Weekend Reading

26 March 2021
Hello friends! We finally got some rain which we're very grateful for.  All up we got 230 mm which is 9 inches on the old scale. The entire east coast of Australia got a lot of rain, many with record falls. The water hasn't run off yet so if you're in one of those flooded areas, I hope you've got help from the locals and the SES and that you get things back to normal soon.


Bread and butter pudding made from stale brioche hot cross buns.

Hanno went back to the eye specialist yesterday. Luckily there hadn't been another bleed and the doctor was very happy with his eye. He had to go back for another checkup in two months. Fingers crossed. Hanno asked me to let you know he was very grateful for all the good wishes sent about his eye.

On Wednesday, I was interviewed for an article in Taproot magazine.  The article will be in the Sustain edition later in the year. I'm sure most of you know the magazine which was founded by Amanda Blake Soule of the wonderful SouleMama blog. When I first started blogging, Soulemama was a great encouragemnt to me and it's good to see both of us still thriving all these years later.


Lunch one day during the week - chive pancakes with mini Roma tomatoes.

My new computer arrived yesterday!  I'm still on the old one writing this but I'll move onto the new girl over the weekend when I have a bit more time. I'm keeping this computer and will use it for photo storage.

Can you believe it? Jamie has his tenth birthday next week. 😳 He's grown into a very sweet, kind and talented boy and we couldn't be prouder of him.  Here is the post I wrote on the day he was born.  BTW, the monkeys are still loose.

🌿  💚  🌿

I hope you enjoy this week's readings.  

How to create a neat edge on your garter stitch projects
How to Start Your First Knitting Project
Down the back today - this is an Instagram page of a wonderful Australian garden. This is a genuine garden and home, not the shiny and "perfect" Instagram garden. Check out the seed swap.
La Parfait, Weck and Ball jars and lids and preserving supplies - Australian site
Melbourne mum stuns with 35-tray pantry storage solution - When I first saw this, I liked the idea but didn't think it would suit the kind of food we cook. It looked to be packet and bottled foods instead of ingredients for scratch cooking.  However, if you look at the far right, you can see ingredients there. 
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Weekend reading

19 March 2021
I feel really energised lately and although it's due to the cooler weather and the approach of my favourite seasons, I think housework is working its magic too. I started by reluctantly cleaning a few drawers and cupboards and by the time I moved on to the fridge, pantry and larder, my attitude change and I was looking for new organising projects.  There is nothing like the feeling of living in a home that is organised and comfortably neat. I'm not talking about absolute precision, I'm thinking of relaxed, clean spaces that make living here a pleasure. You really do get into the grove of it when you've completed a couple of spaces. I keep going back to look at what I've done and it motivates me to do more. And I take my time too, I'm not rushing and I do it when I feel like it. It doesn't feel like a commitment or a burden, it's MUCH better than that.


This was the start of the larder/stockpile cupboard clean out. We did one shelf at a time. I'll write more about it later in the week on Instagram.


I've just put Gracie's food on to cook (above). It's enough for a couple of weeks so I keep one container in the fridge and freeze the rest. This batch is 2kg beef mince with pumpkin, carrots, cabbage, rolled oats and rice. She LOVES it. Later this morning I'll clean the seals on the freezer and fridge. Since the humid weather started, they've be slowly growing mould that doesn't wipe off anymore, it needs a firmer touch. I don't use liquid bleach, I'll use either peroxide or Di-san spray instead. I also have to tidy my work room. I've been sewing and throwing things left and right in piles instead of putting them away immediately. It's a 20 minute job so I'll get that done before I go outside.



These kipfler potatoes are chitting on the back verandah.  You can see the shoots  just starting to emerge above. When more shoots are out, I'll plant three each in grow bags. 


It's supposed to rain this afternoon so before it does I want to clean up one of the salivas that snapped in the wind the other night.  That will give me the chance to use my new shears (above); I bought them at Bunnings yesterday afternoon. I also picked up two flowering plants for the garden. It doesn't seem right to go in there and not buy a plant.  🌿  ☺️  🌿

The seedlings have been moved from the bush house to the verandah to keep out of the rain. They're doing well so far.

