So! What have you been up to??? Monday, Nov 1 2010 

In answer to the question….

The other day I was asked, Where have you guys been and what have you been up to the last few months??? “Well it has been busy” was my response… The I tried to explain just what we had been up to and it seems that things have been happening on so may levels it has been hard to keep track…

I suppose the main thing is we are no longer living in Cowra… This is a very good thing, let me assure you… It seemed every week we lived there we had another disaster of some kind on our hands.

Multiple car breaks downs requiring the extended use of hire cars sent us broke, Dave was working for Centrelink until his contract expired during the caretaker government period and they could not renew it… He reapplied for a role in the same office doing basically the same job, we are still waiting for an answer… the role was supposed to be filled by mid September at the latest, it is now the beginning of November and still no answer… we have given up waiting now and have decided to look elsewhere for work here in Young… health issues for both Dave and myself, multiple hospital trips, idiot issues, neighbors and real estate agent issues, house heating and cooling issues were the least of our problems… that damn town and house just about trashed us… I can’t believe the power bill for less than a year was over $2500… as the place was literally falling apart it was impossible to cool and way past impossible to heat…

Centrelink screwed us over multiple times as customers as well causing massive flow on effects… this was exacerbated by the fact we could not go into the local office as Dave having worked there meant everyone in the office could not look at our files as it was deemed as a conflict of interest… I am hoping my last call screaming down the phone at them last week finally has it sorted…

I went back to TAFE to finish a Business Admin course… I had decided to wait and see if Dave got his job back or if he would be working locally when we moved, so I had put off transferring until I knew for sure… we are into week 3 of this semester and I have yet to have an answer so tomorrow I am off to transfer to the local TAFE… I think I am more pleased about this than I realised as things were getting hinky at Cowra TAFE anyway… 2 bottom of the barrel teachers got me to the point that I refused to attend their classes and then there was the issue with one of the girls in the class…

We befriended each other early on in the piece and apparently in the first week of the holidays her partner was approached in town and told to watch his back as I was “after” him… YOU MUST BE KIDDING ME… WHAT IS THIS PRIMARY SCHOOL??? Seriously… he and his girlfriend had been having other problems and it all blew up into a huge fight… What I actually said was IF he was hitting her or keeping her there against her will I would take Dave out there and get her… as in pick her up, bring her to town, seek medical/police intervention if needed etc… apparently in someone who was listening in’s mind that translated to I was going to go out and kill this guy, then it went through a Chinese, drunken whispers thing and the poor boyfriend in question took it as gospel that I was after him and it made things worse for them… REALLY PEOPLE… GROW UP AND GET A LIFE!!

We then tried to help a friend of a friend with some legal issues and housing issues, but lack of communication put paid to that… I was also considering getting back into Karaoke etc… but the lack of reliable long term partners and potentially unreliable venue managers was enough for me to put that away and lock the door on it… I really am not going to waste my time again with that sort of thing if I do not have a good feeling about it…

I was working as a volunteer for the local PCYC… lets just leave it as this… As long as certain people high up in the management structure of NSW PCYC remain there, nothing productive will happen and that is such a shame given the potential for good…

Dave and I threw up our hands and walked away in disgust after much conversation and soul searching…

As some of you may know I am Secretary of the Australian World Peace Bell Association… things were pretty busy there for awhile too… We had the annual Peace Day celebrations and I was extremely busy organising that, a big thank you to my good friend Johnny Burrows for coming through at the last minute with an awesome musical number for the event and to my wonderful Dave for putting up with it all…

The poetry competition had some wonderful entries and the guest speaker Professor Stuart Rees of the Sydney Peace foundation was awesome…

