Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Family visits

Its been much of the same this week and I wonder if anyone really wants to hear about it. But Tuesdays when bub is down to sleep is my time to bring it together for myself to acknowledge what it is I have achieved through the week. I don't tell all (almost sounds naughty), but the highlights - if you can call them that, keep the motivation and persistence in myself to head into another week of life at home with 3 under 5 and a never ending list of self created (and more) jobs/tasks ahead of me. Now I don't feel weighed down by any of this, in fact I feel I have a sense of purpose about me and a certain satisfaction of knowing that everything I achieve around my home creates an abundance of wealth (non-monetary of course) for my family and those that are welcomed into my home. My little sister is coming to stay with me this weekend with her son and I am so excited. I haven't seen them for a little while as they live in Qld, so its always a very special time when any of my extended (Qld) family get to hang out with us.

My first knitted dishcloth and the start of my second.

Tiny and a little sad paw paw's starting to ripen.

One of my linen cupboard shelves filled with wholesome goodies.

 Life in the kitchen is as constant as the garden. I really am backwards and forwards between the kitchen and the garden all day as long as the sun is shining. Often the kitchen hours continue long after the sun has gone down, but I try to find something else to keep me occupied after the wee ones have gone off to sleep for the night. My favourite thing to eat at the moment is homemade sauerkraut. I have it with almost everything (except vitabrits....). My linen cupboard has become more of a storage cupboard for my various attempts at fermenting and preserving. I love opening the door and seeing my collection of treats of which I add or take from. The kidlets tastes are becoming more accommodating to these wholesome foods as well. Especially the purple sauerkraut - it is very pretty and vibrant. I have just finished fermenting our bounty of radishes and they will be ready to enjoy with dinner tonight - which reminds me I need to get started on straight after I finish writing this. Hubby has been making his own coconut milk from fresh coconuts and told me I need to use it sooner than later, so I will make a curry of some sort tonight. I also saved the coconut shreds and used them in the soap I made today (will tell you all about that soon). And the rest of the coconut shreds will go into my banana and coconut loaf that I will make this afternoon to take with me to my mothers group catch up.

Sunflower baby on its way.

Fermented radish(from the garden) and garlic.

Corn and radish buddies.

The garden is blooming along perfectly. The beans are popping up daily and the kidlets eat them straight off the bush - no complaining here! I planted heaps of new seeds out over the weekend and I am imagining with all this nice warm weather they will be popping up in no time. I am a little concerned about water usage and I predict we will be using a lot over this season and perhaps the coming seasons also with this el nino pattern of weather we are dealing with. I try to do my best on water saving. We are yet to have a tank and grey water installed but I do manage to save the water from the kids bath and fill up about 4-5 watering cans which I use on the garden each morning. I am also getting a bit of a workout from it too as I have to go backwards and forwards and up and down the stairs each time. Again seeing the benefit of something that could easily be an annoyance!

Homemade natural yoghurt.

Zucchini starting to provide.

Beans on the go.

Well plenty more to do, the sun is shining (although it is a little windy today), good times are ahead with my little sisters visit and I can hear the kitchen pots calling me to action. Take care. x

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Long days of sunshine and happiness

The days are getting longer and so is the 'to do' list! As if I don't already have enough to do, I am constantly looking for new things to start, finding old things to finish and getting way too sidetracked on whats at hand. I am definitely not someone that could ever say I'm bored. I know that I always have the dishwasher to unstack or a load of washing to fold and to some that could seem boring, but in my new found acceptance of the simple life I try to lead I have found worth in the everyday mundane. I certainly don't finish everything in the day and the kitchen bench seems to always be untidy (the dumping ground), but my days are filled with so much gratitude (for the mess???) and happiness, it just doesn't bother me any more. I cant imagine my house ever being something you would find in the pages of Home Beautiful magazine and I think I quite like it that way. 

Adding to my wool collection.

I have picked up the needles again and have been practicing different types of stitches/patterns. My 'practicing' will be our new dishcloths. My first attempt is full of little holes as will my second and third probably. Lincraft and Spotlight have lots of specials at the moment so I have been stocking up. Once I get better my next knitting project will be wool socks. Hubby cant wait and insists he gets the first pair. Ultimately I want to knit some nice cardy's or jumpers and DD has picked out a few dresses from the old (as in 80's) books I picked up at the op shop. By the time I get around to that she will probably be a lot older and realise how out of fashion they are and change her mind....I hope.

