A Day In The A Blue Mountains.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I welcome you to take your time and browse , visiting my bush garden and discovering the wonders of my city within a national park; Blue Mountains National Park. Via my blog you will travel with me through the successes, trials and tribulations of gardening on a bush block. I share with you my patchwork & quilting, knitting, paper crafts, cooking and life in general.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Purple Bears

I swear it's coincidence that my latest project has been all about knitting purple bears!
I will keep you posted on why I'm knitting them, hopefully in two weeks or so.
But in the meantime...here's a photo...and I will keep on knitting until I'm told 'that's enough'.



Wednesday, 9 March 2016

This Month In The Garden - March

It's been a while since I've posted about my garden, simply because a) it can be a bit repetitive and b) there's been a few disasters which are repetitive (read possums, birds, antichinus, and who knows what else eating the fruits of my labour).

But here's a little surprise...somethings I've grown for the first time and have had some success with.
 The above is the flower of the galangal plant, which is I think related to the gingers and has the most exotic scent. I literally watched this bloom open before my very eyes.  The flowers I must say, are short lived but their fragrance can be experienced from metres away. 

My other success has been the curry leaf tree.
It too flowered and I'm waiting to harvest the seeds so I can propagate them. 
These plants can become weedy so the flowers or seeds need to be removed and disposed of before the birds spread the pods far and wide.
~
We've had a pretty wet and at times cold summer, and it wasn't until last week that I spotted dragonflies in our garden.
This male, I'm pretty sure he's a Male Common Glider Dragonfly - Tramea loewii, stayed still long enough for me to take a 'point-and-shoot' shoot.


















It looks like he may have tangled with a spider's web.
~

Here in the southern hemisphere we're gearing up for the Autumn Equinox! And an early Easter.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

It's Only Words

Recently I have been most noticeable, I think, by my absence.
The past few months have been quite a struggle.
In the late part of 2015 I was dealing with severe symptoms of sinusitis; such as I’ve never experienced before.
In my despair I sought out a new GP who practises alternative medicines and found myself a nutritionist at a university where my daughter attends.
The exorbitant cost of alternative therapies in Australia has always infuriated me, not because of the cost but because the Australian government refuses, in the main, to subsidise these therapies and, for the chronically ill, who have tried conventional medicine to no avail, are the least able to afford them.
But all that aside, if the GP practises alternative medicine, I am subsidised to some extent, even though I still end up paying over 50% of the fee myself.
The university offers consultations with nutritionist in training at a very small fee but the supplements usually end up costing three or four times the cost of the consultation.
Despite all that, progress has been made.
First the GP ordered tests; to discover that I had a parasite infection in the large intestine -Dientamoeba fragilis. (Treated with a course of antibiotics).  So that taught me: A second opinion was worth it.  I had seen her way back in 2003 and she was curious to know why, after so long, I was still suffering from IBS symptoms even though I had taken various steps to treat the condition.  
Second the nutritionist recommended eliminating all dairy and gluten from the diet.  Which I did, to amazing results. For the first time in decades I can state that I’m free from sinusitis and hay fever symptoms. 
Thirdly, I have been struggling with weight gain for many years now, and while I may not look obese, or for that matter, even overweight, I know I am.  I have the physique that fills out nicely, and doesn’t necessarily bulge, but for someone that weighed just on fifty kilograms after her third baby, it certainly feels like a burden to carry around half of that weight again.  
Just cutting out the dairy, I believe, is a big factor in the weight loss I’ve experienced since late last year.  Not a huge amount…six kilograms or so…but also changing what I eat generally has also helped. 
I’ve increased the amount of protein at each meal by including more fish, quinoa, eggs and  buckwheat into my diet, and saving my main carbohydrate meal for the evening.  I’ve discovered chia puddings, almond milk (both which I make myself), coconut yogurt, seeds, and nuts.
My sugar intake has dropped dramatically and I haven’t had a cup of coffee (affogato – my downfall) for at least three months!

My next step in to up my regular exercise, at the moment I only do yoga once a week for around 60 minutes but my aim is to find a personal trainer willing to work with my resistance/weight bearing exercise from the aspect of someone who tires very easily.
My new GP gives me regular acupuncture and some alternative remedies and I continue my nutritionist’s consultations … I will endeavour a challenge at the end of the week, re-introducing dairy in the way of a 50g serve of hard cheese and note any reactions I may have. 

