Sunday, June 17, 2018

Mum My Greatest Challenge.

Thursday afternoons my sister and I  visit mum. As I have mentioned before Mum has Alzeimers, occasionally she remembers who we are and I think this week was good. We take her out of the dementia ward and go to the front to have coffee in the garden there.

Outdoor Seating Area off the tiniest coffee shop

There is no conversation with us, Jan and I chat away, occasionally ask her questions for a nod or too as an answer, but even then not sure if she understands. Sad thing is the same group of ladies that have lived there and a gentlemen that we have got to know, are all declining at the same rate.It has been 2 years and 8 months now, and all want to go out the doors when we do.

Front Entrance Path, wanders right to another entrance.

Gardens are kept beautifully.

The nurses and carers have to let us out but always in tow are two or more escapees. So it is a trick to get through once the automatic key is swiped, especially trying with mum and a walker at the same time.

Mum June 2018

Mum and Jan Dec 2017

The latest has been no teeth in. We have never ever seen our mother like that till a few months ago she refuses to put them in. I personally think her mouth is getting smaller with age and they hurt. She doesn't like using utensils so if we get a bite to eat, it is usually a  large Byron Bay biscuits that we break up in pieces. A two handle mug also for mum. Twice now I have had to get a nurse to help ones, she couldn't get up out of the chair after Jan went back to work, this week she let go of the walker and wouldn't take it again. A very dangerous move so I held on and Jan raced to get help. The decline has been rapid in the last 6 months. She will wander off suddenly, lose interest or just forget where she is, but always you can find her trying to get out of the side gate.


The gardens there are particularly lovely. Once a resident used to keep it and it was full of flowers everywhere. She left  and it went into a bit of a recline but now there is an young man, who comes in every week. It is looking neat and tidy and I noticed more flowers going in as well. Mum used to love the garden but now its just somewhere to endlessly walk around. She prefers getting outside away from everyone.

We are still jogging along with our own garden. The big decision with it is what to do with the paths so having looked at some rubber back false grass this is the way we are going. Our next step is to get the crusher dust first which will be on weed mat, then the grass on that. Drainage across the path   is also to be done, to stop the flood at the entrance itself.

Drain needed here.

It has been a busy week lots of different things going on, usually the garden, will catch up next time

Stay safe everyone.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Boomerangs and Bush Tucker

Another project has now been completed for the Community Gardens. All Rotarians this year according to the International Rotarian President, were asked to each plant a tree.

 Our local group contacted us and donated $250 of which we decided that a Native and Bush Tucker garden was in order. On the concept plan there is a designated area for it, but as that area has natural bush and also part of a road, I decided to design an area down by the fruit orchard.

You can see the orchard to the left.

 I hovered on matching the citrus area, but then came up with an idea of a boomerang, which is what we did. Two in fact and a circle in the middle.  The circle is going to be changed into a turtle by placing a smaller circle for the head the legs, I suppose just straight but  small angled beds from the body. As it has rained heavily after the planting day, we are waiting for the ground to dry out.

All at work

This particular area holds all the water, and in future we will have to sort out a drainage system, most likely a swale of some sort

Planting a Lemon Myrtle Tree

Morning Tea was served, and I took a nice tablecloth and some paper plates but the wind was so rough that in the it was packed up, and served cake out of the boxes, not that the men really noticed lol.

Jan folding it all up. 

Trees Planted were Lemon Myrtle, 2 NSW  Davidson plums and a rare and endangered Qld one, a Sandpaper Fig, Finger Lime, Walking Stick Palm, 2 Macadamia Nut, and a Qld. Bush Nut, 2 blue flax that have edible blue berries, and some Qld elk horn I happened to pull from my garden. Not bad for a start.

Deciding where to put everything.

When funds are available we will also plant some Australian flowering natives as these were used for nectar, and maybe a Banksia as they look good. John has taken particular interest in this garden, and been reading up on all different trees we could use. 

The rain flooded the area, and although we raised the beds with 5 cubic metres of compost, it needs a bit more work done. 

Our Native Australian /Bush tucker Garden all set to grow. 

Thanks goes to the Local Rotarians. Well Done

Following this event several days later the Mayor made a very quick visit, to see where the pavillion is going, John applied for a grant for this although we have put a deposit down for a  6m x 6m Gabelled Roof Double Carport,  and we are hoping that is a good sign. All other grants have been a letter to say we didn't get it. 

Fingers are crossed.

 Till next time.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Rosella Jam

One of our  members at the Community Garden has been growing Rosellas. This plant is part of the Hibiscus family, and look lovely in flower.

Rosella Bush

 After the flower is finished a rosella is formed and this is what you pick to make the jam.

They grow all over the bushes like this.

Close up of rosellas

The petals have to be peeled off and thrown into a pot while the inside, which is made of of lots of seed is put into another pot. This is then boiled and forms a pectin to be added to the first pot. Sugar is added and there are plenty of recipes on the net. I also added apple to bulk it out a bit.

