Monday, December 31, 2012

Sew or Buy?

Husband has been complaining mentioned again that his shorts were too loose and kept slipping down.  I think that would be a great feeling, loose pants but hey, we're all different aye.  Anyway, back to husbands baggy britches.  I could have put elastic in the waist so they fit better but that would mean going to a shop, buying elastic, putting it in...I could get the sewing machine down and take in the sides or back band...OR!  I could go shopping and buy him some new ones. 
What would you do?  
I chose to go shopping and he did get a couple of pairs of new shorts that fit, they still had tags on them.   He also got 8 or 9 pairs that fit but are not new and a couple that are slightly loose.   And 2 shirts.  And I got myself a top as well.  All  for $6.  Yep, $6 and he has enough shorts that fit to last him a couple of years.

How did I manage that?  I went down to one of our local op-shops for a look and came home with a full shopping bag of clothes.   This op-shop sells bags of clothes for $6.   I need to find him some more shirts for work but am sure that I will come across some, somewhere, sometime...Probably next time I look in this shop.

I love op-shops.  We rarely buy new outer clothes from a regular shop, we do buy our undies new but they must be on special.   I know people who wont buy or wear second hand clothing.  They say that you never know where it came from, who wore it before you, it smells...all sorts of reasons.  I reckon the money saved is better off in my money tin and not the till of some big multinational shop.  I like the thought that I am helping out some charities with my buying clothes this way.  And nothing is new after the first wearing and wash anyway so why not.  It isn't just about saving money though,  it is about saving the world, 1 pair of shorts at a time. 

Next year I am going to try to remember to review some of the op-shops and markets that I go to, it might interest some of you, it might not...It might not even happen but I hope it does as op-shopping and finding bargins is something that I like doing.   It is much more fun than buying and putting in elastic!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's Summer Time

And the living is easy...

We finally have some HOT weather and it feels like Summer is well and truly here....not for too long I hope as I don't like the heat.  It means that I need to get my moving, all the watering, gardens, anything else that needs doing...all done before 8am.  When I need to leave here at 7am it makes it rushed and I am not good at rushing. 
It also means:
Swimming.  It is weather like this that I am glad to have the dam out the back.  When I am overhot and bothered it is great to be able to just walk out the back and dive in.  Sometimes there is a gasp of shock at how cold the water is but it doesn't last long.  Sometimes, after the dogs have been here, it is a bit more muddy than usual but the refreshyness of the water soon takes away the iffyness of that. 

Snakes.   We had our first a few days ago.  Well the first one that we have seen, I dare say that there have been others that have passed through while we weren't looking.  This one was a large Tiger, came under the fence into the chookpen we were in and started going out under the gate into a rather messy pen...where the daughters dumb dog was standing.  However we have netting that we put over the fruit trees to stop the birds and it stopped this snake.  While not too good for the snake I believe it saved the dog from being bitten and stopped us from walking into a pen where it may not have been seen until too late for us to avoid.  Husband hardly ever wears shoes when he is home and I had shorts and sneakers on so not much protection for either one of us.  Silly really.

We start to pick grapes during December.  These and Watermelon are fruit that make the heat more welcome..  No sign of Watermelon on any of the vines here yet though.  Planted too late, again.

Fishing.   Husband, daughter and friend have gone out the beach to catch some fish...hopefully.  They'll fish tonight, stay out in the caravan, fish again in the morning...   The warmer weather entices the fisherfolk out and if they are good enough I get to add to the freezer stocks.   I don't like fishing or the beach when it is hot so I get to stay home here, swim in the dam, eat grapes, and read a book under the trees.   Much better way to spend the day.

What about you, do you like the hot weather or are you a Cooler weather lover?

Who Let The Chooks Out?!

Gardens were going great guns then *someone* left a gate open when they went away overnight and we came home last night to all the Hylines out.  Bugger!!  Not many Silverbeet left, most of the Zukes were dug up, the Spinach and Lettuce have been half eaten...

I did have a sheet of weldmesh over the lettuce gardens so they and the spinach are still in the ground so that is something.  The 4 zuchinni plants that I had a potplant around survived the other 5 have been dug up and eaten.  The peas are gone...Strawberries have been eaten but the plants are pretty thick so they haven't been dug up.  A few small banana plants that husband had transplanted are gone...A couple of lots of potatoes had been uncovered but still there and I have recovered them this morning.

