16 December, 2009

A new Pantry!

I've just had a nice couple of days with my girls, my eldest had another appointment with her obstetrician so I got to see her and baby again. She is now23 weeks and is truly showing a belly. We went to a spotlight store and bought some fabric to make baby wraps and cot sheets, it was a lovely time spent together. I can't believe how fast time has flown but I suppose when there is so much going on around you time does fly.

The first slab for the church has been poured and the next slab will be Friday and the last next Wednesday. We are pleased how things are going, apart from the tragic news we had from the supplier of the shed we will be getting, his two brothers were killed in a helicopter accident last week. They rang to tell us the sheds want be ready until January 2010, we truly understand
their situation and are willing to wait until they were ready.

This below is Tony, he is our friend who is staying with us until we can catch up with our orders. Do you think he likes our animal and visa -versa. For a person who hasn't really had any animals in his life he is totally wrapped in these characters. That is scooby sitting on his lap, he was the kitten that wandered lost into my shop and who was nearly put down. The little one on the right is his favourite, Jatzie, she doesn't usually like males, and goes absolutely crazy with barking and snapping when one arrives (very unsocial) but with Tony she loves him, weird.

This is my now tidied pantry, it took me about 4 hours to get in their and tidy it up, throw out of date stuff, put my containers in order and just a general rearrange and clean up.

I have had a lot of problem with ants lately, but I think it is the weather because everyone I ask are having the same problem. So every thing went into containers and jars. I wrote out a list of stuff I am low in and that needs to be stocked up in. I usually like to have a well supplied pantry because we are so far from town and I do a lot of cooking from scratch, I like it to have as much as possible. When we moved here we found the neighbours were always lending to each other something they had run out of, its great.

My preserving stock is running low and I don't think my veggie patch is going to be as good as last years. The heat and dryness is taking its toll on our land and the farmers. I have noticed many farmers are getting rid a lot of their stock. We are just not getting any rain, the dams are drying up and there is no feed in the paddocks.

I store a lot of my bowl, jugs, Tupperware and stuff in my pantry because it is fairly large.

Dave made the shelves adjustable so I can make the shelve spaces any sized to fit what ever I want to put on them.

I tried to cull some of my cook books but found it a bit hard, above my books is my yogurt maker, which i love.

This shelf has my oils, sauces and vinegars and the shelves below has my condiments, spices & herbs and all my cake making stuff and the top shelf has my preserving lids, seal, rings etc.

The little cupboard my son made years ago, I keep my potatoes, onions etc in. Then the microwave sits on top then a bread box on top of that. Well thats it the pantry is done!

05 December, 2009

Baby Bump and other things!

Baby is coming along nicely and all is well! This was a photo I took of my daughter last month on my phone when I stayed with her for a few days. I couldn't find my battery charger to charge my batteries for my camera so I haven't had any photos lately and I have just downloaded my photos from my phone. Check out that little bump isn't it gorgeous :)
We finally got the go ahead to start construction of our new church. Clair, the lady in the photo is one of the founding members of our Church, next year will be the 60Th year Anniversary of the Baptist witness in our area. Here one of the Deacons is handing to her the shovel that will be used to turn the first sod for our new Church.

This is the front of the 10 acre block purchased a few years ago to build the new church on and Clair is standing at the entrance with balloons and streamers and a sign inviting people to come and witness the turning of the first sod (I put up those balloons and streamers and let me tell you it was such an effort because we had gale force winds that day)
This is the start of the new drive way which will go down behind the buildings for a car park, on the right is the boundary fence and where we will put in gardens
The machines were quick to get on there and start excavations of our new church, we had sprinklers around to try and keep down the dust.
It wasn't long and the water tanker was there to water down the site. It won't take long and the excavators will be finished and the concretors will be in. I'm hoping to take enough photos to document this for the church members to keep them up to date and also for future generations.
After months of planning and discussions it is great to see the start of our church, we are now looking to the future and for what God has install for us as a Church and a community.

19 November, 2009

Oh Baby!

I had a great few days away with my daughter and I took her to have her ultrasound, see her obstetrician and her neurologist. The ultrasound was amazing, she is nineteen weeks pregnant and we saw everything on that beautiful baby, all the limbs, organs, the heart and its valves ( the heart is the size of your little finger nail), the spine, blood vessels, it was amazing. We had a great time checking out baby clothes, prams and things for the nursery and by the time we got home we were exhausted. My camera is not operating at the moment so I don't have any photos yet, I do have some on my phone but have not down loaded them yet.
The weather here is going to be 40 degrees for the next four days, not happy Jan! The heat just wipes me out, I haven't turned the lights on here in the shop I thought it might be a lot cooler and besides there is enough light coming through the windows. I planted some of my seedlings and now hoping and praying they will make it through this heat, I don't think my veggie patch is going to be as good as last years and will just have to be happy with what ever I get to grow.

