surgery update and a podcast

Hello dear readers, I just wanted to pop in and let you know that surgery went well and I am home recovering. I'm a bit flat feeling, foggy-headed, tired and sore but all went well and I feel a little better every day. I'm not supposed to lift anything heavier than 5kg for 6 weeks, which is proving very difficult with a baby who just wants her Mum. But Grant and the boys are all working together to make things as easy as possible.

Aggie my ever loyal little Sidekick. Happy to have a kip too. 

Before I went into the hospital, I did a podcast with my dear friend Allie from The Decluttered Home. If you're up for a listen you can find it HERE and check out her Facebook page HERE

I have started working on the next vlog, but each morning I intend to get up early to film the birds and the beautiful sunrise but my bed keeps calling me back. Perhaps tomorrow morning I will get there. I hope to have it out next Friday so I had best get cracking. 

Well aside from that, things have been quiet here. Elsie is sound asleep so I might join her in bed for a little kip. 

Much love,

Surgery, goats and gardening

It's been heating up here and summer is well and truly on its way.  

I have surgery this Friday which will leave me out of action for roughly 6 weeks, which is annoying but it needs to be done. Grant will be able to bring Elsie into me whenever she needs a feed so that is reassuring at least. They have booked a room not far from the hospital and I'm glad to know everyone will be close by. 

I have been trying to get my little herb/medicinal garden sorted before surgery and though all the plants are still small they are establishing well and with this warm weather I'm sure will take off soon. In there I have
clary sage
aloe vera
coriander (finished, I'm waiting on seed to form to collect)
spring onion
seaside daisy
lambs ear
a few varieties of chilli

I'm planning a new garden bed not far from the kitchen door with elderberry which I'll prune up to offer a little shade to some bits and bobs underneath. I can't get the elderberry until the new year locally but I can get the boys onto clearing the grass and putting in a basic timber edge. It feels wonderful to have claimed my little garden back after Grant tried to turn it into an extension of his veggie patch. Ha!

Grant will have to be at home to help with any lifting of Elsie post surgery for a couple of weeks at least. Though he will need to be helping us inside, I'm hoping he can get the fence up around the veggies while Elsie and I are resting. It's the only thing holding us back from getting chickens, we have their portable chicken house all ready to go and I'm growing increasingly impatient. I keep insisting it’s not really a farm without chickens in the aim to hurry the fencing along, but my attempts at coercion seem to fall on deaf ears.

We are also on the look out for a boer billy goat. I thought they might be pregnant but apparently they are not. As I have shared before Grant is the one with lots of livestock experience out of the two of us. Me? Not so much. which makes for some interesting conversations.

Because I am new to livestock, I find owning the goats super exciting. I love them, perhaps a bit too much for something that is to be sold to be eaten in the future.
I have been watching them closely and the other week I swore their little udders were swollen. I took it as a sign they were about to kid as they had been in with a billy goat prior to us buying them. Although they were quite young at that point.

I, determined to be a good goat midwife, turned to google to research all the signs of imminent birth in a nanny goat. Swollen udders are good, as well as drippy vulvas. So I dragged Grant along as a begrudging side kick to hold them so I could inspect their vulvas. Were they swollen? Maybe a bit? I thought to my self. Definitely not drippy...hmm....what does a not pregnant goat vulva look like? I probably should look it up. Is it even legal to google images of goat vulvas or will it trigger some online warning system? Oh god, that would be awkward. I better not google it, just incase.

Meanwhile, Grant was trying to gently wrangle the goats into submission so I could hold up their tails to get a good squiz at their rear ends.

After a bit of wrestling Grant began to lose patience.

“Bloody stabby little creatures.....Em, did you even look at the date we got them to calculate their due date?” He said

“Oh yeah” I replied.

So, off I tottered to find the paper work. Only to realise if they had of been pregnant they would have kidded a 4 to 6 weeks ago.


At least now I know what a normal goat vulva looks like, I guess. 

The girls are otherwise looking wonderful, healthy and fat, living their best lives grazing on mixed grasses, woody shrubs and weeds to their hearts content. Hopefully in the new year we will hear the putter patter of little hooves. 

Well, I can hear Elsie stirring from her nap, best dash. 

