About Me

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Wife, mum and nan. 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, January 9, 2016

Very Looooooong update!

Hello again dear friends,

I trust everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year.

I really cant believe how time has slipped away from me since my last post back in November. 
Life happened J

Thank you to everyone who inquired after my well being. 
 I have been fine, just busy...

 Finally I have reached 500 posts.  It has taken a while to reach this milestone and I have made and continue to make many great friends along the way. I have even been extremely privileged enough to meet some of you in real life. 
Joolz@Simply Joolz, Annabel@The Bluebirds are Nesting, Wendy@My Abundant Life and Cath@Debt Free, Cashed up and Laughing.   I also met Sandra from A Life Slowing Down but she no longer blogs.

 It all started in late 2007 when my daughter suggested I start a blog and she helped me set it up. It seems like such a long time ago.  Recently I went back over some of my older posts to see how things have changed in eight years.  Blogs are wonderful for looking back on your life. Back then my favourite all time blog had just started too. Rhonda@Down to Earth first inspired me to the pleasures of living a simple life.

So here I am in 2016 and still going, even if it is at a slower pace.  I did lose my mojo for a couple of years and found it hard to get back, but with encouragement from some new bloggers I have kept plugging away. Sometimes it is hard to know what would be of interest to the reader.

I really would like to thank all my followers for sticking with me through this journey.  And to all those that leave comments, they are very much appreciated and I love hearing from you. Without you all, this blog wouldn't be worth writing.

This particular post is a mixture of things that have been happening since November...

We have a new dryer rack holder.  
Hubby made this up out of an old futon bed/lounge frame thingamajig.

Hasn't he done a great job?

 Another project...

Making one good lawnmower from three. 

And this. Can you guess what it is?

Hopefully a jam pourer.  
We have yet to try it. 
Hubby is hoping for less mess when it comes to jam making.

Getting ready for some more dryers.

I found one of these.
 It is just the right size to go into the caravan.

It was still in its original box.

In November we were in Adelaide and had just finished a bit of shopping in a big shopping complex.  We parked the car quite a distance away from the entrance and upon returning we ran into one of these.
Now, I have only seen a koala in the distance at the zoo, so this was definitely a strange encounter for me. 
We don't get koalas where we live.

This fellow came down out of the tree just as we got there.
We were worried that he would want to cross the busy road to get to the other side.  Hubby stood on the road to keep him on the footpath and eventually helped him cross at a nearby crossing.  The people in the cars were very helpful by slowing down.

I took a couple of short videos if you would like to watch.

We went to see ACDC!
It was a great concert but way too loud for this old girl.  
We had earplugs in and it was still too loud!

The Christmas toy run went passed our place in early December.

Our tree.

We have had a BIG cleanout!

Pickings from the garden...

Hubby volunteered to decorate the pavlova for Christmas day. 
This one was a practice run J

The nuts and bolts mix I made for the blokes this Christmas.

 Our Grandson's Scout group held their 
Christmas breakup at the front beach. This was the view from where I was sitting.

Vegan chocolate cake, YUM!

A feed of blue swimmer crabs...

Drying breadcrumbs in the sun.

And apricots.

Soak in lemon or pineapple juice and they keep their colour well.

We had an abundance of apricots this year.  
We have dried some, stewed some and made a lot into jam.

Forty eight jars!

The poor little granny apples fell from the tree in the extreme heatwave we had the week before Christmas.  We were the hottest place in the world on one of those days!!
Broke the record we did!

That is 117F for my American friends J
South Australian Weather's photo.

I fell in love with,and bought this chopping board. It is so lovely and bright, and it adds some prettiness to my kitchen.

This is hubby's Christmas present from my dad. 
 A manual chainsaw!
Hehehe, good one Dad!

Some magpies have befriended us.

I have been picking heaps of tomatoes.
They struggled with the heat, but I have got them through so far. 
I think these are ox hearts.

The hoist is in the shed and been put to use already.

A new recipe I am going to try. Thanks Sarah J

We spent last weekend at my parents place.

Here is hubby with some of the friendliest chickens I have seen.  
These were hatched out by our daughter and given to mum and dad. They are so very quiet. 
Hubby is sharing his salt and vinegar chips with them!

We picked up some wheat to take home for our chooks.

A bag of organic wheat from my Dad. 
 I am hoping to make "proper" flour and grow some wheat grass J

And a gift from my dad for hubby to add to his collection.

That feeling of being watched...

Thirsty lizard.

Hungry lizard.

He was so enjoying this apricot.  
I watched him for ages...

A new grand baby is due any day now.

Hot sunsets...

This year our Christmas was hosted by our eldest daughter and her partner. They live in the nearby small town of Quorn.

They set up tables in two rooms of their quaint little cottage.

