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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Please pray for my Dad

Mum and Dad,
taken at Christmas time 2008.

I can't believe the day that I am having.

I have just received news from my Mum telling me that my dear Dad has had a mild heart attack and has been flown down to Adelaide for more tests. Mum is down there with him as she always is.

I have spoken with him a little while ago and he seems to be okay, joking around, so that is good news. I found out he has an enlarged heart and has had it all his life. I asked why he had not told us about it and his response was "I have always told you I have a big heart!" He said, "I feel and look like a power station with just as many wires hooked up to me". And then "I'm bored and want to go home now."

Dad is due to have more tests on Tuesday to find out what the problem is. He had a checkup with the doctor only three weeks ago and was given a clean bill of health. He will be 74 this year and has hardly ever had any trouble with his health. Dad is not even on any medication, although that may change now. He has been a very fit, energetic man as long as I can remember, I only hope he slows down a little now.

My Dad being the kind, generous person that he is, was helping somebody get things ready for an auction that is coming up in Kimba. With the temperatures in the mid 40's for most of the week, I think he may have overdone it. He does work very hard for a person his age.

I am not sure when or if we need to go down to Adelaide as yet. Apparently doctors don't do weekends so nothing is happening until after then.

Dad is a strong believer in God, so I am asking a favour from all of you that believe to say a prayer for him, please.

He is my dad, he is my hero.

x Tania

Meals from the depression

I found this series of clips on you tube Great Depression Cooking after being referred from A Frugal Stretch.

A grand old lady in her 90's showing how to cook meals from the depression era. Clara also describes what it was like to live in those hard times. Clara has a website here.

I will be back later with a longer post. Just thought I would share this with any interested people. I'm going back to finish watching the rest of the clips now.

Wishing you a happy, fun filled weekend.

x Tania

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Some Recipes

We had this for tea/dinner last night. Yum!

Nice and simple Mince Casserole -Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen's Classic Country Collection

500gms mince meat
1 beef stock cube
1 onion
1/2 cup cooked rice
1 x 440gm tin condensed tomato soup
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup cheese
pinch of mixed herbs

Mix together mince meat, stock cube, diced onion, rice, soup and herbs. Place in a medium sized casserole dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and grated cheese on top of meat. Cook in moderate oven
(180-200C) for 1-1 1/2 hours or until tender. Serve with mashed potatoes and greens.

Chocolate Fudge Slice

1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup coconut
1 tablespoon cocoa
185gms butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Icing

1 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
30 gms butter
1 1/2 tablespoons hot water
coconut or sprinkles

Stir dry ingredients into bowl, add melted butter and vanilla, mix well.

Press mixture over base of greased 28cm x 18cm lamington tin. Bake in moderate oven for 20 minutes. Cool in tin.

When cool, ice with chocolate icing. Sprinkle with coconut or 100's & 1000's. Cut into slices when icing has set.

Sift icing sugar and cocoa into small bowl.
add melted butter and water, mix until smooth.

(For this recipe I used a slice tin and 1 1/2 cups of icing and 1 dessertspoon of butter)

Good ole Lemon Slice

1 pkt of coffee biscuits (crushed)
1/2 tin condensed milk
4oz butter/margarine
1 cup coconut
grated rind of lemon

Melt condensed milk and butter together, (stir while doing it as mixture burns easily).

Add to coffee biscuits, coconut and lemon rind.

Put in slice tin.

Set in fridge.

When set ice with icing made out of 2 cups icing sugar, a little butter and juice of lemon. Sprinkle with coconut.

Citrus Wheaten Slice

1 cup weetbix crushed
1 1/2 cups SR flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut
150 gms butter
3 tablespoons of orange juice

Combine dry ingredients.

Melt butter and orange juice. Stir melted mixture through dry ingredients.

Press into a greased slice tray. Bake in moderate oven for 25 minutes.

When cool, ice with lemon or orange icing and sprinkle with extra coconut.

Cut into slices.

1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon butter, melted
2-3 tablespoons orange or lemon juice (I used freshly squeezed orange juice)

Sift icing sugar. Add melted butter.

Add enough juice to give a thick spreading consistency.

Not too hard to guess what I have been doing most of today. I have a day off and had to make some slices for son's sports carnival on Friday, that's why the slices are still in slabs. Unfortunately it looks like it could be cancelled due to hot weather. I am sure these will be much appreciated by my ever loving family (when it comes to my homemade cakes etc) and they will definitely not go to waste.

