Saturday, January 28, 2012

Giant Pumpkin Challenge.

Bugger!!  I'm out.

I was out checking over the pumpkin that I was soooo happy with...And it is going soft.  I tried to to lift it to see if anything has been nibbling on it's bottom cause something sure has gone wrong and it broke off from the vine. And I was such a bragger!  Pride come before the fall, I think I have heard that somewhere. 
And looking at the vine it is really looking ratty, not sure why I haven't noticed before now and done something about it.  Heaps of powdery mildew and probably my fault because I had sprinklers on for the chooks and forgot to check the coverage.  I am a bad pumpkin mummy.

So, I will feed the soft pumpkin to the chooks, I will cut the vine right back, water it, feed it, mulch it, start again and see what happens.  There are a few flowers on there still, and I think I saw a small fruit.  And I still have the other vine, I know there is a couple of fruit on that.  Will need to go out and check...

Hmmm.  Been out, checked...I am a very bad pumpkin mummy.

The second vine has 2 decentish size fruit on it and maybe 4-6 smaller tennis ball size pumpkins.
One of the bigger ones is going brown and is soft.  It is the size of a basketball.

The other looks like something, chickens maybe, has been nibbling on the top.  OK, as chickens can't nibble it is either something else or the marks are not nibble marks but small peck marks.  No matter, it all means the same.  I have not protected my pumpkins from creatures/critters and they are suffering.

The 4litre icecream container is to show the size, it is not a hat.  It is not there to protect the pumpkin from nibbling, pecking critters/creatures...It was handy and the tape measure wasn't.  It is HOT out there now so I will cut back and do the water, feed, mulch thing this evening.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wee Wipes Revolution

Ailsa over at Living The Dream  has a post about getting more people to try and use cloth instead of paper...

I use reusable cloth products.  I think paper towel for kitchen spills and paper plates are evil.  There are paper products that are kinda, sometimes, maybe,  useful items...but they too can be replaced with cloth.

I am a WWW (Wee Wipes Woman)  I have been for nearly 5 years.  In real life I know a couple of others that are the same and through the powers of the internet know of hundreds more.  There are thousands of us out there quietly doing our thing to save the world without anyone else knowing that we do so.  But now we are standing proud and asking our readers to help spread the word.  Please.

I am asking you to please try and use a cloth wipe instead of toilet paper after you have been to the loo.  In the spirit of not too much all at once I am suggesting that you only use the WW (wee wipe) as the name suggests.  After you have done a wee.  Urinated, pee'ed. whatever you call it.  I know the name WW puts some people off, I know a WWW that calls them cloth.  That's OK.  You too can use a cloth wipe after urination if it helps you feel better about the situation.

Some women started using cloth as a money saving exercise.  Some to save the world.  Some because it was very hard to find unscented TP and the chemicals in them made her itch like crazy.  Yep, like crazy!!

Now there are some that like to overthink the thought and it all becomes too hard for them to even start to give it a go.  It's not hard.  You get some absorbent material, old towel, flannel, washcloth, shirt, whatever soaks up liquid.  Cut, or rip, into manageable size pieces, TP size?   Slightly bigger if you are folding it over.  Or scrunching it up.  Whatever works for you.  Try different sizes until you come up with what works for you then make yourself enough to last 'til wash day.

While you are at it make yourself some cloth kitchen towels as well.  They can be a different colour if you are fussy and worried about getting them mixed up with your WW.

Now you find a nice container that you can keep in your toilet/bathroom close to the toilet itself, for ease of reaching.  You can have a small bucket or another container in there too to put the used ones in or you can put them straight into the laundry basket or washing machine.  Again, do what works for you.  Different members of the family can have different colours, to make it all more fun and hygienic.  Can you imagine a basket filled with pretty coloured and funky patterned cloth in the corner of the toilet room.  Lovely!

Cloth wipes with matching drawstring bag.

They don't need any special washing, throw them in with your normal wash, wash as normal, hang outside to dry...Easy!  There is no extra washing, no extra work, you save money, you help save the world, you don't itch.  Why wouldn't you switch to cloth...Please give it a try then come back and leave a comment with your thoughts.

