30 May 2017

There is always something to do

Over the past couple of posts and their comments we've shared how we organise our finances by tracking spending, saving what we can and cutting back as much as possible. That is all usually done to enable us to live well on whatever income we have and to either save or pay off debt.  The final piece of the puzzle is to use the information you have about your spending and create a realistic budget that will give you the life you want to live while you pay off your debt, and when money is left over, saving it.  Those savings may well be used for a house deposit, buying a car, or identifying family needs or treats.

So that is your next step, or if you've already got a budget, review it.  Here are two links that I hope will help you in this process. The first is the Australian Government's Moneysmart website with many calculators, apps and articles on money management.   The second is a post I wrote in 2013 - Budgeting - take control of your money.  Good luck!

~~~  🍄🍄🍄  ~~~

We've had a busy time over the past few days. We looked after all the grandkids on Saturday and Jamie on Sunday, and the rest of the time was taken up mainly with seasonal tasks like gardening, harvesting and juicing as well as frugal home management.

With a roast chicken in the oven, I zipped out to the garden for the accompanying vegetables. About 45 minutes after they were picked, they were eaten. 

I love Autumn. It's my favourite season, not only because the weather cools down and I can cook warming stews and soups, but also because I know there will be a six month block of good (cool) weather. We do the bulk of our food gardening in Autumn and Winter and that is in full swing now.  Hanno has been picking lemons off both trees and juicing them so we have plenty of juice for cooking now and for cordial in summer.

Yet another whole orange cake.
This is a passionfruit marigold bush that I'm going to take out next week.  It brightens the Winter garden but I really dislike that colour. 
The violas and thyme are dwarfed by the daikon and turnips.

Another whole orange cake has been baked, I made up a couple of baskets of vegetables for Sunny to take home and this afternoon, as soon as I finish this post, I'll be planting out the sprouting broccoli seedlings I grew from seeds.  The garden is growing well, mainly due to the excellent preparation Hanno work spent time on a couple of months ago. That work will continue to pay off for the coming six months while we continue to harvest fresh organic vegetables and fruit right in our backyard. 

A basket for Sunny to take home - kale, lettuce, turnips, basil, parsley daikon and eggs. 

We have an over abundance of lemons, we're now picking the oranges and when the grandkids were here on Saturday, I really enjoyed them picking oranges with Hanno so we could squeeze them fresh to enjoy with our lunch.  Such simple pleasures!

It was a very nice task sitting on the back verandah in the late afternoon sunshine, cutting up rags and ties. The radio was playing, I could hear the birds in the garden and all was right in my world.

I cut up a worn out sheet to make another batch of absorbent cleaning rags and cut the elastic edges off the sheet for tomato ties.  The fridge was cleaned out, bathrooms cleaned and all sorts of bits and pieces taken care of.  There is one sure thing here, there is always something to do.

Quite a few readers have asked about Gracie and yes, HRH Princess Grace was taken to the beach yesterday for a walk around with real people and other dogs. She loves meeting new people and she's very good in the car so it's always a pleasure to take her out and get a bit of variety in her life.  We used a new groomer last week - Julie from My K9's Keeper, a hydrobath service, came to our place and washed Gracie. I told Julie how difficult it is to wash her but Gracie was on her best behaviour with Julie, she must have known she was a dog trainer too. We've booked Gracie in for monthly baths with Julie because Gracie liked her and we were both very happy with how she handled her.

So that's me. What have you been doing these past few days?  If you have time, let me know your news.  xx


  1. I wish the inside of my fridge looked as clean and organised as yours, Rhonda! Gracie look such a sweetie, though I like reading about her rascally ways. Your veggies look great, we are picking quite a bit from the garden here now too. The days here have been full in one way or another. Today, I spent quite a few hours in the kitchen making a big pot of split pea and bacon soup, a pot of stew loaded with veg, apple crumble and I made up some meatballs too. I portioned a lot of that up for quick dinners on other nights so even though it took me quite a while today, it will save me in the long run. Meg:)

  2. Rhonda, it looks like Gracie really liked her bath and of course she was on her best behaviour :-) Lately I have tried a few new things like making kimchi like Sunny does with not such good results though and my first fire cider was ready to strain today so that is just in time for the winter colds. My next 'new' thing to do is to render a big block of lard to use in soap. There is never a lack of new things to try no matter what our age.

  3. Very snazzy new comments icon Rhonda. Loving the links back to older classic posts too. Been real busy here at our place with aging parents, broken hips, endless hospital visits, getting our home ready for a convalescing aged parent with low mobility. Life's good nevertheless.

  4. You veggie plans sound wonderful, as usual! We are in the process of building a veggie patch, finally! Taking a break from the house for a while to slow down.

    Gracie looks lovely! Aggie doesn't mind baths, but she hates being groomed. She is a complete sook about it.

    I was talking to Aggies breeder recently and we discussed Aggies ring on her tail - Aggie has a full grey ring around her tail and it is called her "bardene ring". I remembered Gracie has a reversing light on hers, and so she has a partial "bardene ring". Here is a link http://webpages.charter.net/anstamm/ch4page8.htm I thought you might find it interesting as I did. I will have to take a photo of Aggies tail to show you, I thought it was a really interesting little scottie quirk. Apparently it often fades in time, though Aggie already being brindle, Im not sure if hers will or not. Ill be curious to see over time. Does Gracie still have hers?
