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

Thursday, October 10, 2019

around here

Wow, doesn't time fly? One day blends into another and in no time at all it is over a week since I wrote here.

Last Wednesday we took another trip over to the dentist, just one more appointment to go.  Whyalla was just beautiful from the Hummock Hill lookout.

Since my last post, there have been a couple of hot days in the 40C's. Saturday was one of those horrible windy, dirty, dusty days.  I am getting a bit frustrated having to clean up dirt all the time, but I guess it is to be expected with the drought conditions still here.

We have now started daylight savings and what a nightmare for me to adjust my sleep pattern.  Do you experience the same thing? I will get used to the time change, but it takes a while.

A weird thing happened with this calendula. It sprouted a mini flower from the middle of the bud after the initial flower. Has anyone had this happen? And do we know why?

 I gently dried some of the petals, leaves and stems from the calendula's in the oven, then I made salve.

The first time I made two jars then another three yesterday.

I am thinking about trying calendula cream next time.

I have picked the last of the lavender and they are in the drying rack.  I am hoping for a second round of flowers, but will have to wait and see if that happens.

I placed some already dried lavender in oil and sat the jar in the hot sun for a few days. Eventually I could smell the lavender. I included some of the leaves as they have more aroma than the flowers.

Then I made up lavender salve. 

Because of the horrible weather on Saturday, I decided to stay inside and do some other stuff. I made beeswax wraps.  My daughter has wanted me to make her some, so I gave it a go. I used old bits of cardboard for the templates.

This was only a practice run, and I will be making some more very soon. I am pleased with how they turned out.

I was going to sew up some fruit and veggie bags, but I remembered I had saved these horrid plastic ones to re-use. All I did was thread some string through the top and they are ready to go. While they are not as pretty as the homemade ones, I feel better that I have actually recycled the bags into something useful, rather than throwing them out. Now to go shopping and try them.

I may have made the string just a tad too long, its easily fixed though. 

I weighed these and the other sewn ones I have, and these were a smidgen lighter.

This past weekend was a long one here in South Australia, so an extra work free day on Monday for most people.

My daughter went camping, so I had two different grand babies to look after.

This is Molly. And Molly is a terror with sharp puppy teeth! She destroys everything in sight haha! Lucky she is so cute, cant help but love her.

And this is Scarlet. A baby goat abandoned by her mother. She is still being bottle fed, so that was fun, especially with the inquisitive puppy around, that wanted to help! I would happily keep this sweet girl.

Have a look at them They were so hot! I watered both of them down and they went to sleep for a couple of hours. I took this photo from my dining room window, they looked so funny.

We have had a visitor in the chook house! Not the kind we want to see...

A perfectly "wide" slither track...made by one big snake! 

We always check for tracks when we go out to feed and collect eggs in the afternoon. Seeing this puts a shiver up my spine, especially when we find a track this big!

We have not sighted the snake and are hoping that it has kept going and didn't find anything to keep it hanging around, like mice. I must say I was very wary for a few days afterwards, even the poor sleepy lizards made me jump haha!

This young snake had been run over, I came across him while out walking.  

And this large one had been run over near our place a couple of weeks ago.

In the garden, I am picking peas.


The seeds are slowing sprouting.

Mother nature went all out when she created such a beautiful flower for such a plain looking fruit, how amazing! Hopefully I am going to get a few passion-fruit this year.

Blooms are starting on the cactus.

Tomatoes are getting bigger.

I counted twelve on this bunch.

A dainty butterfly on the yarrow flower. See?

Still picking tomatoes from last seasons plants.

And new ones are growing.

I was watering the barrels yesterday and because I am using rain water with no pump, it takes a fair bit of time. While I was waiting I took some photos to share with y'all.


I also spent some of the day tidying up this area after all the dirt from Saturday plus the mess from the animals. 

I accidentally dug up this small sweet potato.  In my wisdom, I decided to trim all the shoots back and thought there were no potatoes forming in the soil, but boy was I wrong! You never know what is going on under there...lesson learned!

This hanging basket thingy was given to me many years ago by a friend, and I have never known quite what to do with it as it is rather large and cumbersome. However, I saw a picture of something similar being used as a bird waterer or feeder, so I placed it in a nearby gum tree. I added in an old dogs dish and it fitted perfectly. The dish is no longer needed, since we don't have our own dogs anymore. 

I placed the worms temporarily into the old fridge that will be used to keep them cool. Hubby has started preparing the fridge by removing parts and plugging up holes. Hopefully by next week it will be ready for the worms to live in permanently. 

Outside I have been cleaning up around the place, raking up dry leaves and weeds.

We visited my parents on Monday and I took some photos of their veggie patch at the moment.

Giant silver beet with calendulas scattered among them.

They are the Fordhook variety of silver beet and have huge leaves. My dad doesn't like the rainbow chard, he prefers the taste of these.

I brought some home with me.

