Thursday, January 13, 2011

Out comes the sunshine to dry up all the rain !

Thank you Mariana and Olive for your good wishes, I am still safe and dry but what a stressful few days it has be.

Dr K lives in one of the inner city suburbs of Brisbane albeit one that was above the high water level but as a Mum (you are one for life!!!!) I was concerned and quite relieved when the river reached its peak and I knew he was safe at home.

The Gorgeous Boy was down in Caboolture with Mama and the Princess on the day that it flooded there and they had to evacuate temporarily as the creek at the back of the garden started to rise above road level. Its so hard when you are sitting a hundred or so kilometres away and unable to do anything except sit by the phone. I can empathise with friends and family of everyone affected first hand by the floods.

Here at the Farm the rains have stopped for a while but we are still waiting for the creeks to subside. They are taking longer than usual to go down. I went out this morning to investigate. A neighbour hitched up his trailer to his tractor and five of us rode down to inspect "Joes crossing". It was about a 4Km ride but the damage to the road (a dirt road) was quite a depressing sight with washouts in several places. I am sure that it will be a while before it will be built up and graded as there are so many more roads in the shire that will need attention.

Joes crossing is still underwater by about about a half metre of surging muddy water and the debris caught up everywhere is unbelievable. What is one the other side? No one quite knows at the moment because number one crossing (our last bridge to cross on our way out) is still underwater and no one from the village has been able to inspect the roads. Its definitely a wait and see game but the GB is impatient to come in and "rescue" me. For my part, I am really looking forward to seeing him seems to have been such a long time since I last saw him :-(

On a brighter note...the sun came out to play and the chooks went out for a scratch around. Tigs was out and about asserting his authority once again by barking at the deer, wallabies and horses and the weeds are coming out soooo easily. Once is good :-)

It is such a shame Olive that now you have decided to sell are having to wait around for a buyer. What's so great about living close to a "stupourmarket"? You can only spend so much time shopping! There is so much more to life than that.....give me life on the Farm any day.

Time for bed now. I think that noise I can hear, is the grass growing after all that rain and it may be dry enough to begin mowing tomorrow. If not I am sure there will be another chore waiting for me. ;-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hi Olive

Hi has been so long since I have been here I didn't get to read you comment from last time. I have another sour dough brewing on the dining room table at the moment....I wont give up on my quest for perfection....yes ...I can relate to frisby like loaves :-) I am sorry to hear that you are thinking of selling up. It is tough to relinquish a dream because the body cann't keep up. I sometimes fear that is what will happen here at Bellavista. You can only take each day as it comes and enjoy every minute of it :-) I love your garden blooms :-)

Rain, rain go away, come again another day !!!!!

And still it comes ! Will this rain ever end? I think we have had enough this month already! I drove in here on the 9th of December...."Joe's" crossing was over by about six inches but that was OK. I can just about handle that (I am a whimp where running water is concerned). Since then I have made a quick dash to the big smoke (the GB took me out) on the Wednesday before Christmas to pick up the turkey and ham I had ordered and do ALL my xmas shopping.......I had three hours...I was a girl on a mission! We went in to the village on Christmas day to go to church and I have been here since then. Flooded in .......sometimes by my choice as I am not game to drive through flooded crossings but most times because the water is just too high for anyone to get out.

I don't drive through it when it looks like this!

Physically it is no problem, the house is up on a hill and I am "high and dry". I certainly have enough food in the fridge/pantry and veggie garden to keep going for a loooong time. The chooks are a little bedraggled but still laying enough to keep me going and I am working my way through the backlog of chores BUT I have to say ....I am over it! Is it just the "whinging pom" in me coming out? I think I am not alone. About 28 years ago, I complained to my darling and ever patient Gorgeous husband that "I am sick of blue skies". Everyday, I looked out of the window and the sky was blue. (I secretly longed for four seasons!!!)...sigh....I have learnt not to complain! (He took me first to Adelaide and drizzle and then to Jakarta to hot and steamy .....I try to just be grateful for what I have now!!!) I know I am so much luckier than so many people here in Queensland at the least my home is safe and dry but my neighbour phoned me today for a chat and told me her husband had informed her this could go on until about blood pressure rose in a flash.

To leave here I have two creek crossings and six bridges to get over just to get to the closest village.....we live in the next valley to Borumba Dam and we drive over a crossing that is downstream of the spillway. Yesterday the water coming over the spillway reached over 3 metres.......when.... I do get out... will the bridges still be there? How much of the road will be untouched by raging waters?

Part of the road that slumped into the creek last week.

