Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Lights.

There is a house in our town that decorates for Christmas.  Lots of lights, ornaments, decorations... There are lots of houses that do this but this particular one is open for the public to walk through and admire.  I went up on Friday night with 2 daughters and their daughters...




Hidden away behind the scenes is this and I was please that we noticed it.  After-all, what is Christmas without the Nativity scene.

Inside the house is full of Christmas everything as well.  Every wall, surface and spare floor space has something Christmassy on display.  This years display is different to last years and next year it will probably be different again.  

Every kid gets a present, pretty good ones too going by what the grandkids got. 

They do have small gifts for sale and donation boxes for worthy causes.  And they do meals as well.  Groups can book a table and go up for a Christmas meal.  I asked about booking a table for Christmas dinner for the Vinnies volunteers next year and was told that they will start taking calls in Feb and finish mid March.  I have their number so hope I remember to call and can get a table for us as I think it will be fun.  It seems strange to need to book 10 months ahead but that is how popular this place has become.  It is just a local family too, not a business, they do it for the people because they like to share the Christmas spirit. 
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Friday, December 19, 2014

I Spy...Another One.

I was outside, minding my own business, going to hang out some washing but watered instead...what can I see...
 
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Busy Week.

This week I will learn what it feels like to have a real job and be out all week.   Three paid work days and 2 full volunteer day but it amounts to the same thing.  I will not be home for most of the day.  For 5 days in a row.  How do people manage that every week.  Forever!  

I was up before 5 again this morning so the chooks are fed, some weeding has been done, I have picked some tomatoes, strawberries and cucumbers, collected a few eggs, a handful of snowpeas...I don't have to leave here until 7 so still have 45 min to get out there and get something else done.   Maybe a bit of watering though the sprinkler is on out in the tank gardens as I type.  I am a multi tasker to the extreme!!
These are some of the strawberries I picked from the *aquaponics* setup...
 
 
 
 



We don't usually get the ones from here as a family of frogs live here but these ones must have been out of the reach of them this time.  Lucky for me.

 
I have others growing in different areas and get a cup or two each day.  Some go in the freezer but most go in my mouth. 
 
Even though the Snowpeas have passed their prime there are still enough coming along every couple of days to give me a serve of veg.   That's the best way I reckon, straight from the garden and into my system, much better than having to prepare, cook then eat. 
 
This afternoon/evening/when I get home around 5pm I hope to get some mowing done before that gets out of hand again.  I have someone here who is willing to do it for me but only if I keep the grass areas clear of stuff.  That isn't the case this week so me mowing will be what has to happen.   
 
Gosh time moves quickly when you're I'm having fun!   The*start getting ready for work* alarm just went off so I better get another job done before I have to leave.  HoHum, alarm keeps going, I need to remember which button to press to turn it off but that will be a job for next week!
Have a great day everyone. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, December 12, 2014

'Tis The Season...

For so many things.  Christmas probably comes to mind to most people but on my walk around the yard this morning I was thinking Cucumber.  Starts with the same letter so kinda connected.  Last night a neighbour was asking for jars and I offered her mine...Ummm, oops, now I will need to keep some back as we will need them for the Bread and Butter Pickles that I will need to make sometime soon.  Sometime soon when I am not sure of but I will have to do something or they will be wasted and as I like them better made up into pickles and husband and kids aren't eating them fast enough...Pickles with these it will be.

There is still heaps on the vine and flowers galore so we should be able to fill any jars that I don't forget I need and give away....


The snow peas are just about done, I keep forgetting to pick them and they then get too big to eat, they get stringy and not as nice so are left.  I will get enough seed pods to last me the next few years though so it's not all wasteful.
 We have had a few Chokos even though 'tis not the season for them.   I am still trying to get a spot where they grow as well as they do out here in these tank gardens as they take over everything else and I want them elsewhere.
 Likewise the Lemon Balm.  Husband pulled it all up from here a month or so ago but I knew it would be back.  And it is so I will have to get onto it and pull it up again.
 We have finally pulled the old Passionfruit vine out but these 2 here are starting to take off, well one is at least, the second is coming along but nowhere near as well.
So we're a couple of weeks into December and if we wanted to we could survive on what we grow for the rest of the year and beyond. I am slack though and last night we had bought pizza.  And lollies.  And chocolate.   HoHum, no wonder I feel like crap.  I eat it, I feel it.  Must start working on that real soon. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Some Of What I Did...

