2 Jul 2015

Everything is falling into place....finally...

Well, after gaining my forklift licence on Friday I walked a couple of blocks on Saturday to purchase some free range eggs from a local lady that I've bought them from before. She has a horse but told me she is sending it over to her daughter's so they can ride together as she doesn't like riding alone. This will leave her paddock vacant and she offered it to me for my mares as she knows I am trying to find agistment. We haven't discussed remuneration yet but I think it will not be much as she said she's NEVER had to feed her horse while he's been in the paddock and she'd have to slash it without him there as the grass just grows and grows. I still have to look at the paddock but it's nearby so I could probably walk or bike to it to check on the girls. Hoping for a good tax return now so I'll have the money to freight the girls over after I check out the paddock.

Yesterday morning, at the winery, a forklift driver friend of mine told me to see the staff management guy, who I know, about holding a forklift licence. I was cleaning the lunchroom, in the afternoon, and the staffer popped in to post a work roster for next week so I advised him. Consequently, after work this morning, I dropped by his office and he photocopied my temporary licence. The production manager, who is also a referee on my resume, was there and he suggested to the staffer that a bit of "moonlighting" (the guy has a great sense of humour!) driving forklifts at the winery would help me gain experience. The staffer agreed. Now I just have to wait for it to be made legal *big cheesey grin*. The driving experience will also be on Line 3, which is the winery section I clean. I felt like doing cartwheels!! Hoping some permanent employment, that also has "forklift licence an advantage" in the advertisement, becomes available at the winery soon.

On my way to the gym today I visited the Post Office and sent off the paperwork for my permanent forklift licence. Pleased to say the necessary photo that was taken looks much better than my car driving licence photo *giggle*.

First time at the gym in about two weeks and first time on the pec deck as that is replacing the bench and freeweight exercises I was doing because, as the weight and repetitions rose, it began to affect my sway/scoliosis affected back. Also my second time doing box pushups instead of wall pushups and I've reduced the repetitions to 8 for the box ones from 15 when I was doing wall pushups. Wow, do they ever make my chest and bicep muscles work and without putting any strain on my back. In the near future I'll add the lat pulldown machine to my workout to strengthen my back muscles more. I really must start riding my bicycle again too but I think I'll need to buy or make some warmer pants as, with the current 10-12 deg Celcius temps, it's not a good idea to make your own breeze by riding a bike!

RobynLouise XO

26 Jun 2015

I passed, I passed, I passed, I passed!

As of this afternoon I am now legally able to operate a forklift. I am soooooo looking forward to a whole range of new employment prospects opening up :D!

This is the forklift I was trained and tested on. I had to bend it through the cone line in forward and then reverse it bending through them again as part of the training.

Robyn Louise xo :D

19 Jun 2015

New experience

I was going to post updates on my knitting and some sleepy cat photos but something more important to my life has arisen so the R&R stuff can wait.

I have spoken to my boss and he has allowed me to change my working hours for next week to fit in with a course I am doing from Tuesday to Friday. It means working/learning 15.5 hours Wednesday and Thursday, 12 hours Tuesday and 9 hours Friday (that'll be easy....if I don't fall asleep!). Thank goodness I'm rostered on to work this Saturday and not the same week as the course.

What am I doing you ask?

I'm training to be a forklift driver!! :D

I figured if I can drive a 4.5tonne GVM truck with 3 horses loaded on it around the hills/corners surrounding Kempsey for years then I can balance an equally breakable load of packaged wine casks/bottles around winery warehouses. It will cost me over a week's current pay to do the course. One of my friends at the winery said not to forget to claim the course fees on my tax and that having a forklift driver's ticket is a definite bonus to gaining a job at the winery. He should know as he's a packaging manager there.

Wish me luck :D!

I'll try to find a few mins each day to take a pictorial record to post here as this is a bit of a milestone for me.

RobynLouise xo

15 Jun 2015


....are usually the time when I cook for the week, wash the laundry and clean house and possibly potter around gardening.

