Friday, January 29, 2010

I Have No Stove So Cannot Cook.

That's my excuse anyway.

I actually have 2 gas stoves out in the shed surounded by *stuff* And the space I want to put the stove inside is full of *stuff* (Hubby calls it a different word but it starts with the same letter.)

And I have some money tucked away in a drawer, not doing anything, just sitting there. If I did something with these 3 things then I could have a working gas stove in the house.
If I had a working gas stove in the house then I could use it to preserve some of the food that I have been wasting on the animals. And I could cook better meals for Hubby. He would like that. It would mean my excuse is gone. May need to rethink this...
With this rethought in my head I rang a couple of plumbers to see how much it would cost to get it all together. One guy will ring this afternoon, the other will call in on Monday for a look.
I feed the cats in this corner where I want the stove so will need to find another spot for their dishes and their food bucket. And it needs a darn good clean...
So with that thought I better get to it.

We Grow Our Food...

Yep, we want to be self sufficient in vegetables so we grow our own.

Then we give it to the chooks because we left it too long and it is now way past our eating stage. It was corn and cucumber to the chooks this morning. Cucumbers went to the pig last week...

I had picked some corn last week and it was really nice and we were going to pick the rest last weekend when Hubby was home but never got around to it. I should have done it on Monday. This is something that I really need to work on.
Oh well, at least the fridge garden is now empty so I can get it ready for something else.

The pig loves the corn stalks.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

First Fig

It must be fig season as I have seen them mentioned recently on a few blogs that I have been reading
This is our tree, it is in the Mixed Breed chookpen and is great for shade, roosting, food. This is the first fig and it was yum.

We were thinking about removing this tree and replacing it as for a few years we weren't getting any ripe figs. Then I was in there one day last summer and could smell them so went looking among the branches. Who knew but you can get a white fig! I had only known the purple one so that was what I was waiting for. These ones lose the green unripe colour, go soft and you can smell them when they are ripe but the colour is not purple.
Once upon a time I never liked the taste of them but I do now so I am glad that we have them growing. We have 2 smaller trees in the orchard and a small one in a pot that will get planted out somewhere this Autumn. One day we may have enough to dry. That would be cool.

Bye, Bye Hammys'.

The pictures say it all really. I had this sign up outside the house this morning, some people called in and bought stuff and now I have some money for chookfood. And I have less chooks, the ducks are gone...Double bonus there.

Another good thing is this sign that Hubby made for me over the weekend. It is a lot better looking than the scrappy cardboard sign that I was using before and it has wheels, well, balls, so it it a lot easier to pull in and out. It has a blackboard surface so I can rub things out when they go, add things I want to go. Totally brilliant. I knew I kept him around for something.

I am so lucky...Life is good again.

I need help here though please. The word Hammys in the that the wrong spelling? Should it be "ies" on the end? I have shortend the word Hamboughs. Thanks.

Plastic Bags.

I am inside for a bit, suposed to be tidying and cleaning.

During the cleanup I am coming across too many plastic bags that I can't reuse for the things I usually use them for. Hubby brought home all the fridge stuff from work last week and there are some bags in there but not really clean enough for me to want to re-use. They are not the shopping type bags that a lot of us use as bin liners, there are a couple of bread bags, a fruit and veg type bag, I have a bag from cereal...things like that.

Now probably most people would just scrunch them all up and put them in the bin but I can't seem to do that. Should be easy...pick up bag, scrunch into little ball, put in bin. Simple right? Well no, it's not that simple for me.

You see, I hate throwing things in the bin knowing they are going to the dump to fill the big hole they dug and just sitting there taking up space for ever. When that hole is full they will did another big hole and start filling that. Soon there will be no room for any more holes and then what do we do with our scrunched up plastic bags.

So I re-use them for other things, they do eventually get put in the bin but they are used quite a few times before they do.

I will use the breadbags for rubbish holders, we don't have a lot so these 2 bags should do awhile and they will go out into the big bin when full. I usually use them for cheese or sandwiches or keeping some sort of food in the fridge but these ones had mouldy bread in them so are no good for stuff like that and I have others anyway. I will use the cereal bag to wrap Hubby's lunch when he needs to take it to work, or my sandwich if I need to go anywhere. I use these wrappers quite often. Sometimes they get a spray of vinegar to freshen them up but not after every use. Depends what was wrapped.

