Weekend Reading

30 July 2021

I'm happy to tell you that Hanno and I are fully vaccinated. We had the AstraZeneca vaccine which has been given to millions of people all over the world and up to this point, the over 60s in Australia. It was developed by the Oxford University in England. We had mild fatigue after the first jab and no side effects with the second.  I was really impressed when our vaccinations where registered on our MyGov pages BEFORE we got home! I've now have a My Gov digital identity so I can prove I'm fully vaccinated. It's becoming increasingly clear that this is how we'll be able to return to travel, apply for jobs and attend large functions in the future. 



We're both very grateful to be inoculated and I feel more relaxed about going out now, although mostly we're just going out to pick up groceries, to the vet and doctor. They're opening up AstraZeneca to a wider age group now so if you are able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine I encourage you to get it. The cost of getting Covid, especially the Delta strain, is massive now, and much higher that any risk associated with AstraZeneca. If you're hesitating, talk to your doctor, do more research and see if you can find a way forward. 


We had Gracie back to the vet during the week and she still has an infected ear. She's had two courses of antibiotics and now she's back on the drops. She goes back for another checkup on Tuesday. She's showing no signs of distress or pain and is her usual happy self, except when we put the drops in her ear. So we're giving her the drops just before her main meal, and that seems to be working well.
 


I'm about to repot this lovely pelargonium in a hanging basket. I took a cutting from outside my hairdresser's building, it's grow this big and the flower, about to open, it's a deep, deep purple-red.


I'm full steam ahead with the garden now and it's coming along nicely. I've planted a pink climbing rose on the lattice covering the chicken coop and I can hardly wait to see it spreading out and blooming. Yesterday I bought some rainbow chard and new parsley seedlings and planted the chard up today in a polystyrene box. I also found perpetual lettuce so I bought one, which was really two seedlings, for $3. I'll grow them in the bush house over spring and summer next to the mint and micro herbs.

Tomorrow I'll plant the parsley in the old sand pit, plant a white daisy called White Lightening and an Armeria called Dreamland. I have some seeds to sow and I want to also plant the rose Elina, a yellow rose I bought for Sunny, that I took a cutting from. My last job in the garden will be to tend the citrus. I want to spray them with white oil for the scale I noticed recently, fertilise with citrus food and prune the large orange tree. We have a large harvest of lemons waiting to be picked and that will give us lemons for cooking and baking as well as a good stash of lemon juice to freeze to make lemon cordial in summer.  There's always something to do ... thank goodness.



I baked a lemon cake today and we had rissoles/frikadellen/large meat balls with mushroom and onion gravy, fried potatoes/bratkartoffeln and Brussel sprouts for lunch. Delicious! It's a really old fashioned meal and it takes me back to my parents cooking every time I eat it. I love eating the food I grew up on.

How are you going? Times are tough all over the world and I often think about the names that appear here. I hope you're staying healthy and safe and remaining optimistic for the future. Have a lovely weekend.  xx

๐Ÿชด ๐Ÿ„ ๐Ÿชด

WEEKEND READING
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Weekend Reading

23 July 2021

Hi! How are you?


More quiet days here and we're staying at home as much as possible. We both got our final vaccination this week so that was good but we're still obliged to wear a mask when we go out. The southern states are in lockdown due to the Covid Delta variant in the Greater Sydney area and a few regional areas of NSW. Victoria and South Australia, with fewer cases, are in lockdown as well.  I send my love and best wishes to everyone affected. Hang in there, we're thinking of you. 




The two big green pots are the potatoes I planted about a month late. They're doing well but still have a few weeks to grow.

I made a delicious beef, barley and root vegetable soup today and we have enough to feed us for the next four days at least. I love good soups when it's cold and it's one of those meals that improves in flavour every day.




I did a Zoom workshop last Tuesday evening with the Kuringai and North Sydney Councils. I talked about Simple Living and I think it went over well because there were a lot of really interesting questions afterwards. I'll do another workshop for those Councils in August on Paying off Debt.

Gracie didn't have the surgery we were expecting. The vet said her ear was much better but not completely cleared up, so she's on another course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. She'll have another checkup next week and I hope I can tell you next week that's she's fine and dandy again.


Thanks for your visit today. I hope you and your family are healthy and safe. Take care and be kind to each other. xx



These are the wild bears at Katmai National Park in Alaska. The bears come to these water falls to gorge on salmon during summer and autumn. They then take their nourished bodies up Dumpling Mountain to hibernate over winter.  You can watch them live, 24/7 on explore. org. They're amazing to watch.

Weekend Reading

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Weekend Reading and Gardening

16 July 2021

Life continues its calm course here with housework, cooking, baking and gardening every day and occasionally a visitor or a trip out. This week we had to take Gracie to the vet because she has a sore ear, again. It's infected and the vet has put her on antibiotics and painkillers and wants to see her again next week. If there's been no improvement, he'll give her an anaesthetic and clean the ear out properly.  He tried to do that this week but she cried so much he stopped so she could calm down.  Poor Gracie. 


The weather has been a bit strange here.  We've just had two days of 26C and it's the middle of winter! It's cooler now and next week it will be cold. But the garden is motoring along and soon I'll take some more photos for you. I've raised a lot of candytuft seedlings and took cuttings of two French lavenders and a yellow rose which are growing well. I'll plant all of them in the main garden over the weekend, re-tie the tomato plants, prune, weed and finish off the fertilising I started mid-week. How is your garden coming along?


