Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dangerous Living

Hi there,
I am just reading the first article in my new Warm Earth magazine which arrived yesterday.
I am very excited as it has a "Homesteading" theme to it this time.

So the first article tells of the origins of homesteading, being a pioneering thing when Australia was in its early days of white settlement. As the urbanisation reached these people they weren't so isolated and the term Homesteading fell out of use until the 1960s and 70s when it popped up again in the form of communes and the like.
It says about them "Most found this romanticised idyll impossible to achieve in practise, because they lacked the self-reliance skills required."
Interesting! And then it goes on to say that in the 1990s a new movement emerged without the radical anarchist philosophy of the earlier group.

But this bit promted me to write this to you."Today's modern homesteaders are unassuming ordinary people who choose to disconnect themselves, in varying degrees, from what they see as an increasingly untenable reality and lead lives that are more sustainable and ethical."
Well thats you and me, Martin!

It goes on to confirm all the things I don't like about our society. How in 1 generation we have lost the ability to feed ourselves and have become reliant on others to do this for us. Now I call that dangerous living!
The brainwashing of us by television has been almost complete. It is hard to snap out of it and really see the world. I have been disatisfied with our society for a very long time, the sense of community has all but gone and struggles to survive in pockets.

When I was in my 20s I wanted to save the world from what people were doing to it, especially the Whales. And I did what I could with what I had and knew. Then when I had my son at 27 I wanted to run away to the hills and live in a commune where we would be safe. But I didn't go because motherhood gave me strength and I stayed to try and change this society from the inside.
Well I have been doing that now for a long time and feel a bit burnt out in some areas. I feel proud of any achievements I have done and brought about but I'm tired now and its my turn. So I am running away to the hills with my Man. And its gunna be great!

On-line shop

I should make it clear that in the previous post I said the on-line shop was my on-line shop, well actually I share it with a friend. My friend Theresa.
We started it together about a year ago.
We were given several bags of fabric offcuts from a furnishing factory. All kinds of fabric and really beautiful ones.
Here is a rag rug/chennille lap rug with a soft fleecy back, very warm.
And heavy linen fabrics great for table runners and placemats.
Wonderful lightweight silks and satins, we made quilts and cushions.
For me this shop is a way I can move on some of the quilts I have made because I just love making them, but haven't got the room to display them. I have given a lot away over time too.
I always try to source my fabrics from low cost sources such as opportunity shops, people clearing out fabrics they no longer want and factory outlet offcuts. I like to upcycle old fabrics into more contemporary pieces.
Theresa and I have had a lot of fun and satisfaction from our shop and market stalls to come.

my latest creations

I just finished making some placemats and a table runner for a lady who contacted me through my on-line shop with Madeit.
She had some fabric and wondered if I could make it up into said items.

Well I did that today and here are her items.
I am really pleased with how they turned out, I hope she is too.

Was a great distration from more packing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summertime and the livin is easy!

Oh I crave for some warm weather, as I am sure everyone living in Victoria in Australia is. So I thought I woulde post some of my favourite photos of Summer.
These are the first srtichokes I had grown, aren't they fab! Such vibrant colours, the top was soft but the flower base was spikey. They are thistles after all.
OOH these are great, still got some blackberries in the freezer, must use them up before we move house, I don't think they will last the distance. Might have to make some more plum and blackberry icecream.
If you look carefully you can see a wonderful spider curled up in the bottom left of the shot.
Such beauty! Oh I feel better all ready.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

a blast from the past!

Can you who know me guess who this is?
I adore this photo, I can't stop looking at it. It will sit on my desk and I shall gaze into his eyes. He is my Darling. It is M my husband when he was 18 years old. This was what he looked like when I first saw him, although I didn't fall in love with him for another 15 years.

Oh my back is sore right now. I must do my exercises before I go to bed or I will wake up even worse. My Osteopath has me on the floor and laying on a towel partially rolled up like a sausage about half of it, 8 or so centimetres and positioned horizontally under my spine about opposite my sternum. I put my arms above my head and my legs out and get a gentle stretch. This bends my spine back the other way from how it has been bent all day. Then I move down a little so the next vertibrae gets a go and so on till I reach my shoulder blades then I reroll so it is quarter width of the towel. so it gets my spine between my shoulder blades. It doesn't feel like much of a stretch, it is suttle but it does make me feel loads better.
Then I get a tennis ball and drop it down my back and lean against the wall, sandwiching the ball between my back and the wall. Then I move around and allow the ball to roll across tight muscles. Holding, on the very painful ones so they ease, it is a mighty good one to do and I recommend it to anyone with sore mucsles.

