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Life on two acres of arid dirt, on the edge of the Australian outback.

Friday, August 7, 2020

this and that

Just a simple post about life during C-19. Here are some of the happenings around here in the last couple of months.  No matter what is occurring around us, life still goes on...

~from the kitchen...

The gift of chillies...

 made into some very hot chili sauce.

My mum wants to learn how to make sourdough bread, so I checked to see if some of my dried sourdough would come back to life.

and it did!

I baked this delicious pumpkin cake.

A recipe from Sophie Thomson's book "Sophie's Patch".

Anzac biscuits to take away with us. I make these with our home grown honey instead of golden syrup.

Delicious honey crackles...

Chocolate muffins...

Stewed rhubarb from the garden.

We had a pizza night with friends, so I whipped up a quandong crumble for dessert.

Soup made from one of mum's home grown pumpkins.

I put my order in for a chopping board and this is what Phil came up with. They are made from a couple of pieces of red gum we had in our wood pile.

A new flavour of kombucha using black, green and organic hibiscus tea...so delicious. No need for the second ferment with this one.

Collecting, sorting, cleaning and using vintage cutlery. They don't make things like they use to...

Apple scrap vinegar...

~the work of my hands...

Some crochet while traveling. A couple of place mats for the caravan.

Making a hot water bottle cover for my daughter.

On my needles recently, were three pairs of nice and warm wool socks for family members and myself.

Produce bags...

~from the garden...

Another appreciated gift from a friend.

Off our tree.

 For lunch...

What to do with leftover sage? Smudge sticks! Not that I want to smudge anybody out haha! Mind you I wish I could smudge out this virus!

My big haul of amaranth seeds haha! I will add these to my sourdough loaves.


We journeyed to Manna Hill to surprise our friend Di. She had let us know that she had a part for the flu of an old wood-stove we have stored in the back shed, so we went to collect it. The wood-stove is going to be brought back to life and used to cook on outside. Di owns and runs the Manna Hill hotel, call in if you are ever passing through. She has a lot of memorabilia contained within, it is not your regular hotel.

The old railway station across the road.

Driving back roads...

No kangaroos out here, just pigs wandering around!

We couldn't believe our eyes.  There were pigs everywhere, all over the road and in the nearby paddocks. I am not sure if they had escaped from their enclosure or just let out to run loose.

I really miss the views from my home town.

 A bit hard to see, but there were lots of cormorants on the rocks.

~other this and that...

My friend bought these for me for $1 each at a recent garage sale.  I LOVE pottery!

I recently acquired this bread crock from a house that was getting demolished. It has never been used, has no chips or cracks and is huge!

We have wonderful friends that give us jars.  The large coffee jars are perfect for pantry storage.

We have a couple of new additions to the hen house.

And the girls are laying again after a long break.

Having fun at Nan's. Play dough is our favourite thing to do...

 Lots to learn...

The spiders are awakening from the cold winter.

Life for us is pretty much continuing on as normal.  We are not people that socialise regularly at pubs, clubs, gyms etc. Give me a cup of tea, cake, friends and family any day... 

The home and garden are my peaceful haven, and I do not mind if I have to spend time in both of these should we go back into round two of lock down. We are unable to travel interstate, but that is fine too because so long as there is no second wave of C-19, we have plenty of beautiful places in South Australia to visit. 

Tell me, what keeps you grounded in these unusual times? 

See you soon,

PS. Yesterday I had blogger change this blog over to the new format. I thought I would give it a go, but what a nightmare! The photos wouldn't line up and the sizing is all wrong, so I have reverted back to the original. I don't know if eventually I will have to use the new one, but for now I'll stick with what I know. Anyone else had issues with the new blogger changes?


  1. Lots of good food, love pottery, hate the new blogger and went back, but they'll eventually FORCE us to give it up.

    1. Yes, I believe blogger will force us oldies to give up and try the new version. Not sure how it is going to go, they need to iron out some issues first.


