Thursday, 17 July 2014

Week 20 - The Living Well in Retirement Weekly Challenge

The note pictured bought tears to my eyes.

We've had the pleasure of having two of our grandsons stay with us for the last week. They filled our days with their energy and love of life!

Wanting to 'write cursive' the 6 year old found a notebook and pen - and practiced. Of every single thing that he could have possibly written he chose to write 'I am happy' - three times!

It got me to thinking - isn't happiness that elusive state we all seek?

Your challenge this week is ...

... to be happy! After all, life is too short to be miserable!

Wishing you a week filled with happiness!



PS: I think someone wrote a song about that! Follow the link for a dose of 'Happy'!

Retirement Lifestyle ... this week

What an epic week its been! Week 6 of the beach house renovation felt a bit like one of those reality TV home renovation episodes. With a very tight timeline the pressure was on - and the team delivered!

I developed my rolling skills on endless lengths of skirting and architrave. Note the intense concentration!!!

Sophie perfected her door rolling skills!

John is now a dab hand at cutting in!

David excelled measuring, cutting and installing all the skirtings and architraves. There was a moment of drama when it became apparent that not all of the lengths needed had been delivered. Some quick phone calls and John was able to purchase what was needed from another supplier. An early morning trip into Port Lincoln with the trailer, and the problem was solved!

Nothing like an offcut of skirting to double as a notebook!

John measured the boys on the wall they had painted! They signed and dated the marks which will be behind the kitchen splashback. Who knows - maybe it will be our grandchildren who do the next renovation!

Admiring our handiwork after a late finish. The kitchen is due tomorrow!

The all important tea and coffee bar - a makeshift setup on the tank stand!

The kitchen arrived! Unfortunately it was minus the new refrigerator and range hood - but they are on the way so we're told!

They are my cupboards! Do you think I have enough?

The cupboard cases are up - and I think it's going to look OK!

That's my splashback! Sadly it can't be installed until the rangehood arrives.

We replaced the old ceiling fans that were 'a bit 80's'!

If in doubt - follow the instructions!

In an amazing coincidence the fans we selected perfectly match the gorgeous colour of the walls!

And, yes - today the carpets have arrived!

While we worked the boys entertained themselves playing footy, searching for kangaroos in the scrub and then they discovered the Hills Hoist! A South Australian icon, every good South Aussie kid has swung on the Hills Hoist in Granny's backyard!

As well as helping with the painting I kept hot food up to everyone, entertained the boys - and took them fishing in the freezing cold when I would rather have been in my uggies making soup in the warmth of the kitchen! 

It was another week of appalling weather but a bright note was this beautiful double rainbow over Boston Bay and Port Lincoln. It was so close we could almost see that pot of gold!

Some links to explore this weekend ...

  • As I mentioned above - it's been soup weather here at Coffin Bay. Here's one of our favourite soups.
  • It's also been perfect weather for enjoying decadent cups of steaming hot chocolate!
  • Throwing the food program out the window I baked a luscious chocolate self saucing pudding for sweets the other night. It looked very much like this pudding.
  • Looking for inspiration to redecorate the renovated beach house I stumbled across this fabulous Australian online shop!
  • RV and caravaning - if you are in need of hints and tips to make your on-road adventures as enjoyable as possible here's a Pinterest board by Let's Retire that might interest you.

I hope that you, too, have enjoyed a great week!



Friday, 11 July 2014

Retirement Lifestyle ... this week

The beach house renovation continues! It's Week 5.

Again this week wild, wild weather lashed the bay. This large catamaran broke it's moorings and was blown towards the beach in front of our beach house. Fortunately a chain it was dragging caught on this jetty and prevented it from beaching. Rescue was challenging - and kept us entertained for a couple of hours.

Richie the tiler applied the grout - and the tiling was complete. He has done an amazing job. John has painted the ceilings and so the bathrooms are now ready for the second fix!

