Sunday, 10 September 2017

Family, Farm and Food.

Once again we have had  a few busy weeks,  with trips away to the grand kids, stocking up the pantry and trying to reduce our stock number  for various reasons Our son  had been here  to visit and he and Brian decided to  find a  big rock( and I mean BIG ) to put on our beautiful old blue girl Tilly's resting place.
So they found one, and this is where they dragged it from with the tractor,
I have put some colour changing solar lights up there, we have still to  fit them permanently but will wait until  my sister in law completes a beautiful mosaic  headstone marker  that  she is making for us.
We  headed to  Parkes  to spend some time with our  Grandchildren  while their Mum and Dad were at work. We  had a great time with the girls, playing, shopping, cooking  and  doing  activities. These chocolate cupcakes were fun to make and decorate with the girls and especially yummy to eat.

While there we  were pleased to see the  few ewes that we had taken over there  to semi-retire are doing extremely well on all the green grass there  as   are their latest  offspring.
The country around Parkes looks amazing compared to here, great expanses of  green crops and wonderful  oceans of yesslow canola fields.
We then left Parkes after 4 days  and headed to Wollongong to our other daughters home to celebrate the 3rd birthday of our gorgeous grandson. They had  moved house not long ago and we were keen to  see the new place, it was great with much more space  than they previously had in the old  place.
He got a brand new bike for his birthday  and we went to a nearby park to   see him play with it, he and Poppy had such fun.

We had dinner that night at a lovely Mexican restaurant  and after returning back  to our daughter's home we had a  fire in the back yard fire pit.
I took a lot of photos of the fire on my phone, just because I like  fire photos and was  totally gobsmacked   later in the night while scrolling through those photos to find this  photo.

and here is a closer up view.............
I  still don't know what is in that picture and can offer no explanation for it what so ever.
On our return home one of the hens  that had been  sitting  hatched out 10 beautiful little chicks,

and yesterday I popped down and  checked up on them and they are  progressing really well, she is a great little mum.
As part of our  stock reduction we got together with  some neighbours and had a poultry dispatch day,
We hung them in the coolroom  for a few days and then  cut them in half  and bagged them up for the freezer.
I got in and made up a good batch of chicken stock ,
After setting this in the fridge overnight , I then canned it up  the next day, This is just wonderful   as the base  for  my soups and curries that I   make.
I also made up another big batch of  turkey curry,
I also made up  a couple of big pots of turkey/chicken and vegetable soup.
Hubby also butchered a  few sheep ,
 and I used up a few legs  that I had in the freezer   and decided  to make up a batch of lamb curry.
These are really handy to keep on the pantry shelf, we use them quite regularly as a quick meal with rice.
It's good to have lamb back in the freezer again, and nothing  beats a  meal of home grown  lamb chops.
We have a healthy supply of rosemary  growing at the  moment and the bees are loving it.
Brian has been doing a few  jobs in the caravan , one of  them being installing   a new 12 volt  television for our viewing pleasure when we are travelling.
We have had some  beautiful visitors outside the dining room window the last few mornings.  Brian installed a nesting box  up in under the eaves for them and they return each year to raise a family.
The storm clouds have came and went and sadly we didn't score a single drop.
So, sadly we are still hand feeding,  we are heading off on a  holiday  tomorrow, and our son has arrived  to farm sit for us until our return.
Today Brian showed him the feeding routine and the poultry care that is required .
It is  terribly dry, there is no feed left  , we have a small paddock of oats that Brian planted as  feed, and it is all but gone, so we will  open it up tomorrow  to the sheep as no rain is predicted for the next few weeks and they may as well have it.
I will  update again soon as I have  something else  to share, but will need to find  the  time to post .
So until we meet again, take care of you and yours.
Jane and Brian.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

A few days Rest and Relaxation.

We had a small window of opportunity last week to get away for a few days relaxation so after a discussion on a  destination  we hooked our  little caravan on and headed north .
After a suggestion from our next door neighbour( Brian's brother)  we decided on a few days at the heated  themal pools at Moree NSW.
Moree is about three hours north of the farm and although we had passed through it many times we had never really considered it as a holiday destination.
We were  able to   set up the van in a very convenient location to the amenities ( our older caravan does not  have it's own bathroom facilities).
The park we chose was called the  Gwydir  Motel and Carapark. It has a motel  and approximately 150 cabins ,villas and caravan sites  for hire.
It consists of 5  heated pools ranging in temperature from 28 deg C  to 39 deg C.
This bigger pool is the 28 deg pool, with the motel rooms in the background.
The first day we started out in the 2nd coolest pool  and then slowly progressed to the warmer pools.

This place has become a favourite  stop off  point and holiday destination for the ever increasing Grey Nomad brigade. On the second day we were there, the wind started to pick up and even though it was  heaven in the pools, the chill factor on exiting the water was  in the -Deg C I am am convinced.
We met and chatted   to many lovely and interesting people, most of them were couples  who follow the "Thermal Way" a   directory of many thermal pool destinations  all over Australia.
We have always heard of the health benefits of soaking in these  beautiful warm mineral pools and we have to admit while you are in them, you really do feel wonderful, but in our case within  hours we were back to our normal  selves.
We had a night out at the local Services club, a lovely dinner and we bought a few raffle tickets,
But unfortunately,  Lady Luck was not on our side.
We made good use of our new Baby Weber BBQ, ( for at least one meal), as the shocking wind  started to really affect  all outdoor activities except the pools.
We had to pull in our awning and  not leave things outside in fear of them being blown away.
We wandered up to a nearby tavern on the Saturday for a beautiful lunch,
With extremely full bellies we made our way back  to the caravan and as most of the other campers were doing hibernated inside the rest of the afternoon and evening   bar one final dip in the pool.
Apart from the atrocious  wind, which was felt over much of eastern Australia, we really did have a wonderful, relaxed enjoyable few days away.
One thing for sure is that we will  return to this  place to once  again soak our aching  joints in those lovely hot mineral pools and in our travels seek out some of the many other locations  that we have been told about.
The next morning we  hooked the caravan back up and  reluctantly made the return trip back home.
The view of the countryside along the way is really  beautiful and I love this view across to the mountains.
This short break away has made us realize how crazy that our life is sometimes and  that we really do need to take the time to stop and  smell the roses so to speak, and will certainly be  taking a few more trips away both planned and impromptu to recharge  our  batteries.
Until we meet again, take care of you and yours,
Jane and Brian.