About Me

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Fifty six year old empty-nester. Wife to one, mum to four and nan to three precious grandies. Living simply is my passion, I enjoy growing food, living healthy and playing with a variety of crafts. I am always up for a bargain and love to op shop for vintage treasures.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

This Week at a Glance

Its been a busy week here on the home front. 
Spring has well and truly sprung.  The days have warmed up quite a bit, to the point that the air conditioner will need to be serviced for use shortly.  Nearly time to retire the fire and start spending more time outside. Temperatures are sitting in the low 30'sC (mid 80'sF) at the moment.

Around here I have been baking as usual. 
This was leftover chicken curry made into a pie.

Native peach (quandong) with sponge topping.  Yum, yum!

Mimi's best ever chocolate cake for my dad's birthday. Served with whipped cream and strawberries.

Spring cleaning has begun!

Out in the garden I have an infestation of aphids.  And on my garlic too, so whoever said garlic doesn't have enemies, was wrong!

Thank goodness for the internet, as a quick search for what treats aphids and how to make it was found...I am happy to report that it has been three days since I treated the garlic with white oil and the aphids are almost all gone J

The mandarins are about finished for this year.  There are just a few left and they are so high up we cant reach them.

I picked this basket full the other day and took them to the local Salvation Army to be handed out to the needy. This weighed 13.5kg! That takes the total to around 180kgs off this wonderful producing tree. And they are the sweetest tasting mandarin.

 The nectarine tree is in blossom.

 It is covered in pretty pink.

And the apricot tree is a mass of white blossoms.

I organised my compost bins this week.  
I needed to give them a stir and add straw, soil and manure to the mix.

 We are using the top half of a sulo bin (rubbish bins) for compost. The bottoms are being used in our veggie garden.

The compost is almost ready in this barrel.

 When I had finished I sat myself down on this bench for a little while and just listened to the birds in full song.  
It was so peaceful...

I couldn't resist buying this pretty little lavender plant that was on special.

I have changed my mind about using the guttering for now.  I decided to use some of these pots instead.  I have planted baby spinach and mixed lettuce.  

I purchased some more pots. These are sitting on an old bbq stand that hubby remodeled for me.  I still has the wheels on so It can move it around to suit the weather.

The strawberries are covered in flowers.
and strawberries.

Hubby has started making some more garden wicking beds.  These ones are in baths.

 He has spaced these ones out more as we had them a bit close together.  In the barrel at the back right is nettle tea soaking for fertiliser for the garden.

Pooh, this really smells!

 I have been sorting through my seeds and getting some ready to plant out.

My parents are visiting this weekend and they brought with them some tomato plants ready to go.

And a bunch of silver beet seedlings.

I made some more washing powder this week.

This time I decided to put it through a sieve to make a finer mix as seen here.
First I grated a yellow bar of laundry soap

Then added leftover soaps from here at home. 
These add a lovely aroma.

 We had a cheeky visitor pass through yesterday...

A Shingle-back sleepy lizard.
We have also sighted our first snake.  It was a deadly brown snake and about six foot long! Hubby spied him from the top of the shed, but by the time he got down the snake was gone... 

Its my dads 79th birthday today.  
My parents arrived here yesterday afternoon and our whole family but one, went out to tea/dinner last night.  What a fun time for all of us to get together.

I had to take a photo of this gift that Dad received.  It is a night light and oh so cute. 
I love Vee Dubs by the way J

All in all it has been a great week here.
I feel like I have achieved a lot. 

 I stayed away from the grocery shops! My freezers are full and so is my pantry.  Time to live out of these two for a while and see how much money I can save by doing so. 

The bright sunshine of Spring fills me with fresh energy that was lacking during the winter months.

What about you? Are you achieving a lot more now that Spring is here?


  1. Hi Tania,

    How exciting that spring has sprung in your part of the world. Autumn is on it's way up here in Montana. Although our days are still warm our nights are quickly becoming chilly. In our garden, we still have a few yellow squash, zucchini, melons, pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, beets and Swiss chard, but they will all be done within a few short weeks. Last year we had our first snow flurries on Sept. 10th ... so we are happy to have a longer summer this year.
    Blessings to you and yours,

    1. Your garden sounds like it is producing well Mrs. B. The longer summer is good, especially your veggies :)


  2. I used to have a little pale green 1966 VW dub back in the day. I love the first fruit blossoms of spring - it gives the soul so much hope.

    1. Did you Phil? A VW would be cool to own. I nearly managed to get a Kombi recently but it fell through when the person decided he would keep it. Maybe one day...