I don’t really like cleaning house through the week as I already spend between 26-30hrs doing pretty much the same at work – sweeping, mopping, vacuuming and wiping stuff down. To come home and do it just seems like I haven’t left work. I think I need a change of mindset as I should make myself do at least one job a day at home then I can have more of my weekends free – even those ones where I'm rostered on Saturday morning and don’t finish till 9am.

This last week had a few little surprises in it. I discovered that I can cook on my woodstove. Why on earth I never realised that before is beyond me but I thought the little handle was so one could lift the tiled section up to clean under it…..I never thought of putting my camping teapot or my saucepan there. That’s going to save me a little bit of gas charges over Winter.

I also received a lovely hand knitted beanie from Shirley over in WA. Adore the colours and finding myself living in it on cold days as it’s so warm! Thank you again Shirley!

I finally bought the knitting needles and found some 8-ply wool for the sock knit-along at the DTE forums but they have been sitting there mocking me as I haven’t even cast a stitch on yet! I really need some more socks to wear outside work so I’ll have to motivate myself!

Hoping everyone had a lovely weekend!
RobynLouise xo

4 Jun 2015


I hate Winter, but I love the sound of rain on a tin roof
I hate cold weather, but I love watching the fire and feeling the warmth from the combustion stove
I hate being surrounded by people, but I love working somewhere that has hundreds of employees
I hate socialising, but I love meeting new people
I hate feeling lonely, but I love living alone
I hate pubs, but I love that it costs nothing to enter and the entertainment is free
I hate that past relationships have gone awry, but I’d love to try another

I hate listening to the rain, sitting in front of the fire, feeling lonely but I'd love if that would change...if I could change.


2 Jun 2015

Tempting, Toothless, Temperatures and Tasty

Look…look….I found a local who sells free range eggs! $4/dozen if you collect and $5 delivered. I fried 2 to have with my bacon this morning and they are the freshest, most golden eggs I have had since I had my hens on the farm 2 years ago. Nothing like the flavour of a fresh egg. I could be tempted to eat lots of these poached, fried and scrambled but I’ll be good and use most of them for cooking. Beats the beejeebers out of the pale runny “organic” eggs you can buy from the supermarket. She only lives a couple of blocks away too. Another thing I love about living in a village J.

I was eating crunchy ANZAC biscuits last night and thought one bit was overcooked then realised I was a bit short on the eating equipment! Excuse the "morning face" WYSIWYG!!

Thank goodness for friends to ask (thanks Di!) and Dentists on line and that they have a vacancy tomorrow. Doesn’t change the fact that it’s going to cost me a couple of hundred dollars L.

BRRRRRRRR………it’s definitely Winter!! By CRIKEY it was cold last night! I lit the fire in the wood stove again but made sure I stacked some extra wood in it before I retired for the night. There was a nice crispy first of the year frost in my back yard at 7.30am when I finally dragged myself out of bed. Didn’t think to take a photo but everyone who’s lived with it knows what a good frost looks like – right? So I thought I'd post a picture to make everyone in the cold climes feel warmer.

Made myself some chicken stock yesterday in the slow cooker using chicken necks and then added to it to make chicken and vegetable soup for lunch today. Nothing like hot homemade soup on a cold day. The ingredients are all purchased but I hope to change that in the future, well except for the chicken, but then maybe I can find someone around here who will give me a non laying freebie or sell it to me cheap.

Cheers to all plus keep warm wishes to those in the Southern Hemisphere!

23 May 2015

House or Home??

Today I was going to drive to some land that is for sale about 80km from where I live and look at its prospects for current horse agistment and possible future home site. However, I had a think about it and it’s really a waste of time at the moment as I don’t have the money on hand and I haven’t asked the bank if I am eligible for a loan. It was just an excuse to go away from here for a while and I was thinking it would make me happy to have a day out.

So I had a look at the list of “to-dos” on my fridge door and when I opened the vertical blinds I realised that I really wanted to use the closed in veranda, for something besides storage, and I need to do some cooking that I’ve been putting off for weeks. Then there are the weekly/fortnightly/monthly chores to do that are always “there”.

