Friday, 28 February 2014

Real Life Takes Over Again

Well, the past week has disappeared with not a lot to show for it!! I have been busy staying with mum again as she has been quite ill. On the mend now so I can get back into doing some of the me things!!
1 XMAS ITEM A MONTH - it isn't much but it isn't sitting in the UFO box now - a simple table mat.

My Giveaway win from the recent Grow Your Blog Party!!! I was one of 3 winners over
 at The Second hand Roses and my prize was 4 serviettes from this lovely feedsack fabric. Aren't they lovely - I certainly think so!! 

We have had some more of this - which has brought with cooler temps - weather has been lovely all week.

An OPAM finish - a Skinny Pincushion for my sewing machine - I added a little mat to go under the machine so it stays in place!

And of course the Valentine Swap presents I made are on my OPAM list also!!
What have you been up to this past week???

Saturday, 22 February 2014


Now that my Valentine Swap partners have received their presents from me I can show you what I made for them. For Erin......
an applique heart towel and a little sewing all. And for Ondrea......

a fabric covered journal and an applique heart towel. And in each parcel a packet of boiled lollies.
Thanks go again to Cheryll from Gone Stitching; and Anorina from  Samelia's Mum for being super duper swap mummas!!!!!!
Not much exciting happening here - just did 2 days volunteering at our Pioneer park Museum, weeded my mum's front and back garden this morning, and cleaned the inside and washed the outside of 2 cars this afternoon. About to cook some muffins with my grand daughter - who is heading home with her mum to Casino during the night - she will need some sustenance apparently.

Monday, 17 February 2014


This cooler weather and the little bit of rain has brought about some activity from me!!lol The high, dry temps had drained me of all energy and I really hadn't done a lot each day. That has changed thank goodness!
Creamy Chicken Pie ready for it's top.

Creamy Chicken Pie all ready for dinner - I love cooking but the hot summer weather was not inductive to extending the effort or turning the oven on!!
Some more pickles made - this time with half ripe tomatoes.
Yesterday evening was spent in the garden - not a pretty site currently. The mandarin tree is loaded but many are sun burnt.

Our sad vegie garden - all covered in weeds (again!!!).

Another view of the vegie garden (these are the least weediest views!!). I will be attacking it bed by bed getting ready for the winter plantings. next summer this won't happen because I have a plan!!! Because of the labour and cost of growing our lettuce, tomatoes and a few other summer veg I won't be growing them. I can purchase home grown at our sunday markets. So I will be cleaning up most of the beds and mulching them heavily mid spring so I don't have the summer weed thing occur again.
Our one and only self sown pumpkin plant!! last year I had about 20 plants sown. Oh well, the fruit I get off this one will be a start for winter! Luckily we know a few vegetable farmers and backyard growers so I will be able to get more as I need them.
So this Sunday I will be going into our Sunday market and having a but up from the lady that sells home grown seedlings, then what she doesn't have I will get from the nursery - I love the start of the new vegie beds and planting. The coming weeks will see cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, parsnips, carrots, onions, Asian vegies and whatever else I can source for our winter dinner table being planted!
Time to check tonight's dinner - Silverside, white sauce, mashed potato, carrots, broccoli, mashed pumpkin and peas!!! Mmmmmm - what are having for dinner tonight?  

Sunday, 16 February 2014

GRBP Giveaway

I cannot believe how quickly the 15th has come around. Time to announce the winners of the Grow Your Blog Party Giveaway!!!!!
PRIZE 1: Cathy from is the lucky winner of the prize pictured above!!! Please email me Cathy with your postal details as soon as possible.

PRIZE 2: Jan from is the lucky winner of the prize pictured above. Please email me with your postal details as soon as possible.
I used to draw the winners but haven't yet worked out how to screen shot the draw to bring across to my blog!!

