Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Old Farmhouse - Childhood Memories

Last week we hooked up the caravan and went away for a few days.

We went back again to our hometown to catch up with friends and hopefully do some fishing.  The weather didn't allow for the latter, but that's okay, there will be another time.  We bought some fish from the local fish factory, and boy do they taste good!

On one of the days we went to visit our old farm.

This is the place I grew up on. 
This is the place that holds the best memories. 
This is the place where my heart will always be.

Here we go.

 Walking through the healthy crops to get to the farmhouse

The old house block was surrounded by crops. There was no way to drive in, so we walked.

Our farm was 7,500 acres and is now owned by someone else.  They are good friends of ours, so we were allowed to go and take a look.

The crops are looking great!

Nearly there...

A quick photo at the front gate.

The old house is in a sad state.

This was my room...

Another angle of the house

The old horse stables. 
We rode horses as youngsters.
 My horse's name was Cherokee.

It has been many years since these stables were last used.

Here is the old lemon tree, surviving on very little and with some lemons on.

We brought some home.

I also brought back a couple of branches of a fig tree that grows nearby. I am hoping to strike some pieces.

My mum's milking shed.
Dad built this for her.
Every morning she would rise very early to go milk her beloved cow, Annie.

 Next we headed over to where our chooks (chickens) were kept.
At four o'clock every day we went to feed the girls and collect the eggs.

Some old farm machinery that my dad left behind. This is called a Stripper.

And a Winnower...

 One of the original underground tanks still standing and still holding water. 

Heading back up toward the house.
It is nice and green this year.

There were three big trees at the front of the house, one gum tree and two Norfolk Pines.  Now there are only two.

The old pile of wood is still there...

Another underground tank at the side of the house.
An old kerosene fridge sits along the verandah near the outside dunny. Can you see it?

 Time to head back...

One last look, and a very sad face...

I miss this place and would move back to where I was born and bred in a heartbeat.

Especially with views like this one taken on the night we arrived.

Here is our little van.
Just big enough for two.

We had lots of rain one afternoon and night. The caravan had a good wash and we got to listen to it fall on the roof.

We are back home again and I need to get out in my garden and start geting it ready for Spring planting. I planted some tomato seeds before we went away and they have all come up.

There was rain overnight, so I will take the opportunity to pull some of the weeds out while the ground is damp.

Do you have fond memories of your childhood? 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Learning to Become a Cheapskate

On Saturday I was privileged to be able to go to the first Cheapskate workshop held in Adelaide, South Australia.  This was presented by Cath Armstrong from Debt Free, Cashed up and Laughing and Cheapskates.com.au and Wendy Gower, cheapskate blogger at My Abundant Life. Both these women are amazing cheapskaters and have appeared on A Current Affair.

Oh. what. a. fun. day.

It started nice and early at 9am and sadly finished way to soon at 4pm.

I was so enthralled by what I was hearing that I almost forgot to take photos (sorry Wendy I missed your segment). The media from Today Tonight turned up and put me a little of track. There will be a segment on their program this week sometime. I am going to be away, so may miss it...hopefully I will get to see it online.

Anyway, here is what I did manage to capture.

 Cath demonstrated how to make homemade laundry powder. She is grating laundry soap on the zesting part of a grater.  This makes really fine soap granules.

I have been making my own laundry soap for about eight years now. I used to make the liquid variety but switched to the powder this year as it is so much easier to make. 

 Just add three tablespoons per load or in my case, per wash as I have a twin-tub washing machine. 
Cath has done the maths on the cost of this. The approximate cost is three cents a load, so for me it would cost $3.12 a year.
 How good is that?

Cath continues grating as she explains the benefits of making our own (known as "MOOing") products to save heaps of money around the home.

Wendy lends a hand.

This was our classroom.

 After the laundry powder demonstration, Cath and Wendy set about making Miracle Spray. This is brilliant stuff and can be used for just about any cleaning job in the home. It is so easy to make and saves so much money, as you only need the one cleaner for everything. I used some today to remove a stain on my clothes. It worked a treat!

In the afternoon, special guest, Annabel from The Bluebirds are Nesting gave a talk on using beauty treatments on a budget.

 Annabel supplied us with a lovely handwritten leaflet with some special pampering recipes that I cant wait to try.

Photo time J

Annabel, Cath and Wendy.

And I managed to get in a photo too.

I so enjoyed the day!

Living in the country, I usually don't get to do anything like this.  I was so nervous but I had no need to be, because I was put at ease within five minutes of being there.

Thank you Cath, Wendy and Annabel.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Out the Back

It's bonfire time!

Cleaning Power lines time.

Weed pulling time.
They are out of control. With all the rain we have had, the weeds are flourishing.
I am picking greens for the chooks trying to keep them down.

 I had some help the other day.

All that green makes nice yellow yoked eggs.

 I have picked 71kg of mandarins so far this season.  
This is what is still on the tree, probably the same amount again!

Our grapefruit tree always produces well.
Although not a favourite fruit of ours it is great blended in with our mandarin juice in the mornings.

Things are quiet this time of year in the veggie garden.
This is the kale leftover from last season. It is looking a bit shabby, and there are weeds all around...

However, the kale in the barrel is looking healthy.

As is the garlic.

The nettles are growing really well and taking over the veggie garden.  Time to find a use for this plant I think. Maybe some herbal tea?

Some potato plants.  
So far I have managed to protect them from the frosts.

 Same with the capsicum.  Although small, they are still producing and they are so juicy. They never make it inside, I devour them out in the garden J

I am still getting the odd tomato.

Spring onions and weeds!!

This little wild daisy plant has been flowering for months. The tough and hardy little thing grows in the gravel in our back yard.

Bird of paradise.

Succulents are flowering this time of year.

 Could Spring be not far away?  The Geraldton Wax is preparing to put on a show.

 Not sure of the name of this native bush.

 Its flowers are gorgeous.

I am surprised by this little wild peach tree (quandong).  It has fruit ripening already. Usually this happens in September, so this must be an early variety.

Our shed is almost done. Yes it has been over twelve months now lol!
The structure is up.  Next the guttering goes on then the cement floor will be put in.  Once the guttering is completed we are getting two more rain water tanks for storage. These will go down the side of the shed.

And to finish off with one of our pretty sunsets from a few days ago.

It has been so cold here this Winter, its been quite a shock to have to rug up so much. The fire has been on for weeks.
Even parts of Australia are getting snow in areas that don't usually get it. What is going on with the weather?

Have you had snow where you live?