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Before yesterdayOTG Life

Beeswax Wraps

26 January 2021 at 04:37

I’ve always used them, well before they became cool to use. I even gift them to all my friends because I think they’re useful, convenient, obviously less waste (if used in place of plastic wrap or onetime use containers) and I love the unique designs of the material. Plus they smell divine. We wrap everything but meat in ours.

However I have a confession, I’ve been using them for a number of years now and only just recently attempted to make my own.

I had most of the necessary ingredients, 100% cotton material and of course beeswax. But after copious amounts of research and also after thinking about what actually works best for us, I decided to buy some jojoba oil and pine resin.

Beeswax alone, is great for it’s antibacterial properties. However to prevent cracking of the wax when wrapping and shaping, pine resin and jojoba oil are used. Pine resin assists to give the wrap the cling wrap stick (tackiness) and allows more durability to fold, flex and wrap.

Pine resin possesses antimicrobial properties and has the most amazing fresh pine smell. After reading about rock resin or preground powder, I opted for the powder due to time and ease of use. Basically, it melts faster when ground.

Jojoba oil is also antibacterial and provides further durability to the wrap ensuring that it doesn’t crack or crumble through the use of just beeswax alone.

All recipes say to use organic cotton which is obviously preferred however after sourcing some gorgeous prints from my local buy, swap or sell, I decided to give the wraps a go with these!

Onto the process – that I did.

Firstly, in a small pot over a very low flame I melted down the wax – our very own, all organic OTG Life bee produced wax. I kept stirring frequently with a metal spoon ensuring that it didn’t overheat.
Secondly, I added in the jojoba oil stirring again until well combined.
Thirdly, I added the pine resin powder and stirred until I could no longer see any pieces/fragments of resin.

Once all was melted and well combined I folded a large rectangle of material into quarters on a piece of baking paper on an oven tray. I slowly poured a trickle of liquid over the material ensuring it covered the corners and folds, then poured the rest evenly in rows until all the liquid was poured over the material.

I placed it in the oven on 100 degrees Celsius for approximately 3 minutes until all the liquid had melted through. Then removing from the oven, I used a pastry brush to evenly distribute the liquid over the wrap ensuring it was covering all the material. I returned it to the oven for a further 2 minutes more.

Using tongs to unfold it (remember it’s wax, wax burns when hot – Don’t use your fingers!), I took the 2 corners at the top and gently cooled it down in the air by swishing backwards and forwards until it was dry. Then I folded it up, scrunched it up, smelt it, took photos, then tested it by wrapping up some food – so far so good!

I’m still working out my quantities. I’ve been testing different quantities of pine resin and jojoba oil and also tried reducing the amount of bees wax as I think my recipes thus far have been a bit generous. I still need pinking shears to cut the cotton edges to prevent them from fraying.

I’ll keep testing the versions that I have made and then post the recipe at a later date. However, I have now made my own sustainable packaging to keep our food fresh and of course, reduce our landfill. Happy Tuesday!

#offthegridlife #otglife #offgridliving #sustainability #sustainableliving #eco #homemade #beeswaxwraps #beeswax #reduce #reuse #recycle #nomoreplastic

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peperty

Beeswax Wraps

26 January 2021 at 04:37

I’ve always used them, well before they became cool to use. I even gift them to all my friends because I think they’re useful, convenient, obviously less waste (if used in place of plastic wrap or onetime use containers) and I love the unique designs of the material. Plus they smell divine. We wrap everything but meat in ours.

However I have a confession, I’ve been using them for a number of years now and only just recently attempted to make my own.

I had most of the necessary ingredients, 100% cotton material and of course beeswax. But after copious amounts of research and also after thinking about what actually works best for us, I decided to buy some jojoba oil and pine resin.

Beeswax alone, is great for it’s antibacterial properties. However to prevent cracking of the wax when wrapping and shaping, pine resin and jojoba oil are used. Pine resin assists to give the wrap the cling wrap stick (tackiness) and allows more durability to fold, flex and wrap.

Pine resin possesses antimicrobial properties and has the most amazing fresh pine smell. After reading about rock resin or preground powder, I opted for the powder due to time and ease of use. Basically, it melts faster when ground.

