Here’s to simple pleasures

 

Hi All,

 

The older I get the more I become enamoured of simple pleasures. I got to skip my 5am walk with Earl this morning because we are going to take the dogs for a long walk later on today. I got to walk into my dark kitchen and put a gas flame on under my simple kettle. I got to pluck 2 tea bags (I like my tea strong) from my simple ceramic tea canister and place them in my big mug. I got the time to wait for the kettle to boil as I was loading up my RSS Feed Reader and going through the process of working out exactly where my mind was going to go this morning. I got the distinct pleasure of the scent of the promise of simple happiness as I poured the boiling water and my first mug of tea started to infuse. I decadently carried it over to my work station at 3am and settled down to start awakening my mind with possibilities, aided and abetted by the intensely heady but at the same time fundamentally basic simple pleasure of “tea”. At 5am I made myself another cup. My day can’t get much more luxurious and Bohemian than this.

Isn't this bunting AMAZING! Marlene sent it to me. She sent me 3 strings of bunting and a lovely card and I am completely and utterly in love with it! Along with the gorgeous bunting that Mommermum and Ms Pauline sent me and Sanctuary is going to look like a wonderful hippy bazaar :)

Isn’t this bunting AMAZING! Marlene sent it to me. She sent me 3 strings of bunting and a lovely card and I am completely and utterly in love with it! Along with the gorgeous bunting that Mommermum and Ms Pauline sent me and Sanctuary is going to look like a wonderful hippy bazaar 🙂

Isn't this little crocheted dragon magnificent? It was sent to me by Ms Snail. I have more than enough bunting to cover the front of Sanctuary and this little dragon makes me smile. Stevie-boy was born in the Chinese year of the dragon which makes this little fellow doubly special :)

Isn’t this little crocheted dragon magnificent? It was sent to me by Ms Snail. I have more than enough bunting to cover the front of Sanctuary and this little dragon makes me smile. Stevie-boy was born in the Chinese year of the dragon which makes this little fellow doubly special 🙂

Ms Snail also sent a wonderfully penned story about the birth of "Sanctuary" the dragon that gave us his full pedigree ;). I can't begin to thank all of my wonderful dear constant readers (and Mr Snail ;) ) who have contributed bunting, dragoons and pedigree to Serendipity Farm. You are all wonderful and we love the bones off you :)

Ms Snail also sent a wonderfully penned story about the birth of “Sanctuary” the dragon that gave us his full pedigree ;). I can’t begin to thank all of my wonderful dear constant readers (and Mr Snail 😉 ) who have contributed bunting, dragoons and pedigree to Serendipity Farm. You are all wonderful and we love the bones off you 🙂

Isn't this picture of Max and Sam, Mr and Ms Snails babies gorgeous?

Isn’t this picture of Max and Sam, Mr and Ms Snails babies gorgeous?

I find that simple things are starting to make me smile more often. I love heading out into Sanctuary and noticing some new leaves or a slight blush on a tomato (ripening?!) or seeing that first tentative tendril of purest green emerging from a dormant seed. I love the possibilities that come from each new day. The first thing I do when I wake up is to say “Thank you God for another day”… the very next thing is “I hope I do something worthwhile with this one!” ;). Every day is a gift, a new chance to start again, to fix what you don’t like and to learn more about yourself and the world around you. Every day is another chance to explore and to evaluate and to measure and to infuse your senses in. The older I get the more aware I am becoming. What happened to that urgency where everything had to be done “STAT!” Since when did I start to pay attention to little details and take such pleasure in the small moments?

Earl taking in the view on a hot February day.

Earl taking in the view on a hot February day.

Stevie-boy took this photo of a gnarly old log. He thinks that it looks like "Rumplestiltskin" I think he has been into the cooking sherry! ;)

Stevie-boy took this photo of a gnarly old log. He thinks that it looks like “Rumplestiltskin” I think he has been into the cooking sherry! 😉

This little fellow was in a bag of dog toys that we bought this week to placate the boys and I couldn't bear to let Earl dismantle him. He is made of hand dyed fabric and will join the other rescued toys in Stevie-boys music room

This little fellow was in a bag of dog toys that we bought this week to placate the boys and I couldn’t bear to let Earl dismantle him. He is made of hand dyed fabric and will join the other rescued toys in Stevie-boys music room

I am just pouring my milk into that second luxurious cup of tea. Perfectly brewed this morning because I don’t have to rush or watch the clock…I can stretch my toes out under my lap blanket and I can take a few nice deep breaths. I can inhale that perfect aroma of fresh tea and know that all is right with my little corner of the world. If I had just one precious thing to give you all today it would be this perfect nugget of wisdom…find your pleasures in the simple things, that is where life is truly beautiful 🙂

Our girls out on "the range" free ranging

Our girls out on “the range” free ranging

3 Rocoto tree chilli (Capsicum pubescens) babies. I have more sprouting in the glasshouse but wanted to see if they would grow outside. They grow in temperate climates, they are perennial and they produce chillies that start out green and mild and progress through black and hot to red and very hot. You pick the colour and choose the heat. My kind of chilli!