I was invited to participate in a forum, 10 big ideas to grow the Central West… What a waste of my day… Duplicate/extra committees/boards to do the same job as the ones already there but incompetent… a waste of resources… Sorry, but it is… A couple of geniuses from the Orange area put forward that we provide public and community transport for the ill to go from all around the central west to Orange as it has this great new medical service instead of getting the services to the people… so if you are terminally ill, elderly, post surgery etc… lets just send you on a bus to your specialists up to 3 hours away… I rather loudly made the case against this, but ended up walking away in disgust… Never again… To all my friends in the various levels of government, good luck, I hope you can do more for these people out here, they desperately need the help… The fact that I was rushed to Cowra hospital and could not even get an ultrasound as they did not have the equipment and the radiology place in town did not have anyone who could use their one was a joke… I mean, yes, my suggestion of reviewing and making changes and having people actually accountable for their jobs/roles might be a bit of a pipe dream, but seriously…

OK, so by now you have probably guessed we have moved to Young… what a wonderful little place this is… so much better than Cowra… We have been out to the movies twice… it is an older cinema called the Southern Cross and our tickets are a whole $9 each… wow, expensive hey…

I can eat out as there are many restaurants here that supply gluten free meals… the IGA supermarket here is simply amazing with the largest range of gluten free products I have ever seen… So all in all we are more than happy.

It is cheaper, nicer and a much happier place to be…

We are living out of town on a farm, we share the farm with the owners, they have the main house and we have the secondary residence… The owners of the property are wonderful people… so kind, helpful and welcoming… These are really good people and I am so happy that when I put it out to the universe that we needed help this was the response I got… Our cats still are not allowed out as I think it is better for them to be indoor, less vet bills that way, but we are in the process of setting up 2 large enclosures for them to roam freely in… 1 is weatherproof and about 10m long x 3m wide and 3 meters high and attached to the house, the other is off the back end of the house and is about 7m x7m and 3m high again, but not weatherproof… I think they will be happy with those, they love the one attached to the house already so that is great news…

The farm also comes complete with animals and orchards… Cherries, Peaches, Olives, Strawberries, Blackberries and eggs (courtesy of the free range chooks) are all abundant.. there is plenty of room for my much longed for vege patch and we have befriended some of the animals here too, Ebony the little dog who likes to come for a visit and see if I have left the cat food down for her to eat (which I actually pick up before I open the door except for about a dozen cat biscuits so she thinks she is getting something special)… the cats are terrified of her… it is so funny as he is half their size… Earl, the cat… comes in and demands inspection daily…( just quietly, Chloe has fallen in love with him and follows him around, sadly he does not even acknowledge her). Cookie, the BIG dog…. Our little Holly sits there every day pining for him as she has fallen in love…

There are also the horses, Gus and Giggles… beautiful animals, I love sitting there watching them run and play in the back paddock and I had forgotten how much fun chooks are… they LOVE the tea leaves I put in with the vege scraps for them… so cool…

oh I forgot the goats… Timmy keeps wanting me to take him out the back to look at them… he is so confused as to what they are… I love watching him nose to nose with a goat, meowing and wondering why they wont meow back… the first time one of them bleated at him he nearly wet himself and ran inside… LOL…

and I forgot the frogs… as we are on tank water here.. you go into the bathroom at night or look at the bathroom window/kitchen window, don’t be surprised if there is a frog or two looking right back at you!… LOL… love it… I am not too sure just how Dave feels about that… I think it is great… our environment here is clean enough that we can support frogs… YAY!!

Dave is writing again, I am reading and blogging again as well as motivated to cook and do housework… these are all minor miracles when you consider just how beyond giving a stuff we both were and how little we felt like being productive a few weeks ago at the old place…

My industrial kitchen is awesome too… 2 stoves, 4 ovens, heaps of bench space and a walk in pantry… YAY, a dream come true… I am already happily cooking up a storm and Dave has made a comeback to the kitchen as well.. WOOT!

Dave and I sat down and had a long talk yesterday. I am off to the TAFE tomorrow to transfer, we are both going to look for work locally and things are really looking up, we pick up the last load of our stuff from the old place this week and all will be well in our world…

We are hoping to see some friends from Sydney down in the next few weeks as we have missed everyone so much but have just not been able to get there because of everything else…

Life is good!

So, What have you been up to????

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Weddings, Family, Everything! oh and Pumpkin Soup… Tuesday, Apr 13 2010 

Welcome back all!

