Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Bits and pieces of flotsam and jetsam of life

Strange beginning to week, popped into little village near where we live, just for milk and bread.  Very expensive trip hit a major pot hole.
I  was waving at a friend walking her dog, and did not see said pot hole. SO one very damaged tyre. I was only doing 60 as I was slowing to pass friend walking dog.  (thankfully).  As Toby(dog) and I were in the car and neither hurt, and tyre damaged I tried to get home the two kms we were from home.  Nope only got about 1km.  Stopped began to change tyre, spare flat!  As I was trying to lift spare out hatchback door dropped on my back ribs,  so bruised and sore but not broken.  I just gave up.  Rang the RACT which is roadside assistance c? tasmania.  I have got more than my monies worth out of belonging to these organisations over the years.
So at some time in the week I will have to take one tyre into village and get it fixed, then I will ring RACT to come and put new tyre on and old off, then again drive into town to fix second tyre.  Tyre month this month as my car needs new tyres.  Now why could I have not damaged my tyre rather than DH's which was in good nick?  ARRRGH.  You have to laugh and at least my tax return is good this year.

So I will be carting tyres to and fro, and more exciting and fun I have to go and pick up my new dwarf fruit trees from Woodbridge.
Heirloom varities, growing on dwarf rootstock.  These are supposed to be going into the Chook run, unfortunately the eucalyputs that is in there has become huge and will need to be removed before these new trees can go in.  So pots will be the go this year.

I have been watching the Tour de France, something I really love and have for 20+ years.  I began listening to it on the radio as back then no one televised it in Australia.  I began because a friends daughter (whom I have never met) was riding in it. We were listening on the radio only to hear that she had been in a bad fall.
She recovered and I do not know what became of her.
Only to say this piqued my love of bicycle racing and especially the Tour de France.
Tired and very happy last night was a rest night.
So home and garden suffering till the end of the Tour.

My DH is the most amazing man I know.  He is weakening, and sleeping more and more during the day.  We have his pain kept pretty well under control and it may be the meds that cause him to sleep more or it may be the cancer.
However he will not wake me ( I dont always hear him get up).  He gets dressed and comes down stairs, he lights the fire, I have wood that is not too heavy and kindling ready for him.  We find it too hot to keep the fire going overnight unless it is less than 2C so it goes out. 

The day before was a very good day, he was up and let our chooks out, did the fire and was working on his photos.  He is sorting them and labelling them for his daughters.  Somedays he is up to a short walk others not.  He is not interested generally to leave home.  It is all getting too much. 

We receive invitations to visit and parties for our friends and we just have to play it by ear.  He has kept a record of the time line the radiologist oncologist gave him which was 3-6 months, and we have passed the 6months this week. Interesting fact, not sure it is a great thing as he is so very weary of this slow drawn out process.

The girls have been coming down and spending time with us.  Staying overnight on weekend almost each week.  It is lovely and he enjoys it so much.  It is comfortable and things are going well with them both for me too.  It is just so very difficult not stopping them from caring and supporting their daddy, whom they love and are loosing.  It can be so easy to forget that it is no just I that he is leaving.  His life before we met 10,
1/2 years ago was full and precious.  We are all doing the best we can and coping as best we can in the circumstances. 

My eldest SD announce her engagement last week which is such happy and delightful news.  Of course tinged with saddness. Such great news.

The garden is self caring almost..sigh Kale, silver beet, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbages small in number but growing.  Garlic is going well, I should pop more in.  I cleared the cherry trees and fed, composted and covered the cleared area with sugar cane so they hopefully will give me a good crop.  The other fruit trees were done in autumn.  I pruned the roses who cares if it is the wrong time, I just felt a need to do it.  My almond tree is dead I am pretty sure..darn it.  Hazle nuts have some flowers, but as they are not all flowering at once doubt any hazle nuts will happen this year as you have to have cross pollinators and they just do not seem to flower together.
There are buds on peach, plums, and nectarine trees.  It is there second year in so I can not expect much fruit this year but at least my garden tank is full.  The house tanks are half full and we have had about 10 ml of rain in last week or so.  It has been a very dry winter so far.  Mind you it is only just half way through. 

