Garden progress

Finally we have started our veggie patch!  Well we are working on the structural aspects of it anyway for now.  Grant surprised me with the most beautiful gate he made out of scraps that were lying around the yard at the old cottage.  Paths are being laid from old bricks that were also here when we bought it, which will act as dividers between the beds. 

We will be spending the next month or more working in the garden, while we save for the cladding on the house.  The fence needs to be mended thanks to the dogs, (grrr...) a little more rubble to clear, soil turned and manure and straw brought in ready for some seedlings. 

One of the hardest parts for me in this move would have to be the yard.  Its huge yes, and there are fruit trees.  But that was about it.  There are still the old falling down sheds which we will need to get the abspestos people to come in to professionally and safely remove the roof off before we can demolish it.  Piles of building rubble remain, though there is certainly less.  Many trailor loads have been removed, light timber has been burnt and good hard timber stored in our woodshed for winter.  A bonfire makes for great free cold weather entertianment! 

But to see the bones of the veggie patch start to go in, the front garden started.....well it feels like we are moving in the right direction.    

But, you know, in the aim of keeping it real and honest I don't know if I would do this move again if given the choice.  There has been plenty of good to come out of it.  But plenty of difficulty too.  This was a move to substantially reduce debit.  Financially it has been good, and it has certainly been beneficail to Grant in all aspects of his life.  He was under huge pressure and he is certainly happier here.  But I just don't feel settled here. Families, we always compromise for the best for the family, hey?  It is silly to say I wouldn't do it again, as it is not like I can go back in time, best to make the most of it all.  :) 

I miss my old 3 bedroom house, with the big lined out shed where visitors could stay, where I had a wonderful bright, airy sewing space.  I miss being in town, where school was a 6 minute drive down the road, rather then a 1hr return trip.  I miss my girlfriends being able to pop in for a cuppa after school run, I'm lonley here.  I have plenty of company, and oppertunity to chat.  But I miss that deep connection I had with dear friends on a regular basis. 

There is plenty of good here, mind you.  We are close to our business, being involved in the renewal of a lovely country church, my ministry work which I love, financially things are much lighter.  Grant is far happier here. 

But I don't feel like this is home in my heart of hearts.  I do my best to notice the quiet, the lovely outlook.  I get plenty of delight from each step of establishing our new garden.  I love to see the chooks with a great big space, the fruit trees.  There is plenty of good things, of lovely things.  Perhaps if we hang around long enough these things will grow in me. 

Perhaps I am simply a wanderer at heart!  Since Grant and I have been married we have moved about 8 times in the last 10 years.  Or perhaps I am a homebody who has simply not found my home yet.        

But either way, I am excited about the prospect of a veggie garden.  Its shaping up to be a good size space and we should be able to grow plenty there.  Hopefully we will be able to sell the excess in the shop too. 

My new gate.  Im in so much love with it!  And it cost us nothing which is always a bonus. 

A new path in the process of being built. 

Salvias are in full bloom, one of my very favorite plants!  Tough, hardy, beautiful. 

This little lempon tree is a ripper.  Its a terrible shape, old, gnarled.  But it gives fruit like a tree twice its size would!  It's all heart.   

Oranges and grapefruit are also in abundance....Pity we all dislike grapefruit.  Ha! 
Well it's best I get going, work to do and all that. 

Much love, and I hope you can find some time for peace and reflection in your week. 


A quick camping trip.

We had a quick camping trip togeather over the weekend.  Checking out free camp sites.  This one was lovely, and importantly not a long drive away seeing as we were only nipping away for a weekend.  At a place called White Cliffs.  Beautiful river, lovely bushy area.  We recently decided to commit to go camping one weekend a month, with the challange to do it as cheaply as possible, and as easily! 

Our set up might not be fancy, but it does us just fine!  We didn't bother setting up the annex, it was a short trip and we were not expecting rain. 

The old Franklin, hitched up.

Our campsite - a little muddy!  But very pretty.

Getting in some studying in.  And a vintage van simply MUST have bunting - yes?

Our big comfy bed, Henry often joins us.  ;)

The river, a beautiful crisp morning.

The boys exploring the bush.

This wee girl came home three shades browner from all the mud - she had a blast!

Here Aggie is trying to look dignified - dont be fooled.....She is anything but!

Ronnie had a good time too - he loved exploring with the boys.

The boys had the most wonderful embankment to slide down - though I will be soaking their socks for a week!  So. Much. Mud.  Mud - glorious mud!

Henry doing his tricks! 

There are planty of ways to explore cheap/free camping.  Looking at your states national parks is one, going to an powered or unpowered site of a smaller, simpler country caravan park is another.  We have paid as little at $45/night for a powered site before in the off peak season, and had a lovely time.  There is something so beautiful and invigorating about the beach in winter! 

There are also RV friendly towns.  HERE is a website to explore. 

A camping set up does not need to be expensive.  Ours has been built up over a couple of years.  The van itself was $1000, and came with a working duel power fridge and oven.  It was in a real state mind you.  But then we spent another $1000 fixing it up, over a period of 6 months or so, buying things we needed as we went along.  The little air con was second hand and works very well, the lino the end of a roll and out for clearance.  The timber for the benches was old timber we slavaged from somewhere for free.  The dining table is new plywood, cut around the old table shape and the old leg attached.  Many things can be bought second hand over gumtree, the boys tent was.  It was brand new with tags on for a fraction of the price it would have been to buy it new.  It just takes a bit of patience and searching to find what you want.

