A picture speaks a thousond words.

Life is good here.  Full of new life and fresh air! We feel deeply blessed.

Sitting on her eggs, what a good Mama!  One baby chick out.


Here they are, only two survived out of three. 

Happy beach days, Will even caught a few crabs with a bucket.  He gave them to local fisherman who were out raking for them. 

Homemade hommus, veggie sicks, crackers and fruit for morning tea. 

Going to the park, the "playground" got ignored after a bit and they found nature to play in.  Mud, sticks, rocks....can you really beat that?

The boys on the "island".
Grant is destined to forever have his bed stolen...by someone....Here he is after Henry kicked him out of his bed.  he has the patience of a saint. 

Getting ready for a new commer!

Meet Aggie, the fearless Scottish Terrier!

But being fearless is also very tiring.....


This little lady has graced our lives after waiting for her for the last 3 months!  Such a delight!  She has full pedigree papers.  Her mother is a champion show dog, her father is a grand champion.  We hope to breed from her and in 12 months will be on the look out for a male. 

We might show her a little, but our aim is to be fully registered breeders and breed good, strong, healthy, true Scottish Terriers.  To continue the breed well. 

Much love from us all,
Emma
xx 




8

Rhythm, routines and health.

As I have mentioned, last year was a really tough year for me.  I struggled.  Alot.  I didn't realize how much until recently.  It's like during the school holidays the layers of pressure and stress have been slowly peeling away.  As I reflect back over last years posts, I can hear it in them.  Thankyou for continuing to read and stick with me!  I do so appreciate it.   

These holidays and having the time to be....well it's been wonderful, and energizing.  I feel like slowly as the layers of stress peel away I am beginning to re-emerge again. 

Don't get me wrong, last year was full of blessings and new beginnings.  Im so very greatful for it,
but I'm not sad it's over. 

I have gained alot of weight, (eughhh) my joints ache and my energy levels have been extreemly low.  Middy naps anyone? 

I have been to the Dr and they are giving me a good once over, blood tests and all the like - so far everything is clear and I suspect nothing significant will show up. 

I believe this is simply the cost of stress, and the hormone response chronic stress triggers.  It takes a serious physical toll on the body.  Despite taking the time to be mindful, and slow down last year.  It was still a tough year.  If I hadn't been on this simple living journey, I would hate to think where I would be now.  Very ill I suspect.   

So I have spent some time simply reading and getting inspired about our health again.  Putting back in place old, familiar routines, as well as starting new practices.  I have no words for just how lovely it feels. 

Re-starting my milk kiefer, broth on the simmer, youghrt straining for soft cheese and to use the whey to help soak beans/grains and sourdough starter under the blue cloth.

I have had "Nourishing Traditions" on my shelf for simply aaaaages.  But have been put off by it's size and depth, and a lack of time and energy to give it the proper time it deserves.  But being on holidays, and first half of the house is mostly renovated there is no excuse.  Over the past week I have been nestled down with a pen and paper and cuppa, menu planning, shopping list writing, and taking notes of pages to refer back to.  I am keeping it very simple.  But this slow, simple food resonates with me. 


A couple of weeks ago I wrote about using "click and collect" due to work/study/travel and being stretched for time.  My goodness it is working AMAZINGLY well.  I save time shopping during the day and now I can use that time to food prep/cook.  I have found my cooking mojo!  It's a little fragile, but it's there.

I'm finding I'm shopping every 1-2 weeks.  I have slowed the process right down to carefully look after our produce better.  Taking the time to rotate things in my fridge, store them better, and organize my fridge everytime I shop so nothing gets tucked in at the back.  My food wastage has gone right down.  Not that it was ever wasted - as it went to the chooks, but you know.  When we hurry and rush we forget whats there.  We dont take the time to value what we have.           

As I unpack my groceries I pop the veggies into a sink of water with a good glup of whit vinegar to let them soak.  This gets any dirt and impurities off and they last much, much better.  
They do need to be left to drain well,  especially strawberries. 

Well the boys are giving me the hurry along - we have a mother hen hatching out her eggs today and best we check on her, I hope to get some photos to share tomorrow!
Much love,
Emma
xx



15

A day.....

You know those days that start well and go down hill? 

Well yesterday turned out to be one of those.  I had zero patience left by the end of the day.  Infact, I had zero patience left by mid afternoon. 

It was so rediculous I thought I would share my pain with you, my dear readers.  Because there is no use having a painful day with children if you dont then have a good laugh about it with friends.  Also in the aim of keeping it real.  Because if I saw one more calm peaceful family, doing wholesome artistic things, in beautiful gentle light, brewing bloody Kombacha and eating resteraunt style, wholesome snacks on my instagram feed I was going to throw my computer at the wall.  Ha!

Yesterday, was apparently all about the fighting.  Oh my goodness the fighting.  It started off peacefully, and I should have packed them up and taken to them to the beach first thing like I intended.  But I didn't.  I faffed about and did less important things.  You would think now I would know to wear them out by lunch time, wouldn't you?

