Saturday, October 31, 2009

Simple Living & Tuna Casseroles

It is not so simple finding an old-fashioned tuna casserole recipe. My usual place to find recipes doesn't quite cut it for tuna casserole. No sorry, Taste site, that and unusual ingredients is my only complaint.

I have two old-fashioned recipes, apart from our favourite, but I saw them not so long ago, then forgot where. So today I got out an old, perhaps early 80s PWMU cookbook and there were two nice sounding ones there that don't use cheese. One had white sauce, curry and potatoes instead of pasta. So that is what we had. It was very nice. A little like shepherd's pie.

Never Enough Thyme

Life As I See It

Well I am two posts down for Octoberfest on this blog. The other one, I felt like I hadn't posted, like on Friday for example, but overall for the month I think I posted 37 times, so that qualifies I think.

That means it is Halloween here now. Allens lollies were on special so we got 5 bags for $10. Meant to get some lollies at The Warehouse, but something was lost in our conversation and we both forgot. My husband went to the regional centre all day on Thursday. This morning he tried to find out why my car doesn't get fresh air through it like his does. Yes, I suppose we have his and hers cars. This morning, he actually started it last night, the bonnet was off etc. etc. and there it remains a mystery. Yes, my airconditioning is still not working, it is over a year now. I have to figure out if I can afford to drive down there and get it fixed. When it is an indeterminate (a word?) amount, it makes it difficult.

My son lives in the city and his tip for the lollies was the Asian stores. He says they were cheap. He got a pumpkin, and just at meal time tonight I said I could have dug out my pumpkin lights as we had some Halloween visitors, our first ever I think, and they would have appreciated them. Last year they were not found, and now everyone thinks they would be in my cupboard, which are my thoughts exactly!

What did I really want to write about? We got our first Chrisco box on Thursday! It was due on the 5th. It was a whole box of plastic wear for the kitchen. It is for our second son for when he goes to university or out on his own. He liked them, and wasn't going to part with them. Sometime after my grocery shopping day (every fortnight) 6 days later I'm getting Hamper King. Our trailer still doesn't have new tyres, so by some feat of organisation (very difficult at the moment) we hope to borrow a trailer, and you guessed it! We are back tracking and bringing the freezer here. My husband still hopes to move though when some painting and weeding gets finished. I'm still scared of snakes.

We are getting sausages, fish and pies and some icecreams. I was hoping it would cheer us up.

The scents around the garden have been lovely. I haven't always identified the source. Such a change when it was so wintery, perhaps even a week or less ago. My daughter had her sports day on Friday and it was quite hot. Luckily not quite too hot. Then she got to go to craft at the Uniting Church. A lady talked to me so nicely, and I didn't even know her. I have been in this town 6 years but had no idea. Luckily I could ask my daughter later because they do know everybody.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Eating the Right Sized Meals

This is a question I probably don't want answered. But it is a topic on one of my favourite show, Supersize vs Superskinny. I also watch Janella hoping her soup recipe will turn up again, the one with seaweed in it. The newer shows on each night at 6.30 of Good Chef Bad Chef are very watchable.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Sunflowers next to bales of hay

The writing prompt this week at A thousand words... and then some is Harvest.

At the moment where I live, people are starting to harvest their grass. I am not sure which are hay, and then covered, which are covered silage, and some are uncovered round bales. Last year I heard they made a lot of money. Also last year watering was involved. Yes, perhaps a shock to some, I think it is to me too. Anyway, maybe that comes later in the year.

However thinking about it more, harvest to me, the child in me, is harvesting grapes, tobacco, I have had lots of experiences with harvesting.

Around this place (which I have limited experience) the semi trailers drive into the large paddocks to collect the bales.

At home on the farm of my childhood it was the oldfashioned bales with two strings on them. The ones we loaded on the trailer on my weekends, and set off in the frost in the back of the "ute" actually it wasn't, not sure what it was actually called. Morning tea was always offered at the end of these big feed outs. My hosts driving the "ute" my Dad and my uncle, and my cousin came along too when we were sitting in the back. The trick was to stay out of the wind.

