Sunday, July 12, 2020

My Birthday Week 2020

In this part of the world things are hotting up, with  social interaction outside the home. While Victoria is now again under lockdown with the virus going mad there, it seems in NSW things are getting back to normal.
I say this as our eldest daughter was  up from Sydney for a week, for the school holidays. I  have spent 4 days out, and it has felt like nothing has changed, especially the traffic, and the amount of people out and about. The last day, was lunch at the Greenhouse Tavern, which recently opened back up.
 
View from Verandah Greenhouse Tavern Coffs Harbour

Out door area

We have been here quite a few times of course, but one of the problems is, it is situated on the highway, so traffic passes by constantly. It was bumper to bumper the whole hour we were there. It felt normal. The meals here are very cheaply priced, which is why we go. I had a delicious rump steak and salad.

 

 The chairs and tables are a little further apart than normal, but you didn't feel like the next table would breath germs on you haha. Again we had to sign on, as we did last Sunday with my sisters outing, which is for tracking people in case of someone having the virus, and hand sanitizer readily available. I do not mind these precautions at all. 

Largest Plant  Pot I have ever seen. Bar is in the entrance area. Plants are real.


My other outing was at the beach cafe on my birthday, several days before, just the two girls. This cafe has a very nice atmosphere, overlooking the ocean. My lunch of fish and chips though was awful, coffee great. The crowd here  were a bit too close for comfort, and rules far more relaxed. No signing on for instance, and no booking, no hand sanitizer.

Lining up for coffee after bulk of crowd had gone.

 I find it very disconcerting when whole family and friends all line up at a counter.... creating a crowd. It makes me nervous. Never the less it is holiday time and a lot of people have descended on our little community which is good. If my immune system wasn't playing up I would probably handle it better.

Tables had been spaced apart.

Following our last day lunch we went down to the Jetty area to show off the improvements that have taken place down there. Again lots of traffic, and we had coffee at one of the stands near the beach. It was delicious and they had hand sanitizer at the tables which was thoughtful.

These little turtles are all embedded in the pathways. Only tiny.

View out to the entrance, someone painted the blocks years ago in the middle of the night. Look like lego blocks.
 
Surf School in Training
 
Steps partly  covered in sand now, but is a lovely area down to the beach. Good amphitheater.

Beach area from the step, enclosed by Marina and  0riginal Jetty

 Lots of sculptures have been placed around, we couldn't resist this one.


Our motto now is to help the smaller businesses, so chose this coffee van rather than another restaurant. Although everyone is hurting.
 
Coffee Van


Last photo as they were cleaning up and it was about to rain so we dashed for the car. It was a great week in all despite the weather. Oh and I am wearing my new insulated coat, very toasty warm.  lol


Till Next Time.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

5 Year Anniversary of Blog

Hard to believe but yes 5 years of blogging. I started on my birthday which is in 2 days time in 2015.  I never ever thought I would blog for this long. In the beginning I was posting every 2 or 3 days but it got too much, so have successfully stuck with once a week.

It is never going to be a huge blog like some, as I don't really promote it at all. Mainly for the family and a few friends to catch up what we are doing. So I have taken you all on holidays,weekend trips, working in the garden and house, starting the Community Garden, being self sufficient, plus celebrating special occasions.
 
Cheers to all my Readers.

This post today is the 265th one. The most popular has been on top for some unknown reason, from the week I did it. So far there have been 33,244 views (some bloggers would have this in 1 year not 5 ) and the following are the top 5 and how many views in that time. So as you can see just a little blog in a big world but at least I am doing it, and great to look back, on what we have done.


Mar 4, 2017, 9 comments
2015








776








611








Feb 11, 2018, 6 comments
560








Mar 20, 2017, 1 comment
336









These are the top 10 countries that have visited.

Australia
13253
United States
8428
Ukraine
1817
Russia
1732
United Kingdom
1077
France
680
Germany
600
Indonesia
488
Canada
454
Netherlands
305



Today though I have just come back from a breakfast/morning tea outing to Garden Mania, my present from my sister, along with a lovely pink quartz bracelet, and luckily our eldest daughter arrived from Sydney last night, so joined us. We will celebrate a luncheon on Tuesday the actual day.

Garden Mania Entrance

Shop from inside Restaurant at back of that .

Hard to believe and still a little scary to be out among the public. My sewing class has 3 others so pretty safe there, although yesterday I  sadly attended a funeral of one of the Community Garden Members.
Slowly, slowly looks like things are getting back to normal. I just hope the virus doesn't come to this area like it is in Victoria.

Breakfast what a great present.
Just a short one today. Till Next Time.