The strawberry patch.  Originally these were mine. I had taken a few plants them over to my parents garden when we were changing our garden around.  They have really taken off and have heaps of flowers and young strawberries on them. They love being planted in the ground, and make a wonderful ground-cover.  They would not grow like that here...

On the way home hubby spied the resident white buck kangaroo that lives in Horrocks Pass. As the road is very windy, he quickly let me out the car to take a photo, then turned around to come and pick me up.  Its times like this that I wish I had my camera on me with the zoom lens.  I am going to start carrying it with me from now on. I only had my cheap phone to snap this shot. Can you see him sun baking near those logs?

A beautiful sunset pic to finish off. There are wind turbines being put up on the nearby hills and they really stood out this day.

This turned out to be a very long post, hopefully you have stuck with me to the end ~ smiles.

Wishing you all well.



  1. Oh my goodness, that’s the first time I saw snake tracks! I have goosebumps by just seeing the photos. 😲
    I tried many times growing lavender, but it’s too humid here. I hope you have lots of passion fruits. I’ve been enjoying mine for several weeks now.

    1. Yes snakes are definitely scary Nil, we have very venomous ones where we live. If you get bitten, you are doomed.

      We don't kill them unless we are under threat which is not likely. I have a snake catcher living around the corner, so I will call her and she will come and collect the snake and release them in a safe area.

      Cant wait for some passion-fruit. I think I have had about six flowers so far, so fingers are crossed.


  2. A white boomer, just in time for Christmas 😉

    How priceless is the photo of the puppy and the kid goat!! That gave me a smile today 😁

    1. Yes a big white boomer! Why didn't I think of that haha!

  3. I have collected and dried calendula petals this year too, Tania. I want to make salve as well. I am going to use Rhonda's recipe from Down-to-Earth blog. That snake track would have me checking where my feet are treading too! Meg:)

    1. I must check Rhonda's recipe, as I was using Slow Living Essentials recipe. They are probably similar, use oil and beeswax, pretty simple really.

      Still no sign of the snake, thank goodness!


  4. I am always amazed at what you grow, Tania. I have pretty well given up growing veggies in the drought. I haven't seen a snake yet but no doubt they are around as we have just had a couple of 35C days. I am not a fan of snakes.

    1. I am definitely not a fan of snakes either. We only saw one last year, but this year have seen quite a few around about.

      I am using stored rainwater for the veggie patch at the moment, but desperately need rain soon to top up the tank. We have a tank just for using for the garden.


  5. Fabulous collection of pictures, Tania. What a lot of things you grow. You are an inspiration

  6. Living in Queensland, we don't have daylight savings. Thank goodness! It used to mess with my sleep patterns, terribly when I lived in NSW's though. So I sympathise with your biological rebellion, to the manufacture of time. Otherwise you've been extremely busy with your various projects. I've been in the mood for doing a myriad of projects too. It must be the spring of Spring!

    Loved the sight of your new animal friends. I hope you keep the goat! Or maybe that's just wishful thinking, on my part, lol. As I'd love goats, myself. I hope your new worms make it through the summer, in that insulated fridge. It would be great if they did! It's always dicey, that first year of trying something new. I hope they work out to be long term residents. And that's the weirdest calendula I've EVER seen. It hasn't happened to me before. Sorry, no help.

    1. Hi there Chris,

      Sorry to be so long in replying, have been busy helping my daughter out and not been near the computer in days lol!

      Lucky you not having daylight savings, I dislike it so much!

      Hoping the fridge will keep the worms safe from the heat. I do plan to put ice bottles in there if needed. I presume that should be okay and not cause any problems.

      Someone on instagram posted a similar calendula photo the other day, so it appears it must happen occasionally. Not sure why though, was very weird.

      Wishing you a fantastic week!


  7. Hi Tania, Oh wow! The beach is so beautiful. The animals look so happy and peaceful. As always, I am in awe of your garden. How do you get so much done?

    1. I am kept on the go Stephenie. There is always something to do xxx

  8. I love Molly and Scarlett! Great post Tania. Your produce is well ahead of mine! I cant believe you had it so hot already. This is a worry... what will summer be like? Your salves look just excellent. With love Annabel.xxx

    1. Thank you Annabel. No heat this week, has been very cool xxx

  9. I really enjoyed catching up on what you are doing. We too have snakes in the yard, a baby tiger a few days ago and I so hope there aren't too many more around. Or the parents! I have nothing growing except grass and weeds...must work on that.

    1. We have had another snake visit the chook house Barb. There were different snake tracks in the dirt yesterday. Not sighted in person thank goodness, although I do like to know where they are. Plenty of weeds here too that I need to get to xxx

  10. Just found your blog - came over to see your containers. Wow! I'm putting my tomatoes in large containers next summer. We had drought this summer too, and lost so much in the garden. We're on the other side of the world from you, so it's really nice to see all you're doing in your springtime. Your garden is lovely.

  11. Hello and welcome M.K. so good to have you here.

    Our drought is really bad at the moment, we are in desperate need of rain, everything is so dry.


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