Friday, 30 September 2011

My Morning Walk

Today I am linking up with Wendy over at Duchess Declutter with a pictorial tour of my morning walk.
Jessie our 10 month kelpie puppy and I do this about 4 days a week, sorry but we are not in the photos today.
We live in the country and we see lots of birds, sometimes snakes (eeeek) and a few lizards basking in the sun.  Normally we go and are home by 7am but this morning we didn't leave till 7am so it was heating up well and truly by the time we got home.

Off we go down the street....

Out onto another road, lets go right today....

Past the rural fire station...

Up the road a bit further...

Past farms...

And cows...

Then we turn around and head home again.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

An A - Z of Me

Linking up with Sue at Living the good Life

A= Age, 33
B= Bed Size ,Queen, enough room for Hubby, the cat and me.
C= Chore you hate doing, washing dishes.  Probably because our gas hot water unit is old and you have to keep boiling the jug to get the water hot enough, other wise things have to be washed a 2nd or third time, hence why Dishes is the item at the top of the list.
D = Dog, Jessie is a female kelpie who features in a number of posts like here and here.
E = Essential start to the day, Tea, Pee, Feed chickens, release the hound.  The order varies.
F = Favourite colour, Teal
G = Gold or Sliver, White gold and silver
H = Height 168cm
I = Instruments you play, I learnt the piano when I was younger and could probably manage a tune still.
J = Job Title, Customer Service Specialist
K = Kids, none.... yet.
L = Live, Kilcoy QLD Australia, born in New Plymouth NZ and have also lived in Chile.
M = Mothers name, Lynda
N = Nickname, Fi Fi, Fee, Feebe, Ona (by my Nan), Chicken (by my Dad), Honey (by Hubby)
O = Overnight hospital stays, at 12 to have my Tonsils out and a few years ago via emergency to have my Gall Bladder out.
P = Pet Peeves, Late people and unnecessary swearing (which is pretty much all of it unless perhaps you just hit your thumb with a hammer)
Q = Quotes from a film, The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf: "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us"
R = Right or left handed, Right
S = Siblings, 2 younger brothers 31 and 26
T = Time you wake up, with the Sun, early in Summer (4 - 6am) later in winter (6 - 7am)
U = Underwear, gee that's a bit personal but cotton if you must know.
V = Vegetable you hate, Brussel Sprouts ewwwww.
W = What makes you run late, not much I am not a fan of people being late without a decent excuse (up to 15 mins is acceptable), however living 100km from the family sometimes adds a few minutes to our expected arrival times ( is that a double standard???)
X = X-Rays you have had, Neck, Kidney function (with injected dye), back, foot, head... probably more but can't remember.
Y = Yummy food that you make, most things.  I like to think I am a pretty good cook, I make great Indian and Thai and get compliments on a lot of things I make.
Z = Zoo Animals, Otters they always put on a great show.

Monday, 26 September 2011

A Crafty Weekend

Phew where did the weekend go?

This weekend was busy busy busy with jobs but I was able to squeeze in an afternoon of paper craft at my local scrap booking class.
We meet once a fortnight, sometimes more often for card making, scrap booking and other paper crafts.  This weekend we were making some lovely stitched cards.

Everyone getting crafty

Anne (who is also teaching me to crochet) doing the stitching

The completed card (sorry about the angle)
One of my next projects, other than making my Christmas cards is that I am going to make a garden Journal to record what I planted when and how it all panned out.  I am not sure when it will be done but hope fully soon so I can start tracking everything that is happening in the garden.

Does anyone else keep a garden journal?  What do you record?  How is it set out by month or season?

Friday, 23 September 2011

The Christmas Countdown - Planning Ahead

92 Days to go and counting.

I love, love, love Christmas! 

I love the food (the eating and the making) the family time, the time off work, the smells of cinnamon and cloves, Christmas carols and the drinking Christmas cheer. 
I also really enjoy the challenge of finding gifts for people that they will appreciate and teaming these up with handmade gifts or food gifts.