Well, we have been quite busy around here and things have been a little tricky, but have worked out for the best…

But before I get into that I want to congratulate a wonderful friend Cr. Gareth Ward, who has been pre selected to run a the Liberal candidate for Kiama. Well done sir, you do so much work and are such a genuine and honest person (yes a rarity I know), you deserve this and all the best of luck.

Last weekend we headed off to Sydney for a friend’s wedding and to catch up with some long lost family…

The car is still not back on the road (hopefully it will be by the end of today). They have had trouble sourcing the part for the power steering unit and are waiting for one to arrive from Melbourne today, it does not take long to fit, so maybe tomorrow at the latest we hope.

The wonderful man from Hertz organised me a very nice VE Commodore to head to Sydney in and we decided at that point to take the cats with us… We were to drop them off with friends but decided at the last-minute to keep them with us…

On Friday our great friend Liz and her son Sebastian came out to Cowra to stay at the new house to supervise the carpets being laid. We met her at the bus stop and had lunch, then dropped her at the house and headed off to the “big smoke”.

It was a lovely 4 hr drive over the Blue Mountains via Annies icecream at Bathurst to Parramatta where we stayed at Liz’s place (house swaps are great) and as the wedding was to be held at Lachlan’s in Parramatta Park it was a perfect arrangement…

All the cats except for Chloe took the trip quite well… She had a little accident in her carrier so we took care of that and all went well… Although Dave now calls her the ShamWow cat. Poor baby did not even seem worried when she got bathed and washed… I think she was just grateful she did not have to clean it up herself…

We spent Saturday searching for a particular hair clip (french twist clip) that I wanted for the wedding, for some reason no one uses them anymore so we searched Westfield Parramatta for hours to find it, people in Sydney are so different to out here, most were just rude and not helpful, others indifferent… we finally found them I bought all the ones they had, then went for some lunch and went back to the house to get ready for the wedding.

And may I say, it was the best wedding I have ever been to…

Not too formal where you sit looking at your watch trying to find the earliest time you can leave and not too informal that you have a “urgh” moment… but a fun, joyous and beautiful celebration of the joining of two amazing friends and their families… The bride looked stunning and the groom looked very handsome in his kilt. Dave even got up and danced… See miracles DO happen.

The meals were wonderful, a BIG thankyou to the bride and staff of Lachlans for thinking of me, as I have coeliac disease there is so much I can not eat, myself and another guest were well catered for with “safe” meals that were just as good, if not better than the others and when one of the girls at our table admitted to being vegitarian, there was no problem in getting her a meal made on the spot. Excellent service and really nice staff. The weather held out and the marquee was lovely. By the way Claire, the seating at tables 1 – 3 was perfect… I think everyone else at the other tables should have been just as happy, you did a great job, oh and the DJ rocked… very cool music selections… Rosina and I did a lot of chair dancing…

Oh and I love bagpipes. The piper was excellent…

Although I feel I must share one of my favourite photos from the wedding, Dan was not even aware I took it which makes it even better.

The next day we had breakfast with our good friend Patrick at Mars Hill Cafe in Parramatta. This is where Dave and I had our first Date… it must have been destiny, we only had one coffee each, but sat there talking for 5 hours… LOL… It is now one of our favourite places for coffee and a chat… If we ever moved back to Sydney it would be close to there.. Sunday mornings with great coffee, newspaper and the best youghurt and fruit I have ever had would be divine. We had a great time chatting and catching up on the last few months with Patrick before I headed off to visit with my cousins.

I have not seen my extended family in 24 years, except for Aunty Judith and her kids when mum passed away 4 years ago. I had been what was considered the “black sheep” as I left home young and had the kids and according to mum “disgraced them” so mum and grandfather told me, I was not really welcome…

I have no idea of what the stories were that got back to everyone else and it took me a long time to come to peace with the fact tha the stories that were passed down to the rest of the family were only vaguely close to the facts in that my name was mentioned and that I probably would not get to tell my side or even have it believed so I moved on, it hurt – a LOT, but as a doctor once told me, “you have to let it go or it will destroy you, accept it for what it was and move on”, so after a lot of tears, years and heartache I did.

