31 October, 2008

So many things!

So many things going on lately, as usual, one thing I don't forget to do is enjoy the moments that give me joy and peace. I love pottering around the veggie patch,and admiring the plants growing and the prospect of the abundance that will overflow. I've planted capsicum, tomatoes, cucumbers and have finally decided to plant my pumpkin and potatoes down the back in one of the small yards near the chook pen. The days and evenings are warming up and today is to be 36 degrees with thunder storms, I even enjoy the thunderstorms, the flash of lightening then the rumble and bang of the thunder, So loud and powerful.

Jess is down in Sydney looking for work, she has just finished her HSC and can't wait to get into the work force. She is hoping is find work as a receptionist in medical or legal services. Physical demanding jobs are out of the question because her back cannot take it after having spinal fusion a few years ago. If she does find a job she will enjoy she will probably live with my dad for a while until she decides what she wants to do. The global financial situation will be trickling into all areas of our lives and I'm sure unemployment will be a big problem, it is on the rise all ready.
I am confident jess will find work as she is keen, capable and has a lot to offer any business.

Dave has gone down to Sydney today, he has to pick up furniture and timber to make customer orders and stock for the shop. This week we have had quiet few of the manufactures that import notify us of price rises due to the drop in the Aus dollar which was expected but some have increased their prices up to 33% which is a huge increase. This will have a great impact on the retailers that sell mainly imported items, we fortunately make and sell our own furniture mainly but also buy imports.

Christmas is again nearly upon us and it is time to plan and prepare for that special time, the feast that will be shared with our loved ones. I need to get started on my Great Grandmothers Christmas pudding and fruit cake and not to mention the special fruit mince for the Christmas pies. I made copies of all my special recipes and made up folders for each of my girls so they can continue using them and passing them down to their children. I'm also wanting to get started on making my Christmas gifts , I've asked Dave to make me a dolls house for my granddaughter, all I have to do is draw up a design, I'll let you know and show pictures of it when it is completed. I was going to check out dolls furniture in the shops to see what it was like and how it was made, I want something simple but sturdy.

Below are pictures of items in my shop. This is a cute doll whose belly is filled with sand and she just sits nicely on a dresser.

This an old singer sewing machine I bought at a clearance sale for $25 and Dave made this cupboard and I made calico to cover the doors , it has that old rustic feel about it.

This is a corner cupboard Dave made it has a leadlight door with a kookaburra on it and has an aged finished, really really nice!

This is a little cupboard with a brass latch, it is so cute and the ladies that come in here love these sorts of things because it has so many uses and could be used in any room.

This is one of the many clocks I have in here, I love the rooster!

27 October, 2008

Something to think about!

People ask "How could a loving God allow all these bad things to happen?" eg school shootings, terrorist attacks, domestic violence, murder within families. Billy Graham's daughter, Anne, was asked this question when being interviewed on an American morning TV show. The following is a condensed version of Anne's profound and insightful response.

She said' I believe God is deeply saddened by these happenings just as we are, but for years we have been telling God to get out of our schools, get out of our government and get out of our lives. How can we expect God to bless us and protect us if we demand that He leave us alone?. Some one said we don't really want the bible read, or prayers in schools, so we said OK. A child expert said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave as it may damage their personalities and their self-esteem and we said OK. Then the entertainment industry said let's make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence and illicit sex. Let's record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide and satanic themes. We said its just entertainment, no one takes it seriously anyway, so we said go right ahead.
Now we are asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, class mates, and themselves.
Probably if we think long and hard enough about it we could figure it out"

23 October, 2008

Garden Update!

Zucchini plants
For something important as your vegetable garden and especially when you rely on it to feed your family and stock your pantry for the lean times I have been very slack. I seem to juggle so many things in my life and I deliberately try not to make myself too busy so that I end up doing things half hearted. I really enjoy my veggie patch and I am trying to improve it each season, which has been happening and I am doing really well considering I have never been a gardening person. I find other peoples blogs very helpful when they share their experiences and advice on specific topics.
Bush Beans

I am sometimes in a hurry which doesn't help matters, I want things done like yesterday but I soon get a grip on myself and come back to reality and sometimes I put too much expectations on myself, I want to achieve so much but everything takes time and you can't do everything yourself even though you think you can. My family sometimes call me Zena, I seem to have developed these bulging biceps from lifting furniture and other heavy items for quiet a few years now so when they need help to lift or move something heavy they call on Zena :)
The other day I planted some Zucchini and lettuce seedlings I bought, I haven't grown these myself as yet but I have started from seed Pumpkin and corn, I also planted three different types of bush beans and a climbing bean on my tepee I built. I planted on another vine snow peas and not far from there I planted parsley but my corriander is looking a bit dismal.
Climbing Beans
I do have failures in my garden but then sometimes I have great rewards, it is so exciting seeing something you planted has actually survived and is growing. Below is a pot where I planted coriander seeds and I don't think they were successful. Coriander ?