I was away from home for a couple of days and when I get back here I find that the computer is in the shop with some nasty virus.  Not too pleased as I had stuff that I planned doing but it had to wait until this evening.  That included the finishing of this...

After the last post someone wanted a more detailed read so I'll try and remember what has really been happening.

What's Growing.]
We have too many roosters again but not for much longer I hope.
Summer vegies are coming on and we are picking peas, assorted lettuce, other greens.  Sweet Potatoes can be dug up whenever we want some as can normal spuds.   There are tiny cucumbers out there and green tomatoes but they will be ready soon enough.  And for some reason there are chokos on the choko vine.  Now chokos are an Autumn fruit/veg but we will have some ready in a couple of weeks.  The seasons are all mucked up nowadays and everything is out of whack.  Strawberries can be eaten every day and we have had 2 bunches of bananas with a couple more coming on.  I am eating the Valencia Oranges now too though some are still a tad sourish.

Stupid Things.
I have a desktop computer and it sits on a *desk* surrounded by stuff.  Mess.  Crap that needs to be sorted...I have an old keyboard that the letters have worn off so I stuck sticker letters on it but some of them have become unstuck and now some of the keys are blank on top.  Unless you know how a keyboard works it's a hit and miss job to type the correct words.  When it is not full daylight I need a lamp so I can see where the letters are.   One day, a long time ago...not sure when but sometime after my second last posting...I had the lamp on.  I had it sitting in an open drawer pointing toward the keyboard.  I got up to get something, the lamp tipped over, I came back and the heat from the lamp had melted a bit on the bottom of the keyboard.  No big deal but could have been if I hadn't of come back, maybe.   I thought I should be more careful and also clean of some desk space so the lamp wouldn't need to sit in a drawer when I used it.    That same week I used the lamp in the drawer again.  Same thing, I left it on and went off to do something.  Came back and noticed that the lamp had fallen over again but thought no more of it.  Eventually I needed to write something, went to press the enter button...Stupid keyboard, why wont that work.   Oops, seems that the lamp had fallen and the heat had melted the enter button and it wouldn't go down.   HoHum.    Told husband what I was sighing about and mentioned that he might have to change the keyboard over.   I have another keyboard that came from the RRFM that I intended to replace this one with because of the letters.  I didn't know where I had put that keyboard though so his solution was to pry the enter key off and sand the melted corner off and now it works.  It's a bit stiff and you have to press the right spot but it's good enough.  The lamp now has a space cleared for it and it cannot be knocked over to melt anything else.   Thanks Babe. 

The other memorable ST happened on Saturday.  Friday morning my mobile phone worked and was working at lunch time too.  At 3pm it wasn't working.    I needed this phone this week though.  Yep, needed!   A couple of people tried it, to make sure I wasn't doing anything wrong with this phone that I have had for more than 10 years...I wasn't.  They tried different sims, they tried my sim in a new phone.  The sim card was broke and I could get a new one send out but not for a week.  I wanted the same number so needed a replacement from my service provider.    It was suggested that I  just buy a new sim card but not knowing if my phone was locked that might not work.  A new phone maybe.  A cheap small phone that I could use for the next week then on-sell or give away.  So Sat morning I went into the newsagency and bought a new phone.
It cost me $29.95 and has $10 credit.  So $40 for piece of mind tomorrow and the next day.  Having got this phone activated I needed a *play* with it, to learn how it worked.  Took a long tome and the son showing me before I knew how to unlock it.    I rang a number to see if it worked.   It did but the phone talks and says the numbers out loud.  I need to find out how to stop that.  But scrolling through it I saw that it had a different language, thought it would be cool to hear the numbers in a different language...It was but once I changed to the different language all the words on the phone changed.    Didn't matter I knew how to change it back...or did I?  Ummm, no, seems I didn't.  I couldn't remember what I had done and couldn't figure out how to get back to an English phone.   I asked on FaceBook.  I asked on a forum, I asked the son.  He found me a download with how to use the phone but no-one and nowhere could tell me how to fix this funny/stupid thing.  I couldn't ring a technician 'cause they weren't available over the weekend.    How could I practice using it when I had no idea what I was reading.  I put it down and decided that if I couldn't get it fixed today I would just get another one. 
Daughter T comes out Sunday afternoon and within 2 minutes she has undone what I did and I can use my new phone again.   So funny.  So dumb.  And I say use.  I know how to make a call, I can answer a call.  Everything I need.