There are some that say they couldn't, that their husband, family, friends, wouldn't like it.  No-one will know unless you tell them or they are in the toilet with you and see what you are doing.  It is a private matter and nobody elses business.  If they find out and say something tell them that.  Just say, " look darl, I like using cloth, I will continue using cloth, so, jam it!"

Now, it is possible to use these cloth wipes for umm, errr...for after you have pooped.  Lots of people do.  I'm not suggesting you do that but why not, it's no different than using cloth nappies on your babies.  I know there are still people that do that.  ( I think more should but that's another revolution, still to come...)  For now all I'm asking is that you open your mind and try them as the name suggests... Wee Wipes, used instead of toilet paper after you have done a wee.

If you already do this and you have a blog why not try and get some of your readers on board too?  Let me know if you do please.

Up the wee wipes!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Eat From Here Challenge. Day 3.

Well as you know I caved and had a coffee.  OK, 2 coffees.  The head is good now though, no more aching.
Happy to say that everything else that I ate or drank was from here.

I found some pork chops in the freezer from last year, a pig raised and killed here, so I had them for breakfast.  Had vegies and egg for lunch, some frozen fruit, the last of the veg with another egg for tea.  A couple of bits of fruit.

Having the meat today makes the eating over the last 3 days very close to what I usually eat when the husband is not home.  I do sometimes add salt to food and the chutneys and sauces that I make have bought vinegar in them but a lot of what we eat does actually come from here.  All vegetables are grown here, most of the fruit we eat, a lot of the meat and chicken.  Eggs are from here.  We buy salt, pepper, some spices, milk, tea, coffee, flour, oats, vegemite, milo...We buy heaps of stuff.  But it's that stuff that we buy that adds a bit of yumminess to what we eat.  I don't want to live without coffee.  Or oats or milk...Husband will never give up his coke, or chips, or snack type foods.  And I wont make them because I would eat them more. 

I think this experiment has been like going on a diet.  Once you think you can't have it then you want it even if you haven't eaten it for weeks.  Tell me No! and it's it's like "you can't tell me what to eat or not eat.  I will eat  what I want"  And when it's me telling no to me...well, it's makes it funny.   I chose not to eat bought stuff and straight away I wanted to eat bought stuff even though I don't usually eat much bought stuff...Funny!

I Caved.

Yep, disapointed to say that I caved and had a coffee.  And of course I have a darn good reason but that doesn't change the fact that I *needed* a coffee, had one, was a lot better afterwards but could do with another...

I woke with a headache, knew it wouldn't go away by itself but went out and spent the morning outside anyway.  It continued to get worse.  I don't do headache tablets, try not to take anything unless I really need to.  I knew the headache was because I haven't had coffee for a couple of days and to be honest I'm surprised it took so long...Sometimes I can get rid of it with a sleep but tried laying down and it's not going to happen.  So I had a coffee, the pounding head is no more, now there is just a constant dull ache...and that will go away when/if I have another coffee.

I came in and *confessed* just before 12.  Since then I've tried having something to eat, vegies and egg...but that hasn't helped.  Tried a lemon tea, nope.
Daughter is here now, says she can hear me moaning from the other side of he room and I should just have it.

She says she just heard me again and if I didn't make it she would...OK, I already caved once, once more won't make any difference...Sorry!!

Followers and Readers... Thankyou!

This is just a quick one to thank all my followers for following.  Thanks, I love coming here and seeing a new one.  Makes me feel popular!   I also want to thank the ones who don't follow but just come sometimes to read me.  I blog to keep myself motivated and to think that others might find something I write to be interesting enough to read is encouraging.  So thankyou to you all.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Eat From Here Challenge. Day 2.

Day 2 and I'm confident that I will get through again without eating or drinking anything from any shop.
I do need to decide what to have for lunch and tonights tea before it actually gets to be lunch or tea time.

Lunchtime and I was going to cook some vegies up in the chicken stock that I took out of the freezer...turns out the stock was actually lentil mush so I didn't use it.  I used the leftover blended veg from yesterday, added some water and cooked the veg in that..  It could have been improved with chutney from last year but that had bought vinegar in it so I went without.

Today's Food:
Egg slice.
Figs.  A few, they were quite dry so maybe need more watering...
Grapes, small bunch.
Apple.  While waiting for vegies for lunch to cook.
Assorted vegies, bowl of.
Frozen fruit mush, bowl of.  This lot has cucumber in it.  Taste good.
Vegies and an egg.
There might be a bowl of fruit before bed, depends on how I feel.