But me being me, you can imagine my joy and surprise when my cousins husband contacted me via facebook and agreed to catch up. I have to say I was nervous… terrified actually, yes I know they do not bite, but I was told they all hated me… It turned out to be a lovely time and we got to chat and catch up, I was not surprised when Beth was listening to what had been happening with me over the years to hear her say “that’s not what we were told” … I think there wil be a lot of that over the coming conversations… I really do dread to hear exactly what was said… I am not too sure I want to know…

So the upshot of it is, I do have extended family and regardless of what I was told or what they were told, they are pretty darn cool and I am so happy to have them back in my life. Hopefully now I will not feel quite so much of an orphan… and we can get to know each other.

Too soon it was time to head off and get back to pack and leave Sydney, we picked up the cats, Lawn mower, whipper snipper and chain saw, fed Liz’s pets and headed down to Yarrawarrah to another friend’s place to pick up some of the plants we had to leave behind when we moved as there was just not enough room in the truck… Once again a big thanks to Ali, Robbie and her family for doing a great job babysitting the plants, we will be back soon to get the rest, I promise.

We got home around 1 am and cleaned up the ShamWow cat again as she had another accident, unpacked the car and headed off to bed and collapsed.

Yesterday we headed back into town to have a look at our new carpets. They look GREAT, and to see Liz and Sebastian off back to Sydney, was sorry we did not have more time to spend with them, but next time it will be better… My thoughts were with Liz on the trip backas Sebastian got car sick on the bus on the way in and that was just not pleasant for the poor little man or Liz for that matter, so hopefully the trip back was better for them both.

Looking over the weekend it was awesome! So happy to see everyone, but as always glad to get home.

Dave is starting his new role with Centrelink any day now, we are just waiting for his clearance to come through and we hope to move into the new place this coming weekend… YAY…We discovered that we have had an awesome weather change here the last week or so, the nights get down to 2.5° and the days are in the early 20’s… fab… time to get the warmies out… lots of snuggly cats in the bed at night and crowded in front of the cat heater… Yes they have their own heater, they hog ours too much… LOL… and I confess they are just a “little” spoilt.

So this brings me to todays recipe, as the weather is getting cooler here in Cowra I decided it was time for a nice hearty Pumpkin Soup.

Mim’s Pumpkin Soup.

1 kg peeled diced pumpkin

2 Gluten Free Massel chicken stock cubes

4 large peeled diced potatoes

1 cup milk

125 ml thick cream

2 chopped onions

2 crushed garlic cloves

enough water to cover

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup diced chives

Heat olive oil in a large pan, add onion and garlic and stir till soft and golden, add the potatoes and pumpkin and stir until a little brown on the edges…

Add enough water to cover the veges and then add the milk and stock cube. Stir really well to get the browned bits off the bottom of them pan (they make it so much tastier) and simmer for 45 min till veg are really soft and mushy.

Blend all till smooth and add cream, return to stove and simmer through for 5 min.

Serve piping hot and sprinkle with chopped chives.

ENJOY!

Blasts from the past, I want to build a time machine! Saturday, Apr 3 2010 

Hi Again!

For some reason today the universe deems it that I get a few blasts from the past…Some very welcome, some not so welcome.

So I thought I might just put another recipe out there that has more special meaning to me from my childhood.

These biscuits were my grandfathers cousins recipe so it is over 100yrs old and smell soo good when baking, they say smell and taste are one of the most powerful memory enhancers, for me these are it…

Aunty Belle ran the farm in Tumut NSW where we spent holidays and some weekends… I do miss those days of carefree running around, playing in the haystack, with mum’s panicked voice in the yard screaming “get out of there you will be bitten by snakes and you are allergic to grass…” LOL… I never saw a single snake in the hayshed and as for allergies.. I sneezed a little when I stirred up the dust…

