Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Veggie Patch Shuffle

Saturday morning we got up early, so we could drive out to Rosewood to check out a car boot sale I had seen in the local newspaper.  Unfortunately the sale was a bit lackluster and rather lame, the drive was beautiful though.  We hadn't been out that particular way, and next time I will make sure to take my camera.  I did get a few photos with my mobile phone though.
We found a railway museum ( which looks quite interesting.  We will need to find time to go visit and look at the trains properly, maybe take a ride. Sounds like a good day trip one weekend for a few of us.

 It really is quite pretty countryside out there, and very green at the moment with huge blue skies.


We drove through Tallegalla on the way home, and pulled over to inspect an old cemetery on the side of a hill.  It had the most stunning views, and some really old graves.

It was still early in the morning, and we hadn't anticipated being home this early, so we had breakfast then a strategy meeting about what we should do with the rest of our unexpected time.
The veggie garden we have been slowly rebuilding for a while now, and there was one corner that needed doing that was currently mostly un-planted.  It is quite hard work, we needed to dig out all the soil, remove the railway sleeper edges (which are very heavy!).  Next Brett cuts some tin sheet to length, saws the sleepers in half.  We have to arrange the edges, and line it all up, hammer it into place. 

I pottered and weeded our new herb garden while Brett was cutting the edges to length.  The ducks and chickens were happy when I took them a wheel barrow full of fresh green weeds. That is for sure.

Hours passed as we toiled together, once the cutting was done, we put it together, and moved the soil into the new beds. We still have some old bricks and pavers lying around the place so we persuaded those into position between the beds as little pathways.  It is much easier to maintain the garden bed this way, can actually reach the veg and weeds in the centre of the beds. We had mixed manure and fertiliser into the soil, so the only thing left to do was plant!  We put in a few different things, so we wait now to see what sprouts. More tasty homegrown veg for me. Yum!

That evening, we had somehow managed to find a window where Norbie, John, Tara and ourselves were all free at the same time.  After dark they came over for dinner, we Hickory smoked some brisket in the BBQ, which we then put into some stock in the oven for a few hours until it fell apart, which is beginning to become on of my favourite recipes as the leftovers make awesome pies during the next few weeks. We are still perfecting this recipe, but we are getting quite close to perfection now I think.

We had it with a side of pan fried veggies, and some home made coleslaw which Ta helped me make. NOMNOM.

We ate dinner then talked into the wee hours of the morning, before everyone decided we really should get some sleep.  Sunday morning, I let out the ducks, tidied up a little, the boys put up a new tent we were given to make sure all the parts were there.  It was quite a chilly day really, it also passed quite quickly, we talked to the ducks and chickens, walked around the garden, watched tv.  John and Ta went home with some eggs for Brett's mum and some leftover coleslaw, seeing as usual we cooked for 10 people hahaha.

Brett and I had leftover brisket and coleslaw for dinner that night, and i froze the rest for pies.  It seems winter has finally arrived at our place, it is weather for fire, pies, soup and all manner of tasty goodness.

Thursday, 30 May 2013



The day had arrived.

After many months, many emails, ideas, planning and organisation by the family, the day had arrived.  Katie and Robert's wedding day.  It had rained on and off all week, causing us no end of concern for their day.  When I woke on Saturday the 25th of May 2013 the skies were blue, and clear of menacing rain clouds.
I was so excited I could barely contain myself.

Brett went outside to potter in the garden, and we let the cluckens out to forage for the morning.  It was rather cold though, so I quickly went back inside to warm up.  I started dragging clothes, make up and shoes from the wardrobe, packed a bag, generally cleaned and organised.  I decided to start getting ready as I wanted to be stress free, so I gave myself as much time as possible.  I hummed away while happily putting on my new clothes.  The first set of nice clothes since my weight loss mission had begun.  (23kg over 12 months. YAY!)  I had promised myself I wouldn't buy any new clothes until after I was finished.  It isn't everyday however your close friends get married.  I was happy to be putting on nice new clothes that fit me well, time flew by as I hummed away, put on make up and did my hair.  Brett came in from the cold and put on his nice new shirt as well.

Outside waiting for us was a Luxurious Toyota Century. A big beautiful car we borrowed from our friend Norbie, (we had only just sold ours *sadface*) he kindly let us borrow it so we could drive the bride to her wedding.  It is a big, comfortable car.  The hour drive to Brisbane seemed to take forever I was so excited and anxious to get to the hotel.   All the way I was messaging Katie, hoping the preparations we going well and that she would make it to the hotel on time.

 Katie and Charmaine arrived, we went upstairs to the room, opened a bottle of Moet to let the giggles unfold.  We chatted for a while, Charmaine and I taking photos of everything in sight.  