So where's the iron, the calcium, the caffeine...the stuff we need to grow big and strong...Might be some in there but not enough.  I usually have Milo from the spoon to add iron.  Mollasses the same way for the same thing.  I have low Iron and am suposed to take tablets but have run out of them so shouldn't eat like this long term anyway but I will have a plate of liver and onions for my lunch on the day I finish this challenge.  Tomorrow?  Or should I go the whole 3 days like I said I would?   Hmmm, decisions decisions...

Self Sufficiency in Food.

I've been thinking about this challenge and nearly decided that it was silly and no-one was going to stop me from having a coffee if I wanted to.  So there!

But before I got the coffee jar down I rethinked it and remembered why I was doing it.  What was I hoping for?
I want to be more or less, OK more, self sufficient in food.  I'd like to NEVER! have to go to a shop, factory, elsewhere, to buy food.  I don't think that is really possible as a longterm thing though, at least not without changing our husbands thinking on what food is and my squeamishness on getting the meat from the paddock to the fridge.  I'm OK if someones else does the deed but cannot bring myself to.    

This little exercise is showing me what I need to do if I am serious about getting more self sefficient though. 
I know I need some coffee bushes.  I will need milk and husband didn't say no this morning when I asked about getting a goat or 2.  I will need to grow wheat so I can have flour.   People do that so that shouldn't be too hard.  A daughter grows lentils and chickpeas so I should be able to do that too.

The BIG thing is animals as food.  If husband is home he will do the roosters for us.  Son brings out meat sometimes but that's not us producing it ourselves so probably shouldn't count.   Sometimes he'll get me some rabbits but not often enough so I will need to ask more often.  We could raise meat rabbits but husband would need to be agreeable to doing the killing and cleaning...I will need to learn how to cook and catch the marron if I wanted to eat them more often.  And I think we need an aquaponics system so we can have fish on tap, so to speak.

Self Sufficiency in food is someththing that would take a lot of time and a LOT of hard work.  I have the time...In all honesty though I don't think that I am willing to put in the hard yards to get what I want.  So maybe I don't really want it as much as I think I do...

For now I will stick to my 3 days, maybe, I am rethinking that too...and make sure that I get more stuff planted and learn about growing wheat on a small scale.

Off to have a lemon balm tea...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Eat From Here Challenge. Day 1.

I like to get up early, let the chooks out, have a coffee while I go on here for a bit, outside to start the day, in for breakfast then outside again...

This morning the chooks were out by 5.30 so I then picked some sprigs of Chocolate Mint for my morning drink.  It was OKish.  I do like this drink on a hot Summers day but it's a long way from the strong, white coffee I like first thing.  Really, it was not OK and I tipped half into the chook bucket.

I think for this challenge to succeed I am going to have to be organised so I plan on making some food up in the mornings so that it is handy and easy to grab from the fridge.  If it is already made up I will not have to think and will be less likely to wonder what is in the cupboard or freezer.  There are drumsticks in the freezer.  Husband bought them but will be leaving them here with me for a couple of days.  Alone.  There was cheesecake in there too but I'm hoping he ate that!

So this morning I made  up an egg slice thingy.  Seven small eggs and heaps of onion, tomato, capsicum.  Cooked and divided into 3.   That was breakfast and a snack.   I cut up some fruit and made a slushie type drink, froze that in a couple of small bowls to snack on if I felt *deprived*  I had the first one after lunch, it was really nice and there are a few more still in the freezer.

I stick blendered up a whole pile of vegies, added an egg and made patties for lunch.  Well, they were suposed to be patties but some broke and ended up all mushed up.  They still tasted fine.  Could have done with a bit of salt but still...

I have taken stock out, was going to chop up a pile of vegies and make soup/mush for tomorrows lunch but haven't so will do that tomorrow.

Today I have had:
ChocMint Tea.  Half a mug.
Egg slice with onion, tomato, capsicum,
Vegie patties/mush.
Frozen fruit slushy
Vegie patties/mush.  Had the rest just after 5pm.
Frozen fruit mush.
Small bunch of grapes.
Heaps of water, that is my drink of choice.  After the coffee.