The village I drive through to get out was flooded in yesterday and possibly still is. I know I am still the lucky one with so much horror on the TV about flood affected areas all around......BUT !!!!

Next Sunday is the Princesses 7th birthday......with gifts and parties and all that it entails. I hope not to miss it. We filled the pool (above ground) for her to swim in over the school holidays....she only made it up for 24 hours over Christmas and had to leave before the waters rose again....said pool now has to be emptied daily to avoid overflowing. My favoured footwear is gumboots (what a fashion statement) and the dog refuses to go out in the rain to pee ! On the upside....when I do venture out, the weeds that grow before my eyes do at least pull out easily. We are well into the favoured moon planting time for veggies and I am busily pulling out waterlogged and rotting plants.......pause for breath.........Thankyou......I have had my rant ;-) I think I can get on with it now. Thank you for your patience :-) I feel so much better :-)

ps. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas...the cards here are still to be posted!!!!! I wish you all the best for a bright and wonderful New Year.

With that out of the's to a new year of blogging :-)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My but its been a long time......

My but its been a long time since I have been here. So much has been going on in my life that I have had little time to sit and think....let alone put those thoughts into words. So what has been happening!

On the garden front, the "Great wall of Bellavista" was finished. We have used the space to grow potatoes, lettuce (mainly used for feeding the chooks) and some late cabbages, some eggplants and chillies. There is still work to be done but its definitely looking good.

All the raised garden beds were finally raised to their final height.....six beds 80cm high and two at 40cm high and we have been reaping the benefits of all that space with a wonderful winter crop of root vegetables, onions, leeks and garlic. Cabbages, cauliflower,peas and broad beans and lots and lots of different greens. We have been spoiled for choice.

Our current project is boxing up the asparagus bed and making compost bins. With the rain of late it has become somewhat of a quagmire around that area so we are working on laying drier pathways....more to come. My, my....its sounds like such a lot of work but it has been quite a while hasn't it :-)

On the social side of things, some of the ladies in the "Valley and I get together every Friday morning for a social get together to sew or knit...what ever the talent. I have been showing them how to patchwork and quilt and we are all currently working together to make a small quilt for Mamas classroom.

Which brings me to my belated congratulations to Mama for graduating her post graduate teaching degree. She has been teaching prep full time since mid year. She is doing a wonderful job and seems to be enjoying the work. The Princess is a happy little grade oner and doing extremely well. I go down each week to help out and do school pick ups and drop offs and the Princess and I spend time working on homework together. She is growing up so fast.

In the kitchen I have finally begun cheese making. The Gorgeous Boy bought me a cheese making kit for my birthday in August and I have finally started. So far I have made a cheddar, a Parmesan, some blue brie style cheese, some Camembert and a couple of batches of ricotta. I have managed to find a source of beautiful fresh jersey milk which is so rich its wonderful to work with. I am impatient to taste the cheeses, to see if they have the flavour they promise.

My sour dough bread is still a work in progress....I am disappointed in my efforts so far but refuse to give up. I have just finished making a new "mother" and tried it out yesterday. I even experimented with the "air kneading" method. ( As an aside I do have to say that bit of it was fun.) Of course I "googled" the instructions...where would I be without the Internet!!!! and watched a you tube clip. What fun...tossing and slapping a lump of decidedly sticky dough on my kitchen bench ;-) That was my workout for the week. It tastes fantastic and the texture is good but it never seems to rise enough. Its OK if you want sliced fingers but not that convenient to make a sandwich. Photos will of course be forth coming but not today.

Today I am somewhat at odds with myself. I was due to head off this morning down to the city. After the rain of late I have been watching the creeks. Yesterday the creek at the end of the valley flooded. It was passable but I do hate driving through water.

This morning it had dropped down and I was confident to head out. All showered and ready to go, I went for a test trip to see if the rest of the creeks were down. This is what met me at the next crossing

Needless to say I returned home I am...changed plans, which is why I finally I have the time to sit and update my blog. LOL. I having been watching the updates of the local creek levels compliments of BOM all day. The levels are falling but I don't think I am going to get out today. Might as well go and do some sewing.

Thankyou Olive for prompting me this morning...I promise I wont leave it so long again.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I cannot believe it has been so long since I last posted. So much water has flown under the bridge I hardly know where to start. It has been many weeks since I have even had the time to catch up with reading my favourite blogs. How sad is that ! I have only just managed to read a couple but am inspired to tap the keys again. So just a quick note before I go back to catching up with past news.

