Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April.

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...




Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April. Time to get back into it all.

I'm home after 3 weeks in Tasmania.  People back here have been busy while I was away.  The fridge gardens are all shifted, painted to look better too.  All the lawns were mowed, the edges whippersnippered, the yard looks really good and should be easy to keep that way so hope I do...  Tiff had tidied up inside for me and the place hadn't looked so good in a long time.  After a few days of me being home though...looks like I need to go away again so she can get it back the way she had it!

Had a birthday, lots of pressies some of which were seedlings for the gardens.  Great, I was needing these and now they are planted and the gardens are looking good too.  Husband has put in a new watering system so it will be easy to keep everything watered.

The young chickens have been out of their pen since before I left so at least the slater population is down.  Downside to escapee chookens?  Anyone with a garden and chooks that escaped will know the answer to that!  We have put them in a different pen, hoping they can't get out because if they do...goodbye seedlings and hello chicken soup!

I am going to get all the gardens back up and producing heaps of food this year, enough for us with extra for selling.   I want the yard to start paying for itself and think that I might be able to manage it with the honey and excess vegetables and fruit.  And plants that I have been talkin about potting up but haven't yet.  I will get the pots cleaned up and a few things planted in them over the next few weeks so come Spring...they will be ready to sell.

The hives need extracting so we will have another batch of honey for sale soon.   I still haven't all gotten the hives moved into the Apairy but now that the days are getting shorter and it is darker and cooler earlier I will be able to start moving them closer again.  I can only move each hive a foot or two at a time but because I forget or the bees are still flying around when I go to do it it is taking forever.  They are quite close now so should be able to be moved the rest of the way over the next month or so.

Chooks seem to have started laying again, had a fridge full of eggs when I got home.  Gave most away so hope the chooks keep up their end of the job and we don't run short again.  I need to oil their legs again soon too, a few are looking a bit scaley.   I think I still have enough oil left in the big drum but will check and get more if I need too.   This leg oiling will be a job for the weekend.  It is a messy job but something that does need doing on a regular basis.   The oil smothers the mite that causes the scaley leg.  I use old oil that I get from the fish and chip shop, it works by smothering the mites, there is no need to fork out money on chemicals or expensive oils at all.

There are Chokos on the vine, only small but they grow quite fast so shouldn't be too long before we can start picking and eating them again.  I really need to get a couple of vines growing elsewhere too.  I say this every year but for one reason or another they like the spot in the tank gardens out the back.  I want them to grow up over the chookpen fences out the front.  I will keep trying and eventually they will get the message!

I will take photos of how things are looking out there over the next week or so.   The whole yard has had changes made to it while I was away, it looks really good so thankyou to everyone that stayed home here and helped with it.  A big thankyou to husband for doing everything he did for me while I was away...Love ya Babe!








Friday, February 27, 2015

Fridge Removal.

We've got another hot day here yesterday, it's starting to get a bit much for me.  Still it is Summer so only what is expected.  But all the same...it is hot here.

Yesterday morning I was out whippersnippering an area that has been a mess for ages and still is but soon...One day it wont be such a mess.  It is the area where we have all the fridge gardens and what used to be a sweet potato patch.  The grass overtook the SPP, sticks fell from the trees, I used it as a dumping ground...it became an overgrown mess.   The fridges still worked as gardens though and we were/are getting food from them.

We had another overgrown messy area out the back, along the fence.  This was a garden edged with rocks and over the years has had different stuff planted which eventually becomes overgrown with grass.  
One day last week we were saying how messy these areas were and talked about shifting the fridges out and putting them out along the fence.   This would make one area at least easy to keep clear and mown.

Husband has had 2 days home and decided that enough was enough and he started the clean-up.  The rocks were removed from the back fence, the fence-wire was removed, the grass was scraped away and the whole lot was levelled off.  I get home from Vinnies yesterday and he has already started moving the fridges.  It is a big job as each fridge needs to be emptied before it can be moved...but I have food growing in them.  It will be a work in progress and may have to wait until it is cooler. 

He has moved 3 of the fridges though so now it is my job to start clearing where they were and getting rid of all the sticks, grass, crap that should never have been put there.  Fair deal I reckon.

In this area is a Comfrey plant.  I need to find somewhere else to put it before I dig it up.  We have a massive purple pot and husband suggested I use that for the time being so if  can't find a better, in the ground place, that will have to do.

