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

Monday, June 22, 2009

Random bits

Above is the place where I have been spending too much time lately. Too much time doodling around with facebook, tracing some of my old friends from my old home town (makes me a little homesick though) and catching up with some of my favourite blogs. I share this area with my son and his computer.

Shortly I will need to be on the computer a lot more as I am about to embark on the Children's Services Diploma. All the paper work has been sent in and I have my first online session on the 4th July 2009. I have had to set things up online previous to the session to make sure everything is working okay. I am ready to go, hope I manage the headphones that I have to use, never used them before. I will have a trial run tomorrow when I have a spare moment.

To start with I was really stressed worrying about whether I can do it or not, but in the end I thought I need to change my way of thinking to a more positive attitude otherwise I will be defeated before I even started. Now I am looking forward to starting this diploma instead of dreading it. That may change at different times throughout the course I bet. I am one of eighty participants and we need to be finished by February 2011.

Below is the finished cubby house that we painted this past weekend. Looks like a million dollars now. We tried to match the colours to the outside of our house.

Millie watching on.

A couple of weeks ago, when I purchased the Tarago, we took it for a bit of a run around the district so the following pictures are of some of the varying bits of scenery. Below is a photo of Mount Remarkable as we were heading into the little town of Melrose.

While out and about we called in on our friends Bev and Brian at Jamestown. Bev is a great sewer. She has a favourite obsession with quilting. Below is one she is working on at the moment.

Some of the fine handsewing Bev does on some of her quilts.

One of her finished masterpieces.

We had to wait for this train at a Railway Crossing in Caltowie, a really small town roughly 10 kilometres (approx 7 miles) from Jamestown. Some of my ancestors are buried in the Caltowie cemetery. I found this out while doing some family history research. A few years ago we went there and found some of the old graves. Many of them are in great need of repair.

Eventually this steel train will end up in Newcastle, New South Wales, but at this moment it was on its way to Broken Hill.

The ever changing landscape. Miles of farming land behind the Flinder's Ranges.
Some paddocks are still dry and desert like..

Some are turning green from the recent rains.

The Flinders Ranges makes a great back drop for Port Augusta. These hills are brilliant at certain times of the day. They change colour regularly throughout the day, depending upon the weather. Autumn provides a beautiful picture, however it was overcast and cold on this day.

The funeral for Hannah will be on Wednesday. This will be a very sad day for many but especially so for her family.

Hope all is well with you and your families,
please hold your children tight and tell them how much you love them,
no matter how old they are.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A heavy heart

I woke to the normal busyness this morning, thinking about the day ahead. I had set the alarm for 6am hoping to rise and go for a walk, but after looking outside into darkness I decided to stay in bed in the warmth.

I had just finished breakfast and was getting my son's school lunch ready when the phone rang. Not thinking anything of it, other than it was early and was probably one of the daycare parents, I answered as normal.

It was my friend Wendy, informing us of the death of a friend's daughter in a car accident.

I had heard this morning on the radio that a young woman, 21, from Stirling North had been killed at Redhill. I remember thinking to myself, hoping that it wouldn't be anyone that we knew.

This young lady was only 21 with her whole life and dreams ahead of her. She had been heading home from Uni in Adelaide to visit family when the accident occured at Redhill on the main highway. Gone in an instant.

Today has turned into another sad day, I am just stunned by this news. Hannah's parents and brother must be so devastated at their loss. I can't imagine their pain right now.

Hannah and her family are well known in this town, so it is going to rock a lot of people.

Please pray for them,


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Over the next Hill

Over the Next Hill (We'll be home).

By the way the land is layin'

I'd think I'd be safe in sayin'

That over the next hill we'll be home.

It's a straight and narrow highway,

No detours and no byways,

And over the next hill we'll be home.

From the prophets I've been hearin'

I would say the end is nearin'

For I see familiar landmarks all along.

By the dreams that I've been dreamin'

There will come a great redeemin'

And over the next hill we'll be home.

By the turn the tide is takin'

I would say there's no mistakin'

That over the next hill we'll be home.