Today I made a vegetable pickle from green tomatoes, capsicum, onion, celery. beans and zucchini. That is them all sliced up and soaking for several hours covered in salt. I then drained them, rinsed them and layered them in jars with chopped up mint, parsley and garlic and then filled the jars with olive oil. They are yummo when the oil is drained off and they are put on biscuits.
This is them bottled. Big problem though - I only got 3 jars out of them so it looks like a drive to the tomato farm to pick some more!! A lot more as I also want to make some relish!!
A lovely 2 days here as we have had an inch (25mm) of slow drizzling rain!! I am hoping the farmers in the drought areas have also received some although it probably will only be a enough to freshen up the countryside - many more constant falls are needed to really be of any help to them.

Friday, 14 February 2014


You will find my post for the GROW YOUR BLOG PARTY & GIVEAWAY . Giveaway closes at midnight 15th Feb 2014 (Australian Time).
If you are checking out the swaps in CHERYLS INITIAL HEART SWAP just click on the link and to see my post on my gifts received and sent go to here
Yesterday I attended the Murrumbidgee Lachlan Group CWA luncheon at Barellan. We had a beautiful chinese lunch. And guess who the winner of the group raffle was - yes me!!!And this was the prize - a hand made glass plate these photos don't do justice to it
The creator of this beautiful piece is Elaine Marshall - and you can see all of her beautiful creations by clicking on the link. Make sure you have a look at the beautiful vases that Elaine makes. Her shop is in West Wyalong, NSW. Then the lucky Door Prize was drawn and guess who won that also - yes me!! I was feeling a little bit embarrassed about winning both. The prize was a lovely gift basket full of biscuits and chocolates. So yesterday became the highlight of my week!!!
Naughty me... sitting in my FQ stash and in my cup cupboard are 3 gifts that I won in a giveaway over at the lovely DASHA'S blog (pop over and check out this sweet blog)
two beautiful FQ's above and this beautiful mug from Maxwell Williams - 'Birds of The World' (Katherine castle). Now these little beauties are Fairy Wrens.

When I opened the parcel my mother and sister were there and, get this, THEY thought it might be a good idea for me to 'gift' my 'gift' to one of them. Strange how great minds were not thinking alike that day!! This cup was MINE I told them and mine it is. Thank you so much Dasha I love all 3 gifts!! 
What has everyone been up to for Valentines Day?? In this cards were exchanged and we decided to go out for tea. A spur of the moment decision to go out to tea on Valentines Day is  a silly decision - we checked out 7 dining establishments - looked in the windows of 4 as we drove past, and actually parked the car and went inside 3 of them, AND they were all FULL!!!! So we went and bought fish and chips, and some seafood salad, and came home and had our Valentines Dinner!!! Lesson learnt! At least I was saved from cooking and cleaning up!!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014


To my *new* followers a big welcome - the GROW YOUR BLOG PARTY has been a great event and I have met some wonderful people from all parts of the wold and now follow some really fabulous and diverse blogs. If you would like to read my GYBP post and take part in my giveaway you can go HERE remember the giveaway is being drawn on the 15th Feb 2014 - so only a few days to go to enter!!
Our country as diverse as it is in landscape is also divers in natural events. Currently many areas are in the grips of drought, Victoria is experiencing terrible bush fires again and way up in the northern and north western Australia they are experiencing floods........ so much hardship for so many of our countryman. My thoughts go out to all affected in these areas experiencing such devastation. And also to those who are doing the Big Freeze in the Northern Hemisphere. I have always known how fortunate we are to live in the area that we do but seeing what people are dealing with and surviving through in other parts of our country and indeed the world just increases my appreciation for what I have!!
The highlight of my week has been collecting our mail from our PO box. Once again I have been soooo spoilt by two beautiful talented ladies in swaps I have participated in for Valentines day!!
This is what the very delightful Erin from has made for me. Two sweet mug rugs and matching serviettes - just what I need to pack in our picnic box for our trips away!! Thank you so much Erin!!

