About Me

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


This is a pic of our chooks. We have restocked our flock because some of the older ones died or became victims of a fox. We have had to fox proof their pen so they are safer. There are eight new girls, two new roosters and three older girls that are still laying, just. The new hens aren't laying yet. I love home grown eggs, the bought ones don't even come close. The best part is that I know what goes into our eggs by what we feed them. As you can see it is pretty dry here at the moment, not a blade of grass in sight. When we first moved here the enclosure was overgrown with weeds, so much so we couldn't even walk through it hardly. Now it is just dirt.

View of my kitchen sink.
(Sorry it's a bit dark).
I have spent the last couple of days cleaning the house in preparation of my friend's arrival tomorrow night.
Things will be a bit quiet around here for a few days as I spend some quality time with my best friend. We have been friends for over 26 years and it will be great to catch up again.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Done it!!

Yesterday, at last we preserved our nectarines. After asking many questions to people in the know we finally had a go and were pleased with the results.

Then I found somewhere to store them all. This is in an old icebox that my hubby restored. This icebox used to be on the farm that I grew up on. My mum had painted it blue and used it for a storage cupboard for her craft things. When the farm was sold I asked if I could have some of the old furniture to restore. I have quite a few pieces that I will show you in pictures later.

Last night we went to the drag competion in the nearby City of Whyalla, a fun night was had by all, that's if you like fast cars and lots of burnt rubber!

I think it is going to stay cooler for a few days to give everyone a little bit of relief, so I am hoping to get some more jobs done around the house. We still have some nectarines to deal with in the next few days as the last of them ripen. Unfortunately we still haven't had any rain, hopefully that isn't too far away.

Health and happiness to you all.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

We are roasting here

The best place to be in this weather. The pool got a workout today.

We were the hottest place in the state today reaching 45 degrees Celcuis. Not much fun when there are nectarines waiting to be picked. Most were not quite ready before today, now they may be ruined. I went to check during the day and quite a few have been burnt. We have a cheeky fox coming in and eating the fruit from under the tree. There is a little pile of stones just near the tree with a trail of stones nearby. Bet he has a tummy ache. I did manage to pick and stew some nectarines and I also tried preserving as shown in pictures.

Nectarines ready for stewing. They are now in the freezer for use later.

The preserves, these were done in the microwave. The rest I will do in a preserving kit that we have bought.

My pantry, the "Disaster" area.

That's better, organisation at last. This took me two days to sort through and clean up and I am determined for the pantry to stay like this. The smallest room in the house and the hardest to keep clean!
Must away and get some sleep and dream of cooler weather. Here's hoping that happens tomorrow.

Take care,

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Pickles and Pie

Sorry to be absent for a few days. I have been trying to get some of my chores done before starting back at work.

I have made some more pickles as shown in the photo above, thanks to Rhonda Jean's recipe. Her blog site can be found here http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/ I have also made Rhonda's Lemon Pie and that was delicious, mine is pictured below, you must try this one. I am proud of my pickles as this is the first time that I have attempted anything like this. They are yummy!

I have a heap more apple cucumbers that will need pickling soon, (see picture below top). Our nectarine tree, (see pics below) is ready for the fruit to be picked. It is absolutely loaded with some of the branches touching the ground. I guess I know what I will be doing over the next few days, preserving and stewing nectarines.

The weather is hotting up again with tomorrow expected to be 40 degrees Celcius. The poor vegies are not liking this weather one bit, we have had to cover them with shade cloth to try and protect them from the hot sun and so the water doesn't evaporate too quickly. The normal garden is struggling as well. Even the geraniums are looking sick. Three hours watering a week is taking it's toll. We have lost a few trees and shrubs due to lack of water.
I have finally started on my pantry and will post more about that tomorrow.
Hope you all had a nice day.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Home again


We are home again after an eight hour journey to Ceduna and back. It was nice to get away from the heat for a while although it was only for a breif time. Ceduna is my home town. This is where I was born and grew up until I was 30 and decided to have a change. Looking at that lovely ocean makes me wonder why I moved away. I caught up with a few close friends while there and stayed overnight with them. We headed back home yesterday afternoon and didn't get home until 11.00pm and I was too tired to blog. We arrived home to 40 degrees Celcius again.

This is the nearby silos at Thevenard. Photo taken from the Ceduna foreshore.

Another photo taken from the Ceduna foreshore. The beaches on the West Coast are just beautiful with lovely white sand.