The Gorgeous Boy and I took nine days out over Easter to join a group of friends over on Fraser Island. Most of the men are ultra keen fishermen, so two, three to four hour sessions each day standing in the rod in hand...they were very happy chappies. Me....well,....I slept, then I slept a little more...sigh!!!! Then I read my book ( I have to say I took three books with me in anticipation but only managed part of the first....maybe I wasn't in the mood...maybe I am not a fan of Di Morrisey...who knows) but in an attempt to stimulate my fuggy brain I have discovered "sudoku". I am addicted. I took one book with me...only 365 games !!!!! I was well in to my 90th on our return.....oh dear this is so much worse than "Days of our Lives" !!!!!!!

I am back to reality....I have chores to do...get on with it Linda!

Before I go......I just have to show y'all this

What a man, is this man of mine :-) Fisherman extraordinaire :-) They guessed at the weight as being around six kilos...I think they said it was a snub nosed dart. Me....I just said it was delicious ! I missed the catching of this little beauty but I sure didn't get to miss the cooking of it. I think the fight that the GB had to reel it in was a tale to be told for many years to come :-). It took three burners of a four burner barbeque to cook it. Having limited resources, I seasoned it with what I could find. Chopped a little celery, onion and orange zest and laid it on a bed of thinly sliced oranges. and sloshed around a little chardonnay....(that was all I had available!!) wrapped it in alfoil and cooked it over a low heat for one a half hours. It was absolutely beautiful. Mmmmmm. It fed eleven of us for dinner (just over one side of it) and I made fish cakes for lunch the next day. I even left about a quarter of it behind for snacks as we had to leave the island and come home for Lolly's Baptism (another story :-)) We were also lucky enough to come home with an esky full of fish fillets to last us quite a few weeks. Now that's what I call a holiday!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What the heck!!!!

What happens to my computer has a mind of its own. In todays post I wrote about making a boerwurst shaped sausage....the computer obviosly didn't like that and after running spell check it obviously chose its own word to describe the the mistake. I give up !!!!!

What to do today?

I am the first to admit that I am not at my brightest and best first thing in the morning. A night owl who married an early bird in the late 70s you would think that I would have adjusted my body clock by now......not so....but I do try :-)

I like to awaken slowly and think about what the day has to hold for make a brief plan before my feet even hit the floorboards. Some days I achieve what I have planned....on others I am forced to change my direction as the day unfolds and I get feedback from the other family members. I have learnt to be flexible but I NEED to know what is ahead or I would wander around the kitchen in a dream for the larger part of the morning.

This morning I awoke to the sun streaming through the windows. After days and days of cloudy skies and showers and several abortive attempts at working in the veggie garden yesterday, a plan began to unfurl........Let the dog out....let the chooks out for a run...breakfast and a morning in the garden.....maybe it the breeze is good, the grass will dry enough to mow a little. It is growing at an alarming rate at the moment :-( Then a few kitchen chores after lunch. That's enough to think about right know. Time to get up!!!

Well I made it as far as breakfast and the first of the showers started...scratch mowing.....I turned on the TV just as the weatherman displayed a very "blue" map of Queensland. Hmmm, showers all day becoming heavier in the afternoon! I want to go down to the city later today and don't want to get flooded in sooooo , lets rethink this. plan formulating. I have a nice piece of pork in the fridge which I had planned to turn into sausages, so this morning I will have another go at perfecting my homemade sausages :-)

The Gorgeous boy and I have had three attempts so far at making the "perfect" sausage. We are getting pretty good at producing a well shaped sausage and the paprika and fennel flavoured ones were lovely but the ratio of fat/lean meat/cereal and liquid and the texture still needs fine tuning..

Here I have pushed the skin onto the feeder.

I have used a protein based synthetic skin here which is very easy to use so long as you keep it dry. It fits on to the small size nozzle. I have also tried natural skins which fit on to the larger sized nozzle..... I still need to work on those as the they are a lot more "stretchy" (if you can use that term) and do not fill as evenly, as easily. Practice, practice, practice! I know :-)

Easing the skin off as the meat is pushed through.

The GB normally feeds the beast while I ease the sausage off in one pieces, smoothing out any unevenness.

A completed batch of sausages...not bad huh!

Lastly I twist the sausage into small individual serves.

When The Great Dane and Gemini came to visit we had a go at making the Danish Medisterposter ( Did I spell that right GD?) It is a mild flavoured pork sausage which is coiled around. Very much in shape like a bequest sausage. Boiled gently until almost cooked and then barbequed. Our first attempt was made with just lean pork meat and seasoning which was very dry. Next attempt saw us including a little cereal. Todays attempt will be 70% lean pork. 20% pork fat and 10% cereal (home baked breadcrumbs) and seasoning with a little stock to make a softer consistency. I'll let you know how I go :-)