Saturday, 8 September 2012

Chair - Old to New

I've had this chairs for 10 years and was considering throwing them out.  Instead we decided to give them a makeover and use them on our deck.  We had 4 but one was beyond repair.

Garry hung each one on the clothes line and sprayed them with black paint.  Just another use for the all important rotary hoist

The finished product on the deck ready for use.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Slow Living Diary - August 2012

I'm joining in with a community of bloggers started by Christine over at Slow Living Essentials.  Christine had this fantastic idea at the start of the year to focus on 9 elements that will help to maintain a focus on slowing down and enjoying the simple things in life.  I only found Christine's blog half way through August but thought that it blended well with what I am trying to achieve on my blog so I wanted to get started straight away.  The idea is post at the end of the month (or the start of the new month) and reflect on the 9 categories and share your achievements (or even lack of) for the past month.   I've included Christines description for each category in italics next to the title.

Nourish : Make and bake as much as possible from scratch.  Ditch overpackaged, overprocessed convenience foods and opt for 'real" food instead.  Share favourite links/recpies/tips from the month.
Cooking from scratch is pretty normal for me.  I think my best effort in the past month was my Zucchini pesto and chicken dish made with my Spirooli.   You can see the whole blog post here
 Prepare: Stockpile and preserve, Freeze extra meals or excess garden/market produce.
Having only just moved in the last month I haven't done a lot of this.  However I did shop in bulk and stock the freezer as well as making a couple of weeks worth of meals for Layla (the dog) and freezing those. 
Reduce: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing.
Not sure if this counts but we did sell some unwanted furntiture on e-bay at bargain prices to help out others and cut down on the excess "stuff" in our life.
Green: Up our lives. Start (or continue) using homemade cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies.
I discovered the wonders of Coconut oil.  Not only is it great and healthy for cooking it makes the best mosituriser.  This is all I use now and my skin seems to love it.  It has also cut down on all those little plastic bottles that used to fill the bathroom shelves.  (ahh just realised this also fits the Reduce category).
Grow: plant/harvest. What's growing this month?  What's being eaten from the garden.
My favourite category and on moving into our new house the first thing we did this month was plant.  We now have herbs, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and bok choy growing.  Check out my planting post
Create: to fill a need or feed the soul.  Create for ourselves or for others.  
My other favourite :-) I finished off some dishclothes and face washers.  I made a little crochet purse and finished off this mat just in time to go under my anniversary flowers.  
Discover: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests. Trawl libraries, second hand shops or local book shops to find titles that fill the need. 
I enjoyed re-visiting my gardening books to learn how to grow herbs and vegetables in pots in the new house.  I've only been used to planting in garden beds, so this is new and experimental.
Enhance: community: possibilities support local growers and producers.  Help out in your community. Start a blog!
I started blogging again after a 3 month break while we got settled after the move.  I found the local growers market and have been supporting it every Sunday morning usually while others are sleeping. I have also really enjoyed reading other blogs and I'm just amazed at how many inspirational and talented people there are out there.
Enjoy: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family.
I had a couple of really nice dinners with some special friends this month.  I've also bought some beautiful framed prints. These are from a very talented photographer.   I posted a pic below but please check out Jen Waltmon's Red Bubble site  Thanks Jen I'm enjoying them immensely !
Thanks Christine for starting the Slow Living blog idea. I look forward to having a whole month to reflect on next time.


Sunday, 26 August 2012

Sunday Projects

I'm off to a good start, I've been to the market and bought a punnet of lettuce and a few herbs.  I then came home and potted them and re-potted some of the lettuce that had grown from seed all too close together.  I'm now calling this the table garden.
I have a few unfinished projects that I'm going to start to finish today.  I have some cloths to finish off and I might make a table mat with all the little squares.
I've picked up this magazine rack at an op shop over a year ago.  I have taken the old cover off to use as a pattern and I have sanded it back and lacquered it.  I just need to make the cover next.
Shame I also have to do things like grocery shop and clean the house today !