At my home today the temperature soared once again to 43 degrees C. Outside under our verandah the gauge read 45 degrees at around 2.00pm. The sun had a lot of heat in it. The poor garden is suffering and things are getting burnt and shrivelling up. There is a bit of a cool breeze blowing at the moment so we may get a bit of relief tomorrow. It is supposed to be 42 again by Wednesday. We haven't experienced a heat wave like this for a long while.
Hope your day has been a happy one.
See you soon.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

On the Road

Today was meant to be a restful day, but hubby has decided we are going for a trip to Ceduna, on the Far West Coast as he has a brick saw that needs picking up. He bought it in Perth of eBay and it has been transported as far as Ceduna. It was cheaper to buy a bricksaw and have it shipped than to pay someone to come and cut the pavers for around our pool. We will be leaving later today when it is a bit cooler and heading home tomorrow early to beat the heat.

This will be a short post as I have a bit to orgainise before we leave.

This photo is of my thrift shop finds from yesterday. I found a nice little suitcase just nice for storing photos for $2.00, two items of clothing for me $5.00, three side dishes for $1.00ea, Jenny Craig no dieting cookbook as new $2.00, Opening the Dore on ADD/ADHD book as new for $2.00 (price on the back of book was $32.95 from Dymocks). This is a fairly recent publication. An old knitting book as new for .10c, a large reading book for preschoolers $1.50 and a large floor puzzle $1.50.

I have included this picture of two of our rain water tanks and the solar panels on the roof of our shed. This is not yet connected. Its been a long wait as we ordered the panels last Easter, hopefully the set up is up and running by this Easter. We are hoping to purchase a wind generator and backup batteries a bit later. To the right of the picture is our chook yard with a smaller tank to catch the excess. Our proud Aussie flag flying high today with the breeze.
Hope you are all well. I must away and do some work. Bye for now.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Busy Day

Today has been a cooler day with the temperature reaching 37 degrees Celcius.

We took the opportunity travel to the nearby City of Whyalla to do some shopping. I needed some trays for storing things in my drawers. I also wanted to do some Op shopping but there was only one open due to the Christmas break. I did get myself a couple of bargains and will tell you about them in my next post.

This pic is of my hubby in a Locomotive cab. He is a Locomotive Driver and gets to travels great distances across South Australia. Some trains can be 1800 metres (1.8kilometres) in length and 5000 tonnes in weight. He regularly travels the Nullabor Plain to a remote town called Cook. Other places he gets to go to are: Whyalla, Adelaide, Broken Hill and Manguri (near Coober Pedy).

This picture is of hubby again (pictured on the left in this photo).
A few years ago Phil had the opportunity along with Peter (also pictured) to drive the record breaking longest Ghan which was 1.2 kilometres long, carrying almost 600 passengers. Train consisted of 45 carriages and two Locomotives and travelled from Alice Springs to Darwin. This photo was taken at the Alice Springs terminal.
This happened shortly after the new Alice Springs to Darwin railway line was opened.
That's all for tonight folks, see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Hello to 2008

Good evening all and happy New Year.

I am a bit late writing today. The temperature today again reached 44 degrees Celcius. A cool change tomorrow with a high of 38 degrees. We spent a lot of time in the pool to keep cool, we should have got it put in ages ago.

All my visitors have gone home so now I can try to get my house back in some sort of order. I have a month off from doing my Home Day Care so this is an ideal opportunity to catch up on some housework that I don't get to do while I'm watching the children. I will be working a 45 hour week caring for four children when I start back on the 21st January.

I have started with the hardest spot for me to keep clean, the kitchen. I have cleared all the benches and give them a good scrub. I then cleared all the cupboards and drawers out and thrown out all the clutter that I don't require. Tomorrow I will start on the pantry which is a nightmare to keep organised because everything tends to be tossed in there out of sight. I will gradually move around the house from room to room cleaning and tossing until it is all done.

My dear friend Jodie is visiting this month from Western Australia so I want to be all organised by the time she arrives. Jodie's house is so neat and tidy, I wish I knew how she maintains it. I am looking forward to seeing her again.

This is a pic of our house from the swimming pool enclosure. Looks like a big rain cloud overhead but it didn't happen. It rarely rains here but when it does we get a downpour and everything gets flooded.

We are attempting to be as self-suffient as possible by having solar power installed. We have all the panels just waiting to be connected. Also we are wanting to install a wind generator. We already have a solar hot water system, which I might add has been working overtime this past week with all the hot weather. We harvest all the rain water already.

This picture shows rain clouds heading over to the nearby popular Flinders Ranges. It was taken from our place looking north east. You can see that we are surrounded by saltbush and not many trees. This shot was taken just on sundown. We get some pretty awesome sights of the hills at different times of the day, particularly late in the day.

My daughter has left me on my own to continue with this blog, so hopefully I can work out what I am doing.

I hope you have all had a good day and I will catch you all again tomorrow.