The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple. ~Doris Janzen Longacre

The best way to bring a sustainable change in the world around me is by bringing the change in myself

Saturday, January 6, 2018

New Years 2018

Firstly wanting to wish everyone a Wonderful New Year 2018 ... keep up the new Years resolutions. I did not really make any this year cause I know how easy that falls by the wayside and we just revert back to our bad habits. Atleast I don't smoke or drink but I do swear a bit, drink way to much coffee and have a problem with the sweet stuff. We do try eat healthier meals. ATM my garden is just starting to really take off and hopefully I can freeze some veggies and preserve a few bottles this season. Our 6 remaining old hens produce 3/4 eggs a day ATM but they will soon need to be replaced with younger hens. So I know where some of our food comes from but we are far from being self sufficient like I would like us to be. Especially when it comes to our meat supply, maybe that is something I need to address ASAP Our local life stock sales yard is not far away from us. But unfortunately I would have to find someone with a trailer and hitch on their vehicle to get a few sheep to our place .. hate having to rely on anyone but we don't have our own trailer anymore. Just another problem we need to address .. going from 2 vehicles with hitches and 2 trailers to 1 small sedan without a hitch. anyway that is life for you it knocks you down and you just need to get up and go again. My daughter and myself did start a small home based baking business 6 months ago just to help with the daily bills. And low and behold she started to bake cupcakes and birthday cakes with all the pretty swirls and rosettes and designs. And she has done really well with that. Then we decided to start baking our traditional sweets and desserts to serve a bigger SA market here in Auckland, giving our customers a taste of home. That has paid off as so many people love our baking and have become regular customers. From thinking making homemade soap with pretty swirls and soap cupcakes that were more decorative than anything else and spending our mornings at flea markets. I am happier with the baking business. One of my recipes we use you can find under recipes for No Knead bread and vetkoek. We make a beautiful smooth Peppermint tart, a milk tart, Malva poeding and koeksisters. For us it is about baking fresh and getting it to our customer within hours of making it. Until next time Regards Rina

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Still love travelling ...

This beautiful scenery is painted on a boring wall somewhere in a little town on the way to New zealand's capital Wellington. How this speaks of lose of their home and worldly goods. But look closely how the husband is consoling his wife. Her heart must be broken having lost everything she so loving cared for.
We so nearly missed this beautiful wall, luck had it I needed to get a few snacks for lunch, which would normally have been a BBQ chicken, a few bread rolls and a big bottle of Pepsi. as I walled out the supermarket it stared me straight in the face. Well lunch had to wait ...

Friday, May 26, 2017

Winter has arrived in New Zealand

Not officially yet but for me winter is here with full force. Maybe not like in Canada I gather where our house guests come from. Tales of having to dig yourself out just to get to your car. landing on your backside more times than she could count. Fishing though a hole on a iced up river, sounds like they enjoyed that experience. But it was all new experiences for them too No way that is not for me. We are childen of Africa and can't cope with that sort of weather. I like the sun to warm up my old bones, in that way I would do well as a cat basking in a sunny patch somewhere. I like working in my garden, my retreat from this world. I planted a summer veggie garden cause that is what I know, will grow for me. and it did grow and produce well. My fight with the monster weeds of all sorts was worth it. Beans were cut and frozen, some made it into bottles. Zucchini grew into monsters which I grated , drain the excess moisture and froze to use in fritters and slices and muffins during the cold winter. Potatoes were used fresh in our meals cooked either whole and ate with butter or in a stew. nothing nicer than fresh potatoes. and spinach pie, which we had a lot of during the summer. Yumm I regret not having a bigger veggie garden but will add beds during the winter and get them ready for spring planting. Learnt gardening here is different than what I am used too. Still got carrots and spinach in grow tunnels, which I bought at our local clearance shed. Great to protect them from the frost and also the chooks who had a feast on them before I closed the beds up with the tunnels.Motto for next growing season : get the seed in early for that I need a small green house or mini hot house. Get organized!!! sadly my kumera and sweet potato lost all their leaves due to frost, not quite sure if I will try dig them up and see what I got if anything. so that is the garden news Happy Gardening to our American friends xxx

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cyclone Cook

We are sitting here, prepared as much as you could possible befor Cyclone Cook. According to the weather man due to hit North Island as we speak. We are just south of Auckland, in the Franklin region and expecting 150klm winds and heavy rain. our driveway at the gate floods but so far we have been lucky in the storms we had this month. How bad this will get who knows. Our old villa we are staying in was built in the 1880's one of the first homes built here when the town was first established. A sleepout/granny flat was added with a breeze way. Thank goodness someone put a roof over it. the old wood stove was removed and a wood burner was put in it's place. the kitchen was extended and now we use the old space as a small lounge/home office/kitchen wish it was just a little bigger. but it is where we hang out most of the time. There is an old dairy which is now stables and wash bay for the horses and a small tackroom. Unfortunately this home has seem many years of neglect and tenants When we moved in about 8 months ago the garden was a huge weed invested area, wild turnips, thistles, celery and dock .. you name it we had it. Not liking chemicals weed spray I started hard pulling them and and letting them dry out on the concrete dairy path. Hopefully i got to them before they set seed esp the wild turnips. Weeding will be an on going battle but regular mowing should also help a lot. Digging new veggie beds was my first task so I set aside a sheltered area and as it turned out previous gardeners thought it was a good spot too. It was also the old pit and as I dug old pieces of glass and pottery and china showed up. I collected as much as I could find, washed, sorted out beautiful coloured glass into bags. I found old treasures, worthless to everyone else but they told me a story of times gone by. Maybe one day I will find out who lived here. Sorry got a little side tracked there .. we had a good crop of climbing beans, which I made into curry beans and bottled about 8 jars, a old South African recipe. You will find the recipe in the blog under recipes. We eat freshly dug up good crop of Nadine potatoes oh so fresh with butter. Zucchini in abundance, grated, drained the liquid off and filled ziplocks bags and put them in the freezer. Made pasata with most of the Roma tomatoes. We made beautiful spinach pie with lovely healthy spinach leaves. ATM we have sweet potatoes/kumera, pumpkins, peppers,celery, lebanese cucumbers and chillies. now something I have never tried before is an late garden, sowed carrots and pasnips and covered them with a plastic grow tunnel. the seeds have all come up. now to see if it will work for the winter. Next spring I plan on doing a bigger garden I need to figure out how to load pictures again. so until next time regards Rina update we got fair bit of rain but nothing like they predicted. the cyclone turned and swept down towards The bay of Plenty and then on to Wellington.