Thursday, January 27, 2022

Dried Bean Disaster & Basting a Quilt

Finally the weather has moved from the hot and sticky into much cooler with rain or light showers. Much easier to live with, and giving us all a break. 
The thing is though I think my new lot of dried beans, which like hot( not humid) weather, have succumbed to mould which was not a surprise, but also a strange thing I have to investigate, of lovely green beans drying on the vine to nothing just the outside shell, with no beans inside. I have never known this to happen and will be asking the specialist supplier Seed Freaks in Tasmania, what went wrong. 

Hard to tell but most of these have nothing inside.

It may be hard to see but most of the beans above are just thin dried shells. Not all is lost as the ones below do have some nice plump beans, but the black on them is mould so I won't use these as growing seeds, only soups etc. the green beans themselves look normal.

Not is all lost, still more on the vines, which I will keep a better eye on.

A couple have started growing, so will be interesting when I peel open the rest today. Should I plant them is the question? Generally all look ok to use though, just need more drying out.

The Skinny Version

Last pick on Friday.

Quilting group has gone back this past week but I am waiting to go after my visit to my RA specialist in Brisbane, Wednesday week, so I know what the next step is with these booster injections.
 Hate that  my RA injections combined with Covid stuff, is going into my system, but no-one can tell me if this mixture combined with methotrexate tablets, all powerful drugs, is a good mix. So far so good though, but still very wary of it all.

 In the mean time I thought I had better get a move on and Baste this birthday quilt. Normally it is done with pins. Spread the 3 layers, on the floor, or large table, the Backing, Batting, and Quilt top, all smoothed out no wrinkles the start in the middle and pin, roughly 3 or 4 fingers apart in a cross formation to the end then start again in the middle and fill in the rest. At least, I think that is the usual way, not done big ones only little wall hangings.

First of all even if I could find enough floor space I am no way getting down on the floor  too spread it all out let alone to pin it together bit by bit. So I researched hand basing which proved to be so much easier and just as quick. 

3 layers bottom is backing, then wadding, then top layer.

1.There are plenty of you tube videos but basically you get two long boards and fold and smooth as you go, wrapping carefully, the backing fabric, around the first board.
2.The second you do the same to the quilt top smoothing and folding as you go.
3.The backing one is put down with wrong side up and unwound about an elbow to finger length.
Smoothed out nice and straight.

4.The wadding is then placed on top of this and the bulk of it just goes behind. I was using our dining room table so I placed a chair for it to lie on once the piece came to the end of the table. 
 5. The quilt top was then place right side up with a matching length rolled out, and smoothed out as well. Important to have no wrinkles any where as is when pinning. 

Boards on top of each other with batting in the middle.
I used a very thin crotchet cotton for stitching, to use it up,started in the middle, and the stitch is one used in tailoring collars, and parts of suiting in the garment trade. I used... SharonSchamberNet.. as my inspiration.

Each stitch that goes under, joining all fabric together, is the same as a pin, starts at top and goes down, taking a big stitch through all layers, to bottom, then back up depending on the length of thread, no knotting off either.

Some wrinkles are on back but I think I will iron it first then, correct as needed.

Back view

For a first time of doing this very pleased with the result and no pins hanging anywhere which means should I put this aside for a long time, rust could be a problem if I had pins. No crawling around on the floor either, and took about the same time but so much easier, as pins are hard to click together. You could do this way and still use pins, but I would protect the table underneath with something.

Queen Elizabeth Roses.

 Well that is another week gone, 

Till Next Time. 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

It's All Too Much

Once the family all headed back to Sydney, things have really slowed down. The weather became hot and humid, which this year has really drained my energy levels, upset my sleeping patterns, and I have had to "lie down" in the afternoons to catch up. Of course this has also thrown out my entire routine and I end up reading, to while away the time in air conditioning.

Self sown tomatoes amongst other things like celery .

The garden of course is still a jungle, more like a food forest with seedlings like lettuce popping up, cherry tomatoes all over the place, carrot beds that need pulling up as they didn't grow fast enough, so a bit stringy or too small to eat. Beans and cucumbers doing well but now I need to start new seeds off for the last of summer.