If I am not careful there will be too many eggs.  How many is too many though...A dozen over three days is probably too many for 1 person...Hmmm, They are a quick, easy, versatile food but with the egg slice I have already had 4 small ones today. 

I'm pretty sure that I can do this quite easily but I don't know if it will be a healthy way of eating.  Definitely not for long term.  As an experiment over a few days I might get away with it but longterm?  I dunno. I think too many eggs.   If the husband was here to do me a rooster that would mean less eggs would be eaten...Same if I was not so SookyLaLa to catch and cook a marron.

So I have had a whole day of eating nothing except what was grown/produced here.  I have egg slice for tomorrows breakfast and lunch is kinda sorted.  No idea what to have tomorrow night.  Eggs? 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Eat From Here Challenge.

My challenge to only eat what we have grown or produced here starts first thing tomorrow morning.
I have been out and gathered some supplies
 I have heaps of eggs, more Oranges on the tree, Silverbeet in the garden, Marron in the dam if I want to go catch one, lots of onions and tomatoes...I have some stock from a rooster in the freezer so I can make some soup if I want.  I'm not going to go hungry.  I have decided that I am not going to have anything bought from a shop or not from here.  A daughter gave us a box of Necterines yesterday...They will have to be put away until Thursday.  I have decided to go for three days.  Husband will be here for a couple of meals but not whole days and as that will make it easier I am adding the extra day.

I wont have milk, flour, coffee, bread...No salt or pepper or sauces... No anything from anywhere else.
It will be fun!!

Busy Week.

I feel like I've had a busy week but if you were to look in my front door you would  wonder what it was that I have been doing. And really I can't remember either...but stuff...I have been doing stuff.
Last weekend I mainly mowed.
Monday  I was out all day as me and a daughter and her daughter went over to the zoo.  So that was one whole day out
Tuesday...Went over to Mandurah with the husband in the morning.  Afternoon...Probably nothing.
Wed.  Bit in the garden then camping and crabbing Wed afternoon.  Home Thursday for an appointment then ???. in the afternoon.  I'm thinking nothing as it was hot.  I'm not too good when it's hot.
Friday.???  Must have been outside doing...something.
Sat.  Out in the garden 'til 11.30 then Really Really Free Markets in the afternoon.  Home and nothing as it was sooooo hot.
And now it is Sunday again.  A week passed and not much to show for it.  This morning I will be out clearing up some gardens again.  Pulling out grass, cutting scraggly stuff back, mulching, a general tidy-up.  I had a daughter here for a bit Friday afternoon and walking around seeing what was out there wasn't good.  It all looked full of green but really, when talking about what we could eat...there doesn't seem too much of anything so I am taking stock and working on getting it back to how it was...How it should be.

So this week I have:
*Been to Perth Zoo.
*Fixed up the lettuce bed.  A few chooks got out and ate/scratched up everything that was in there so I needed to level it, rub some water into the soil as it was a bit repellant, fertilize, mulch, water again to see if the dirt was getting wet, hunt up some seeds and get them in.  It looks the part now and hopefully the bleedin' chooks wont escape again.
*Went crabbing and camping.
* I mowed a spare chook pen as the grass was so long and I wanted it down a bit before putting the chooks in there otherwise it is too hard to find their eggs.  Until I mow again and hear a "pop!" and smell that rotten egg smell...
*I did spend one morning cleaning up inside but that was at the beginning of the week and really, you can't tell.
*I picked all the beans and fixed those plants up a bit,  Cleared around them, fed them, mulched them.
* I have spend a couple of hours over the week hunting down and picking off green bugs from the beans and tomato plants.  They have ruined all the beans, sucked them dry so the chooks got a feed of beans and some of the tomatoes don't look that great either.
*Cut back the choko vine out the back.  It was bugging me and taking over everything in it's path but it looks a bit better now.
* I mowed the Sweet Potato patch.  That needs a good watering and mulching.  Will get to that today.
*Pulled grass and stray Lemon Balm plants from the peanut patch.  Mulched them.

I feel like I've done more.  There has been the normal everyday stuff in there as well.  Some laundry, twin tub so that takes a (not a lot!) eating (a lot!), computer...

