Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"Silly Season", Sufficiently Sufficient Style!

Since my last post I have enjoyed a trip to Sydney & Scone to visit with friends-the travel involved was well worth it, as I spent the days with them in tears of laughter-just what I needed before the "Silly Season" sets in!

Today I have finally made our Christmas Pudding-the fruit has been soaking since October. It's a 3-in-1 mix, which also provides for our Christmas Cake ( which I made a couple of weeks back).

Once the pudding has boiled for 4 hours it needs to hang to dry-so here is how I do it! Upturn one of the stools on the kitchen bench, thread through a pole and voila! Pudding Drying contraption!

For breakfast this morning His Lordship & I enjoyed homemade strawberry jam ( made in the microwave from our homegrown strawberries) on homemade sourdough English Muffins....mmmmmmmm.
Finally-here is a rather ordinary photo of this year's Christmas tree- instead of the red,green & gold I have used for years I have gone for a "vintage" theme-with most ornaments handmade by me! Why yes, yes I am pleased with my efforts! My humility could do with some work though....... ;)
No-the angel is not about to swan dive off the top-that's His Lordship's effort-which has been rectified!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Parsnips and potatoes.......

Overnight we have had an spectacular electrical storm-which provided some good soaking rain. It moistened the soil enough for me to harvest the remaining parsnips-and a couple of cheeky potatoes which had sprung up!
I also harvested another 1.5kg of strawberries- I think I may use this batch to try some microwave strawberry jam.
Telstra still doesn't have our telephone services up and running in the area-some businesses have managed to get their EFTPOS up and running and there are also some ATMs working.
Ah well......abck to the Dark Ages!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blacking out......

The area in which we live is currently suffering from day 5 of a telecommunications blackout due to a fire in the main Telstra exchange based in Warrnambool.

This has resulted in no landlines, no internet for those not on satellite/wireless and the EFTPOS system has also been unavailable. Debit and credit cards were not able to be used at those businesses which didn't have an offline processing machine-so if consumers did not have cash they couldn't purchase!

Lines were formed at banks as clients tried to withdraw cash-ATMs were not working either!

Banks and governments have been guiding us into being a cashless society for some time now-yet in times like these cash is the only option!

It has been quite an experience-which is not over yet! Mobile phones are beginning to work again-although household landlines are still not available. Emergency services were obviously the first priority.

 In areas like ours mobile reception is patchy and landlines are a must. It is expected to take another 5 days or so before the system is fully restored.

It has been like living through one of those futuristic movies where society comes to a grinding halt and humanity needs to resort to old fashioned skills!

Our household has managed quite well due to my pantry and freezer-milk has been the only purchase in the past 5 days and I could have got by without if's just that I can't stand powdered milk in my cup of tea! Our vegie garden and hens have also continued to provide for us-so Casa de Kyndylan has remained comfortable during this stressful-for-some incident.

How would you and your family cope in such a situation?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sunshine and strawberries..........

It's a coolish late spring day here, with the sun shining and a lovely light breeze blowing.

The Christmas cake is baking in the oven, the washing is on the line and I have just harvested nearly a kilo of strawberries.

Life is good.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Glories from the glorybox....

Over the weekend we made the return 7 hr trip to visit my parents-spending the night with them. It was the first time that we had taken our remaining dog to visit, and as they have a small dog of their own we were feeling some trepidation!

However all was well-both dogs behaved impeccably and our boy was totally spoiled-I hope he doesn't expect bacon for breakfast everyday now! :)

Whilst I was there my mother asked me if I would like some doilies and placemats. These items have come from my step Grandmother who is 91 and formed part of her glory box over 70 years ago! Some are handstitched, others were made on machine. The sad thing is that no-one in her line of blood relatives wanted these beautiful items!

So, it was with great pride and gratitude that I accepted them. These pieces have never been used because they were so special to her.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Perusing the property.....

Some updated photos of the productive area of our acre:

To the Eastern side of the vegie garden ( neighbours shed under construction in the background)

To the Northern side-this side is being allowed to lie fallow until next season. We have layered manure & straw-which will be turned over in 6 months or so. You can see the chicken coop-the chooks are allowed to freerange through the orchard during the day and are locked up at night.
I've netted the strawberry beds today- there is a lot of fruit and the birds are starting to show an interest!

We have a broody hen at the moment- Miss Millie is in a "fowl" mood! I'm not sure how many eggs are under her-there is at least one. I've decided to let her sit and see what eventuates!

Our rooster-Sir Bebe Le Pew!
Miss Betty doing some of her best posing!
As I was wandering around this morning I found this nest-and not far away from it this broken blue egg. Now I have no idea whether it was blown down during the storm last night or if the ravens have raided it and dropped it. I have sprayed it in case of mites etc and will find a home in our dining area for it I think.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Planting & planning...

