Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Still pottering along.

Another beautiful Spring day here in my backyard.   I will need to quickly get my inside jobs done so I can get out there and do my half hour.   A half hour stint usually turns into way longer just pottering about but it's so good for the soul, the mind, the whole body health thing.  I'm so pleased that the weather is now nice enough to be outside most of the day.

A couple of weeks ago a daughter helped me with getting a pile of seedlings planted, looks like I will have more Kale than I know what to do with!   All the seedlings are growing great but the seeds that I planted, not doing too well at all.  For once I was going to do the plant some now, plant some later thing so as not to end up with too much of one thing at the same time.  Looks like I am just 2 weeks behind with the growing though as most haven't even emerged.

I tried carrots, again.  Even covered them to keep them moist until they started, still nothing.   Corn that should have been poking it's head up last week, nope, not even a bit of dirt pushed out of the way.  Lettuce seeds, again, can't see any where I sprinkled them but the self-sown ones are coming up in a few places so they will keep us going for a bit.  I will get more of everything in this week and see how that lot does.  Even the Luffa seeds haven't come up and they are usually pretty reliable.

Chooks are laying.   I have more than 10 doz eggs in the fridge now so will take some down to Vinnies later and see if any of the vollies want some.  In the meantime, eggs for breakfast but there is only so many eggs 1 person can eat.  Husband is home tonight so he will get a couple with his tea.   But 2 eggs from all the dozens we have...Hmmm, if my maths is right we'll still have lots left!

I have started riding the pushbike again, will go for a ride before breakfast then will start the daily list.  

Saturday, September 12, 2015

New Challenge.

Soooo, I still haven't made a list, still haven't planted much, still haven't weeded and prepared enough gardens for when I do plant...

I started a discussion on our local haveachat FB page and other people are doing what I should be.  What I want to.  What I will do.  I wanted to hear what others were doing so that I would be inspired and get motivated again, I think it's working.  One woman lives out the back of me, she has already started preparing, planting...she probably never stopped!   I will use her as my inspiration, Thanks N.  

It's raining here and it has brought out the snails.  I have had a walk around and collected what I saw and thrown them to the chooks.  More slugs out there this year than before, I wonder why.  Slaters are still in huge numbers but I am going to juice some Oranges today so will use the half peels and see if that attracts them and makes it easier to collect them to feed to the chooks.

I planted a few Kale seedlings a week or 2 ago, thanks to daughter Lee giving them to me.  They are looking OK but the other Kale that I have needs to be chopped right back so I will give the chooks a feed later on.  What I should do, and might, is make some Kale chips.  I have done that before and they weren't half bad.  If I do I will let you all know how they turn out.  I also need to, again, ask Lee what type of Kale it is so that I can make a sign so I don't keep forgetting.  I forget, I ask her, she tells me, I forget so I ask her...I sign should stop all that.

Out there growing and ready to eat at the moment?   Lettuce, cabbages, capsicum, a few sad looking chillies, I could dig up potatoes and sweet potatoes if I wanted to.  There is Silverbeet and I think spinach, onions but not enough to keep me going more than a month or so.  Hmmm, doesn't look to abundant does it.  There are still plenty of Oranges and we have 10 dozen eggs in the fridge with more cackling happening out there as I type.  Oh, I picked a tomato yesterday!  and 2 last week.  There are plenty of greens ones and we have plants with flowers so I hope they take off when it warms up a bit.  The broccoli all went to seed when I was housesitting a while back and not here to keep picking it and the caulies didn't do too well at all.  I think I managed to get 2 from a dozen plants.   The bees are liking the broccoli flowers though and I will collect some seeds when they are ready.

What I need to do is get some more potatoes in, figure out where to plant some corn and melons.  This year I WILL!! grow a decent watermelon!  Well I need to just get out there and make a start, even 1/2 an hour every day, regardless, will see us eating better with yummy homegrown produce.  And I have fruit trees to get in the ground.  It's going to be a wet weekend so the perfect time for it...just need to work out where they are going, dig the hole, plonk them in...job done.  So why haven't I yet?   After today there will be at least 3 more trees planted!