    Much love,

    1. Hi Em, good to see you again. Thanks for the info about the bardene ring, which Gracie has. I'll take a photo of it and put it on the blog. I'd never heard of the bardene ring so I'll do some research into it. Looking forward to seeing another photo of Aggie. Are you still thinking of breeding with her?

    2. That would be good! I will have to pop a photo of Aggies on my blog too, so you can see hers. It's quite obvious after a clipping. She is a really naughty little imp! But goodness we love her. We have to put little Scotty height barriers on the bedroom doors to keep her from stealing the boys beds from them! Such a character.

      Yes, we will breed with Aggie in her second or third season. It will depend on how ready we thinkshe is. She is shaping up to be a good looking dog. It's time to start researching breeders and genetic lines, to make sure everything is in order when the time comes. We want to make sure we only bread good, strong, true Scottish terriers. I think we will AI her first time round. Which we need to look into. Grants done it from a farming point of view before, but researching Scottish Terrier genetic lines are new to us! She has not come into her first season yet, though it must be close.


  5. With everything going on in our world today that seems to bring me down, your posts about simple contentment life me up. Thank you so much! I am finding my days made up of trail walks, early morning swims, healthy meals and time spent hand quilting on my porch to be so replenishing. Here's to living simply and happily.

  6. How do you cook your turnip?

  7. Gracie's photos always bring a big smile to my face :)

    Just a couple of hours ago mom and I baked two loaves of bread. This is the first time she made bread at home, so it's an exciting day.

  8. I finally have the bulk of my garden planted. Spring has been cold and wet here in Nebraska, USA. I thought about downsizing my garden but when I got out there, I just had to plant everything I wanted. Trying to freeze some meals for the next several weeks as my husband goes in for a hip replacement in 2 weeks. Hoping it helps his horrible pain. I love reading here and reading the comments. I feel so connected to everyone as we all have similar goals and interests.

  9. It was a long weekend (Memorial Day) here in the US, so we enjoyed a slower pace yesterday, with some friends and family over for a cookout. Our farmer neighbor also let us pick some tomatoes in his field (our garden produces enough for eating and some preservation, but with our neighbor allowing us to do this we are able to put up a year's worth of tomatoes), so we got started on canning them. We also had to replace a deep freezer yesterday, as it died while full of meat--thankfully we caught it before everything thawed! Today we are back to our usual work/homeschool routine, and planning to go pick peppers at our neighbor's yesterday, then will get started on chopping and freezing those.

    Loved all the photos you shared, thank you as always for posting!

  10. Hi Rhonda. Violas are my favourite flowers...my Grandma gave me some in a pot when I was about 7. That is many moons ago. I still have some in my garden and each time I see them wonderful memories are triggered. Just waiting for my turnips to be as big as yours! I have planted a choko. Quite excited about it. On good advice I have it contained in a pot as I have heard that they do take over!!
    LOVE your blog, take good care and many many thanks for sharing your wisdom. Cheers.

  11. Well I have a sore neck from spending too much time on the tablet searching ancestry.com lol.
    Definitely need to start getting more productive around home. I don't like getting to the end of the day and feeling I've missed it.

  12. Hi Rhonda it's been a long time since I commented here but am still reading your blog & it still brings me the enthusiasm to keep on this simple path. Life's been a bit yuk of late - we lost our beautiful rottie to cancer last month - the house is so empty without him, but life goes on. And now I've been diagnosed with osteoporosis- still having lots of tests, etc but we're now re-thinking our lifestyle and it looks like we'll have to sell up & find somewhere a lot easier to manage. But I'll always need to grow something! The years here have taken their toll, but I've loved it - the big garden, sourcing our timber, growing food, composting, etc. am reading up about living with this disease & making changes. As long as I can always garden a bit, do my cooking and live my make do & mend ways, I'll be ok. Gracie is gorgeous but I dont think we'll have another dog, but .... never say never.
    Have a great day - Barb xxx

    1. What sad news,Barb. I'm sorry to read about your dog and your osteoporosis. Good luck with your move and the tests and treatments. It took us six years after our Airedale Alice died to be ready to even think about another dog. There's no rush. When you're ready, you're ready. Take care. xx

  13. As always I enjoyed your post. Sounds like you are really enjoying those precious grandbabies! Your blog is a port in the "storms of life." Thank you for that. More pictures of Gracie, please! Thank you and blessings, Carolyn in Florida

  14. been getting some renovations done finally, one small front room almost complete, needs plastering, painting & flooring, so far looking good!
    that Gracie is so adorable, glad she found a groomer she likes
    great post
    selina from kilkivan qld

  15. HI Rhonda, I love reading your blog. You are such an excellent teacher, and you are always so busy and productive. I made a pot of beef stew, and am knitting a cotton cardigan. The garden is doing well, now that my hips have healed, and I can take care of it.

  16. What a little rascal Gracie is. She looks mischievous but so sweet


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