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

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Learning to live in my place.... Being Settled and something that sounds like a Bob Dylan song.




Sometimes I feel like I am getting no where and going no where. Then I look around. I stop and I think and ponder this amazing space I have the privilege to live on. And those panic attacks of "oh I am missing out on something" gently go away.

My husband Mick has been the person in many ways to help me the most to settle. He gives me a strong sense of security and surrounds me with unconditional love. He expects the same from me and he gets it to the best of my ability. We compliment each other and support each other. Iit is when we take the eye of supporting each other that outside events can overwhlem us and make us uptight and whingy people to be around. Sometimes it makes others laugh how we do this in our home. The other day I was asked if when we get our ride on mower would I be riding around the block mowing. NO was my answer. It sounds like I am lazy and such but to be honest things like that just do not interest me. I will garden and weed and plant and be outside and get my hands dirty but mowing is not my thing and Mick likes doing to it. I cook and clean and wash and iron and do the things that I like to do. I know it sounds boring and women have fought the good fight to make it that  I can do all of these other things but the bottom line is that I like keeping house and believe me I am the most suprised sometimes.

I also like randomly going away. I like travelling. I like suprises. I Like entertaining. I like to be on top of my bills. I like to dance. I like to get dressed up sometimes. I like the quiet. I like loud music. The point is that here in my space I am finding a way to have all the things I need most of the time. Currently travelling and random trips away are not on the cards but I am learning patience and just enjoying being now.

I may not seem to be doing much but learning how to live differently in this consumerist world and learning that I do not have to have everything I see and learning to live on less is doing something big as far as I am concerned. I have read lots of books and looked at lots of peoples ideas. I would not profess to be on a level of understanding in the sense of academic knowledge as far as the environment, politics and economy go, but I do know which way I lean towards.

I see a steady and gradual change around me. Sometimes I wonder is it just because I feel like I am a bit more aware? Is it because we are feeling the pinch money wise and work wise? All I know is that things are changing. A slow decline. Things that used to be are no more available. Help where help was once given is now drying up. Oh you can buy whatever you want still at a cost and if you have the money it probably doesn't seem like to much has change, but it has.

I wrote a post a long time ago - and I can't find it to link back to it - about if things are going to get tight and if things are going to get difficult and if our world is going to change then really the biggest thing a person can do now before TSHTF is to do your grieving. You can learn new skills and try and plan ahead as much as possible but in the end I had made up my mind that this piece of advice was the best. No point me trying to work out what direction all of the numerous ways this world and the way it runs is going to unfold. I simply have accepted that the world will be changing and I will see this in my lifetime.

So I have grieved. I still am optimistic about our ability as humans to survive but it will be different in the long run as. I have days where I get frustrated and want more. Other days - even two hours later in the same day - I feel overwhelmed with gratitude for what I have. I tend to lean towards the gratitude more these days. I don't fight against the steady flow in my life. It's like going with the seasons. I learn new skills when I can and I try to make that everyday. Every day I try to do something new - give something a go. It could be collecting seeds of a shallot plant that I have never done before. I am teaching myself how to sew basic little girls dresses and skirts. Next I want to make myself a simple shift dress for summer around the house.

I usually do not miss shopping anymore. I have to say that the thought still grabs me to get into town and go shopping but it is usually these days to do with gardening supplies, grocery and stocking the store cupboard, second hand shops and garage sales and flea markets. I have learnt that even these simple things have to wait sometimes. Also it is just as easy to over buy/spend on craft items as it is on handbags and shoes. I tend not to waste my dollar anymore. I think about each dollar and it's value and what I want out of it.

So this post came about because I was just thinking about a comment a friend left on my last post. I realised that I have come far. I have settled.

