Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Troubles working away & Pumpkin problems.

Hello everyone...Hubby arrived home late Monday night...it's been fabulous having my best friend around again. We have been rather busy finishing up tasks for while he is home...We had to go to the Solicitors to finalise his Will and Power of Attorney on Tuesday and we've had a few other appointments to keep also.
I'm pleased to say that Hubby fixed the Whipper Snipper after a quick trip to Bunnings. Thanks darl, your a clever man.!

There are a few things that have been happening with Hubby being away that we hadn't planned on
...and they are:

  • When working, he has a place to stay.
  • When not working, he has NO accommodation.
  • When he returns to the house at the end of his 12 hour shift, he has just a 2 hour window to prepare a meal, have a shower & sit down and relax, all before going to bed. 

Two hours may seem like plenty of time to prepare a meal, but it's not really, especially if you need to supply everything yourself, keeping in mind that you share the one fridge and top freezer with anything up to 5 other workers. Oh and you have to pack it all up again, ready to move out of the house while your not working. Now it doesn't sound so easy, does it? If you fly home on a regular basis, all that cooking equipment would need to be included in your luggage. Not the best situation to be in at all!

While walking around the supermarket yesterday, Hubby pointed out all the foods he has been eating. I was feeling quite powerless to say the least when he showed me all the pre-packaged/pre-prepared foods he had been surviving on. My husband along with all my family, are used to having foods cooked from scratch. Good wholesome meals! I'm old school, and believe if a man goes out to work all day to provide well for his family, then he should have a good hearty meal at the end of the day to give him sustenance and energy for the next.

I received a lovely email from a lady named Del, the other day offering support for Hubby while he is away from home...Del is a new reader to my blog and we both thank you for your kindness! I have replied to your email and am waiting for you to confirm a convenient time for Hubby to phone you. I'm sorry it took so long for a reply. 
Del lives outside of Sarina, which is rather close to the mine that Hubby works at. She has offered support for him along with her phone number....which is more than appreciated! What a lovely lady! 

Hubby works 6 days on with 6 days off! We worked a few things out on paper yesterday, and while Hubby is a contractor and not working Full Time, if he flies home every 6 days.....his wage would be the same as from his last employer. So we aren't adding to the mortgage just yet.

We really need to think long and hard at accommodation  which is very scarce around Moranbah. We also need to decide if he will take the family car with him, which would involve having one or two days at home before driving the 3 day drive to get back to Moranbah. Lots of big decisions to make in the coming future, but if we can find somewhere for him to live while not working...he will probably fly home once a month. If he gets full time employment instead of being a contractor, I think at least his meals will be provided...but it's early days yet.

My pumpkin leaves are turning yellow!

My pumpkin plants weren't looking too flash the other day, so I took a few photos, and sent them to Richard, my gardener and teacher of the gardening course I am doing. I knew Richard would be the one to ask what was I doing wrong. I had pumpkins in the front yard, which were turning a sickly looking shade of pale greeny/yellow...and they had slowed down in growth too. 

After having the mulch removed and given a feed of Liquid Nitrogen

It puzzled me as to why these had turned yellow, and the ones I hadn't planted out yet, were growing great!

Richard replied to my phone message and told me to remove the straw I had been using as a mulch. It had given the pumpkins an overload of Carbon, and to balance it out, I was to give them a good dose of Liquid Nitrogen. 

I'm pleased to say that just 2 days later, I can see them recovering, you can't tell from these photo's, but they are reaching for the sky again, and getting their colour back.

Thanks Richard for your friendly advice! 
My pumpkins are looking like they have life again. 

 Some friendly Seed Saving advice to finish off!
Here is my Corn Salad which has gone to seed, the plant is very fine, and I have been finding the seed scattered on the ground....Easy fix....while they are dying off, I have placed an organza bag over them. This way I can retrieve what seed is left on the plant without it all falling on the ground.


  1. Oh that is so hard to have your husband go off to work, and then to have to think of the hardship of having to cook like that. You are right he needs good solid food in order to do physical work. It sounds as though you will get things sorted out though. You might look at couchsurfing - sometimes you meet fantastic people that way.

  2. Far away I feel the burden you feel with the situation with your husband and pray that things right themselves however they are to be.

    I love the last tip by the way on seed saving. I will do that from now on...funny how something so easy- I don't know. I love that I can journey through simple life training all over the world to master my simple life!!

    All the best to you and yours

  3. gee, the mines have changed so much. The workers used to come home, go straight to the mess where they had a buffet of fine food, then the pub for a drink and a talk, then home to bed. I hope he finds some accommodation soon.

  4. I hope your hubby finds a solution soon, this has to be tough on you all.

  5. Well of course I know nothing about the country or countryside where you live and where your husband is working. I take it that renting, or otherwise acquiring, some kind of camper van or trailer is not practical? And/or perhaps there are not good places where he could park such a vehicle. My husband is a research geologist and he sometimes camps out or is able to take a trailer when he works. However, he works in remote very rural areas where he is able to park the trailer or setup a camp site.

  6. Goodness, I'd never make it through twelve hour days of hard work, much less feel like cooking afterwards. Really, I admire you both for your strength through these challenges. And I'm praying the rough patch is of short duration.

    In the meantime, maybe a good vitamin would supplement the weak meals. Some lightweight dehydrated fruit would travel well. What are your easiest healthy meals and would cooking lessons be needed? I have a little lightweight rice cooker that I could live out of pretty long term. The only downfall is it won't start cooking until you have enough weight in it, so sauteed onion is a pain.

    You are fortunate to have the nice offer from Del. How often I hear of some great side benefits stemming from a blog. What a funny spread out community it builds.

    brenda from arkansas

  7. My goodness, what long days. You have such a hardworking husband.

    Have you thought about preparing some dehydrated meals for him. Casseroles and the like. I know my dehydrator has recipes for dehydrating meat and vegetables. If you were able to do that for him and then pack it into a snaplock bag he would only have to add water and heat it up. You could add herbs easily too for some extra flavour. That could cut down on his meal prep time and he'd be getting 'sort of' a home cooked meal. On the other hand if you didn't want to dehydrate the meals yourself, you can get them predone from camping stores like BCF or online. You can pick up a dehydrator from places like the Good Guys or Green Harvest.


    Good luck and what a lucky man he is to have you!

  8. Oh Narelle, I know EXACTLY what you are going through! Having those logistical problems can really make it all seem so challenging... hang in there, it will get sorted out and things will be smooth in short order. Room and board somewhere would be ideal. Or - have you thought of moving to where to work is? Not even sure if that is feasible.

  9. Nice blog posting. I'm just blogwalking and very interesting to stop here and read your post. I like this.

    But, dont forget to give us your comment into my blog ya.

    Thanks for share.

  10. My suggestion: call any church in the area around the mines (regardless of your beliefs or church attendance) and state your husband's needs i.e. accomodation and home-cooked meals.

    In my experience, you just might be surprised at all of the very generous people who would be only too happy to supply your husband with either a room to stay in and/or home-cooked meals eg possibly on a rotational basis. I would be very surprised if you called and got a negative response. What's there to lose in trying?

  11. Before writing my next post, I just wanted to pop back here to let you all know how much I appreciate your comments. I've given a lot of them alot of thought. I'm sorry I haven't had time to comment individually...some I have emailed and I thank you all.
    I've been a bit ill this week, and haven't really had the extra energy or time to get back.
    Thanks again everyone...off to do my next post....I think you'll all like this one.


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