Out and About.
I have been out for lunch quite a few times over the last 5 weeks.  With a daughter, Mum and sister, husband...Husband again.    I was in Perth Tues and Wed, staying at a flash hotel, meals provided... All because of my new *job*...Lunch with friends yesterday.

New Job.
As you know I have been volunteering at our local Vinnies op-shop for more than a year, liking it a lot.  The manager there decided to step down, not be manager but just a volunteer like the rest of us.   But someone needs to be manager, someone needs to be in charge, needs to be boss.  Now that someone is me.   I have been manager for the last 4 weeks, not much has changed.  I still don't get paid as it's a volunteer position so though I am *manager* I am not going to put in the 20 hours they say I should, I am not going to stress that I wont do it right, I am going to keep enjoying being there, do some extra but really, I think, if they want someone to put in lots of effort and lots of hours then they need to pay someone.  They don't want to do that so we'll see how things go.  This week there was a Managers Conference in Perth, going over 2 days so the organisation put up the country volunteers at a hotel and we spend the days doing whatever it is you do at a conference.   That was mostly sitting around a table listening to people talk.  Some was interesting, some wasn't but mostly it was an OK couple of days.  I learned that I don't know much about how the shop should be run.  The other manager hadn't received any training and nor had I, we are just fumbling along.  We have a paid area manager though and it is his job to train us/me.  I have decided to use the paid area manager and make him earn his wage.  Everything we need to know should be taught to us, by him...I now have a long list for him to help with and think that a fun part of it all will be getting on to him to provide the training the he should have already. 

Tomorrow is next month, that is insane.  I am going to be busy, what with growing our food, getting the house in better shape than it is, extra hours at Vinnies, and more out and about goings on...And somewhere in there I need to do another extraction of the bee hives...

Tomorrow, next month, I have my next out and about outing.  Coffee and cake at the Dome in Pinjarra with a friend that lives in Queensland and is here a few times a year.  It should be nice.  I need to get some mowing done beforehand and the house is a tip...HoHum, better get to bed so I'm ready for it all.


Monday, October 27, 2014

It's Been A While.

Yep, quite a while.  Do I have reasons?  Am I excused for such slackful blogging behaviour?  Have I put the right *A while* up there?  Or should it be *Awhile*?  

The gardens are still producing food.  I've been out and about a few times.  I've done a couple of stupid things.  I have a new job and this one could also go under the stupid thing heading...but won't.  What else?   Another out and about thing coming up...and then it's next month already.

So now you know what's been happening here I'll go read about what's been happening in your neck of the woods.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Spring, Blossom and Bees

It is Spring time here and the Washington Navel Oranges are just about finished.   Enough left to carry me over until the Valencias are ripe enough for me though.  The Valencias are usually to my taste around November but others are pinching eating them now.

We have a tree full of Valencias ready to go when the others are completely gone though the son is into these already. 

He says the Washingtons are now passed it, too ripe and not nice.  I disagree and am still eating them off the tree.   We have juiced dozens and I have made a batch or two of Orange cordial at the husbands request but unfortunately too many were wasted. 

I need to get on top of them earlier next year as 5 trees producing at once may be too many and going by the amount of blossom out there now I think we will have an abundance next year too.




