Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Selections # 316

Welcome back to Sunday Selections.

Begun way back in the mist of time by Kim of Frog Ponds Rock and now continued by me, with a drastic relaxation of rules.

Originally meant for showcasing old photos lost on your files, never seeing the light of day, the meme has morphed into photos of your choice, new or old, good or not-so-good, anything you please, but nothing rude please.

If you are participating, please leave me a comment so I can buzz along and have a look.
Elephant's Child usually participates, and her pictures are always worth seeing, but EC is currently taking a break.

Today's selection wasn't planned, I had nothing prepared and haven't been taking the camera out much.
So here's what I've been doing recently:

I emptied my pantry onto every available surface, the blue buckets you see still in there are full of moisture absorbing crystals, without them every cupboard in the house has a very musty damp smell and things like clothes could possibly grow mould. I'm allergic to mould, so I've had these buckets since I moved in and buy new crystals every three months.
What you see here in this camera angle is almost all of my kitchen.

this is the rest of the kitchen, opposite the sink is the fridge and that's all there is.
Anyway, I decided it was time for a clean out. There were things in there that I just don't cook with anymore, I've been kidding myself that maybe one day I'll cook and bake again like I used to. After five years here, I know that's not happening, so a ton of stuff ended up

here. Sago, coconut both flaked and dessicated, flavouring essences and colourings, spices, all gone. I even found a packet of Devil's Food chocolate cake mix from 2014 that I'd planned to use as a base for a Black Forest Cake. That's gone too.  There's so much space in there now. The baking pans and cookie sheets got packed away long ago. Some will be used again at Christmas, then they'll get packed away again, just like Christmas decorations.

Away from home, I've been helping with cutting back shrubbery that is wildly overgrown. 

this beautiful white buddleia is the only remaining one of three original plantings, the white, a purple and a pink.
It hasn't been cut back or even trimmed in 15 years. It's huge!

Here it is fighting for space with the Murraya. When first planted, the tag on the Murraya suggested it would grow to maybe one and a half metres. Now, it's as tall as the house and completely covered in

highly scented, hayfever inducing small white flowers several times a year. Planting this was a big mistake. Not only do the house occupants suffer, but so do the neighbours and of course, me. This has to go.

I started with the buddleia,

with all the deadwood hiding behind the facade of flowers.

I soon discovered the gnarly old base,

and the beginning of the path that runs along the front edge of the original, quite small, garden bed.Still a lot of cutting back to be done here and I've filled the wheelie green waste bin twice already.

Further along are the rocks that marked the end of the bed, taking over where the path finished. Years ago, this is where the lawn grew up to, now it has been covered in deadfall and shade so long the grass has long since died. Hopefully I can get it growing there again.

this is the base of the Murraya. Once I have enough space from cutting back the Buddleia, I'll start reducing this by sawing off the branches that hang over towards the lawn. I'll leave them where they fall to dry and then they'll get sawn up and put in the bin. The council takes all green waste and makes mulch from it, so at least it will still be of some use. I hope to eventually reduce it to the point where I can cut the main trunk and (close your ears plant lovers) poison it. Harsh, but necessary, the elderly neighbour doesn't need to keep suffering from something I planted, not knowing the eventual effects.

Now what could this be? A largish lump under the quilt, which moves when I touch it.

It's Angel of course, and when I walked around the other side of the bed to photograph his pretty face,

he woke up and caught me.
Sometime last week, I told Delores I would take photos of the dry foods Angel eats to control the hairballs.

Here are the foods: the blue edged packet contains salmon, whitefish and olive oil  and is for skin and coat conditioning; the black edged packet contains chicken and turkey with cranberry and is for improved digestion and hairball control.

As well as the dry food, Angel eats two cans daily of wet food, an 85gram can, morning and night, containing tuna and barramundi. He used to eat other flavours, but now he's down to this one only.

Angel also gets these "treats". The red packet has Kangaroo Snackers, the blue has Liver Bites. He LOVES them and gets just a few mixed into his dry food after he finishes the wet fish food.  He has learned to wait for them, sitting in the kitchen doorway after eating the wet food and watching me until I get up and reach for the treats.
 With the food and the treats, I mix both varieties in plastic containers, to be sure he gets a bit of everything.

