Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The routines of simple life....Great grandma style

While we wait for K's mother's next surgery, and recover from  rushing her in for a urgent pacemaker op, we have been sharing her house and daily life. (Although as I write it's just me here cos K has headed off to NSW to do some work)
I guess cos I'm living much more simply than ever either in our caravan or our room at Rathmines Bible School, this visit I have enjoyed watching and participating in Mum's routines.
The first is tea making. Sometimes  we just teabag. But for a proper pot this is how it goes.

Kettle is filled with just enough water for the number of cups to be made, plus enough to warm the Tea Pot. She adds a carefully calculated amount of tea leaves,  just below boiling water then rests the pot on its stand and the tea cosy  is used to cover for steeping. Mum pours her own first because her grandmother taught her that the first cup might not be up to the correct strength and visitors must get the best.
Dregs from pot are kept for soaking fruit for cake or water a pot plant.

There are endless other rituals that make frugal simple life here. Every time the oven is on, lots of things get baked. There are always meals, snacks and nibbles created from just about nothing, in the freezer ready to pull out for visitors or to take to friends.

Rhythms of the week that save money and keep her mind occupied. Meals on time, tasks on schedule, bills planned for and paid.

I'm pretty sure I'm not up to this 88year old great grandmother's standard. Or my mum the 79 year old great grandmother's either.

I want to share two incidents that I reckon are pure Mum Ferg.

The first is about how she, like her son K, makes friendships everywhere. Her family doctor is very fond of mum and was especially pleased to share at the last visit that she, the doctor that is, had just become a grandmother. Said brand new grandson is in Croatia and the new grandparents are off to visit soon. Mum Ferg wanted to send a present!!!! So we went yarn hunting and I made this cot rug. Teddy is not going to Croatia. He is just helping with staging.

The other incident goes like this... (family members have already heard this one)

Kevin is packing for the run to Alice Springs in the car. Big bang and glass shatter. Mum and I rush out to see what he has done. Indignant huff. Nothing to  see here. Pop into toilet and there's glass all over the floor. Picture has hit the deck. Big fight with 88 year old lady to let me clean it up cos I might cut myself. Which one of us is on blood thinners I ask you. Try not to elbow her in the face while she hovers. It is very tight in a toilet room for two people.

Cheers Sue
A Ferg on the Move

Victory over the yarn stash. I think I might be in front at last.

We have truly been "on the move" of late. A quick run down to the farm from Rathmines and a few precious days in our caravan. Some equally precious time with the Crookwell family as well. Then a long day drive to Adelaide.  Close to 1600 km in less than a week. A lovely week with K's Aunty Gladys before she jetted off home to the UK. A weekend away with dear friends, trip into the Barossa to see my mum.

A bit of a health scare with Master Eighteen Month Old back at Crookwell. An equally nasty scare with K's mum who is 88 and fighting, if not fighting fit. K made a dash to Alice Springs which didn't quite go as planned since the car decided it needed attention. (Tell you about that another day) Not the most relaxing visit to Adelaide I have ever had.

So what do I do to battle the stress? Crochet of course.  I attacked my half finished stash busting project and bag of yarn between  disasters and completed this double bed rug in no time.

One up to me!

Not only have  I conquered the orange and brown yarn bag but I have had another win or two.    My well publicised battle with the yarn stash had left me with a huge bag of finished projects. All of which now have homes. The fifty pink thing was sold to a grandma for her pink crazy granddaughter. The Aztec afghan was delivered to the lovely lady here in Adelaide who commissioned it last year. The baby rugs are safely delivered and now await the arrival of twins who are due any time soon.

Felt pretty proud of myself..... But .... Can't sit here doing nothing and Lincraft is two minutes from Mum Fergs.....

Cheers Sue
A Ferg on the Move

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Birthday joy.

Got a year older last Wednesday. My birthday falls around Easter and therefore I am usually at Rathmines at Bible School. This year Mr Fix It has been working here doing maintenance and helping with the renovations so there was a small crowd of workers here in the day.

Breakfast in bed in our little bedsit home away from our caravan, with a tear jerker of a card and message from K. Very romantic.

Roses from one friend, rose scented candle  from another and cheerful happy birthdays all round. Some hand made tea towels I have laid over my breakfast supplies.

Treated myself to an expensive trip to the hairdressers and I now sport lovely blond streaks.

Happy birthday song from the Brisbane crew over the phone. Video messages from  Miss Five and Master 18 Month. SMS and Facebook wishes as well.

Dinner out with friends completed a wonderful day.

Feeling very blessed.

Cheers Sue
A Ferg on the Move

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The young and the older.

Youngest grandson went off to inspect the property last weekend. Toddled off down the hill toward the rams. Grandfather K (Poppy) wandered along behind just in case. At one stage the two of them were standing, hands behind their backs in matching stances as the rams stood watching them. I missed that photo.....

Then Master grabbed Poppy's hand and led him back up the hill.

Such a lovely relationship.

Cheers Sue
A Ferg on the Move

Friday, 17 March 2017

Me versus the yarn stash. A progress report.

Regular readers will remember that I declared war on the yarn stash earlier this year. So, of course, you will be waiting with keen anticipation for a progress report. I believe the score was Sue one, yarn stash too many

So the sneaky fluffy pink yarns have been tamed into this single bed spread, with only one ball left over. One up to me.

