Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Slow Living Monthly 9 link-up September 2014........

Once again I am joining in with Linda for the monthly link up.  September has been a very busy month for me..... lots of extended family stuff going on.  It's good to look back of the month and see what's been happening here....

Nourish: Eggs are back.....I'm down to five hens at the moment....but thankfully they are all laying...averaging 4 eggs a day which is great...I usually keep 8 chickens so waiting for 3 local girls to get to point of lay before I pick them up.

Prepare: Not much happening in the kitchen .... but I have prepared a new garden bed for the tomato seedlings which I'll be putting in on Cup weekend. ... had a bin of chicken poop which was slowly fermenting over the last few months....phew, was pretty nasty when I took off the lid and spread it onto the bare vegie garden... turned it over and covered with sugar cane mulch....hope the tomatoes love it.

Reduce:  Took Fiona's advice here and have also been adding the chicken manure and straw to my compost bins....I think there are too many vegie scraps in there (I have fussy chooks they don't eat vegie peels)...manure should improve the quality of my compost.

Green:  I have found my long awaited Singer treadle on ebay which my man is going to polish up and remove the old machine......I am going to recycle the stand to hold my Singer160th anniversary machine.....my daughters are arguing over who gets the old machine...they both want it to display in their craft rooms.  Repurposing this stand is so much better than buying something new.

finally found a vintage Singer treadle at a price I would afford and a location that wasn't too far away.. needs some TLC
I want to put my Singer onto the stand and leave it set up permanently in my studio/craft room....
Grow: Spring sent me dashing out to buy up on all the seedlings only to plant them and have the snails and slugs feast on them....so I have planted seeds in the mini greenhouse and see how it goes...the corn seeds have gone great...others a bit slow..... Still have lots going on in the garden from winter....we had to locate and empty our septic tank and yes...the vegie beds were on top...had to dig two up and loose the plantings...not sure what is wrong with my broccoli but I have loads of leaves and small heads...the cauliflowers are all leaves .... its' been slow going but the recent sun and spring rains have caused lots of quick growth. 

I had to locate the septic tank for emptying...we have only been here 2 years so didn't know where it was...!!
My first flower on this native
Create:  Haven't had much time or opportunity to get much done but did complete the crochet cushion cover for my daughter...need to get cracking on all my other projects !
12ply wool certainly makes quick easy work...pattern was on the wrapper of the balls.
 Discover:  As always the love of books and reading brings great things to discover....Book club for the month is The Tall Man...a novel about aboriginal death in custody on Palm Island...it's factual and extremely difficult to read without feeling a sense of helplessness and a little shame at what has happened to indigenous Australians over the last century.   I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is one of the autobiographies of Maya Angelou, famous American poet who died recently.   And I'm also reading the Happiness Project which I have had for a couple of years and pull out every now and then when I feel I need to re-evaluate where I am with things.....

Enhance:  Our lives are so full.. I look for ways to enhance the lives of others... World Food Day is being celebrated on 16th October....Oxfam ask supporters to join in.

Don’t let 1 in 8 people go hungry.
Celebrate World Food Day by registering to Eat Local Feed Global with Oxfam in October.
It’s easy:
  • share a lunch or dinner with friends or family;
  • hold a Hunger Banquet at your school or university;
  • have fun, take action and raise money in support of Oxfam’s life-changing work.
Once you register, Oxfam will send a pack containing everything you need to help reduce global hunger. 

 Enjoy:  There was much to be enjoyed in September...Circus's , several dinner's, a lovely luncheon, Father's Day and not forgetting Les Mis.....all up a very enjoyable.... if not demanding month...hope yours went well.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A Couple of Busy Weekends......

It's always the way...nothing much in the diary for a while and then you get a couple of really busy weekends on top of each other...I squeezed in a trip to the circus with my favourite little guy....his first time and I think he thought the best part was the popcorn...

