A journal of my favourite pastimes gardening, farming and sewing.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

CATCH UP

Having the house on the market during summer ensures we never have an idle moment.  The grass is growing so fast at both houses so the mower is being shuttled between the two and try and stay on top of things.  As well, the weeds are thriving so they also need to be dealt with.

I really miss my Boonah garden and was very happy to take this bunch of roses home from our last visit.
Mr Lincoln, Double Delight, Golden Girls


As we now live near the "Rose City" (Warwick) I will certainly be planting another rose garden and including some of the above varieties. 


At present we are getting the sheep and chooks sorted out.  We inherited three new chooks and lost one of our originals so we are net +2.  The three new ones are all good layers so a good supply of eggs now.



The sheep have settled in and are fat and happy.


We've started putting in gardens.  Firstly along the front fence.  As our house is close to the road we wanted to put in some trees and shrubs to give privacy and kill dust.  The first run of plants are in but we still need to kill the grass & weeds and then mulch.



Some views around the place.






And from my kitchen window...




After some good rain things are looking decidedly green again.


















Monday, 17 November 2014

SPRING???

This hot weather we've been having is just crazy.  On the weekend I went to Toowoomba to join in the Simple Living Toowoomba group's last get together for the year.  Ha ha, I just did spell check on 'Toowoomba' and Blogger came up with 'wombat'.  Anyway, the meet up was great, everyone enjoyed making soy candles, die-stamping their silver spoons, and checking out all the craftworks on display.  We also participated in a secret Santa which is always great fun.  Some lovely gifts created by all the ladies.

It was hot on the way back home after the meet, but worse was to come in the afternoon.  38.6C in our kitchen and slightly hotter outside.  Peter had bought a clam shell paddle pool so I sat with my feet in that for most of the time - fantastic.

Sunday wasn't much better, and the westerly wind was pretty fierce.  We were trying to finish off the chook run so we could bring the chooks up from Boonah, thereby completing our animal transfers from one place to the other.  Late morning we headed off, arriving at Boonah to find it even hotter that at home.  I did about 5 loads of washing (to save water at the farm) and it was all dry very quickly.

The hardest part of the day was catching the chooks to go into the cage on the ute.  I was sure we'd get up here and find them all dead with fright; but no, they were all alive, even the chicks.  This morning the rooster was crowing as usual and all but three chooks were out and about investigating the new digs.  I've set them up with heaps of water, some feed and shaded areas, but today doesn't yet seem to be as hot thankfully.  I'll take some snaps of them this arvo.

For the last couple of weeks, we have had froggy visits, first one, then two, now four.  I have a couple of pot plants on the landing, the pots sit in trays of water and the frogs come for a bit of a freshen up in the evenings.  We leave the outside light on so there are plenty of bugs for them to catch.  These two caught my eye last night.
Bob the Builder?

Pete the Painter?
Anyway, when it comes time for the extension/renovation to our place, I think we'll hand things over to these guys.  They look like they know what they're doing.

Off to Wombat again today for a look at the cattle sales.  We hope to get some cattle in the future and, as our neighbours are selling some of theirs to market today, they invited me along to see how it works.  It is supposed to be 34C there - long sleeves, boots, hat and a peg for my nose I reckon!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

TAKING A BREATH

After an unearthly silence of over 2 months, here we are again.  Now at the farm full time, with the Boonah house finished of its renovations and on the market.  I am sad to leave that place, not for the house but more for my garden.  Over the last few weeks, it has been in its full flowering glory.  Compared to that, the farm with its absolute lack of gardens feels quite bereft.  Still what are without a challenge.
Our new little house

We now have bore water


Cattle yards
I had more photos but, like pretty much everything else, I can't find them at the moment.  Anyway, you get the idea.

We had these trees at the front of the house and couldn't figure out what they were.  Now we know...

Little apricots
Anyway, just to say, not drowning - waving.




