The past week has been lovely here. On Tuesday we celebrated Hanno's 77th birthday with the family over for dinner. Sunny and Jamie are in Korea at the moment but they facetimed us to say hello. I spent much of the day cooking and we ended up having a roast pumpkin and beetroot salad with sprouted barley, baby cos lettuce and snow peas, which was made for the vegan but we all shared it. We also shared a garden salad, spicy oven wedges, fried chicken, pork sausages and lamb chops. I made rosemary focaccia and a vegan chocolate cake and Shane brought his delicious homemade vegan cake too. As you can see, we had plenty of good food and no one went away hungry. I love spending time with my family. I'm not a social person at all now but give me the chance to spend time with my mob and I'm the first one there.
Hanno asked me to pass on his gratitude for all the birthday wishes you sent along. He reads every comment, has done for the past ten years, and he's always surprised and delighted when you send him your love. Thank you. ❤️
Hanno's hat, holes courtesy of HRH Grace.
Some of the plants I potted up as gifts.
This is our elderberry tree. You can see flower heads of berries changing from green to red. I'll be picking them when they develop their dark colour and will shared them with Sarndra. The garden is suffering with this hot weather and we have very little water in the tanks.
I spent some time a couple of weeks ago potting up herbs and chilli to give as gifts later in the year. If you have some friends who you think would like a couple of good chilli bushes, ginger, herbs or tomatoes in pots, now is the time to pot them so they'll be healthy and a good size by December. I've potted Welsh onions, cayenne chilli, mint, parsley and bay. If you're living in Australia, you can take cuttings of bay and elderberry now or pot up some raspberry or strawberry runners.
This photo was taken just before a magpie dared look into Gracie's food bowl. She chased it off with loud barking and all sorts of carry on and below you can see the magpie on the washing line with Gracie staring at it. And staring and staring. Given half a chance, she's a bit of a drama queen.
Gracie had a wash and blow dry when the groomer came during the week. She loves Julie and sits quietly while she's shampooed and dried. Her behaviour is continuing to improve and it looks like she's settling in well now. Her current mission is to keep birds out of the area near her food bowl. When we were having morning tea yesterday, a magpie dared walk on the verandah and was just about to look into her food bowl when Gracie rushed at the bird sending it flying up to the washing line. She stared at it until it flew off a few minutes later.
I picked up my new glasses on Monday and this time I had a pair of sun glasses made up as well. The optometrist told me I should protect my eyes from UV, especially now I have cataracts, so I've got good sun glasses on hand now. Thursday was my turn at the hairdressers. I don't really like having my hair cut but I went along, knowing that I'd turn into a Struwwelpeter if I don't conform to this modern ritual. I have to admit though that my hairdresser is fast and we have interesting conversations amid the clipping.
We're suffering through a particularly hot early spring. It will be over 30C all this week so we'll get back into the routine of doing our outside jobs early and stay inside most of the day. We have solar reflective paint on our roof and if we keep the doors closed, it makes quite a difference to the indoor temperature without us using fans or air conditioning. Yesterday Hanno checked the temps and it was 34 outside and 26 inside. Over the next couple of weeks we'll be decluttering again, so that will be all indoor work. Truly, the older we get the less we need. Do you find that too? We've decided to have a garage sale sometime in October and try to sell or give away a lot of what we have here.
One thing we had to buy though was another computer. I shorted Hanno's out last week by trying to insert an earplug cable into the wrong port. 😳 Oops. It fried the motherboard. And to add insult to injury, when we took it to the shop to be repaired, the assistant told us it was unlikely this "vintage" computer could be saved (it was seven years old!). So we bought another one the same as the iMac he had so he doesn't have to learn a new system. C'est la vie.
Candied blood orange in syrup for cake decorating. It will last for months in the fridge.
Using up some of the eggs. This was yesterday's lunch along with bread and butter pudding - which used six more eggs.
I bought some delicious blood oranges this week. I look forward to them every year. I've eaten a few fresh, made up a jar of candied blood orange in syrup, which I'll use to top a cake, and today I'll make a blood orange cake for our morning tea cake. I also made up a bread and butter pudding using some three day old fruit bread and a small number of the mountain of eggs we have at the moment. With Sunny away we're sinking under the weight of so many eggs from our girls. So I served up scrambled eggs with sausages for our lunch today and I'm going to freeze a couple of dozen by cracking them into a jug, mixing the yolks with the whites and pouring them into my trusty freezer pod. Each pod takes 75 mls/2.5 oz, which will be easy portions to freeze for future cakes and scrambled eggs.
So that's got you up to date with my news. This week I'll be sewing and sorting through cupboards for the garage sale. What's on your agenda this week? Whatever it is, I hope it's a good week for all of us.