What do you do with your plastic/cereal bags? Could you re-use some of them and so make the big holes last longer? Please leave a comment and pass on any ideas that we could use, lets all do a little bit to save the planet.

There's something In the House.

I was quietly sitting here last Saturday, when I heard a noise just over there, in front of the sink. Got up to see if the cat had brought in a mouse and this *thing* ran under the stove. This BIG thing...I can sometimes deal with a mouse if I am here alone and have to and it is dead but this was bigger. Probably a rat. Or that bandicoot that keeps pinching the eggs. Hubby must have heard the panic in my voice because he slowly strolls in from the shed. I tell him it's a rat. Or the bandicoot. I tell him *something* ran under the stove. He has a look, makes a noise that could be a laugh, puts up a barricade. I'm thinking that's so *the thing* can't run out and get me. He is so thoughtful and caring.
But then he tells me to go get the net and hold it so *the thing* can run into it. So I was wrong about the thoughtful, caring part. He tried 3 times to move *the thing* into the net but I kept getting scared and jumping back and *the thing* kept running back behind the wood box. He finally takes the net off me (about frigging time!) and I poke *the thing* and get it to move into the net. Ha! It goes in, he lifts, twists and we have it. Not a rat, not a bandicoot. It is a big skink. It must have come in through the catflap. It could have been just as scared as me. Going by the mess on the floor though I think he was a bit more worried about things than I was.

You may need to click on the pictures to make them bigger so you can see *the thing* which we now know is a skink. We took it out the back and let it go on the dam wall amongst the trees.

Too Much To Do...

Again...Still...Anyway, I have too much to do.

I had too much to do last week but a couple of days of not being able to use my left arm and I now have more too much to do.

Not sure what was wrong with the arm but my oh my it hurt. Could have been something with the fibromyalgia but I think it was different. Maybe too much whippersnippering. Maybe too much lifting the grandkid up.

Seems to be OK today though so after my coffee I will get out there and make a start. Might get a couple of hours in before it gets too hot for me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Australia Day.

My husband thinks that I am unaustralian. Because I am not interested in the tennis. Or the cricket. Or any other sports that Australia plays.

So I was thinking...What makes an Australian. Why is he more Australian because he barracks for Australia. I see that it makes him someone who is interested in sports. And I am not. We are still both Australian though. And I am glad of that. Some people see me as a racist. Because I think Australian rules and laws should apply to everyone living here. Everyone in this country should be treated the same. It shouldn't matter what race I am when I am filling out forms. That question should not even be on the paper. People are people and the rules should be the same.

I have no wish to travel outside of our great country but would like to see more of what we have on offer here. One day that may happen. Not that I will see our country in a day but you know what I mean. lol.

If you follow sports, good on you. If you don't, good on you too, it takes all sorts to make a country like ours.

There are some problems though and if I ever get into politics I will see what I can do about fixing them. But until then I will continue to live here, I will continue not following the tennis and cricket. I will continue being an Australian. And I will enjoy it, I hope you do to.

Whatever your views on the subjects are...Have a great day but don't eat too many Lamingtons!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm Glad It Wasn't Serious.

Had a call from a daughter yesterday around lunch time. T. said that she had been to see the doctor and he was sending her over to the Hospital for tests. He was quite concerned. I drive her over to Peel Health Campus, 40 minutes away. We show the letter from the doc, say he rang to let them know she was coming, where do we go...

It is 1pm.

They sent us to Emergency where we see a nurse pretty quickly, we're told to sit on the blue chairs and wait 'til we are called. Two hours later the nurse sees her again, does blood pressure, takes blood, etc. T gets faint and dizzy so they puts her on a bed in Emergency.

It is 5.30 before a doctor comes to see her, says it's too late for any of the tests she was suposed to have and sent her home to come back next day.

It's 6pm before she leaves the hospital.

So I will take here back over there today for scans at 1. She then has to see a doctor for the results at 3.30 in a different town 20 mins away and depending on what the scan says she will go home or go back to hospital.

