Sunday, 26 May 2013


A Friday night game of spotlight.
Ella: Looking forward to her talent show audition on Monday, she's doing her tap exam routine :)
Lucia: The main culprit behind all the bits of paper left around the house, covered with animals she's learning to draw from a library book
Marcus: Mr Helpful, give this boy a list of jobs to do and he's happy

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" via Che and Fidel.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013




Better late than never! I spent a wonderful long weekend with my Aunt and Uncle, it was full of indulgence - knitting all day long, fantastic food, pudding for breakfast, a resident barista, lots of chatting.... just the kind of weekend I needed.  And I received a very warm welcome on my return home which topped my weekend off nicely, the kids had made me a Welcome Home Mum banner with lots of lovely messages, and the house was tidy, lucky lucky me!

I've cheated with these portraits, they're from today, not last week but hey, I can bend the rules a little.

Ella: Super confident in the water, she'd much rather be playing around than swimming lengths
Lucia: I will never forget the day she realised she was never going to be a mermaid. She was five and sobbed her little heart out at the injustice of it
Marcus: After a near-drowning at his second swimming lesson, this boy has taken a while to get to where he is but by golly he can swim now

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" via Che and Fidel.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The colours of autumn


1. The view from our living area
2. The sun reaching further and further inside
3. Tulip tree
4. Wisteria and Japanese Maple behind
5. Wood gathering for next year's warmth
6. Toadstalls popping up in the paddocks and forest, such beautiful colours
7. Crabapples, I beat the birds to them
8. Crabapple and chilli jelly and Crabapple and Feijoa jelly - still 12kg left to preserve and give away
9. My Honey Cowl finished and a welcome addition to my neck in the early morning

Yarn Along

I'm still plodding away on Ella's cardy, I've lost the love for it a bit but hopefullythis weekend I'll finish it....might as well get it done for this winter!! I have cast on a new project thought that is exciting me, the Shaelyn Shawl by Leila Raabe. As the autumn chill creeps in at both ends of the day I need something to pull around my shoulders and this pattern looks a perfect match for my yarn. I bought the yarn in Japan. I know, it's odd isn't it that I would buy Japanese wool when I live in New Zealand, the land of sheep. There is a method to my madness, it'll be another little reminder of our time there won't it, I'll always remember where the yarn came from, and consequently the amazing family holiday we enjoyed there.... I'm loving how it's knitting up and I can't wait to wear it. I didn't really see myself to be the shawl-wearing type but there are have already been a few times I've been disappointed that it's not finished and wearable.

Aside from the latest NZ Gardener magazine which has me plotting portable chicken runs, I'm still reading Greenhorns and loving it, I really don't want it to end. The overwhelming feeling I'm getting from it is that farming is extremely hard work, these mostly University educated, responsible stewards of the land are living on the bones of their arse so to speak, dealing with all that mother nature throws at them, and barely able break even each season. I often wonder why nurses and teachers are traditionally poorly paid professions, and now I'll add farmers to the list... aren't these some of societies  most important jobs? The thing that saddens me is that the majority of consumers are not prepared to pay a fair price to the local farmer who grew their food, they'd rather throw their dollars at the big faceless companies who manufacture low-cost food from imported goods. It angers me that a bag of apples costs more than a large packet of Twisties and a bottle of Coke, that is seriously wrong. Gosh I could rant on about that for hours but I'll spare you. I'll just finish by saying that the book is very thought-provoking and inspiring. It has me dreaming of CSA models (Community Supported Agriculture - where members pay in advance for a weekly share of the season's harvest) and makes me feel even more passionate about growing our own and eating local.

Joining in with Ginny again

Sunday, 12 May 2013


Ella: She's set herself a goal this week, she wants to come first, second or third in the school cross-country.  She had me out in the freezing rain yesterday training and managed to run 3.6km, I could barely keep up with her in the beginning.
Lucia: This girl is loving being back at school, she really missed her friends.
Marcus: Despite four weeks off school this boy has not fallen behind at school as I was worried he would, in fact he's gone up a reading group, I'm so proud. It makes my heart swell to see his excitement at being able to turn the letters on the page of a book into words and a story.

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" via Che and Fidel.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Yarn Along

I've been a bit frustrated on the knitting front, I've stalled a bit on Ella's cardigan as I keep forgetting to get her to try on the sleeve, I always remember when she's tucked up in bed for the night. I'm worried that it's a bit small on her and I'm considering undoing the bottom band and kitting it a bit longer....why do I make things so difficult for myself sometimes?
I haven't picked up my cowl lately either as I'm a bit concerned that it won't have enough length to double round my neck....but last night I took a deep breath, knitted a few more rows and I'm bravely forging ahead with a sewn bind-off. I've got my fingers crossed it'll work.