Thursday, 7 August 2014

OP SHOPPING

Our little town only has two op shops, but it is surprising how often I find something very useful.  

For example, today I was in town for my weekly errands and walking up the street back to the car, took me past Vinnies.  I walked past, then backed up and went in.  Sure enough a few handy items came home with me - for the princely sum of $4.50.


I have a couple of the Sure Fit Design kits - but didn't have this Shirt Kit.  I checked the SFD website and a Shirt Kit would set me back $36.56AUD plus postage from the US; so $2.00 from Vinnies would classify as a win.
The McCalls book has many many fitting tips and how to's, so for $1 it looks good (interestingly the original cost in 1976 was $1.95).  The Justknits shirts pattern will be useful for tshirts I need to make for working on the farm - 50c.

The knitting needles 5s and 6s 50c each set, will be used to make the shrug that Nanna Chel talked about here .  I have a poncho (a what!?) that I'd like to unravel and reknit into a shrug.  But don't hold your breath waiting for a photo, it could take me a long time as I'm a poor knitter.  Anyway, I'll give it a go.  You never know Chel, I might wear it to a Simple Living Toowoomba morning yet (probably in a couple of winters haha!).

See you.



Friday, 1 August 2014

PAINTING, PAINTING................

So this is what's been keeping me quiet.  


In order to sell our Boonah patch, we have been sprucing the place up a bit.  Don't you just love vj walls - not me!  I'm not a fan of painting and I'm rubbish at it, but these days good quality paint is very forgiving of poor paint-womanship.  So, after lots of filling, gapping, painting grooves and rolling, we are on our way.

The walls are being done in the ubiquitous Antique White USA which is a lovely soft pearly white and they are coming up a treat I have to say.

My poor photography abilities don't really give any an idea of how the rooms look, but that's all I've got.  


See the old way of running power down to a power point?


And the ceilings are just white.

Look away from the hideously old ceiling fan
Hmm, hints of other neglected washing/folding/ironing tasks....

Don't worry those curtains are going

Iron me, iron me...

See the lovely soft sheen?
After 5 years of cheap looking flat pink/salmon walls (really why did we put up with them so long?) the new look is so much fresher.

Now for the living/dining rooms.  


Friday, 27 June 2014

BLACKALL

We're famous!  Two of my cousin's kids have been featured on a new postcard for Blackall Qld.  Good work Makenzie and Kye (that's them on the far right).  It is a great shot and represents the Central West very well.



JACK WAS HERE...

So, we had our first frost of the season this morning in Boonah.  When I hopped out of bed this morning at just before 6, it was -0.3deg.  We are situated almost at the top of a hill, so we are not ever badly affected, but still....

Frost doesn't kill these unfortunately

A new white leafed variety of pumpkin?
Happily, our mini vegie garden has not been affected - probably because all of the long grass growing around it! :(

Can you tell I'm married to a builder?  All in straight lines.
Happily the report from the farm this morning is that we have very little frost there.  At another property down in the valley below us, it was all white apparently.  They don't seem to get sun there until mid-morning either so it will take them a while to warm up there.

I'm glad about not getting badly frosted, it makes the chances of any new vegie patch succeeding much higher.  Another benefit of living on higher ground I suppose.

I reckon our sheep have esp; after posting about their future sale, yesterday afternoon I got a phone call "all the sheep are out".

Now this is not unusual, I often get phone calls to say there has been a breakout from either our old fence or the temporary paddock across the road at the neighbour's.  Usually it is only one or two radicals, but this time all but one were out and standing impatiently at our gate wanting to be let back in.  Probably their way of reminding me how I will miss their antics.  They are now back in our small paddock (with the rams) so anyone buying a ewe from us will probably get a 2-for-1 deal.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

SHEEP FOR SALE


Sadly it looks like we will be selling our current flock of sheep rather than take them up the range as we had planned.  Boonah is situated in a tick infected zone and our farm near Allora is in tick free zone, we have been trying to decide if we should take them up with us.  

