30 March 2018

Weekend reading

Happy Easter everyone. 🐣

I'm viewing this screen with 20/20 vision; it's the first time my vision has been this good in 40 years.  I had my final eye op on Tuesday, the cataract was removed and a lens inserted in my eye. This lens is the same prescription as my glasses so now I can see well without them - I can even tell the difference between HD and ordinary TV. Amazing. They did a test when I had my post-op check on Wednesday and that revealed the best of all results - 20/20 vision. I was really pleased.  If you're thinking of having this surgery done, go for it. I was anxious before the first surgery but honestly, the worst part of the entire procedure is the six times a day eyedrops for one month, twice.

Hanno has been slowly getting the painting done and I'm very happy with the colours we chose - a very pale blue-grey and a darker blue feature wall.  I'll be reorganising a few things in the living room and kitchen over the weekend (I'm not allowed to garden for two weeks!!) and we'll move closer to having it all done. It's another home maintenance item put to bed for a few years.


26 March 2018

Home cooking

March, week 4 in The Simple Home

This is the final week in our food and home cooking month. We've been discussing food shopping, storage, stockpiling, menu planning, cooking from scratch, batch cooking and preserving. In this final week, we'll be talking about food fads, food waste and home cooking, surely the best food there is.

Homemade chicken soup.

23 March 2018

Weekend reading

Very early last Sunday morning, Hanno and I drove over to a town about 30 kms away to buy our first seedlings of the season. 

19 March 2018

Food choices - what and from where?

March, week 3 in The Simple Home

There has been a sharp rise in the number of products labelled 'organic' and 'free range' on supermarket shelves in the past few years. Often I am asked if the weekly shopping should include organic or free range fruit, vegetables, meat and chicken, as well as the newer organic products we’re seeing now – butter, cheese, wine and tinned goods. It’s a tricky one to answer because there is never just one clear path to follow, we’re all so different; we have different needs, tastes and incomes, and we all know that 'organic' and 'free range' come at a price.


16 March 2018

Weekend reading

What I thought was going to be my second eye operation turned out to be a post-op check. But now, vision in my fixed eye is just below 20/20, there is no infection or inflammation, the lens is in place.  I go in for the second op 27 March. I'm pleased it will happen soon, I'm sick of having wonky vision.  


14 March 2018

What's happening at the Hetzel House

While I've been writing The Simple Home series, you've probably noticed I'm not writing much about what is happening here on a day-to-day basis. Well, my friends, we're still pottering around doing what we do. Currently we're moving from a fairly slow time, when the weather restricted what we could do outside, to our busy season.  March is when we plant our garden every year.  The garden beds are still full of weeds with only one 90 percent ready, the rest are waiting their turn. We hope to visit the market next Sunday and buy a range of seedings. These will be planted along with seedlings we have growing in the bush house, Glen Large garlic from Green Harvest, ginger plants and Welsh onions in poly boxes and a stand of potatoes in a cage. We're keeping it small, having reduced the size of the garden last year, but we should have a good range of what we eat and that will help cut back our grocery bill while giving us the freshest food possible. It will be good to get out to the garden once again.

Above are the new chickens and below are some of the new and old chickens together.
Below are two of our Barnevelders - a silver lace and a blue lace.


12 March 2018

Shopping for food

March, week 2 in The Simple Home

This week we'll focus on shopping for food and I'm guessing that will mean vastly different things to most of you. Some will be buying everything they eat, some will be producing a small amount - maybe herbs or eggs, some will produce most of their food and many of us will buy raw ingredients so we can home-make some of the products we used to buy.

A popular meal here and very easy to make and freeze - lasagne.

I’ve gone from being an ordinary housewife, using my food budget to provide as much as I can for the money I have, to being someone who looks for fresh food that’s produced locally and ethically. I only want to buy into a food chain that considers kindness and quality of life in close alliance with nutritional values and profit. I always check labels and never buy products from compromised locations such as China and Thailand. I silently sigh every time I pick up a food product that I know is grown in my own country, but it has been imported from somewhere else. We are shooting ourselves in the foot doing that.


9 March 2018

Weekend reading

It's been a busy week here. We started on another home maintenance project, I cleaned the fridge out yesterday and suddenly I have more room after four months of five people in the house. Gracie had a full wash and groom yesterday, I've been sewing and of course the everyday tasks of cleaning, tidying up, shopping and cooking.

I collect rubber bands and corks because you never know when you'll need a cork to plug a bottle or a rubber band to keep something together or in a bag.  These are sitting on my kitchen window sill.


5 March 2018

A food revolution

March, week 1 in The Simple Home

Going back to basics
This is one of the most important chapters in The Simple Home as it deals with something we all do - we all eat. Providing food for yourself and a family, getting value for your food dollar, buying as close to home as possible, storing food, organising your food stocks and being able to cook and bake in the time you have available, all come into play this month. If you can work out a food system that works for you, you'll increase your chances of eating well, you'll provide good nutrition in your family meals, work to a budget, get value for money and add the power of your dollars to your own community when you buy local.

Cinnamon tea cake is a favourite cake in our home. I made it again yesterday because Jamie loves it and it's a good cake for his lunchbox. He usually has it for afternoon tea with a glass of milk.  It's one of the many excellent recipes in The Country Table cookbook - details below.


2 March 2018

Weekend reading

One busy period of our lives ended yesterday with Kerry, Sunny and Jamie moving out and into their own new home.  We wish them the very best and we're grateful to have had those four months together, growing closer.  

We're preparing for another year of healthy chooks and the eggs they'll produce as well as an abundance of home grown vegetables and fruit.  

Now we're getting ready for another busy time - we're collecting six new chickens to add to our flock next week and we're planning our vegetables garden. We should start planting mid-March.  Like all good gardens, there'll be a period of soil preparation and systems checking before we start. All gardens need that because gardening is always more than putting a plant or seed in the ground and standing back.  We're both looking forward to being more active in the garden after a long hot summer.  I'll make sure I take plenty of photos so you can follow our progress.

I'm looking forward to Skyping with my blogging group tomorrow.  Ten people from all around the world, all chatting and sharing. I'm still amazed that we can do that face to face while we're so far from each other.  What are you doing?

~.~.~ 🦋🐔🐝 ~.~.~

Grow your own and forage: eat better without costing the earth
The Pineapple Project - My friend Andrew Davies from the ABC sent me this link. I think you'll like it. The Pineapple Project a podcast by Claire Hooper who is on a mission to help us better understand and handle money.  Have a look at a couple of them and tell me what you think.
Arctic warming: scientists alarmed by 'crazy' temperature rises
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This simple trick makes it quicker and easier to iron clothes
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