Restoring The Vision Splendid

I have been doing a lot of reading lately on a number of topics - green living, frugality, additive free eating etc. I have said this before...... whichever way you turn it comes back to the same thing for me..... live like it's 1940.

Here's what I mean. If you decide that you are going to approach things from a green living perspective then you might group your trips to town to save petrol, shorten your showers to save water and money, save electricity, grow your own food, buy non processed foods, buy foods with limited packaging, buy second hand, not use disposables etc

If you are approaching life from a frugal perspective you will cook from scratch, work on a 'cash only' budget, make things instead of buying them, not spend money on non-essentials, barter or share with friends etc

Whenever I read these ideas for living I think that it all comes back to how people lived in 1930 or 1940. It seems that they had things pretty well worked out!

My Grandmother built a house in 1936 which was made with solid concrete using sand from the creek. There were two water tanks at the back of house, for rainwater or water from the well on creek bank when there was no rain. There was a well which was spring fed and crystal clear. My mum tells me it tasted better than bottled water. There was a big tank that was put up in the 1950s. It was for watering the garden and was filled from the well

All vegies were home grown as were the fruit trees and grape vines. All excess fruit and veg were preserved and made into jam and pickles.

A sheep was killed about once a week or maybe a fortnight for meat. Beef was shared with the neighbours. They also had ham and bacon which was salted and smoked in a square tank with sawdust. There was also chooks for meat and eggs

In so far as rubbish is concerned, nothing left the property. All scraps went to pigs and dogs. All packaging that was re used. My mum tells me that there was also newspaper in the dunnie!!!!

So... in today's terms you would call it ' self sufficiency', 'green living' 'frugality' 'the Good life' etc. I call it 1940s.
I think we can all learn something from this way of life.

Football...... Can you believe I am writing about football ?

I knew there was a reason I am called BusyWoman ! Once again, I have been busy busy busy!

The football was very enjoyable, even though at times I had absolutely no idea what was going on! LOL. It seems that the commentary is only for TV and doesn't happen over the loudspeaker. Of all the games to see, this one certainly gave us our money's worth. 12 all full time and the Knights won in extra time. The crowd went crazy !

I was surprised by the family atmosphere. I thought it would be full of drunken yobbos, but I was wrong. It was quite okay and my boys loved it. Hubbie and I laughed because we were cheering and booing like we actually knew what was happening !

I think sometimes we live in a parallel universe. There is a whole world out there that we are oblivious to. In a way, I am glad!



A wise women told me last month that she was going to an Iron Maiden concert because she was spending some quality time with her 18 year old son and nephew on 'their terms' and was meeting them 'where they are at'. I really admired her for this. It reminded me of another wise woman at work who has raised two beautiful children to adulthood and has remained 'connected' with them by taking an interest in their interests ( no matter how awful the music is !)

To cut a long story short, we are off to the football this weekend to see Newcastle Knights play Manly Sea Eagles. I have NEVER been to the football. I haven't watched a game of football since about 1981 when Mick Cronin played centre for Parramatta ( I can hear NSW people my age laughing !) I have this sense that this weekend is an indication of the future. Me as the only female in the family, immersed into 'boy things' over the next few years. I am not overly feminine so it's not as if I am wishing for shopping trips and beauty parlours, it's just that I didn't imagine that I would be 'meeting them where they are at ' so soon. I am actually looking forward to the game - even though I disagree with the commercialism and the 'worship' of sports stars and would much rather my sons worship scientists or peace activists. I am actually smiling at the thought of the four of us sitting up in the grandstand with the boys cheering, with Hubbie and I not having a CLUE about what is going on. ( he is NOT a fan of football either).

But..... I am looking forward to the reminiscing ......" Mum, remember the time we went to see the footy..................." I just hope that Iron Maiden aren't still doing concerts by the time my guys are 18 ! LOL


The Family That Cooks Together..........

We have just had a wonderful weekend of eating and cooking. I had to go to the Hunter Valley for a work conference on Friday and Saturday and managed to pick up some favourites reds and some lovely cheeses. On Saturday night we had a bbq at a friends house and enjoyed said wines and cheeses.

On Sunday we went water skiing before I had everyone over for a Chef's Toolbox party. If you haven't seen this before, you MUST have a look. I went to a party a couple of weeks ago, somewhat reluctantly, with my Mum. I was so surprised ! It was brilliant, nothing like what I expected from a party plan. Chef's Toolbox is an Australian company that sells cooking equipment and bakeware. http://www.chefstoolbox.com.au/

Catherine, the demonstrator, did a 10 minute talk then all the participants used the demo stuff to prepare a meal. We made a Thai chicken curry and caramel chocolate tarts. One person chopped chicken, another stirred the coconut milk etc. When it was all done we looked through the catalogues, made our orders and then sat and enjoyed the food with a glass of wine ! It was great so I quickly booked a party.

