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Monday, March 23, 2020

Still here

Hello Friends,
Yes, I am still here. I have been occupied at home and with family commitments and life in general. Life for all of us is off kilter at the moment and I just wanted to check in here and say hello and wish everyone well.




I have never been more happy to live where I do and how I do. Also trying my best to do what I can for the good of others.

Wishing you all health and happiness,
Tracy

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Bits and pieces

Hello Friends,
I think I am finally free from the pain and lethargy brought on by the case of shingles that floored me before Christmas. I am back to my version of normal at any rate. So I thought a little garden and farm update might be a good idea. 


The heat has been bad but the garden can handle that. It's this drought that has really been the killer. Even the two reliable creeks we have on our property have run dry. We still have water in our house tanks but you just never know when it will rain and people and pets come before plants so I have very little growing in the kitchen garden right now. I am building the soil with manure and compost so all is not lost and perhaps the rest from growing will be good in the long run. I will keep telling myself that.



Before we flew off to the UK, I sowed a zucchini seed and a pumpkin too and got them watered every so often when my parents visited in our absence. They were still alive after the month though struggling, not thriving. Now they are growing well and hopefully their will be some zucchini and pumpkins to show for it.


I'm not sure how these strawberries have kept going but they have so I will do my best to help them along. The self-sown parsley in there  too.



The orchard is suffering terribly. The citrus which were doing so well, have lost a lot of leaves and look sad. They just need a good soaking and a break from the drying winds that have added insult to injury.


And what do crazy ducks do when the weather is hot and dry and horrible? They lay a clutch of eggs and sit on them for a month of course. I do hope there are some little ducklings at the end of this to reward Amanda for her diligence and patience. She's a lovely duck and talks to her eggs so sweetly.

smoke haze 

As for the fires nearby. They are contained or extinguished. There was a bit of stress a few times but that came to nothing. Thank goodness. We had learnt to live with the constant haze of smoke and happily even that has gone now.


Not much pick for the cows and sheep. They are all healthy and in good condition. Some of the paddocks I've seen on my travels into town don't look like they have anything to offer for grazing besides rocks and dirt. These guys have grass albeit very short grass and they are hand fed as well. No picture of the cows today, they tend to spend a lot of the day down by the creek which although is not flowing, still has some spots which are wet and cool. Living the life 😎.

Well best get to it.
Tracy xo

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Slow stitching

 Friday Night with Friends last night. Hot weather with little relief overnight so not too much stitching got done. But I did manage to finish all of the leaves on one tree. Progress is progress so I am happy with that.  Thanks again to Cheryll for hosting. Hopefully I can keep the momentum going and keep making.




When my hands were to sweaty for sewing, I got onto some letter writing. I have a few replies to write after being away for a month and then not feeling up to it the last two weeks.



Anyway, this little piece of happy mail is off to Claire in the UK. Claire is a new pal who I met via Jocelyn's penpal sign-up in October. I hope she likes her letter and the goodies I've included.

Bye for now,
Tracy













Friday, January 3, 2020

Friday Night with Friends


The first Friday of the month so time to get together for some craft. It is HOT here and the cooler is doing its best but not making much of a difference so crafting has to be something not too intense. Definitely nothing involving woolly yarn. I think I might just work on my cross stitch and make some mail art. Nice and easy. Thanks Cheryll for hosting.




Cheryll is also hosting a challenge this year to help us stay focused and get some UFOs finished. I am sure I have a number of long-term projects that I should finish (or maybe even give up on) but I have narrowed it down to a short list.




This is my Sweet Pea blanket that was a crochet along last year. I had no problem with making the blanket and it is finished... sort of. I haven't crocheted the edging. It is fine without but I know it is supposed to be there. SO I am going to get onto that.


Another project that I want done is this Easter table centre piece that was a project at Girls Day in the Country some time ago. It isn't really a project I would choose so I think that is what has held me back.

I'm not sure if these last few things qualify as UFOs. They are quilt blocks that I have received at different times in swaps. I just don't know what to do with them. Hopefully I can think of something or find some inspiration on Pinterest or Instagram or anywhere really.


More blocks from an old swap. What to do with them.


