unashamedly all about me.... Wendy
what I think.... what I feel.... my emotions... my gut feelings... what I eat... what I believe...what beliefs are changing... what I am doing....where I am going... what I am creating...recipes I love.... books I read.... poetry I write....things that rock my boat and interest me....and also the other way around...our conversation together...our learning together...our sharing together... WELCOME

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Past Week

My friend Debbie and I went  to a party last Saturday night. Gangster party. She went as the cigarette cigar girl. Very popular she was.


I am not sure what I supposed to be but in the end I looked like Ma Baker. It was a fun night.

I bottled up the lemon vinegar for my spray and wipe. It works a treat. It just cuts through the grime on the benchtops and the stove top and brings the sink up sparkling. Get a large glass jar and put all your lemon peels into it. No white - just the peel. Cover with white vinegar and leave for about two weeks and then strain and pour into spray bottles. I just reused old cleaner bottles I had been saving - no more buying spray and wipe in this house again. Saves me a minimum of $60 per year. it does not sound like much but it all adds up. I save over $150 per year by not purchasing tissues and I help the environment as well.


I picked up this awesome urn/pot from the second hand shop for $5.00. I then painted this design on it and put a coat or two of clear laquer over it and wallah!! I have a sexy new pot to put a plant in. I will take a photo when it is all planted up.

This is a picture of my little cactus garden - the little cactus have flowers on a few of them.



Spiderwebs and all on this tiny tiny little flower.

Got no idea what this is but it is going into full flower and the yellow is just so pretty. Beautiful.

This had only four fronds on it when I put it in the ground - it has taken 3 years but I really noticed the other day just how much it has grown.

$2.00 bargain shopping again - This skirt was $2 and if you click on the photo for a close up you can see all the seams and the design of this skirt - it is gorgeous. My friend Debbie then handed me a red top which was only $4 and when I tried them on together they just looked made for each other. I can't wait to wear my new outfit.

I also picked up this little Oshkosh dress for my daughters neice for $4. It is gorgeous and I can't wait to give it to her. It is in such good condition that she will probably then pass it down to my Grand Daughter.

The beer garden has a mexican feel to it this week. I picked up these tablecloths for only a few dollars each at the second hand shop and they look great.

Tomorrow Mick and I and a friend are heading of to Childers for a random last minute weekend away. I was in a little country town this morning called Childers  which is about an hour and a half from here and I saw that this weekend is their annual Childers Festival Of Cultures. I also noticed that the little pub just out of town at Apple Tree Creek is having Phil Emanuel play at their pub on the Saturday night with free camping and free show and a $12 roast dinner. So we are heading there to get a good seat and watch this amazing guitarist and then go to the Festival on the Sunday to see some more amazing artists. They have 7 stages of entertainment going all day on the Sunday and all types of food for sale. It should be a great weekend and i will take photos and tell you all about it on Monday.

Have a great weekend everyone,
Wendy








Childers Festival Of Cultures



Monday, July 18, 2011

$2.00 bargains - don't you love them!!!

I went to the markets yesterday morning. I got more fresh produce and these most adorable denim overalls for my grand daughter Charlotte. I am sure they will fit her. I cannot wait to give them to her. $2.00 my friends. $2.00. What an absolute score.


Fresh juicy pineapple $2. Mandarins $2 for a bag full. Oranges $2 for a bag full. Limes $2 for a bag full. Lemon Grass plant for the garden $3.00.

I am going to make lime cordial for the pantry. I am also making lemon and lime butter tomorrow.

I was at a friends today and I noticed that their neighbour had a mandarin tree that was loaded with ripe fruit and that it was even falling on the ground and no one was picking any of it. What an absolute waste. Anyway my friend said that have tried to give them away and apparently no one wants them. I put my hand up and hopefully they are juicy and yummy. I will then can them all ready for salads, tarts, pies and cakes. I am astounded at the food waste I see sometimes. Surely they could have picked them and given to a food bank in town - surely that would not have been to much trouble. I see this so often and it breaks my heart.

I have added a recipe to my homemade page - Baked Steak. This is a wonderful recipe to make steak so tender that it just melts in your mouth.

Friday, July 15, 2011

All cooked out.....

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I am all cooked out. Exhausted by food. Feel good though. I got a hold of quite a bit of fresh seasonal produce on Thursday at the markets. Today I have made Pineapple and Zucchini Pickle (curry), Zucchini Pickle, Sweet Mustard Pickle, Apple Chutney, Apple Crumbles in the freezer ready for dessert one cold winter evening and Beetroot bottled ready for salads. Tomorrow I will finish of the beetroot and the sweet mustard pickles and also make a few bottles of Lemon Butter. I will add all of the recipes to my recipe pages in the next few days.

I absolutely love making preserves. I also got given quite a few lemons and I squeezed one of them into an icecube tray and then once they froze I tipped this cubes into a container in the freezer. Each cube is a tablespoon of lemon juice. When I make my mayonaise it uses 2 tablespoons of lemon juice so I don't have to worry if I have a lemon on hand for that.