Why am I so sore?
Well moving house and garden has something to do with it but today we did more.
Today was our bushcare day. Once a month M and I go down to a little section of the Mullum Mullum Creek in Ringwood and pull out weeds and plant indigenous plants with a wonderful group of people.
We do this every month on a Sunday between 10am and 1pm. Today we had 10 people and we pulled 18 bags of weeds, one came home for my chooks.
We are preparing a site for National Tree Day of which we always participate. We get around 50 people come along on the day to do their bit for the Environment. And then bugger off home and don't do another thing till next year! Most likely!
But that is too harsh and I am sorry I said it. But they never come back and help on a monthly basis and we have been doing it for 9 years.
We really could do with a few more people, some of our crew are getting a bit long in the tooth and I worry for the future of the creek where we work. I hope it doesn't go back to the weed infested hell hole it was when we took it in hand.

So exersises and bed now.
Bye for now

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A wonderful feeling

Yesterday I worked really hard in the garden, getting it ready for moving. It was a wonderful feeling.
It was really lucky and unlucky!
I had been getting rather stressed out about packing and moving, almost panicking about all the stuff I had to do, my mind jumping from task to task wondering how on Earth I was going to get them all done. They build up, you think of one thing to do and then another and before you know it you feel overwhelmed.
And I know I have time to do these things its just that whenever we get a lovely sunny day I have an appointment or a commitment I must and want to keep. And on the cold Wintery days I am free but its too nasty to go outside.
So things had been piling up in my mind and with only 4 weeks to go till we get our new house!!!!!
So now you know how I am feeling.
Anyway it is all sorted now as I got all those jobs done (lucky) because the commitment I had yesterday fell through (unlucky). It was a Gig at a nursing home and I was going to sing a solo part too!
So I spent all day in the garden and in the evening, some time in the bath trying to ease my aching body.
This is what I did all day.
  • moved al the pot plants out of the driveway so we can get the trailor in that a good friend has offered to help us move.
  •  Swept the driveway and collected lots of leaves that I used to replace the chickens bedding, the old bedding of shredded paper went into the worm farm mmmm they will love that!
  • Consolidated all the pot plants I have already got together for moving into several out of the way places and made room for the rest to sit once they are potted up. Can you find Spider Man in the second photo?
  • Found suitable pots for the fruit trees to be put into, hopefully Martin will help me with that on Saturday, we will lift the 2 pear trees, the 2 remaining fig trees and the Pecan. There are more but they still have leaves so I'll leave them a little longer.
  • Made a pile of old rotten wood and rubbish for the hard garbage collection after we have moved out and put this temporarily at the very back corner, out of the way for now.
  • Untied the bird net from the raspberry and blackberry bushes so we can dismantle their structures and then we can get the back water tank out. Yes I want to take my water tanks with me, they are only 3 years old, 5,000 litres each. If I leave them they could end up trashed as the house and everything is to be bulldozed, so why not take em! They are a stand alone feature not a fixture and fitting.

Here is a picture of our house, it will be bulldozed in a year or so. It is a pretty house but very cold to live in. Just cannot get any Winter Sunshine inside. And so must rely on heating. Not Sustainable!

I will be very sad to see our wonderful Lemon tree knocked over, it must be 40 years old apx. And so full of fruit and other strange things. Can you see him?

When we moved in here 4 years ago I found lots of abandoned toys in the drains and yes the drains had been abandoned too and thats why I had to clean them out. Just soil and leaf litter, nothing horrible.
But Action Man and Spider Man and Bart Simpson who is nailed to the Chook house to keep evil spirits away!

Well I can't throw anything away and have found interesting places for them to sit and survey the garden. The lemon tree is decorated with old jewellery and other delightful and colourful bits and pieces I have come across in my travels.

This is why it is looking so healthy, it is loved!

So I feel on top of everything again, just as well it is raining today and I have a luncheon appointment. We call them our Kinda lunches but our Kindergarten children are 23 years old now but we are still friends and meet every month or so to catch up.

