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.


  1. You're always so busy, Jane. I love looking at the results of your canning efforts, all those jars all lined up - so satisfying to see.
    Enjoy your holiday - where are you off to, this time?

    1. Hi Nicky, sorry I hadn't replied earlier.We have just been so busy that I rarely sit at the computer .We went to Queensland for a wedding and a bit of tripping around. Back home now and will update soon.

  2. Yikes, those fire photos are a bit creepy. I'm very envious of your lamb chop dinner. Being spring, I had written lamb chops on my shopping list this week but then discovered they're now $30 a kg. I think I'll wait for the legs to go on special and just look at your chop photo a few times.

    Enjoy your holiday, Jane and Brian.

    1. Lamb is ridicuously expensive in the shops Rhonda I don't blame you for waiting. We are lucky in that respect that are nearly self sufficient in meat.
      We had a lovely break, I will update soon. I regularly see your posts on your blog and enjoy them, just struggle with time management to be able to comment.
      Cheers to you and your family Rhonda

  3. Lovely time spent with grandchildren and it's so nice to see your pantry full of goodies. It's never ending work on a farm and so many responsibilities that's it not easy to get away. Great that your son can manage whilst you are away. Looking forward to your travel pics.

    1. We had fun with them Lillian and had a lovely time away..will update soon. It's been a huge month.

  4. Isn't it frustrating when storm clouds gather and then no rain comes! Here, in suburban Brisbane, it is so very dry ... hoping rain isn't far away but the forecast is just hot weather ahead. It's lovely that a special headstone is being made for your Tilly, that's a beautiful idea. Meg:)

    1. It is annoying with the storms..but since writing last we have had 23 mm , not a huge amount but very welcome.
      We visited Brisbane shorly on our break aeay, South Bank is stunning.
      I will update soon as i get time.

  5. awesome post, enjoy your holiday
    that fire shot could be "a rearing horse"; a unicorn; or a dragon breathing fire" what an epic picture
    love all the canning you do
    take care & stay safe on your holiday
    thanx for sharing

    1. Thanks Selina,
      Been a massive crazy month.I have barely had time to sit at the computer, little lone post...I hope to thisafternoon.
      We had a lovely break.

  6. We're about an hour north and inland from Brisbane and nearly out of feed here too. We've sold off all bar 7 of our sheep now, as it's too expensive to keep feeding them. Here's hoping we get some rain soon, although the forecast says nothing until October. Have a lovely time away.

    1. We had a lovely break and were probably around your area by the sound of it , we spent a couple of days at noosa and then inland at Yarramin, and yes the country was desperatly dry most areas we passed through.
      We have had a little rain 23 mm, still need more but it all helps. It is so sad having to destock as you work hard to build the numbers up byt you reach a point where you have to weigh up the costs.
      Hope you have recieved some rain.