Erin is new to sewing and blogging - she is  really just starting out and is very busy making clothes for herself and her children and I am sure she would love to meet some more like minded bloggers and would love for you to visit her blog! This swap was organised by the ANORINA whose blog 'Samelia's Mum' is a must to visit! and a big thank you to Anorina for organising this swap.
The next parcel to arrive was from the talented Ondrea whose blog can be found HERE. Ondrea stalked my blog and really did a good job of it!!!lol The mat is her own design and I just adore it - so simple and sweet! And after stalking Ondrea's blog I was very taken with her lovely dishcloth / washers and had decided I had to find a pattern and make some. Well, Ondrea has made one for me, along with a sweet purple heart and a beautiful lavender soap (I guess my header photo is a dead giveaway for one of my favourite plants and colours!!lol). Thank you so much Ondrea!!
Thank you to Swap Mumma Extraordinaire CHERYLL - click on her name to go to her 'Gone Stitchin' blog. 

And this is what a cat's life is all about!! After being fed he thought he would annoy me for a few minutes by walking over my keyboard, playing with the pens and anything else that might move, trying to get his taste of my cup of coffee. he gave up after a little while of being put on the floor, being smacked on the nose or being ignored and decided to sleep as close to me as he could - right beside my laptop on top of my unread newspaper!!!

Friday, 7 February 2014


This is a post that I have started several times but haven't been happy with how I was wording it so this time I am posting it regardless. Around the world there are currently weather conditions that are testing the human strength. Right here at home in Australia we have drought conditions that are crippling farmers, their families, their towns (businesses, employment and populations) and will ultimately affect every person in Australia when there are no crops or stock left for our consumption. There will be many businesses lost because they depend on our farmers for their income - trucking, ag machinery sales & repairs, fuel depots, spare parts shops, and the list goes on.
Towns will disappear also as their populations move to larger towns looking for work and lifestyles that drought towns cannot offer. Farmers in Qld, NSW and Vic are doing it tough. They have dead stock meeting them every morning, noon and night in every paddock they drive into; they are carting water and feed long distances to try to keep their stock and ultimately their lives, incomes and dreams alive. But the worst effect of this drought is the suicides that are happening - the farmers who just cannot cope with the pressure of trying to keep their farms going so they have something to try to start again with if the drought breaks; cannot cope with the huge debts that they are facing and not getting any help from a government who can hand millions of dollars to what I label non essential causes (boat people, overseas aid); who cannot face another day of watching their families suffer too.
Some of these photos that I am posting today are from my blogging friend Chookyblue who is living through this devastating drought rig now. You can click on her name to go to her blog and learn more about what the drought is doing. 
There are a lot of 'unknown' people doing their best behind the scene to help our farmers. The Country Women's Associations in all states of Australia have a long history of supporting our rural families and communities. They are a highly regarded and respected not for profit organisation that are constantly meeting with government ministers and taking the concerns of the Australia's rural areas to their tables. The NSW CWA State President has a weekly blog post that makes interesting reading: Snippets.
The following photo I have borrowed from:
BUY A BALE - this site provides an avenue where you can make a monetary donation to go towards the purchase of hay and feed for the drought stricken farmers.
AUSSIE HELPERS - you can also make donations to this site - all are channelled into providing 'care packages' and stock feed to our aussie farmers who are doing it tough.
Charity Auction - official Aussie helpers Charity Auction on face book.
BURRUMBUTTOCK TO BOURKE - today a convoy of trucks passed through our town (Griffith NSW) on its way to Bourke - each truck loaded with hay that has been donated and is being distributed to farmers around Bourke.
 These are just a few groups and events that I know of - there are many more who are doing all they can to help - it doesn't matter how much or what you can give - it will help someone who needs it.
Probably the most important thing that anyone can do for these farmers and families is to just ask them how they are going, give them a few minutes of your time - you never know it may be the few minutes that will save a life, or at the very least make them feel good because some ones cared enough to ask!!!!
The above picture is part of a photo that has been appearing on a lot of face book pages - I have tried to find the source but have been unsuccessful - I have been able to find out that the original is from a QLD property and was taken recently.
I am not a dry area farmer but I have family who are, I grew up on the land (a farmers daughter) and am married to a farmer - but we are fortunate that we are in an irrigation area and we also have off farm income (something that many of our farmers do not have).
As I said this post has taken me a couple of weeks to write; I only have a small number of followers but I encourage any of my followers in Australia to post a photo and a few words so that the effects of this insidious drought are made known to as many people as possible.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


So, last Friday we pack ourselves and 2 grandies into the car along with bags and drinks. We were headed to 'Tooleybuc' (isn't that a great name for a river town) where we were staying for the weekend. And it was hot, so damned hot. I hate hot - like 48deg Celsius hot. I like warm like 25-30deg Celsius but no hotter.   
We stopped at Hay for lunch and more cold drinks and then headed towards Balranald.
Above and below are two views of the Hay Plains. That is not a crop in the background of the first photo - it green weeds - we were very surprised to see that any trees had new green leaves and all the weeds were green - there must have been some rain recently. And the clouds are not rain clouds!!

