Community garden

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Progress.

So in the aim of getting this place ship shape ready to sell we have been decluttering, gardening and sorting stuff out to try and make this place feel as tidy and spacious as we can for the house valuation on Wednesday.  It's a tough market here, so we need to weigh up the cost of doing things vs the value they will add.

Our front garden has always been a hot zone.  We have dug up a patch of gravel and transplanted cores of grass to help green it up, pretty it up and to cool it down a bit.  

The chook yard is secure.  

And after a long and dreary winter the cottage garden is beginning to come to life.  Sour sobs are thriving, I need to get in there again and pull them out, a never ending job.

I'm infusing some camomile into some olive oil to make my next batch of soap.  Camomile, lavender and oatmeal for soothing, relaxing baths!  I hope it makes my little men sleepy, and also soothing for their never ending bumps, scratches and so forth.  I have a young friend coming around so I can teach her.  I'm no expert but soap making is such a beautiful thing to do, will be great fun!  It's a pleasure to encourage her in her homemaking.  To support her in her choice to be at home if that's what she wants.  That's the thing I love about our generation.  We can choose career, study  and the like and we can choose to stay at home, if money allows of course.  It is challenging for our budget for me to be at home.  But we make it work.   

Anyway the sun is shining, my favourite music is blaring and the housework is beckoning!  

Much love, 
Emma 
Xx



Friday, 28 August 2015

Looking forward.

Grant and I have been in the "waiting place" with the sale of our shop for the best part of two years now.

We have decided once and for all, if it was God's plan for us to sell it would have happened.  It is not a viable or desirable way to run a business "on hold".  A business like ours needs to continue to develop, to evolve and grow.  With this waiting we have been hesitant to spend money on it, as it would be a waste of our resources to invest and build something we would never get to benefit from.  

So with a heavy heart I rang the real estate fellow, and informed him at the close of the next weeks business week, it will be officially taken off the market and we will commit to another 5 years to building it, growing it.  Unless a miracle occurs next week of course! 

We have decided as a family not to buy small acreage at this point, as it is time, money and energy we will need to invest into the business.  We will instead, finish renovating this house and move closer to our shop, so we can spend as much time together as a family.  We will keep veggies and chooks still, and continue to develop Grants bugs business.  We hope to go deeper into our simple living journey, and that being further away from a large town will facilitate a slower, more intentional lifestyle.  We have been weighing up the pros and cons of staying vs moving in this decision.  And have tossed and turned throughout the various options as will show in the last few weeks of my blog!  But I want this blog to be a real account of how we live our lives.  An honest account, and some decisions are difficult to make, and that's OK.  This too-ing and fro-ing shows we plan things, think things through.  That we weigh them up and also that we embrace change. 

The boys will be able to walk down and spend time with Grant, we will be able to buy a house with a little more room to spread out in, and maybe even grow in for the same amount of mortgage we have where we are.  It is a country town, it is wider there, quieter there.  More our pace, it is simpler in many ways.  We will be living and working in the town, which feels right.  The boys will remain in the same school as it is only 20 minutes out of town.  A christian education is important to us and we really love the school they are in.     

We are going to enjoy going away in our little old van, taking the boys camping in cheap/free camping grounds.  We are a family that loves to be together.  So this is our focus going forward.

Much love,
Em
xx 




blessed to be busy

This week has been busy, and the end response is Im tired and irritable.  I'm tired of the constant messes, of the noise and of being needed. ALL. THE. TIME.

But there is beauty here.  There is as much beauty in today as there was yesterday and as much as there will be tomorrow.  Its just about taking the time to see it.  Because I have not been taking the time this week due to busyness I have missed some of it.  That my dears is the problem with BUSY! 

So this post is about stopping and noticing the beauty.  In the small things, the seemingly mundane things.  The things that despite being small and mundane make my heart smile.   

It was an amazing winters day, the sun was shining and I got to open the whole house up.  One of my very favorite things is when the breeze blows the sheer gently.  Grant thinks Im slightly strange for this one!

