Sunday, January 29, 2023

Update on the House Painting

I mentioned last week that I had finished the painting and I have no more walls to do, but in the kitchen is a couple of bifold doors and a windowsill, minor stuff after what I have been doing. 

If you remember, the dining room I had been testing two colours, one to match the stair rails and the other a few shades lighter as per the charts you pick up, and as a reminder.

Lighter Blue

 In the end I decided to paint the dado boards  the stair colour and the walls the same white as the rest of the tongue and groove walls. It worked out well, as it matches the overall look from the hall way across to the entrance hall, and the blue matches the doors and divider frames and continues on around the wall. A much more cohesive look.. After weeks of decision making it was so easy in the end.

I have still to put some pictures on the wall, hopefully ones I have done. I also decided to paint the chair and table legs white for the farmhouse look. We have had this whole set including hutch since the late 1980's. Both table and hutch are super heavy.

Love how the white turned out in the table and chairs.

The Ikea cupboards are finished and I love how they look, blends in with everything else and the drawers hold a lot of stuff. The base is still to be done when the flooring is sorted.

Once Christmas was over I then painted the lounge room which is known in this house as the TV room, a place to put the kids. Red couches that I am thinking of changing, for a lighter look, maybe a pale grey, but they are still in good condition and will probably keep. This room is not much used anymore till the mob turn up.

I had a lot of thinking about this room, tried the stair paint Blue Heather, and the diluted version of it and then one day, John was cleaning up the paint tins and found an unopened tin in a lovely blue colour, half way between colours and more blue.  It was fairly old and the label was worn off so have no idea what it was but it worked beautifully.


I repainted the dado white to give it a fresh clean look, then the new blue colour, which  has given it a much softer coastal look.

The photo doesn't do the colour justice but it is pretty.

This new blue blends great with the Heather on the doors in the main area. I kept the door side in this room white.
 As the other half of this room is a lot of brick I hope to paint some frames white and have a picture wall of the family in various years, plus another painting or two on the main walls.

If I was brave I would white wash the brick, to lighten the room, but I am not, as  it is hard to change back to original unlike paint. That is why I think white frames will help.

The corner of the room is on the western side and gets very hot, so need block out curtains. I am thinking of changing them to a plain cream or even a pale blue to match the walls. Again trying to lighten the whole room. Both windows don't match so have to do something.

I don't get many comments but I hope you have enjoyed  this "painting the house" series and like the new changes. Still a little bit more with window frames once the weather cools down.
Take care,

Till Next Time.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Excess Tomatoes, Potting Succulents, & RA

 Normally at this time of the year, in a sub tropical garden, it is closed down from Nov to March, due to the heat. The cooler weather we have had all though still hot, has certainly kept my garden going, on just a watering every few days. The tomatoes never seem to stop and with 4 Kilos in the fridge decided I had better do some preserving. 

Being on the Homemakers Forum is certainly an advantage as there I found out about Roasting Tomatoes for a sauce or in my case I let it thicken into a thick relish, to use as a thick sauce or a dip.

4 kilos of assorted Tomatoes

So I just topped the greenery off and cut them in half if cherries or slices for the big ones, which were excess from the Community Garden, and put them into 2 baking dishes with a dash of oil, blitzed garlic, and a sprinkle of thyme.

Once they started to turn black I pulled them out of the 180C oven. I found the slight burntness gives the tomatoes a rich flavour, compared to just cooking them in a pot. 

All of this I put into my little blender and blitzed it again, and adding some fresh basil from the garden.

I decided not to preserve in bottles but to freeze instead, because of the basil. 3 cups to a zip lock bag.

I didn't use all the juice when I blitzed them and this I put into a jug for John to use, which he did over spaghetti. There was enough left over for a dip that he enjoyed with the daily happy hour visit from the neighbour.

I might add that it is delicious, and so easy. 

Large yellow cherry tomatoes still producing.

