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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

He has a dream

Pictured above is our Zephyr ute. This was handed over to me from my dad who had restored it many years ago. For a long time this old girl spent a lot of time collecting dust and used to store some of dad's stuff. My girls when they were little spent many a Sunday going on Vintage car runs with their grandparents, sometimes even camping over at some lovely spot like the Gawler Ranges.

Sadly at the moment she is in our shed awaiting some attention. Her brakes need fixing and her paintwork is a bit tatty. So there she is collecting dust and junk in her back section. We have joined the local Vintage Car Club and hopefully soon we will be driving her again.

I love the big steering wheel and the gears on the column. It brings back memories of when I learned to drive on the farm. My driving lessons consisted in being sat on a tractor with the harrows on behind, showed what to do and then proceed to follow mum or dad who were ahead with another tractor and seeder.
I think I may have been about 12 years old. Once I mastered driving the tractor I got to drive the little (blue bomb)Austin car that my grandmother used to own and travel down the road to the bus stop every morning. Ten to eight the bus got there and arrived home at five to four and I got to drive home again. My brother would drive as well but we went a lot faster and did some "wheelies" on the way.

I remember on one occasion going up to sixty six (the name of the paddock) to the sand hills to collect mushrooms. On the way home with mum in the passenger seat there was a smell of smoke. Quick as a flash mum told me to turn the car off and get out. She lifted the bonnet and threw some dirt on the wiring that had caught fire. We then had to walk a fair distance to home.

My sons handprints left in the dust.

This old girl was built back in 1956

On our block are these wrecks. They have been collected for spare parts. I don't know how many we actually need though?

Zephyr sedans, 1956, 58 and 59 waiting to be put to good use to.....

restore this old girl. This one is actually drivable but not very pretty to look at. "Shame car" our son calls it. We recently purchased this one from a policeman in our town, he hadn't finished what he started out to do before losing interest and moving on to a different brand of car.
Hubby continues to dream, I wish he would get on with making this dream a reality. Money is one of the reasons this is taking so long as it can be an expensive hobby.

x Tania

Monday, March 23, 2009

Recipes, sunsets and garden delights

Sorry for the quietness around this blog lately. I decided to have a little blogging break and not go on the computer until evenings as ashamedly I wasn't getting all my jobs done because of too much time wasting on here. This blogging business is very addictive.

The above book I have had for a while and after my father's and my friend's recent heart attacks, I have decided that we all need to be living healthy so to keep health problems at bay. Especially our son who eats far too much rubbish food.

These recipes are taken from this gem of a little book. It contains so much information for adults and children alike.

We are what we eat after all.

If we put poor quality fuel in our cars, will they run properly? No. Same with our precious bodies, if we put poor quality food in our mouths we definitely will not run properly!! Lately I have been experiencing a little more stress than usual in my life and am in much need of some energy food.

Energy building recipes

Fruity Snacks

Packed with nutrients, these fruity snacks are perfect for lunchboxes, parties or after school. Individually wrapped in cellophane, they make a great gift.

60 g dried apricots
60 g dates
60 g raisins
30 g ground almonds
40 g coconut

Put all the dried fruit through a fine mincer. Place the fruit and almonds into a bowl and work together with enough coconut to make a firm, mouldable mixture. Sprinkle the remaining coconut on greased paper. Form the mixture into 'logs' about 1cm x 4cm and roll in the coconut. Chill for a short time until firm. (The chilling time depends on the weather and how soft the ingredients were.)

*All I did was whiz all the ingredients (except for a bit of coconut to roll them in) in the blender and rolled into 'logs' and then sliced into small pieces for finger food.

One-cup Fruit Slice

This is one you can throw together and have in the oven in under 10 minutes. Any other combination of dried fruit can be used in place of the dried apricots and sultanas, as long as it amounts to 2 cups.

1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup sultanas
1 cup reduced-fat milk

Grease a 20cm x 30cm slab tin. Mix all the ingredients together evenly. Press into the tin. Bake at 180C for 25-30 minutes. Cut into 20 squares.

Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Using a mix of white and wholemeal flour add fibre. This recipe can be mixed the day before it's needed and stored in the refrigerator ready to cook.

1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon bi carb soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup soft brown sugar
1/2 cup chocolate bits
3/4 cup reduced-fat milk
1 egg lightly beaten
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup vegetable oil (macadamia nut oil or grapeseed oil is best for this recipe, or you could use canola oil. Olive oil might have too strong a flavour.)

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Grease the muffin tins.