A beautiful little sweet dish of my grandmothers I use as a little soap dish.  Each time I was my hands with my homemade soap and see this little dish it really makes me smile and reminds me or her.

Home made chocolate cake for a cheeky morning tea!  And going for toddler paced walks in pj's (Henry not me, just to be clear!) in the nearly-spring sunshine.  A blissful, calm morning! 

Finished with reading books in bed for a midday nap.  

Through the hustle and bustle this scripture stood out to me this week.  I have so much to be joyful for.  Even in my business it is a blessing to be able to give back! 

Much love, 
Em

Xx








Oh dear...

Some days are a little rough.  Yesterday was one of them.  Little Henry was playing in the chook yard with his favorite "baby dook, dook"  and our boarder collie jumped over the fence and killed the little chicken and one of the big ones. 

Ill spare you all the details but it was most upsetting for little Henry to witness in the way he did.  It gave him such a fright and spent a few hours just crying for his "baby dook, dook".  I was heartbroken and so upset for little Henry to go through that.   

The dogs have never bothered the chickens before, perhaps it is because they are new?  Our boarder collie is very protective over our children.  They boys never played much with the old chooks, they were not that friendly.  Weather they fact the boys are now playing with these chickens is upsetting Ronnie?  Whatever the trigger he will now be tied up at the house while the boys go in the yard.

We nipped out and bought 3 new little chooks to soften the blow and to end the day on a sweeter note.  Little Henry bounced back quite well by the end of the day.  Raising tiny chicks is something we have talked about doing with our boys.  It is a simple thing we can do on our sized block. 

The boys were very happy with our new chickens. 


Much love!
Xx


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Phase 1

A week or two I wrote about how we are going to up the level of self sufficiency on our home block.  So we have been busy making a start. 

Here are some pretty non-impressive photos but in the aim of keeping things real and honest I'm going to share anyway!

Grant took great joy in cutting down this tree.  He is terribly allergic to the huge yellow blossoms it puts out in spring time.  He has been looking for an excuse to cut it down for years, so he is quite chuffed the veggie patch project meant I finally allowed him to take a chainsaw to it. 

Here is a new fence to divide the dogs off from the patch.  The area feels so much lighter and brighter now that tree is gone and most importantly it will let in the sun.  We still need to hang the gate. 

Most excitingly we have started our collection of new chooks!  The old girls went to chook heaven......which the boys watched and coped with extremely well!  As a mother I had to turn my back and trust Grant knew what he was doing in letting them watch.  They were curious and not at all phased by the process which was done cleanly and quickly. 

After giving the yard a good clean out, bringing in fresh straw for the shed, we now have 7 new hens.  Well we hope they are hens!   We got two Isa brown pullets so we have eggs in the near future. 

They are about 10 weeks old we think this is a Sussex cross

There are some Aracoona crosses.  These chooks were going cheap as they were meant to be pure breads but a cheeky rooster changed the breeders plans.  ;)

The garden is a bit of a mess at the moment but there is still beauty to be found.  As winter winds down to an end and the days grow longer there are a few flowers just beginning to show their pretty faces.  My favorite is my flowering plum, one of my very favorite small trees! 

Geraniums are always a good show and hardy in our hot climate!  And easy to propagate too.  They are generous with their flowers and very forgiving of the times I neglect our garden.  A necessity in this place!  

So we are well into phase one.  There are beds to finish putting in place, soil to fill them in and plenty of grass to kill.  Hopefully we will get some of that done on the weekend. 

Much love!

xx

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Doll making projects on the go!

I have been pottering away on a few dolls of late.  It has been a while since I shared I think so here is a few I have in the works.

These dolls are part of a set for a very special friend of mine.  She is an Aborigional woman and these dolls have been created to reflect the fact that our Indigenous Australians have many different skin tones.  I have some details like clothing, a ringsling and so forth to finish still.  The big girl has a needle felted face which gives her more shape.  