It all started way back when our babies were 4 years old.
I joined halfway through the Kinda year as we had just moved down to Melbourne from Canberra.
The friends I made here were the first I made in Melbourne and some of my best friendships.
A group of us about 8 got on so well we thought we should bring some lunch to the park adjacent the Kinda whilst we waited for our kiddies to come out. So we had chicken and champagne in the park.
The Kinda teacher was not impressed with us, he was a rather religilous young man and thought we were fallen women or some thing, he didn't approve of our behaviour and let us know it.
But that didn't stop us.
When the kids finished Kinda we still met even though some of our kids went to different Primary Schools, we kept in touch through lunches and have been away on holidays together.
Have seen some of us go through some very tough times and very good times and we shall remain friends forever I expect!
hope you enjoy this blog.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ooh its a cold morning this morning, the heater is on and yet my woolly hat is on my head. I wonder if I can type in gloves?
Too cold to go out and see the chooks and give them a little breakfast, they'll have to wait, they have plenty of pellets and seeds to keep them from starvation.
 These are 2 of my older girls the one at the back got taken by a fox recently, very sad.
The skys are so grey and foggy these days. On the weekend I lay in for a bit and gazed out the window at the foggy dull start to the day, at the droplets of mist on the bare branches of the Ash tree next door and said to my hubby, "I can imagine Christmas at this time of the year. I feel Christmas is suited to Winter, it seems a much better time to have it." And he being English born and not arriving in this country till he was 15 years old agreed with me. Then he told me a little story about something that happened to him when he was at school in England. The teacher asked the class when was Christmas celebrated in Australia. No one could answer, Martin was asked specifically as the teacher commented  that he had a brain. But all Martin could say was July 25th!?
The teacher got mad with the kids for not knowing that it was of course December 25th.
 This is a wall quilt I made last year, it is my Christmas tree and I can pin small gifts and decorations on it and then roll it up for next year. No mess no fuss!
But the funny thing was that the kids equated Christmas with Winter holidays and not with the religious aspect.
I found that rather interesting and spent some time thinking about it as you can imagine.
I reckon Christmas should be in Winter here too, I have never thought about it much before, always thought people who celebrated Christmas in July as desperate for a reason to have a party!
But I find Christmas in December, right in the middle of our growing season to be a nuisance really.
Just when your seedlings are coming on and your mind is focused on what to plant where and successional plantings and sowings you have to stop and do this great commercial present buying and debt getting (I don't do those things but a lot of people do) and have to clean the house for all the visitors and cook cook cook and eat eat eat and take days to recover, by that time your momentum with the vegie garden is wrecked.

Xmas in Winter would mean that I would have lots of preserves on the shelf from the Autumn harvest and these make great presents, in my opinion. But in December nothing much has rippened yet so ideas for gifts are rather light on.
This is my garden well into Summer the year before last, you can hardly see the chook house. We collected huge quantities of pumpkins come Autumn and they kept right through till well into next summer.
I doubt whether a ground swell will emerge from my little blog to move Xmas forward 6 months, I just have to put up with it. It is a nice break I suppose, a way to put a pause in the year and make yourself stop and take stock of what a year it has been.
I hope you have enjoyed my second blog, I have enjoyed writing it. Ah I am warming up now can take off my wooly hat.
Have a great day

Friday, June 10, 2011

But we have no Badgers

Hello and welcome to my blog,
As this is the first one I should probably explain about the badgers.
Next month M and I are moving to our new home in Healesville Victoria. The road is Badger Wier Road and the area is Badger Creek, so it stand to reason we will call our little patch of earth Badger Farm.
But as this is Australia there are no Badgers! So whats going on?
I will let you know the answer to that question when I find out. I guess it may have been a confusion by early settlers with seeing a Wombat as they are the closest thing I can think of to the Badger equivilant.And the name stuck. So we think we might make a few badgers out of this and that and put them around the garden.
Badger Farm is where we hope to spend the rest of our lives together at least till we need more care, hopefully 30+ years time.
 We weren't sure when we were moving and I couldn't miss getting some sprouting potatoes in, so I put them in boxes and they can be lifted and moved with when the time comes.
I have been lifting some of my favourite plants and taking cuttings of those too big to lift so I can take them with me.
The house and garden will be demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass -oh no! 4 double storey units.

And we are busting to move in, so more later I have to pack a box or two to get ready for the move.