Saturday, April 30, 2016

This and that

This and that. I've used that title before I'm sure of it. It's a good one for when you can't think of anything better and you have been doing just this and that. Saturdays are a good day for it. Well they are here. No school, not a lot on the work front and plenty of pottering.

I'm up to date with weeding which is a rare thing and it won;t last. I watered, took some photos and just enjoyed the outdoors and the loveliness of an autumn that hasn't quite decided to let go of summer just yet.

The herb garden is flourishing and there is plenty to pick. I really should spend more time in this part of the garden. But I am lazy. I don't mean to be but I am.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Five on Friday

Five on Friday once again. Thanks to Amy for hosting and to all of the participants who make it such a nice link up.

This week I have delved into things that I thought were beyond me. Adding programs and upgrading bits and pieces on the computer. Of course it is simple enough if you follow instructions but I'm not renowned for that. And I am quite keen on the status quo when it comes to all things technological that is, I like them as un-technological as possible. Anyway it is done and I am living with the consequences. A different look to the computer and I am certain it is brighter and not quite right. I'm not loving it but I'll get used to it or revert back to the way it was before. We'll see.

Anyway. On to the Five on Friday. I want to share some mail related things . Mostly incoming mail. My outgoing mail this week was a bit boring in comparison. I did do a little bit of envelope 'art'  but I didn't bother to snap a photo.

Two delightful letters on Wednesday. Caryn and Debbie brightened a day that needed some brightening. Thank you ladies.

Postcards. I have a pinboard in my room which I display all of my postcards on. It is filling up and it makes me smile every time I look at it.

Just this afternoon I opened up a letter from my penpal, Jen. She surprised me with some tea which will be lovely I'm sure. I'll drink one when I pen her a letter sometime this weekend.

The biggest mail surprise this week was from Debbie. I feel very lucky indeed to have such a lovely friend to put a parcel together with me in mind. I met Debbie last year when we were Christmas card swap partners and I hope we can meet in real life sometime over the UK summer.

I have a number of penfriends. Some write regularly and some less so but all are equally special. I treasure all of those friendships just like I do friends I see in person. And my blogging friends too of course.

Letter related but not a letter. I borrowed this book from my library based solely on the title. I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed it and although I am not searching for a way to live an artistic life, the idea the author employed of writing 3 pages a day in a journal has ticked a box for me. I'm giving it a go. The idea of painted letters does sound rather special too. Perhaps I will try it or more likely just order one for myself.

Thanks for visiting today.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Umm, I can't think of a title. One of those days where I'm not even sure I should write anything at all actually. Well I won't write very much. The flowers on the dining table this week are sweet little snapdragons. I don't often pick them, preferring to just enjoy them when I am in the garden. But I couldn't resist a small bouquet.

Writing has been happening elsewhere even if I haven't been writing here much. Letters and postcards. Only one of these letters is a reply the others are all notes for no reason other than to bring someone a smile. I like to do things that might make someone smile. Mother's Day and birthday cards are the next must do on my letter writing list. I really must this evening given how slow the post has been moving of late.

Just the regular stuff has been keeping me busy. Farm stuff, garden stuff, housework, reading, cooking and lots of thinking. Maybe too much thinking.


Friday, April 22, 2016

A Random Five on Friday

Five on Friday hosted by Amy. It comes around quicker every week I'm sure. This week my thoughts are here and there and everywhere and as is my collection of pictures. There's nothing tying them together other than I took them and they are from my camera. And I want to post a Five on Friday post because it is a fun link up so I'll grasp at straws just to do it.
Actually now that I look at these random pictures, they aren't completely unrelated. 

Puss on the porch enjoying the sunny autumn weather. I think it would be quite a nice existence to be a cat or rather this cat in particular. She is spoilt.

Arrow on the porch on a rainy autumn day. How nice for her that I leave my sweater/ jumper just anywhere when I get hot. Perfect for dogs to commandeer.

The lemon grass in the front garden. it is looking so lovely and lush now. It suffered a bit in summer but has recovered nicely.

It's hard to spy but right in the centre of this dahlia flower is a lovely bee. And this flower is right there above the lemongrass.

The same dahlia plant (and my boots) from a different angle. Looking out my front door early in the morning.

Thanks for visiting. Busy days ahead so I'm not sure if I will be blogging or reading much. Unless it rains and then who knows.


