Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August, We Bought...

I bought carrots this month.  A 5kg bag for $1.99.  I like carrots with my salads but as I cannot grow them and I was over at Spud Shed getting stuff for the daughter and I saw these...They are quite nice too, small and sweet.
No other vegetables were bought during August.

I did buy some bananas while I was there but no other fruit. 
We are still getting Oranges so they were our fruit of choice this month.  Those and the Passionfruit and we had a few Indian Guava ready to eat as well.

We are getting plenty of eggs and once again the son has brought out a few feeds of meat.  He is a butcher at the local supermarket and sometimes brings out stuff that is too near to its use by date to sell.
This month we scored some lamb chops, a pork roast, sausages and 2 lots of mince. 
He used to take it home and feed it to his dogs but a quick clip under his ear soon stopped that! 
We do buy some meat, I usually get some liver and  twin packs of chicken when we don't have any roosters.  Sausages if they are on special.  I would like to not have to buy any meat and some months I don't but I need the Liver for Iron and we like chicken...
I'm happy with the tiny amount of food that we need to buy but will keep trying to grow all of what we eat.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Baby Update.

The little black chicken is doing fine but the mother chook is very protective and huffs up whenever I go out there and shoos her baby away so I can't get near it.   She has had a go at me a couple of times when I have put food down for them.  Silly thing! 
The other chook is still sitting but I haven't seen any chickens and I am thinking that there won't be any now and I plan to clean out her nest and put her in the other pen this weekend.
I have had another chook, a Plymouth Rock coloured one go clucky so have put some fertile eggs under her.
I will need to wait 3 weeks to see how she goes.

The calf is frollicking around everywhere.  The mother cow is looking fine.   I am giving her extra hay.
The brown cow is still fat but no sign of a calf.  I think she is just big and fat.

A few dramas with them all though as the black and white cow/calf got into the padock with the back neighbours animals.  I'm pretty sure there is a bull or 2 in there...The next day all our cows were in there.  The fence between the neighbours to our north and his back neighbough must be dodgy so when Hubby gets home I will get him to fix the gate between us and northside to keep our cows on our property.

Animals!  Sometimes they are  more work than they are worth.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What To Plant. What Will Grow.

Over the last few weeks I have been thinking about what I will be growing over the warmer months.  The 4 year old grandaughter wanted to help so, with help from her mum, she brought out some seeds and some seed trays so she could "plant seeds with Nanny" and a couple of weeks ago when L, T and J were out here they made a start.  They filled and planted the 3 trays, they filled some jiffy pot things for daughter L to take home and they got me motivated to keep planting over the next week.

The seed trays were put on a table and left on the front verandah.  I found an old spray bottle with the idea of giving them a spray when needed but after a couple of days I put each tray into a plastic shopping bag and tied it shut.  Within a few days the seeds were up with no extra mucking around from me and I removed them from the bags.  I now give them a squirt with the hose every couple of days but some of them need to be put out in the ground.  A job for this week.

Going through all my seeds I just pick out things that can be planted now, I never have a plan as such, I just plant what I have and hope enough grows so I don't have to buy anything.  So far that has worked but really, I don't try and do anything too hard.  Apart from the bleedin' carrots.  I'm a pretty SlackA*** gardener and if something doesn't grow I just try again or plant something else.

I've also put other seeds into the bottom half of coke bottles with the lid as a top and more seeds in jiffy pots in a cardboard box with a sheet of glass over it.  One bottle has Rosemary cuttings.

More seeds in this container.  Hubby bought a salad roll while away at work one day and I rescued this from the bin.  He will growl but hey, if it works it will be worth it.

These bottle have cuttings in them.  After a month the Mulberry cuttings are starting to bud up but the Bougainvillea look like they are dead which is a shame as they have come from Doolgunna Station and were a really nice colour but I wanted them as a remembrance thing.

I am trying again with Carrots but not going to hold my breath.  I hardly ever get these up and growing.  I think I have managed to get 2 lots good enough to eat but have had 5 or 6 attempts.  I have read that they need to be kept moist, so they are covered with newspaper.  That will be removed if when the carrots come up..  If When they come up then they should make it to a decent size so here's hoping.

