Weekend reading

1 September 2018
Walnut biscuits.

I spent most of Friday repotting hanging baskets and pots on the front verandah. Today is the first day of spring here so repotting and fertilising plants now gives them the best chance of many months of healthy and lush growth.  Repotting is a slow and steady job. You get to inspect the plants above and below the soil line and it's the ideal time to clip off any dead or unhealthy growth.  I didn't do much repotting last year so the plants will really benefit from their haircuts and new soil this year.


Out in the garden, the new standard roses - Mary Rose and Munstead Wood are both in flower after being planted in the garden on 24 June. The gift rose, Smiling Eyes, is in a pot and it's got its first buds but hasn't flowered yet.  

It's lovely in the garden now. The cold weather has passed and it's warm with no sign of humidity yet. We got about 30mm of rain during the month, the first real rain we've had all winter. The tanks are nearly full, so I'm grateful for the heavy downpour we had, but out in the bush the drought continues to devastate our farmers, country towns and wildlife.

I hope you enjoy some slow time over the weekend. I'll see you again next week.

Daily life in the 1930s
Growing up in the 50s
A month-by-month guide to fruit and vegetable seasons in Australia
Food additives to avoid
Cooking - New York Times how-to series
How to have better family meals
Step saving kitchen 1949
Rental Rehab: 13 Removable Kitchen Backsplash Ideas
'I'm already stockpiling': readers preparing for a messy Brexit

21 comments

  1. Lovely reading list; but cannot seem to connect to daily life in the thirties.

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  2. Hi Rhonda, So glad to hear that you received some rain. It must be a huge relief that your tanks are now full. I hope it continues and helps the farmers. I need to fertilize my zucchini today. The plants are producing very well. It's rewarding to collect eggs and vegetables daily. It really helps to reduce the grocery bill. It's also just very satisfying to see the fruits of your labor.

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  3. It's good to hear that you got enough rain to fill the tanks, Rhonda.
    If I could I would send more rain to your area, we are having too much rain here.

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  4. Have a lovely first day of spring! Here in the US, we're headed towards fall, which I love. I'm looking forward to cooler temperatures and all that autumn brings. :)

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  5. Great articles as always - so thank you. I found the one about additives especially interesting as I have a number of serious allergies to things like Tartrazine, Aspartame and what we call Yellow Dye #5.
    As for the stockpiling for Brexit - Canadians are advised to keep a minimum of 72 hours worth of food and water on hand - with a strong recommendation for at least a month's worth of supplies if possible - I keep at least that much - just by adding a few extra tins here and there when things are on sale. The one item I'd recommend UK readers to think about seriously is any medications - especially prescriptions. I carry an Epi-Pen at all times and there has been a critical shortage of them over the Summer. I've been lucky in that I always keep a second one as a spare but others have not been as lucky. I always hand in my current one at the end of the Summer (after being in and out of the heat) - put my spare in my purse and then get a new one from the pharmacy to act as my new spare. I have tried twice in the past month but there had not been any available. This morning I was told that a new supplier (from the US) had been sourced and a new supply would be arriving within a day or two - I'm to pick up my new one on Tuesday. I know that meds are also a concern for those going through Brexit so I strongly recommend that they plan ahead.

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  6. I would love to see a photo of your roses Rhonda, especially Munstead. It sounds such a Tudor name.
    I'm delighted it's Spring. We have lavender and cornflowers blooming profusely. I'm glad I checked auto correct otherwise it would have said we had cornflakes blooming! Reminds me of the spaghetti trees joke😁

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    1. I'm doing a gardening post next week, Jamie. I'll include a photo of the roses then. Munstead Wood is near Munstead House which was where Gertrude Jekyll, (the famous garden designer) lived. I believe the house garden is an open garden now and draws people in throughout the year.

