Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tree planting again

Well, its probably one of my favourite 'chores' on the farm - tree planting. And today was extra special as we planted our little boy's tree. A blackwood, which is also his middle name just like his big sister who got a Mountain Ash. This year we are only planting 100 local indigenous trees, as we figured we might be strapped for time with a little one on our hands, plus plenty of building to do etc.

We spent more time trying to take a photo of the whole family, than what we spent planting trees (we only did 16 today, just to see how the kids would cope - our little girl did not like us planting trees last autumn-winter...). Its almost impossible to get everyone to look at the camera, or even be in the photo! (Freya our dog was being particularly difficult).

We will be also planting more fruit trees and paddock trees, but probably no more than 20 odd plants for now, I HAVE to get a peach tree in this year, or else I'll be waiting too long to eat a nice peach once we make the move to the farm (I haven't touched shop peaches since I tasted our peaches off the tree here at home). Which reminds me about my recent experience with milk (I know its probably a boring story...), we normally buy organic unhomogenised milk, and have done so for a few months without buying conventional milk. Just recently we had to buy milk from the local shop, and I am shocked at how awful it tastes! Now I grew up on the regular milk from the supermarket, and never particularly noticed a difference when we made the switch to the organic stuff, but this was just amazingly different. Now I just have to hang out to make the full move to the farm, so that we can have a house cow! REAL milk and tonnes of it! We are planning on making butter and cheese etc, but I guess we will just take it one step at the time. The hard part is having to wait!

Well, unfortunately being mum to 2 kids now has really killed my craft time.... I just have to try and remember that in no time I'll again have time for these pursuits, but sometimes I look at my poor neglected spinning wheel, and long for an hour or 2 to just spin. It'll come... I hope.... I'm just working on a plain sock for Brad at the moment, which is progressing, but fairly slowly. Would like to make a little poncho for our girl, but will see how I go.

Friday, May 16, 2008

New arrival

Well our baby boy is finally with us! He certainly was in no hurry and didn't want to take the easy way out in the world, giving me probably THE worst mother's day I could have possibly had (well, yes it could definately have been worse, but it wasn't great...), and arrived at 4:15am on Monday the 12th. He looks just like his big sister when she was born, same reddish hair. He is very quiet, and so far anyway, seems to be pretty well behaved!

And I guess as I'm writing this post, I did too survive the birth, although I do have the battle scars to prove it! He was supposed to be born at home, but a last minute tranfer to the hospital was needed, as the boy had to have his head tilted to the side...

Not much else to say, hopefully things will settle down into a routine fairly quickly and we will be back on the building and renovating. I've almost spun my white alpaca fleece, so next I'm planning some luxury spinning to treat myself.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The simple life??

We have finally put together our Stanley Traditional combustion stove. Here he is in all his glory!

Its been quite the learning experience! And I can say, that if we buy another combustion stove I think I would much prefer to get one that is in one piece. That said, we now really understand how it works, so that is not a bad thing. The stove will be our main cooking stove, we will have the BBQ and possibly a mudbrick pizza oven (if we ever get time to do fun stuff like make mudbricks). The stove will also be our water heater, and hopefully will also keep us warm, when we make the shift, hopefully sometime early 2009.

Now we are waiting on getting our kitchen, which will probably be pulled out of its current home in the next few weeks, and we will be able to put the stove in its final position. I really really can't wait to use it, but that is still a while away, as we haven't got a flue or the hot water stuff to hook it all up, but at least I can now 'pretend' to use it!

Its funny, whilst most people seem to be trying to find ways to make things 'easier' or quicker we are choosing the opposite. Which reminds me of a program we happened to see on TV one night. It was about these rich british people who went over to Africa, to 'help' the locals. They had to come up with some idea to improve the lives of the people there or something along those lines. One of the guys was an older man, who although wasn't obese, wasn't quite the picture of health and vitality. He was horrified at how these people had to carry their water up the hill in containers every day and wanted to set up pumps etc for them. He tried to carry the water up the hill once, and I think he nearly had a heart attack. Now, I realise he is probably meaning well, but these people (and it was often the children's job to fetch water) where incredibly fit and agile, and for them it wasn't so much of a chore as just part of life.

Makes me think why is it that us westerners seem to think that our incredibly lazy lifestyle (and I include us in this too, I don't think we personally are any better than anyone else - but we are trying to make concious decisions to change) is something that the rest of the world should follow. Everything we do is EASY really, turn the tap and there is water, flick the switch and we have lights, turn the knob and there is our 'fire' to cook on. Heck, we don't even have to wash our plates or hang out our washing any more! And then we can buy stuff that we can simply throw out when we have finished with it, rather than re use it. As a whole we are lazy and disgusting! It really scares me to think that we are trying to 'help' others become fat and lazy like us. We need to get out there and get back to basics, rather than always trying to find the EASY way to do things, why not do things the hard way. Hard work is actually good for us, and keeps our body from falling apart.

Anyway, my rant is over!

Have been madly spinning lately, determined to finish my last alpaca fleece before the baby arrives. Due date is officially tomorrow. Hoping that I may still get the next weekend before I will return to the walking dead, but we will see. No photos of spinning since I don't think white alpaca yarn is exciting enough to show over and over, although it is lovely and soft. I'm thinking of making myself a cardigan out of it.

So I will leave you with a picture of the little one, she has just started to really get into the wooden puzzles, does them over and over and over.