Don't be fooled by the calm scene....They were simply plotting their next move...

I put on relaxing essential oils, soothing music, turned off all screens, read out oud to them.....No avail.  There was no rescuing the day.

Here are just a couple of the more memorable things I had to say yesterday to prevent the boys from actually killing eachother....

"Henry, we do not hit our brother on the head with a shovel!"  (A big metal one too.....I took it away, and talked to him about the danger, and I would like to say that was the end of that but he found a nother shovel and re-peated it...more then once!  I had visions of my dear sweet boy turning growing into a mass murder...Who does that?!)

"Henry! We do not throw metal cars at people heads!"

"Guys we do not break eachothers creations for fun, it's not OK!" (ensue copious screaming and tears of victim of the creation breaking, mumbled apologies and a truce that lasted not even 5 minutes till round 1372....)

"No, you may not play with your pocket knife today" (Because really, I was not interested in adding a stabbing to the days list of injuries from ferral behaviour.)

"Yes you may play with the hose and fill up the paddle pool."
Not even 5 minutes later....
"Do Not squirt eachother in the face!!!  IF SOMEONE IS SCREAMING AND CRYING IT MEANS THEY ARE NOT HAVING FUN!!!"

This wasn't even the tip of the iceberg of the crappy stuff they did yesterday and by this point I was REALLY losing my cool. 

And then, the topper was William.  Who really did not deserve the outburst, but he hit a well frayed nerve.

I opened the computer to look up a number I needed to book a Dr appointment.  My blog page flashed up and William pondered....
Will - "Mum, you really shouldn't have a picture of your doll on your blog page."
I take the bait....
Me - "why not?"
Will - "Because you don't even sew any more."
Me - ..........................*tries to breathe deeply, fails completly and looses cool*

"THE ONLY REASON I DONT SEW MUCH THESE DAYS IS BECAUSE ALL OF MY SPARE TIME IS SPENT RAISING SMALL, UNGREATFUL CHILDREN, WHO MAKE CONTINUOUS MESS, DON'T LISTEN AND SPEND HALF THEIR TIME TRYING TO KILL EACHOTHER!!!"

By this point I had gone Nuclear.....I had a good old foot stomp, rant and rave.  Im pretty sure the old deaf neighbour could hear me from INSIDE his house.  Ha!

The boys literally ate a big bowl of homemade avocado dip and rice crackers for dinner.  I was done.  But avocado is a super food, so that makes it alright, yes?! 

I would like to say bedtime brought relief but no.......Henry faffed about until 11pm, there goes HIS midday nap.  Little bugger.

Goodness, yesterday was a train wreck of a day.  But today?  Today is a new day.  The rain is falling on the old tin roof, the house is open and the boys are in beautiful, calm, gentle moods.  For now....  ;)

Thankyou God! 

Much love,
Emma
xx






19

Compromise.

Grant and I have been doing some serious pondering lately.  About life, about how the years pass. 

About the fragilness of life after an online friend passed too soon.  A woman who forever left a mark on our heart after her quiet kindness and generosity.   

About finances.

About the farm, we dream of but cannot buy until our business sells. 

About sustainability.

Finally unpacked my special things from all our grandparents after being here for a year.  My eyes prickled with tears from happy memories as I carefully unwrapped everything and put it in its place.  The box to the side is things to donate/sell.  De-cluttering and keeping only what we love is a continuing theme here. 

As many of my long-time readers possibly know we own a rural General Store and Post Office.  We casually put it on the market around the time I started blogging.  It remains on the market which is no surprise as businesses are notoriously slow to sell.  It is a particularly bad time to sell a business like ours.  But in a difficult economy where many small businesses are forced to close their doors, ours had grown and strengthened significantly.  It is a good, solid, reliable business to buy.  But it doesn’t change the fact that it is being marketed in a poor economy, where banks are highly conservative and are not supporting small businesses. 

We have decided to drop the price a little, it's hard.  We need it to be worth a certain amount from it as we need to buy our farm cash - Banks don’t like lending for farming either, apparently growing food that we all need to eat to survive is considered too risky of an investment for them too.  But you know, it’s not risky to loan for an overpriced, fancy brand new car.  Nor is it risky apparently to lend a stack of money to a young couple just starting out for their big fancy, brand new house filled with brand new, shiny things.....Go figure huh.....*eye roll*

Bottling up a batch of nourishing bone broth.  The ultimate frugal, simple food.  Generations of people have been doing this same task through time....Though I have electricity.  ;)

But my point is, we have decided to drop the price on our business.  We have a meeting coming up with our sales bloke, I’m not sure that even the price drop we have in mind will stimulate the interest we need in this deadpan economy.   

It doesn’t feel good to have your arm twisted by the economy, when you know what your selling is good and strong and traditionally worth what it's listed as.  But there is a cost to keeping the focus on what we believe we "should" get in life. 

We could hold out for what we know it's worth, but our children will grow older, these precious young years will be forever gone.  The lessons we want to teach them about farming, the time we want to spend with them working side by side…..It will all disappear if we make our focus on the financial gains in life.  These years we can never get back.

