Hello everyone, hope you are all doing well. I’ve had a busy few weeks following my various activities which I enjoy sharing with you in my blog posts.
Catching up with the garden
I wonder if any of you are having the same problem as we are trying to keep pace with removing all the weeds and excess foliage springing up in the garden. It’s become a daunting task which Ken has been tackling day by day, weather permitting. He’s going to be making quite a few trips to the local tip when the free green waste disposal period starts in a couple of weeks.
We love our garden but as the years roll on we know one day we will have to face the prospect, that it may become too onerous. What then? I don’t like thinking about it. Fortunately, we are not at that stage yet, so we can enjoy the fruits of our labours for another year. Last season we decided to reduce our vegetable growing beds but even so have harvested a large quantity of peas, carrots and beetroot plus we are looking forward to the broad beans which are starting to pod up. I decided I wouldn’t grow pumpkins this year but having just cooked the last one from storage, I’m wavering!!
The value of exercise as we age
There’s no doubt about the importance of exercise in our lives as we age. Unfortunately it’s not always possible to participate in strenuous activity, but water aerobics is one of the more gentler forms that improves cardiovascular health, increases strength, slows down age-related loss of muscle mass and the decrease of reaction time that comes with getting older. This was brought home to me last week when a gentleman who attends the same water aerobics class as myself and who I considered to perhaps be in his 70’s, was wished a happy 90th birthday. After the session we all met in an adjoining room to celebrate and enjoyed a super cake supplied by his wife. I was hoping to be able to include a photo which our trainer took, but so far that hasn’t come to hand. He said he has always believed in exercise and up until last year was also attending the gym. In fact there are 4 other people in the class in their 80’s who attest to the benefits of water aerobics on their mobility.
Another impromptu outing
Following the success of our impromptu outing to Agnes Falls, which I detailed in my last post, we set off again on a nice sunny morning to explore the South Gippsland area. Ken suggested we head to Mount Nicoll Look Out between Foster and Fish Creek. At about 305 meters above sea level, the views were reported to be phenomenal and extend up to 97 km into the distance. However, having traversed the very steep and quite rough 2km track off the Fish Creek Road (really not meant for our small car), we found that there was a further 200m walk up hill from the car park to the actual lookout. We reluctantly decided it was best not to tackle the climb which was a little disappointing. If you are interested here’s a link with lots of information: http://south-gippsland.com/mt-nicoll.htm
We continued on heading towards Sandy Point (near Foster) following a sign to Shallow Inlet Marine and Coastal Park. We couldn’t believe our eyes when a little track in the Park lead us straight onto the most magnificent beach which it was possible to drive along. Absolutely breathtaking and I so enjoyed driving up and down.
There are many sites on the internet giving information about the Inlet which is between Waratah Bay and the majestic peaks of Wilsons Promontory. It provides a secluded and peaceful setting for a range of water based activities such as fishing, boating and sailboarding.
After a picnic we headed home stopping off at Port Franklin, one of our favourite spots, to take a casual walk along the jetty. It’s a very interesting area which was first settled in the 1840’s by timber cutters. A good web site to visit is: http://www.visitpromcountry.com.au/towns/port-franklin
Alternative uses for window spray
I’m always looking for new ideas, so whilst drawling through the internet a list of alternative uses for window spray came up which I thought could come in useful. I can’t vouch for them though, because I haven’t tried them but many of them sound quite interesting.
1. Insect repellent – Most household insects hate the smell of ammonia common in window cleaners. Spray some near windows and doors in summer to keep insects well away.
2. Microfibre furniture cleaner – Smooth and comfortable though it may be, microfibre furniture – like faux suede – can be difficult to get clean. Try some window spray – spritz lightly over the surface and then brush using a soft-bristled scrubber working in the same direction.
3. Stain remover – Window spray might be the secret weapon you’ve been waiting for. Try applying window cleaner to common stains like ketchup or red wine. Soak for 15 minutes, rinse and wash.
4. Jewellery cleaner – You can brighten up metal and gemstone jewellery with Windolene and an old toothbrush. Spray the piece, scrub lightly, then rinse. The ammonia in window cleaner makes it a great jewellery cleaner – except for soft, porous materials like opal, turquoise and pearl.
5. In the car – Window spray makes a perfect multi-surface cleaner in the car, and is ideal because it’s non-greasy and won’t leave any residue behind. You can use it on the windows, dashboard, steering wheel and upholstery – and even on the car’s exterior to remove stubborn marks like bugs and tree sap.
6. Cut through grease – Window spray is a great foil for any greasy surface, and can soften up hard to clear stains in the oven, fans and light fixtures. It also works on pots and pans, too. Spray liberally, leave for 10 minutes then wipe away.
7. For children’s toys – You can quickly and easily clean up toys with the help of Window spray and a cloth – just remember to rinse thoroughly with water afterwards.
8. Stuck zipper – Free a stuck zipper with the help of a spritz of window spray. It won’t ruin your clothes and will help loosen up the zip so you can free it again.
9. Reduce swelling from stings – If you have swelling from a bee sting, try this simple tip beekeepers have known for years. Spray a light misting over the sting to help relieve pain and swelling.
10. Emergency spot treatment – You might remember this particular trick from the hit film My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Window spray can work as an emergency spot treatment to help reduce swelling and dry out an unsightly spot before a big event. Spray a small amount on a cotton bud and apply directly – and only – to the spot.
A speedy impressive dessert
Last week I needed to come up with a quick dessert for unexpected visitors, which to my relief turned out really well, so thought it worth sharing. Fortunately I had some crumble topping mix in the freezer which I had previously made up when following one of Jo Marty’s recipes for an apple crumble. If you decide to put some crumble mixture into your freezer it’s a good idea to spread it over a freezer tray before bagging up so that it is free flowing enabling you to only use what you need at the time i.e. not one big clump to separate.
This is what I used for my dessert but of course you could use whatever you have to hand in your store cupboard.
Tin sliced peaches
Shallow baking dishes
Place frozen raspberries on bottom of each dish and spoon over sliced peaches with a little of the juice. Thickly sprinkle over the crumble mix and bake at 180C for approximately 20 minutes. Check frequently to make sure topping doesn’t brown too much. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.
To make the crumble mixture
5 heaped tablespoons plain flour
60g butter, melted
5 heaped tablespoons brown sugar
5 heaped tablespoons desiccated coconut
Mix flour, butter, coconut and brown sugar together. That’s all you need to do. I’m sure you will be happy with the result.
There are a few other things I want to share with you so hope to blog again shortly. Until then I’ll close with this happy photo of my Peruvian Spanish Teacher Rosa in Lima, Peru on her wedding day:
Remember some of the best things in life are free: hugs, smiles, friends, family, laughter and good memories.