This world has so many things all happening at once. I see the damage and greed and exploitation of CSG mining happening here in our country, at my back door and it hurts. I see our economy going to shit, good people who geniuinely need help not get anything but a series of fights to try and win some financial help. I see ice melting, worlds colliding, religious fanatics, greedy companies, nature doing it's thing, melting permafrosts, job loss, goverments badly run, politicians not doing, people not fighting, health declining and the list goes on. (sounds like a Bob Dylan song)

I have no idea how things will unfold. Like I said I believe personally it is happening now and it is a slow decline that will pick up momentum. How can it not. We live on a finite planet as the saying goes and we cannot use a infinite amount of resources because there simply is not an infinate amount to go around. That's a basic. Secondly greed, control and power are all still very precious commodities to a small but extremely powerful group in this world.

But I feel settled. I have grieved and some days grieve more for this world and it's preciousness being lost. But the bottom line is that I can overwhlem myself day in and day out and get no where or just leant to settle in place. Accept things are going to change. Be prepared as much as possible with some skills that will come in handy and that I can swap with others for their skills I need. My son watchs the news every moment of every day when he can. It consumes him. It leaves no room for any peace in his life and certainly leaves no room for gardening, growing, nurturing himself and just having some peace even for part of a day. All his worry in his days is not going to change the world. It hurts him and destroys his soul. It makes him sad.

Thanks for reading if you got to the end of this page and are still with me.


Homemade Lemon Merengue Pie makes so many things better.....

Second little dress I made for my grand daughter.Llady Bugs always make people feel good. The crooked pocket was intentional....really


Cheers,
Wendy

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bauple Simple Living Group - the first day





Today was the first group get together for the Bauple Simple Living Group. We had four people attend and it was a great morning. I taught a few things I know and I learnt some things as well from others. I think the potential for this to grow is there. There were some wonderful ideas and thoughts shared. All in all it was a pleasure for me to spend the morning with others and share a little about who I am. A person needs conversation, friendship, stimulating friendships, learning and also, very importantly, people to share things with.


I set up with the first books today our BOOK CROSSING bookshlef. There is a banner on the side here and if you click on it, it will take you the Book Crossing website. Basically I will collect books given to me and assign each book a Book Crossing identity number and register it online. Then when someone comes and takes the book they can then read it and then release it back to where they got it from or leave it  somewhere that the next person will see it and take the book travelling. When you finish reading the book you have taken you go online yourself and register where you have released the book. So the books are constantly travelling and you can see how far each book has been and reviews from others about the book. Each book has a sticker on it with it's special identity number and a little saying that the book is not lost and that it is travelling and to feel free to cborrow and read and share by passing onto others.

So for me - back to my doing one thing diffferent every day - well today I began a new community group. And I believe it is good and will grow and be a very uplifting and enjoyable part of my days.

The saying above includes the comment about how this world needs "more people who live well in their place." Oh how this is true! I know this just by speaking about myself and not about or for anyone else. It is so much better in my life when I started to focus on just being in my space and trying to live each day in my place. I really think the little saying above by David Orr sums up so much that we need to do in our world. I saw this on facebook and copied and paste so now I am of to do a search on this saying and it's author.

Cheers,
Wendy





Sunday, September 23, 2012

Possum Proof "Hopefully" Vegetable Garden

I went to the local markets yesterday morning and these are a few plants I picked up and planted out in the afternoon. This is a perennial capsicum. Apparently it can grow for 5 years. It gets small capsicums that are thin walled which turn from green to red. I have had these capsicums before from friends and they are tasty and useful in the kitchen. Obviously I will keep you updated.

This is a perennial leek. Apparently smaller leeks but will keep growing and spreading and you can use the whole thing to the green tips. I just keep using them and as they start to clump I can then seperate the clumps out and they keep growing. Look forward to seeing how this goes.

We had an old trailer surround that was laying around the yard so I planted out the pumpkin seedling that had come up and put my pot of parsley in there as well. Hopefully the idea is to get them established before the possums and wallablies eat every new shoot.