I must be tired as I can't even get the ooomph to weed it or embroider, sew, or declutter, soooooo not like me. This year is not turning out as I thought it would. Change must definitely be in the air.

Front Beans


Herb Garden with self sown tomatoes

It rained last night which was lovely and if I had got up earlier I could have done some weeding in the cool, but didn't have the energy.

 Let's hope that things get better, because now I am thinking time to stop blogging every week. Nothing changes, much at the moment.

Back with more beans and undergrowth that needs pulling.

Queen Elizabeth Rose

At least the roses are pretty, and our youngest son, is getting over covid this week, so it's not all bad.

Till Next Time.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Finally The New 20 Foot Caravan Tour 2022

Hinterland by Domain Tourer 20 foot.

 It was a bit of a drama getting it here, but finally I now have time to go over the new van, and to start packing all the "stuff" from the old to new.

Awkwardly parked out the front on our hill

The colour stripe was something we had to pick anything from red or orange, silver etc. but this colour was my theme last time so had a few accessories based around it. The wheels could have been the same colour but we opt out of that. The bottom bit could have been silver metal as well. I like what turned up though. 

The entrance
The step up at the moment is very high and awkward, although somewhere we have steps to help this when it is flat on the ground. Love that it has the hand rail RHS and pockets on the wall for maps, torch, shopping bags, masks etc. Will keep a hand sanitizer station on the left, where there is a narrow bench across the top of the cupboards.

I don't like the round sink, but one of our vans had that, I tend to wash up outside anyway. We may be able to get a chopping board that fits over the sink, as I have seen that in other Brands of vans.

 Immediately to the right, when you step in, is the Kitchen. Lots of space here above and below. Up to now all our vans have been pop top so gaining the overhead cupboards is a major space, they are quite big, and spring loaded. They will fit a  fabric cube insert plus half that size next to it.

More cupboards above
 Opposite the kitchen of course is the 3 way table meaning it folds back twice making it smaller. Cupboards underneath and I think a charger installed there as well. The leatherette chair covers will be great for just wiping up any spills rather than fabric. No curtains either all the blinds, night covers, pull up from the interior. Windows push out to wherever as well, no  maximum limit connections. They are also much bigger in size these days. 

 The drop down cover under the seats is awkward, I can put a container but getting to underneath the seat is very hard to pull the bottom cushion out. John wants to add a drawer there, but I don't think it is necessary.

View to bathroom Microwave, radio, up top and huge fridge.

  We chose single beds, it gives us a more comfortable sleep, opens the area up, and beds I use as a couch with extra cushions across the side, to shorten the depth.

The TV is down this end RHS, and can be swiveled right around or even taken outside to a little picnic table off the van. There is an outlet plug for it and speakers. Same place has an electric plug and a gas one as well for a BBQ should we so choose.

There is air conditioning but also 12 volt fans end of beds wall. Plus a power point off the wardrobe. Lots of space up top takes 3 cubes. Two more drawers under wardrobe although hard to see at the moment. 

Easy to lift up mattress for more storage.I wanted a window at the bed head but they wouldn't do it. As it was, single beds are a special request. Good place for a mirror maybe.

I need to get all new bedding as  the last lot was destroyed. I also will have to retro fit  as the mattresses are slightly smaller which we are used to and good quality. In saying that, maybe, I will look at mattress toppers for extra comfort, which means sheets will probably fit anyway. An electric blanket for me would be good as we seem to travel in winter mainly. I wonder if you can get battery ones lol.

I have been watching lots of videos of hints and tricks for packing and getting some good ideas. My plan is to spend 6 months traveling at least over to WA and maybe another 6 months up to Darwin and surrounds. Plus shorter trips, even if John just takes the van to somewhere for me and picks me up later.

More cupboard space. I may look at putting some of my clothes here there is so much room.

 Will put decent quality suction hooks behind toilet for wet towels, and on bench, a basket type for pump soap, and hand towel ring, loo holder, etc. and may be toothbrush stand, in the corner out of the way. Nice big mirror. Plus  new containers and  what I need in the kitchen.

I certainly don't want things screwed in, as eventually we may sell it, in the future.

Nice bench space, normal sink.

Good size shower, hoping to get a stick on basket on the corner shelf. Optional Hand held shower head is on floor that fits in to wall. May look at something to hold it in  down there for traveling.

