Tuesday, January 28, 2014

happy new school year!

When you really think about it, the day before the first day of the new school year is a bit like New Year's Eve, don't you think?

In our house we have one starting back tomorrow and the other two, the day after.

We're spending the last holiday day much like we did the last day of the year; Lots of wistful looking back over the past six weeks and lots of hopeful dreaming of the future. Some organising, some plan making, some resolutions, lots of hoping for the best and a big family meal.

This school year I hope to be a bit (hopefully a lot) more organised, to be tidier, to go to bed earlier and to wake up earlier, and to try and make the routine fun.

I hope to be on top of the newsletters, the readers, the homework, the finger nails, the lice, the laundry, the activites and the other miscellaneous school stuff.

I hope to make creative lunchboxes, to not be overwhelmed with all the 'shoulds and have-to's and to listen to but rise above the stories of school yard bitchiness.

In our house we discuss the question of to school or not to school often. This year our girls will be going to school and so I hope to balance their lives with lots of practical farming lessons and experiences, lots of creativity and crafty stuff and lots and lots of homey fun.

And on a more personal note, I hope to utilise the hours that they are at school productively. I hope to make lots of stuff, grow lots of stuff, cook lots of stuff and still have time left over for friends and fun.

So here we go, happy new school year, let it be awesome!

Now I just have to remember to set the alarm.
And kiss the spunkiest farmer boy at midnight.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

taking stock

IMG_7905IMG_7900 Making : rainbow bracelets, friendship bracelets, pom-poms, a crochet blanket. 88/200 made.
Cooking : babka, gozleme, shakshuka, frittata, toast...
Drinking : so much water, vodka and ginger beer, mint tea.
Reading: burial rites by hannah kent. as slowly as possible. i so don't want it to end. (thanks mum xx)
Wanting: to write blogs about the truths of family farming in the year of the family farm.
Looking: at how pretty the garden looks in the late afternoon's summer light.
Playing: the strangers podcasts. from the beginning to now. brilliant!! (thanks dad xx)
Wasting: precious crochet time by reading. and reading time crocheting. it's always a juggle.
Sewing: nothing lately. i do have a pile of fabric sitting here waiting to become a skirt. someday.
Wishing: that we had planted more beans.
Enjoying: walking around the big block each evening.
Waiting: for the first tomato to ripen so i can break my tomato fast.
Liking: that my girls are learning important skills like starting the fire pump and sharpening a chainsaw.
Wondering: if there is really a chance of italy in october?
Loving: listening to miss indi singing in her room.
Hoping: that the last 10 days of the summer holidays go so slooooooowly.
Marvelling: at how quickly the girls can make a mess in any part of the house i've recently cleaned.
Needing: to do some mowing but the wind is still too fierce.
Smelling: the chocolate dipped waffle cones i just made for afternoon tea.
Wearing: my fitbit.
Following: along behind my farmer boy, digging and shoveling and listening and learning.
Noticing: that the double batch of challah i made the other day killed my kitchen aid. crap!
Knowing: that i need to start thinking about and getting organised for the school year to come.
Thinking: about what a relief it is to forget about the fire plan for a few cooler days.
Feeling: itchy. from a jumping jack bite two days ago.
Bookmarking: pictures of conservatories. a glass house on the side of this house might fix it.
Opening: google images to look at pictures of iceland. i can't get burial rites out of my head.
Giggling: at how funny the newly shorn alpacas look.
Feeling: like i might sleep tonight after finally doing something this morning that i've been stressing about for weeks.

so what's going on with you?
have you read burial rites?
are your tomatoes ripe yet?
what have you been making?

(thanks pip xx)
(last time i played)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

bits & pieces

Firstly, thank YOU!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! Your messages on my last post have made me smile, they have made me cry, they have humbled me and they have meant the world to me. Your messages have reminded me of why I blog and have strengthened my resolve to keep blogging. Big time!

This community is awesome and I love being part of it.

So although I haven't gotten off to the greatest start, three posts in the first 16 days of 2014, I look forward to a wonderful, blogging year filled with the stories and the goings on in our family, on our little organic farm, in the forest, in Australia.

I wish, on the girls' dandelion above, that 2014 is filled with much creativity, wonderful health, love, inspiration and big opportunities for us all.

And now for a bit of housekeeping, some stuff I thought you might like to know...

Firstly, we are in the January issue of Country Style magazine. The feature includes a bit of our story, some beautiful photos and such an enormous thrill for us to be included in the shiny pages of this super glorious magazine. Yay!

Secondly, a couple of the photos I took at the topping out ceremony at my parents' building site made it onto Slate! I know!! (Read the article here). How very exciting indeed.

In December, my parents followed the topping out ceremony with a lock up party for their builders and family. We ate a delicious meal, my Dad and the builder made a speech and then keys were handed over.

I don't know if we'll ever build a house of our own, but I do know that if one day we are in that position, I love the idea and ritual of acknowledging the different stages of construction, thanking the team working so hard to create the space and celebrating building milestones with family and friends. We feel honoured to have been included.