I realised that what would make me happy is to make this place truly my home as I’ve been a bit dispossessed the last couple of years and slept in my car in a park, stayed at youth hostels,  friends and relatives homes and in another rental that I really disliked.

I’ve started customising the garden but that’s not something that happens overnight, like customising a room can, and gardens change by themselves anyway – flowers bloom, trees lose leaves in Winter and grow new ones in Spring, grass needs cutting and weeds are always popping out of the ground. It takes a long time to truly make your mark on a garden/yard and it’s not like you eat/sleep/live in it.

Guess I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m going to be renting for a while, something I haven’t done in 30 years, and I may as well make where I live my home not just a house that protects me from the weather and keeps me secluded and separated from the world outside its walls. Time to start laying real building blocks for my new future instead of floating around in the clouds watching the world go by and hoping I find a silver lining. I discovered today that I am the one who has always made safe/comfortable places for myself, and the children when they were younger, not either of my partners as they were too busy doing their own thing and expecting us to fit in. That’s two of the mistakes I’ve made in my life and there’s probably countless others that have been forgotten along the way.

Now it’s time to properly pick myself up, I thought I had before but I was mistaken, dust myself off and make a place for me again – even if it is just a step on the way to where I’d really like to be I need to give it a solid base as ricketty steps are dangerous.


20 May 2015

The Bucket List and other things.....

I had a doctor's appointment the day after my last blog post to have a small growth on my head inspected. Well, it was fine but I'd been feeling a bit tired and had a couple of head spins while in the waiting room and, as that had happened at work a few times in the previous week, I asked him to take my blood pressure. I knew it was in orbit and I was correct - 180/105. I thought I'd just go home and take the meds, I managed to exercise and diet myself off before, but doctor told me no meds, no strenuous exercise, go home and rest and come back in 3 days for a blood test. He wanted a clean test with no interference from drugs. The usual culprits - vitamin/mineral deficiencies, thyroid, diabetes and cholesterol.

Well everything was fine though I was a bit worried that my cholesterol was up to a total of 5.9 (from 4.9) again but the doc said as the triglycerides and HDL's were at very good levels and the LDL's were low he wasn't too bothered by the total reading.

So....I'm back on meds....again :(. Better than being dead though I suppose *silly grin*. Back to square one - repeat - till I'm off meds again. I'm blaming this on the work stress.

Meanwhile...over on my emails...... Booktopia were having a postage free sale so of course I went in search of the book I've wanted since it was printed and low and behold it was on sale too! Well I can't take my money with me if I cark it and I don't think the government taxes your books after you've gone so I purchased it, and a companion to it, and now I'll have something to read while I drink my green tea and snack on my homemade healthy goodies and can cross it off my Bucket List!

In a renewed effort to have more vegetables in my diet I tried out the Savoury Split Peas recipe on the side of that pack. It was quite tasty, though I did add some tabasco to it to liven up the other condiments, and filling as well as being cheap.

I've been doing some more baking and tried out this Pumpkin Fruit Cake Recipe I found on the internet as I couldn't find the original one I had. DUH!! I knew I had it somewhere safe  (I can just see and hear Matti May laughing) and of course I discovered it last night on the Recipes page on my blog after I'd made the pictured cake and started this post *picture me banging head on hand*. LOL, must be practising for senior's moments but I guess I can blame it on the vagueness caused by high blood pressure!!

I’m not happy with this recipe and I think I’ll go back to the tried and tested one I posted here.

There was a bit of rain around yesterday that kept me housebound and it was accompanied by thunder and lightning. The cat spent the day inside the house and the dog holed up in the shed outside. 

The front yard.

The back yard.

Nearly forgot! My lovely friend gifted me a selection of his brews.  Lol, I jokingly tell him that if there was some way I could clone him I would J. The bottle on the left contains Old, the centre one is Pale Ale and the one on the right is Mexican. I can drink them 3 weeks after the dates on the caps so I could have the Old now….if I could lower this damn blood pressure! Suppose it gives me something to look forward to….sigh….