Just look at the vibrant blue that sky is - it would be lovely in the spring or autumn because it wouldn't be so hot!!!Just as we got to Balranald (another great name!!) we turned left and headed to Tooleybuc. I have always wanted to go to Balranald and was disappointed to be so close but so far - a trip in the cooler weather is on the agenda now just to see Balranald. I have a thing about side tripping into little country towns, and I like to be able to say I have been to ...................
we pulled into Tooleybuc at 3pm and how happy were we all - the air con was already on in the cabin. There was a lovely big deck off the cabin that overlooked the river as can be seen in the above photo, but unfortunately we could only use it in the morning or in the dark because it faced west and got that damned awful HOT sun in the afternoon!!!

How good does that water look - the grandies wanted to go swimming but grouchy old Ma-ma said no - wait for your father because this grandmother does not swim in rivers and he can be responsible for one of you drowning not me!!! their response - 'we can swim!!!' They didn't go swimming in the river much to their disgust.
A morning walk along the riverbank - just love gum trees along the river - and there were several different types with different coloured and textured bark. let it be known I DO NOT like gum trees in house yards or gardens!!!lol; they have their place on riverbanks.

I also love rivers. The Murray is a majestic river winding its way from one side of the state to the other becoming the border between NSW and Victoria. as you can see it rather low. I am always amazed how our pioneers managed to negotiate this old girl in the paddle steamers. 
I also have a thing for old bridges - maybe because I am in awe of the man hours and hand skills that produced them. And the most amazing thing is that after all of these years they are still standing - this is a 1 lane bridge and it still takes the weight of B-Doubles crossing it (I know because I watched many go over it whilst we were there.
I do not have any photos of Swan Hill because it was too hot to do anything. Whilst the other adults attended the wedding on the riverbank at the Pioneer Settlement, Abbey, Lachlan and I hired some DVDs, bought party pies, chips and drinks and went back to Tooleybuc and spent the afternoon in the cabin with air conditioning. My daughter in law told me that when she got into the car which was under a shady tree after the wedding it said the outside temperature was 48degrees - and that everyone was saturated from perspiring before the ceremony y started.
We did stop off at Mildura and Deniliquin on the way home but only for a stretch and a cold drink - way to hot to do anything else. I love Echuca so we will be doing a trip back to look around Swan Hill more and revisit Echuca again when it is cooler!!
Yesterday and today have been lazy days but I have finally got back to painting the shelves for my sewing room. Above are three of them finished and in place. The window behind will be removed eventually. Now I have to cut more shelves but I need to work out what I am putting where first so I know how many I need.
This is the cupboard to go in the gap in the photo above. I still have the desk to paint and move in there plus 3 other shelving units to paint. As I don't have any grandies with me until the April holidays I should be able to get them done over the next couple of weeks and start moving all of my sewing and craft stuff in. I am soooo looking forward to that - I am really fed up with having to go into mums to sew - it will be really nice to be able to just go in there and sew whenever I have a few minutes to spare as it will be all set up.

And to finish off today, this is our newest family member. Ziggy (named by the grandies) is a Bob Tail and only 3 months old. He replaces my little Bobby Girl who we think was bitten by a snake a while back. if you ever have the chance to own one of these take. They are so affectionate and cheeky, they talk to you all the time, and are time wasters as they amuse themselves with anything and you can't help but watch them.
That is it from me for a few days - I am hoping to do some catch up work around the house as we have had a cool reprieve today and tomorrow will be the same - but the temps is back up to 40 on the weekend. I am so looking forward to Autumn!!!