I spend a couple of hours every morning watering and feeding the chooks and chickens, come in for breakfast then outside again.  My trouble is that I am so slow and disorganized it takes me *forever* to finish anything .
I seem to be always out there doing stuff but it is stuff that needs doing over and over, every day.  It does keep me off the streets and out of trouble though so it's all good!  And in saying that, the chookies are calling...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Monthly Challenge.

I'm not working this year so will have heaps of time at home and apart from growing the vegetables and getting more fruit stuff in I am thinking of challenging myself to do/learn different things. 

Some things that I have thought of so far:
*Make soap using the fat from the pig we kill.  I have made it with oil but this way will utilize more of the animal that we eat.
*Do a half day bushwalk.
*Catch, cook, clean a marron by myself so I can feed myself if I need to.
*Make paper and envelopes and write to a few people using that homemade paper.
*Eat only what we grow/produce here, for a minimum of two days.

If I try one thing a month I need at least 12 things so that I can do/learn something different each month.  More ideas will give me a choice.  Or a chance to do more...

I'm looking for ideas.  Bearing in mind that I'm not very fit or strong.  Or brave...and I will have no money...
Does anyone have any ideas please?

What challenges will you set for yourself this year?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Giant Pumpkin Growing.

A while back now some people over at Aussies Living Simple set out a challenge.  A challenge to grow a giant pumpkin. The seeds are from an Atlantic Giant pumpkin grown by a member of ALS.  Seeds were sent out to people who wanted to join in the fun.  I was one of them.

Sometime during August or September the seeds were sent out to me.  I recieved 3 as did a daughter.  After letting them sit on the bench for awhile while I worried about what to do.   I finally decided to just do it.  It was a fun thing not a life engangering thing so not sure why I was so worried about sticking a few seeds in the ground.   So I went out and dug 3 holes and filled them with cow manure that I collected from the back paddock.  Filled the holes in and covered them with mulch from the chookshed and left them to sit for a couple of weeks.

It was coming up to November and I remembered hearing from someone that had entered them up at the Dwellingup fair that they planted theirs on Melbourne Cup day so I figured around then was as good a time as any other.  We were going away for a few days around then and the weather was supposed to be cool so in they went.  We did have a couple of chooks that kept jumping over the fence into the pen I wanted to grow these things in so I put an old birdcage over 1 and a box and old fridge shelf over the other 2 as protection.

One seed was up when we got home so that was less than a week after it was planted.  Another one took a couple of weeks longer and the third never came up at all.  Eventually they were busting out of their cage and so I had to remove them and let the vines run free. 

It wasn't too long before there were flowers and little pumpkins.

The chooks did get in and scratched around but only one stem ended up with a break and that still grew.

Husband mentioned a couple of weeks ago about how big this one particular pumpkin was getting so I went out this afternoon to get a photo.  He's right, it is quite big.

That's a 4litre icecream container sitting on top.
It still has a long way to go before it reaches prize winning size but I am pleased with it.

Fox Trap.

Awhile ago, not long after one of the fox attacks, a mate of the sons said that we could have a trap that he had made, been used and had caught foxes, he didn't need it anymore...But it wasn't here, he had to travel to get it, next time he was there he would pick it up for us...Fast forward a couple of months, 2 more fox attacks, talk of using baits and the son was right onto it and we now have it.

It is bigger than I thought it would be.  We have borrowed one before and it was smaller, lighter, I could move and set it.  This one...big, heavy and I don't know if I can or not.

We were told we would need to wash it to remove human smell and then to move it wearing welding gloves so we didn't put our smell on it...Would a fox care that much...I dunno...In case he did care though I put the trap in the chookpen for a few days.  I threw bedding from the chook shed in and on it and I threw food in it to get the chooks inside it.  I'm hoping that all this will get it to smell more like chooks and less like us.  To the fox it should smell more like food than people.

I left it in the chook yard for a couple of days then I donned the welding gloves and dragged the trap out the back out to the dam area.  It was heavy and awkward and I walked through 3, yes 3!! spider webs.  ahhh, I hate those things and we seem to have them everywhere.  The trap is now near where it should be.  I can't get it to where husband wants it as it needs to be lifted so he will have to do that when he gets home.  I wanted it out there sooner than next week though so any foxes can get used to it being near their path.  I haven't set it though but will try to do that tonight.

