Tuesday 28 February 2017

Reconnecting in February

Here we go again, checking up on how I went with "Reconnecting" this month.  You can see how I went in January here, and my original vision here.

February this year will be memorable for the weather.  We have had a maximum of 41.5 degrees C.  That is a full degree higher than any previous recorded temperature.  On the other hand, we have had a minimum of 4.3 degrees C.  That is quite a contrast. There have also been quite a few windy days.  No wonder the poor garden is suffering.   Therefore, we have spent quite a considerable amount of time watering.  The tanks off the shed are now empty, waiting for some decent rain.  I think it has nearly forgotten how to rain here.  We have only had about 13mm for the year so far.  There was a short sharp storm in town this afternoon, but we (being a whole 2kms away) had 0.3mm.


I have read nothing further of the Tim Winton book.  Not a word.  It is sitting beside my desk at work waiting patiently for me to have a free lunch break.

As I suggested last time, I picked up something a bit more exciting, a Dick Francis book that was sitting on the shelf. A quick, light read and now the book will be moved on.

We have boxes and boxes of books (okay nearly a room full of boxes) that need going through and then we will be getting rid of the majority of them. In among them are quite a few classics that have sat on the shelf for years, but I have never read.  Dad was not in favour of reading any fiction, so I missed quite a few of the basics, like "The Wind in the Willows".  For such a book worm, I've never read it.  We have had this copy for over 30 years.  When we first got together, one day we were at the tip and there were boxes and boxes of books being thrown away.  It was nearly the entire library of a local boarding school and this well used volume was amongst them.  We were selective to start with and then just loaded boxes into our car. Anyway, I digress.  I'm half way through the book and it is good to finally read it, as there are so many classic quotes and characters, although you could not exactly call it high brow (but then neither am I).


Not so well this month.  OK, we had two quick trips to Windsor, but they weren't really explorations.


Not so well, once again.  Just a couple of more butterflies.  I'm going to use the same weak excuse as last month.  We are spending so much time outside....watering, watering, watering.


The only thing this time was the Bathurst Swap Meet at the beginning of the month.  We only had a little stall, but we got rid of a bit more stuff.  Yes, there was even a little bit of fabric.  Every little bit helps.

I sold my old pushbike "Flash", who doesn't look so flash any more.  I was happy that she was bought by a man who restores bikes.  He is going to hang her on the wall of his shed. (Instead of her hanging in the roof of ours.)  I was sad to see her go, but it is definitely for the best.  I'll tell you all about her one day.  She was special.

I just remembered I also tidied a couple of kitchen cupboards, to fit in more preserves.

Oh, and I sorted a lot of paperwork in the office......but lots more to do....it was a start.


Being summer, we have had our usual onslaught of tomatoes, so we have made  "Grandma's Tomato Sauce".  Well, not quite her sauce this time, as I made it on the spur of the moment and thought I had all the ingredients, but actually didn't.  There was only a splash of malt vinegar left, so it was made up with white.  Oops, not much brown sugar left and no reserve packet, so white had to make up the difference. I only had red apples, not grannies and only red onions.  Oh, and I accidentally picked up the Cinnamon instead of the Cayenne, so it has both in it.  I suppose the end product was still influenced by Grandma's recipe.  Anyway, it tastes just fine.

Now that we are in town I no longer have a plum tree and it seems wrong not having home made plum jam in the cupboard, so when I saw some nice dark plums in the supermarket we had a jam making episode.  It turned out rather well too.

We ended up with 11 bottles of sauce and 10 jars of jam.  Yum.  That should see us through for a couple of years.

There were still more tomatoes, so there is quite a sizable batch of pasta sauce in the freezer as well.  All of this was achieved in one week.  Not too bad.

Unfortunately, the extreme heat has knocked the tomatoes about, so we are waiting for a further flush to come through.



This was a big surprise to me.  

You see, Mick has a dicky knee and cannot walk very far at the moment.  However, he has been able to ride his pushbike without pain and apparently it is good for knees.  We got chatting and then went shopping.....

Meet Olivia.  

I never thought I would have another push bike.  I would have liked a pretty girls bike, but Olivia has many more gears and wonderful suspension in the front forks.  Oh, how bikes have changed in the last 36 years since I bought a bike.  She is a nice compromise.

I thought she was black in the shop, but when she is in the sun she is actually a really deep metallic purple.

Boy, am I out of practice!!!  We went for a ride of about 3kms on the first morning.  What looked flat, was actually a very gradual rise...all the way home.  

That afternoon we went out again.  Just up the road we found some blackberries.  So home we rode and returned with buckets for picking.  

A lot of them were rather dry, but we were able to get enough to have on ice cream for a couple of nights. Anyway, after that my legs ached something terrible and I was just a tad (OK very) saddle sore. Hopefully, it will get easier the more I do.  It is rather embarrassing how unfit I am.  Oh well, baby steps.

Mick is now planning a bike carrier to put on the caravan.  It should be nice to take the bikes away.


Yes, we have spent time with good friends.  It is always nice.


At the beginning of the month we took our van down to Windsor to have a little bit of work done on it.  The weather was cool and damp.  So very different to home at the time.

We made a nice day out of our trip, enjoying a late breakfast at our favourite cafe.

We returned last weekend to collect the van. 

Once again the weather was cool and damp.  It drizzled over the mountains both ways......and of course stopped as soon as you got west of Lithgow.


I suppose, making an enjoyable time of our trips to Windsor fit into this category, but February hasn't been as relaxed as January was.  We both have been busy at work and the weather has been rather taxing.  That is just the way it goes.  Each month is different.


It is interesting having a theme for the year.  Yes, I do think about it and hopefully will continue to do something in each catergory each month.


loulee said...

You know, these are all things that you did anyway(Except the push bike!). But it's nice to stop sometimes and take notice as life whizzes by. I'm sure your sauces will be just fine, I always 'mess' with the recipes! Swapping things out and making up for shortfalls. Our toms are still going strong. I have about 2 dozen pots of pasta sauce in the freezer, I'm now working on soup! There are only 10 of those, he keeps taking them to work for his lunch! LOL Next year we will grow less of them.

Jenny said...

You have done very well in February, especially when you break your month down into categories. Congratulations on your sauce making, don't the bottles and jars look wonderful lined up in the pantry. And congrats too on your new bike - she looks a beauty, nice and shiny in the sunshine.

Jenny said...

You have done well Janis and achieved so much already what a good theme.Love your bike