Katie did her own makeup, next we started the process of dressing her.  The skirt was beautiful in a lovely shade of purple ( which for some reason only photographs blue!) Her corset top was exquisite.  Luckily I have a bit of experience with corsets having owned a few over the years which meant I was very confident she would easily be arranged into it. Slowly we tied her into it.  She looked gorgeous, not that there was ever any doubt.

Time flew, the Moet bottle emptied and our smiles grew bigger as Brett arrived to collect us.  We slid her in the back, drove off slowly, with Devin Townsend’s Addicted album on the stereo we threaded through the traffic heading for her home, where the ceremony was to take place in the gardens.

 We were early, most unusual for a bride ready before everyone else.  It was suggested we go to a nearby park to take some photos while waiting for everyone else to be ready for us, which was an awesome idea.  We got some lovely pictures of Katie in front of a Native Frangipani.  I think we were only there 15 minutes or so before we got the phone call.

Back into the car, then straight into the driveway of her house.  Her parents and family were waiting.  Her dad looked so happy and proud as he opened the car door.  Her mum exclaimed how pretty she looked, and her brother beamed with delight. A few quick photos and then in we went.

The ceremony was brief and beautiful, many people struggled to hold back a tear.  Family photos were held out the front, then the festivities began.  I chatted happily with many people, the food was amazing, they all did a wonderful job.  The evening ceremony and celebrations were perfect.  A lovely night.

Brett and I stayed at my mum's house that night.(Thanks Mum!). I must say I enjoyed the celebrations a little more than Brett had and as such have little recollection of conversation before we went to bed.  Sunday I awoke at 4.45am, thanks very much internal body clock

I was a little worse for wear so we continued to snooze until later in the morning.  Once everyone was awake we went to the coffee club for a big greasy breakfast.  It was much needed.  All in all a great weekend.  I wish the happy couple a wonderful honeymoon tripping around Europe for 6 weeks.  (I am very jealous). I can barely wait for them to be back, it is going to be a dull few weeks for me.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Mother's Day

The weather has started to change, getting cool especially early in the morning feeding the ducks.  At 5am in the dark, during the cold hours I would rather snuggle in bed.  It is definitely starting to be a challenge to go outside with my new massive coat on.  I get my torch, put on gumboots, grumble to myself.  Then trudge outside past the car shed, to the coop with a container of grain.  I fill their food up, go into the nesting boxes, wake everyone up.  They noisily inform me that they too do not like being woken in the cold of 5am whilst I try to feel under them for eggs in the dark.  It is however a joy to see them every day.  I do miss them when I don't go out in the morning. 

Last week was a blur of days containing work, home, cats, ducks, chickens, wedding planning, cooking, also don’t forget cleaning. It slipped past me rather stealthily.
Friday night we went to a friend’s house warming, which was wonderful, we are so proud for them both for taking the leap to buy a house, not to mention happy they have found joy in each other. We couldn't stay as we had an appointment with a wedding venue Saturday morning. 
We woke, rose to do some morning chores, let out the birds to roam the garden.  It was a beautiful day to look at a venue, we drove there in the beautiful morning spent an hour looking around.  It is definitely a possibility, although being me I don't ever like to buy the first thing I see we will look at a couple more over the next few months.

Lazily we tidied the house, did some work in the yard.  I snuggled under a blankey on the couch writing lists of things to do or organise over the next 12 months.  It rained lightly outside for the late afternoon.

Sunday morning I went for a run, only a 5km run though, not my usual 10km,  as my soon to be Mother in Law as well as Brett's brother were coming to visit today, because it is Mother's day.  The ground was wet, soggy, grassy, soon so were my running shoes.  I played zombies run as I did my laps trying stubbornly to continue until my GPS tracker on my phone alerted me at the 5km goal.  Satisfied I went inside for a shower, also to guzzle some water.  I straightened up a little, while Brett went to the butcher to buy some lamb cutlets for lunch. 

They arrived in a flurry of smiles and hugs, came inside settled, then had a look around the house as we pointed out the improvements we have been slowly making.  New kitchen bench, splash back, new shelves in the guest room, new light fittings everywhere.

Outside next to visit with the ducks, chickens, cats, have a pat then wander around the garden looking at the progress of the trees, pointing at plants, flowers, new taps, water tanks, discussing ideas for the future etc.  Brett pointed out our newest plant, the African horned melon that has appeared from nowhere in the garden around the fire pit.  
African Horned Melon

We walked around to the vegie patch which is looking a little empty at the moment, then it started to lightly rain.  A perfect time for lunch.

Brett lovingly prepared lunch for his family, while we sat, chatted, generally caught up, on the couch with some bubbly.  Lunch as it always is when Brett cooks on the BBQ was delicious, rosemary salt lamb cutlets with roasted potato and home-grown pumpkin. 