My grape picking was with my Nana. My reward for that her wholemeal sandwiches, nice bread, and nice butter. I think maybe on that occasion I had one of my favourite sandwiches at her house, invented by my uncles, raisins (large sticky ones) with honey and chopped walnuts.

Tobacco was my joy. The children, and there were a few from the share farmers and our family, were used in a chain gang to reach the outer tobacco kiln. Our reward black hands and a feed of watermelon. I particularly liked the ride home from the paddock (same trailer?) with the hessian wrapped tobacco and the watermelons in their own section!

Another joy was seeing my other uncle's maize bin. What did he use the maize for? I think for "free" chook food.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Good Report

I found this at Pardon my Chaos who found it at the GOOD REPORT. It is late at night here, so I have lost track of which day is best to post my Good Report.

1. My daughter planted some cucumbers, tomatoes & capsicums.

2. I may watch Jamie Oliver's American Roadtrip. I was going to post a video but there are no suitable ones available that I can find. I hope I don't mind watching the show, it is on Monday on Ten.

3. It wasn't too hot and dry to do our gardening today.

4. Our jerusalem artichokes are not dead, they are growing quite well.

5. I think everyone is going to school tomorrow, it will be nice as I had one home for three days last week, and it was hectic with two big shopping days

6. I found a purple grannies bonnet that came up by itself in my wheelbarrow. I was looking at the different shades of pink and lilac ones we have last week. Now I have purple. It could have been a seed years old that came from my Mum's house, or just possibly blew in? I don't remember.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Are Black & Gold and other brands really cheaper?

Boiled Egg with Lime, Salt, Pepper & Vietnamese Coriander

The last couple of times my husband went to the shop to finalise some details on our fortnightly spending, actually one was our afternoon tea, pre shopping day I think, we have a couple of days overlap. He found the biscuits I think, Arnotts cheaper than the cheap ones, and today the Saxa salt was cheaper than the Black & Gold.

So here is the question? If you buy some or all your things plain label, do you check the price or just throw it in the trolley? Do you think they were just hurrying up the older stock because it was a smaller shop than say Coles? Or do you think you just have to be on your toes, as they are getting quite a few cents more out of you if you don't check the price.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Teenage Girls Resting Feet at First Formal Dance at the Naval Armory

What an apt title in some ways. Today was my son's last day of school before the exams. They decided to stay up all night instead, then go to the breakfast at school. My son got home at 4.30. No it didn't look like he had been drinking really. He was able to stay awake and go shopping with me after this breakfast thing. We took advantage of the fact his sister was home except for when she had to go to the hospital and have a bandage dressed.

So I drove to the regional centre, got there feeling like I needed a coffee, but no where near as bad as last time. I had woken each hour to see if he was home and must have given up at some point. We were able to get a formal outfit for him and his sister, plus shoes for him. The formal wear is for the high school graduation. His sister needs possibly shoes at a later date. The other sister has a dress that she made herself. That is good because the race wear, that is formal and in the shops at the moment has dresses at $250? My daughter tried on a yellow dress in kids size that she liked but was too long. I saw a yellow dress in a boutique window shorter and less than half the price of the other ones. Very pretty, but she thinks the thick fabric is a bit nana, and hopes to find a cover up for the front. It has a fabric flower on the front.

In our country there is an ad for Vinnies (op-shop) that says to shop there and outfit yourself for the races for $50. Sign of the times?

We also have needed a sandwich or toastie maker for a long time, and got a spongebob one. I find it hard with him smiling up at me, had to try one out though.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Menu at Last!

Various Types of Cabbage in a Strainer

Thursday ~ Spaghetti Bolognaise
Friday ~ Mexican Mince
Saturday ~ Pork Mince (Pork Stroganoff)
Sunday ~ (Prosciutto) Lentil & Cannellini Bean Soup
Monday ~ Red Curry Beef & Bok Choy Stir Fry (Mince)
Tuesday ~ Chinese Cabbage & Lamb Stir Fry (Mince)
Wednesday ~ Tuna with mixed bean salad with lemon dressing
Thursday ~ Pork Sausages (Stir Fry Sausages)
Friday ~ Chickpeas with Chorizo & Silverbeet
Saturday ~ Simple Pork Pies with mashed potato (Pork Sausages)
Sunday ~ Zucchini, Tomato & Chilli Rigatoni
Monday ~ Mee Goreng

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Simple Justice

Today I was watching a program on TV called Border Security. There was a man being filmed who came from Canada I think. He was questioning being body searched I think because he said he didn't have any drugs on himself. In the end they were going to get a Justice of the Peace to talk to him, because he was doing it for the principle of the thing. After watching it I was wonder really, how many people would do that. I don't think too many. Before I thought maybe some would. I have that tendency myself, so if no one really does it, yikes.