Enjoy your day,

x Tania

Monday, February 23, 2009

Life is busy

We have identified the scary, ugly spider pictured above as an Australian Trapdoor. My son in law works for a pest control company and he has confirmed this. Unfortunately for spider lovers I had to put the spider to sleep because he was is the yard where my Day Care children play.

The weather has been pleasant lately with not much wind although it has been warm. It is hotting up to the 40's again this week which I am definitely not looking forward to. Our son is due to participate in a inter school sports competition on Friday but the forecast is 43F, so one would presume it will be cancelled.

I took this picture a few days ago, it is of the gulf that winds it's way through Port Augusta.
I have been working a fair bit lately. I am busy again this week, so there isn't much spare time to blog.

I have to be a homework help to dear son as he was struggling with all the work that is coming home. He has had five assignments in three weeks plus ordinary homework. Welcome to high school.

This is my lounge room after a busy day playing. I have a crack in my lounge window today that will need repairing. It was caused by a toy falling on it. Ahhhh!!
We went to visit with my daughter at her new little cottage in beautiful Quorn on the weekend. It is about 2o minutes drive from our house through the lovely Flinders Ranges. She is loving the thought of owning her own home and doing what she wants with it. She has posted some pictures on her blog if you want a peek.

Wishing you all a great day,


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Creepy crawly and sundown

This is the biggest spider I have ever seen.

I went out late last night to water my herb garden and walked right over this thing. It wasn't until I came back to the steps that I realised there was something there. I nearly jumped clean out of my skin at the size of this creature, and ugly would be the best way to describe it. Maybe it could be a baby Tarantula!! I would guess the body size to be about 2cm long, then add the legs. Anyone knowing the breed of spider can let me know. Just what I needed to see before hopping into bed.

It sends a shiver down my spine just looking at it.
This was our sunset on Sunday. The sun was blood red as it disappeared behind the horizon.There is smoke haze still hanging around and it was quite thick yesterday and Sunday. The smoke tends to sit lazily in the gullies and hangs around all day. You can see some of the haze in the photos. We have no wind yet today, it is actually a beautiful flat calm morning and the water in the gulf was like glass as I crossed over the bridge to take ds to school.
The temperature is 35C (95F) today, not too hot yet, hopefully the hottest days of our climate have passed for this year as the new season is dawning. The longer days are beginning to become shorter.
I have been spending my days busy catching up on my housework that I have got behind with. Because I worked everyday last week it hasn't taken long for the dust and disorder to take over.

I am contemplating doing away with my flower garden. It is sad to think about as I have built it up so it is looking really nice. But with the dire water crisis in South Australia and the extreme weather conditions we have been experiencing, I think I will need to forego the flowers and replace them with desert plants.

Please keep the people in Victoria in your prayers as the death toll continues to rise, 189 dead at last count. There are still fires burning and they are threatening to cause more damage.

Enjoy your day,

x Tania

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Garden - Alan Jackson

I love this gospel song.

Click on the garden to view.

Wishing you all a Blessed Sunday,

x Tania

Friday, February 13, 2009


The smell of fire with a smoke haze has arrived in our area. This is from the bushfires still burning in Victoria. We are at least 12 hours driving time away from where these fires are. Most of South Australia is experiencing the smoke now.

Taken from our back yard

Smoke haze over the hills.

Smoke covered hills. Mt Brown in the distance behind the smoke.

The haze has got thicker since taking these pictures this morning.

Tomorrow we are visiting with my parents in Kimba, and hour and a half away travelling time. I am going to visit because mum makes the most delicious tomato relish and my stock that she gave me is running very low. I will take some of our preserves and jam down and do a swap. I have yet to make any relish but have chopped and frozen our tomatoes for making some later.

The weather has been cool all week but is now starting to warm up again. I figure that any temperature under 40C now is cool compared to what we and many others have experienced lately. It reached 48.1C (118.58F) last Saturday.

It has taken me forever to try and get this post done. Blogger is having a bad day.

Take care everyone,

x Tania

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Generousity of Australian's

The amount of deaths due to Victoria's bushfires is increasing every day. The total of dear souls that have passed away is now 181. Many more are expected to be found today and in the following days. The danger is not over as there are fires still burning out of control.

Arsonists have struck again last night starting more fires. Looters have also reared their ugly heads.

However in amongst this saddest, my fellow Australians have so far raised and donated 33.6 million dollars for the victims of the terrible fires. The amount is rising by the hour.

The following prayer was written by my son on Monday for inclusion in the class prayer book.

Our Heavenly Father,

Today we are sad for those who have lost their lives and belongings in the Victorian bushfires.