To A bee or and not to a bee....


 The Valencia is full of flowers and even if half of these come off there will be enough Oranges next Spring/Summer to keep our Vit C up.
Walking around the front yard is heavenly with the scent of Orange blossom.    There are also lots of bees out there now and their soft buzzing adds to the Springtime ambience.  I love my back front yard.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Planning to Plant.

Finally!  I have cleared out a few garden beds to plant in.  It's taken ages but a day or so of sunshine, hearing and reading about the awesome gardens others have and a husband willing to help me ...and I too am now, finally, ready to get planting.

This is what the big tank garden has looked like for too long.   I started a couple of days ago and had managed to get the South end cleared but still had the full of grass Northern end to do.  It was such a big job that the husband took pity on me and decided to help.  I'm glad he did or I'd still have 2 days work to do.

We went over to Mandurah on Wednesday, called into Bunnings and came out with a boxful of stuff to plant so I now have heaps of plants to plant.    We bought 3 different sorts of Tomatoes, Purple Eggplant,  Peas, Kale, mixed Lettuce, Cucumbers, some other stuff too.

On the way out we saw a reduced section so I bought some more.  This lot were only 50cents a punnet so I even smuggled some flower seedlings into the trolley.
 



A few of the smaller tank gardens were overgrown too but with husbands help they too are now clear enough to get some food growing in them.  This one had become overgrown with Lemon Balm but because I sometimes have this as a tea during the hot weather I wanted to keep it.  He convinced me to let him pull it *all* up because I do have 2 half drums with it growing.  I am *allowed* to replant some of it elsewhere, just not in a food producing bed.    If I don't keep an eye out though and pull up the small plants as they grow this bed will soon be overgrown again.



I don't know what this plant is, it's pretty though, when the grass isn't growing all through it, and I was/am going to get in potted up to sell at the markets.  I haven't done anything about that yet so that too has to come up.  That will happen over the weekend.  It started out as a small plant in the ground between 2 tanks, it grew and grew and grew.  When we pull it up it too will regrow and become a problem again if I don't keep on top of it.



And this tank can't have anything planted in it because the Chokos have taken off already.    I am trying to get these to grow in other areas of the yard but until then they are staying here.   Cause we gotta have Chokos!


So this weekend will be planting time.   First I have to get rid of a few thousand more Slaters and unfortunately I have had to resort to using poison on them.  There are so many that I cannot even get them down to manageable numbers so poison it is.  That or no food for us at all.    I put some snail pellets down, under leaves and grass and overnight the amount of dead slaters is huge so it is a quick and easy fix but not what I wanted.  I want to grow food though, I gave the non-poison ways a good go over the last couple of years but can no longer keep on top of them.   This way we will get the food and I figure that as long as the pellets are not on the food and we don't actually eat them ourselves...maybe it won't be too bad.  









Friday, September 5, 2014

This Leads To This, Leads To This, Leads To This...

In the bathroom, on the floor under the towel rail, I had a box, a metal toolbox that I stored spare food in.   This somehow became a flat surface that 2 small containers were put on and they in turn had stuff put on top of them.  One reason I raised the towel rail was because this pile was getting so high it was close to touching the rail and getting in the way of getting my towel. The top stuff on the tool box was some clean sheets and towels that wouldn't fit in the cupboard.   

Once the cupboard was cleared out the sheets and towels could fit in and I was able to get to the boxes/containers.  One holds curtain stuff.  Tape, hooks, that stretchy white cord...stuff that I was keeping *handy* because I was/am going to use it for some curtains that I need to make.   But this looked out of place now that the cupboard doors were shut and the vacuum cleaner was put away so I put these containers into the cupboard.  I could do that because there was space in there after the cleanout.   There wasn't much food in the toolbox, a couple of boxes of Taco shells and some cup-a-soups, so I took these and put them with the other food in husbands wardrobe.   Great I could now get rid of this toolbox so I shut the lid, turned the handle and put it outside, ready to take to the shed.


