Thursday, June 23, 2022

Around here

Around here we are in Winter in Queensland and we have had [for us Brisbane people] some very cold days although this week it's been lovely and after so much rain I'm enjoying putting the washing out on the line and it drying in the sun.  It's Queensland school holidays on Friday and this week my daughter is away on school camp in tents and was she was so excited.  University is on a month's break so my Son can catch up on some sleep, chilling out, working and seeing his friends.

A couple of weeks ago I was struck down with Covid and the first afternoon I had to curl up in bed and I felt like I did 24 hrs after my Covid Booster shot.  The first two jabs were a non event but the Booster knocked me around the day later however only for that day.  Since I felt exactly like what I did after my booster shot I did a Covid test and it was negative however the next day I got a faint 2nd line so tested positive and that was followed another by 7 days of ISO.  Luckily for me I didn't have any breathing problems and only a slight headache at two times and I think I took a total of 4 Panadol over the 9 days.   The first couple of days I didn't even turn my computer on so that shows you how sick I was, as in no interest or energy to do that.  I experienced sneezing, runny nose, deep voice but not a sore throat and late on day 6 I turned a corner and on day 7 I felt good.  Lots of people I know are catching it now.  My son had it a couple of months ago and my daughter so far hasn't had it although going on school camp there is a good chance she could catch it but we will see.  She didn't want to get it before school camp and miss out on all the fun.

After the first afternoon and night of curling up in bed with blankets the rest of the week was spent on the couch watching Netflix.  I think I watched 12 hours straight and then went to bed most days.  I watched Good Girls which was sort of like Bad Moms which I enjoyed.  Three Mum's accidently got caught up with a drug dealer so that kept me occupied for a while and then I watched Jane the Virgin which also light hearted not real life drama very Mills & Boon.  Times like this you need to watch light hearted nonsense and I enjoyed every minute of these two series.

I'm going to make this overnight no knead focaccia which Beth from Baby Mac blog posted about her teenager making this a few times.  Mix it up and leave it in the fridge overnight and bake the next day.  Add some fresh rosemary and sea salt and such a simple recipe.

We are currently babysitting Billy our friend's dog who comes over on the school holidays and he's like part of our family.  When they bring him over as soon as he sees our house he gets excited as it's his other home.  Here he is having a little nap.

Yesterday afternoon I made Lasagna which always takes about two hours even though you are not cooking for the whole two hours.  It was a WW Beef & Veggie Lasagna using fresh Lasagna sheets which I haven't used before.  One thing with the dried hard sheets is you can never shape them into a dish that has rounded corners and they snap off and you waste a lot of the dried sheets trying to do this so I was curious to see how the fresh ones were.  I used these fresh sheets and used scissors to cut the shape of the dish which was super easy.

I also made a new recipe of marinated chicken which was 1/4 cup of Balsamic Vinegar, 2 Teaspoons of Garlic Infused Oil and 2 Teaspoons of Italian herbs and then marinate the chicken for 20 minutes.  Such simple flavours and it was so delicious.  I'll be making this marinade again as it takes 1 minute to mix together and then you just pop the chicken in.

 Pasta & Salad for dinner.

My lights are currently out of action as the lawn mower
went over the cable so I need to attach a new set.

An out of focus [on purpose] pic of the Trumpet plant with it's bright orange flowers.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Around here - Rhonda from Down to Earth Blog

Hearing the sad news today that Rhonda's husband Hanno passed away yesterday.  Thinking of her and her family at this very difficult time.  Hanno had been in hospital for a while and then palliative care passing away yesterday.  I think even if you know someone is at the end of their life it still comes as a complete shock to the family.

I came across Rhonda back in 2008 when I was staying with in-laws in Melbourne reading through their gardening magazines.  Rhonda was a contributor on simple living in one of the magazines which is no longer published.  This lead me to her blog "Down to Earth" which lead me to starting a veggie garden, getting chickens and generally looking at life through a different lens.

Whilst her website isn't updated any more due to Rhonda looking after Hanno over the last year or so, all her recipes, budgeting tips, and posts about simple living are still available.  She has a wealth of information on how she went about giving up her career and staying home to have a better quality and simple life.  Rhonda and Hanno have two grown up sons and grandchildren who live close by.


