Thursday, September 30, 2010

Don't Buy Veg Challenge.

Another month finished and another month of not buying any vegetables. 
Nine months of eating what we grow and not going to the shop to buy any veg.
I think that's pretty cool.
Three months to go and the 'Don't Buy Veg In 2010" challenge is still looking doable despite the cows attempt at sabotage.

This month we've been eating assorted lettuce, carrots, asparagus, peas, capsicum, sweet potato, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli,  the occasional tomato, onion...
I still seem to pick and eat the same old stuff and there is stuff growing that we don't eat.  We have celery and broad beans but as I don't like them much I tend to use them  more for giveaways.
I lost the spinach under some nasturtiums...

We are still getting oranges, some strawberries, pepinos.   Lemons are falling from the tree and need to be picked up.

We have been eating beetroot and bread and butter pickle from last season.

I have a fridge full of eggs. 
Heaps of bananas that Son brought out as "pig food" but they didn't get them when they were here so they aren't going to get them when they're not!  Most will need to be put in the freezer.
More roosters need culling and we still have a couple of rooster meals in the freezer.

I have a fridge full of food and nothing to eat.  Well, nothing to just grab and snack on, it all need preparing in some way first.  'Cept the bananas...I might go have one of them.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The RAC and a FUD.

I needed both today, only had one of them though but it was the one that got the car fixed so I could get home so that was good.
I have been a member of the RAC for many years and been thankful for that quite a few times.  I think it is well worth the money for the membership. 
This afternoon I was driving merrily along, checked the guage to see if I needed petrol and noticed the temp guage way up. I pulled over and lifted the bonnet and the first thing I noticed was no heat coming from under there.  It usually has a bit of heat coming from under there after driving that amount of time so I thought that was strange.  I couldn't feel any heat coming from over the radiator but I was still wary about taking the cap off and checking the water/coolant.  Got brave, grabbed a jacket and removed it.  No steam or anything and definately no coolant and after discovering my car water bottle gone from the boot I called the RAC to come rescue me.
I was on the side of the road for nearly and hour and one car with a couple of blokes turned around and came back to see if I was alright or if they could help.  Thanks Guys, you will not see this but your concern was much appreciated.

So I don't know if there's something wrong with my car or if I just haven't checked things for awhile. Mmmm, the more I think about it the more I think that could be it.   RAC guy said to check the level over the next few days and if it goes down then get it looked at, otherwise just get some more coolant for it.

Having a FUD would have been handy as I needed to pee when I stopped and after waiting around so long things weren't getting better but I was thinking about it and probably wouldn't have used it even if I had one. If I was stuck there for much longer though, who knows.  It would have been awkward, what with being on the side of a busy highway and all but better than the alternative.

So I am thankful for the RAC and still planning on getting a FUD.

Have you ever been thankful for either?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

DO NOT Eat Lunch While Reading.

I came in and made a bowl of salad for lunch.  Just picked lettuce and mixed leaves, grated carrot, peas, added grated cheese, a boiled egg.  Ate it while reading. Then finished the page and looked at the nearly empty bowl...and there was a slug squirming around!!  It looked whole so that was something but I don't know if I ate any others.
If I did, they weren't yukky. lol.

Lawns Are Done!!

I have come in from mowing and I must say, this is the first time in a LONG time that my edges and grass have been done and look good at the same time.

Yesterday daughter L and her husband M came out and spend a couple of hours out there with me and because they did the same last week and daughter T mowed a bit for me and Hubby mowed a bit for me, I managed to get it finished.  Thankyou all.  It looks good.  Yay to all of us

Now there are still some messy *areas* that I will work on this week and gardens still need mulching but I'm company ready.  If we stay outside and no-one opens the door to inside...Maybe I should do a bit in here too...

I need to work on cleaning up after myself and mowing regularly to keep it looking good. 

My problem is that I do stuff, mow, weed, mulch, until I can't but then nothing gets picked up and put away and when I can do stuff again I want to get it done while I can, not waste time putting things away...But it would be easier doing things if the place was tidied up to start with. 
This is something that I really need to work on. 
Because it does look good!