And there be a challenge to myself.  Half an hour in the garden doing *something*  Something productive that will get things growing not half an hour wondering around or sitting and reading a book!   

Anyone growing lots of stuff that I can read about to keep the motivation going?    Though once I start I'm usually pretty good with it but reading about your gardens is fun too.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Must Do's

Really must get back into writing here.  I have no idea what I have done, what needs doing, what I planted when or where...I need to start another list of things to do and I think getting back into this on a regular basis will be near the top. Yep, blogging is a mustdo.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Friends Furneral Today.

I'm still over in Mandurah housesitting but making a special trip back home today to go to a friends furneral.    This woman has been sick for a while now but lost the battle last week.  It will be a sad day,  there will be hundreds of people there, she was a well loved person with heaps of friends.

My heart goes out to her family...

The furneral today was the most beautiful furneral I have ever been to.  It was up at the weir in Waroona so everyone was overlooking the clear calm lake with green hills dotted with cows beyond.    The people talking all said lovely things, people wore colourful clothing and the rain held off until it was over except for a light sprinkle as the coffin was being carried back to the hearse.

Debbie would have loved it, such a pity she wasn't there to see it...or maybe she was...

Thursday, July 23, 2015


I'm housesitting at the moment, been here for just over a week and have just over a week to go.  There is a cat, a dog and a 13 year old boy.  
The cat belongs to the boy and is suposed to be fed and cared for by him...So far there has been at least 2 nights when he hasn't fed it.  I fed it 1 of those nights but I'm pretty sure the cat didn't get it's wet food last night either.  The boy will disagree and argue if I mention it.  
The dog belongs to the elder son that doen't live here at the moment.  He is is fed morning and night by me and I take hime for walks 2 or 3 times a day.  My shins hurt.   The dog is used to being *walked* by a runner, I am barely a walker so he pulls, I hurt.  I don't know this dog well enough to let him run loose, haven't found a leash off area here yet so we walk slower than he likes, faster than I want...Good fun.
The boy...this kid is different to how he was when he was little and lisened to me.  When he did what was asked and didn't argue, swear and call me names.  I don't like him as much as I used to.  It's sad.   The first 2 days here and I was ready to knock his block off.  We aren't allowed to do that any more but I tell ya, I wanted to!  So we wont be doing anything fun together, I don't really care if he spends his days home in his room.  I'd rather not talk with him.    I don't like the way he makes me feel.  Or another way, I don't like the way I feel after dealing with this kid.   It's sad but I think I'm getting to old for this shit!

I used to look after the kids in this family when they were little, probably started 10 years ago now but haven't been needed since the boys got bigger and started school fulltime.   That has been the way with all the families that I worked for, fulltime school puts an end to it except sometimes during school holidays.

I am here now because the owner has gone overseas to visit her family, it might be the last time she sees them and as she has had a crap year so far when she asked me to help I said yes.   I'm not sorry I did but I miss being home.  This is a big, clean, tidy, low care house, ours is small, messy, dirty, high care...I prefer ours.  Mind you, there are bits to this place that I need to take notice of and maybe incorporate them somehow into home, it's been good being here, it's showing me what I do like about home, what I don't like, what should be done and things I have whinged about but really now think they can stay.  And it's shown me that I really miss our yard and my gardens.  And the chooks.  Who'd have thought that I'd miss chooks that don't lay me any eggs!   I miss chopping wood for the fire and love how toasty warm our little house gets.  This big house gets cold and I hate turning the aircon on to warm it up so tend to leave it too long.

I am travelling back to Waroona to do my shifts at Vinnies, twice this week but 3 times next week and the petrol costs are adding up but that's to be expected.  I'm not used to travelling so far and wonder at the fulltime workers that do it 5-6 times a week.   Some travel further than the 45 minutes each way that I am, how do they manage that.  Less time at home with family, less time for hobbies and fun stuff, less money in their pocket after paying for fuel...So glad I don't have to be like that.