Does justice have anything to do with simple living? The blog Voluntary Simplicity and Social Justice has made that connection.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Here's Where I Am Up To

Making : blog bundles to share (haven't quite finished them)
Cooking :
pies, peas & potatoes, hopefully
Drinking :
hopefully a cup of tea
re-reading Tender Grace by Jackina Stark and her discussion questions and blog
another book to read
ahead to buying some things at the real shops
just sitting on the lawn with my daughter
time sitting under the tree at school waiting for the bus instead of reading the notice
nothing at the moment
for a part time job for our second son
A Golden Gaytime
For hubby to come home from the shop
sitting on the grass in the garden
if my husband will have the chance to get his hair cut
the sound of birds outside all the time, so special
Hoping: for good results on my son's VCE results
at being able to dry things on the line after a puppy and a foggy winter
to go grocery shopping, plan my menu and pay some bills
unfortunately fumes in my car after taking the mower and petrol in it
a black t-shirt & jeans
it is very hard to read my reader at such a slow speed, but I tried
how the bluebells are finished and there is a first rose on the arch (Renae)
Christmas is coming, vaguely
about planning some more things, like a trip to the dentist
nicer after being in the garden and down the street
I don't bookmark
Opening: my icecream
Giggling: maybe about the animals that my daughter saw today at the sanctuary
Feeling: Tired

From here

Monday, October 19, 2009

Locktober, Remember Me As, Embracing the Seasons

Kuala Lumpur by my daughter in early October

Locktober, Remember Me As, and Embracing the Seasons. These are all the writing prompts I found for today, that aren't memes as such.

Embracing the seasons was the topic of a novel I think I finished last night. It is called Tender Grace by Jackina Stark. It is her first novel. It is about a 50ish woman who lost her husband to a heart attack. She has her house paid for, her two children, a boy and a girl are grown up. She has two grandchildren. She watches 10 hours of TV a day. She feels dead but alive, I think but don't quote me.

I like the way it was written, as a journal on her computer. She was easy to relate to, except maybe to Australians the scenes that involve yukky stuff may not appeal. It makes her not so middle class in some ways.

Basically the woman learned to see the tender graces as she called them of each day.

Break, break, break
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me. ~ Tennyson

She went on a roadtrip and basically got some perspective on her memories I think. And gave herself an opportunity to see people that she wouldn't have had in front of the TV.

Today as I wait for the big event of my second son perhaps leaving home. Loose ends tying up so we can get stuck into renovating again, and the weather going to warmer like it is supposed to, I find that I was doing nothing. The internet was too slow to upload some photos of my daughter's trip to show everyone. I ended up having a little sleep while the children were quite happy, settled they were. I think they liked the clean lounge, the lovely weather and one daughter knew her foot would not allow her to run around too much. My elder daughter seemed quite content and settled after her trip. After I phoned her Dad about why she wasn't in her afterschool cooking class that is.

Then I looked so uninterested, really I was too tired to wait for pages to load, so the sleep must have helped, my husband suggested I watch TV. Not sure why the couch was vacant then, asked where everyone was. The fact that the lawn was nicely mowed probably made it look inviting. I watched The Good Chef and the Bad Chef. They cooked southern fried chicken and a sweet potato and pecan pie to show us how things are done in the US. I noticed that Gary used mixed spice, probably because he knows we can't buy pie spice?

Then a nice salad for tea/dinner. I wonder when we had a salad last? My husband changed around nearly everything in the tuna salad. But it was good and he wrote out the recipe.

So here I am still shocked that I had a nightmare last night, and one of my daughters had a possibly fatal accident with a hair straightener. It gave her a zap, she moved her hand and it shorted out. Is that a tender grace or what? I can't even bear to think about it. I have always had circuit breakers, the electrician on this job didn't come back. We were meant to be moved into our newer house that has circuit breakers. May buy some plug in ones soon.