You'll notice the packets are Grain Free, there is no cereal filling in any of Angel's food; even the wet food, labelled "responsibly fished" contains only tuna, barramundi and a little chicken mince along with gelling agents (so it isn't watery),  vitamins, minerals, and Taurine which is so important for cats although I don't remember why. Eyesight? Nerves?
Anyway, Angel is thriving on this diet, with a good appetite and a lush and silky coat, when it isn't all matted with prickly grass seed heads. 



  1. I often wondered about those moisture absorbing buckets of stuff. Can't the crystals be dried (like in the oven) to use over again? I know what you mean about keeping things with the plan of maybe using them again. DH said I should get rid of my bread machine on the counter (because there is nowhere else to put it) Sigh ... Not even my son wants it, I loved it, but I haven't used it in years.
    Oh, no, the stinky plant! Not sure but I believe it's like the ones here, the city is full of it and the smell and pollen is so THICK in season. Awful!
    Fond memories of "Angel" type lumps in the bed. Sigh ... He is a sweetie!

    1. S.J.Qualls; the crystals absorb the moisture to the point where they also dissolve into liquid which is then poured down the drain, the containers rinsed out and dried, then refilled with fresh crystals.
      We have many "stinky" plants here, most of them in yards belonging to other people, so I can't do anything about them and I'm careful now to not plant anything near my home that would affect me. This particular one is in the yard of my kids home where I used to live and since I visit often, it has to go, especially since I learned the elderly neighbour also suffers from the headaches it causes.

  2. What a lot of work, cleaning up those years old beds. My sympathy.
    We switched all the animals to grain free feeds years ago, for the cairns. Now I just have Toby. I buy a big bag and it lasts six months. I was feeling guilty the last time I bought one and realized it was six months. Next time something smaller. Dry or no, it must get stale. He won't eat any treat; his idea of good stuff is the occasional crumb on the kitchen floor.

    1. Joanne; it's only one small garden bed, but the plants have grown too huge. Once the Buddleia is under control I'll get rid of the other over time. I can't do too much at once or my neck and shoulders seize up, so it's a long term project. Something that makes sure I get my lazy butt out of bed!
      I buy small packets of Angel's food, 500grams and the treats are 100grams, so there's no chance of getting stale. His other favourite treat is a half teaspoon of icecream whenever I'm having some. He gets the melted scraping from the bottom of the bowl.

  3. Isn't it funny how quickly time seems to pass when it comes to the things hidden in your kitchen pantry? The only kind of shopping I enjoy is grocery shopping, so I sometimes buy things with all good intentions of using it... one of these days. A good ten percent of that stuff ends up in the garbage because it passes its expiration date before I find one of those round tuits.

    Wow, that's quite a job taking down those bushes. I think I'd rather clean out the kitchen cabinets... :)

    1. Susan; I'm being tough with myself now when shopping for groceries; I look at the items I want and ask myself will I really make this or am I kidding myself. 99% of the time, the item stays on the shelf, kit isn't worth the time and effort to create something for myself from a recipe that used to feed six. Cutting down the recipe to feed just me is too much bother when I still have to clean up the same amount of dishes after.
      Taking down the bushes is actually more fun than it sounds. I don't have a time limit and can work at my own pace. I'm enjoying creating order from chaos.

  4. BB, the orange cat, calls that 'lumping'.

    1. Grace; it's the perfect name for it.

  5. Reading about all your work exhausted me; I think I'll go take a nap!!

  6. Could you teach my wife what a bin is for?

    1. joeh; probably not, she seems set in her ways :(

  7. That happens so often with plants, that they grow much larger than indicated on the label. It is very satisfying to have a cupboard clean out. Can you still buy desiccated coconut? I used to always call it desecrated coconut.

