Catching up on our news

Thank you all so much for the love sent in the last post.  It's quite humbling to read it.  😊  I am going to devote some time to getting back to my core topics.  They won't come thick and fast like in the past but they will be here. I hope to have a money post up soon.

 ❤️


Tricia flew back to Sydney yesterday after a lovely holiday with us. We reminisced, drank tea, hand stitched, knitted, ate cake, laughed at Gracie and generally had a wonderful time together. When we were little, we were like chalk and cheese but now in our twilight years, we are closer than two peas in a pod. We like the same things, enjoy the same food, have similar opinions on many subjects (and a few differences too), and as we grow older, I see myself in Tricia. I guess she sees herself in me too. It's a nice feeling having a sister to be close to. We are the product of our times and our parents, especially our mum, and when I spend time with Tricia and think of my mum, I feel ever grateful to have been born into my family.

A couple of the morning teas while Tricia was here - crackers with Mersey cheese spread, cucumber and tomato and (below) plum cake.  I made a pear and walnut cake too but now I can't find the photos. Of course it was magnificent. ; - )

A lot happened while Tricia was here so I hope you have a few minutes to sit a while and catch up on our news.  The main activity was our electricity pole. Remember back a few months when we had to have it replaced and had a problem with the insurance. Well, they came through afterall with a good payment and we were able to have all the work paid for under the insurance pay out.  Earlier in the week, after a couple of months of preparation, sourcing a pole and having it erected, our electrician and our supply company arrived at 6.30am to connect the new pole, establish supply from the street and remove the old pole. We asked our electrician to leave the old pole here as we wanted it for fire wood.  He offered to cut it up for us so the chainsaw fired up for a while and we were left with a 30 year old hard wood post, all cut up in manageable sizes for our BBQ grill.  More on that later.  It lay on the ground there for a day or two and yesterday afternoon Hanno chopped it into smaller bits and took it all into the shed so it stays dry.

The crew working on the two poles, above. Below, our electrician made short work of the old pole with his chainsaw then Hanno took over and chopped it into smaller pieces to be stored in the shed for our BBQ grill.

Meanwhile, out in the vegetable garden, the bok choy have all been eaten and today I'll weed that area and sow more seed. I've also sown seeds for red sprouting broccoli in seed beds and will plant them on when they're ready. The silver beet (Swiss chard) is ready to harvest, herbs are going wild and many of the tomatoes are flowering. What a wonderful time to be in the garden. I hope your garden is growing well too.

All the bok choy has been harvested from that first space on the left (below). I'll weed that area now and sow more seeds there. 

Something that is not so wonderful though is the fox is back and two days ago, Kathleen, our remaining frizzle was killed. That blasted animal bit off her head and left her little body under the lemon tree. What a senseless death! The chickens are spending most of their time in the coop and only wander out when they know we're in the garden. We've let Gracie out into the larger back garden now so she will leave her scent around and hopefully deter foxes.

This is the knitting I was doing while Tricia was here. I wound two balls of the lovely O Wool Balance (50 percent wool/50 percent cotton) to make a little shrug for my two year old grand daughter. I should be finished with it next week.

I have to catch up with my housework over the coming days. While Tricia was here I did next to nothing except cook and make the bed.  The first thing I'll be doing is to get those bok choy seeds in, I have to repot my large rose which has been pruned and moved, the bush house needs a good clean out and a few plants have to be shifted to their winter spots. It's nothing much, it's fairly light and enjoyable work, but it needs to be done before next week. Inside the house I'll clean the bathrooms, wash the floors and make the guest room bed up again; Tricia vacuumed in there before she left. My only worry is that the doona from the guest bed is airing out on the clothes line and I woke up to the sound of rain. Oh well, as we all know, nothing is perfect.

30 comments

  1. I'm so happy the insurance came through in the end for you.

    Time goes so fast. I can remember you preparing for Tricia's arrival. Sounds like a wonderful time spent together. My brother and I were also like chalk and cheese (still are actually) however we get along so well. I also feel so fortunate to belong to our wonderful family.

    My heart went out to you both for poor little Kathleen. I hope having Gracie spreading her scent deters those foxes.

    Have a great day and I love your new photo.

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  2. Your haircut looks lovely in the photo Rhonda. Yehuda a money post coming! Beautiful flowers in the blue jug. I wish I could knit. It's all like algebra to me. My name always comes up as Jamie but thought I should tell you after all these years that I am actually Ingrid. Don't know how to change it and don't really mind. Now you know lol!

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    1. Hello Ingrid. I don't know how to change a name but it doesn't matter. I know who you are. 🙂

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  3. So sorry to hear about your chicken! Yes, maybe Gracie's scent will help chase that darn fox off.
    The knitting looks beautiful!

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  4. Might it be a phascogale attacking your chooks? Particularly if it is attacking head and throat; or have you actually seen the fox?

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    1. We've seen the fox. We do have possums here but they're ring-tails and they're vegetarian.

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  5. The plum cake looks so tasty! My cousins in the Stuttgart area always made me "Zwetschgenkuchen" which I love so much, we'd eat leftovers for breakfast with a dollop of whipped cream on it. You know Germans and their whipped cream! Zwetschgen are what we call Italian prunes in the U.S., I don't know if you have them in Australia or what you would call them but they only appear here in Seattle briefly in August.

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    1. Hi Lilypad, Hanno loves Zwetschgenkuchen too. We don't have Zwetschgen in Australia so I use either plain old plums or sugar plums.

