Community garden

Friday, 9 June 2017

Choices.


We all have choices in life, don't we? 

We can choose to walk to the beat of our own drum, or we can choose to be influenced by the voices around us.  Those voices which move us away from the quiet voice in our heart of hearts.  We usually know we have done this when after we make a decision we feel a kind of unrest within ourselves. 

We can choose to have the lovely things we see in the shops, and in magazines.....or we can choose to look for an alternative.

We can choose to eat out and enjoy the atmosphere that it brings, or we can choose to find a different kind of beauty in our homes, and save the money. 

Recently I joined a dear friend out for breakfast with her friends.  I know these other women and they are lovely people.  We are quite different but that’s OK, the world needs different people.  I was bemused as they judged my decision to own a pure bread Scottish Terrier, gasping at the cost.  Declaring they could NEVER afford something like that.  I chuckled as I looked at them with their faces fully made up, hair styled and dyed, clothes on trend.  Showing each other the beautiful jewellery their husbands had bought them, driving their new cars, discussing their husbands footy season tickets.

Their choices resonated with them, mine with us.  Which is OK.  When we say “yes” to something, we say “no” to another.  But I did find the conversation amusing, none the less!

You see for us, Aggie the Scottish Terrier is not just a pet.  She is something we get to experience.  She is a part of the family yes, but she is also a teaching tool for our family.  Aggie, will be a breeding dog.  A partner for her will be carefully selected, genetics thoroughly researched so her offspring will have strong, pure genetic lines.  Our aim will be to preserve and strengthen the breed.  Her litters will be well spaced out, and kept to the very strict pedigree standards.  Our boys will learn about life, birth, finances, about vetinery medicine, the development of puppies.  They will learn responsibility, to care for something dependant on us.  They will learn to love and to say goodbye as we find good homes for the puppies. 

But these are all choices, and we all have them.

Recently Grant and I have made another choice.  To change the way we are selling the shop.  To sell the lease of the business whilst holding onto the building and renting it out.  This is not ideal for us, it will leave us with a small debt, the rent will cover it.  But none the less.  But it does put the business into a completely different price bracket.  We have also accepted the grim reality that business’s in this area are currently only able to be priced 1.5years profit, rather than the traditional 2years profit.  In the long run it will be fine, short term it will be financially tougher.

But we can choose to hold on having our focus on making as much money as possible.  Or we can choose to live the life that resonates within our heart of hearts.

Luckily I don’t care for fancy clothes or shoes huh?

It also means that when we buy a farm it will just be land, there will likely not be a house on it – probably not even a run down little one.  Which in one hand means we get to build, and there are some interesting, cost effective options out there for someone as handy as Grant.  But who on earth will ever rent to a rowdy family like us when the time comes?  3 kids, 3 dogs, 2 cats and a flock of chickens…..!  I think it pays not to think about it. 

On the home front we are happily working in the new veggie patch.  I had a good friend come yesterday and I was thrilled to send her home with lemons, grapefruit, spinach and some home made lemon curd.  We have brought manure into the first section of the veggie patch and turned the soil and planted it out with a few winter veggies.  Carrots, broccoli, cauli, cabbage, spinach, kale and marigolds have gone in.  The mulch will go down once the tiny seedlings are a bit bigger.  It’s a bit of an experiment this patch.  I think the soil needs more work, Grant thinks it will be fine, though it will improve over time.  It’s not an ideal time of year to plant, but we have not spent much and it’s a bit of trial and error which brings us great fun.       

I wonder if you are thinking carefully about the choices you are making in your life?  I wonder if there are choices you havn't dared let yourself consider to be an actual possibility? 

Much love,
Emma
xx

25 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about the cost of your Aggie. I have a pedigree dog too, and she was very expensive. My friends were shocked when I told them. Our breeder was carefully chosen and we waited for a year for our puppy. I don't consider it an extravagance at all as our dogs are much loved members of the family and give us so much joy over their lives. Much more joy than a designer handbag and a pair of shoes ever would!

