Friday, 25 August 2017

It's really bugging me!

During the week I inspected by Tropical Beauty apple tree to find it infested with tiny green beetles. 

I checked out this book to see if I could discover what type of infestation  I was dealing with. From my reading I at first thought it could be the Apple Dimpling Bug. However, when I checked the internet it became apparent that I could be dealing with a different critter, as the beetle I am dealing with doesn't look like the Apple Dimpling Bug. 

After several hours spent researching on the internet looking at image after image of beetles I still cannot identify what I have on my tree. 

They are about 5 mm (0.19 in) in length and are an iridescent green and gold  colour. They are all over the apple blossom and don't appear to be interested in the leaves.

 Because I cannot identify what it is I don't know what to do about the infestation. I decided to shake them off into this jar. A short while later one of the local kookaburras came down and perched next to the jar in order to have a good look at the beetles. 

If anyone has any ideas as to what beetles might be, please do share. 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

An abundant life

The abundant life does not come to those who have had a lot of obstacles removed from their path by others. It develops from within and is rooted in strong mental and moral fiber.
~ William Mather Lewis

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

A big day for Moxie!

"Happiness is a warm puppy."
 ~ Charles M. Schulz

Moxie has grown a lot since this photo was taken.

Moxie and Banjo turn six months old this week. 

They still like napping in their crate but they take up much more room now.
They also have a dog house inside their crate which keeps them warm
in winter.

This means we need to have them desexed. 

Moxie ready to pounce on Banjo as he runs past.

Moxie is first, and she had her operation yesterday. She is now getting round with a plastic cone on her head to stop her biting her stitches. 

Friday, 18 August 2017

A Shed of One's Own

"A woman must have money and a room of one's own if she is to write fiction." Virginia Wolf

And if a woman is going to garden then she needs a shed of her own. I do have a shed of my own. I thought I would share some photos.

The steel bench in the background has been moved outside
and is now my potting bench.

I am very grateful to have my own garden storage space. It helps keep me organised. 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017


“Procrastination is like a credit card: It’s a lot of 
fun until you get the bill.”  

~Christopher Parker

Monday, 14 August 2017

Modern Living

"Modern life has bought much that is complex, but a well-organised home with right ideals will be run so as to plan the spending of the family income to best advantage of all and to consider the spiritual as well as the material needs of the family." 

Do you too, believe that modern life has bought  much that is complex?  Would it surprise you to know that this quote is from a book published in 1913?  Shelter and Clothing: A textbook of the Household Arts by Helen Kinne and Anna Maria Cooley, was written for high school girls. The authors of the book went on to write that simplicity of living adds to the freedom and independence of a family. This freedom and independence is due in part to avoiding the trap of keeping up with the Joneses. 

In our modern times we have even more 'things' that can rob us of our freedom and independence. Some are inexpensive but add up over time, for example a daily take away coffee. It has been said that we can nickel and dime our way to poverty. That is because small unnecessary expenditures can have a big impact on our annual budgets. Other things such as overseas holidays and new cars can be very expensive  - too expensive if they are things we cannot afford. 

Take away coffees, unnecessary new clothes, overseas holidays and new cars are not bad things in themselves. If however they are not affordable then they can add much to the complexity of our lives. 

My aim is to simplify my life.  To live within my means. Simple, healthy food. Simple, old fashioned entertainment and pastimes. Simple hospitality. 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

A House Built By Wisdom

A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables. Prov 24:3-4 NLT

I have gained much knowledge  in the subject of building up my home over the last few years. Much of this has been thanks to other bloggers. I would just like to say how grateful I am for your help. Thank-you. It has been great being able to spend time with a community of like-minded individuals. 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

In The Dark

But even in the darkest situations the human spirit flutters, sings, and sometimes soars. Something in us keeps us focused on a brighter day and a better situation. 
~ Thomas Moore

And thank goodness for the human spirit within each one of us that keeps us going. I have been through dark times when my spirit has still managed to sing for short periods. This has given me hope and encouragement. Usually the uplifting of my spirit has come about by focusing on something other than myself and my worries. The deep blue of the sky. A gentle breeze. The sparkle of the ocean. Even a good movie where someone has managed to overcome adversity in their own lives has uplifted my spirit.

I hope that you too have things in your life that can make your spirit flutter, sing or soar. Why not create a list of these things so that when those dark hours weigh you down you can look to your list and do something that will help lift your feelings?

Monday, 7 August 2017

Finding Happiness

"The world is full of happiness, and plenty to go round, 
if you are only willing to take the kind that comes your way." ~ Jean Webster

The quote above is from a 1912 novel  "Daddy Long Legs". This quote reminds me that happiness is there for me if I am willing to open my eyes and see it. To make the effort to turn my attention away from the negative to the positive. 

I have found plenty of happiness during the last week in my garden. We have now entered our official dry season. The soil is parched and I have been spending extra time  watering plants. However last night we received about 15 mm of rain, so now the grass will green up and the plants will not require extra watering for the time being.  

I have been doing some work at my potting bench. Don set up a potting
area for me a couple of months back. 