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Loving my Spirooli

The Spirooli loaded and ready to go
I bought this last year when we had an abundance of zucchini in the garden.  Last week I bought some beautiful zucchini at the market so got it out again to make some zucchini pasta  Well it's not actually pasta, it's just zucchini, and I served it with other vegies and some pesto.  Healthy low carb and delicious. I got my Spirooli online at Raw Pleasure
In action


Sunday, 19 August 2012

Early Sunday Market

The sun coming up over the market
I finally found a market close to home that isn't one of those fancy markets where everything is expensive and "special".  This is just your ordinary farmers market with a bit of 2nd hand stuff as well.

I loved buying my fruit and vegies at the market when we were in the country and now I can do the same here without it costing a fortune.  I do this early while Garry is still asleep.

Today I was looking for some Basil to plant but I'm told I'm a little early for that.  So I just got a few silverbeet plants to add to my growing garden.

Layla was very lucky, she got a special cushion for the back deck. 
I think she likes it she's been like this for a few hours testing it out :-)

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Hello Blog - The Start of a New Garden

Our Back yard with not much going on
I've missed blogging but I wasn't really sure what to blog about now that we are back in the city. 

As the weather is starting to warm again we decided it was time to do some planting.  This was all the inspiration I needed to blog again!

Garry doing all the work.  Layla taking it easy.

As we are renting the house and sharing the backyard with Layla we have to think carefully about this vegie patch.  We had some lettuce that had grown from seed in a few pots and a bit of parsley and that was about it. 

Today in the green pots we planted cucumber and Tommy Tomatoes and I'm hoping they will grow over the lattice work of the carport.   I will move them further apart as they grow.  They are on bricks so that Layla hopefully can't dig in them.

I've also planted some chives and am planning on going to the markets in the morning to see what else I can find.

Stay tuned and see how it all grows (or doesn't).
Ok watch this space hopefully the white lattice will be full of green soon

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Goodbye Blog

Sadly this will be the last post to this blog.  We are packing up to move back to the city for employment reasons. It's been a great experience and one that I will miss a whole lot.  Thanks for following and all your lovely comments.


Saturday, 24 March 2012

Chilli Oil

I'm still overwhelmed with study and assignment writing but took a short time out this morning to make some Chilli oil.  Our Chilli bush is one of the few things in the garden that has liked the ridiculous amount of rain we have had.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Last Subject

Last week I started the last subject in my Masters of Learning and Development.  Normally I don't post stuff about work or uni on this blog as it really doesn't suit the theme.  My reason for mentioning it now is that blogging over the next 10 weeks will be a bit intermittent.  Although I have studied and blogged before I didn't really focus enough on studying and my purpose now is to put in a very strong finish for my Masters.

I have created a blog for my current subject "Online Pedagogy" and while most will find this of no interest at all, some of my training buddies may.  The blog link is and I will also add it to my list of favourite blogs on the side.   This blog will form part of my final assessment where I need submit a reflective journal.

I will post the odd "simple life blog" when I can.  It's currently pouring again and I'm looking at a river outside my office window.  We planted around 40 seedlings in the vegie garden yesterday and I fear that most of them will have washed away.   Ohhhh the life of a farmer !

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Red Curry Sweet Potato Soup

I used some of our recent crop of Sweet Potato to make this soup.


500 Grams of Sweet Potato slowed cooked in the oven with the skin still on.  Once cooked scoop the flesh away from the skin.  (fed the skin to the dogs)

1 Brown Onion, 2 cloves garlic and 2 sticks of celery (chopped) all cooked in 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

Then add 2 tablespoons of Red Curry Paste (maybe less next time)

Add the sweet potato flesh and 1 litre of vegetable stock.

Cook over a slow heat for 30 - 45 mins.  

I then used the stick mixer to blend out all the lumps.

Reheated just before serving and added one can of coconut milk (440ml)

Served with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of mint.