We had our information night last night for our church members about the proposed new church building, it went fairly well, Monday night is voting time for the members to approve the start of the build. If we get the go ahead the machines will be moving in to get it started and we are hoping to have the slabs poured and the two main building erected before Christmas. I should have photos coming in thick and fast as we get this church up and built YEY!

13 November, 2009

Update Baby News!

I'm trying to come down from cloud 9 with the birth of our beautiful grandbaby girl now officially named Georgia Grace, but it is so hard. On Sunday I'm off to see my eldest daughter in Sydney, she is having their first baby and because she has three appointments on Monday I will be driving her around so we will be having a baby full day not to mention looking at all things baby in the department stores and discussing setting up babies room. Do you think I have a baby fever coming on? Poor hubby won't know what hit him when I come back home.

Apart from the baby news everything else is just chaotic, we are frantically trying to get orders out from the shop, the quotes and plans for the new church building have just about been finalised and we will be having a church member meeting on the 23rd Nov to vote for the go ahead, the house renovations are at a stand still, the veggie patch is moving along so slowly because I don't have the time to get out there to plant and attend it, we still have our friend Tony helping us in the workshop, the dogs are still having their fights but overall life has been good and oh my gosh I haven't even plan Christmas!

12 November, 2009



22 October, 2009

You should see the other car!

My daughter hasn't had her 'P' plates for very long and last friday she went down to Sydney for a few days for some work related interviews and on the way back she had a car run in the back of her at a set of traffic lights. She was ok just a little shaken and not sure what she had to do. The lady in the other car was pregnant but was ok , just very upset about it all. My daughter kept her cool, she checked to see if the lady was ok and was able to get her details and give hers in return. When all was done she went and had a cool drink to calm her nerves because she had another 31/2 hours drive ahead of her. Thank goodness the lady in the other vehicle was not going that fast but she did manage to break the tow bar on the back of our car and bend our back tail gate. The ladies car has a lot of damage to her bonnet and front guard and maybe more, I have booked my ute into the repair shop for three days to be repaired thank goodness our insurance company gives us a rental car for that time. I tell you what it is nerve racking when your kids start to drive and especially when they want to take long trips from the country to the big smoke.

16 October, 2009

Jesus, all about life

"Jesus, all about life" is a campaign running in Australia with the use of television and mainstream media to get the community to think and talk about Jesus and seek more information about who he is and what he said. It is going to run for about 6 weeks and you will see the blue logo on banners through NSW and WA. It is a way for churches to deliver the Gospel to the community and reach out to them in a sensitive way. If you want to know who
Jesus is go along to your local church or give them a ring and talk to somebody it could change your life :)

15 October, 2009

Doggy Mayhem Continues!


Ok! I still haven't sorted out this doggy mayhem and not sure how all this will end by here are the three main characters. Above is Abbey she is the middle child and sister of Sarabie. Abbey goes with the flow and does not cause any friction or dramas, she like her belly rubbed and like to play with balls and she always seems to comfort or protect anybody or anything that is under threat. Abbey is a Maltese cross terrier.
This is Jatzie,a pure Maltese, the oldest of the three and has been the boss. She is always marking her territory when outside and barks at visitors when they come. She is protective of everybody and feels it is her duty to know what is going on all the time. She barks and gets aggressive when visitors come and we usually lock her up when they do come.

This is Sarabie, sister of Abbey and a Maltese cross terrier, probably more terrier than Maltese. I suppose you could say she is my dog because she is always with me around the home and in the garden. Sarabie was the one who got her tail caught in the door and is the one fighting with Jatzie. Sarabie is all passive when Jatzie is around then Jatzie growls and if together (which is impossible now) they will fight, aggressively.

This is what I have just bought, 2 muzzles as I don't know what to do with them beside keep them separated. They both had their muzzles on yesterday because I was doing some obedience training with them and they both were at each other for about 5mins. In a fight they have no intentions of stopping until they are pulled apart, even then when I pulled Sarabie away from Jatzie, Jatzie made a flying leap (about 2ft) off the ground to have one more go at Sarabie. I then separated them into different rooms, thank goodness they had these muzzles on otherwise there would have been blood.
Well, If anyone has any advice I would gladly listen, I have even been on The Dog Whispers web site to see if he has any advice. I'm sure it is a pack issue here and there is a imbalance, the dogs are unsettled and our happy home is not so happy in the doggy department at the moment, even the cats run to high ground. So if you can help with any advice I would greatly appreciate it.