Hippeastrums are blooming beautiful!
The zucchinis are going crazy.

The garden is growing nicely and starting to pop with colour and life. We moved the lemon tree from the back garden out the front. I was really worried it wouldn't take so have given it the most love and it seems to be ok. We also put a new lime tree in which we gratefully received from my sister-in-law as she is moving north. It needed some love too and together they should burst with flowers and fruit soon. I have also been swapping and sharing a lot of plants. I recently gifted friends with some dragon fruit, turmeric and Moses in a basket and in return received lambs ear, leek, strawberries and some terracotta pots. It feels so nice to see the love of swapping/giving among friends and community.

The lemon and lime in their new homes.

Books around the house we are reading at the moment.

Disturbing the girls in their sleep, sorry Trix and Jess, goodnight x

The chickens are doing great and becoming more and more friendly as the days go on. We had friends came over on the weekend and their son really had a way with them. They came straight up to him and were quite happy to let him touch them. Since then DD has been determined for the same treatment and can finally understand what it means to be calm around them and now they respond. She is so happy now that Trixie will eat out of her hands. Wonder how long it will be before I come out the back and find her cuddling with them.....

Trixie is becoming more and more friendly.

Stewed apple and pear to create the kids 'fruit suckies'.

In the kitchen its much the same as usual. No new cooking adventures as yet. I cant seem to keep myself away from the garden. The freezer is full with a lamb (which means lots of yummy hubby curries) and other bits and bobs and the pantry cupboard is filling too. I have taken to stockpiling really well (works nicely with my hoarder personality), but I do need to get my groove on in the kitchen and whiz up some new delights for the gang.

First crop of the season, crunchy radishes.

Passionfruit pulp and rhubarb to freeze.

I have also started a new facebook page for those interested in following, click here

That about sums up my glorious week. I hope you have had a wonderful week too. Now I am back out to the garden to give some mulching love - after I unstack the dishwasher. xx

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Camping season has started

We have spent the last few days camping at another beautiful spot just an hour away. This is the first time I have been game enough to venture away from all the 'niceties' of my home with a baby. And it was wonderful! We had the best 4 days of river drifts, surfing, bike riding, kids laughing, lazing in the sun and sausages. The only downside was DD hurt her foot the first morning and couldn't join in a lot of things as she had to keep it dry and clean. We did have a quick visit to the hospital, but no stitches were needed. My darling girl did very well for the whole trip considering. After a few days 'off' (we home-keepers rarely allow ourselves anytime off I think), I was fully rejuvenated and ready to get back home to my garden (which seems to have grown more weeds than plants and veges while I was gone), the chickens and whatever projects I find for myself. Plus the cleanup after camping. So much to do, at least daylight savings has started and I have an extra hour in the day.....don't I?

Trixies beautiful eggs, which she started laying straight after my last blog post.

I'm attempting to dry some parsley on the back of the kitchen door.

 Before we left to go camping I quickly popped a few seeds into the ground as I knew there would be some lovely warm weather while we were away. Nothing has sprouted yet (besides more weeds - must mulch, note to self), but I still check several times a day! It really is starting to feel like summer, so I need to make sure I get out there early in the morning or late in the afternoon to get grubby and give some loving. I have so many other little gardening projects that I want to do which can be done in the shade of my NZ Christmas tree, so the days will still end with dirt under the nails and scrambling to get dinner sorted.

Potatoes were planted out this morning in the back garden.

My bounty from the local fruit and veg store, plenty of cooking to be done (and eating).

 One garden that always produces amazing crops is at my DD's preschool. This morning I helped myself to a huge bunch of Kale. The best tip I can give when you pick kale or any leafy green is to pop it straight in the sink with cold water for at least an hour, then drain and make sure it is pretty dry. Store in an airtight container and it will stay crisp in the fridge for at least a week. Or take the stalks off and blanch or steam lightly and freeze for later. I love kale and the wee ones will quite happily eat it in a quiche or pie. 

Kale from DD's preschool.
Homemade bread, sliced with the electric knife($8 from the local op shop), almost perfect slices every time. 

Thanks for all the love recently, new and old. Feel free to share any ideas and tips with me, always so much to learn. x


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