It's still looking messy but will have to stay that way for a bit longer  I will be busy then away until end of March but hopefully the weather will be cooler when I am back home and it will get finished then.  The comfrey is now gone, I put that in a big pot and dumped it in some shade.



This is back fence area.  Soon all the fridges will be along here.

A Passionfruit vine will be planted here in the hope that it will take off, up and over the structure.

We can't move a couple of the fridges until the plants are finished.  this one has beans and tomatoes still growing.  But another is full of strawberries and another chillies, potatoes and tomatoes...

It will look good, or at least tidier, when it's finished but that may be another month or so.  But it's started!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Twentyfour For Two...Really?


Hot weather is here still with more to come so I am inside, taking it easy, not doing anything much...went to get a cup out and saw something move in the cupboard.   Bugger.  Cockroach!  Big one too.  I have actually noticed a few of these in the bathroom over the last week, unusual after not seeing any for months and thinking the resident skinks were keeping them down.  Seems he/she/they are slacking off.  

This cockroach looks like it has been in this cupboard for awhile so I now have the big job of taking everything out, cleaning the cupboards, cleaning the stuff, putting it all back.   I am not going to put it all back though.  Most of it is not regularly used, some is just being saved for...whatever, whenever...
Two people live here and in this cupboard alone there are 24 glasses and I know I have more in another cupboard.   We don't use glasses.  Maybe sometimes, once or twice a year if we have people here.  I used to use plastic cups but have since gone to using mugs or pewter or SS cups.   




One side of the cupboard emptied onto the top and floor.   So much stuff in there...





I'm thinking that most of these glasses can go.  I have been thinking this since I took them all out of the cupboard 1/2 an hour ago...There are also jars and bottles in there that I haven't used since last Summer so maybe I don't need those either...

Now 2PM...Why is it so bloody hard to get them in a box and out of the house!

It's an hour later, I have finished this 1 cupboard.  There are still too many glasses but I bought them because I like them and the set of 10 is up the back of a shelf, not in the way and this way I didn't cry.  Maybe next time I pull everything out and clean they can go...or the time after that.  I also kept a set of 5 for visitors to use but alas, there is 1 less now because I dropped it.  
The glasses that I like are at he back out of the way so they too don't get broken. 
The shelves are looking OK, they are clean and what is in there now is mostly used on a daily or weekly basis.  The cockroach is squished dead.  There are a couple of big SS bowls that go in here too but they are being used at the moment.


 Pleased that all this is going to the op-shop tomorrow.

I cannot understand why it is so hard for me to get rid of un-needed stuff.   Maybe it will get easier and so quicker as I do more.   There is still so much to do...

So how much stuff do 2 people need?  Not 24 glasses and the 14 that are still in there, too many.  Two people live here, a 7 year old stays quite often, others visit...We have 8 dinner plates, 7 b and b plate, 2 bowls that match them plus 1 other now.  ( I removed 2 others today)  I am looking for more bowls that match the smokey glass plates and this is an ongoing thing for me at op-shops and garage sales.  There are 5 kids cups that I am wanting to get rid of and will soon, 6 metal cups that I use instead of plastic or glass but I don't need this many.  Two cups and 1 saucer in here now, I use the cups as small bowls so I don't have a huge amount of icecream or custard.   We rarely use those metal pie dishes, there are 3 in there and I think I will end up putting them out with the camping stuff.  Two round casserole dishes, 2 glass bowls, 2 rectangle casserole dishes...Two big glass bowls...I use these things but maybe don't need them all.  It will do for now, at least I will be able to see if any more roaches get in there. 

I dread the time when I get to the cupboard with the coffee mugs in...

How many plates, bowls, things, do you have?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fire Warnings

We have had fire fighting planes and helicopters flying over the town all yesterday, Friday. There is a  massive big fire just East of the town, close to some houses.   There was notices and warning throughout the day telling people what was happening, people coming into Vinnies saying they were leaving there houses because though the fire wasn't near them yet they were surrounded by trees.  I was telling them to make sure they had a bag packed and to be ready to go...The fire was under control and the warnings downgraded.  All was well. 