Jojoba oil is also antibacterial and provides further durability to the wrap ensuring that it doesn’t crack or crumble through the use of just beeswax alone.

All recipes say to use organic cotton which is obviously preferred however after sourcing some gorgeous prints from my local buy, swap or sell, I decided to give the wraps a go with these!

Onto the process – that I did.

Firstly, in a small pot over a very low flame I melted down the wax – our very own, all organic OTG Life bee produced wax. I kept stirring frequently with a metal spoon ensuring that it didn’t overheat.
Secondly, I added in the jojoba oil stirring again until well combined.
Thirdly, I added the pine resin powder and stirred until I could no longer see any pieces/fragments of resin.

Once all was melted and well combined I folded a large rectangle of material into quarters on a piece of baking paper on an oven tray. I slowly poured a trickle of liquid over the material ensuring it covered the corners and folds, then poured the rest evenly in rows until all the liquid was poured over the material.

I placed it in the oven on 100 degrees Celsius for approximately 3 minutes until all the liquid had melted through. Then removing from the oven, I used a pastry brush to evenly distribute the liquid over the wrap ensuring it was covering all the material. I returned it to the oven for a further 2 minutes more.

Using tongs to unfold it (remember it’s wax, wax burns when hot – Don’t use your fingers!), I took the 2 corners at the top and gently cooled it down in the air by swishing backwards and forwards until it was dry. Then I folded it up, scrunched it up, smelt it, took photos, then tested it by wrapping up some food – so far so good!

I’m still working out my quantities. I’ve been testing different quantities of pine resin and jojoba oil and also tried reducing the amount of bees wax as I think my recipes thus far have been a bit generous. I still need pinking shears to cut the cotton edges to prevent them from fraying.

I’ll keep testing the versions that I have made and then post the recipe at a later date. However, I have now made my own sustainable packaging to keep our food fresh and of course, reduce our landfill. Happy Tuesday!

#offthegridlife #otglife #offgridliving #sustainability #sustainableliving #eco #homemade #beeswaxwraps #beeswax #reduce #reuse #recycle #nomoreplastic

Extraction Day!

23 January 2021 at 05:33

2020 had its share of ups and downs at OTG Life. We started the year off in the thickest of thick smoke. We actually even evacuated our house because the fires got close and my asthma was so bad, I couldn’t risk another emergency visit to hospital some 25 minutes away.

Then came the hail storms. Our trusty steed was written off, thankfully there was not too much damage here and our solar panels survived.

Then came the rain. Torrential downpours that we’d never experienced here before. Things were starting to green up amazingly and we thought we were in for a gang buster of a fruit and vegetable harvest but…

Then came the snow. Not once, or twice but three times. The net was filling and sinking under the weight of the ice as we were literally running to protect our orchard trees. The last snow fall cleared, in September – our Spring!

Then more dumps of rain came, which was brilliant for our tanks. Alas, my seeds and seedlings that I’d so carefully planted, washed out of our gardens and in some cases literally flooded over the garden beds and down our hills. I keep thinking I’m going to come across an extraordinary vegetable and fruit garden ‘oasis’ on one of my walks one of these days… where else do the seeds go?!

Then the grass and weeds grew! We didn’t own a mower until just after Christmas as we’d honestly never seen grass grow on the property before. Along with the grass came flowers and an abundance of pollen, nectar and hayfever!

Then the bees swarmed, over and over and over again. You know it’s a bad hayfever season when even the bees are confused about where they’re supposed to be! We collected a swarm, we lost two hives.

Despite being anaphylactic, Mr Tech kept persisting with the little firey stinging insects and it paid off! We now have three strong hives including a double. On a recent investigation, it was observed that an extraction was imminent.

YAY honey! And perfect timing too as we were down to our last jar from two years ago! And today was the day! Last night felt like Christmas at OTG Life, everyone was too excited to sleep. We could practically taste the sweet sweet flavours! And it didn’t disappoint!

The colour, the clarity, the consistency, the flavour! Bees are the BEST! As is our honey.

#offthegrid #OTG #otglife #sustainable #eco #organic #homemade #wemakeourown #honey #beekeeping #apiary #bees

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peperty

Extraction Day!

