Friday, August 31

the yellow season

golden yellow blooms are everywhere. in our front 'paddock', in the garden, in the bush, along the roadsides, its everywhere i look.

canola yellow, poppy yellow, daffodil yellow, wattle yellow, sour sob yellow, wildflower yellow.

spring is here.

it's probably my least favourite season. i am always a little sad when winter comes to an end and in my part of the world it always seems to come a little too soon.

the air starts dying out, the relentless winds rip through sucking the moisture from the soil, the green turns to brown, the temperatures rise. we have to remember hats and sunscreen whenever we venture outside. i find it is a time of great adjustment for me.

mmmm... i am a much happier creature during the winter months.

this moment...

this moment inspired by soulemama - a friday ritual. a single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. a simple, special, extraordinary moment. a moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

lucky me

afternoon sunshine, a cup of tea, a great book and a napping child.

lucky me!

can i tell you i am in love with this book? it was actually love at first sight. have you ever felt like that about a book? is this normal? do you like to read cookbooks like they are a novel?

from the moment i laid eyes on the real food companion by matthew evans i just knew it would be a firm favourite for a very long time. 

it ticks all the boxes for me. gorgeous textured cover, earthy styling and photography throughout, recipes that are easy to read, recipes that you would cook at home not your fancy restaurant stuff, great additional information regarding ethical eating and sourcing of products and best of all its about real food just as the name suggests.

i could hardly decide whether to read it from front to back or look through the whole thing first before reading. i read the prologue then couldn't help myself, i had to see the rest.

i can't believe i have never come across this book before as the gourmet farmer series is my favourite kind of television viewing...  cooking, small holder farming, growing your own food and foraging for food all set in beautiful tasmania.

anyway i am off to bed for an early night and to start back at the beginning of a wonderful book.

Wednesday, August 29

animal farm

a couple of weeks ago, right before alistair left for his job, we took jess to visit a farm with a menagerie of animals. 

they have all sorts of animals, sheep, pigs, cows, kangaroos, a koala, rabbits, an ostrich, emus, dingoes, a wombat, alpacas, camels, chickens, ducks, geese, peacocks, turtles and probably a few more i have forgotten.

jessica's favourite was the kangaroos who love to be fed grain and have pats. the joey was just too cute for words. we did the whole tour of the farm animals but jess just wanted to be back in with the kangaroos most of the time we were there.

i'm with jess, the kangaroos were my favourite too, they are such lovely creatures.

we really are lucky to have a place such as this nearby where children can interact with the animals.

Tuesday, August 28

the negative

oh, two year olds!

charming, gorgeous, energetic, inquisitive, determined

they are so much fun and so challenging at the same time.

jessica has taken to saying 'nah' nearly every time she is asked a question lately. (before 'nah' came 'nut'
and before that 'no'). whenever her grandparents asked a question or suggested something they were met with a flat 'nah'. over and over again. we were lucky that she did remain quite co-operative even if her response was negative.

it got me thinking. have i been saying no too much lately? maybe i have. so i decided i would try to stop saying no (and 'don't do that'). instead i use the words 'you may...' and give an alternative action to take or suggestion of appropiate behaviour. it seems to work.

Sunday, August 26


i could mislead you here and tell you what a lovely sunday afternoon we had at the beach. looks nice doesn't it?

 but sometimes photos don't tell the whole story.

today, i was feeling very flat. i have been distracting myself of late...  distracting myself from the fact that jess and i are on our own, as alistair has once again headed off to work overseas after only a few short weeks at home... distracting myself from the inevitable feelings of being far away from a loved one.

we were fortunate to have my mother and father in law stay with us for a few days after alistair left. as we fare welled them this morning, to continue on with their travels to the west, i felt an emptiness creep in. i always feel this way whenever anyone that's been staying leaves.

the grey clouds of the morning reflected my mood back to me. 'come on sunshine' i kept thinking, 'come out and cheer me up'.

i felt impatient, short tempered and unsympathetic towards jessica. i was not being my best self.

a walk was what i needed. space to just be.

so off to the beach we went with our afternoon tea and the sun finally shone. it was lovely. i love doing this with my girl and she loves it too.

but it didn't really get me out of the self pitying mood i was in. i just wanted to take photos (and took many). i didn't feel like playing. jess got quite annoyed with this. she couldn't work out whether to have shoes on or off, socks on or off, whether we should build a sandcastle or run along the beach. she was frustrating me and i was frustrating her. tears had to be averted many times. the two year old was coming out in us both.

and that is what the photos don't tell you.

it is hard this life that we live with alistair working away for long periods of time. it is just the way we live. the days like today are the worst, when i can't jimmy myself out of a bad mood, when i am not being my best self.

acknowledging that fact helps.