I bought a punnet of petunias during the week, as I needed to fill in a couple of gaps in two pots. I planted the rest of the petunias into the garden. Unfortunately Moxie got away with one of the seedlings while I was filling my watering can. I think she may have chewed it up because I could not find it anywhere in the garden. 

I did a little pruning during the past week and potted up some of the prunings as cuttings. 

I removed the spent pansy and planted a petunia into this pot
with the pink phlox.

Also, our water tanks are running low and if we don't have good soaking rain soon we will have to order water in. This will be a first for us.  Don has pointed out to me that the water truck may have problems coming down our driveway due to some high branches from trees creating an obstruction. This meant that we needed to buy a petrol pole saw in order to trim these branches. So we went into town during the week and found a pole saw that met Don's requirements. 

I had my six monthly appointment with my oncologist last week. I have been in remission for three years so  that means I only need to see my oncologist every 12 months from now on instead of every six months. 

Moxie feigning innocence.

Do you remember how I wrote a couple of weeks ago that we had spaghetti bolognese on our weekly menu? Well we didn't have it that week but I made it over the weekend. So here is what our current week's menu looks like

Saturday: Spaghetti  bolognese
Sunday: Leftovers
Monday: Creamy chicken casserole - this is to use up the extra bacon I defrosted when I made the spaghetti dish.
Tuesday: Leftover casserole
Wednesday: Tuna Noodle Casserole - this dish is on the menu to use up vegetables I have on hand; specifically celery, capsicum, carrot and zucchini
Thursday: Leftover casserole
Friday: Toasties - we nearly always have toasted sandwiches on Friday nights.

I had planned to make Fruit Crunchies for our morning teas this week. However on checking the fridge I see that I have peanut butter I need to use up so I will be baking Peanut Butter Slice instead.

I found this under the tarp covering my compost pile a couple of weeks back.

This week I am hoping to:

  •  Start work on a new compost pile, I have mentioned this before but I have not started as yet  
  • Do a little work on my new garden patch
  • Make some progress on the scarf I am knitting
  • Visit a recently opened discount supermarket in a nearby regional city. 
I hope you have a peaceful and prosperous week. 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Slow Progress

"Frustration with work can take many forms. One complaint I frequently hear is the feeling of getting nowhere. ~ Thomas Moore

There is always mowing to be done. Though the fields are not as
green currently as they were in this shot.

Most of us at times experience the feeling we are not getting anywhere. That our progress is too slow or non-existent. Last week I have made some progress. Not much. Many would see it as very little. However I am content.  I am moving in the right direction. I know that life is not made entirely by big dramatic steps and experiences - though I have lived through my share of those too. Life can be built or changed through a series of small steps. One building upon another.

Last  week I shared my menu plan with you. Did we in our household adhere to that menu plan? For the most part we did, though we had more leftovers than I planned for  and so can carry an extra meal over to this week. This saves us both time and money. Also there was one day when I forgot to defrost any meat. That evening we improvised by making curried eggs and rice for dinner. I also like to have tinned Tuna on hand for those occasions when I forget to defrost meat.

 Not having to make dinner every night from scratch gave me some extra time so I used some of that time to bake a chocolate slice. This is good for us because we have buying more ready-made biscuits and cakes of late.  So I was able to reap a reward in both saving money, creativity and also gain the satisfaction that comes from producing one's own needs.

In the garden I have transplanted some volunteer lettuce. I have sown seeds into my seed raising tray. The seeds sown were cherry tomatoes, tri-colour zucchini, russell lupins, spaghetti squash, flanders poppy (these were old seeds so may not be viable), sugarlump tomatoes, and comfrey. This week I started preparing another new vegetable patch. It is just a small section of garden running between two already laid out round gardens. I cut through the lawn using a garden spade and lifted it out. Then I forked over the area, added some gypsum and then some ashes and charcoal. Later on I will add some garden soil, compost and mulch. But that may not happen til next week.

A good area for a picnic lunch

During the week we had a lovely picnic lunch at the riverside parkland near the boat moorings. Our nearest shop is a few kilometres away and the river parkland is a street back from the shop. So because we had to go to the shop for milk and bait we decided to take advantage of the short trip by packing sandwiches and a flask of coffee. A simple and inexpensive pleasure. It is a quiet and peaceful spot. The only noise came from the birds, the lapping of the water, the on and off barking of a dog and the occasional boat coming in off the river via the nearby boat ramp. While we were there we met a new local who had just moved to the area. He was out walking with his father and their dog. Because we all had the time we chatted for a while. Another simple pleasure. We often meet other locals this way.

Thieves of Joy

"There are two thieves 
that frequently 
rob us
 of today's joy, happiness and peace - 
past hurts and future fears." 
~ Joseph Wolpert

This quote is such a good reminder for me to live in daytight compartments. I don't know if you are anything like me but I have let past hurts and future fears rob me of many hours of happiness.
I have written the following before but I think it bears repeating.

Sufficient to today is the goodness thereof.  I am fully equipped to get through today. More than that if I stop to think I can find many things to be grateful for. I stay in that moment experiencing the gratitude for the bounty I have. I give thanks for it. All is well in my world.