I have put peas in this end as well and it shouldn't be long before they are up.  I put bottles over them as a bit of an experiment.  Any other time that I plant peas I don't worry about covering them but I am hoping this will get them up quicker.

I'm not sure what the girls planted though we did write it on sticks and shoved it in with the seeds. 
I should probably write it all down so I know but I'm not too fussed.  I'll know soon enough when they start producing!
I think I've made a decent start but come September I will need to get a lot more stuff in.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lucky for One.

But sad for too many others and I cried.

About 5 weeks ago one of the young AussieRocks went and sat on some eggs.  She sat all that day and was still sitting that night and the next day she was still sitting.  My briliant brain and pecked at finger told me that she was probably clucky.  Waste of the eggs she was sitting on though as there is no rooster in with this lot.

I go out the back where there is a rooster with a few hens and over the week I collect 8 or 9 fertile eggs.  I make up a nest in another box, put it in the chicken pen and add the fertile eggs.  I wait until night when all good chooks should be asleep and creep in and slowly get up enough courage to pick her up.  She only tries to peck me a few times while I am carrying her to her new nest.  I shove place her gently in and stand a board up in front so she can't escape.   A day or so later I take the board away so she can come out and eat and poop hoping she'll know to go back and sit.  She didn't so I had to chase her around the pen, finally catch her, get pecked at again, shove her not too gently back in her box and put the board back.  The next day I wire off a little area for her so she can't go awandering.  Over the next 2 weeks she gets out twice and is off the eggs for a few hours before I notice and she is herded back in.  They were due to hatch last Sunday.  The weekend when it rained, and rained, and rained...  On monday I go out to check on her and find her nest under water.  The area she is in is flooded and there is water in the box, where the due to hatch eggs are...
We find 3 dead nearly hatched chickens.   I cried.  I know that the other eggs are probably dead but we empty the nest, put in dry hay, Hubby puts a platform in to lift the box out of the water if it rains again and the chook gets back on the 5 wet and cold eggs we put back in.   I go out on Wed and find and remove a dead hatched chicken.  Not home on Thursday so go out this morning thinking to remove her and clean out the area and put her back in with the other chooks.

She's not there.  There are 3 cold eggs in the nest.  So no chickens from that lot.
I look, find her sitting in a different pen.  Has she or hasn't she a baby under there...

There is one little chicken that survived all the trauma.  It is so cute.   I bet it's a rooster!

A week after the black chook went clucky I put a batch of eggs under one of the Mixed Breed chooks. 
Last weekend they too were under water.  They too were put on dry hay and up out of the water.  The MB chook is still sitting on them.  They are due to hatch this weekend.

I have put a boad on the pallet under her nest and hay around her with a brick in front so if there is a successful hatch the chickens can get in and out of the nest easily.  Now I need to wait and see.

I felt so bad about the dead chickens because I put the nests there. I didn't even think that the chooks had been scratching the area and that it was lower than the rest of the pen. 
Once these chooks are finished with this area Hubby is going to build it up and make a sloping cement platform so it won't happen again.  But bugger!  'Twas a sad day.

I now need to get the black chook and her lone baby back into where she was in the chicken pen.  It is a pen that is netted to keep the crows out whereas the pen she is in now isn't so it's not safe enough for her chicken.  That will be this afternoons job.  I have cleaned out the area and nest so it will be nice and clean for her.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wet Weather.

Husband spent most of the day pumping water away and though most of the puddles are gone the ground is still very soggy.  It is supposed to be fine tomorrow so that will give it a bit of a chance to dry out but more rain is forecast for later in the week.  

This is me standing in front of my car.  The water is now gone but it is soggy and slippery.

To boot or not to boot.

The shed the HyLines use has water in it.  I  put dry hay in there for them, to keep them dry.

More than half of this pen was under water.

The water was being pumped out of these 2 hoses for most of the day.  We had a pump in the old duck pond and another in the hole we have dug for the wishing well.  The ground is so wet that the holes would refill as soon as the water was pumped out.

