Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Our busy but wonderful life. !!

We seem to have done so much since I last last down to write. I used to try and "theme" my posts but  over the last few months I just seem to play catch up  with what we have been doing since  the last entry.
When I last wrote we had just had our second lamb, I am pleased to report that we have now had 13 lambs. Sadly we lost one tiny little frail one, that we think was just born too early despite all mums good efforts to  keep him( he lasted about 2 weeks.

It has been good that we have been able to put them on  and off the small feed areas that Brian grew for them.
I love how every morning and afternoon  they chase each other round like crazy, they are just so beautiful to watch.
The lambs are all now doing well and growing rapidly.
i was lucky enough to be given a pile of old Fowlers Vacola preserving jars from a neighbour and old friend who has sold their farm and are moving and they thought I may like to have his mothers preserving jars.
I have started to wash some of them, but so far have only done the smaller jars as I just haven't had time to do more.
These are a great size for preserving  our tomatoes in, so they will be well used.
Also in the box was this old Fowlers Vacola jam jar sealer, something that is no longer used these days, but a great collectors item to have.
i made another batch of soap, this time colored with safron and scented with 100% lemon oil.
It was quite a soft soap, I used castor oil in this batch, not sure if that was the reason , but it is now a week old and starting to  harden up  fairly well.I think the saffron wasn't a great choice and would not use it again.
We then traveled to Wollongong to celebrate the  1st birthday of our gorgeous grandson, we spent two nights at our younger daughter's home and two nights in a beachfront cabin which was wonderful.
The view from the deck was  stunning and it just had a lovely feel about it, and I loved hearing the ocean through the night.
The oldest two gran daughters had a sleepover with us  and the next morning we were woken and entertained by the gorgeous rainbow Lorikeets and Sulphur crested Cockatoos.
While at  our daughters house we also saw  many beautiful Crimson Rosellas, I think the neighbours were feeding them as they were very friendly and hung around a long time.
On our return home from Wollongong we found that our Turkey hens  had began laying, so Brian  used  the frame of an old laundry wash tub to  make a covered  nest for her. One has also been laying up in the chicken coop .
I love the speckles on Turkey eggs. We are not sure if these are fertile or not yet as we haven't seen our Gobbler "doing the deed".
As I told you in  my last post we set the incubator going with a load of eggs,they are due to hatch around Friday. We know there are some  non viable eggs ( we  didn't candle them as we were away) as   we can smell them. Hopefully we will still  manage to hatch a decent amount of chickens on this maiden run.
We purchased a  chicken brooder to keep the young chickens in once they hatch, and  our Miss 2 granddaughter helped her pop to build it.
This brooder is heated and has a light to attract the  chicks up to the heated end and will hold up to 100 chicks. The water and feed trays are on the outside, and it has small  meshing on the base to allow waste to drop though onto a slide out tray  for ease of cleaning.
We also did a trip to our eldest daughters home about 3 hours from here so that we could mind our granddaughters ( 2 and 11 weeks) while they went to a wedding.
The view from the street our daughter lives in is stunning, you can see for miles out over the countryside.
All around   the neighborhood the council have planted gorgeous flowering plum trees and as it is now spring, they all look  so beautiful.

On the trip back home I took a few photographs of all the canola fields, they are just glorious at the moment, just vast seas of yellow.
We brought Miss 2 back here to the farm with us to give Mum a break, she has been very busy helping her poppy,
Not sure if he always wants the help, but  accepts it anyway. I love watching them together, she adores helping him and I quietly think he loves the attention from her  as well.
Our daughter in Wollongong gave me a great recipe for some healthier fruit balls for snacks, I think they were called Bliss Balls, they were made from ground nuts,chia seeds,apricots, Linseed, dates, coconut and honey, they were really moorish.
I have now made a couple of batches and they seem to disappear very quickly.
Our  small wild garden area at the back of our house has begun it's spring flowering, it is a mass of Gazanias and Pigface... good hardy plants that seem to survive  anything Mother Nature throws at them over and over again. We spend quite a bit of time out this side of the house now the weather is improving for the better. Soon it will be too hot out this side as Summer kicks in.
I hope you all have had a lovely few weeks, and will continue to do so until we meet again further down the track.
So Take care everyone,
Jane. :-)  :-)


  1. You are so busy, busy, busy!! The lambs look so sweet, I hope you have some success with the turkey eggs. What a nice gift of all the canning jars. Judging from all the canning that you do they will be put to good use. As you are coming into spring we are coming into fall. We had a dusting of snow a couple of nights ago and the temps. have been between 1 and 4 degrees C at night. Hopefully we will have an Indian summer and not go full tilt into fall/winter.