Thinking a bit though I decided that I could put all the spare food that was in husbands cupboard in this toolbox and free up a shelf for him to keep his work gear on and that in turn would free up a shelf in another cupboard where I could store the overalls and gloves and other bee clothing.  See, one thing leads to another but the final thing can't be done until the other things are done first.  Such is my organising. 

And because I had cleared another area in the bathroom there was now a handy place to put this toolbox/food storage container where it would be out of the way.   So I go out to get this toolbox and...swear word.   It was locked. Why would the stupid thing lock itself.  That shouldn't happen should it.  Shouldn't but did.   I had a key though, ummm, where was that key...That's right, I had put it in the toolbox so it wouldn't get lost.  The key to unlock the locked toolbox was safe in the toolbox.   Apparently turning the knob to shut the toolbox so it stays shut locks it.  How stupid is that!!  So I now have a locked toolbox that is no good for anything until I get the key out so I can unlock it...


Son has told me what to try so tomorrow I will get my drill and see how good I am at using it.  He says to drill out the pop rivets that hold the catch on, take it off, open up the lid and get the keys out then pop rivet the catch back on.
That sounds easy enough.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Oh Sheet!

I have too many of them too.

This morning I will sort through the sheets, tablecloths, doonas and covers...and all the other crap stuff that is in the bathroom cupboard.  The towels from yesterday still look good but I know there are at least 2 missing.  I should have 3 matching pairs as well as a few odd ones but there is only 1 pair in there so I will need to do some searching.

Today though is sheet day and after pulling them all out yesterday I do wonder how they all fitted in there.  Oh that's right.  They didn't.

So we have 1 bed.   At any 1 time it will have 2 sheets on it.  So really I need 2, maybe 3, sets, yeah?   I have sorted through and now have 5 sets in the cupboard.  And one set on the bed.   But still have a pile sitting on the table to go through.   Arrhhh.   OK, now I have 1 set of Winter sheets to fit back in as well.

More sheets to come out and be sorted.  See the top shelf there, see the pack on the right?   That is a set of unopened sheets and matching pillowcases.  New and unused.  Unwrapped even.   I don't think I need to open them now but not sure that getting rid of them is the way to go either.  One day I will need new sheets and these are good quality.  And expensive!




 The top shelf here...It's supposed to hold swimming towels and I thought I had 4 of them...I know 1 was used by the granddaughter and hasn't been brought back yet, son is using one as a bath towel, there is 1 up there.  The other things are odd towels that will go, some lace curtaining that I use as a food cover during Summer, extra shampoo and conditioner...That has been there for a couple of years, not used since I stopped using shampoo and conditioner...but it is new, never opened...maybe that could go...And there is a box of towels.  New and unused.  I probably don't need them and may sell them.  May not.    I can't really see the point in selling stuff just because it's not being used yet.  Eventually they will be.








The bottom 2 shelves have an assortment of stuff...I will go through and do these 2 shelves sometime after the sheets.









OK, half way through and daughter has come out to help.    Lots is getting done but she laughed when I cried.  How rude!   Why did I cry?  I dunno, maybe I am tired but...I just couldn't bear the thought of her emptying a tube of handcream into a bigger pump bottle and then the empty tube having to be binned.   I know, or maybe I don't...stupid.

She took away a couple of bags, I don't think she trusted me not to go through them and take stuff out...these bags will be taken to the next Really Really Free Market in a few weeks time.



All the perfumes, shampoos and conditioners that I no longer use are gone.   She said I have too many soaps and wanted me to get rid of some but husband, and now the son, use soap so they are something that will eventually be used.  And who is she to say that 37 is too many anyway. lol.






Husband no longer uses powders or aftershave so I will offer these to the son.  I'm sure he will use them and it will save him buy any for awhile.  If he says no then they too will go to the RRFM.  Except the soap, I'll take that back and have 39.




But thanks to T (BIG thanks) the cupboard is sorted, I can see what is in there, the doors shut.   I'm not sure how I feel when I look at it though, it doesn't make me happy.  But it doesn't make me sad either.  It just is the way it is now and not the way it was.