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.

23 September, 2009

Fruit Trees, Dust Storm and a Dog!

On the weekend Dave and I went out to our local nursery and bought some more fruit trees, we have been working pretty hard with the business and felt we have earned a special treat. So we bought six bare rooted fruit trees, and because they were bare rooted Dave had to plant them straight away, so Saturday afternoon/night we were outside planting these trees.

I was so excited with the prospect of having a harvest of fruit in years to come I spent more time day dreaming, and taking photos than helping Dave.

The ground wasn't too hard but the jack hammer did make it quicker and easier digging the holes. Dave being a carpenter had to get out his string line to make sure they were all in a straight line and looking good.

The bare root trees were cheaper than the potted ones which was fine by me. We bought four apple trees; Granny Smith, Red Fuji, Pink Lady, and Delicious, and we also bought two pear trees; Williams and Packhams. The other fruit trees we have are two Early Moorpark Apricot trees, one Golden Queen Peach tree, President and Angelina Plum Trees. Like I said I can't wait for the day when I pick these beauties and start my bottling, preserving and pie baking :)
Last night we had a storm and through the night I'd occasionally lift my head up to see through the window a yellow haze, I didn't realize till I got up in the morning what exactly the haze was. Apparently we are experiencing the worst dust storm in 70 years and for hundreds and hundreds of kilometres from the outback to the city there is dust blowing and covering everything.

This was my car this morning and it was shielded beside our truck. The 55 km trip into town was gusty and dirty and you couldn't see much ahead of you.

You can usually see mountains and paddocks here, and would you believe it I ran out of water in window wipers so I had to pull over to wash the window with a bit of water I had in the back.

When I got to town the truck had a layer of orange dust over it, and the furniture in the shop also had dust over it, it must have got through under the door and in fact the whole town has a dusty orange tinge to it.

As I was opening my shop I noticed this poor dog running fearfully around the road in between cars and I could see an accident waiting to happen. I tried to call the dog off the road as cars were swerving and tooting their horns but to no avail. I rang the local council ranger to see if they could send someone up here to catch it as I knew it wouldn't be time before this dog would be hit. Anyway some how I coached it into the shop with my homemade date scones and locked it it till the ranger came. She was really scared but started to trust me and wanted to be patted, as we waited we chatted, she was such a lovely dog so gentle and timid and I hoped that her owner would retrieve her from the pound. When the ranger arrived he said that he has had about ten calls this morning about dogs running around the streets obviously from the storm last night. I gave him my card and told him if no one has claimed her to give me a ring as I could not bare the thought of them putting her down, she does seem young and would be easy to find a home for anyway I thought I might give them a ring in a few days to see if she is still there unclaimed :(

Look how dusty my shop is, I am going to have to wipe down everything in this shop, every nook and granny :(

This little girls looks like a kelpie and maybe she is a working dog, maybe she jumped off her owners truck or the gate on her pen blew open. Who knows I just hope she will be returned to her owner or I can see myself bringing her home :)

19 September, 2009

Check out our Shop!

I did a video of our shop a while ago but never posted it, well today I felt adventurous, but the only thing is that we have since sold a lot of the furniture and have rearrange it differently. We are starting to make more and more of our own furniture now and people are really loving it. We as a family have been making and selling furniture for a long time and we have noticed the decline in the quality of furniture that is being sold. What you buy these day in most big department stores and furniture businesses is imported furniture. Now this furniture comes from countries like China, Vietnam, Malaysia etc where the weather conditions are hot and dry which is different to the Australian climate and the timber in the furniture dries out and starts to open, crack, bow etc and what you get left is a pile of junk for the tip. I sold a Bedroom Suite the other day, which was really nice but it was imported and when I went to check it for delivery I could not open one of the drawers with out making a sweat. Dave try his magic on it but in the end we had to take it home for major surgery. This is one of the major reasons why we don't want to sell much imported furniture because it is not worth the money or the trouble and we can make a far superior furniture with quality Australian timbers for less the price.

When you go to buy furniture give it a good going over and make sure everything opens and closes and that the joins are not starting to open (crack) and it is of a sturdy build. Imported furniture is fairly cheap and looks OK at a distance but when you check it out thoroughly make a note to yourself is it worth the money or should I look around for Australian made even if I have to pay a little more for a more superior Australian made piece which will last a lot longer.

Make sure you look after your timber furniture by giving it a good oil often so that it doesn't dry out. Timber is a natural product and it gets thirsty so to prevent it from cracking splitting etc look after it and it will last for years :)

07 September, 2009

YAY for Daniel!!!

My nephew Daniel has just won Bronze at the World Skills - Calgary 2009 in Web Design. There are 900 competitors in 45 skills in categories such as Automotive, Building and Construction, Client and Service, Computing and Business, Electrotechnology, Food and Beverage, Manufacturing and Engineering. You know this is the 40th World Skills Competition and Canada has hosted it twice and there are 51 Member countries/regions that compete against each other. They have an opening and closing ceremony plus there are thousands of volunteers, delegates, experts and family that help and encourage the competitors. Click on the link and see if any one from your country or region is partaking in this amazing event.

03 September, 2009

My new Oven!

Well I never thought I would get such a beautiful oven, but I have been blessed with this little beauty. It is 900 wide with five gas burners and a large electric oven and it is just gorgeous.
The exhaust fan above has a glass surround that is not on there yet but it has great lights and three levels of exhaust and it is wonderful. Do you think I have been spoilt by this little beauty? Don't answer that!

These are the front gauges, it has about eight different options for the oven; defrost, grill (two levels for grilling) and about five for the oven.

The top will be great to hold my big pots for cooking jams, pickles and everything else I do with preserving. Fantastic! Dave is going to give me a stainless steel surround and tile the rest. The kitchen is progressing slowly since we have so much going on and the year is going to get even busier.

Farewell "Buddy Surprise"

Farewell "Buddy Surprise"