23 January 2021 at 05:33

2020 had its share of ups and downs at OTG Life. We started the year off in the thickest of thick smoke. We actually even evacuated our house because the fires got close and my asthma was so bad, I couldn’t risk another emergency visit to hospital some 25 minutes away.

Then came the hail storms. Our trusty steed was written off, thankfully there was not too much damage here and our solar panels survived.

Then came the rain. Torrential downpours that we’d never experienced here before. Things were starting to green up amazingly and we thought we were in for a gang buster of a fruit and vegetable harvest but…

Then came the snow. Not once, or twice but three times. The net was filling and sinking under the weight of the ice as we were literally running to protect our orchard trees. The last snow fall cleared, in September – our Spring!

Then more dumps of rain came, which was brilliant for our tanks. Alas, my seeds and seedlings that I’d so carefully planted, washed out of our gardens and in some cases literally flooded over the garden beds and down our hills. I keep thinking I’m going to come across an extraordinary vegetable and fruit garden ‘oasis’ on one of my walks one of these days… where else do the seeds go?!

Then the grass and weeds grew! We didn’t own a mower until just after Christmas as we’d honestly never seen grass grow on the property before. Along with the grass came flowers and an abundance of pollen, nectar and hayfever!

Then the bees swarmed, over and over and over again. You know it’s a bad hayfever season when even the bees are confused about where they’re supposed to be! We collected a swarm, we lost two hives.

Despite being anaphylactic, Mr Tech kept persisting with the little firey stinging insects and it paid off! We now have three strong hives including a double. On a recent investigation, it was observed that an extraction was imminent.

YAY honey! And perfect timing too as we were down to our last jar from two years ago! And today was the day! Last night felt like Christmas at OTG Life, everyone was too excited to sleep. We could practically taste the sweet sweet flavours! And it didn’t disappoint!

The colour, the clarity, the consistency, the flavour! Bees are the BEST! As is our honey.

#offthegrid #OTG #otglife #sustainable #eco #organic #homemade #wemakeourown #honey #beekeeping #apiary #bees

The Harvest.

11 January 2021 at 05:01

We were in the orchard doing some general maintenance when we noticed how ripe some of the fruit was looking. On closer inspection, we discovered some nibble marks and a couple of pieces of dropped fruit. It’s unbelievable how rude some animals can be, don’t they remember we’ve just recently come out of a drought!

We gathered our basket and headed back down ready to pick! We taste tested as we went, you know for quality assurance. It never ceases to amaze me how different homegrown produce tastes! It’s juicier, sweeter and so much more satisfying when you grow your own. We continued to pick a decent size basket and left the remainder on the trees to ripen a little more.

So far, we have harvested Plums, Apricots and Peaches. On our harvesting adventures, we also pulled a few weeds which turned out to be potatoes! I don’t remember planting them… but someone or some animal did! Maybe not all wildlife is wasteful.

We are extremely happy with our orchard crop this year considering the crazy weather (smoke, wind, rain, hail, snow, floods), the sunken snow net, the snapped and repaired trees, the starving animals and the lack of pollination.

We got fruit!!! And it’s delicious!!!

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peperty

The Harvest.

11 January 2021 at 05:01

We were in the orchard doing some general maintenance when we noticed how ripe some of the fruit was looking. On closer inspection, we discovered some nibble marks and a couple of pieces of dropped fruit. It’s unbelievable how rude some animals can be, don’t they remember we’ve just recently come out of a drought!

We gathered our basket and headed back down ready to pick! We taste tested as we went, you know for quality assurance. It never ceases to amaze me how different homegrown produce tastes! It’s juicier, sweeter and so much more satisfying when you grow your own. We continued to pick a decent size basket and left the remainder on the trees to ripen a little more.

So far, we have harvested Plums, Apricots and Peaches. On our harvesting adventures, we also pulled a few weeds which turned out to be potatoes! I don’t remember planting them… but someone or some animal did! Maybe not all wildlife is wasteful.

We are extremely happy with our orchard crop this year considering the crazy weather (smoke, wind, rain, hail, snow, floods), the sunken snow net, the snapped and repaired trees, the starving animals and the lack of pollination.

We got fruit!!! And it’s delicious!!!

