Friday, August 26, 2011

Home Sweet Home

My mother always used to say, “It’s always nice to go travelling, but it’s Oh so nice to come Home!” And it certainly is.
We had a wonderful fortnight with our dear dear friends, and I miss them terribly, but I am so glad to be home and to have my chooks, and the cat and my seedlings all in their allotted spaces again!
The seedlings have grown amazingly well under the fabulous care of my friend Alison! Look!



And that’s despite a little late night spray with flea mixture intead of water! J

The chooks are back from their holiday with the chook sitter. They had a fabulous time with all their friends and are sulking a bit at being locked in the day facility rather than free ranging with about 25 other friends all day. Here’s a photo of them off on their big adventure.

I used the laundry basket on wheels because I’m not supposed to lift weights any more and these girls are very heavy! It works a treat but one of them always has to travel alone. She sat up the front with me and seemed very interested in all the goings on during the journey. When they arrived, they just leapt out of the basket and cage and joined in with all their new friends straight away. Hmph! Me and my empty laundry basket went home to pack …
It took nearly a week after they got home for them to forgive us before they laid any eggs. In fact, we got one lousy egg today and it's about time I think! :)  They won’t eat the laying pellets in ordinary chook mix, so now I give them mixed seed and pets mince from my favourite butcher. You should see ‘em go when they get their meat! They also get kitchen scraps, weeds, and al the snails they can eat – although I’ve noticed there aren’t too many snails around at the moment. Maybe the girls have eaten them all …

I planted carrots yesterday. I havent had any luck wth carrots for years, and the ones in my current patch are bought seedlings so who knows what shape they’ll be when I pull ‘em up. But then I was going through my very old garden diary, and saw that I’d followed this idea posted by a reader in an old Earth Garden magazine. Cover the seeds with a hessian bag and keep wet. Lift the bag after 4 – 8 days and the seedlings will have emerged! So despite Jackie French saying the soil’s too cold yet – I couldn’t wait – and planted a whole packet yesterday of red chantenay. They’re the short fat ones that it says you can plant from autumn to spring. I covered them with an old quilt cover I had been using as a kneeling cushion in the garden till I thought of putting a pillow inside a large plastic shopping bag – so comfy! I’ll let you know if I have success with the carrots.

Well, it's great to be home, and hopefully I can get back into the swing of gardening, blogging and pretending to seek a balance between that, looking after Charlie and working to pay for it all!!

See ya soon everyone
Greenie x

Friday, August 5, 2011

What a week!

Phew! What a week! We've been frantically trying to get our work finished and get our house in order (no mean feat for us!). We're getting ready for our oldest friends from England to come for a visit. So we're trying to make everywhere look nice, and not like a cross between Steptoe & the Good Life, which I sometimes think our place looks like.

So, we've been busy, busy busy ...

On the weekend I went to the Yarralumla Nursery, probably the best nursery in Canberra, and the one place in Canberra that is seriously dangerous to let me loose in. I bought:
2x gooseberries to replace the ones I've killed
1x Tahitian Lime
1x Kaffir Lime
1x Williams Pear
1x white seedless grape
2x roses, one called Elle after my daughter and the other a Honey Dijon
15x pansies cos I love them and I wanted to cheer up the view from the uncovered deck for our English friends who arrive on Wednesday
2x punnets of lettuces cos they were there ( :-))
2x punnets of coriander
2x punnets of colored foxgloves
2x punnets white foxgloves
1x punnet russel lupins
Then I came home and planted everything except one gooseberry and the coriander because it was going dark, and I could barely move!

On Sunday I had a wonderful lunch with a friend, visited my beautiful daughter (BD) and grand-daughter (beautiful son in law (BSIL) was there too!) and collected more lemons from her tree. Went home and juiced most of the lemons after shaving their skins for homemade citrus cleaner - allegedly this stuff is better than spray and wipe. Find the recipe here. I've kept the best lemons to make preserved lemons. I just need to find a container that is exactly the right size for them. DD gave me a couple of old jars that had had bought tomato (pasta) sauce in them, so I filled those up and I have another enormous old Maxwell House coffee jar that oonce held dried pasta. There weren't enough lemons to fill the big jar, but the long tall jars from DD look really elegant with the lemons in them so I'm really glad I bottled them up.

Monday and Tuesday were spent working, cleaning, working. Cleaned the bedrooms, got the beds ready, cleaned out the car, finished our work projects, cooked ready for Wednesday's dinner. Wednesday was Charlie day as well as arrival day for our friends, so we made a lovely mushroom lasagne, and a lemon meringue pie. I made myself feel a bit like a Masterchef contestant once DH had gone to pick up our friends. I raced around feeding Charlie, putting the lasagna together - remembered I'd not put towels on their bed - brushed my hair, collected the eggs, picked up all the food Charlie had spilt on the floor, took the pie out of the oven, put the lasagna in .... Phew!

Then DD arrived and said that the nanny couldn't look after Charlie tomorrow ... Could we? Well, of course I said yes, knowing that our friends would think it was pretty good fun. But then, one of my work clients rang, could I join a teleconference at 830am? So, Thursday it was up at 645 (unheard of these days for me), raced over to pick up Charlie, home again, breakfast oats and fruit for Charlie. Then the teleconference, breakfast for the rest of us - DH poached eggs and they were yummy!

We went to the shopping centre for lunch and then went on a walk round the lake. I expected Charlie would sleep, but she sang and burgled and put her hand out to feel the breeze for 40 minutes. By the time we got home again, she was completely wrecked and was fast asleep when I went to get her up for her tea before Mummy came to collect her. I felt terrible disturbing her, but she was pretty cheerful about it all, just like the little angel she is :)

We're off on the road-trip tomorrow. Canberra to McLaren Vale via the Hay Plain and Mildura. I love a good long drive so it will be so much fun showing parts of Australia to our friends.

Will be back again in a couple of weeks!
Take care everyone - talk soon
Greenie x