Thirdly, my gorgeous friend and one of my fave bloggers Cath, has moved blog addresses and started up again. Yay! Head on over and visit MyBeardedPigeon to read about Cath's gorgeous little family, her life in a small community, her inspirational and very successful online business, and her wonderful way of seeing the world.

Fourthly, Pip's next blogging course, Blog With Pip,  is starting up again soon.

I was lucky enough to sit in the back of the class during the last course and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

If you are thinking about starting up a blog, if you already have a blog but need some fresh inspiration, if you have plans to make your blog into a book, if you want to build your blogging community, if you want your blog to look cuter, your photos better, if there is something about blogging you've always wanted to know or do, the Blog With Pip course is for you.

Seriously, the last course had students who have been blogging for years all the way through to beginners choosing their blog names and there was more than enough content for everyone.

And possibly my fave part of the last course is the community. I think Pip's last course officially ended a month or so ago, but many of the students still meet up regularly on Facebook to ask each other questions, offer support and help each other navigate the big wide blog world.

I think Blog With Pip is ace!

IMG_7227 And that's it for now. It's crazy hot here and we're spending our mornings doing the farm chores and our afternoons swimming in the bottom dam. We're reading, making rainbow bracelets and we're trying to keep cool. If not for the constant threat of bushfire, it'd be idyllic.

So tell me about you, what have you been up to lately? Any links you'd like to share?

Stay safe and happy.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Dyeing and blogging

IMG_7829It's funny isn't it: the more you blog - the more you blog - the better you blog - the easier you blog - the more the whole thing makes sense.

And then I guess the reverse is true too: the less you blog - the less you blog - the more sticky your words - the fewer photos you take - the less time you can find to post - the less sense the whole blogging thing makes.

At least that's how it works for me. When I'm in it, I love it! And when by accident I take a 10 day break, I can't work out how to get back, or if I even want to.

For a couple of those 10 days I was just too caught up in the goings on around here to think about it much, and then as the days went on I thought about it but didn't have a second to do it, then I had the chance to do it but wasn't sure I wanted to. And then finally this morning I woke up and missed it.

I missed the creative outlet, and the community and I knew in the future I would miss the record of this time in our lives.

So I sat down at my computer and had a look around at what some other bloggers were doing. But instead of feeling inspired, I felt outdated. Is there a place for me and my blogger blog anymore? Is there a place for a blog that isn't designed, has nothing to sell, doesn't use the word forage and is typed in the default font?

I thought about this all morning as I tore up bits of fabric for the girls to tie-dye, I thought about it as we painted melted wax patterns in an attempt at batik, I thought about it while collecting the eggs and feeding the animals, I thought about it while the shearer cut the overgrown alpacas' fleece and while picking Silvan-berries.

I thought about it a lot. My blog has been a big part of my life for the last four and a half years so I guess that makes sense.

IMG_7845 And finally at the very end of the day I sat down and loaded the photos and started to type not really knowing how I was going to resolve this and I was overcome with a sense of happiness and calm. I love my blog. I love blogging. It makes me feel good.

And so I guess that means I'm going to keep going. I'm going to keep sharing photos and telling the stories of our family and our life here on our farm. And I guess it's OK that it's not all designery here because in real life it's not either. And sometimes I worry about that in real life too, but mostly I don't care. It's about love and family and life. It makes sense. To me it does anyway.

So I'll be back, soonish. Same blog typeface - same blog template.
I hope you will too.



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 - so much potential

So here we are, at the end of the first day of the brand new year, and while I am completely ready for it, I feel like I still haven't articulated, or thought through, exactly what I am hoping for, for 2014. I don't have resolutions of how I want to behave,  I haven't decided if there is a project I'd like to do a bit of every single day (365 project), and I don't have one word to describe how I want to tackle the months to come.

So I've started the year by keeping my options open.

We spent the first moments of the shiny new year with beautiful friends and family. (Potential resolution to do more of this?)

We made the most of a dreary wet day by spending time together as a family cooking and eating and watching a movie. (Potential resolution to positively frame difficult situations?)

I made the most of my moments. (Potential resolution stolen off my Mum, to waste less time?)

I wrote 750 words in 750words.com. (Potential 365 or 180 or 75 project?)

I crocheted four squares of what could be a blanket, a cushion or bunting. (Potential 365 project?)

I thought about SIMPLIFY and GROW and EMBRACE and CELEBRATE. (Potential words to carry me through the year?)

And I thought a lot about the things that make me feel and act like a better person; Like drinking two litres of water daily, regular exercise, being more organised, dancing, having regular off-farm time, and date nights with my farmer boy. (Potential personal practices that should be personal laws?)

I'm so excited for this year. To see where it takes us and what we can achieve. I feel like something big is going to happen. I have no idea what it will be or even what I would like it to be, but I can feel it in my belly and it's exciting.

Hooray for the potential of the new year!!

Big love and wishes for the sweetest and happiest and most wonderful year for you.
Are you all organised with your resolutions and stuff, or are you keeping your options open and hoping for the best?


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