Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year.
My thoughts are going out to all the people in Queensland and Northern New South Wales who have suffered because of the floods. The stories of courage, tragedy, kindness and community are very moving.
It was quite surreal several days ago watching this all unfold on TV from the comfort of my South Australian lounge room. The intensity of the weather and the human and environmental consequences all over the East coast of the country made me feel very concerned about our future and the effects of climate change.
Here in South Australia we have had rather a wet spring and early summer which has been beautiful for the garden and gentle on the spirit and body compared to our usual fierce Summer weather.
There has been a lot going on in my life in the last year and I really can not call myself a blogger with one post every 8 months!

I have been slowly getting to things in the garden, with a new patch going from this:

To this:

There is a Persimmon in the middle from the wonderful Perry's in McLaren Flat and some roses, climbing and bush roses from the equally wonderful Ross Roses in Willunga.

The trip to make these purchases in June 2010 was my last outing with my dear friend and colleague Lesley who died later in the year. I will always remember her when I see this beautiful part of my garden growing and changing.

The vegetable garden is growing well. In the Spring the Rainbow Chard was still going well and and I planted some tomatoesAs you can see the tomatoes have grown extremely well. Unfortunately the latest addition to the chook run Sylvia is an escape artist and climbs over the fence to eat tomatoes. She is an Australorp cross and apparently they are quite adventurous. I have not managed to get a really good picture of her yet so that will have to wait.

We are also picking Zucchini, squash, french beans, capsicums, mint, parsley, rocket, nectarines, lemons,
Soon we will be picking Roma tomaotes as well as the heirloom variety we are eating now, chillies, grapes, basil, lettuce, passionfruit and figs.

The citrus have responded well to all the rain, lots of new growth on the manderine and the lemongrass in front of it has finally taken off.

The courtyard is looking lush
and the Ginger is flowering very well under the Frangipani

The other exciting development in the courtyard is the new electricity meter, we now have 27 solar panels and I am looking forward to our next electricity bill which may be nothing or may be a refund!!

I have had a couple of small craft projects. Being a craft novice this is very exciting for me. I do take inspiration from the wonderful blogs from the hoards of extremely crafty young women out there. Good on you! This is a little crocheted cap that I made for my daughter but I don't know if she will ever wear it.

I have stared a African Hexagon bag, I found the hexagons on Ravelry. There is a pattern for a bag made out of the hexagons on there and some other lovely things that can be made from them as well.
I have been greatly inspired in the last few months by Ronda Jeans blog Down to Earth, I have put a link from here. I heard her speak in Radio National while driving up to Clare for work in October. Her ideas around sustainability, family, community and a simple life have really gelled for me. I greatly enjoy following her blog and exploring the links from it. I have enjoyed making quite a lot of her recipes and ideas for organising ones home. I have bought the ingredients to make soap but have not got to it yet!
The joy of the internet for me is that inspiration, idea and community can be accessed in such an easy way.

I have also been inspired by my continued reading and thinking around meditation, loving kindness and awareness. I am reading Jack Kornfield's "Wise Heart" having just finished listening to a 6 CD set called "Mindfulness and the Brain" by Jack Kornfield and Daniel Siegal. Fantastic for anyone interested in Mindfulness, Meditation and /or neurobiology.
I have also been reading Rachel Ramen "My grandfathers Blessings" and "Kitchen table Wisdom" Beautiful,moving and thought provoking vignettes from her work as a counselor to the dying, a counselor to health workers and tales from her own childhood.

I am on holidays at the moment for the last week so gradually calming down and slowing down. The complexities and challenges of life go on as the mother of two young people 15 and about to be 13.
I have this up on my fridge to remind me to breath, return to inner calm and keep going on.