Thursday, April 21, 2016


I used to be someone who was quite focused and could get done what I set out to do but I have noticed in the last long while, I have become so easily distracted. And I think it is stressing me somewhat or even quite a lot especially during the hours of insomnia. It isn't me or maybe it is me now and I don't like it. I don't know. What a muddle!

Anyway in an effort to distract my self from thinking about being distracted, I spent a good couple of hours planting after the morning's work was done.

I sowed seeds and wondered is there any point, I am going away for an extended holiday and I might not be home to reap what I have sown. Well someone will benefit. Whoever I have to stay as long as they are lovers of vegetables that is. If not there's always a bird or rabbit or possum looking for a sneaky meal and they do love fresh vegetables.

That's one of the things I am avoiding. The travel itinerary. It's not something I'm experienced with. We have only taken week long holidays every few years since 1999. And never to anywhere exotic or foreign or faraway. I just have to do it and that's what I'll do this afternoon definitely. No more distraction on this issue anyway. If it is in writing here then I have to follow through.

Perhaps if I work out why I have become so lazy then I might be half way to fathoming the whole distraction issue.

Anyway I hope you liked the distraction of some pretty garden pictures while I blabbered on about nothing.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Some confusion

The calendar doesn't lie so it has been officially autumn for a month but there is some confusion amongst my plants. Then there were the ducklings that hatched out in autumn too so perhaps there is confusion all round.

The crepe myrtles are definitely in tune with the calendar and know what is good for them. They have their lovely russet leaves on display and look just a nice now as they do when in full bloom.

The mulberry trees on the other hand are in trouble. They have lost their leaves and are now sprouting new ones and fruit as well. They are under the impression that it is spring. The day lengths are about the same as early spring and the temperatures too so who can blame them really. I tell you these two mulberry trees are nothing but trouble. The white mulberry can't be relied on for any fruit at all in the spring but it is covered in baby mulberries now just waiting for a frost to wipe them out. It is a lovely tree to look at though. The black mulberry was a lovely tree in its infancy but blew over once when it was first in the ground and has been recalcitrant ever since. Well as much as a tree can be  that is. Hope they work this season stuff out.

No confusion here. White strawberries. They are delicious and taste like lollies/candy. Like the red alpine strawberry they great plants to grow and if you ever come across one and are wondering whether to buy it or not, I'd say go for it. Yum!

I'm going to have a cup of tea and then plant some peas because it is autumn and that is what I do.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tea break...not

Well the pictures might make you think that I just went on a long tea break over the weekend but that is not the case. The trip was to attend my nephews' baptism and to fulfil the role of godmother. It has been in the pipeline for moths so I had plenty of time to be prepared and ready for the trip but boy was I still tired yesterday after the long drive home on Sunday night.
tearoom tea

I like the odd cup of coffee but tea is my thing and if I find somewhere that sets a pretty table and bakes lovely sweets (for the others I like savoury best) then I'm there.

Hope couldn't resist the temptation of a caramel centred chocolate cake with white chocolate ganache icing. I hear that it was delicious. Not a crumb was left.

tea at home

Tea time at home is not quite as pretty but just as sweet. More so probably. I love being at home more than anywhere else.

My lovely sister sent me home with some cake. She made me a parsnip and walnut cake. Sounds odd to have parsnip in a cake but it is very moreish. Just like a carrot cake but with just a nice hint of the parsnip flavour. Made even more delicious because I bought some more of my new favourite tea on Friday.

It's not all sweet treats though. Dinner in Newtown at Lentil as Anything. Between the five of us we ordered everything on the menu and it gets the thumbs up again. If you are in the Newtown area it's a great place to eat (actually Newtown is great for restaurants in general). I like that Lentils is vegan and not for profit (pay as you feel) and has a certain vibe that you don't find everywhere. Best advice, get there early to avoid lining up.

Well it is back to the regular routine now. No more trips between now and the UK in a couple of months. I hope. I need to keep my feet on the ground for a while.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Five on Friday

Friday has rolled around again so it is time for Five on Friday. A big thank you to Amy for hosting. 

This week I took some pictures while I was walking. The weather is perfect for a stroll at the moment. Makes daily exercising a real pleasure.