Sunday, June 28, 2020

The New Shed

The new shed is more or less completed now. John finished the floor in a very nice cypress tongue and groove which he polished. Very fancy, wish the house had it. It was the cheapest flooring and a good deal. 

Right Side
Left Side

The two metal sheds were put into place and a clear plastic poly carbonate roof added from bits that we had. The back wall is from the old roofing, that was replaced after the big hailstorm.


This week all the tools were added. One side for all the pots and chicken manure, seedling soil etc. Still an extra shelf to go on for bigger pots.

Left Side 

The other side is tools like the lawn mower and whipper snipper.

Right Side

The front of that shed has a cupboard


 Plus we moved the potting table down to it as well. It will be a case of  if I managed to go down to the bottom of the yard to work there. Definitely will have to bring all the seedlings and seeds back up, as it is too much to visit everyday and having them on the verandah outside the kitchen, or in the glass house, to keep them watered, more practical. At least the verandah where visitors come looks a lot neater now. John has done a very good job and worked hard on this.


Once the flower boxes on the front left hand shed are planted, it should start to look better. As yet we are undecided to leave it open or enclose the little bit at the front. I like the openness, when in there, but there is still a table that can go in, although not a lot of room to spare.  The rain usually comes from behind the shed. The other day it came the other way from the sea, so the floor would have been soaked. We shall see what happens, and maybe add an awning.
 
Shows the pots for flowers on the Left

Outside a couple of water tanks to hook up and the path to finish. 


 The Bridge has been removed also, as in the before photo. Now we will work out how to use and neaten up, the rest of the garden around it.

Before

My grand daughter came to work yesterday and we planted potatoes in pots. We found some new potatoes in one of them so cooked them up for lunch, as she loves them, and I am sure never eaten straight out of the garden. Added parsley and butter and a lesson she won't forget on growing them. Mum requested a Rosemary plant so I also taught her how to propagate some. Hopefully they will grow.

Looking down at some of the pots behind the compost bin. Out of the way here. 


After lunch, we then sorted another laundry cupboard. This time my preserving jars. Threw out a lot of used jars and sent them to the community garden for whom ever makes jam and pickles. Kept just enough for our own use and rearranged filled bottles to an easier and more visual use.


The other laundry cupboard is long and deep, and I was forgetting what was stored, so some bottles and bits and pieces have gone in there. Downstairs is a huge cupboard full of empty jars.

Narrow cupboard next to my brooms and things.

Again very tired today, but I must say best thing I did in "hiring" Miss P as it makes me think about the big jobs that need doing, and so handy for her to be climbing up and down stairs or the ladder. I also let her type all the labels out which she loves to do. So I am thinking she is enjoying it as well as helping me.

Till Next Time.


Sunday, June 21, 2020

More Roses Arrived, and an Outing.

I have just come from the backyard, where I have been  planting the new roses that arrived this week. I can tell you officially that I am very unfit. First I had to weed the spot, dig it over, then plant. Took about 2 hours. I was so in need of a cup of tea and it is beside me, along with left over apple tarts from yesterdays outing.

Spot the Roses.

Considering it has been another rainy week, I am pleased that today was fine, and the soil quite soft. If you remember a few weeks back I planted fish heads and bits in the garden and found today that most of it has disintegrated, which makes for a very nourishing soil. Plus I have added some good compost and sprinkled a fertilizer on the top. The three roses are

Duchesse De Brabant

Golden Celebration

Gruss An Aauchen

They are all old fashioned and should do well down the back, it is open and airy. Just got to remember to water them over summer. When I have more energy will cover with hay. This garden is also going to have more flowers around them.

The game below is Calliente, a family game that goes back generations. We use tiny rocks as our chips. In America it is known as Tipoli. These are the rules.

Calliente Tipoli Rules


 The board has been embroidered as my mum did, and this one my sister did and is fabric paint. Everyone in the family has one. We played this last night at our sons house where we went for a roast dinner. I took the dessert and made a lovely Key Lime Pie cheesecake. Condensed milk. lime juice and one packet of cream cheese. Turned out great an can highly recommend, really creamy, tart and so easy to do. I used Marie Biscuits for the base.
No-Bake-Key-Lime-Pie

I wasn't sure if the kids would like it so made an Apple crumble and used my family pie maker for it.


What a success and will do it again with different fillings. Basically put shortcrust pastry on bottom filled with Ardmona tinned apples and then put the crumble on top. Only took 15 mins, and as I had left overs filled the little ones with the remainder.


