Carpet Cleaning

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We have carpet in the three bedrooms and I generally keep it clean by vacuuming regularly and a sprinkle of bicarb soda on any grubby marks.  However, I get it cleaned every 2 – 3 years and today was the day.

We removed everything from the 3 rooms apart from the cast-iron bed frame in the main bedroom. The other rooms are completely bare.

Empty bedroom
Moving everything out of 3 rooms makes you realise how much stuff you have.  Here is some of it stacked in the study.

Bedroom contents
The two chests of drawers fitted in the hallway just past the bedroom.

Furniture in hallway
The mattress and base were in the bathroom and more stuff in the living room as well.  Smaller items found temporary homes in the wardrobes.

It was a sunny day and I took the opportunity to wash and air all of the bedding.

The  carpet is still a bit damp underfoot so we have re-assembled and made our bed and plugged in the alarm clock but other than that the rest of the furniture and effects will not be returned to their rightful homes until tomorrow evening.

I have cleaned all of the louvres in the living room (79 of them) and The Duke washed down the outside of the house and cleaned all of the outdoor furniture.

Blog posts may be a bit hit and miss for the next couple of weeks as we are really busy.  In between full-time work, preparations for our overseas trip in 11 days ( who’s counting?), a milestone birthday celebration for The Duke, guests arriving on Thursday and preparing the house for the housesitters who will be here while we are away there is not a lot of time for blogging.

What’s happening at your place?

A Different Giveaway

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This is not a regular blog giveaway.  This is a personal advertisement to any reader who may be interested.  If you are interested please contact me either via the comments or email listed the ‘About Me’ page.

Details: Handmade christening gown and petticoat. I made this from the fabric offcuts of my wedding dress and it was worn by both my daughters and granddaughter but no longer required. Perfect condition. Fits baby approximately 3kg – 7kg (newborn to 6 months).

Pick-Up: I can post this anywhere worldwide. Postage is payable by the recipient.

 

Going Shopping & Gluten-Free Muesli

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As many of you would be aware, I buy most of my dry goods from the bulk bins at Simply Good.  This means I can buy as much or as little of an item as want with no packaging and no waste.  This is a topic dear to my heart and one which is being encouraged during ‘Plastic-Free July’.  I use re-usable mesh bags for things like dried fruit, seeds and nuts and reuse paper bags for flours and almond meal.  Once I get home they are decanted into storage jars.

Storage jars
These are the ingredients I use to make my gluten-free muesli.  You can adjust the quantities to suit yourself.

3 cups coconut
3 cups pumpkin seeds
3 cups sunflower seeds
3 cups almonds (roughly chopped) – I use the food processor
2 cups sultanas
2 cups flaxseed meal
1/4 cup cinnamon

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Gluten-free muesli
I store my mix in a large airtight container.

Muesli container
To serve – I use 1/4 cup of muesli and add 1 dessertspoon each of chia seeds and psyllium husk.  I usually add 1 apple (grated) and 1 kiwifruit (chopped) plus a spoonful of plain yoghurt.  It makes a delicious and satisfying breakfast.

Spreading the Love

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If I am speaking to someone about a particular topic, I often find myself referring to something I have written on my blog.  Then comes the inevitable question – what is the blog address?  I then find myself scrabbling in my bag or surroundings for a pen and paper.

Even though it is purely a personal pursuit, I have often thought about creating a ‘business card’ for my blog.  I finally designed one a few weeks ago and here it is.

Business card - front
The quality of the photographs is rather poor but I can assure you that they look great in real life.  The web address for the blog and a contact email are on the front of the card while the reverse contains a brief description and a quote.

Business card - back
I ordered them online through Vistaprint.  500 cards cost me a little over $50.00, including postage.

 

Garden Progress

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After our visit to the Garden Expo on Saturday, we spent Sunday afternoon out in the garden.

Our first project was to remove the old bird netting from the peach tree and to prune it.  This is what it looked like before we started.

Peach tree
This is one of the nets which we bought at the Expo.

Fruit tree net
The nets will protect fruit trees or garden beds from birds and pests, including fruit fly.  I had been looking at them online but when I saw them at the Expo I decided to go ahead and buy 2 of them.  Here is the website.  We bought the 2m ones.

It is recommended that you do not put the netting on until after the fruit has set otherwise it impedes pollination.  Since it is likely that the time to install the netting will be while we are away, we decided to have a trial run after pruning the tree.

New netting
While this would be sufficient to keep the birds away, you need to gather the fabric up and secure it around the base of the trunk to be sure of eliminating any fruit fly infestation.  We will ask the housesitters to put the netting on at the relevant time and hopefully look forward to a crop of unblemished peaches.

We also pruned the fig tree, grapefruit tree and one of the lemon trees.

Next weekend I will be planting as I have ordered some rhubarb crowns and asparagus.  I had a phone call today to say that they are ready so I will pick them up on Thursday.

A Dose of Inspiration

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The Duke and I went to the Queensland Garden Expo today.  It is a huge event which is held annually in Nambour which is a major town about 30 km from where we live.  We do not go every year, usually about every 3 years.

We checked the program of speakers before we left home so had a definite plan for our visit.  First, we wandered around some of the many exhibits to see what was on offer.  There are so many stalls that it is difficult to take it all in.  We bought 2 nets which are suitable for fruit trees or vegetable gardens.  They are small enough mesh to eliminate fruit fly so we will be using one on the peach tree this year.

Our other purchase was 5 hibiscus plants which we will plant in the garden in front of the house.  We already have 1 hibiscus and are keen to remove some of the other shrubs and make the hibiscus a feature in this bed.

I will tell you more about our purchases in future posts.

We took our drink bottles of water and some mandarins for a snack but we bought some lunch from one of the many food stalls.  We had satay chicken skewers with spiced cous cous.

Then it was time to join the queue for a very popular speaker – Costa Georgiadis from Gardening Australia.  The title of the presentation was, “Growing our food future. Simple ways to participate that bring us all along for the ride. So hang on!” – and hang on we did.  Costa is a passionate and entertaining presenter – even more so in real-life than on television.

It was difficult to capture a photograph as standing still is clearly not one of Costa’s strong points.

006
He really did wear that beanie!

009Warming to his theme…………

014And finally, presenting the ‘evidence’ to the judges.

This was the beginning of the presentation, where Costa showed the audience pre-packed, hard-boiled and peeled eggs packaged in a hard plastic case.  The one hour presentation absolutely flew and we really did have to hang on.  This was not a formal, staid lecture but more like a wild ride.

Some of the messages I came away with were:

  • We can all make a difference
  • Be positive
  • Engage with your community
  • Be innovative

It can sometimes be difficult to maintain your enthusiasm and passion in the face of the negativity that so often surrounds us but a dose of Costa was just what I needed get get me inspired to continue to push to grow and share food, reduce waste and packaging and encourage others to do the same.