I'm off out there for morning tea...just need to bring in the mug and plate from yesterday...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thinking and Thoughts.

We had a nice day out yesterday, lunch with family to celebrate a sisters 50th.
It was lovely to see everyone but it kind of made me sad.

I saw all these people, my family and their friends, that get on so well together and see each other all the time and because I don't have any friends to visit or that I do stuff with, go places with, etc. I kinda felt alone and lonely and I shouldn't have as I love my life, enjoying the simple things and being able to do what I want when I want. 
But I did kinda envy them all, a little too much for my own good.  It is me that is the problem though.  Because we don't see people very often and our lives are so different to other peoples I have no idea what to talk about with any of them so tend to mainly sit back and keep to myself.

Talked to Hubby about it on the way home, about me needing friends and *a life* 

Did I have no friends because a wasn't a nice person?  Was I boring?  Was I a nasty bitch that no-one wanted anything to do with?  What was/is it about me that discourages people from wanting to get to know me better and then liking what they find enough to want to do stuff with me?

What could I do to meet more people?
**I could join some clubs... I'm not that interested in anything though.
**I could invite people over for lunch.  Been there done that, nearly a dozen times over 2 years, and though they said they enjoyed it and "we should do this more often" and they talked about doing  it at their house next time I was never invited anywhere.  I see them down the shop and they say "great to see you, we must catch up" then they go off and I never hear from them so obviously they didn't mean it too much.
**I could play a sport of some kind and meet people there.  Yeah, don't laugh too much at that one!

It came up that to meet people like me will be hard as like minded people are probably at home working in their gardens, not going out, they are trying to cut their carbon footprint by staying home and living *simply*

So I need to accept that some people need to like themselves and enjoy their own company, which luckily I do, and get on with things.  Some real friends would be nice but my life is good as it is. 

I need to "Suck it up", "Get over it"  and all those other great sayings that I love to use and get out there and plant a next time I feel lonely I will have something to hug!

P.S.E.D. Challenge. 19th to 25 Sept.

Day 19. Watermelon, seeds, hothouse.
       20. Tomatoes x 2, from pig pen into back garden.     
       21. ****
       22. Banana suckers x 3, chookpen fence.
       23. ****
       24. Tomatoes x 3, from pig pen into back garden.
       25. ****

What a slack week. Surely I planted more than that.  Just as well I was ahead otherwise I'd be way behind!
So 4 things over the last 6 days making the total so far 36.
Five days left in the month, let's step it up and get stuff planted.  Can I get to 50 things planted for September?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Really Really Free Markets.

Daughter L told me about some markets in Perth that were free.  Apparently people take stuff they don't want and spread it around and people can come and take want they want, for free.  I think that is a really cool idea. 
This is a link she sent me but you may have to copy and paste.

These markets were on in Perth, WA yesterday afternoon and I wasn't going to go as I had too much to do here, I didn't need more stuff, I was tired, blah, blah, blah...
But thankfully she and her husband talked me into going up on the train with them so I got to do a few more *first time* things.

They took me out for lunch at a restaurant that they go to quite often and I have been wanting to try so big bonus there.  The restaurant is down near the Belltower in Perth, on the river, it's called Annalakshmi and serves Indian vegetarian food.

We had a plate of this each...:OK, the photo makes it look like a plate of mush but it was very nice, slightly spicy but not too hot for me.  We had a yummy juice to drink as well.

While eating we got to look out over the river.  It was really nice.  Saw lots of boats coming and going, Quite a bit of money in some of them, I bet...
We decided that we'd come again and take the ferry across to the zoo...

The Really Really Free Markets were held at Hyde Park and after a ride on a couple of CAT buses we made our way there to see what we could score   breath in the ambiance of a giving community.
It wasn't as big or busy as I thought it would be but as it is a newish concept it may take time for the word to spread.  I hope it keeps going and gets bigger and better every time it is held.


I scored a real cool bag to add to
my collection of *cool bags that I don't use*

And a pack of 2, yes 2!! emergency ponchos.  They will go in my bag next winter because I have been caught in the rain with a couple of kids a few times now and it's time I was prepared.

