A week of ordinary days

25 September 2017
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. 

32 comments

  1. Happy belated birthday wishes to Hanno!
    My laptop is 8 years old, I should start saving for a new one in case something similar happens. :)

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  2. Thank you for the pictures of Gracie - I love them.My husband's panama hat looks like Hannos too - I laughed when I read somewhere this week that a battered panama is 'de rigeur' - just as
    well! On my agenda for this week is more decluttering too - very satisfying. Hope you have a lovely week.

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  3. It sounds like a wonderful week Rhonda. Happy Birthday to Hanno and many happy returns as well. The blood orange preserves would be delicious. Gracie is happy and healthy it seems, and getting on well in development; both physically and in training. You will miss those puppy antics one day!

    Our autumn has started; a season which is my favourite and to which I much look forward. Love the pumpkins, leaves, and the cooler temperatures of the year. We had two terrific heatwaves this late summer (it got up to 111 F); too much for me and my Sheltie. Thank goodness it is cooler now.

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  4. Happy birthday to Hanno for last Tuesday:) It sounds a lovely birthday meal that you shared. Two cakes as well! It is an unbelievably hot Spring and that has me shuddering to think what the coming Summer may be like. Hardly any rain here (a storm passed us by last Friday with barely a drop) so everything still dry and crunchy and not much left in our big water tank with the little one already empty. I tackle those hot days in a similar way to you, with walking the dog and gardening early and then inside after that. Yes, the older I get the less I need and so there is always a box of things or a bag of this and that waiting to give away. It always feels good to let that stuff go. Meg

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  5. Our kids are on holidays which makes me so happy. I'm spending the day with our daughter today whilst our son has offered to mop the floors, feed Samson and look after the chickens. They're going to Brisbane next week to spend time with Oma and Opa so will be packing very light as yesterday was 37. Only 15 degrees here today.
    Gracie is a real character and makes me laugh and smile when I read about her antics. Really enjoyed reading your post about your days and I can totally relate about haircuts too. My hairdresser is always on time, quick and we have good conversations as well. I just want in and out.
    Have another great week.
    Kylie

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  6. When we lived in Atherton FNQ, we had our roof insulated. We used to sleep with the windows open and then close them up at about 8.30 am. The temperature differentional at midday between the inside and the outside was 6-8 degrees on average. We also found that if we needed to run the air con we only had to do it for about 1/2 hour around 4pm to make it comfortable inside again. It's good to work with the elements.

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  7. I had a similar experience with my laptop,the internet wouldn't work, so I took it to be repaired, it was 6 years old & the young fellow said you may as well get a new one because its too old to fix, then another young man walked past & said gee that's nice, would have been a good one in its day!

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  8. Rhonda it is terribly hot here too with hotter weather to come on Thursday. I am over it already and it is only the beginning of spring! Lots of people have empty water tanks now which is a problem if that is all they have to rely on. Have a great week.

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  9. Nice post Rhonda. My mum bought me a blood orange tree as a birthday gift. I very vaguely recall ever trying a blood orange once a very long time ago but can't really remember it - are they slightly more bitter than regular oranges? I guess I will be finding out in a year or two. If you have an abundance of eggs, you could separate them and freeze each yolk and white in an ice cube tray to use later on in baking. I'm not lucky enough to have chickens (yet) but I'm always interested in ideas of how to preserve excess produce. Also a very happy belated birthday to Hanno! Sounds like a lovely lunch with the family. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Miki, lucky you having a blood orange tree. It's too warm here to grow them, they need cold weather. They are as sweet as other oranges but they have an additional taste of berry - like raspberry, along with the orange.

      I've tried separating egg yolks and whites but found the yolks dry out. Now I mix them together and have never had a problem doing that.

      Good luck with your orange. xx

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  10. Happy Birthday Hanno...good health to you! Carolyn in Florida

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  11. Sounds like you have had a great week :) It's great to hear about the simplicitys :)

    My week this week will consist of work. I have my weekend this Wednesday and Thursday where I will continue to build a kitchen/butchers block out of old pallets. I am also de-cluttering this week. I'm getting rid of some of my furniture and changing the layout of some of my rooms to invite a fresh perspective and focus.

    Enjoy your week of sewing and de-cluttering :)

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  12. HI Rhonda, that's great news that Gracie is doing so well. I have a blood orange tree. I love it. The colors of the fruit are so beautiful. I was told that they are crossed with a red grapefruit tree, which gives them that color. That's how mine taste. Sounds like you've been eating some delicious meals with your family. Happy 77th to Hanno. Have you thought of making a chocolate mousse with those eggs? It sounds delicious...

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    1. Hi awakenedsoul. You must have a different variety of blood oranges over there. The ones here originated in the Mediterranean and they're not crossed with anything. They're red oranges. xx

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  13. Morning Rhonda. Happy birthday Hanno and love your hat! It is wet here and we are expecting 11 deg c, bit over the wet and damp right now.

    My FIL up past you mentioned something about your area being officially in a drought. Hope some rain shows up soon. This country certainly has interesting weather patterns.

    Gracie is lovely. Our 14 YO kelpie, Axel, is weary and showing his age and we talk about whether to get another pup or not. Add to that my 95 YO mum is quite unwell. She too is weary and wanting to move on.

    As you said, "C'est la vie". Enjoy your day and keep cool.
    Brigitte.

