Monthly Archives: May 2013


At 4am I leapt out of bed as I was rudely awoken by a crash in the front garden.

I grabbed a torch and opened the side door and guess what greeted me. SNOW!  The biggest dump of snow I’ve seen in many a year.

I found Ruby’s gumboots and ventured out into the white stuff to see what the noise was all about.  Thankfully it wasn’t a snow laden branch crashing down but a large dollop of snow had fallen from a branch on the almond tree onto the ferret trap, setting it off.

By 7:30am  there was enough light to see exactly how much snow had actually fallen.

The Benger Mountain Range is completely covered and snow has completely blanketed the  gardens and orchard.

Sam and Ruby have inherited my love of photography so they were out the door at first light and captured many excellent images.

Aunty Belle assured me she would watch the snow through the window and glass door in the lounge from the safety of her chair.  Absolutely no interest in venturing outside.  I didn’t raise a fool!

Only us three idiots were traipsing around outside!

I spent an hour or so knocking snow off my young trees in the garden which are now bent over from the weight of the snow.


It’s now 2:30pm and the snow has been coming and going all day.

The temperature has reached 1 degree.

Yahoo…a heat wave!


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Sandra’s Simple Cheesecake (1975)

100g melted butter
1  packet malt  biscuits
1x can sweetened condensed milk
500g cream cheese
1 heaped  tsp finely grated lemon rind
1/2 cup lemon juice


Place butter and biscuits in a food processor and pulse to a crumb consistency.

Press crumbs over the base of a greased 22 cm fluted flan dish with a loose base or a pie plate.

Beat all the other ingredients until smooth or whizz them up in a food processor.

Pour mixture over the biscuit base.

Pour  a layer of passion fruit over the top.

Freeze for a few hours until set.


When serving, let it sit for a while so it softens and then it becomes a melt in your mouth experience.

You can jazz it up with whipped cream and more passion fruit if you like.

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Ask Aunty S

Dear Aunty S

My 16 year old teenage son has been driving drunk and  when I tell him to stop this behaviour  he  either ignores me or tells me it’s none of my business.

He goes out with his friends most nights.

I am so frightened that he’ll kill himself.  And it’s actually my old car that he drives.  He knows not to drive my good car so I am grateful for that.

What do you suggest I do?

Aunty S Responds:

He won’t get it out of the garage with four flat tyres!

Or ask the local mechanic to immobilize it.

It’s your car and as long as you don’t claim the insurance,  you can legally set it on fire in the back paddock if you like.  “Obviously when there isn’t a Fire Ban on”  Or  better still smash it to smithereens.

Or phone the Police and tell them he’s driving whilst under the influence and let them deal with him.

Imagine seeing him and his mates lying in coffins and then the realization hits home that you could have done something.

Backbone,  my dear,  is what is required in a situation like this.


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Lemon Balm




Lemon Balm is a herbaceous perennial.

It is a member of the mint family and has a delicate lemon scent.

The fresh or dried leaves can be made into a calming tea that is used to treat stress and indigestion.

Pick fresh leaves and cut up to release oils and place in a cup.
Pour boiling water over and let steep for about 5 minutes.
You can add honey or lemon juice if you like.

Or you can make the drink with double the amount of lemon balm
and pour it over ice cubes and have a lovely refreshing drink.

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Ask Aunty S

Dear Aunty S

I have a wonderful friend who has raised three children on her own for many years now.

She is an amazingly strong woman and a fantastic mother.

When things are tough whether it be exhaustion at work or money worries, she smiles at the world and pretends everything is all right.

She has an infectious laugh and has brightened many a person’s day with it.

When my husband died, she was just so amazing to my family and I.

She cried with us, was there for us on a continual basis, and still is.  During the first few months of raw grief I always knew my children or I could ring her up and we could cry together.

On my first birthday without my husband she and some of her family made a surprise visit with cakes and presents.

How do I repay such kindness?

Any ideas?


Aunty S Responds:

The answer is simple my dear.

Treasure your friendship forever and never let her down.

How fortunate you are to have her in your life.

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My First Blog Post!

Well here I am, resting my feet after another long day of work and I must say I will be eternally grateful to the person who invented the La-Z-Boy chair.
My chair entices me into its bosom after a day’s work.

Come on Sandra, you know you want to sit down and flick my handle. Tea can wait another minute or two.

OK the chair usually wins as it would be impolite to refuse such a forceful request.

I can’t believe its May. The freezing cold weather is just around the corner. Oh Yay

We closed the Fruit Stall a few days ago so life isn’t quite as hectic as usual. But of course there is a million clean-up jobs before winter really kicks in. Sam has made a good start with pruning so he’s happy. I’m too old and worn out to prune these days and he has made it clear that it is his domain anyway. No worries there Sam!
The drought this summer has seen two of my established Pittosporums die. I can now officially call myself a “Tree Killer”. I shed a few tears; well actually maybe more than a few. They were like old friends well actually they were as I’d planted them as little seedlings.
Some days I was simply exhausted running around in my spare time moving hoses and somehow I overlooked them.
This tree killing has reminded me of twenty-one years ago when a severe drought descended upon our Valley and a dear elderly customer popped in to purchase some Roxburgh Red Apricots. He was in tears as he had lost some of his trees due to lack of water on his property. I remember very clearly how I listened to his sadness and here I am feeling the same way. I found out later that he was in the early stages of dementia and his garden was his everything. Poor dear man.
On a lighter note, Ruby is busy propagating her Ornamental Grasses for next season.
Cleaning up the vege gardens before the ground freezes is also a top priority and it feels like we may have a good frost tonight.
Back in late December/early January, a plague of rabbits stripped her pea and broad bean patches and also the majority of her lettuces. She worked so hard to have them on the Stall for Xmas-New Year. She is a very resilient gardener.
I’m terrified that a good wind will blow her off the Orchard as she is such a tiny wee work horse. (kidding)
She worked like a trogan in the Fruit Stall from early December through to the other day. 5am starts and very late finishes.
She loves her career change.
She has also worked out how to use the battery operated pruners so will be giving Sam a hand when she has some spare time.

Now let’s talk about rabbits. It’s been our worst year for them in such a long time.
Sam would kill thirty in an evening and another forty would be waiting for him the next morning on his way to work. They are such cheeky little blighters. I swear I saw one wave to me one morning and it wasn’t a very dignified wave! And to add insult to injury they ate all the flowers in the memorial garden Ruby made for Alex and Mum in our front lawn.
They are noticeable by their absence at present. Probably regrouping to work out a strategic plan of attack for next season!

And don’t get me started on starlings!!! I have never seen anything like it in the 22 years I’ve been here.
The damage they did to the fruit was horrendous.
End of bleating. (for now)

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