I *adopted* a tree and brought him home with me.  I named him Sunny.  Why? I hear you ask...Well because it was a Sunday, it was a sunny day and I had been given a sprouting Sunflower seed in a pot   If that wasn't the Universe telling me what his name should be then I don't know what it was.  I now need to plant him some place, apparently he's going to be BIG.  Whoops, I just read that he is a Red Gum...Is that a honky nut tree?  Better not let Hubby know....

These markets are on again in December and I hope to see some of you there.
I had a lovely day, thank you L and M for taking this old girl with you.  

Oh, another good thing but not a first...Daughter T came out while I was gone and mowed some of my grass for me.  I have some lovely children.  Thanks T.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

P.S.E.D. Challenge. 11th to 18th Sept.

Second week of planting stuff  and I can see that this needs to be an ongoing thing.  Not everything will germinate or make it to eating stage so the more stuff I can get in then the better chance of finishing the *don't buy veg* challenge without going without too much.  If I want to do the same challenge next year then the time to start is now.  Anyone here want to join me next year?  

This weeks planting:

Day 11.  Grapevine.  Rooted cutting transplanted.
              Boysenberry x 2,  in food orchard, roadside fence.
        12. Cucumber, seeds, hothouse.
        13. Peas, tank garden.
              Beetroot.  driveway drums.  
        14. ****
        15. Figtree, from T's place, in food orchard.
        16. ****
        17. Pepino, buried branches, front garden.
        18. Pumpkin, seed, hothouse.
             Sunflowers, seed. hothouse.
             Rockmelon, seed, hothouse
             Custard Apple, seeds hothouse.
             Cannas, plants, around tank. 
             Daisy things, plants, around tank.   C & D's moved from front garden.

 Thirteen things planted over the last 8 days so that makes 32 things planted so far this month.  That means that I am ahead but I will still try and plant something each day I am home.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Simple Lunch.

I have often heard the term "I wonder what the poor people are doing?"
Well today I had cause to think this and came up with this answer.

I am having lunch of fruity oat pikelets drizzled with organic honey, a just picked orange and hot strong coffee.  While sitting out in the sunshine,  reading a book. 

It was nice.  As the simple things are.  I hope you all get to have times like this too.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chooks Galore.

We culled another couple of roosters a few days ago but I have been out feeding them and there are still too many chooks.

Some are definite keepers though, like my **AussieRocks**  These are the birds we hatched and raised from "pure" Australorp eggs, bought for $25 dozen back in October last year.  "pure"  Yeah, right, pure my a***.

They are friendly and beautiful and lay big brown eggs.
I ended up with 2 roosters and 4 hens. 
One rooster and 1 hen look like Plymouth Rocks and a rooster and 3 hens look like Australorps.  However the chances of any of them being pure are low so I will not be able to sell any chickens as such.

Mixed Breed.
We still have the Mixed Breed chooks, so called because that is what they are.  A mix of a few types.  There is Silkie in there and Aracauna, that's 2 that we know.  Some are a bantam, some have feathered feet, some have a pom pom on the head.  They go broody and we get chickens from them.  Hubby doesn't like them.  He says the eggs are too small, the bird itself is small for eating.  They are pretty but not very friendly.  But they are are a sustainable flock which is what we want so we will keep them until we replace them with a bigger bird that keeps reproducing.

Mixed Breed chickens.

In a seperate pen we have 2 of the Mixed Breed hens and their chickens.
The chickens would be nearly 3 months old now and there are 10 of them so once again the numbers of this lot are up.

And on top of all those we have the Hylines that Hubby bought as he likes the big brown eggs that they lay.  He has agreed though that we can sell these off and I can hatch some AussieRock eggs and have lots of those so that is my plan for next year.  I need to learn how to use L's incubator and hatch out as many as I need for a decent flock.  I will keep a couple of the Mixed Breed that are good mums so that I can put a few eggs under them when they go clucky.  It will be easier having Mumma chooks raise the chickens than setting the brooder up. I also don't want to be hand raising chickens that we might be eating.

Old Isa Browns.

Oh, we also have 9 old Isa Browns in another pen. 
They are looking very old and worn though some are s
till laying and we will keep them 'til they die off naturally
then bury them under a fruit tree.