I enjoyed putting the fan on in my room today. Anyway that was probably a good reason to be not so "up" today. But I find it hard, Facebook is challenging to me. I put a picture of my daughter on it, with nice hair. Others didn't think so, and she does miss her hair straightener, the one I didn't want her to have. When walking around the zoo I thought she looked nice, that she goes to the trouble to look nice.

How do I want to be remembered? I think I do things for myself, to my own standards as much as is possible, because everyone seems to live their life to their own style and they may not like anything I do, even if it is at a good standard. They may not care for them. Hopefully it will be a benefit to someone and they will be pleased. At the moment working out what a person my age is supposed to do when it is no longer necessary to copy what our parents did is challenging. Simple living with a twist? I thought so, but maybe simple living is still fashionable and it is OK for me to do not so much in this season of my life, and I am glad my husband told me to just chill and watch TV, I enjoyed it. And the book is good, I can recommend it, it follows along with the part of the bible called John. I tend to be a little lost after such a big weekend as we had last week and the catching up this weekend. Now back to normality if it is possible with the end of the school year going on. I was pleased with the little debriefing email from the teacher that took the kids to Kuala Lumpur, that helped. Sort of restating the positives of their trip, and I guess our effort.

John 1:16 "From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Melbourne Zoological Gardens ~ for Stalktober

We took these photos last Saturday. It is simple living, but perhaps not cheap.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Well there are no boats in my photos this month. But I do have this photo of the Tarrawingee cemetary, which reminds me of the Docker family, Docker the place and Oxley Plains and a vague memory of Dockers Plains.

I got all excited as google turned up a lady with the same name as one of my ancestors who lived in Dockers Plains and had made a very interesting quilt. It was made from blue bags. What are blue bags? It seems like they are things that bluing was wrapped in. Is that possible? Blue was added to the laundry in those days. Here it is in the National Quilt Register.

"DOCKER, JOSEPH (1793-1865), Church of England clergyman and settler, was born at Newby Head, Westmorland, England, the youngest son of William Docker and his wife Jane, née Betham. He was educated at Appleby Grammar School in Westmorland and at Oxford, was ordained deacon in 1817 and priest in 1818 by the bishop of Carlisle, and appointed curate at North Meols, Lancashire. In September 1823 he became assistant curate to his brother William, who held a living in Southport, Lancashire. He married Sarah Bristow of Liverpool and in 1828 sailed with her for Sydney. Their first child, Mary Jane, was born on the voyage. They arrived in November 1828, and next June Joseph Docker became rector of St Matthew's Church, Windsor.

He resigned in March 1833 and bought Clifton, an estate near Windsor, which he farmed for four years. Encouraged by accounts of Major (Sir) Thomas Mitchell's explorations, he decided to move to the Port Phillip District and take up a run. In February 1838 he set out with his wife, five children, servants, a flock of sheep, some cattle and a boat. The party travelled in covered bullock-wagons and carts through Goulburn and Yass, and crossed the Murray at the Crossing-Place (Albury). In September 1838 he arrived at the Ovens River where he heard of a hut and a run on plains called Bontharambo by the Aboriginals. The run had been deserted by George Faithful, whose shepherds had been murdered by Aboriginals. Docker took possession of the hut and obtained the squatting rights. His kind and understanding attitude to the Aboriginals was rewarded by their friendship and help, and for many years they held corroborees on the island in the lagoon not far from the house. Depression and drought in 1842 did not affect Bontharambo as severely as they did some other stations in the district. By 1844 a larger slab house with bark roof was built to provide more comfort for Docker's growing family. He prospered and within a few years began building a large stone mansion; 400 tons of granite, carted from Beechworth by bullock-wagon, were used in the foundations. By that time he had ten children.

In 1851 he visited England with his wife. Bontharambo remained in the possession of the Docker family and became famous for its stud of Aberdeen Angus cattle. The house has been preserved in almost its original state, but the pioneer's vineyard, orangery and other features have disappeared. He died on 10 April 1865, survived by six of his eleven children.

