Monday, February 4, 2013

Winners and goals, and we have a baby bird!

I have really enjoyed the blog party organized by Vicki at 2 bags full.  The winner for my giveaway was Karen in Kenai so my tank top is travelling over the ocean to Alaska.  Karen ensures me that it does get warm enough in summer to wear a tank top! Congratulations, and thanks to everyone who entered.
The one thing I enjoyed was reading some new (to me) blogs and gathering new ideas - there are so many inspiring blogs out there and so many talented bloggers!
 After a tiny bit of gardening last week  my back played up again, so I have to stay away from kneeling and squatting for a while - both are required for the amount of weeding that needs to be done.
My gardening does slow down anyway at this time of year.  It is too hot and muggy to spend too much time outside.  Gardening is normally what takes up most of my weekends though, so I thought I better have another look at my unfinished projects/goals list.
 (too late to call them New Years resolutions?..... mmm I am a bit slow! )
 Photographing the gorgeous flowers at this time of the year is definitely on the schedule, and maybe I can improve my photography..  I need to develop a bit more patience - especially around birds and butterflies.
There was a baby bird tucked away in my jungle.  I don't know where the nest is, but clearly the mother was teaching it to fly.  This is an olive backed honey eater, not the yellow sunbird whose nest we have outside the office window.

I am so glad that these flowers have started blooming - I started a cutting ages ago.  The flowers are similar to an ixora, but it seems a much hardier plant.  The honey eaters and butterflies love these flowers.
I sorted out all my veggie seeds and have a plan for the veggie garden which will be planted out in late March. We had thought an old fridge might be a good place to store gardening "stuff" but...  - after fighting the cockroaches for too long I decided that the fridge had to go....I cannot for the life of me see why an old empty fridge should attract them.  I don't have a replacement - I just got rid of a lot of stuff and have the remainder sitting on shelves.   So a little bit of preparation is going on.   I am thinking of making my own seed starting mix from crusher dust and cocopeat.  Then to make potting soil I will add my own compost.  I want to use that for growing tomatoes in pots since we have wilt in the soil which prevents us growing full size tomatoes.   I do want to grow some decent veggies this year.  so for now this is my little gardening corner - simple and sufficient.

I made a dress which I really enjoyed doing, and want to make some more time for sewing.  I also want to start some quilting again.  Every time I make a quilt ( I have made 3 - one for each of my daughters and one for my mom) I say I will never make another one :)  I saw a mini quilt which intrigued me, and then I have some ideas for two more....
Every year I say I want to consolidate down to a few really nice recipes that I can whip up for guests or the family.  I tend to like much more adventurous food than the family does, and keep thinking I can change them. (never!) I did find a marvellous new recipe the-best-bean-salad-in-world - I didn't make the same dressing, just used olive oil and lemon juice.  I took some to a pot luck and the rest sat in the fridge for five days and I found it so convenient to have something all ready to go for lunch or to add some extra veggies at dinner.  I also made a poached chicken in the crockpot using glalangal, lemongrass and ginger from my garden.  This is the glalangal in flower - the scent is amazing!

I have really enjoyed doing a few giveaways lately and partaking in others. I was also lucky enough to win two!  I will post about them when I receive them  :)  I have a great offer in the pipeline and will try to do something each month along these lines.
What are your goals for the year?  


  1. I have wondered about making my own seed raising mix and potting mix too. I'll be interested to hear how yours goes. Good luck with your goals this year.

    1. Veggiegobbler,
      I have also been thinking about it for a while, and will definitely post about it. thanks

  2. I hope you accomplish your goals. It's hard when you work to find time to do all the things you want to get done - weekends just are not long enough. I've set up my paints and easel (haven't done any for years) but this weekend came and went and I didn't touch them - that's me goal this year - to do some paintings.

    1. Roz,
      I know the weekends just seem to fly by don't they? Oh I look forward to seeing some of your paintings - i think once you get back into it you will make the time :)

  3. Your goals sound a lot like my goals for this year! It seems that many of us are thinking in the same direction... kindred spirits do think alike!:D
    Thanks for sharing the baby bird photo... so cute. We have lots of birds that nest here year after year including hummingbirds - but I do spend a lot of time worrying about them when it comes to flying lesson time as we have several owls and hawks. I guess that is nature and she must take her own course.
    Well, best of luck for your garden this year... looking forward to visiting again soon,
    Beth P

    1. Elisabet,
      I blame this blogfest for getting me all excited.... I have seen so many new ideas and met so many new bloggers.

  4. Dearest Africanaussie,
    Congratulations on your lucky winner☆☆☆
    Oh, I admire all these goals you set to yourself. I'm not so good at accomplishing what I decided to do, but I think might need to follow suit with your determination(^_^)v 

    Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

    1. Miyako,
      Thank you. It is good to set yourself a couple of goals - I am sure you will surprise yourself with your achievements.

  5. How cute the little bird is Gill. I too have decided I want to craft and paint more, but we still have so much to do with our house there is always something else more important than art. But I do not that relaxing time for me.

    1. Sami,
      How often life gets in the way of what we really want to do! I hope you find some time for your art soon.

  6. The little bird seems to be in such a fright. Looks like it doesn't have enough feathers for flight. The flower that looks similiar to Ixora is most probably Carphalea kirondron. I have this in my garden too.

    1. Stiletto,
      He does look very young doesn't he? that looks like you have the right name - I like the more common name - flaming beauty! thanks for that.

  7. Okay, so you're using the white butterfly ginger in a recipe? That sounds very interesting. Did you use the leaves?
    Cute cute cute, did I say cute baby bird.
    Wonder what the name of the ixora "wannabe" plant is?
    Roaches adore cool damp places, so your old fridge was a perfect habitat for them....glad you got rid of it.
    PLEASE go easy on your back.

    1. Virginia,
      No you use the root/rhizome part. It is a bit like ginger but more spicy. don't worry I am being very lazy :0

  8. Glad you liked the bean salad. You could probably use artificial sweetener if you wanted but the dressing you used sounded very tasty too.

    1. Fiona,
      Oh I like it just the way it is - thanks for the recipe

  9. You've been very busy! The mini quilt does sound interesting. Hope your back improves soon. Great photos!

  10. Lots of good stuff in this post but that baby bird is the cutest!

    What a variety of things you do. How do you manage to take on so much???

  11. This little bird looks so cute! I hope it will adapt well to your garden :)

  12. Oh the many things you do... I'm impressed! One of my goals this year is to learn how to use my "new" camera. Actually I've had it for 2 years and have never slowed down long enough to really figure it out. This is the year.

  13. Sounds like a lot of us have the same goals for the year. Here's hoping we all enjoy our plans.

    Do you have trouble with creepy-crawlies moving into your shoes? In the summer, I can't leave a pair outside anywhere, even for a short time, without having a frog, lizard, spider or something crawl in. We're in SW Florida and semi-tropical.

    Loved all your pictures!


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