Wednesday, May 16, 2018

around here


Hello everyone!

Just a little of what has been happening in our neck of the woods.

I made a bag from one of hubby work shirts. He was going to throw out his old shirts but I had this bright idea to make shopping bags. This particular one is a practice run and I have about ten more to sew up...next time I will make sure the two pockets line up!  I thought the pockets might come in handy for storing things like homemade mesh veggie bags.


I fell in love with these orchids when I saw them the other day...I know, I know, they weren't in my budget, but they are so pretty right? This one is loving its position by the big dining room window.


This Jerusalem artichoke flower is so bright and cheery. It wont be long and I will be able to harvest the bulbs. Have you tried Jerusalem artichokes? I believe you have to be careful as they can make you go to the toilet often lol!

Mum has kept all the plants I have given her over the years for Mothers day.  I have now taken some cuttings for my front garden.


Some of them are pretty spectacular.

Little bee...always a great sight to see.


Mum's roses continue to flower, which is fairly unusual for this time of year.


I am still picking tomatoes.  I made a big lot of yummy tomato soup from these and others I had in the fridge.

This may not be of interest to anyone, but the two of us have been eating extremely healthy lately.  Hubby has cholesterol issues so he has joined me on the vegan diet to see if that will lower his numbers naturally. He doesn't want to take medication, so there isn't really any option but to cut animal products from his diet.  He will get tested again next month.


Vegan Anzac biscuits...we still get to enjoy the simple things.

My treasures...

This windmill gift is from my Mum and Dad.  There is an awesome bloke that happens to be their neighbour, and his hobby/job is making these type of things from a laser cutter machine (I think that is what its called).  He has been creating a lot of bigger items to put around their little town, and they look spectacular when driving through.

Not much rain usually means dusty days.  Although I hate to say it, it has been a lot like drought weather, and went from Summer to winter in a week! The home fire has been on this week although the days are pleasant, the nights have been cold.  Tonight it will be 4C here! I think the frosts will be early this year.

Yesterday it was muck out day in the chook house!

I put pea straw in the chook house and the girls (and boys) had a great time scratching it to bits.  I do this so the hay gets broken down and manured at the same time! It will be left there about a week and then moved to the fruit orchard to be used as mulch.


I took a little video of all the fun. Lots of wheel spinning happening!


I actually attempted a video tour of our little place today.  But the clip appears to be too big (ten minutes) for putting on this blog, so I may have to look at posting on you tube.

Well I think that is about all for now.  Can you believe it is May already? Actually we are over half way through May! WOW this year is flying by! It will be Christmas before I know it.

See you soon,

xTania



34 comments:

  1. I love the bag, Tania. Pockets are so useful.
    I don't think I've had Jerusalem artichokes, so I looked it up in Google. It says that Jerusalem artichokes grow well in my area. I must find some to plant.

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    1. I am so glad you are able to grow Jerusalem artichokes where you live Nil. I picked up some bulbs from a farmers market and added in small amounts to stir-fries and casseroles etc. Good luck in finding and growing them :)

      xTania

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  2. I love the work shirt bag! Great idea :) The flowers all look so lovely and your Mom is happy with all those pretty Dahlias, I bet. The windmill cut out from metal is very cool...love it!

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    1. Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for dropping by my blog and for your kind comment. Mum's dahlias looked stunning when they were in flower. She has green thumbs I think, because all her plants grow beautifully including vegetables :)

      xTania

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    2. Well, we know where you get it from! lol :)

      I have several of my hubby's work shirts that were damaged by our old washing machine (it was a bit rough and had a tendency to save up bleach for later, it's been replaced now)...so I am interested to know if you had a pattern to work off of to make the bags? I'm hoping that over the winter I will have more time to do some sewing projects. That's the plan anyway. :)

      Keep up the good work!

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    3. Hello again Lisa,

      No I didn't use a pattern, but I did have a cloth bag that I roughly copied the size and shape and how it was put together. I fiddled around with the button area until I managed to get it to look right although I didn't check that the pockets were aligned. But this one was a practice run so there was room for error, and I know better for the following ones I sew up :)

      Hope this is helpful,

      xTania

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  3. Your bag looks great Tania, very much in the style of what we make at Boomerang Bags. It's so good to see people thinking outside the box and repurposing what would otherwise go to landfill.

