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Showing posts with label Around My Home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Around My Home. Show all posts
Cumquat Marmalade: Winter Sunshine in a Jar

Cumquat Marmalade: Winter Sunshine in a Jar


 


This year's cumquots have made the most delightful marmalade. It's like winter sunshine in a jar! 


YOU WILL NEED: 

About 500g of cumquots 

a cup of sugar

The juice of half a lemon 

METHOD: 

Slice the ends of the cumquots and cut them in half. 

Chop the fruit and pulp coarsley 

Mix in the sugar and lemon jouce

Cook on the stovetop sitrring constantly until the mixture thickens 

Bottle in clean jars whilst hot and seal. 


This is one of those experimental recipes. You can try different citrus or blend flavours together. 

All I know, is that when you have a smear on sourdough it is a burst of sunshine in your mouth ! 

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A Vision Splendid
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Looking Back

Looking Back


A reader asked me this week how we are settling into our new place. Well, the answer is ...slowly. The past ten weeks have been complete madness. Who would move house in December ?

Here is a summary of some of the events that have taken place in the past ten weeks.


We did the pre-settlement inspection on our new property and couldn't believe that is was ours!

We then had to move our remaining belongings ( we had a HUGE throw out) into this new house. We had about 13 days before we were booked to go away on our annual holiday where we would be away for 3 weeks.

 We frantically unpacked everything, trying to find functional places for everything and work out where everything was ..... like the light switches and blind openers ! lol


We had to settle our birds and chickens in before we went away and undertake the HUGE job of getting our old place ready for our first ever tenants. 






Then we were off on our holiday. Firstly out west to catch up with family and have our pre-christmas celebrations and then back over the mountain to our holiday place....and boy did we need it.


So for the next two weeks we just laid around, read, swam, walked, fished and were generally recharging our batteries.




After we arrived home I headed off with my sister, Mum and niece to take my mum on a birthday road trip.

We headed firstly to the Hunter Valley and had a look at where we used to live and went to school. Then we headed to Bathurst and had a look at my Grandmother's house ( which has been totally upgraded and is truly wonderful!) We then put my father's plaque on his mother's grave and met some  of my aunties.


Of course, no trip to Bathurst would be complete without a visit to Annie's ice cream parlour. This goes without saying.

 We then headed through the blue mountains, stopping for some tourist walks and visiting some local wine stores.



 Then onto Sydney where we stayed at Four Points Sheraton and were tourists in Sydney. We did an historical walk and visited two of the museums, the Sydney museum and the Police and Justice museum.




 On the last evening we went to see Annie -the musical at the Lyric theatre and really enjoyed it.

So, for the last ten weeks I have been away for one month! Now that the children are back into school and I am back into working some hours each week there will be some settling into routines.


All we need now is for it to stop raining so that we can start preparing our new vegie patches. We have had 276mm of rain in the last ten days. On the 8th Feb we had 102 mm in one day! That is a lot of rain. 

My focus is currently on rebuilding my systems and routines. I have been reading back through my old blog entries to keep me on the track. I hope to incorporate all our previous principles and add to them with new found space and fruit trees. 

It is all very exciting! 

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A Vision Splendid
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Green Acres Is The Place For Me

Green Acres Is The Place For Me



We are slowly settling into our new place. Although we moved in during December, we were away for almost a month because of holidays that we had arranged before we knew that we were going to buy a house!


Since we got back from holidays life has been about establishing new routines and making discoveries about what is around the property.

We have been doing lots of study, trying to work out what all the plants are and how to look after them. It is such an exciting challenge!


The boys have stepped up into work mode and are taking on more and more jobs. The novelty of a ride on mower with a trailer has a lot to do with that I think.


With the amount of rain we have had this week there has been even more time for planning, organising and unpacking. I am waiting to get to know the place a little - to learn where the shadows fall and where the water lies before we plant too many vegies and herbs.

It is such an exciting new start !
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A Vision Splendid
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Moving House

Moving House



If you have been wondering why things are so quiet on the blogging front, it is because we are moving. I thought that we would be staying in this house forever, but over the past few months a series of things have just fallen in to place and before we knew it we had made an offer on a place out of town.

I feel quite okay about moving. I thought I would have a really difficult time leaving this house, after all,  a lot has happened here in the past 16 years. Firstly, it is the longest I have ever lived in one place. It is the home that I lived in when we were first married and the home I brought my babies home to.

In the past 16 years it has seen me be a teacher, a stay at home mum, a solicitor, a business woman, an author, a blogger and an urban homesteader.