This is the old duck pond, it is around 6foot x 10foot and 2 foot deep.  Because it is the lowest part of the yard it acts as a sump and the ground water seeps into it.  Today it has filled and been emptied a few times.

Our area did receive a lot of rain, more than 43mm overnight, but we still need heaps more to get the dams up and able to cope with the Summer demand. 

Under Water.

It rained last night, most of the night I think.  I knew it was wet outside this morning when the trough in the bathroom gurgled at me.  Not a cute little baby gurgle but a *everything is under water and the septic and leachdrain is full* gurgle.  Went out to let the chooks out and yep!  Had to walk through the gulf of Barbs Backyard to get there.

The wishing well hole is overflowing, the duckpond sump hole is overflowing, the driveway is under water as it everywhere else.  And it's still raining!

Luckily Hubby is home today so he may be able to get the bigger pump going and get some of it diverted  out into the old irrigation drain out the back

We have already pumped away more water than some people use all year and it was bothering me that we weren't keeping the water on our land but I am thinking differently this morning.  I want it all pumped away and I want it all pumped away NOW!!

I m not sure if that will even be possible but if we don't get rid of some of it I don't fancy the chances of  me getting my car out tomorrow.  And toilet flushing will be a no goer...showering tonight...nowhere for that water to go either...Bugger!  No point in doing all of yesterdays dishes now,  Hmmm, maybe there is some good to it all

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Mornin' All.

A big thankyou to all the well wishers yesterday.  I appreciate the thoughts.  I am feeling heaps better this morning, had an earlyish night and didn't get up until 4.45 this morning. 

The markets went well, I scored a few things but if I had little kids I could have furnished a big cubby house for them.  There was so much kids stuff!  The kids that were there all went home with armloads and big smiles. 
I ended up with some more net curtaining, this time for the *sunroom*/ front verandah, a couple of cool looking bicky/lolly tins that I will use for something, a small cooler bag for summer lunches away.  I think that's all. 

We have decided to let my painting job of the verandah ceiling and walls wait until the weather warms up or I know that I'll have 3 days of nothing else to do.  Husband says he will help me with it but I will need to wait until after Spring .  They are real busy during Spring with work so if I can't get it done I know there is help coming.  All good. 

The chook sheds should be done today, all the nesting boxes were cleaned and refreshed with new hay yesterday so less work for today now.

Main things for today will be:
Chook sheds, raked out and new hay put in.  Husband did for me.
Sweet talk Hubby into moving some sleepers into chook yard so I can contain the old stuff better until it's neded.  Done.
More seeds put in. 
Lounge from front verandah, cleaned and covers washed and replaced.  Put in position.  Done.
Put away everything that was taken off the verandah when it was painted.  Big job!!   Half done.

Plus the day to day stuff of course and anything else will be a bonus but I think I'll be lucky if the list gets finished.  It's forecast to rain...and I have a book to read...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mornin' All.

Good morning People.  It is 4.30 AM here in WesternAustralia.  I am awake, tired but  hurting too much to sleep so I  decided to get up and have a coffee, maybe try again in a couple of hours if I want to.  It's dark, there is a bird chortling away out the front, the fire is going so it is nice and warm inside...

Hubby is still asleep so there is nothing for me to do except spend some time mucking around on here.

Really Really Free Markets are on this afternoon, I have more painting to do on the front verandah, chooks shed needs cleaning out...More seeds to be planted.  Heaps to do today but I have doubts that much will be done... I hurt too much, been having a lousy week with pain and have resorted to taking tablets!  They help but I hate having to take them. 

Off to see who Blogger will let me talk to.

Hope you all have a nice day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No Comment.

I have been reading a few blogs over the last week or so and wanting to leave a comment on a couple but Blogger wont let me.  It is annoying.

I was reading  and really wanted to wish her the best luck but can't. 

The question on boobs or travel from   Nah, no comment from me allowed so she doesn't get to read my wisdom. 

There have been others.  Many others. 

