house... drying wheat (I think) we got out of the garden

One of my favorite things... though I deny it, I must like Australian Rules Football, I watched my daughter's girls team, they went to play at the regional centre. I happened to be in the same place at the same time and she asked me to come over to pick her up

A few plans for the rest of the week: the girls have an event on, maybe it will be similar to last week

Here is picture thought I am sharing... this was taken last weekend. Can you see the snow?



Please visit Peggy's blog to join in the fun.

Back to Basics Challenge


Sowing seed or Planting


Nothing that I can remember.

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


We emailed back to one university about accommodation for next year for our son. It is the second one we have organised. My daughter brought home brochures of another uni. it sounded good, but so far the other two sound better I think. We have five possible courses that are nice with the two unis. It is cheaper to stay in the uni accommodation from what I understand.

I bought some costumes for upcoming events while I had the opportunity to go to Spotlight, which is 1 1/2 hours from our place. Also a pinata as it is a yearly event at our house in the middle of June.

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 finished the curtain curtain and hung it in the toilet room of the new house. Last week I mentioned it was made from a damaged curtain in our current house. My husband cut the loops in part of the pattern so the edge is scalloped and finished.

We have three light fittings that I bought on ebay some time ago fitted in the computer/sewing/music room of our new house and the front entrance.

My husband took the opportunity since he was going to the dentist in our hometown to take our other dishwasher to our hometown appliance/white goods servicer. He then brought it home again and it will be reinstalled into our home and the other one back at our new house where it came from.

While going to our hometown he took back to the regional centre on the way past a phone that nearly caught fire. We didn't want to have to pay for the rental of it when we are not using it. These days in isolated areas like ours you can't use the normal post office for things like that you have to go to a larger post office. The phone was less than two years old.

My husband and son picked up a cupboard that I had on layby for our new house to go with the existing pine cupboards. It was damaged in transit, but will be OK with a bit of work. It wasn't really anyone's fault and it has lovely lace work on the shelving.



I went to the regional centre myself and got some more shoes before my foot slipped off the pedal in the car and I caused an accident. I find Athlete's Foot good.

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 took my pusher now that my youngest is seven, to the op-shop.

Learn a new Skill


I tried using my reading glasses in the supermarket. It didn't work. My husband suggested maybe I need to bend the ends in to stop the glasses coming off when I bend to the lower shelves. Any suggestions?

I watched some more of River Cottage Autumn on TV and learnt a lot. There were details about goats cheese and other things. Found Shannon Lush's cleaning tips in an old House & Garden magazine. Links to these shows on last week's post here.

My son is really good at making tails and hands and sewing them. It is part of a Leafeon costume. I don't think he has that much experience, I meant to ask my husband if he had to teach him again how to use the machine. He had some textiles lessons at school, I think in Year 7. He is now 18.



This meme comes from Belinda's blog.

Aussie Teenage Song

I found the answers came to my mind pretty fast.



Have you heard it before? Thursday was the first day. My daughter said it had been on my desktop for awhile. Doh!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Back To Basics Challenge


Sowing seed or Planting


Nothing that I can think of.

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


We marked out our vegetable patch. I already knew where I wanted it, my husband couldn't remember so he put in stakes so he can see if I happen not to be here when he wants to dig it. However on seeing it, I am not so sure about the position now.

I have been watching Lush House on TV. It is a great show to learn about natural cleaners and organising.

The stores here are getting less and less canned beans in. These are the beans I mentioned on my other blog and post. They are Singing Bird Brand from Angkor What Asian Groceries. I'm sorry there are a lot of food miles there. Does anyone know of any local ones? Australia is not big on Black Turtle Beans, though you can buy dried from Kwikshop. My son also bought me borlotti beans, soy(a) beans and canned lentils, by shopping in Coles and Safeway/Woolworths.

I loved seeing borlotti beans growing on the TV series River Cottage Autumn. I thought they were not very versatile, but that was not the case. It was very inspiring. Here is the recipe he used his fresh beans for.




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


On Saturday we executed our plan that I worked out with swapping around curtains that I mentioned last week. I won the ones on ebay. There were two one slightly wider. My husband cut the wider one and hemmed it. We brought them to the new house and he put up wire and hung them. This all started when I found a curtain that was once in the new house. I measured my son's window as he accidently damaged a curtain during the hot summer months taking his little cooler in and out of the window. It used to sit in the window.