What am I doing while here?  Not a lot.  Reading, finally got that book finished.   Going on internet and looking at blogs and ways of doing stuff for when I get home.  I went into Mandurah on Tuesday and watched some dolphins play out near the marina.   That was pretty cool.  I think I like water, the peace and the calmness of it.    I'll go do that again before I go home.

Do you housesit?   Would you like to?  What would you do with a kid that lies, goes into your room, backchats, argues and calls you swearwords?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

It's raining, I'm boring.

I'm bored.    I hate saying that.  But I do think that I am bored.  I'm not home, I'm housesitting over in Mandurah, 40min from home.  It is cold, it's wet, raining.    I keep thinking of all the snails I could be searching for but in reality, if I was home, I would more than likely be on the computer.  Espesially if it was wet and cold like it is here.

I could get in the car and drive 5 minutes and be in central Mandurah, shops, forehore, eating places.   But I did that yesterday and have no wish to do it in the wet and cold.   I could, have been, reading blogs and websites, Facebook.  I have watched a few clips on Youtube.  But I am not getting out of it anything that I do at home.  And I think I know why.  At home people, husband and son, others, say that I am always on the computer.  Sometimes it does seem that way but it's not true.  I will go out into the garden and pull weeds, pick food.  I will chop wood.  I will sweep the floor, make the bed, wander around the yard...there is lots of things to do.  Sometimes I even think about doing some housework!  I might read, might not.  I think the fact that I could do any of that makes it less boring.  Even if I don't actually do do any of it.  Know what I mean?!

This house is big, our house could nearly fit into the main bedroom area I think.  I should find a tapemeasure and check that out as I do wonder.   It is clean, tidy, nothing needs doing.  The dog gets taken for a walk a few times a day, short walks as I have shinsplinty shins and too much hurts them.  The outside is basically no maitenence, it looks good but there is nothing to do out there.  I might pick up dog poo later on when it stops raining!

So what could I be doing?  I want to finish the book I have been reading for the last few weeks.  I will do that today.  I could bake a cake or make some biscuits but I don't want the kid here to have any!  I wont give treat food to someone that swears at me or wont do any of the things his mother expects him to.   And I don't need them.  I could watch TV but daytime TV doesn't do much for me and I can't find any DVD's to watch.  I could watch something later on on Youtube... 

It is nearly 11:30, I will take the dog for a walk, come back and have some lunch, decide what is for tea and start preparing it, finish the book...and I will need a plan for tomorrow otherwise I could be in the same boat.  

I rarely get bored, I think it's silly and you should just find something to do...I don't like it!

Do you sometimes get bored?  What do you do if that happens?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What's up, Barb?

1st July 2015.    Half way through the year already. 
What's up?  Not a lot.  Not enough.  I was whinging yesterday about being busy with not much to show for it so really need to start coming here more often to show myself that I am not the lazy bit** I sometimes think I am.   Mind you, I am too lazy too often but I do do stuff too.  What did I do in June?

I am at Vinnies 21/2 day a week but during June we had 2 vollies away on holidays and as we are short on volunteers down there I was covering for them.  Some weeks I was there 4 days out of the 5.   Too much considering I don't get payed or thanked for it.  But I love it, so do it.   The downside is if I am there then I am not here so some things are not getting done here.  
I have a few new volunteers that I need to train up this week so hopefully then I will have someone else to come in when needed.   But, 1of the better vollies has decided to drop her hours and take up studying, a reliable regular has left to do paid work and another has cut her hours in half.   How rude!!    haha, just joking there J, N and K.  It  does mean that we need more people in our system but finding willing workers is not easy.    We will keep working at it. 
Head Office also keeps asking more of us, a small shop in a small town, run by volunteers.  So jobs that need to be done and that others used to do too, as they get more complicated the others choose to no longer do them so it falls back onto the manager.  Me!  Banking now sucks.  Just sayin'.  The *new* way takes longer, involves more work, more concentrating.  If I didn't have to then I might choose not to too.  Eight months as Volunteer Manager now and still loving it.  I took the role on for 12 months, no-one else was interested, I was...but if I decide to get a real life and move on to other stuff too then I am not sure what will happen come October.    I really need to get more vollies who are interested in doing more, someone with the time and interest to be there more when needed.  