She says she feels OK but still has sore stomach. Hope the scan shows that she is OK.

Thankyou to L who had T's daughter until we got back.

Updating to say...Daughter is OK, needs to see doctor again on Monday (today), needs another scan to see if anything has changed, needs to go back to emergency if the pains happen again. She is sore but back to doing stuff.

Thanks for your concern. Much appreciated.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesdays Lunch.

I picked our first corn this morning and decided to have it for lunch with homegrown salad. The beetroot and gherkins were also grown out the back and *processed* by me. So there was different lettuce, carrots, tomato, beetroot and gherkin. I forgot to put cucumber on there which is a bummer as we have too many again. Will have the other half of corn for tea tonight with fish and salad.

Couldn't get much fresher or nicer.

Had eggs and homegrown veg for breakfast this morning.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Furnerals Make Me Sad.

I went to a furneral this morning and though I wasn't close to this person or anyone there anymore it has made me quite sad.

There were hundeds of mourners and the bloke talking up front said some nice things about the dead guy. It made me think. It seemed that he was well liked by many. I hope he knew it.

I really like some of the people there and find it sad that I no longer have anything to do with them. And sad that I won't see them again unless it's at another furneral.

I don't think many people will come to my furneral, maybe family would, but would they be mourners? I'd hope so. lol.

But what if dozens come, maybe even three score and ten, will it mean that they liked me and they will miss me? If yes, then why don't I see them now, why do I need to wait until I die to see how many people value me?

Seeing all these people from many, many years ago has also made me see how we change as we get older. Some of these people, ones that I used to be really close to, I didn't recognise some of them. I now see myself as old and I don't want to be.

But I am alive. What will I do with the time I have left? What will I change to be a better person? To get people to like me and value me?

Nothing. I will go on with my life as I have been and when I die I won't know if 10 people or 100 people come and mourn me.

Such is life.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Who Let The Chooks Out?

Somebody is in trouble! They let the IB's into an area they are not suposed to be and they, the chooks, ate all the zucchini I was planning on using in a quiche.

Now I am not saying it was me but nobody else does any work in this area so I guess we all know who it was. Bugga! Hard to whinge when it was my own fault.

Last Nights Tea.

I planned on having fish for tea last night but son came out yesterday arvo looking for the scoop nets so he could go crabbing. I put in my order and cancelled the fish dish.

He went to a place we call Poverty Point, 20 or so minutes away. He walked through the water scooping up crabs that looked the right size, measured then kept or threw back and within an hour or so had 5 Blueys then decided to come back in. Caught another on his way in so we ended up with 6.

He doesn't eat them at all so we had them with salad for tea and I will have the rest over the next few days. Thanks R. They were yummo.

It's been a few years since we've had a feed of crabs but may go out ourselves soon. We used to go out quite often but we got older and for some reason stopped. It is hard work though wading through the water. Maybe that's why we stopped. lol.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dumb Dogs, Smart Foxes, Lucky Ducks.

Early Saturday morning, 3am early, I was outside in knickers and a jumper looking for the body of this Drake. I'd heard the flapping noise that tells me there is a fox in the pen so I jump up, grab a top and rush outside. I heard the fox go through the fence to get out, saw the other 2 ducks but this one was nowhere. I looked all over the pen, looked outside the fence. I wanted to get the body back if I could so the fox didn't come back for it. I couldn't find him. Now my head was telling me that there would be feathers from the attack, the fox would not be able to get this bird over or through the fence, it had to be inside the pen somewhere. But I looked, then looked again. It had to be over the road. So I am out there looking all around along the railway, amonst the trees, all the while hoping no cars would come by. Finally gave up and had another look in the pen but he was gone so I locked the other 2 up and went back to bed. It was 4am. Had another look the next morning for him but no go, he was gone. At least I didn't have to dig a hole to bury him.

When I was feeding the other 2 I thought that the black and white one was looking sad but put it down to her losing her mate. Then noticed that she had blood on her, around her neck. So the fox, or one of them, had tried to take her as well. Now this is the third! time that this particular bird has been attacked. She is OK now, Sunday morning, but the poor thing must really be getting sick of it.