What started as a little cottage has expanded over the years to accommodate our growing family. We added rooms, built bathrooms, took down walls, pulled up carpets all to keep up with our changing needs.

Now, as the boys are physically getting bigger they are after space. I am looking forward to new gardens, fruit trees and the next stage of family growth.

With our move shortly upon us, I thought things would be more chaotic. They are busy, but haven't fallen into total chaos......yet. One of the best things we did when we thought there was a possibility of moving was to have a severe cull of our possessions. We donated, sold, gave away  or threw out everything in every cupboard, drawer, shed and shelf that we did not need or completely love. We also shredded years and years of paperwork no longer required. Even if we weren't moving, this was a FANTASTIC feeling of freedom !

Now we have been working on preparing our house for tenants. Painting, cleaning, fixing. It is funny that jobs we have been meaning to get around to for years have all suddenly been completed in a fortnight.

Everyone is so excited about the move. I am really looking forward to having a place for everything and everything is its place. I am excited about creating new spaces for cooking,   baking and making. The most exciting thing for me, however, is the established fruit trees. Strange, I know, but having trees that are bearing so much fruit is really exciting !

Most of all, as usual, I am looking forward to creating......................a vision splendid ! 
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A Vision Splendid
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Hello September

Hello September


Image Source: http://sayingimages.com/hello-september/
Hello September. I am enjoying you so much. Just when I had settled into a life of rugging up, adding layers, snuggling under blankets on the lounge, you turn up and surprise me.

You get me every year!

I get the first hint of you in the breeze. Then I notice you in the song of the birds and the sound of a distant lawn mower. Then I smell you in the blossoms and when your light hits the new green leaves on the crepe myrtle tree.

Then I remember what is to come.... the early mornings, the long summer evenings, the swimming and skiing and playing and gardening and holidays and Christmas and mangoes and watermelon and prawns and shorts and t-shirts and thongs.....

.....and I am one happy spring chicken.
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A Vision Splendid
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An Adoption Story

An Adoption Story



Look who has been taking up my time lately! 

This is the latest addition to our family. He is a puppy adoption from the RSPCA. He was completely unplanned! 

Our neighbour looks after puppies for the RSPCA until they find homes.....( or worse if they don't find homes). Our boys are often at her house playing with the puppies. 

A couple of weeks ago they asked me if they could bring a dog over to our house to play. I reluctantly agreed and told them to lock up the chooks ( imagining they were bringing some sort of Alsatian)



Can you imagine what I felt when they brought this little guy in ? I went from " a dog is a lot of responsibility and I'm not sure you're ready"  to  "oh, we have to keep  him?" in about a space of ten seconds.

The RSPCA get lots of puppies. This little guy was dumped at the pound. We had to wait 14 days until ownership passed to the RSPCA and then they desexed him, microchipped him and gave him health checks and immunisations. 


He hasn't been mistreated and has a lovely little personality. They think he may have been an unwanted Christmas present. :>(

He is an excellent companion. The boys have really taken on the responsibility of looking after him and I just adore him. We are putting lots of time into training him. He has brought us so much joy! 



He is very happy with us - he has even started his naughty puppy behaviour lately where he will grab a sock and run with it, hoping to be chased !

The only problem the poor fellow has is that the chooks are mean to him !

If you are looking for a companion animal, make sure you check out the RSPCA. They really do run a wonderful programme and by taking a puppy you are leaving a space so that the life of the next puppy can be saved.
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A Vision Splendid
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Summer Fun

Summer Fun



Soon I have to try and convince these boys that they have to wear shoes again.


I have to try and convince them to have a shower and brush their hair....

 ....and wear shirts....
 ....and go to bed at a decent hour....
after living the life of Huckleberry Finn for the last six weeks I wonder how they will adapt back into the life of school shoes, books and bells !
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A Vision Splendid
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Not So Splendid

Not So Splendid


 We are building a deck off the back of the house at the moment. Everything around here is far from a splendid vision, that is for sure.

The deck will act as an outdoor kitchen and living area for the summer so we can cook and eat outside.


It was just our luck that once the driveway was pulled up and the footings dug we had so much rain that the back yard turned into a swimming pool.


 The boys thought it was great fun and played in the rain and mud. I have given up trying to keep the inside of the house tidy and will just do a final cleanse and carpet clean once all signs of mud and building material have vanished.


It is our year to host Christmas for our family this year so we are thrilled that it will be outdoors alfresco dining.

I am so excited to be able to have a summer outdoor kitchen and can't wait to christen it with a great meal, good friends and lovely wine.
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A Vision Splendid
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