There's a place that we are nearin'

That so many have been fearin'

And over the next hill we'll be home.

When we get there, we're all hopin'

That we'll find the gate is open,

And there'll be a refuge from the comin' storm.

For the way's been long and weary,

But at last the end is nearin'

And over the next hill we'll be home.

Have a blessed Sunday,


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Some more recipes

A favourite in our house.

Tasty Toasted Sandwich

In frypan, fry one egg.

On your bread place tomato slices, cheese slice, leaf of silver beet or spinach and some mustard (I used American).

Top with the fried egg

Put sandwich together, then butter the outside and pan fry until golden brown.

Bean and Vegetable Casserole

310gms can butter beans

60gms butter

1 onion

1 clove of garlic

1/2 red pepper

2 sticks celery

1 carrot

2 zucchini

1/4 small cauliflower

125gms green beans

4 shallots

400gm can tomatoes

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped chives

1 teaspoon chopped mint

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

2 medium potatoes

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

15gms butter, extra

Cut pepper into strips; slice celery, zucchini and beans; cut cauliflower into small flowerets; slice carrot, chop shallots. Heat butter in large pan, add chopped onion, cook until transparent. Add crushed garlic, celery, carrot, zucchini, pepper, cauliflower and beans. Stir over heat one minute. Add undrained mashed tomatoes, chives, mint and basil. Bring to boil stirring occasionally, remove from heat. Stir in drained and rinsed butter beans, shallots and parsley. Place vegetable mixture in oven proof dish. Slice potatoes thinly, cover vegetables with single layer of potatoes, brush with extra melted butter, sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake uncovered in moderate oven 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown. Serves 6.

(courtesy Best Recipes from the Weekly)

Pumpkin Tea Cake
(from Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen's Classic Country Collection)

25ogms butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 eggs
1/2 cup mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups self raising flour
3/4 cup milk


60gms butter
1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Beat butter and sugar together. Add grated orange. Add eggs 1 at a time. Add mashed pumpkin and coconut. Stir in sifted flour alternately with milk. Grease a deep 20cm round cake tin, use greased paper on bottom of tin. Pour mixture into cake tin and cook in a moderate oven (180 -200C) for 1 1/4 hours.


Mix all the ingredients together in saucepan in stove. Ice cake and sprinkle with coconut.



Sunday, June 7, 2009

Quiet Sunday

We were going to spend the long weekend doing things, but our son has contracted a cold from one of his buddies at school and has been quite miserable for the past couple of days.

Yesterday we took the Tarago for a drive over the other side of the hills to Jamestown to visit friends for a little while. I will post photos of the drive soon.

Today I needed to catch up on things at home. I started the day with the washing that had built up until we were getting low on clothes. I usually keep up with the laundry but I had managed to get a bit behind. Luckily there was a bit of wind today to help dry the clothes(lately it has been so still that the clothes just hang there not drying).

The Adelaide Crows were playing Essendon at 12.30 so I made some lunch and then settled to watch the game. After the first quarter and with the Crows looking like they were not doing so well I thought I might dust of the sewing machine and sew the curtains and table cloth I had planned for the cubby house. I purchased some bright red gingham at Spotlight last week when we picked up the Tarago from Whyalla.

I was pleased with the result and it has really given the cubby a new lease of life.

I am hoping to get the outside painted tomorrow, weather permitting.

This cubby is a little tired and needs some renovations. I bought this second hand when my son was little, and now the day care children spend hours playing around in it.

I had enough fabric left over for a cloth for my dining room table.

The oranges are ripening.

And the remaining mandarines after the terrible heat they endured earlier this year.

Hubby has been doing his bit to keep us warm today. He managed a couple of loads of wood for our fire.

The Crows were victorious in one of the best matches I have watched in a long while (even though I was sewing).

Hard to believe that more rain was threatening to dampen my clothes, so I made a mad dash outside to get them in. Just made it before another shower of rain, now that would be the reason I got behind with the laundry this week, because of rain.
I do have a clothes line under the verandah to use on rainy days and the clothes that don't dry get put in front of the fire to finish off. We have had one or two showers over the last couple of days and a terribly loud thunderstorm with some heavy rain two nights ago. We have had 8mm (32 points).