10 October, 2009

The Shearing Shed

I still have my doggy mayhem going on and we are still trying to sort them out so I will post about our situation in a couple of days. We have a good friend that has been coming and staying with us for the last 3 or 4 months, he has been helping with building furniture and helping with our renovations. At present he is helping with the extension on our shed were we build furniture (photos to come) anyway we try to give him a taste of country life occasionally and yesterday Dave took him down to a neighbours shearing shed. This time of year a lot of the farmers are shearing and nearly every shed is buzzing with sheep and sweaty shearers, this particular neighbours has about 12,000 sheep to be shawn.
They muster the sheep and they await in pens then they are moved up the ramp into the stalls in the shed. The sheep when shawn are pushed down a chute and are penned below the shed like the ones above.

These sheep in the back ground are in stalls awaiting to be shawn. There are lot of helpers called rouseabouts and they help the shearer by picking up the fleece when shawn and keeping there area swept and clean.
The dogs are also there to help muster and move up the sheep into and out of there pens. The farmers mainly use the Australian kelpie as they are a good working dog.

The shearer goes in the stall and grabs a sheep and drags it out with it sitting on its backside and him holding its front legs. See the rouseabout sweeping the floor.

There were three shearers here on this day and it takes about 3mins to shear a sheep. Some shearers can shear upto 200 sheep a day, they usually start about 7.30 and finish about 5pm.

The fleeces are thrown on to a wool classing table and the shed hands remove the seedy, short and inferior pieces of wool from the edges of the fleece (called skirting) and rolls up the fleece ready for classing.
The wool classer which is James in the red shirt, who at present has a broken arm from his quake bike while away on the weekend assesses (classes) the skirted fleece and places it in the appropriate wool bin, see behind his dad in the cap.
The wool presser takes the wool from the wool bin and presses it into wool bales. It takes about 50 skirted fleeces to fill a wool bale. Once pressed each bale must weigh a minimum of 110 kg and a maximum of 204 kg. Most wool bales weigh in the range of 170 to 190 kg that is a lot of wool. Once the shearing has been completed the wool is trucked off and sold at the wool selling centres Sydney, Newcastle and Melbourne

This here is where they treat the sheep for lice, I haven't seen this in action but it looks like interesting. Well I hope you enjoyed the shearing shed because our friend did and he took these great photos for me so that I could show you guys.

08 October, 2009

Doggy Mayhem

I have doggy mayhem at the moment and I'm hoping we can sort it out this afternoon. I have a pack of five dogs, two are outside dogs and three little ones that come inside and at the moment we have two that have been fighting because one of them had their tail pinched in the door and she yelped in pain then the two started fighting and now we have to keep them separated. I have a dog behaviourist coming out today to try and get the pecking order back in order. I probably should have let them fight and sort it out themselves but I just couldn't do that. I have treats of cooked chicken ready for the session which will start at 4.30, so here is hoping that we can overcome this conflict and get this happy little family back to normal, what ever that is!

Tomorrow I will have photos of the dogs and tell you how we all went as this is going to be a family affair if you know what I mean.

06 October, 2009

The Veggie Patch!

With a few days off over the long weekend I was able to get into my garden. I have been saving the cardboard toilet rolls for ages now and used them to put my seeds in as my veggie patch is not ready to plant and we are still experiencing a few days of frost. I also used the plastic strawberry containers, I find them good because you just shut the lid and you have an instant miniature glass house.
The guys haven't finished with this ditch yet, it connects the power to the shed and goes right through my patch. They promised it will be finished with the next few weeks and they will close the ditch and put my lovely soil back on top.

These are my leeks and spring onions which are going great, they are a no fuss vegetable and grow really well (and I haven't killed them off yet).

I bought some Russian Sage at a garage sale on the weekend. I don't use sage very much in my cooking but now that I have some growing I will have to start.

In this old water tank I put the Russian Sage, Oregano, Lemon Balm, Peppermint,Thyme, and Chives. I have another tank beside this one which I prepared for what I am not sure yet. I'm not very organized and will plant out my garden as I go. I ask my neighbour/farmer yesterday if he could come up and plough part of a paddock for me as I want to plant a crop of potatoes, corn and pumpkins, so hopefully in the next two weeks after he has finished shearing he will bring up his tractor :)

My cabbages and Broccoli are still growing well considering they were surrounded by weeds which I pulled out. I still have a lot of work and weeds to get through before the patch will be ready for planting out.

30 September, 2009

Just Grandma!

This grandma is going to be consumed with her grandmotherly duties, she is going to immerse herself in bootees, baby blankets, bonnets, jumpsuits, rattles, doctor check ups and so much more. My first gorgeous grandbaby has just turned five and she will be off to school next year and number two will be arriving early November and number three ( my daughters first) will be arriving in April so there is much to be done. We have a three to four hour road trip to each one of our children's places which is not going to stop this grandma. I've told my daughter that I will be there for her any day or any time and seeing she cannot drive at the moment due to the two fits she had last year I will be around for her when her doctors appointments are getting closer apart and even when she is getting close to the birth.

