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Showing posts from March, 2016


Only a little time spent in the garden today but good progress was made.  Before we started.

Progress being made.  It was great that Jeff was able to help me as he was able to pull out things that I had struggled to and did it so quickly!  Below, Sophie always finds herself a spot at a distance to lie like a sphinx and simply watch.
 Jess is always in the thick of it, usually leaning over your shoulder, between your legs or.....
Desperately trying to get you to "Please throw the ball....."
What the garden looked like when we knocked off....

15 Minutes in the Garden

Inspired by a gloriously cool afternoon and my progress earlier this week I headed outside to be productive earlier.  I only did 15 minutes but that was enough today.  I'll show some before and after pictures then show you the whole garden.

Before photos of the area I worked on.

Couldn't have a work photo without my helper... After 15 minutes..

I've mainly cleaned up the overflow onto the pavers and pulled some really big weeds from the bed. Then I hit the pavers with the hose.  I left the walkway until Jeff is here to help me (he's out cycling at present).   There are some really heavy rocks to be moved and the wheelbarrow is loaded and too heavy for me also.  If all else fails I'll unload it one small bucket at a time.
Now, let's talk about this garden. The garden once contained two large palm trees that grew up through the shade cloth roof and held an assortment of shade plants.  The palms had to be cut down in order to replace the decking and shade cloth.  This …

Taking Care of Yourself

Taking care of ourselves can take so many forms.  It can be as simple as taking a nap.  It can involve the more complex areas of eating well, saying 'no', making sometimes difficult choices about what to do with our energy and time, managing medication and health care. It can involve developing habits or practices that support your well being.  Sometimes it just means doing 'stuff' to make you feel better.

These are the things I've been doing of late to take care of myself.....

Going to yoga at the sweet old town hall in Glass House.  So many childhood memories of this hall. Cent Sales. Big anniversary or birthday parties.  Dances. School concerts... The yoga was more demanding than my home practice so I spent much of the time in corpse pose imagining I was doing what everyone else was doing.  That counts right?!!!  :)

Going to meditation group.  Last night was Angel's class in Maleny.  Tomorrow is Aannsha's group class in the CWA Hall in Beerwah.  So very gra…

This is not a cooking blog really.... and some random pics.

What happens when Jeff plays with the dogs on the back verandah and they've not been brushed for  a few days.
New shoes.  My feet are so swollen at present from the prednisone that my current shoes (I only have a couple of pairs) are unwearable.  I've been wearing thongs (flip flops - not underwear on my feet people!).
Dreaming of a new food processor and blender combo to replace mine which is currently held together with duct tape....
Fish pie for dinner using Jools Oliver's recipe.

Overflow requiring the oven to be cleaned afterwards. Sigh.
 Smells pretty good.  The best thing is that after feeding us I had enough leftovers to put some in the fridge for lunches and some in the freezer to share with Mum and Dad or to use as a meal on a busy or tired night in the future.

Hope all is well in your world. 

Nature Mandala

Aannsha took us through quite an extraordinary healing meditation today in our group session.  During my meditation I made mandalas on the ground at the base of a lovely tree (in my mind of course).  When I got home I felt compelled to bring this into real life.

Gatherings from my garden and my stash of shells and stones.

A Random Ramble

The roast chicken in milk turned out beautifully.  Very moist and a lovely flavour.  Probably not as tasty to me as my easy roast chicken (stick a pierced lemon, a handful of thyme and garlic cloves in cavity and bung in oven in roasting pan).  Flavours were similar.  The picture below shows the chicken just after I had browned it and poured the milk and flavourings in. 

Over the weekend I took the time to try another kitchen experiment.  I baked a savoury strata for breakfast.  Jeff loves this type of thing and I must admit I enjoyed it too.  We had some day old vienna loaf so I cut it into chunks, soaked it overnight in a mix of eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Just before cooking I stirred some bacon, cheese and parsley into the mix and them popped it into a springform tin.  I had some for breakfast and then lunch the next day with a salad.  It was a great light lunch option.
Some time ago I made some visits to a community garden near Kawana Lake.  It is fantastic and has so many ideas…


I spent this morning pottering in the kitchen listening to podcasts.  Oh I love podcasts. I started by giving my recipe book area a thorough pull everything out and clean.  Aaah, sigh of satisfaction.  It didn't actually take very long and I just plodded along, resting when I needed to.
All this exposure to cook books in addition to a need to have something on hand to eat for lunch, I decided to make use of the large bag of onions I had in my basket and make French Onion Soup. Mine is a Jamie Oliver recipe.
On a very low heat melt some butter into some olive oil and toss in a handful of thyme, about 6 cloves of garlic, crushed and some bay leaves.  As the butter melted I cut up 1kg of onions.
Cook very slowly on a low heat, you want to bring out the sugars in the onion.  I popped the lid on and left it for 15 minutes, stirring occassionally while I continued cleaning.
 Once they are soft and gooey and cooked down - probably a few more minutes after I took the above photo - turn the he…

A Mess of Recipes

It's been a bit rainy and hot this week cancelling my gardening plans.  I've been tired too but wanting to achieve things, to still move forward, make progress, have control over SOMETHING in my life! :)  So, I dove into my recipe collection and went a bit nuts.  I decided that I wanted to ensure that I always had a copy of 'that recipe', you know the absolute favourite one Aunty Jan scribbled on a piece of notepaper and you stuffed in a box, and my absolute must have's from different books, friends, magazines and online.  I wanted to save them all in one place on the computer and my dear friend May inspired me to save them onto Dropbox so that not only were they securely backed up but I could access them from wherever I am on the planet. 

I have started with my absolute must have recipes.  My basics. The things I turn to time and again even if infrequently. The things I am asked to make for others. No knead bread, microwave polenta, pecan spice cake, curry pastes, …

Prednisone, the wild ride

I mentioned yesterday that I wasn't feeling great.  What I didn't mention was that I have had really intense nausea for the past two weeks in addition to feeling not right in the head - sort of dizzy.  Hard to describe.  Well, today I was desperate and I decided to try something a bit left field to try to help. I have motion sickness wrist bands in the car for my niece and sometimes myself. A friend had used them successfully to counteract morning sickness, so I thought... "Why not give them a try?". 
 The white button sticks out at the back of the band and presses on a pressure point in your wrist.  It took at least 1 1/2 hours but I must say it worked.  As the day has progressed I've felt better and better.  Yippeeeee!!  I wonder if they would help people with chemo nausea?

A celebration dinner that I can actually enjoy without feeling ill!  Salmon and chickpea tikka curry with rice, quinoa, fresh coriander (cilantro) and crunchy pappadams.  Yum.  Oh my goodness …