Please help these people deal with their sadness and help them rebuild there shattered lives.

Please give them strength and courage.

Please protect the CFS/CFA volunteers that are bravely fighting the fires and any other volunteers that are helping in any way.

Please hear our prayers for the safety of everyone.

In Jesus' name,


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bushfire crisis

The bushfires are still burning and they are still finding more people that have perished.
The toll continues to rise and it is now 173 deaths. For an update and pictures see here and here
Please keep praying.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Australian's need your prayers

Update: death toll now stands at 135 with many more expected.
Australian's are in crisis and we need your prayers for the devastating bushfires in Victoria as the death toll is still rising, 108 to date with more bodies reported to have been found. NSW is also experiencing bushfires.

We also have floods in north Queensland that have devastated that region.

Truly the saddest time for Australians as this is turning into the worst bushfire in our history. These fires have been reported as being deliberately lit.

Friday, February 6, 2009

No words needed

Outside under the verandah taken at 1.45pm.

Hottest heatwave in 101 years so far.

Daisymum did a post this morning about taking a photo of what mood we are feeling, so here is mine.

This poor geranium sums up exactly how I am feeling......shrivelled!!

I am also thinking and praying for others in the north of this country who are experiencing severe floods.

Have a safe weekend everyone.

x Tania

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Where is our cool change?

This picture is of one of my daughter's foal's with his mother. They are coming along nicely.

Well surprise, surprise we had a drop in temperature today, 38C (100.4F).

Only to find out tomorrow that it is going to be 45C (113F).

Saturday is 46C (114.8F)

Saturday we are going down to Adelaide to watch Adelaide United (soccer) play again.

I am a bit worried about leaving this place when it is so hot. The animals and garden need looking after. We may decide to leave later in the day.

We have had 12 straight days over forty!! A couple more to go yet.

Sunday is going to be 32C I can't wait.

I am working tomorrow but only have one baby to care for. The weather is so muggy all I seem to do is sweat. We haven't been able to even go for a simple walk, even though we did tonight as the breeze was a bit cooler.

Sorry not much to blog about at the moment, hopefully I can get out and do something next week while it is cooler, although I will be working everyday.

Have a nice day,

x Tania

Monday, February 2, 2009

Still in the heatwave

Hello all,

Sorry for the break in blogging but as you may realise it has been extremely hot, and still is so where we are. I have just been outside to take the temperature and it is now 44C (111.2F). We have had no relief since my last post with temperatures being as follows;

Thursday 45C (113F)

Friday 45C (113F)

Saturday 43.9C (111.2F)

Sunday 44.5C (112.1F)

Today meant to be 42C but already 44C (111.2F)

Tomorrow meant to be 40C (104F)

No cool change expected here until Sunday if we are lucky.

We have not been doing much so there is not anything that I can post about. We spend a lot of time in our pool cooling down and staying in our wet clothes. This comes in handy when I have to prepare dinner in the heat.

I worked last Thursday and Friday and all day for two days were spent sitting in the lounge area with the airconditioner on high and three fans going, trying our best to stay cool. I had one six month old and a one year old in care.

Although we humans and our animals are surviving the poor plants are well and truly struggling. They are getting cooked from the heat on top of them. Sun dried vegies anyone?

Even the computer is playing up today, it insisted on posting some of my photos sideways!

Drooping and burnt silverbeet...

The capsicum that I have pulled off to reduce the stress on the plant. They were all burnt anyway.

A burnt Capsicum.... I have now covered these with an old sheet which is helping.

The cucumber vine is kaput...

The leaves on the pumpkin vine have been burnt. The good news is that it is starting to re-shoot at the base of the vine....

These zucchini's were under shade cloth but still have been extensively burnt...

I am hoping they can be resurrected after the heatwave has passed.

Grapevines have suffered as well with the vines having burnt leaves and the grapes transformed into sultanas.

Even the orange tree has sustained some damage.

Water restrictions in South Australia are going to be made tighter soon and they are saying we have only about seven months worth of water left in the Murray River. Scary thought. My daughter has linked about this on her blog.

So I will be spending the rest of this week doing as little as possible and trying to stay cool. I am really feeling it now as there has been no relief for soooooo long. My energy levels are sitting on zero.

Geez, I feel like a softy, how did our ancesters survive without airconditioning? ( not that ours is providing much relief). We only have what we call the swamp box on the roof. Luckily we haven't had any power outages yet.

Stay cool where ever you are, or warm for those that are experiencing the severe cold.

x Tania