Friday, June 22, 2018

Honey. Garlic. Unite!

We have just made a batch of honey infused garlic.  Or garlic infused honey...Not sure which but it smells great and after 20 minutes the honey already has a slight garlic taste.  I need to leave it out for a few days then will keep it in the fridge and use it to ward of colds and other Winter ailments.

Picture to come. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Oh Dear!

Oh dear.  Really?!  29th March and I haven't been here for months.  I always intend too, but don't.  But will...

I have been busy, not sure what with but I'm pretty sure it's been productive stuff.  Or Facebook, I do waste too much time on FB now.  And I am still volunteering at Vinnies and do seem to be there a lot more than my rostered 2 days.  But I like it and it gets me off the computer.

We are now into Autumn, the heat is over for another year so I should be able to get outside more often.  Though it is dark now when I get up, not that that has been the reason for the last 5 months...Hmm, maybe I am getting lazier in my old age.

I haven't much in the gardens, we have tomatoes, capsicums, pumpkins, chillies ready to be picked and eaten but not much else.

There are potatoes out there if we want to dig for them, sweet potatoes too. 

Most fruit is finished but we now have Mangoes!  Picked 6 fresh off the tree last week.  The house smells of mango and they taste really mangoey,  yep, that's now a word.  This is our first year of getting these so pretty pleased about that.  They are husbands trees, he wanted them, he bought them, he planted them, he picks them...Sadly, he doesn't eat them, not many anyway.  He had 1 last week, then went away to work and has had none since.  I have had 2, gave a couple to the daughter and have 3 left...hmmm, my maths is not working, maybe he picked more than 6.  I am sure there will be more out there too so luckily family will be here over the weekend and they may like them.

I am due at Vinnies soon and have heaps to do before I leave, see, I am busy, so better get a move on.  Hopefully I'll be back here an a day or two.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December!! Really?! Bum!


Yep, December already.  How did that happen?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Homemade Boot Polish

We have had a few wet days.  Very wet.  Husbands boots are wet, my boots were wet.  I put them in front of the fire to dry out then gave them a clean and rubbed them over with shoe polish.  The next day I wore them and they are wet again.  What I needed was a protective coating, a beeswax coating but I have tried to rub straight beeswax on boots before and it was all too hard.  haha  See what I did there?!

I needed something to mix with the beeswax to keep it soft and rubinable so onto Google to see what others had to say about it all.

I found a recipe for boot polish, it looked simple and even though it was early and cold I decided to give it a go.    Recipe said I needed beeswax.  Yep, got that.  And Olive oil.  Ummm, no.  No oil.  But wait!  Yes I do have oil.  I had the remains of the 20 litres of old cooking oil that we collected from the cafĂ© for treating Scaley leg mites on the chooks.  Too manky too use?  Not around here!

And because it has been so cold the inside fire was burning.  Bonus.

I used the axe to chop a chunk of beeswax off the lump I had outside.  Chopped it smaller as I only needed 2 tablespoons of the wax.  Took a 1/2 cup measure and put water in the jar and marked it so I knew how much oil I needed.  Outside to the chookpen and poured in the oil, back inside and put the jar of wax and oil into a pot of water on the stove. 

Waited until the wax had melted, took pot off of the stove and put it onto the sink.  Outside to let the chooks out and feed the sheep.  Back inside only to find that the wax had hardened in the jar and was unpourable and the jar was too deep to get the wax out.  Clever...not.

Put the pot and jar back on the stove to remelt the wax mixture, this time staying inside and having a hunt around for some tins to put the mixture in.   I have more than a dozen of the tins that I wanted to use...somewhere....Finally found a couple, poured the melted wax into the tins and let it sit and set.  Looks good and no manky oil smell so that's good.

I used a rag and rubbed the mixture into a boot.  The left foot boot, the one on the right in the photo, is the boot I did first.  The wax rubbed into the boot, making it look dark.

Put wax on the other boot, let it soak in a bit then rubbed both boots over with another rag.  The boots are darker than before I used the polish but I haven't worn them outside yet so don't know if they are protected from the wetness of early morning grass.  I will try them out soon and let you all know.  