The flushing team arrived. We were so impressed with their teamwork and the quality of their work. Three days and they were done!

Mixers are not only useful in the kitchen!!!

Oh, the dust left after the flushing team had completed sanding back! I used a broom to sweep it from the walls to ready them for undercoating. I can recommend this activity as a great little workout for the shoulder and tricep muscles!

Grandsons 1 and 2 were great little helpers painting on the undercoat in the kitchen - behind where the cupboards will go!

The undercoat is on the walls, the ceiling has been painted twice - and the LED downlights are in!

I really, really, really loved this colour - and had intended to use it for a feature wall in the front bedrooms. Unfortunately it just doesn't work as I had intended - so it was a bit of a pipe dream really! Oh well, back to the drawing board!

We are painting the walls throughout a paler shade of grey - Magnesium - from the Taubmanns colour range. Woodwork will be painted polar white to contrast.

Daughter, Sophie and son-in-law, David have flown in for a few days to project manage/assist us! Sophie and I have the job of cleaning and painting the architraves and skirting boards. This is just a few of them!

To complete an amazing week the kitchen people rang yesterday to say that the kitchen will go in ... on Monday!!! No pressure to get the painting done at all!

Please share any painting tips that you swear by - I'm in need of all the help I can get!

Some links to explore this weekend

  • I'm sure it's not too late to participate in Dry July - a fundraiser that challenges you to go booze-free for a month to support adults living with cancer. A great cause - give it your support!
  • To support Dry Julyers - a mocktail to sip on this weekend!
  • If you are heading off on a travel adventure anytime soon here are 50 travel tips worth knowing.
  • Cooking for a crowd in this freezing winter weather! This Big Ass Chilli might hit the spot!
  • Stay healthy this winter with these health tips.

Have a great week!



Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Week 19 - The Living Well in Retirement Weekly Challenge

I made filo pastry this week - from scratch!

When it's so easily purchased from the supermarket - why go to the trouble you may ask!

Well, firstly, my mother-in-law taught me. Secondly, it's quite easy to make. Thirdly - and most importantly - handmade filo is so far superior to the supermarket variety that once you've tried it you will not buy another sheet!

Marrying into a Greek family I have come to love and appreciate the beautiful flavours of Greek food, and am keen to learn the secrets and techniques in order to prepare food that is authentic in every possible way.

I have increasingly valued my family's culinary history - and that of my husband's family - since the loss of my parents several years ago. It was only then that I realised that there were many precious, memory laden recipes that I didn't know, didn't have a copy of, and had now missed the chance to record.

My wonderful mother-in-law - an amazing cook and now 87 years young - has no daughters to pass her family recipes and culinary history on to - and I am her only daughter-in-law. I feel privileged to be the custodian of recipes that have been handed down through generations of mothers to daughters in her family.

In the past I have kept family recipes in my tattered and stained 'Brown Book'. Reading through it always brings back wonderful memories. Family recipes include ones named Aunty Faye's Biscuits, Aunty Valda's Asparagus Quiche, Mum's Apple Slice, Gran's Cheese Pie and Great Grandmother's Wedding or Christmas Cake.

Last year I started my food blog Apricot Tart as a place to record my favourite recipes. I've decided that, as means of paying homeage to all the great cooks in my family, I will also begin recording precious family recipes here as well .

What is your family's culinary history? How are precious recipes recorded and shared among family members?

Your retirement challenge this week

... is to track down, record and share a precious family recipe that you would not want to be lost to time.

You might even want to make the recipe for old time's sake - and reacquaint yourself with an old favourite!

I would love to hear about what you save!

Have a great week!



Thursday, 3 July 2014

Retirement Lifestyle ... this week

It's Week 4 of our beach house renovation!  It's hard to believe that it's been a month since we started!

Here's what's been on the go this week!

Tiling in the first bathroom was completed. This will be a combined bathroom and laundry - with a shower, vanity and second toilet plus be home to the washing machine and clothes drier.