This week, I forgot St Patricks Day for the first time ever!  Of course, when a memory loss happens most of us falsely believe it's the first sign of dementia. I tend to think it's old age, the part concerning loss and weakness, coming to the fore. When I was diagnosed with a brain tumour and had a series of MRIs, one of the things they noticed were early changes due to old age. None of us survives ageing unchanged. But I think I'm winning because I still feel energetic and I want to do everything I can do.  I still wonder about St Patricks Day though, I wonder what my mum would have said to that.

I hope you're well and safe and spending time with loved ones.  Covid vaccinations have started here but they're very disorganised. Have you been vaccinated yet? Have a lovely weekend and enjoy the change of seasons.  xx

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Weekend Reading

12 March 2021

I'm running late today. Not that it's a problem for a woman who never wears a watch and operates mainly by light and dark instead. I'm doing all sorts here - writing, keeping an eye on my sewing while I sit here writing - I do have plans for it!, and I'm tending seedings and cooking lunch. I also need to organise shelves in the laundry and change the bed linen. I was watering before we had a bit of rain, and of course you know we have a small black dog who always wants to be out on the front verandah searching for lizards.  The lizards know what she's like now and they disappear as soon as she walks out the door. 


Hanno bought me two lava rock plants from Aldi during the week. I really like them - this one is an elkhorn and I have a birds nest fern in the bathroom.

But most of my thoughts float out my workroom and into the back yard. It's mid March and that means gardening in my world - and the orchids are starting to flower! I have a lot of ideas to try this year and can't wait for the days to catch up to my outside to-do list. I bet there are a lot of you who feel the same.


The new bee hotel.

Hanno is outside now modifying a bee hotel we bought at Aldi during the week. It should be up later today. The seedlings are doing well with all of them except the chives, forget-me-nots and cleome up and growing. Jamie will be here on the weekend and we have plans to pick elderflowers. 


It looks like Hanno might have had another bleed into his eye. Next week, he's got his post-op check up from the last bleed but I think he'll be having the procedure done again. We'll see how it goes. 


The news reports tell me that the Covid situation seems to be improving in most places with the vaccinations going ahead. I'm really pleased to see the death rates have fallen dramatically so hopefully we'll be looking at a healthier world very soon. I hope things are good where you live. Stay safe.


Here are this week's readings:

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Weekend Reading

5 March 2021
I'm getting excited about getting closer to starting our gardening season. We've had cooler evening temperatures, soon the humidity will ease and then I'll start pruning and planting. I sowed seeds during the week - 15 Woolworth's flower, vegetable and herb seeds and open pollinated seeds from Eden Seeds.  I'm hoping I got the timing right and when the seedlings are ready to plant, it will be comfortably cool enough to do it.




I also put out some kipfler potatoes to chit last week and when they send out some shoots, I'll grow them in a grow bag. Over all this season, we'll grow the potatoes, silver beet/Swiss chard, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchinis, Welsh onions, purple turnips, all the herbs we eat and a variety of fruit.  The passionfruit are doing really well and should be ready in April - the two vines are full; there are plenty of lemons on two trees and they're still flowering; and it looks like there will be loquats to pick later in the year.  We pruned the tree six months ago, fertilised it and then there was enough rain to soak the fertiliser in and it's made a real difference.  The dwarf banana needs some help and it will get that as soon as is cooler.  It's certainly enough to keep me busy every day, engaged in outdoor life and breathing fresh air. I can't wait.


Here is one of our lunches from the week - pork fillet with red cabbage, sweet potato and potatoes. The gravy is from the mix I showed you last week. A delicious meal and quite cheap - $6.50 for the pork fillet which was enough for both of us, red cabbage from the stockpile cupboard and the potatoes are vegetables we always have on hand. I served them with butter and green onions.  Today we're having chicken parmigiana, potato salad and salad. I think we're very fortunate to eat food cooked from scratch every day. A good variety of meat, fish and vegetarian meals that suit our tastes and keep us healthy.


The final simple living workshops are on the weekend - Backyard, gardening and chickens. We've all had fun with these workshops, I think the ladies have learnt a lot and it's been a treat for all of us to sit with our cuppas and talk about how we live and what the challenges and benefits are.  I'll be doing a workshops for the Ku-ring-gai Council, the North Sydney Council and the Willoughby Council soon too. The Ku-ring-gai Council workshop on Baking and Cooking and is on 16 March, the ad is above. That is booked out and has a waiting list. The other Council workshops will be in June and July.

I hope you're staying healthy and happy, have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you again next week. xx

This week's readings:




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