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    1. Sending my best wishes to your mum, Brigitte. I hope Axel lives a few more years. xx

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  14. HI Rhonda .Best wishes to you both. There is nothing nicer than family gathered at a table.You are blessed.We are in the process of shifting.Could you tell me how to strike bay trees I didnt know that I could do this Cheers Affussa Jellifus

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    1. Take green, bendy cuttings about 6 inches long. Dip in rooting hormone or honey and slip the cuttings into free draining potting mix. Take more cuttings than you need because only about half will take. Keep moist and sit in a semi-shaded position. Good luck.

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  15. BPpy birthay and I love how Gracie looks and is doing. My week was very different.
    Blood oranges have always fascinated me. Lucky you growing them.

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  16. I am in the process of sorting and organizing my craft room. I've vowed to spend at least one hour a day on it until it's done. I've already got a box of item for the thrift store. It is abnormally hot here (I live in northeastern US) and we are under an extreme heat warning until Tuesday. So, like you, we work outside in the early morning and find other things to do inside during the hot part.

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  17. Lovely to read your blog Rhonda. Happy birthday Hanno! Gracie is an adorable little minx. Wishing you and the family health and happiness in the days ahead. It's good to finally be getting some warmer weather across the ditch here. It's been a long, wet and cold winter.

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  18. A lovely week. Nice of you to shsre. I feel for your computer woos. Have the same problem going on here. Don't want to buy a new one. Yes the older we get the less we use. Unfortunately on a farm there are great storing places and things pile up. I am back to a bag a day goes out the house. In northern Ontario Canada and it was 40c with the humidity. We should be at about 14c. Too sickly hot.

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  19. Thank you for sharing your lovely week. Happy Belated Birthday Hanno ... I too am having a good clear out 3 large bags filled with clothes no longer needed gone to charity....it feels good... lots more to go slowly getting to were we wish to be less clutter.... I knitted 6 dish clothes and threw all the other shop bought ones out... now I wish to try my own soap & washing liquid.... all in good time... Have a wonderful week ahead both of you....

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  20. I recently had both cataracts removed, a month apart. It is the best thing I ever did. The first thing I noticed was the absolute brilliance of colours. All the plants looked ten times brighter, and everything was incredibly vibrant. Of course, the added bonus, no more glasses, and just a cheap pair from the $2 shop for reading or very close work. I still have drops in the second eye for the next couple of weeks, but all in all, an outstanding success.
    So if you come to this stage, look forward to it, and relish the outcome, which is all good.

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  21. My dad is 77 and I sure wish he looked as good as Hanno! I think it's all that outside activity. I'm glad you all had a fun birthday celebration!

    My doggy, Peyton also has stand-offs with the neighborhood wildlife. Especially the squirrel that dares to climb up the birdbath for a drink! He doesn't much like the birds using it either, but he won't chase them with the gusto he saves for that squirrel. He sits at the base of the giant cottonwood tree and stares up there, just willing that squirrel to come down! Silly boy, he'll never catch it. Especially since he spends most of his time indoors. I think they have more fun taunting each other through the patio door!!

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    1. Haha! Hi Debby. It sounds like Peyton and Gracie would be great playmates. Gracie will never see a squirrel but she will come across snakes, lizards and many birds, so I hope we can teach her to be selective and prudent.

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  22. A happy belated birthday Hanno! Reading the menu, it sounds like you truly celebrated. Even Gracie has given you a gift - a better ventilated hat to help you through the hot season - good dog! Rhonda, I love these "a little bit of everything" rambles - so satisfying. I hope you get some rain water for your tanks soon. Our weather will be heading the opposite direction of yours, but we had record breaking heat for September this past week. Now we have cool and rainy - so glad. This week is working like mad at work and fitting in medical appointments for my Mom. Beth in MN

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  23. Belated best wishes for your birthday, Hanno. And much health and happiness for the year. Your panama hat made me laugh and tickeled my eyes with tears. My Dad's gardening hat looked just like yours right down to the chew holes which our German Shepherd Chimo sculpted. She was his constant companion in the garden. Also a huge berry thief.

    I have not had a blood orange since the time I lived in Europe and then last year we got them in the store. I think this has something to do with the new free trade agreement with Europe. I had completely forgotten how good they were.

    I too seem to be de-cluttering all the time as we need less and less and prefer the space on the floor and especially in the cupboards. Fortunately we have a lot of young friends who are starting out so all of our surplus finds a home. Happy to give this all away as I remember how great it was when we were young and poor and all of a sudden we go something wonderful for free! Garden surplus being one of the best things of course.

    Gracie is beautiful and has grown into a dignified looking adult. Just like our Douglas i suspect looks can be deceiving.

    SunnyMidnight

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  24. Thanks for sharing, it's always interesting to read your blog. We're moving into the autumn here (my favourite time of year) the temperature's cooling off and we've got a glut of apples which I'm making into crumbles at the moment.

    I'm not vegan myself but I do't eat much dairy and I love the idea of trying to bake a vegan cake! Is there any chance you could post up a recipe?

    Greetings, from Anna
    Sussex coast, UK

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  25. Love hearing about your cooking & baking. I'm early 50's and have been decluttering the past 4 years. It's great to have more space & less clutter around the house. It's true the older you get, the less you need. Sometimes you can look around and think - what am I keeping this all for? I think if you don't use it or you don't love it, give it away to someone who can.

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  26. Happy Birthday, Hanno!

    We are working on getting outside work done before winter. It is really hot here for this time of year and we really need rain. We are getting rid of more and more here, too. So much unnecessary stuff It feels good to lighten the load.

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  27. Haven't been able to drop in lately and I am so sorry I missed Hanno's birthday. But, it's never too late for a blessing, so... a very happy and blessed year to come Hanno!!

    Vicki
    Trinidad & Tobago

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