Aussies Living Simply

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  • #515258
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    I would like to know how you get your 17 yr olds to work!

    I have one who has just left school for good, having failed his last year through sheer lack of motivation. It appears at this stage that he will be sitting on his bum in his room for the rest of his life playing computer games.

    Ok, so maybe that’s an exaggeration, but right now, it sure feels like that’s how it’s going. Of course, since he is no longer a student, family payment has been cut for him – and since he’s home all the time, he’s eating much more and using more electricity than ever.

    *sigh*

    Taking over the thread with whinges tho, sorry.

    I have explained to him that when he finds work he will be expected to pay board, the minimum of which will cover the replacement of the family payment we are no longer entitled to because he isn’t at school.

    Problem is, I think that’s inspiring him NOT to find a job!

    #498319
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    We have had our evacuated tube system in place for a little over 2 years now. Earlier this year we had the first ever issue with it – it stopped working.

    When the guy came out, it turns out the water we have here had corroded it’s way both through the back-up heating element in our stainless steel tank and the impeller for the pump had corroded right through.

    All up, it was a $900 fix. Which neither our warranty or our home insurance would cover.

    It concerns me that it only took 2 years for that much corrosion to take place. Our intentions are to put in a larger rainwater tank and plumb the hotwater service to that, which will hopefully stop any future corrosion. Just have to get saving!

    #498421
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    Easily done – re-use pasta sauce jars/jam jars etc. It is recommended that you purchase new lids for them (the sealing compund can get damaged and create an issue with the seal forming correctly, which can mean you lose all your hard work).

    Lids can be bought at http://www.greenlivingaustralia.com.au if they are still selling them, which I hope they are.

    You can buy the american canning jars at http://www.redbacktrading.com.au, they are a little different to the fowlers jars, where you just use new lids each time instead of new rings – but I’ve not done a price comparison from those to Fowlers as yet.

    I use a combination of them – I have loads of Fowlers’ Jars that I have picked up second hand around the place. I have some recycled pasta jars, and some mason-style jars too.

    As for the actual processing – cheapest way with high-acid foods is to get one of those big cheap and nasty stainless pots from the reject shop or similar, chuck a tea-towel in the bottom of it when you use it (stops the jars touching the hot base of the pot and cracking) and just put hot produce in hot jars, seal, put in hot water in big pot, fill pot to about an inch over the top of the highest jar, and boil for 20 mins (or the relevant time for whatever high acid food you are processing).

    #493480
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    Apologies again for not being able to make it yesterday! Construction certainly takes a lot longer than we had originally planned for.

    We still haven’t concreted anything in yet but it all looks stable enough to hold out til next weekend – as long as the borrowed concrete mixer is still here by then we should get there.

    I am sorry that I missed catching up with everyone and meeting those whom I have not yet met.

    I hope I didn’t put you out too much by not coming, Greth. It was never my intention.

    Hopefully next time there will not be an imminent construction event going on simultaneously here!

    #493457
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    Dont think the 16 yr old is coming now, his grandparents appear to have adopted him for the long weekend.

    Also not sure if I’m going to make it! We are going to attempt to start putting up my studio.

    Attempt, because neither of us have done this before AND there’s only two of us who can lift the heavy stuff AND we’ve never made concrete for the posts before either. I do hope we don’t stuff it up.

    So I may need to be home on Monday to help DH with it.

    Eeeek I think I’d rather go out!

    Got the directions fine though, thanks Greth!

    #493841
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    I’ve lost a whole bunch of weight in the last few weeks and it’s been surprisingly easy. I don’t have a lot of time to excercise and sticking to a set diet has always been hard for me due to my odd working hours, so I just made a couple of simple changes.

    Firstly, I stopped eating products with wheat/gluten. We already have one person in the household who is gluten intolerant, so that was easier than it otherwise might have been, and it has the added bonus of cutting out the majority of empty carbs and other temptations like cake etc.

    Secondly, I upped my protein levels – I don’t do dairy, but I’d just been skipping it altogether – now I have soy. But I eat eggs, loads of eggs, and that helps a whole lot

    Thirdly – I halved my dinner portions. Yep. Chopped em in half. Was eating WAAAAYY too much. It took about a week before my stomach went – yep, I’m full now at half the amount. That was surprisingly easy.