Joseph Docker was a man of wide education, a classical scholar, an enterprising and successful farmer and pastoralist, well known in the Wangaratta district as a just and kindly man and a respected pioneer." ~ From the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

To me the house was beautiful, and hard to see from the road. I always wanted to go visit it. Isn't Bontharambo a beautiful name. I read a book about it once, not sure what it was called. Maybe A Saddle At Bontharambo?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Always, Never, Sometimes...

Got this idea from her heart my hands who got it from Blinking Flights, Who got it from Good-ness who got it from Elise Blaha....

Video games...24/7...I can always sleep in school

Lol. Too true.

Hopefully this is about real life everyday things that simple living is made up of.

I always:

* finish my cup of tea
* use my indicator on the car & stop at stop signs
* use old towels for rags

I sometimes:

* watch Ready Steady Cook
* sleep in (not saying I wake up with the birds, though around here sometimes it is necessary)
* put out snail bait, though that could be a good thing, especially when we have lizards and stuff around
* clean my reading glasses
* use up everything in the fridge, it used to be everything, now sometimes I don't use up all the spinach, yoghurt, and zucchinis

I never:

* play video games
* use my parker lights on the car
* sunbake (I should do that in the inbetween seasons, full clothed in a chair)
* put my meat out to defrost

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Can you live a simple life without manners?

Back in the 50s and 60s when simple living was at its best perhaps, the wheels of life were greased with manners. What would happen if a simple life was lived without them? Is it possible or are the two interwoven together? Going back even further a quote from The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder would fit here.

Clothes Hung Out To Dry At The Prairie Homestead

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bright Eyes

I was reading a blog this morning named Simple Journeys and they mentioned the song Bright Eyes. Was a bit lost on Youtube, apparently it was used in the movie Watership Down. I had heard of it, but it turns out to be about rabbits and the destruction of their warren!

Anyway, in Australia people can relate to destruction of warrens. But it kept lots of Aussies alive during the Depression, eating them. The US had other options, but for lots of Aussies rabbits were the way to go.

Have you heard of Watership Down? Do you love the song Bright Eyes?

Monday, October 12, 2009


This is my little girl at the zoo on Saturday. They loved the exhibits, her and her older sister who is 12. We used to go to the zoo regularly in Melbourne. We lived three hours from it previously. Since moving here nearly 6 years ago we have only managed to go to the Wagga Wagga zoo, and because my little girl hadn't been to a zoo, we took her to the Canberra zoo early last year I think. I had seen the new plantings and car park, was totally surprised at how things look now. Nothing has been radically rearranged, I still knew where I was, but wow. The section we were in had lots of Indonesian signs I think. It was the section with the elephants, pelicans and the butterflies. The butterfly house now has a gorgeous mosiac entrance to appeal to all those fairy loving girls out there and I suspect a few ladies. The kiosk was made to look Asian. Boy, the elephant handling section is a cross between a dairy and a jail. A bit scarey. But lovely statues and places to sit, it is like being in colonial India even in places. There is also an Asian vege garden, it is all too gorgeous. Old-fashioned. Some things in the buildings look like they have come out of people's sheds, but I still think it was all well done! My only complaint is that I didn't have much time in the Japanese garden as there was a wedding in the beautiful weather we had, then photos. There was a lot to learn in there about plantings for the home garden.

We felt the kids really needed to go to the zoo. My older girl was disappointed we didn't have more time there. They got a great zoo show bag for $20 that was worth more I thought. My little girl took the beautiful stuffed toy from the bag to school today. It is nice to have something to show the other kids who often go places and have things to write about. My little girl wants to extend her writing to be longer as another girl writes seemingly reams. I loved all the water features at the zoo.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Flying Visit to the Zoo

We made it to the zoo, I wanted to be there before the carosel closed, but didn't think we would make it. We are getting slower. Our daughter's would have loved a longer visit. They got a zoo show bag, and enjoyed what they did see.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I will be walking at the zoo when I am supposed to be posting for Octoberfest. So I will have to post some pics later!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Freezer Free

Freshly Washed Broccoli Florets in Sieve

This morning I woke up thinking that I could only put 2 meats in the freezer at the other house as we won't have the opportunity to visit, and could only buy one meat to take home here to the fridge, based on the idea they would only last 3 or 4 days at the most in the fridge. I had already bought prosciutto so my days were cut down from that as well. Anyway, I found some chicken sausages with a long lead time and other things. May have to go to the local butcher and get some more nice sausages.