There is a cost for striving for "the best deal".  In our relationships, in ourselves, in our dreams being put on hold.  Sometimes, we need to settle for "pretty good".  Because the cost is not worth the price we would otherwise have to pay. 

In this day and age, we are told we "deserve" the best.  To aim high!  Never give up!  You can do whatever you want to do!  There is truth in these statements.  But not necessarily in the way the media portrays it. 

We do deserve the best – But to give our best to our families, to our relationships, to our loved ones.   

We do need to aim high - to challenge ourselves to work hard, to aim for a strong marriage, to aim for strong relationships, to aim to live within our means.  To aim to leave this world stronger, gentler.   

And we do need to never give up.  To never give up on our families, to never give up on kindness and empathy and trying to understand the world around us, to never give up on being an advocate for the lost, the weak, the forgotten, the vulnerable.  These are what’s important.  It should never be about never giving up on obtaining the perfect shoe collection, or curating the perfect Instagram feed, nor the prefect home. These things don’t even exist as the goal posts are always being moved by an external force that tries to decide for us on what "enough" is.  Or what the latest fashion is, or the latest trend in housing.

A simple dinner.  San Boy Chow.  Fresh, tasty and perfect for a hot summers night when no one is overly hungry and cooking a big meal is completly unappealing.

So, with that in mind we are dropping the price on our business.  We are not going to get "the best price" for it that we would like.  Instead we are looking at how the sale of the business can give us "our best life" together as a young family.  It will make things at the other end harder, but that is why we were created with a wonderful an imagination and the ability to think outside the “box”. 

There is a cost to every single decision we make.  The thing that we need to always keep in mind is, are we willing to pay the price?    

Much love,
Emma
xx
11

New year thoughts.

So here we are, a week into the new year already! 

 I have been doing a bit of pondering about this little blog, where to take it and what to write about.  Sometimes I wonder if there is anything you would specifically like to read about?  I wonder if there are things we can explore together? 

I think there will be plenty of renovations to share, sourcing things second hand to do so.  I have been given the job of gumtree scourer.  There will be plenty of gardening, as we try and get this cottage garden into some kind of shape.  Hopefully a touch of sewing here and there!

I'm going set myself a challenge this year and work through "the simple home" by Rhonda Hetzel month by month and then blog about it here a couple of times a month.  I'll write about the changes we make, the things that work and keeping in with my aim to be real and honest- the things that don’t.

January is organizing the year ahead, I will continue to ponder this over the weekend and set up plans ready to share next week.   

Our organisation station.  Notices, invitations, pens, charges and the like all kept in one place. 

You know those people you catch up with that just help you find your calm?  I saw a dear friend yesterday and it was just so good for my soul.  It was nothing fancy, we drank coffee in her ramshackle old house which is in the middle of major renovations while our 5 boys played, splashing full bore, screaming and running like mad the mad things they are.  But to talk about life, both looking for the positives always and sharing conversation with someone who is also striving for slowness and simplicity...well it is a real blessing and a joy.  I left feeling deeply content.

It is HOT here today.  Like seriously hot. We have very little planned.  There is a load or two of washing to do.  There will be a little work on reading, writing and maths to do.  Playing with puzzles and colours with Henry.  Nothing heavy nor serious, but we all need to do a little work every now and again or our brains might actually turn to mush!

Writing letters to the child we sponsor. 

I intend to tackle my little sewing room/office also this arvo.  It is full of dust because of the louvre windows and its turning into a dumping ground.  I need to de-clutter it a bit, pass on fabrics I won’t use and also and lay out my current project which is a queen size raggedy quilt.  I'm hoping pulling it, and freshen up my work space will inspire me to work on it again.  Getting this room organized is important for the new year of study and work.     

Settling in to read together. 

I have also been getting our current rooms ready for the next stage of renovations.  We have sold our lovely TV unit and coffee table which were simply too big for our lounge and sourced something that fits better for $50.  Goodness I love gumtree!  The room is so much more spacious.  Now it works for our family. 

There is now lots of floor space to spread out and play on in the cool. 

The tv is now in the corner and no longer the main focal point of the room.  It feels like a calmer space as a result.  

I cannot love gumtree enough.  It is an amazing resource when it comes to simple living and budgeting.  So many people get rid of so many wonderful and useful things.  Be it due to life changes, moving, down-sizing or simply "getting bored" with the current look of their home.  As far as renovating goes, many companies get rid of “ex-display” stock on the cheap too.  It is a good first point of call.     

A good friend and I are going to do a trade on my kitchen dresser.  My beautiful kitchen dresser is 2m long and simply doesn’t fit along a suitable wall in this little old cottage.  But a good friend is interested in doing a swap.  His is kitchen dresser is significantly smaller and we will trade my dresser for his and his meat safe.  A perfect deal I reckon!  There is no point keeping beautiful things if they do not add to the functionality of your home!  They just become awkward clutter. 

Anyway, I best toddle off and pull out these puzzles!
Much love,
Emma

xx


     

  
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