Rhonda, myself and my friend Karin at a local Library talk on Simple Living

A few of Rhonda's recipes are her home made biscuits which are super economical.

Rhonda's book call The Simple Home.

Rhonda's post about the NYT Five Minute Bread recipe.

Flat breads from Rhonda's book.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Around here - Mother's Day

Just posting one of my favourite photos of the kids and I at the beach on a very early morning, hence why I'm in clothes and not togs it was too early to swim.  My sister snapped this for me November 2008 [yes 13.5 years ago] and it's still one of my favourite pics of us.  Happy Mother's Day to all the Mum's out there I know it's not really a rest day but still it's nice to be acknowledged.  

Monday, April 25, 2022

Around here - Anzac Day 2022

Today is ANZAC Day and for the past 2 years the traditional crowd gathering services have been cancelled due to Covid.  This year was the first year since 2019 that the Anzac Services and marches went ahead.  In lieu of these services during Covid the "Driveway Service" was born and even though this year services were back the Driveway Service in some suburbs are still strong and is a new tradition.

In honour of ANZAC Day I made ANZAC Biscuits which is in fact a weekly staple in our house anyway.  My daughter usually makes them however she was at work today so I whipped up a batch.

Later this afternoon I went down to our local memorial and took a few photos and it was lovely to see all the crocheted poppies draping the fences.  Here's some photos in honour of Anzac Day 2022.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Around here

Around here it's Queensland School holidays and having one still in school, our year pretty much runs by the school terms.  The thing is my kids are now 18 and 16 have social lives and part time jobs so they are out and about a lot.  I do miss the days when we would hang around the house in our pj's, do some baking and watch movies on school holidays.  I can honestly say even though the earlier years of Motherhood are hard, time just goes by so fast and before you know it they'll be out in the big wide world living with their mates.  I do know they will be welcome to come home for dinner any night of the week and they love my cooking so that's a positive.  My family went to Mum's on Sunday night for roast dinner for over 30 years and has been such a treasured family tradition catching up with everyone once a week.

Last weekend I went down to the Gold Coast to stay with my friend and we had a lovely time walking on the beach, catching up and chilling out.  The weather was amazing given that most of the early part of the week it was raining but it wouldn't have mattered although it was lovely having a few sunny days and watching a beautiful sunset.

In Australia ASIC [Australian Securities and Investment Commission] have just released new guidelines for Financial Influencers. All the IG accounts and Blogs I follow who share their money journey about paying off their mortgage, investing in shares and any talk about money in general will incur hefty fines and/or jail unless they are a qualified financial advisor.  I totally get where ASIC are coming from to protect the average person from taking advice from people who aren't qualified.  However the majority of the bloggers are not scammers and are providing ordinary people with tips about how they did things and navigated through their own personal finance journey.  New guidelines are warranted however banning people from sharing their own story about money does seem over kill.

You can talk about cooking, home renovation, fitness, travel and recommend anything with respect to these topics so you might buy recommended cookware because a cook uses it which means they are influencing you to buy something.  You are allowed to do that however you can't say you went with a certain mortgage company because of their rates and great customer service.  It is designed to protect people being scammed and losing money so that is a good thing however banning talking about money so people don't have access to ordinary people's journeys is not necessarily a good thing.  So many of the people I follow are either going to shut up shop, they have to delete all their posts where they give their opinion on a share broker, bank etc. or they will be fined and go to jail.  Here is a blog post from Strong Money about the new guidelines.  These guidelines only refer to Australia.

It's nearly time for Easter so I got in early and whipped up some lovely Hot Cross Buns for the kids and I and it didn't take long before they were all gone.  The time line with proving is long however the hands on time with mixing is very short so we had them for afternoon tea. 

Hope you are all staying safe and have a Happy Easter.

Home Made Hot Cross Buns

Could eat one right now with loads of butter!!

A beautiful sunset at the Gold Coast.

Afternoon coffee at a cafe.

My friend's coffee.

Beautiful sunny weather.

Who doesn't love a Black & White beach photo with trees.

A cosy little Mexican Restaurant bar we had dinner and listened to some live music.

These tortillas were so delicious, one was steak and the other chicken
however the flavours of the things that went with it were amazing.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Around here

Around here we are mid March and it feels like the start of 2022 with Covid Omicron, then delayed school start, then the rain bomb and floods so it feels like every month is a new start to the year.  How is your year going?

