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23 Apr 2017

Baking Breads

I finally decided to give the breadmaker a workout again during the last week. A plain white loaf  was the initial warm up. The flavour was good and the texture wonderful even though the appearance was a bit wayward. PC said he won't be able to eat shop bread again!

This was followed a couple of days later by a fresh  herb and carraway loaf.  The fresh herbs were home grown coriander and lemon thyme and I had some dill, that I dried, from when I purchased fresh dill for another recipe. I will be making this bread again as it's a real treat.

Today was another white loaf but I baked it using  the preset timer just to familiarise myself with the procedure and see if the loaf tasted as nice as the first one. It did and it wasn't as wayward looking. Must be to do with the liquids being given a chance to slowly soak into the dry ingredients before mixing. We used it for our picnic lunch sandwiches. The bacon, onion and cheese pizza scrolls were handmade and they were well received. PC likes all the new taste offerings :).

Have you baked any breads lately?

Cheers,
RobynLouise XO.

17 Apr 2017

Autumn April

As Autumn is finally here - weather wise - there’s been a few things happening around the garden and household.

Pruning,

propagation and planting,

harvesting - along with a little home produced craft and

the last flush of blooms.

Last Saturday we visited Murrumburrah/Harden and stopped by this place for lunch.

Some clever person made this to commemorate the cottage’s decade of trading after repair and refurbishment.

I spent much time looking at the handmade items there and even purchased one. A very nice lined and quilted sewing machine cover with a side pocket. It fits very well on my Janome Decor.


PC was very interested in the building itself and the original architecture.


Thanks for visiting!
Cheers,
Robyn Louise XO



3 Apr 2017

Snip, snip?

No, more like whirrrrrrr.....

I gave PC a haircut today. Man deserves a medal for being so brave :P! It didn't come out too bad - considering he has about 6 crowns and his hair grows in 50,000 directions.....hahahaha......























I won't be allowing it to become this long again. Fear of messing it up delayed the procedure but made the eventual clipping take longer than expected as the hair kept clogging the clipper blades. It's not as even as I would have liked either. I'm looking forward to some pillion rides on the motorcycle now he can wear his helmet comfortably though :).

Cheers,
RobynLouise XO

2 Apr 2017

Cataplexy

You may have noticed the assistant/supervisor/observer in many of my photos, over the years, as she was born a couple of months before I started this blog. This is a bit of a tribute to one of my best mates, even though most of the time she is voicing her opinion or asleep, and the best little rodent catcher I've "owned"! She always knows the best places to sleep but still be aware of all the current events.

Apologies if I've duplicated a photo or 2 that have been posted previously.

Gardening is so physical that it's nice to have somewhere warm and comfortable to have a rest.
 Can everyone see the photo crasher in the background at the top left?

House chores
It's always difficult to decide where to begin house cleaning. From top left to bottom right in a clockwise direction - kitchen, bedroom, office or living room.




After "driving" the forklift all afternoon all one wants to do is curl up on a favourite chair, in the company of a friend, and have a snooze.

Cheers,
RobynLouise and the Mad Cat (aka Maddy) XO

28 Mar 2017

Busy, mischievous chooks

I've always delighted in watching any chooks that I've owned. I love hearing them "chat" to each other and I've acquired a group now that also "chats" to me and follows me around whenever I'm doing jobs outside. The rooster, Figjam, is a real comedian without even trying. He reminds me of Basil Fawlty. His partners do what they like and he pretends to run the place and strides pompously around making noise about it.

The flock was allowed run of the 3 acres last week and, of course, they wandered down to the pile of grass/weeds behind the compost bins and turned it over for me! The closed off north-western section of the chook run is flourishing after the rain and will provide some greens for them over the colder months.

Sunday I noticed the dye berries were ripening in the eastern sheds so I collected those and they had a mini feast.

Yesterday, I discovered some naughty girls had found a nice corner (far left back in picture), in the back shed adjoining their run, to lay their eggs. PC had left the side door open so they had alternate shelter in case it rained heavily again....lol, spoilt chooks....and closed the main double entry doors. I closed off the access last night to encourage them to use their nesting boxes again. Lastly, Henrietta likes to supervise anything I do around the chook pen/yards so she had to jump up and investigate the eggs when I placed them outside to take a photo.

Cheers,
RobynLouise XO
p.s. - to enlarge photos click on them :).




A bit of this and a bit of that....

MrHM made a request to know what's happening on the 'farm'. To this end I'll be doing a daily update for the last few days of March. It also gives me an excuse to play with the photo arranging :).

After the rain last week these began popping up. The huge ones on the left are some kind of toadstool I think as they are completely enclosed. The centre is a regular mushroom and on right is the underside. Shame the rain was so heavy it impregnated them with sandy/clayey dirt as there were enough to fill a 2 litre ice cream tub.

The dwarf beans also benefitted from the rain by shooting up about 15cm and flowering. The difference in sizes is due to staggered planting times....and an ant bean seed eating invasion...grrrr.

My worms are breeding up nicely and making lots of fertiliser. The bottom tray (left) is worm cast and some adventurous worms, Middle tray (centre) is filled with shredded paper to 'catch' those who venture down from the top tray. The shreddings are also damp from worm wee so they can be used as compost for the garden. Right picture is some bedding from the top tray and the, hopefully, worm free bedding/cast from the top feeding tray separated into the box to be used to either make worm tea or as compost or a potting mix addition.

