This is the worst and most dangerous day since we lived here. I prepared all I could yesterday but I think I am going to lose a lot of my plants. Things got so bad so quickly this morning I was outside in my dressing gown watering. The wind is too much for anything I have had covering my plants. My market umbrellas over my vegetables have had to come down as they are a hazard now and could blow away and break a window.
I got in the car and checked all the animals. I could not find Laffie! Oh great! She got out of her paddock and was sitting in the sun in the next paddock. With the car I drove her over the hill and down towards the trough. I got her as far as I could then got out and called her.... she followed me to the trough which also has some green grass around it. Then she had a big drink. I gave her a big pat and she seemed ok. So I went off to do the next thing. I set a sprinkler going in the chook house. I got wet through from that but it is working to keep them going. After this I went looking for Brady and Freddie. Then I thought I must be a sight in my nightie and dressing gown, wet hair... and boot on! hahah! So I went inside and dressed for the rest of the day.
Now there are reports of lightening coming. Lightening is what has started most of the fires on the farm over the years. A cool change is due tonight. I am just praying for tonight!
Here we are, it is almost Christmas! I am pretty well ready. The last two days were also hot so I was able to work quietly inside most of the time on things like crochet and painting a little cabinet. I set my painting up on an old sheet in the lounge room. It is beautiful to have projects to work on in dreadful weather. Being safe, sound and content inside is a wonderful thing. I save up things for these kinds of days. These are the times to update the photo albums, clip my recipes, write letters, sew, paint and make cards! Being content and absorbed in a project also just makes the time pass happily. And reduces the stress a bit...
When the girls were little I would set them up with crafts or some kind of indoor game and pump out the homemade ice blocks! Cath suggested to me how Jelly is very good in the heat as it helps hydrate kids too. So when you know heat is coming it is good to fill the freezer and fridge with cooling foods and drinks to keep everyone hydrated and happy.
Not all of the week was this way! Some of the ways I feathered my nest were:
The basic water bath canning kit I ordered arrived!
I had ordered some Ball jars at the same time not knowing how many jars I would find in the op shop and for 50c! However I am glad I did as I have apricots coming today and my order for lids, rings etc has not arrived yet. So happy I have jars ready to use!
I have been studying and asking friends for all their tips on this kind of preserving. I have made jams, relish, sauces and some pickles most of my life. But I have not canned. And I really need to as freezer space is precious. And last year we had so much fruit, especially apples. Last season the cores and peels went to the chickens. Not this time! This season they are going to become apple jelly! So much to learn so little time!
Chloe and I went to a lovely Christmas craft market in one of our regional towns. We found a few ideas. After we sat in the park and ate dinner. There was a street parade and kids were everywhere because Santa was coming!!! Then we heard sirens and along the street came an ambulance blaring then a fire truck then another fire truck carrying Father Christmas! All the kids were going nuts. Chloe said "take a photo! This is soo Australian... " and so I did!
That evening we picked up all the canning jars I got for 50c. There were 98! We loaded them into the car in big boxes.
All week I have been washing these jars. First I soak them in the sink, then they go through the dishwasher. I am still going! Many are that lovely old thick glass with the greenish tinge. They are beautiful.
Lucky for me this house has really high kitchen cupboards. All my top shelves were empty. I have been able to store all my ready to use jars this way. I even admire my rows of jars as the cupboards fill. I have been up and down the kitchen ladder a lot of times!
I am down to my last box of jars to wash. It continues!
This week we had an early Christmas celebration at Lucy's. They are going to the city to see Kato's parents on real Christmas Day. So Lucy put on a Christmas lunch for Mum and Dad, Chloe, Luke and us. The girls thought it was Christmas too since in the city they won't have their Christmas tree and all of that so it was truly like Christmas Day.
Lucy had set her table beautiful and baked a beautiful ham.
She made a centrepiece from the beautiful pinecones she picks up in her garden...
It was a beautiful day. There girls were so excited.
This is Mum helping Harper with a present...
And Scarlett using her new vacuum cleaner!
It really was just a joyous day.
I took Gingerbread biscuits and the girls loved these as they decided they were Snowflakes like in the Frozen movie.
I also made a trays of angels, stars and moose. Nothing like variety!
During the week I made a large impossible pie and gave eggs away. I gave 8 dozen eggs away this week alone.
It is late evening now and I still haven't been able to publish this post as the internet is not loading photos. So meanwhile we had such heat that our driveway is lined with dead birds. I have driven up and down and turned over every bird I saw. There are dead Rosellas, Lorikeets, Galahs and Corollas. I found two Corollas still alive so they have been in the lounge room in front of the air conditioner. Then we had a thunderstorm. Then a downpour. Now a fire at a farm further north. I am hoping that the downpour we had will be enough to mean it won't get too far.
I will be glad when this day is over! In the Adelaide Hills the beautiful winery where Kato and Lucy got married has been burned. I know I will have other readers affected by fires today as there are severe fires all around the country. I pray you are all safe.
I hope you had a good week and found lots of ways to get ahead, be prepared fro Christmas and also to just be able to enjoy the season. However some weeks and some days are just about getting through! This was one of them!