I love books, real books, the kind made of paper that makes a sound when you turn a page. When ebooks came out I vowed and declared that I would never ever read a book electronically. Turns out I was a bit hasty... Anthony bought a Tablet home from Japan and I've had a bit of fun in the Kindle store. How cool is it to see a book mentioned on a blog only to have it in your hot little hands a matter of minutes later. Oh my goodness what a revelation! Fiona at Innerpickle mentioned reading Greenhorns the other day and it sounded like my kind of book. And it is, a book of 50 essays written by new farmers about their experiences, fascinating and very inspiring.

Joining in with Ginny again

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Eight things

Inspired by others, here's my list of eight lovely things bringing a smile to my face at the moment:

1. Almonds ripe for the picking, we have two trees on a steep bank in waist high grass which makes picking these a bit of a mission - so worth it though

2. I'm loving the autumn colours in the garden at the moment

3.  A different perspective of where we live. We took to the hills on Sunday on a 4x4 trip, I love how these trips take you places where you would never ordinarily get to go

4. I'm filling bowls and baskets with feijoas each day, the kids are keeping up with them though and some made their way into an apple and feijoa crumble on the weekend. I'm particularly proud of the tamarillos, my wee tree is laden and these are the first of the ripe-ish ones.

5.  Nuts about nuts, we are lucky enough to have a big old walnut tree in the middle of our lawn as well as the two almond trees on the bank. We had a bumper crop of walnuts this year and most of them are hanging up in the garage drying out, can't wait to crack them open!

6. The hub of our open-plan living area. I love our wood fire, it goes 24/7 during the winter and is totally worth all the time spent splitting and stacking wood during summer

7.  My basket of treasure I bought home from Japan. I bought some beautiful Echino fabric, my first Liberty prints, a few bundles of fat quarters, pretty bias binding, yarn, sewing books, washi much goodness and such a lovely reminder of our trip.

8. Granola cooling, the kids are refusing to eat our usual breakfast offerings of cereal so I'm trialling this. It gets the thumbs up from Anth so that's a good start.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Home sweet home

We've been home a week and already it's beginning to feel as if we've never even been away.

Being away from my normal life gave me time to think, to think about the things that weigh me down, the things that I want to change and the things I want to achieve. Since closing my fruit and vegetable delivery business in March I've been a bit lost, working was a big part of my identity and without my job I didn't really know who I was, it felt like the thing I did that made me "worthwhile" had gone. Not to mention the feeling of failure at having not been able to run a profitable business. Best not to dwell on that. Running a home, caring for a husband and three children and caretaking 10 acres, often without said husband ranks pretty low in my own sense of worthiness. Why is this? Why am I so hard on myself? It's time to change my thinking. The wise and lovely Rhonda from the Down to Earth blog talks a lot about the worthiness and validity of working at home and her posts encourage and inspire me.

I'm lucky enough to have the choice to be at home and I want to embrace it and value it. I've made this fairly random list of things that might help me achieve the sense of worthiness I'm seeking:

:: I want to be more organised at home. I'm going to start by creating a loose schedule for myself to break the days/time up and make sure there is time for everything I need to do and everything I'd like to do
:: I want to investigate wholefoods more and gently steer our diet in a new direction, oh and menu plan, not knowing what's for dinner can make me a very grumpy lady in the afternoon
:: I want to make time for creating/crafting every day. I want to stop treating it as a luxury and value it for the peace and calm it brings me. I have sewing, quilting, knitting and stitching projects on the go and a head whirling with other ideas so I need to allow myself time to get on with things, guilt-free
:: I want to explore ways to create income from our land. Innerpickle is a huge inspiration. We already grow and sell free-range pork on a small scale but I'd love to investigate growing meat chickens and selling our meat to a local food co-op. I have this nagging feeling we could be doing so much more with our 10 acres.
:: I want to have a craft stall at our school fair in November, I'm thinking of sewing bucket hats to sell and or little purses,
:: I want to connect more with like-minded bloggers and people in my community, there's so much I'd like to learn

I think that's enough of a list to make a start with....

Does anyone else feel the same sense of unworthiness about their work at home versus employment?
Anyone care to share how they organise themselves?

Sunday, 5 May 2013


Home sweet home. After an extended break we are back into the school routine tomorrow. All too quickly it seems like Tokyo was a figment of our imagination, it feels like the whole of April disappeared, lucky I've got hundreds of photos on my camera proving it existed.

Ella: A farm girl, she loves the fresh air and space. She was telling me today she'd like to save her pocket money to buy a donkey.....
Lucia: Saying Hi to Lightening en route to checking out if there are any new bones to discover
Marcus: Back with his Daisy lamb, he missed her while he was away

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" via Che and Fidel.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" via Che and Fidel.

Lucia and Ella: companionship, I try to hang on to these peaceful moments as all too quickly they are gone. 
Marcus: getting a little help from Dad, this little guy gives everything a go, especially if his sisters can do it.