life on the farm july 2017

Oh gosh where do I start? It’s been so long since I’ve popped in here I don’t know where to start. I did actually write a post a couple of months back, but then the laptop died and by the time it was repaired the post seemed so out of date I thought I’d just write another. Ha! Best of intentions and another few months pass by. I guess I’ll just start and see what happens hey? I’ll try to keep the words brief and let the photos do the talking.

I’ll start where I left off, way back in March… my boy came up to stay for a bit before he left for his big adventure which was wonderful. After island hoping through Indonesia he then headed to the Philippines which is where he is now. He’s seen Komodo dragons, dived one the best diving spots in the world, bought and managed to ride a (temperamental) scooter from one end of Java to the other, and trekked through some hot and humid and steep and magnificently beautiful jungles and beaches and mountains. He’s absolutely living his dream and I couldn’t be more thrilled for him or more proud of him.

There’s been two brilliant stand out gigs, Patti Smith and Evan Dando. Probably two of my favourite artists ever, what a lucky year huh? They say it’s akin to a spiritual experience watching Patti perform and I’d have to agree. Her feisty words of wisdom and peace and love are heartfelt and full of passion. She has experienced such sorrow and loss and has a beautiful way at looking at life and death as a result. She’s generous with her knowledge and still has such youthful energy at seventy. Her faith in humanity to turn things around is contagious and I did come away with a t-shirt bearing the lyrics of one of my favourite Patti songs; people have the power to redeem the work of fools. Evan was in fine form and played for 3 hours, happy and chatty and sharing some of his new music as well as lots of faves plus a heap of gems I’ve not heard him play before – and that’s saying something considering I’ve probably seen him more than a dozen times. There’s something about being in the presence of music being created that fills my soul with such joy, the gigs are fewer and further in between these days but I think that just makes us savour them even more.

I was lucky enough to spend a day at the lovely Tamsin’s Table with the even lovelier Tamsin to learn how to preserve food. What a treat of day it was, delicious food and a wealth of knowledge gained from someone experienced in preserving her own food. A total delight and such an inspirational day, it’s nice to know that you can actually be self sufficient in fruit and veggies and meat if you are prepared to put the work, love and time into the dream.

Our little veggie patch is far from creating a self sufficient lifestyle yet, and although we are far from eating solely from the patch we have been eating from it consistently. Even if it’s just the onion used in dinner, or the carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis etc… All of which I didn’t purchase from the shops for a decent period of time. It’s a grand plan and takes a huge amount of time and dedication but we are slowly, very slowly, working our way towards that.

We’ve been very busy in the garden of late trying to get on top of things, a grand aim I know but we can at least shoot for the stars right? There’s been a lot of weeding of mulching, making compost slurries and worm farm slurries, the orchard has been pruned and painted with biodynamic tree paste, compost bays are being added to, lawns are being mowed, and did I mention there’s been a lot weeding of mulching? Although we’re not eating that much from the garden at the moment, we’re resting and nourishing the beds so they’ll be ready for a big spring planting which I’m excited to get started on. I’m really hoping to eat a lot of veggies out of the garden this spring, summer and autumn. We’ve experience the full cycle of seasons here now and are finally finding some sort of balance between work and farm life. And I do use the word ‘balance’ loosely!

I’ve jumped on the Doterra essential oils bandwagon over the last few months too and have loved bringing oils back into my life in a big way. I’ve always loved oils and have been a regular user of them for decades, but something feels different with these oils, they are so strong and pure, I’ve found them extremely powerful. I diffuse oils everyday, I wear some everyday, I use them in my homemade deodorant and even my own homemade facecream, and I drink them! (Just a drop or two in my sparkling water – Wild Orange Oil, seriously delicious.) Making up little roller bottle blends is one of my fave things to do, what’s not love about creating a beautiful scent that also provides healing? I feel like they’ve particularly helped with being an anxious stresshead, if you’re an anxious stresshead too then I highly recommended getting addicted to essential oils, they very gentle and have no negative side effects, except for the budget! Diffusing right now is Clary Sage, Marjoram, Balance and Citrus Blend. It’s delightfully calming and grounding, a little sweet, earthy, fresh, herbaceous and citrusy. A new fave for a quiet Sunday I think.

