29 December 2019

Christmas 2019

Well, that's Christmas over and done with for another year. My Christmas day was a bit different this year as it was the first time in a long time that I didn't host it.

My daughter and her fiance bought a house earlier this year and they decided that they would like to host Christmas at their home which was lovely for me as the only thing I had to do was bring fruit, some cheese and crackers. I have no photos to show you as I was busy just enjoying time with my family.

We've already started planning for Christmas next year, which will be more than likely spent in Brisbane at my youngest son's house we are looking forward to it and hoping that it will be a lot cooler than it was this year.


We don't buy gifts for everyone in our family, but we do do a Not So Secret Santa every year and every year it gets harder and harder to find something that I would like. When I was browsing my Pinterest a few weeks ago this print came up in my feed and although it's not my usual style of art something about it appealed to me and I requested it as my gift, I'm thinking of buying three more and hanging them above my bed.

How was your Christmas Day? Are you already making plans for next year? Let me know in the comments.

25 December 2019

Merry Christmas

Good morning everyone, I'm just popping in to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.


I hope that wherever you are and however you choose to celebrate Christmas that you all have a wonderful day.

8 December 2019

My Week in a Nutshell

Monday
Another grey, overcast day today, very windy and cold as it has been the past few days, I love the fact that I am still wearing jeans and jumpers in December, I know summer will arrive soon so I am enjoying it while it lasts.

I had to make a trip into town today to buy a few things that I had forgotten when I went shopping last week and also to pick up a book from the library. I bought some Wiltshire knives and a pair of scissors which were on special for half price at Big W and a new external hard drive, unfortunately, it was not on special.

Tuesday
Spanish this morning and afterwards I bought two variegated Hearts Entwined (aka String of Hearts) and a String of Pearls succulent from the op shop.

I spent a couple of hours after lunch checking the irrigation system and adding to it where necessary, and I managed to get 1/3 third of the front garden mulched with pea straw. 

 Wednesday
I had a doctor's appointment to go to this morning, but before that, I spent some time trimming the bottle brush tree as it was blocking the view of the footpath and pedestrians were hard to see when my daughter was backing her car out, while I was out there I also trimmed the rosemary hedge. After the appointment I dropped into Mitre 10 to buy some pieces for the irrigation system and discovered they had some plants on sale for $2.99 each so I came home with six new plants for the front garden which was looking a little sparse and needed more plants, and at that price how could I say no, if they all grow the front yard will look lovely.

After lunch, it was back out into the garden where I managed to get the rest of the irrigation system fixed and more pea straw put down, I still have a small section to do, but that will have to wait until Saturday now.
I love the way the garden looks with a fresh layer of pea straw mulch on it.
Thursday
I've started working on Thursday as a volunteer admin assistant at the community house where I have my Spanish every week, it's nice to be doing something outside of the house again.

Friday
I had a meeting this morning at our local hospital where I will be working with the dieticians as an admin assistant starting next Friday, after that, I dropped in to have coffee with my daughter who doesn't live far from there, then it was home for lunch. After lunch, it was another trip to the vet as my housemate's dog also has an ulcer on his eye.

Saturday
I was out into the garden early this morning to finish laying down the mulch, I also managed to get mulch on one half of the vegetable garden before the day got too hot. In the afternoon I gave the vegetable garden a good watering in preparation for the extremely hot weather tomorrow.

Sunday
Another early start to my day as I had to get the vegetable garden covered, as well as water all the potted plants and fill all the birdbaths and water dishes, the rest of my day was spent inside trying to stay cool. With all the time I spend tending to my gardens and yard I sometimes wonder how I find time to do anything else, but all the hard work is almost finished now and once it is it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours a week to look after it. 

Until next time, stay safe, Jan.

2 December 2019

My Week in a Nutshell

Monday

I was supposed to go out today, I had a few things that needed to be done, but to be quite honest I just couldn't be bothered, I woke up this morning feeling quite flat, I'm not sure why and it only lasted a few hours, I guess we can't be happy all the time.

It was overcast today and very warm (34°C) and with nothing better to do, I defrosted the freezer which was a job that was well overdue, it didn't take as long as I thought it would and now it's done for another two months or so.



This afternoon I took the shade cloth off the vegetable garden only to find the bloody blackbirds had dug up one of my watermelon seedlings, I'm pretty sure I didn't actually need three, but still.