Now this is my absolute favorite find from the markets yesterday. This is what is called Thai Coriander (Eryngium foetidum) and this little plant packs a powerful punch. Awesome coriander flavour with only one of these little leaves. Apparently is wilt resistant and grows to about 40cm. It gets flower spikes of which I was told to cut of and it allow the plant to keep growing and to pick the leaves regularly. Apparently it is a good coriander to dry because it retains it's flavour. I will do that when I have enough. Hopefully I can just keep growing this all year around to have my lovely coriander flavour.

Last night I made a chicken stirfry and used this coriander, lemon grass from my garden and spinach from my garden as well. It was so yummy.

I had shells laying around the house and the other day after I put the nice ones on display I had these left over so I got some string and sticks and Mick put some holes in the ones that needed holes and strung them up and hung outside in the carport. I think they look great and I can see them haning there when I am sitting in my office.

Big fat worm that Mick found when digging through my garden the other day.

And here it is - finally I have a vegetable garden that is covered in chicken wire and will hopefully allow me to grow some food without the possums and wallabies and kangaroos eating every new shoot before it gets to grow. Now all I need to do is plant some goodies in there and mulch it. I will also need to make sure that I do not leave that precious door open at night.

Cheers,
Wendy

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pickled Zucchini and Zucchini Fritters


I made Zucchini pancake/fritters the night before and they were so yummy. See the brown paper scrunched up instead of paper towel. I do not buy paper towel as I think it is a processed good we can easily do without. Mick thought this was a novel idea but I always keep all my brown paper bags - wrapping etc and you can just scrunch up a piece to put fryed food on to soak up and drain of excess oil. I then just throw the paper into the compost bin. I do not cook a lot of fryed food but this works well when I do and looks really cool.

I made Pickled Zucchini (see homemade preservesss). I tasted this and it was so yummy and will only get better with age and the vinegar settling down. Good way to use up extra zucchini. Just add to a leafy green salad.

Can you see the possum in this photo - outside the screen door. He ate my parsley that was in a pot on the steps. Parsley will have to be grown in the covered vegetable garden.

Storm in the distance late yesterday afternoon. Lots of noise and dark clouds but hardly a drop of rain on our patch of dirt.

This is the salad we had with our dinner the other night. I have to be honest - it is no wonder it is hard to eat out anywhere else - when you make food for yourself you can make it just the way you like with just the yummy things that delight you. I am forever dissappointed when I eat out at resteraunt or cafe.

DO ONE THING DIFFERENT EACH DAY
Today I got out of bed at 6.30 and had a cuppa and then went to the local market down the road and a garage sale in town that I had heard was on. I was getting so lazy and even though this is something I liked to do I was constantly making excuses and never getting up early to go to these events. I got lots of goodies. I enjoyed the misty early morning and was home after lovely chats to people by 10.30 this morning. Because I am getting up earlier each day I am finding I am getting into the habit very quickly of being an early riser again like I used to be.

Cheers,
Wendy

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My day today....

It my daughter's 21st this year in November. I am organising a Chicken and Champagne Brunch in a local parklands and then a few friends (and apparently her old Mama Bear) are going out to some fancy smancy nightclub in the city to party the night away. I am so looking forward to her 21st and I cannot put anything on here with regard to decorations or what I am doing because she reads my blog and my facebook page so I have to be careful to keep it all secret. Her instruction are to be at her brunch by 9.30am all dolled up and feeling gorgeous and be ready to greet her guests as they arrive at 10am.

It was my birthday yeasterday and this is a photos taken exactly 49 years ago to the day with my Daddy in Mt. Isa. Love my parents to bits.



I cut a pattern of a little dress my grand daughter wears and I have used some scrap material to make her a little dress. Probably wear a little coloured t shirt under it when playing out in the sun. I have posted it to her so I can see if this one fits all okay and then I can't wait to make a lot more.


I picked up this second hand top for myself for a dollar last week and it was a bit to small for me - I like things baggy. It has a zip down the front and a draw string around the waist. So I thought maybe I could cut the sleeves of and sew it into some handles and then run across the bottom to make a carry bag - maybe for the beach for my towel or something.

