Monday, May 25, 2009

Time flies....(tick tock)

Do you like these colourful napkins? I found the wooden holders at the op-shop & then some rainbow teatowels to go with them. They look lovely on the table. Another busy & exciting weekend has just flown by. My head is spinning. For the first time in ages we had the whole family here which was just lovely. Charlotte came home on Friday & boy oh boy was it good to have her home. On Saturday night we made gnocchi..always an adventure! It's such a fun thing for kids to make.

Then on Sunday it was my birthday! My cousin Bill dropped in for a surprise visit! How great to see him after a long time. Bill leads a very exciting life (sounds like Humphrey Bear..) & has not long returned from sailing around the world. Gee it was nice to see him. The kids were super excited & gave me sweet presents of soap & bath salts and the best thing...a fabulous dance concert.

I had two birthday wishes that came true. The first was a trip to the Sunday Market with Charlotte for a bit of treasure hunting. I loved this box of clocks...wouldn't they look great all lined up on a shelf?
Then I found a gorgeous blue woollen scarf from Tibet, a fantastic Nanna trolley for $5! & this amazing canister below. What will I put in it? I was thinking it would make a great bread bin, what do you think?

My other wish was to have scones for afternoon tea. We managed to have a quick & delicious tea party before heading down to Ballan to drop Charlotte off at the station. Can you see the pretty new cup & saucer Charlotte gave me?

All in all it was a great weekend. After ANOTHER rodent incident on Thursday night it was just what I needed. For Tania's sake I won't go into detail about the alleged incident but here are some key words.
Nightie Drawer
Two nights at a motel
Exterminator booked.
Hope you had a fabulous, rodent free weekend! x

ps. Here are some little hair clips I have been working on.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Finding the balance..

Every day these beautiful horses watch us dropping off our kids from their paddock next to school. They gather together under the chestnut tree and gaze dreamily or slowly munch on grass.

Their stillness is so soothing. Their brown eyes calmly watch the world go by. They remind me to slow down, to breath, to do one thing at a time. To

After visiting the city last week I was reminded why I am so happy we moved to the country. The busy, busy car dominated city just exhausts me. I really need space, and greenness, and sky. And beautiful horses are a lovely bonus.

Talking of lovely things here is my Avoca opshop blanket. It is so FANTASTIC! It is so big, can you imagine how long it would have taken to make?

Something sweet happened to me a couple of days ago! An award from lovely Floss over at Troc, Broc & Recup. She lives in France with her beautiful family & has a real knack for finding vintage treasures. Her blog is always a treat to visit...pop over and say hello!
I love an award with a cup of tea on it! Might go and put the kettle on.

Ahh..that's better! Nothing like a good cuppa. Time to tootle off now. Rosie & I are going to the park. Before I go here is another horsey friend. (There seems to be a horsey thing going on lately.) On the way back from Ballarat yesterday the girls and I came across this little pony outside a shop in Creswick. How cute!! x

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Garlic adventures...

A couple of years ago I mentioned to Michelle that I wouldn't mind trying to grow organic garlic to sell. She had the brilliant idea of asking her friend, Terry, if we could use a bit of his land to have a try at it. (Terry has 1700 acres of certified biodynamic land in a little town, called Callawadda, near Stawell.) Two years down the track we have just planted our second crop of organic garlic and boy am I pooped! This is the story of my weekend...
On Friday I set off for Callawadda, leaving misty Daylesford for the flat, dry plains of the Western Distric. The countryside along the way was mesmerising as I drove through farming country, past rolling hills & brittle twisted bushland. A quick stop at the Avoca op shop was fun, I'm loving the huge, colourful crotched blanket I found there. The bakery at Avoca is excellent too if you are passing through that way. This is Terry's house, above.
After a long drive it was lovely to arrive to a bowl of Michelle's bean soup...yum.

Then it was off to work. First we marked out our beds and Simon set to with his handy hole puncher. Michelle did an amazing job organising everything. She planned, shovelled, planted, raked, made cuppa's, washed dishes, provided us all with beautiful food, kept us laughing & never complained. What a superstar.

Simon worked away steadily on the hole puncher all weekend, not bad for a Collingwood supporter! Gracie, our supervisor, counting the holes.

Me with some of the beautiful, organic silver skin garlic.
Michelle planting ANOTHER clove....

Michelle's aunt & uncle, Lesley & Buster arrived from Geelong to help with the planting. Terry whipped us up another hole puncher & Buster jumped on to try it out. Planting garlic by hand is very labour intensive and we are trying to find any way we can to make it quicker and easier.

The girls hard at it while the boys get distracted by an eagle.

Back at Terry's after a hard day's work it was good to relax on his deck, have a chat & watch his washing go round & round on the Hills Hoist.

Terry's farm originally belonged to his grandparents - he told me a story about his grandmother riding in a horse & cart to church.

Before I knew it Saturday afternoon had rolled around and I had to head back to Daylesford. We had planted just over 9000 cloves & would finish up with about 12,000 when the others finished on Sunday morning.