However as Christmas draws closer and the letterbox fills with junk mail I am dismayed at the excessive consumption that is encouraged.  And not just the usual suspect the gift giving department.
Every year we are sold on the "must have" colour scheme/theme for this Christmas and the nick knacks, table decorations and general fanfare that you just "must have to complete the look".  It seems to be all about spend, spend, spend with no concern for waste or excessive consumption.

It is reported that last year 6 million Australians received a gift that they did not use and later gave away.  In addition to this, one survey by the Australia Institute found that on quarter of Australians expect to give presents to people they would prefer not to, and about a quarter of these reluctant givers were unable to pay their credit card in full each month.

According to Clean up Australia Australians produce over 40 million tons of waste per year, much of which ends up as discarded rubbish and in landfill. Over this Christmas we will also purchase additional items such as Christmas trees, food, packaging and unwanted gifts.

Some ideas for reducing waste and cost are to give a gift that is hand made or home made, give an experience rather than a packaged gift like tickets to a concert, a massage voucher (or do the massage yourself), a lesson with a golf pro or an art class.  The options are endless.

If you are on a very tight budget you might consider offering your services on a home made gift voucher rather than purchasing a gift.  Offer to babysit for a few hours or a weekend so the parents can have some time out, cleaning, mowing lawns, or anything that you thing you can do that the other person would appreciate.

And for the person who has everything or if you would rather not accumulate more clutter this year,Oxfam Unwrapped offers a range of over 40 totally unexpected gift ideas that will also help transform the life of a person living in poverty.
When you buy an Unwrapped gift card, your donation helps support Oxfam Australia’s life-changing work around the world. Best of all, your family member, workmate or friend receives an extremely memorable gift card explaining how their special gift is helping others. It’s a way that those of us with a lot can help those with a little.  How about a goat? Or a chicken? Or a pig? Or a pile of seeds?

But if you really have to/want to buy a gift consider buying from a charity as many charities these days have a range of products they endorse in turn receiving part of the profit or choose fair trade.

In our house we have made the decision that all Christmas gifts this year must fall into the following categories:

Homemade or Handmade
Local (within 50km)
Sold by a charity

Yes this might limit our choices but let's just wait and see.  I won't post what I have purchased in case the recipient is reading but I will let you know of any good websites I find.

What plans do you have in place for a low waste Christmas this year?

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Outdoor Pets

Can I see the Sky? Yep.
Can I feel the Wind? Yep
Am I lying in the Sun? Yep
Have I got my bone? Yep

Must be outside then.
Naughty Puppy.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Clunk, Choke, Splutter, Sigh.......

Clunk, Choke, Splutter, Sigh.......



The pump on our bore has pumped it's last drop and we are now up for the expensive task of replacing it.
It is an old pump and has been fixed in the past so we though it could be fixed again but sadly no, a new one is needed. 
Worse still the call out fee just to have the bore cleaned out and the pump looked at just to determine if it could be fixed was over $600, eeekk!
Thankfully this does not leave us completely without water.  We have 2 x 25,000lt rain water tanks that we use for all of the drinking water in the house and watering the vegetable garden, and we have a third tank that is filled with bore water which goes to the washing machine, toilet and some of the out door taps.

So for the last week we have been careful with the use of the bore water and limited the washing to the bare minimum.  We have also ordered a tanker of water to top the tank up and to buy us some time to come up with the extra money needed to replace the pump (approx $2000), double eeekk!
In reality we could fill up the tank with rainwater from one of the others but since we live in the country we need to make sure we have plenty of water on hand in case of grass fires and who really knows how much rain we will get in the future.  Plus I don't want to see my veggies wilt in the sun after all my hard work.

Anyway with money in mind I must get to work so I can pay for the new bore pump.

Friday, 16 September 2011

A Feast of Flowers

We do not really have many flower beds to speak of yet and other than the lavender bed across the front of the house and the pond garden that is full of Hippeastrums the rest of the floral activity is restricted to what we inherited from the previous owners.
We are looking at getting rid of the old house we live in and building a new one in the next few years, so till then there will be no great flower boarders overflowing with blooms.
But there are still pretty blooms to be found if you look.