So this is the end result and it looks like a awesome dirty cloths bag or pj bag for in your bedroom. It can also be used as the bag I thought of at first. I have made handles and stiched bias binding around the holes but when I hung it on the hanger I just thought it was the best dirty cloths bag which is easy to wash itself and unzips right down the front to get the cloths out easy.

My daughter gave me a food dehydrator for my birthday. I have a play around with it today. Success with dried orange slices which I can use as decoration but they are very tasty as well. It is suggested that you can coat in melted chocolate but I think the peel is a bit hard - I will try a few things.

I dried mushrooms as well and these were a complete success. I only did a few and I put them into a jar in the fridge and will use them in a week or so in a stew or soup and see how they go. Great idea once I perfect the storage to take advantage of the excess produce when mushrooms are on special or the shop has a sell out of mushrooms.

I tried banana and weet potatoe as well but even though I can eat what I dried I don't think they dried out to well. I think I have to do things a bit differently.

Oh well. Of to cook some dinner.
Cheers,
Wendy
  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Another day and burning the pool table.....

Hello to you all,

Today I did things differently by firstly letting things slide when I was trying to say something to my husband and just decided to let him decide. Oh I liked that feeling. (don't worry - I am way to bossy to let him tell me what to do all of the time but I am coming to realise I don't have to be the boss of everything). Secondly I instantly agreed to something he suggested we do for my birthday tomorrow.



Now this is such an awesome photo - and yes I am sure you are going to ask why? burn? a? pool? table?
It was water damaged - broken and not able to be used and we were at a big Hungi for a friends birthday a month or so back and they ended up throwing this pool table on the bon fire. This is a cool photo.

Getting the ground hot enough to pile the food into baskets and cover up to cook.

Food all in the ground in baskets and all covered with hot ash and sealed in and cooking.  Beautiful meat and vegetables a few hours later.

I went to a childs birthday party on Saturday and it was a racing car party for a 4 year old boy and his Mama had made him this tiny teddy race car treats.  Cool hey?

I went shopping yesterday. I was excited to purchase 3 pineapples - all looking ripe and smelling delish - cut each and every one open this morning and this is what each and every one looked like. I was cranky. I rang the shop and told them I had photos and will be in for a refund when I shop again next week. $6 wasted and I wasn't prepared to ignore it again. I had just cut open 2 avos I had got from another shop the same day and at a cost of nearly $4 was very disappointed when both are black and unable to be eaten. I have kept them and will return them on Thursday with my docket. That is $10 of my bloody hard earned money wasted on this and I want a replacement or my money refunded. Enough is enough.

This is my Lemon Vinegar Spray and Wipe soaking up the lemon into the vinegar. One week down and one more week to go and then I will strain it and bottle it up. I will add more vinegar and a few more lemon rinds and do the same thing again. I will get enough spray and wipe cleaner out of these two lots for the year for me. The lemons of my tree - the vinegar will have cost $4.40 all up and it works brilliantly on the stove top - the sink - the wooden boards and benchs. Smells devine as well. See Homemade Cleaning Page for the instructions on how to make this.

I purchased this punch bowl from a friend last week and it is just perfect for this type of thing and looks so fresh and pretty doing it's thing on my kitchen bench. 


I made two hand painted silk scarves at art group last week - I decided to sew them into a cushion. I was going to put a few dollars on it at the market this weekend - then I thought I might gift it - but - I am going to keep it. I really like it.


Mick has been building me the frame for my vegetable garden and my Dad and Mum have bought me a large roll of chicken wire for my birthday and the whole thing will be covered in wire tomorrow. I have planted some beetroot already but as soon as it is finished I will get some other goodies in there and start the learning process of growing myself some food that I hopefully get and not the possums.

Mick and went through our shells we have collected and put a lovely display out. The remainder are going to finally be tied up and made into a hanging display. I will post a photo when we are finished.

I watched a short documentary this evening on the ABC and it was called Take A Seat - Dominic Gill 


and it was such a great little documentary about Dominic Gill who road his tandem pushbike from the top of Alaska to the bottom of South America. I am now going to buy his book. Awesome story - but it is definately my cup of tea.