    Fourthly – I stopped eating my dinner when I got home from work, choosing to eat what I could in my 10 min break instead. (get home at about 10PM, 10 min break is at 7.20). This way, I am no longer going to bed with a stomach full of food, so I’m hungry in the morning when I usually have eggs for breakfast. And I can’t eat a whole lot in my break, so that’s good too!

    And the fifth thing I did was replace all my previous sugar/carb based snacks with nuts and seeds. The fat replaced the sugar cravings, and the protein fills me up so I only need a small amount to get through the hunger cravings.

    That’s all I’ve done. It’s not been hard as yet. I may reach that plateau at some point and need to shift things around again but right now I’m enjoying the fact that my pants are falling down *grin*

    #493444
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    oh so glad i logged in, that’s one catch-up that I may even be able to make! *bounce*

    I’m not working this easter long weekend for the first time in… um… 4 years? So all I really have to do in convince DH!

    He might take some convincing – but then, I don’t suppose he really needs to come along, does he?

    So it will either be myself and 2 small boys 6 and 8, myself and 3 boys (third one being 16 and … erm… somewhat contrary, be warned) or all 5 of us.

    There are food allergies BUT we generally bring our own with no issues, because trying to cater for us is all but impossible – and they are NOT the sort of allergy where if we smell it we keel over, just the sort where we don’t eat it (it being wheat, gluten, dairy or any combination or derivative thereof for 2 of us)

    I would love to finally catch up with some people from here again, the last time was when herbman came a visiting to kaff’s place! LONG time ago!

    Ali

    #489458
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    when i do my preserving I ignore the Fowler’s directions because I don’t think they are right.

    I will always preserve my high acid produce such as fruits for 20 minutes at a rolling boil, with water at least one inch OVER the height of the lids of the jars.

    That info comes from the USDA recommendations for home preserving.

    I generally have hot jars, filled with fruit and hot syrup(or water), lids on and into hot water in the preserving unit. Then top up with hot water until all jars are covered and boil for that 20 mins.

    I use a combination of units depending on how much fruit I’m doing – I have the plastic electric one which will boil for 20 mins without overflowing the top if I use the shorter jars, and I also have a pressure canner and a large stockpot both of which double as boilers if i need them.

    YMMV.

    #489880
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    i do have a barnevelder who holds up no dramas in the heat. Having said that she doesn’t lay an egg a day or anything either. But she is beautiful. She’s just heading into moult now so not looking her best.

    #486193
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    There is a company in WA who make an olive-oil based floor sealer for concrete floors. It is non toxic, doesn’t off-gas and is applied with a mop and bucket. It’s very simple to use and the upkeep is equally simple – use a small percentage of the solution in your floor-washing water every so often.

    The only drawback is that it does require the floor to be free of all glues that may cause the sealer to not be absorbed – easy enough to tell as you just pour water over the floor and if it pools on top them that area may need grinding to get rid of the glue residue.

    They also do a range of natural lime based paints for walls.

    Unfortunately I can’t remember for the life of me what they are called and the PC that I have their details stored on is currently not working. Also, I’m speaking from a non-personal-experience veiwpoint at this stage as I haven’t yet bought the product and used it myself. I did research it pretty thoroughly and the lady advised me that a single large tin would easily do our floor space (140sqm) and give us enough left over for years of maintenance. At a cost of $140/tin that seemed pretty darn good to me.

    Once the studio is built and things start moving I will report back with a verdict on the use of the stuff as I do intend to use it.

    Ali

    #484521
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    if you can give me models and model numbers i can give you some general info and help out with where to find more.

    #483034
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    My biggest hint for bolognese with meat in it is to brown the mince really well first – and try and pour off/soak up as much fat as you can. The fat left in the sauce will rise to the top of the jar in the canner and can cause the seal to not work properly. So as little fat as possible in the meat is the best plan!

    Also, use the recommended head space. It’s really important to stop bit of food boiling up too high and also interfering with the seal.

    Have fun!

    #483028
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    Did I hear someone say my name???