We had a number of chooks at the farm to keep us well supplied in fresh eggs and Sunday roasts, one of my jobs was to help bring the chooks in at night to the chook houses and to feed them in the afternoons… It always made me smile standing there calling “chook chook chook” and watching them all come running like crazy for their grain… as for getting them into the pens at night, well they actually put themselves in around dusk, We did the head count to make sure we had everyone then just shut the door till morning… a few hours after letting them out  we would go down to the nests (which were all over the place, those girls would nest in the strangest of spots) and collect the eggs…

Helping bring in the timber for the wood stove and fireplace was not one of the jobs I enjoyed the most… splinters were common as were spiders… not that it really worried me, I will say I appreciated the open fires in winter and the yummy food from that stove though, so there are compromises… but I would have just been happier wandering the paddocks singing  and talking to the cows – yes singing to the cows, it was fun, no one to hear me and they seemed to like it… Well they didn’t run away so they must have, that’s my story and I am sticking to it. There were no other kids for miles around as the farm was 19 miles from town.  So cows and sheep it was… In the summer I would ride my bike to town and go roller skating at the bull shed at the showground, Swimming in the river that ran through the property was always great and I spent hours down there climbing trees, catching yabbies and building swimming holes and tree houses… There was one old tree that hung out over the river, sitting up in there with a book for hours on end in the dappled sunlight was a favourite spot when it was too cool to swim. I still swim better in a fast flowing river to this day than I do in a swimming pool.

Aunty Belle (grandfathers cousin) was a very active member of the CWA, Red Cross and Royal Far West children’s charity. A lot of our time in the evenings was spent sitting on the verandah peeling and stoning fruit that people had dropped off or left on the verandah to make the jams and pies for various stalls and sales, going into town to the cattle sales and manning the cafe was great, the sights, smells and noises made it so much fun for a kid…  Sometimes we would get a call to say there was a fruit laden tree at someone’s house, would we like to come and pick it and keep it… They were fun as I got to eat as much fruit as I could in the process, beautiful, straight from the tree. I remember sitting and waiting for the jams to finish being bottles so I could take the pot and spoon off to the back step and clean it out with the spatula… yummy warm fresh sticky jam… nothing like it… Dave still laughs at me when we walk through the supermarket and I see Jam Setta sugar, Pectin and Jam jar seals… I grumble and grouch generally with “if you need to add powdered pectin to your jam your not doin it right” and “lazy people, all those jam jar covers are is squares of cellophane, go get some from the newsagent and cut it out yourself and dip it in vinegar before sealing the jar”. Dave just laughs at me and keeps going now… Oh dear, I just realised I have turned into my mother…. aaarrggghh save me now!

There was so much other fun to be had as well, like horse riding and bike riding, gardening, I learnt to shoot at a young age  and even if I do say so myself am still a reasonable shot, milking the house cow and herding cattle and sheep…

I think one of my favourite memories is of Meg, our caramel coloured house cow, she was so gentle and loved a cuddle… Mum always said I would get kicked or trampled as I used to climb all over her and walk around talking to her (keep in mind I was only about 10 or so at the time), she never hurt me and I saw her as a friend and in some ways I think she thought I was her friend too. I miss that silly cow and those idyllic times.

These biscuits were always on hand,  we made them fresh every few days (apparently when I was around they did not last too long).

They were out every morning and afternoon tea as well as fresh scones from the wood stove and cream, freshly taken from the milk collected and separated then boiled that morning and a slab of home-made butter made from some of that fresh cream and some of that home-made jam… The smells that came from that kitchen were just divine… Oh Yummm… some of the simplest things in life are the best, really they are…

I still make these bikkies every now and then… They are not quite the same taste for a couple of reasons.

1. I now need to use gluten-free flour, finding the right mix of flours is a little tricky to get the texture right.

2. I do not have a wood stove… I still say there is nothing like the flavour of baked goods or a roast and veg from a wood stove… When I build my house that is one of the first things going in the kitchen… They maybe a little more work, but so worth the effort.

3. I still think the farm fresh eggs and home-made butter make a difference… I urge you NOT to make these with margarine instead of butter, they just don’t hold together or taste right.

I hope you try these and enjoy them.