The first four pictures are my usually route.  Along our road. I have a choice to go up the street or down the street. Down is my preference. There are less dogs that might chase me and I usually only see cattle, birds and the occasional lizard or snake.

Today I had a different aspect. The beach. How nice it is to have the sand and surf for a change. And I had a swim too. Lovely.

Thanks for visiting today. Short and sweet today. I want to go back to the beach just to sit and daydream a bit.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Stationery Swap

Tracy from Mad About Bags recently organised a stationery swap. Tracy's swaps are fun and the guidelines are easy to follow and best of all I have had such lovely partners. This time around I was partnered with Melanie. Melanie's blog is full of absolutely fab sewing and lots of creativity. Melanie sent me a very generous parcel full of pretty and practical stationery items. Thank you so much Melanie and Tracy.

 Here it is all laid out higgledy-piggledy. A stylist I am not. Suffice to say I am happy and grateful and itching to write and sketch and have some fun. Tape, notebook, writing set, pencil (from the Eden Project which I want to visit), pencils, highlighters, eraser. The list is long. Thank you again Melanie.

One of the provisos was that you had to send something handmade. Melanie sent me this sweet pencil case with a puffin in flight stitched on it. Oh my what a wonderful surprise. It's in use and on display too because I want to look at it all the time.
In my haste to send my parcel to Melanie on time, I did not take a photo of what I sent her. In my haste to package up Melanie's parcel I forgot to include some things I had for her. They had to be posted separately and I assume are still somewhere in the postal system. Truth is they were lurking in my bag in their own little bag and stayed there until I had to dig around for something else. How terrible of me. Well it has been mailed and I hope Melanie has it soon.
So today I have a long to-do list. It won't all get done, never does. There's always something for tomorrow.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Flowers for Sunday

That long, hot and dry summer is gone now and the flowers are coming on thick and fast. I'm so glad. It was a good start to the summer season but then everything just frizzled in the heat. The cooler autumn days and nights are lovely and not surprisingly the plants are responding to the kinder weather.
Eggplant bloom

Lovely eggplant blooms that in all likelihood won't make it to actual fruit but they look lovely enough just to grow them for the flowers and foliage. You can really see the similarity between them and their cousin the potato here.


 Finally some dahlia flowers. There were a few in late spring but none in between then and now which was disappointing. They are worth the wait though, so showy and bold.

Actually cosmos were one  of the few flowers I can always rely on no matter how hot the summer is. They truly are a gem of a flower. Plant them once and you never need to plant them or buy seeds again. I won't call them a weed. Not when they have served me so well. I think I have called them a weed many times before.
Well, it is Sunday and for the last month or so we have been having our Sunday Soup Nights. This week's offering is Zucchini/ Courgette Soup. The recipe is from my trusty River Cottage Cookbook. I know zucchini soup is not for everyone but I love it. Wish my sourdough starter was ready for using today but I still have another couple of days to wait.

Thanks for visiting,

Friday, April 8, 2016

Five on Friday

Thank you once again to Amy for hosting Five on Friday. It's a nice spot in my week to spend some time visiting and reading the blogs from the linkup.

Like Amy I don't seem to have the available time lately to spend commenting on all the blog posts I would like to.  I don't seem to have the time to write a blog post a lot of days either or when I do I don't have something to say but Five on Friday is good inspiration and a nice way to end the working week and can be as elaborate or simple as you like.

This week I will take the simple approach.

Five things I am grateful for. It is hard to narrow it down to just five.


Of course it is my family. I hope they all know how much I appreciate and love them. I try to tell them and show them in my own way. My girls are my very best friends along with my boys and my sister.


My home. It is in the middle of nowhere by some people's standards but to me it is the centre of the universe.


The Internet. I know it gets a bad name as does Facebook  but when your loved ones are spread far and wide across the country and the globe, you really appreciate the power of both. And without the Internet, I would not have made the wonderful friendships I have via blogging. Then there are the old friends that I have caught up with. Love it.


My health. I had some regular blood tests done this week and I am in good health. I really do try to look after myself. Oh , there is room for improvement (more exercise for sure) but nothing pressing to take care of.


Books. I'm a reader. I think I  keep the local library in business with the amount of books I borrow. I've made a wish list of books I want to buy. Ones I have borrowed so many times I think I owe it to the author to buy them. I'd love to buy all of the books on my wish list but for now I'm content with borrowing and re-borrowing.