This is the female that has survived 3 fox attacks.

It will be sad when we eat her.

And a couple of hours later, so around 9 Saturday morning ...the drake shows up!! I knew he was too big to be taken but he must have been hiding in a real good spot because I looked all over and then some.

I thought that having the dog here the fox wouldn't come, that the dog would sense it and bark, And he had barked throughout the night before a few times. This night though, nothing, nada, ziltch. He stayed quiet and let the fox come in. Dumb Dog!

Dumb Dog.

We are dog-sitting again. Same dog as before. Last week I wasn't home all day so asked T. if she could come out and let him off his leash and spend time with him. She rang me worried that he'd gone walkabout as she couldn't find him. I told her he'd be in the hayshed eyeing off the cat. Sure enough he was.
This morning I heard a noise, heard a yelp, went looking for him but couldn't find him anywhere. No good calling him, though I was, as he is deaf as a doorknob. I then decide to look for the cat. Found him in another shed curled up on a shelf and sure enough the dog was there, he had got himself stuck in amonsgt the mess. Dumb Dog. Poor Rufus. Could you eat that cat. So cute.
Dog is down in the lefthand corner of photo, watching and waiting...
Just heard another noise and went out to check. Cat jumped down, dog chased after him knocking stuff over...Lucky cats are agile bcause this poor old arthritic dog that I was looking after had had a cortisone injection before he came this time and is it not as arthritic and slow as before. May have to keep a closer watch on him.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Swim Chooky, Swim.

I just remembered that I turned the sprinklers on for the chooks out the back of the shed to cool them down. Four hours ago. Oops!

What's Not Growing

I am having too many failures at the moment. Beans are dying for no apparent reason, seeds are not coming up, chooks keep getting out and eating the strawberries...

I will not be able to meet my challenge of not buying veg this year if I can't get things to grow. I have some carrots ready to pull but the 3 lots that I planted to follow on didn't germinate. Cabbages won't poke their little heads above the dirt The Beetroot in the drum...3 out of a dozen have come up. Chooks scratched up the lettuce under the Apricot tree.

I planted a punnet of Eggplant, All grew and have flowers on. They will produce heaps. We don't actually eat eggplant though, they are a barter thing but I do like the look of them growing.

Only one Zucchini has fruit and flowers. Three look like they should be put out of their misery but a couple of young ones may make it.

The watermelon are not doing enough. Two Moon and Stars, planted in a drum, have 1 fruit each. Surely that's not right. Another named sort has one fruit. The Wongy planted in the ground have lots of flowers and a few small fruit but I don't know if they will be ready before Summer is over.

I have heaps of tomatoes and plenty of Cucumbers. I don't like either vey much! They are for Hubby but I will eat them in small amounts.

Capsicum have only had a few fruit on them...

I will get more seeds of everything in next week and hopefully nothing else will cark it before they have all grown and are feeding us.

What's Growing...

First some pretties. I was given some Bougainvillea cuttings a few years back much to Hubby's disgust. I told him not to worry they'd probably die but I was lucky, he wasnt, and now they are just gorgeous. I love them. But they do have thorns so I need to keep them pruned back from the chookshed door. And make sure to pick ALL the prunings up because they hurt when you tread on them with no shoes on. How do I know this? He told me. Oops.

These are the 2 biggest Rockmelons on this vine. There are 5 other smaller ones. I thought this plant was an Apple Cucumber until the fruit started getting bigger. (I tell ya, I'm good!) The other plant that I was also sure was a Cucumber but is the same Rockmelon only has one melon of decent size and a few tiny ones just coming on. Planted at the same time but different areas of the garden. The better growing vine is in the big tank garden bed and the other is in the ground. I thought the inground one would do better but what do I know.

PEANUTS. I bought the seeds from Diggers and planted 4 seeds on the 11Oct. '09. One came up first but then died after these ones emerged. They have yellow flowers that grow down into the ground and make the peanut. I need to research them again as I kinda remember something about them needing lots of Calcium. Something to get onto.

'Twill be cool if I can grow peanuts.

