Sunday, May 19, 2019

Autumn Harvest - Cabbages to Chow Mein

Underneath the net are 5 cabbages, 2 Vertus, which are the ones with a rough crinkly leaf, and 3 Greyhound. The Greyhound are the ones I picked.

Netted cabbage bed.
Greyhound Cabbages on show, 2 weeks before picking.

Last year I dehydrated some cabbage and it worked out great. Love adding it to crock pot meals, as it helps absorb the liquid. With this lot I made Chow Mein, with mince,onion,chicken noodle soup pack, teaspoon of curry powder and the cabbage.

Picking stage, few bugs attacking now.
This one weighed a kilo.

 I wanted to freeze a few meals, and this one is so easy and tastes the same after heating it up with a bit of water in the pot.

Nice and clean inside.

 Chow mein is a pretty common meal in my family, been around for years but should anyone want the recipe just ask, or google it. It is a great use of cabbage for those who don't like it. 


I managed to freeze 3 meals and we ate one that night. It has been a bit of a cooking week, as also did some more oat biscuits, this time with dried apricots, instead of sultanas and another boiled fruit cake, to use up the rest of the fruit mince.

Last Monday a nice surprise from our daughter in America arrived  for Mothers day.

So just in case she didn't get my message, here they are, and still going strong today. The buds  of the Lillies are opening and smelling the house out. Turned out to be pink.

My sister and I finalized Mum's pre arranged funeral, and I feel so much better to have it done. When the time comes it will be so much easier, than having to do it at the time. For those who don't know one basic plan simple wood coffin, (cardboard is more ) for 10 people and celebrant is $8,500.00, a lot of money, which fortunatly my father had saved enough to cover it. An eye opener though for pre planning for John and I, which is still an expected 20 years or more away, goodness knows how much a funeral then is.

That's it for this week, till next time.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Shrek The Musical - Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers who read this. I hope you were spoilt. I received phone calls and a box of chocolates from John, early in the morning. The girls sent presents via vouchers and two of the boys rang and were dealing with their children spoiling their own mothers with breakfast in bed. In the afternoon sister Jan and I went and saw Shrek the  Musical at the local theatre. We had always seen a musical when mum and dad visited, so it was in rembrance of those times. We did see mum yesterday but she was in bed asleep as she was last Thursday.

What a wonderful group of performers they have in Coffs Harbour.  I counted 40 players, in all sorts of ages including primary and secondary children. Being a Sunday matinee, lots of children in the audience as well, who had a lot of fun.
Outside the Theatre.

 The singing was great, and lots of dancing, that was very well done with great costumes. I believe they hire them from a Theatre company especially for the musical they do.

Back of Stage.

Afterwards we went to the RSL club, which I hadn't been too for a long time and it was being done up, so everything was changed about, not many people there either being Mother's day, but we enjoyed a very nice potato and bacon chowder with some delicious bread to go with it.

Mother's day is also a tradition to light the fire here and it was cold enough this morning to do so. What a difference it has made in warming the house up, and sitting by it is so nice.

Just a quick note today, but it was a great Mother's day..

Till Next Time

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Pre-Arranging a Funeral

As I sit down every Sunday to blog about my week, I check the photos I took, if any and think about what I did in the last 7 days. The usual things like gardening most mornings, embroidery class on Monday, and my new Choir class on Thursdays but the rest of the week seems to have been filled with a lot of medical stuff. Optometrist for new glasses for me, and to get mum's fixed, the infusion for my RA medicine at the Hospital, last of the root canal treatment at the endodontist, attending a patient care meeting with mum's carers, and then of course arranging a funeral.

Visiting Funeral Parlours is not something I am used too but as a result of our meeting the question came up, should something happen, where was mum going? Considering mum now doesn't even recognise either my sister or I, and that she has lost a lot of weight lately, and had quite a few falls, thought this was a good idea, but not something I ever considered pre-arranging, but it makes sense.

This weeks roses and a bite mark from native bees.

 The thing is with nursing homes is they need to ring said Funeral Parlour and arrange straight away when these things  happen. I have all the paper work and you forget you have to find information on birth, parents, marriage,and  children details, to fill them in. I should remember having chased down many family members on Luckily I just called in while filling in time waiting for the endodontist  to arrive. He flys in every Thursday and the plane was an hour late.

 Jan and I have a meeting with the funeral director, in 2 weeks, and we am going to arrange a very small private affair considering only my eldest son, DIL, and Jan's 2 girls will most likely come, and I think a nice lunch in memory would be lovely. The rest have to fly in from Sydney/Melbourne and
Mum wouldn't have thought it necessary. We shall see.

