On the farm

Hello dear readers,

It’s been a little while between posts and I do hope you’re keeping safe and well.  Things are fine here on the farm.  I have been trying to sleep when Elsie sleeps and between one thing or another, my days keep disappearing the way they inevitably seem to do with a small baby in your arms!

A new arrival!

Meet Hagrid, the newest addition to the farm!

Our year of less: An update

The woodfire burns most days and every night now as our little valley moves into winter.  Splitting wood is Wills job which he enjoys and the little boys usually collect the kindling.  We don't use fire starters here.  Just a bit of newspaper and twigs do the job.  There is a pot of chicken broth simmering on the Aga at the moment using the bones from last night roast chook.  It will be the base for a minestrone soup for a warm comforting dinner.  Elsie is next to me snuggled up having a kick and a little chat.  

A little while ago I wrote about our new year of less project.  

I thought I would write an update on how we are going with it.

Finally, an indoor kitchen!

Note: this post was started on Monday but not finished until Friday.  Such is the life of home educating with a new baby!

Today all three boys are back in school for the first time since the Covid 19 restrictions hit and goodness it's quiet.  The yurt looks like a tornado went through after trying to get everyone ready, last nights clean dishes are waiting to get put away, the kitchen table needs a good wipe over and don't even get me started on the boots and muddy thongs dumped in the doorway.  However, I'm going to ignore the mess while Elsie is sleeping and catch up with you!

farm ventures

Things have been moving along here on the farm since my last post.  Term time has started again and the boys are settling into a home learning routine.  Will is enjoying face time with his mates and the little boys will have face time with their classmates later this week which they are looking forward too.  Elsie is going beautifully.  She's growing like a mushroom and engaging more and more to the world around her.  Everyone in the family dotes on her and shes constantly snuggled or carried around.  

The knitted vest and beanie are a part of a beautiful gift from my friend Becci.  

uncertain times

I have been thinking a lot about how to use my voice in this space during the Covid 19 outbreak.  Initially, I thought it would be nice to write about our ordinary life, and be a space which is mostly Covid 19 free seeing as its all any of us are hearing about.

As I sit in the yurt before first light with little Elsie grunting away in her rocker next to me, the birds singing and the creek babbling in the distance, it is hard to comprehend what kind of Australia we are waking up too.  What I do know is the Australia which awaits us is a very different from what many of us have ever known.  The weight of the PM’s stage one and now stage two announcements about the closure of non-essential business has settled upon me and I am unsure for how much longer Grant will have work.  The company he drives trucks for is in the recycling sector and they mostly deal with building waste.  So far the building industry sounds to be staying open but as thousands of people face losing their jobs along with a plummeting stock market we have no idea just how badly the building industry will be affected, or if it too will be shut down over the coming weeks or months.    

We have gone through tough times before and the skills we learnt will no doubt help us navigate these uncertain times.  This week our children are home from school until further notice.  Henry has started his preventor again and as a household of asthmatics viruses usually mean acute and sometimes severe asthma flair ups.  I also worry about little Elsie, so we are playing it as safely as we possible can.  As a full-time parent and home maker I'm aware of my immense privilege to be able to keep our family at home and socially isolate.  I feel it is my responsibility to do our bit to maximise social distancing.  It is essential we each do what we can as individuals to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this damn virus, whilst doing our best to support the local economy and preparing our families for a tough time ahead. 

So our days here will consist of pottering about, online learning, reading books, doing the washing, playing games and doing yard work in preparation for vegetable planting and some hopefully getting some goats and chickens in the coming months.  I’m not too fussed about formal learning for now.  These are uncertain times and our focus will be on rest and connection.

What I do know is this - division weakens us.  We are stronger together.  Physically distancing ourselves to reduce the spread of Covid 19 does not need to mean social isolation.  Don't forget to utilize this amazing technology at our finger tips to reach out to those you care about.  Post on your local Facebook page, drop a note into the neighbours letterbox offering to pick things up for them if they need.  Try to find things to chat and even laugh about when you can.  Be inventive.  Have skype coffee dates with friends, let the kids facetime their friends.  If your feeling alone, reach out.  We are all in this together, and together we will get through it.

Elsie sends you all a cuddle.  

Below I have included a couple of links about cloth nappies and family cloth for those wanting to save money or who are struggling to source nappies and toilet paper.  

Sending love and gentle hugs dear readers.  Go gently in these uncertain times and I will always try to respond here, though sometimes it may take me a little while I usually get there.  

Much love,

YouTube: Family cloth 101
Finding yourself out of toilet paper?  Here is a families cloth toilet paper system.  We don’t use family cloth, but have not been able to get toilet paper for weeks.  It may well come to this, but it’s not such a big leap as cloth nappy users.

Cloth Nappies: The story of a converted mama!

Simple home made indoor washing line.

Washing, it's a never-ending job.
The actual washing part is simple enough, it's the drying part which can be a struggle if it's too wet outside for the washing to dry.  Living in a small space trying to maneuver around numerous clothes horses was not only tedious but they didn't give us the line space we actually needed for larger items such as sheets and towels.  

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,

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.  
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