Last week I purchased a beautiful piece of artwork by Paula Starrs who is an Artist in Victoria.  The painting was inspired by a photo taken by a photographer which is probably how I came across the IG account.  The painting is titled "Gum Blossoms" and is framed in a 58x66cm floating Ash Wood frame.

I have been wanting to get a piece of Australian artwork for the past year and when I came across this I jumped at the chance to own it.  I think I sent Paula a message 10 minutes after seeing the artwork on the Thursday evening, she shipped it on Friday and it turned up on my door step on Monday afternoon and was straight up on the wall.  I just love it and as an original piece of artwork no one else has it and thrilled to be supporting an Australian artist.  Paula has just sold another artwork this week and is shipping it to another Brisbane customer so isn't the internet wonderful when you can reach customers at the end of your device.

Here's some photos of how well the package was wrapped and the unboxing and putting it on the wall.  I can't tell you how happy it makes me seeing this artwork on the wall every day when I walk into my living room.  Have you purchased any artwork.

Then I moved it into it's permanent place in the living room.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Around here - Brisbane floods 2022

Oh wow what a big few days.  The East Coast of Australia has been battered by a rain bomb and Brisbane has received 2/3rds of the years rain in 5 days.  We last had a major flood in 2011 which was huge.

According to Professor Stuart Khan, an expert on water management at the University of New South Wales, says Wivenhoe Dam gained amount 1,450 billion litres of water, which all came in under 3 days".  That is about three Sydney Harbours' worth of water.  Compared with the floods of 2011, Professor Khan says this is about 50% more water into the dam in about half of the time.

We are safe and our house is okay however we live at the bottom of a hill so the water comes down and usually goes into the big drains but they were over flowing so our backyard fills up quickly and the water was about 2 inches from coming in the house.  The water goes up and down in the backyard as the rain goes from heavy to light so it gives the yard a little bit of reprieve.  I wasn't overly worried until Saturday night when the neighbours and I felt we needed some sandbags however the rain stopped over night so we were good.  Our street was a river of water and rocks brought down with mud from the mountain.  The mountain is still closed due to a tree falling on power lines and some landslides.

We wouldn't really be in a position to flood like many other areas that are low lying but the amount of rain was insane.  We were cut off on the main road up the hill and down the hill due to flooding.  Our suburb was inaccessible as well.  The roads have taken an absolute beating with 2 metre pot holes appearing in the roads due to the amount of water. Two of my friends are still without power in different suburbs even though there is no water around where they live.  There are hundreds of cars that are write offs and with the short supply of new cars currently people are waiting for 6-8 months for new cars because of Covid and the Pandemic due to the supply chain just replacing an insured vehicle will be nearly impossible.

We were supposed to be having a Birthday afternoon tea for my daughter on Sunday which we ended up cancelling and my sister was stuck up the Coast as the Bruce Highway was closed and couldn't get back.  She went up there on Saturday morning and could only get back today.

I'm confident we are not in a flood area and our house wouldn't flood however for half an hour there I thought if the rain goes all night it would come into our house so we were really lucky.  I feel so sorry for all the people that have lost everything and even with insurance money if they are covered, where do all these displayed people live while their repairs happen.  The task and cost to life, homes, businesses, family cars is enormous.  It was a first for us having our suburb cut off in all directions however we were staying home as instructed where it was the safest place for us.  The days and weeks to come will be a lot for many people.

What's happening in Lismore, NSW is frightening with many people sitting on their roofs waiting to be rescued.

Huge pot hole as a result of the force of the water with bitumen lifted off the road.

Lots of rocks brought down the hill by the water and all of this ended up on the road and a few of the men raked them up into one spot.

All of these rocks were in front of our house.

The mountain road is closed still.

This is near my friends place and this spot always floods so it was not a surprize there.

Office works Newmarket Road, Windsor.

This was our road was a bit of a river at one stage water coming down from the mountain.

This is the backyard with the water going up and down which every time the rain eased
slightly it went away from the back door and then more rain it would come up again.

This was my back door undercover area.

This was the other reason why our suburb was cut off we are on the other side of that water on the left.  

This is the main street of Samford.

And when the water recedes this is what the roads are looking like.