Choose life. Life is wonderful.

Monday, 25 April 2016

You'll Never Undesrtand Until It Happens To You


I could write a lot about this but suffice to say I never knew what some things were really like until they happened to me. My life has taken a lot of unexpected turns. And sometimes I find myself asking why me? But I have still learned a lot in the process and can empathise with people going through hard times. So I can be helpful.

One good thing is that I have been through the hardest thing I am ever going to go through in my life and come out the other end. I have learned that in God's strength I can be a very strong person. 


Peter and I took a short trip to the Southern Highlands. Even though it is not far from home we decided to stay at Mittagong and have a look around the area.

Our first day took us to Berrima , home of Berrima Jail and Courthouse.

Berrima Jail

One of the things I learned this trip was that Berrima Jail was used as an internment camp for Germans in WW1.

Berrima Court House


We followed the trail along the Wingecarribee River.

We spotted this beautiful fungus. (I am a fungusphile.)


There were a few wombat holes like the one below along the riverbank.


The river was very tranquil.



As we walked we came to Lambies Well. The photo below doesn't really do it justice. It was like something out of an Alfred Lord Tennyson poem.


 On our second day we visited Bowral and went for a bike ride around some of the streets.




And stopped for lunch in the mall. I felt like a proper bike rider, eating my falafel roll with our bikes propped up nearby.



We spent  a day at Bundanoon with another bike ride, and our last day just relaxing and checking out the local hardware shop.

We arrived home on Saturday. It was great only having an hour to drive. Peter is very skillful at backing the caravan up the drive which is good because I am absolutely hopeless at directing him.


 

Platypus Creations 1


I have added card making to Platypus Creations 1. So far I am making hand drawn cards in black and white that can be coloured in. Here are 2 examples.





Find these cards and how to order your own names and designs on Platypus Creations 1.

In My Garden

I have been in my garden with my trusty chain saw. I am really trying to give it a total makeover.


The branches are from a native  banksia. . I am not sure what sort. I really want to use the branches and twigs for something. 

I have a bit of a problem in my backyard. The Brush Turkeys have built a nest over the back boundary of my yard. The new neighbour who owns the land obviously knows little about Brush Turkeys and has accused me of dumping stuff on his land.

I can't afford to get my neighbour off side and luckily it is great mulch and full of worms, so I shall clear it and then tell him I am not going to do it again. The other problem is that I do have a few other things encroaching on his land  so I don't want to suddenly be asked to do a big clean up job.


The herb garden is coming on. 





I bought 3 old sage plants for 50 cents each and turned them into 3 plants plus cuttings.




Sage plants


Sage cuttings



Interesting sites



1.
Lotus Belle Tent
Photo source
 Ever heard of a lotus belle tent? If not, you’re about to be amazed. This man is living inside this gorgeous tent in the forest while his tiny house is being constructed. The tent itself is beautiful, but wait until you see what he’s done to the inside! Absolutely lovely.

Click here to see inside it.




2.
Dangerous talc
Photo source
Johnson and Johnson must pay $72 million after woman's death results from ovarian cancer caused by long term use of talcum powder.

3. 

 3D printed beak
Photo source

Amazing team makes 3D printed beak to help macaw with serious condition eat on her own!

 Click here to read more.

Friday, 15 April 2016

PLATYPUS CREATIONS 1 IS BORN


If you think you can’t, you won’t. If you’ve already resigned yourself to defeat, you’ll never experience victory.



Oh  wow! Saturday already - half of the holidays over. It is great to have a break from tutoring (for the most part) and regular church activities.


My friend Michelle and I are going to sell some of our craft work. So far Michelle has done all the work, setting up our Facebook  page Platypus Creations 1. Now the holidays are here I hope to start pulling my weight. Michelle has been very busy making beautiful sock dolls.




 I have finally put up my first item for sale on Platypus Creations 1.

This is my little felt owl brooch.

You'll find him over on Platypus Creations 1, posted on 9th April.


I am looking after little Jasper the grand-dog for about 10 days.
He needs a lot of attention. He belongs to my daughter and son-in-law and is definitely a 2 person dog. But I love having him with me.



I will have him until Monday.I enjoy our daily walks and find I am much better walking up the hills at the moment. I am putting this down to my bike riding.




Peter and I have been out in the boat a couple of times. We tried some fishing but weren't very successful. But it was great just relaxing on beautiful Lake Illawarra.






My diet is mainly plant based. I really enjoy my tofu toasted sandwiches.




  • Cut 2 slices of tofu. (I buy my tofu from Aldi.)
  • Dredge the slices in paprika with a few fennel seeds added and a touch of stock powder.
  • Spread two slices of multi-grain bread with pesto. I used home made mushroom pesto. (I have a recipe for home made pesto in my 14th March post. Use 2 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms in place of herbs. I used almonds instead of walnuts.)
  • Sprinkle some grated cheese on one slice. (You can use vegan cheese now available at Woolworth.)
  • Arrange the slices of tofu on top.
  • Add a layer of fresh basil leaves.
  • Top with more grated cheese. (As thick or thin as you wish) 
  • Top with the remaining slice of bread and cook as you usually cook your toasted sandwiches.
Enjoy!



Interesting sites

1.
 Lego Apartment
Photo source
This apartment is very small and has everything hidden away. It is called the Lego apartment. Click here to see inside the apartment.


2.

Starry bike path
Photo source

Twinkling solar bike paths inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night. Click here to read more.