My g-boy loves his popcorn..at 3 he wasn't quite sure what all the fuss was about
Some very clever young performers....I hadn't been to a circus in I don't remember how long.

Was actually a bit nervous watching this guy...he was a bit shaky.
 I had also received tickets from my daughter last Christmas for Les Miserables....how fantastic that was...we don't see a lot of theatre as a rule but this show was absolutely amazing.  My man and I loved every minute...spectacular and mesmerising.  Can't say enough good stuff  about it.

A young cast of relatively unknowns......they were exceptionally good.
We also had our monthly luncheon hosted by J & M ...... an absolute feast of Moroccan delights...a lovely filo pastry nibble filled with goats cheese, pine nuts, coriander, sundried tomatoes and other goodies...delicious....from Robbie and the big K.  J & M served up two huge casseroles of Moroccan lamb and Chicken dishes...flavoured cous cous....not forgetting Moroccan bread made with semolina......and a tasty  Moroccan salad from J&A....My offering was supposed to be something to have with coffee...I attempted Moroccan almond macaroons....they didn't turn out as well as expected so I camouflaged them with Terry's orange segments and apricot bites...they did all get eaten but perhaps everyone was just being nice !!
The usual suspects all tucking in to a delicious Moroccan feast......

My sad little macaroons.....which I tried to disguise amongst this mandala of chocolates and apricot bites.
 Realising how fortunate we are to live in a country like Australia and share great times with good friends...I received a timely reminder from Oxfam regarding a fund raiser they are having in October...it asks you to join in  World Food Day 16th October, by inviting friends over for dinner and making a donation ...buy locally and act globally.  Food is something we take for granted here....it's a great idea to try to do something for others who are so less fortunate.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Sad Day in The Hen House .....

I usually spend a bit of time each day watching the hen house girls....just for the pleasure of watching them and also to make sure they are all ok...yesterday I noticed one of the girls was continually straining and lifting her tail and I caught a glimpse of featherless, dirty bottom which looked very odd...I prepared a salt bath and popped her in it and then noticed the area below her cloaca was very red and swollen...it appears to be full of fluid and she is waddling....I have no idea what this could be and Google has put up a few suggestions.....I isolated her into a smaller cage and brought her inside and have kept my eye on her overnight...while she appears bright enough and is eating and drinking.... her poop is very strange in colour...some of it looks like cooked egg... and her bottom is getting more swollen...I have made the decision to take her to the vet and put to sleep...she is almost 3 years old and I'm not going to put her through things suggested on Google such as piercing the swelling with a syringe and draining fluid or putting anything into her vent....I've put her in the sun....she's had yoghurt (her favourite) and water and now off to the vet...I only wish I had it in me to put her down myself but I am not brave enough....it's a sad day and more tears will be shed before the day is over
She looks really well from the front end...a little trouble standing straight..

Her rear end tells a different story...it is almost touching the ground when she stands

The swelling is causing her feathers to stand out...it is warm to touch and swells below her legs
I would be interested to hear if anyone else has had this problem with their hen.....it's not vent gleet, could be Ascites found here ..she may be laying internally....the prognosis is not good and she could possibly live for a little while getting progressively worse.....but I don't want her to suffer unnecessarily . It's  a hard decision... this website helped enormously , but I think it is the best solution for her.

Monday, 8 September 2014

When is Grey OK? ..........

I have had a constant dilemma with regard to greying hair.  At 55 I have been continuing to colour my hair even though it goes against my commitment to live a simple life and avoid using anything that contains nasty chemicals.....I have tried organic Henna which was a disaster...but friends and family have continued to tell me that grey hair is too aging and that I will add 10 years to myself.....but surely there is an age where it is socially acceptable to be grey.....why is it that most women feel the need to continue to colour, shave and pluck hair that naturally wants to remain how it is. We have been conditioned to conform to a model of appearance that probably has no place in free thinking individuals.   I am so over trips to the hairdresser to colour the regrowth of grey hairs that increases with every visit...it stings my scalp and is a very uncomfortable 40 minutes.....why do I continue to do this?....I suppose I am still conforming to what is expected in mainstream society.....obviously vanity and a bit of fear about how I will look with grey hair....but I think it should be OK to let nature take it's course and let my reluctant follicles age gracefully....something so simple appears to be a real hurdle for me....when there is so much suffering and heartache in the world how does my hair colour even rate a mention.....I just need to get over it and go grey...
Jamie Lee looks fantastic with grey hair and it seems so natural

Judy Dench always look great but of course grey at this age is expected I think. .