On that scented note I’m going to love and leave you, my diffuser needs topping up and I have to start dinner. I haven’t even mentioned the glorious foggy mornings, Dean & Gene Weeners the calves, the magic late afternoon winter light, the stunning sunrises and the firey sunsets of Autumn and Winter, but hopefully the photos say enough. I did seriously consider not continuing this blog, I often wonder why I do it. I’ll leave you with a quote from Patti that rings true for me as I write and prepare to share my words with you, not really understanding why I choose I do so apart from it feeling good to get the words out of my head and share them with you.

“Freedom is… the right to write the wrong words” Patti Smith.

Sending peace and freedom x


on the cusp of change…

Is where I’ve been lately… Sifting through nearly 20 years of memories in our beloved Dove Cottage… finding first birthday cards and first pairs of shoes… holding pretty much everything I own for at least a moment and assessing if it’s something I should pack, gift, donate or tip… that takes some serious time and emotional energy for a sentimental clutterbug like myself… trying to keep in mind some wise words I read about the purpose of precious keepsakes like old letters… constantly reminding myself stuff is just stuff… even if some stuff sparks memories long forgotten… packing, packing, packing and packing… all the while during moving mode life pushes on… work is worked… chores are done… birthdays are celebrated… gigs are enjoyed… and minds have been blown – hello Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings!

I know so much about my everyday life is going to change, and whilst we’ve been counting down the sleeps til we move like a 6 year old does a visit from Santa, we’ve also been soaking up the goodness of where we are… morning coffees in the window are that little bit longer and sweeter as we wonder what we’ll ever do without a window seat… every flower that blooms in the garden is a little more meaningful as I recall when I purchased it, planted it, watered it and pruned it… Really appreciating the significance of saying ‘I’ll pop over in 5 minutes’ as I mentally prepare to change that line to ‘an hour and half’ or so.

Sitting on the cusp of change is a weird place to hang, you know it’s only temporary so you can’t really get comfy… there’s sadness in letting go of the old yet excitement in leaping into the new… it’s a bit like doing the limbo in no mans land … and I’m trying to hold my shit together and not get sick from pushing so hard… and packing, packing and packing some more… and trying to embrace one of my favourite Dalai Lama quotes ‘Change is the only constant in life’.

Some things will stay the same of course… I’ll still be me… but I’ll be me in this new phase of my life, no longer in the Dove Cottage era… it’ll be the farm era… the time we followed our hearts and just went for it with some research and knowledge about what farm life might be like, but mostly with a dream bigger than the sky, a bunch of blind faith and a basket full of hope.

May the changes in your life be smooth and sprinkled with sweet things x

taking stock, take four

Hello! Where have you been? Has it been good? Are you well?
I’ve been chasing my tail more than usual over the last month, so I figured a good way to catch up was with a taking stock post. (Thanks for the great prompts Pip!)