Oat  and Sultana Biscuits

It has been raining most of the week off and on, real autumnal weather, with some lovely sunny hours between, and yesterday I decided to make some biscuits, a boiled  fruit cake and a loaf of bread made with Spelt flour. Took me all morning. The biscuits are delicious but also was checking them for the freezer, and pleased to say they froze really well. When we go camping this is the optimal way of taking some home cooked meals or biscuits with us.

Pinched one of my tins from the Arnotts collection to put it in.

The loaf of bread is quite dense, being spelt flour the gluten is not the equivalent of todays' modern wheat, but much better for you. My theory is if you can toast it it is ok, and I had toast for breakfast this morning with my home made Rosella jam. It worked fine.

Spelt Loaf on a baking stone.

The weather is getting cooler at night in this part of the world, and I am now preparing for our first fire in the Nectra. The fact that I am picking pumpkins also, tells me it is getting closer. My real love in winter is sitting by the fire.

Till Next Time

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Our Turn on the Market Stall

The last Friday of the month for the Centro Market Day was this past week and it was our turn to man it. There is a bit of a competition amongst the members of who made the most dollars. Our last go was a terrible $16 but this time we became the top scorers with $141.00

  We were in a different position which was great. Picked some dahlias, leeks, kale,rhubarb and of course the usual succulants and plants. I had to go back to the garden to pick up more succulents as our first tray sold out, eventually we sold 11 of them. A few young ones seem to be getting in to growing them which is nice to see.
Jan bought more books in also which do well, and some double sided bags she made.
Aren't they lovely Dahlias

She has also finished the quilt for our raffle, so looks like I had better get a going on the outdoor cushions I am making with the left over caravan fabric. We have to organise some printed raffle tickets and register it as well.
 I came to the decision this week, to also leave the Community Garden Committee completely and give up on being in charge of the bush house, and seed saving etc. so I sent in a resignation for this also, along with all the seeds collected and seeds which were donated.

I cannot give up on it entirely, having got the garden up from nothing to what it is today, and  will help with markets, working bees if any, but just need the time off for a while. There was a lovely full page write up in the Advocate this week, and 2 new members have joined. Eventually the group will find a way to work it all out without a co-ordinator,  it is just taking a bit of time. Couldn't resist either of taking home some succulants to propagate as well lol. At least my verandah won't be covered with seeds growing from one end to the other, succulants are so much easier to grow.

 My interest in turning up every week is not there, partly because I am so busy at home trying to do a major declutter, get the garden to a reasonable level, paint the verandah, and get my craft area sorted and start making cards to sell, plus today also decided on sewing the soft dolls that I love making.

 Going through everything, I was going to throw out all the bits and pieces that go with making cloth dolls, hair, felt, eyes but then looking at the patterns and thinking about all the quilting fabric I have decided to go with them as well. If they don't sell then eventually someone will donate them to the hospital or a charity at Christmas. I am giving up the peg dolls as they have had their time. It is not very often that I don't sell stuff I make, but it has been quite a few years and this time will do it online, a first for me. Also have put to one side with the kiln all the molds that I used for making miniature porcelain dolls, which are 3 - 6 inches high. They take a lot of time. Just have to work out how to sell the lot.

Add knitting, crocheting, embroidery, quilting and spinning and there is enough for me to do for the rest of my life. Maybe in another 10 years I will have a recap lol.

Anzac Day

As we have just had Anzac day I thought you would all like to see these simple poppies made at mum's nursing home, so simple with red felt and a black button, really caught our eye when we saw her this week. I am afraid she is slowly getting worse and lost a lot of weight, even after one week. Doesn't acknowledge us anymore either, maybe a smile but we could be anyone, and our visits are hardly more that a 1/2 hr. or less. She never stops walking either, from one locked gate to another, and of course has a fall every month.

Anzac Wreath for 2019
The weather has certainly heated up this week, after all our rain, still working the garden bit by bit, the green bin and the red rubbish one are both full to over flowing.

Hope you had a great week, till next time.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

It's Autumn,it's Rainy, it's Weeding Time.

We have had rain everyday this week. I have ducked in and out trying to control the weeds that sprung up while we were away, it also rained then every other day. Between all these showers though it has been in the early 20C so with all the heat as well, things are growing fast especially the weeds, and in my case the dreaded nut grass.

This is what I face all the time, terrible to pull up.

It has been growing all over the place, so I have been trying to clear it all every day for at least two to three hours. We have filled our bin and borrowed the neighbours as well.