Combine the flours, bi carb of soda, cinnamon, brown sugar and chocolate bits.

Mix the milk, egg, banana and oil and add to the other ingredients.

Mix until just combined. (Do not over mix.)

Spoon into the muffin tins and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

Makes 12 small or 6 large muffins.

There have been a couple of lovely sunsets lately.

Old truck across the road with the beautiful orange colours of Autumn.

The near by Flinders Ranges all aglow with late orange sunlight. This photo is taken from our little block of Australia.

Some elephants tongues? I think this is what they are called. This is the flower part and the large green leaves come along later after the flowers have died. The garden is starting to recover after our extremely hot summer.

Warm days here with little to no wind, I must take some photos of the gulf in the mornings when it looks like glass, it is so pretty. Even saw a pelican this morning on our way to school.

Must get back to helping a year 8 with his homework now.

Have a good evening,

See you soon,

x Tania

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My busy week

I have been very busy clearing out the carport to use for play area for the daycare children, I am nearly done. I have added a small shell sandpit and a few other toys. I will post another picture when it is finished. My car is now in need of a new place to park.

I have decided to move the daycare play area from inside my home to outside in the family/rumpus room/carport. I have been using my spare bedroom for the playroom and it was starting to get to me. If I have family or friends visit I had no where for them to stay. Usually I would have pulled all the toys etc out of the room and put it in the lounge area. Or I would kick my son out of his room to sleep on the lounge, not very comfortable for him. I only have three bedrooms and at times like this I could use four.

I have sort permission from my scheme and they have told me that all I need to do is add a smoke alarm and fire blanket to the room.

The entrance door...

Small table and chairs for littlies. Play dough activity here.
The table with the change area on is actually the pool table and under that is more toys!!

The reading corner
and the dolls house....

Still a work in progress
the ball pit and doll area...

Dress up area...

Most importantly the tea/coffee station
and weather chart...
I will be putting a TV in the corner.

Toys, toys and more toys!!!!
Don't know how I fitted all this inside.

Days of the week...
I am just putting the finishing touches on things now. I have children in care again tomorrow.

I have had some bad news from my friend in Perth. They lost their beloved daughter back in November 08, leaving behind a little toddler boy. It has been a real struggle for them to cope and I am sad that they live so far away. They are waiting to sell their house so they can move back to South Australia, but nothing is happening on the housing front in Perth at the moment.

My phone rang late last night with news that my friends husband has had a pretty bad heart attack. He is only 48. We are hoping he is okay now as he has had the same thing done as my Dad and is now in hospital recovering. Luckily over the last eight weeks he has been on a health kick with exercising and losing some weight. Sadly his heart is broken by the loss of his daughter and the stress of it all has caught up with him.

The weather here is warming up. It will be 37C on Friday. We haven't had much rain but did have a sprinkling yesterday morning that freshened everything up.

Wishing you all a great day,

x Tania

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Day Australia Cried


We love to hate Victorians throughout the footy season
Just for the fact they’re from Victoria would seem a valid reason,
They tend to think Australian Rules belongs to them, at least
In the west we simply label them”the know alls from the East”

But Australians came together, sporting squabbles set aside,
When disaster struck Victoria, the day Australia cried.
We’ve seen pictures in the papers; we’ve seen them on TV
Homes and buildings burnt to ashes, the pain and misery
The faces of survivors, the tears they tried to hide,
Gave us just the briefest glimpse of how they feel inside.

We saw the flames engulf the trees; we saw the sky turn red,
And, in the aftermath, the cars, where some died as they fled.
We heard the graphic stories of the panic they felt that day,
As the townsfolk faced decisions, should they go or should they stay?
The horrors of reality, their lives gone up in smoke,
The loss of whole communities with pretty sounding names.
The toll we don’t want to hear, the numbers who have died,

On that black Saturday, the day Australia cried.
The worst peacetime disaster Australia’s ever seen,
In surroundings long regarded as being lush and green,
Drought throughout the country had left it tinder dry,
At the mercy of the fireballs that “rained down from the sky”
The fires that raged through the hills that February day,
Have changed the course of countless lives in every kind of way.
There’s absolutely nothing left of the futures that were planned,

Just twisted tin and ashes and scars upon the land.
Survivors say they’ll build again in their old neighbourhood,
And life will become normal, and life will become good,
But their lives will be so different and they won’t forget the cost
Of absent family and friends that they have loved and lost.
No matter where you come from, or how far you may roam,
There’s some place in Australia your heart will know as ‘home’
But above all we are Australians, State issues can’t divide
And we won’t forget what happened the Day Australia Cried!

