Its been a couple of weeks since my last post, and I don’t like to leave it so long but lots has been happening so today I’m playing catch ups on a number of things.
It’s been a beautiful sunny sunday spent at home today, tending to our garden, taking out old plants and putting in some new heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds are the old variety of seeds where you can save you seeds from year to year and use to keep producing harvest, they also produce better tasting and more nutritious vegetables than the more modern hybrid or GMO seeds available. The seeds were a part of my birthday gift from my sister that arrived in the mail and also from Tim’s parents as a part of my birthday gift from them.
So the day was spent in the garden we harvested all of the carrots and beetroot, cut back the chives and took out the snow pea plants and picked some broccoli. Giving the garden beds a good turn over with the spade we then planted some carrot and beetroot seeds and in milk cartons to start and try and get some seedlings to plant later I planted some chilli and capsicum. The rest of our seeds we will wait closer to spring to plant them.
Our broccoli has been growing amazingly, we have harvested three big brunches over the last few weeks with more still growing, we even noticed some more smaller ones popping up when cutting back and taking out what we have already used, We are doing ok here at our suburban river cottage.
Last weekend saw us leave the sunny south coast and head to Mt Victoria in the Blue Mountains NSW. This weekend away was part of my birthday gift from Tim, so packing our beanies jackets and me my scarf, thank goodness we did! We set off on our 3 hour drive, me driving as Tim worked a night shift the night before and only had a few hours sleep.
Our first stop was in Penrith, what is there you ask? well having used to live locally to Penrith it was a must to stop so we could visit a funky little cafe called Henri Marc which I love. The decor has an industrial yet eclectic feel, with the use of timbers, concrete, steel and corrugated iron. Exposed edison light globes hang from cords on the ceiling and the retro coffee machine looks so cool, serving Reuben Hills coffee which is roasted in Surry Hills in sydney, it’s often hard not to have two coffees when I am there. The menu is small but varied and everything that is on the menu is done amazingly well. Tim had the slow cooked brisket with carrot and pickle on a brioche bun, while I had the chorizo an mushroom which is served in a yummy sauce with parmesan and a poached egg on top. If you are ever in the area it is worth the stop even just to grab a take away coffee.
Our next stop was a bookstore, stocking up on a book each to read we set off once more, driving up the mountain, stopping on the way to get some supplies for dinner.. In the afternoon we finally arrived at the little cottage which would become our home for the weekend. Allara Cottage in Mt Victoria, was a cosy cottage with beautiful gardens and everything you would need, kitchen, outdoor seating (not needed in winter) lounge, bathroom, upstairs bedroom and the best part was the fireplace. It has left both Tim and I wanting one in our home, to the point Tim thinks we should sell the TV and put one there. It was so nice sitting in front of the fireplace, on a big comfy chair book in hand. The great part about the bedroom being upstairs to meant the heat from the fireplace rose so the bedroom was toasty warm when we went to bed, which is awesome when its minus 2 outside.
Ou first night the wind was fierce, I have never seen such large gum trees sway so recklessly in the wind, going most of the night this meant not much sleep for the two of us, so in the morning up we got and off to explore. We stopped at a cafe for breakfast which was rather ordinary unfortunately… but after that we set off to see the three sisters in Katoomba NSW. Only problem is the wind decided to follow us, we got blown down the track walking to them and when standing on the bridge that leads underneath we could barely take a picture for fear of the phone blowing out of our hands and me deciding I didn’t feel safe standing on a bridge in a gully with strong winds we moved back towards the top with your icy cold fingers admired the view for another photo… then got the hell out of there.
Stopping next at The Blue Mountains Chocolate Company to warm up by the fireplace there with a Hot Chocolate fondue, Your warm milk is served in a fondue with tea light candle underneath a metal straw type spoon, and your belgian chocolate buttons served on the side with some more warm frothed milk. Adding as much chocolate as you like stirring it through the milk as it melts than drinking it mmmmm mmmmm delicious.