In the meantime I'm fighting a dose of summer flu!  I have been in bed since Sunday and missed out on a family lunch! Today I lay, languid, in bed writing these words.  I’ve done my fair share of reading too, but I want to be up, enjoying the world and I’m cursing the person that has shared this unwanted bug with me (Mr Honey Pie!).  (Well, perhaps I should be cursing the person who passed it on to him!)
In other news, I’m reading Geraldine Brooks People of The Book. I know one of my blog followers recommended this book to me, but I cannot remember who that may have been but I thank them for the recommendation.
The book spoke to me one hot afternoon, as I stood outside one of the two local used bookshops in Springwood, waiting for my Grand Daughter to meet me off her school bus. It sat in a pile of strategically placed books in the shop window.  I restrained myself from going into the book shop and the next afternoon, the shop was closed early so the temptation was taken away for the week.
But the next time I was there, and had some time to spare before the bus’ arrival, I slipped in and handed over the twelve dollars for the book.  I felt a bit rude as the book shop lady wanted to have an in-depth conversation with me and asked if I’d read any other of Geraldine Brooks’ books and I said ‘no’…only to discover, once I was home, that I had, because Brooks also wrote Years of Wonder.
Explaining that I was waiting for the bus, I had to slip out quickly.  I’m a bit wary of the fact that the bus stop is right out the front of a used book shop…this is a new thing for both my Grand Daughter and I - meeting at the bus stop...and throwing a book shop into the mix is a dangerous thing, both for myself and my Grand Daughter, as we are both book fiends and avid readers. 


Seems I owe a 'thank you' to Jayne M at Adventures At Tiny Toadstool Cottage for recommending the above text.  Thanks Jayne I'm enjoying the read!




Sunday, 17 January 2016

My First Post of 2016

Happy New Year!
Yes, I have been absent...for many reasons, health not being the least.
But here I am again and I'm so excited by my newest patchwork project.
I've always wanted to try this!

Fussy Cut Hexagons & Diamonds - English Paper Pieced.

To achieve this pattern I had to play with mirrors...





  



The idea of the mirror is to play around with possibilities and then to choose one.


The one above is what I chose for my centre.
I've had the pleasure of attending a one day work shop at Post Office Patchwork Glenbrook
under the tutelage of Anne Sommerlad and using her beautiful designed pattern.

What can I say? 
 I'm hooked!


Linking to



Thursday, 19 November 2015

Counting Pollinators

My health has taken a bit of a tumble lately and as a result I haven't been up to much.
But it's not difficult to become involved in the Wild Pollinator Count. I'm endeavouring to do this as often as I can in the time frame.
If you're in Australia you may want to take part too.  You've got until the 22nd of November.

Taking photographs of your finds is optional but I managed one or two not-too-bad captures today so here they are. (Bearing in mind I used my point and shoot camera.)


I chose a large stem of elder flower from which to make my observation.


I spotted a fly (there was a second much smaller fly too)


and a European honey bee as well as some unidentifiable insects that reminded me of midges; and what looked like a pintail beetle which was too swift for me to even begin to take a photo.

It's nice to see the sun shine after weeks of wet stormy weather but the prediction is for heat wave conditions with temperatures in the low forties.

Linking to Outdoor Wednesday
Outdoor Wednesday: Click on the picture below to learn more...

Our World Tuesday







Monday, 9 November 2015

Expect The Unexpected


I took this from our speeding car with my point-and-shoot camera as Mr HP and I drove home last night.  We'd had lunch with our family to celebrate the November birthdays.
I wasn't expecting much from the camera, even though the scene before me was one to behold.
I did ask him to stop so I could take a quick shot from the side of the road; but he chose not to hear. It seems there was no need ...

This is in the vicinity of Badgerys Creek, the site for what is being tagged as Sydney's next international airport, and looking west.
The blue finger along the horizon is The Blue Mountains...where we live.

Linking to:
Our World Tuesday Graphic

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Four Seasons Fill The Measure Of The Year


I don't believe it's been over a month since my last post.
October has been a mixed month, one of gluten free, dairy free birthday cakes (as I struggle with sinusitis and a bad bout of IBS);

hot summer-ish days spent on our beautiful harbour;


windy dry days followed by the mindful sweeping-up of leaves;


days of gratitude and appreciation as plants respond to the sudden burst of warm days after such a long and cold winter.


Having had such a cold winter accentuates the divide of the seasons, something we haven't experienced for some years now.
Welcome, Spring.

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