I haven't done husbands boots yet as he has been wearing them all day but I will try and get his done tomorrow before he puts them on and ask for his opinion tomorrow sometime.  Not that he will have one.  To him boots is boots, whether they are clean and shiny and waterproof or not. 
But I had fun.  I made me some bootpolish and it made me smile. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

All Chok(o)ed Up.

It's been wet and cold here today but this afternoon I decided to get outside and do something.  Maybe clean up the shed a bit.  Maybe clean out the chookhouse.  Maybe pick more oranges for the stall out the front.  Maybe put away the stuff that I have been dumping on the table out the back...

Instead I worked on the tank gardens.  There is not a lot growing in them anymore, thanks to chooks and roosters jumping out of the pens and scratching everything up.  Not many plants but still lots of slaters.  How does that work?!  Why are the chooks scratching around and eating all the plants instead of scratching around and eating all the slaters.  Stupid chooks.

The chokos are finished though.  The vine is looking messy.                                                         
I ripped most of it down, fed some to the chooks, some to the sheep.

Some of the dead vine was put in the chookpen to try and stop me from slipping in the mud.

There aren't any more fruit worth eating, all are now old and tough and most are already starting to shoot ready to grow into new plants.  The garden beds are full of these and some have already started to send down roots and get themselves established for next season.  One or 2 didn't even wait to hit the dirt, they were growing as they were growing...

There are 4 tank gardens along here and although the choko vine was growing in only 1 the vine itself covered all four. I have pulled the vine down from over 3 tanks and will get to the last one during the week.  Up the southern end though the choko is mixed up with a passionfruit vine so I will need to be careful pulling it down.

Once all the choko vine was removed from the fence above 2 tanks it was easier to see what was in the ground.  I found a pineapple plant.  This has been here a couple of years now and not doing much so will need some care to get it to fruit.
I cleared out the tank that had asparagus growing in it seeing as that was finished and the fronds were all yellow, brown or dead. I cut it all right down, threw on some smelly water from the comfrey bin and will maybe mulch it sometime during the week.

Chook Killers.

We're on 5 acres and like most people in our block we have chooks.   I have too many, they are not laying, are costing me money in buying food for them and in them eating food for me...but I like them.

People around us have chooks.  A friend up the road has a dozen or so.  Over the years we have all lost chooks to foxes.  Sometimes the fox will kill a bird or two and take for food but a lot of time they just kill.  To teach their young how to hunt, practice, just because the are horrible creatures...I don't know all the reasons.  I do know that it is horrible to get up in the morning and find all your flock killed.

I have been locking them up at nights, letting them out in the morning, it is a pain.  I came home early one day a couple of weeks ago and there were feathers out the front.  Yep, a fox had been and taken a chook that didn't make it into the shed on time the night before.

A few days ago daughters partner brought out a rabbit and set the
trap for me. 

Next morning, Bingo! Oh, ummm, not a fox.  Not a feral so Ranger came out and took this one to the vets to check for microchip. 

I set the trap again.  Next morning, Bingo!  Oh, no, another cat.  A friendly one so I let it out.  Then again, same cat.  A soaking with the hose and it won't come back but it had eaten the rabbit and there wasn't much left. 

With not much bait left there was little chance of getting anything but I set the trap again anyway.  Why not. 
And this morning. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

I am Cranky.

As I wrote on Sunday, The Really Really Free Markets are on every month.  We try to give away things that people no longer want to save them going into landfill.  Our town has 2 op-shops, Vinnies where I volunteer and...another, church based, one.   Vinnies has a clothing bin out the front where people can drop in their unwanted clothing but they have nowhere for breakables or bigger items to be left unless the shop is open.  The other op-shop has a table out the front for breakables, bigger items, toys etc as well as a bin for clothing.  They get so many more donations than Vinnies.  They used to take all their excess out to the tip but then a RRFM helper asked if they could collect it for the FreeMarkets.  She would get carloads of stuff, most with nothing wrong with it, clothing still with tags.  People come to the RRFM just to see what comes from this helper.  The helper has been away for a few weeks but no-one else thought to see if this oppy had anything for them.and this market just gone missed out on the op-shop items. 

