Wednesday, May 26, 2010

To everything, a season

Have you ever noticed whether you have periods of time - days, weeks, or months - when you seem to be motivated, creative and achieve a lot? Your mind is overflowing with ideas, and you have the energy to follow them through?
I do. Maybe it's because I'm getting over the worst cold I've had in years but I also have periods, like now, when I don't seem to be doing or achieving much at all. The garden doesn't seem to need lots of attention (except I still need to plant garlic), there isn't much to preserve, for various reasons I'm not sewing or knitting. I'm not blogging much. Family life is ticking over nicely. My social life isn't particularly busy, but I'm keeping in touch with friends. I haven't even got a book on the go, which is really unusual for me. I'm not sad or depressed or even in blogging parlance lost my mojo. I'm just happily quiet, and not particularly driven to do much at all.
It may be seasonal, but rather than being necessarily connected to weather seasons, I believe this is more about internal seasons. I find that periods of high output need to counterbalanced with periods of quiet reflection, so I can gather energy for the next burst of activity whenever that comes. I'm glad that my life situation allows me the freedom to do just that.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Feeling poorly


My blogging has been thin on the ground this month. We were away for a while, then Iwas busy with work and in the last week, I've been feeling poorly (don't you love that saying?). Nothing but a bad cold, but enough to have me in bed by 7.00pm every night. With lots of rest and doses of magic tea, I've just started to come good in the last day or two.
What's magic tea? It's a concoction of a couple of peeled garlic cloves, some fresh ginger slices, the juice of a lemon or two and a pinch of chili flakes. Put everything in a teapot, and pour boiling water over it. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes, and serve with a teaspoon of honey. Every time I feel a cold coming on, I make up a pot of this and it seems to stop the viruses in their tracks. Except this time, the viruses weren't letting anything get in their way. This cold was the worst I've had for years. Hopefully, that's it for this winter at least.
Autumn is well and truly here, and you can feel winter just around the corner. Even so, we are still picking loads of tomatoes. I have at least two dozen jars of preserved tomatoes put up, and still have more to do. The fact that they are still producing has meant that I haven't put in as many winter veg as I would like. Never mind. I'll pick Jap pumpkins this week too. We have about 20 - too many for us to get through, as Jap pumpkins don't seem to store as well as Queensland Blues, so I'll give quite a few away. I still haven't planted this year's garlic, so have to get cracking on that score.
The citrus season is with us, and our trees are laden with lemons, limes, grapefruit, mandarins and oranges. We struggle with stone fruit around here, but citrus is great. The grapevines are all bare, so in a few weeks, we'll start pruning.
Over in the sheep paddock, the ewes are fattening up nicely, which means lambing in a month or two. Meanwhile, our chickens and ducks are taking a laying hiatus. Every year about this time, they stop laying for about two months. I expect them to be back on the job after winter solstice, as the days start to lengthen again.
I've been busy planning a lunch for my extended family of about 40 people in a few weeks' time. Both Action Man and my aunt have a Significant Birthday on the same day, so we've offered to host a joint bash here. Lots to plan and think about, but it looks like it's all coming together nicely.
Hope everything is tranquil at your place, too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blimey

Today we get down to the nitty gritty - the subject for today's discussion is toilet seats. I'm sure you'll forgive me no pictures. Stay with me - it's worth it.
Our house is about 15 years old, and we have lived here for 7 years. For the last few months, Action Man and I have been using a broken toilet seat. The seat is solid wood, and it has come apart at the joins. No matter how much AM has tried, it refuses to be reglued. Needless to say, we sit down fairly gingerly. (ouch!)
So today I passed by a bathroom supply shop and made an unplanned stop to see about perhaps replacing said toilet seat. I wasn't too hopeful. The style is vintage, which was all the go in the mid 90s. Now the style is all sleek modern lines.
But miracle of miracles - this shop had the exact same toilet suite --and the exact same seat!
I asked the assistant for help.
"Those seats are really expensive you know"
I thought, oh yeah, how expensive can a toilet seat BE?
Readers - this is how expensive. $643.00. 6-4-3. Six hundred and forty three dollars.
I burst out laughing.
Needless to say, we will be gingerly sitting for a while yet.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Loving Lentil Soup

Well, this picture might not be particularly inspiring, but this Lentil Soup is the nicest lentil soup you will ever eat.
As soon as I detected an autumn nip, I dug out this soup recipe from my recipe binder. I found it on Kathryn's excellent blog Limes and Lycopene here. Kathryn includes two secret ingredients - shoyu or soy sauce, and a good squeeze of lemon. Trust me, it makes all the difference
I cooked this in my trusty Pressure Cooker, in like, 20 minutes. I've blogged before about how much I love my Pressure Cooker. Over summer though, we haven't been eating too many soups and stews which PCs excel at, so it's only been out of the cupboard on occasion, not every single day. But colder weather has the Cooker out constantly.
I bought my pressure cooker in the local hardware store (not Bunnings), and was there the other day checking out what they have at the moment as I am considering buying another smaller cooker, to cook vegetables and rice. Anyway, I fell into a conversation with the assistant about pressure cooking. She was wondering whether to buy one herself, and I went into full-sell mode, waxing lyrical about the marvels of the modern pressure cooker, telling her she will never regret investing in one, it will change her life etc etc. I do go on, but I am positively evangelical about them.
Finally, she said to me "Crikey, you should get yourself a job here!"
Much as I would love to be surrounded by quality cookware constantly, honestly, I don't think the bank balance could take it...