Thursday ~ Macaroni Cheese Prosciutto
Friday ~ Prosciutto (Lentil & Cannelini Bean Soup)
Saturday ~ Mince & Cabbage Stir Fry
Sunday ~ Chicken Sausage & Red Lentil Soup
Monday ~ Tuna Casserole
Tuesday ~ Beef & Chorizo Nachos (Fruit & Vege order comes)
Wednesday ~ Penne with Salmon & Broccoli
Thursday ~ Chorizo Impossible Quiche
Friday ~ Tuna & Cherry Tomato Spaghetti
Saturday ~ Pumpkin & Pancetta Risotto
Sunday ~ Pies, Potatoes
Monday ~ Italian or other sausages

I filled in the chorizo recipes etc. but have less money than I thought. So now we are having left over curry one night and Minestrone Soup with Chorizo from the pantry etc. I need to work out two more recipes from the pantry.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dancing in Indonesia

Although my daughter is visiting Malaysia it is to learn about Indonesian customs. She is learning this dance. It seems similar to Hawaiian dancing. What do you think? How do you think dancing fits with simple living? I know when I was growing up dancing was a big part of everyone's social life.

If you are worried as I was about this, there are other poco poco videos like these four.

Poco Poco in Tokyo

Modest Dressed ladies not that the others aren't


Having fun with friends

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It's Been Snowing

These hills outside our house this morning had snow on them. It is very fresh outside still. Other news today is that the new Vegemite is called Cheesybite.

The Good Report

I found this at Pardon my Chaos who found it at the GOOD REPORT.

I have not been able to keep up to my Thankful Thursday's lately, maybe there have been too many things going on having school holidays and trips etc. etc. We had sewerage mains put in at our new house and lots of things happening. However little things crop up that have been nice.

1. Not sure how long ago I heard it now, but at 11pm for a few nights I heard the mopoke owl again. We have even figured out which tree he lives in (pictured).

2. Last time we came back from our new house we had to slow down for a family of ducks that were crossing the road, yes, seriously. It was in the same place that the plover and her baby came out of the grass, or nearby.

3. It is dreamy and flowery outside.

4. I was able to see my daughter overseas via Facebook

5. Blogtoberfest

6. Having money for the times when we need it

7. My daughter has a mild case of chickenpox, and would have had a bad case if she didn't have her injection

8. My husband being willing to sew up my daughter's skirt, she is enjoying wearing it to school.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Today I thought I would talk about my sixteen year old daughter. She is currently overseas in SE Asia on a language study tour. Today will be her second day at school there and she returns before school starts next week at her school in Australia.

Yesterday by the magic of Facebook her sister called out to me that her sister had bought her three bottles of nail polish. She couldn't get the blue they had seen in a shop last shopping day when we went to the regional centre. Then she mentioned to me she had a photo of her. She was sitting with her host family who look lovely in a restaurant looking just like herself lol. The last picture I saw of her was a picture my husband took on the weekend at the airport with the group of kids that went with her. Apparently apart from a girl she has been emailing who lives in the same area as us, but an hour down the road (an hour is nothing here) a boy came up and started talking non stop about Pokemon, which my daughter is fluent in lol. She also looked like she had bought herself a new t-shirt!

I thought I would show you the dress she made recently at school. It is the first needlework classes she has had I think. Very ambitious, my Mum top stitched the zip and did the hem that was already pinned up. She was to finish it at lunchtimes but was unsure about something. She was only allowed to sew for half a year and had to wait until Year 10 to do it.

I went with her to our shop to choose the material, pattern, etc. I am not sure they sell patterns here anymore. Here is the pattern.

Monday, October 5, 2009


This photo was taken by my son and his girlfriend during the last week or so of September I think. It is a black swan and cygnets. He tells me it was still part of Floriade from memory.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Wok-Man, Chinese Chef

Today's suggested theme for Blogtoberfest is Woktober, or stirfries.