Left overs from Aunty Fay's Aztec inspired afghan  are now a smaller one ready to post to its new owner. Provided it is still wanted of course.

I tipped all the balls out onto the bed and sorted them into groups. So I have two stash busters on the go now.  Orange and beige tones. Black, cream and brown Tunisian entrelac. Both starting from the centre which is I think the safest way to use leftovers up. You can always (wait for it......) buy something to create a border if you run out of yarn before it gets to a good size,

So there's just  a small bag of greens, a bag of purples,  and some balls of green, blue and grey fluffy stuff left. Oh and the left overs from the rainbow cot blanket. As well as a random ball or two of white, and some bits and ends.

I haven't bought a ball of yarn for weeks........

Current score Sue three, yarn stash a bit more. Bag of finished but homeless afghans growing. Funny how the finished product takes up more room than the balls of yarn.

Cheers Sue

A Ferg on the Move


A little farm romance. A wool tail.

Here's a little tale about romance on the farm.
Once upon a sunny autumn day a ewe spied some likely looking rams over the paddock fence.  
Now it is not breeding time yet but a girl should get to know the potential men in her life.
Two prospects, no three even. I wonder which one she will choose.
This one seems the best. Nose kisses and cuddles through the fence
These two lovers kept me entertained as I did my dishes, washed some clothes and tidied up. She moved away from him coyly every time I went outside the caravan, and nosed up to him when I was out of sight. Good thing the fence is sturdy!
Cheers Sue
A Ferg on the Move

FW: Autumn off grid

So I am finally somewhere with internet viable enough to post a blog. I wrote this post last week. Bit out of date now but here goes anyway

I caught this rainbow as I drove down the drive way into the farm.

K has been away in Newcastle and with the Crookwell lot both not able to drive (complications from surgery and a horse squashed foot) it has fallen to me to be onsite dog feeder, and keep the water up to the rams. Being on my own has tested how easy our off -grid set up is for me to manage. K does all of the heavy lifting normally so I admit to being a bit apprehensive about how I would go.

Don't tell K but I forgot I had set the pump up to transfer water from the shed rainwater tank to the caravan tanks and went down the hill to feed the dogs. Good thing the caravan storage was empty and the 12volt pump slow cos there was water running out and under the annex when I made it back up. Not sure how much I wasted. I pride myself on being careful with the water so I was I bit red faced!

(As I post this it has rained recently so the rainwater tank will be topped up again but still....)

Woke up one morning to find water all over the floor, a sure sign that the gas bottle that runs our  caravan fridge and the water heater was empty and the frdge had defrosted all over my floor..  So I popped outside to the caravan front boot and carefully switched the gas over to the reserve bottle. Sprayed the connection with detergent to check for leaks and swanned back in to relight the fridge. Press the button, click the lighter. Not working. There is a little gauge that tells you the thing has lit and it didn't even flicker. Our fridge is getting on in years and has a habit of  the pilot light not relighting. Goes for weeks without a problem and chooses to play up when there is no Mr Fix It in sight. Typical. I wonder if it is related to the ute, whose door locks only ever refuse to open for me.

Now Mr fix It does some mysterious banging when this happens. (The fridge not lighting I mean. Banging in the ute could you yelled at.)  It entails taking off the outside cover of the fridge and doing 'stuff". So I thumped out of the van and around the back to the vent with my trusty butter knife in hand (just the correct size to flick open the catch) pulled off the cover to find a maze of pipes and wires. A flick here and a tap there and a few Mr Fix It like huffs. Tromped back inside. Held down the gas button and press the lighter and up she came. The pretty little indicator bar flew up into the "well lit" section of the gauge. Now truthfully I have no idea what magical thing I did but the fridge liked my spell weaving so who am I to complain.

There are two gas bottles in the front of the van  and we have two spares that are supposed to be kept full. In the mad dash to get back up to Newcastle K didn't get to fill the two empties and I just "knew" that the reserve bottle was not very full.

The nice man at the service station fills them so I dragged two empties out and stashed them in the car. Left them in his tender care and came back the next day to resume custody. They were too heavy when full for me to lift into the back of the ute. I caused a few grins when I tenderly belted them into the back seat next to the granddaughters booster seat for the trip home. Unsealed road you know.

Given my luck you will not be surprised to read that the gas ran out again at night.... Picture me with a torch in my mouth, spanner in one hand, a gas connection in the other, trying not to cross thread the thing as I did it up.  Darn thing kept leaking gas. So turn off the gas, transfer fridge goods to the 12volt travel fridge and tackle it all in the morning.  After a couple of goes and lots of detergent spraying in daylight I got a sealed connection and reenacted my fridge lighting routine.  And lit the water heater for a well earned shower.

The rain must be on the way. This little echidna was crossing the road.
 All joking aside I have been pleased to find that the setup is quite manageable for me. Some things are hard work and heavy. True. But ok. The solar panels and batteries performed really well. Once or twice I thought I might need the generator. And I guess if there had been a few days running of really grey skies I might have had to work out how to start it. Not a job I have done before. That would make a really good blog post!  The autumn weather was kind to me, batteries charged, lights, pump, freezer and coffee machine all ran perfectly..

K has worked cleverly to make this possible and it is gratifying to find that the free camping set up is really stable.

We are hoping to take the whole lot on the road this year again. And try out a few outback camping spots along the way.


All along the side of the roads here are "wild" fruit tress.
Cheers Sue
A Ferg on the Move