Time and the internet

Time sometimes doesn’t seem to be on our side when we think of all the things we “could” do. Particularly when we add a majority of online noise coming into our lives.

I re-call about 15 years ago when someone talking about the inter-net being just “another” resource. There tone was a little terse or sardonic.  But for some it seems that what they may have been hinting at that some have taken it to an extreme. The internet has become life for them. It lives and breathes their opinions, their searching, their relationships, their relaxation, their education, their business and work, their privacy.  And if there is anything left from that well you are maybe the more analytical type. I’d like to get to know you.  Do leave me a comment.

Tell me – what can you do outside of the internet?

Well –

  • Garden and producing and cooking
  • Talking to people face to face
  • Personal handwritten letters and notes
  • Hand crafts
  • Starting a Bullet Journal (An analogue “way” in a digital world)
  • Bushwalking and camping to appreciate our natural environment
  • Community groups and activities
  • Skill learning – i.e. sewing, knitting, metalwork, setting up a sales stall

Yes it is helpful that you can learn a language, hunt for particular recipes, learn the “how to’s” and ask all sorts of questions of the internet.  Don’t forget though life of another type is passing you by.  It is also something that the brain seems to handle a whole lot differently.  In the way we learn and the way we communicate. Do take note!



Smoothie Bowls

THERE is one thing I do like and that is Blended bananas as a treat – no milk is even needed. It’s throwing it in the blender frozen.  I’ve also had frozen mango with it as well. I do like the toppings too.  Never limited – such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, mulberries and did I add strawberries?? Yum!

A Little Bit of Everything

Smoothie bowls are all the rage this season because they are packed full of nutrients, and also a quick and healthy way for any time of the day. They’re simple to make, and the toppings and ingredients can be adjusted to fit everyone’s preferences.


To make the smoothie bowl shown in the picture above, we blended 4 frozen bananas with just a splash of vanilla soy milk. We then topped it with an array of different toppings, but the choices are endless and you can top it with whatever you like.

IMG_2219.JPGSmoothie Bowl .jpg

The raspberries and bananas add an extra hint of sweetness to the smoothie bowl, while the unsweetened coconut flakes add a really nice crunch. To make it more filling, and to incorporate some healthy fats, we decided to add some chia seeds and also hemp hearts.
Photographer: Betsy

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Fruit “Smashes”(Balls) – #Gluten Free #DairyFree #Vegan

Here is one of my age-old recipes which I’ve made for 30 years.  I find sometimes the best recipes are ones you do by hand.  Rather than measure – it’s experience that counts. The best recipes are often the made up ones.

Here are my FRUIT BALLS:  (Well they have always been a Fruit Smash “hit” when I serve them!)

I did a quick roll up for this set of Fruit Balls.  Don’t you just love my Lazy Susan board.  A gift from my husband – beautiful colours!

1 cup of Sultanas    1/2 cup Dates    SIMMER both in 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water

When they have had a short simmer – let them sit for about an hour till soft. Check this by mashing them with a potato masher. (If you are short of time – simmer till water is absorbed)

Blend till fine a good handful Almonds (which have previously been soaked overnight to render them more nutritious). I also put mine in the dehydrator which makes nuts sweeter after soaking also.

Put by the teaspoon full into dried coconut, sesame seed or ground nuts and roll into balls. You can do this by hand if you don’t mind getting “gooey” fingers.  Another way is to use wet hands – helps a bit.

Okay – so that’s the basic. Oh, and it keeps nicely in the fridge and firms just lovely.

Here’s what I normally do –

Double the recipe – it makes about 40 Fruit Balls and takes 25 minutes to do with the adding of extras and rolling.  To the above double recipe besides nuts I add:

2 dessertspoons of Carob powder

2 dessertspoons freshly ground flaxseed

1 tablespoon Nutritional yeast.

In with the almonds I put in hazelnuts, cashews, pecans or similar.

I also have many home grown lemons (the only kind!) and can grate the zest in for a little bit of spice.  You don’t need much – but the lemon skin is chock full of goodies too.

And to make it your recipe – start experimenting – add dried apricots, apples, figs, currants, or sunflower seeds, etc.

My husband will eat the first 20 and then be cautious with the next 10 in case he is feeling greedy and wants to leave me some.  I have a few and the last 10 stay there so I know I have something on hand that is sweet.

Happy Eating!







Making a week’s income last 2 weeks

Want to make a week’s income spread to two weeks of spending? Amy Daczyn put it as “living on one income in a two income world”.    You can make a week’s work of income spread to two weeks if you learn tips and ideas and store them away in your mind, in your journal. (Bullet Journal) or on a typed list to go back to  – to remind yourself.

