Friday, March 24, 2017

daily life

Hello again dear friends, it has been a while.  

Daily life happened and blogging took the back seat. It has been a bit hectic around here of late.

As expected, we are now empty nesters, with our son and his girlfriend moving into their first home. So very proud of them.


We have been kept busy running back and forth between houses sorting out bits and pieces and doing work that needed to be done.  They have been busy painting and settling in.  The house now has their own personal touch.

Back at home it is very quiet. Something that I am still getting used to.



I am not used to doing such a small load of washing and only once a week! Or cooking for only two. It feels so strange.  And the house stays tidy...amazing!

I had a busy day cleaning and sorting and tonight I have time for a blog update!

I get to do a bit more of this ~smiles


I really must tell you about this mother hen who took us by surprise recently. One afternoon, she showed up out the front of our house with ten baby chicks in tow. It appears she was able to sit on her eggs without us knowing. Later we found her nest with all the hatched egg shells under the jasmine shrub in the front garden. 

We had workmen coming and going, and all through the hot weather I was putting the sprinkler on not knowing she was there. She sat so quietly right through the heatwave with temperatures in the high 40's. Not once did she falter, she sat tight keeping her babies safe and warm. Now that is dedication for you. That's what we all do as mothers, we do anything to protect our young.

During the heat of Summer, we try to prevent our chooks from going broody. So this was a lovely surprise. The chickens are all doing well and growing fast.



Here is her little hiding place.


In between the busyness, I have been baking.

Date loaves.


Apricot slice.


Sourdough loaves.


Sourdough starter brewing on the laundry bench.  The warmest place in the house...perfect!


Then there was this delicious healthy apple pie, and it is vegan!  





Our garden is producing well so we are eating lots of fresh veggies. In this dish are homegrown eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and capsicum. Also included are onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook with big sploshes of olive oil, a touch of lemon juice and lots of oregano, real Mediterranean goodness.


Lunch ~ Tuna slice and salad.


Vegan lunch for me. 



We had a couple of birthdays in March.
This was the gift I gave my eldest daughter.  She is a Down to Earth follower.


And here she is with a special fluffy sponge cake baked by her Nanna.


 Our son also turned twenty one and we celebrated with a family meal at a little old pub in nearby Quorn. Here he is cutting the cake with his girlfriend.


Oh and I had another fantastic op shop find!  A queen sized  granny square patchwork quilt in perfect condition. I do not think it has been used at all  *doing a little happy dance here!


The price $20!


We came across some new friends while out walking at my parents. These little cows were very keen to investigate what we were doing.

And these cuties in the adjoining paddock were also very inquisitive. Aren't they so pretty? I hear they do not have nice manners though, and like to spit, so I didn't get too close haha!



The vegetable garden in Autumn. 

I am picking heaps of tomatoes, capsicums and apple cucumbers at the moment. Also eggplants, spring onions and rhubarb.  The zucchinis and silverbeet are not really producing anymore. I will be pulling the plants out soon to make room for some winter vegetables.
























 In the gathering basket.





The tulip pelargonium is flowering again.




 Easter bunny craft.




Well dear friends that is all the news for now. I hope to be back to regular blogging with all this new spare time on my hands.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.  It is going to be a hot one here, 36C (96.8F) tomorrow and 41C (105.8F) on Sunday, then a few cooler days thank goodness. We are off tomorrow to forage some almonds from the side of the road and will go early to beat the heat.

See you soon xx


31 comments:

  1. Big congratulations to your son. 21 and a home owner...you know how rare this maturity is 'out there' nowadays don't you.

    My imagination simply does not stretch to an empty home or a home that stays tidy - ha ha!! not yet anyway.

    Phil

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    1. Hi Phil,

      Our son decided to buy rather than rent and pay out dead money. The repayments are cheaper than rent! They had been on the lookout for a house for about six months.