3 Rocoto tree chilli (Capsicum pubescens) babies. I have more sprouting in the glasshouse but wanted to see if they would grow outside. They grow in temperate climates, they are perennial and they produce chillies that start out green and mild and progress through black and hot to red and very hot. You pick the colour and choose the heat. My kind of chilli!

What a lovely last paragraph? Today I am rushed off my feet! I got up later than I should have, I have roughly 40 minutes to race through my RSS Feed reader and stumble half asleep out into Sanctuary at 5am where I get to water in the dark with Stevie-boys torch wedged in a most determined manner between my teeth like I am pretending to be an overweight, middle aged female pirate with aspirations of slicing my possum foes in ‘twain’ with bright L.E.D. light. I am attempting to lose a bit of excess adipose tissue. I don’t know about you but where does this stuff come from?! It seems to creep up on me from all directions. I discovered, by complete accident, a lovely and most highly flavoured, low calorie ‘sauce’ for vegetables last night by racing around like a chook with my head cut off doing ‘ALL OF THE THINGS!’ while I was simultaneously attempting to make the next day’s lunches, cook Stevie-boy calzones from scratch AND play an online game of anarchistic jigsaw puzzles. Something had to give and it ended up (almost) being my steamed veg. I caught the pot just before the inch of water in the base pot boiled dry and when I peeked inside the lower pot and saw that condensed vegetable water that was as thick as gravy, I tasted it and it was delicious! All of this time when chefs have been ‘boiling down sauces’ I thought it was just a waste of time. Apparently not. You can turn humble veggie water into something thick, sensuous and very VERY tasty. It’s my new ‘Go-to’ sauce and hopefully will play a predominate part in shrinking my hind quarters appropriately whilst I bask in my new found saucy joys

Look how tall our baby grape vines have gotten! We can start training them onto wires next year but this one has decided that it might train itself by the look of it!

Look how tall our baby grape vines have gotten! We can start training them onto wires next year but this one has decided that it might train itself by the look of it!

Earl and Bezial in Sanctuary eating grass.

Earl and Bezial in Sanctuary eating grass.

The pumpkins are getting bigger

The pumpkins are getting bigger

It is Wednesday morning and I just juggled a mass collective of “things to do” and you ended up winning the “what can narf do at 4am” lottery. Life has suddenly changed on Serendipity Farm. It has gone from ordered languid chaos whereby we move around the place “doing things” as and when we saw fit to “Holy crap we are L.A.T.E!” Having to adapt to a completely new schedule coupled with integrating ourselves into a whole new lifestyle has been exciting and incredibly tiring. Stevie-boy and I are now physically attending ‘school’ rather than lolling about in our pyjamas studying from home. I have had to seriously adjust my schedules accordingly. No more lovely “up at 3am and spending the next 4 hours basking in online joy” for me! I have gone from that first delicious and life giving sip of tea that woke me slowly to “please cool down fast, I don’t have much time!”

My first attempt at succession planting. I planted beetroots and lolo rosso lettuce. I consider this attempt a success :)

My first attempt at succession planting. I planted beetroots and lolo rosso lettuce. I consider this attempt a success 🙂

Some of the scarlet runner beans that we have been harvesting from Sanctuary

Some of the scarlet runner beans that we have been harvesting from Sanctuary

Finally...PEPINO'S! :)

Finally…PEPINO’S! 🙂

3am – 4am is my time to do “all of the things” now. At 4am I have to work out what has to be done specifically for “that day” (today being Wednesday is “that day Wednesday” whereby we study 3D animation and I am supposed to post a blog post). At 5am I stumble out the back door in the dark to head up to Sanctuary and water. This part of my day is not negotiable. As manic and exciting as my day is going to be, Sanctuary is my “happy place” and shall always remain so. A parched and dying happy place is an oxymoron and only a moron would allow it to evolve so its narf and a cantankerous Bolshevik hose and a lot of muttering and under-my-breath swearing and the odd wide-eyed and bewildered dog at my feet beseeching me to go back to the house and stop putting the ‘things-into-play’ that will take us away from them and leave them pack-less.

An artistic shot of my potato garden from the side

An artistic shot of my potato garden from the side

Earl has done a great job this year. I have had quite a few nectarines from this tree

Earl has done a great job this year. I have had quite a few nectarines from this tree

The faerie village in Sanctuary's mint bed is taking expressions of interest...this is what happens when you add almost a full bag of mushroom compost to top up your mint bed ;)

The faerie village in Sanctuary’s mint bed is taking expressions of interest…this is what happens when you add almost a full bag of mushroom compost to top up your mint bed 😉

This adjustment has been whole household bound and thank goodness both Stevie-boy and I are great at organising things as otherwise we would have most probably gone barmy in the segue between our old home study lives and our new fully integrated with class lives. I must admit, the new study format is awesome. We already feel like part of ‘The Team’ and our lecturers are completely accommodating when it comes to how we work. The class is set up more like a design studio and we are all expected to act like we are working for the class rather than individual participants. We have melded with the class that are learning how to make movies (all 4 of them and all women) on the odd occasion and aside from my natural fear of technology, I am really enjoying this new journey.

