9 days till Spring!!

Winter is nearly over and in 9 days time it will officially be Spring. In past years I have disliked winter intensely but this year I have loved it…there has been much to do inside. I have also been working quite alot which wasn’t expected but welcome for the extra money. 

Garden: 

We are just gearing up for the garden now. Seed raising potatoes are laid out in the basement and the first lot will go in tomorrow…then will start the morning and evening rituals of covering to protect from frosts then removing during the day. Potatoes need to go in early here because once the weather gets a bit warmer we have a bug that chews the new shoots and does something to the starch content preventing them from growing. Carrots and beetroot have been planted as well as broccoli and cabbage seedlings. Tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, cucumbers etc will all be started off in the wee greenhouse. Roger bought a dismantled second hand greenhouse as a second one for the bottom garden but is a bit befuddled as to how to put it back together right now 🙂 We are still harvesting leeks, silverbeet, spinach, lettuce, beetroot, carrots, oinions and broccoli from the winter garden and garlic has been planted. All the fruit and berries were pruned over winter and are ready to go!

Kitchen:

We still have a good supply of stored produce. The pumpkins have started to shows signs of deterioration so have been been picking those out and cutting up to freeze. We still have a large amount of stored food and have had smoothies made with berries and frozen fruit throughout winter, lots of soups and stews made with both frozen and fresh vegetables, have loved being able to have heaps of salads with fresh vegetables from the garden and spiced beetroot, pickled cucumbers and onions, peppers in olive oil etc. We didn’t have extras for many months but have noticed the past month we have desired more so have made crumbles with bottled peaches, apricots and plums and berry clafouti, our favourite. We are still using dried herbs from last summer.

Pauline aka The Contented Crafter kindly sent me some milk and water kefir grains and some kombucha so I have been using those and am hoping not to kill these ones. Thanks Pauline, right now they are still very healthy!

Neither the kitchen or the garden have been exciting enough to photograph at any time this month 🙂

Home:

I bought these lovely things at a garage sale for only 50 cents each. The bowls are a little irregular which I really liked, the plate is handpainted…all very cute!

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I have gone crazy soap making which needs a post of it’s own I will do tomorrow. I have been trying different recipes and am hoping to get good enough to sell some at the local market for Christmas. Time will tell……! I clearly need to find an outlet for what has become an obsession.

Roger comes home home ever so often with a big grin on face saying he found something today…he works on a farm which has alot of history and finds old draughthorse shoes, old bottles etc….treasures. He came home last week and told me to guess what he found. 

“A bird’s nest? A horse shoe?…..” “Nope, nope” he says “it starts with a B and you will never guess!!” No, I couldn’t, so he proudly produces it.

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My husband was standing in our lounge with this – it’s a BOMB! Hadn’t had it checked, assumed it would be fine and brought it home as another collectible. It’s gone now! Taken by the police to check it and I very much doubt we will ever see it again unfortunately. It’s an old training one from WW2. He didn’t trust that I was right in saying it needed to be checked so called a mate down – who admired it quickly then backed off even quicker saying it’s something? was still in tact and it needed to be checked!

This is Mittens standing at his access to the house, the kitchen window. The front door is often open but he likes to enter this way and will pull all sorts of desperate faces while he waits…next to the open door.

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And this is both Syd and Mittens blissed out in the evenings taking up all the furniture 🙂

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I hope those of you ending summer are enjoying some beautiful weather and plentiful harvests and those of you in the Southern hemisphere are enjoying your planning…and warmer days!

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46 thoughts on “9 days till Spring!!

  1. I don’t want to think.about the upcoming winter months here it still feels like we are waiting for summer to make an appearance. on the subject of winter, did your wool carpeting help insulate your floors?

    Our gardens are so far behind here I worry I won’t have enough food put up to see me through the cold months. I’m impressed you had so many berries.

    Your husband is a nut. Carrying home a bomb!

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    • oh, that’s a shame! We didn’t have a great last summer either and were disappointed with the fruiting of alot of things through a short season. I hope your autumn will be warm enough to get you through.
      Yes, the carpet has been wonderful, so much cosier and easier to heat.
      Yes, he is a nut!!! He was so proud of it and pretty disappointed in my reaction I think lol.

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      • That’s a man for you, I could picture every man I’ve ever known being excited by a find like that. I’m glad the carpet solved your heating problem!