Aunty Belle’s Biscuits.

1 1/2 cups Sugar.

4 tbsp Room Temp. Butter.

2 Eggs.

4 cups Plain Flour – for the gluten-free version I use a simple gluten-free plain flour mix from the supermarket and 1 tsp xantham gum. I am still not 100% happy with the texture but will keep experimenting with other gluten-free flours etc till we get it right).

4 tbsp Treacle.

2 tsp GF Baking Powder.

2 tsp Bi Carb Soda.

Pinch of salt.

Cream butter (I find they come out a bit better if you don’t melt it first), sugar and salt, add eggs, treacle, flour, baking powder and bi carb till well combined.

Sprinkle board with flour and roll out to about 3mm think, cut into circles about 5 -7cm in diameter.

Put on a greased baking sheet and pop in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes on around 200 degrees, keep an eye on them, ovens vary so much these days, they should just get a little darker than when they went in. They will still be a little soft when you get them out and they do not rise very much. Let cool on the tray and enjoy with a hot cuppa… when cool they will be lovely and crunchy.

Easter Traditions and History Friday, Apr 2 2010 

Jeez, 2 posts in one day…

When I was growing up we were involved in the Uniting Church

I can still remember the march to Parramatta Town Hall when the methodists and presbyterians joined up to form the one church.

I sang in the church choir, taught Sunday school, was involved in the youth group, it kept me pretty busy… most holiday periods we went down to the farm in Tumut NSW, life was full…

Every Sunday we went to church in the morning, mum would stay home and cook a roast… it was on the table at noon, never fail… routine was a huge thing for mum and grandfather… I would go to the evening service every Sunday night as well…

So every easter mum would make dozens of salmon rissoles and we would head off to church, then come home for reheated rissoles and veg… then off to the farm…

I am no longer a member of the church… I was disgusted and disillusioned by the behavior of certain people when it came to selling our church, St Andrews, in Parramatta (which last time I saw is now a Bavarian Bier Venue, grandfather would be turning in his grave) and money, then when I was at what was possibly my lowest point in my life, I was homeless, had no family, $0, and no job, I could not turn to the people I thought were friends as my ex husband had just left after betraying me with people who I loved and thought were closest to me and I did not want to put the others in the middle of it and had nowhere to turn, I went to a church service  to see the minister I most respected out of pure desperation for guidance and was brushed off and basically told to go away… it was Christmas Day. I have never been back and I do not think I can ever forget that life changing day. It was the day I realised there was no one else I could rely on or turn to, I had to do it alone, I did and here I am… It was never an easy struggle, but I made it and am stronger and wiser for it.

Anyway, even though I no longer have any family except Dave and the cats, at easter, although not out of religious observance I make salmon rissoles… Just because I need to, they give me back a touch of the past and a life when things were different and I trusted and believed in everyone, they bring back so many memories of good times and left over rissoles in sandwiches… (drool).

This year is the first year I will not be making my favourite comfort food as I thought I had some GF flour and oil, but when I checked the pantry I do not have enough… 😦

As we have no way to get to town until at least after easter they will just have to wait…BUT as soon as I can get to town I am off to the supermarket… until then I will just have to dream about them… Regardless, I promised the recipe, so here it is…

Mum’s Salmon Rissoles

425gm tin red salmon – drained (the better quality salmon the better the end taste)

2 eggs

2 medium chopped onions

1/2 dozen medium mashed potatoes – no milk or butter

2 cups gluten free plain flour

500ml oil or light spray olive oil.

Make sure you drain the salmon well, if you like to, remove the bones (I do, I am a wuss and cringe when I get a crunchy bit), but it is not nessecary if you don’t mind them. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix really well.

Make into rissole sized patties and roll in the flour, You could use rice crumbs if you like, but I find they burn a bit too easily.

Shallow fry for a few minutes on each side until golden.

I did try a variation a few years back, I sprayed them with cooking oil and baked in the oven until golden, they were nice, but I like the tasty fried oniony bits when you fry them, so it is up to you.