Leaving with our belly’s full of hot chocolate it was on to Leura to look at shops as there wasn’t much else we could do with the wind, roaming through looking at the yummy items in Leura gourmet deli, Tim refraining from buying a flask with Hank on it, which he really felt he needed (Hank is the name we gave the monkey that lives in Tim’s head 😛 ) from the Man Store, I personally wanted him to buy a fancy colourful bow tie which I thought would be good for future plans, but he declined! We looked through the book store, we then moved on to the place which is a real must for me Leura doggie Store Oh My Goodness, this store has everything your dog could need, does need and those things which well they really don’t need but you’ll find yourself buying anyway! From costumes to pyjamas, treats to fancy food bowls and beds to comfy cushions. We looked through all the items laughing at some, wanting to buy others and deciding on what we might get Snikkers or her birthday, picking up some toys and treats….. However there was one item for missy we just could not resist….. stay tuned I can’t give it away just yet…. there’ll be pictures at the end of the blog.
After spending a small fortune on the dogs, picking up some stocks for the night including some specialty beer for Tim and some organic ciders for me we got back in the car and headed back up the mountain and over towards Hartley Vale as there was a cafe there with a nursery which I had been to many many years ago and wanted to visit, we drove past the lolly shop in Hartley noting it so we could stop on the way back, we approached the cafe, which now happened to be a vet
Oh well back to the lolly shop where Tim got race cars, I got raspberries and some other items and back in the car, we headed back to our little cottage and went for a walk to sunset rock, however not for long as the wind picked up again so back to the cottage to retreat to the fire place, we sat in our pyjamas with beers, ciders and potato chips warming our cold little toes and instant relaxation! I really want a fireplace.
Oh and I forgot to mention before we settled in front of the fir of course I had to go feed the my new horsey friends I found living in the paddock behind the cottage where we were staying. “Can’t we take them home?” I asked Tim of course his answer was yes but really no.
Aren’t they gorgeous! So I want a Fireplace and a horse.
A relaxing evening, some dinner, reading and a good nights sleep, the next morning saw us pack the car to say goodbye to go find a decent breakfast. Our search led us to Lilly’s pad Cafe in Leura, which have an amazing selection of Gluten free options on their menu and in the cake cabinet. We were greeted welcomingly by the owner who seated us, he later came over to explain the menu to me, later came back to ask what I ordered and when we were leaving asked how my meal was and when I said it was delicious he said I was hoping you would say that, this led Tim to saying “I should have sat separate from you, I think you would have got your breakfast for free” both laughing I replied sarcastically “Maybe he knows I am a famous blogger” 😛 ….. but in all seriousness the sweet potato and quinoa fritters i had with poached egg were delicious and Tim’s canadian breakfasts with a gluten free hotcake bacon, maple syrup and poached egg tasted pretty good to yes we shared!!
It was over breakfast that I contemplated, well we got missy one what about sinkers? “Snikkers doesn’t need one” was Tim’s reply “I know but I feel bad if we get one for missy and not for Snikkers to” so after breakfast off we went to??? Yep you guessed it back to the doggy store where we brought one for Snikkers to, then it was in the car to head home.
At home two excited puppies greeted us, we unpacked and settled in for another week of life, washing in the machine, preparations for work and still working on plans which are yet to be revealed.
This week at work was challenging to say the least, with a realignment going on there has been stresses and extra work needing to be completed, but my saving grace is coming home to where Tim always manages to make me laugh, two gorgeous puppies and our beautiful home and knowing that this job of mine isn’t forever. The book i read over our weekend away was called ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ (and its all small stuff) a good reminder to slow down, not worry so much and to remember not to let every little thing get to you, we can be so fast paced in this world of ours and minds thinking constantly on multiple thoughts, trying to do everything at once, we often get run down or sick to remind us to slow down a little. one thing at a time! and hey that person that cut you off in traffic this morning, is it really worth your time, stress and anger for most of the day, the person in your life you know that argues everything and always has to be right, is it worth arguing with them to prove a point? sometimes we do allow ours lees to feel stress we really don’t need to and by being conscious of this we can work on what is worth our thoughts, time and stress, unite often not much. ‘Live everyday like it’s your last’ no thats doesn’t mean go spend all of your money and quit your job, but be a little kinder, tell those you love that you love them and they are important to you, as at the end of the day if you knew you weren’t going to be around tomorrow you probably wouldn’t worry about what that co-worker said to you last week.