5 May 2015

Posts, Projects and Pleasant People

Well, I aimed to try to make one post a week – or 4 a month – on the blog when I started posting this year but I’ve already mucked that goal up as I only made 3 in April. Even though it averages out to 4 a month that’s not quite the same. It’s not as if I don’t have more than enough to post!

This last week I’ve been ripping out unwanted plants and discovering new areas to plant ones I do want. In other words….anything edible :D.

I tried a no knead sourdough recipe but I need to work on that some more as the timing for using the dough has to be correct. The temperature here could have been a bit on the cold side too.  I feel my effort could have been less dense and risen more and I don’t want to use yeast to do this. I have made no knead yeast bread already.

I’ve started some lemon/lime vinegar. The juice is frozen in ice cubes in the deep freeze or has been used in lemon/honey drinks, as salad dressing and also glazed roasted whole chickens.

After the letdown with the social evening I was delighted to have an early Mother’s Day present from my daughter in the form of a dinner for one at the restaurant where she works. She was my waitress for the night J. I had an entrĂ©e of Oysters Kilpatrick, a main dish with calamari and prawns and a yummy cheese platter for dessert with a very fine Sauvignon Blanc to wash it down.
I had my hair cut and coloured while I was over there too. It’s been a long time and as I’m off to the Riverina DTE meet up this weekend the photo will have to wait until after then .

I had a friend visit me yesterday with a box of goodies. There’s 2 jars of tomato relish, one of corn relish, the big jar is tomato pickle, and there’s one of fig jam. The bottle contains plum sauce. As you can see there’s also fresh granny smith apples – that taste unlike any I’ve ever had before as those were bought from stores and these are home grown – and a bag of walnuts. I’ve already depleted the apples by one, which is why there are only 3 in the photo, and started diminishing the walnuts and also opened a jar of tomato relish, which is really delicious.

All these lovely items were given to me in exchange for a bag of my homegrown lemons and limes as he wants them to flavour his home brew beer. I’ve promised him some lemon butter in the future too.  He made all the preserves and, just by the way, his name is Phil! There must be something about that name….LOL!


19 Apr 2015

To Socially...

that I must be a bit of an oddball around here for my age, after attending a night out with an over 50's singles group, was a bit disconcerting. I mean, I know I’m a little weird but to know so much about social internet and be able to send bulk emails, moderate (I was asked what that is!) a forum and post frequently on blogger and Facebook, and now I’m using the Snapchat app thanks to my adult kids, set me apart from the rest of the group. To also grow vegetables, by preference, instead of flowers and ornamental trees made me a little more of an outcast. I’m glad I didn’t say anything about homemade soap and laundry liquid or start talking about sourdough starter and baking my own bread…..they may have thought I should be in a straight jacket or I’d escaped from somewhere!!

I declined the invitation to go to one of the local clubs after dinner as I’d had enough. They are nice people but they have narrow views and I’m afraid after being on the DTE forums for just short of 4 years and moderating for half that time I didn’t feel I needed to be exposed to their views and they certainly weren't interested in mine. As I’ve almost accidentally removed myself from the land of the living in the last 2 years I want to ENJOY life, and have new experiences and grow physically and mentally, not stagnate in the same spot in my life journey as some of the group members seemed to be doing.

If you don’t like your life YOU CHANGE IT! It’s not easy but no one else can do it for you.

I was catching up on blogs this morning and this struck a chord with me as I’ve done it before the self-caused hiccup in my life put it on partial hold for a couple of years. I continued to plant some veges, turned off lights/power points that weren’t being used and kept cooking from scratch whenever possible, while enjoying the free things life has available like the joy and company of exercising the dog, beautiful sunrises/sunsets, the glory of a flying flock of noisy galahs and the delicate way a butterfly goes about its business….just to mention a few.

Reading this helped me feel good again about my decisions and what is right for me. ….Thanks Phil.

At the moment the split peas are soaking for the pea and ham soup tonight, the sourdough starter was fed earlier and will be bubbling gently soon for the sourdough crumpets I want to make to have with the soup, I’ve brought in most of the laundry that was washed using homemade laundry liquid that contains homemade soap and as soon as I empty out a dead tree from a pot and toss some mixed greens seeds in there I’m going for a bike ride and letting the dog tag along.