    2. Have to agree about blogger, nightmare, can't seem to read HTML code either. Chris@Tales of Time

  2. What gorgeous photos, Tania. Wow! You amaze me. My freelance writing has been keeping me grounded. It's a relief to be able to work from home, earn money, and save some, too. It also helps me to sing, chant, take care of the garden, walk the dog, swim at the lake and read. I've gotten back into knitting again, too. Like you, I am making socks for a friend. Your placemats are so pretty! I love them.

    1. It is wonderful to hear that you are getting to do all the things you love during this time Stephenie. Sounds very grounding indeed.

      I loved the way those place-mats turned out too. They were fiddly to make but by the time I finished the first one the second one was a breeze.

      Have a great weekend,

  3. Wow you have been busy in the kitchen cooking up a storm. My kids loved play dough in our house too, not that we've done that for many years however the last lot of play dough I made in Christmas Colours using the Thermomix and the dough was so soft. I changed my blog over to the new format and I was very confused and could only load one photo at a time which seems crazy and wasn't sure how to add a new blog post etc however eventually found the + button at the bottom right hand side. I'm used to it now but it took me 2-3 posts before it felt normal. It's easy now. Kathy, Brisbane

    1. Oh Kathy, you give me hope that I can manage to navigate the new blogger format. I was terribly concerned that I would need to start a other blog on a new platform, which I don't want to do. Either that or give up blogging all together, which I have noticed a few are doing.

      Thank you for your help.

      Enjoy your weekend,

  4. Wow Tania, you have been so productive! Your crocheted place mates are so pretty and the hot water bottle cover looks great.
    How beautiful is that old railway station at Manna Hill?
    The bread crock is amazing, lucky you!
    I have several of the same books that you have in your book pile. John Seymour was the instigator of my homestead dreams back in the 80's - not that I think I will ever manage an english style five-acre holding. Too many limitations - not enough rain being the first limitation.
    I am using the new blogger format, and yes I have had troubles with the photos not lining up - mostly with the centering of the photos. Otherwise I have found it 0k, but having said that I haven't explored any of the 'engine room' stuff like changing layout or themes.

    1. That railway station is a wonderful old building at Manna Hill, it is on the main highway going right through the town.

      I spend time reading a lot of books Sherri, but rarely spend time doing what I have read lol! It is great to get ideas though and know how things work. Lack of rain is a problem here too. Most of these book are based in good growing areas.

      Sounds like I will have to persist with the new blogger, I am one who doesn't like change haha!

      Thank you for your help.


  5. Yes I have used the new Blogger, it does get easier with use. I love your photos -and those pottery finds are quite the thing!

    1. I just need to find time to "play" with the new format. I am sure I will eventually work it out :)

      Have a lovely weekend,

  6. You have been so busy.
    I’m tried just reading it all
    I use a blogger app so no matter what they do with the blogger it stays the same on the app

    1. Thank you for your input Angela. A blogger app sounds good :)

  7. Such a joy to stop by :) You've been so busy working with your hands and preserving your harvest. ...and to answer the question the only things that keep me grounded in these unusual times are firstly the Lord, my loving husband, family, friends and just doing the things we normally do. Avoiding any media hype (well TV in general) helps too. Blessings to you ~ Linda

    1. I can see why you keep grounded Linda. Having strong faith in God is definitely the answer to all of our problems. He will get us through the trials of life, especially if we seek him in everything we do. Your are a beautiful example of a faithful woman of God.

      I agree about the TV, it seems to constantly bombard us with the doom and gloom. We need a whole program for all the goodness that goes unnoticed...TV has its place, I don't mind watching a few British shows, but even then some are filled with too much violence and foul language. I am watching Father Brown as I type this and I like programs similar to this one, mostly because they are based on the 50's and 60's, an era I love.

      God Bless,

  8. Hi Tania, I am very much enjoying your blog. I have been very fortunate to be able to be home and living my usual quiet life during quarantine. A winter hibernation has been very useful to dive down deep and re-evaluate various aspects of life. After an anxious time at the beginning I stopped going on social media at all and limited my consumption of the news. Re-reading old favourite novels and connecting with family is much more calming and life affirming. Getting out in the garden always helps as well.
    I loved your photos, used to live in Broken Hill about twenty five years ago and passed the Manna Hill pub every time we went to Adelaide. I am trying to remember now if we ever stopped there - probably, it's a bit of a drive, especially when pregnant!