    1. Hi Janice,
      We have been checking a few of the turkey eggs, but they don't appear to be fertile, maybe we will have to wait a little longer. We also are having overnight temps down to about 1-5 deg C also...a little warmer this week, a lovely time of year . Those jars will certainly be well used...the people who gave them to us had seen my pantry and knew they would be well valued. He said his Mum would have been so happy that they will be used again.
      Take care Janice,

  2. What a lovely varied blog post. I always love to read what you are up to and make myself comfortable with a cup of something (actually it was a glass of something tonight) to read it all.
    What a lovely gift of all those jars! very useful. I look forward to knowing about the turkey eggs. When will you know?
    The lambs are cute and I'm glad you lost only one (that is pretty good I suppose). The rest will grow now.
    The lorikeets and cockatoos are beautiful! So colorful!
    Spring is coming and soon it will be summer. I know you have been quite cold but you'll be OK now.
    In Europe we are heading for autumn. Here in southern Spain it is still quite hot, but next month will be cooler.
    Thanks for the update and all the great photos,
    Greetings from Spain,

    1. Hello again Lisca,
      Funny you should say you read my post with a glass of something (I wrote it with a glass of something):-)
      I was very pleased to receive the jars, they will be very handy.
      We cracked a few turkey eggs, they really don't look fertile, we may just have to wait a little longer. We had another baby lamb last night, I love them all, they are so very sweet.
      The weather is becoming very pleasant here, overnight temps still low but getting up into the 20's C during the day, lovely really, but the high heat
      of summer will come soon enough.
      Take Care Lisca,

  3. Jane
    I really enjoy visiting your blog. What loving and helpful grandparents you both are! Having made the decision to emigrate to Australia (we are just north of Wollongong) we left all the grandparents in the other hemisphere which is a shame for our girls, missing out on some things in life.
    I love drawing inspiration from your adventures. We are not quite at the farm stage but we do what we can here with veggies, ducks, chooks and as simple a life as we are able to live at the moment.
    Thank you for your posts.

    1. Hi Rachel,
      Thanks for visiting, I really only started this as a type of diary, and it has so surprised me that people seem to be enjoying reading it.
      What a momentus decision to move to the other side of the world and even harder with out the support network of a family.
      Sounds like you are doing well with your veggies and poultry, we just discovered that our first 2 chickens in our incubator have hatched this afternoon, so hopefully tomorrow we will have many.
      take care and hopefully we will catch up again,
      Cheers ,

  4. Those snack balls look and sound yummy. Can I get the recipe.
    ps I am a new but avid follower of your blog

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      Hello and thank you for following the blog. I do enjoy posting it up.
      The recipe for the Bliss Ball is as follows.

      Bliss Balls
      1/2 cup desiccated coconut
      2/3 cup ground natural almond kernels
      1/2 cup raw ground cashews
      10 fresh dates, chopped
      1/2 cup soft dried apricots chopped.
      2 tblspoons linseed( flaxseeds)
      1/4 cup black Chia seeds
      2 tblspns honey
      1/2 cup extra coconut (for Rolling)


      Brown the extra coconut and cool ready for rolling.
      Add the ground almonds,cashews,dates, coconut, apricots and seeds together, add the honey and mix until it all comes together.
      Roll into balls and then roll into the toasted coconut.
      refrigerate for a few hours to firm up. These also freeze well.
      My photo is a double recipe.
      Hope you like them,

    2. Thanks Jane, showed recipe to my youngest teenager who gone very fussy on what she will eat for snacks. Am heading to get ingredients as she is keen to make and try them.
      Hope all at your place are well. Look forward to your next post.

  5. A very Australian post Jane. A reader from overseas would really get a good sense of what its like in rural Oz from reading your post. Well Done.

    1. Thanks Lynda,
      I didn't deliberately write it for that reason, but looking back at it, I would agree that it does show the rural aspect in a good light.
      I love the country and never tire of taking pics of all that mother nature gives us and I am happy that other people may get pleasure or knowledge from that.
      We truly do live in a lucky, beautiful country,
      Take care Lynda,

  6. Such a lovely catch up post Jane.

    I love those gorgeous birds and equally gorgeous grand-kids. I have a new grandchild arriving in January, so am a bit excited for the happy day to arrive.

    I make balls similar to yours and yes they do get gobbled up too quickly. They are so nice :)

    Those plum trees and canola crops are so pretty.

    Life is busy for us too at the moment. All I want to do is be outside!

    Take care,


    1. Hi Tania,
      There is nothing lovelier than those sweet innocent grand kids, I wish all the best with the impending birth of yours, is it your 1st one, we now have 4 gorgeous kids, three girls and 1 boy. You will fall in love immediately.we thought that retiring would give us ample time to relax, but the pendulem seems to have swung the exact opposite way, and we just never seem to stop.
      I will pop over to your blog for catch up when I get a chance,
      I just don't seem to get time to do much reading, takes me all my time just to keep up with mine,
      Take care,