Serve either hot or cold… I like to serve with steamed veg to make a full meal. I generally make a double batch as I can never seem to get enough of these…

ENJOY!

What a week! Friday, Apr 2 2010 

I hope this finds everyone well and having a great easter break…

We have had an eventful week here,

We started off by making the plans to head to Sydney for our wonderful friends Claire and Dan’s wedding next weekend…

I hear through the FB grapevine that Claire has now gotten sick a week before the wedding… honey please take it easy and get well, lots of rest, vitamins and fluids… you are a great organiser and a talented designer with a wonderful sense of style… all these things combined mean it will be wonderful and go off without a hitch, so try to relax and enjoy!

So the weekly ritual out here is to head into Cowra and do the shopping either on Tuesday or Wednesday, this week we went in on Tuesday…all good, when we were coming home I noticed a noise coming from the engine bay… was not too worried at that stage, all the gauges were fine and nothing felt funny, but as I turned into our street the steering felt really weird…. OH BUMMER!!!! being only 100mtrs or so from home I kept going, turned into the drive and the power steering failed… *insert expletive here*… so popped the bonnet to find power steering fluid everywhere, not good… filled up the unit and could not find the leak, so got it in the yard and waited for Wednesday…

Got up early Wednesday and called the NRMA… as we live so far from town it was around 12.30pm when he arrived, had a look, shook his head and said those dreaded words “tow truck”.

It turns out not only has the power steering failed and there is a leak “somewhere” but the harmonic drive is falling off too, so it could have been so much worse than it was, if it had come off whilst driving and gone through the radiator etc, well you can imagine the disaster that could have been…

So the wonderful Steve from NRMA drove me into town so I could pick up a hire car for the day and do 2 weeks worth of shopping and do the jobs we needed to get done as we are now stranded out here with no car.

We had to drop the hire car back yesterday as there is no way I could have afforded to keep it over easter, I am on a disability pension and Dave is on a carers pension so money is always tight here… We caught the school bus home for the grand price of $2 each, as the local Taxi service has quoted us $60 minimum EACH WAY to get to town… the hire car was only $88 a day… and now that it is school holidays there is no other bus for 2 weeks… There is not even a countrylink service out here to Billimari and no corner shop either…

I dropped by Barnes, the mechanic in town just to introduce myself and get an idea of where things stood… they were lovely people and assured me all would be well and they will drop the car back out to us when it is repaired if we could drop them back to town. It should be ready by Wednesday… I nearly cried with relief, we did not know what we were going to do… If their mechanic is as good as their customer service I will be singing their praises to everyone I can. I am still terrified of the bill, but it will all work out I am sure.

unfortunately the house in town is still not ready to occupy yet, although we now have hot water, YAY, all it needed was the pipes/valve cleaned as they were blocked from all the scale we have in the water out here… and the carpets will be done the weekend of the 10th and the painting should be nearly finished by then too… Liz is coming out around the 9th and will be staying in town to deal with the carpets… with any luck we will be able to catch up with her while she is here. Trying to liaise to get keys to here etc has been fun, but is now under control.

If we had a way to get us, some furniture and the cats to town I would stay in there until the car drama is over, but we just don’t have a way to do it right now… Oh well, as I said, it will all work out in the end…

On a WONDERFUL high note though, We got a call whilst waiting for the school bus yesterday. When we were moving out here in December Dave applied for a customer service role with Centrelink. Sadly he did not get that role, but the manager called yesterday to offer him some temp work, the poor man had to talk to me though as Dave was unable to hear after going to the doctors to have his ear syringed to remove some buildup after a recent ear infection, I was a little worried when they used a drenching gun, but it seemed to be a rather effective tool for the job… anyway, they will chat next Tuesday and Dave will probably start ASAP, now all I have to do is work out a way to get him there and home… hopefully the car will be back in time.

We will find a way to get to that wedding regardless of the car drama, and can’t wait to see the beautiful bride and handsome groom…

enough from me for now… I might see if I feel up to another post a bit later with a recipe for the Salmon Rissoles I am doing for dinner… YUMMO!

Take care and stay safe.

M

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