Work started on the Master bathroom.

Richie the Tiler anticipates he will have three spare wall tiles left when he has finished!

Two walls and the floor of the Master bathroom done.

Richie the Tiler is meticulous in his work. This is getting the tricky corner tiles correct on the spa bath.

We arrived back from Port Lincoln yesterday afternoon to find supplies for the flushing of the gyprock walls had been delivered. Matt the Gyprocker says the flushing should be finished early next week!

More flushing supplies!

And yes, we have a few serious buckets of paint!!! There's a bit of work here - we are doing the painting ourselves!

The new kitchen will go on this wall! Apparently the kitchen could be ready for installation within two weeks! We had better get a wriggle on with that painting so that all is in readiness!

I can't wait for the big reveal! Stay tuned - it's getting closer!

We will be battening down the hatches again this next week - there's more rain coming according to the activity of the local ant population!

Have a great week!



Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Week 18 - The Living Well in Retirement Weekly Challenge

Disaster struck yesterday morning!

Having spent a whirlwind couple of days back in Adelaide, I leave you to imagine my absolute horror at discovering that I had left my makeup bag behind!

Now I don't know about you - but if I were marooned on a desert island I would give anything to have my favourite Lancome Hypnose mascara with me! I have worn Lancome mascaras for years, and until yesterday morning had not had to imagine life without it. Until this point I had not realised how brand loyal I had become!

Of course it meant a detour to the main shopping precinct in Port Augusta to purchase products to tide me over. I was pleasantly surprised at the range of brands available available in Big W, leaving with Maybelline mascara and 24 hour Super Stay lip colour, a Rimmel soft kohl pencil and a pair of Manicare nail shapers. These are products I have not used before so in due time I'll let you know how they go!

This leads me to ...

This Week's Retirement Challenge!

Your challenge is to think of a branded product that you always go to. It might be baked beans, toilet paper, wine ... or mascara!

Imagine that for this week your favourite product has flown off the planet - and you have to find, and try, an alternative! Challenging isn't it! 

But, give it a go - and let me know how it went for you!

Important Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, rather a true account of what actually happened! 
Mind you, I'm thinking that after this I might be in a position to review beauty products aimed at the ... shall we say ... mature market!

Retirement Lifestyle ... this week

Week 3 of our beach house renovation has come and gone! Here's what happened!

The week started with an incredible storm - the wildest weather I have ever experienced in Coffin Bay. Thank goodness all our work is now inside!

One of the old fishing boats broke it's moorings during the storm and washed up against the rocks in the Oyster Farm. I love how it was lashed to a stobie pole for safe keeping!!!

As promised all the bathroom fittings were delivered from Port Lincoln on Monday morning, despite the weather. All that's in the back of that ute is ours!

We have a spa bath!

We are good at checking paperwork! Attention to detail is important when an error or omission means a 90 kilometre round trip to make things right!!!

And, the spa is in!!! Can't wait to soak in this little baby!

John and Pete the builder began putting the gyprock up. This is John in his supervisior's position - he hasn't lost his touch at all!!!

The first bedroom wall of gyprock is complete. The house is starting to come together!

My new kitchen will go in here! I hope it turns out OK! I'm a bit anxious!

The tiling work began. This is Richie the tiler about to lay the first floor tile.

The floor of the first bathroom down! The broom handle is prevent any of us from wandering in before the tiles have stuck!

As we left for Adelaide at lunch time on Thursday, Richie the tiler was onto the second wall. It's starting to look good!

There's going to be some cleaning up to do before we finish - not that we will mind at all!

I loved this shot - it's a patch on the tiler's cutting bench. I think it looks like a piece of abstract art!

And the purpose of our flying trip to Adelaide for the weekend - to attend the Showdown! Oh, and to catch up with family, and to do a spot of shopping in the sales! 

It was a great win by the Crows - I still have a warm glow from it!!!

I do hope yours was great week as well!