Grandmother's Talent

A grandmother has a special talent-

She always knows just what to do

To make her grandchildren happy

And to show them that she loves them, too

At family get-togethers

she's the first person to look for,

She can entertain small children for hours

And they always keep asking for more.

You can always tell when a grandmother's teasing

By the twinkling that shines in her eyes-

She an expert at settling problems,

For she's loving, patient and wise.

Her grandchildren always admire her,

Even when they are grown-

They always feel proud and happy

To claim Grandma as their own!

~By Mary Dawson Hughes~

29 September, 2009

My Pantry

Don't be horrified by this chaos, I do intend to get in there to clean and sort my pantry and it is on my To-Do List. With such a big pantry I still seem to fill it up, the box on the floor contains my empty preserving jars. I do have a system but it needs re-organizing as things have gotten a little out of hand. After last harvest season I was looking for more space for my jars of jams, pickles and preserves etc. My stockpile is very low at the moment so I need to clean it out and restock. I was hoping to start making more whole grain breads because I usually just make white and I think it is about time my family started eating more grains. I also like to start using more pulses and more herbs and spices, the family have been playing it safe but I think it is about time I introduce a bit more substances and flavour.

These are the pantry doors Dave made for me, they have mesh on the inserts and a rubber seal to prevent any crawlies or moths from getting in.

This is how they looked closed, we still have to put on the architrave and skirting plus handles.

I am really happy with the look! In the picture you can see that we haven't painted yet that is because we still haven't finished gyprocking, but in time it will all come together and look fantastic.

The little brown hen standing behind the rooster is the one we were given by one of Jess's friends. She seems to be settling in ok, I was going to let her gradually get to know the other hens to make sure she fitted in but because I wasn't home at the time Dave just put her straight in with the rest of them and hoped for the best, thank goodness they are all getting along.

28 September, 2009

How far can you stretch yourself!

I had a chaotic morning on the farm today but things have been sorted and I have a mental list in my head on what I have to do. The problem is I have many other things on my To Do List and the more I am stretching myself the more I am getting frazzled.

I need to get myself back in order and start prioritized things. This morning as I was doing my chores I went and checked on the sheep because on Saturday I organized the sheep to be sheared, they were way over due and the fly season had started and we already had one sheep down with fly strike. After they had been shawn we left them in the yard for a day and a neighbour found some of our sheep in his paddock so we penned them and this morning one of the ewes who had not long had twins had her foot well and truly stuck in a wire grate and was dragging this grate around. I went and got Dave and we pinned her down to try and free her foot which was now bleeding and she was in considerable pain but we eventually got her foot out by cutting through the grate. Over in the chicken pen there was something going on, I went over there and notice one of the eggs had hatched. The hens were confined to there pen because we had to use part of there fencing for the sheep yard and plus there was a new hen in there which Dave bought home on the weekend because for some strange reason one of Jess's friends in town had it running around his house and he didn't know how it got there, so with this strange hen in the confine pen there was a lot of chasing and pecking going on. We re-erected there extended yard and made a closure for the hen, chick and the rest of the eggs. After all this drama and the occasional dog getting out and the rooster chasing the cat all seemed to settle down. We cleaned up the sheep yard so they couldn't get up to anymore dangerous situations and filled up water troughs and now I think I will clean out a few other areas that have been neglected and the feed shed as well as the chook yard and not to mention the veggie patch.

Well now that I have gotten all this off my chest I plan to get up earlier now that it is getting a bit warmer and get stuck into the yard and animal duties. There is one issue still not sorted and that is the dog that I rescued from being road kill last week, she is still at the pound and has to about Wednesday to find a home or she will be put down. I have told the ranger that I will consider keeping her but with five dogs and at the moment I have two little ones trying to sort there pecking order out, things are a little difficult.

25 September, 2009

Baby News!

Baby On The Way! and We are just full of Smiles!

My eldest daughter is having her first baby and it is due on the 11th April and we are all very excited. My daughter had a time not long ago where she had a couple of fits and they thought she had epilepsy, but things have settled down and she has been to the doctors for regular check ups so all is well.
On the other baby front my son and daughter-n-law could be having their second child sooner than thought, Megan had a bit of spotting so she had a few days in hospital to make sure everything was ok and when they measured the baby they told her by their measurements she could be two weeks further than thought, every mothers dream:).
I think I will have to kick this granny into top gear and get my fingers clicking if I want my knitting projects finished before they start arriving.

Farewell "Buddy Surprise"

Farewell "Buddy Surprise"