All things considered, the cost and potential risk is not worth it in our minds.  The last thing we want is to introduce ticks into our environment on the farm, possibly putting our and surrounding properties into quarantine for several years.  

Look at that face

Apparently the dogs and chooks/ducks are ok to move without treatment.  

So, I'm really sad about selling them and will miss them all.  Hopefully I will be able to find them good homes.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

AROUND HERE TODAY

Fluffed up for warmth
Another crisp morning requiring the fire to warm up the house.  The dogs, sheep, chooks and human have all been fed; blogs have been read; multiple cups of tea drunk; and now here.

Crepe Myrtle

Slowly shedding pecan

I'm heading to the farm today for and these are for my lovely man.  Peter just loves these condensed milk biscuits - with ginger or coconut or in this form, just plain.


These citrus will need attention when I get back tomorrow.  They are coming so thick and fast right now, its hard to keep up.

Lemons, mandarins, lemonades
One of the things I want to do at the farm is to refresh this dog bed gifted by a friend whose retired greyhound 'doesn't like it anymore'.  Ok, so it needs stitching up around the base where it has split and also a new cushion inside.  Shouldn't be too hard.  Billy is checking it out already.
Like his denim coat?
Better get to it....

Monday, 23 June 2014

BUSY BUSY

This weekend has been flat out.  As we are preparing our Boonah house for sale, painting is the order of the day.  The front bedroom now has its first coat on, with the second coat to be done next weekend.  One might ask, what only one coat and it took all weekend?  Yes, the joys of tongue and groove - paint in the groove and then each board by brush first time round, gap fill, then paint second coat by roller.  But a major improvement I must say.

In between painting, sanding etc, I still did the week's washing (the farm's included) and baked on Saturday.  After reading on various blogs about the sense of doing all oven-related tasks at one time to save electricity, I gave it a go.

First, duelling breadmakers.

Older machine on the right (really?)

The blue pads are to stop 'wandering'

Gave us these:

Product of old machine on the left

This was a good experiment; I have long suspected that my newer breadmaker doesn't rise the dough as well as my old one did.  Both are 1kg loaves but the loaf on the left in the pic above is from the old machine, suspicion confirmed.  In the past I have just used the whole breadmaking cycle, mixing and baking in the breadmaker, but lately I have started using only the dough mixing cycle and then baking in the oven.  Vastly superior result in our books.

Also knocked out a date loaf (recipe from Day to Day Cookery).


And after the baking was over, I put in a pork shoulder for our dinner that night.  Peter has always maintained that any meat's shoulder cut had way more flavour than the leg; and after eating this pork roast, I now concur.  No pics, all gone.....

And just before sunrise on this first slightly shorter day of winter:


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

HELLO WINTER

So it would appear that winter is finally with us.  As I write at 7am, the temperature has fallen to 1.4 degrees celsius.  Peter is at the farm and he said he moved the ute around to the shed to hose the ice off the windscreen and the hose had frozen up.  The joys of the Southern Downs in winter.  

Here in Boonah the situation is this outside:

The sun is there somewhere

The poor chooks waiting to be let out
and the situation inside:

We've been using this a bit lately

We got a load of the most marvelous hardwood from Warwick last winter and it is giving us a lot of heat for our little house.


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

STATE ROSE GARDEN, TOOWOOMBA

After reading Nanna Chel's post about the State Rose Garden in Toowoomba I just had to visit.  It was a glorious day in Toowoomba and I had a fantastic time, looking at, smelling and photographing the huge variety of roses.  I was practicing my close up photography, and although I have a long way to go, I'm improving.  So, these are for you Chel.

Oh, and Lynda, I've taken the blog header down.  Reading the Simple Living Forum this morning, there was discussion about copyright on photos being used on blogs - freaked me out, so any pics that aren't mine won't be used anymore here.