And what bait will we use?  Husband wanted to sacrifice a scrawny Mixed Breed rooster...I wasn't as keen to do that but did think we could cull a couple of roosters, we eat the meat then use the head and guts in the trap...  and we will still do that but when I put the trap out last night I put a chunk of rabbit near it.   And where did this rabbit come from?

I have wanted to use roadkill for something for ages but haven't due to the yuk factor.  But this will be a bonafide use of an animal body.  It will save the dead thing from being squashed into the road and pecked at by crows.  It is a good thing we are doing.

Husband picked it up from the road outside our place and cut it into 3 and bagged it up and put it in the freezer.  I have put 1 piece near the trap and I will put a piece on the hook in the trap and try and set it tomorrow. 

Daughter that thinks some of the things I do is all a bit manky and was more than a tad grossed out when I told her about the rabbit brought me a present yesterday.  What was it you ask...It was an owl.  A dead owl that she picked up off the road.  Yay, more fox bait.  I'm proud of her.

January, First Week, What I did.

Well this week was a bit of a non happening event.  I had a list and a week to get them done.  Three things were on that list:
**So this weeks list.
Plant seeds.
Pot up Apricot tree. 
Mow backyard.**

I did plant the seeds.

*Weekend -  not a lot done.  Did a bit of mowing but not the area I wanted.
*Monday.- Watered everything.  Planted seeds.  Transplanted some lemon balm into a drum.
Spend amost of the morning doing chook stuff.  Oiled the legs of the AussieRocks again.  Wasted a bit of time looking for and fixing the crates that we transport chooks in.  I was told that someone would call in today and pick up 6 or 10.  I wasn't given a time but thought it would be earlyish as they had a bit of travelling to get home.  It had to be today because Im not home tomorrow.  Around 1 this afternoon I released the chooks as no one had come or rang to let me know what was happening.  The people never showed up and I didn't hear the phone, no messages.   Swapped old eggs for fresh fertile ones under 2 cluckies.
* Tuesday - Work so not home.  Watering and chooks stuff in the morning before work.  Left here quickly after work.  Searched for lost dog from 9pm 'til near midnight.
*Wednesday -  Down in Nannup, not home 'til afternnon.  Animals and watering.
*Thursday - Work so gone all day.  Watering and chook stuff before leaving and again when I get home.
*Friday - watering and chook stuff.  Inside tidy and clean.  It's now 2.30pm, I am expecting someone to call in for eggs and it's too hot outside for me.  Will put away weeks washing soon.  Will hopefully do some mowing later but I might be childminding.

There must have been other stuff done.  If there wasn't then I am a complete SA and deserve to starve!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dog Drama.

We've had a bit of a drama here,  made more stressful because it was happening a couple of hours away...
I have a daughter living far far away.  She has a dog.  She loves that dog, he loves her.  I love that dog...he loves her...

On  Monday evening I get a call from daughter here in town saying that this dog was missing and had been for a couple of days.  A friend was going down the next morning to help look for him.  I heard that the dog chased after an emu on Saturday morning and didn't come back when called and daughter spend all that day and the next looking for him.  I can only imagine how upset she would have been. 

They have only lived in this house for 3, maybe 4 months. The dog knows the area around the house but not any great distance away. It is surrounded by bush

I am a member of a forum and they have a thread for psychic help.  We posted about this missing dog on it and one lady came on and said that the dog was alive and near water, maybe stuck somewhere.  They live very close to a river.  I get home from work on Tuesday and hear that she (psychic lady) has said that he is trapped near brambles or prickly bushes and getting quite weak.  There are blackberry bushes on the property...How this woman knew these things I have no idea but it had us very worried but at the same time gave us some hope but daughter that lives far far away has no Internet, no phone, no mobile coverage.  We couldn't contact her at all to tell her to check out these bushes so daughter from here says we should go down there now...I ring son, he agrees to go and help look too.  We drive down, getting there a lot later than we thought we would but they are still up and we all go down the back of the property, torches in hand and spend 3 hours searching for this dog.  Call an end to it not far off midnight saying we'll start looking again early in the morning.  Daughters go out early, calling and looking.  Come back after an hour or so.  No dog.   I go out a hour or so later and the dog is walking up to the gate.  He was as happy to see us as we were to see him.  He had been away since Saturday morning. 4 days and 4 nights.   He was wet but looked alright.  Skinnier, had sore paws but otherwise seemed OK.  He was asleep on his bed when me and the daughter from here left to come home.