It was all very cosy.

Two families gathered together as one and had the loveliest meal and catch up.

There was a bit of chaos happening in the kitchen, and of course the temperature had to be 41C! (105.8F)

A nice hot lunch was lovingly prepared and enjoyed by all.

Then outside we went for the yearly family photos. We have a new family member and that is our son's girlfriend.  She joined us for the first time this year. Also in the photo is my nephew and his wife who traveled down from Alice Springs to surprise my parents.  
And what a surprise it was. 
Mum had tears. 
I had tears.
The best Christmas present ever!

 Dad and mum with my nephew and his wife, and the grand dog.

The beautiful hosts.
They did a great job!

Our children. 
You can see the new grand baby bulging in this pic.

With hubby's mum...

And lastly 
a peek into the veggie patch.

I have had to cover it well this year...

A Greek cucumber.
These are huge!

It is going to be another hot week with temperatures in the 40's.  Hopefully we get some rain soon as it is really dry.

Until next time,

Take care.


  1. that certainly was a long catch up! well worth it though, the photos are amazing, of sunsets, lizards, gardens & family! glad you had a great xmas & survived the heat!
    thanx for sharing

    1. Hi Selina, thank you so much for your kind words :)

      Happy New Year to you and yours!


  2. The temps have been unbelievable this summer, haven't they?! Here in South Africa, there have been record temps as well - we have NEVER had 39 - 41oC where we are before, and the hottest point in SA this week hot 47.4oC That is insane!!!

    Like you, I couldn't grow anything without the assistance of my shadecloth veggie house.

    1. Wow that is hot Dani! Hope these extremes aren't a sign of things to come. I am over Summer already!

      It is a struggle to grow veggies but I will keep persisting. The barrels have worked out really well and the plants seem to love growing in them...shade cloth is definitely a necessity!

      Have a great 2016!


  3. Tania, I was wondering how you were. So glad you haven't been sick or anything untoward. I can't imagine having a hot Christmas lunch in 41C heat! You are keen I must say. It is always a cold lunch for us with pavlova afterwards. Your pav looked terrific. Your hubby did a great job.

    1. Hi Nanna Chel, thank you for your concern. I am fighting fit and looking forward to new beginnings in 2016.

      Yes we usually do the salad and cold meat thing for Christmas but my daughter felt like a change and it was lovely to enjoy a nice hot meal prepared by someone else. All I had to do was make the gravy :)

      Happy New Year!


  4. Happy New Year Tania,

    Your update is fabulous. I was praying you were a very busy lady as opposed to being ill or handling a life crisis.
    It looks as though you all had a marvelous Christmas.
    It is wonderful to hear your garden is doing well, despite the extreme heat. In addition to the shade cloths, do you give credit to your new self watering containers? I'd love to know how they are working for you.
    It looks like you handy hubby has been busy tinkering on all sorts of gadgets and inventions. How blessed you are to have such an industrious man!
    Again, so glad you were able to post an update. I loved all the photos and the videos.


    1. Hi there Mrs B,

      Yes I am fine and so glad that the busyness of the Christmas season is settling down. I did try to do a post a couple of times but I always got distracted by other things. One time blogger wasn't working properly so I gave up. Anyway I decided to just do one big post to catch up with everything and then I can start a fresh.

      Oh yes the self watering containers have certainly done the job with my plants. They are doing so well. When it is hot I still have to water them a bit from the top just to keep them cool as the barrels still get very hot.

      Yes if hubby can make things he will, he has saved us thousands of dollars over the years.

      Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year too!


  5. I didn't realize it has been so long, seems like only a few weeks ago. Is that box full of 303 bandoleers or just a neat empty box? I have a little hand reloader for mine as hunting rounds are expensive.
    Looks like you are having a good summer if a bit warm.

    1. I know, where does the time go? I couldn't believe that two months had passed by.

      Unfortunately the 303 box is empty, but hubby does know where there is one untouched. I don't like his chances of getting it. It wont stop him trying though :)

      Have a fantastic New Year!


  6. Hey, Tania. I haven't been by in awhile, lots going on here. I am glad to see that you are still doing all the things that are so interesting! I would have snatched up that Koala and taken him home! As always, I love the lizard pictures.

    That .303 wooden case would fetch a pretty penny from collectors here. It's worth a bundle.

    Take care of yourself and the family, enjoyed the visit here.

    1. Hi there Harry,

      It is great to hear from you. I thought you would like the lizards :)

      I think that koala might have been a bit of a handful to put in the car. Not the nicest of creatures although very cute lol!

      Is the 303 case worth anything if it is empty? Hubby was well pleased when my father handed it over :)

      Have a great year!