    On the subject of Cholesterol, reducing consumption of animal products may help, but I wouldn't eliminate them completely, the bigger culprit that we can do something about is actually sugar. The evidence will be hard to find if you want to research it, because the four corners episode that exposed it was mysteriously banned (read between the lines if you will) and the other huge contributing factor is genetics, in other words some people have naturally high cholesterol, my husband is one of them, last cholesterol count 8.3! He has a great diet and exercises, so go figure!

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    1. Hello Cheryl,

      Thank you for your contribution about cholesterol, it is very much appreciated. I will take a look to see if I can find the program you mentioned (I may have already seen it). I think hubby has familial cholesterol too, so yes it is probably genetic in his case. In the past he has had too much sugar and too much meat, dairy etc. I have cut out the animal products and the sugar has been lowered significantly from our diet. I have been mostly plant based (vegan) for four years and my bloods have all come back with good results. No issues for me and no medication. As a menopausal woman at 55 I am pretty pleased about that. He will be on the diet for three months in combination with taking fish oil, so we will see what happens with his next blood test. Hubby is a very fit, small, skinny bloke so it is a surprise that his cholesterol is a bit high, so much the same as your husband.

      There is a lot of money involved with meat dairy and sugar, so anything that exposes the negative side to any of these industries will be banned or silenced. It is up to us to do our own research and find out about the side effects of eating any one of these products and I have done this. Meat and dairy cause quite a range of problems in the human body, one of them is cancer. Others are diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol, inflammation etc etc. Humans consume way to many animal products, our bodies are not designed to be consuming so much. Same goes with sugar, even salt? There is enough protein, calcium, magnesium etc in plants. The only issue is B12, but many meat eaters also have this problem.

      I am finished my sermon now lol!

      I will keep you posted as to how my hubby gets on with his results.

      Have a lovely day :)

      xTania

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    2. I would be very interested to hear how he goes, it might spur my hubby to do a little more :)

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    3. I watched the program you mentioned Cheryl, it was very informative and made me determined to try and eliminate as much sugar as I can.

      We, the people are treated like mushrooms. It needs to stop!

      xTania

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  4. Sorry, it was Catalyst not Four Corners that aired the two part series on it :)

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    1. Will check it out Cheryl, thank you :)

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  5. Making use of the old shirts into bags sounds like a great way to recycle. The pizza looks great.

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  6. I stopped taking cholesterol meds as I was experiencing muscle aches and spasms in my legs and feet. I was down to 5.5 last test so I hope the Weight Watchers regime of lean meats, lots of vegetables, minimal sugar, salt and dairy will keep it down. Gosh, I was miserable when taking them. I’d literally sit in my recliner with legs twitching and oh, burning feet! I’d have to wrap them in damp towels! Nasty!
    Love the shirt bags, how clever - maybe I could make a business shirt one? Lol!

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    1. Hi Joolz,

      Phil had issues when on cholesterol tablets, plus they cause other problems within your body (like diabetes!) so this is why I am trying this method. His numbers have to be down for work, so hopefully it works. It will be a long three months, but he is feeling better. He has a lot more energy so that is good.

      I have been keeping an eye on your WW progress and I am glad it is working for you. We tried cutting down on meats etc once before, only eating salmon, tuna etc with more veggies, but there was very little change to his levels.

      Your medication side effects sound awful Joolz, I don't think I could put up with those either.

      xTania

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  7. Hi Tania, That bag is fabulous! You are so clever. Those orchids look spectacular. My mom used to grow them, too. They are really special. I hope the new diet works for your hubby. My brother is also small and very fit. He has to watch his cholesterol, too. Hope it all works out for you. I have reduced my sugar intake drastically, and am very pleased with the results. I didn't think I could do it.

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    1. Hello there Stephenie,

      My dad (82yo) says that cholesterol is a "new mans disease". Years ago there was no such test so what you didn't know, didn't matter lol!

      Reducing sugar is probably going to be harder than cutting out meat! Hubby {and me} love cakes, desserts and biscuits. I am about to bake something sugar free for him to take to work tomorrow :)

      It is unbelievable how so many smaller people have cholesterol. I always thought you had to have a big round belly to have it...

      Enjoy your day,

      xTania

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  8. why is it people think lean meats will help? don't they know that the fat on meat goes hand in hand with it? heart foundation has it all wrong with the lean meats, i personally detest them; i'd cut back just a little with the meats, some blood types also are susceptible to cholesterol as well?
    EGGS are natures wonder pill, little absorbers of cholesterol, chuck a raw one down a couple of times a week (throw it in a vegie or fruit smoothie if you don't like raw eggs)
    good luck with the diet
    thanx for sharing

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    1. Hi Selina,

      I happen to agree with you about meats. Meat is meat full stop! The heart foundation have many things wrong in my opinion, but I wont go into that here lol!

