Monday, June 27, 2011

Icecream, Renovations and keeping busy

Geez, I'm exhausted today...I went a bit overboard this morning while I was feeling motivated and did lots of things, and wore myself some dusting, vacuumed and mopped the floors, did the washing, and caught up on some phone calls that had to be made, booked the pest control for next week and ordered some candle making and skincare making supplies.  Over the weekend, I cleaned out the pantry as it was getting quite messy in there, so it's all tidy and organised again now. I also cleaned out the top drawer of our vanity unit in the ensuite, will do the other 2 as I feel like it. Damian pulled out Toni's shelving out of her cupboard on Saturday in preparation for the new shelving coming in. After he did that, I got to work painting it, so it would all be ready. The painting in there was finished on Sunday with the painting of the gloss on the trims. The new shelving for Michael's room arrived this morning, and is now installed.

I just have to paint the plasterboard door now to match the walls and then we are just waiting for the new carpet to be installed. School holidays here, so we made some ice cream this morning in the ice cream maker. We haven't used it before, so we just made up a basic vanilla ice cream, it's very yummy and very creamy, much nicer than comes out as soft serve, and we can put it in a container in the freezer for firmer icecream.

I made pumpkin soup in the slow cooker today, and have made a loaf of bread in the breadmaker to have with it
Got to sit down tomorrow and work out some activities for the school holidays so Kasey doesn't go stircrazy. She would like her friends to come over and play, so I need to work that out with their Mum's as to what day suits. We're going to spend a day out this week and go to the movies and have lunch out, and other than that I want her to have a break as they all get a bit worn out towards the end of each term. So lots going on to keep me busy, but will take it a little easier tomorrow after a busy day today.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Around the place

Been fairly quiet around here the last week. Just plodding along through each day at the moment. I have some vegie seedlings to go and plant this afternoon, did a big harvest off the eggplants the other day, I gave quite a few to the chooks as they had been munched on by something, but I did leave them on the plants for too long as I hadn't worked them in to the menu to cook them. I cooked some up in to eggplant fritters, they are really nice, especially with chilli sauce.
I did manage to get a few eggplants that hadn't been munched on, along with a few other goodies. Still only get 1 egg per day....the girls had better get a move on, or they will be moving out...they are very expensive when they aren't producing, and you have to buy eggs as well as feed them.

I took Diesel back to the vet to get his stitches out from his desexing surgery, he finds the car rides really stressful :) !! (not)

He definitely seems more comfortable in the front legs since he has been on anti inflammatory tablets and glucosamine chews, so hopefully we can keep him as comfortable as possible. I have started to do some knitting and crocheting at night by the fire. I have been watching some online tutorials from  His instructional videos are so easy to follow. I have been trying to get the hang of granny squares, and I couldn't get the grasp of it by following a written pattern, so his video tutorial is fabulous. This was effort number 1, my practice piece. I really like the look of the squares with the round centre, just for something a bit different to the usual squares...
And I have told Kasey that I would crochet her a blanket for her bed, so I have started on that, in pink, dusty pink and purples...I have done 2 of those...about 118 more to go! I am threading the ends in as I go so that I don't have to do that at the end...
I am going to alternate the colours around, so that on some the centres will be dusty pink and others will be the darker pink and the outer edges will alternate over the 3 colours as well, to add variation and interest. I also bought some can can wool at the craft fair recently, so will be making up a scarf with that.  I am really feeling like a sweet treat after my lunch, but I am trying hard to eat healthy foods only at the moment, so I am going to go and make up a batch of yoghurt, even though it won't be ready to eat until tomorrow morning, I will have some on hand for when I get the sweet urge tomorrow. We have had the fireplace going fairly regularly lately, and I have been using it to keep the kettle on to boil up hot water for cuppas etc, it has been working really well. I am even organised for dinner, and have a beef goulash with herb dumplings cooking in the slowcooker, I am using the recipe from Sally Wise's slow cooker recipe book, the recipes in there are really tasty, but really easy to make...and I have already done the vegies, so just have to turn them on later. I finished re-painting the spare room, which is no longer spare as Son number 1 has moved back home...we are still waiting on the new carpet in the bedrooms, but it is looking like the end of July until we can get that, as I seem to have a knack of ordering the most popular products, and we are still waiting on the cabinet maker to come and install the robes, so he is living out of boxes at the moment, but he'll be able to unpack into his cupboard soon enough. I am hoping to start on the painting of Toni and Kasey's room shortly so that they are all repainted before the carpet comes in. Anyway, I'm off to make some yoghurt before I lose the motivation....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lemon Myrtle soap

