January 2020 round-up

I’ve spent a lovely but hot and humid summer break in our post-bushfire -both local and political- landscape on holiday from my Tafe studies but not from reading, watching, learning, making… being incredibly grateful, and inspired.

Collage in my garden
Today #inmygarden … Kate’s peppers keep coming year after year, Maree’s Periforme Abruzzese tomatoes planted in styrofoam box, Black Beauty eggplant planted in wicking bed, Sugar Baby watermelon grown in self-watering/water-well pot, Allamanda Cherries Jubilee and frangipani, Mandevilla sanderi Diamantina Agathe White, new wicking beds by @welshy055 in progress ~ 29 January 2020

As I hope to do from time-to-time I’m sharing below a few things I’ve enjoyed and snippets I posted via Instagram and Facebook over the past month.

Shared on Facebook

Brilliant poem by Nina Woodrow.
“when the ice caps melt
and the sea rises
when the forests are burnt
and only the scrappiest of trees
remain like whiskers
on a witches chin
when the air is choked
smoked and carbon loaded
when the creatures
are all expiring one by one
two by two like Noah’s arc
in reverse when the sea rises
we will adapt or not
we will drown or not
and the sea will not mind
either way if we learn
our lesson too late
or never…”
Read the rest at: when the sea rises

Some very reason-able do-able actions against climate change… right here.
“Let’s lay the cards on the table. Climate change is not only real, but is making its presence felt in catastrophic ways more often. There’s little doubt that climate change is anthropogenic: 98% of world climate scientists agree that this is the case. There are ample papers and graphs which demonstrate this well and I don’t need to add the links here. The debate was over long ago. Once you agree with the science and accept this premise, it’s time to move down the path of action.”
Read the rest at: When Anger Drive Resolution. An Australian Call to Action ~ almostitalian.blog

“We are all here, together.”
January 2020_The Planthunter_we are all here, together~ @theplanthunter on Instagram. Read more from The Planthunter on Facebook, via the new-look website, and email newsletter.

What could’ve, should’ve been… and what may still be if we make better choices.
“The lies of the deniers have to be rejected. This is a time for truth telling, not obfuscation and gaslighting,” former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull writes for Guardian Australia today.
“How much of our country has to burn, how many lives have to be lost, homes destroyed before we resolve as a nation to act on climate change?
Our priority this decade should be our own green new deal in which we generate, as soon as possible, all of our electricity from zero emission sources.
There are simply no more excuses. We cannot allow political prejudice and vested interests to hold us up any longer.
The lies of the deniers have to be rejected. This is a time for truth telling, not obfuscation and gaslighting. Climate change is real. … And our response must be real too – a resilient, competitive, net zero emission economy – as we work to make our nation, and our planet, safe for our children and grandchildren.”
Read the rest at: Scott Morrison can’t afford to waste the bushfire crisis when australia urgently needs its own green new deal ~ Malcom Turnbull, theguardian.com

A labour of love and sorrow, written with a steadiness that is much needed right now…
“To what extent we have contributed to climate change is still in question. What isn’t in question is that the environment is very different than it has been in living and recorded history. We have been warned over and over about erratic weather patterns, violent storms, fires and floods. We have not responded effectively. If this isn’t a wakeup call, I don’t want to see what it will take to create one. At the very least, the way we live is not a sustainable and loving way to treat our planet. This week I have learned that 2019 was the hottest and driest in Australia since records started, in 1900. Our beautiful country was uniquely adapted to its normally dry conditions, but this is beyond…”
Read the rest at: that which breaks us… ~ ardysez.com

Jackie French’s call to action.
“…DO NOT FORGET. Because those who make vast sums of money from businesses that, as a side effect, destroy our planet, put vast sums into PR or political campaigns so that laws are never made to hinder their actions. The politicians who denied climate change, the need for disaster planning and firefighting equipment, and who cut fire budgets by 30-40 per cent this year alone – despite warnings from their own experts that we faced catastrophes this year – will use political spin … let’s just call it lying … to try to make you forget before the next election…”
Read the rest at: SMH free-to-read bushfire article

Wise words from Rhonda Jean at Down to Earth…
“How can I start to live a simple life?” Well, that’s easy – stop shopping for things you don’t need. Of course, you could also take it one step at a time and start budgeting, menu planning, cooking from scratch, batch cooking, and making your own soap and household cleaners. You could mend your clothes, plant a vegetable garden and keep chickens. You need to keep up to date with your world, I do that via crikey.com, The Guardian and by maintaining a thoughtful connection with my online tribe; and you could lobby your local MP to find out their view of climate change and what they’re doing about it. But if you want to start living more sustainably in a way that will help you save money, pay off debt, cut down on paid work or retire early, don’t go shopping for “stuff”. You don’t have to prepare in any way, you don’t have to research it, you don’t need any special information or skill. You just stop. And you can do that right now. Today.”
Read the rest at: If you want to lead a simpler life – identify your needs