CHOOKS.  I have oiled their legs again, cleaned out their pens. There are a few that I catch and put away...every day.  No idea how they keep getting out but they are starting to make me cranky.  I have pruned trees to stop them climbing, trimmed wings to stop them flying...  They also scratch around in the mulch.  Good for bug control but I need to do more raking to keep the grass mulch free.  Soon, I think, we will be eating chicken stew.

I have been working on a big for me project during June.  I look outside our kitchen window and see an Orange tree, an Apricot tree and a peach tree.  And grass, lots of grass that needs mowing all the time and edges around the trees that need cutting and pulling.  Daughter suggested that we cut down on edges and mulch the whole area.  I had a pile of wordchips so why not.  Why not?!  Cause I need to dig up the grass and spread mulch, bleedin' hard work for a fat unfit lazy person.  But I'm doing it and glad I am.  It looks good.   Husband brought in a pile of the mulch with the dingo so that saved days weeks of me wheelbarrowing it in from out the front so a big thanks to him.  He will bring more in for me when we get the dingo back so I need to get more grass dug up before then.  Could be out there doing some now but...I'm not!

Husband pruned the Apricot tree so I had to help clear those up before starting,

This is the first load of mulch brought in with the dingo.  It looked like there would be more than enough but I could probably go through a couple more.

I am going to remove the grass from this area too.  I will come across from the corner of the pen and join up with the mulched area near the Apricot tree.  It means more digging but will be worth it when it is done. 
We're still eating from the gardens as well as heaps of Oranges every day.    But of course, that too takes time.  Add in some time out with friends, reading and computer...Busy!
And for most of the month husband has been off work with back problems.  I never get as much done when he is home and it might be another week or so before he goes back.
Only thing is, July is going to be another busy month so not sure if that area will get done this month or not. 
What will I be doing throughout July.   Hmmm.  We're away this weekend, Vinnies 2 1/2 days next week and maybe a train trip to Perth because it will be school holidays and we might go up to the zoo, I need to do an extraction and get the hives sorted ready for Winter finally gets here.  Hopefully we'll fit that in before he goes back to work.   I'll be housesitting over in Mandurah for 2 weeks from the 15th so coming in for Vinnies but having to get back to other house before dark so not enough time to come home here and do anything.  Freemarkets on the 19th...maybe, I will be over in Mandurah and will have to come in then get back before dark...I want to get out the beach for a couple of days but probably wont be able to.  And depending on how this weekend goes we might need to go away again.
Life is busy, but life is good. 

July 1st 2015. Early morning.

I went outside this morning, around 7am.  Camera in hand, visiting dog following.  It was cold, misty, nice.  I love mornings.

Looking back towards the house from the dam area, so looking Eastish.  I never noticed how rusty and crappy looking the fridge gardens are from out here. 

One of the Orange trees in the front yard.  They fall off overnight, we pick them up, next day we do it all again.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Back again... Need a plan.

Wow, 2 months since I have been here.  More than that really, how slack is that for a blogger that needs motivation and record keeping.

I have been busy with Vinnies but I have also spent way too much time reading about other peoples gardens and what other people are planting, growing, doing...What I need to do is get out there myself and plant, grow, do.

What is everyone else planting?  Growing?  Doing? 

This last week I have been trying to get my bedroom a bit cleaner, roomier, nicer...It's still a long way off all of that even though there have been bags and bags of stuff leaving the place.   Last night though I could walk down my side of the bed and not walk on anything.  No papers, clothing, bags, nothing to trip over in the dark.   I emptied the bottom shelf in my cupboard and found a mouse nest, that's pretty feral of me really but it's all gone and cleaned up now.  The shelf is no longer empty though as I have put the bags that were on the floor in there!   But the floor is clear!!   And I have more than 40 pairs of socks!  How does that even happen.  I threw out a few pairs but have others in the wash so more than 40 pairs of good condition socks that I mostly wear.   All too good to bin and seeing as they all fit into the drawer they will stay.   Husbands side has a box of *spare* shirts and shorts, good condition and may be needed one day in the distant future...I have asked him to go through them and see if he want to keep any of them.  They are too good to throw away but not good enough to be sold at Vinnies.  If he really doesn't want them I will take them down to the Really Really Free Markets.  He has 2 days to go through them or the box will be there for another month.  Not my side though so I don't really care.

