23 May 2015

House or Home??

Today I was going to drive to some land that is for sale about 80km from where I live and look at its prospects for current horse agistment and possible future home site. However, I had a think about it and it’s really a waste of time at the moment as I don’t have the money on hand and I haven’t asked the bank if I am eligible for a loan. It was just an excuse to go away from here for a while and I was thinking it would make me happy to have a day out.

So I had a look at the list of “to-dos” on my fridge door and when I opened the vertical blinds I realised that I really wanted to use the closed in veranda, for something besides storage, and I need to do some cooking that I’ve been putting off for weeks. Then there are the weekly/fortnightly/monthly chores to do that are always “there”.

I realised that what would make me happy is to make this place truly my home as I’ve been a bit dispossessed the last couple of years and slept in my car in a park, stayed at youth hostels,  friends and relatives homes and in another rental that I really disliked.

I’ve started customising the garden but that’s not something that happens overnight, like customising a room can, and gardens change by themselves anyway – flowers bloom, trees lose leaves in Winter and grow new ones in Spring, grass needs cutting and weeds are always popping out of the ground. It takes a long time to truly make your mark on a garden/yard and it’s not like you eat/sleep/live in it.

Guess I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m going to be renting for a while, something I haven’t done in 30 years, and I may as well make where I live my home not just a house that protects me from the weather and keeps me secluded and separated from the world outside its walls. Time to start laying real building blocks for my new future instead of floating around in the clouds watching the world go by and hoping I find a silver lining. I discovered today that I am the one who has always made safe/comfortable places for myself, and the children when they were younger, not either of my partners as they were too busy doing their own thing and expecting us to fit in. That’s two of the mistakes I’ve made in my life and there’s probably countless others that have been forgotten along the way.

Now it’s time to properly pick myself up, I thought I had before but I was mistaken, dust myself off and make a place for me again – even if it is just a step on the way to where I’d really like to be I need to give it a solid base as ricketty steps are dangerous.


20 May 2015

The Bucket List and other things.....

I had a doctor's appointment the day after my last blog post to have a small growth on my head inspected. Well, it was fine but I'd been feeling a bit tired and had a couple of head spins while in the waiting room and, as that had happened at work a few times in the previous week, I asked him to take my blood pressure. I knew it was in orbit and I was correct - 180/105. I thought I'd just go home and take the meds, I managed to exercise and diet myself off before, but doctor told me no meds, no strenuous exercise, go home and rest and come back in 3 days for a blood test. He wanted a clean test with no interference from drugs. The usual culprits - vitamin/mineral deficiencies, thyroid, diabetes and cholesterol.

Well everything was fine though I was a bit worried that my cholesterol was up to a total of 5.9 (from 4.9) again but the doc said as the triglycerides and HDL's were at very good levels and the LDL's were low he wasn't too bothered by the total reading.

So....I'm back on meds....again :(. Better than being dead though I suppose *silly grin*. Back to square one - repeat - till I'm off meds again. I'm blaming this on the work stress.

Meanwhile...over on my emails...... Booktopia were having a postage free sale so of course I went in search of the book I've wanted since it was printed and low and behold it was on sale too! Well I can't take my money with me if I cark it and I don't think the government taxes your books after you've gone so I purchased it, and a companion to it, and now I'll have something to read while I drink my green tea and snack on my homemade healthy goodies and can cross it off my Bucket List!

In a renewed effort to have more vegetables in my diet I tried out the Savoury Split Peas recipe on the side of that pack. It was quite tasty, though I did add some tabasco to it to liven up the other condiments, and filling as well as being cheap.

I've been doing some more baking and tried out this Pumpkin Fruit Cake Recipe I found on the internet as I couldn't find the original one I had. DUH!! I knew I had it somewhere safe  (I can just see and hear Matti May laughing) and of course I discovered it last night on the Recipes page on my blog after I'd made the pictured cake and started this post *picture me banging head on hand*. LOL, must be practising for senior's moments but I guess I can blame it on the vagueness caused by high blood pressure!!

I’m not happy with this recipe and I think I’ll go back to the tried and tested one I posted here.

There was a bit of rain around yesterday that kept me housebound and it was accompanied by thunder and lightning. The cat spent the day inside the house and the dog holed up in the shed outside. 

The front yard.

The back yard.

Nearly forgot! My lovely friend gifted me a selection of his brews.  Lol, I jokingly tell him that if there was some way I could clone him I would J. The bottle on the left contains Old, the centre one is Pale Ale and the one on the right is Mexican. I can drink them 3 weeks after the dates on the caps so I could have the Old now….if I could lower this damn blood pressure! Suppose it gives me something to look forward to….sigh….


5 May 2015

Posts, Projects and Pleasant People

Well, I aimed to try to make one post a week – or 4 a month – on the blog when I started posting this year but I’ve already mucked that goal up as I only made 3 in April. Even though it averages out to 4 a month that’s not quite the same. It’s not as if I don’t have more than enough to post!

This last week I’ve been ripping out unwanted plants and discovering new areas to plant ones I do want. In other words….anything edible :D.

I tried a no knead sourdough recipe but I need to work on that some more as the timing for using the dough has to be correct. The temperature here could have been a bit on the cold side too.  I feel my effort could have been less dense and risen more and I don’t want to use yeast to do this. I have made no knead yeast bread already.