We need to choose. We really do need to make the right… the only… sane choice.
“…a shift in national consciousness did occur, but powerful interests (and the politicians beholden to these interests) stopped growth and transformation. Stasis and misery followed… We have to seize it and change our thinking, our priorities and our politics. In doing so we can change our country, our future, and transform ourselves into global leaders on climate change.
These fires without precedent have the potential to profoundly shift the national consciousness. This summer could shake us awake – if we let it.
But if we don’t do it now, while things are raw and real, we never will.
The alternative is bleak: another lost year, another lost decade…”
Or worse. And, having made the choice, we need to take action. Make real and tangible changes. Now.
Read the rest at: This apocalyptic Australian summer is our Sandy Hook moment – if we don’t take climate action now we never will ~ Brigid Delaney, theguardian.com

Listening to new music via Spotify
Alison Krauss and Union Station
Dan Sultan
Greensky Bluegrass
Lucinda Williams
Mandolin Orange
and Spotify radio mixes of new & old stuff… Bon Scott, Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, Bob Seger, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, JJ Cale, Creedence, Johnny Cash…
Loving Spotify’s 3 month premium free trial offer and student discount.

From Here, You Can’t See Paris: Seasons of a French Village and Its Restaurant – a free find at a neighbourhood street library. An account of the author’s year in a rural French village including in the middle a lot more than I ever wanted to know about truffles, and a parable of rural villages everywhere fighting to keep relevant and populated.
Organic Gardener Essential GuidesPermaculture Made Easy and Inspirational Gardens digital versions.
Pip (Australian Permaculture) Magazine and email newsletter and Organic Gardener magazine and email newsletter …online magazines accessed free via RBdigital app and library membership.
The Permaculture Home Garden, Linda Woodrow.
Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe.

Happen Films – Stories for a Changing World. Free documentaries about permaculture, tiny houses, simple living… “solutions-focused documentaries that explore how we can build resilient communities and landscapes in the face of global challenges. We share the stories of inspirational people creating a more beautiful world.”
The True History of the Kelly Gang on Stan via Telstra TV’s 3 month free trial.
2040 – Read a review, and more on the 2040 website.
Kanopy documentaries and films accessed free via library or university membership.

I’ve been keeping a rainfall record as part of my permaculture studies at Tafe NSW National Enviroment Centre.
15 January 2020 – 2.6 mm overnight. Surface infiltration.
16 January 2020 – 36 mm thunderstorm followed by rain overnight. Runoff during downpour at start followed by ground infiltration.
17 January 2020 – 25 mm over 24 hours. Ground infiltration.
18 January 2020 – 60 mm over 24 hours. Ground infiltration and waterlogging.
20 January 2020 – 1.7 mm over 24 hours. Surface infiltration.
24 January 2020 – 1.1 mm light rain off periphery of thunderstorm. Surface infiltration.
27 January 2020 – 1 mm light rain off periphery of thunderstorm. Surface infiltration.
Useful follow-up precipitation to the 32 mm we received Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day.