        I’m still holding out hope for a warm autumn, I’ve go so many things just waiting for some heat to take off. We have watermelons galore I’d hate to lose.

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      • You know I never realized you had such a short growing season. it seems like you are growing things year round. I’m considering uprooting some of my plants (like tomatoes) and letting them ripen indoors since they are just now beyond the flowering stage. Maybe you could try that with watermelons.

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  2. Learning to love winter is a work in progress for me, with mostly no progress. 😦 I am glad your winter was better than usual. Love your blissed out pooch and puss. And thank goodness, your husband’s curiosity didn’t kill the cat and the rest of you!

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  3. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    I think your husband must be related to mine 🙂
    glad you survived his unique find, there have been several times I wasn’t sure I would…
    what a great post…I love Mittens waiting ..to be noticed and escorted in …
    the one of Syd and Mittens lounging is cute…
    I always enjoy wandering through your thoughts and hearing of your life..
    inspires me to do more, today was working on my greenhouse, I am taking off the first two hoops and going to make the front out of olde fences and add a porch of sorts…
    I have almost enough pallets to make my seed/seedling greenhouse, I am excited to have one the creatures of the night cannot rummage through…

    the heat of August and the blister bugs have destroyed almost all my spring crops, I am thinking of using a tight weave netting for the Fall one going in…

    I still have to try the soap making…yes you inspire me !
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful world….
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

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    • There are two men around like that!!!! 🙂 Honestly sometimes you wonder where their heads are at!

      It sounds lie you are keeping busy but a shame you lost your Spring plants. We are fortunate to have no animals bar innocent hedgehogs in our garden, just nasty bugs too….they take some beating some years.

      Soap making is alot of fun and you get to create your own scents of them, not terribly expensive to make the odd batch but I have spent way too much of my pay this past fortnight!

      Pleased you enjoyed the pet photos 🙂

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  4. You’re planting out already? Eeek – I haven’t made my planters yet. I’d better get a move on! But you are quite right it is nearly the end of winter – I think these intermittent Antarctic blasts that keep coming through put me off and I think I have more time. I did notice the organic shop is selling vegetable seedlings just yesterday and that made me want to get a move on too….. So, that is two reminders!

    I love seeing the photos of your furry babies – it makes me feel better about my endless waffling on about my two 🙂 How do your two get on? Did Mittens live with dogs before coming to you? So typical of a cat to ignore the easy access in favour of the preferred route! Yay Mittens!!

    So glad you are using your grains and SCOBY – hope it is all going well. Mine grow like crazy – I feed them to the puppy to try and get rid of some, he loves the milk kefir grains especially 🙂 It’s probably the reason he is growing so fast! I expect him to become the size of a horse any day soon! Anyway, if you kill these ones off I can always supply more.

    Please tell Roger it doesn’t look good if he brings his wife a bomb – no matter how proudly! Divorce is easier! 🙂 [joke!] Bless him!!

    I’m looking forward to seeing your soap offerings – have you thought about offering some for sale on your blog?

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    • Yes, nearly time but really Labour Day is when they should go in so you have a wee while 🙂 No panic lol

      Mittens had never lived with a dog and he was 10 months old. Syd is such a loving dog, he tries to cuddle but Mittens won’t have a bar of him, he plays games….sits and looks cute and receptive until Syd lets his guard down then he hisses or swipes. He has been here for probably 9 months now. Sometimes they will sleep side by side but Syd is wary lol.

      Yes, mine are growing like crazy too. I figure they will be good for the chooks 🙂 I don’t think Siddy will ever get to miniature pony status let alone horse size. He will be wee and cute forever 🙂

      I was horrified when I saw that bomb, he was so disappointed in my reaction lol. I am glad there was no one to take a photo of my face. Funny in hindsight lol. I just kept seeing us all blown up!

      I am going to start a site Pauline called Tumble Downs (our pet name for our not so grand house). We have several things we want to try to make money from home and will have a business site. I want to try the soaps and some natural skincare and products and also we want to do private dog boarding for precious pups, we have had that as a goal for a couple of years. I will link to here….that’s the plan anyway. It would be nice to be a little bit more self sufficient by way of income so Roger could be home more doing his thing.