  • Assess all the advantages you have where you are.  Your advantages will be different from someone else’s. i.e Maybe you have chooks. You have a vegetable garden. You can swap produce.  You can sew.  Where you live has a lemon tree. You have a skill you can swap for needs. If you are not in a productive situation – be patient and work towards change. Educate yourself – particularly in physical skills. Don’t worry if you do make mistakes – that is how you learn.
  • Keep a list called your “Wish list” and see how long you can last before buying an item.  Unless of course it is an item that will earn income i.e. sewing machine, electrical tool. Or it  saves you a great deal of time and gives good health.  Leave it on your wish list for awhile anyway. At least until you find something just at a good at a good value price. Don’t rush in to buy. And lastly research the item well – so you can know as much about it before making an informed decision.
  • Make things from scratch.  I’ve even made my bread from scratch – even grinding the wheat.  But do factor in your time.  Do educate  yourself to be more organised. Being organised in itself is an income saver. Income can mean other people’s items and produce  – not just money. And remember sometimes what you spend time making can be swapped for other’s items.
  • Start a vegetable garden. It’s a boon to your health –  gardening can exercise every muscle in your body.  Sunshine is said to increase the quantities of minerals in your blood (for one!). And you get produce.  Like great and fresh ingredients. Start small and increase in knowledge and what you can grow. Build your soil up with lots of prunings, grass, leaves and anything green as well as household scraps. Start with easy things like tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, radish, zucchini, green beans or beetroot. Container gardening is possible if you don’t have “land” space. Join produce exchange groups in your local area so you can swap seedlings or manure.
  • Never think that you can make a good product from cheap ingredients.  I was taught  in an Aged care course that how you look after your body in one decade will be how it responds in the next.  So think quality.  It’s less expensive and so much better for your health.
  • Join a co-op.  Organic fruit and vegetables are more economical The co-0p near me is cheaper than standard fare at the supermarket!  And they have other items available such as grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and other sundry items. Network and get others on board and they can pick up your order and likewise you save them trips. And organic is healthier too.
  • Think twice before taking children shopping unless you have educated them in “cost effective” buying. Make it fun.
  • If you shop the Supermarket/s consider the outside aisles the major part of your budget and the inside aisles a place you visit for items on your “list”.
  • Learn how to cook vegetarian.  It is a science – so learn it bit by bit as you substitute items.  I have been one since I was 17 – so it’s 40 years this year and you are always learning.  Did you know soaking well, actually allows more nutrients available to your body.  This is for grains, legumes, nuts, seeds. And more nutritious food adds up to more vitamins and minerals.
  • Understand the notion than Fast Food is not cheap and Slow Food is much better for you. Consider your home better than a business and become a wise CEO or steward.
  • Consider investing in a Slow Cooker.  New isn’t necessary and you will find taste is better because things are cooked at a lower, slower more budget friendly temperature. Make a Slow Cooker your new “best friend” and pre-plan to use it.
  • Pay off all debts – as quickly and methodically as you are able.
  • When debts are paid – put a little away from your income no matter how small even 1/2 or 1%.
  • Don’t go into shops.  Ignore catalogues unless you need to stick photos of appliances/items you are selling at a garage sale and want to show what a new price item is worth.
  • Build yourself a capsule wardrobe of quality garments.  That is basics that can mix and match. Quality is counted by how many wears you can get from a garment.  Consider classic and do consider pre-loved. Your whole wardrobe can be made up of pre-loved – you are a CEO who is on the search for good and wearable “stock”.  Look not only at Thrift (2nd hand stores) but Garage Sales (cheapest) and online in lots of Groups on Facebook.up-to-fri-14th-jan-2011-028
  • Don’t necessarily have a meal plan as you can learn to shop “your pantry” and make up new meals.  But do have a list of meals that are options and have a list in your journal – so it reminds you of what ingredients to have on hand. So write down all potential everyday meals that you can ever have and look at this list for inspiration. Don’t forget to trial a new meal once a fortnight.
  • When doing Supermarket shopping consider waiting more than a week (particularly if you have a garden).  Even adding an extra day each time can mean you have in hand over 5 to 6 weeks – one lot of food spending money.
  • Not only use warmer clothing in winter consider a flat heater you can double as a clothing dryer.  Consider timing it so as the chill comes off in your room turn it off. Set a timer also so that you get up every 20 minutes to “do something” – it helps with your health and helps your body to keep warm.
  • Consider shopping with cash – it helps keep you focused on what to spend within that week.
  • Consider planning to see how many days straight you do not spend a thing.
  • Shop your fridge for mystery meals.  Educate yourself on cooking simply and not grocery shopping until your fridge’s supply is getting lower. There are ideas to put in left overs i.e. salad leftovers – such as baby spinach & rocket, tomato, sweet potato on Pita bread for quick pizza. Vegies for soup or stew.  Or vegies grated into a noodles – with more emphasis on the vegies and less on the noodles.
  • Eat slightly less and stop when nearly full and chew slower.  Both are better for your health particularly if you have weight issues. You will also find that chewing slower can help if you have bowel issues as the start of digestion is in your mouth.
  • Consider down-loading a short-term free online expense list so you can see where your money is going.  It can be an eye-opener. Please don’t be obsessive – but do consider the benefits of seeing a 12 month spread of where you actually spent your money.  It does help you stay focused.
  • Consider going on picnics – less expensive and healthier.  Also doing movies and documentaries at home with some home-made healthy treats.
  • Put small amounts of coin in a jar for a savings goal.
  • For hard times start building up a library of such things as the book “The Tightwad Gazette” Amy Daczyn or if things get really tight consider Extreme Cheapskates (On YouTube) which you can watch at the library if you don’t have large download inter-net options.  All can inspire you with ideas or at least make you think you don’t have it so hard!
  • Educate yourself on making your own cleaning, beauty, household and useful products with simple ingredients. These are healthier and cost effective. And you may also be able to swap for other items. Win/win.
  • Consider re-purposing items you already have from the smallest to the largest. There are a myriad of ideas out there. In our society today – we have a lot of wants in items rather than needs.  Simplify.
  • Don’t stress too much if suddenly you lose your job – Trust.  It will work out. I will do a future post on what to do if you suddenly have a different amount of money coming in. And remember there is a God out there who likes to take on board your trials.
  • Consider giving to others – it’s good for your health.  And it’s not just money.  Your time, that quick note or email, some item you have produced or made. Good health – now that’s a good payback. And remember being a good manager is payment within itself.