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    1. Yes, its a (often) a very ethical way of breeding isn't it? A carefully chosen pet. There are so many unwanted puppies out there, from the result of owners not de-sexing their dogs. I love me a bitsa as much as the next person, but it is concerning when so many dogs get destroyed and dumped every year.

      xx

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  2. Oh Emma I totally understand. I hear a lot of the 'you're so lucky to be able to stay at home and we both have to work full-time' and so on. We made this choice though. We chose to purchase our home well under budget, we have chosen to purchase cheaper cars we can afford, we have chosen not to spend a lot of money on clothes, holidays etc. We are also extremely content and happy this way.
    I'm so glad to hear you have started with your garden. I'm amazed at how much you have already done. Enjoy and how lovely to be able to send your friend home with those goodies. That's what ifs all about.
    Kylie

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    1. YES! I know, I am lucky in many ways. Lucky to be educated, lucky to have the privledge to be so. But there is a whole lot of planning and sacrifice thrown into the mix isnt there?

      I would not like to buy a new car - then I would feel obliged to actually wash it. ;) What a pain that would be!

      xx

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  3. Emma your post resonates with me. When our children were small we lived in less than wonderful conditions. We knew that we would be able to make our home something special, but this would take time and effort. We would choose an area or a task, save madly, complete the task and tick it off the list. A number of friends found it very difficult to understand that we simply didn't go and borrow the money from a bank and get the house finished. We actually lost friends as they didn't like coming to our 'shack' and instead only wanted us to visit their McMansions.
    It may have taken 20 years to finish, we sold it not long after finishing, but we did own it and we benefited from the sale. The same cannot be said for those that kept borrowing money and kept getting new this and new that.
    Stay true to your vision and you will benefit from this. Your little boys will see that dedication to tasks will see amazing outcomes.

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    1. Jane I love stories like yours, I find them so encouraging and motivating. I would have come and visited you in your shack! ;)

      I dont like going to fancy homes, I worry the kids will break something. ;) Im sorry to hear you lost friends over it, thats unfortunate.

      I love homes that tell a story, with shelves of interesting books. Of furniture passed down, or sedond hand. with knocks and bumps in it. I wonder how they got there. Our old dining table used to have these wonderful black lines etched into the surface, hundreds of them. I susect it was from some kind of pastry cutter? I used to wonder about the lady who made so many pies, and the people she made them for. Sadly after the flood the old table went under water and the top warped and twiseted. My FIL pulled it apart, sanded it right back and put it back togeather which was wonderful, though I lost those lines in the salvation process. I do however have little lines of silt forever saved under the varnish in the groves on the legs. He scrubbed it, but missed some. (It was stubborn stuff.) Grant wants to "restore" the table one day, I REFUSE to let him. Its part of the story.

      xx

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  4. I love the brick path through your veggie garden, Emma. It shouldn't be long and your seedlings will be filling in the space with homegrown food. I love to share food from our garden too, it's a lovely feeling. Meg:)

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    1. It's just the best isnt it? I have friends who like to stalk my chillies, but sadly for them, they did not do well this year. ;)

      We have an old fella from church who loves our grapefruit. He has been getting them from our tree from the previous owners formany years, reckons they are the best grapefruit. (I dont like grapefruit....) But I love that I can continue the tradition!

      xx

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  5. Emma we have heaps of Bird's Eye chillies here and they are too hot for me. My hubby can only eat so many of them. It is a pity your friend doesn't live around here :-)

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  6. Hi Emma
    I haven't checked in for a while - I've been back at work teaching big kids science three days a week. Glad to see you are still trundling along with life and your little projects.
    I have work colleagues that marvel at my choices - 'oh you live such a different life to me!' And yet I just see normal. But as I talk about my chooks, and ducks and the new quail chicks that daughter #3 has supervised hatching and is now looking after, and as I share the excess veggies I've picked, and as I tell tales of what each child has cooked for dinner that week, or how they cycle themselves to activities, or earn money babysitting or dog-walking to pay for trips, maybe I am different. I try to live a life thankful to God, tread lightly on the planet, raise resilient kids who know how to love, respect and value effort. Those choices were deliberately made. They sit well with me and my hubby.
    Keep being yourself, keep being different if different is the way to be.
    Rach

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    1. I hope your teaching is going well, we need good science teachers! :)

      I bet your daughter was so proud of her quail chicks. Just lovely. Will she sell them?

