A new addition

Introducing the newest member of our family.  Elsie Rose.  Born on 17th Feb 2020 at 2:15pm.  She weighed 7 pounds and was 49cms long.  




Elsie is oh so sweet, she came into the world calmly and has remained that way since.  She is 1 week old now and it's hard to imagine life without her, it feels like she has always been here.  The boys adore her and together we pass many hours snuggling and fussing over her.  She is doing beautifully.  Breastfeeding like a champ and sleeping as well as a newborn sleeps!  

I'm slowly recovering from a planned c-section which was a little more complex and longer than expected due to adhesions from my hernia that needed dealing with.  Elsie's part of the procedure went smoothly, the rest was a bit rough.  But we are home now and getting plenty of rest in our little yurt.  The Port Macquarie Hospital was absolutely wonderful, the midwives were brilliant, some of the best I have ever come across and the Drs were thorough, kind and professional.       

Much love,
Emma
xx

Yurt and baby projects on the go

Since being on light duties as per Dr's orders I have been pottering away at a couple of little projects.  In sorting out the babies room, I stumbled upon a row I had sewn for the big raggedy quilt I made HERE but somehow managed to leave off.  To ensure it wasn't wasted I whipped up a couple more squares and made a little bassinet quilt.  I also made a sweet velour Waldorf doll which is suitable from birth up.  She is super soft and snuggly.  One of these days I'll publish a free pattern for a Waldorf doll, it's just I tend to measure some things as I go!  Perhaps that will be my next blog post.       

Quick and easy raggedy bassinet quilt.  Made from 100% cotton and up-cycled Australian wool batting.  

weekend links

I mentioned in my last post that I had recently been discharged from hospital.  I was admitted with severe abdominal pain which they decided was linked to my umbilical hernia which seemed to be pinched, though fortunately not twisted.  With pain relief and rest, it has settled and I was allowed to go home with directions to return immediately if the pain comes back.  Baby remained totally fine throughout and an ultrasound showed she is doing well.  I can't fault the care of the Port Macquarie hospital, the Drs and nurses were all were professional, thorough and kind and I felt I was in very safe hands.  Each and every one of them took the time to listen and give excellent quality care.  


Aggie and old Tessa chilling out in the creek.

The weather is relentlessly hot here at the moment, much hotter than last summer where the hot days were broken up with regular mild days in between.  Our weekend plans are pretty quiet, there will be swims in the river, naps on the couch, board games played and church on Sunday between a few odd jobs.       

I hope you enjoy scrolling through this weekends links.  There are links for YouTube, a beautiful free dress pattern and some things I enjoyed reading.

Much love,
Emma
xx

Climate change bushfires and cutting my carbon emissions

Two brilliant men.


Peppermint maxi dress
Free pattern!  I love the look of this dress and it would be an easy pattern to adapt to be breastfeeding friendly.

The Guardian: Is plastic waste crisis recycling consumption environmentally friendly?

our year of less progress

Our year of less challenge has forced us to carefully consider purchases as we enter the new school year.  Will starts high school this year, meaning he needed a set of totally new school uniforms.  I have been carefully sourcing these second hand, though there are a couple of things to date I have been unable to find in his size.  The school belt ($20) and dress grey shorts ($40) are items I'm still looking for second hand.  Specific emblemed socks I will buy new.  At $8.50 a pair, they had better be good quality.    

 We are lucky to have nature literally at our back door.  

Relief

When we moved in January 2019, it was during one of the dryest periods in living memory.  Two months ago we experienced the huge devastating bushfires that are still raging across Australia.  Our paddocks were brown, creeks had long since dried up and the river at the bottom of our driveway become stagnant pools of black water.  The river was contaminated by a film of fire retardant which back washed from fire trucks hoses as they filled up their trucks.  It couldn't be helped of course, the firies did an amazing job of bravely fighting the fires around the clock that raged in the hills.  

Until now. 


A new year of less

Last year we undertook a year of less project as a family.  Whilst we were quietly working things out and learning heaps along the way, I didn't share it as much as I intended here as it all felt kinda messy.  Finances were so tight at times which was incredibly stressful.  But throughout the year we adapted to a totally new-to-us way of living.  It requires more patience, it's messier and certainly slower.  The flip side is that we have grown in creativity and resilience tenfold.  The deep appreciation we now experience for small progress has added a greater sense of value to our lives.