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      • That is a fabulous name Wendy! ‘Tumble Downs’!! And a great aspiration too. I love the idea of boarding ‘precious’ pups. I might have to fly Siddy to you if I ever need to go away without him 🙂 I have always thought it would be great fun to run a cattery! A doggery would be even more fun! 🙂

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      • Tumble Downs suits us 🙂 We almost bought a combined cattery and kennels a few years back with two houses, my son and his wife were going to go halves. We chose not to at the last minute for different reasons which woke out for the best. Both my Bichon and Foxy were too precious for kennels and I used to fret about the need to put them there so know there must be plenty of dogs like that. If you are ever going across on the ferry you could drop him off! 🙂 🙂

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      • I shall certainly tuck this away for future reference – the thought of leaving him anywhere is impossible at the moment. It is hard enough with Orlando – I have been reluctant to go away for too long since the time it didn’t go well. It is very hard knowing who you can trust with your babies! I would certainly feel happy knowing Siddy was with you!!

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      • Yes, do, if he can handle the long drive. I would love him to bits and so would Syd, the gentle giant.

        I used to be the same. We put our border collie in a kennels once straight after surgery until we could rehome her, we were promised lots of TLC….she got so thin and unhappy it broke my heart.

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  5. Love the laid back pics of your beautiful furry babies. They are both gorgeous. You’ve inspired me to get a wriggle on with planning the garden for Spring – I’ve got to take a deep breath and remind myself to stay calm as the weather warms up because life always seems to get crazy busy from September onwards! Your business sounds wonderful – all the best with it. xoxoxox

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  6. I am officially terrified out of my mind! Not by the bomb…well found Roger and your guardian angel (or flock of them apparently) is really looking after you of late ;), but by the gardening bit! When oh WHEN is this all going to be anything other than Greek to me?! I guess I have to throw myself into the deep end and hope I don’t sink under the blackberries. I remember reading the Roger had never gardened before and that gives me a bit of hope as I have actually spent time down the gardening gulag mines but veggie gardening is like speaking Swahili… not sure how to do it. I am going to grab some seeds, some seed spuds, most of everything else that you mentioned here and give it a go. It probably won’t grow but at least I will get it going and in on time and that has to be a positive step in the right direction doesn’t it?! At least I am out from under the bed now (won’t fit after a winter of comfort eating 😉 ). I am loath to release Brunhilda from her duties just yet or admit that it is officially spring as of yesterday BUT I am enjoying the blackbirds singing out in the garden when I get up in the dark (for the moment, soon it will be light when I crawl out of bed…) and I am enjoying more sunshine. Sunshine is powerful mojo. Could you hurry up and get that “Roger and Wendy show you how to make a garden in simple words and pictures for Dummies” book out please?! I will buy 10 copies…one for each room and a couple for friends 🙂

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    • Sunshine IS powerful mojo, the Sun is God to me!!! I am definately a sun worshipper for all the good it brings, at the same time wary of it’s great power to scorch my fair skin!!! It is still a cold wind here and freezing nights so I am with you on the fire thing. I hate the cold so am not quite so keen to get out there unless a stunning day right now.

      Would you like some one on one with when and what and how to plant? Just email. Yes, your garden will grow!!! I AM going to do an ebook but so many other things going on. I reminded Roger this morning to get the beans seeds out for me, I haven’t forgotten.

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      • LOL I had forgotten about the bean seeds 😉 I would love a bit of a nudge in the right direction vis-a-vis what to plant and what to get going from seed. We are about a month behind you guys in our growing conditions and I really want to grow my own seedlings from scratch this year. Steve is home now for the foreseeable future so it’s just getting back into the habit of “outside” again. I adore the cold and hate the heat…I am not looking forward to summer in the least but if I can shift a few of these winter pounds that I have been enjoying piling on of late I should struggle through with minimal days spent laying on the bathroom floor gasping for cool air 😉

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      • I hadn’t 🙂 🙂

        Email me and we (Roger!) can point you in the right direction. If we write out what we are doing when you can pick and choose what you need to know a month later.

        I don’t like high heat, I wilt very easily but to have the warm sun on my skin while lying on the lawn is heaven to me. Don’t like actually working in it lol. I miss my grounding stuff through winter, all right with the world when you are lying on it.

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      • 🙂 I had better fence a bit of “lawn” off away from the chooks and possums and wallabies and anything else that feels like traipsing around and leaving a small deposit on it so that I can try that :). If I sent you a photo of Sanctuary Roger would cry! We are fixing the top of it tomorrow so that possums can’t get in. No point even bothering till they are banned as they scoff everything (except kale and garlic) that is inside 😦

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      • I just don’t even know how we would cope with that, no wonder you despair of it all. Maybe you could have a grow room with lights inside….for food! We would go crazy and give up I think Fran, seriously.

