Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Those gentle lessons

I had a busy morning yesterday and ran out of time to post here. I spent the day at the neighbourhood centre, presented a Frugal Home workshop in the morning and did a grant submission in the afternoon. Today we'll have Kerry, Sunny and Jamie here and after we all have lunch together, Kerry and Sunny will have some alone time together and Hanno and I will look after Jamie.
 Corn and barley bread

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The rich experience of knitting

We had a busy week here last week, which ended with a blogging workshop at the neighbourhood centre on Saturday morning. It was very satisfying teaching eager people how to set up and write a blog.  We used the Flexischool computers so everyone had their own computer and those three hours flew by and resulted in a few more people with their own blogs. I might just do it again. :- )
When I got

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Justice and Libbey

I am off the radar. Just wanted to say a group hello to everyone. I am reading your posts and laughing and sharing with your ideas and stories..I am just unable to respond personally, or  individually until a little later.
I am happy that some of you got away to events and some of you are visiting family. Some of you are drenched with more rain, and some are planning parties this weekend anyway, some may 
roll down a dune or two.

So many of you have hit the gardens, the back yard or the front porch and attended fleas, farm sales and graduations. We are a busy lot.

Two have posted thoughtful and insightful posts about their personal struggles with weight and societal influences and pressures, some are experiencing personal losses of loved ones and beloved pets.
I adore you all but just for the past few days and a few more I am helping others.

Giving back.

When I scrolled through my roll late last night I thought to myself, what an amazing and diverse group of women.
Some I know intimately now, some I have never even chatted with, yet I peek into their lives daily and feel unconditional love. If you are unfamiliar with my gal pals over there to the right, go check them out.
You'll find kind hearted, intelligent
 gals that will enrich your life.

I have included pics of our beloved Libbey today

When I think of unconditional love 
she always comes to mind.
She was unconditional love wrapped in a furry,
constantly shedding, 95 pound box of love.
Years have passed without her but she touches my life still and that is my message today.
We touch each other's lives in so many small ways here.
The stories told, the heartaches shared, they carry on 
like seeds of wisdom in our hearts and we each replant them as we go on our own ways.
We say ""Hey I know a gal who did this, went here, found this" or I read about a Mom who did this to fix that issue... Let's try this, cook this at our next party, luncheon,... wedding. 

"She feels the way I do about these extra pounds, she is brave to discuss it, I need to be brave."

I carry you with me, in my heart, and you give back to me 
with each word and heartfelt thought you share.
Theresa sweetheart, you made my day with your call just now, and Carole your messages on my phone make me laugh after long hard days.
Heather and Sarah, these crazy days together 
are a blessing. Hard work but truly a blessing.

I am filled to the brim with gratitude for 
my friends both near and far.
I love you. 

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives through these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY. If you're in another country you should join in when you read this, even if it's still Thursday.
To take part,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sorry Day and other bits and pieces

Today is Sorry Day in Australia. This day is an opportunity to show respect to our fellow indigenous Australians and to move closer towards reconciliation.  The first Sorry Day was held in 1998 after a government report called Bringing Them Home recommended, among many other things, that an apology be made to the aboriginal people for forcibly removing the Stolen Generations from their parents

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I am an early bird. I love working in the morning. I write my blog as soon as I get up because I can then get on with the things that will be done during the course of the day. This life we live is labour-intensive, and now that I'm older, I have much more strength in the morning; it makes sense to do all my heavy tasks before lunch and to leave the mundane or lighter things till the afternoon. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Impossible mid-week meals

I've had a few emails recently asking for recipes for quick meals. I made this impossible quiche a few days ago. The prep time took five minutes, I put it in the oven for 40 - 50 minutes and it was on the table. This quiche makes its own 'pastry' so even if you think you don't make good pastry, or have never attempted pastry, this will work well for you.

This is an excellent mid week-meal and


These two lovely ladies will each receive a pair
of Heather French earrings, from
Vintage Meadow Artworks.

Congratulations to 
Karryann @ Gracefully Vintage
April @ Straight From The Heart

If you will send me your mailing info,
I will get them off to you ASAP.

