Even at the end of the second month of winter, we are still getting small pickings of tomatoes – which is such a treat!
Obviously the secret is a hothouse. I can’t recommend enough if you have the space and can build some kind of structure in glass or plastic covered. There are a million ideas on pinterest for various ways and means that is fun to check out.
We were lucky – we had this dubious looking structure already on the property
Inside was quite ratty – concrete and buried rubbish, with surprisingly nice soil once we dug it all up!
We really really didn’t need a shade cloth covered structure, so we ripped all that off
First side done
The back had some rotting wood in the structure so we did a bit of Dodgy Brothers Handywork and replaced a few bits
It was the end of the first summer season of living in Tasmania when we did this, so at first the hot house housed the last tomatoes as they ripened and we grew a late season crop of lettuce
We have been so happy we did this – our growing season gets extended considerably at both ends of the season.
I start seeds, seedlings, and a few hothouse tomato plants way way earlier than I could by direct outdoor planting. Very handy in a milder climate where you have a shorter summer season
And its wonderful to be getting a few salad vegies in the dead of winter!
One more month of winter to go and I will be waiting eagerly for the first signs of proper spring with the plum trees budding.
In the meantime – its back to the fire and my crochet for me!
I got a bit excited about trying out the other new yarn I picked up a few days back … so have been enjoying seeing these graduated colours appear in this new shawl project.
I had to reluctantly leave my new love alone and get back to finish the original one. So I popped over to see Ruby and asked Margie to teach me how to do an edge.
Ruby kept the naughty Macca out of the way as he was on an attention-seeking high this afternoon!
Ruby had a good night with her foot and is hopeful it might finally be turning the corner. She ruefully admits it has done a fine job for nearly 100 years and she ‘hasn’t treated them kindly’
Anyway – was great to hear some positives today!
After I sorted how to do my edge, I spent some time teaching Margie the basics of the shawl
If anyone out there is keen to give this one a go, here is the link to “Viral Shawl” A lady does a very clear video tutorial. And you only need to be at a basic level of crochet to tackle this one!
And – tonight I finished my first one! Pretty excited about it, although I am less excited about the quality of the photo, which doesn’t have the best light/colour. Will try another snap in daylight tomorrow!
On a side note – I also managed to get back outside and finish stacking that wood!! A round of applause and a hot bath please! 🙂
Lucky me! My cousin, Leonie, dropped in today to catch up. I had some photos of her daughter to give her and she gave me a box of mince, some lemons and a huge bag of kiwi fruit!! Going to have to look up a scrumptious recipe for those – Kiwi/pineapple Jam! mmmm
Cousin Jeff had dropped in some more wood on Sunday – then before I had a chance to do anything more about it, he was back today with the second load today
I am going to have to get my skates on and get this stacked, as the third load could possibly arrive Friday!!
Right now its half out in the elements getting severely rained upon!
The yard gets pretty churned up by the heavily loaded ute, but that’s not saying much as I practically bog the wheelbarrow on my way up to the house these days!
I am trying to work my way through the containers of produce in the freezer. I thawed out a 4 litre container of Ruby’s plums with the plan to make more jam.
It took an eon to get the pips out and mooley it into pulp!!
House smelled rather nice during the process
I only cooked half – three pounds worth – I find if I try to cook bigger batches it takes 5 times as long and wont set properly! This lot was fairly speedy – I’ll do the rest tomorrow.
The chickens are still laying well – although I wouldn’t blame them if they went on strike! Trying to keep them happy with warm meals every other day.
Hope everybody else’s day was slightly drier than ours!!
Today I went out to deliver eggs and grab 3 things at the supermarket
Three hours later I was home.
By the time I had shopped, chatted, dropped eggs off, chatted, dropped more eggs off, chatted along with ‘shawl-show-and-tell’ then got to Ruby & Margies to drop off final eggs, I thought, whatever – I give up on getting home at a reasonable hour – lets put the kettle on! 😀 (ooooo – and Margies scrummy cake! I turn up at the BEST times!)
When I got home, happily there was a bit of the fire still going and Jeff not awake yet – so I stoked it up and got started on dinner.
Aaaand out goes the power! At 6pm – a time when you hear a collective scream of all local mothers trying to get the evening-time routine sorted!
This time I have a contingency plan!! I was very cool – no panicking!! Really – its like a black hole when the power goes out. We have no way of knowing whether it will be 5 minutes or 5 hours. No mobile phone to ring and check – our internet and phone is electricity dependent.
So… I figure I can cook my hamburgers on the fire – I thawed some pre-made breadcrumbs to make said hamburgers and cut up all garlic and onion by lamplight. No worries.
Jeff made a survival cup of coffee…
I must admit I felt a little cheated when the power came back on before I had made my survival hamburgers! I started them on the fire just to see if I could, then finished them on the stove.
I was taking the last bite of dinner and snap – out go the lights again!
So we sat in the dim light of the fire, nice and snug and I did some more crochet by balancing the lamp on my shoulder!
I thought it was lovely and quiet and relaxing – Jeff wasn’t as impressed as he was trying to wake up properly so he could go to work!