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  7. Hi Rhonda. Thank you for your articles. They're great as usual.
    I just found a recipe blog which is not unusual haha what it's different -at least to me- it's that the recipes were written from a mum to her daughters and then one of them decided to create a blog to share them. The mum typed all the recipes, not all the recipes are hers.
    The blog is called the never ending cook by mum :)

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  8. Any chance that you would be able to identify the weekend 'reading' links that are video links as opposed to real reading? I live rurally and don't have enough download to watch videos but do read. TIA.

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  9. I just read through the posts from the past week. It gives me such a quiet content feeling. I hope you will be able to write them for a long time, I love the topics and the everyday life. The reading list you posted looks interesting, thanks for all your efforts!

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  10. That rain was lovely, wasn't it! I am looking forward to seeing your beautiful roses. I am not long upstairs after planting out some petunias today, the first gardening I've done in a while. It felt good to pot them up and I can't wait for that colour to bloom. August was a difficult month here so I am really happy to turn the calendar page to September and to enjoy this more balmy weather. Have a lovely weekend, Rhonda. Happy Fathers' Day to Hanno and your two sons. Meg:)

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  11. Such interesting links this week! I’m stealing quiet moments to read them as we have family from both sides staying or visiting in one form or another. The house is bursting! The links are perfect to steal 5 mins and browse with a cuppa. Xx

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  12. I re-potted my seedlings for their next stage of growth. You are so right in saying it is a slow and steady job Rhonda but it gives me a sense of peace and satisfaction to do it. The dwarf peach and Luisa plum tree are both in blossom and this is my favourite time of the year. I have herbs to re-pot into larger containers and i noticed the first leaves of the potatoes i planted in bags have popped through. The weather is changing and the sun makes one feel joyful.

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  13. As a reader in the UK the article about prepping for Brexit was interesting. We already have a well stocked store cupboard and freezer - if there are problems with the import of fresh fruit from Spain for instance we may have a gap in the supply of citrus fruit so I will add some tinned citrus to our cupboard. Brexit raises strong opinions on all sides in the UK - I am trying to respect everyone's opinion, no matter how different from my own.

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  14. The 'How to have better family meals' article was shocking to me. I hope the 70% of meals in the US are away from home statistic is wrong. Now I understand why those meal kits are so popular. I also found it sad that there was a need to instruct families on how to have a family meal. We home schooled our kids so we were always home and together and we rarely ever ate anywhere but the kitchen in our home. I am thankful for that now that I see that article.

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  15. Lovely to read about your roses and knowing that it is Springtime in Austalia. We are heading into Autumn and the dark time of year. Lots of candles and board games round the table. Thank you for lovely links. Blessings, Pam in Norway

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  16. That were great weekendreadings even though I read it in the middle of the week 😀 especially the articles about the 1930 and 1950...I like history. By watching that video about the 30's I thought to myself...we don't have a lot of money but we can still eat very well everyday and lets hope we'll never come to experience what those people did back then!! Thanks Rhonda for keeping my feet on the ground with your posts!!

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  17. Are there any other simple living blogs you recommend?? I love reading yours and would love a recommendation based on your experience.

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    1. I prefer not to spend too much time on the computer so I do most of my reading offline now. The one blog that I've stayed with over the years is Fox's Lane it's a great blend of family, gardening, food and good writing.

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  18. I enjoyed the links for daily life in the 30's, growing up in the 50's, and the 1949 step saving kitchen. Of course that led to hours of binge watching similar you-tube videos! It was actually a nice respite from the daily news grind here in the US. The Rental Rehab article was interesting. I had never heard of vinyl tile decals and am passingonthe info to my son. It's just what he could use in his apartment. Will be readingthe rest today. I am glad that you got a good saoking of rain. I have been reading about the drought you country is experiencing. I live in the southeastern part of Pennsylvania (mid Atlantic part of the USA), and it's been raining more days than not here since spring. It's raining again today and it's supposed to rain all week. Thankfully, it is at least cooler than it has been...the heat has been awful. So I guess in a way the rain has been a blessing as it counteracts the drying effects of the heat.

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