    1. Hello there Jo,

      So good to hear from you again. Just as well you are not in Broken Hill at the moment with all the restrictions, that would probably be a nightmare right now for anyone needing to go to appointments in Adelaide. Phil goes by train to Broken Hill and has to fill in forms for exemption and then get a C-19 test when he returns home and isolate while he waits for the results. So that means I also have to isolate. What a confusing time we are living at the moment.

      I was thinking today about changing a few things again. I pulled back from social media for three months and it did me good so I am going to stay off of these platforms and just live my life for a while. I will continue on with my blog for now.

      I have started sorting through some of my unread books to finally make time to read them. The last four days I have been sorting my craft room out and will make it into a utility room where I can do a variety of activities, like soap making, sewing, card making etc. I will set up my dehydrator and vacola unit out there too. At the moment I am knitting my grand daughter a cardigan, while watching TV, and I will listen to the news only once a day as it is too much doom and gloom. I am also going to make a conscious decision to be thankful everyday.

      Wishing you a lovely peaceful week,

  9. Dh is still home from the factory with his broken wrist. He has been doing a few easy jobs on the tractor. Both he and I will be glad when the cast is off!
    Since I work in an essential industry I've not had much time off, but this coming Friday my bosses are giving me the day off with pay. They are giving me one each month until ?? Such a wonderful thing. I'll be traveling to see my friend who lives 3 hours away, for the day. I'd stay overnight but there's that man in a cast thing...
    We enjoy the evenings at home and the grandbabies who come to visit each Saturday morning. All in all, so far, things have been Ok here. We are adjusting to wearing masks everywhere and I don't mind not having to be in crowded spaces.
    My home and gardens are enough.
    Stay safe!

    1. Thank you so much for your visit today, it is lovely to hear from you.

      How wonderful that you are able to get a day off, I am sure you will have a beautiful time with your friend. I hope your man with a cast will soon be well enough to get back to normal. I can imagine he would be going a little stir crazy being restricted in movement.

      How special that you have your grandchildren come to visit regularly, I think masks will be a thing of the future for all of us. We will need to stay protected from harmful viruses etc.

      I don't venture far from my home. My family are near and I see them regularly which is a blessing. I have one of my four children living in Sydney. She would dearly love to come home, but with the restrictions she is unable to at this time.

      Many blessings to you this coming week,

  10. Hi Tania,
    Thank -you so much for sharing your adventures. The pigs are amazing. Goats I have seem but never pigs on the road. Playdough is such a great thing to do. Your grandies sure are having fun. So much learning in the playing! Your silverware collection reminded me that I have some in a box (somewhere in this house!) that belonged to my mum, grandma and great aunt. I must find, polish and use them. I am gardening, gardening and then gardening! My snow peas are coming up and the ordinary peas have so many pods....I just have to be patient and wait for them to fill up. Are your new pieces of pottery sitting on an ice chest? So great to have you back blogging. Stay safe, warm and well. Catch up soon. Jo

    1. Hi Jo,

      It is good to hear from you again.

      Wow you have your family's silverware! What a great gift to inherit, you definitely should use them, they are so much better than modern day cutlery.

      Glad to hear you are getting to spend time in your garden and that the plants are growing well.

      Yes that is an icebox from our old farm in Ceduna. Mum used it as a storage cupboard for her sewing things and it lived under the verandah at the old farm house. I rescued it when they decided to sell up and move. Lovingly stripped all the paint off and finished it with shellac to bring out the real beauty of the oak. I have quite a few pieces of furniture from our old farm and my childhood. Treasures for sure!

      Hopefully I can be more consistent with blogging, I get busy and easily distracted sometimes.

      Take care,
      Tania xxx

  11. So much to see, read and be inspired by, Tania! Loved this post. :-)
    I haven't switched to the new blogger yet because of all the negative feedback, but apparently Blogger have only given us a small amount of time to do this ourselves before they make the switch for us. Ouch.

    1. Hello Jenny,

      So lovely to hear from you.

      I think you are right about having to change over to the new blogger. Not looking forward to it either.

      Wishing you a lovely weekend,


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