What I haven't planted as yet are my variety of potatoes, garlic, ginger and water chestnuts not to mention tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber, chillies, Chinese cabbage and egg plants. There are other things that need to be done like preparing more beds, moving fences, ploughing fields but I guess I will get through those when time permits and there is always next season.


These are my mushrooms I am growing in a box in my pantry they are coming along nicely and taste so good.
These are my herbs, I'm growing chives, lemon balm, peppermint, oregano,mint and thyme and I usually grow basil. I'm hoping to expand my herbs by adding dill, anise, borage, chamomile and tarragon which will be bursting with flavors.

18 October, 2008


What a surprise, this is Daniel and Tanya, they are backpackers we met four years ago by accident one day. The engine in their camper van blew up and they were stranded on a dirt track near our place at the time. We welcomed them to stay for as long as they needed and we helped them get another motor and have it put in their car. We had such a good time together sharing meals and they helped us around the property they were so grateful and have kept in contact via the internet over the years. We new they were planning another trip to Australia sometime this year well they turned up on our doorstep yesterday and it was a lovely surprise. They had no phone reception so they could not warn us of their arrival but all worked out well and we had a good time catching up over a lovely roast leg of lamb dinner.

Not long after they arrived Daniel was out mowing our lawn, they show their gratitude by doing anything they can to help you, anyway he was out the front mowing and a car pulled up and it was an older gentleman from Germany asking for direction to buy some beer, how funny is that, anyway Daniel told him he had no idea he has only been in Australia for a short time and they only just arrived here a few hours ago. Dave had come outside and gave the man directions to the nearest pub up the road so the man drove off and after a few hours he came back and gave Daniel and Tanya a couple of beers, what a laugh!

In the evening we went out Kangaroo spotting, we went to a neighbors place down the road and went with him onto his property on the back of the truck with spot lights looking for kangaroos and any other wild life, but because the paddocks are so lush with food there weren't to many out and about. Daniel, Tanya and all of us had a great time on the back of the truck because we had a few water crossings to cross and went through bush and scrub, up and over mountains it was a good time lots of laughter.

They will be traveling and working their way up north. Today were we live they are having a concert called 'Day On The Green' on one of the large wineries out there, it is held here every year and also in other states. This year there will be bands playing such as The Hoodoo Gurus, The Angels, Operator Please, Dragon and many more, anyway Jess will be working out there in the bar area and she has taken Daniel and Tanya out there to see if there is any work for them there or at the winery.

17 October, 2008

Knitters Wanted !!!!

There is a lady in our church who responded to another lady in another church for knitters. She is asking for a call of help to family, friends and neighbors. Her request is for jumpers to be made for newborn, Aids suffering babies born in the African Continent, many who are sent home from hospital wrapped in newspaper for warmth.

The jumpers are to made from acrylic yarn (No baby pink, blue or white) bright and mixed colours are best as these garments may never be washed. The pattern is very simple and is in one piece. If you are interested in helping the pattern is below and you can email me for a forwarding address for the jumpers.

Knitting Pattern
Knitted all in one. Size 8 or 9 (old size) or 33/4mm or 4mm metric needles

Cast on 44 stitches.
Work 18 rows in K2, P2 rib.
Work 30 rows in stocking stitch ( 1 row plain, 1 row purl).
Cast on 12 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows, and at the same time change to K2, P2 (for sleeve)
Rib 22 more rows.
Next row: Rib 21, cast off 26 stitches, rib 21
Next row: Rib 21 turn needles cast on 26 stitches, rib 21
Work 22 rows in K2, P2, rib
Cast off 12 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows.
Work 30 rows stocking stitch.
Work 18 rows K2, P2 rib
Cast off.