I don't think he'll be running after any emus again any time soon.

An eerie thing...Daughters husband was down searching for the dog and early this morning went down the back to look some more and to, I don't know...commune with powers?
The dog shows up, this bloke starts up the hill...He comes back just after the dog gets back.
He says he was told to stop looking, go back to the house, what will be will be. And just afterwards a big Tiger snake went across his path.
He gets back to find the dog home.

I did not think this dog would be found, not alive anyway.  Chasing an emu?  Are you a stupid dog?  3 days lost in the bush?  Four days gone after running who knows how far in an area that he doesn't know....I honestly believe that it was the fact that all of us were there calling, looking, praying that got this dog home.  I believe that our combined *energy* led him home.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Our Challenge...What's the point?

I've been asked this a few times now...and the answer is *there is no *real* point.*

For 2010 I challenged myself not to buy vegetables for a whole year.  Proved to myself that I could even though I had serious doubts about doing it for 12 months.  2011 kinda had the same goal but really wasn't as *into it*

So to keep the fun in being outside digging, planting, mulching, mowing, braving all sorts of weather, picking up snails and squishing smelly bugs I needed something new.  Something harder.  Something that would knock my socks off and make me laugh more...Something that I could do that would make the husband think about what he ate and about all the hard work I put in to feed him these fresh yummy vegies that he doesn't really care about...Something to justify my not looking for another job now that I am on my last week...You know, all the normal reasons that a normal person would not have...

I have asked others to challenge themselves.  To do something that will be hard for them.  For no particular reason except that it will be fun... Kinda...

Sister in Law, who used to have a great veg garden but has since moved and become slack, said she couldn't even grow tomatoes so I said that could be her challenge.  To not buy tomatoes for all of this year, she needs to grow any tomatoes they want to eat.   I had heaps of ideas for her but in the end she kinda agreed to try the tomatoes but I think it was only to shut me up.  And in thinking about it I don't think she will join in the fun at all....
A fiend in Queensland says she'll get something growing but as she lives on rock it will have to be in pots.  That's good, I think she will give it a go.  Again, it might only be to shut me up when I ask about it but it's a start. 
Someone else is not going to drink cooldrinks (softdrink) for 3 months of the year.  She has yet to pick her months though.  I think this will be hard for her but she is willing to give it a go.
Someone said it will be so easy but he wants his bought pasta.  It was suggested that his challenge could be to
not have his pasta but I don't know how that will go...

I know that I can grow our food.  I know that we could eat quite well without going to any shops for a couple of months.  I know I can go weeks on end without spending anything.  I'm not sure though about only eating what we grow here.  That will be hard for me as I like some things that come from a shop.  I can't supply my own coffee (yet) I can't milk a cow or goat for milk.  I can't kill a chook so wont have meat if husband is away.  I don't grow any grains...And there is an idea for next years challenge.

Maybe you choose to eat only what you have on hand.  If you are someone that shops for food each day that might be hard for you.  Maybe you want to eat more vegetables so you challenge yourself to have at least 6 different vegies for your weekend meals.  Maybe you smoke too much, drink too much, eat too much chocolate.  Could you not eat chocolate for a month?  That would be easy for me, no challenge at all but I know people that would find that very hard to do.

So really, there is no particular challenge.  You pick something that you want to do better, do more of, do less of...And then put it out there.  Or not~

Friday, January 6, 2012

Things to do this week.

This week I need to get some stuff planted. 
I have beetroot seeds soaking as I type. 
Zucchini, carrots, lettuce, sweet corn are also on the list.  Sunflowers are there too.

I need to go out and see if I have any empty half 44gal drums...I have.  I will put beetroot in one, carrots in one.  The lettuce will go out the back in a small tank garden but seeds of everything will also be sprinkled around different areas.  I have silverbeet seedlings to go out the back as well.  Thanks M for those.  Much appreciated.