Kiandra, Kenzo & Sai

Making : Another baby alpaca scarf. Charcoal grey in the sweetest slightly lacey pattern.
Cooking : A slow cooked beef massaman for dinner. We’re up to hour 3 in oven and the house smells amazing.
Drinking : A ginger, lemon & honey cordial… I’ve run out of my homemade ginger syrup… I know, it’s criminal!
Reading: Blogs and I’m still flipping through my already read copy of Craft for Soul. So many gems in that book.
Wanting: A lot of not very much… if that makes sense?
Looking: For little farms in the country.
Playing: Fraser A Gorman Book of Love… heaps! And this one too… I can’t be held responsible if these get stuck in your head all day either.
Deciding: What stuff to keep and what to declutter. 18 years in the same home accumulates a lot of STUFF.
Wishing: All the stars would hurry up and align so everything could fall into place.
Enjoying: Crocheting… I’d so lost without my crafty times.
Waiting: For patience. Possibly not my strong point right now. See Wishing.
Liking: Walking Kenzo and Sai with my daughter.
Wondering: How I’ll go walking Kenzo & Sai by myself when my daughter and her fiance leave for Iceland. to. get. married!
Loving: That my daughter and her fiance are having the wedding of their dreams and nobody elses.
Pondering: How I’ll feel when her special day comes and I’ll be on the other side of the world…
Disliking: That my camera broke.
Considering: Buying a new camera. Any suggestions?
Watching: The belt orders mount up for Charlie… he’s a busy little plaiter these days.
Hoping: The Icelandic weather gods are kind.
Smelling: Daphne. One little vase fills the room with the sweetest scent.
Wearing: Yesterdays perfume, bed hair and runners from my walk this morning. I know, just so glamorous.
Noticing: How productive I am even when I’m stuffed. Soldier on then crash like a trooper I say.
Knowing: I need to walk more.
Thinking: I need to prioritise walking time. I totally love it but somehow it’s easy to push down the to do list.
Feeling: Satisfied with this weekends achievements of shopping, watching the MotoGP with my ma & pa, house cleaning and tidying, cooking, wrapping, writing, crocheting, mending, walking, and blogging!
Sorting: Clothes, not very successfully. I did a big declutter but left the two garbage bags full of clothes by the door for a week. I had to retrieve an item of clothing thrown out in a frenzied declutter moment. Twice.
Buying: Boots. It’s winter and they were on sale!
Getting: Excited about attending this amazing workshop.
Opening: Unexpected happy mail. What a thrill that is.
Giggling: At the guy who crossed the finish line on his knees, beside his motorbike, then gracefully just stood up and got back on. Funniest save ever.
Snacking: On too much Willies Cacao chocolate. The salted, milk of the gods and white are ridiculously delicious.
Coveting: Pretty little farms in the country.
Helping: This fundraising project. Imagine a school that teaches compassion and kindness and open-heartedness. Pretty wonderful right?
Hearing: Most mornings I hear the magpies warble whilst drinking my morning coffee in the window seat. It’s such a fave part of the day.

Ok so that’s me all caught up. How about you? Whatcha been up to?

May kindness and compassion touch you today.

craft, music and chocolate

I’m a bit like this tram at the moment… lots of stops and starts, mostly on the move but kinda going around in circles… it’s been busy lately but there’s been quiet moments too… I’ve been doing a bit of nothing and a heap of everything… Let me see if I can catch you up on some of my favourite things shall I?

I’m crocheting this blankie.
It’s slow going as I’m changing yarn colour every row… look at all those ends!!! I’m trying to figure out a way to incorporate them into the design and I’ve got an idea, I’ll let you know if it works. I’m loving the colours together and the pattern is a cinch to remember.

I’m knitting this beanie.
It is going to be quite luxurious. A squishy and soft beanie using two different yarn blends. The darker grey is a mix of alpaca, wool and bamboo. The lighter grey is alpaca, wool and silk. Deliciously chunky and quite the delight to knit as I’m not using a pattern, just winging it.

I’m baking treats.
I made a batch of my Allergy Friendly Toasty Fruit Bread the other day, only I made a variation of the recipe. Ha – what a shock hey? I am a huge fan of ginger so instead of dried fruit I added crystalized ginger. And I was extra generous with the ginger spice too so it turned out a little like a gingerbread bread… kinda… if you use your bread-deprived imagination. Oh and I tried a garlic and herb version too and it turned out a treat. I popped the savoury mix into a muffin tin so I now have little thyme and garlic bread-like muffin things. I zap them for a mini in the microwave and slather too much butter on. Not too shabby at all.

I’m listening to a lot of Shakey Graves.
I love the way this guy makes music. Both hands, both feet, his voice and his heart. I was lucky enough to see Shakey Graves supporting Shovels & Rope recently and it was the best gig. You know when you see someone doing something and you think to yourself, yep they are doing exactly what they are meant to be doing in life. I really do love my music and discovering new music to enjoy is one life’s sweetest pleasures.

I also ate way too much chocolate over Easter but hey, the Bunny made me do it! I love the guilt free chocolate breakfast that comes with Easter. My break was full of good quality chocolate (because I’m a chocolate snob as well as a coffee snob) including a new to me variety of Lindt balls – Caramel with Sea Salt… umm… yummmm… and too much of my fave Willie’s Cacao milk chocolate with sea salt, deadly discovery that one. And to balance out the indulgence of a chocolate filled Easter, I planted some silver beet, chives, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy and celery in the veggie garden. Am sure the digging in the garden worked off at least one chocolate ball!?

So how about you, what have you been up to? More importantly, what’s your favourite Chocolate?

Wishing you chocolate filled breakfasts, and music that makes your heart sing.