Rain, Excitement and Dates.

rainI never realized when I lived in the city. The outpourings from the sky were a nuisance. I had a life to lead, time to play, and I found it cramped my style. It made me miserable and grumpy.

Rain.

That’s what I’m talking about!

I smile now, when it rains.

I live in the country and try to grow my own food. Admittedly, I have to fight snails, slugs, rats, possums, kangaroos, wallabies and other sundry animals who love the tenderness of fresh growing food – but I persevere.  So … when it rains, I get excited.

The soil greets the water like a long lost friend, and the plants lift their leaves heavenward with gratitude. There is excitement in the air. Farmers around here are delighted – and ask for more. Even when it floods, the ground water is topped up, even though so much water always runs away, and sometimes creates sour soil.

I always consider it amazing that I can diligently water the garden with the collected rain water in my tank, but the plants do so much better with the offerings from the clouds.

I always wondered why – but the truth is, the Earth is full of wondrous events, and rain, as it falls collects all sorts of minerals and bacteria that the soil needs. That is the horror of our neglect – that when ‘acid’ rain falls – it has collected the chemicals so thoughtlessly spread about our globe, often by unthinking communities.Earth

I could turn this post into a diatribe about the awful effects of mankind, but I refuse. We have a beautiful planet on which we live and need to learn appreciation and love for our environment instead.

Let’s make a date – let’s create a feeling of thankfulness, and – like Earth Day – and the turning off of lights to conserve the energy of our home – let’s form a time when we all agree to create a better Earth around our small area of paradise.

I am aware that many places on Earth are ravaged by war, poverty and violence. Places and companies that scarify the beauty, but with one step at a time, one place at a time, one person at a time, we can make a difference. I am also aware that many of us are already trying our best to improve the way our society treats our planet.

Keep going and keep hoping.

Start now – in your own small way, and let’s hope we can grow the movement into a huge benefit for our planet. Let’s make this dream a reality, too.

With Kindness

Maureen

P.S. just started on a new chapter book for children. I haven’t got a title yet, but it is about the search for a wild Giant Panda by a young girl. I will be uploading a chapter at a time soon, on my second page, for you all to read and comment upon.panda2

P.P.S. As per request :-

Quick Date, Apricot and Sunflower seed slice.

  • 125 g dried apricots, chopped.
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar
  • 2 cup self-raising flour sifted
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dates chopped
  • 170 g butter melted
  • 1 pinch salt

 

Preheat oven to 160C. Grease and line a 18 x 28 cm (7″ x 11″) slice tin.

Soak  chopped apricots in enough boiling water to just cover them. Allow to soak for 30 minutes.

In a separate bowl combine sugar, self raising flour, sunflower seeds, chopped dates and salt. Add strained apricots and melted butter. Mix well.

Spread mixture out in a slice tin and smooth the top.

Bake in a moderate oven for 25 minutes or until cooked. Sprinkle with a little toasted coconut or icing sugar if desired. Allow to cool before cutting into slices.

 

Rest, Effects and Decorating.

Finally we all get a rest from the heat of Summer. This year has been dry and hot, and as I age I’ve felt it more than previous years. With Autumn came the rain, and a better temperature. My garden thanked the Nature Gods and the plants that had almost expired, re- hydrated and lifted their leaves to the heavens.

plantI find the effects of rain amazing. I water diligently in the heat, and the plants wilt – along comes the water from the sky, and they rejoice. The grass becomes green overnight and the flowers perk up and buds and new leaves form.

Now I whinge about the wet! And I worry I haven’t got my seeds in soon enough, and that I’ll need to mow more now the grass is finally growing.

Aren’t humans contrary!

I can’t believe that I went from sitting at the edge of a stream, fanning myself and wondering whether I could breathe, to looking at the possibility of donning a cardigan or hoodie! All in the space of twenty four hours.

While I think of it – I haven’t given out a recipe for a while – here is a delicious cake/bread to be served warm or cold, with butter or not – great picnic fare.

Barabrith:-

250g mixed dried fruit of choice

125g raw sugarbread

250g SR flour

1 egg

½ tspn mixed spice

1 cup cold tea.

  1. Soak fruit overnight in the tea with the added sugar.
  2. Next morning, preheat oven to 180-200°C.
  3. Add egg, flour and spice to the fruit mixture. Mix well.
  4. Place in 2 greased loaf tins or one large square cake tin.
  5. Bake for approx 45 mins.
  6. Serve cool, sliced with butter. Serves 8-12.

Enjoy! It can be decorated with a sprinkle of icing sugar, or a lemon icing goes well too. I prefer to eat it warm – nothing except a pat of butter – YUM!!

These days, I love to cook – it is better to know what I put in the food I eat. Maybe, the escalating of weight and disease can be attributed to the preservatives and other things that the manufacturers put in our food to give it a long shelf life. Of course, that is only my opinion, and there are many influences in our 21st Century lifestyle that contribute to our health. One day, maybe, the dream of a long and healthy life will be the norm. (As an aside, it probably should be pointed out, that a check on our population would not go astray either!)

With Kindness

Maureen

Here is a little children’s picture book celebrating the changes in life, and the beauty around us. ($20 Australian plus postage)Candy Cow Front

If you would like a copy to read to the children in your life, be they sons, daughters, grandchildren or nephews and nieces, please feel free to contact me on maureenlarter@gmail.com