Home Automation Update

19 September 2020 at 23:11

Hi, Mr Tech here. Rainy days calls for indoors work, and what else is there to do indoors but to fine tune the smart home? A few jobs remain on the plan and the list only gets longer. So here’s what we have so far…

A fully off grid tiny house. That means batteries and solar for power with a backup generator. So power monitoring is the core of the automation. I’m using Home Assistant with modbus integration to the SMA Australia solar and battery inverter to monitor the power stats with automations built into the inverter to switch on the generator when necessary. Some devices integrate with MQTT and particularly complex automations are done through Node-Red. Everything has a manual override option.

Space and water heating are automated according to the time of day, battery charge and the amount of light available at the time. Yet to be linked to the inside temperature for complete climate control.

I’ve been using Sonoff, #MQTT and Node-Red heavily, but I’m finding too many moving parts and the whole system is just too complex. Without complete documentation and a very IT savvy user, this is simply not a maintainable system. So my priority is to disband the use of MQTT all together and minimise #nodered. Home automation should be hands off most of the time and super simple to modify as the household needs change.

Still plenty of work to do, but I also have a couple of custom devices to make:
• Lux metre to see just how sunny it is for the solar power
• Water level meter to automate our drinking water transfer

Mrs Life, I think we need to invest in a 3D printer… 😛

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peperty

Home Automation Update

19 September 2020 at 23:11

Hi, Mr Tech here. Rainy days calls for indoors work, and what else is there to do indoors but to fine tune the smart home? A few jobs remain on the plan and the list only gets longer. So here’s what we have so far…

A fully off grid tiny house. That means batteries and solar for power with a backup generator. So power monitoring is the core of the automation. I’m using Home Assistant with modbus integration to the SMA Australia solar and battery inverter to monitor the power stats with automations built into the inverter to switch on the generator when necessary. Some devices integrate with MQTT and particularly complex automations are done through Node-Red. Everything has a manual override option.

Space and water heating are automated according to the time of day, battery charge and the amount of light available at the time. Yet to be linked to the inside temperature for complete climate control.

I’ve been using Sonoff, #MQTT and Node-Red heavily, but I’m finding too many moving parts and the whole system is just too complex. Without complete documentation and a very IT savvy user, this is simply not a maintainable system. So my priority is to disband the use of MQTT all together and minimise #nodered. Home automation should be hands off most of the time and super simple to modify as the household needs change.

Still plenty of work to do, but I also have a couple of custom devices to make:
• Lux metre to see just how sunny it is for the solar power
• Water level meter to automate our drinking water transfer

Mrs Life, I think we need to invest in a 3D printer… 😛

Sunrise

25 July 2019 at 19:04

This morning the bedroom lit up with bright shades of pink, purple and orange. Then we awoke to this!

Mr Tech ran out and managed to capture this gorgeous view over our orchard.

It’s going to be a great day. Happy Friday lovely people!

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peperty

Sunrise

25 July 2019 at 19:04

This morning the bedroom lit up with bright shades of pink, purple and orange. Then we awoke to this!

Mr Tech ran out and managed to capture this gorgeous view over our orchard.

It’s going to be a great day. Happy Friday lovely people!

Special Buys

29 June 2019 at 20:51

We were heading “Off The Grid” recently, literally to a place with no phone reception or power. It was a warm and sunny Saturday. We’d been planning the trip for a few weeks. We were going to the snow for the afternoon with friends to celebrate one of the kids birthdays. The kids were super excited as it was Mini Tech’s first time to the snow. And Mr Tech and I were looking forward to a break from digging holes.

As I’m writing this, I’ve just realised we live in an a truly awesome spot! It literally takes us an hour to get to the snow or approximately an hour in the opposite direction to get to the beach. This bush living does have it’s perks!

Anyways, we had a slight detour along the way to grab some snow boots and ski gloves for Miss Life as she’d outgrown hers. We stopped in for a flying visit to Aldi, their special buys are always worth the trip. Mr Tech ran off to grab the coffees with Mini Tech while Miss Life and I hit the shop in search for our list.

We’d tried on a couple of pairs of boots, all was going well and then I saw it… On the bottom of the Special Buys trolley, it was bright, it was shiny, it was on SPECIAL! Lunging at the special to end all specials, I went to grab it and heard a loud and familiar “SNAP”! Mid-crouch, tears started falling from my my face and pooling on the ground. I was stuck, wondering how to get the rest of the way up. I took a deep breath, moved ever so timidly then another “SNAP” and a “POP”.

