Sunday, 30 December 2012

Simple Christmas 2012

We had a simple Christmas Lunch at a local chinese restaurant!
Shocking I know!
I have always turned myself inside out for Christmas day with the endless cleaning before having visitors plus cooking and the trying to make everyone's food wishes come true.

It was really easy just to push my MIL around the corner to the restaurant from the nursing home.
They had all sorts of seafood on offer. Plus a hot chinese buffet.
It was nothing short of interesting. They did a wonderful job.
I highly recommend going out for Christmas lunch.
Walk in- walk out.

 Must say though that I didn't like driving about on Christmas day.
Me being the designated driver meant only 2 drinks!
I'm a bit funny about that when I have my kids in the car, preferring not to drink at all.
Though this organisation meant we had a little boy who was extremely happy not to have to wait for anyone to arrive at our house before he ripped into his presents.
Here is my optic fibre tree that I had up at work.
The kids loved it and would ask for the lights to go off.
I was more than happy to do it.
Ha ha lights off in a library!
They would just sit or stand around and look at it!

The Fireworks at the town carols were fab too.

I meant to blog about these before Christmas as we have made them in the past and they are always a big hit! You can't see it- there is a little chocolate santa in there driving the sleigh.

It's a pretty fun thing to do for gifts for classmates.

Now I am organising things for a New Year's Eve gathering here tomorrow night!
I wonder if we will make it to midnight !!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Jodie shared an Instagram photo with you

Hi there,

Jodie just shared an Instagram photo with you:

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"What's your goal for today? The kids tell me they are just going to hang by the milkbar and push and shove each other out of the way for the best milkshake!! #cairnterrier #puppies #cute"

The Instagram Team

Monday, 3 December 2012

Hot Weather Gardening

The heatwave hitting us at the moment is incredible. It normally doesn't hit 'til later in the season. So many days in the high thirties and low forties are terribly oppressive.
We're fortunate enough to have a swimming pool, so when one of our evaporative air cons decided to blow a pump, we were still able to chill out in the pool.
We're also incredibly fortunate to have a bore and basically a never ending supply of really good water. Our's is pretty good in regards to minerals as well. They are there, but not concentrated enough to worry the garden or household appliances.

I knew the heat was coming and watered the garden right up to maximum moisture levels.
Once the heat hits it's too late to start watering.
I've learned that I have to keep things wet and damp, 
but not quite drowned for them to do well.
Laying in pools of water seems to cook things.
The water laying on top of the lawn and beds just heats up in the sun and boils the plants.
I have lost some patches of lawn this way. At least they grow back easily.
The trick is to water it until there is a flood, but then turn the sprinklers off and have it almost all soaked in by the time the sun shines on it.

There are lots of plants which thrive in this hot climate we have.

All up my driveway is an outstanding display of agapanthus.
It's taken a few years to get them this way! I'm so thrilled with them.

I fell in love with Agapanthus many years ago when at the Peppers Resort in the Hunter valley.
They had them all up their driveway.

Looking so much better without the wooden sleepers.
The 1 year old aggies up the front are again flowering well.
Hoses are always laying about here! No open garden rules at my house!
There's one with a weird deformity going on- another flower coming out of its mid region.
They are truly a beautiful stalwart in my garden.

We got to eat a couple of these apricots and some birds got the rest.
very tasty and rewarding for their first year!
As soon as I finish mowing the lawn, I plug in the bayonet sprinklers in on the lawn and leave them for a day or so. Making sure that none have been on for a couple of days before I mow again in a week's time. I'm often getting bogged in the muddy bits!

I tend to get up really early in the morning and turn the big lawn sprinklers off or move them to a new location, then set my little gentle sprinklers on the garden beds for 2 hours with the timers.
These are moved around each day so each section gets a really big soak about every 4 or 5 days.

I'm looking forward to eating these figgies before the birds do!

The big beds have really filled out. Everything is growing so well, even the paths need spraying with weed killer again.
Then I hand water the veggie garden every single morning.
This is the workflow that's working for me.
That shipping container really needs a coat of paint.
I think I might paint it in the holidays, have compressor and spray gun so I can knock it over easily!
I am told that the best time to pick zucchini (- or courgettes) is just when the flower withers, that way they are at their most tender and not all tough and woody.

Their spikey leaves give me a bit of a rash on my arms. does anyone else have that worry??
Sometimes I think I need welding gloves for protection.
When these Roma tomatoes ripen up I think I will be overwhelmed. There are so many!

I like them slow roasted with olive oil, sea salt and Balsamic vinegar.

This year I have planted an heirloom variety of tomato, they are still a bit green when ripe, some would call them black!
And who doesn't love a cherry tomato??

I also have some button squash. i'm not sure why I put these in, I am not exactly a big fan. I think I just wanted some squash variety! 

And I still have no idea about when to pull up the beetroot. 
I think I will be roasting them in the same way as the Roma tomatoes. 

How do you manage to keep up the water to your garden in the heat?
Do you have a little veggie garden, just something to potter in and fuss over?
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