Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Desk, schmesk

Who needs a desk and a uniform when you have the great outdoors, your bikini and gumboots?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Taking pretend cooking to a whole new level

Roast chicken-lucky for Spartacus the plastic in the door broke long ago!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sewing for me!

Based on the recent 'must be more selfish' decision, I made something for myself. Hasn't happened in six or so years (corresponding with first pregnancy/first house purchase). Must do more of it!

A simple pair of shorts, based on the elastic waist wrap pants over at IndieTutes. I liked the style, with the open sides, no ties, and curved corners, so decided to give it a shot.


 And no, I don't have a head-I am not making my blog debut with a picture taken at 6.30 in the morning!

I really like them overall-the comfy, cool but not flashy.I'll make more, but in cotton-these are a cotton/lycra blend pinwale cord, which was the only thing I had in a suitable colour. Because of the lycra I should have faced the front of the waistband (only the back third or so is elasticised), it's too smooshy. But other than that, perfect fit, which is saying a lot for my picky self!

I have visions of a smoky blue pair with a reverse appliqued vine up the leg...........

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Building the mulch pit/banana circle

This was fairly urgent when we moved in-the existing greywater system involved it all running onto the grass next to the house in a big sludgy mess. Not good.

Solution? Mulch pit. The basic premise is to feed all the water into a big hole that you have plants growing around. The plants take the nutrients from the water, thereby filtering it, and don't need additional watering. You can also throw anything organic in there to dispose of-we're sticking to plant waste at the moment, it's a great place for the endless gum leaves.

We'd worked out the placement before we moved in, so I got the husband to dig us a great big hole. He likes digging, the crazy man, and managed this in a pretty short time, even though he had to revert to banging away with the crowbar for most of it. He used all the dirt he dug out to build up the walls around it. We stuck the bananas we already had in straight away as they were looking rather sickly in their buckets of water, and stuck the greywater hose in and emptied the washing machine to check the level.

Once it was all sitting fairly evenly it was time to put all our wrecked moving boxes to good use-it's simply too dry here for sheet mulching. I also chucked some compost in, to give it a nice headstart on the organic base. There's no worries about the water percolating too quickly here, but I thought the compost and boxes in the bottom would slow it further. 

Next, we filled it with anything organic we could find. I was throwing whole saplings and such in there. It was a convenient place for all the weeds around the area, which was previously cleared but then abandoned. So the pit received lots of stinking roger, wild cotton and of course the infernal periwinkles and lots of lantana.

 We're slowly planting paw-paws between the bananas, and will fill the rest of the edge as soon as we can. There's also comfrey on the bottom wall-now i've finally cracked germinating it (only took me a whole packet *blush*) i'll be able to cover the wall much quicker.

 So far it all seems to be working really well-there's rarely any smell and when there is it's very faint, and only discernable when you're right next to it. And it gets everything, even the nappy wash water-I know it's a no-no, but where else am I supposed to put it? I figure we're not touching it and it's well buried under all the mulch. 'Everything' is of course all greywater safe, low sodium and low phosphate, i'm not pouring Draino down there.The main issue is keeping it topped up with mulch, it eats mulch at an astounding rate. To give you an example of just how well it's working, here it is after three weeks of no water (us away), in stinking hot, dry, windy weather.

The bananas looked utterly fantastic, and the weeds are loving it (easy mulch!). It's now fenced, as the wildlife found paw-paws and comfrey quite tasty.

Further plans include
-Filling the whole edge with alternating banana/paw-paws.
-Using the comfrey wall to slash for mulch/teas/compost, much needed with our awful soils.
-Some reed beds on the upper side, for more mulch.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Homeschool snapshot

Building cities according to the number in the square-they took this idea and ran with it, drawing their own complex little places with flowerbeds and fairies!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Where’s the cluck?

I spent five or so years being insanely clucky. Even while pregnant I couldn’t wait to get pregnant with the next one. The result? Five children in just under five years, as my husband is just as bad as me. But the youngest is now ten months old, and the thought of ever being pregnant again terrifies me. It’s so strange to finally just not want any more kids. I never thought it would go away. But I cannot think of anything worse than being pregnant again, or giving birth again, or having a newborn again.

I think having bigger kids is the clincher-bigger kids are awesome. While they’re off having fun the baby has me chained to the couch feeding him. While i’m playing games with them the baby is crying. I have had enough of babies. Babies are just plain annoying and work intensive. At every milestone he reaches i’m happy, as it means he’s getting bigger and therefore won’t be so much work!

Don’t get me wrong, I adore him and appreciate him, and take every available opportunity to enjoy him. But i’m oh so glad i’ll never have to go through all the shitty parts of it again.

More of our new friend.

Amazing how much better a real camera does than a phone.

It's about a metre from the front door in the first pic, right outside its front door. It's sort of like a pet now, obviously not a sleep on your bed type pet, but I admit I may talk to it...................