Monday, July 30, 2012

Yet another dry month

We headed off for a walk around a local lake yesterday. Even though this is our winter, it was a warm and sunny afternoon. 

Now I like warm and sunny as much as the next person, but recent stories about the extraordinarily dry July in Perth this year, have reinforced the situation we are facing here in the South West of Western Australia -a drying 'trend' of some 40 years duration now.

You can read one of the latest stories here:

So it was good to see water in Carine Lake yesterday.

I read a very good article today about the way Melbournian people approach gardening and water use, and in it the writer reflected that non-Indigenous Australians are still coming to terms with life on an old, dry continent. We still use lots of water, and expect European style gardens. You can read the rest of the article here:

In our home we have been working hard to reduce water use. In an old property it is often leaky plumbing that causes unnecessary water use. We have invested quite a lot of money fixing the plumbing.
It is also old fittings -modern bathrooms in our city use fittings which slow water use and use it more efficiently. This is why we are renovating bathrooms.

We have rain forecast for this week, and I hope it falls in buckets! And in water tanks and dams too! It does seem a shame that so much rainfall goes to waste, although of course it is needed to replenish ground water supplies too.

I notice that many people in Australia are very concerned about the idea of drinking recycled water, although  cities like London have been using it for a long time. Do you have an opinion about this? Do leave me a comment!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Spring in the air

 It has been a warm weekend, and the garden is sure it must be spring! I found the bottlebrush coming out in flower, when we were out weeding and feeding this morning. We have been trying to keep the weeds at bay -a difficult job at this time of the year, but good fun because it gets us out where we can find beauty like this. 

 My Irises are putting on a lovely show. DH has been breaking up clumps of these and replanting them in a row edging the patio -they are looking lovely. 

 My scrappy quilt got finished at last! This was made of the left overs from other quilts. I got it half made, then decided I didn't like it and put it away for a few months, but recently I challenged myself to 'just do it" and I am very pleased that it turned out so well. My DH reckons the orange block border looks like 'pindan' -the colour of the soil in parts of Western Australia. I think all the scraps together make me think of wild flowers. Maybe that is the name of the quilt- 'wildflowers'? 

Here it is on our outdoor table. DH worked very hard yesterday cleaning the patio and putting it all in order -we sat out there yesterday for afternoon tea. Very spring-like!

 Geraldton wax flowers also ready to bloom in our garden.

The quilting marathon has not stopped -the "Give More" quilt is now under the machine.
 It is coming along nicely. 

Hope you have had a chance to enjoy the outdoors, where ever you are this weekend, and that you too can do what makes your heart sing. 
Thanks for dropping by to read my blog. Lurkers welcome, but I like to receive comments too.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Catching up

Our lovely grand daughter's picture is now resplendent in a frame I found at the op shop this morning, and in pride of place on the mantle. We are glad to be having extra time to see her as my son and daughter in law are having a well needed break back home in Perth from studying in Melbourne. Tomorrow we are going to have her dedication at their church.

It has been a busy last few months for me but I have finally finished my stint of working two jobs so this weekend has been great to start catching up with all the things I have been wanting to do for a while now.

I am having some time at last to sit with a cup of coffee and read a new recipe book -again from the op shop. It is a Delicious magazine publication called "Let's Do Lunch" -and I got it for the princely sum of $2.99. Some really nice ideas for easy lunches in here - I always like salad ideas, and there are some good cakes too!

 I have been experimenting with a new configuration for my sewing. Marguerite McManus's book on ergonomics for quilters got me thinking about having a table which would enable me to sew at the right height for me. This is a little cheap folding table from Office Works. It is a bit flimsy to look at, but I love being able to sit with my feet flat on the floor and my arms at a comfortable height when I sew.

My "50c Army" friends (you know who you are) will recognise this -a slow cooker full of apples. I am experimenting with the idea which I picked up on their forum. I did try preserving apples last year, but they were not as successful as the pears, and I decided that I would be better stewing and freezing them rather than preserving. So if this turns out to be succesful I will be taking advantage of the granny smith apple season to put some of these away. Stewed apples on my breakfast muesli sounds pretty good.

 After last night's rain , the garden was a picture in the winter sun this morning when we were out gardening.

My DH told me that our rambling garden has been a hit with a young neighbour, who told his mum that "If they ever don't want to live there next door, I would like to live there." Why? "Because of the garden!"

I am sure a little chap like him would love to go exploring here.

This is the kind of garden I love -fruit trees, aromatic vegetation, herbs and flowers all mixed up, growing together so there is hardly a space between the plants. Abundance! I hope to be able to make more time for the garden over the next few months too. We bought a couple of rhubarb crowns today, so have great hopes for lots of lovely rhubarb this time next year. Maybe that will go well in the slow cooker, along with the apples?