Monday, August 13

taking a break

i have been a little absent from this space over the last week or so.

the days have been full. so many gardening projects to complete, food to prepare and cook and a really good book have been keeping me away from the computer.

the house is a mess, there is a pile of washing waiting to be folded on the chair in the lounge again, more in the basket waiting to be washed but we have been eating very well and the garden is looking great so all is not lost.

i am planning to take a short break from blogging mainly so i don't put pressure on myself to be here over the next week or so. i have a few things i need to catch up on and things are going to be hectic for the next few days.

 i will be return soon.

Saturday, August 11

oh sourdough!


i go from one success to two failures. so happy when it works... so not when it doesn't. not sure where i am going so wrong. 

i have made many loaves now using the no knead recipe from the nourished kitchen blog. sometimes edible but often it ends up as chicken food before we have eaten the whole loaf. i liked this recipe, which i posted about here, as it makes very little mess but i got frustrated with the failures so i put the starter culture into hibernation while i got my head around the process a bit more.

while surfing the net the other day i came across a recipe for malted wheat and honey sourdough. sounded delicious and easy so i thought i would give it a go (i didn't have malted wheat flour so used wholemeal wheat flour). i followed a couple more links and learnt a bit more about sourdough, gained a bit more confidence. yes i can be a sourdough baker!

the first loaf (pictured above) turned out fantastic, i could've eaten the whole thing myself. happy happy!

the next two loaves just didn't work. 

back to the drawing board.

i think i need lessons from someone in the know don't you think? or a warmer house? 

or both!

Tuesday, August 7

in the garden

i have been spending plenty of time out in the garden over the past week.

planting, mulching, feeding, harvesting and more planting. not to mention the never ending weeding.

i am finding there is so much to do before the warm weather sets in. i know its only august, technically still winter, but in this part of the world spring can come around too soon (for me anyway) and it can be extremely warm.

i picked these beautiful beets and carrots a few days ago and made them into lacto fermented beets and lacto fermented ginger carrots.

not sure how they taste just yet, the beetroot will be ready tomorrow and the carrots the day after. i can't wait to try them.

we're not picking too much else other than greens such as spinach, kale, plenty of parsley and small amounts of dandelion and coriander. oh and the odd radish which i have discovered is lovely spread with butter and a sprinkling of salt.

i have many plans for the spring and summer garden although i am wondering where i am going to put everything and how i will keep up with the watering.

Monday, August 6

being two

there are days in our children's lives when we wish time could stand still (at least just for a little while longer).

today, there were so many times when i wished i had a camera in my hand to capture these moments so i can hold them in my memory forever.

i didn't though so i thought i would write them down instead...


 proudly carrying a bucket of grain down to the chicken tractor which was on the lawn and carefully tipping the contents into the little hole at the top. coming back up to the main chicken run the shortest way (although more difficult way) up over the rock wall and across the garden bed.

trying to catch lavender, who is a very big chicken, to give her a cuddle while holding a fist full of feathers to stop her going anywhere.

walking around with her hands in her pockets for most of the day just because she happened to be wearing something with pockets.

standing with one hand in her pocket while holding the garden hose with the other, whilst watering the garden (and herself).

taking her gumboots off and filling them with water!

helping to fold the mountain of washing that had been sitting on a lounge room chair gradually getting taller and taller for the past week, making her own piles on the floor just as i do.

all in an ordinary day of being two.

Saturday, August 4

flowering in the garden

we had a heavy blanket of fog descend upon us this morning.

it was gorgeous outside, i love misty mornings.

as the sun started peaking through and burnt away the remaining fog i snapped a few photos of some of the plants that are flowering in the garden now.

spring is definitely on the way.

Friday, August 3

this moment...

this moment inspired by soulemama - a friday ritual. a single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. a simple, special, extraordinary moment. a moment I want to pause, savour and remember.