Handle with care …

I’m rather like a rose with thorns so fine,

You never know when they’ll seem like mine,

Life’s happenings can cut me to the quick

My reactions need caring – that’s the trick

Sometimes I’ll  be too much a wishing,

And it’s not the way I’ve been praying,

I don’t mean to be so hard upon myself

Other times I’m full of smiling health,

So please be just a little understanding

Handle me with care and I’ll be cheering

Just thank you for all your long listening

You don’t realise how much I’m appreciating

And it’s not the rose’s thorns  I’m emulating

But rather a rose who’s blooms it’s wonderful a watching!


Rose photo taken by me in my Lucindale garden




Good Food?

I look at the variety of food that is provided in different parts of my country here in Australia.  It can be anything from fried eggs and bacon, or steak to organic food including legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, fruit or vegetables.  So what is “good” anyway?


I re-call a few months back a T.V. show that often reports on “current affairs” saying that fresh produce for example had the same nutrients within it as did “organic” food with a “guru” as I often call “any” authority on food backing up the opinion.  But food purists would say – “but what about the extra ingredients?.  .. Ala chemicals.” Well that was adroitly missed by the media.

And the purists in other cases of getting “good” food might very well have missed another point – what about the chemicals going through animals in conditions of fear (i.e. I believe they know about impending death), the “squalor” of even the best “caged” conditions to name a few “extra” chemicals.  (I re-call cooking lamb chops for someone the first time and smelling the urine (or uric acid I think the correct term is) smell going through my kitchen.  Uric acid – the fear that goes through the animal when it knows death is at it’s door. I would have thought the babe of a sheep of any of the animals would be the last to know fear – being so very unaware compared to many other animals.

Then there are another batch of chemicals – which could be even worse if it were possible.  In yourself.  Thinking the food was “poison” or “not good” for you.

Then there are the nutrients – another topic I am waiting to appear more – where you eat from the bush, tree or stalk just now. I mean as you are standing in your garden.   These nutrients are gone within half an hour of picking – if that?  And the boost to the immune system – I would say are amazing.  Anecdotal evidence in one case for sure and another of injecting sick chickens with this source of nutrition with healthy results in another.

I myself am also highly interested in the soaking or sprouting of grains to reduce or remove phytic acid and to neutralise enzyme inhibitors which impedes absorption it is said of lots of nutrients.  The soaking or sprouting (two ways which I like the best) even it is said helps to break down gluten (still discovering more on this!).  This traditional way  shows that grain, legumes, nuts and (seeds themselves) are all seeds. Seed soaking is natural. Are we not gaining the benefit because we don’t properly prepare or are too busy? Simplifying has got a lot going for it.

Lastly eating with thanksgiving and gratefulness seems to be passe.  God has seemed to be missed with his Wisdom and and instruction on how to eat.  And that is even if you are not eating your usual fare.  Organic gardening or not, soaked or not – or eating fewer items if you can’t eat all on your plate.

And so it is easy to follow the court of public (human!) opinion – but I do remember this is the shallowest of opinion – going this way and that.  We after all find – the more we know – the less we know.

It seems if we cannot look at our opinion from the side of “we know nothing yet as we ought to know it” or approaching an opinion as if “we know nothing” we can easily go astray – rather like sheep.

May you eat gratefully is my prayer.




In the Morning

I love mornings – but sometimes I think night-time calls to me more.  I was on holidays recently and made sure I got up before the sun had climbed up.  I was out on a horse property and there was fog, and oh of course the munching of horses I think it was on crunchy grass  The horses get me.  Their seeming “knowingness”.  (Yes  I thought that might not be a word). But there’s something about their mostly soft presence that shows a lot of what God’s nature speaks.

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.  Words sometimes are not necessary.