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  7. Forgot to say, LOVE those two little soft blue and cream/white pots! Gorgeousness personified and just what this little black duck goes bum’s up for in boxes at flea markets, boot sales and garage sales 🙂 Good score…kudos 🙂

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  8. You are certainly making me envious with all that produce! We are renting at the moment, so all my growing is in pots and a couple of old wheelbarrows. I grow herbs mainly, to use in cooking. Cats certainly have a mind of their own don’t they… Mine will meow at the door, then once out, will turn around and meow to come right back in! Little minx she is. Tries not to use the dog door too… Your dog seems like a lovely soul 🙂

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    • Cat’s do have a mind of their own, they are quite different aren’t they lol. I didn’t have a cat for 15 years so am finding him a complete opposite to the dogs! Syd is a lovely soul, a huge softie who is scared of the cat 🙂

      It is hard when renting to do what one would like to do with a garden, it’s nice at least you can grow herbs because fresh ones make such a difference to a meal.

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  9. Oh my..this post answered my questions from other post-lol. I am doing things backwards trying to catch up. I was out of town helping my parents with health issues. I just have not been near my computer to read posts. Your obsession does sound like a career! You go girl–if it is fun+ you enjoy it -go for it!!!
    Your summer is starting and mine is winding down…you have such a full life:-) Your pets are adorable!

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    • I hope your parents are ok Robbie, can be a hard time with elderly parents with ailing health.

      I will give this a go, I can’t think of a nicer way to earn money and doing it from home is the ideal for us. We have several goals…sometimes reality is harder than the dreaming though but we will see 🙂

      My pets are adorable!! lol, they are gorgeous. Naughty sometimes and fortunate they are cute. I fear my life will be too full over summer. We want to do things a bit differently this year and rely less on preserved but try and grow more winter foods. Preserving takes such alot of time and I spend most of summer and autumn in the kitchen and I love being outside in summer. I hope you have good plans for retiring inside through winter, I have really appreciated the chance to do nice things for myself.

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      • I am so glad you said that:-) I was feeling so lazy everytime I would read posts about people putting food up etc. I wondered how do they do all that???? I do put up some garden soup( frozen) and random dishes that I reheat from the freezer with fresh veggies + my pesto, but I try to eat fresh because…truth be told I am one that would go crazy spending hours in the kitchen. I did read what you were doing last year and was astounded how you made it look so effortless( I know it was not!), but you just were putting away so many recipes that I thought you should have your own show!-lol…You made it look inviting, but every time I do attemp to go a bit further down the canning way, I go back to my old ways…freeze, eat fresh and plant 3 season and this year more micro greens. I am learning to make recipes or mini side dishes with their interesting flavor. I have been growing them in different mediums to see what works best….but I am so glad you said that since I was wondering if I was just a lazy woman-lol…..I will watch and observe what you are doing since you are paving the way!
        Yes, I will retire to indoors but not until the snow flies + it freezes over out there…I ride my bike untl it gets down to freezing and I can’t eat kale or winter greens because they are covered by snow….I am like you, I have to b outside when I am home!

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      • Yes, not effortless 🙂 But though I find it really satisfying and will still do some (because there isn’t a huge amount we can grow in winter and we rely on it) there are plenty of things we can do without. It’s exhausting and no time for anything else. Roger plants in Spring then weeds but in summer and autumn while he’s out doing other things I am up to my neck in the kitchen, missing my life!

        No, you are not lazy at all, you have a glorious garden and that takes alot of work :):) I watch what you are doing and envy your style and your flowers. We took all the flowers out but I am just starting to put some back in for the bees and some natural additives for soap etc.

        You ride a bike? I never learned how and get vertigo but wish I could!

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      • Yes..they will be okay. It is hard having them not live near us, but it is workable:-) Thank goodness for cell phones + good nursing care where they live that visit the home!

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  10. Oh My… a BOMB! thank goodness it was taken away to be tested.. LOL.. Spring is going to be busy I see at Quarter-acre.. here we are winding down as we harvest and freeze… I have jam making to do soon too.. And I picked the Elderberries and froze till I can get around to making the syrup .. Love the pictures of Syd and Mittens… 🙂 they both look very contented and much loved.. xxx

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