    1. Andrew; plant labels are almost always wrong. It all depends on what kind of soil and care the plants get and of course conditions are vastly different in all areas of Australia, so the origin of plants can't be taken into account.
      Of course you can still buy dessicated coconut, people have to be able to make their traditional Australia Day lamingtons.

  8. I need to do a good de-cluttering of my food cupboards, too...not today, though. I made 120 savoury mini muffins yesterday to take with me to a 40th wedding anniversary afternoon tea party this afternoon hosted by my ex-sister-in-law and her husband. They live just around the corner a bit from where I live. (My ex and I, of course, attended their wedding back in 1977).

    My two rascals have "wet" food of some type (always a variety of seafood) in the mornings for their breakfast when they and me rise; but for their main meal late afternoon that they graze on through the night is always fresh meat. They'd think something was wrong if they didn't get their fresh beef. I cut it up for them and the birds get the off-cuts...they, the birds, would think their throats were cut, too, if they didn't get their share! A bowl of dry food is always part of Remy and Shama's smorgasbord, too; and they pick at it whenever the mood strikes.

    Have a great week, River...cuddles to Angel. :) (Tonight is a good night...Red is back!) :)

    1. Lee; 120 mini savouries? yum. You still do more cooking than I do, so a clean out probably isn't as necessary. I don't take food to family gatherings these days, I offer but usually I'm refused. Most gatherings are held in restaurants or other places now anyway and the next "big thing", my grand daughter's wedding will be catered.
      Angel gets raw beef occasionally, whenever I have a steak for dinner I buy one a little larger than necessary and cut up about a handful for him.
      It's about time Red got back to our TVs and the show in America is taking a break until April so maybe we'll be caught up by the time it gets back again. In the meantime, the spin-off Redemption, starts this week in America, so I'm looking forward to that.

    2. No! No! I don't do much cooking these days, River, not if I can help it.

      I couldn't get out of this one, and my hips from standing so long on the hard, tiled surface of my kitchen are telling me I'm an idiot and I should've said "No!" Emphatically, "No!"

      I've been trapped into another similar affair this coming June...I might have recovered by then!! The June one is a celebration of he 100th birthday of a friend's mother...and I think the whole of Qld and NSW are attending!!!

      I've just showered and dressing ready to hit the party circuit! I'd rather be staying home! lol

  9. I do think it's a great idea to have a good sort out every once in a while ...

    Lovely to see all of your photo's, especially Angel, glad he is doing well.

    All the best Jan

    1. Lowcarb team member; I do a clean out a couple of times a year, but this one was more drastic. I stopped kidding myself.
      Angel is doing so much better since his shave, he came back from the vet more comfortable and with renewed appetite. He is also drinking more water, which I'm happy about.

  10. You look more ambitions then I do.
    Coffee is on

    1. Dora; I like pottering in gardens and since I can't do much in mine right now, I'm tasking care of this overgrowth for my kids. They got a quote from a gardening firm that was way too high for their budget, so I said I'd see what I can do. I'm taking my time, since I have physical limitations, after each session my neck and shoulders need a week to recover.

  11. You have been busy, I must do the same out the front but was waiting till the weather cooled maybe in May, plenty of time to think about it.

  12. Merle; I was planning to do as much more as I could this week, but I've just seen the weather forecast, 37C for most days, so I'll be taking it easy instead.

  13. Wow, you sure stayed busy. I should do exactly the same with my kitchen pantry but don't have the inspiration yet. I did post some Sunday Selections on my blog. I am missing E.C. aren't you?

    1. Granny Annie; I'm missing EC very much, I send her an email now and again, just to say hello and see how she is.
      Waiting for inspiration is a good idea for the pantry, one day you'll wake up and say I really must get rid of all this stuff and that will be the day.

  14. I've been off the computer for a week and I see you have been extremely busy. (I have had out of town guests for the week)

    I totally understand the need to divest the pantry of old and un-used items. With just the two of us now, so many things don't get used up before they are stale or outdated.

    Love your pictures of your gardening endeavors. Things are starting to bud out here for our Spring but it is early and there is a likelihood of another freeze which will cause havoc.

    Angel is just adorable.