Lyn and John had come prepared for getting dirty, so as the sprinkling rain eased we took the moment to head outside to the mess of a garden around our gazebo that had recently gotten away from us.  John and I set to work there, Brett with his mum worked on reviving the vegie patch.  They weeded the carrots and planted potatoes. 

The ducks together with excited chickens wandered down to lend us a hand, soon everyone was digging, weeding or foraging for ants or bugs in the gazebo garden.  There were many happy noises from the chickens, lots of joyous tail waggling by all the ducks as we dug through the soil.

Brett with his mum worked together to plant a row of rosemary as this plot of the garden is earmarked for a big herb garden.

The sun moved on, the day wound down.  We gathered some eggs, sweet potato, basil, marigolds seeds, rosemary cuttings also homemade lemon cordial for our family to take home with them, as we are always overflowing with these things, and we rarely let people leave empty handed.

It was suddenly time for more hugs and kisses, we waved goodbye as they drove off down the street.  It was a good day, full of chatter and activity.  There was just enough sunlight left to attend to the ducks, change their water, I quickly gave the chickens nesting boxes a bit of a clean.  As the sun went down I put the chickens on their perch.  I have been trying to teach them to sleep on a perch, being ex battery hens it is something they are not used to, so they generally sleep in their nesting boxes. Oh boy do they make a mess in their boxes though!! So we decided if we can teach them to use a ladder we should be able to teach them to roost on a perch at night.  
The ducks nested together all four in one box in the corner, trilling quietly to each other.  The chickens settled finally on their perch, started purring, I slowly, softly snuck out into the darkness, walked contentedly back to our house to tackle the question of dinner.  All in all a good, happy, productive weekend.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Dad's 60th

Saturday 4th May broke with a beautiful morning, shining skies, as well as clear crisp day.   Together with Brett,  I managed to sleep in which was lovely, quite relaxing.  Then he pottered around outside in the garden.  I had plans to get up early run, then do some housework, catch up on some weeding also time with the ducks.  Instead I snuggled under my feather doona with my Android Tablet as I spent the morning scouring wedding sites all over the internet for wedding ideas.  

I kept thinking just 5 more minutes,  I will get up,  get organised,  take the day on.  However I was so engrossed in the warmth, luxurious, decadence of lying in bed whilst viewing the internet 2 hours passed by quite quickly.  I had at least seen many things of interest, saved many ideas for reviewing later on.   Brett found me, laughed then asked me if this is what housework looks like these days as he kindly helped me out of bed.   We had just enough time to shower, get dressed, throw presents into the car before starting the journey to the Gold Coast.

Today was the party planned for my father’s 60th Birthday.  We left home at 10am, leaving us plenty of time to arrive by 12pm.  Blasted the music,  drove off down the long Warrego Highway.  I took a few photo’s with my phone out the window, we chatted lazily about wedding ideas.  Eventually we got through the traffic to arrive at my Grandfather’s house, where some family was starting to arrive, whilst others put up decorations.  My Aunty Jill, and Mia had arranged everything nicely, food was on the go, balloons were being blown up as we walked in.  We found my father, hugged then congratulated him.

Friends of Dad’s arrived, we were all introduced to everyone,  we started to chat, mingle,  admire the beautiful day on the canal.  I amused myself taking photos of everyone, decorations, food, everything I could see.   We had a massive spread of many roast meats with Salad for lunch. Champagne flowed freely.    I huggled Austin any chance I got, which was difficult as everyone wanted to see, hug or hold him.  He was a very good boy, obliged all by cuddling everyone.  

All the family, children all smiles running around caused me think of all the fun times we had playing in that house when we were kids.  Making ‘mud pies’ , sand castles on the beach at the canal.  Diving , playing or fishing on the jetty.  Lots of us with our cousins running around giggling, smiling.  Now their children doing the same thing, running around smiling in the clear Queensland Sun.  We chatted with friends of dads, kids, family I haven’t seen in a bit of time, catching up.

Eventually the day started to wind down, the three of us girls presented dad with his gift of Scotch Glasses filled with nice chocolates.  Then we started to say our goodbyes.  The goodbye process takes about half an hour to complete, a hug from everyone a quick chat, all the while trying to work my way towards the door as we go.

The drive home was uneventful, I tried not to fall asleep after all the food, champagne, lollies I had managed to consume.  I chatted with Brett trying not to drift off.  It was dark when we arrived home, so we snuggled on the couch, unwound by watching Tv enjoying drinking some white wine.  Brett tinkered with an old 1970s record player that used to belong to my Granddad that my father had given to us.  I sifted through the pile of dusty old records, wondering how many times my nanna had listened to these.  Sleep did not come easily that night, we stayed up quite late processing the day, opening wine bottles.

Cormorant in a tree in my backyard Sunday morning :D