Sadly, all power is back on – so no excuses to ignore the dishes!
I fully intended to sit in front of the fire today and crochet… that’s all.
Then I remembered wanting to chisel out the remaining packs of beef that were laminated to the bottom of the freezer – out with the hammer and screwdriver!! Happily Jeff took over the job, because I am short and its a long way to the bottom of the freezer 🙂
Then… because we started so sunny I put on laundry. And yes it was raining by the time it was ready to go out. And no – I never learn. Because Jeff had taken down my undercover line to repurpose it into a cat lead, I had to spend some time restringing the new line.
Of course – despite yesterdays gale force winds, nary a breeze today so all I achieved by hanging the clothes outside was to make them colder! (Fireside fixed them though!)
Then… I remembered my rock tumbler that was tumbling away in the shed. I figured the rocks must be about ready.
Once dry, most of them weren’t as highly polished as I know they can go… so I spent some quality nerd-time by admiring each one and forcing Jeff to stop whatever he was doing and join me in mutual admiration of all the colours and patterns before returning them to the tumbler for a few more days work.
So – I eventually DID get to my fire and crochet – I did a little more with the new wool…
But forced myself to get back to my original shawl as really, there is not that much further to go before its done.
In the middle of all this, cousin Jeff dropped off a rather soggy load of wood – slid his truck down into the yard and almost redesigned our vegetable garden!!! 😀
We are getting him to bring a couple more loads soon – we threw tonights lot under cover (Which is good because right now its PELTING down rain out there!) and will see about stacking it tomorrow.
Impossible weather today! One minute dark, blowing a gale and pelting down with rain… and then this –
Five minutes later, turn around and see this approaching –
So!! Decided to go into town and do the shopping I failed to do yesterday – I went out to get some wool and bread flour and came home without either, but with over 10kgs in sausages from a very generous cousin!!!
I had taken a nice rainbow photo over my cousins home so I went into the photo section of Harvey Norman to get an enlargement printed for them. Turns out 8×12 inch prints were free today! Yay!
I also noticed my cousin needed new markers (as we scratched around the room yesterday for 10 minutes looking for one that worked) so I got a bunch for him and it turned out “With Any Purchase of 5 or More Pens You Get A Free Desk Caddy” Sweet – Now he has new markers AND somewhere to keep them! 😀
My main aim today though, was yarn. Being a little excited over my recent (Almost completed) shawl, I wanted to get some other suitable colours to crochet up. Spotlight were having a 40% sale, so today was a good a time as any.
The yarn buy of the day was this –
Six balls in a pack for $5.99!!! Coooool! So I got two packs! I had to start crocheting it up to see what it was like… I have gotten a reasonable amount further than the photo below, but I think it will make a very nice shawl!
It’s totally the weather to be snugged up in front of the fire making stuff & watching a movie or two! Right now its minus one degree Celsius (30F) and there has been snow close by – you can really feel it in the air. We are going through wood at a faster rate than normal recently – a product of being inside out of the rain!
With all the changes of sun to rain to sun to rain etc I would have expected more from the Rainbow Department… but anyway, here is todays try-hard rainbow.
Ise Jingu is a Shinto shrine complex made up of a large number of shrines, all connected to the main ones, Naiku (Dedicated to the Sun Goddess Amaterasu) and Geku (Dedicated to the Goddess of Cereals, Toyouke). They are located in the Mei Prefecture, southern Honshu, Japan.
There is an amazing history connected with this place and it dates back a LONG way.
The main shrines are the most sacred in Japan and you can’t just waltz up and wander through them. You have to be pretty special (Priest or Royal Family kind of special)
You can catch glimpses of them through the gates or the tops of them over the walls.
What makes this place amazing is that every 20 years, these grand shrines are completely rebuilt and the former one taken down. The first rebuild was in 692!!! In 2013 it was the 62nd rebuild, with the next due in 2033!! That is a dedication like no other!
Timber for the rebuilds are sourced from the local forests – each part of the process is a ceremony in itself.
The architectural style of the Ise shrine is known as Shinmei-zukuri which is very simple and ancient – its basic principles date back to the Kofun period (250-538 C.E.). The shrine buildings use a special variant of this style called Yuitsu-shinmei-zukuri which is not allowed to be used in the construction of any other shrine in Japan.
No nails are used, just joined wood and the skills and knowledge are kept alive generation to generation
The whole area is full of walking tracks between shrines, and down to the river. Although it is a bus trip between Geku and Naiku.
Many of the paths lead through tori – Japanese people will bow and give a quick prayer upon entering and also turn and do the same as they are leaving. They will also stick to one side or the other of the tori and not walk directly through the middle as that is reserved for the Gods.
We went in autumn and the colours were stunning
The use of the hall Imibiyaden is interesting. It contains the sacred fire that all the foods are cooked on that are offered to the Gods at Ise Jingu. The offerings are daily – morning and evening.
We spent three days in Ise and it was beautiful. Even with the crowds there was a tranquil feeling that we enjoyed as we wandered through the forest paths, over bridges and viewing shrines.