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.

31 October 2019

October in the Garden

October has been a  funny month weather-wise, it started out warm, then got cooler, then got warmer again so I packed away all my winter clothes and the following day the temperature dropped again and I was back in winter clothes. The last two weeks of the month have been almost identical temperature-wise, they started out warm and just got hotter with last Thursday's temperature reaching 39.1°C and today (Thursday) 39°C.

I spent a few hours out in the vegetable garden last week pulling out the brassicas and I also changed the layout because I realised with everything that I want to grow this summer there wouldn't have been enough room with the existing layout.

I removed the existing centre garden and widened the two garden beds, the bed on the left measures 7 metres x 1.9 metres, and the bed on the right measures 4.3 metres x 2.3 metres with a pathway running down the centre of the garden. I have five different types of pumpkin, two varieties of zucchini, as well as two varieties of squash that will be planted out in the bed on the left and I will also be planting sweet corn in this bed as well.

The bed on the right will be planted out with tomatoes, (which I have already planted out), carrots, lettuce, basil, beetroot, and I will be growing kujari melons, watermelon, rockmelon and cucumber on the cyclone fence that borders the vegetable garden.

Kestrel potatoes
 I harvested the potatoes this month and was happy with the number of potatoes I ended up with. It was my first year growing potatoes using the Ruth Stout method but because I was not as careful as I should have been in keeping them covered I lost about 1/3 of the crop because they went green. I will try this method again next year as it was so much easier than the traditional method of growing potatoes, and I will also be growing a lot more.

The beans are growing well despite the heat and although they are not very tall they have started flowering. I have been keeping the water up to them and covering them with 75% shade cloth on these really hot days and I'm hopeful of a really good harvest.

That's all for this month's garden update, I will be back at the end of November with another. Until then, take care. Jan.



14 October 2019

Sunday

I was so annoyed with myself this morning because I thought I had slept in, it wasn't until an hour later when I looked at the clock in the kitchen that I realised that daylight saving had started while I was sleeping. Can I just say, and I know that I'm in the minority here, that I hate daylight saving time, I always have! I realise that there aren't actually any more hours of daylight, but  I think it's so unnecessary in a country that already has so many hours of daylight during summer to artificially extend it. If they moved it to winter when we actually could use more I wouldn't have a problem with it.

It was another overcast, windy day today and so much cooler than yesterday, the BoM keeps predicting rain but so far there has not been a drop, it would be nice if they could get it right occasionally.

I took a walk to Aldi and Coles to pick up a few groceries (the stores don't open here until 11am on Sundays) and dropped into Bunnings for "a quick look" and I didn't get home until well after lunchtime, these came home with me.
Tomatoes Genuwine, Rouge de Marmande and Blue Berries, a purple capsicum and Fairy Tale eggplant.
I have sown seed for tomatoes and a few have germinated but not many and the ones that have germinated are growing at a snail's pace so I thought rather than wait until they're big enough to be planted I would get a head start with these. The eggplant and capsicum haven't germinated at all, I am going to sow more seeds but just in case they don't germinate either at least I will have these. The eggplant is only a small one but as I'm the only one who eats them it is a perfect size.

I did get the beans planted and I will take a photo once they are established and growing, I didn't manage however to get any more seeds sown.

While I was down in the garden I harvested the last of the sprouting broccoli, the rest is starting to flower so I will leave it for the bees until I need the space, a Purple Sicily cauliflower, my first time growing them and I will be growing them again next year.


I picked the one and only Violaceo di Verona cabbage, it's my first time growing cabbage and I'm not sure it was ready to be picked but the whitefly has arrived and I didn't want it to be ruined, as it was I found two Cabbage White butterfly caterpillar feasting on the inner leaves. 


In the basket along with the cauliflower and cabbage are some Golden Podded peas another first for me this year, some Sugar Snap peas, the first snowpea (Mammoth Melting) and a single broad bean. The asparagus is doing so well this year that I can barely keep up with them, not that I mind they are delicious.


Tomorrow is Labour Day holiday here in South Australia and at this point, I don't have any plans, some seed sowing maybe, we'll see. Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely day and if I do decide to do anything tomorrow I will be back with another post. Bye for now.

Edited: I actually wrote this last Sunday and for some reason, it didn't publish.



5 October 2019

A Busy Day

Yesterday I had one of the most frustrating and disheartening mornings that I've ever had, so much so that it left me feeling so bad that I didn't do any of the things I had planned to do, but today is another day and everything that didn't get done yesterday will be done today.

It's awful here today, looking out of the window you would think it was going to rain any second, but step outside and it's hot, dry and windy.

I've sorted through my winter clothing and stored them away, anything that didn't get worn over winter has been set aside and will be donated. I also sorted through all my summer clothes, I have more tops than I thought I had but I do need more bottoms (skirts and 3/4 pants) and I would like a few more dresses to wear on those really hot summer days.

The bathroom has been cleaned, a task I don't like but one that is a necessity. Curtains have been rehung after being washed yesterday (one of the few things that did get done yesterday), I did a load of towels, hung them out and folded more clothes.

This afternoon I watered all of the pot plants inside and outside and got half of the front garden watered, the other half will have to wait until tomorrow which will be much cooler than today and I will be spending most of it in the garden planting out the rest of the bean seedling and sowing seeds for pumpkins, melons, and cucumbers.


I hope you all had a lovely day, I will be back tomorrow with another post.