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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Snuggled up at Pear Tree Farm

Oh dear me....I have been a very slack blogger of late....I just have not had the time or the motivation to get on here and write.
Most often blogging just gets put in the 'too hard' basket. I find that by the end of the day I am exhausted and just want to flop onto the couch and do nothing. Other times I look at the laptop and think about the blog...then I think...what on earth will I write about...?? I feel like I don't have much to say about what we are doing at the moment, other than just getting through another day!!

Anyway, here I am again....the sporadic blogger with not alot to say today.

What can I tell you about?

Lately we have been keeping snug here at PTF

I got inspired one week and decided I would finally paint the fireplace!! So we did! I started the ball rolling and sanded it back and then I roped Mr PTF in and he helped with the painting. The best part about it...(apart from the fact that it looks a million times better) is that it was a nice easy and quick project and we actually completed it within a week!! Woohoo!

I am a happy lady here, oh yes, yes I am.
 It blends in so much better and it makes the room look bigger which is always nice.

I have also been sewing a few different things. Some cushion covers, and also ideas for kids birthday presents.

These are balloon covers and make such a great toy for kiddies. It has been nice to do some projects and keep warm inside on these cold days.

We have also been out in the garden ripping things out with the help of our Landrover and winch (Mr PTF's kinda gardening right there in a nutshell)

So things are looking a bit bare here at Pear Tree Farm, but hopefully once the new plants take off, it will all look a bit more the way we want it. I love an English cottage garden, so I am trying to plant a few more flowering plants and ornamental trees etc. I will have to show you some pics...when I take some!

We have been enjoying slow cooked meals and warm winter stews with veg from our local market.
I have to say it was such fun to go to the market with the PTF gang the other week and buy veg and then put it in my wicker basket...made me smile.

I tried my hand at preserving lemons....was pretty easy actually. Not sure how they will turn out, but they look pretty sitting on my bench and it was definitely a fairly quick and easy way to use up lemons! Will have to let you know how they turn out.

Here is the recipe if you feel like having a go at it.

Preserved Lemons

Sea Salt
Juice of some of the lemons

Sterilise jars.
Wash lemons well, then cut the lemons lengthwise into quarters but not all the way through the lemon (leave about 1/2 inch from the base) so that it is still able to remain in one piece. (this just makes them look nice and hold together better.) You may find though if they are big lemons, that you need to cut them all the way in half so they fit in the jar, and that is fine too.

Fill lemons with salt, up to 1 tablespoon per lemon.
Push lemons into the jars and fill up as much as will fit.
Fill the jars with lemon juice till the jar is almost full to the top and the lemons are covered.
Close lid tightly and label.
Each day you need to tip the jars upside down and vice versa, for about 30 days.
Then they are ready to use.
I think from what I have read, when you want to use the preserved lemon, you should wash it and just use the rind and cut off any of the salted flesh and pith as it can be very salty and bitter. Preserved lemon can be used in many dishes such as rice dishes, tagines, couscous and salads.

One of the many projects on my ever growing list... is this sweet $5 dressing table. I want to strip it back and then paint it. Still haven't decided on what colour to go definitely open to suggestions...anyone?!
One day I shall get to it and I will post some pics when I do.

Right now I have a cheeky but grumpy little man clinging onto my legs wanting some attention, so I better be off!!

So thats it from me, I have no more words left today!! Hopefully I will be back here soon with more interesting things to say!

See you soon,
xo Rachel

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pitter Patter at Pear Tree Farm

We have a new addition to the PTF crew....and nooooo Mrs PTF is not expecting again. No, this one is the pitter patter of 4 little feet....Meet Gollie/Goliath! He is 11 weeks old and just as cute as cute can be.