I will get more weldmesh and put it over some of the other garden beds in case some idiot leaves another gate open....

I was a tad cranky with myself.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gardens Are Looking Good.

The plants I bought have been in the ground for more than a week and most are looking good and getting bigger.  The cucumbers...not so much.  There are only 3 plants left and one of those looks pretty crook.  I will put seeds in the empty spots sometime tomorrow.  This has been an extra busy week with work so not much has been done out there.   There are heaps of self sown seeds coming up so things will have to be thinned out in places.  I planted Spinach seedlings in the same place I had it before, it's looking good and healthy and a few days ago I noticed dozens of plants coming up, I thought it was weeds but it now looks like Spinach...I will transplant some, give some to other people, eat more...Same with lettuce.  Among the 6 or 7 seedling that I put in there are hundreds of tiny ones coming up from plants that went to seed.   The zukes have flowers already, the advanced tomato plants that husband bought have fruit. It's all looking good.  I want to go away for a bit but am worried that if I do and it gets hot that I will lose them all and that would make me cranky so debating still on that.

I transplanted some comphrey a while ago and so now have two lots growing like mad so am ready to get another spot established.   How much comphrey is too much...

I planted some Luffa seeds again this year, they have emerged.  I will need to look after them good because I so want to get me some homegrown luffa to use.  It will be a long time before I have news of if it worked or not though.

We are still eating from the gardens, not a lot and not a great variety but enough and as you don't need more than enough it's all good.

Have bloody fruitfly in my apricots.  We  had decided to pull all the peaches off, maybe get rid of the tree altogether, because they always seem to get maggotty but the apricots are usually finished before the fly gets going, not this year.  I'm not sure how many maggots I have eaten but am sure there have been a few.  AND, they don't always die when the fruit has been nuked for a few minutes.   That was an unpleasant surprise.

Two Isa Brown chooks have died over the last week, I'm hoping it is old age because this lot are getting on and the rest look healthy enough.  

Crows are hanging around again, I can't risk letting the chickens out into the big pen when I am not home, they don't like that but I figure it is better than being ripped apart by some horrible bird and as I am boss in that department, they stay loccked up.  Their pen is big enough it just doesn't have any grass left in it and they like running throhgh the grass and catching bugs.  Tomorrow I am home so will let them out for the day.

Not much else happening, lots needs doing but I am home most of tomorrow and I have a list. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I Bought, I Planted.

The gardens are finally starting to look the way they should with plants planted and starting to grow.  I bought punnets last week, planted them out a day or so after that, they were still there and looking OK last night.  I have been out this morning, it is blowing a gale but most seem to be doing alright. 

 Bought and planted:
  • Spinach.  Looking forward to this getting big enough so I can make some Spinach Icecream.  Sounds good, aye?
  • Zucchini.  Two different types.
  • Lettuce.  Mixed punnets.  I have sprinkled seeds around the gardens as well but wanted something quicker
  • Capsicum.  We have 1/2 dozen plants growing and producing but they are 4 years old and looking tired.
  • Cucumber.  Not looking all that great this morning.
  • Rainbow Chard.  Was supposed to be Silverbeet but unfortunately I grabbed the wrong one.  We're not too keen on this but the chooks like it so it can stay for a bit.  
  • Tomato x 2 advanced plants.  Husband thinks I haven't enough growing and he likes them.  I haven't because I don't!
I need these and more so I can keep on with the Green Smoothies without having to buy stuff.    Unfortunaely a few of the punnets were rootbound, I'm hoping they'll be alright but the Cucumbers are not looking well and at least 2 seem to be half dead.   I have seeds in so hope they come up and do better.   None of the 3 lots of corn seed planted over the last 5 weeks have come up yet so I will plant more of that today, not in the ground but in a drum and  hope it does better.   The Watermelon are getting bigger but no flowers yet but there is some sort of melon growing in a drum garden that has flowers but I don't know what it is.
I will get more Beetroot seeds in today as I like that pickled and added to salads.  I pulled the last of the carrots a couple of days ago but bought a bag last week to add to the smoothies so have plenty left but will get more seeds of those in today as well.

I'm a long way from where I was with the gardens a couple of years ago but getting the mood back so soon food will be everywhere again.  There is still plenty to eat, we wont starve, just not much variety.