I made a batch of soap on Sunday, I used a gorgeous lemon myrtle essential smells divine....I am waiting on some oils to arrive from my suppliers, as I need to make up some more batches, as we are running quite low on soap, this batch made 11 bars and 5 round roses. I used a small amount of yellow clay to give it a lemony coloured tint. I have planted a lemon myrtle in the front garden, to use as a botanical in future soap making. I first came across one in the bus tour we did during the permaculture course, and the smell of those leaves is absolutely amazing...I could walk around smelling them all day long...mmmm

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Eating less meat

It has been a goal of mine for quite some time now to reduce the amount of meat that I eat, for health, for becoming more self sufficient in the way we eat, and to feel better about eating another living creature.  I have always been just tolerant of eating meat, if I put the slightest bit of thought in to what I am eating and how it got to my plate, I can't eat it, and I definitely can not tolerate the way that the majority of animal farming is carried out, and I have been looking for better, local options where the animals are treated to a natural, happy, well cared for life before meeting their fate. I am not interested in this stage at going down the more extreme road of vegan, I know my chickens are looked after and they free range every day, so I am happy to eat their eggs, and I must admit I didn't understand the whole "no dairy products" either, but after speaking with some vegans recently and asking them why they made the decision to be vegans, and listening to their responses, I can understand where they are coming from.  I guess it's a personal decision, and now that I am more aware of how things are done, I will definitely be looking for a local option for my milk supplies from a reputable, humane dairy farm. (hopefully there are some out there)

Cooking for a family of meat eaters, it does make it difficult to sneak in vegetarian meals, so it has been easier to just conitinue on as normal. However, it is something that I am starting to feel more strongly about, so I am endeavouring to just bite the bullet and make a start, even if just for me. So, starting today, I will endeavour to cook at least one vegetarian meal a week, and increase this up to a few times a week over time. Today I am going to start with something relatively simple and accepting by the rest of the family, so it will either be pumpkin soup and home made bread, or a tomato, creamy cheesy pasta bake with some vegies. I will have to do some research in to some vegetarian cooking, having done my permaculture course and also the skincare course I did, the meals there were all vegetarian and I must say, very, very, yummy....I don't want our only options to be pasta based dishes or soups, so I will have to be on the lookout for some yummy recipes to try.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Organising the craft supplies

The shed had gotten to the ridiculous stage....things keep getting put in there so they are out of the way, and it was getting harder and harder to find a clear path from one end of the shed to the other.  All of my craft supplies have been sitting on a trestle table covered with dust cloths since all of my supplies were moved out of the spare room to do the repairs from the termite damage. So today, I decided I would move all of my craft supplies from the trestle table into the cupboard given to me by Mum and Dad a few years back. I wanted to wait until my craft room gets done and I had painted the cupboard, but things were getting desperate, and I knew that getting the trestle table out of the way would clear out lots of space, and it had a knock on effect in cleaning up the other areas around this as well. So, I'm pretty worn out now, but it has made a huge difference in space in the shed and also to my work area.

I'm looking forward to painting this cupboard one day in the future, not sure yet whether I will go with an aubergine or a shabby chic look yet.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The renovating is underway

The cabinetmaker called in last night to discuss the new kitchen...I wasn't really in the market for a new kitchen just yet, but Damian has been doing some work in the cabinet makers investment property, so they have decided to do a bit of a trade off of services. We also need a new vanity in the main bathroom, as there is just no cupboard or bench space in there, so that is getting done at the same time. I started the painting in the 3rd bedroom today....I got the ceiling done and 1 coat on the walls. I hope to finish that off tomorrow, then I am just waiting for Damian to put the new skirtings and architraves in so I can paint those, and then the new floor coverings will go in. Then it will basically be done other than the robe insert and doors which are on order with the cabinet maker which he will install in a couple of weeks. After the long weekend coming up, I will give Toni's room the same treatment and start to work my way down the house. I have finally pretty well mastered the art of cutting in under the cornice when painting, the right paintbrush makes a world of difference. I have wedding flowers coming in tomorrow and the rest of the day I will be working on the renos. I spoke to the vet today regarding Diesel..we are going to see how he goes over the next couple of weeks on glucosomine medication...hopefully we can manage things with that for him...and we are getting them some winter coats, and I may look at getting him a heated mat for his bed, will have to get Max one too or else he'll probably just steal it anyway! Hopefully all that will make a big difference to his comfort. Anyway, I'm bushed after my busy day so I am heading to bed.