We are on 5 acres and as long as we don't have too many roosters that cause complaint from the neighbours nobody seems to mind.  "Cept me, I use to want hundreds of chooks but as I get older I now want to get rid of the Hylines and most of the Mixed Breed and will endeavour to work my way toward that goal over the next 12 months.

We never have to buy eggs and usually have plenty of extra to sell so most of the feed bill is covered that way.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Slaters...I hate Them.

L, You might want to not read this one.

We have an ongoing Slater problem, we have thousands, maybe millions or even trillions, of them.  They eat seedlings, strawberries, tomatoes, most anything that they can get to.  We see them climbing the stems of plants to get to the fruit.  Don't anyone tell me that they are good and only clean up the rubbish stuff.  That is so NOT true.  We have only been getting half strawberries because one half is full of these things.
Anyway because I have/had high ideals of being *organic* I don't like to use poisons but these bleedin' things have been multiplying and now we have...lots.
I was digging over an empty bed this morning, getting it ready for something but every time I moved the dirt there were Slaters there.  I started squishing them but they just kept coming so I thought I'd put down some cabbage leaves and weeds in a pile and the slaters would all come together under that and then I could...I did think I would put down some poison but when I saw heaps under a pile of rubbish I had a better idea.
I came inside and put the kettle on and when it was boiling I went out and poured it over the plant killers.  Instant death to dozens at a time.  So far I have poured 5 or 6 kettles of just boiled water onto them and it is working brilliantly.  I will continue doing this throughout the rest of today and during the week whenever I think to.
The wood stove is going so it's not costing anything to heat the water, its non poisonous, it's an instant death so humane.
I can't pour it around any plants that I want to keep as it would probably kill the plant but around the edges of the tank gardens, under my cabbage leaf traps, under the piles of mulch...all places that are full of seems to be an ideal solution.

I did try putting chooks in these gardens at one stage but they ate the plants so unless the bed is empty that's a no go. 

We are sacrificing a tank of strawberries by putting a couple of chooks in there as it has so many slaters and we aren't getting any fruit anyway because of them and the boiling water would kill the plants.  With just a couple of chooks we may get the slater numbers down enough for the plants to fruit once the chooks are removed.  Hopefully the chooks won't do too much damage to the plants.  I will keep an eye on them and hope for the best.

Are They or Aren't They?

This is our other cow. 
With Black cow, aka Auntie, having a calf a week and a bit back the chances of the other cows also being in calf would be pretty high, yes? 
Does she look pregnant to you guys?

 This is Missy.  Or Betsy.  We can never remember her name but she is not ours, she belongs next door.  Or more precise, next paddock.  hahaha.

It looks like her udder is bigger than usual so maybe?  It's bigger than the udder on the brown cow that I have no idea the name of.

They both sometimes look fatter than at other times on the same day.  Sometimes they look lopsided.  Hubby said he saw *movement in the belly*

Maybe I'll just have to wait until I see if any more *stray* little cows show up.

I must remember to ring the owner of Missy/Betsy and see what he says about his cow maybe being in calf.  Hope she'll be OK.

Baby's Getting Bigger.

These were taken of over the last 2 days.  She jumps around all over the place, it is so cute.  Must remember that she is food.

We're pretty sure that it's a girl so that will save having to catch and ring it.
Though son wanted a bull so he could practice his bull riding...I don't think so R.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

P.S.E.D. Challenge. 1st to 10th Sept.

 I am doing OK with this challenge and am ahead of the one thing a day plan but probably could do better.  there are days when I haven't planted anything but there has also been stuff that has not be recorded.  Like the half empty pack of old seed and a few straggly things from pots.  Below is what I have planted so far.