It was delicious but maybe just a touch to spicy 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Rain, Rain and More Rain

We are soooo sick of the rain.  Yesterday afternoon it just poured and poured and this was the follow on from a huge storm the night before that also dropped heaps of rain.   I took these photos yesterday afternoon.  Really hoping for some sunshine soon.
You can see our wood pile and outdoor fire almost completely covered by water

There are some kids swimming in the dam a couple of blocks up.  There is no way I would do that.  All the snakes wash down with this kind of rain.   We had a Red Belly Black in the front yard last week.

Seems that we put our fence up at just the right point.  Our block goes all the way to the back of the dam.

Lilly also wishing the sun would come out so I'd take her for a walk

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sweet Potato


Our first attempt at growing Sweet Potato has been a huge sucess.   I bought a Beauregard Sweet Potato from the Diggers Club in October and planted it straight away in a dedicated garden bed.   I wasn't too sure when to dig it up but when I took a look at it last Sunday I realised I'd possibly left it too long.  We had a huge mound of sweet potato errupting like a volcano out of the soil. 

As you can see we had a couple of very very large sweet potato but the majority of the crop are a perfect size.   In total we dug up 8.5kg !

Now it's time to look for those sweet potato recipes.  We'll also cook and freeze a lot to have later in the year.  

The Whole Crop

Saturday, 11 February 2012

This Week's Favourite Pictures

We've been having very tropical weather this week.  Some very heavy downpours at night followed by hot humid days.  Great weather for frogs and mozzies.  I'm starting to look forward to the dry cold winter.  (although I'm sure I'll change my mind when it's here).

The grass is growing as we watch it and Garry is spending 3 hours a week on the ride-on mower.  I'm sure he is looking forward to winter to.

There have been some great photo opportunities this week. Here are my favourites.

Sunset reflected in the dam

This is the road we live on.  You can see how heavy the sky is and how lush the grass is.  You can just see our dam on the right

Daddy Frog and Baby Frog

Lilly under my chair staying dry

Monday, 30 January 2012

My New Workplace

I haven't written much in the last few weeks as I have been busy moving from the city to our property and settling into my new job.

These are some pictures of my work environment it's very beautiful and very peaceful.

My Office

The Admin Centre - my office is the door to the right at the back

Outside the office block

BBQ Area

The Pool

Massive Staghorn

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Green Frog

We found this little guy hiding out on the corner of the deck last night. 

Friday, 13 January 2012

Changing Direction

Today is the end of my working life in the city and while I am very happy to be moving permanently to the “bush” there are things I will miss.   Actually it's the people I will miss!
I’ve been working for the last year or so with a group of great people and I will dearly miss the chats, lunches, drinks, and just the general highs and lows that we have shared.

This picture is part of the fantastic gift they gave to me.  They also gave me a voucher for the hardware shop where I will be looking for a gate to be part of the fence we (Garry) are about to build around the garden to stop Lilly and Layla digging up the veggies.   (stay tuned ………)

Monday I start a new job 15 mins from our property but today I feel sad to be leaving good  friends……………………

Monday, 9 January 2012

Okra Flower

I planted Okra for the first time a few weeks ago and it has just started to flower.

I've only eaten Okra a few times in my life so am looking forward to trying a few recipes.  Hopefully I'll like the vegetable as much as I like the flower.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Sunday Morning

I love the mornings and am so glad that I was born a morning person !   I have a lot of work on outside of my normal work at the moment so that means I need to spend a fair amount of time in my office on the weekends.  That's not hard, this is the view from my office window.

Before I start work in the mornings I go for a walk around the gardens and see what has happened over night.   This is a pumpkin I hand pollinated yesterday morning and hopefully it did the trick and will grow.  If we don't hand pollinate our pumpkins we don't get any.  I need to plant flowers to attract the bees.

Lilly sees me with the camera in my hand and sits in front of me in her best pose.

Layla and Lilly both come up to say Good Morning to the chooks.