15 October, 2008

Custom Made..... Chook Pen

This dresser was made for a customer who wanted it to match her other furniture called Billabong Furniture and to fit on this wall. It has a diamond lead light and is stained to match her other furniture, she was absolutely delighted with it.
She is also getting us to make her a display unit with lead light doors and side panels, it will have down lights, glass shelves and a mirror back that will show off her beautiful ornaments.
This is a coffee table we made for her, you can look through the glass top to the drawer below which will show off her husbands silver belt buckles and horse trophies . The drawer has a key lock so little fingers cannot get in there and touch things.
These are some of the custom made units we have made recently. The list of custom made things is getting longer and the smaller items for the shop are falling behind and with Christmas coming upon us we will be working day and night.

This is my chook pen I know it doesn't look much and it isn't. It is probably about thirty years old and is made of bits and pieces, but the chooks are safe and dry.

This is the new fence line for the new chook yard and the area where we will build our new chook pen, which will go on the right hand side of the fence. The baby chicks are growing fast and the pen will be too small for all of them. My chooks don't get to free range at the moment so it will be good to get the new pen finished then they will be able to roam and scratch at their free will. I will be clipping their wings and hoping they will not fly over the fence, the fence is about 41/2 foot high.

The grass is pretty long at the moment and there is a tap already in that paddock which is good. The farmer down has an old shed that is falling down and he has told us we can have the timber which will be handy to build the new chook pen.

14 October, 2008

Grass Seeds! Nasty!

This is poor Sarabie's foot, she had a grass seed that had embedded itself in her foot and because they are like an arrow head it was impossible to squeeze out. A trip to the vet was called for where she was sedated and the seed was removed, a big day out and $250 later she was resting nicely at home
Her foot is still bit red as it did get infected but nothing like a bit of TLC to help matters. All her feet have been shaved so they can be easily checked so that hopefully it won't happen again. Sarabie loves coming in the veggie patch with me and she is forever looking for mice in the hay shed, that is where I think she got the grass seed from and it eventually worked its way up into her foot, nasty things!.

13 October, 2008

Simplify and be Inspired!

Rhonda Jean from one of my favorite blogs I read http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com has with a number of writers started another blog called simple green frugal co-op they will be sharing parts of their lives and inspiring others to simplify their lives. So if you are interested in living the simple life and need inspiration go to Rhonda's blog and to her new co-op blog and be inspired.

When we moved to our home three years ago I wanted to live the simple life and be self sufficient. My veggie patch was sort of there from the previous owner but I was not really a green thumb person even though I had grown the odd tomato or lettuce I would not call myself a gardener. My free time is pretty limited as we have our own furniture business and make furniture and I have lately worked 7days a week but I try to get into my garden as much as I can. There as been so much doom and gloom lately on the TV and thought of the possibility of a Recession/Depression is becoming to hit reality that I am working overtime to gain more information and knowledge on how to simplify my life and become more self sufficient. I think we have to make time and do what is necessary to make our lives more simpler, be wiser and frugal in our own home, make our meals from scratch, don't be part of the throw away society, re-cycle and re-use when necessary, stop using credit and pay off debts, learn to barter, gain more skills, learn to be content and be thankful for what you have.

This is my son, Adam with his daughter, Riley on one of the machines he drives. Adam and his childhood sweetheart, Megan were married on Friday. I'm hoping to have photos some time next week to share. It was beautiful!

11 October, 2008

Custom Made

In our business we make furniture for the shop and we also custom make furniture for our customers. There isn't much we cannot do, my hubby is so skilled. The unit above is for a customer who has a B & B (bed and breakfast) and she wanted a cupboard to hide a little bar fridge and somewhere for people to store their suitcases and this is the design she wanted.

The customer had some old timber stored under their house, a mixture of hardwoods, cedar and oregon. It was old, odd and rustic, Dave cut the timber to lengths and sanded it back and made this fantastic piece of furniture for them. The door and sides are inserted with mesh and the whole unit was painted with tongue oil. The customers were absolutely thrilled!

Its the weekend again and I hope to do a lot in the garden and around the yard. The chicken pen will be worked on, the little chicks are growing fast. I was thinking of planting potatoes in a couple of the drums, I have been waiting for for the farmer down the road to come and plough the field for me with his tractor but he has been busy with his lambs. My water chestnuts, are overdue to be planted as well as the ginger and garlic . I should have photos of these jobs and also of my sons wedding which we thoroughly enjoyed yesterday as well :)

08 October, 2008

What Tree!

We had a neighbour come over yesterday morning to help us load 3 large wardrobes onto our truck and when he was coming through the gate he said "Did that come down in the wind last night?" I said "what came down in the wind last night" he said "the tree" I said "what tree". I walk around to the side of the house and there was this huge tree lying down on the ground.