I also started of a lemon vinegar cleaner as well. I cannot for the life of me remember where I read about this but I have collected the peels of the lemons over the past few days - just the peel and not the white. I put them all in a large glass jar and filled it up to the top with vinegar - just plain white vinegar. I will let it sit for a few weeks and add any more lemon peel as I go. Then I will strain it and fill up spray bottles. This is to be used for cleaning the benchs and with a sprinkle of bi carb on the bath first it will bring up the bath and vanity just beautifully. Great window cleaner as well. I have a fruit bowl with fresh oranges ready for me to eat and I will save this peel and make a orange vinegar cleaner as well.

I am getting a lot better at looking at something and seeing if I can use it up - freeze it - preserve it. I find it fun and interesting. I really want to make myself some strawberry jam so I am on the look out for cheap strawberries now - about 6kg of them so I can make up a years worth of strawberry jam.

It is interesting to note that over the past few weeks or more I keep coming across people saying that I should make things to sell at markets etc. This just seems to come up time and time again when I say that I have made something or show someone something I have made. I don't want to sell it. I just want to make things for myself and my home and for gifts for friends and family. I had one of my homemade grocery bags with me at the markets and the girl said "oh you should make them and sell at the markets" but then I explained to her that then I would have to worry about the perfection of the item and that there was no way I could bring myself to charge what would cover the time and effort to make something. The enjoyment just goes out of it then and it becomes like a job. Well that is how I feel about it anyway and it's not a big deal. It is quite a compliment to think my friends and faimly think what I have cooked or made is something another person would want to pay for. I am just commenting because I have found it interesting that this has been said at least 5 or 6 times over the past few weeks and that whenever a person sees something they like they automatically put a monetary value on it.


All the vegetables sitting overnight with salt sprinkled on them ready to make Sweet Mustard Pickles.
So so yummy with cheese on crackers.

Just a few of the the many jars that went into my pantry today. I didn't do fancy labels for any of these. They are for my store cupboard and not for gifts. I can always pretty a jar up with a piece of fabric and ribbon on the lid if I want to gift any of them. I will give a few of the jars of sweet mustard pickles to a good friend who always gives me back the jar when he is finished so I can give him another jar.

I am of to the movies tomorrow night to see the latest Transformers movie. I am also going into Tiaro tomorrow morning as I saw there was a few garage sales on in the morning. I will go and take a look and see what bargains I can find.

Cheers to you all,
Wendy



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dickabram Bridge and new friends

Dickabram Bridge at Miva, Queensland - crossing the Mary River. This bridge celebrates 125 years this coming September - it is a train and vehicle bridge. I will take better shots when I go there next time. I met with the Tiaro Arts Group today there in the park. I have joined the arts group even though I actually do not even know what I am going to do - paint? draw? watercolour? charcoal? I went to a little art workshop last week and met a lovely lady Barbara who invited me along to this art group. Usually they meet in the town of Tiaro but today they met in the park near this bridge as they are involved in the bridge celebrations happening later in the year. I took a few photos and got a feel for the place. I find it quite magical and I cannot express why. I want to do a piece of art to display with the others on the day of the celebration. Not sure what and where and how yet. I am sure it will come to me. The group has painters, drawers, printers, photographers and sculptor's. They are so friendly and welcoming. When asked what I do I said I did not yet know and that when asked along to join them I came in search of friendship. I think I might have found a treasure trove of it.


I really like this shot of the river.


I have had a great thing happen today in answer to something I have wanted to do for quite some time. I played the recorder at school like most children do. I enjoyed it and was fairly okay with it. I was at the local markets one day about a year ago and there was a young girl busking. I was mesmerized by the sound she was making and asked her what the instrument was and she said a tenor recorder. I didn't even know you could get a recorder in that size and with that sound. I went away with a desire to have one of my own and to learn to play like she was. When I looked into the cost of one of these instruments I realised that it was out of my price range for the time being. I was only thinking the other day that I should just get myself a basic recorder so I could at least start to learn to read the music again and I was saying to myself that at least then I have started and the rest could come later. Today I met a lady at the art group who plays the recorder professionally and she is going to help me learn and to choose the correct recorder for me. A tenor may be to big for my little hands and fingers. She suggested a treble. I will see what it is all about next week. She has even offered to loan me a recorder to see how I go. I am so excited and in awe of this universe bringing to us what we desire. A good lesson in being careful for what we wish for.



Monday, July 11, 2011

To Travel Is Better Than To Arrive

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Hello Everyone,

TO TRAVEL IS BETTER THAN TO ARRIVE.

I heard this in a movie my son was watching last night. Step Up 3. Not a very good movie except for the awesome dance bits which thankfully there was a lot of - but I just happened to pick this up in a little pep talk scene towards the end of the movie. I had to run and grab a pen and paper and write it down. The universe speaking to me. I know this saying is the same thing as "It's the journey and not the destination" but I really like the words used.