The intensity of the blue in this iris is stunning.

The tiny flowers on the Port Wine Magnolia fill the yard with
their sweet scent and announce that spring is here.

The Xanthorrhoea (Grass Tree) that we purchase 18 months ago has decided
that it will put out 4 flowers this year instead of 2.

My Lovely mother in law has given me some
Crucifix Orchids to all to my collection.

The Sydney Rock Lily's (Dendrobium speciosum) are stunning as always

An inherited Orchid so no idea of its name but it is rather pretty.
Well I may not have great garden boarders overflowing with flowers (yet) but there are still pretty things to be seen.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Posting Drought - On My Mind

Well the drought looks to be about to break and hopefully next week will mark the getting back to it all and writing some decent posts.

After a a germ attack I have been back to full health but busy busy busy.
So what have I been up to that has kept me away from my blog?

Well to cut a long story short about 12 months ago a large number of locals were asked a few simple questions about the community/district in which we live.
What do you like about it?
What don't you like about it?
What do you want to change?
What do you want to keep?

From this public meetings were held and the ideas were grouped and sub committees formed to work on these ideas.

I was nominated the leader of my group and we set to work looking at what our community wanted and one of the things they wanted was events to attract visitors to the town.

 So for the last 6 months my group have been working towards putting on a classic car and motorbike show, and this Sunday is the big day.  The Inaugural Kilcoy Classics on Wheels.

We have joined in the with the annual Wood Wine and Art Festival which enables us to attract a much wider audience and also takes away some of the issues around public liability and insurance.

Now that was not such a short story but hopefully next week I will be able to post some photos of  how it all went but till then I have my fingers crossed for fine weather.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Climate Change

I am always astonished that there are still people out there who do not believe climate change is occurring, and more so than that, they do not believe that the human species has anything to do with it...
To me it seems to be a simple and logical equation.

Humans take away the things that help keep our climate stable (rainforest's, well really all kinds of forests) and humans add things that build up to change our climate (pollution, Co2 etc), humans maintain this pattern for a period of time without interruption and hey presto we change the climate.

Why are there still people out there that think we can just keep trashing the planet without there being consequences in the future?

Tackling climate change is such a big issue and because of this individuals often feel hopeless wondering how their individual contribution can really make any difference. 
What we forget is that great ideas and solutions throughout history have often been those of individuals.  People such as Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton and Alexander Graham Bell.  Some of these people had theories and ideas that were laughed at and dismissed at the time, but are things that changed the world as we know it.

Yesterday over at the greening of Gavin Gavin was talking about the craziness that is the Victorian governments proposed changes for planning laws.  It astounds me that these so called educated politicians are making decisions that are in no way supportive of moving towards a better future for us all, however these people are put in power by us so I think we need to choose more carefully.

We all have the opportunity to make climate change a topic of conversation with those around us.  To talk about it, read about it, write about it, ponder it over a cup of tea, heck every 4 years we even get to vote about it.

At the end of the day I cannot tell you what the answer is.  I am sure greater minds than mine have put far more effort into thinking and learning about the topic than me and so I will leave the education up to them.

But this is what I do know.

I know that ideas are like seeds.  You plant them and they grow but if you feed and nurture them they grow stronger and faster.
I know that the more something is spoken about the more widely accepted it becomes.
I know that I have the ability to do many small things that all add up to help create the type of world I want to live in.
And I believe that we all need to do our bit.  For some that might be protesting and lobbying governments,  or talking to their friends and families about what they can do, or it might be teaching others how to grow their own food.

Over all I believe that even if we take measures to tread more lightly on this earth, and we work towards a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way of living, we will never be worse off than if we do nothing.

Friday, 2 September 2011

On My Mind is getting better

I have been a bit absent this week due to cold that has knocked the wind out of my sails.
After 4 days of sneezing and coughing I am well and truly ready to shake it off and get back to it all, there is spring planting to be done for heavens sake!

So on my mind is getting better in time for the weekend so I can get out in the garden.