Showing posts with label living simply. Show all posts
Showing posts with label living simply. Show all posts

3 Apr 2017

Snip, snip?

No, more like whirrrrrrr.....

I gave PC a haircut today. Man deserves a medal for being so brave :P! It didn't come out too bad - considering he has about 6 crowns and his hair grows in 50,000 directions.....hahahaha......

I won't be allowing it to become this long again. Fear of messing it up delayed the procedure but made the eventual clipping take longer than expected as the hair kept clogging the clipper blades. It's not as even as I would have liked either. I'm looking forward to some pillion rides on the motorcycle now he can wear his helmet comfortably though :).

RobynLouise XO

23 Jan 2017

Cooking, cleaning and chickens

On the weekend, I tried my hand at baking in this. The second-hand oven should be installed soon but I needed a dose of home baking.

These are caramelised onion and cheese rolls. They need tweaking as there is too much butter in the recipe but I always make new recipes, as written, and adjust them when I make them again.

Here is the custard slice. A problem here was cooking this a shelf position too high.
I have noted both corrections and neither problem prevented each of these being edible J.

The last week or so has been decluttering and cleaning, both inside and out.

PC made me another shelf so I would have more storage space.

The box of crockery/glassware to be taken to the op-shop (charity store).

PC also cleared a rock or two from the peach tree garden so we can begin readying it for Autumn planting. Haha…I must research the removal of the rocks the previous owners left here, preferably to our profit! Anyone want some nice sandstone rocks, some come with attached moss and those with fairly level topsides are pre-tested by the resident moggy as resting areas?

The one with the red "hat" here is Biddy. The word "Biddy" has more than one meaning in Australia and it's not complimentary...

Yesterday the hens’ egg production dropped to 4 eggs again. Saturday was when I returned Biddy to the chook yard after ascertaining that she was laying eggs, however, in the week she was absent from the yard production rose from 4 to 6 eggs a day. Therefore, production was down by a third for the first month we owned them. So, from today, Biddy will be confined to the small chook pen and be company for the young rooster, as her overbearing attitude is preventing the two youngest hens from laying. We will need to sort out another housing alternative for them soon. As she lays 3 x 60g (avg) eggs a week she's not going to be chicken soup yet! :P

RobynLouise xo

8 Mar 2015


I'm settling in here now. If I walk into the local pub they know what beer I drink and what size glass I have and ask which flavour chips I'm having with it :). The bar staff know my name. The Chinese meals from the restaurant are tasty and good value and the take away serves are huge as I can have 2 big meals from a serve of main and a large fried rice. Lol, I'm trying not to indulge too much!!

Wandered across the above park to the little supermarket yesterday (Saturday) morning and bought a few things to fill out the stock in the pantry till I shop next week. These cost me $5 each, were a spur of the moment buy, and are locally produced. I've tried the prunes (yum) but have yet to broach the red wine vinegar, which is sealed with a cork :). Lunchtime salad today is when I'll find out what it tastes like. The prunes are grown and produced on a road a couple of blocks away, that the dog and I have walked along a few times, and the vinegar is made in the village next door, Bilbul (about 6kms SW), to the one I live in.

I only realised today that I didn't post photos of my local purchase of apricots back in January and my effort at drying them in the car. These are a kilo of apricots stoned and halved and ready to go in the back of the car. It worked fine except for the fact that on the second day the weather cooled off considerably and I had to finish them in the oven. They didn't quite dry out as much as I would have wished so had to be stored in a jar in the refrigerator. They tasted delicious and I will be trying this again next apricot season.

Considering all the scares with imported foodstuffs I will be trying to buy local whenever possible now even if I have to process fruit/veg myself so I can store it. It also tastes soooooo much better and all the nutrients wouldn't be lost in transit/storage :). I'm so lucky to be living in a rural area where so many foods are grown and produced. That reminds me I need another kilo of local pure honey!

RobynLouise xo

12 Feb 2015

Laundry Soap

I'm quite pleased with these and I'll probably medium grate them and swish about a tablespoon in hot water to dissolve it before placing in the soap dispenser of my front loader. As they contain eucalyptus oil I should be able to wash wool jumpers with them too. The laundry, where they are drying, smells of eucalyptus at the moment as the temperature has been in the mid-high 30C range this week.

Here is the recipe for anyone who wants to try it - though you may wish to wait until I've given it a try with my laundry first! :

550g Beef tallow
250g Copha (I used this as it was in the freezer and I've had it for a while)
200g Rice bran oil, 380g Water
146g Caustic soda 
I also blended through 30gm (grams not millilitres) of eucalyptus oil at trace.

Ingredients cost = $4.79 with the copha at $2.86 being the most expensive. As it costs me $4.80 to buy 1kg Planet Ark Orange washing powder when it's on special, and now they've changed the recipe somehow as it makes me sneeze, I think I have a good thing here and it will definitely last me longer than a packet of sneezy laundry powder!

Robyn xo

8 Feb 2015

Reboot.....Back to basics in life

Friday mornings are one of my RMO's (Rostered Mornings Off) and as I needed to go to town anyway I decided to drop by the Regional Aquatic Fitness Centre (aka - the local pool!) and personally check out the facilities I'd seen online. You can never judge something from photographs - try house hunting to rent or buy and you'll see what I mean!

To say I was surprised is an understatement. The facility isn't huge but the pools are under cover and heated (yay, swimming all year round) and the Gym has a nice range of machines and weights to use without it being crowded or confusing. There's a spa too and water, sorry aqua, aerobics :). The Gym also has fitness classes that I can attend as they are in my non-working hours unlike a couple of local privately owned gyms that only had classes I wanted to do in my working hours. They also do introduction to the fitness machines and plan out an initial individual program for you when you join based on your fitness level and your little quirks - like my swinging vertebra.