I didn't hear a thing, Dave said he heard something last night and went out the front to investigate but could not see anything. We were very fortunate as it has just missed the house, Jessica's bed is on the blank wall you can see looking in this picture and my room is on the left of that.

Parts of the tree had been cut some years ago and had regrown and water had sipped through it and it has rotted and with the strong winds has broken off. When it has fallen it has been wedge between the other tree beside it, preventing it from falling onto the house.

This is where it was rotting and eventually broke away, splitting off the main tree trunk.
It was quiet a tall tree, this is the wife of the husband who is cutting down the tree. They have a family business and work together. If you look hard you might see him in the tree, he was tying off the rope, cutting branches and getting it ready to bring down.Because it was a large tree and one part broke off it posed a threat to the house and had to come down.
Here the tree lopper is chain saw cutting the base , the wife is in the truck getting ready to pull the rope to bring it down

This is the last shot I took before running back while the tree came crashing down, its a bad shot but somebody had to do it!

This is the tree on the ground, it doesn't look much but it came down with a thud! When can use some for fence post and for firewood for next winter.

And this is the remaining stump, it was a lovely tree but being too close to the house was just in the wrong place. Just behind the stump and up the fence line is where I planted my Hazelnut trees and luckily not one of them was touched.

Oh! my neighbor helped us load the wardrobe onto the truck, they were a customer order for the shop. They were so solid and looked fantastic. I helped Dave sand them back to stain and lacquer them and in the process filed my fingernails on one hand on a slope, it wouldn't have mattered much but I was trying to have them look nice for my sons' wedding on Friday :(

04 October, 2008

Bath Time

Bath time is always fun time for my three little furry friends. The scrub in the tub is not real fun and they are not really keen having their faces washed and water in their eyes but they absolutely love! love! love! the rub down. Abbey above looks so angelic after her bath as if all her cheeky mischievous acts have been washed away along with the dirt, burrs and manure.
Abbey absolutely loves her rub down she will roll, kick her legs in the air, flip over, belly crawl on the floor and even when you throw down the towel as if her bath time is finish she will throw herself on the towel and keep rolling on it, funny girl!
This is Jatzie, she is more serious about bath time and has the fine hair of a Maltese terrier and doesn't like it been pulled or treated roughly. Bath time for her is usually a lot more gentle as not to matte her hair but don't get me wrong when the scrub is over she will run with delight and roll on that towel just like Abbey.

And last but not least this is Sarabie, she is not real impressed with bath time but tolerates it. Sarabie is the more of a clingy dog than the others. Look at those brown brown eyes, she just wants to be wrapped in a towel and cuddled. I think I fuss over Sarabie more than the others (can you tell!)

She will sit patiently and put up with the scrubbing and brushing but loves a cuddly and a snuggle afterwards on the lounge
Yeah I think she is a sweetie! I'm hopeless! I even let her sleep at end of my bed.

01 October, 2008

Random Things

This is Wally she is a female, we got her through one of Jess's friend who found her in a rabbit burrow just after a huge bush fire ravaged the place. Wally as a kitten use to be into anything and everything, if something was going on Wally would be in the middle of it.We used to say "where's Wally" all she needed was a red and white striped hat. She is a lovely cat and is affectionate but does not like being picked up and carried. She like to sit up on our wagon wheel seat and watch what is going on.
This is our wagon wheel seat that we have carried from property to property. At the moment it faces out across the paddocks and dam and we like to sit there and take in the views and breeze.
Those plastic drums in the corner of the picture are what I use to bring water home from town every week We use the water for the washing machine and bathroom. We have other tanks there that are pretty old for the kitchen and bathroom as well.
This was my garden patch before getting in there and attacking it with my fork and gloves.The weeds were terrible but after a lot of hard work and back strain it is looking pretty good. I 'll have photos of its progress in a few days. Over the next few months we will be pulling down that gum tree that over hangs the shed and garden and we will be moving that fence to open up the garden and start producing more veggies.
This is my glass house, I know it doesn't look much but once it is up it will look amazing. We bought it off ebay for $9.99, it took us 2days to pull it down off the owners house , he was using it for growing orchids. Dave is a builder and all he has to do is build the foundations and one side wall, the side that was attached to the house. The metal frame thing you can see in the back ground is my shade house, also under construction.

Farewell "Buddy Surprise"

Farewell "Buddy Surprise"