Sunday, January 25, 2009

Favourite spots

A few of my favourite spots today....

Blowsy Sunflowers

A rogue runaway self-seeded pumpkin climbing the already overgrown fence.

Roses blooming again after a liquid feed with comfrey, against a wall, where i'm dreaming about a whole new garden. Flowers maybe (although I'm sure that I will cram in some sort of food producing plant or ten, because I'm always running out of room!)

A Tiki close up. They are all different!

Whanau group of tikis before they are sent in various directions.

My shelf with some special things. I had to reorganise the sewing cum playroom before I could settle down to serious sewing. I wish I had more shelves but one was hard enough for struan to hang, not because of his DIY skills but the hardboard the wall is made with.

Some calendula oil. My good friend Gillybean had a tutorial a few years ago, on how to make ointments from herbs and flowers, and after reading about how to calm and soothe sandfly bites I decided I should really make some calendula ointment from the abundant flowers in my garden. Gilly's method involved putting the oils in a dark place for 4 to 6 weeks, but mine seem to work better on a sunny shelf. I've read that the oil harnesses some of the sun's energy that way?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lord of the flies.

I hate flies! Summer arrives and is all 'I am really hot and what are you going to do about it?' Which is cool, but the flies.
My hatred for flies has lifted slightly due to recent events.
Popcorn was made for afternoon tea the other day, and I had to show the kids my tricks. One such trick involves the said popcorn tumbling through the air, and landing gracefully in said mouth.
Kids were IMPRESSED! So being the show pony, I kept going until realising that a smart little fly was chasing my delicious morsel, everytime I chucked it up. Now my trick had increased in its coolness tenfold!
Ideas of setting up a fly circus and travelling the world soon went up in a puff of smoke when the fly was hit tragically by a falling piece of popcorn.
Oh, what could have been.
Struan aka Lord of the Flies

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

thursday, sewing day....

My stock at Delume in Nelson has been sellling! Its so exciting, but it means I have to motivate myself to sew again. And of course instead of knuckling down I had to make Tobin some new jeans(cut down from a pair of mine), in a size he can hopefully wear all winter. Then I made three tiki tees, but the overlocker ran away on me so Maaike got ea new tshirt!

I decided to stimulate creative juices by making Anoushka a dress, using an old sheet from the opshop, and making up my own pattern, inspired by some pics in the aussie mag "MY CHILD". I need to do a pattern making course!!!! It ended up fitting me as a top... so next time I could cut out some width in the middle I think.....

So not a very succesful sewing for the shop day unfortunately, only two tees ready to go. I did plant two feijoa trees, a rosemary plant and a grape in my "orchard". The local garden centre is closing down, and the plants look so sad.... I call the side and front of our small section my orchard as I have and am working on underplanting our baby fruit trees with herbs, comfrey, garlic and other beneficial and beautiful plants to repel pests and condition the earth. so far so good, although perhaps a tad shambolic for others who do not see the wilderness I am trying to create for what it is: Healthy food for family and goodness for earth.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

lake rotoiti or ode to sandflies

We've been on a small family holiday at the beautiful Nelson Lakes- Lake Rotoiti. We stayed at the DOC Campsite in West Bay. We had a lovely time although it was marred by the beasties- the sandflies. Now we knew that they existed, the supermarket checkout lady asked if we were prepared the day before we went... we had no idea just how bad they would be! We actually left camp two days early because of them. Poor Tobin, my youngest babe, 9 months old now, was completely helpless, and covered and miserable. In the end we decided to leave because he didn't ask to be tortured. Here is a poem I wrote while mulling over what to do...

They are everywhere
sucking my blood,
my baby's blood
vicious, marauding creatures
ruining this beautiful outlook
this carefree way of being.

How long do we inflict this
form of torture
onto our innocents;
bravely enduring
barely complaining?

I do not rest easily-
sitting by my sleeping babe's head
squashing invaders
protecting his sleeping pace.
But soon I too must sleep
and then who will watch over us?
While sandflies feast.

So, locals, or people who visit there ofte, how do you cope? We would love to know, I feeel like we didn't see half of what we could have. We spent most of the time inside the tent! Which was great. We bought it recently, it was a pretty big outlay for us and we had it on layby for ages. We used some money from my grandmother and the money i made selling my wares at the local market to buy it. (wares now available at Delume in Nelson, Nile st west. )

We had a lot of good times too. My book list : Dumbing us down, by John Taylor Gatto; The unschooling Handbook, by Mary Griffith; Koanga Garden Guide, By Kay Baxter; Instead of EDucation, by John HOlt; Animal, Vegetable, Mineral,By Barbara Kingsolver. I didn't get through them all, but we had some interesting discussions; Anouhka's 5th birthday is in October and I guess we need to make some decisions about SCHOOL . Struan (hubby) and I are both state teacher trained, he in primary, me in Early childhood, and although my philosphies sit quite nicely with Te Whariki ( early childhood curriculum), its not so for primary. At the moment our options are, one of local state schools, Steiner school, or home.

We also walked a bit, around the lake, the girls astounding us with their ability to walk (after getting through the complaing carzies while they got the hang of it!)we had a lot of up close and personal encounters with birdlife, birds we had never seen, before. At one point staning on the track and being serenaded by three birds on either side of the track, feathers puffed, and singing; they flew away when i very quietly got my camera out...! Anoushka learnt lots of the symbols on DOC signs and would run ahead to find them and tell us what they meant, Maaike's versions were creative..... Tobin loved the back pack and would gurgle happily, including mamamama (finally its not just papapa!) before falling asleep. So where to next for camping? And does anyone ahve a bch we could rent at ROtoiti, we would love some added protection for next time!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

sunday morning...

A sunny sunday morning... planted red bunching onions, watered garden, husband painting house, children found each special puzzle they've ever been given and made them up, baby slept for nearly two hours. Now off to the local market for basil and coriander, tomatoes and other summer lunch supplies. Oldest child, Anoushka, 4 and a quarter, holding our second mini harvest of our ripe tomatoes, yellow! Still waiting for others in the cocktail mix of seeds to ripen.

Monday, January 5, 2009

summertime, and the livings easy....

A nice relaxing day, recovering from family time, pretending there is not a whole house exterior to paint....
Pottering: Tying up tomatoes that were blown over, a bit of weeding, sowing seeds of parsley, basil, coriander. Watching kiddliwinks in our sand-poor sandpit (on our to-do list). Vegie BBQ dinner on our new deck. Swimming at the local saltwater baths.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra

We spent a very pleasant afternoon/evening at Neudorf Vineyard in Upper Moutere,Nelson, Nz, listening and boogie-ing to the sounds of this band. Awesome! The children loved it and best of all, fell asleep fast when we got home! Dare I say it , I think most of the audience memebers wre expecting something different, as they remained tight-lipped and seated for the whole set! I am in the prescence of two new and budding orchestra members, using our hearth as a stage, and putting on their own concert. If you are able to see these guys I highly recommend it!

Friday, January 2, 2009

happy new year

Happy New year! This is no kind new years resolution but i hope that I can make blogging a regular part of 2009. The idea is that hubby and I will share this space blogging about the things that are part of our lives or our ideas. I thought i would start this first post with photos of my(small) backyard jungle. I finally had some time to spend watering the garden and doing a bit of general weeding after farewelling my extended family members who had been here for christmas and new years from various other parts of the country. It was lovely having them all here, but chaotic to say the least! It gives me a new apppreciation for the humble space over which I preside!