This all led to my needing to work out a proper budget to see if I can warrant the $29/fortnight cost which covers both pool and gym fees. Paying a once off yearly payment is a fraction cheaper but at the moment I don't have that lump amount of cash available.

I averaged out my weekly wage since I've had this job, including public hols and Christmas shutdown, so I'm not working off the current nett pay but the average which is about $120 less a week than I receive now. I've over estimated costs with everything, and not included the money ex (still) owes me as well as adding in a clothing allowance which I probably won't use much anyway as it will only be for secondhand jeans for work, and then there's the unknown tax return I will receive this year as I nominated to be slightly over taxed.

I'll definitely have to jump into the sewing now or I'm going to have a cold Winter! Yeah, yeah I know I've been trying to destash for years but now it's become a necessary reality. LOL, now I'll also have to make the cash wallet envelope on my Pinterest board to keep all my regular payments in :). It's a bit of a bugger being paid cash wages these days.

Cleaning and groceries cost will reduce from what I've budgeted for as I'm baking bread and making my own soaps again as well as stockpiling specials more often now I have the initial base stockpile set up. In the future I hope to grow my own herbs/veges again so that will also lower the grocery cost. 

Yesterday, I made tallow based soap and changed the recipe again, as I wanted to include more tallow for eventual hardness and longevity, and therefore had to fiddle with the other oils so I had less cleaning and bubbly (I'm not that dirty :D) and more conditioning and creamy. I sort of need this now I've passed the half century *roll eyes*.

Anyway, here's the recipe:
Beef Tallow 900g
Coconut Oil (not copha) 150g
Olive Oil 450g
Water 570g
Lye 206g
Fragrance 46.5g - optional - but I didn't fragrance mine as it may be used on a couple of little ones and all I have at the moment is clove or lemon myrtle oils which can cause reactions in some people as they are quite strong.

If you want to know basic soapmaking go here to Rhonda's DTE blog, as she has explained it wonderfully, and she also has her basic soap recipe there if you want to try it as well, or instead of, mine.

I can't post a soap recipe without a pic of the outcome so here they are.

When they are sufficiently dried out in about 6-8 weeks I'll weigh them and see how much I have. Should be around 2kg.
As the tallow was free, the cost was a total of $4.81 for the other ingredients as I bought the oils on great specials and the lye was regular price of $4.39/500g at the supermarket. Minimal gas used to heat the oils so even rounded up to $5 for pretty close to 2kg of all natural soap it's a bargain :D.

I made some laundry soap this evening but more on that later in the week as this post is already quite long!

Robyn xo

10 Mar 2013

Pit stop and Op-shop

Didn't start off well last Thursday as the car decided on an unscheduled halt on the way to town. Twenty minutes later, after jiggling everything under the bonnet and finally undoing the petrol cap, it started again. The mechanic couldn't find anything obviously wrong with it but we both agreed it's probably the fuel pump so that will be fixed in a fortnight when the registration check is done - now that I've received the paperwork. Meanwhile, loosening the petrol cap seems to correct the vacuum problem so I just hope it isn't pouring rain if I'm going somewhere and the car decides it needs a pit stop!

While the mechanic was checking things with his little electronic gadgets and tools I decided some therapeutic op-shopping would help with the stress already suffered and apart from buying a single bed size 100% wool blanket, a few "necessary" pieces of fabric, daggy bags with wooden handles that I can use on bags I create.... and buttons, I also found myself a new sewing basket.

Well, actually, it's probably a picnic basket but I'm going to use it for a sewing basket. I couldn't leave it there when it only cost $8, and now that I've lined it to prevent errant pins and needles from slipping through the weave, I just have to decide what items to place in it. The mug is in there for size comparison and I still need to Dubbin the leather strap.

I also found a twisted string bag, for 80c, that will do nicely for carrying my fruit and veges in when I shop :D.

Lol, I'll just have to wait for some more sunshine to take photos of items I've sewn without needing to take them outside. It's not the "outside" that's the problem though, it's the 4 legged furry feline assistants that have a fabric fetish!

Robyn xo

28 Feb 2013

Up, down, round and round....

Well, since the 22nd the flood water has come up and the flood water has gone down.

I made some fig jam from the harvested figs (ok, I can hear some of you sniggering behind your hands so  just behave!).

I indulged in Booktopia's 9th birthday sale and bought $165 worth of books for $55, including postage. Oh there's an extra copy of "Love Notes" and "Sewing for Children" that I bought as gifts :).

I did an op-shop round looking for something else and found these. Leather upper and rubber sole for $3, barely used. Just what I need for wet days and Winter.

Another type of round. 
Now that she's finished moulting our oldest hen (9 year old Wyandotte) decided to let us know she was still worth her feed by gifting us with a large egg. She averages around 6 eggs/month but she makes it worth the effort! The comparison egg is from our first year layer.

Lol, why lay 2 eggs when you can put 2 yolks in the one container :D.

I bought these yesterday and of course the rain finally dried up today. Hmph, should have bought them a fortnight ago...grrrr. Ah well, I'll have them for the next rainy day.

To finish off for the week, and the month, there's the mystery box, which arrived on the same day as the box of books. I know the contents but it will be a mystery for the time being as to what I do with it in the next couple of weeks. Some of you may know from posts I've made on the DTE forum. Any guesses?

Robyn xo