And last but not least, my long overdue to be finished cross stitch. I really like the design but I have struggled to get going on it. At different times I have set myself challenges to do so many stitches (at least) per day but still it feels like it will never be finished. I'm determined to finish it this time. I'm fairly certain I have said that before.

Anyway, I will be giving these projects a good go this year and will report back along the way. Progress or not.

Thanks for visiting,
Tracy xo

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

So long 2019

2019. I think a lot of people are more than happy to see the end of this year. I know turning the page and opening up a new calendar is really just symbolic but it does always feel like a fresh start when a new year rolls around. 

There have been some troubling times with the drought and with fires and the like but I am still here and still enjoying life on my little property. It is where I want to be and how I want to live and I am happy. We have not been left out by the drought or the bushfires but I try not to dwell on the negative. The nearby fire (a different one to October) is being controlled which is a good thing as resources on the fire fighting front are stretched so far at the moment. 

I have neglected this space but always have good intentions of writing but then I get busy or I get in a writing funk or whatever. Maybe 2020 will be the year to write again. Anyway, a few of the highlights for this year.


 I wrote in my journal at the beginning of 2019 that I would like to travel more. Well that happened. Tim and I had a trip to parts of the Northern Territory and Adelaide. What an interesting part of our country.

And more recently Tim, Hope and I met up with Grace in the UK. She had been on a scholarship study tour of universities in the UK and US so a perfect opportunity for us to have a pre-Christmas holiday together. Two weeks in the UK followed by a two-week bus tour of Europe.


Revisited some of our favourite places in England. A Christmas meal at River Cottage which was wonderful.

West Bay is lovely and early winter was a great time to visit England. It wasn't too cold nor wet and certainly noticeably less busy than the summer holiday time. I liked the quiet.

 Lyme Regis didn't disappoint.

Then off to Europe. I liked not having to drive or think about the logistics of travelling but I have to say the fast pace of an organised tour was too much for me. So much so that I came home tired and not feeling too well. The result of all that stress, shingles which I am still recovering from. Almost there.

If I didn't realise I was a homebody before (I did) then I know for sure now.

 Thanks to Hope for this picture of the Eiffel Tower. It was great to see it but I doubt I will return.
The girls will I am sure.


Switzerland was lovely. Expensive as was Europe but lovely to visit and get out in the natural beauty.

I wish all of my friends near and far a happy 2020. I hope the year ahead is kind and gentle and I look forward to being more present here as time permits.

Happy New Year,
Tracy xo

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fires

 It has been a waiting game here this week. The police knocked on the door at 1:30am on Monday night to let us know that the nearby bushfires would be a threat to us when an expected weather change came through. So preparations were made for leaving home with the pets and for protecting what we could with our fire fighting equipment and the precious water in our tanks. I'm glad to say it did not have to come to that. The weather was kind and the expected gusty winds were only gentle breezes. I hope there will be some rain very soon for all who need it.


The eerie light and sunshine through the smoke haze is awe inspiring and so difficult to capture on camera.

Smoke in the distance. All the poor animals and trees in the fires. So sad to think of them.


We had plenty of burnt leaves blow in. Nothing to cause alarm but it is amazing (and frightening) how far they travel.

That's what has been the news this week. Sorry for being quiet here.

Tracy xo

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Drought

This drought seems like it will never end. It is dry as can be here. Rain clouds build up some days and empty in parts unknown, certainly not here. I have never seen it so dry and our creek has dried up. our cows and sheep are having daily feeding and watering and thankfully don't seem to be suffering for the dry conditions. 



What is suffering is the garden and orchard. The fruit trees are hanging in there (though the citrus look iffy on hot and windy days) with water coming from the washing machine grey water. It is that or nothing. I made the decision to not plant any summer vegetables because I can't water them. Hopefully we will have a break in the weather and it will be in time to get some tomatoes and such in the ground. We shall see.


There is of course hope. There are a lot of baby birds around. The resident magpies have a fledgling this year whereas last year their two attempts failed. There are quite a few  baby noisy miners this year and they are very noisy 😄. Plenty of birds to count in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count next week.


We've had a few echinda visitors lately too. Generally they aren't too friendly but this little one was happy to pose for the camera and wasn't bothered by us at all. He  has been taking care of the ants in the herb garden and under the house too. They are very cute indeed.

Back soon,
Tracy xo