Yesterday we did the same recipes that I did at the first demonstration. I got loads of freebies for being the hostess ! The products are exceptional quality. The cookware is expensive as a one of purchase, but excellent value ( the saucepan I want is $149). They have a lifetime guarantee so I am prepared to save to get them. The bakeware is very reasonable with most pieces being about $39-$49. It suits the needs of all budgets.

I told Catherine that if I had the time, I would become a consultant. It is so aligned with my passion of empowering women and cooking from scratch. I also know that party plans go VERY well in regional areas because we just cannot access the quality products. There are no department stores to duck in to.

After the party No 1 Son made pizza dough in the breadmaker and cooked a great pizza for himself. Not bad for an almost 10 year old ! Today I made a big batch of choc chip cookies and put a big amount of dough in the freezer ready for busy times. Hubbie made rock cakes tonight because he has to go away tomorrow and these seem to have become his signature dish !

The Chef's Toolbox scales allow you to use one bowl for weighing all ingredients. They allow you to press a button and 'zero' the scales each time you add something. This means you only wash up one bowl ! For example, you put the bowl on the scale and then zero it and add 300g flour and then zero it again and add 90g butter and zero it etc etc

So, here is the rock cake recipe:

300g self raising flour

90g butter

1.2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger ( heaped if you want a stronger taste)

2 tablespoons of sultanas

1 egg

3 tablespoons of milk


Sift flour and rub in butter with fingertips - keep rubbing until the mixture resemables breadcrumbs. (Hubbie says the secret is 'cool hands' - this cracks me up !)

Add sugar and ginger and stir through. Add fruit. Beat egg and add milk. Make into a stiff dough. Place spoonfuls or small handfuls onto a buttered tray and bake at 220C for 10-15 minutes. Turn onto a rack and cool.

Hubbie also makes pretty mean scones - I mean real ones with buttermilk ! The world, in my experience, is grouped into two classes of people - those that can make great scones and those that can't. Last time he made scones he had to ride his motorbike to town because he didn't have any buttermilk. When he got home I saw him laying on the bed reading a water ski magazine. When I said 'aren't you making scones' he told me that he was waiting for his hands to cool down, because his secret ingredient is 'cool hands'. LOL - you gotta love the man- he takes his cooking very seriously !!

The chocolate chip cookies are really easy and the kids love to make them - yell out if you don't have a recipe and want to try mine.


Fuel Prices Starting to Heat Up..... $190 later.

I have posted before about my interest in Peak Oil and how it will impact fuel prices and the flow on effect for basically every product on the planet.

Yesterday I really FELT it!

When I was driving the 7.5 km to work I noticed that the fuel price at the United fuel station was $136.7 ( for the green fuel that I use) while across the road at the Coles Service Station it was $1.47. I suddenly remembered hearing on the ABC news the night before that fuel prices were meant to go to $1.50 for Easter and that fuel had hit a $108 US a barrel. I also remembered that this particular fuel station was often the last one to put up their prices.

I did a quick U -Turn and filled the car up, at the same time calling and texting everyone I thought would be interested to fill up before the price hike. I note that earlier in the week the price had already jumped 9 cents a litre.

So... I filled up my car ($70 gulp~!!) and hubbie filled up his ( $120 ~gulp gulp!!!). Sure enough, on the way home I noticed that it was $1.47. That is a TWENTY CENT LEAP IN SEVEN DAYS !!!!

At present, I budget $30 for my car and $20 for hubbies car a week ( just dropped hubbie's from $30) I can tell you that $20 at this rate is just JZZZZZTTTTTTT click ! ( meaning it takes NO time at all before you hit 20 bucks !

So..... what to do. I could walk or ride to work... but it's always about time. Hubbie walked to town today to pick up his new pushbike because he had ridden the other one into the ground, literally, the axel broke beyond repair and he already rebuilt it once. It took him one hour and 10 minutes. I just don't have that at the start and end of each day. In a couple of weeks it will be dark when I walk home and there are sections that are just road, with no houses and no street lights. I live in a little town, outside a bigger regional centre. He rode the bike home which took about 20 minutes ( he is much fitter than I am. It would probably take me 45mins)

I could ride my bike, something I would really aspire to do. Logistically this is messy. I am a professional. I wear suits. Can I scrunch the suit into a backpack ? Can I shower at work ? Can I cart make - up? Can I do my hair at work ? I know, I know. Dump the societal expectations and not wear make up and don't do your hair. Unfortunately, the clothes maketh the man in my game, or should I say, the suit, hair and make up maketh the woman in a man's world ! LOL

Hmmmmm...... thoughts anyone ? ?

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