This is a Zucchini plant, planted from seeds I collected last year from a giant Zuke/marrow. It is growing better than any of the plants from seeds that I bought. Looks healthy, produces the most fruit...Why did I bother forking out money for ones from Diggers? Only trouble with it is the chooks sometimes get into this area and they eat them. .

This is the second Rockmelon, it has 1 decent sized fruit and a couple of these small ones.
Maybe it needs a decent feed.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

And Now I've Lost One.

Yesterday after the debugging of the Isa Browns one was looking a bit crook so I put her out into the playpen pen in the shade, by herself, so she could die in peace. I told you...She looked crook, sick, not well. I thought I would bury her this morning.

This morning though she was up and moving and had eaten her food so I gave her fresh stuff and left her to it.

Now she is not there!! She has possibly dug under and escaped, or maybe jumped up through a 8inch gap. Either or, she is not in the pen and I can't find her. She has to be somewhere in the garden but so far no luck.

Will have a coffee and wait 'til she decides to show herself, then I will grab her and shove her back in the paypen pen until tomorrow. That'll learn her.

Swear Word, Swear Word, Swear Word Chooks.

Just been out to collect the eggs and found them eaten. Well there were 2 in the box covered in yolk so some were anyway. Now we need to find out which is the eater and put her somewhere else. Like the soup pot!!

They are in a new pen and this nest is bigger and lighter than the ones in the other pen so hopefully it won't continue but if it does...

Now, out to clean it up and cover it to make it darker, see if that works 'til we put them back in the proper pen.

Chooks! Who needs them.

Week 2 And I Planted...

This week we planted:
Corn x 12 or so. Straight in the ground.
Cabbage. Was going to be 5 but I dropped some!
Lettuce x a sprinke in the lettuce tank.
Cucumber x 4. "Double Yeild" In ground near passionfruit fence.

And We Ate/Picked:

And always eating eggs!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Australorp Update.

I emailed the lady that I bought *Australorp* eggs from again this morning asking for a refund as the eggs she sold me were not pure Australorps like she led me to believe.

She refuses to, says she is willing to take the Plymouth Rocks back IF they are female and swap them for Australorp girls. But not if they are roosters. She admitted to having a PR rooster so the eggs I bought weren't pure but she will not refund. My loss apparently but lesson learned.

If anyone asks me about where I got my eggs from I will be telling them to stay away from this seller down in Gelorup. I will also be sourcing another seller, this lady will miss out on a couple of hundred dollars from me in egg and pullet sales.

What do you think would be the fair thing to do? Was I expecting too much from her regarding a refund?

Oh well, back to the drawing board. Or chooks for sale boards anyway.

Bug Control

This week we have been undergoing a *bugs on the chooks* eradication program. L and M have been out doing their chooks for leg mites and they helped me do my Mixed Breed lot as well. It's a matter of catching chook and covering the legs and feet to smother the mites. We used a mixture of Black and Gold Petroleum Jelly and EO but have used vegetable oil in the past. We used the P.J. this time as we thought that it would stick better and smother more. Seems to have worked anyway, the legs are looking a lot better.

M. has also been spraying the pens to get rid of any bugs that may be in them. There we have to shift the chooks to an empty pen, spray their pen, wait a day or so then put chooks back into their original pen. Lucky we have enough pens to do this.

This morning I did the the legs on my Isa Browns. What a messy job! And not as easy doing it by myself but I wanted them treated before we shift them a treated pen so we can treat their pen. It was a lot easier watching L and M do it. It is a big job and we will have to do the legs of all of them again next week. That is...Wait for it...53!!!! chooks. And 6 chickens. Oh, Then there are my so called Australorp birds so 6 more. All needing to be treated again soon.

I'm pretty sure that my IB have worms too so I also had to treat them for that and will need to redo them next week. No wonder I didn't get much else achieved this morning.

Yes, we have too many chooks. I must get that for sale sign made and put out the front.

Neverending Circle.

The worse I feel the less I do, the less I do then the more I have to do....

Just 2, or 4, days of feeling good would get me caught up but I slept in this morning, 'til 6!! and by the time I did my walk, had my coffee, did some watering I was ready for bed again.