Tuesday
Spanish this morning and a quick wander through the op shop which also has a small plant section and I came home with four tomato plants, one each of Mortgage Lifter and Money Maker and two of KY1 which I've never heard of, but apparently it's an Australian heirloom tomato so I thought I would try it, another punnet of Genovese basil and a small pot of Siam Queen basil it only cost me $10.00 for the lot.

I had to have my photo taken today for ID purposes, at my age, it's not something I enjoy having done, but needs must I just hope it turns out half decent.

I also needed to go to Centrelink to sort something out, I never look forward to going there because you can be there for hours waiting to be seen, but luckily I only had to wait five minutes and the problem was sorted out in no time at all. Home after that for lunch and a quiet afternoon.

Wednesday
A quiet start to my day today, my daughter and I went grocery shopping in the afternoon and then it was a trip to the vet as our dog has a bad eye, it turned out that she had managed to cut her eye on something and it had ulcerated, she is now on anti-inflammatory medication and ointment for her eye.

In the early evening I planted out the tomatoes I bought yesterday, as well as the basil.

Thursday

The flyscreen on my kitchen window has needed some attention for a while now as it was very dusty but being a security screen it can't be removed and the only way to clean it is to fill a bucket with some water and detergent and scrub it with the soft floor broom, it took some doing but it's now nice and clean.

I also had to empty out the fish pond as the fish have some sort of fungal disease, so far I have lost six fish and really don't want to lose anymore. Treating them involves emptying the pond, (don't worry the water didn't get wasted), refilling the pond and then adding anti-fungal treatment, fingers crossed that it works and my fish survive.

Friday
I didn't have a lot to do at home today so I took myself off for a walk and somehow my feet found their way into one of the several op shops in my area, I don't buy a lot these days as there isn't a lot I need but I am always on the lookout for books to add to my collection or to replace the ones that I loved, but stupidly gave away. I found five books to add my collection and when I got to the register I was happy to find that books had just gone on sale for 50% off so even with the price I had to pay for a bag to carry them in it only cost me $10.25 which worked out at less than the three big books would have cost. The books on the bottom are old favourites that I want to reread, and the others are a new series that I have just found.



Saturday
I woke up to grey skies this morning and hoped it would rain, but then the sun came out and dashed my hopes, an hour later the clouds were back and it rained.  As I couldn't get out into the garden as I had intended, (I still haven't fixed the irrigation system in the front garden), I cleaned the bathroom and laundry instead which was the last thing on my list of household chores for this week, by the time I had finished doing that the skies had cleared again but it was too late in the day to start on the irrigation as it is going to take quite a few hours to sort it out so I think I will leave the garden for tomorrow.

Sunday
Well, I won't be doing any garden chores or yard work today as I woke to rain this morning and unlike yesterdays intermittent rain it hasn't stopped and as I've finished all the housework that leaves me with a free day, what to do, what to do?

As today is December 1st it's time for the Christmas tree to be put up a job I leave to my daughter now, we have gone a minimalist this year, no tinsel, no garland of beads wrapped around the tree, just baubles and lights.

Not great photos but it is grey and rainy today, I will try to take some better ones when we get some sunshine.



Until next time, stay safe, Jan.

25 November 2019

My Week in a Nutshell

Mine is not an exciting life, nor is a glamourous one, sometimes it's downright boring, but I've decided that although my life may not be glamorous or exciting that it's time I started to document it so that I have a record of how I spent my days to look back on in years to come.    

Firstly, let me introduce myself, my name is Jan, I am still a few years off retiring, but not too many, I live in an old country town in South Australia that when I first moved here from New South Wales ten years ago was quite and everyone you met always said hello, these days it is a town like any other, it's noisy and busy and over the last ten years the population has grown and sadly no-one has time to say hello anymore. 

I am an ordinary woman living an ordinary life that at times has moments of great joy and great beauty. I am the mother of five amazing, grown-up children all of whom except for the youngest have left home and are living their own lives, I also have four grandchildren with hopefully a few more to come in the future.

I am very much a homebody and love nothing more than spending my days tending to my gardens, I have both flower and vegetable gardens, which as you can imagine keeps me fairly busy, I love a clean home, but I don't like housework and wrinkle-free clothing is my best friend. 

My evenings are spent reading, as well as knitting, crocheting and because it's now too hot to do either of those I'm going to try my hand at embroidery. 