I’ve started some lemon/lime vinegar. The juice is frozen in ice cubes in the deep freeze or has been used in lemon/honey drinks, as salad dressing and also glazed roasted whole chickens.

After the letdown with the social evening I was delighted to have an early Mother’s Day present from my daughter in the form of a dinner for one at the restaurant where she works. She was my waitress for the night J. I had an entrĂ©e of Oysters Kilpatrick, a main dish with calamari and prawns and a yummy cheese platter for dessert with a very fine Sauvignon Blanc to wash it down.
I had my hair cut and coloured while I was over there too. It’s been a long time and as I’m off to the Riverina DTE meet up this weekend the photo will have to wait until after then .

I had a friend visit me yesterday with a box of goodies. There’s 2 jars of tomato relish, one of corn relish, the big jar is tomato pickle, and there’s one of fig jam. The bottle contains plum sauce. As you can see there’s also fresh granny smith apples – that taste unlike any I’ve ever had before as those were bought from stores and these are home grown – and a bag of walnuts. I’ve already depleted the apples by one, which is why there are only 3 in the photo, and started diminishing the walnuts and also opened a jar of tomato relish, which is really delicious.

All these lovely items were given to me in exchange for a bag of my homegrown lemons and limes as he wants them to flavour his home brew beer. I’ve promised him some lemon butter in the future too.  He made all the preserves and, just by the way, his name is Phil! There must be something about that name….LOL!


19 Apr 2015

To Socially...

that I must be a bit of an oddball around here for my age, after attending a night out with an over 50's singles group, was a bit disconcerting. I mean, I know I’m a little weird but to know so much about social internet and be able to send bulk emails, moderate (I was asked what that is!) a forum and post frequently on blogger and Facebook, and now I’m using the Snapchat app thanks to my adult kids, set me apart from the rest of the group. To also grow vegetables, by preference, instead of flowers and ornamental trees made me a little more of an outcast. I’m glad I didn’t say anything about homemade soap and laundry liquid or start talking about sourdough starter and baking my own bread…..they may have thought I should be in a straight jacket or I’d escaped from somewhere!!

I declined the invitation to go to one of the local clubs after dinner as I’d had enough. They are nice people but they have narrow views and I’m afraid after being on the DTE forums for just short of 4 years and moderating for half that time I didn’t feel I needed to be exposed to their views and they certainly weren't interested in mine. As I’ve almost accidentally removed myself from the land of the living in the last 2 years I want to ENJOY life, and have new experiences and grow physically and mentally, not stagnate in the same spot in my life journey as some of the group members seemed to be doing.

If you don’t like your life YOU CHANGE IT! It’s not easy but no one else can do it for you.

I was catching up on blogs this morning and this struck a chord with me as I’ve done it before the self-caused hiccup in my life put it on partial hold for a couple of years. I continued to plant some veges, turned off lights/power points that weren’t being used and kept cooking from scratch whenever possible, while enjoying the free things life has available like the joy and company of exercising the dog, beautiful sunrises/sunsets, the glory of a flying flock of noisy galahs and the delicate way a butterfly goes about its business….just to mention a few.

Reading this helped me feel good again about my decisions and what is right for me. ….Thanks Phil.

At the moment the split peas are soaking for the pea and ham soup tonight, the sourdough starter was fed earlier and will be bubbling gently soon for the sourdough crumpets I want to make to have with the soup, I’ve brought in most of the laundry that was washed using homemade laundry liquid that contains homemade soap and as soon as I empty out a dead tree from a pot and toss some mixed greens seeds in there I’m going for a bike ride and letting the dog tag along.

Life is good if you know how you like to enjoy it :D.
Hope everyone had a truly enjoyable weekend.
RobynLouise xo

18 Apr 2015

Reboot and Reshuffle

Hey everyone, I finally remembered to purchase the washing soda and made laundry liquid (wash) yesterday. This should last me a few months and for a cost of about a dollar as I used my home made laundry soap!

Just after my last blog post I made home made cottage cheese using powdered milk and juice from the lemons off the tree here. I'll be trying this again and using the lime juice next time to see how it works out.
This blog link was posted in a DTE forum thread but I altered the recipe a bit as I used 4 cups of water to 1 cup of powdered milk. I also used ¼ cup of lemon juice as I wanted it spreadable.

The "curd" draining

The recipe makes about a cupful. 

Soooo yummy! 

Last of all, as I’m finally socialising here and going out to dinner with the local over 50’s singles group, I shuffled through my “glad rags” to see what would fit, and is suitably warm enough, for the suddenly cooler weather. This involved lots of trying on clothing yesterday morning when I had my RMO (Rostered Morning Off).
I was pleased to find that it was worth keeping those clothes I was determined to fit back into one day as I now can *big cheeky, cheesy grin*. I’ve saved myself a small fortune there and damn if they don’t look better on me now than they did when I bought them as I’m still curvy but in all the "right" places. Yep, I’m full of myself but I worked hard for this and I feel I deserve the rewards. If I can’t love and respect myself and all I’ve achieved then how can I expect anyone else to?

There’s another Discover moment.

I’m hopeless at selfies and the natural light is awful here today as it’s raining so I’ll try to finagle someone in the group into taking a photo of me on my mobile phone tonight and update here tomorrow :D.


RobynLouise xo

Postscript: Managed a not so bad selfie!

Cheers, RL xo