This takes practice though, as last night I had a night where I let all the small stuff get to me, it started with off with me spending the afternoon preparing and mixing the ingredients for a cake I needed to bake for someone. The cake was near cooked when I was checking it, I decided it needed some foil on top for the last part of the baking so it would not burn, I went to put the foil on, the whole oven shelf came out landed on the door (cake still ok at this stage) then the tin fell off the shelf on the door to the tiled floor and cake spilt out all over the tiles, it all happened in what seemed slow motion. I think the dogs jumped when I yelled out a word several times I can not repeat on here and just stared in disbelief…… nothing I could do, having to eat gluten free i couldn’t even sit on the floor with a spoon and eat the cake that was left in the tin!
I picked myself up and the cake off the floor scrubbed the tiles and started again, while I was starting again, I placed the cupcakes I had ready to bake in the oven, Starting with melting the butter chocolate and cocoa for my mud cake when the butter and chocolate mix split! It just split, no good couldn’t be used…. Gah! I had not butter left so the cake would have to wait until morning.. Thats what happens when you live in ‘the sticks’ as I call it and tease Tim about in a small town with no supermarket and a general store called the ‘Lettuce Inn’ (no thats not a typo) that closes at 6pm.
“I’ll just check the cupcakes” I think to myself opening the oven door and looking mighty confused when they looked like they had not cooked at all, then the realisation I hand’t turned the oven back on. Sighing I turned the oven back on, and decided I should eat, getting some gluten free pasta from the cupboard something I rarely have I started to sautee some veggies to go in it, all the pasta sticks together the meat I wanted to use is no good and nothing is really edible, I then later remember the cupcakes which are now overcooked… More words. I finally decide to make a peppermint tea, when this spills I give up and go to bed. Yep lots of small stuff and it really got to me… Thank goodness today was much better.
I had some laughs today watching Missy and Snikkers sitting and playing in the netting we were using around the garden beds, tangled in it they wrestled, nuzzled, Snikkers licking Missy’s ears and played. They were having so much fun I could not resist but join them in the sunshine.
One busy week and some stress at work, but this week I also bought something exciting, something that has to do with some plans we have… now I know you are getting impatient “What are these plans?” you ask and now “What did you buy?” but sadly neither I can tell yet… Sorry I know the suspense, but all will be revealed in time, you’ll just have to wait a little longer.
I have so much more I want to write about, but preparations for work tomorrow and then bed is calling, I’m going to leave the blog tonight with something that I hope makes you smile, I know it makes me laugh!
On our weekend away we brought Missy and Snikkers some ………
Yes Missy and Snikkers now have flannelette shirts….. Hahaha we couldn’t resist when we saw dog jackets thats look like flannelette shirts, Poor Snikkers needs to loose a little of her belly as hers was a little tight (no different to when Tim wears his flannelette shirt) 😛 ! but Missy has been wearing hers every night to bed keeping her warm in this winter weather. I am however a little afraid when I am away for work next week I may find Tim, Missy and Snikkers in their shirts on the lounge all enjoying a beer together! 😛
In my next blog I am going to share some of my favourite healthy treat recipes and some recent cake creations, There’ll be some updates on the garden front and I can’t wait to show you some yard progress and what Tim has been up to in his man cave on his days off… I thought he just drank beer with Snikkers, but it turns out he has been busy and creative building some new things to add to our home.
Night all until next time.