Added: Sorry I don't know who wrote this poem, there was no name attached.

In memory of all those that lost their lives, around 210 people perished in this disaster. Many more lost everything.

I received this email from my friend.

Things are a bit busy around here, will do another post soon.

Have a great Sunday everyone,

x Tania

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Frugal scouring dishcloth

This post may be a little boring to some people and for this I apologise.

Okay, I know I must have too much time on my hands! Sad isn't it?

I haven't stopped thinking about this little dishcloth since Joanne over at We knit, Sew, Bake and Grow posted about searching for the perfect pot scrubber. I don't know that this one is perfect but it works well and I have thrown it in the washing machine with no ill effects. The picture above was my first effort but I thought I would make the scrubber part smaller and add a little more edging so this dishcloth would have a dual purpose, washing and scrubbing.

What ya need,

Take one empty plastic mesh bag that oranges come in...
Cut the top off the bag...
Remove the plastic thingy at the bottom. These thingy's also make a makeshift scrubber if you are without one, I have used these before when out camping.
Fold the bag thus....
And thus....
And thus...add a couple of pins to hold it firmly in place.
Now using cotton (good to see that 8ply can now be purchased if you are near a spotlight store) all you do is crochet around the outer edges. I decided on three rows. Not hard, see? So long as you can crochet of course.

This is my second attempt.

The weather has been rather pleasant but warm with temperatures around 32C (89.6F). They are promising rain later today so that would be nice to freshen things up.

Today I have the pleasure of going for my mammogram appointment. Not looking forward to that at all. To me it feels something like getting your boobies shut in the fridge door, which I might add I have never done before. That's the unfortunate thing about having breast cancer in the family. Better safe than sorry.

Dad is doing fine at the moment although he is getting tired easily. I think that may have something to do with his medication though.

Another blog I enjoy is the Frugal Family Fun Blog Lots of ideas for the budget conscious. Go take a look, includes lots of craft ideas for children.

Wishing you all a wonderful day,


Saturday, March 7, 2009

We are home again

Dad is going okay for the moment. He has gone home after having a stent put in the artery located in his heart. Lucky my Dad is fit and healthy. He is 74 this year and never even had hospital records or on any medication. That has changed now and he is on 5 different sorts of pills. I think he is having a few side effects that he is not liking too much.

Dad has been to the local doctor and is having regular check ups by him, I am still worried though because this man doesn't know how to take it easy. What did my parents get up to today? They went to check on some sheep on a farm that they care take. Mum had to drive as my Dad is not allowed to for two weeks. He has kittens when Mum drives because she is not a confident driver.

Hopefully all will be well and I thank everyone of you for your kind words, they are truly appreciated and helpful.

We arranged to stay at the AN institute flats at Glenelg. We get a discounted rate as we are members through the railways. The top picture is of the sunset the first night we were there and the one below is of the waves on the rough seas after the cool change had arrived. That night I thought the roof was going to blow off the place we were staying, it was really strong. Our car was covered in salt carried over from the sea overnight.

View from the jetty end of Glenelg.
The building in which we stayed. A really vintage place. The mantel in our room was pure marble, the ceilings were really high and the windows were huge.
There wasn't much time for doing anything as most of the days were spent at the hospital. I have never climbed so many stairs, so many times in my life. I hope I burnt off some fat around my bum. Of course ds wanted to take the stairs everyday. The car parks were mostly full so this meant lots of walking to and from the hospital. I was glad to get home and sleep in my own bed again.

Thank you all again,

x Tania

Monday, March 2, 2009

Update on Dad

Thank you all so much for your prayers and well wishes, I am sure they have helped my dad.

I have spoken with Dad this morning and he is doing okay. We are going down to see him today, just organising accommodation at the moment. He doesn't know we are coming otherwise he would try and stop us. He would not like us to go to any trouble, can your believe that?

He is still waiting for a doctor to actually see him and let him know what is happening. The public health system is in a very sad state but that is another story, I will fill you all in later. My parents for the past 30 years or so have paid for private health. Over $2000 a year and are yet to reap the benefits. Dad has been put into a public hospital because that is where the heart specialists are. His lack of treatment has been shocking.

I will be away for a few days to a week, I don't know yet. My parents have to be able to get home to Kimba at some point so we will do that for them. Hoping that tomorrow brings some results for us all.

Stay healthy and safe,

x Tania