Before -  Back Garden

On the very back path next to the pond which I always struggle with, mainly because I never go down there, lots of farmers friends and my poor new avocado looks like it is dying, and I haven't a clue why, the other one, near the shed is ok

John attacked this area in the last two days so looking much cleaner now.
After  - Back Garden

 The new steps under the Lasiandra are deep in petals.

  The lemon and lime trees which grow right next to each other seem to have shot up so I pruned them back as well.

Before - Lemon Tree
After -  Lemon and Lime Trees

The hedges and area still to do, I am thinking of getting it all concreted instead of pavers, too much work with weeding and cleaning pavers, but still leaving the hedges and gardens.

Sorted out this bed and created a little path as hard to reach other side. Planted Chinese cabbage on the right hand side and the left will have Russian Garlic. Chia is growing on the fence my experiment for this year and a couple of tomatoes also.

This round bed has more cabbages and I need to cover with some netting.

The good news is though that the rain has also bought on lots of growth this is the cabbages out the front.

Perpetual Leeks

Surprisingly the corn has taken off also, thought they would die.

The flowers have also smartened up.

Chrysanthamums just blooming

Marigolds, look so bright
Japanese Windflowers
Dahlias have kicked off again. 

Today I planted carrots and snowpeas and picked some beans and tomatoes, tomorrow will put in some purple sprouting broccolli.

Hope you are coping with the weather, where ever you are.

Till next time.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Breakdowns and a New Car.

On our way to the Flower Show in Melbourne John's Ute broke down just outside of Yass. Actually it didn't have enough oomph to pull the van and luckily we managed to limp into the Yass Service Centre into the Truck area.

Glad to see this guy was just after lunch.

After much ringing around to NRMA we were finally towed into Yass and to a repair dealer whom we thought was going to look at it fairly quickly. 5 hrs. later they hadn't a clue what was wrong.!!!!

All by itself at the back of a pub.

Luckily we had already organized to hire a car a Izuzu MU-X  in order to take the caravan to Seymour where we had booked in for three nights.
Izuzu MU_X was powerful compared to Ute.

The Homemaker's Forum of which I moderate for was having a meet up on the Sat. and I was keen to attend. We ended up cancelling the first night, as by now we were at least 5 hours behind, so we traveled till dark to Chiltern rest area, not far from Albury/ Wodonga, so at least past the NSW border. Not the best of places as trucks were pulling in and noisy, but we managed to have some sleep. The weather had also decided to be considerably colder with 9C overnight.
Started off farly quiet at 9pm
Looked like this early morning.

 So after a couple of wonderful days in Seymour, and doing the International Flower show as I spoke about last week, we headed back to Yass to get the car or stay in Yass and find a new one, which was daunting as it is a small place and Canberra an hour away would have been the best place for choice.

 After we got back, the good news was they had found the problem and welded it back together, so we collected it, changed it all over at the rental place and stayed the night at the Yass Show grounds as the caravan park was full, and had been for a while. So much for thinking we would end up staying there for a week if the car wasn't fixed.
Relief that all was well and could start our way home a 3 day trip.

Next day, we set off confidently and planned to  stay near the Smiths Lakes and camp for 2 days, a change of plan as we were going to go inland and looping around to home, but decided it was quicker to go through Sydney. We got as far as Marulan, just South of Mittagong, and broke down again.We limped into the Service Station there. What are the chances of that a 2nd. time.!!!!

Marulan Service Centre.

More talk with NRMA, another tow truck, and we convinced them to tow us to our son's house, where we could sort out a new part that would have cost $1400 but John got on ebay for $97, but forgot to change the delivery address and so we waited for over a week for it to be delivered, back to Sydney.

 The truck did a great job of unloading as the street is quite small.

Our son calls his place Kookaburra Rest.

  It was lovely spending time with the grandchildren, doing my embroidery and knitting.They have a lovely bush outlook, so very relaxing. Had a BBQ with the other two "Sydney Children" also.

He sang to me one morning.

 John in the mean time cleaned and  polished his car, got the part and fitted it himself and got it working properly. Then we traded it in, as during the week John investigated every 2nd hand  car going that would pull the van.I didn't want to be stuck somewhere  again, either.

Out with the old.

 He chose a Jeep Grand  Cherokee Overland, a very classy car, 5 years old, all leather and every modern item going. We picked it up at Fivedock Sydney an hour away, it was shiny clean and in perfect condition as only been driven by a Chinese family, and low mileage. It was also a bargain.

In with the new

WE had lunch with Elvis on the way home.

Till Next Time.