I'm sure it will fix inself in time but it annoys me. 

Coffee and *get a life* time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Is Brown Cow Pregnant?

This is our second cow.  She was in the paddock last September when a bull got to our black cow and was in the paddock around 9 months ago when a bull got in and got to the black cow again and to the neighbours cow,  I supose if there is no calf from her within the next week or so she won't be having one again.
She is a big cow, bigger than the black one but younger.  Another wait and see thing.

If the new calf survives we will have 4 cows, if the brown cow becomes a mum there will be 5 out there.  Too many.  But we can't keep the bulls out so there is not much we can do about it.  We need a couple of cows to keep the grass down and we do eat them so doing one next winter will get the numbers down a bit.
It is just a worry sometimes.  Like the neighbours cow...She died because her calf got stuck.  Really she should not have even been pregnant.  I complain about our cows but really it is the back neighbours bulls that need to be complained about.  And we have...He doesn't care much though.

And I don't complain when I am eating the cows so I supose I can't have it both ways.  HoHum...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mother and Baby Are Well.

It has been so wet and cold here today and even though the husband and son kept telling me that cows have been having calves for years and they survive the cold I was still worried about the new one.  
I wanted the baby *protected* from the weather as it was pouring with rain and the wind was blowing but Hubby wouldn't go out and get them.   He finally decided to humour me and said we'd try and get the cows in the side paddock.  I think it was the tears that got to him.  We called them like we do when we are going to give them hay and the brown cow and big calf came running but the new calf wouldn't get up so black cow wouldn't leave it.  Eventually we got them over and in the smaller paddock.  It is still wet and cold out there but this paddock is better protected and doesn't have any drains with water in them so no chance of the calf falling in where it shouldn't.

The black mother cow has surprised me.  She doesn't usually like people but she has been very patient with us and has allowed us to get up close and touch her baby.  It is so soft.  And cute!!

If some bull is going to keep getting in and getting to our cows without us knowing then I really should probably do some reading up on cows and calves. 

Stormy Weather and Bloody Cows.

We still have our 2 cows and the black cow's baby and last week the cow from next door was also still here.

A few days ago, Monday, the cow from next door was up near the gate and I was talking to her.  I was out all Tuesday...Thursday I was out the back weeding when I noticed the cow from next door, she was in our paddock, lying down and I thought she was dead.  Unfortunately she wasn't.   A call to the vet, a call to her owner, a visit from the vet...Betty and her calf are now in cow heaven.

Last September  our black cow had a calf.  We didn't know then and we didn't know now.
But the new baby is so cute!!

Only last week we were talking about separating the black and white calf as the mother was looking skinny.

It is a horrible wet and windy day here today, I want to bring the baby in out of the weather but this black mother doesn't like people much and though she let us pat the calf and she licked my hand I don't think she'll let us try and move it.  Later on we'll put some hay out closer to the back gate and try and get them in where it is a bit more sheltered.

So now we ask the same question we asked last year...Is the brown cow pregnant?  Or just fat like last time?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ten Oranges.

That is what I picked from 1 of the trees this morning.  Five of them have been pecked at by the birds.

I will still eat them, we just cut off the raggedy bits, they taste the same.  This particular tree has only 5 or 6 fruit left on it so I will wrap some cloth around them this morning but I will put the netting around the tree that still has heaps of fruit on it.  No point taking the chance and thinking that the birds will leave it alone because it is close to the house because chances are...they wont care when there is a yummy juicy Orange on offer.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Made More Soap...Kinda.

I made soap with the daughter a while ago, she
uses hers for everything but I haven't tried mine yet so can't say what it's like.
With the decluttering that I have been doing I found  
 a bag of soap-ends in a plastic bag in the bottom of a cupboard, they have been there for quite a few years and I have always intended to melt them down and  mold them into more soap chunks.

Last week I finally made a start.
I chose ends that were a similar light peachy colour, put them in a pot with a bit of water and sat them on the stove to soften.  I added some orange zest, hoping it would add a nice smell.

Once it was all soft I used the old beaters to mix it all together then plonked it in a container to set.

