Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm the proverbial plumber with a leaky tap

  Except i'm a nappy maker whose son wears such rags as this. Unfortunately, this is not an oddity-most of his stash has been worn so much that it's looking worse for it. It's what happens when you're #5.

Frugality gone too far maybe? Or completely sensible given its purpose? I'll stick with the latter.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Oh how the smug has fallen

After I had Frosty I was one of those horrible people who don't do any exercise and eat whatever they like yet steadily lose weight. It was fantastic. Not exactly as easy as it sounds as it was a result of ravenous round-the-clock breastfeeding, but it was a great side effect. I thoroughly enjoyed eating masses of chocolate in front of my husband, and being able to say I need high energy food, suck it up husband, i'm not making you eat it. Then it got to the point where I hit 55kgs and started to look gaunt, which wasn't so fantastic, and so decided it was time to cut feeds right back to three a day-this was around his first birthday after all, it's hardly as if he was relying on it.

I then started to put on a little weight. Only a little, so I filled out and looked healthy again. Then a little more...............and today I got on the scales and I now weigh 60.1kgs. Crap. I know, it's hardly obese but five kilos has just crept up on me in a matter of months. This is bad. This is the result of me being a big lazybones in regards to exercise-I just don't. Unless you count getting up to make another cup of tea. I eat quite well overall, there's not much I could change there. And i'm still breastfeeding thrice daily, I don't want to think about what would happen if I stopped completely.

So this afternoon I ran around the house yard a few times, and I am so embarrassingly, shamefully unfit. And I got to do it to the husband's version of a pep talk 'Run faster tubby! Go on fatty, do another lap!' he yelled while he sat and watched me. Damn. I knew he'd get me back.

Now I shall do it regularly, as penance for my smug ways. It's about time I got healthy again.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gardens, May 2010

This year got off to a crappy start. Everything was going well in January, then the firemen came and torched the place (they called it backburning, but i've never seen anyone backburning 30-odd acres all at once. Including half the irrigation, our waterbike and nearly my husband). But anyway, the bushfire didn't burn the house down, so all was well in the end.

Then the skies opened. And it rained, and rained, and rained. And everything died and died and died. While the temperature was perfect, it was too humid and mould was rampant. So we just green manured everything, and now we're back to dry the gardens are just getting up again. The malabar spinach lived, as it always does, so i'm making more of an effort to source tropical vegies, as insurance against it happening again.

 OK, vegie garden. There's now five beds 1.5 wide and around 8m long.

Sweet potato, which loved the wet. The vine is from the common orange one, and there's now a patch of one with white skin and purple flesh down the left hand end.

The kids beds-there's four sections seperated by a couple of rows of garlic. There's a bit of everything here, from broad beans to chia.

his one has the malabar spinach, a 2.2m tall Giant Russian sunflower (and growing), and a bearing Tommy Toe tomato. Coming up is more garlic (pick the couple with European blood), strawberries, Thumbelina carrots, loose leaf lettuce (Lollo Rosso and Darwin) and.....stuff. I've gone blank here.
There's also a bed with Balinese corn and a couple of tomatoes (Thai Pink Egg and something else), and a bed with cassava canes planted and an empty end.

Passionfruit, which have certainly thrived.

Fruit trees, which mostly liked it. But the grumichana died so we stuck in another ice-cream bean for more nitrogen fixing. We've also added in a tamarillo and pepino and now the chooks are away will start on an understorey. Pulling the tyres off is on the to-do list, again now that the chooks aren't out to bare-root them.

This bed is unfenced, so we've only just planted into it now we've imprisoned the chickens (seriously, their run is about 1/4 of an acre, but they mope around like battery hens.) Lots of zucchinis and pumpkins in here so far, and sunflowers-I want a wild ramble of food and to discover massive fruits completely by accident. What i'll probably get is an outbreak of mildew and everything rotting and dying on the verge of producing. And that's a lemon tree in the middle, ringbarked repeatedly by the geese (now banished to the dam) but fighting back.

Mulch pit, still charging along. Surely there'll be some edible action soon, it's been a year now?

The inside-the sheer volume of mulch required to keep this filled is mind boggling. Especially as we don't buy mulch (except to begin the food forest off as the ground resembled concrete.) As well as the spent banana leaves and suckers it seems we're constantly throwing cardboard, palm leaves, gum leaves, weeds, old bedsheets and sticks in there, and the next day it's sunk a foot again. We have some red pawpaw seeds germinating so should be able to fill the gaps soon.

An example of our version of an ornamental garden-we stuck a heliconia and bromeliad in there, but then couldn't resist a pineapple and a pawpaw. Food! FOOD!

My sad-looking herb bed-it's producing really well and survived the heat with minimum casualties, but i've been too slack to fill the gaps. Shorty has taken to eating garlic chives raw, his breath is truly revolting afterwards.
Plus there's a feral pumpkin on the fence (the only sort we can grow).

Phew, that was exhausting. And i'm not doing it again until i'm drowing in food, it's rather depressing to see how much the rain slowed us down. Although the soil improvement from the green manure was probably well worth it, and great to see. Considering the gravelly, dusty, impermeable stuff we began with it's very satisfying to see lots of worms and be well on the way to good soil in such a short time with very little imported.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My new(ish) pants.

  Must hurry, before I run out of power!

  I bought these jeans plain a couple of weeks back because I needed a pair of jeans and they fit me. But they were so boooooring. So I decided to do what I used to do back when I was a teenager and flare them. (Quarter life crisis? Maybe.)

I am in love all over again. Why have I not done this in so long? It took about an hour, and has made a pair of jeans I put on for reasons of temperature only into something i'd wear on a 40 degree day. I must do more of this alteration, starting from scratch never seems to happen.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


  Mother's Day. Last year, it did not happen. We'd just moved here, we were putting in huge days trying to settle in and fix everything and it all seemed too hard. So we just ignored it. The kids are rather confused, because they know there should have been another one, but they haven't yet twigged on to the fact that we just skipped it last year.

And for them, every occasion is an excuse to craft. Stuff the cards this year, they decided a banner would be better. Each letter is decorated with something different from the property, from bark to fluffy grass seeds to garlic chives. It's so gorgeous. It's hanging in the lounge room. I also got the requisite brekky in bed, now they're older i've been upgraded from burnt toast with massive wodges of unspread butter to quite passable scrambled eggs-the first one I haven't had to choke down with the husband sniggering at me in sadistic pleasure.
 My posy of flowers, grown by them in their very own fairy garden.

It was also an excuse to get some gardening done-well, I pottered around doing not much but the husband was busy. I did totally reorganise the seed collection, which is shamefully huge. We can't stop buying them-the potential! Now just to grow a reasonable number of them..............

 We also broke our record for frogs found in the trees' watering pipes, nine swam to the top in this one next to the lilly pilly

And while there was a craft day had by all the children (is there any other sort of day to be had?) G outdid herself with her fairy tipi. I love older kids. She spent over an hour on this, working out how to assemble it and putting it all together. I'm going to have to point her in the direction of fairy furniture making materials and ideas tomorrow. Note the fluffy grass seeds on the ground.

The sign she created for it-it's hung on the top using some knotted grass. 
I also altered some boring jeans for myself to make them super-funky, but i'd lost the camera by that stage so they'll have to wait to be shown off. I'm getting my groove back now I know i'm not going to be changing sizes every week!

Hope everyone had a day as fantastic, idyllic and full of love as I did.