It was all a bit spontaneous and crazy to be completely honest. I was out doing an errand when, Mr PTF reminded me on the phone that we needed eggs. I couldn't be bothered going to the supermarket to get some, so I tried to remember where they sold fresh farm eggs in this little town of mine. I knew that sometimes they sold them at the grain store, sometimes at other places. Well, I tried the grain store but no eggs. One helpful man suggested I try the pet store up the road. So I did. I saw the eggs on the counter at the pet store, and before I knew it, out of my mouth popped..." you have any kittens or puppies at the moment?" I couldn't believe I just asked that question....what was I thinking??! The next thing I knew, I was cuddling this little guy and putting a deposit on him.....oh my.

Fortunately I did run it by Mr PTF....over the phone...that way I couldn't see any eyebrows being raised....I'm almost certain I could feel them over the phone though....ah well.
He said yes though and so that was that!!!

Miss O loves him to bits and pieces....literally. She follows him everywhere and would take him everywhere if she could too. It is a lovely house for a kitten, lots of little nooks and crannies to explore and hide in....something I am sure he will need to do....often.

 We had a talk, Gollie and I, on our trip from the pet store to PTF together. I told him all about PTF and how he would have a good life here (mostly) he would definitely be very well loved, very popular, he would certainly have lots of space, (he will need it too, from time to time) there most likely would not be much peace and quiet here, but he will soon get used to it. Most of all, we would be great friends....surely?!

Mmmmmm....hopefully. So far, he has infuriated me by climbing on the benchtops, tabletops, put claw marks on our leather couch and he cries.....all....night.....
At the moment....he seems to me to be just an additional crying baby to add to our chaotic wonderful life here. Ahh dear...the joys of spontaneous purchases....

On a more positive note, I am hopefully going to be able to be more active again and hopefully pain free soon! I am going to be starting some new medications to help with pain relief and inflammation so that will be so wonderful!

I have already got a list as long as my elbow of projects I want to get stuck into. One of which is our fireplace...or mock fireplace I should say.

It needs to be my opinion that is. Mr PTF is not convinced....but then, it is not often that he is convinced that we need to add unnecessary and time consuming paint jobs to the gigantic list of projects we already have. However, his somewhat prudent reservations rarely stop me from going ahead with my plans (crazy or not). Poor man.

Sooooo, I am thinking of painting this thing, maybe white, maybe a slate/blue-grey colour. What do you think? Any favourite colours you think would work? I am open to suggestions at this point as it is still just in the plotting and scheming phase. I had intended to do it while Mr PTF was away for a weekend, so that I wouldn't have to cop any eyebrows, or rolling of the eyeballs, but I wasn't physically in a state to be able to do any work on it. Drat.

Hopefully though in the next month or so, I shall tackle it and have it looking beautiful.
It is a rather hilarious fireplace.

It is.....

Wait for it.......


Disappointments galore.

It blows out hot air through a tiny electric fan heater under the grate. Then a light behind the screen highlights the rather poxy silk flame-like shapes and they flutter....a little unconvincingly I might add.

Oh for a real wood burner. I have looked into getting one, but it wouldn't work, as the flue would come up right in the middle of our bedroom upstairs where our bed is. So alas, we are stuck with this guy.

I am hoping a lick of paint to both the mantelpiece and perhaps the mirror too, should brighten it up a bit. One day I am hoping to change the carpet to a more neutral, warm-tone colour.

So, any ideas would be much appreciated. I will definitely keep you updated on how it is going!

In the meantime I am enjoying summer loveliness here at Pear Tree Farm.

We have apples and pears growing here at the moment and it is so fun to watch them ripen.

My mother in law has already picked bagfuls of apples that we have turned into sauce and a scrummy apple slice. I shall have to put the recipe up for you soon!

 Miss O can be found most days with an apple or two...or ahem...three, in those chubby little hands of hers. She absolutely delights in running around outside through the grass and picking apples off the tree...or indeed of the ground. Not a bad life here for my little O, chasing butterflies, picking apples, teasing our poor little Gollie....

I will be back here soon....hopefully. I intend to post some recipes up on this here blog of mine and also to show you some of my attempts at DIY/revamping some awesome thrift shop finds!

See you soon
 xo Rachel

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