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  6. Rhonda I like your haircut. I do hope you get your doona dry as it sounds like you are in for a bit of rain...more than us here on the Darling Down though I think. However It is very overcast. How lovely to spend some time with Tricia doing what you both love. My sister has no interest in craft at all. I was looking up your kimchi recipe last night as I am going to have a crack at making it soon. Great tutorial. Have a lovely day and enjoy the rain.

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  7. Oh poor wee chicken! Hopefully Gracie can warn it off. The garden here is still waiting to get planted out (bought the seedlings and it has rained non-stop since!) but your post has reminded me that we must get onto it. I've finished my daughter's knitted cardigan (grateful that my Mum was visiting and she sewed it up for me!) - now onto my husband's jumper. What a big undertaking that is! I feel I'll be putting an hour into that every night for a looooong time ;)

    Much love,
    Ayesha

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  8. Wooooooo, I'm exhausted reading your agenda LOL. we just had our normal Wednesday sleep over with our granddaughter while her parents work. Mum has just picked her up. After negotiating breakfast, getting dressed, bathroom duties plus a biscuit or 2 for the car ride home, I am now back in bed, sitting only, and catching up on the other important things in life - news and , of course, your blog, and a coffee. My kelpie boy, Axel, is keeping me company.

    Your new photo is lovely. Your garden looks so lush but damn that fox. Enjoy barbecuing.

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  9. Sounds like lots of activity and enjoyable work. I am sorry about Kathleen!

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  10. Your hair cut does look good, a very nice photo of you.
    Your knitting looks good and I do like the colour.

    All the best Jan

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  11. Hello Rhonda. I do enjoy reading about your daily life.

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  12. A lovely wonderful time spent with your gorgeous sister. Thanks for letting us in on your visit. Your haircut is just lovely and truly suits you. That fox is living a very silly and short life if it is helping itself to backyard animals.

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  13. How lovely to have a soulmate, Rhonda! And the luxury of spending time together. I agree with Jane, you do have a lovely haircut which really suits you.
    Enjoy the garden! Enjoy the rhythm of your knitting needles!

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  14. Hi Rhonda, love the new 'Do'. Just a quick note about your old power pole. CCA started being used to treat timber about 30years ago for power poles, sleepers etc. and burns with a toxic smoke. (Just in case!). Love your blog, Leigh, Ferny Hills Brisbane.

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    1. Thanks Leigh, we'll look into that.

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  15. sorry to hear about Kathleen, hope that fox stays away with Gracies scent.
    your garden is looking so lush!
    beautiful knitting there too.
    you hair does look great, have you lost a bit of weight around the face or are they new glasses? you look well & happy!
    great that you can spend time with Tricia, perhaps that is why you're looking so good!
    thanx for sharing
    selina from kilkivan qld

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    1. I am well and happy, Selina, but I think it's just the angle of the camera.

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  16. Thank you for this lovely update post, and so sorry to hear about your little chooken. Hopefully Gracie will deter the fox. I am just starting off on my annual read of Down To Earth, the book. It amazes me how much you relearn or discover on each read annually. I read the Simple Home monthly chapters each month. Your blog is the icing on the cake, so thank you!!

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    1. I think I should re-read Down to Earth too. I haven't looked at it in detail since the day I sent it to the publisher and have only glanced at it on my book tours. I hope you enjoy your reading, you've convinced me to read it too. xx

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  17. Hi Rhonda, When I read your post, my first thought was about burning treated wood. I understood that they are treated to stop them from rotting (the ones in Tasmania are). Perhaps different in Qld?

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  18. Your blog remains a delight Rhonda. I have been in hospital for nearly 4 weeks but made it home yesterday - yay! I didn't have a lot of energy but it was always nice to check into your blog. All the best and warmest good wishes to you, Hanno and the family. That blasted fox! - how horrible he took the poor wee hen.

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    1. I'm glad you're out of hospital, Wendy. I hope you're feeling better now. Sending love to you and Andrew. xx

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  19. Poor Kathleen, I'm sorry that her life ended that way. We have a huge State Fair every year in August and I love looking at the incredible variety of chickens on view there. The Frizzles are so pretty. Me too on liking the new photo - I admire how you go for it on changing up your look - I'm a complete stick-in-the mud in that area. Beth in MN

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  20. So great that you had a wonderful time with your sister.. There is only my sister and I in our family and we like you notice our mother in each other.. smile.. Love your post with all your doings as always dear friend.. xoxo

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  21. That gives me an idea for what to do with the many, many cherry tomatoes suddenly rolling in from the garden (even the kids can't keep up with them), thank you!

    Those cakes sound delicious. My mom used to make an Italian plum cake when I was a kid, only when that particular kind of plum was in season. I used to love it. Maybe I should learn how to make one. Pear and walnut sounds delicious as well! :)

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  22. So sorry to read about the loss of your pretty chicken, such a shame!
    How lovely for you spending time with your sister did you get up to any sewing?
    Your grand daughters shrug looks so pretty I love the pink. Your garden is so lush we have a few veggies growing here the silver beet and kale are doing well, I'm in Western Sydney. Your plum cake looks delicious is it your own recipe? I think I will make one as I have plums purchased from a market.

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    1. I just used my butter cake recipe, Theresa, and included some nutmeg and cinnamon. I didn't cook the plums, just cut them finely and lay them on the top of the batter. They sink down nicely. Happy baking.

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