3.
 Crazy facts about stuff we buy
Photo source
Here are 21 surprising statistics about how much we own. about how much we own. These figures actually relate to the USA but I'm sure they can be applied to us. Click here to read more.

Friday, 1 April 2016

DON'T BE BULLIED BY YOUR OWN THOUGHTS





Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. We beat ourselves up. Often we have an internal dialogue that puts us down - that questions our abilities. I'm no good at anything. Everybody is better than me. I'm stupid. I don't deserve it.

At times we fall into the trap of generalising. I'm no good at anything. Bad things always happen to me. Nothing I do ever works.

Sometimes we catastrophise. We make mountains out of mole hills.We think the worst outcome is going to happen. 

The worst thing is that these thoughts stop us from fulfilling our potential. We become frightened to take risks and try new things. The future can seem negative

Don't be bullied by your own thoughts.

Try being kind to yourself. Look at your good points. Assess your achievements and strengths realistically. Consider the opportunities that you have. Don't compare yourself to everybody else.

It isn't always easy. Sometimes we fall into the habit of being negative about ourselves. It takes practice to start being kind to yourself. Spend the next few days thinking of a new positive attribute about yourself each day. 

And when you are tempted to put yourself down, challenge that negative thought with some positive thinking.





March went very quickly. One of the things I have enjoyed is bike riding 3 or 4 days a week. We go on the bike track by the lake and on the bike track from Towradgi to Bellambi.

Here are some random photos from the past few weeks, taken on our bike rides.


Early morning at Lake Illawarra
My New Bike


Peter and I


Towradgi Beach


The bikes in Peter's van.

Lake Illawarra

Galahs feeding at Towradgi Beach

Bike path at Bellambi

Towradgi Beach late afternoon
To be honest I am quite proud of my bike riding efforts. I began my regular riding very nervously, as I had begun falling off my old bike. But Peter bought me a new one in retro style with a seat closer to the ground. Each week we go a little further along the bike track.





Interesting sites


1.

Modular Houseboat
Photo source
Floatwing is a houseboat.. It's modular design means that it can be produced in a number of different sizes. Click here to read more.


2.
 The Life Pod
Photo source
The Life Pod is a $1500 dome shaped dream house on wheels. Click here to read more.


3.
 Different ways of freezing food
Photo source
There are quite a few alternative containers besides plastic to use to freeze food in.  Click here to read more.

Monday, 14 March 2016

My New Herb Garden

You're always going to be criticized, and sometimes envied, but never let that distract or unnerve you. Keep pushing ahead with your gut instinct, knowing you can do this. 
Sarah Rutson Of Net-A-Porter


I have a fantastic  new herb garden thanks to  my wonderful Peter. He put in all the work.





I had a beautiful Macrozamia palm growing in my front garden. I would often just stand back and admire it.

It was grown from a big red seed collected on a bush walk on the New South Wales South Coast many years ago. This isn't a great photo as I have already started cutting in back, but you get the idea.

Peter noticed it was outgrowing its position in the garden. It was making the wall skew, so sadly it had to come out.  

I decided to turn the garden into a herb garden.

I began by cutting the Macrozamia back and chopping down another small tree that had popped up.




Peter dug the palm out. No mean feat. The roots went down into the ground a long way.




The middle of the trunk continued to grow so I advertised the stump on Gumtree - free to anyone who could collect it from my footpath.


 It went in 2 hours.

I bought a few bags of potting mix to replace some of the clay in the hole that was left.


Peter mixed the potting mix in with some of the original soil.

I planted a large clump of lovely frondy coriander which I use a lot in cooking.
 


I planted some spicy basil pepper which I had never seen before but decided I had to have, and.......



 .....some delicious Vietnamese mint.....



 ....some tasty oregano......



 ...and some very useful thyme.


 

Peter convinced me to buy 2 plants of each herb so they will be usable sooner.

 
I had already planted some parsley a few months before I decided to use the whole garden for herbs. It is growing really well which is what made me think the whole garden could be used for herbs.

The cut off bottles hold rosemary cuttings which I hope will strike.

I also planted some mint in a shady corner.

 Some peppery wild rocket sprang up from last year.



  We lay down some sugar cane mulch to help keep the moisture in.


The new herb garden is 2 weeks old now and going really well.  My daughter gave me a big basil plant and I have planted some garlic chives which have struggled for years in a pot with no attention. They should love it now they are being watered daily.

I have a great basic walnut and basil pesto recipe. it's a bit cheaper than the traditional pine nut recipes.

I had to cut back the basil plant my daughter gave me before I could plant it, so used the leaves to whip up some pesto.





 

Basil Walnut Pesto 

2 cups basil leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup walnuts
salt to taste

(Add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese if you wish.)

Whiz it all together in a food processor.

It can be used on gnocchi or pasta. I use it on 'spaghetti' made with zucchini.

I try to stick to a plant based diet and often use chickpeas as a source of protein. A bowl of chickpeas with home made pesto - delicious!




Interesting sites


1.

Hueso Restaurant

Photo source
Hueso Restaurant. Love the white. Click here to see more.



2.

Humans push planet beyond boundaries towards 'danger zone'

Photo source

Human activity has pushed the planet across four of nine environmental boundaries, sending the world towards a "danger zone", warns an international team of scientists. Click here to read more. 

3.

Scenes reminiscent of Grimm's fairytales

Photo source

Schönberger roamed Europe to capture these beautiful sights with a mystical flair worthy of the Grimm legacy. Click here to see some beautiful pictures.