    :laugh:

    Yay! for canners! I have the presto too. I loves it. I use Fowlers Jars in it all the time. One layer only though. And the other thing I have found with pressure canner with Fowlers jars is that the rings will be totally unusable after (if you are one to re-use rings, which isn’t recommended but I know some people don’t have a problem with it)

    I have pressure-canned tomato soup (pressure canned because it has loads of other veg rather than just tomato in it) still looking good in my cupboard from 3 years ago and it still tastes awesome too.

    I have also used recycled pasta sauce jars with new lids (lids from green living australia – don’t have a link at the moment sorry!) in the canner with no problems.

    My favorite thing to can has been baked beans. Dry beans are sooooo cheap for what you get out of them and I have a child with dietary issues so I like to know exactly what’s in my beans.

    When it comes to canning leftovers, I personally wouldn’t bother. Mostly because canning is a labour-intensive process and to get the canner up to full pressure and the jars sterilised and the lids ready and everything up to the right temp just for one or two jars seems like a waste of energy to me. I’d rather freeze leftovers or plan to eat them over the next few days!

    The other alternative is of course, to make a canning-specific meal, and use a part of it for your dinner that night, THEN can the rest.

    I did the free online canning and home preserving course offered at one of the US universities. Again, don’t have a link(computer died 🙁 ) but the link that LadyB posted up there somewhere will take you there if you look around.

    I have a couple of things up on my preserving blog but not a whole lot.

    I confess since I bought my canner I have not done as much with it as I planned to. Mostly due to a change in my personal situation which now means I work 50hr weeks outside the home. I just don’t have the opportunity to can at present.

    I miss it. I really really miss the home-made soups that were one of the first things I ever canned. I’m hoping that things will slow down a little next year so I will have time to get back into it.

    Yell if you need any other help!

    #483627
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    Do you want the bad news, or the bad news??

    Firstly – there USED to be a place. The CSIRO ran a small-scale scouring plant in Victoria. They closed it. Rumour has it that someone in South Australia bought the equipment, but they haven’t started using it.

    Here in SA there is a lady who imported some equipment to mill alpaca fleece into yarn. But she only deals with alpaca and she it is a bit pricey.

    Latest news – in WA, the big processor of sheep and wool products has recently announced they are closing down their fibre processing plant. The extent of what this means for Australian spinners and yarn manufacturers is not yet known by me, but I am concerned.

    It does seem a little ridiculous that out of all the countries in the world, the one that was supposedly built “on the sheep’s back” is closing it’s production facilities.

    There may be smaller businesses out there that will process raw fleece but I am not aware of them at this stage. Doing it by hand may be your next best option. It is time consuming but there are ways to reduce the effort involved – coating your sheep is one way (having them wear little jackets so the fleece doesn’t pick up as much vegetable matter/grass seeds etc). Washing fleece uses a fair bit of water and a reasonable amount of patience.

    I do mine in baskets in the bathtub. Fill bath with warm-hot water, fill baskets with fleece, (plastic baskets from cheap stores with holes in the bottom as well as the sides), add detergent to water, then add baskets to bathtub. Soak. Remove baskets after 20 or so minutes, drain greasy dirty water, repeat. And then rinse in a similar fashion.

    The hotter the water, the more lanolin/grease/dirt will be removed from the fleece. The more you agitate (move)the fleece around, the more likely you will end up with a disaster of felted mess.

    After that, I spread out fleece on an old jumper-drying rack outside to dry. Once it’s dry, I run it through the drum carder – or stick it in the dye pot then rinse again then dry again then run it through the drum carder.

    You will end up with a batt, not a long plait of roving – but you can turn your batts into rovings by using a little disk with a hole in the middle (called a diz) I reckon you could use a washer if you wanted to LOL

    Holler if you need any more info.

    Ali

    #478543
    ali_celt
    ali_celt
    Member

    Thanks Robyne,

    I don’t usually get back that way in time although it is on my way home from work.

    I think i might put my stockpiling plans on hold for now – once my new craft shed is built there will be plenty of good dry places to store things that hubby will never ever see. Best of both worlds there!

    I’m wondering if I should put a bed out there – can’t have the wool feeling lonely all night.

    But, back on topic….

    That wholesale Santos place seems a bit pricey but I do love the store ethics. I hate how often you have to compromise between ethics and price though.

    Robyne, we will have to catch up sometime, I keep meaning to. Maybe next year when I’ve hopefully quit a job.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 826 total)
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