It felt like my leg had come out of it’s knee socket!!! Sobbing, I handed my phone to Miss Life and asked her to call Daddy. She looked at me so sweetly and said “Mummy, I want to, but your phone is locked and I don’t know the code”. A lady next to me kindly offered her help, but I said no, not even knowing what I needed. The pain was so severe, I knew I’d well and truly stuffed it this time. I was doing everything in my power not to ugly cry in front of everyone in the shop. The slightest movement, brought upon sounds of a wailing cow mid-birthing a calf… Remember the Orchard incident… https://wp.me/p8QwoL-BX

I called Mr Tech who rushed back but it truly seemed like an eternity as I was standing on one leg, knuckles turning white holding onto the freaking specials trolley. He managed to find a wheelchair and we called an ambulance. It was then that I realised I wasn’t going “Off The Grid – on a Snow Adventure” anymore.

The ambulance arrived over an hour later as I was triaged at the bottom of the list because I had no bones protruding through my skin… I was taken to hospital and triaged again, watching everyone come in after me and be seen before me. I asked a nurse with tears pouring down my face, trying not to pass out from the pain when I might be seen. It was so different this time… She said – “You’re next”.

I was in, I was relieved. Except, I still couldn’t move. They asked me to hop onto the bed. Were they kidding?!!! There was no way! I could barely move my toes. More painkillers were provided along with more water at which I wondered how I could possibly go to the toilet in my current condition… A memory that faded quite quickly as I felt a sharp jab of something pointy in my arm which hurt like hell – but not as bad as my knee. Some time passed and I managed to get on to the bed.

A doctor came in, poked my knee, I screamed in pain. I didn’t see that doctor again. Two wonderful nurses came in and looked after me and another doctor with much nicer bed manners treated me. It was a suspected LCL injury and I had to go to my specialist. Mr Tech and the kids came to pick me up after their “Off The Grid – Snow Adventure”. The kids had an awesome time and I was grateful that they didn’t sit, watching Mummy at the hospital. That’s really no fun for anyone… Although I’m sure they would have loved to run amok. I adore how little kids can find the best moments regardless of the circumstance. The drugs were definitely working.

The swelling is horrific. It amazes me how much your skin can stretch… A week later and after some further tests including xrays, ultrasounds and an MRI, I’ve discovered I need emergency surgery. Nanny OTG has just arrived to help with the littlies, while I head in for surgery.

So, apologies in advance for either inundating your feeds with stories, photos and bit and bobs while I wear a divet in the bed from recovery. Or, talk to you in a few weeks when the drugs wear off!!

This was not the Special Buy that I came for.

Till next time,

Love, Mrs Life Xx

Instagram: Off The Grid Life

Facebook: Off The Grid Life

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peperty

Special Buys

29 June 2019 at 20:51

We were heading “Off The Grid” recently, literally to a place with no phone reception or power. It was a warm and sunny Saturday. We’d been planning the trip for a few weeks. We were going to the snow for the afternoon with friends to celebrate one of the kids birthdays. The kids were super excited as it was Mini Tech’s first time to the snow. And Mr Tech and I were looking forward to a break from digging holes.

As I’m writing this, I’ve just realised we live in an a truly awesome spot! It literally takes us an hour to get to the snow or approximately an hour in the opposite direction to get to the beach. This bush living does have it’s perks!

Anyways, we had a slight detour along the way to grab some snow boots and ski gloves for Miss Life as she’d outgrown hers. We stopped in for a flying visit to Aldi, their special buys are always worth the trip. Mr Tech ran off to grab the coffees with Mini Tech while Miss Life and I hit the shop in search for our list.

We’d tried on a couple of pairs of boots, all was going well and then I saw it… On the bottom of the Special Buys trolley, it was bright, it was shiny, it was on SPECIAL! Lunging at the special to end all specials, I went to grab it and heard a loud and familiar “SNAP”! Mid-crouch, tears started falling from my my face and pooling on the ground. I was stuck, wondering how to get the rest of the way up. I took a deep breath, moved ever so timidly then another “SNAP” and a “POP”.