Wed. 1st September
Day 1.Tomato, Grosse Lisse seeds.  Hot house.  
          Marigold. seeds.   Hot house.
       2. ****
       3. ****
       4. Sunflower seeds, Front Garden.
           Cucumber seed.  Big tank garden.
           Carrots.  Driveway Drum.
           Marigold seeds.  Front garden.
          Capsicum, seeds, hothouse.
          Chilly seeds.  Around tank.
          Celery seeds, sprinkled in a few garden beds.
          Marigold seeds, around tank.
       5.Strawberries, baskets.
          Chokos x 2. Orchard, southside.
          Misc shade plants x4. Around tree.
          Capsicum seeds, hothouse. (14)
       6. Sunflower seeds.  Garden.
       8.Strawberries, 10 plants into hanging baskets.
         Some succulent things, under the tree.
      10. Potatoes, in foam boxes.
         Cucumber seeds, hothouse
Total -  10days.   19 things planted so on track.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Catch Up Day.

I need to do have a *catch up* day and as that is doing everything what I needed to do last weekend plus what I need to do today I really should be out there doing it insteat of in here having breakfast.  But hey, I needed food.  And a coffee!

I rode the bike around the block last Friday, then an hours walk the same day.  A ride on Sat and a bit of mowing and I'm out for the rest of the weekend.  Did a bit on Monday but my hands weren't really working properly so after too many accidents called it a day.  Not home all day Tuesday so have heaps to try and do to catch up but needing to remember not to go overboard as I am still not *quite right*

I won't go for a ride this morning.
The mowing and whippersnippering will be left. 
I won't be able to clean out the chookyards as that's involves raking and carrying bags of wet hay...might just throw some dry hay in them and do them next weekend.
Can't vacuum and that's a bugger as Hubby is due home today.
Wood box needs filling up.  

I need to do some planting.  That's easy enough, doesn't matter if I drop things there. 
I'll be able to sit in the sun and finish my book.
A short walk is doable.
Wow, sounds like a busy busy day...I better go get started.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I NEED A Coffee!!

I have just had a freakin' big scare and need a coffee to recover.

I was outside eating peas  checking out the gardens when I looked out into the paddock and saw Black Cow.  By herself.  Alone.  No baby.  That's fine though, I know baby cows wander off by themselves sometimes.  Right? 

But given that last time I'd seen it it was lying near the dam and the mother was now in another paddock...Of course! The calf must have fallen in the dam.  And drowned...

I walk down there, looking around as I go in case it was somewhere else and I wouldn't have to walk all that way down the back paddock but no, couldn't see it anywhere.  Walked around the dam twice but couldn't see any drowned calf but the water was pretty muddy...Decided it wasn't in that dam it must be in the neighbours bigger dam so I climb through the barbwire fence to check that one out.  He has an electric fence around his dam to keep the cows away but this is a little bitty calf I'm looking for.  And it is NOWHERE else, it must be have gotten under the fence and fallen in and as I couldn't hear it it must be dead.  Maybe I should go home and ring the son to come and help me pull it out...No I'll just climb under the electric fence to make sure it is dead...

Half way under the fence and wait, what's that thing.  It is the calf, sleeping quietly in the long grass, in a lower than groundlevel ditch, behing a little hill.  Bloody Thing!  No wonder the mother was calmly eating grass as she watched me. 

Bloody cows.  I'm glad I'm not a cow farmer.

I Am Not A Cow Farmer.

OK, lets get one thing straight.  I am not a farmer, never have been, never will be.  I am also not very smart, never have been, never will be...

We have a few cows out in the back paddock.  Two are ours and 1 belongs to the guy next door but they are all together and share both properties.  So 3 cows. I CAN count.  But sometime during the week, Monday or Wednesday, ( I also can't remember too well!)  there were 5 cows, so 2 new ones. Only small ones, smaller than ours.  I figured that they had come in through the fence from the bloke out the back's place.  As this sometimes happens.  Eventually they get taken out. 

Thursday night I noticed one was only a little calf but as I hadn't heard any mooing figured it was older than it looked.  Now yesterday I saw this calf up closer to the house and it was small so was pretty sure that it's mother would soon be carrying on.  I then promptly forgot about it.  As I do.

But guess what?  It is our baby.  Well it looks like it belongs to our black cow as that is the one it is always near and the one it is drinking from.  How cool is that?  How dumb am I!

I have put out some hay and will get some photos when she brings in closer but this is one I took last night.

That place out the back sometimes has a bull.