  7. Yes it's been a busy few months! Your garden is looking great. I'm slowing getting back into it. We are constantly picking and eating and even preserving some as well. We too have a grand baby coming. This looks to be another busy years for both of us. Happy new year xx

    1. Happy New Year Angela!

      Summer is such a busy time if you grow your own, but oh so worth it.

      That's great news about your grand baby. Exciting times ahead for both of us :)


  8. So glad to see you Tania. What a great catch up. I love everything. All that jam! The dryer rack. Your husband is so inventive and can make anything!
    The vegies look fantastic.
    Lovely to see the whole family and that a baby is due!
    I have to ask where did you get that chopping board?! Love it!
    You have been so busy and productive in spite of a lot of heat. Well done. This was a great catch up! xxx

    1. Dear Annabel,

      Thank you for the welcome back, I have really missed this community. Hopefully I can catch up with what everyone has been up to over the next few days.

      I bought the chopping board from a gift shop here, it is very pretty.


  9. Phew - you're back :-) . I am still very in inspired at what you do particularly in the gardening department given your very outback conditions.

    1. Yes I am back, and glad to be too :)

      Great to hear from you again Phil, I see I have a lot to read on your blog, you have been very productive in my absence :)


  10. What a great post! Sounds far too hot for me - how do you do anything? I wouldn't be able to move with that heat! does it affect how long your jams and things will last? 48 jars will take some eating!

    1. Hi there Kev,

      It is getting way too hot for me too! I dream of greener pastures these days. I am over the Australian heat, dirt and flies!

      No the heat doesn't effect the jams etc, they keep just as well. Wont take long to eat all that jam in this house, hubby loves it!


  11. I am in awe that you still grow vegetables in that heat. I just give up at this time of year other than the perrenials. When it get so hot we just get so many bugs.

    1. I sometimes feel like giving up too, especially when the plants look like they are melting in the heat. But I battle on. The good thing about living here is we get very few bugs, so that is a bonus, otherwise I would really spit the dummy!


  12. Thankyou for all the photos Tania. It's wonderful to see what you've all been up to. Your garden is lookng great despite all the heat. God loves giving us challenges xoxo

    1. He certainly does Wendy, and as it is said, "if He leads you to it, He will get you through it". My challenges are minuscule compared to what others are facing in this world.


  13. Your garden looks great, Tania. I'm glad you had a happy Christmas!

  14. Tania I love reading what you accomplish. I know how harsh your climate is and how you manage your garden is amazing, it inspires me to keep plugging away with mine.

    And I just caught Wayne before he left for work and showed him your drying racks - a not so subtle hint :) He made me a set out of old fly screen windows from the family dairy when it was renovated and I love them but not so big so they limit my solar drying.

    And a new grandbaby - how exciting. Hope everything goes well for the new mum, dad and bub and grandparents :)

    1. Thank you Cath.

      Hope Wayne makes you a rack, it is so much better to have them stacked in one place.

      No baby yet :)


  15. Tania, you're an example to us all. What you achieve in your vege patch astounds me! I'm so glad you had a memorable Christmas. I hope all goes smoothly for Grandbaby's arrival! Love, Mimi xxx

  16. You have been busy! I have been away from blogging for a while too, but getting back into it now. It has been so hot, hasn't it?! Hubby has been at quite a few fires. Look forward to seeing what you are up to this year. I, too, am welcoming a grandbaby this year (due March 17th), very exciting!

    1. Yes Jayne, summer is a very busy time here at our place, that's why my blogging drops off a bit at this time of year. Next up I have nectarines to deal with :)

      Ohhh you are having a grand baby too, Congratulations!


  17. Always love catching up on your blog as it takes me back to living in Adelaide with plenty of fruit trees and no fruit fly. In our new home here I was surprised to see an apple tree with little apples but

  18. I've just found your blog from following your trail back from your comments on mine. Thank goodness I found you and I look forward to reading more of your posts soon. Glad to see you have water available for the lizards as we do here. Love the drying racks and your experience with the koala. We had one at the winery yesterday which caused plenty of excitement as we're not used to seeing them here. Brian placed a bucket of water at the base of the tree. :)

    1. Hello and welcome Sally, it is always great to find bloggers with similar interests. Even better that we live in the same state :)

      Oh yes there is always water around for the wildlife, they feel the heat too...


  19. Dear Tania, It's been awhile hasn't it? Looks like you are having much blessing in your life - the Lord is good to us isn't he? Thank you for your encouraging words! That is so true about the bible. I have no doubt it was sitting there just waiting. I am so happy to hear that you are on a similar journey. Hope to keep in touch. Tania xo

  20. Yes Tania it has been a long while. It was so lovely to see a blog post from you today. The Lord definitely is good to us, we see His blessings every day.

    I will keep in tough for sure. God Bless.

    Lots of love,
    Tania xo


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