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Monthly 9 Link Up For August.....

Joining in with Linda for the monthly 9 link up.  The year is flying by and spring is here...such a beautiful time of year and so good to get out into the garden again after the cold wet days of winter.

Nourish: It just takes a few days of sunshine to nourish the soul...last week we had three glorious sunny days to send Winter on it's way...washing on the line coming in smelling of fresh crisp air...one of my favourite things....nothing can compare to clothes dried in the sun with a gentle breeze...

Prepare:  Haven't spent a lot of time in the kitchen this month....did make a big pot of chicken stock from carcasses I had frozen .... can't wait until I have garden goodies to play with. . Did have to prepare the chicken run against predators...covered it in bird netting to prevent overhead attack from predatory birds...lost one of my girls early last week.

Reduce:  When my daughter moved into her new place she took a bit of our furniture to help get settled.  I needed to replace a unit for the spare room and managed to source a lovely little cabinet at the local second hand shop which they had refurbished.....loads of character...they just don't make furniture the same way anymore and it's upcycled..what's not to love about that.

Lovely second hand cabinet for the spare room...displaying one of my old paintings.
Green:  There is always something new to learn about being green....I've only recently discovered the problem of micro-beads...I don't use exfoliants or shower gels but I have in the past never realising what they contained and how it could be a problem.  This Green lifestyle article explains the damage they cause to the ocean and marine life and the health complications when humans ingest seafood contaminated with micro plastics.....food for thought !

Grow:  Last weekend I got very busy in the garden, weeding, turning over garden beds and planting out additional seedlings...zucchini, lettuce and capsicum to add to the broccoli, cauli, garlic, potatoes, strawberries, onions, leeks, beetroot, spinach, kale and peas that have been slowly growing over winter....and have taken off with a bang after last weeks sunny days..

Create:  Am working on a crocheted cushion cover for my daughter....almost finished, didn't quite get it done in the month...but I have included it anyway.

Current project ....will post a picture when completed
Discover:  I've discovered that the current government does not have it's priorities in the right place as far as I'm concerned.  I usually try to avoid politics but I have to say I am appalled at several of the decisions made by these poisonous politicians.....not the least is removing not only the carbon tax but also the mining tax and then in the same meeting they are cutting funding and staff to the Red Cross assisting the refugees, they have also scrapped the renewable energy target thereby diminishing investment in renewable energy ...that says so much about where there priorities are.

Enhance:  Bookclub update for August reading...The Vanishing act of Esme Lennox....very moving novel about a women who has been forgotten in a mental institution for 61 years....and what happens when she is handed over to her only living relative... The Elegance of the Hedgehog....not sure where this one is going...should have finished by now but it's hard going...has been translated from French into numerous languages...maybe something is lost in translation !!

Really enjoyed this one....

Have absolutely struggled with this one....translated from French it is hard going.

Enjoy:  We had a great weekend away to Castlemaine which was fantastic...so great to get away and see all of the sights around the Victorian goldfields .  We also went to see James Reyne at Crown...the tickets were a gift for my man's 60th from my daughter's....it was great, even though I am not a big fan of Crown Casino and all that it stands for.
Bit hard to tell from the photo but this is James Reyne...they played all the songs from Australian Crawl Days.

Compiling the monthly list is a great reflection on how I have spent the month and motivates me to live a truly inspired, creative and simple life. Happiness is where you find it.