Tipped it out the next day and sliced it.  I think I sliced it too thin though and will cut the next lot thicker.

It is now spread out on a tray to dry.  If it looks like it will turn out OK then I will do the rest in a week or two.

The orange smell is not very strong but the soap looks pretty good.  We will use it but I will also make some more real stuff when I get around to collecting everything I need. 
Next time we do a pig I will keep the fat as I'd like to try and make some with that as I think that would be a good use of what we usually just feed to the chooks.  I'd also like to make some with different oils but need to collect the ingredients together first and that might take a while seeing as I hate buying stuff!

I will also use some of the soap scraps to make up some more laundry powder as I know I don't have much left.  I don't use it often but do like to have some on hand for when needed for Hubby's work clothes.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Still Lovin' My Gardens.

I was whinging  mentioned last week about the Caulies taking so long to be ready...I was out there tonight and there are a few ready to pick.  We had some for tea along with the *nearly too far gone* Broccoli
Added to all the other stuff that I picked and dumped in a pot it made a healthy meal with enough left for the next few days.

I'm still lovin' that we can feed ourselves from the gardens and though it is a lot more effort than buying from the shops it is well worth it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Enclosing the Front Verandah.

We are rethinking the well or more precise the pump for the well.  While Hubby is nutting out what to do about it I have talked him into starting on the front verandah.  We have talked about enclosing this for the last few years, I keep changing my mind but I finally rang the shire to see what we were allowed to do so we could come up with a plan. 
It was raining, Hubby was home so we made a quick trip over to Bunnings to buy some stuff and we started on it yesterday.

We are enclosing the North end of the verandah with walls with windows in them so we get a bit of protection from the weather.  During Winter the sun can come through the glass and it will be a warm spot to have coffee and read. 
He built the wall yesterday and today we will put it in.

Jobs for this weekend.
Put in front wall. DONE.  
Put in window.   DONE
Cladding on bottom of wall.   DONE
Decide on cladding.for the top half. DONE.
Finish repairing holes in the house wall.

He decided to clad the wall in fibro sheeting so a quick trip to the hardware, a couple of hours work and it's done.

Over the next week I need to:. Wash floor.
Wash house wall   DONE.
Wash house window.  DONE.
Paint floor.
Paint roof/ceiling.
I need to find a quicker way of painting the roof as the brush I started with is taking too long and putting too much strain on my poor weak body.

Of course there is lots of smaller stuff but these are the main things that I need to get done.

Friday, August 5, 2011

It's A Write-off.

This morning I was shown some photos.  Of my sons car.  Then I cried. 

This afternoon I saw my sons car.  And I cried.  And I heard the story and I cried and hugged him and thanked God that he was alright.

 That hole in the windscreen, bottom passenger side corner, that's where a tree branch went through.  It speared through and angled out the back window missing his head by a few inches.
 He was on his way home when it happened, not long after he was nearly gored by a wild boar.

What, me worry.

I suggested he settle down and stay home where he will be safe.  He says "nah, not gonna happen" 

While I was crying, thinking about what could have happened I said something about not even knowing if he was dead out in the bush and we wouldn't even know where to look if he was missing but was reassured by the husband that he would have been found sometime, probably within a few days...

So all is good and apparently I cry and worry for nothing.  

Bloody kids!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

In My Head Living.

We visited a family member on Sunday just gone and she is living the life that I want wanted too a few years back.   Now it is just a wishful thinking thought that pops into my head now and then.
This person will be frugal, green, natural...more so than anyone else I know or *read*   It will be a major challenge.
There is no Internet or mobile phone coverage.  There are neighbours, close enough if help is needed but far enough away for the hermit living that these people aspire to.
I will visit whenever I need reminding that I am too old for all that now!

She has jars with all her beans and things in.
And more jars with more stuff...
Lemon Vinegar for cleaning.
Homemade Olive Oil soap.
Outside she has an old orchard that will go a long way to feeding her...if she can keep the kangaroos away.
She is planting vegetables.  Will not have a fridge.   Minimal furniture.  Does have a wood fire in the lounge-room for warmth.
She has the most gorgeous dog that I love and want...but he will allow no-one near her, not even us, unless she says so.   I have wondered what will happen if she dies as I don't think he will let anyone get near her to help....Maybe her husband will be able to...