We took a trip to Brisbane for our Rheumatoid appointments this past week. A very long day as we left at 6.45am and got home after 10pm. John had liver scans, at the hospital first, which were passed as ok and his RA has settled down on his tablets, with his liver not playing up and accepting them.

A  jungle mix of Zucchini, Cucumber, basil  and climbing beans.

 On the other hand my RA has flared up excessively and now on Prednisone a form of steroids, plus tablets plus injection. If we can't bring the inflammation down as it is very high, Roche will not allow me to have a new subscription for the injections. I am not sure why that is but we have a month to do it in, as luckily as of today I  have 4 weekly injections left. 

I didn't feel that bad, but you get used to the pain, and just put up with it. I did feel worse when taken off the tablets though, because of the wrong reading of my liver. 

Steroids thin the bones, so another bone density to do after the course, more blood tests for inflammation and fingers crossed for luck. 

On a happier note Miss P came over yesterday and I decided it was time to fix the succulents on the fence that I look at from the kitchen.

They were very overgrown and it has been 2 years since this was done. We emptied everything out and I had a tray of new little ones plus we cut back a few of the oldies with roots, and replanted them as well.

It surprisingly took nearly 4 hours, just to do a few pots.


 I also filled up 2 hanging baskets with succulents, which are now hanging in the front above the rails.
The will fill up quite quickly. The rest of the old succulents I will put onto the bank garden, which at the moment is covered in fine couch grass, in the pathway and I am going to have to spray it, as it has become a real nusiance.

There is so much to do in the garden it is very overgrown with weeds in the paths, and the back garden area, now has nothing in it but weeds, but it is also hot and I am not feeling like it. I have sorted the linen press and dumped all the bits of started wool projects and wool not accounted for on the spare bed, which I will sort today. 

Good news is the painting is finished, more next week.

Till Next Time.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Baking Pasties & Christmas Declutter.

We had another family, and this time an evening picnic, down by the creek reserve, and hardly anyone in sight compared to a week or so ago. I decided to make pasties to use up some mince, using a recipe which is very rare thing for me,  and ended up making 28 of them. I had forgotten how good they are. Froze 20 of them and will take some for lunch this coming week on our medical visit in Brisbane.

Used my nifty turnover maker, of which there are 3 in the box. This one cuts 4 circles in a sheet of shortcrust pastry, an ideal size, and the 2nd. largest. Had them for years.

The pasties turned out really nice, and not bad for 500grms mince and a few veg.

Sprinkled with Poppy seeds and hold 1/4 cup of mix.

I also have finally collected all the Christmas Decorations from around the house and dragged out the other boxes not used. Mostly stuff that hangs on trees.  There is actually 5 boxes in all.

Decorations I actually used this year.

I went through everything, and threw out what we no longer needed, plus a couple more as when I refilled the boxes, they had to all fit and ended up with 3. Some of the Santa's and snowmen are kept in there original boxes of stryafoam to protect them and would probably have only been 2 boxes, if not for that, so was a big declutter.

Ones for the Op shop.

Packed and ready to be put away

As this stuff lives in my very large linen press/storage, fitted neatly in to the corner, for another year.

The garden is now being attacked every morning till 10 by me, but John is helping and lasts till lunchtime, but the humidity I find too much so I have been changing over to the Sewing Area at the bottom of the stairs and  which is 5 or more degrees cooler.

It is on a trolley so a sideway photo.

My eldest daughter suggested getting rid of a tv unit as had a big bench top, but not a lot of easy storage, so when the eldest son was here got him and our DIL to take it up to the top level for pickup hopefully by Lifeline.
 I have stacked cube storage up the wall, which gives me way more space, although, I now have to find the time to finally get this area in working order.
Bonus is, I have decluttered a lot in this area last year.

Needs proper organizing I have just shoved cubes in to see the effect.
There is a two cube wood unit to put together for the left side, when I get time. 
After not being in any routine,  now that everyone is back at work, it is nice to settle down to one. I feel more grounded knowing what each day brings. 