SDs did not let us know they were coming down to stay overnight on Sunday till after 1pm so I was  not really prepared'; I did have a kind of thought it may be a possiblity that they would come but...

I had been promising that I would make a treacle tart for DH, and as girls were coming down thought would do this.  I whipped up a salmon mornay(tinned salmon) with left over potatoes and tinned asparagus on the bottom.  Popped the lot in oven and baked with some grated parmesan on top.  Served with rice..delicious.  Treacle tart for desert.  Big  I add more lemon juice as it is too sweet for me. It is an amazing tart when you just use Golden syrup, fresh white bread crumbs(had to buy white bread especially for it) and lemon juice and rind.  Oh and pastry.  Think I could make the filling without pastry and it would have very little fat.  lol.  Not so nice though.  Just made a short crust pastry for it.

I had some  lovely photos to put on here to show you all sigh but somehow did not load them correctly and have deleted them off the camera.  sigh techonology brilliant when it does what I want awful when it misbehaves.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Building communities

What a wonderful day I had a couple of weeks ago
A new resident in town, has blown in and bought with her a change, it may be wintertime down here but she has bought warmth, friendship and inspirational personality, (and that is only through reading her blog and a couple of emails) before we actually met, all this had me a little in awe.  (the awe inspiring kind!)

After receiving an email inviting me to a Home Gardeners Group, I went to Kate's   There were quite a few women and we sat around Kate's kitchen table and chatted sharing such warm, and amazing conversation.  A eclectic group we were but all have in common a love for our gardens, and desire to be more self sufficient and less dependent on oil.  In the process reforming the traditional sense of community.  Mind you we traveled to be together, and we will meet up once a month. Car pooling as we can.  Meeting sharing food, seeds, plants, knowledge, support, books, recipes, ideas and friendship.

Community what does that mean to you?  For some community is family, with a few friends.  The interesting thing we found in our discussion and sharing yesterday is that most of us had moved to the region recently. (12 years me)  other 3months.  Only one person had grown up in Tasmania, and after many years away had returned.  When I first moved here to Tasmania, I found it hard to meet people, especially since I had no children. Children open more doors in new places. 
The locals  were friendly very friendly but invitations to people(Tasmanians) homes never came. Of course this could be more about me than the   All my friends seem to be like myself migrants from the main island north or from overseas.  This situation repeated itself with the group yesterday.   In our discussion we discussed how it is more that locals have family, friendships already established, lives that need no one new necessarily to be included.  They are warm friendly and established.

My chooky girls Lovely Barnevelders

 This is my hen with the green blue eye

This is one of the other 3 all who have orange eyes.

So newcomers may find it hard and why newbies meet with other migrants.  Not always but often.  It may have more to do with Tasmania being an island, a biggish island but still an island with a small population. 
In saying all this.  I love Tasmania.  You can tell that because I was not born here but chose to move here, and have chosen to remain here!  (okay local people love the place too I know.)

When one looks at my library of self sufficiency books, vegie gardening, poultry you would imagine that I had the most amazing vegetable gardens.  They are a work in progress more in my head at present but the concept is being established.  Fruit trees, nut trees, chickens and some vegies are all here.
Extra water tank is here.  I may not be the most successful vegie grower but things are happening and I am willing to give it a try and try again.

One is led to believe Winter,  is a quite time in the garden.  It seems a tad deceptive to me, mine is a  very busy time when establishing one or maintaining one.  Planting, pruning, building, creating, and so very tiring all the planning.  I have paths to re-establish, holes still to be dug.  The ground is a little hard still recent rains will help.  Plants to move, and dreams to dream.

A photo of our cat he is normally very hard to get a full face shot, he is not happy~!

Worm wee to make my vegies grow 
as you can see they need all the help they can

But why are my raspberries now flowering?  I know we are past the winter solistice here but it seems a bit too early or late whichever way you look at it.