I have been digging out grass, putting down mulch, digging, spreading, mowing.  Massive job that made me hurt but it looks good.  I have more grass to dig up, more mulch to spread....I'm hoping to get the rest ready for mulching by the end of the month and that's totally doable if I do.

I have Vinnies all day today, again tomorrow morning, RRFM on Saturday and may be out on Sunday.  Vinnies again 3 days next week...

I need to have a proper look in the gardens and see what needs doing and start writing things down as it looks like I haven't done much outside but know there was more than this.  Chooks legs were oiled so that's something else and they will be done again next week sometime...but surely there was more...

Hopefully I will start writing things down here more, it reminds me of what I have done so I don't feel like such a slacka and it tells me what I need to do so I don't be such a slacka!  I need a plan.   Will write one up when I get some time, and remember!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


It been raining here, on and off over the last few days.  I love it.  The gardens love it.  Husband doesn't!  There is stuff that needs doing by him but not when it's wet.   Me, I'm not doing my stuff either but I can't blame the rain! 

I have been home for a couple of weeks now and everything that I was going to do...hasn't been done yet.  But I'm sure it will be, I just need a day or 2 at home, by myself, with no-one else here.  Not sure that that is gunna happen any time soon though.  Husband has a few days work coming up then maybe a week or 2 more but the talk is that there will be a few months of nothing.  At least we have food and money in the bank to pay the bills.  HoHum, another lean Winter.  If there is no work for him I might get some bookshelves put in, that would be pretty cool.  But I went away and came home to a patio out the back so hoping for bookshelves might be pushing it. 

The gardens are looking good.  All the seedlings that we planted are growing, I don't think we lost any of them to slaters which is unusual.  I think having the chickens out and scratching around in them when I was away has gotten rid of most of the slaters and other pesty bugs.

I have picked the last of the Grannys! Husband thinks they aren't quite ripe but I like them.  A bit tart, just like a Granny should be.  We didn't get all these apples, the parrots got a lot, the chooks got some...but we have a few kilos here, I will need to cook and freeze some as I think I will be the only one eating them and I don't want them wasted.   I noticed while I was out there picking them that the mandarins are starting to turn orange so we will need to net these before the parrots make a start on them too.

I have Chokos.  Not many are big enough to pick yet but there are heaps of flowers and maybe 1/2 dozen that will be ready within the week.

Chooks are still laying.  they started again while I was away and though I'm not getting as many as they say they did, we have a fridge full. 

We haven't done the extraction yet but will need to really soon.  Husband put another box on a couple of the hives when I was away so I have a couple of triple deckers out there now but we'll need to get them extracted and back down as doubles before Winter gets here.   I have cleaned the extraction shed so it is all ready to go, just waiting on us to be here with the time to make a start and I am thinking that the next warm day when we are both home might have to be that day but we are both busy for the rest of this week.  And next weekend.  And Monday, Wed and Thursday next week I am at Vinnies all day...It will happen though, it has too.

We have a pig in the coolroom, son will cut it up next week and it will be added to the near empty freezer.  We have a bit of the young bull left in there, not much but something we do have is...Venison.   And it is so nice!  Son has been wanting to get a deer for the last few years, he sometimes sees one when he is out pigging and a few weeks ago he was in the right place at the right time and BANG!   Venison on the barby.   By next month there should be another young bull in there too so meat for the rest of the year will be sorted.  If I can just keep the gardens stocked and growing then work or no work, we will be able to survive for months.

I am looking after the granddaughter again tomorrow, at Vinnies on Thursday, out to lunch on Friday, FreeMarkets on Saturday, visitors on Sunday and Vinnies again next Monday.  I remember not so long ago when I had nothing to do and nowhere to go...Sometimes we have to be careful of what we wish for...