It felt like my leg had come out of it’s knee socket!!! Sobbing, I handed my phone to Miss Life and asked her to call Daddy. She looked at me so sweetly and said “Mummy, I want to, but your phone is locked and I don’t know the code”. A lady next to me kindly offered her help, but I said no, not even knowing what I needed. The pain was so severe, I knew I’d well and truly stuffed it this time. I was doing everything in my power not to ugly cry in front of everyone in the shop. The slightest movement, brought upon sounds of a wailing cow mid-birthing a calf… Remember the Orchard incident… https://wp.me/p8QwoL-BX

I called Mr Tech who rushed back but it truly seemed like an eternity as I was standing on one leg, knuckles turning white holding onto the freaking specials trolley. He managed to find a wheelchair and we called an ambulance. It was then that I realised I wasn’t going “Off The Grid – on a Snow Adventure” anymore.

The ambulance arrived over an hour later as I was triaged at the bottom of the list because I had no bones protruding through my skin… I was taken to hospital and triaged again, watching everyone come in after me and be seen before me. I asked a nurse with tears pouring down my face, trying not to pass out from the pain when I might be seen. It was so different this time… She said – “You’re next”.

I was in, I was relieved. Except, I still couldn’t move. They asked me to hop onto the bed. Were they kidding?!!! There was no way! I could barely move my toes. More painkillers were provided along with more water at which I wondered how I could possibly go to the toilet in my current condition… A memory that faded quite quickly as I felt a sharp jab of something pointy in my arm which hurt like hell – but not as bad as my knee. Some time passed and I managed to get on to the bed.

A doctor came in, poked my knee, I screamed in pain. I didn’t see that doctor again. Two wonderful nurses came in and looked after me and another doctor with much nicer bed manners treated me. It was a suspected LCL injury and I had to go to my specialist. Mr Tech and the kids came to pick me up after their “Off The Grid – Snow Adventure”. The kids had an awesome time and I was grateful that they didn’t sit, watching Mummy at the hospital. That’s really no fun for anyone… Although I’m sure they would have loved to run amok. I adore how little kids can find the best moments regardless of the circumstance. The drugs were definitely working.

The swelling is horrific. It amazes me how much your skin can stretch… A week later and after some further tests including xrays, ultrasounds and an MRI, I’ve discovered I need emergency surgery. Nanny OTG has just arrived to help with the littlies, while I head in for surgery.

So, apologies in advance for either inundating your feeds with stories, photos and bit and bobs while I wear a divet in the bed from recovery. Or, talk to you in a few weeks when the drugs wear off!!

This was not the Special Buy that I came for.

Till next time,

Love, Mrs Life Xx

Instagram: Off The Grid Life

Facebook: Off The Grid Life

Ice Ice Baby

21 June 2019 at 06:21

This morning I woke up and Google kindly greeted me, as she does every morning, “Good morning, the current temperature is -1 degree. It feels like… -7. Have a great morning!”

What Google?! Great morning?! -7!!! Are you for real?! I carry on with my morning, which starts with Mini Tech chucking a tantrum because he wants something he can’t have. I remind myself that he’s just 2 and he’s probably unhappy with the temperature as well. I then attempt to wake up Miss Life, who is NOT a morning person. I remind myself, I wouldn’t be either, had it not been for my early rising children…

I continue with my morning chores and getting ready, then remember, I haven’t made Miss Life’s lunch!! I run outside in my PJs, our big fridge is in the laundry/battery storage container. On the way, I wonder why my feet are soooooooo excruciatingly cold?! I look down and realise… I’m standing on a sheet of ice!!

I’ve committed now! Keep going! I get to the fridge room, which is now a walk-in cold-room as we’d accidentally left the door open overnight and there’s ice inside the door. I count my toes to see that I haven’t lost any, possibly stuck to the ice along the way… I still wonder if frostbite might get a couple.

I grab the food, jump up and down on the spot a few times to increase blood circulation, then find an old pair of shoes in the corner of the shed to run back in. On the way I realise, I failed to check for spiders, then decide that a spider wouldn’t be able to bite my toe in it’s current frozen condition anyway.

I get inside and stand on the heater until I can feel some warmth come back to my tootsies. Make lunch, then continue with my day. It’s going to be a great day!