      I didn't know about the blood types being more susceptible to cholesterol, now that is something else that comes into play that I will need to research. Thank you.

      I do not know enough about eggs, whether they are good or not. So I cant really comment although I will add that I was raised eating eggs and I have eaten my own for many years, but have cut them out since going plant based. I must research this information more too.

      Thank you for your contribution, it is very much welcome. The more I learn about our health the better :)

      Have a lovely day,

      xTania

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  9. It’s been cold here too
    I love your bag. I have some Tshirts that are way too big for me now. But have hardly been worn. So I might
    Take a page out of your book and turn them into bags!
    Good job on the healthy eating.
    I’m down 20 kilos and feel much much better.
    Good luck to hubby hope it all works for him xx

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    1. I do believe you can make bags from t-shirts, I have seen them somewhere in my travels. Give them a go Angela :)

      Wow you have done so well with your weight loss. I have only a few kilos to lose, but they are very stubborn. I think if I can quit the sugar that should improve my weight loss.

      I made a sugar free (vegan) cake yesterday, so off to a good start :)

      xTania



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  10. Tania, I love the bag. You are very creative. Good luck with lowering cholesterol. One of my friends was told by her doctor to cut out sugar and that made an amazing difference in her cholesterol levels. I don't bake cakes and biscuits any more as they are too tempting :-)

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    1. Oh Nanna Chel, how do you survive without cakes and bikkies? Have you switched your tastes buds to savoury rather than sweet? Because I could probably manage that. I would have to give up drinking tea so not to crave the sweet stuff.

      I gave up smoking 27 years ago cold turkey, so I need to get that same motivation flowing to give up sugar!

      Thank you for your comment :)

      xTania

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  11. Out of interest, how often do you muck out your chicken shed?

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    1. Not as often as I should Phil!

      I would like to clean it about once a month, but life sometimes gets in the way and it is left a bit longer. I am going to lay a recycled brick floor in the nesting area to make the area easier to clean. At the moment the floor is dirt, so that makes for a very messy job.

      Have a great day!

      xTania

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  12. What a great way to repurpose your hubby's old worn out work shirts. Well done! I love that your mum has saved all the plants you have given her over the years...that is just so sweet. The orchid you picked up is simply gorgeous as well!

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    1. It is sweet that mum has kept all my potted flowers through the years. When they moved a couple of years ago, she dug them up and brought them with her :)

      Wishing you a lovely day,

      xTania

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  13. Tania I love your shopping bag. What a great idea for using something up that was going to be thrown out. Reuse, rethink, recycle. I have a doona cover I picked up from a thrift store that is earmarked for shopping bags. The ones I have, I made years ago, out of an old table cloth and sheet are looking their age.
    It has been odd weather this year. It is still really warm during the days but the nights are cool. We had a couple of nights where the doona was required but we are back to the crochet blanket. My orchids are all sending up flower spikes and flowering away. Yours is quite spectacular. I think I would have succumbed and bought that one.
    My veg patch is pumping out the produce. It is so nice to have fresh veg with our meals. I am succession planting so I am hoping this bounty will continue for a quite a while.
    Love Mum's flowers. I hope your cuttings take and you can add to your own garden.
    Its good to hear from you.

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    1. You really should start a blog Jane, I would love to see more of the things you create and grow, and all the other things you get up to. I don't tend to spend a lot of time on instagram and facebook so sometimes miss out on some of your lovely creations.

      Thank you for dropping by today, it was so great to hear from you.

      xTania

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  14. This year sure IS flying by Tania. Great to see all the flowers in your post. Love the orchid so much. Your chickens look very happy pecking away there. Hope you have a great week Tania.

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  15. Such a great idea for a bag! So smart. So you throw new hay in the chook house so the chickens will grind up the old hay and manure? If this is true- I love that idea too!

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    1. Hi Vickie,

      Yes the idea is to get the chickens to break down the hay and fertilise it at the same time. A job they do very well lol!

      Thank you for dropping by my blog today :)

      xTania

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I love reading your comments! Through them, I have learnt that there are some truly lovely people out there. Thank you :)