Choose life. Life is wonderful.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

A ROUGH SEA ( #3 September 2017)

Last Sunday morning I visited two of my favourite places - the beach and Bunnings.

Peter and I went for a walk along Towradgi Beach. The sea was rough and had come right up the beach at high tide.

The waves had completely swamped the local rock pool.

This sponge looked as if it had only recently been ripped from the rocks as it still had its
pinky colour.

I also came across these fish eggs. I wonder what type of fish they are from.

At Bunnings I bought some new guttering and downpipes for the front of my house to replace my old disintegrating stuff. Peter had it replaced in no time.

Now I need to repaint the pergola.

 I am tossing up between white, light grey like my door......

 or the same green as my garage door.

I fancy accessories of the blue colour featured below.


Meanwhile I have made a handful of polymer clay toadstools to use in some gardening projects.

You may be interested in knowing that my talented niece Amy and nephew Laurie are involved in setting up some of Wollongong's first break out rooms.

Photo source
 Click here if you would like to read more about it.


I am always on the look out for thrifty recipes. Here is  a standby I have developed for left over vegetables.

Cream of mixed vegetable soup

This is a recipe for creamy vegetable soup made from left over vegetables that have been frozen or of course you could use fresh if you prefer. The vegetables and proportions can be changed, depending on what you have available. This makes about 4 litres of soup. Two cans of chick peas add protein to make it a complete meal.

I began with 1.3 kg of precooked frozen vegetables that had been thawed out. These included broccoli, carrots, potatoes, and pumpkin.

1.3 kg of precooked vegetables
 I used a large saucepan and caramelised 4 Spanish onions.

Caramelised onions
 I added the vegetables and gave them a bit of a stir around for a few minutes.

I added 1 litre of water and 4 teaspoons of Vegeta and  2 cans of chick pease including liquid. This provides protein to make the soup a complete meal. Then I added 2 teaspoons of curry powder. This is optional.

I simmered the soup for 40 minutes until all the vegetables were quite soft.Then I blended the soup in my food processor with soy milk (which makes it vegan) but you could use dairy milk or any other substitute. I blended it at the rate of 2 cups at a time with 1 cup of soy bean milk. But you could vary this ratio to taste.

Cream of mixed vegetable soup.

Makes about 4 litres. Suitable to freeze.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil.
  • 4 Spanish onions chopped
  • Around 1.3 kg of cooked mixed vegetables
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons Vegeta or other stock powder 
  • 2 425g tins of chick peas including liquid
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (optional) 
  • About 1 litre of milk or substitute


  1. Heat oil over medium heat in fry pan
  2. Add onions and cook until caramelised, adding water as necessary to deglaze the pan.
  3. Add vegetables and cook stirring for 3 minutes
  4. Add water and stock powder
  5. Add chick peas
  6. Add curry powder (optional)
  7. Simmer for 40 minutes 
  8. Blend in a food processor at the rate of 2 cups of soup to 1 cup of milk or substitute.
  9. Makes about 4 litres.


Thank you for reading my blog.I write it for myself first. It helps me look at the positive things in life even though they may only be small. Also if I say I plan to do something I have put it on record and this helps me to actually do it. Unforeseen life events have  led me to end up in a different position in life than I had planned. As a result I am unable to be involved in many of the activities of my friends. So I try to find joy in simple things and share some of these.

Thank you for those who have left comments and to those who have tried but been unable to. I am not sure what the problem is but will try to sort it out.


Interesting sites

Photo source
 Earthships - the ultimate in off-grid architecture. Click here to read more.

 Makeover bus stop
Photo source
For the residents of a small village in Dartmoor, England, the universally-dreaded morning commute to work is now very much something to look forward to. Last summer, the village of Walkhampton woke up to find their grim and graffiti-covered bus stop had been transformed into a welcoming living room, complete with an armchair, pillows, framed pictures, potted plants and various household ornaments. Not just a one-time make-over, the bus stop has been “re-decorated” several times since and the best part is– no one knows who’s doing it. Click here to read more. 

 Eerie music in Pyongyang

Click here to hear the eerie music played in Pyongyang, North Korea each morning to wake up the residents.