We've had sudden surges of Covid in the southern states in the past week or two. I hope the Covid situation where you live has settled down although I've read in recent days that Covid Delta variant is surging in a number of countries. I linked to David Attenborough's Extinction program a couple of weeks ago. It gives the latest facts about the loss of biodiversity world-wide and what the consequences are of that. There is a prediction by a number of scientists that more viral diseases will present themselves because of it. There is another link below as a follow up.



How are you going? I hope all is good in your neck of the woods. Thanks for your visits both here and to my Instagram page. Have a great weekend and enjoy what you do.  xx

๐Ÿงต ๐Ÿชก ๐Ÿชก ๐Ÿงต


Weekend Reading


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Weekend Reading, Grandmothering and Cleaning Cloths (again!)

9 July 2021
With a lockdown behind us and school holidays almost over, the normal pace of life will return again soon. I love the rhythm of life in my home. It's comfortable and calm and it helps me with both productive and creative tasks. I like the predictability of it, the knowledge that one day echoes through the week with familiar patterns and expectations. But I also love the surprises of life that sometimes happen along the way.


There were no surprises this week although we had Jamie here yesterday and he always adds a lot of interest, especially now that he's on the verge of change. Things are falling into place for him and yesterday, while we were weeding the back garden, he told me that it's better to work in winter because you don't get hot, and if you're cold you just have to get up and work and you warm up. He's right of course and I love that he feels that work is a normal part of his life. We're a family of workers and it feels right that Jamie fits in like a piece of our puzzle. It's Alex's birthday tomorrow so we'll have two savvy ten year old boys in the family.


It's raining today and while the rain fills the tanks and seeps into the soil it will mean that I stay inside most of the day. Although later on, after the morning chores, I intend going out to the back verandah to give it a good tidy up. At the moment there are garden tools, bags of potting mix, pebbles, straw, pots and watering cans all over the place. Most of the time we just put things back in place and move them around but it's a good idea once in a while to have a focused clean up and organise what is there to best support the work we do outside.


I've been working with the Ikea and the home-sewn cloths for a couple of weeks now and I have to tell you I much prefer the Ikea cloths for cleaning.  They're exactly the right size, the cloth is perfect for cleaning and they're easy to wash. I like the tea towels I made but I'm now using the cloths as a paper towel replacement - draining, lining vegetable bins and wiping up small spills etc., as well as for cleaning glass.  Did you buy some of the Ikea cloths?  How have they worked in your kitchen?


A big shout out to everyone in lockdown in Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong where the Covid Delta variant is spreading. I hope everything is going well at your place and you're staying happy and healthy. Hanno and I send our best wishes to you and hope you remain safe.  

Thanks for your visit today and during the week.  ๐Ÿ’™


Weekend reading


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Weekend Reading and New White Cleaning Cloths

2 July 2021
I've enjoyed sewing this week. There were a couple of mending jobs, I fixed the waistband on a skirt and made set of six white kitchen cloths and two absorbent tea towels. I'm still using my organic cotton knitted cloths but I've found that the white cloths are much better for cleaning the induction stove, microwave and fronts of the stainless steel fridge and dish washer.


Inspired by the white cloths from Ikea, I had a sewing session and made six cloths and two tea towels using white flannel from Spotlight.

I don't think I've properly explained my rag and dish cloth cleaning methods because I had a couple of emails asking if I still use rags. Of course I still use rags, and always will, but I've only ever used rags for what I call dirty cleaning, not in the kitchen. For me, dirty cleaning is cleaning bathrooms and toilets, wiping the floor with a rag as well as cleaning up any spills that ended up on the floor. If that spill was on the kitchen floor, I'd use a rag but I don't wipe the kitchen bench, fridge or stove with a rag. 

In the kitchen I like to start off with a cloth that I know is clean. That used to always be a knitted cloth and now I've added the white cloths. I saw them when I went to Ikea a couple of months ago, felt them and thought they'd be very absorbent so I bought 10 of them and two absorbent cotton tea towels.  The dish cloths were 30 cents each and the tea towels were 80 cents each. I got 10 cloths and two tea towels for $4.60! It was only when I used them that I realised what great products they are and such great value for money. 


This is the drawer under the oven where I store my kitchen cloths, tea towels, hand towels, straining cloths, jugs covers, tea cosies, oven mitts etc.

I feel the kitchen is cleaner now because I'm encouraged to use a new white cloth every morning. When I clean glass surfaces I dry the surface with one of the absorbent cotton tea towels.  Most days I use four or five white cloths for washing up, wiping the kitchen bench, sink and stove, and I wash them every two or three days. Having a stack of them there, and not just one or two, makes all the difference. I feel prepared for anything. 

 
This is the first forget-me-not. It makes me very happy.


Tommy Toe tomatoes are growing well. Tomatoes are easy to grow in winter in this climate, in fact, it's the easiest time of the year to grow them.

We've been in lockdown again this week, it ends tomorrow. Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle and the Blue Mountains are also locked down.  We're dealing with the terrible Delta variant of the Covid virus and with only a small percentage of people in Australia fully vaccinated, it's worrying, to say the least. If you're in one of the lockdown areas, I hope you made the most of the extra time at home. I think it's useless having a negative outlook. I just get on with it and use my time to do things that will make life better for us. I hope things are good at your home too. Take care of yourself, stay safe and keep warm (or cool). Thank you for visiting me here today. I love your comments and visits. 

๐Ÿ“ ๐Ÿชด ๐Ÿ“

Weekend reading



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