I had begun to remove these  a few weeks ago as we had no idea what bulbs they were. Now that they have flowered I think I'll keep some and plant clumps of them in various places as they are so cheering to look at. I will research what they are as well. Anyone care to help by naming them for me?

The end of the day today and my two "assistants" are having a rest. They are good mates to each other as well as to us.

Cheers,
RobynLouise XO


26 Mar 2017

Photo collages

Part of rearranging my blog involved locating a free photo editing program. After much searching I found one and it is https://www.befunky.com/. The reason I liked this one, apart from it being free, is that I can create collages with it and I can download any edited photos/collages to my computer for future use without having to save them in a file online. This appeals to my sense of privacy. I created my new blog header with it.

It is also handy for upgrading the bad photos that my mobile phone takes, where the colours are washed out because the phone is trying to add more light, as it doesn't have the settings a true camera does. I took this one on the way home from Kempsey. It is from the Cowra side of Bathurst and I'm glad I could edit it to show how magnificent the colours actually were to the naked eye. I particularly like the bright orange arch above and slightly to the left of the road.


Cheers,
RobynLouise XO


11 Mar 2017

WIP on this blog


I'm currently re-arranging my blog as I want to add some new gadgets and change the layout around.
Please follow the example Maddy, aka the Mad Cat, has taken as I'm away for the next week and won't be able to work on it as much as I'd like.

Cheers,
RobynLouise XO

8 Mar 2017

Eggsasperating!

There's always one hen that just won't be happy laying in the nesting box in the chook pen!


Cheers,
RobynLouise XO

4 Mar 2017

Berries and bugs

There's a "weed" in my garden that I know as a dyeberry. I've been cultivating them as I'm going to start a self sowing crop of them in the chicken yard as hens love them. They usually only grow in Summer so I will need to sow some now and see how I go with drying the berries so I can sow them next Spring.




I have no idea what this "weed" is but the flower is very pretty. I may have to see what this develops into and if  hens eat it too.


My little aphid eradicators were all sunning themselves earlier this week but as soon as I brought out the camera they scuttled off. It took me ages to take this photo as each time I turned a leaf the quick little beasties shot off across it and ducked "under" it again. Lol, people say kids and pets are difficult to photograph but I think a minute 6 legged bug is a real test of one's ability!


Cheers,
RobynLouise XO



26 Feb 2017

Photo blogging

As the last 4 weeks seemed to have flown by, and my mind has been on other things, the blogging has again suffered. To remedy this I decided to use captioned photos for this post. Not my ideal type of blogging but it all has relevance :).

We were both busy and I am so glad PC is handy with many things.


Some reinforcing of wobbly legs, regluing and the dining
table is serviceable again.
After repairing the aircon it needed
to be placed back at the craftroom.
This freebie, courtesy of the local Gumtree site, will be great storage in the woodwork room with all those little drawers.



Just a little light gardening renovation from here......
......to there, until we sell some and rearrange the remainder.



My sewing machines that were serviced and repaired. The Janome QC wasn't serviced properly last time but it's all fine now. The Decor missed the picture parade as it just needed a quick clean. A little free advertising for the serviceman Neil Bunter (0429471751) as he did a champion job fixing the machines. When I had the EzyLock serviced, years ago, another repairer  told me to use it till it was skipping stitches  too much then throw it out!   I will have approximately another 33 years use from it now :D.  It stitches like brand new again! 
Thanks Neil.



My latest acquisition: a used Yamato 5 thread industrial overlocker. Just needed a really good clean and some lubrication. Neil told me to become used to the feed with waste fabric, until I could safely manage it, before starting practice with 3 threads and building up to all 5. The running speed is so fast the parts become a smudge not a blur! Makes the Janome domestic overlocker look positively slow.



The last few days I made a different  tallow based soap and this time I included Bramble Berry Pumpkin Lager scent. Of course I had to make it a lager looking soap, with a head, for the loaf mold. These cakes will be for gifts while the scented heart and cake shapes will be for our use. It's still a little soft 4 days later but there's 200g Sweet almond oil and the same amount of Olive Oil in it, for moisturising purposes, so I expect it to harden much more as it matures. It smells divine. :)




These little beauties have been growing and ripening for weeks now and I will be seed saving so I can grow some in the future. I think I eat more when weeding and watering than I do at other times.



That's all for now folks!
Cheers,
RobynLouise xo

28 Jan 2017

Blocks and Worms!

Last Wednesday we had a great find. There was a notice on the local Facebook BSS (buy, swap and sell) that a paving company had pallets of blocks/pavers for free as they were old display stock. Well we acted immediately, with a phone call to the number provided, but even though only 5 minutes had passed we were one of 3 takers for the offer!
We were stunned at how much they gave us and decided to use the blocks for the beginnings of a 3 bay compost bin.          


There are still 2 smaller stacks of paving blocks and flat pavers that are not used yet but are earmarked for part of a BBQ and outdoor eating area in the future.



I collected a parcel of worms sent by mail today. 2000 red, blue and tiger compost worms for my worm farm. It is a pre-loved worm farm that we received from a relative. Thanks Steph 
I waited until it cooled down this afternoon to place my little composting friends in their new home.



Above - Box of worms, bucket of organic compost, worm farm lined with wet newspaper, worm blanket.
Below left - PPE gear. Did you know you can contract respiratory problems from breathing compost because of the bacteria it contains?
Below right -  My workers in their new home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Dinner Time

Tucked into bed


Set up for the future




Cheers,
RobynLouise XO.
  
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