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Sharon de Bruyn

Meet Kaiden…..He Is So Cute

Family Life Comments Off on Meet Kaiden…..He Is So Cute

My  goodness, the time has flown and it is now the end of September.  So much has happened, so much to be thankful for.

We Have A Lot To Be Thankful For…..

Our gorgeous little grandson arrived on the 26th April early in the morning.  Our daughter handled it all so well and Kaiden Joel arrived safe and sound without problems.  I was privileged to be present during the birth, a very special occasion.

Two months later my husband, son and I moved to Victoria.  The last few months have been very eventful for me.  We now live in a beautiful farming village fairly close to Melbourne.   So while we get to enjoy the beauty and relative quietness of the countryside, we are not far from the conveniences of the city.

I have booked flights to visit the north in the New Year for which I am very grateful.  Catching up with friends here has been a real treat.

We have had lots of rain here, so it will continue to be green here for a long time.  Quite a contrast to where my daughters live in North Queensland.  We live in an amazing country to be sure.

I won’t let it go so long before I post again.  Take good care until I see you again.

Sharon 🙂

Living on $20 a week, it was possible

Budget Living 1 Comment »

While I was reminiscing about when my children were small, the current world financial crisis was in the back of my mind.

I am not sure if some of you will be old enough to remember when the Pyramid Society crashed back in the 90’s.  Those my age and older certainly will.  We had two young children and a mortgage at the time.  The interest rates were going up, up and up.  We were paying 17. something %, say 18% interest on our loan, leaving only $20 left in the pay packet to live on.


Those were worrying times, a bit like today.  My husband and I managed to get through by living as cheaply as we could.  We only had one wage coming in so I could stay home with the children.

Some of the ways we managed to save a bit was as follows:

We bought powdered milk (yuk but it did the job).  Ate very little red meat, if we did it was a small amount of mince mixed with sausage mince  With this I made small meat balls with lots of sauce, savoury mince dishes, spaghetti bolognaise etc.  To extend the mince, I bought packets of TVP (dried soy grits), soaked it and added it to the mince.  It wasn’t really noticeable.  I soaked beans and added them to most hot meals.

We bought the cheapest bread we could and used every bit of it.  Any left overs, were put in with the meat, or put in the bottom of a baking dish, topped with whatever I could find, sprinkled with cheese and beaten eggs poured over the top.  (Salt, spices, herbs added for flavour)  Always very filling.  Rice was a good filler and added to most things.

Breakfast was good old fashioned oats or rice if that was all I had.

I made chicken soup out of chicken carcasses as I couldn’t afford to buy the whole thing.  This was boiled up for the flavour and the soup filled with whatever goodies could be found.  This was served over a bowl full of rice with Maggi on top.

We were blessed to have friends and family who would arrive at times with a bagful of groceries for us.  The goodness in others touched us deeply.  Neighbors would bring over veges from their gardens.  Ron and I would go along the bush roads and collect the wild green apples.  These we would peel and cook into apple sauce which was a delight on cereals, rice, custards etc.

I made our own washing machine liquid by boiling down cakes of pure soap.  We used the car only when needed, walking was the norm.  I brushed my teeth with salt to save the paste for the kids.  Their clothes were homemade and the bed quilts were patchworked from scraps.  No fancy materials back then.

We managed and remained healthy.  When hard times come, you just cope, you have to. We knew it wouldn’t last, things always get better.  Even bad situations look good if you see it in the right light.  We learnt heaps from our experience and are thankful for it.

So with the media making the world sound so grim lately, remember the world has been through very tough times before and in those times, there were people who through desire and need, saw opportunities around them and acted on them while others sank in despair.

Look around you, opportunity is always there.

See you next time.

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