My husband cut the damaged part out of the recycled curtain from the new house and hemmed and hung that curtain. Now we have measured the toilet window at the new house and hopefully he will get a chance to sew it and hang it new week. It will be the damaged curtain from my son's room, cut, and sewn. It already has been washed.

I washed my new doona cover for the new house, I thought my linen looked shabby in the new setting. I put it on the bed on Saturday.

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


The girls did a job, they took all the picture books etc. from a bookshelf and put what they didn't want into a very large fruit box and another box. My older daughter put some back, my husband put some back, I may have put one or two back lol. However we did take a large amount to the op-shop Saturday morning and the shelves are dusted and looking much better.

Learn a new Skill


My daughter learnt about handling fresh dates. She says she knows now why it is called Sticky Date pudding, because it is sticky! She learnt this during her work experience week.

This meme comes from Belinda's blog.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook ~ May 18


FOR TODAY Saturday...

Outside my window... not as much as we have just hung some lace curtains and the sun is hitting them

I am thinking... I haven't much time left here today

I am thankful for... the Major Mitchell Cockatoos that visited, even though I didn't see them

From the kitchen... whatever we can make with what ingredients we have left, probably mince steak

I am wearing... pale jeans, white undershirt and red windcheater

I am creating... ideas for meals, this blog post

I am going... the vet's next week, he hurt his cornea and his condition could change for the worse, so we are staying reasonably close to home, he had surgery and lots of medication

I am reading... Laura Ingalls Wilder Pioneer Girl by Megan Stine

I am hoping... the cat stays well

I am hearing... my son singing, the TV

Around the house... my new doona cover is washed and on the bed, not sure the colour is right but I'd say I'll get used to it

One of my favorite things... Feverfew, Rose Leaf Sage

A few plans for the rest of the week: maybe our dishwasher will get fixed, one of two, my husband will have his crown done, bills will get paid, as for me, I guess I will be food shopping

Here is picture thought I am sharing... not a very good photo, the moon itself was very nice. That is what we saw last time we left our new house to go home



Please visit Peggy's blog. You will find lots of people also have visited there.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thankful Thursday ~ May 14


Thankful Thursday hosted last month at Women Taking a Stand post here last week. This week it is at Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

~ my son has taken an interest in playing the piano again and he is enjoying it

~ my daughter really well in a cross country race, and I am learning more what she likes, i.e. sport

~ we got the very things we needed for our new house, an ash bucket, a wood wheelbarrow and some guttering, all free with a little elbow grease

~ the kookaburra who came to visit while my husband was weeding the garden and watched him, and the lovely stick insect climbing the tree while I was sitting in the garden

~ a lovely baby wombat by the side of the road

Monday, May 11, 2009

My favourite kind of country music

is like this one, which shows some people, what we call in Australia Old Time Dancing?



I noticed some music at CMC Rocks the Snowys has the dance element to it. Are Old Time Dances still alive or a thing of the past? I love hearing the dance music in my car.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

13 Kids & Wanting More

Have you seen this program on TV? It is on the Lifestyle Channel in Australia click here for details. It has been aired, but I am watching it again tonight, and possibly tomorrow at lunchtime if I remember.

I could relate to how the Mum's feel, or rather two of the Mum's. Here is another website for details. I wasn't sure if you could watch it with your children, but it was good.

There are a lot of discussions about this show on the internet.

Here is an unrelated article, a lovely one about a similarly sized family.

I liked the bit at the end, because after my fifth, and some trouble explaining my actions at the hospital came to the same conclusion rightly or wrongly. However, I didn't have any more.

"My analogy would be that you see these people, these doctors maybe in their 60s, and they say, 'I don't want to retire because I'm a really good surgeon and I like doing it,' and nobody ever says anything about that. People have loads of cars and they buy really big houses and they can't even fill the rooms, and people think, good on them. Well, we just really enjoy having kids, and while we're healthy and can give them a good life I don't see anything wrong with it.

"We've had people say, 'Don't you think it's selfish to have that many kids?' But, to be honest, for 21 years we've been running around after kids, so I don't feel we've been selfish. I feel like we've put the work in. We're just ordinary people - we just like kids."

Back to Basics Challenge


Sowing seed or Planting


Bulbs, two large bags jonquils, two bags of different coloured alliums, miniature daffodils, Tete a Tete, freesias and hyacinths.

Harvested another large jam melon.