Some of the trees around the place are sooo old...We think this is a fig.  Walking back up from the back paddock this was one of the coolest looking trees that I have seen in a long time.

It is covered in Lichen.

There is a huge tree there that we think may be a Chestnut...Can anyone tell us please.

It is hard for us to tell what tree is what as most don't have any leaves.

I will be definitely be visiting during Loquat season as there are 3 trees on this property.

I honestly don't think that I will ever be as green or natural or frugal as I think I want to be but by knowing people that will be doing it I think I will learn a lot.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Winter Wednesday.

Wednesday again and we have a wet one.  It's been raining for a few days here now and everything is under water.

We were hoping to finish off the sump hole that we are hoping to build an ornamental wishing well over but trying to get the hole empty for long enough to do anything is not a happening event.  We need to pump out the water so that we can get the permament pump installed...With all the rain we have been having the ground is saturated and just keeps running into the lowest spot...our hole.  It really needs doing now while Hubby has some time off though as come Spring, or next week, he will be too busy.

We pump it out but within minutes it is filling up again.  

I can't see it happening today so maybe I can get him to start on the next project...

 These Winter Wednesdays are thanks to Hazel.  I think they are a great idea.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hello Bev.

This is a quick post as a friend of mine thinks that I am not talking to her again.
Hello Bev!!  How are you?

This lovely lady used to live in the same town but moved.  Then moved again and now lives in another state.  I see her a couple of times a year if she is over here.  I miss her. Her and another lady who doesn't actually live very far away.  Just in a town that I am not in when she is home.

I don't have any  many friends, none that I see so I really should make more of an effort to keep in touch with the few that I do have.

I think that some letter writing will be on the list for later this week.

August Garden

I was outside wandering around yesterday and as I had the camera in my hand taking photos of the trampoline I thought that I'd take some of some of the gardens while I was there.

Hearting lettuce.  There are lots of these out there but I cannot get them to grow during Summer which is the only time the husband wants to eat them.

Beetroot and assorted lettuce.  I like the leafy lettuce that I can pick a few leaves from as I want them and these are the type that I can grow when it is warmer so I like to always have lots of these around in different areas.

These are Cauliflowers...and more lettuce.   The caulies seem to be taking ages to form a head.  I am wanting them now!

We pick the main Brocilli head but leave the plant in to grow smaller heads.  This increases the yeild quite a bit and I am happy to let them take up the space.

Tomatoes, they have flowers on.  These plants were rescued from the pig-pen.  

Potatoes in one of the fridge gardens.  I need to remember to keep topping them up with *stuff*  I have put a layer of shredded bank statements on these then some more dirt.  Next will be a layer of old hay from the chookpen.

These are a pile of peas, all grown from old plants that got buried by a pumpkin that used to be in this pot.

Spinach, Silverbeet, more lettuce and some asian thingy going to seed.  I never buy these anymore as I let a few go to seed and they do the rest themselves.

The choko vine is on it's last legs but plenty more are sprounting so I'm hoping that I will always have these.

Dwarf peas.  Not getting many from this lot so will go back to the old normal pea next time.

Middle of Winter and we are still getting a few Tomatoes.

This is the group of Bananas that the trampoline landed on.  Luck only a few got knocked off so these might get a bit bigger.

The same group of Bananas from a different angle.

Brocolli and Cauliflower.  Some of the caulies are starting to form so we should be eating them this month.

The grass that was mowed last week already needs doing again...But it goes to the chooks then back on the garden so I try to whinge only a little bit about mowing it.

Everything that is out there seems to being doing OK.  The gardens are still feeding us and that is the main thing.  I have a lot of work to do out there to get ready for Spring but at the moment it is too wet.  Whenever it is not raining though I go out and do something somewhere.   And with that being said...I better go now.