      A tidy (and quiet) house may happen to you one day. For me it means a less rushed life :)

      They live nearby so we can visit anytime which is a blessing.

      xTania

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  2. How do those alpacas stay cool in the heat that you have there?

    Now I'm hungry for some apricot slice and chickpea salad - thanks ;)

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    1. I cant answer that question Dani lol!. The alpacas do get shorn so maybe that helps. I presume their coat is like a sheep, warm in winter and insulated against the heat in summer :)

      xTania

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  3. Spring is just now arriving in my part of the world, while it looks like you're starting your fall harvest. Glad your son is stretching his wings, so many these days DON'T. Congratulations on the new flock additions.

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    1. Hi there Gorges, so glad to hear from you again.

      Thank you for your kind comment.

      Wishing you a great week,

      xTania

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  4. I love hearing and seeing, through your lovely photos, all you've been up to:) I can't imagine my boy ever leaving home or buying one of his own for that matter...he's only just reached double digits...but I guess one day that will happen. You must be proud of your son in his independence and in buying his own home. Amazing! Meg:)

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    1. Thank you Meg. And yes I am very proud of all of our sons achievements. He has worked hard to get what he wants. Left school to become an electrician and is now fully qualified, also worked while at school and is a very good saver. We have taught him well :)

      It will happen Meg, your boy will grow and you will wonder where those years went. I wasn't ready for my boy to turn eighteen, it came by so quickly. One minute he was a teenager, next all grown up. Cherish the time with you son while you can.

      xTania

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  5. Congratulations to your son and his girlfriend. Big step. First home. My son and daughter in law have moved back in. They sold their home and are now looking for the perfect forever home. Their first one was way too small
    So I'm back to a full nest I don't mind. I'm sure Ill miss them when they go again
    Enjoy the empty nest. It's a whole new beginning

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    1. Thank you Angela.

      Yes it is a big step and I spent many a night worrying about it. But in the end it still happened and I am proud of their achievements. Our son and girlfriend have known each other since primary school and have been going out together for three years so they know each other well. They both have good jobs so I think they will do well. Our son is a saver (or was), not sure he will be able to save too much now though.

      I am starting to enjoy my free time. I can come and go as I please, cook when I want, no schedule as such and not so much housework to do. More time to play :)

      Yours have moved back home? My hubby says no refunds or returns lol! Three of my four children live nearby so I see them regularly :)

      xTania

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  6. Hi Tania, I wondered do you have old posts on your blog explaining how you set up your veggie patch? I can see that you garden in barrels of some sort, and they look like they may be wicking beds?? I'm hoping to experiment with this style of gardening, and am keen on any information I can get!

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    1. Hi Cheryl, here is the post I did on wicking barrels. http://outbacktania.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/growing-veggies-in-wicking-barrels.html

      They take a bit of work but definitely worth the effort. Our water bill has dropped significantly since using these barrels.

      xTania



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    2. Thanks so much, I will read this as soon as I get a chance :)

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  7. Tania you and hubby have done well to have your son a home owner and only 21. Amazing! My son 27, is in far Western Sydney and the hopes of him ever being able to save enough for a deposit for a wreck of a home are small.
    Having an empty nest feels 'wrong' at first. Don't worry you get used to it and it is wonderful. We recently had our daughter, now at university, move back in. That was a shock but one we are now used to. I do wish my house would stay tidy. I have a husband who is messier than any child.
    Your garden abundance is such a pleasure to the eye. Our potted garden is picking up as we finally had some good rain last week (none since last October, our second failed wet season). The garden beds have little seedlings poking up and lots of weeds.

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    1. Hello Jane,

      Thank you for your kind comment.

      I have a daughter living in Sydney and she has said the same thing. They can never afford to buy a house over there which is so sad. She pays exorbitant prices for rent!