Seems I should have took my own advice.  I had a call at 4.30 this morning from a friend around the corner, she had taken her horse out of town...I got up and got dressed, cause you know, it's 4.30, why not.  Had 5 calls/messages since then.  Our town is in danger, lots.  The wind is blowing the fire West and though we are not in town it's heading this way.  Lots of buildings between the town and us though so if it gets here it means the town is gone...Have called the daughter and she is coming out here as the main road to the town has been shut down.  Her and her 3 dogs and 2 ferrets will be here soon.  I have put a few things into a bag but have no idea what I am supposed to pack *just in case*

I've had the sprinklers on all night so the paddocks are wet but suppose I better have a coffee and get ready to leave, just in case we too have to get out quick.

After this I will make sure that there is a BOB ready to go, like there should be, like I have been going to do for years.

Stay safe people. 

It's now 5.30AM.  I was just outside having a look, seeing if I should be doing anything...What though?  No idea.  Sprinklers are on, hoses are connected...The road out the front is like a highway, cars heading in both directions and I was thinking that people in our area were getting out, maybe they knew something I didn't...Then it hit me, it looked like a highway as that is what it was being used as.  The main highway being shut all the traffic was diverted down our road.  

Daughter isn't here yet, I still haven't packed anything else in my bag.  What is someone supposed to pack?  I have wallet, water, food for the day, normal stuff that is usually in there...

And you know, having time to sit and wonder what I would pack...there isn't a lot I would.  Which goes to show that the decluttering can star in earnest next week!

The house is now full of dogs!  Two big ones a little one...Gotta go again.  It is so windy...

Ten past six and we can hear the choppers.  The water bombing will start now so hopefully they'll get on top of it.   The town evacuation centre has been evacuated!  

We're fine out here, it's smoky but pretty sure we're safe.  I really feel for the people in town though, houses have been burned, people have had to leave, it would be scarey and so worrying...

Half past 7 and the fire is still going.  Sirens are blaring, planes are flying...We're safe out here and missing all the action but I am thankful for that.  Others are not so lucky.
Have just had another phone-call from someone calling to see if I am alright.  People are so caring in situations like this and if we did have to go we now have a choice of 3 places.  It's good to know that people care.

4.30PM.  The town has been on alert all day, planes, helicopters.  There have been spot fires throughout the area.  The town is now in the process of being evacuated.  Everyone that didn't need to leave yesterday are having to leave now.  Chances are too high that the fire will take off again tonight.  We *should* be OK.  If it starts coming down the hill and across the paddocks I will seriously think of leaving but there is a highway and BIG BIG shed to get through before it reaches us.  Sprinklers will be on all night again.  I have a friend in town who wont leave but she has been told to come out if she needs to no matter what the time.  I need to go and get some beds organised.  This tiny house wont know what has hit it.   All up tonight there could be 9 dogs taking it in turns to be let out to toilet.  By the time the town is safe and people can go home I will be well over wanting a dog of my own!

It's been a scary day for Waroona, I haven't seen the half of it being safe out here but have been keeping up with it all with social media.  I also slept a couple of hours away.   Not enough can be said about all the firies, police and other helpers.   They do such an amazing job.
If you are one or know one, give yourself a big pat on the back.

It's Sunday morning, 9AM,the wind didn't pick up overnight like everyone feared and the town is now on a watch and act alert but it looks like the fires are well and truly under control.  Some are still burning but they are not moving and are under watch.  Daughter and dogs have gone back to the house in town and I daresay most people will go home today though there are still some parts of the top end of town closed to residents.   There is a helicopter flying over the area, I don't know if it is a spotter *plane*, water bomber or news crew.  It's a lot cooler today so that should help with keeping it down but the wind is starting to pick up.  We are due for some more hot days during the next week but hopefully it will be well and truly dead by then.

So some excitement for our little town, not the sort we want but apart from a few looters the town and surrounding areas came together to help each other.  That's good to see.

10AM, it's raining.  Not a lot and not very heavy but still, it's gotta help.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Back Into It....Bedroom Mess.

I am home, had lunch, *eager* to get more stuff out of the house.

Before I left I put the baskets back under the bed but one of them is full of bits and pieces, not clothing that I wear.  And I put stuff off the bed into it to make the bed and floor clearer so I need to get that out again one day and go through it properly but today, there are more important areas to work on. 

This is was the view from my bedroom door after lunch today.   Ummm, yep, still needs work.  And  this is after I put some things into the basket that goes underneath!   So pick a spot, any spot...

