Sunday, 30 July 2017

A busy if slightly frustrating week.

When we first moved here full time to the farm  our poultry numbers have increased dramatically, and we  realize that if we are going to be able to travel and leave  friends or neighbours to look after them we must continue to downsize their numbers.
To achieve this we have been routinely  dispatching roughly a dozen at a time( 6 turkeys and 6 roosters) We leave them hanging in the cool room for three or four days  before processing to the freezer.
With some of the turkeys from the freezer I decided to make up some turkey curry,
Firstly I dusted the cubed turkey pieces in seasoned  flour,
These were then fried to brown them,drained,

and  added to a big  stainless stock pot. I then added my curry base( from a jar this time)  and stock and vegetables and cooked  on the stove until the  meat and vegies were tender.
At this point I thicken it  and cook a little longer to cook the flour thoroughly.
I decided to  put this into  meal sized dump bags that are just right for Brian and I for a meal and we also  tested to see if they fit into the small freezer section in our caravan, and they do.
We attended the Mudgee small farm Field Day, we had traveled there  with Brian's brother and his wife from next door and we had a lovely day  wandering the exhibits.
we only managed to lose the men once, but after a quick  embarrassing public announcement over the loud speaker we were very quickly reunited.

The men especially  loved watching the tractor pulls, which I have to admit I  rather enjoyed as well.
We bought some tasty salamis off two different stalls and some really delicious chorizo that I made up into a couple of tasty dishes  back home.
This one was  a nice spicy type of quick fried rice  dish, perfect for a quick lunch.
I also  got in and made a  couple of batches of  turkey soup( from the  carcasses  left over from the turkey curry.
I ended up with 14 quarts and 16 x 750 ml jars of  turkey and vegetable soup to go into the pantry.
I have been saving all the carrot,onion, & pumpkin peels and ends  as I prepare  all the  vegetables and freezing them for future use  when I want to make a batch of stock.
We  attended the AGM of our local Rail Barracks volunteer group so I tried a new recipe for a lemon curd cheesecake using the lemon curd up that I had  made a few weeks ago.
It was  really   good and is certainly a recipe that I would make again for another occasion.
I did a good tidy up again in the pantry( this is a regular activity as I am the queen of dumping in there.
We had a trip to Dubbo last week and managed to catch up with my Mum for lunch which was  lovely. Mum will be 93 this year and is very independent and we are very proud of her( I snapped this pic of her without her knowing as it tends to give a much more natural result.)
Some friends of ours had  asked us if we would like  some bee equipment that they no longer used, we gratefully accepted their gift and went out to their farm and picked it up. It will be handy for us  after we  sterilize them to make sure there  is no disease  in them. ( It had been 17 years since they were last used.)
A few months ago we  purchased a pallet load of retaining wall blocks from Bunnings, last week Brian began constructing the retaining wall at the end of our back verandah .
As we had never had anything to do with building a retaining wall before( with an inside 90 deg corner) we did not know that  to do this properly you must start  with the  base level corner block first.
So after discovering this important little piece of information after we were unable to complete  the corner we had to totally dismantle what we had built and start again.
Things were looking up and we  kept building until we ran out of blocks.
We then traveled back to Bunnings ( over an hours drive away) and purchased  another pallet load of the same blocks as we  already had.
We unloaded them on the lawn and began building the next morning,.......then I heard Brian call out in frustration, went out to discover this.............
The new load ( obviously from another batch) were slightly different, too different to just  keep laying them....a couple of phone calls left us with  two options, to either return all blocks for a full refund or work with what we had. We chose the latter.
After once again disassembling  the full wall( bar the base row) and rebuilt it alternating the rows  to produce a  striped effect along the wall.
Our son had arrived at the farm by this point and he helped Brian  rebuild at a much quicker rate. To save time , this time they didn't back fill as they went and just as the  last couple of blocks went down, the whole wall collapsed.
If  we didn't laugh we would have cried..........we were devestated.
Our son just said, come on, let's just do it...... and we all got in, row by row, barrow after barrow of soil and rock backfill and got it back up.
We have progressed as far as we can, we still have  a few more blocks to lay down the side( we need to purchase about 10 more blocks) The curved corner  at the end was difficult  as it leads onto the stone steps, but we are very pleased with the final result.We still need to source the capping stones for the top as well.
We  held a  birthday BBQ  lunch here yesterday for a friend and neighbor, we had a lovely day  with many compliments on our wall( it went a long way to  make  all  the grief worthwhile).
This morning was the most amazing sunrise, the whole sky was just stunning. We see this glorious  display from Mother Nature  from our bedroom  most mornings when the  conditions are  right.
The beauty of the country side is  outstanding. It is so sad to see  how dry it it. We desperately need rain, there are predictions for a few  small showers this week,  if they come it will help but we need  good steady large  falls of rain over a prolonged period.  Large trees are dropping dead, there is no moisture  in the soil, even when we buried our beautiful Tilly girl  we would have expected to see some moisture down deep but there was nothing but powdered soil.
The  land is suffering and I dearly hope it turns around soon.
Hopefully the next time I post I will have better news on that front as  surely we must get rain soon.
Take care until we meet  again
Jane and Brian.


  1. The wall looks great, Jane. Alternating the rows was a smart idea. Shame you had such a bad time building it (though it was a very amusing read). You'll be experts the next time ;-)

    1. If we ever do tackle another one we will at lest have had some experience.... and look back with humour.

  2. The retaining wall looks great!

  3. Jane, tell Brian that if he hasn't got enough to do and wants to continue mucking around building things, to come up here. I have a couple of jobs for him. The weather is bad up here too. We were at Maleny last week and even up there, usually lush dark green, it's as dry as. I sincerely hope you get rain soon. xx

    1. Hi Rhonda,
      I think he is quite over construction for quite a while lol. We ended up getting 19 mm of very welcome rain, but will certainly require more follow up.
      I saw your post on the trip to Meleny and the lovely seed and plant spot you visited, it looked lovely.
      Take care Rhonda

  4. I have decided what I love about your is jammed packed full of action. You are such an achiever.

    1. Our life is a little crazy ,full of all bit's and pieces and I am afraid that's how I do the all seems to just pile in together... but I am glad you like it. Thank you.

  5. I remember reading this post and meant to comment but was called away then forgot. Never a dull moment in your life. Love that you finally managed to get that retaining wall up, would have been so frustrating, glad it didn't beat you though.