But I plodded on and have *fixed* the chooks and did a bit of mowing but now NEED to do a bit more whippersnippering so I can see the snakes that are out there waiting for me, then a swim in the dam then breakfast. Trouble is it takes me so long to do anything. I'm so slow it takes me an hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes!

Well back into it, I only came in for a drink but I heard you all calling me so had to post.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Week 1 and I planted...

Because we want to eat out of the garden this year and not from bought vegetables we need to keep planting things. I am already behind as 4 bean plants, covered in flower and ready to fruit, have shriveled up and died. No idea why but it is things like this happening that will put me behind. Seeds that I had in punnets also curled up their toes but that was because of the heat and some slackass not watering them or moving them to a shady area. lol.

Jan 1 - Jan 7.
So this week we have put in:
Corn x 10. Direct in ground.
Cabbage x 4. In tank garden.
Sunflowers x lots. In ground.
Beetroot, in 1 drum.
Carrots, in 2 drums.
Bananas. x 4 suckers transplanted.
Potatoes. 3 x drums.
Marigolds. 3 surviving seedlings, around tank.
Tomato, transplanted into a drum.
Onions. Sprinkled seed in a tank garden. Will see how they go.
Lettuce. Straight in ground under Apricot tree. Hearting so will see how they go.
Wormwood. x 2 but 1 was planted in the chookpen, fenced off real good then scratched out by the chooks. I am such a good gardener!

I have covered the carrots with cardboard as I have trouble getting these to germinate and have read that covering them will help as it keeps them moist. We'll see.

And We Ate:
Asparagus. OK, only a few spears but still...

More Yummy Stuff.

We have been enjoying the Beetroot we made, having it with our lunch salads and as we had an excess of cucumber decided to have a go at doing something with them.

So what do you do with Cucumbers? Bread and Butter Pickles was what someone suggested and that turns out to be something that Hubby's family used to buy when he was a kid and he remembers liking it so we had to have a go.
Once again, so many different recipes and ways of doing it but we modified a couple and came up with one that turned out to taste really yum. So nice that I am going to do some Zucchini the same way and I know that the Zucchini hating husband will like them too... because I told him he would.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Chooks For Sale

I have had a few people ask about us selling our chooks and one of my goals is to be able to sell excess eggs and birds to help cover costs of keeping them.

We have sold a few lots of chickens before and I have another 6 in there to go. I still have the Hamburghs and we have too many hens in the mixed Breed pen so this year I will get rid of quite a few, espessially as I want to build up the Australorp flock. The only thing with selling the chickens is that you don't know if they are roosters or not and we can't give refunds if they are male.

Mixed Breed chickens, unsexed $6each. If someone takes all that we have we have let them go cheaper.
Mixed Breed hens $12each. Usually these have just started to lay. Being Mixed Breed though they are all different looking, some have feathered feet, some don't. Some are bantams but others are bigger and lay bigger eggs.
Hamboughs go for $10 each as unsexed chickens.
Hambough hens $20.
Hambough roosters, Daughter sells them for $10 as breeders so we will do the same otherwise we will eat them. She has one ready to go now and his parents were show quality but he has too much black on him for show but should make good show babies.
Aracauna hens $20each. These lay blue eggs.
Fertile eggs are $25 dozen, when available. Aracauna or Hamburghs.

These prices will be reveiwed throughout the year but they are fair for now I think.
I need to (play nice little wifey so Hubby will) make some decent signs up as the other ones have faded and are hard to read.

Not Wasting This Lot.

I have been growing Beetroot with the intention of pickling it for salads but as we don't have a gas stove and it's been too hot to light the woodfire and I am too slack...Some has been wasted.
Fed to the pig but still wasted.
Yesterday Hubby set the gas ring up outside and we did all this together. He is such a great guy.
Every recipe you look at is different and some seem quite complicated so we went for a basic mix of vinegar, sugar, cooking water and will see how it goes. I pickled beetroot once before but can't remeber what recipe I used and it was too vinegary, this one tasted OK so we will monitor it and see if any adjustments are needed for next time.

I Think He's Colourblind.

Last night Hubby was saying that there was a Blue Moon.
Well I went out to have a look and it was the same colour.
I even took a photo to prove it but I can't get it to upload! So who you going to believe? Me? Or Him?