Thursday, May 10, 2012

May 2012

So here we are in May, the year is just whizzing by.

We are finally doing a "makeover" of my sons room which was a combined Christmas and birthday present and involves a major clear out of toys,  painting and some new furniture. It is really changing from a younger boys room to a teenagers hangout and will look really wonderful when it is finished. We are still waiting on a desk from Ikea and he wants to find a really cool poster to put up on the wall.

Fisherman preparing the walls for repainting...

At the same time I have been reading Simplify by Joshua Becker on my kindle. With this in mind I have been really working on clearing out from his room as much as possible, and separating things into piles to give to St Vinnie's or pass onto younger cousins or the refugee association. As the Simplify book suggests I am just planning to tackle one drawer or surface at a time and slowly keep the process going.

For Mother's Day I am going to ask for commitment and assistance to keep clearing out and getting rid of stuff we don't need. (I have tried also asking for obedient children with clean bedrooms but my daughter replied "where do you get them?")

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On the bright side Fisherman and I had a weekend away in the hills at "The Willows" a B&B in Basket Range; this was a 50th birthday present from my family for him. It was a real treat. The house is surrounded by a Cherry orchard and has a cottage garden all around it with beautiful hydrangeas, salvias, fuchsias, windflowers, roses and many other plants. Early May is spectacular in the hills with Autumn foliage, the grape vines all turning golden and cool, fresh apples, crisp clear days and cold nights.

While we were in the hills we stumbled across a international sculpture symposium at the Cedars in Hahndorf. Sculptors from Australia,  the USA, Korea, Japan, Spain and a number of other places were making large stone sculptures on site, on completion they will then be placed in towns in the hills on permanent display. i really liked a lot of it. My phone battery gave up while I was there so I was only able to capture a couple of them.

We visited Barretts winery near Uraidla. Lovely wine, beautiful gardens and views and very pleasant company

Barretts Winery

The whole thing did give rise to fantasies of living in the hills with some property, a large kitchen garden, an orchard, open fires, you know the kind of thing. At the moment we are committed to staying at the coast, close to the kids schools and work. The hills are so attractive but I know I would really miss my beach walks.

On the home front I did manage to do a little op shopping. I know, I know, it is more stuff!
I do need a little jug and some more small vases so I felt these beautiful objects were justified at $5 a pop.

I have been experimenting occasionally with some bread making. I m quite pleased with the results but really need to make it more regularly to get really good at it.

Our next door neighbours gave me some pomegranates. hopefully next year we will have our own. I went through the protracted process of seeding, juicing, squeezing, and boiling up the juice with some sugar to make pomegranate syrup. It is delicious!

I have done a few things in the garden, planted out two kinds of peas, some rainbow chard, cabbages, kale, coriander, lettuces and  a few seedlings of beetroot a friend gave me. Looking forward to be able to pick some of these greens in the coming weeks. The chooks are very happy and we have lots and lots of eggs, we are giving a lot away and still having to think about what to do with all these eggs.

I have gone vego (with fish allowed) alcohol free and chocolate free for May so I will am eating more eggs than usual. So far very easy to be meat and alcohol free but being such a chocoholic I am really struggling with that and have had a couple of minor breakouts.

Last night just before going to bed a big sigh from my son. "What's the matter?" I said. "I have to go to school tomorrow", Says he. "and I would rather be in France." (well der!)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March 2012

So the beginning of the year has not gone exactly to plan. I am busier than I would like and this is despite cutting back time in one of my two jobs.
Life is very full with two working adults and two teenagers in a house and the demands of work and school leave us all exhausted. We have had a round of sickness in the house; only a bad cold but enough to keep me off work today, hence the time to do some blogging.

The garden has had very sporadic attention and the only things I have grown to eat this summer are chilli's, capsicum, basil and a few zucchinis, a sad state of affairs.
On the good news front there are lemons and figs, limes on the lime tree as well as a few Persimmons on the Persimmon tree. Nothing as yet on the Pomegranate but it is growing well so it is only a matter of time.

Writers Week this week and I will make it there but have not been so far. Had a ticket for last nights special event but had to give it away to someone well and non infectious!

The Lavender has been beautiful and full of bees.

Perhaps too full of bees. We had a swarm that tried to set up house in the shed (and stung me while I was watering) and then moved to the Rosella box in one of the Casurinas out the front. We had a bee man come and take the box away and add the bees to his hives.

We did have a family of Rosellas living in the box in the spring which was a treat. Very noisy when the three young ones were learning to fly; the perils of having a native front garden just outside the bedroom windows!

I started the year with great intentions of getting out on my bike more and having a couple of good rides a week. I did well in December and January but since school went back that seems to have gone by the wayside. I plan to get back to it this weekend, it is a long weekend so no excuses. We are only going to go to one day of WOMAD this year, much as I love it I think if I do the full four days again I will need a week off to recover.

I love going to our local Organic Market, check it out at
have only made it there twice so far this year, that gives me some awareness of how overcommitted I have been!

The Iron horse at North Haven.

The sky at Henley.

What a joy and a privilege to live so close to the beach.

My youngest finished Vac Swim at Henley this year, the end of a great tradition of a week or so in January of lovely mornings at the beach swimming, socialising and developing skills for the kids, and swimming, walking, socialising and drinking coffee for the adults. I will miss it.

As usual we spent the last week of the school holidays at the Port Elliot Caravan Park. It was a lovely week and very social catching up with friends and family either staying at the Caravan Park or living nearby. The young people had surfing lessons at Goolwa Beach with Kingo. I would highly recommend it.

Goolwa Beach, initial instructions.

Around Christmas as had another addition to the Zoo, not one with parental sanction as we would not have chosen another cat. Despite saying no, no, no! Sebastian arrived one day and had soon wormed his way into everyone's heart. He was the runt of a litter of six left out in the hard rubbish collection to starve. He was 412 gms when he arrived. As it seems he is a good climber he will shortly have a very large and loud bell to wear around his neck.

We also had Screechy living in our birdcage for a week. S/He is a Rainbow Lorriket I found on the road with eyes glued shut. I fed him and cleaned his eyes and eventually he recovered and flew away. Sunny (the dog) was very sad about this as she spend every day that Screechy was here hanging around by the cage wagging her tail.

A Rainbow Lorriket

Sebastian making himself at home.

We have had the annual Tomato Sauce making day the Saturday just gone and it is a delicious batch. Based on the "Kathy's Tomato Relish" recipe in Stephanie Alexander, with less sugar and a few other variations. It is a great way to catch up with friends and make something delicious for the family as well. We had 20kg of tomatoes between three of us and ended up with just under 3lts of sauce each. We would have had a little more but managed to burn some.

This weekend I am hoping that everyone in the family will be fully recovered from the cold and we can have some enjoyable family time at home, get out into the garden and down to the beach, see some of WOMAD and soak up some Fringe and Festival atmosphere.....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The New Year

I want to make this year a year of being grateful for all my blessings.