Friday, 8 September 2017

A MOUSE IN THE HOUSE (#2 September 2017)

I have a mouse in my house. I also have a full blown phobia of small furry animals - cats, mice, rats, rabbits. (Not dogs - they are hairy.) So a mouse in my house is a cause for grave concern as it can completely disrupt my life.

On Sunday night a small, dark mouse ran across my lounge room floor. Such is my horror of mice and rats that I often imagine I see them out of the corner of my eye, but then when I have a proper look it turns out to be a shadow. But this was no shadow.

From here the evening took a downward turn. Peter spent a long time chasing the mouse with a broom and I spent most of that time in safety - sitting outside in the car. I don't know where the mouse ended up but I ended up sleeping in the car...which turned out to be quite delightful.

Peter had just cleaned my car windows so I had a beautiful view of the stars. With the seat reclined in my trusty 2002 Silver Camry I could stretch out completely under my quilt which kept me toasty warn. The morning brought beautiful bird songs and I spotted several birds I hadn't seen for a while including a Catbird.

I slept in the car for a few hours the next night because I woke up at 4 am and thought I could hear the mouse in the kitchen but when I checked it out the next morning I could see no evidence.

I am pretty sure the mouse has gone from my kitchen, lounge room and dining room. I have put out baits, which I really don't like to do, because I know it is not a nice way for a mouse to die, and these have not been touched so I am pretty sure the mouse has disappeared. But where? From whence it came? And will it return or has it been too terrified by Peter crashing after it with a broom. I guess time will tell.


I came across this picture below and think it may be a good way to go with my kitchen.

Photo source

I plan to paint my kitchen black before I get my house valued. I do plan to replace the kitchen at some stage after that.

At the moment my poor old kitchen is rather sad. The cupboards are almost 40 years old. They were painted 13 years ago, but that paint is wearing off. Because I plan to replace it within the next year, I feel that I can go mad and really change things with some paint, and if it doesn't work, it doesn't matter.

Sad old kitchen


I plan to paint my lounge room white and cover the lounge.
I bought these 2 quilt covers for a total of $8 at the Salvos.

Wilbur on two quilts

I will bleach them and then use them to make patchwork
slip covers for my lounge.  

I have a lovely shiny new soap dish above my bath. I managed to smash the old one. Luckily the styles of soap dishes haven't changed much over the years and Peter was able to find a matching one in Bunnings.

New soap dish

The gutters on the front of my house have disintegrated. In order to replace them Peter has been removing old Alsynite sheeting. This has left a whole area open to the weather and the sunlight.

Roof off pergola

The old sheeting was covered in lichen which I think looked quite beautiful but certainly darkened the area and the adjacent rooms in the house. 

Alsynite sheets on the ground

Lichen on Alsynite sheeting


It's cauliflower season. I bought a beautiful creamy white cauliflower nestled in green leaves from the fruit market on Monday.

I grew up in the days of meat and 3 veg for dinner every night, although I must give kudos to my mother for being an innovative cook for the times. We did have the occasional spaghetti Bolognaise or curry or even battered Tasmanian scallops deep fried. But cauliflower remained a boiled, soggy ghostly vegetable on the side of my plate.  

These days I love it but I bake it.

Baked cauliflower with herbs (optional) and mustard seed.

  1. Take one cauliflower and break it into florets. 
  2. Lay it in a baking dish lined with baking paper. 
  3. Spray it with olive oil. 
  4. Sprinkle over some stock powder. I use vegeta. 
  5. Toss in a couple of tablespoons of mustard seeds. 
  6. Spray gently with water 
  7. Cover with sprigs of thyme(optional) and oregano (optional)   
  8. Bake for one hour at 180 degrees, or longer if you like. 
  9. Remove the herbs and serve.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the final product, but you can take my word for it that it looked delicious.

Many thanks to those of you who take time to comment. I really appreciate it.

 Interesting sites


Pods for houseless
Photo source
Click here to read about architect designed pods for the houseless in Portland, Oregon, USA.

 Incredible 'sea organ'

Photo source
Incredible 'sea organ' uses waves to make music in Croatia.
Click here to read more.