Luxury of a washing machine came with the van. Goes to the floor.

I must say the washing machine is a luxury, but the more I think about it when in Caravan places and plugged into power will be really good, no carting a washing basket across to the machines and waiting or going back and forth, smaller loads also and when you pay you tend to do large loads. You also hear of some terrible things being washed as well.

On the outside there is all sorts of cubby holes, which John will most likely put all the tools, equipment, our chairs and table for easy access. Will need big containers and more hooks probably.

That's about it, hope you liked the tour. 

Till Next Time. 




Sunday, January 2, 2022

A New Verandah to Welcome 2022

 Hands up those who are glad 2021 has gone? What an amazing year of lock downs and staying at home. Not that I minded, always, always plenty of things to do here. We actually accomplished a lot, between John and I, being self sufficient and DIY'ers, and having a house we built 40 years old now, but a new year means a new clean slate.

I have started my new planner, downloaded a daily declutter monthly pages, I have been doing for years. Put what little Christmas decorations away, and said farewell to all the family, washed all the sheets and towels, and now resting, before I do any major physical work. I am tired and both RA and my knees hurt, which just shows, I have done too much lately. 

27th.Dec was our usual birthday party of our youngest son, down at the creek. Adults played darts and the children shuttlecock and swimming of course. This celebration covers all of our birthdays, and an annual event.

The most important thing was our 3 boys plus our eldest daughter and two DIL's all helped renew the back verandah flooring. Even the children pulled screws out of the old floor boards. 

The lovely men in my family

The verandah is 17 metres long roughly and each grey board is 5.4 metres and very heavy

Everyone joined in. I cooked, morning teas, lunch, dinner on first day 16 mouths to feed, and this was after the cocktail party and Christmas Day.

Pulling old screws out of wood boards was difficult in some places.

Next day only the adults arrived minus one who looked after all the children at home.

Cutting up old wood to take to the dump

Couldn't use any of the boards for fire wood as too much paint on them. From memory at least 3 colours. Some of it was kept to replace a few dodgy boards on the side and front. These two areas don't get too much rain like the back did.

Day 3 everyone left for Sydney and the rest of us had a much needed rest day. On Day 4 the eldest came over and finished off the last bit. Very fiddly and the hardest part. Both were exhausted by the end of the day, it was hot and sunny, and a lot of work for only two of them. 

The red band is the side verandah, this and the front will be painted dark grey to match.

It has been a long journey, painting the roof first years ago, putting in the wire next, repainting the poles and hand rail, and finally these massive eko boards.

I took the last two today, and it has been raining. Nice to know I will not have to paint them and the rain will not rot them either. Looks so clean, until you see the side verandah.

I have mentioned before that there is always something to do here. Haven't I???

                                    Happy New Year Everyone


Till Next Time.






Sunday, December 26, 2021

Christmas 2021

 Merry Christmas to all my readers, I hope you all have had a wonderful time with family or friends. 

 Mine was a little different. as usually we go to our eldest sons's house, but this year my DIL wanted it at 6pm instead of lunch, so I had our cocktail party as mentioned last week, which after all the hard work turned out to be wonderful.

The 4 grandaughters and DIL all dressed up in their finery, and  the girls 8 to 19 looked so grown up. Our 8 year old grandson also was very smart in a grown up shirt, tie and black hat, along with his dad. A great night followed by presents from our eldest daughter and ourselves.

Lining up for cocktails.

Eldest Son
Christmas day saw us sleeping in, followed by a lovely lunch. It has been quite a while since I did lunch and got out all my good china and a tablecloth, which I love to do. Part of my hospitality training most likely, but I enjoy using fine china and having things just so. 

All set for Christmas Lunch.

 We had cold lamb with a vegetable salad with beetroot, pumpkin, carrot,beans. Plus a potato and egg salad, followed by plum pudding. Simple but delicious and not too much as followed by another dinner that night. 


The Christmas Pudding.

It rained for our visit to our son's house, so dinner ended up in the lounge and the night ended with playing Pictionary which was a lot of fun, and a movie. 

 Tomorrow it is our No.3 son's birthday.

The year is nearly at it's end.


Till Next Time.