 Old bills that were in a plastic bag in the basket.  Why?  They are from 5 or 6 yeas ago.
 I can't shut the top drawer where I keep underwear but I remember doing this drawer last year sometime.
 Second drawer where bathers and nighties are kept.  I wear neither.
 I found this under the bed.  I love this case.  It was packed with stuff for an overnight stay a couple of years ago, everything I might need...Hmmm, obviously I haven't been anywhere to need it.

 Bags of...Dunno, will have a look and sort them out.
 This is the corner at the end of my side of the bed.   Yellow backpack I take to work, checky bag is market stuff, red cloth is a cushion cover, other stuff is other stuff, not needed.
I shall go do 3 areas.  Now.

It's now nearly 6PM and I am starting to flag.  Actually, I have flagged.  What I need is to get finished but as I get rid of something I bring out something else...I need to concentrate on what is in front of me and finish one job before starting another.  But,

The bills are soaking in a bucket of water and will be added to the worm farm soon.  The red case has been repacked and is in the car because I do want to stay away sometimes this year and this will get rid of one excuse.  The market bag is out in the shed with the market stuff.   All rubbish is in the bin, all op-shop stuff is in the car and FreeMarket stuff is out in the van.   There is now only 1 bag on the bed that needs sorting but I need to get outside before dark and get some outside jobs done.  Hang on a bit...The bed is now clear, the not done bag is in the basket under the bed.  So glad I went through that this morning as it has allowed room for situations like this.  The side and end of my side of the bed is clear, Husbands side is clear too.   Let's call it a day.

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

I had an unexpected day at home yesterday, alone, by myself,   I was disappointed that it happened but pleased that I'd be able to get heaps done, all the stuff that doesn't get done when the husband is home.   It was gunna be great, productive, my house would shine...Ummm, OK, maybe not shine but I was going to do another cull and get rid of lots more useless, unneeded stuff.

I didn't.

It was hot so I spent most of the day eating, reading, computering, wasting...I had a late night and didn't get up until 10 past 7 this morning.  I know, how lazy of me, wasted the morning of the new day too.  But no, today will not be wasted.  I will be out from 9.45 until lunchtimeish this morning but before I leave here I am going to go through a couple of baskets from under my bed and make them easier to push under and pull out again.  I keep clothes in these as we have hardly any cupboard space in the bedroom.  They are too full and can no longer be pushed under.  I know I did one of these baskets last year sometime so maybe husband is right and I need to stop bringing stuff home.  We wont tell him that though will we...We will just stop doing it and see if he notices.   But the basket clearing out stuff, I'm doing that for me.

I have just finished my coffee.  I have an hour before I need to get ready and to go.

I'll be working on this.




                     And now have this...



       





And this. 

 
 




                                    To this.
                                              

All this is going, going, gone out the door already.  Plus 2 other bags are out in the car ready to be taken to the op-shop and 1 bag and a few things going to the FreeMarkets are out of the house.  


If I'm quick then maybe this too.  I wasn't quick enough for this but will be home soon and will strt on it then.
 
 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Planning, Doing...Planning to do...

Three weeks in to the new year and things are much the same.  That means the gardens need work, the house needs work, I need work.  But hey, what would I do if I didn't have all this stuff to work on aye?

Umm, what would I do?  Probably spend more time than I do now on this thing so just as well I'm not up to date with it all yet.

I have been busy though.  Still at Vinnies, still liking it.  If I got paid for being there and doing what I do it would be the best job.  Being manager is a lot more work but I am learning and hopefully will soon get the hang of it properly.  It would be a help if I had someone that was more involved with my training but the Area Manager doesn't seem that interested so I am learning as I go. If they don't like it then they can sack me! 
I am wondering now if I could help more on the Welfare side of things.  The Conference women have asked for help and I have sat in on some of their appointments, just as a second person for safety reasons, and think t would be a good thing to do.   At first I thought it would be great, then had second thoughts and decided that I am too judgemental, third thoughts were that maybe some of the people that come in could do with some straight talking to...It would be nice to be able to help the genuine people though and good to get the others help so they can help themselves more.  Telling the difference between the genuine needy and the greedy needy is hard though and the CW get it wrong quite often so I don't know why I think I would be any different.  If they, the CW, ever ask if anyone would like training in that area though I think I will put my hand up. 

I have had a few days paid work during the school holidays but am finished now until the next lot.  Soon these kids will be old enough not to need me and then my main source of income will be finished. Not that what I get is very much, maybe $1000 for the year lol, but better than nothing.  I will have to get serious about selling the honey and getting the gardens producing more so I have some money to call my own and am not totally dependant on husband.   In the meantime I'll just keep the credit card in my purse.

