Sunday, 30 October 2011

Simple Mondays

Today I'm joining along with Barbara and her Simple Monday theme which is always a joy to read.

Its the simple things in life which can sometimes bring you the most happiness and contentment ,
sharing a cup of tea with a friend, reading a book,(finding the time to read it) spring cleaning the house, finishing a project (however small) or receiving a cup of tea in bed. ( you can tell I like a cuppa)

I find smells can trigger simple joys and memories.
 Mint brings back wonderful memories of holidays at the seaside as a young girl, camping in the old bungalow in grandma's backyard, playing with my sisters & brother , climbing down rocky paths to the sea below,
finding treasure's in the sand, shells and driftwood.
At night the smell of mint growing along the bungalow walls would drift in through the window on the sea breeze..................

A mint bush planted on the edge of a path in the veggie path is a daily reminder of special times!!

While in Italy I was given beautiful Shampoo and soaps made with organic Olio Di Oliva  (olive oil)
and once a week I wash my hair and remember the smells and experiences of my exciting trip only such a short time ago!!!

What smells bring to you a special memory?

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Garden Tales


This last week I've had a wonderful productive time in my Veggie Garden.

First started with general weed and clean-up and trim of all silver beet, rocket and parsley plants starting to bolt, when I had a huge wheelbarrow full I then dumped it all in the chook-pen and sent the girls into a frenzy!!
Next any spare sections of garden beds were then dug over and compost added.
Next step was to check my garden diary, I started this diary in 2004 to record all garden beds and what I planted in them each season, remembering to rotate crops with one bed sown with a green manure crop. (forgot this year)
I also record rainfall, temperature and dates of crops sown and when produce is harvested and ways of harvesting, eg Garlic, over the years I've been able to work out the best time to plant cloves and when too pull them and dry them with the least amount of loss.
Notes and recipes from friends and items of interest from magazines, blogs and the Weekly Times are also scribbled in where they can fit.
Final Step was to write down which crops are now ready to sow and into which beds, seed packets sorted and then seeds finally planted.

Sunflowers                Corn                   Bush Beans
Climbing Beans          Butter Beans         Perpetual Spinach
Lettuce Cos Verdi
         Little Gem
         Rossa Di Trento
Zucchino Romaneso     Cucumber             Basil
Tomato Yellow Pear                             Capsicum Patio Red
          Mortgage Lifter

Whats been harvested this week:
Asparagus                      Red Onions       Dill
Spinach                         Silver beet         Oregano
Parsley                         Chives              Kale 2 varieties
Broad Beans                  Lettuce 4 varieties

Whats growing along nicely:
Potatoes              Artichoke             Cabbage
Carrots               Beetroot              Rhubarb
White & Red Onions
lettuce seedlings
Tomato seedlings Self sown ?

Whats soon to be harvested:
Large crop of Garlic

          Alfred came along to work with me one day but the weeding was just too much for him !!


Thursday, 27 October 2011

A Simple Treasure

I love coming upon a fellow blogger with lots of passion and ideas and recently was inspired to join along with Punky & Me

I know I'm scraping it in on the last day but would love to share a very simple item that i treasure.

This pincushion was made as a sampler by Marjorie my mother in law (shes 85) mother Eva, along with a needle card. 
Eva travelled by ship from America to Australia with her husband to start their new life together. 

Eva also brought along her special quilting sewing box this had travelled to many quilting days, there is even a built in shelf to rest your work upon if needed.
Many of the cottons left are woodon reels and are used now on my special projects.

A much loved treasure which i will to pass onto my daughters in the future.  

Monday, 24 October 2011

Something Blue

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue !! and maybe something I haven't revealed before!!

I confess, I have an addiction which I do keep under control MOST of the time, but when I see something old that has been made by hand I can't resist!! and I rescue, barter, swap, beg (not often) or buy it . These items can range from a simple wooden handle bread knife, a hand embroidered supper cloth or to this latest find!!


I just love the cotton-reel handle and its sits in our barn (future studio when I retire) like it was made to fit.


Now this cute little fellow, Alfred is the new addition to our family and already has caught his first bunny and alerted us to a brown snake

I also like to borrow other peoples ideas and isn't this a great one to protect growing seedings!!


                                  Favorite Color Blue!


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Italy, Take Two

First Stop was Rome , it was so HUGE!!! and so beautiful!!!

St Peter's at the Vatican

 After Rome off to the country side ,the township of Radda surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, this particular day 19k walk.

Some mornings I got up early to watch the sunrise and then an early morning coffee and pastry at the bar, Italian style!

                                At the end of the day a gelati, walk and always a beautiful Sunset

        I just loved the warm stonework of the village buildings and the simple window planters.

When you live in an apartment any little bit of space can become a veggie garden.

                            Olive trees shade this veggie garden, cabbage, kale and tomatoes.

Gaint squash growing along the roof, any extra space is put to good use.

I spent 4 days in Florence, so much to see, Gardens,Galleries,Markets,Churches, wonderful craftsmen, silversmiths & painters......
I brought a travel set of watercolors and enjoyed rediscovering a long ago interest and ended up giving away my little paintings as gifts to some of the lovely people I met .

The Chinque Terra, amazing area of 5 little townships hugging the sides of the hills. The day i walked this hill it was 33C and so humid!!! 6 bottles of water got me through and the thought of a swim in the ocean!!! Was worth every step, such amazing views.

The gaint walls and towers of San Gimignano

      I took so many photos of windows and doors they may have to have their own post.

 Looking from the Botanical Gardens to the outer wall of Siena and beyond.

                                                       Shovels at the Botanical Gardens.

Wow, how old is this olive tree?

Many simple churchs, vineyards and the most amazing views in the hills of Tuscany.

Last stop was Perugia for 4 days and a visit to Assisi and the Basilica of Saint Francis.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Italy, you had me at first Gelati !

Oh what a holiday!!!

Italy is such a beautiful country full of a rich history surrounding all the many Cities, villages and people that I was just in awe.
Amazing countryside, clean and efficient public transport, friendly people and the food!!!!!! I didn't want to come home!!!
So glad I did heaps of walking before I left as there are always hills and plenty of steps in Italy!! The weather was beautiful between 25C-33C every-day, only one day of rain, really a short heavy shower and lucky for me as I lost my new lightweight coat on that day.

Six days of walking in the beautiful Chianti region was the most wonderful
experience, passing through vineyards,tasting wines, stopping for lunch at a family cafe, old farmhouses, amazing views, following old roman roads, picnic lunches beside ancient churches and ruins.......

An afternoon of Cooking at “Podere la Sala” with Monica and Mamma Maria was a afternoon/evening to remember!!!
A full Italian menu all cooked from scratch!! including
Gnudi al Pomodoro
Tagliatelle Zucchine& Salsiccia
Spezzatino di Pollo con Cipolle
Con champignon al Forno

We finally all ate about 1opm at the gaily decorated table in the renovated barn, the bells of the nearby church ringing quietly through the evening, just beautiful.

                                                          Eva, 3 years old learns too.


                               Beautiful Monica, wonderful teacher & host and amazing cook.

I would really love to write so much more but unfortunately since returning home i have injured my eye, (would you believe raking up bark & sticks which one struck my eye) and ended up at the Eye& Ear Hospital. So i can only now hop on computer for a very short time.
Can't believe i travelled all over Italy for a month with no troubles at all and then nearly lose my eye in my own backyard!!!

                                 Beautiful Florence                              Ciao till next time, x