      I agree that thankfulness is such an important value. To God, for what we have, to each other. I heard will re-assuring Gussy the other day. He wants a particular set of Lego, so he is slowly doing extra chores but was upset it is taking so long. William sat with him, gave him a cuddle and re-assured him of all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for - a warm house, lovely dogs, a big yard lots of great toys, each other. To not worry about what he didn't have, that it would come if he kept working. But instead to look at what we do have. My heart swelled with love and pride.

      I reckon we are the luckiest family around. :)

      Xx

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    2. (Even if we do live in half a house, with an outdoor loo and bathroom. ;)

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    3. Indeed Emma!
      And no, Jess was horrified at the thought we might sell them, so hopefully some of them are females so we can harvest the eggs! Interestingly, Jess is allergic to most eggs, but not quail eggs. And there's scientific info about quail eggs helping reduce allergic-type reactions (eczema, hayfever).

      R

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    4. Thats very interesting about the quail eggs, I will certainly keep it in mind. But that we have egg allergies, but I know people who do.

      xx

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  7. Good food, for thought. Your story is interesting, and reminds me of some influences I had in my life. I came into owning land, thanks to several friends who were buying. It was always on my mind to do it (since my youth) but seeing them go through the process, just reaffirmed I could do it too.

    Ultimately, we all desired different things though. Once they realised the land was getting in the way of the rest of the things, they wanted to achieve, they moved on. I was always looking for a place to belong though, so couldn't move - even though my life, and desires changed too. We made different choices, but assumed responsibility for them, in our own way.

    I'm glad you are finding ways to move on, in your life, business and plans for the future. :)

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    1. I like the idea of belonging to your land, home is such an important place. To be creative, to grow, to retreat too.

      A lot of people don't like to be "tied down" and see gardening as a chore, but I see land and a place to be productive as freedom. Freedom to own where you live, to change it as you see fit, to be independent, to be accountable to yourself. So many reasons. :) But then again I am a homebody who as much as I love people and places, I'm most happy at home, in my garden or curled up with a book surrounded by my boys and our pets.

      Xx

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  8. You should try Morag Gamble's upside-down no-dig gardening method to improve your soil. Also, yes....when we decided to live on 60% of our income we thought we probably could not do it - but we did and are.

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  9. You sound very happy at home, Emma. I think gardening really puts your personal stamp on the home. It completely changes the energy.

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  10. Your garden is going to be wonderful as the veges grow. I like the curved pathway through it. Wonderful that you are continuing traditions, and making some of your own. I had a little laugh about your choices, and others opinions, as I've had similar discussions about owning hens, making my own soap and clothing and endless other subjects where my life is a bit different to other's lives.

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  11. I totally get this! I feel the same with people around me too, my sister is one of them!
    I was so excited when I first met you, after reading your blog, it was like finding a member of some weird tribe
    :-D I have someone else to talk to about all the 'quirky' things I want to try or already do.

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    1. LOL! It totally is like that isn't it? It is so great to meet people who think the same. :)

      xx

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  12. Hi Emma
    Yes, it is soooo funny and a fascinating thing to look at what we all make our decisions based on! When I visit the uk I am blown away by the care people take with their appearance. Rural NZ is NOT like this! ha. xx

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    1. Some of my dearest friends are from NZ, they have such strong ties to family and community. They say it's a kiwi thing. Something we do very differently over here. I love their warm kiwi ways and have tried to make them ours too. The whole more the merrier, thing.

      I'm too lazy to care too much about fancy clothes and stuff. I mean, it's very beautiful. But we are kinda ragamuffin-y. ;)

      Xx

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