There are a few projects for 2023, that I need to start, like the sewing room, and organizing the vegetable gardens, to begin with.
I hope your year has started well also.
Till Next Time.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Processing Carrots,Tomatoes & Bake Day

It has been a bit of a trying week pain wise, having been taken off half my medicine due to the liver, while I wait to see the specialist in 2 weeks, but it hasn't stopped me dealing with the vegetables in the garden. Just before Christmas I emptied an entire bed of carrots. There is still another bed we are eating off , so decided to freeze the picked ones. 8 kgs of them with the biggest being 750 grms.

So after a lot of peeling and cutting I blanched them in boiling water, and put them on a tray in layers between cling wrap to save room.

After they froze I then vacuumed packed them in small size bags to do two or three meals.

 At the same time I picked leeks and garlic. The Garlic hadn't formed and I blame all the wet weather. This is known as green garlic so I chopped both up together and froze them in blocks to use when doing a stir fry or similar.

So this past week it has been tomatoes. There is one sure thing about self sown cherry tomatoes is they never stop producing. Even named tomatoes that I have nurtured don't do as well. It eventually got to a point that there were too much in the fridge so I turned them into a tomato relish also using  more leeks from the garden, and some of the frozen garlic blocks.

7  jars of really delicious tomato relish was the result, which I then put them through a canning process to seal properly.

There was also a lot of eggs, from my Daughter in laws flock, to deal with so I turned 9 of them into a slice using left over bacon, some feta and cheese, leeks, bit of chopped basil, olive oil, and made one large baking dish that cut into 8 decent serves and froze 7 of them. Had to have one for my own dinner.

While I was on this baking frenzy decided to make a boiled fruit cake and some what the family call Nobbies started when my father was little. Basically a rock cake. These used up another 4 eggs.

Cut this into 3 long slices and froze two
Divided these into 3 lots and froze two also.

I have been trying to do a couple hours of weeding every day, but it has been quite hard. The front garden is looking better but the back is very overgrown. I am considering pulling the front down and moving it to the back after dismantling the brick ones there. Well at least seeing if I can find someone to do it. The wood ones seem to work better and are a little higher.

The following is Monty Dons Vegetable Garden, so along these lines but not quite so big. 

This being my garden in May this year. We will see how this is accomplished. I just wish my 3 boys would get together to help. If this is done then I will turn the front garden into false grass or may be real and pay our nature strip mower to cut it. I will still have the edge gardens for roses and flowers. Hopefully things would get a little easier, for me, getting old sucks. 

So that is it for this week

Till Next Time.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

New Year 2023, Boys Camping, Girls day Out,

 Happy New Year everyone, and Happy Birthday to my sister. Other than a quick birthday visit it will be a quiet day today. The family have all left and now I can catch up with everything. The past week has been busy.

The boys all went camping and had a wonderful time, swimming down gentle rapids, cooking marshmallows and making damper. All were very tired on return. 


John with his usual activity.

Boys Camp Site
The girls had a lovely picnic at a very crowded local river, and we ended up at the furthermost point, an all grass area under the trees. The swimmers had a short walk to go for a swim, although the current was fairly strong.

On A Quiet Day, but was Packed this time.

 Our normal area above, but was so packed with cars and people had to go as far as we could along the road around the corner, left of this area, where the mangroves are.

The next day we had our nails done or a pedicure, which I chose, as too much gardening ahead for me with overgrown gardens full of weeds, to have pretty nails. This was the very first time I have ever had a pedicure, could get used to it easily.


Miss P before cutting length.
It has been lovely to see the family again but it goes to quickly, and we usually only see them twice a year if we visit as well.
 John and I visited the jeweler for my 50 Year Anniversary present, and I chose two necklaces and a ring shaped pendant, all of which I will always wear at the same time.

Feeling very spoilt, as other than a gold bracelet he got probably 35 years ago, this is very special, to get jewellery.

So .......2023 here we go.

Till Next time.