We don't have a bull and though sometimes the bloke out the back does I don't remember one being in our paddock and though there was talk of borrowing his bull we never did.  Not knowingly anyway. 
The cows were fat and last year we did think that they might be pregnant but were told by someone that knew that they weren't, they were just fat.  So this year when the cows were still fat we thought they were just still fat. the other cow of ours also pregnant?  Is the neighbour cow with ours pregnant, cause she's not allowed to be, she has health *issues* and the owner asked us to let him know before we got a bull in and to make sure she was locked out.  So we haven't knowingly had a bull in there but unless this cows name is Mary...And it's not, her name is *Black Cow*...

AND, this is the cow that escaped a week or so back and ate a lot of our vegetables and has before and I had asked Hubby to put it in the freezer for me.  He was going to but got busy.  He planned on doing it next week!  I am so glad that he didn't shoot her when I wanted him to. 

I'm Just A Big Kid.

It's 6.30, or was, I hear a loud rumbling sound outside and I knew what it was so *ran* outside to watch the helicopter fly over.

I also go out to watch the planes if I hear them.  Sometimes I see the old red bi-plane, sometimes it's the little
homemade planes but I cannot for the life of me remember what they are called.  Gyro copters?  We have 3 of those in the area.  Sometimes it's just a normal ol' plane.  Different helicopters go over, there is a big one and a little one that always go over in the same flight path and I know there used to be a bloke out at Hamel that had them so I presume it's still him.  And then we have the loud roar of the Jets.  I go out when I hear them and I look and look but rarely do I see them.  I can never remember if I need to look in front of the sound or behind the sound and by the time I have worked it out the jet is long gone.

And I say *go out* but usually it's daytime and I only look up.  It's not like I am inside all the time.  Really.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Plant Something Each Day.

Well, looky, looky, I'm back again. lol.

BUT...I have been out doing stuff in the yard and I have planted some seeds.

However, to get me planting as much as I need to I have challenged myself to plant *something* each day throughout the month.  Thirty days in the month so if I don't plant everyday then the least I need is this number so I will have a minimun of 30 things planted that I probably wouldn't otherwise do.

Who wants to join me?  If not something for each day then how about something each week?

Rules for me (you lot can make up your own rules)
1 thing = at least 6 seeds..  So 6 seeds today and 6 of the same next week = 2 things.  But 20 today is still only 1 thing, not 3.
6 seeds of tomato + 6 seeds of peas planted today  = 2 things.
Transplanting into a better spot will only count if the plant would otherwise die or be killed.
Taking half dead things that are in pots and putting them in the ground will count, if they survive.
1 small cutting is not a thing but 6 in a pot will count.
1 big cutting, figtree, grapevine, will count.
I will count non-food plantings as well.  Afterall, I need to feed my soul as well as my belly.
Seedlings count as 1 thing so a bought punnet is either 6 or 8 things.  I wont count seeds I put in as seedlings when I plant them out though, that might get me closer to the total I need but really, even I would call that cheating!

So there you have it.  That should keep me accountable.  And eating!

Thank You To My Readers.

I have been meaning to thank you all for *reading me*  but as per usual it never got done.

Until now.  Today I am going to do it.
So to each and everyone of you that does/has read me  THANKYOU. 

I know that my life is pretty dull and the garden is mostly what gets me off the computer and outside and it's good knowing that there are people that read this blog on a regular basis, it keeps me honest, so to speak. 

I also don't always reply to the comments.  Sometimes I miss them, sometimes I mean to but get sidetracked.  Please know that I do appreciate the time you take to leave comments even though I don't always respond.

Thanks again People.

SPRINGing Into Action.

It's officially Spring and I am so far behind in my seed planting it is not funny.  But ya gotta laugh as I want to succeed at our *Don't Buy Veg* challenge but then I wont get out and plant anything to eat.  Maybe I'm just a *wannabe* 
But not today, today I am home alone and WILL get out there and get some seeds in.  Don't know what yet I need to go check what I have in my tins but definitely something to eat for when the weather warms up.

I need to get some inside basics done, then my ride, then clean up the big shed a then it might be lunch and the movie time...but I WILL get some seeds planted.