Traditional stirfries don't feature that much here, off the top of my head. I'll have to think about that though. Firstly, strips costs more than other meats. I don't buy chicken much because I am worried the antibiotics will make it possible antibiotics won't work when we need them, real or imagined. The strips are hard for me to bite into as one relieving dentist caused my overbite to be worse and but didn't give it a second thought.

So one day I found something cheap and very delicious despite original misgivings. It comes from the ABC site.

Sausage Stir Fry

You need:
500g thin sausages
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon finely grated green ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup sliced cauli florets
1 cup sliced broccoli florets
4 shallots, cut in 5cm lengths
1 red or green capsicum cut into strips
Stock (optional)

Fry sausages in oil until lightly brown all over, remove from pan and cut into diagonal slices. If desired, return sausages to pan to brown and crip cut sides. Remove from pan and keep covered. Fry ginger and garlic for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Add cauliflower and broccoli and stir fry until almost tender.

Recently I tried Beef & Cabbage Stir-fry. It is cheap as well as it is made from mince. The feature is the addition of those Chinese fried noodles. I first tried them in the Wombuk salad on the packet that I found on an Aussie blog, The Old Dairy. I got excited when I found a different packet of Asian ones in cakes.

I do buy pork mince a lot. One of our favourite stirfries is Pork Mince with Brussels Sprouts. I love the Chang's recipes on that site, well the pork recipes.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Family Life

I was watching Austar during the last few days and came across the ads for the new shows starting up. One was about the family unit. Not sure I like it, but it looked interesting. It is called The Family.

Since I am posting on this blog every day this month for Blogtoberfest, and the theme if desired today is clocks, I will start there today.

I woke at 3.30 this morning. I was expecting the alarm to go off at some point. My daughter and my husband were to leave home at 5.30 to be at the airport about 11 to have lunch and be in time for 12 when the others turned up. The alarm worked fine, then woke me to say goodbye. I finally woke at 9.30, the fire had already been stoked for me which is just as well, and I had one hour before I had to take our youngest daughter who is 7 to a double birthday party.

At the airport, the other early bird was a girl who lives an hour down the road from us on the way to the airport. Her parent(s) couldn't sleep and decided they may as well drive. My husband made very good time, he may be home before tea, or around 7. We have been having tea later and later, and I don't suppose it will improve with daylight saving tonight. I think they may as well have permanent daylight saving rather than keep cribbing weeks off each end, a little this year a little the next, you know. It makes it really hard where I live, sort of a slow death by tiredness. Maybe I will just have to buy an evaporative airconditioner to make summer a time to recoop from the early rising springtime. Just glad I don't have babies anymore. It used to be quite hard, don't think I would have survived the change in daylight savings then. Anyway I have forgotten what I didn't like about it particularly these days as winter has the habit of making you forget summer. I just know originally at the date it was every year it was a nice family time when it changed back, this was going back before it was first moved for Moomba.

As I write this my daughter is going on her first international flight. I hope the warmer temperatures help her cold and that the jetlag (if you get it for a shorter flight) doesn't make her feel awful with the cold. My husband has a 5 1/2 hour drive home, but I think it only took 5 hours to get there. The last bit is the hardest with the real danger of roos on the road. Joolz said one day they are no match for cars, which is true. But, I was in a doctors surgery once and there was a very shook up guy who had had a recent prang with a roo, and he was talking about it with the others there. At the time the roos tended to eat grass right next to the road as there was a drought on.

I have a bullbar just in case, though I am quite careful. I remember years ago that the fan? in our car went through the battery, not sure what we hit. Apparently that doesn't happen with the newer cars. That was what I was concerned about. The plastic over my lights has been broken on one side, I should really see if I can get a replacement.

Anyway, my husband is stopping off at my Mum's for a break. Mum has all these clothes that other people in the family can't use anymore, like shirts which may come in handy when my son leaves to go to his brothers. He wants to find work there for the summer. I'm not even sure he has a button up shirt. I need to go to the regional centre 1 1/2 hours away to get him something nice to wear to his high school graduation this year. He has already graduated VCE, he is repeating English (unit 3 or 4 well both something to do with a sequence), but still doing a full load since there is no 10% penalty anymore. He will pick up a 6th subject. He is repeating chemistry, methods and specialist, this time doing specalist by correspondence. I think this is great as there is low contact hours at the uni he wishes to get into.