At the FreeMarket just gone we heard that the op-shop had a lot of stuff for us and if it wasn't picked up soon then they would bin it.  I went there this morning.  Yeah, there was a lot of stuff and yeah, I was told that if it wasn't picked up today then they would put it in their skip-bin.   I could see that there was a lot of really nice things so I asked them if they would mind if some of it went to Vinnies to be sold.  I was told that yes, they did mind, it was for the RRFM.  But they were more than willing to bin it if it didn't go there.  And would have if I didn't show up to pick it up. 

So I am cranky.  Cranky at a place that has so much excess good quality stuff and instead of letting another op-shop sell it to raise money to help people in need they would rather throw it away as rubbish.

In a small town you would think that charity shops could help each other where possible.  I know that Vinnies used to give them bags and bags of rags to sell as we don't sell rags.  This stopped a while back when no-one was able to pick them up and they shut earlier than us so we couldn't get them there but it was something that was done to help them.   They make  money from selling bulk bags of rags.

I am cranky that all the people that donate to this op-shop have no idea that their donation may end up in a skip-bin.   I am cranky at the senseless waste that this op-shop is willing to contribute to.  I am so disgusted with this op-shop, thinking about how much they are willing to throw away makes me feel ill.  And cranky.  Very cranky.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Wet FreeMarket Day

It has been a wet day and nothing was done outside.  Not that anything would have been done anyway as today is the third Saturday of the month and that means FreeMarkets.  Yes, the Really Really Free Markets that L started up more than 5 years ago are still going on. 

Today was a quiet one with not many people but it was wet and due to many reasons not very well advertised.  But still a success.  And I got some books.  Any day where I get me some more books is a success.  People came and some brought things that they no longer wanted and everyone went away with new things.

Thanks to the generosity of a few people that sometimes donates food there was tea,coffee and biscuits and hot pumpkin soup.  Added to some bread rolls and fruit it made up a nice lunch for those that were hungry.  The soup was nice with just a bit of a kick with a surprise of chilli in it.

One woman brought bread and rolls for people to take, another brought mandarins and limes.  There was the usual collection of clothes, books, bric-a-brac but not many toys this time.

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The RRFM are held in the Waroona town hall and once again the Council have given them a grant that allows them free use of the hall for 12 months.  I think it is a great that the Waroona Shire do this for us so these markets can be held indoors in all types of weather and I know that the RRFM organisers appreciate it immensely.


Friday, July 14, 2017

73 to 100. By tomorrow...

I have a Facebook Page, also named Barb's Backyard.
We have a stall out the front where we put honey and excess fruit and vegetables to sell.  Soon, when I get around to it, there will be plants.
As of this afternoon I have 73 likes.  Daughter has said she can get it up to 100.  By tomorrow.  I am doubtful but have made her an administrator.  The challenge is on. 

Update - 15/7/17 - Well, it's *tomorrow* and I now have 96 likes.  Four short of the hundred that L was aiming for but 23 more than yesterday morning.  I have given away dozens of chokos and sold 5 bags of oranges, some lemons, some honey...Thanks L.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Whingy Sooky Feel Sorry For Myself Write-up

I have recently been thinking that I want to live in a small clean house with a concrete no work yard, floor to ceiling bookshelves filled with my books, a comfy seat and a cakemaking machine.  And no animals

Hopefully soon I will get over that thought and start lovin' my long grassed, animal filled yard and messy house with not enough books again. 

My head is so messed up at the moment I sometimes think something small will send me mad.  It won't, it will just make me cry more.  And then I will whinge about being such a sook and feel ungrateful because I have no good reason to be feeling that way when my life is really quite good and way better than most people I know.

I don't really want the concrete yard.  Or the cakemaking machine.

And I could have the small clean house if I want, I just have to get up and clean it.  We do have too many animals here.  Not enough cats though.  And not enough space for my books.

We have too many roosters and too many chickens that keep getting out of their pens and into the gardens.  Soon the roosters will be soup and hopefully some of the chickens will go to somewhere else and the vegies will have a half chance of growing again.  That will be good, that will please me. 

HoHum, sleep time.   I am out again tomorrow, another day not home here getting things the way I think they should be, the way I want them.  Work on Wednesday.  And Thursday maybe.  And maybe again on Friday.  At least I will be too busy to think on things and mope too much. 

Bleedin' Hell, what a whingy, feeling sorry for myself write-up.  What I need is a good kick up the backside and a stern talking to.  What I'm gunna have is a good nights sleep and a better attitude in the morning.  Night people.