This tiny doll is called "Berrie" about 6.5" and is the much dreamed of cleaning fairy!  She is a gift for a craft swap I'm in and will be sent with some nice tea and a little poem.  I'll be popping her in the post tomorrow.  I hope she brings her recipient a smile! 

And this girl is a cuddle doll.  I need to embroider her face, make her a simple dress, baby and ring sling yet.  

Much love! 
Xx

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Contentedness and how to find it.

For the last few weeks I have been struggling with feeling dis-content.  Its not that I see our lives as needing more - our life is infact beautiful and Im very blessed!  Its just we are STILL witing on word about the shop sale.  We have been sitting in this awkward waiting place for this entire year so far. 

Funnily enough the book that comes to mind with all this waiting has been my sons book "Oh, the places you'll go!" by Dr Seuss...

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...
...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
.............................................................
NO!
That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

Ahh, waiting.  The people say they are very serious about buying our business, they are talking to lawyers regarding the business partnership, they say they want to pay full price.  There are many things that sound hopeful but the reality is we are still waiting.  The truth is a "maybe" means very little.  Even a "yes" in business means very little until everything is signed, things have called off and the contract is finished.  

But throughout this last few weeks I have been trying to search for that feeling of contentedness everywhere!  In scripture, in our friendships, in prayer, in sewing, in family and love and company of my family and friends.

And it dawned on me contentedness requires DISCIPLINE.  We are not content from the things we do in our life, thought they may help keep us focused.  But we are content because we decide to be and then we need to have the discipline to stick to it.  Sure enough slowly, slowly the feeling of contentedness has been creeping back into my heart.

Its not enough just to do simple things, because unless your heart is in the right place the simple things are no better for you in then the complex things.  For me I believe it is in the process of the simple things, the way in which they force us to change our thinking, the way in which the activity forces us to slow down and stop rushing, which is so good for our souls.  But even then we still have to choose to be content in our hearts.

Its easy to let dis-content slip in, but harder to push it out.  A little like money I guess.  It is hard to earn but easy to spend!  If we don't seal the plug, we can find ourselves working hard and an empty bank with nothing to show for it. 
 
Today the sun is shining outside, I have been busy working on some dolls the last two weeks and I have spent some time with a few of my very favorite people in the last few weeks.  My heart feels rested, and at ease.  Today we are getting stuck into beginning the structural elements of our giant veggie patch and garden re-design.  It will take us a while but I am excited to be starting,  The promise of spring and longer, warmer days around the corner always excite me! 

Anyway, the day is calling so I will leave you with a short piece of scripture that I find helpful to keep in mind.


Much love!

xx

Friday, 7 August 2015

Lazy winter days!

Gah....It seems I had a major technology fail and managed to accidentally delete my last post where I was pondering on rushing.....Of course it is not backed up, so you will just have to trust me that it was good!  Ha!  ;)

I have been madly busy this week with workshops, church meetings, family visiting and friends for dinner last night and tonight.  So I don't have much time to write but instead thought I would share a few photos.  I love photos!  Here are a few moments from our week...

Henry and I did some pretty groovy dancing while listening to Pete Murray in the kitchen amongst the dishes and daily mess of family life.  It's so important to turn a blind eye and enjoy the little moments.  We spent the morning alternating between dancing and housework!

There was fire gazing on a cold morning....

Wool felt animals to play with and learn about....

And forts to build! 

And a short verse from my reading of scripture this week that really resonated with me....

Much love! 
Xx

A few articles I read this week....

I think its always interesting to read how other cultures approach parenting.  Here is a link to a danish perspective, I enjoyed flicking through this site.  
Danish parenting..

Oh how I dream of a little shed like this for myself in my veggie patch! 
a lovely garden shed!

Oh how I would love to do this in my house!  Though I need to be aware there are others who live here, not just me!  ;) 
minimalism 

A church grown from trees, just breathtakingly beautiful!
living church