You can spend a huge amount buying a van and setting it up - but the thing is you don't HAVE too.  A bit of elbow greese, patience and thrift can do you well.  Then you get to spend the money actually going on trips and enjoying your time off.  I reckon avoid camping shows - they make camping look far more complex then it needs to be.  It makes them plenty of $$$.  ;)

Alternatively, you can camp with tents and keep it simple.  Though I know people who have spent as much as we have on our van, by the time they have put togeather their camping set ups, and it takes them a whole lot longer to set up and unpack their camp.  It depends on your season of life, your energy, your budget, and what you want to get out of it.  It can be done on any budget, I do believe. 

Also camping things make for wonderful, practical birthday/christmas pressie ideas.  The boys swags have been joint gifts from Grandparents, same as torches, chairs etc.  Corckery/pots/pans can easily be op-shopped.   

By keeping things ready to go in the old van, or otherwise in big plastic tubs, it makes camping a quick and easy option.  We can be out of the house and hitched up within 2 hours if we try hard from the time we start packing.  For us it's about keeping it simple.  By keeping the van stocked with it's own bedding, it means we are not in to rush to wash it all when we get back.  An extra load a day until it's gone is all it takes.  Then it all goes back into the van clean and waiting for the next trip.   
It takes a few trips to get a pattern and routine down pat - but once you have there will be no looking back I promise.  Paying for nice accomodation is simply not in our budget - but it is important for our family to get away and spend time in nature.  In a time where modern lives are often dominated by technology, to be free of it, to sit around a campfire and talk, I mean really talk.  It's a beautiful and powerful thing. 

Much love,

Grab a cuppa and pull up a chair!

Well, hello there!

I didn’t realize it had been quite so long between posts.  So today I thought I would sit down and have a good chin wag.

I posted HERE about my POD reflection, and then I realized I never actually got back to you!  I have sat down with a panel of 6 for an interview and my call to formal ministry has been affirmed so far.  The affirmation was unanimous, and very encouraging.  I felt relived and thankful.  But this is only stage one.  The next step is to face a new panel of the same size, over a two day/one night interview process.  Sounds joyful huh?  😉 I’m not too worried about it, what will be will be.  I’m happy to get on with life in the meantime!

Studying, always studying! 

There have been birthdays, bonfires and new gardens built.  Little Henry is now 4!  Where on earth did that time go?!  We had a bonfire for his birthday with a couple of friends and family.  Baked spuds and birthday cake was on the menu.  He wanted a “pussy cat” cake, always a pussy cat!  So together we browsed the old vintage Woman’s weekly cake book and settled on “Puss in Boots”.  What great fun!  He was given the most beautiful Hape marble run by his grandparents, a lovely Folkmanis cat puppet and mouse by us, which he thinks are hilarious. (quite appropriate considering we are in the middle of a mouse plague.) some magnetic building shapes, warm clothes, a magna – doodle from his other grandparents.  There were other bits and bobs I’m sure, though I can’t remember what!  The bonfire was a wonderful night, kids running about, marshmallows to roast, and a glass of red or two by the fire with wonderful company, is there anything better? Not to me. 

We have decided to hold off on the rest of the renovations for a while and just relax.  We are taking the old van away tonight!  It is so very needed.  We have been pottering in the garden, building a new bed out the front.  Finally, the little old cottage is beginning to look like someone loves it – even if it is salmon pink still!  This bed was my birthday/mothers say gift.  It has been planted out with Jasmine over the arch, roses, salvias, lambs ears, seaside daisies, stratis, and various other hardy bits and bobs.  The arch was a barter deal with our neighbours, I spied it unused in their back yard.  We have also been planting out the rear back garden bed some more and planted some climbing roses bought bare rooted to hide Grants ugly shed.  It feels wonderful to be pottering in the garden again.  Taking turns to clean up rubble, and gardening.  Next is our veggie patch.  The fruit trees have been pruned, (by Grant…..with a chain saw……*eye roll*, there will be no peaches for me this year…or next for that matter…..but the trees will be better for it in the long run.) the demolition rubble is mostly gone.  It’s totally normal to build a garden before the house right?!

Will went on a school camp and things were oh-so-quiet without his constant conversation!  He had a great time though.  Goodness we are lucky to be able to send the boys to such a wonderful school. 

Aggie the Scottish Terror is well, big now!  Still biting shoelaces, still full of trouble.  She ripped up a buch of brand new plants......Fortunetly we were there and quickly re-planted them.  The rest of the animals are well, the cats are enjoying sleeping inside, the dogs love to play and wrestle, though old Tessa is getting a little stiff in the cooler weather.  She is 12 now, or 13 later this year?  She is doing well for an old fat labradoor.   

I know there is more, but I cannot think of it to be honest!  I have washing to do and packing to do as we are taking the van away tonight. 

I hope you are all well my dear readers!

Much love,




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