Now the third pair will go to..
But wait, a disclaimer...
Too many gal pals entered with many
 clever comments, so I chickened out
and made Heather choose, after all she is the designer.
she chose...
 insert appropriate drum roll here..
the winner of the third pair is....
edisreviR 216 @ aserehT
( hee- hee)

Thanks to all of you,
for sharing in my world

It appears that just like blogger,
 websites can mess with you and Heather''s is messing with her, 
so the website launch will be slightly delayed, 
until her return from the show.
Please send your email address HERE
(safe, never shared or sold) 
so you will know when the site launches. 
This site will include supplies and kits to make 
jewelry as well as ready to wear pieces.

Look for them at Bead and Button
Milwaukee WI    6/10/11

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Making vinegar the old way

A warm and sincere thank you to everyone who visited Sarndra yesterday. We are both delighted with your lovely and encouraging comments. I have no doubt Sarndra will have many excellent organising ideas in the future and I'm looking forward to seeing how she leads us towards better organised homes.


I have been reading the wonderful Wild Fermentation book by Sandor

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Introducing my daughter-in-law, Sarndra

Many of my long-term readers would already 'know' Sarndra and have read about her wedding when she married Shane in our backyard.  You would already know that Sarndra and Shane are now happily awaiting the arrival of their first baby in July. What you don't know is that Sarndra has started a blog about her passion - organising. She is, by nature, a very organised person and seems to know where

Friday, May 20, 2011


Celebrating the big 400.
I still cannot fathom that I have done this 400 times.
I meet up with you guys here to chat and share,
and you open up your lives and hearts with me,
and I am so blessed and I am so very grateful.

These incredible earrings, created by Heather French will
go to three lucky winners this weekend.
The first two pairs will go to two followers of oldgreymare selected at random, 
and one pair will go to the person who convinces me
 that they should win the third pair.

Blog about it, (let me know) or leave me a clever comment why you 
deserve to win, whatever you want to do
 to earn a pair of your very own.

Nearly impossible to choose, each flower is hand-dyed,
with exquisite color and shimmer
 and you will be stopped 
every time you wear them by folks asking
"where did you find those?"..seriously.

So, if you wish a chance to own 
a pair of these beauties,
saunter over there to the right
to make sure you are following, 
and comment if you choose.
I am thrilled to offer these to three
 of you dear friends. 
Thank you Heather.
(link to Heather's new site on Sunday)

You have until Sunday :D


Thursday, May 19, 2011

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives through these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY. If you're in another country you should join in when you read this, even if it's still Thursday.
To take part,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Small rewards

I was out at my voluntary job yesterday, I finished the solar grant I was working on and started writing notes for some workshops that will happen soon.  It was freezing up there in the mountains, so I'm looking forward to being at home all day today catching up on my work and writing a few bits and pieces.

I have to make soap so I hope to get that done today, and the floor needs washing,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


As we celebrate this milestone with
 Kathleen of Faded Charm,
I reminisced with some of my favorites from
my past White Wednesdays.

Each week we would gather and share
 the latest goings on,
creations, and inspirational photos.

Gathering momentum, we shared our thoughts,
and our lives,
and reached out hands of friendship
 to other like minded women.

We shared stories of cancer, and of great personal loss.
We fretted over each other's personal
 tragedies and discussed earthquakes 
and floods and a bad economy that 
left many searching for work
and crafting to make ends meet. 
I did not make all 100 WW's, but I made quite a lot,
and each week it was a joy to see 
what everyone posted.

Through it all we women who love white, 
showed up and supported each other through 
great moments and horrible times,
and with a WOOT! and A YAY YOU! 
we said "here is a place to meet,
to feel safe, to share and express yourself."
Come join us.

Kathleen showed up without fail, our leader, our 
safe haven, all for the love of white.
Kathleen, I  thank you 
with all my heart.

Because we continue on with new chapters,
 I must share some new treasures
 of white that will be available soon.

These white pieces are the creations of 
my darling friend Heather French,
launching her new business at the
 Bead and Button show this June.
Vintage Meadow Artworks
(Heather's Acrylic Floral Artbeads also come in a zillion other colors)

Her website will be up following the show,
 around June 15th,
 but you can email her here,
 (and you SHOULD) to be added 
to her mailing list for the launch and further info.
Let me advise you, "you ain't seen nothin' yet."