Shared on Instagram

Collage 9 Jan 2020
I’m on holidays… which means I have time for ad hoc #inmykitchen projects. I couldn’t find #driedmushrooms at the shops but remembered I had a dehydrator I bought for $10 from Vinnies in October 2016… stored in a tub in the shed… to be fair dehydrating has been done during winter on the top of the woodfire heater. Out it came, in went organic mushrooms, after 4 hours out came dried. I ran out of #homemademustard during the festive season so started another jar, made my first ever bottle of #homemadevanillaextract using up remnants of vodka, sat a tub of yoghurt in the EasiYo in 35 C sun on the verandah, picked tiny zucchini -the last- and strawberries after I brought the washing in off the line. Another tray of #homegrowncherrytomatoes went in the oven… they came out slightly more caramelised than planned but definitely edible…ahhmmm… I might just have been a bit distracted with everything else happening. While I was doing my thing @welshy055 was doing his… cutting palings in prep for more wicking beds and offcuts in prep for winter fires. Finally, a much needed shot of chilled black coffee from the jar I stashed in the fridge to tempt me away from the mid-afternoon chocolate fix which has lately become too much of a habit… tg it’s almost the weekend. #frugalandfabulous2020 #LiveSimpleHomeMadeGrownLocalCreativeBetter ~ 9 January 2020
Collage 11 Jan 2020
So much good stuff from @dollysrun at today’s Taylors Arm Produce Pick Up and good chat. But afterwards straight to the kitchen… the latest batch of roasted balsamic cherry tomatoes came out nicely, I had saved some pickle juice -of course- so the green beans were a very quick pickle… and all week I have been looking forward to making slowcooker summer sauce with basil and garlic from our vege garden and the Roma tomatoes I had ordered. As usual while I was doing #mykitchenthing @welshy055 did his own jobs… aircon filters don’t clean themselves, nor do roofs and gutters and if we’re fortunate the weather forecast for rain might be right… this week, or next. So a tray of his favourite potato bake ‘cos he’s the bbq cook tonight. #livelovelocal #frugalandfabulous #LiveSimpleHomeMadeGrownLocalCreativeBetter #nofilter #realfoodreallife ~ 11 January 2020
Collage 11 January 2020 green peppers
As well as my order when I went to Taylors Arm Produce Pick Up this morning @dollysrun had picked me a few peppers! #bestneighbourever helped out and took half off my hands. The rest were stuffed… I mean I scavenged the fridge & freezer and came up with breadcrumbs, an egg, milk, cheese -cream, grated and parmesan, scraps of mortadella… assembled the filled peppers on a tray lined with baking paper drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, baked for 25 mins at 220 C. Served with a salad of @dollysrun cucumber and tomatoes, and 2 dipping mayo’s -sweet chiili and preserved lemon. Much fancier than our usual Saturday lunch but it’s been a busy week and morning… so well earned. #frugalandfabulous #livesimplehomemadegrownlocalcreativebetter ~ 11 January 2020
Collage 14 January 2020
Today we took a little trip over the mountain to #Bowraville via the back road through bushfire burned landscape. The bright For Sale sign in front of the sombre remains of a destroyed property enroute was poignant but not a subject for my photography. Instead, the purpose of my visit, to obtain resource materials from @nambuccavalleylandcare. That done, a little bit of browsing and #livelovelocal #shopsmall #buyinthebush retail therapy… a few groceries from the IGA, a stop at the bakery, stocked up on socks in the pharmacy… bamboo toothbrushes from Murphy’s coffee lounge gallery and good coffees at Le Maroc Cafe… then a detour to the river for Deez 🐾 on the way home. #payitforward #wereinthistogether #LiveSimpleHomeGrownMadeLocalCreativeBetter ~ 14 January 2020
Miso pork borth and jalapeno pickles
Things I wish I’d known when I was time poor #997 #998 and #999… #quickpickle #alwayssavethepicklejuice #eatyourleftovers … Jalapeno peppers from @dollysrun simmered in a saucepan of leftover pickle juice for 2 minutes then decanted into a sterilised jar. Store in fridge. On Monday I poached a shoulder of pork in the slowcooker with white miso broth and a handful of dried mushrooms… @welshy055 really likes having cold meat in the fridge. After 2 dinners and 1 sandwich I’ve eaten quite enough pork for the moment. However, the broth… goes into the freezer and comes out later for a quick meal of noodle soup or stirfy with veges. The chooks get the fat skimmed off the top. #frugalandfabulous #LiveSimpleHomeMadeLocalCreativeBetter ~ 15 January 2020
I knowz itz rainz but Iz needz swimz afta 🐶 🎾 Mummaz sayz to tellz you weez got more zan 40 mm so farz and itz still raining 🐾 #furchild #kooliesofinstagram #dogsofinstagram ~17 January 2020
Summer sauce_collage
#summerinajar … 2 kg #romatomatoes from @dollysrun + 3 cloves elephant garlic + 3 stems basil + olive oil & seasoning in slowcooker for a few hours. Blend. Suggestions… enjoy as a cool or warm soup, over pasta and seafood, or add roasted balsamic cherry tomatoes and ground meat/mince to make a rich bolognaise sauce, stash a few tubs in the freezer… #frugalandfabulous #LiveSimpleHomeGrownMadeLocalCreativeBetter #nofilter ‘cos it’s #realfood #reallife ~ 19 January 2020
Collage pawlownia
I ♡ the #paulowniatree … but they are notorious for dropping branches. However, all good so long as you aren’t beneath as the leaves are valuable for mulch & compost #dontlosetheleaves #paulowniatomentosa #inmygarden #permaculturetips #horticulturetips #LiveSimpleHomeGrownMadeLocalCreativeBetter ~ 19 January 2020
Collage 20 January
Appearances can be deceiving… this is not a chicken trailer, nor a fowl bowl… but chooks can’t read. And Deez isn’t inclined to share 🐾 But he’s otherwise engaged. And fones are not food for the feathered. #ladolcevita #kooliesofinstagram #chooksofinstagram ~ 20 January 2020
Snake Beans
Mixing it up… snake beans from @dollysrun courtesy of #taylorsarmproducepickup this morning, stirfried with red onion, red chillies and Moroccan seasoning from #affordablewholefoodscoffs ready to go with our Australia Day lamb BBQ tomorrow #frugalandfabulous #LiveSimpleHomeGrownMadeLocalCreativeBetter ~ 25 January 2020
Deez under desk
Of allz da yard an’ roomz dis iz da bezt spotz forz snooze. So happyz Mummaz moved herz chair 🐾 #kooliesofinstagram #dogsofinstagram ~ 28 January 2020

I’ll start back at my Tafe studies soon enough and day-to-day life will get busier. Until my next post, I think this is enough for you to go on with…

If you would like join my lovely Insta community, you can follow me @daleleelife101 and some other worthy Instagrammers I hang out with via the link to the right or below depending on which type of device you’re viewing this.