      My husband can be messy too, which can be a little annoying lol ;)

      It is not taking me long to get used to my new life. I am doing as I please, cooking when I want and enjoying the freedom from schedules after so many years (36). I am less stressed and more relaxed so that is a good thing :)

      xTania

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  8. Tania, those wicking barrels have done so well. Unfortunately we lost most of our veggies during the dreadful heatwaves in summer which are unusual for us where summer is usually mild. As Jane said there has been rain this past week but I haven't got anything planted for winter as yet as there are weeds absolutely everywhere. I guess it will all get done in time. Nice to hear from you again as it has been a while.

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    1. Sorry to hear about your veggies Nanna Chel. The weather has been really weird this year. We had a lot of humid weather instead of the direct heat. Apart from the week when we reached 48C, it hasn't been too bad. Today is 41C but I feel it almost the end of the heat as next week is a lot cooler. Almost time to prepare wood for the fire :)

      You are probably in for a deluge this week when Cyclone Debbie hits land. Hope we get some rain soon as it has been quite a while since we have had a decent amount.

      Have a great week,
      xTania

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  9. Dear Tania, I loved reading this. Your apricot slice looks beautiful, every thing does.
    Well done to your son! Yes rent money is dead money. He has done very well at his age. I love your surprise chickens and your garden especially those flowers!
    I hope tomorrow is the last of the heat! With love, Annabel.xxx

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    1. Dear Annabel,

      I hope today is the last of the heat too! I have had enough for this year, I am starting to feel drained. That could be because of daylight savings though. Will be glad to see that end as well!

      Have a lovely week,
      Love Tania xx

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  10. Hello Tania,
    What a lovely post filled with all sorts of wonderful goodness. So exciting to hear about your son and his new home. I remember purchasing my first home ... it felt like such a huge accomplishment.
    How exciting to find 10 new chicks! I love your account of how mother hen patiently hatched them through all that hot weather you all have been experiencing.
    The granny square quilt is lovely. I think it has inspired me to begin a project.
    Thank you for sharing with us. Your posts are always such a joy to read.
    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

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    1. Dear Mrs B,

      Thank you for your kind words, it is good to know that people like to read what I post. Sometimes I get stuck for ideas to post, so everyday life seems the best option :)

      Wishing you a lovely week,
      xTania

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  11. Great post, Tania! Lovely vely pictures of your goings on. Lots of yummy food! Being an empty nester, I wish my girls were closer so I could cook for them more. I love going to Adelaide and baking up a storm for them.
    Well done to your young man for getting his first house at 21 too!

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    1. Hi there Joolz,

      I imagine that you missed your girls terribly when they moved to Adelaide. I bet they love you cooking up that storm when you visit :)

      xTania

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  12. Fair play to your son, that's certainly the way to do it if you can.
    I was also very impressed with your sour dough loaves! And your veggies look aamzing as always! Very Jealous as we're just getting tot he end of the leeks leaving us with just chard and rhubarb now!

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    1. Great to hear from you Kev, and thank you for your complimentary comment. It wont be long and your veggie garden will be in full swing with Summer. Enjoy!

      xTania

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  13. What a great find the granny blanket is for $20....you couldn't even get the wool for that amount let alone the time to make it. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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    1. I thought so too Kathy, such a really well made blanket. Many hours of some sweet persons time went into creating such a beautiful piece.

      Thank you for dropping by today, its lovely to have you here.

      xTania

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  14. Great post Tania. I especially enjoyed reading about mother hen. I hope they are all doing well.

    I'm off to have a tour of your other posts now. Have a great weekend, Kylie

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    1. Hello and welcome Kylie.

      Those baby chicks are doing really well. There are still ten of them too :)

      xTania

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  15. Nice to see you back. So nice to hear about the young couples first house...always exciting :)

    I'm amazed at the amount of vegetable and fruit that you grow. Well done. Fabulous.

    We had warm to hot yesterday but I believe we are in for more wet and soggy days!

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I love reading your comments! Through them, I have learnt that there are some truly lovely people out there. Thank you :)