IMG_20190621_092238_482.jpg

peperty

Ice Ice Baby

21 June 2019 at 06:21

This morning I woke up and Google kindly greeted me, as she does every morning, “Good morning, the current temperature is -1 degree. It feels like… -7. Have a great morning!”

What Google?! Great morning?! -7!!! Are you for real?! I carry on with my morning, which starts with Mini Tech chucking a tantrum because he wants something he can’t have. I remind myself that he’s just 2 and he’s probably unhappy with the temperature as well. I then attempt to wake up Miss Life, who is NOT a morning person. I remind myself, I wouldn’t be either, had it not been for my early rising children…

I continue with my morning chores and getting ready, then remember, I haven’t made Miss Life’s lunch!! I run outside in my PJs, our big fridge is in the laundry/battery storage container. On the way, I wonder why my feet are soooooooo excruciatingly cold?! I look down and realise… I’m standing on a sheet of ice!!

I’ve committed now! Keep going! I get to the fridge room, which is now a walk-in cold-room as we’d accidentally left the door open overnight and there’s ice inside the door. I count my toes to see that I haven’t lost any, possibly stuck to the ice along the way… I still wonder if frostbite might get a couple.

I grab the food, jump up and down on the spot a few times to increase blood circulation, then find an old pair of shoes in the corner of the shed to run back in. On the way I realise, I failed to check for spiders, then decide that a spider wouldn’t be able to bite my toe in it’s current frozen condition anyway.

I get inside and stand on the heater until I can feel some warmth come back to my tootsies. Make lunch, then continue with my day. It’s going to be a great day!

The Unplanned Garden Bed

28 April 2019 at 08:44

So we recently had to prepare the house for some visitors. We had a plan, had a To Do list and went about our chores ensuring everything was guest-level clean.

Why is it that you manage to find time to thoroughly clean your house when someone visits, but when noone is expected, you live like you’re in a bomb site after a boxing day sale?! Or is that just my family?

Anyways, we started cleaning, clearing and cleansing away, including decluttering! Such a good feeling getting rid of stuff! I have two rules when it comes to decluttering. 1. If it’s irreparable, it goes in the bin. 2. If it’s too small, it gets given away (or placed in kids keepsake box).

Which leads me to wonder how we’ve accumulated soooo much crap…!!

Anyways, back to the point of my story… the point is, just like this tale… We got sidetracked! I mentioned something like this to Mr Tech “hey, what if we built a garden bed out of all those pallets to make the front of the granny flat look pretty”, Mr Tech responded with “Ok!” And the rest is history! Kidding!!

So then we were carting pallets, measuring and sawing, drilling and sourcing more recycled timber (the stuff we keep because it’s not the irreparable kind…). And before we knew it, it was after lunch and we’d nearly completed our next Peperty Pallet Project.

We decided to line it with plastic so that the pallets don’t get too wet in an attempt to try and increase the garden beds and pallets life. We lined behind it as well, as it’s leaning up against the granny flat to try and deter the termites from finding an entry point to the delicious chipwood Jayco unit.

The plan is to plant some happy to sit in shade, wind and frost plants and shrubs. I purchased some Alyssum from the local garden supplier. I also have Cordyline, Clivia and Agapanthus which I can split. And a couple of little native shrubs too.

I do giggle about how much of a greenthumb I’ve become as I was quite the opposite not that long ago. I managed to kill cacti. And I kept buying more herbs and replanting them in an attempt to try again. Now, we have well over 100 species of trees, vegetables, herbs and flowers growing. And people actually ask me… ME… for gardening advice! People can change.

Back to cleaning, we got as far as we could with our garden bed which was short of staining, filling and planting it. We celebrated with a cup of tea and decided the To Do list could be tackled tomorrow.

The house did eventually get cleaned, but we also built a garden bed! Funny the things you can achieve with determination, initiative, TV for children and two days in a weekend!

For more updates, photos and funnies, follow us here:

Instagram: Off The Grid Life

Facebook: Off The Grid Life

Till next time!

Love,

Mrs Life Xx

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The Unplanned Garden Bed

28 April 2019 at 08:44

So we recently had to prepare the house for some visitors. We had a plan, had a To Do list and went about our chores ensuring everything was guest-level clean.