Between now and July 2020 I’m studying Certificate IV Permaculture via Tafe NSW and the National Environment Centre flexible online learning. Studying online, I discovered, involves a lot of writing. This year of study, I think, might lend itself to some blog posts… follow along if you are interested in learning what I learn during my permaculture journey.

13 thoughts on “January 2020 round-up

  1. I’m looking forward to getting down there and injecting some dollars into the local economy. Can you get hold of a bucket of that crazy good honey for us? I’m making the last of what you gave me stretch a looooong way. Mouse says Deez looks very happy in his pool and lying by your desk – hope it’s not quite as hot and humid as it is up here. (I must remember to bring Mouse’s quilt with us when we visit so he doesn’t hijack Deez’s mat again.)


    1. All support everywhere is welcome. I’m not sure about that same honey, and beekeeping & bushfires aren’t good companions but I’ll scout around. Hot and humid imo however not to the extent of FNQ, so I expect-hope the more southerly weather will be quite pleasant and balmy at the end of summer. Perhaps Mouse will try the pool.


      1. If not the honey, then I’ll see what else we can forage locally to take home with us/eat while we’re there. Mouse has been wary of his own pool up to now, but in the last few days has discovered the joys of the floodwater drain down the hill. Much bouncing around in that 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed reading your January summations today…while it’s RAINING! It’s just lightly raining at the moment, but we are due for 80% chance tomorrow and it was only 40% today so hope springs eternal. You have been so productive in your time off from TAFE, whereas I have not 🤷🏻‍♀️Many delicious looking things in your lovely kitchen. Thanks so much for the pingback on my blog post…it looks so strange to see my words quoted and I sometimes wonder ‘who wrote that?’ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a wonderful summation of your Summer, Dale. The poem made me stop and think! I notice that you have read Dark Emu. That, along with Bill Gammage’s book, has set me thinking, especially about fire management. Do you have any other suggestions to read?


    1. I’m still reading Dark Emu but the G.O. finished it in record time and has moved onto A Million Wild Acres by Eric Rolls, who has quite a few other books to his name that we’ll investigate. After that on his/our list is Bill Gammage’s The Biggest Estate on Earth. I recently heard about the Wooleen Way by David Pollock regarding regeneration of WA’s rangeland, and added it to our list.


  4. Lots of lovely links to savour when I have some lazy days in the Nanna van by the sea. That poem, ‘when the sea rises’ is pertinent and so beautiful- I’m printing this to give to seaside campers for their vans, hoping that it turns up annually in a secret cupboard or drawer over time.
    You have been rather busy Dale. I think it happens after the fire or threat of fire, living on the point of evacuation, red dust, storms, and climate emergency indicators. When things seem calm again, you just go flat out, knowing that time is limited before the next threat comes. It’s something immediately understood by those who live in the bush- always running on adrenaline: when city folk are directly affected with smoke and water restrictions, the message finally spreads. The personal is political and we all address this in different ways, though for me, the clock has stopped ticking: the time is now. I suspect this is how the remainder of summer will go for us.and in the future too.
    Inspiring as usual Dale, and if this is your holiday, I can’t imagine what your working life will bring..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m in love with ‘when the sea rises’ I found it via Linda Woodrow’s FB page. It was already urgent but is more so now… to learn, communicate, connect with and implement… but I’m in good company which is a balm to much of the idiocy which for the sake of sanity I mustn’t allow to unnerve me. There is much to be done.


  5. You have given us so many wonderful and enticing links to investigate! I have always longed for more time to research and explore writings and ideas of other like-minded people. I often wonder how you find time to write, take classes, cook, garden, and gosh knows what all you pack in a day! For now, I read when I can, do what I need to, and implement creativity and happiness in my work – loving the life I live. Yes, it’s difficult much of the time, and it’s easy to become frustrated and “unnerved” at the ignorance or maybe “idiocy” in all parts of the world, but we help bring that back to point with encouragement, teaching, and example. I love coming here for that very reason. Thank you so much for providing connections for deeper learning!


    1. I’m fortunate that much of what I do supports my lifestyle choices and requires me to read, watch and make and my wonderful social media/online community provides me with lots of material. But I try to only do what I can sanely accomplish… there’s very much an economy of scale. Thank you for reading and kindly commenting ♡

      Liked by 1 person

Comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.