Thanks for reading my short list. There are so many more things I could add but this is Five on Friday.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Autumn school holidays

School holidays, yay. I loved school holidays when I was a student and I love them as much or more so now. Day one, yesterday, Hope and I took care of a bit of business in town but today it is a nice day at home with nowhere to go. The best kind of day actually.
A few things in the pipeline for these holidays. A trip to Sydney and maybe a drive to the beach later this week. Maybe. Depends on work and weather. Like lots of things do.

I want to get a hive check done this week too. The days are perfect for it. Sunny and pleasantly warm. The bees are really busy foraging  especially in the rosemary plants. The buzzing is amazing. I find it calming and reassuring but I can imagine that to some people's ears it would be anything but.

I'm anticipating there will be some honey to take (we checked a couple of weeks ago). A last extraction before leaving the bees alone for the winter months.

I have just spent a little time clearing my email inbox and replying to comments if I could. It's so nice to have these friendships that develop via the internet and become an important part of my life. Thank you so much.

Tracy xo

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Friday Night with Friends- catch up

Last night was Friday Night with Friends. A big thank you to Cheryll for hosting. Lots of lovely crafting to see via the link.

I am always a slacker about crafting in the night. I am up with the birds so I usually want to go sleep when they do too but I did do a few bits and pieces which could constitute crafting.

When I knit dishcloths I always seem to have quite useless amounts of cotton left over from each skein. In my attempt to waste not and want not, I thought why not just make one dishcloth out of the odds and ends. It's going to be ugly but it will serve its purpose nonetheless. And I will be glad to not have the scrappy cotton haging around and happy that I'm not wasting it either.

This week I thought I should make some sort of start on the colouring book my sister gave me last September. So far I have just been using highlighters because it is quick and easy and I don't even care about going out of the lines. Mindfulness via colouring is not for me. I do not focus on the task at hand and I have come to the conclusion that I actually like my mind to be on many things at once. That's me.

See you next time,

Friday, April 1, 2016

Planting today

I really wanted to get some things in the ground today. My fingers were metaphorically itching to do so. Not just seeds but something green that I can see and be inspired by. So I did spend my pocket money on some plants. Just a few bits and pieces that looked good- vegies, herbs, flowers. I was tempted by a small apple tree marked down too but I'd already paid and left but I might send Tim back while he is at work tomorrow.

And I have had an enjoyable afternoon outside planting. Often it is a case of trying to squeeze things in here and there and bringing home plants or sowing seeds without thought as to where they can or will fit. Not today, I had plenty of room and space for the seedlings that are coming along in the greenhouse too. It's a nice change.

 I have been nurturing some free plants too and will transplant those soon. Herbs that have sprung up in the pebbles the make a path through my herb garden. No they haven't really just sprung up, I've been remiss in keeping the path overly tidy and along with the weeds, there are some non-weeds too.

Free thyme, salad burnett, lavenders (about 50 tiny ones), oregano and wormwood. And maybe on perusal there might be some other goodies to plant out too. I hope so.

 If I was in doubt about the seasons turning, I have proof enough for me and my garden, some self-sown peas.  The seeds have been there biding their time since last year and now they tell me it's time to plant peas. I wasn't going to grow them in that garden bed because I grew them there last year but I struggle with pulling out good healthy plants. So I guess I will grow yellow podded peas in bed 5.

And because the peas told me it was really was the beginnings of autumn, I took a look for some sneaky asparagus and here it is. There is always a small crop in early autumn when the day lengths are similar to those of earl

Five on Friday

A big thank you to Amy for organising Five on Friday. we had a break last week for Easter but it is back, full steam ahead this week. This week I would like to talk about what I miss now that I am a vegetarian. I was thinking about it while I drove to town during the week. I saw a ewe with a tiny lamb at foot and I knew exactly what I miss and it is not meat. Not at all.

The thing I miss the most is having our own baby animals. I know we could still continue to produce lambs and calves but really there is no point for us to do that if we  no longer consume the meat ourselves or  want to sell the animals for slaughter. So for now, I have my grown up sheep and cattle to enjoy and pictures of babies to reminisce over.

No picture for the other thing I miss as a vegetarian. It is gravy. I can cook tasty things without meat but there is something unctuous and flavoursome about gravy that is lacking in the vegetarian version. Well there is for me.