It's a mid spring day here and we have had a blast of wintry weather! I've been a tad slow to get much in the vegie garden going this season ( work, work, work-it soooo gets in the way of life!)-so I scheduled this morning to remedy that. It has been too wet & windy to head out with the camera-so it's words only today I'm afraid!

In the ground went 4 zucchini plants ( I LOVE zucchini!), 8 chilli seedlings and assorted lettuce seedlings. They have joined the rocket, basil & tomato seedlings ( which were direct sown a couple of weeks back), whereas the onion & parsnips have been doing their thing for a while now.

Fruit trees are looking good and the strawberry beds are just about at the point of being netted from the plethora of birdlife we have in residence! Raspberries & blueberries are starting to set fruit and we have already had some of the rhubarb & asparagus this year ( not together though!).

We are having Christmas here this year-so I'm planning to plant enough salad greens to provide for the 25 or so people who will be here.

How's your garden growing?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Buffet: Battered to beautiful!

Remember this baby? Back in September I commence a little makeover on the first piece of furniture that His Lordship & I ever bought together (more than 20 years ago).

Lovely in her day, she became a little dated. Her orange based timber stain was like a middleaged woman who was still trying to wear the same makeup from her teenage years ( you all know what I mean right? ) and her gold/brass drawer pulls had seen better days.

She had been hidden away-kept from public view. Yes, I HAD become ashamed of her! Now-as I have grown to appreciate my own middle age I decided that I should bring her firmly into THIS century.

This is her now:

A coat or two of homemade chalk paint,a little wax, new drawer pulls and she's ready to strut her stuff!
We have had a wall pulled down to enlarge our dining area ( pictures of that process in another post) and she is now the star of the room!

How about you? Have you given any furniture a makeover and a new lease of life?
Oh-and apparently this is the 100th post on this blog!!!!!!!!

Linking up at:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday's musings....

Hello there friends.

Yes, I am still here.

It has been a time of reflection,renewal,renovation and release for me & mine recently.

I have felt less the need to reach out ( hence the lack of blogposts) and more the yearning to observe. I am in my 45th year and have learned by now that when I get such desires I need to obey them. Eventually, a frisson will pass through the emotional me and once again I connect.

Much has happened here over the past 7 or 8 weeks since my last post-and I will gradually fill you all in on what has changed around our home & garden.

In our family situation, we have sadly had to say goodbye to two treasured family members recently- an uncle who was in his 88th year and our beloved dog ( who was in his 11th year). Both losses leave voids in our hearts-but as we know, death is a part of our lives.

So, in I am enjoying the sunshine and assorted noises which signify a lovely spring day.

Tomorrow, I shall again enter the fray of this existence we all share and once again appreciate the days I have been gifted.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday thrift...

Mother Nature has decided to have a bit of a tanty in our neck of the woods-and with wind speeds of up to 120km/hr being endured it is a good time to be indoors.
More than 20 years ago His Lordship & I bought a timber kitchen dresser and that dresser has travelled with us eversince. She is looking a tad older-and a bit worn around the edges ( yes,yes I am too!) and at times I have been close to rehoming her. However, she is still serviceable-and with a little facelift I'm sure that she will be attractive for years to come ( a facelift for her is cheaper than one for me-at least one of us should age gracefully!).
As I have meandered around the internet, stalking admiring various blogs and the talented people out there I have constantly read references to "chalk paint". This "chalk paint" had me intrigued-the finishes appearing on the projects I was stalking admiring resonated with me.
However living in a country town in Australia has meant that this "chalk paint" would not be easy to when I started to see upcycled furniture using homemade or DIY chalk paint I started looking at my kitchen dresser with desire.
I have to go to work in the afternoon, so I decided to remove the 3 glass doors and try the DIY chalk paint on them.
I had half a tin of white latex all in one primer and paint ( 500ml), so I gathered the rest of the supplies:
Painters tape ( scotch blue)
Paintbrushes ( use cheap ones to toss out if you like-this paint is STICKY!)
Old floral sheet  Drop cloth
Special paint stands Plastic cups
Baking soda/bicarb soda
Raw umber acrylic paint
special paint stirrer chopstick
 I stood the old door on the special paint stands plastic cups
and taped around the edge of the glass.
then added 1 cup baking soda/bicarb soda to the paint and using my special paint stirrer chopstick, stirred it until it was smooth. I also added a few blobs of Raw Umber paint to take the brightness off the white latex paint.
I applied one coat over the entire door ( chased the cat away), admiring it's rustic chalkiness and alluring farmhouse charm ( too far?) Have I mentioned that this stuff is STICKY?
Later on I added some fabric I had left over and hung my baby here:
This is me being impatient- I have yet to sand & wax the old door  new frame!
I can see those of you who already knew about the transforming powers of chalk paint sagely nodding your heads as you read this. Please don't judge me for coming late to the fold- I live in sometimes takes us a little longer to learn about such things!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Struggle street.

Today the sun shone. Normally I would be filled with joy-planning to spend spare hours outside ( especially considering the sodden winter we have had to endure...); but not today.