Watch for my giveback this week,
celebrating my 400th post.
I do it a little differently than most.
I just draw one, or a couple numbers,
don't know yet,
based on those who already follow me.
I count 'em up on a given day and 
pick some numbers and there ya go.
So if you are a follower when I 
choose, you have a chance.
You don't have to do anything else, 
I appreciate and adore you stopping by.
Though feel free to comment 
and beg me to choose you :D
Ya never know, I just might select
 something extra based on a clever,
 or hilarious comment. hint
oh..and the prizes are good ones :D

think jewelry


My home is like a small business

When I was working, and particularly when I was in my 40s and early 50s, I was very ambitious. I wanted to be happy, successful and have a thriving business. I ran my own company, producing a town newspaper for one of our big mining companies, was well as reports and training manuals. I loved taking control of this little business, producing products that people needed and knowing that I was

Monday, May 16, 2011

Home maintenance - the roof

If I could isolate one part of our home that facilitates our way of living the most it would be our roof.  There has been a lot going on up there in the past couple of months and it's all exciting stuff. Well, it's exciting to me. :- )  I told you all about the solar panels we had installed in April, then, last Thursday, when we were out, the solar system meter box was installed. That gives us a

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Frugal fine food

We had a wonderful visit with our family on the Gold Coast last Friday and once again I could hold my beautiful grandson, Jamie.  The only downside is the trip there and back because the traffic is terrible. Still, it's worth it to see everyone, catch up on the news and see how Jamie is progressing.  

There is no doubt in my mind - food and drinks made at home from scratch are far superior to

Friday, May 13, 2011

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives through these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY. If you're in another country you should join in when you read this, even if it's still Thursday.
To take part,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Second hand bargains

Hello everyone!  I haven't yet shown you a couple of things I bought lately.  They're all second hand, naturally. I just love having beautiful items in my home that have some history to them; that other people have loved and then not needed, so they ended up sold ... to me.

The first is this lovely 1950s picnic set - complete with tea cups, plates,  knives, two perfect Thermos flasks and 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lentils and cordial

There are three questions I am frequently asked in emails.

Why do you have those upturned flower pots on the posts in your garden?
How can I start living simply and start to save money?
Do you have any more recipes I can try?

I have two from scratch recipes for you today. Spicy lentils and fruit cup cordial.


This is a variation of the spinach dhal recipe in the fabulous


Darling Daughter coming home 
tomorrow. I must go to Costco to buy
her favorite muffins.
The chocolate, poppy seed, blueberry combo.

She nibbles on them for hours leaving
 a trail of crumbs as she goes.
The house will be filled with her laugh.
Loud and contagious, she never holds back
 and lets it rip at the oddest things..at least to me
they seem odd and vice versa I suppose.

The only thing that would make it perfect
 is if my Dearest Son was coming home with her.
Mama loves to have both her chicklets home.  

I left home at 22 and never lived even
 remotely near my family again, 
except for two very brief times that 
 I managed to move back there, only to get 
yanked back west once more.
It was not to be.
Not by choice, I longed to move back 
my entire adult life, as every
 Sunday my Dad would ask, 
"When are you coming home?"

How I wish Skype and free long distance
 existed back then. How I wish I had been able to visit home more often. How hard this was for my folks, and I do not believe I fully comprehended until these past 2 years with both my kids so very far away.
Holidays of all sorts spent without my family
back then, and now history is repeating itself.

I am thrilled they are living full, exciting lives;
that they are responsible, self supporting adults 
of good character and kindness,
 but oh, how I miss them.

I will selfishly hoard all the memories of this summer,
as next summer DD begins living full time 
in New York in her new apartment. 
I am beyond grateful that both my kids 
live in the same city and see each other frequently, 
and adore each other.
These are the final months of a child living at home. 
From now on it is only visits.

Every Sunday I will be asking
"When are you coming home?"


Monday, May 9, 2011

A new worm farm

Over the past few months our worm farm has gone from bad to worse. The farm was in an old bath tub (see above) that we bought cheaply at the recycle shop. I set it up a few years ago in the bush-house and since then we've been regularly harvesting worm castings and worm liquid. Then the rats discovered it. They found they could get in under the lid so Hanno attached a more secure lid for me. That

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dish Buddy Update

I am happy that everyone has contacted their swap buddy now. I have five ladies who didn't get swap buddies-either their e mails got lost in the cloud or they were a bit late and I would love to match them up; that said if Vanessa, Gumbo Soul, Alice D., ,Maryann Lea, and Nicole would please e mail me I will get everyone a buddy!!