He is picking up biology. Mid year exams he got an A for Chemisty and a B- I think for Biology. So it is worth thinking about if someone is in a similar situation with a bright child who hasn't done as well as you would have liked first time.

So while we are waiting for time to tick down my 12 year old is doing cupcake experiments, rather proper patty cakes, for a school project. While her sister was at the party we walked to the shop to get some ingredients, then she bought eggs, as I haven't had a fruit order for ages. I had a very exact menu plan, I got some extra money I am supposed to be saving, but it has gone on last minute things for the trip, well not all of it. Also, airport parking. Hopefully it didn't cost the whole $49.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Blogtoberfest Introduction Late Day 1

I am visiting the Blogtoberfest participants, will have to stop after Alissa for the night as it is going to be an very early morning tomorrow. I have all those blogs to look forward to visiting tomorrow while babysitting my seven and twelve year old daughters, I guess I can't include my eighteen year old son for fear of offense.

In the style of Alissa's introduction, her photo was very Australian and lovely.

I'm 45, we live in North East Victoria. This is our town. We have no idea we are sitting under that mountain. It is shocking really. We took this photo nearly 2 weeks ago for my other daughter now 16 to take to her host family in Malaysia. There is so much snow around at the moment, I saw it yesterday. Where is spring? My tulips are finishing, maybe they need water or had a hot day, or maybe they are really finishing.

Blogtoberfest ~ Day 2

I copied this excerpt to explain to my readers or friends what Blogtoberfest is. It is from Bellsknits.

Blogtoberfest involves the rather daunting task of blogging daily for the month of October and anyone can sign up. It's run by Cathie over at Tinnie Girl. She wrote about it here and here.

By signing up for Blogtoberfest you agree to:
  • spend a fair whack of each day in October writing blog posts
  • spend all of October worrying that you won't have anything to post about
  • spend all of October worrying that your posts aren't interesting enough
  • spend all of October scouting around for material for daily blog posts.

Or to frame it more positively you agree to:
  • really give yourself permission to spend time on daily blog posts
  • sink your teeth into posting stuff you never thought you'd write about
  • come up with ways to keep yourself interested and motivated - after that the interest by other people is just a flow on effect
  • find yourself looking with fresh eyes at the world as each moment of each day may contain an image or a conversation or an idea that can be shaped into a blog post.

I like the page where they give suggestions of what to write each day. (Today is Rocktober (music) ). TinnieGirl lives in my State, so maybe by checking out the other posters you will learn more about Victoria and the life here. Mind you I live so far away from Melbourne I may not count lol. They look to be a crafty bunch, so if you like craft check a few out!

Speaking of craft. Last night I was treated to an episode of Kirstie's Homemade Home. It is fantastic. It is about a beautiful English house that hadn't been lived in for a decade or so. Kirstie is the other half of Kirstie & Phil on the Lifestyle channel here, who find properties for people in the UK. Last night it was the kitchen. She learnt how to blow glass, revisit sewing, and make pottery, and by the end, after going shopping at the markets etc. had a lovely kitchen finished.

The show has a beautiful knitted sign of the program.

Am I a crafter? No, and this isn't my main blog. I shouldn't say that, I love crochet, was taught to sew, can knit, but I am not doing it at the present time. But this blog is about writing, and needs a few extra posts, so here we are. I'm sorry I missed day 1. May do a catch up post. I wasn't really home anyway. I am guessing everyone is now winding down, waiting for school to start again on Monday.

Me, I am winding down, just finished packing my daughter's suitcase for her scholarship to Malaysia for 8 days.

Today is her birthday! She didn't get a present, as her brother also won something fairly recently, a phone. He gave it to her, so with the money we usually spend on her present we spent on a game for him. I have bought her some new clothes from Target to take on her trip. However, lots of great clothes my mind found by op-shopping over a period of weeks, and she also bought some new underwear for her. After all her shopping, she didn't send any money for her either.

Today we had afternoon tea with cake, chips etc.

My daughter is learning a song, it basically means My Heart is Happy although I don't have Money