Cheers, Wendy

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bauple and District Homesteaders Group



Good Evening All

I have had my gorgeous daughter and grand daughter staying with me for the past few days so being on the computer has come last. We had a lovely time together. My daughter gave me a food dehydrator for a birthday gift so hopefully I will have something done in it over the next few days and will post some photos.

My grand daughter has had a terrible rash that has just kept getting worse and worse and she has been so restless and just not sleeping  and very hyperactive. We took her to a Homeopath/Naturopath on Friday. She was having an allergy tests as all the doctor wanted to do was give her some cream and cover it up like a band aide. My grand daughter is only 2 1/2 years old. We have now been told that she is having a servere reaction to ALL DAIRY products, wheat, soy and cane sugar. From the moment we left there my daughter has been vigilent in eliminating all of the above and now today - just 3 days later the rash is nearly completely gone and last night Charlotte slept from 7.30pm to 5.30am. Miracle. Oh how food can affect us. We will review the whole process at 6 weeks and just see what else changes in her behaviour as well as health.



As part of my pact to do something different every day I will list a few things below that I have done over the past few days since I last wrote.

  •  Walked out of a room when the negativity was just too much and I literally had no words to share.
  • Asked my husband to make the decision about something that normally I would have. That felt good.
  •  Decided to accept my husbands offer to drop everything today and visit a friend while he was going there to look at some work. That was extremely pleasant and was a learning experience because Laura has a lovely garden we spent ages walking around.
  • And today - this evening - I finally just wrote up a speil about the group I want to start up in our community and just emailed it and set the first date and just simply stopped procrastinating and worrying if it will work or not.



“BAUPLE and DISTRICT HOMESTEADERS GROUP”
(For want of a better name – maybe “Bauple and District Simple Living Group”)
“Get Together” each Wednesday morning at 9am to 11am at the Bauple Q150 Recreation Shed.
First get together is Wednesday the 26th September.
TOPIC 26th September
·         Learn how to make your own mayonnaise
·         Learn how to make your own laundry powder and literally save hundreds of dollars a year.
FREE to participate each week. You may bring a plate to share for morning tea if you wish. Tea and Coffee supplied.
A friendly informal gathering of anyone interested in learning new skills and sharing the skills they have with others. Come and join others who are striving for a more simple way of life.  Join people and families trying to stretch their dollar further.  Meet like minded people who are looking at ways to be more sustainable.
·         Simple living
·         Recipe sharing
·         Ways to save money
·         Cooking from scratch
·         Country living
·         Gardening tips and knowledge
·         Plant  and seed spare and share
·         Produce spare and share
·         Self sufficiency
·         Sustainability
·         Homesteading skills
·         Sewing, knitting, crotchet
·         $21 challenge
·         Make your own cleaning products
·         Swap skills
·         Make friends
·         Preserving
·         Book / Information swap
·         Got a question – ASK
·         Not sure – ASK
·         Got an idea – SHARE

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY



DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY AND YOU CAN EXPECT A DIFFERENT RESULT.
A person cannot expect for things to change if all they do is the same thing over and over again.
You cannot do the same thing repeatedly and expect a different result or outcome.

So that is three ways to say the same thing - I think it could easily have another 100.

So for the past few weeks I have tried to be very vigilent and aware of this mantra. I have tried to do something outside my box each day. Something that maybe years ago came easily and now has to be thought about and is an effort. Something's I have just forgotten to do. I wanted to make a little pact to myself that each day I had to write on this blog at least one thing done differently - one routine moved around - some new barrier broken - sometimes taking big leaps of faith and  other times just trying to change little things. It all makes a difference. So far over the past few days I have
  • just got up and told hubby that I was going to have a cuppa with a friend around the corner
  • suggested and organised for us to go visit a couple of good friends in town for a few hours on the weekend.
  • said no not now to something.
  • shut my mouth and said nothing when I usually would have.
  • actually went to my doctor appointment and listened and acted on this info.
  • actually posted a few birthday cards and on time.
I know that none of these things seem big to others but they are to me. They changed my day around. Shifted my focus. Gave me a different perspective. So the challenge is to be ever vigilent as to what can be done each day differently.