I really wanted to buy baby a lovely vintage-looking teddy, then Will and I remembered he had this teddy in perfect condition which he never built an attachment too.  Will decided he was happy to pass it on so we washed her up, I pulled out a 50c op-shopped cardigan I had tucked away and sewed a little bow for her head out of scrap fabric.  Now she is all ready to be loved!  

DIY natural leather conditioner

Since deciding to live a simpler life minimising chemicals around the house is an important part of that.  Sometimes I fall back into the habit of using commercial products, but I try to buy a greener version when I can.  I do however prefer to make my own cleaners from scratch which is simple, satisfying and saves a lot of money.


Progress on the yurt front

Finally, we are making some solid progress on the yurt front.  We have a 10,000L header tank on its way which will be the first of a much larger water storage system once we have shedding built and the dam cleared out.  Grant bought a great, hardly used Honda generator that an older couple were selling after their trip around Australia.  They ended up staying at powered sites in caravan parks so they barely used it and we got it for 1/3 of what we would have paid new.  The Honda will become our main generator and the other generator will be for back-up.  We have extended our solar and battery system and although it's small it generates enough power to run everything we need all at once.  It will save a lot in fuel expenses and having good, reliable power brings us peace of mind.  It also means we will be living more sustainably which is hugely important to us.  We use 12V lighting and fans and we will eventually be purchasing a small 12V smart TV to help minimise the power we need at night.  We don't have TV reception here so we stream free TV and $10 of Netflix/Stan when the urge arises.  There is no contract with either Netflix/Stan so you can pay month by month.  We usually pop it on for school holidays.


The first stage of building the staircase is complete.  It is functional but it will be enclosed underneath to form a good-sized pantry and the centre log will be sanded smooth and polished.  

A new year and new goals

It feels wrong to say 'Happy New Year' while much of Australia continues to burn in one of the worst bushfire seasons in living memory, during one of the worst droughts on record.

Instead, I wish you all a safe new year.  May your homes, family and communities be safe.  May they receive much-needed rain this year and may we all band together, despite political differences to do the necessary work to make Australia's future a more sustainable one.

I'm not generally one for big new years resolutions but there are a few areas I would like to focus on this year, with a continued emphasis on simplifying life to give time to the things we value most being the main goal.  Living more sustainably and reducing waste is high on my agenda.

After a hot, tough and dry start to summer, we are already looking forward to winter and to firing up the wood oven again for homemade pizza's.

Merry Christmas and weekend reads

Well, Christmas is nearly upon us and I'm signing off for the week while our family spends quality time together.  We have a big Church long table Christmas dinner tonight to attend too, a Christmas eve service to attend, lights still to see, crackers to make and no doubt there will be a few trips to the beach.   Christmas will be a simple day here with some Aussie prawns, BBQ and salad, cheese/nibbles, Australian ham off the bone and a pavlova.  There will be a few gifts under the tree, phone calls to family and perhaps a picnic at the beach if the weather permits.  The dogs will get a nice bone and we will play board games and relax to Christmas movies and music.    


A cool change has come in today and we are all feeling much happier and more relaxed.  I'll be the first to admit the recent dry heat makes this heavily pregnant Mama bear somewhat growly.  However, the yurt has had all its windows opened up and we have a couple of awnings to set up still as there is a little rain predicted over the coming week.  Frustratingly, each time we look at the forecast the amount of rain predicted seem to get downgraded.  It's looking more and more like dry thunderstorms, which are not ideal considering the brown and crispy nature of the landscape.  We went for a bushwalk the other day and even the understory in the pockets of rainforest is gone.

May the new year bring lots of rain throughout the country.

I wish you all a safe and merry Christmas dear readers.  Thank you for your ongoing support, encouragement and interest in our journey towards living a simpler life.

Much love,
Emma
xx  

A Simple Living Journey: The path less travelled
As we enter a new year, it can be helpful to reflect the life we live and the changes we want to make amidst the noisy marketing that exists at this time of year.  Here is an older blog post I hope will help you remember to follow the beat of your own drum.

Treading My Own Path: Donating gifts
A helpful path for those on a path to less.

Joshua Becker: 7 signs you shouldn't buy another christmas gift

ABC: Going zero waste in regional Queensland
An Aussie mother trying to reduce waste in rural Australia.

Vogue: sustainability 2020s circular fashion and textile recycling
I feel like this kind of fashion is going to be out of my price range, and that the consumer market would have to have a complete overhaul.  But it's an interesting concept none the less.  I hope it moves forward.


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