We have a half dozen or so seedling Apricot trees coming up an different areas.  Hubby wants them out of where they are so I am going to pot 1 up and put it in the chicken pen to give them a bit more shade and shelter.  I'm hoping that by keeping it in a pot it will help keep it smaller and I will dig a hole and plant that potted tree.  I think this will insulate the pot and give the tree a better chance.  The others will be transplanted into the big chook pens but I will do that after Summer.

I want to get some more mowing done.  I have done the front and the side but need to get the back done before the front needs doing again.  I have a few days...And as usual I need to clean up all my cra stuff before I can mow.

So this weeks list.
Plant seeds.
Pot up Apricot tree. 
Mow backyard. 

Hmmm, that doesn't look like much of a list.  I'm giving myself until next Friday.  The 13th. 
We are out one day this weekend, next week I work 2 days, I have inside stuff to do and I really need to make a start on the garden shed.  I also want to get a gate on the rooster shed somehow...My car needs a really good cleanout and I have windows that I hate looking through as they are so dirty.  I have a foxtrap that needs washing to get the people smell off. 

Better get out there and make a start.

Challenge Thinking.

We've been talking about how we are going to do this and the more we talk the harder it seems...

We have decided that we will do 2 days sometime this month.
Now that should be easy enough.
We are still going to do a week sometime during the year but these will be like practice days.

Our rules:
*Salt and Pepper is allowed.  I don't use either but husband needs his salt, especially during Summer.  It helps prevent him cramping.
*We might allow ourselves 3 bought things, if they are already here.
Our 3 bought things...I think I want milk. Or coffee.  He wants ??? and a shared item might be flour.

And this is where it gets hard.  I like a coffee as soon as I get up.  Another one after breakfast, one after lunch and one before bed.   I drink my coffee with milk but can have it black.  It's OK that way just not my usual choice.  I can substitute tea made from stuff growing but it's really not the same...  I'm going to step up my looking for a coffee bush. 
Breakfast can be eggs.  Lunch, maybe salad or vegetables, an egg for protein...Fish and veg for tea...Or can we not eat fish because it wasn't grown here...husband says no fish.  OK, Marron for tea...Fruit for snacks...If there is any growing at the time...*If* we allow ourselves milk and flour we could have pikelets or fritters...

We are going to do it for 2 days during the week after next.  We have a week to get the rules down pat.  I will have to make cordial for him as he is not allowed his coke.   But can I use sugar to make the cordial...
My challenge, my rules.  So yes! Yes I can use sugar to make cordial so he doesn't need his coke!!!!!

I think I'm overthinking the whole thing and making a simple concept way too complicated.

Your challenge?   You decide. 
It might be as easy as only eating what you already have in your house, not going shopping for anything.
It might be only 1 meal coming from your yard.
It could be eating nothing processed.
Going without something you always have like chocolate...Or bought drinks.
For 2 days.   Come hard can it be...

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Challenge.

The challenge for this year is still being worked on but it involves eating from what we grow, produce, catch, ourselves.  Of course the rules and regulations will be made by us to suit us.  For example we may allow ourselves to use a few bought things.  Salt and pepper comes to mind...Coffee, flour...oil...
Mostly it will be that breakfast, lunch, tea, any snacks, drinks...must be produced in some way or another from here or by us with the exception of some bought stuff, maybe...We are yet to decide on what we will allow ourselves but it will be 5 or less things.  Depending on if we do it for 2 days or 7 days.

The more I think about it though the more things I think I will need from the shops.  Like milk.  A week with no milk...I don't know....  No coffee?  That needs serious thinking about.  Husband could happily go without milk but over a week might want his Sand P and his coke...

Do we do it for 1 week each season?   A weekend every few months?  A week only but plan and plant and stock up now?  OK, the stocking up bit would be classed as cheating but can we use what we have on hand...I kinda think no but it means no lentils, no oats, no tinned fish, no eating from the freezer...The more I think about it the harder the more of a challenge it becomes.  I will use the stuff that I have made like chutneys, cordial, pickles, sauces etc.

Who wants to set a similar challenge for themselves?  I have read a few blogs where people have done this and they are all different.  This is going to be a fun challenge that we set for ourselves with our own limits.
If you are up to it you make up your own rules.  You might want to only do breakfasts.  Or snacks only, or just the main meal 2 times a week.  Think about it and let me know.  It will be fun!