Saturday, 22 October 2016

Our busy last week in review

It has been a busy week here and away from the farm, I have still been recovering from a nasty cold, and Brian unfortunately caught a dose of it also.
We had  a lot on our schedule this week  with quite a few volunteer jobs at our rail barracks and camp grounds.
We had two complete turn overs of the barracks beds which involves  stripping and making 22 beds each time, vacumning,  scrubbing the two bathrooms, the kitchen and dining room and laundering of all the linen.
We all get together and the old phrase "Many hands make light work" certainly rings true, and we  enjoy the social aspect of it all.
My sister in law Kerry  who lives next door is an avid Gardener and she gave permission for me to  show a couple of photos of her yard( this is only a tiny glimpse of the entire garden).
They have a lovely home  surrounded by shaded verandahs and many an enjoyable time has been spent there in their company having a cuppa or happy hour.
She has a wide range of plants. preferring the natives but  is happy to mix and match natives and exotics which to me produces a lovely garden. The last few  years of drought has been a struggle, but this year with such a  wonderful season, everything is looking  very picturesque .
On Friday I had a very rare day on my own in Dubbo shopping, normally we rush over, run around like crazy people, catch up with relatives for a meal, do any other business needed and rush home.
This time I went over solo, had the day completely alone, hair cut, clothes shopping, sushi for lunch and a long list of things in Bunnings and pet barn.
I then surprised my Mum for dinner   who was at the RSL  at her regular meat raffles( very serious business these raffles ) and we  enjoyed a very successful night ( winning 8 meat trays between us)
I had told Mum I would arrive the following day as  Mum, my sister and I were attending an annual luncheon  put on for all past recipients of honour awards( Mum was awarded an OAM in 2012 for 50 years of service to the RSL ladies Auxillary.)
We had a lovely lunch , and were thoroughly entertained by the guest speaker( the current head of the NSW Homicide squad), who spoke with such passion and dedication  of the amazing and difficult job that he does)
This is us and the next photo is a gathering of all the recipients past and present  at the luncheon.
After lunch we  then went  to the Dubbo embroiders guild quilting and embroidery display.
The theme this year was "Remember"
My talented  Sister in Law Pam  made and decorated the cake which was a raffle prize.
There were lovely quilts on display,
Gorgeous  cushions and  framed pictures of  beautiful embroidery,
There were all sorts of displays,
and this one a  photo of my sister in laws mother in her wedding dress, printed onto material, then the veil,headress and bouquet hand embroidered and then framed by my brother with an old antique frame he found in a garage sale.
But to me the most poignant  part of this display was the inclusion of all the  surpurb WW1 hand embroidered silk post cards.
This is just a small snippet  of what was on display, they were so  stunningly beautiful, such small personal treasures.
We had a lovely afternoon, which included  a Devonshire tea and a chat to some old familar faces from  my past, which was a real treat.
My sister, mother and I then dined out for dinner  and rolled into bed exhausted and full at my mother's small flat at her retirement village.  My big  sister and I giggled half the night like children  which was such fun.
I returned home the next day  and started to catch up on a few things around home.
My  new refrigerator began to lose the  black glass inserts on the fronts of the doors ,
We contacted the company, and were advised to tape up the glass for safety reasons and   the repairman replaced both of the doors this week.
While I was away, Brian  butchered 3 sheep, a male turkey and a rooster and hung them in the cool room.
The sheep were for us and two other  neighbours and the poultry was ours.
Out of the Turkey I managed to get 9 bags of 500grms of stir fry meat and I bagged the carcass and bones to make turkey soup at a later date when I have more time up my sleeve.
I made a lovely turkey,bok choy,Cauliflower stir fry with Habanero chilli sauce ( all  home grown) for  dinner that night, it was delicious.
Our poultry are continuing to thrive, the young chickens are growing fast and now look like nice   birds, only  time will tell what ratio of male/female we will have.
Our  baby turkeys are going ahead in leaps and bounds, enjoying a feed of spinach and Bok choy each morning and afternoon, Brian adores them.( I have tried to upload a video, but not sure if it will be visible, so I apologise if it's not.)
We knew that the turkey had a new nest and this morning found in in my iris garden,
Brian also found the latest guinea fowl nest  this week too, all three guinea hens are laying in it, so the numbers are adding up quite quickly.
Hopefully one of them will go clucky soon and begin to sit on them.
Our Iris's are beginning to bloom,
So far only 5 have flowered, and are the same as these, I am hoping that a few more colours begin to  bloom , as I originally had a lovely selection of  them on the coast and totted them up to transfer here  and this is their first blooming..
Overnight and this morning we have had  another 22 mm of  beautiful rain,
The garden is doing well, the paddocks are   green and  full of lovely feed for the sheep and they are becoming fat and lazy, such a beautiful sight to see.
The signs are all great for a  wonderful productive summer ahead of us,  this will be the first for many years, and so we are really enjoying it.
Hope you all are also living the dream, or at least dreaming about it,
Take care,

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Our beautiful native Flora.

I belong to a volunteer group that cares for a heritage railway building that serves as budget accommodation.
 We  work there, cleaning, bed making and general duties that are involved with any such  building and service.
As an extra  way of raising funds we often undertake BBQ"s, morning teas and catering jobs to bring in a few extra dollars.
One such job that we do  each spring is the BBQ and Morning tea stall at the local Bilby Blooms Native Nursery open day.
I have written about this before, but thought I would share our latest catering  day again .
We arrive about 7.30 am ,set up our marquees,  and get to work.
We have a constant stream of people throughout the day and it is a social day for us as much as a working day. Our men run the BBQ and  the ladies run the morning teas.
Bilby Blooms Native Nursery is not open  daily to the public, it is a small operation that opens only by appointment and has a couple of open days  a year. They sell at markets  around the area and also supply seedlings to other  nurseries.
On the  open day they have a large selection of plants available for purchase and many people take advantage of the opportunity  to purchase local plants raised in local conditions.
The owners of the nursery Anthony and Annabelle are wonderful people, active in the  community , serving on a few of the volunteer groups. On the open day Anthony takes guided walking tours around the nursery, giving helpful tips and  guidance on the growing and care of  the native plants.
Many people take advantage of the usually lovely spring weather and sit around the lovely gardens  enjoying the company of others and their surroundings.
I went for a wander around the  nursery grounds and took a few photos when we had a quiet few moments.
The gardens were gorgeous and I was lucky to catch this fellow in one of the trees, he wasn't the least bit afraid of me,
And I thought these fellows were cute too, wouldn't mind a few of them for my garden, I have a thing about emus.
Some of the native blooms are really stunning,
There were many,many more  but I just picked out a few to share.
We took our drone with us that day and  asked Anthony and Annabelle if they would like us to send it up and get some aerial pictures of the nursery and they  said they would love us to.
Below is one of the drone photos we took from up above.
We enjoy our day at Bilby Blooms, and it is a financially  profitable day for us and we probably will continue to do this if allowed the opportunity.
It's good when all the local groups can support each other in this way and helps make it easier all round for volunteer  fundraising which is the backbone and social support  for most small country towns.
Without all our volunteer groups and wonderful workers we would not have half the facilities  and services that we have come to appreciate and expect in this day and age..
I hope you all take care and will catch up again in the near future,