Last week I aggravated an old ankle injury when I tripped over a tiny massive piece of metal and am still hobbling limping around.

Thus, instead of sharing a post where I have managed to get the weeds under control and have prolifically planted for the season ahead...... I'm wallowing in self pity grumbling instead.

I coped for 30mins whilst I did manage to wave my magic poison wand weedsprayer before traisping hobbling sobbing with pain back inside.

Ankle is now strapped wrapped like a mummy for some assistance......recovery is expected some time in the future. ;)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ways with Words......

During the last few weeks the weather has not been conducive for much outside my roving eye has been scanning the house, ever searching for a way to personalise our space-always on the tighest of budgets!

One of the easiest ways to add some interest to your home is by "tarting" with art-of course, art is in the eye of the beholder!

Now, as much as I would love a Van Gogh in the entry.... the pockets are not likely to be deep enough in this I like personal touches.

Ergo-enter my trusty Toshiba laptop and home printer.

I printed out a piece of prose I wrote last week, whacked it in a cheap frame and put it up in our entry. I'm contemplating pasting the printout onto an old piece of timber and distressing it.. or getting a better frame.
The beauty is that because it is so cheap it matters not if I make a right royal cockup of it! I can just print out another one!
This little print joins a couple of other pieces around the house.....
Above our bed is a fragment of His Lordship's favourite song...

And in our living room I have hung this:

Our family is at the point where this particular piece is very pertinent!
What other cheap decorating ideas have you got?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday slow...........

For the first time in many weeks His Lordship and I had the whole weekend at home-which saw us spend yesterday pottering around the house and yard, tidying and rearranging.

Then the afternoon I spent baking as we had arranged for the MIL and GrandMIL ( she is 94) to visit today for afternoon tea. I relished the chance to spend time in the kitchen cooking a coffee cake, triple choc muffins, blondies and some tomato, feta & pine nut tartlets.

Below: Used a muffin tray for the shortcase pastry tartlet shells
Below: Mr Oliver's beans helping with the blind baking
Below: Filling ingredients being prepared whilst tartlet shells bake
Below: Filling ingredients artistically arranged
Below: Egg mix carefully poured in
Below: Beautifully baked. ( Humble aren't I? )
Below: Tarlets as presented-greenery on plate and finely chopped sundried tomato & feta sprinkled on top.
Below: Another angle because I think they looked good! ;)
 Below: Blondies...mmmmmm.
Below: His Lordship's favourite Coffee Cake.
 Below: Triple Choc muffins
Below: Not much in the way of floral material here at the moment! A branch snipped from a couple of the natives shoved in a jar with the sole rose available, then a length of ribbon wrapped around the jar and Voila! centrepiece!
 Below: Setting the table

 Below: Cutlery shoved in another old jar
 Below: Nom,nom,nom!
I enjoyed the chance to bake and set the table. We had a lovely relaxed afternoon and thoroughly cherished the tales that GrandMIL shares with us.
How was your Sunday?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday Thrift....

Water, H2O, aqua, wasser, agua,maji or dwr-regardless of the language we can't live without water! On our little acre of paradise we rely solely on rainwater-so when we built the house we installed 4 large tanks. All up, we store just under 100,000litres of pure, FREE rainwater!

His Lordship has been spotted on the odd occasion gazing at the tanks with something akin to adoration on his face, he then happily wanders off muttering something about never having another water bill......sometimes it is so easy to keep a Banker with a mix of Scottish and Welsh blood happy!

Ok,Ok...I MAY be exaggerating-but not by much! Did I mention that he is a BANKER? With Scottish and Welsh ancestry? I'm not saying that he is tight-but a fish's sphincter muscle comes to mind..... I should point out at this point that he doesn't read my blog-technophobe bigtime is my darling!

Back to the topic at hand-Water.
Not only is water an integral part of our very existence ( just ask anyone on the African continent suffering through drought!), but it is also one of the easiest and cheap ways to save a dollar-or two these days!
Glass half full or half empty?
Here in the Casa, we keep 3 bottles of water chilled in the fridge at all times ( yes, one of these bottles is a recycled wine bottle-nice drop it was too!)

Pretty blue bottle.
We also have a collection of refillable drink bottles ( usually obtained at little or no cost at conferences etc-did I mention His Lordship's ancestry? Or that he is a banker?) which live in a plastic crate at the bottom of the pantry-filled up from the chilled fridge water and taken whenever we leave the house there is no need to spend money on water when out and about.
Yesterday I saw a shop selling bottled water for $4-for a 400ml bottle! Geez-that means that our 100,000litres in the backyard is worth a small fortune-yay, we are rich! Woohoo-wait until I tell His Lordship...... * cue theme music from the Beverley Hillbillies here.....
So, with a little forethought ( and a decent wine drinking session-you NEED those empties for water storage......), you need never buy bottled water again....well, rarely anyhow!
Just because I like the photo....

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