I prepared vegetable pasties for tea/dinner tonight and some apple pasties for dessert with icecream and cream. I just grated some apple, added a bit of sugar and spice and put them in pastry like the pasties. Coated with milk and sprinkled with sugar. Yum!

I then folded the dry clothes, put them away and caught up with all the ironing, I even managed some mending!
Tomorrow I hope to tidy up a bit outside. I might even attempt to get in the garden and pick the remaining pumpkins and capsicums. I haven't planted a winter garden this year as I want to prepare the plot for Spring.

Just a pleasant day spent at home, going at my own pace and knowing I still have another day tomorrow to finish up.


Friday, June 5, 2009

It's raining in the Port

The first batch of ginger beer has been bottled, and after sitting for 30 days it is ready to drink. Tastes good too! Phil is going to try the alcholic version next.

The kit, so simple to make and do.

I took the daycare children to playgroup last Wednesday at one of the local schools. A great little playgroup from 9.30am to 11.30am. It is run by the Toy Library and is free of charge, with lots of activities to participate in.

However, when we arrived on this occasion, this is what we found...one big hot air balloon! The daycare children were in awe of the noise and the size of this thing. The Air Force people were inflating the balloon as we got there.

The school children were getting a demonstration and some of the teachers and students got to have a ride. They didn't go far up, only to the end of the rope.

It's been raining a little today, probably not much to get excited about but where we live it is so dry with an yearly average rainfall of 220mm or 880points (nearly 9 inches). So you can see why it is such a novelty to those that live here.

Just enough to freshen everything up.
Twas a tad cold though!
The fire has been on for most of the day and we spent a lot of time inside staying warm.

There may be more rain on the way, lets hope so. The long range weather forecast has said that it will rain nearly every day in June along the coastal areas, so it would be nice if we get something out of it.

I wish to apologise for any distress I may have caused my readers from the last post. I will need to do a better grammar check next time. I seem to recall noticing the poor sentence lay out about the poor old hen and the old car but left it as it was. Rest assured the hen and the car are well and happy. I will need to choose my words a little better won't I?

Have a great weekend everybody,


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Around our home lately

Today I have had a really off day. Just feeling blah!!

One day care child booked off sick so I decided I would take the day off and try to rest up.

I have noticed I haven't been sleeping well of late and by the time morning arrives I am ready for sleep but have to get out of bed.

I haven't found a reason for this but I think restless sleep has caught up with me today.

My son was fiddling around looking at videos on youtube the other day.

He was viewing pushbike ones where they were doing all the tricks that they do nowadays. He stumbled across instructions to build this contraption on the computer(it does have a name, but I have forgotten).

He disappeared for a while into the spare room only asking if I had some cardboard and a hot glue gun. A little time later he appeared with this. His work was very well done and I think he won't want me to post this picture, as he doesnt know I took the photo. This was left set up on my table so I grabbed the camera to take a photo before I packed it away.

Look at my garden, who made the mess?

One of the hens had made her way around into my flower garden and was having a lovely time scratching it to bits. Aaaahhh!!

Tell me why do the chooks, who have 2 acres to scratch around on make the journey around the top of our block, along the tin fence, down the retainer wall into my garden?! I guess it might be the fresh little seedlings that have shot up after the recent rains. Needless to say when this girl had finished they were no more!!

I have decided it is time for a change.

Sadly I am saying goodbye to this faithful old girl because she no longer serves a purpose for Family Day Care.

I am going to give her either to my parents if they want her or my youngest daughter who has been looking at getting a second car. We also have friends that would like to buy her.

This is the new to me, 1999 Tarago that I purchased in nearby Whyalla yesterday. With 8 seats and plenty of room, I look forward to having this one for as long as I need for my Family Day Care. The day care children I look after haven't seen it yet, and they won't be here until Thursday.
She is going to have a full safety check up on Tuesday next week.

Blessings to you all,