Why is it that you manage to find time to thoroughly clean your house when someone visits, but when noone is expected, you live like you’re in a bomb site after a boxing day sale?! Or is that just my family?

Anyways, we started cleaning, clearing and cleansing away, including decluttering! Such a good feeling getting rid of stuff! I have two rules when it comes to decluttering. 1. If it’s irreparable, it goes in the bin. 2. If it’s too small, it gets given away (or placed in kids keepsake box).

Which leads me to wonder how we’ve accumulated soooo much crap…!!

Anyways, back to the point of my story… the point is, just like this tale… We got sidetracked! I mentioned something like this to Mr Tech “hey, what if we built a garden bed out of all those pallets to make the front of the granny flat look pretty”, Mr Tech responded with “Ok!” And the rest is history! Kidding!!

So then we were carting pallets, measuring and sawing, drilling and sourcing more recycled timber (the stuff we keep because it’s not the irreparable kind…). And before we knew it, it was after lunch and we’d nearly completed our next Peperty Pallet Project.

We decided to line it with plastic so that the pallets don’t get too wet in an attempt to try and increase the garden beds and pallets life. We lined behind it as well, as it’s leaning up against the granny flat to try and deter the termites from finding an entry point to the delicious chipwood Jayco unit.

The plan is to plant some happy to sit in shade, wind and frost plants and shrubs. I purchased some Alyssum from the local garden supplier. I also have Cordyline, Clivia and Agapanthus which I can split. And a couple of little native shrubs too.

I do giggle about how much of a greenthumb I’ve become as I was quite the opposite not that long ago. I managed to kill cacti. And I kept buying more herbs and replanting them in an attempt to try again. Now, we have well over 100 species of trees, vegetables, herbs and flowers growing. And people actually ask me… ME… for gardening advice! People can change.

Back to cleaning, we got as far as we could with our garden bed which was short of staining, filling and planting it. We celebrated with a cup of tea and decided the To Do list could be tackled tomorrow.

The house did eventually get cleaned, but we also built a garden bed! Funny the things you can achieve with determination, initiative, TV for children and two days in a weekend!

For more updates, photos and funnies, follow us here:

Instagram: Off The Grid Life

Facebook: Off The Grid Life

Till next time!

Love,

Mrs Life Xx

We’re Officially Farmers

11 March 2019 at 00:39

It’s official! We’re farmers.

We moved into our little community nearly four years ago and still hear comments like “city slickers”, “you’re not really off the grid, if you’re facebooking”. I’m amazed by people’s opinions… even though I think I’ve heard most things, something will come up where I think to myself, “did they really just say that aloud?!!”.

I’ve always referred to ourselves as hobby farmers, a term that Mr Tech and I have never agreed on. He is a glass half empty kind of person, I’m a keen story teller. So when one of our baby boys started crowing in the Bumnut Factory we knew the day had finally come…

Mr Tech used his technical ingenuity to construct a metallic funnel. Nanny Life happened to be in town at the time and questioned what he was making, to which I responded “a chicken cone”, there was some awkward laughter and a glee of delight from Mr Tech when he yelled out “look, it’s finished!” followed by some non mentionable words and a heart sinking… “Not sure I can do this”.

Ten minutes later, the rooster was captured. There was no fight, as our babies are hand-raised, tame and unnamed for the purpose of being meat birds. Still, it doesn’t make the job or even just the thought of it any less difficult.

Not long after, Mr Tech came in with a fully plucked skinny but rather large looking chicken. It looked like a store bought one, only, less fattened. As it was a rooster which had started to crow, I had read that it could possibly be, quite tough. A result of the testosterone in the bird. So, I decided to slow cook it.

I seasoned it with spices and used a cup of water to give it some moisture and slow cooked it for around eight hours. The result was, tender, juicy and delicious. There’s something special about homegrown food, especially chemical free, organic and free range.

Everything on our plate, less the potatoes, was home grown. A truly momentous occasion! And one that we’re likely to do all over again soon, as while I sit here and type this, I’m listening to another start to crow…

Mr Tech is now known as Farmer Tech. But he has always been more in my eyes. And our little property has officially become a hobby farm or a homestead.

Till next time,

Mrs Life.
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