Today was our weekly meeting at the Tiaro Creative Arts Group. Barbara organised for us to paint silk scarves. It was really enjoyable and very addictive as I just wanted to keep making them because it was such a suprise as to how they would turn out. I made two and when I have finished later this week I will post a photo of my two scarves made into a cushion.


Mick planted out two black mulberry trees. I cannot wait to eat the fruit.


I made mayonaise tonight for Mick to use on his lunchs this week. I have got lazy lately and not been pursuing the making of my own store cupboard ingredients. This took less time than it takes to pick it up of the shelf in the store and walk to the register let alone line up and pay big bucks for a jar. The recipe and instructions are on my page to the side of Homemade Dressings.


Rice Pie for dinner last night - recipe in Homemade Main Meals.

Cheers, Wendy


Monday, September 10, 2012

Home improvements and Health improvements



There is so much to talk about that I am afraid I will bore you to tears so I will try and limit my post as much as possible.

We have little work on and Mick has had some spare time and the inclination to build a little deck at the bottom of our stairs. Except for the cement and some screws the whole deck is made using a recycled deck a friend of ours gave us when they pulled this one down and built a larger one on their home. So the above shot is before - just stepping blocks and the resident wildlife having a munch on the grass.

Getting there.....
and finished bare some wire along the front when we have a few spare dollars to get some.

Lemons from our tree. I have picked another four since this and the tree is covered in flowers and little tiny lemons already. This was it's first season of fruiting and I am so impressed. I am going to make some lemon butter tomorrow and some lemon cordial and all the peels will soak for a few weeks in white vinegar and become my lemon spray and wipe.




I am eating a Nightshade free diet.  Getting Started With Healthy Eating  has a list of what vegetables etc that this means avoiding in my diet. I have been on this elimination diet for the past three weeks and have seen an improvement. I have rheumatoid arthritis and for the past months it has been very debilatating. My usual way of dealing with illness is to ignore it and hope it goes away. I usually avoid doctors like they are the plague and try and do whatever I can to fix the problem myself. I have tried and I have some improvements but I had to come to terms with the fact that this thing needs intervention so that between me and what I do and what the doctor thinks will help we can get me moving and pain free. Whatever I have been doing has helped considerably to limit the damage done to joints. I have learnt a major lesson in all of this and I am obviously going to keep on learning.

So one of the foods that was first to go out of my diet quite a few years ago was tomatoes. OH dear. I really like tomatoes. I avoided them for over a year and considering when I originally came down with this arthritis most of my meals were very much based around the tomatoe base of some sort, this was a big flip in my cooking regime. I am lucky because I like to cook. I like to experiment. But this got me and food became very bland for a while. Then I slipped in a few cherry tomatoes (grown by my Dad so they couldn't be bad for could they?) and made the odd sauce with tomatoes. Well they do make my pain level higher and I don't care what any body else says. So out they go again.

I found this Tomatoe Free Tomatoe Sauce recipe. I have had this printed out for so long now that I do not even know exactly where I originally found it but I have now made it a few times and have adjusted it to my liking. I have added it to my recipe page for those wanting to try it. I will update as I make it each time but it is a definate winner. Above is a homemade gluten free lasagne I made using the sauce cooked with some mince for the layering. And below is some leftover sauce I poured over some corn chips and sprinkled with some cheese and melted under the grill. YUMMY. Honestly it really tastes good. It is very pink the first time - a little less the second time and I think I know how to get the colour more subtle. The recipe will update and explain how.


So much more to talk about but I will leave it there. Chat again tomorrow. I am of to Art Group in the morning and we are doing some silk painting (more like tie dying I think).

Cheers, Wendy