Of course we hope the crop does well again this year, & we'll be back to weed & water several time before harvest. One of the best bits of the weekend was hanging out with friends, meeting new people and experiencing a totally different kind of life. It is very isolated where Terry lives and the landscape so different from the Central Highlands. It was fun working outside but boy was I sore when I got home!! I think a long hot bath tonight will be just the ticket. See you soon, x

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Doing it by hand...

This is a sink full of dishes. Look familiar? Thanks to our friendly rodents who chewed through the hoses on our dishwasher it is temporarily out of action. So it's back to hand washing which isn't so bad actually. Unfortunately the oven chose this week to go on the blink & weirdly enough the microwave has carked it too. Funny how things all happen at once isn't it?

This week has been busy, Busy, BUSY!! Lucy is off to a photo shoot today for a catalogue then she has the school Cross Country event tomorrow. Mark is going to Melbourne tonight & having breaky with Charlotte in the morning before catching the train back to work. Everyday this week I have been breaking up (popping) boxes of garlic ready to plant this weekend. Tomorrow morning after dropping four kids off to school & creche I will set off to Callawadda, near Stawell, to join Michelle, Simon & Ben for two days of garlic planting. It will be fun, hard work. I'm looking forward to it but have that slight anxiety you get when you leave the family.

So think of me on the weekend, knee deep in biodynamic dirt sticking garlic cloves into the beautiful, rich soil by the hundreds!! Hope you have a fun weekend! x

Monday, May 11, 2009

A mixed bag...

This weekend had it's highs and lows....and it's in betweens! When times are tough it's so important to be patient & hang in there! A sense of humour helps too doesn't it? It's easy to make life look like a breeze but it's not always that simple. People get grumpy, tired, ill, sick of each other! I cried a bit this weekend, I think I was a bit tired and hormone affected. The kids were tired too & perhaps we tried to do too much. But that's life sometimes. Family life can be messy. Oh & busy, fun, joyful, exhausting, exciting, noisy, frustrating & beautiful - and often all at once. What's your family life like?

So ..... we went to the football but..uh oh....only one team can win!
Time to head back to the country and relax.

..with a bit of high flying!!...

& lots of little flowers that are so fun to make... riding with Dad
....cuddles with Daisy....

...and hair ties for gorgeous girls! See! It wasn't all downhill! A little bit of everything isn't such a bad thing is it? What did you get up to on the weekend? x

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother love

Today was the Mother's Day liturgy at school. It is a big event for our little school and is always packed with mums, grandmothers and special people. The children & teachers put a lot of heart & soul into it and I love the way the school embraces this occasion as a way to acknowledge all mums, even those who can't be there. There is always mention of mother's who work, who are separated from their children, of mother's who have passed away, of mother's who may be struggling & trying to survive poverty or difficult circumstances. I always think of these other mums on Mother's Day as I realise how lucky and privileged I am in my life.

My personal experience of being a mother is a profound one for me. I am definitely not a perfect times I struggle with the responsibility, with the repetitive nature of being a stay at home mum, with being patient,with the constant juggling of demands & trying to find time for myself. But I really love being a mother to my kids & it is more rewarding than anything else I have done. To be with my kids, to watch them growing up and to have time for them individually & together, is just the best thing in the world.

I hope you have a lovely weekend with the ones you love, x

ps. Have a look at our friends Kate & Brendon's new blog! Check out their amazing organic produce grown locally here in Daylesford.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Being together...

Recently my neighbour, Alison, organised an exhibit called "Not left behind" based on things people packed during the recent bushfires. It was a fantastic exhibition with a lot of personal items on display. School children from the local schools did paintings and wrote wonderful and insightful pieces on the fires. Lots of locals entered items and thoughts, it was amazing & moving. Rosie helped me put together a piece representing our family, above.

We had a full and fun weeked, did you? On Friday night I went down to see Charlotte who was getting ready for her school formal. She, and her friends, all looked gorgeous and I was so happy to be able to be there to see them off. It's so important for me to have time with Charlotte and for us to be together whenever we can. She is growing up so quickly and I hate to miss any of it.

Saturday night Mark & I headed up to the Altar Bar to celebrate Fiona's birthday. It was a lovely evening with some great champagne, good food, great conversation and memorable speeches. Fun! Then on Sunday I helped out at the Not Left Behind exhibit in the Daylesford Town Hall. Afterwards the kids played outside and helped sweep up the fallen leaves. It was a gorgeous sunny day, one that makes you happy to be alive.

This weekend we really encouraged the kids to be a bit more independant and active. Lucy and Billy walked Daisy, Lucy played basketball with Mark, Rosie and Sunday played at the park and Billy walked some of the way to George's house on his own. It's good for the kids to be out and about and also to learn how to do things for themselves. They had alot of fun, so much so that I think they were all a bit tired today! (A few tears before school).

It looks like being a good week, I'm hoping to find some time to sew and make some cards. I'm also happy to report no more signs of mousies in my bed! Hope you have a great week too, x