Rosellas ready for removing petals

It is a bit of a fiddle with all the bits but the jam takes like a berry type. I added some lemon so there is a nice tartness to it as well.

Rosella petals

Rosella seed pod

There were two bushes and the members have been picking lots of rosellas to have a go, so next year we are going to do a hedge of them between the fruit orchard and the native bush tucker garden.
Maybe one day we can sell them or sell the jam, anything to make some money to help the garden.

Rosella Jam

The plant mainly grows in humid areas, as it likes the warmth. If you get a chance though buy a jar.

Till next time, stay safe.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Saturday Was Friday

 Friday was supposed to be my washing day, everything, sheets, towels, clothing maybe 3 - 4 loads for the two of us, but I had to go and sit for 4 hrs. in front of KMart promoting the community garden, it was Market Day and we were invited along with other community-based and small traders.

Bit different stand this time. 

We sold all most $43 worth which is better than nothing but with 3 days notice not easy. Anyway back to the washing NOT DONE!!
By the time we got home it was nearly 2, a bite to eat, read the forum and now it is 4 and raining and cold so I lit the fire, so much for heavy cleaning day, well that is what Friday was, when  I was doing  Sidetracked Home Executive cards, lol seems to have stuck, one positive thought.

I  found them the other day, my cleaning cards, still haven't had a moment  though to look at them, but I have decided to start using them again to keep me on track, I really, really need too.

I was sitting in a family room, mess up to my eyeballs in junk. This is week 8 of the Grand Cleaning Plan I am doing with the Homemakers Forum, and 6 other rooms are clean of which I have locked the doors, OR Lightening will strike he who dares enter!!!!!...... but all the "miscellaneous" junk is here in front of me taking space looking like a version of hoarders. I have to sort it, find a spot, or put it with the other 8 boxes at the front door ready to go to goodwill, or my sisters garage sale, she wants it to make spending money for her holiday and figures I can give it to her instead, along with my sale day help, also.

My favorite cupboard between kitchen and family Room all clean.

Sat. then turned out to be Friday in the long run. Did 4 loads and hung it all out. Normally I just take the sheets off the line to remake the bed, but it has turned cloudy with a chance of rain, so I was forced to get more from the very full walk in linen press, although leaning from the doorway and reaching is all I could manage.

Arnotts Biscuit Tin Collection above the cupboard.

Then I went mad and vacuumed the whole house, and washed the floor. Just moved all those pesky to sort boxes out of the way, or dumped upwards on something. The phone rang and in my haste tripped over boxes and fell flat on my face, with phone in hand, rolled over and answered it. "This is Mr X I forgot the password to my computer your husband just picked up, so how are you today."
"I just fell over and lying on the floor thinking about broken bones." .... SILENCE..... poor guy... he finally asked " are you all right" and I was but I lay there in shock after I hung up, trying to remember said password so I could write it down.

My knees hurt in case your wondering, must have landed on them on a box, before I fell forward, and my wrist is sore. Luckily nothing broke, my bones border on the thin density line, hip being the thinnest.

Pea, Ham and Veg Crockpot Soup

Anyway after a sturdying coffee, sorted out the toilets, does any one do swish and wipe these days? Made the bed, found different towels, and a new mat. Then I really must have knocked my head because I put the crock pot on with some pea and ham soup, started some bread to rise, and  waiting for a whole of orange cake to bake, so I can take it tomorrow for morning tea at the community garden.

Feeling very clever because now I can find the appropriate cleaning cards and write the date that vacuuming and cleaning are done. Routine has BEGUN!!

Till Next time.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Apples and Oranges

Well I finally did it, well John did, but I came to the almighty decision to cut the Apple Trees down. I have been hovering on a will I won't I theme for months, and with this warm weather the trees suddenly blossomed in places. I really then thought about the future of our weather, how the trees had stopped producing good fruit loads with only a handful , even though I had left lots of fruiting spurs,and having to protect them from fruit fly, but mainly the pruning of them every year as well with the new growth being way to high so up a ladder I would go. That had to stop. Shame really as for the past 3 years I have been lowering them more and more.

Looking down from Verandah at the two trees

Definitely a chainsaw job.

First one nearly gone.

Once both of them were down then John started digging the roots as as best as he could. The trees had been there 12 years at least.

Trees several days later

I had an orange tree in a pot so took that out and planted it first, then my new Mandarin Tree. Both are Miniatures and about a metre apart. I don't want them to get full width of up to 2 metres so keeping them close together, which should slow them down, although it didn't with the apple trees. .

First of the trees planted this is an orange.

The area still needs work, and I have to move the worm farm  as it is not protected anymore, but so far concentrating on finishing the front. We are still loading soil into the new beds and I have bought some shrubs in readiness. Then I need to start thinking actually how I shall work the beds properly so that I can operate a rotation system, with the vegetables.

Both Planted Now.

Below are the 2 lemon trees on the other side so I imagine the other two will turn out similar. Once the lemons have finished ripening I will prune these back, feed them and spray on some organic bug mix for overwintering.

