Sunday, May 30, 2010

What a beautiful day!

Some days it's just too good to be true!

I love this time of year.  It is not too hot and unbearable, but it's still cool enough without being freezing and having to layer up in mountains of jumpers.  That's if you live in the tropics.  I grew up in Melbourne and would not go back to living there.  

This morning I woke up and it was a bit overcast and still dark (at 6am).  It was cool enough to warrant putting on a dressing gown over my pj's, but as the day went on it warmed up to the point where I'm now in cargo pants and a 3/4 length sleeved top.  No shoes, of course.  

I turned on Sunday Sunrise and heard the weather report for the Southern states and gave a smug smile that our day here was going to be a fine one.

I was browsing the links to other blogs from other's pages a few days ago (don't you hate it when you find a good site but forget to bookmark it?), and came across a blog where the woman talked about the things she had in her pantry and why they deserved a permanent place there.  It got me thinking about my pantry.  

The pantry in this house is nowhere near as big as the one we built in our last house (but it was a big walk-in one, this one is just a deep, narrow one and VERY impractical), so I've had to rethink what I keep in it.  Before, I would stockpile certain things I used a lot, now I have to keep in there a limited amount of stuff and store everything else in the shed.  That bugs me because I don't go into the shed often and then I forget what I have in there anyway.

So, here are my top 5 things I keep in my pantry and why they are there.

  1. Tomato paste.  I love pasta and make a lot of my own sauce.  I love it really rich and thick and you can't make a good sauce without tomato paste.
  2. Dried pasta - various types.  See number 1.  I love pasta.  Maybe growing up surrounded by the families of my Italian friends in Melbourne has something to do with that.
  3. Capers.  We eat a lot of fish and we make up a caper and butter mix to spread over the fillets before wrapping them in tin foil and cooking them on the bbq.  Yum!
  4. Vegemite.  Because everyone should have vegemite on their toast or sandwich!  Also, a light smear of vegemite on the paw of your cat or dog helps distract them from a nasty like a vaccination needle or clipping their nails.  It's also good for their coats.
  5. Weet-bix.  I like it best in winter with hot milk and sugar.  It must never be thin and watery, always thick so it "lines the tummy".  It's filling and 'homey'.  It reminds me of mornings after spending the night at my nan's as a child.  Especially because she'd let me eat it on the couch in front of the electric heater - normally we were NEVER allowed to eat anywhere other than at the kitchen table (or our lunch on the back step in summer).
So, there's my top 5.  What's yours?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A time to reflect and give thanks

Today I am at home.

Yesterday I was out and about getting prices on various things we will need for the bathroom (not including plasterboard for the walls and ceiling, or tiles - yet).  I was all over the place and also managed to get in some grocery shopping.  Tonight we are having pea and ham soup - I love it so much.

Today I spent the day at home.  I dusted the bed head (the trucks from next door kick up so much dust), re-made the bed with some new flannelette sheets I bought yesterday from Target ($35 for king size), brought in various loads of washing, as well as hung out as many as I brought in I think.  I put away the children's clothes in their new wardrobes and put on fresh sheets and blankets on their beds.  I vacuumed the floors, kept adding things to the soup, washed the dishes from breakfast and soup making (later I will empty the tub of water out on to the pots with the geranium seedlings in them), draped warm blankets over the couch for t.v watching at night.  I took time out to wander around the yard with the pooches (we have three now) and just 'feel' what is going on around me.  I even managed some time to sit and watch some of The View while starting a new knitted dishcloth (I really need to learn to knit something other than dish cloths and scarves!).  

Soon The Princess and Little Man will be home from school.  I saw the mum of a boy from down the road do the 'bag drop-off' - mums drive down to the bus stop to pick up their children only to be given all of the neighbourhood kid's bags while the children all walk home.  It's lovely and it helps to build relationships I think.  Don't think us mums are lazy - we live in a rural area so it can be a big walk home for little legs and not having to carry a bag makes it less weary for them.  And sometimes, us mums get surprised by the acceptance of the offer for a lift home - especially on hot days!  Or after a big day of school sport.

Hark, I can hear children's voices.  It's time to go and greet them with fresh (defrosted) cupcakes I made a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm still here!

I do realise it's been such a while since I last posted and I feel dreadfully awful about it.  You see, I've been so busy or so tired that I simply haven't really had the time nor the energy some days.

We have finally got the telephone and internet connected at home, so no more driving out to the library for me!  Other than to borrow books, of course.

Our little home is coming along nicely.

The Groom has re-meshed the fences with dog mesh to keep the hounds in.  The freedom they are now enjoying!!!  Joy oh joy!

I've still only got two vegetable beds up, one is full of corn and the corn is starting to, well, I don't know what the word is for it, but there are cobs forming on them.  It's exciting to watch them grow considering I've never grown them before.

The ensuite has been stripped of its internal walls, floors, ceilings and fittings.  The concrete corner spa bath was murderous to jackhammer out.  There is no chance of the house blowing away in a cyclone with all of the concrete in the house!  The Groom was the main demolisher, I just visited often with drinks of water for him.  There was just so much concrete dust flying around everywhere that after the first day I learnt quickly to cover up the bed with a huge tarp.

I've laid out a rough plan where I want the chicken house and yard to go.  I've laid old star pickets along the ground, it's roughly 13m x 12m - I've had to make allowances for trees and existing pickets alongside one side of the yard.  Now we have to make the chicken coop and put up the fences and scavenge around places for an old gate.  Then we will get the chickens.  I can't wait!

I am really itching to get some sewing done soon.  I would like to make some colorful bunting to string along the trees in the area where the chicken yard will be.  We have some lovely birds of prey in the area, and we found a sea eagle nest high up in a gum tree in the creek paddock, so I am thinking of ways to deter them from honing in on the chooks.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.  I can't make a full 'ceiling' of mesh for the pen because of the existing trees.

Well, it's another big day over for me.  This is the busiest time of the year for supply teaching and I'm taking all the work that is offered to me.  I am definitely looking forward to school holidays!