Putting my newly out of storage jars to good use

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


We took our weeds to the tip and were rewarded with two old builder's barrows which my husband plans to make into one. Also an ash bucket that needs a handle making for it. We stayed in our new house during the week. I found I didn't like carrying the wood all the way from the woodshed over undulations, so the builders barrow will be to store wood under the back verandah for the day. We also emptied ash into a aluminium baking tray that used to be in the cage, now we have a proper handmade ash bucket.



My husband also saw some guttering. It is very hard to buy basic downpipes and have them delivered unless we first go to another town and have them deliver, with my husband working this is hard for him. We borrowed a cage trailer and popped the guttering in that. We found that too much water comes off part of the roof, and because it misses our new drain we think some is going under the house. So we were desperate for guttering and not prepared to spend money and effort on buying retail in the next few months, though we knew we would have to some way or other. I was very happy with the color.

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 got the measurements for two of the three remaining windows that desperately need lace curtains, well, moderately desperately, in the new house. Bid for some on ebay.

Mulching and weeding.

Putting a heavy piece of steel over the broken lid of the septic tank in the backyard.


Mulching and weeding around the mullein


A tired Balm of Gilead flower

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

Learn a new Skill


Been handwashing dishes at our new house, doesn't hurt to keep those skills, amazing how you forget how to mix water that comes from two seperate taps, as does the bath water there. One day I went to wash them and there was absolutely no hot water, so working out what is the cause, long showers, or not enough capacity or wrong heating time.

This meme comes from Belinda's blog.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook ~ May 11


FOR TODAY Saturday...

Outside my window... yellow silver birch leaves waving in the breeze

I am thinking... it is very noisy in here, Pokemon on keyboard over talking and the Geelong game on the radio or on the computer

I am thankful for... the corellas visiting again, on a tree that has turned colour since the photograph I took, I tried taking another photo twice, but they flew away, my son had better luck with his nice camera. They have been circling the town and making sounds, and I like hearing that too, once I just watched them

From the kitchen... I have that job to do next, very complicated, I have to take the meat home in the Eski

I am wearing... my good jeans, that now have two holes in them, red windcheater

I am creating... my menu plan, I get stuck often on pork sausages

I am going... nowhere I am glad to say, it was quite hectic and energetic last week

I am reading... Anne of Green Gables, I am enjoying it very much, after fairly recently watching the videos on Youtube, link on this post

I am hoping... we continue to make sense of what we want to do with our two houses and how we want to live

I am hearing... talking and the game now

Around the house... my new clothes basket trolley

One of my favorite things... I can't think of anything right now

A few plans for the rest of the week: saying goodbye to our son who is here for a visit

Here is picture thought I am sharing...



See Peggy's blog and join in the fun.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Skywatch Friday ~ May 8






Canberra, Sydney or Brisbane?




I knew I hadn't finished this post off properly, but never dreamed that I did two entries for this week! Maybe it was the excitement of the first snow for the season.

Skywatch Friday ~ May 8


These photos were taken last Saturday.



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Do you know any Stephen's?

I'm sure you all do. How many have heard Taylor Swift's Hey Stephen? I only heard it the first time a couple of days ago.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday


On my bedside table:
Anne Of Green Gables

On my TV:
Lush House, Selling Houses Australia, River Cottage Autumn, Mary Queen of Shops, Wa$ted

On the menu for tonight:
We had pies and mashed potato

On my To Do list:
To fix the big boo boo I did today, which was to forget the extra milk and margarine or butter, breakfast will be a challenge, but I think we'll manage

New Recipe I tried last week:
Pork Cassoulet, it was really nice

In the craft basket:
Curtains, though I won't attempt them myself

Looking forward to:
Ordering my fruit and bread and having it delivered

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Eucalyptus washing powder, however I can't exactly remember the reasons why I use it!

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Back to Basics at the Little Sparrow Shop
Frugal Comfort Food
Random Photos of Australia

Favorite photo from last week:


These are in my newer garden.

Lesson learned the past few days:
Even if my computer is not with me except for on the weekend for a day, I still do the same things, maybe think which is what is needed, and what I wanted to do. I occasionally come up with what could be bright ideas.

On my Prayer List:
I don't remember again.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Nothing came up.

This meme is from Sandra's blog.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sorry I can't visit right now


I have limited access to my computer. I have been trying to get around the blogs, and I have, but maybe haven't always commented.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Spring Reading Thing 2009


Yes, I am anxious to sign up for a new reading challenge, after completing the Christian Reader's Challenge on the 30th April.