Life is good if you know how you like to enjoy it :D.
Hope everyone had a truly enjoyable weekend.
RobynLouise xo

18 Apr 2015

Reboot and Reshuffle

Hey everyone, I finally remembered to purchase the washing soda and made laundry liquid (wash) yesterday. This should last me a few months and for a cost of about a dollar as I used my home made laundry soap!

Just after my last blog post I made home made cottage cheese using powdered milk and juice from the lemons off the tree here. I'll be trying this again and using the lime juice next time to see how it works out.
This blog link was posted in a DTE forum thread but I altered the recipe a bit as I used 4 cups of water to 1 cup of powdered milk. I also used ¼ cup of lemon juice as I wanted it spreadable.

The "curd" draining

The recipe makes about a cupful. 

Soooo yummy! 

Last of all, as I’m finally socialising here and going out to dinner with the local over 50’s singles group, I shuffled through my “glad rags” to see what would fit, and is suitably warm enough, for the suddenly cooler weather. This involved lots of trying on clothing yesterday morning when I had my RMO (Rostered Morning Off).
I was pleased to find that it was worth keeping those clothes I was determined to fit back into one day as I now can *big cheeky, cheesy grin*. I’ve saved myself a small fortune there and damn if they don’t look better on me now than they did when I bought them as I’m still curvy but in all the "right" places. Yep, I’m full of myself but I worked hard for this and I feel I deserve the rewards. If I can’t love and respect myself and all I’ve achieved then how can I expect anyone else to?

There’s another Discover moment.

I’m hopeless at selfies and the natural light is awful here today as it’s raining so I’ll try to finagle someone in the group into taking a photo of me on my mobile phone tonight and update here tomorrow :D.


RobynLouise xo

Postscript: Managed a not so bad selfie!

Cheers, RL xo

9 Apr 2015

Expensive week?

Spent money all over the place on all sorts of things in the last week!

A "new" bike cost me $250 plus $50 for the helmet I then needed. Mind you, the bike is about 6 months old and barely used and is almost $800 brand new for just the bike plus it has extras in the form of locking chain, lights and little carry bags for your goodies and the bike's repair/tool kit. With 27 gears I should be able to find a suitable range of speeds/torque to keep me fit :P.

I went away for the Easter long weekend to visit my daughter but the day before I left my mobile phone died :(. Purchased a new phone whilst visiting that cost me about twice as much as the bike. As I can't take a photo of it, as it is also my camera, it should last me at least 3-4 years compared to the under $100 talk/text/bit of internet varieties that I've owned previously.

Between the bike and the phone I have a lot of learning to do *roll eyes*.

Easter Saturday I surprised my eldest daughter with an early "cake" for her birthday.


The centre was also filled with chocolates and choc covered liquorice. If you fancy one of these, and live near the Junee Liquorice and Chocolate Factory , they are well worth it. Organic chocolate and liquorice in wonderful types and flavours. If you can't visit then you can always buy their boxed goodies online.

For someone who said she didn't eat chocolate or sweets very much my daughter managed to demolish this, mostly on her own, by the end of the long weekend :D.

I also bought myself a few things and the jar of choccies, below, which I shared amongst a few of the guys who "torment" me at the place I work. They're a good bunch and keep me alert with their humorous comments. Lucky my hair is already going grey though!

The weather is cooling off this week so I've ordered in a load of wood to burn in the wood stove but it won't be coming until after next payday.....thank goodness.

RobynLouise xo

29 Mar 2015

Wonderful Weekend

Well it's Sunday night and I feel fine :D.

Yesterday I attended the gym and spent about an hour longer there than I usually do for my personal workout as I discussed some more exercises with 2 of the trainers, Chrissy and Megan, as well as free weight mass and best place to purchase barbells and weights for them. I really should buy a pushbike so that's on my "future" list. Won't hurt the fat border collie to run beside a bike instead of walking beside me.

When I left the gym I collected my car from the repairer and did my fortnightly shopping. I was very pleased to find most of my purchases at discount prices so saved about 20% on what I had budgeted :).