So still lots of autumn cleanup, weeding, and probably pressure spraying the paving as well. There are not enough hours in the day, at the moment.

Till next time.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day 2018

I must admit, while the children were still at home Mother's Day was great, now a days it is a non event. I did get some flowers, but as there was no greeting on it I know not who from and if any of them ring, I shall ask. At 3pm though it is still a mystery.

My sister and I went and visited our mum last Thursday, with some slippers for her, but she didn't really know us and mumbles so we can't really understand what she says. So sad, a terrible way to get old.

I love the yellow, especially the roses.

In the meantime spent the morning as usual at the Community Garden. Not many turned up today and I watered every plant except the bank garden as I ran out of time. I also managed to plant several rows of turnips, beetroot and celeriac which is a new one for me. When we arrived home at lunchtime what a surprise to see the flowers on the verandah bench.

Having spent the last two days helping get our own new beds going, I am certainly feeling the tiredness now.

The first bed

The first wood bed is doing well, I have discovered that the black mesh still lets the white butterfly in so spending too much time looking for eggs and caterpillars. I have asked John to change over to vegenet instead. The ends are stapled on to pieces of wood, to the width of each section, and can be rolled up when not in use. The wood strip placed on the ledge and the fabric thrown over to the other side, with the 2nd. wood strip. A special one will be made for the ends.

The back bed
Three new beds.

This is how the three left hand side beds look now, middle one still being filled. The back one is half planted up with brassicas. The fence line ones still need more weeding and soil. The back right hand brick one is the new herb bed.

New Herb Bed

The herb bed I have transplanted what I need from across the path from the old one. Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, parsley, Chilli and Salad Burnet. I have still to plant Basil. Most likely I will also plant alyssum and maybe marigold in the spaces left.

Old Herb Bed

The old one was full of nut grass and couch and needed a good clean out, before we put good soil in. I don't  ever expect to get rid of the nut grass, but this will help. I am still working on this one.

Well another knock at the door with a delivery of more flowers, this time with a greeting from our eldest daughter, so I suspect the first one is from our youngest in America. The three boys most likely will ring tonight.

More pink in this one.

With the weather being so cold at night there has been some fantastic sunsets, this is two of some  I took last week, off the back verandah.


A bit closer

Hope all the mothers had a lovely day.

Till Next Time.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Autumn Has Finally Arrived.

Another week  has gone and can you believe we are in May already. The weather is definitely cooler, and of course we have had a little bit of rain. My thoughts now are turning to firewood and kindling. Traditionally when we had our oil burning AGA we would light it from Mothers Day to Fathers Day, and with Mother's Day coming up next weekend, I am thinking it will be about right to start the fire. Well my Nectre Bakers oven. Nothing lovelier than sitting next to a fire on a cold winters night.

Butcher Bird Paying me a Visit at Morning Tea Time
While doing all the travelling back and for the Sydney and Gold Coast I started knitting a wool cardigan. I have knitted this before in 10 ply according to the pattern, but was too big and gave it too my daughter who loved it. So several years later finally knitting for me, one in 8 ply this time, wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills who had a sale recently.

Got quite a bit done while travelling.

I have been doing a lot of weeding in the back garden, now that it is cooler, and planted beetroot and carrots according to the moon planting. Pulled down one arch of beans and planted sweet pea seedlings.

This one is Carrots, opposite bed is 2 types of  Beetroot

I have also made a big decision to cut down the 12 year old apple trees. The first few years were good but now I hardly get enough apples to warrant pruning and bagging the apples against fruit fly. Usually small as well.

Apple Trees to come down.

They are a low chill variety and it is such a shame to do it, but in their place I have a Mandarin and an Orange on small rootstock. So across this section will be the Mandarin, Orange, Lime and Lemon.

New Mandarin

Lemon and Lime next to apples

I still haven't decided about getting new chickens. Because we are on a hill it is quite a step and stair walk down to the bottom. 4 levels in fact, some days it is a real drag, but I do love chickens. Feed also is expensive and I  jokingly think sometimes the eggs work out a $1 each when they don't lay. Plus getting the neighbours to look after them I feel guilty.

Pumpkin rambling in the pond near the chicken coop

Pumpkin rambling in the front all over the drive and heading up.
Today at the garden our son bought his ride on mower and I had a go of driving it around. Not as easy as I thought going in a circle. Some rough bumpy patches, but oh so quick to get rid of the grass. We shall have to work on getting a grant to buy one. Plus a normal mower as well.

It was our monthly meeting also today and the Bush Tucker Garden is about to come to fruition. The trees have been ordered and Rotary will be planting them. Lots of holes to get ready. More trees for the Orchard also ordered. Plum, Nectarine, Peach, all bare rooted for June, and a  Mulberry to go next to the fig which is still to be planted. It is all happening so fast, hard to keep up with it all.

So in closing had to show you this that I found, while watering never seen one before. Must keep the seeds lol.

Purple Capsicum from my back Garden.

Ordering Pizza tonight too tired to cook. Have a great week everyone.

Till Next Time.