Much love, 

A new job and a new vlog

Firstly I wanted to say thanks for everyone's kind words, comments and support to my first vlog. It was a really interesting process and I look forward to learning more and getting better at it as I go along. It was quite a daunting thing to put up. If you missed it you can watch it here HERE

For those of you who have been following along for many years know that roughly 3 years ago I became unwell with pericarditis, a virus attacked my heart and it became weak and inflamed. Usually, pericarditis is resolved relatively quickly but mine went on to become chronic and along with it I developed a kind of chronic fatigue. I was unwell for a good 18 months and I needed to leave my part-time chaplaincy work and theological study.  Prior to having Elsie, I had two miscarriages so my body has endured, and come through a huge amount in the last three years.  But as a result of it all, I have put on a lot of weight which at times I am incredibly self-conscious of. I am working on, and mostly winning at reframing my inner dialogue regarding my body shape. 

Women are consistently told that being slim is more beautiful, it is seen as perfectly acceptable to pass comment on a persons weight gain or loss, rather than first consider a person's overall health. It's an awful way of existing. Those values have been forced upon us by an industry that requires women to be filled with self-doubt and insecurities in order to coerce them into a consumerist model. Imagine if holistic health was celebrated and pursued. The world would be a very different place.

My focus now is on health, core strength and improving my gut health via following roughly along with a Nourishing Traditions style of eating. Which has a focus on whole foods cooked well, bone broths along with fermented foods and soaked grains. I have noticed recently I feel a lot stronger and healthier in myself then I have in the last few years. I can feel my body is healing although I still have bouts of extreme fatigue now and again.  Fortunately, they are usually short-lived these days. Mentally and spiritually I feel incredibly content and happy and I think in time if I continue along this path my body will settle into its own ideal weight when the time is right, without me forcing it or admonishing it along the way.  

So to stand in front of a camera and post my first vlog to YouTube was confronting, knowing the kind of cruelty that bigger women often have to face on a public platform. It was an experiment as such. For those of you that liked, followed and commented with such kindness on the channel your support means alot and as a result of that encouragement, vlogging is something I look forward to pursuing further.  

Things here on the farm are going really well otherwise. Grant has a new job which he can do around farm work and the morning school run so that's ideal.  The people he is working for are genuinely wonderful people who care deeply about their staff which is refreshing.  They treat their staff with respect and loyalty, knowing their staff will inturn work hard for them and show them the same kind of loyalty in return. A basic principle that seems to be missing these days in many workplaces, where the bottom line is looked at and making a quick buck overrides long term planning of having solid, loyal, reliable, hardworking employees. Looking after employees well will always cost less in the long run due to increased understanding of the intricacies within a certain workplace, fewer mistakes, more efficient systems being developed over time and less time needed to spent training up new staff constantly. I have surgery coming up soon and Grant will need a little time off to help with Elsie, his new workplace is very understanding and supportive of this and have assured him his job will be waiting which is a huge relief.  

It does however, mean the market garden will not be expanded any further at this point in time. Instead we will keep it as a family veggie garden with the aim of putting out a farmgate stall in the future for excess produce. There is so much infrastructure yet to build and the bugs to expand which is where Grant feels the hours he does have here need to be put at this point in time. Not to mention the yurt to finish. It doesn't mean there will never be a market garden, it's just due to Covid and Grant loosing his job we were pushing harder then we were really ready too, so we have pulled back a bit. Rome wasn't built in a day and all that.


Tucker has settled in beautifully, though he has a penchant for chasing vehicles which has been problematic while the sustainable logging has been underway. They have done a brilliant job of sourcing good hardwood from the designated areas without touching the protected areas or sullying up the waterways. We have roads established in the hills now which will help with future bushfire mitigation and seasonal backburning. The money raised will allow us to clear our personal debit, buy a small excavator with a post hole borer for fencing and some floor coverings for the yurt. Oh, and I promised the boys a new trampoline. Ours is currently sporting a giant hole which is not ideal. To the credit of the kids though, they have made the hole a part their games and usually manage to jump around it. Usually.

I keep pinching myself now. To think of where we are today to where we were 18 months ago is astounding. Life is certainly getting easier and although financially things are still tight, its not nearly as stressful as it was when we first moved and we were genuinley struggling to make ends meet on a day to day basis. Maybe we weren't so mad moving here after all. 

Much love,


Vlog #1

In the last couple of weeks I have been working on a new project. I had been pondering for a while about starting a YouTube channel to share our story on a different style of platform. I’ll still be blogging of course, but some things are better or more easily shown on film. 

So decided to finally take the leap and I have been learning how to cut, edit and upload to YouTube. From YouTube, because where else does anyone learn anything new these days?! 

There *may* have been wine consumed as a result of said learning. Nonetheless, here is my first vlog. It’s a little rough around the edges but we all have to start somewhere, yes?  

Much love, 

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