Back to bread and bed making

As you probably know, and may be tired of hearing, I have been writing a book recently. Yesterday I finished it. We still have photos and a few odds and ends to sort out, but the bulk of my book work is over. I am so relieved, even though I enjoyed the entire process and felt quite privileged to be doing it. This signals not only the end of the writing but also my whole-hearted return to my blog.

Mother's Day

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I've finished

I've just finished checking the line edit in the final chapter of my book. Phew!  The following quote is for my editor, Jo Rosenberg, who has been a wonderful guide and friend to me all through this process.  Thank you Jo!  I am going to celebrate now by washing up the lunch dishes. ;- )
"Great Rules of Writing" ~ William Safire
Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don't start

Friday, May 6, 2011


(Pincushion made out of tabletop grinder)

Decided I would put a few things in the shop this am,
 really quick, no fuss.

(more vintage grinder pincushions)
(I can't live without my 3 clamped to tables in the studio)


First the camera would not cooperate as it should, 
the yard was in complete shade, 
so I hauled it all back into the house.
Saw the photos were not so hot, but running out of time, 
so decided to upload anyhoot.
Blogger over at A Mare of A Different Color
would not let me do zip, so,
no quilts got listed...

(Vintage quilt)

then I tried getting pics of the last of my floraline,
(I sold off other half last year.)

But then a girlfriend called and bought a bunch ( YAY) 
so I have to retake pics of the pieces left anyway.

 I had to leave for an orientation for
some volunteering I have begun, then run some errands, where I dropped a glass candle in a shop and broke shattered it and then knocked over an end cap display and still managed to make the manager laugh... then grabbed some Cinco De Mayo grub from Chipolte and had 2 long wonderful chats 
with the NYC kiddos..

and now here it is very late, 
and I never did get anything
into the shop.
But it's all good.
Tomorrow is another chance to get 
it all together.

So if you see something of interest just ask, and 
as soon as I get blogger to cooperate over there,
 these, and some other goodies will get listed.
  Posting this in the am Friday.
Blogger has me scared to try anything tonight.
I'm walking on thin ice here folks,
it's still 45 minutes until tomorrow.  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives through these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY. If you're in another country you should join in when you read this, even if it's still Thursday.
To take part,

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Knitting and a book - the perfect travel companions

I'm sure it is no surprise to most of you to know I took knitting with me when I went to the Blue Mountains. There is nothing quite like a knitting project and a book in your bag when you travel.  Either of them will get your through long train trips, very talkative fellow travellers, and those moments of boredom when you feel you can sit still no longer. Both of them combined make a long journey

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Buying solar panels

I have been wanting solar panels for the longest time. In 1985 we moved into a house with solar hot water and used it happily for many years. When we moved into our current home in 1997, we had solar hot water installed, along with our first water tank, two skylights and whirlybirds and we put in a vegetable and fruit garden and bought another flock of hens. We dived head first into green living


Secret to a beautiful morning

Buy a 12.99 hat from Target
Remove the brown vinyl buckle trim
Replace with checked ribbon
Add wool roses, an antique button
Clip some sprigs from nearby bush
Grab coffee and camera
Watch the sun shine through


Please go visit the other White Wednesday gals 
hosted by the delightful Kathleen

Monday, May 2, 2011

Home and Away

I had a wonderful time in the Blue Mountains. It was very cold for this sub-tropical girl but the only times I found it really uncomfortable was when I was going to bed or getting up again. Oh, and getting out of the hot shower. I thought I could live there but I doubt I'd be happy to, the traffic is too dense and mad and the people don't look at you. That is no way to live - I want to smile and

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dish cloth swap buddy list

Hello all,134 ladies from four different continents sent me their e-mails and entered the swap. I am so happy there were so many of you who joined in the fun.Please contact your swap buddy as soon as possible and no later than May 5, 2011. If any problem develops in contacting your swap buddy, please contact me immediately at cdetroyesatyahoodotcom and use swap problem as you title.I have