Aug 26, 2011

On My Mind - Lions & Tigers and Oh My

Today I am taking part in On My Mind over at Down to Earth -
This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. To take part, post a photo on your own blog, write a short caption explaining it. Then scoot over to On My Mind at Down To Earth  leave a comment and post your link there. Great way to meet your blog neighbours.

On My Mind ....

A day so special, I can barely find the words to express it.. my husband has been on leave for a week, and he arranged a secret date with me.. little did I know, it was a behind the scenes, with the zoo keepers from Melbourne Zoo. It was an amazing experience with these beautiful animals.. and enlightening talking about their natural habitat and the issues they faced , with Mike who had just recently returned from 6 months in Borneo. My husband knows my heart and not a greater gift could he have given me.. yesterday will be treasured always. 

Aug 18, 2011

Aug 12, 2011

On My Mind - Feeling Connected

Today I am taking part in On My Mind over at Down to Earth, Please join in by following the link.

On My Mind....

We had a beautiful taste of spring here last week; the weather was unseasonably warm and the sun, while still low in the sky, shone.Seeing this photo this morning reminded me, how much pleasure I get from washing up at this sink. A few of my favourite things line the window ledge and I have a wonderful view into a wee garden where lilies and lavender grow.  The sun on the leaves of the gum tree sparkled like jewels and I feel refreshed by the breeze that comes through the window. I can look over the golf course which looks more like a huge park filled with gums and pines. So even on those days when my health is not doing my day justice, I still feel connected to my home and nature while working at my kitchen sink.

Aug 4, 2011

H triple M - Hmmm

The other day I was out front, putting a few pansy's into a planter box, and as I walked past a container near the front door, that homed my red geranium - I had a look at it and thought how the winter had been a little rough on the coconut fibre inner, it was all falling apart.. I decided this weekend I would take a trip to the garden centre and get a new one,.. here it is below in all it's scruffy glory.

Now this morning I was sitting at the computer doing a little work - The computer is right beside the window looking over the front lawn, and as I was sat, I noticed a little movement out of the corner of my eye.. Thinking it was the crow that comes up to the floor length window to peek in at me most days, I turned for a look... nope not a crow to be seen... but there was a visitor - A Magpie.. some folk hate them as they are very territorial in breeding season, but I really like them..

Be gentle on the photographer,  these photos where taken hastily, between a gap in the blind, through the glass of a closed window, which is covered in fly mesh.. so some are a little funky.
Now it took a double take to realize what this bird was up to.. hmmm

I think I might hold off on replacing this liner as it was not a cold, blustery winter that had reeked havoc on my coconut coir, pot liner! It was Mrs Maggie Pie, tugging out the fibres, until her beak was suitably full.. Well, I may have a scruffy planter, but I am feeling a little blessed to know it has gone to a good cause, and she will have a warm and cosy nest for her family and really isn't that what we all strive for. 

Aug 2, 2011

My first article - Pagan Pages

For those who are interested, my first article is up on Pagan Pages. If you would like to pop over and have a wee read, it is here Hedge and Hearth. If the name sounds familiar it is because it was the name of my old blog...

The wheel is turning and while it is hard to imagine spring here soon, we are celebrating it's return today, the earth is warming, days are longer and  life energy is building within the dormant seed.. Bone Mother will soon be seeking other places to roam. The Maiden is returning and the God is young and full of life...
Blessed Imbolc to those brothers and sisters down here in the south and to those of you celebrating in the North, Lughnasadh blessings to you, as you partake in the fruits of the harvest....

Aug 1, 2011

Animals are not immune.

Many of us are turning away from processed food and are moving back to simple, honest home made food., be it organic or not we no longer want to ingest chemicals and preservatives that can cause us ill health, not to mention those allergies so many folk are falling victim to these days so with our families making a change - what of our 4 legged family members? Do we still feed them things out of a can or out of a plastic tube? I used to and my dog itched and scratched. I even found a docking ring in one roll - seriously. It was not part of the animals 'pluckings' it was a bright orange docking ring. I was horrified! so I started my dog on chicken and some kibble. Wow he itched and scratched worse than ever.. how off to the vet we went.
I had a rather enlightening conversation with our vet. Did you know most dogs who have allergies, that are not due to plant contact actually come from chicken, beef and wheat. My vet suggested a couple of options, a kibble made from beetroot and potato or I could make my own.. I opted for the bought variety, partly through ease of use and secondly my dog is a fussy little feral. The result of this diet was a little butter ball on legs.

In the last month I have changed from the vets kibble and now make him a mix he loves, much to my surprise. There are a number of recipes for home made, economical dog food.. however they don't seem to cater to the poochikin with an allergy. No wheat, no chicken, no beef. What does that leave us with.. Well, not many people have the suggested Emu tucked in the deep freeze - don't shoot the messenger here ok, but Kangaroo is another good choice for the allergic dog -  then there is Turkey, which is what I use ( Mr P doesn't like Kangaroo) to bulk it up we have to find a wheat free alternative, so we use Barely and Balsamic rice but potatoes, is another good additive.
I made a batch today. I got two turkey drumsticks - $7.40 - yes they where drumsticks.. I forgot to photograph them first :-P  I simmer them for a couple of hours in enough water to just cover them.

Now there is another photo missing here, the barely and rice.  So in the pot below is 1/3 of a cup of rice and 1/2 a cup of barley, which I soaked overnight in water - then drained and added to the stock the drumstick were cooked in. 

Then I add the chopped turkey leg meat there is good amount of meat here.

I then grate up a carrot, and add a very large clove of garlic

Now your pooch may be more accepting of veg then mine, so I only add 1/2 cup of mixed vege (peas, carrot and corn), I am going to slowly start to add a wee bit more broccoli etc. 
I cooked all this for about 30 to 45 minutes, it really depends on the barley and how quick it is cooking, do soak it though, it makes for faster cooking and makes it a little more digestible.
When it is cooked, I take it off the heat, add 1/3 of a cup of canola oil.. This helps with the coat and skin and also helps there... number 2's.

Here it is close up.. now I have got a teaspoon and eaten it.. gosh it is good. Turkey leg has such good flavour, so even the fussiest hound with eat it.. now if you have a whopping hulk of a dog, just double or treble the recipe.. 

I put this mix into old canola spread or butter containers.. there are three, 1/2 cup portions per pot.. one pot will do him three days..

I do not count the cost of the barley, rice or vege, as it is something already in the house.. so for a few cents over $7.00  for 2.5 weeks meals, it is economical.. but this was not all about cost, it was about my dog not turning into a mini blimp while eating calorie ridden " vet formula"  and to ease the discomfort he has with food allergies. Yes, this mix has made a difference to him, so the time I take to make it is worth it.. and if we ever run short of a meal, I know where to find one in the freezer :-)