After I arrived home I made some pumpkin soup in the crockpot from a JAP pumpkin that I purchased from the CWA stall a couple of weeks ago using Julie's recipe. It is delicious!

 I also made some toilet bombs and they fizz nicely as they clean the toilet bowl :).

This morning I went to see a friend and we talked and had cuppas and then lunch. Afterwards I decided to drop into the park beside the river and go for a walk.

I cooked another Crock Pot Chicken  and seasoned it with soy sauce, ginger and lime and lemon pieces and it was ready around the same time this evening as Phil's Swedish Meatball recipe that I tried.

All of the above links can be found on the DTE forums and I love being a member!

Hoping everyone had as great a weekend as I did :D.

RobynLouise xo

28 Mar 2015

Discover cont'd...

Discover cont'd...

Well,  in two months I've discovered that:

* I can be in a social environment but still be alone and it doesn't bother me. I don't  need  people in that respect. I can be happy with my own company.
* I really don't care what people think of what I say and what I do, any more, though I do try to respect the fact that there's some things you can't say/do in certain company....just to keep the peace.
* I wear what I like and if it bothers someone else it's their problem.
* I like to be healthy and fit and it gives me a real buzz to feel so great. I will  NEVER  be overweight and unhealthy again as I love what I can do when I'm in the physical condition I'm in now. It's not a case of mutton trying to be lamb, either, it's not being on medication, not having to see quacks all the time and being able to do almost anything physical I want without having to consider if it's going to put me in hospital. It's looking good too as if I am healthy I seem to "glow". I can't think of another word that describes how I look and feel.
* I've also finally realised that I don't need another person in my life to make me feel complete. If I come across someone in my journey, and we hit it off, then so be it. I think I've spent a lot of time in my life feeling that I should have a partner, because of the environment in which I was raised, but most of my successes have been because of what I did to achieve them myself.
* I need to be confident of what I can do and not let myself down. I am my own worst enemy.

That's a lot to find out about oneself in a couple of months and I think I know myself better now than I ever did, 
I might become my own best friend in time :D!

RobynLouise xo

26 Mar 2015

New stuff

I've changed to a new header as I finally have a photo taken locally. Actually from just around the corner of outdoor smoko on one of the lines I clean. The joys of starting work when the sparrows are still stretching their wings :D!

A week ago I tried some new cooking as my sourdough starter needed to be used and I didn't have the time or energy to make bread. So I looked up a recipes for sourdough pancakes/crumpets and this is what followed:

I'm going to give this a few more tries as I added milk instead of water this time and I think that the consistency will be more crumpet-like if I use water. When I'm happy with it I'll invest in some proper crumpet rings instead of using the egg rings. Of course, after a couple of days there weren't any left as I had them with soup, topped with bacon and cheese and grilled and even spread with lemon, lime and ginger marmalade for breakfast as well as just toasted with butter. They are very convenient and tasty :).

I woke Tuesday morning to hear water running through the pipes, and I knew it was too early for the auto irrigation to come on, so I grabbed the first piece of clothing to hand and raced outside to turn off the meter, which was ticking over faster than the second hand on a clock! After contacting the Real Estate agent, and having one plumber try to find the problem and say he couldn't fix it till Thursday, another plumber was sent out to investigate. He spent quite a while trying to locate the area the problem originated in and then had to come back on Wednesday to find and fix the actual problem. It took the plumber and the apprentice most of the day as the broken pipe was under the cement path, which they had to cut through and remove, and then they had to dig out filler consisting of broken rock and glass bottles! The photo is of the nice new piece of piping they welded into the existing pipe. I'm soooooo glad I'm not the landlord as this will have cost a small fortune! 

The agent is going to have the water usage adjusted through the council so I won't have a horrific bill next time :). They were very helpful and nice about the whole situation. My rental inspection was also on Tuesday and the girl who came out was very impressed with how clean and tidy the place was. I didn't tell her it was mostly cleaned with bicarb and vinegar and a bit of home made soap!

After my busy, hectic start to this week I'm hoping for a relaxing weekend!

RobynLouise xo