Just love these pie makers so handy and quick. Really just a mini oven, and best Kmart purchases ever. Took the big one in the pie maker and we heated it up quickly. Of course most of us had a bit of each lol. My rhubarb needs picking so think that will be the next thing to make.

That's it for this week stay safe everyone.

Till Next Time.






Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Best Helpers are Grandchildren

I am exhausted today. Yesterday Miss P came over for her fortnightly work but was also joined by Miss V  one of the twins who will be 7  next week. They turned up at 11am but I was expecting them a little earlier. Just as well as I had a huge order from Coles delivered at 2.30 and so had the extra help on that. So I had started at 9am on defrosting the 6 drawer freezer, and then cleaning the fridge. Which of course means emptying everything out. Both these jobs were finished by the time the girls arrived.
 So I got them started on emptying everything in the laundry cupboards which I keep all sorts of things in. The laundry/office being right off the kitchen.


Note the crockpot, as while all this was happening  I had put every vegetable that was down to a small amount into the crockpot plus 2 packets of smaller quantity bacon, frozen leeks, and soup stock from chicken bones and a beef one as well. It smelt so good that Miss P took a meal home as well. The crockpot was filled to the top, and was delicious.

Girls both had fun using the label machine and  climbing the ladder to get everything down and Miss P wiped all the shelves down. So much stuff to sort and throw, but it is now finished, and I have a much clearer idea what is there.

It may seem like a lot but I have always kept 3 months in advance, and now I shop roughly 3 - 4 months as well. It is so tidy now it is like having a shop lol. 



We only just made it before Coles turned up with 12 bags of groceries, which had to be sorted and found for John to enter into the Neilson home survey scanner to get all the points. This I spoke about last time of how I got my new "free" phone.  I was forced to tick the "bags on delivery" which was upsetting as I usually go for no bags, but it wasn't even available unless you did click and collect. Now I am stuck with a heap of Coles reusable one, that I had to pay for mind you, but I will probably donate them to the Community Gardens, as they are now going to start selling from the grounds every Sunday.


It of course has been raining just about every day, and we had this fabulous double rainbow one morning, where I could actually see it ending on a house below us. It is raining now as I type, and will light the fire early today to just embroider and finish off a doll, sitting by it. My bones are crying out to do nothing.


Today at 10am was also a zoom family time, and it is so nice to talk to everyone.

The good news is my white blood cells have come up enough for me to have my next infusion. Still under recommended but it is ok to go ahead. Now I have to wait every 6 weeks between sessions.

Till Next Time. 


Sunday, June 7, 2020

New Roses & Lemons or Lime?

What a cold and windy week we have had. The fire is now being lit every night, although it means cleaning out and restocking every morning, it definitely is worth it. One of the high lights of winter for me. Speaking of winter, surprisingly, two of the 5 bare root roses I ordered, arrived this week.


 This meant  I have had to dig up the garden to plant them, and decided to put these in the front. This area has been a bit of a pain and was originally where the original Pierre rose was. One of the azaleas was always in the wrong place to I removed it completely.

Azealea in the middle removed

Side View

I started to cleanup and managed to plant the two roses, then my back gave way again.

Pierre is left and will climb up. Peace is right and is a normal hybrid tea.

Side view showing rest of garden .

Once I dig in the rest of the compost bag, will probably put  annual flowers in here, or small ornamentals like modern dahlias, or maybe chrysthamums that only grow to  about 40cm.

My back of course has been aching ever since. It could be the fact that my Rheumatoid Specialist rang again this week, to say the white blood count has gone down yet again and I have to give it another week for another blood test Wednesday, to see if I can go back on the Actemra infusion. Generally not feeling great mentally, as well as aching joints. John is never home or around so it is a pretty lonely life as well, so I was glad to get back to sewing this week. At the moment doing a drawn thread project, but have dragged out an old blanket project to take as well being a chance to do wool while it is cold. Teachers orders lol.

Drawn Thread

Rocking Horse Wool Blanker

 I also had to order some more wool thread as searched high and low for the remnants of it. Luckily I managed to get some, as DMC specialist stuff is hard to get.

Lime curd with 6 eggs used to make these 3 small jars.

I also made some delicious lime curd/spread, but can't tell the difference if its lemon or not. I am beginning to wonder about these huge limes we have, whether they were labeled wrongly in the first place, or the trees are back to front and what I think is the lemon is the lime.

Lemon
Lime?

Whatever they are certainly very juicy, and will have to freeze the juice, before long.
The rest of the vegetable garden is going great, picking snow peas and this week the beans will be ready.

Beans

Snow Peas

Beans,lettuce,carrots, leeks and a wild cherry tomato.


Hope you all had a good week. Till next time.