Sunday, 17 December 2017

Rain, Clean-Ups, Apricots, some New Acquisitions and meat( warning ! butchered animal photo.)

We were only home a  day and had cleaned up the big mess from the storm that had passed through  when out of the blue another hard  storm hit us. before we had a chance to  create any storm  run off   diversions up the back
We had 51 mm in a very short time and once again  the silt,sand and mud washed everywhere.
It made quite a mess and once again  we went into clean up mode.
That afternoon Brian got the tractor out and  made some tracks for the water to run away from the house  when it  storms like that again. Sadly  we lost a clutch of day old chickens which unbeknown to us drowned in the orchard chicken coop.Mum was able to get up high , but the chicks couldn't.
When I was up  watching  and photographing  Brian on the tractor I slipped over in the mud and re skinned my knee ( the same one I had injured in Wollongong.
It has taken quite a while to heal.
That night we had a quick dinner of some of my canned lamb curry.
We have really been enjoying the curries, nice and spicy and portioned controlled.
We had ordered a new lounge and it had taken four months to  arrive at the shop and they rang to arrange delivery after the weekend.
Our old lounge had been made of split leather and that's exactly what it did  just as soon as the warranty was up.
We dismantled  it and took it to the tip,
and sat on our cane chairs with our tv tables for a couple of nights,
We cleaned up ready for the delivery of our new lounge,
And at last it was here.
We love our beautiful new leather lounge( no split leather this time).
Another  event we had been patiently waiting for was  the evaporative air conditioning.
As we have a flat roof, our installation was  basic, with  one dropped vent into the loungeroom .
A hole was cut into the ceiling, and the unit was   installed up onto the roof.
The appropriate electrical wiring and plumbing  was completed and the inside vent was installed.

It is HEAVEN !!,  that's all I can say, with  strategic opening of windows in various rooms of the house the cool air travels everywhere we want it.  It runs extremely well on our battery system with no issues what so ever so far.
Our neighbour has pigs and in return for a butchered  lamb from our place and a few jobs Brian did for him, he gave us a pig to butcher. Hope no one is offended by this !
That night we also held an impromptu 65 th birthday dinner for Brian's brother from next door. A great night was had by all.
Our turkeys are growing fast, wandering around the farm with the older birds, and starting to roost  up on the roof of the chicken coop like the big birds.
Our  Early Moorepark apricot tree down in the new orchard  started to  ripen and Brian picked a bucket .
t  gave  me 14 bottles of beautiful preserved apricots. They  look a bit green , but bottle up  well at this point.
The next day I travelled to Dubbo to meet up with my big sister, we had a quick coffee before hitting the shops for a bit of retail therapy.
We then surprised our mother who was  at a club  enjoying the Christmas raffles,
We had 2 nights with Mum and had a great catch up, eating pizza for dinner , and  my sister and I  sharing Mum's pull out couch and chatting away and giggling like school girls  until the wee small hours.It was fun.
We got a picture of us together .
 Mum lives independently  in a small  unit in a retirement village.
I headed home on Sunday morning,  and Brian had picked another two buckets of apricots off the tree.

We got in and  processed them into jars.
One batch out of the Water bath preserver and another ready to go in. We ended up with 42 jars of apricots in all from the 3 loads.
A few days later we returned to Dubbo  and entertained  two of our grand daughters at the park while mum had a doctor's visit. She is expecting baby Number 3 on Christmas Day. This will be our 5th grandchild.
This time we stayed the night with my brother and sister in law and we decided to have an Indian Banquet for dinner which was amazing. I love Indian food.
After dinner we took a drive around their neighborhood and checked out all the homes lit up with gorgeous Christmas lights and decorations.
The last one is my Brother's house.  There were many beautifully  lit up homes and this is just a few.
We had a great  night and returned home to the farm the next morning.
On the drive home I spotted this Christmas tree at a farmers gate, I thought it was a clever use of old tyres, an idea I may copy next year.
Just in case I don't get time to catch up again before  Santa arrives, I want to wish each and every one of you a very merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy  2018.
Take care, travel safe, be nice to your fellow man.
Jane and Brian.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Time In Wollongong

After my wonderful few days away with my friend, Brian picked me up and we traveled to Wollongong where we  firstly spent a few days with our younger daughter and her family and then had about 6 days with our gorgeous  grandson while his mum and dad and big sister had a few days  holiday up the coast.
Our daughter lives near the industrial  part of Wollongong, which I personally like as  Wollongong and Newcastle where we used to live were both  great steel making cities and thrived for many years on these industries.
I quite enjoy the industrial skyline, both by day and by night, where it appears to be a small city of  it's own with all it's brilliant lights .
Our daughter used to live near the beach but they moved recently  to be closer to work, schools, the city and to save a fortune on their mortgage, they  have settled in well to their new neighborhood.
While they were away, Brian helped them complete a few jobs that  needed to be done, the first pressure cleaning off the deck,
And he also removed a couple of stumps  from the front garden,
And oversaw a section of the side  fence that had to be replaced while we were there.

We had several shopping expeditions,
A few lunches out, Salmon being one of my very favourite eat out dishes.
Bought Josie the black lab a few juicy treats,
She chewed on this bone for several days.
I had a bad trip over a small  concrete  raised ledge and ended up with a nasty graze on my knee.
Every morning we were visited by some of these  beautiful sulfur crested cockatoos.
One day when our grandson was in day care we  headed into town and had a lovely lunch  and then headed out to the lighthouse area to have a wander around.
The views were just stunning,
These  view show how  the Wollongong panorama stretches from the industrial side  on the left up to the modern commercial touristy  area around the harbour.
The light house and the  guns  stand out  and once gave great  protection to Wollongong itself and the shipping vessels that sailed these waters. .
We had a lovely day wandering around, Wollongong truly is a beautiful city  and  is surrounded by  such glorious natural beauty as well.
After  our daughter's return we headed home, and on the way called into Sydney to pick up this jumping castle/water slide as a Christmas gift to our older daughter's family.
I reckon they will all have  ever so much  fun when they all get together  over the holidays.
While we were away we had been contacted  by our neighbours to let us know that there had been a storm and had we  received  a reasonable amount of rain in a considerably short time.
We were surprised to see  that a torrent of water had passed  over our newish back verandah and had made a mess.
We got in and cleaned it all up, there was mud and silt everywhere, I removed about 3 buckets  full  after I swept it all up. It had washed everywhere.
We had a  good break away, but  there is much to do now that we are home, life just not stand still unfortunately while  we are away, and the jobs pile up.
Take care until we meet again,
Jane and Brian.