Life is travelling. Everyday life is just travelling and I find that when I am constantly focused on where I am headed and when I will get there and if things are happening to scheduale my life seems very messy and I get uptight and do not feel happy with what I am doing right now. This little saying reminded me of this. I don't know many things but I can enjoy what I do today. People write about this all of time and I am writing nothing new. The problem I see though is the wordiness of it denies the fact that to be in the moment and enjoy each day as a travel day through life is really very bloody hard. It takes practice and effort. It is not all airy fairy apple pie and cream. I forget. I get carried away in the organising and worry about where the journey is taking me and I often miss out on the travel I did today.

Writing this blog and taking photos for this blog and to share on facebook really helps me focus on the little travel stops throughout my day. It is a wonderful excercise to stop randomly and take a photo of what I am doing - where I am travelling through my day. I would suggest to anyone to just pick up a camera and record your days travels in pictures. You can later add words later in the day or in the following few days. No need to use the excuse of no fancy camera. I use my phone camera and find it brilliant because I have it with me all of the time.

I stopped buying tissues quite a while ago. I have a whole bowl of hankies that I have made from old sheets and even old pj's that were worn out. I just wash them with my towels every day or so. I do iron them when I do the ironing only because I just like doing that. So soft on my nose and so environmentaly friendly and saves me over $130 per year. I always throw a few in my handbag before I leave the house and I find them indespensible in the restrooms while I am out. I hate using those hand dryer thingy's so I just grab a clean one of my hankies and use it to wipe my hands on. When I get home they all come out of my bag and into the wash basket and I just put a few more in for next time I am out. So handy.

I made shortbread this afternoon. So yummy and quick and easy and made in a matter of minutes in a food processor. See Homemade Cooking page for the recipe.

I was given quite a few lemons. I can never be given enough lemons and as my lemon tree is stubbornly not producing any lemons for me I just jump at the chance for fresh lemons that are unwaxed and all lumpy and fresh looking straight of a tree in someones back yard. I wanted to try preserves lemons so this is what this picture is of. I need to pick up some more lemons to add juice to this jar of salted lemons. I can't wait to let them sit for afew months and use in some morrocan or african recipes I have. I have not added the recipe for this until I know it tastes okay and all goes well with it.

I also made Lemon Cordial. This is so yummy. You really should make your own. I have put the recipe on my Homemade Store Cupboard Page. No cooking. No fuss. I just had a glass of it made up with water, ice cubes and a small splash of gin. I had this gin left over here for so long as I think it tastes quite bitter. Not in this it didn't. 

I have also been sewing a bit over the past couple of days. I am definately improving and feeling more adventurous. This is a rug I had on my bedroom floor. A rag rug that was fraying at the ends and I kept tripping over them. I trimmed the edges and folded over twice and just sewed up the ends. Rug is back on the floor and looks great. I looked at it on the floor and thought of all the people who would have thrown that in the bin and gone and bought a new rug. It made me feel good to fix it and keep on using it. I have also sewed up all the scrap material I had cut out for hankies. I have also been making my own shopping bags. I will put a picture of them on here next time.

Anyway that was my travels today. Thanks for reading. Cheers, Wendy

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My story for past few weeks in pictures.

It was mu husband Mick's 40th in June and we had a party to celebrate. He chose to have a Pajama Party as it is so cold here in the middle of winter. So whoever decided to join in could get rugged up in their PJ's. Our good friend Amanda made Mick a dart board birthday cake. It was the same size as a real dart board and Mick had to keep throwing the darts until he got double top - double 20. What an awesome cake.

Mick throwing darts at his cake. He loves to play darts and is in a weekly darts team.

Me and my friend Michelle taking photos of ourselves.

Laura all rugged up in her PJ's with her teddy bears.

What an awesome shot of laughter. I just love this photo.

Keeping warm and then dipping into the cold esky.

More madcap costumes and laughter.

My son Brenden and Grand Daughter Charlotte

Stu - nothing more to say.
My special friend Deb in her granny nightie and curlers cooking the BBQ.

So much fun and laughter.

The card I made Mick for everyone to sign. I will now print out photos and add to the book so he has a keepsake photo album of his night.


Then I have been cooking warm and filling and yummy desserts like this apple crumble. MMMMMMM.

We went to my sister in laws to help her celebrate her birthday recently. I made a pink love heart cake and cup cakes for everyone.

Double Rainbow. This just appeared while at Tin Can Bay celebrating Sil's birthday.

This is the book I have been reading over the past few weeks. Awesome book and well worth the read.

Then I went to a free drawing art lesson at Miva on Thursday morning and am going to join the local art group. Not that I am sure of what I can do but they are a group willing to share and were such a friendly group of people that I just want to go back for their company. It was across the highway from where I live but I just had to take these photos because driving in there seemed so funny. It just seems to be in the middle of nowhere. I love living here and this is what I see when I go for a drive and not a city with traffic and lights etc. It is very cool.

Dirt road and all. I just wanted to keep driving. It was so pretty.

Then yesterday I spent at my parents place with my two Grand Children. This is Charlotte all dressed to keep warm before bed. So cute.

And this is my Grandson Mason and son Jade.

AND THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PHOTO I HAVE SEEN. 

Talk soon and thanks for dropping by.
Cheers
Wendy