I will be able to put all the books that I haven't read in one place so when I want to reserve a book at the library I will have a handy reference.

Please visit Callapidder Days to check it out, first post here.

The challenge goes from March 20, through June 20.

A Touch of Grace, Lauraine Snelling
Sophie's Dilema, Lauraine Snelling
The Parting, Beverly Lewis
The Forbidden, Beverly Lewis
October Song, Beverly Lewis
Anne of Green Gables
Believing The Dream, Lauraine Snelling
More Than A Dream, Lauraine Snelling
A Dream To Follow, Lauraine Snelling
The Novelist, Angela Hunt
The Pattern of Her Heart, Tracie Peterson
A Love Woven True, Tracie Peterson
The Jewel of Gresham Green, Lawana Blackwell
Remedy for Regret Susan Meissner
Sweet Violet, Catherine Palmer

15 novels/7 weeks. I don't think I will get them all finished, so that is good because I won't run out of reading material for our winter, which starts on the 1st of June.

Back to Basics Challenge



Sowing seed or Planting


It has been very cold.

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 asked my husband to get the Agee jars out of the shed. Not sure if there are more, there probably are, these are kilner jars. They are to keep open bags of food safe from mice, if more are able to get in to the new house.


I had a brainwave to use the cabinet drier again. The freezer has been removed from this spot to go to the new house, and we will be able to use it as well as drying clothes in front of the fire and on the over-door rack. I think it uses less electricity than tumble driers. I haven't used it for years, I used it for nappies or cotton underwear, sometimes towels I think. It doesn't ruin the clothes as much as a tumble drier, if at all.

I decided to only bring spices from home for the new house if they are duplicates. For example Italian Spice or whatever it is called, is fine to bring as we have oregano etc. at home already and usually use that.

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


Our louvre windows in the laundry are drafty, the wind coming from down the street. My husband has a fix. It is covered by curtains, terylene, so hopefully not too ugly. We have got rid of lots of draughts, eventually it will be quite cosy, the louvres possibly the only sticking point.


We decided to make a second dog kennel for our usual house. I was telling my husband that last time we managed two houses we had two kennels. He said he had the materials left from the builder's jobs of recladding some of the house after the asbestos people removed some asbestos cladding, some pine lining boards the builder used for the original back porch ceiling. Also this wood that held the lattice onto the verandah. As you can see those materials are just sitting there, the lining boards getting weathered. About time they went into the shed?




A free dog kennel as far as I know. Last time we made one big enough for two dogs, many years ago it still cost over $200 from memory even using recycled materials like an old wooden ironing board.

My husband and son went wood collecting again. We also picked up some more free straw.

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 was asked to take some children to a church activity. Even though I wasn't needed in the end, I did meet someone I wouldn't normally see, though I probably would if I looked harder.

Learn a new Skill


Our eldest daughter lit the fire herself on Saturday and kept it going, without firelighters.

This meme comes from Belinda's blog.

Simple Woman's Daybook ~ May 4


FOR TODAY Saturday...

Outside my window... a very pretty day

I am thinking... I should go outside, the days are quite short

I am thankful for... the mouse being caught in our new house

From the kitchen... we are doing the same as last week, sleeping over at the new house making spaghetti bolognaise

I am wearing... light blue jeans, red windcheater, and black jacket

I am creating... a food shopping list

I am going... food shopping

I am reading... I have just finished Gilbert Morris' The Honorable Imposter. I put it off, but it is a great read about The Mayflower

I am hoping... no more mice can get in. We blocked up some holes after that one got in.

I am hearing... my daughter playing the keyboard

Around the house... my eldest daughter

One of my favorite things... the hot chocolate she made for me

A few plans for the rest of the week: if it is pretty like this tomorrow, some gardening would be nice

Here is picture thought I am sharing... a recent photo



Please visit Peggy for more Simple Woman's Daybook.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Skywatch Friday ~ May 1

Look what greeted my husband and the kids on their way to school on Monday or Tuesday of last week.



They are Corellas, well we have only seen them twice so that is what we think they are. I think the only other time we saw them was a couple of years ago in the same tree.



Later on that day I asked why the gumballs or green Liquid Ambar seed balls were lying under the tree. The corellas had dropped them.

Skywatch home.