Husband has put a shed up for me/us to use as an extracting shed for the hives.  It works great and everything to do with the hives is now together in one area.   We had the first extraction for the year in it today and it works great.  Quicker, cooler, cleaner.  It will be so much easier to get an extraction done now and best of all it is bee proof!  No bees to worry about while I/we steal their honey.

I'm going down to Nannup tomorrow.  Going down with one daughter to visit another...First daughter will be dropping her daughter off for a weeks holiday.  We need to get back early though so 2and1/2 hours there, stay a bit, 2and1/2 hours back again...Nannup daughter has a HelpXer staying with her and it will be interesting to talk with her again.   I met her last week, she is from Germany and will be traveling around for 6 months, in a van...I want some inspiration for next year when I hope to get another van and try again.

We haven't been anywhere camping since March last year and I need to get it into my head that if I want to then I will need to do it alone.  I'm working on it but...To help with the stupid irrational fear I have I am going away with Nannup daughter in March.  Three weeks in Tasmania.  She is going for some Permaculture thing and suggested I go along for the ride.  I cried.  She says we'll hire a campervan, stay longer and explore.  I cried.  She told me how big the van will be.  I cried.  It seems I am a crier.  I am working on that too.

Over the course of this year I want to get the gardens producing like they did back in 2010, I want to get the house decluttered and some bookshelves up so I can bring my books in, I want to get an extraction done by myself, from honey in a hive to honey in a jar and I want to get out and about a bit more, including overnight stays somewhere by myself.  I'm going to plan at least 2 trips away, invite the husband but go anyway, with or without him.  And, I already have ideas for next year but they will need a lot more planning.   Something else to work on...

How about you, what plans do you have for this year?  Not resolutions but real plans for things that you want to happen, things that will happen...



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lost Them Again.

I *lost* my glasses again tonight.  If it happens again I might have to seriously think about getting another pair.  A spare pair.  But they are too expensive to have sitting around just in case I do something stupid and lose the ones I wear all the time so I will think on it some more.  And in the meantime hope that I don't knock these ones off again.

How did they fall off this time?  I was hanging up the washing, it's dark but I had the back light on so could see what I was doing.  I walked through the washing and the glasses got caught up in a shirt and flung off somewhere.  I dropped down and started feeling around...It was half past eight and I expected the son home but didn't want to be outside too long because of mozzies and was thinking to come in and try to call him when I saw his carlights.  I waited a bit, how long does it take to get out of a car!  Minutes and more minutes, or so it seemed so I called out to him, no response so I called louder.  He comes over but so do all 4 dogs!  Last week I was worried about cows treading on them but tonight it was dogs eating them.  I call out what is wrong so he calls the dogs away and goes and gets a torch.  He finds them about 5 foot from where I was looking/feeling so glad he got home when he did 'cause I would not have been able to.  My other option was to ring the daughter and get her to help again but lucky for her I didn't need to.

This is the second time in 2 and a bit weeks. I either have to be more aware or stop doing stuff.  Or get another pair.  A spare pair.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Home All Day, Yayyyy. List Time.

I have a home all day by myself day today.  Maybe.  There was a whisper of a fairy visiting but I can't remember if that was written whispered in stone or not.  And I should go into town and put some RRFM signs up...Whatever way, I need a list.  Here be the start of it;

I will add to this as I think of things...

INSIDE.
Sink clear and clean.
Bench 1 clear and clean.
Bench 2 clear and clean. clean.
Bench 3  clear and clean.
Table, clear and clean cloth.
Put all crappy carbs in his tuckerbox
Change sheets on bed
Wash sheets
Wash other clothes.  On now.
Vacuum floor.
Do *something* with all the tomatoes.

SUNROOM.
Clear all chairs so I can sit and read anywhere.
Put out empty boxes and any rubbish.
Ashtray.
Bookcase, for me or L?  Decide then put in proper place.

OUTSIDE.
Put some shelves in the extracting shed.
Move all the new jars into the Ex shed.
Plant 6, or 8...all the ones I got, Tomato plants.
Bag up everything for the RRFM
Go through my shirts again.
Sprinklers on tank gardens.  And don't forget to shift it around!

THIS WEEK.
As above.
Pay all bills.
Tidy paper area.
Replace ink in printer.
Add to this as I think of things...
Extraction or another box on Hive 1.