Weekend reading

27 March 2020
How is everyone going out there? We're okay and taking each day as it comes. Routines, good food and the process of preparing it, Gracie's antics and working in the garden help a lot. Hanno had to go to the doctor yesterday and I'm pleased to say, the doctor came out to the car park to see Hanno so he didn't have to go inside the medical centre.  He'd had hiccoughs the three previous days and he was exhausted. The doctor had no answers about the cause but he gave him some pills, the problem eased last night so he got a good sleep.

A wall of passionfruit. These will be ready to pick at the end of April.


I made a spectacular vegetable-beef soup with tiny herby meatballs yesterday.  It was delicious and luckily we have enough for another two days. I'm making bread and an orange cake today.  Still working on my Miss Marple scarf and doing some sewing.  What have you been doing in these unusual times?

Did you know you can freeze avocado?
Go to ground amid coronavirus: how to grow a living pantry to eat this winter
COVID-19 restrictions an opportunity to plant
Animal House: we're bringing the zoo to you
The Art of Isolation in Pictures
22 ways to leave home without actually leaving the couch
What to Do If You Run Out of Dishwasher Detergent
Face Cookies - so cute and easy
1930s knitting or sewing stand - I love this and it would be so easy to make.

24 comments

  1. Rhonda I am so envious of your passionfruit. I was wondering when mine would be ready to pick so I will now curb my fingers dying to test them. I only have 10 on mine so don't want to waste any. Reading your posts is a calm respite to the insanity around at the moment. Thank you

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  2. Great links, thank you. I am planning to do some of these virtual museum tours and watch a few zoo animal feedings with my kids. I've also seen there are virtual Disneyland rides you can try! Since we could be home for a while, I think we will get through most of these eventually. :)

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  3. Hi Rhonda, That was so considerate of Hanno's doctor. Here is another remedy for hiccups: Take a glass of water, inhale, drink a sip, exhale, drink a sip, and continue until the water is gone. Somehow it blocks the air that is needed for hiccups. It works for me every time. I'm glad that Hanno is feeling better. I have been cooking, baking, and planting, too. It is very comforting. Delicious food, and having a plentiful stockpile is such a relief. I just put in seven more fruit trees and some berry bushes. I bought vegetables to put in the ground after Easter. (to avoid the frost.) Your blog has certainly prepared me for this; thank you!

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    1. Thanks Stephenia. He's going to try it. Thank you.

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  4. Hi Rhonda I have the best ever cure for hickups....I was taught this by my kiwi friend when I was 18 in New Zealand and we were running in the rain and I had to stop to do this so I could get rid of the hick ups. I will try and explain in words, it's easier to show someone. If he has got rid of them if anyone else gets them you can get them to try this. You stand up straight with your feet close together but just how you would normally stand up normally. [harder than I thought to explain in words but here goes] clasp your hands together by putting your fingers through each other [you don't need to do this in person however it's the best way to explain it in words]. So to recap you are standing up straight normally with your hands in front of your belly clasp together. Raise your arms up so that your elbow is now in the shape of a V and your hands are at chest level. So both arms are like a V with your hands in front. Separate your hands and turn your fingers in so that your thumbs sit on top of the clasp fingers. Now with your arms not touching your chest but bringing your clasp hands in closer to you you need to put your thumbs as close as possible [ie fingernails] without touching each other - it could be mm so really close but not touching. Honestly this process takes less than 30 seconds and it gets rid of the hick ups. I have been teaching my friends and anyone I know this trick - it doesn't work if you are drunk [just saying] so back in my day it didn't work on my friends at the pub however you can do it anywhere anytime no need to drink a glass of water upside down. It is very hard to describe in words. Tight fists with thumbs trying to touch very steady with elbows out away from your body....hick ups are horrible....stay safe. Kathy, Brisbane

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  5. Lunch Lady Magazine did a recipe for the face biscuits in issue one. SO CUTE! And very easy. Baking is a great activity for kids during this time but not so good for my waistline! I'm struggling with the homeschooling aspect as all the work the teachers are setting is online and I only have one computer. And I know I should be grateful for the rain but my kids have cabin fever and I can't even send them outside to climb a tree and burn off some of that energy. Sigh. This too will pass!

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    1. Hang in there and let the kids know it's hard for you and you need their help. Assign each child computer time, and reading time when it's not their turn on the computer. Can you print out a work book for each children from what the teachers set?

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  6. I'm envious of your stocks of food. I couldn't do that myself as I don't have enough land just a very small piece. I tried to grow veggies in summer with limited success too but I'll keep trying. For now my activities are sleeping, eating, planning what to eat, dishes, laundry, a bit of reading, lots of digital file clean up, a bit of television and YT. The other major thing is looking for supplies which don't seem to be in stock when I have gone to the store. I'm good with things for now but soonish will be having limited supply. I'm sure I'll find a way to get by though. All is well as long as we try to take care of our health. Keep safe.

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    1. We don't have our large vegetable gardens now but we have some veg and many herbs and fruit growing. We never grow food in summer. It's too hot and there are too many insects around. We plant out now - end of March and can garden productively until late November. Good luck and stay well.

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  7. Thanks for keeping the posts coming during this crazy time Rhonda. It's a great relief from everything going on.