  3. Wow you have been busy. The temps here in Melbourne are not that high yet but yes Yu can feel that spring is here. We and all our doors and windows open yesterday and spent the day outside. You also know spring is here when the weed start to take off!

    1. I love airing the house out during Spring also Angela. Not today though as there is a strong hot north wind blowing...It better not blow all my blossoms off the trees.


  4. It has been warm during the day here in Queensland, Tania. The blossoms on our fruit trees have disappeared and the freesias are just about finished. I haven't lifted the lid on my Nettle Fertiliser yet. I will give it a little longer. I am not anxious to see what it smells like. LOL!

    1. By the sounds of it Nanna Chel, your Spring arrived before ours. I have no lid to put on my nettle fertiliser. I am going to have to move it soon as I want the barrel for a veggie bed. That is going to be a smelly job!


  5. As the continental U.S. Prepares for autumn, your spring images blessed my heart!

    Letters Unfolded

  6. Whoops sorry Joolz, I did it again. I think I should not try and use my phone to publish comments, my fingers are too big and clumsy :)

    Joolz http://simplyjoolz.blogspot.com.au/

    Not achieving much here, I'm still coughing and sneezing and that gastro wog took it out of me!
    It got to just over 20C here yesterday so I feel the winter thaw happening. My garden is a mess, carpet roses all need pruning, sour sobs are the only blooms happening. Blaaagh! Oh well, tomorrow is a new week - we are off to Portland, Victoria for an anniversary (29th) weekend next weekend so that should be nice.
    I'm off to open windows and doors too to let in some much needed fresh air!
    Cheers - Joolz xx

    1. You know all that work will wait for you Joolz. It will get done eventually. Being unwell is frustrating, hope you are feeling better soon.

      Have a lovely trip to Victoria and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you both!!


  7. Six foot brown, Arghhhhhhh. You know he will come back, dont you.

    Do you seriously have a typed up Spring Cleaning roster? This is way organised. Im impressed.

    1. Yeah I know hey Lynda, we usually don't see snakes around here that early!

      Yes, sadly I do have a list of spring cleaning jobs, the only way I get it all done lol!


  8. Your fruit trees look amazing, you've definitely been busy havent you. I love the remodeled bbq stand, what a great idea. Dont like the idea of snakes at all so i really hope that one doesnt come back. I cant believe you have a typed up spring cleaning list but its a brilliant idea. Have a great week Tania and enjoy your nice warm weather xoxo

    1. If I don't have a list, I don't get things done lol!

      Thank you for your kind words.

      You have a great week too Karen.


  9. Would love to pay you a visit in person one day :)

    1. You would be welcomed with open arms Kimmie xx

  10. Hi Tania. As always your efforts awe me! I particularly envy your strawberries! Although they are at their least expensive just now, there's nothing like a home grown strawb! I love too, that you've shared your abundance with the Salvation Army to distribute to families in need. What a wonderful gesture, and so much better than having home grown produce go to waste as is the case in the suburbs. It just breaks my heart to see good oranges, mangoes and passionfruit, so often dropping from their vines and trees and rotting. City dwellers just don't seem to know that their home grown produce can be put to good use by others! Not envious of the brown snake! Love, Mimi xxx

    1. I hate waste too Mimi. I could never let anything go rotten on the ground when there are people out there that would appreciate the fruit. There are trees here around town with oranges etc rotting underneath, such a shame...


  11. Dear Tania, What a week! I am just starting to remember what a busy time spring is!
    Well done on donating the mandarins. It simply amazes me when people let fruit go to waste and you see it all the time.
    It was lovely of your Mum and Dad to bring vegie plants for you.
    Also your compost looks wonderful.
    It is a busy but wonderful time. What we do now sets up a new harvest and makes life better... like spring cleaning. I am on that too. Washing lounge covers for instance... and then the water goes onto the garden too.
    Have another excellent week. With love Annabel.xxxx

    1. I have been a a bit slack with the spring cleaning inside Annabel. Instead the outside has been calling me, so I have been outside, fussing around in the garden. Sometimes I just sit down and listen. The birds sound beautiful this time of year!


  12. The weather here has been beautiful too and it makes you want to get out and garden or open all the windows to spring clean. Your compost looks great and love the idea of the old bins. I've been thinking about wicking beds for a while now so may have to do a couple and see how they go.
    have a great week Taniax

  13. Glad to see the lizards coming back out, but I'm sure you could have done without the poisonous snake!

  14. Hi Tania, I have just been catching up on blogs and I was reading your bit about making wahing powder. Do you have a food processor?, I grate all my soap in mine and also mix in the additives, I only do it about every18 months, and the powder stays fresh and their is only one mesh to wah up, and no grated fingertips. xx


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