I am really writing this for myself, but  I hope you will enjoy it as well if you do please leave me a comment and let me know. If this is your first time visiting my blog, hello and welcome. 


Monday
A hot one today (34°C), I spent an hour in the vegetable garden making sure that all the plants were covered with shade cloth and they will stay that way until Thursday as tomorrow is going to be much the same as today and Wednesday is going to be 44°C. I went out in the afternoon, I wouldn't normally go out when it's as hot as it was, but it was necessary and while I was out I bought a new handbag. I've been wanting one for a while now and when I found this one on special for $19.00, (reduced from $35.00), I had to buy it and it is exactly what I was looking for.



Tuesday

I had my Spanish lesson in the morning and after 13 weeks I am finding it easier to understand which is a good thing as my teacher has now started speaking to us mostly in Spanish. My Spanish lessons are held at the local community house and there is also an op shop on the premises so after my lesson I decided to have a look around and I found another crossbody bag, this one was only $8.00 and it looks brand new so two bags in two days for less than $30.00, I love a good bargain. I didn't get home until 1.00pm and as the day was quite warm I stayed indoors until late afternoon, after that, I spent until it was almost dark watering in the hope that after tomorrow's heat something will still be alive. 
New bag on the left, second-hand bag on the right.

Wednesday

Today was horrendous with the temperature reaching 44°C, (it is still spring isn't it?), and as if the extreme heat wasn't was bad enough, it was also incredibly windy which didn't help with the fires that are burning at the moment, naturally enough I spent the day inside pottering around.

Thursday

It is so much cooler today (23.2°C) and after yesterday's heat, the first thing I did this morning was open up all the doors and windows to let in some cool air and just as quickly closed them as I realised what I thought was cloud cover was actually smoke from a fire to the north of us. I wasted a whole morning waiting for a visit from the real estate agent who we rent our house from for our quarterly house inspection, it wasn't until almost 11.30am that I realized I had gotten the day wrong, now I have to spend another morning at home tomorrow doing the same thing. The smoke had cleared by early afternoon so I went down to my vegetable garden to check on the plants and surprising things looked okay, a few of the bean plants were badly burnt and may not survive, but the tomatoes look good, the pumpkin and squash looked a bit sad but they soon perked up with a good watering.
Sadly I don't think they'll make it.

Friday 

After the house inspection was over, I made a trip into town to do some errands and to pick up some books from the library that I had reserved, this is what I'll be reading for the next two weeks or so. On the way home I dropped into the local hardware store to pick up some bits and bobs for the irrigation system in the front garden as it's not working as well as it could be and some areas are not being watered at all so I'm changing out the drippers for micro-sprinklers which will hopefully solve that problem. I had bought some sprinklers about one month ago and put them somewhere safe so safe in fact I haven't been able to find them again, I guess they will turn up sooner or later.

Saturday

I spent a couple of hours down in the vegetable garden today making sure that all the plants were watered and putting up some shade cloth ready for tomorrow as a high of 35°C is forecast, I must be getting old though as I got so hot I felt like I was about to self combust and the temperature when I checked was only 20°C. When I was younger I could and did spend all day out in the garden and it didn't bother me, but these days 2 - 3 hours seems to be my limit, I guess as long as the work gets done it doesn't really matter. While I was in the garden I sowed seed Early Extra Honey Sweet corn seeds, eighteen in all, I hope they germinate better than the last lot, I plant out the rockmelon seedlings, Hale's Best, and the Sugar Baby watermelon seedlings as well as some Genovese basil and some Lemon Gem marigold. After lunch, and after I had cooled down I went to Bunnings to pick up some tomato stakes and some fittings for the irrigation system in the vegetable garden that I forgot to buy yesterday and I'm hoping it will be finished on Wednesday I will be laying down pea straw as a mulch as soon as it's finished. Hopefully, with the irrigation system, mulch and shade cloth I can look forward to plenty of homegrown veggie goodness.  

Sunday

I spent some more time in the garden today tidying up and putting the remains of the brassicas in the compost heap, I've decided that I would like a small shredder as it would take less time for the big plants to break down in the compost bin if it was shredded first so that's on my wishlist for next year along with a new greenhouse. It didn't get as hot as it had been predicted, only reaching 30°C which I was grateful for.

My apologies for the different font colours I have no idea what's causing it or how to fix it.

I will be back next Sunday with another blog post, until then stay safe, Jan.