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  8. Milá Rhondo.
    Jsem Z České republiky. Ráda chodím na váš blog. Je pro mě velikou inspirací. Snažím se žít také jednoduše a co nejvíce si udělat sama včetně pěstování zeleniny a ovoce. Jsme na to s manželem dva, tak je to celkem snadné. Jsem v důchodu a tak si čas organizuji sama. Mějte se krásně a buďte s manželem hodně zdrávi. Jiřina

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    1. Thank you, Jiřina. Take care and stay well. xx

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  9. Hi Rhonda, Sadly we had to say good bye to our dear cat, Meg, this week. She was with us for 14 years so we're blessed in that, poor girl had a very aggressive cancer in her mouth. It came from nowhere and grew so very fast, so of course you must make the decision and not let them suffer unnecessarily but it's so terribly hard to lose them.
    I've been prepping and freezing pears as they ripen and apples as well. I'm going to dehydrate some of the apples and also make apple jelly. Today was for canning jalapenos and also making sweet chilli sauce with some of them that I let ripen. I have made your custard cake twice now, once with fresh blackberries and once with beautifully ripe fresh pears, both were absolutely delicious and the recipe has gone into our favourites folder. I always have lots to keep me busy so I don't think that will change regardless of what happens around us.
    I do hope Hanno doesn't have that hiccough problem again, it would have been very painful as well as exhausting after such a long time. Take care, hugs for Gracie x Kate (Tassie)

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    1. Hi Kate, sorry about Meg. All of us pet owners live in dread of that day. I've gone through quite a few of them and they never get any easier. Good luck with your preserving. xx

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  10. So far, so good. I am still working, but hubby is not. With him home now, we can get quite a few things crossed off of our to-do list.
    The lack of food in the stores is shocking, I'm not sure what folks are thinking.
    We are hoping to increase our veggies in the garden so that we can have some to share with neighbors and friends.
    Glad Hanno is feeling better. Blessings to you both.
    daisy@MapleHill101
    Pumpkin Center, NC

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  11. Hi Rhonda Jean!
    I always love seeing that you have posted. I look forward to your words.
    In our shelter in place days, I have found that if it weren't for all of my mini animals I would go stir crazy. There is a schedule to follow with them, in the morning, feeding, watering and then cleaning up after them. I let my chickens out to peruse their "store" for their favorite treats.
    I start out my morning before I do all that, with my emails, and after I come in to finish those. I then either do some chore that I have been putting off until there is time or I tidy up my sewing room so I can "mess" it up again. Of course, breakfast and lunch come in during those times and clean up of the kitchen.
    Before dark my daughter and I walk our dogs (5 of them) out in our back pasture and wooded areas. The dogs love going and sniffing out where the deer and other wildlife have been.
    I have not felt closed in at all, nor have I been bored. Farm life is great, because there is always something to be done. I wanted to start baking bread again, but apparently everyone else was thinking the same thing and there was no yeast to be found. Maybe next week, it seems as though the panic buying has slowed down and the stores are able to restock.
    Poor Hanno and those hiccups! I know even a small bout of them can tire a person out. Hopefully the medications his doctor gave him will keep them at bay!

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    1. Sounds like you're doing well, Claudia. Keep at it, stay well and enjoy each day. xx

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  12. Coping well here Rhonda,thanks to my store cupboard and my tiny garden has kept us in cherry tomatoes and passion fruit,which we are having on breakfast muesli and in frozen desserts etc as we can't afford to waste, We are really missing hugging the grandies,FaceTime is great but not the same. I am very worried how many of the young families are going to cope,life has been kind for a long time to them and our old fashioned thrifty ways were thought a bit odd and now may be mainstream again.So many do not seem to have even a tiny emergency savings pot!

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  13. Hi Rhonda,
    wonderful that you put a couple of food growing links here. I have been encouraging everyone I am in contact with to grow something, even a small amount is better than nothing. It gives a great feeling of self-reliance and will also mean people need to leave the house less if they have some food growing. It also saves money which is essential in such unpredictable times.
    I moved my piano studio online 2 weeks ago which has been challenging with so much else to do. I am busy harvesting veg for processing and storage and it all seems to need doing at once! I am so grateful to still have work but would love to be free all day for home and garden tasks.
    I ran up 60 flannalette wee wipes this week, cut some old pyjamas into dust cloths and saved the long skinny bits for tying up next years tomatoes. I also saved the lovely little coconut shell buttons in the hope that one day I'll be knitting little cardigans for new family members!
    Take care Rhonda,

    Madeleine.xx

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  14. Thank you for all the links! I started making the Miss Marple scarf and thank you for telling us about it. I am enjoying it. I taught myself to knit when I was 60 something and although I'm slow I enjoy it. I was a crocheter first and now that I'm retired I do a lot of "making" from scratch. I make all gifts and I love being as self-sufficient as possible. Your blog is so inspirational! Stay well!

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  15. Glad Hanno is better!! We were told to put a teaspoon of sugar in our mouths to stop hiccups...always seemed to work...but maybe that was just a lark. It is indeed difficult these days in our area where medical care is so inadequate. My hubby has been ill with something for a month...but with no fever, no one would see you these days. So have been taking care of him the best I can...which means a lot of hot tea making, often in the middle of the night...lots of chicken soup etc.

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    1. I hope your husbands regains his health soon, Elizabeth. Take care. xx

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