Mexican marigold (Tagetes lucida) that I grew from a cutting.

Mexican marigold (Tagetes lucida) that I grew from a cutting with more of my succession planted beetroots.

Stevie-boy found this little lined crocheted bag for $1 at the thrift shop that is right next to where we attend TAFE. There are some benefits to having to physically attend TAFE ;)

Stevie-boy found this little lined crocheted bag for $1 at the thrift shop that is right next to where we attend TAFE. There are some benefits to having to physically attend TAFE 😉

It comes with the inevitable need to learn all kinds of new habits including giving up a lot of my spare time in order to satisfy the travel and study requirements. I am willing to do that BUT it brings around a lot of conundrums. Where do I spread my time? What is important? What should go by the wayside and what should maybe be slowed, spread out or perhaps stopped. I have to admit here that I have considered giving up blogging. Spreading ourselves thin with digital technology all week doesn’t make me jump for joy when it comes to having to do it all over again to create blog posts. I had a chat to Stevie-boy and both he and I feel that I would miss blogging and all of my dear constant readers. I have decided that I will drop back my posts. I will post when I have something to blog about…when I get excited and can’t hold in what has been happening and when the garden is beckoning and shall not be denied.

How green was my sanctuary ;)

How green was my sanctuary 😉

Swiss brown mushrooms that grew from some of the mushroom compost that I dug into the soil under this kiwiberry.

Swiss brown mushrooms that grew from some of the mushroom compost that I dug into the soil under this kiwiberry.

I hope you all understand my dear constant readers. I have been blogging for almost 5 years now. I started the blog as a means to communicate with my mum and allow her to feel like she was still part of my life even though I was thousands of kilometres away. Social media gives us that beautiful ability to feel up close and personal no matter where we are. It is one of its saving graces. When mum died, I carried on. I sailed on regardless as I had stories to tell and miles to go before I slept. My muses were primed and ready to go and it just felt ‘right’. My last few blog posts have been predominately images with captions and having to come up with a post each week has turned from a joy to a labour. Someone I met only last week struck a chord with me yesterday. I was showing him my blog and saying that I wasn’t enjoying blogging anymore and he said “well that’s your answer… you shouldn’t do something that you don’t enjoy”. Cheers Wendell, you are a shining light :).

 

The 'new gardens' are going well now. These eggplants won't fruit probably but at least there is something green in the garden beds aside from weeds ;)

The ‘new gardens’ are going well now. These eggplants won’t fruit probably but at least there is something green in the garden beds aside from weeds 😉

My cherimoya babies are going from strength to strength and appear very happy in our glasshouse

My cherimoya babies are going from strength to strength and appear very happy in our glasshouse

And so here I am at 4.20am. Knowing that I am going to head out to Sanctuary early as at 5.30am we are going to walk the dogs…I forgot to mention that bit, the dog walking is NOT NEGOTIABLE, even more-so than Sanctuary and her water. All of this crammed into our early mornings and don’t even get me started on what happens when we get home! Life has changed fundamentally and intrinsically and metaphorically and all of the ‘illy’s and ally’s” that I can think of and a lot more. I don’t want to tie a bow around ‘The Road to Serendipity’. It’s like the yellow brick road to me. It’s got a lot of promise and a fair way to go before me meet the Great and MIGHTY OZ and get our hearts desires so I will be slowing the posts down now. Like Ms Christi from Olalla, I will post when the pleasure strikes rather than on the stroke of 5pm on a Wednesday afternoon. I will still be here and there will be exciting things coming out of this space that meld my love of permaculture and sustainable living with technology. There are some very interesting phone apps fermenting inside my noggin and I would love to share them with you and see what you think.

I like the flashes of colour that flowers bring to Sanctuary. These fuchsias go part of the way to make the bees happy in Sanctuary and when the bees are happy, "I" am happy :)

I like the flashes of colour that flowers bring to Sanctuary. These fuchsias go part of the way to make the bees happy in Sanctuary and when the bees are happy, “I” am happy 🙂

One of the cucamelon's growing bigger slowly but surely

One of the cucamelon’s growing bigger slowly but surely

I feel like Frank Sinatra singing “And so…the end is near…” but it isn’t. This isn’t over; it’s just “resting”. Resting is good, ‘over’ is BAD. Resting means recuperating and recovering and regrouping and ALL of the ‘Re’s’ and that is what I am going to do. I am off to hibernate for a bit and see where life takes us and when it DOES take us, and we get time to turn around and have a look at where we have been and ponder, you will be right there with us on the cusp of a brand new day on Serendipity Farm. Thank you all for being such dear and most wonderful constant readers and see you all when I see you 🙂

Stevie-boy all scrubbed and ready to go to his first full day of TAFE

Stevie-boy all scrubbed and ready to go to his first full day of TAFE

From narf, to you all…It’s “Nanoo, nanoo from me, and nanoo, nanoo from him” as always, I love a good mixed metaphor 😉

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67 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cathyandchucky
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 19:08:38

    I fully understand what your getting at Fronkiii. I love reading every one of your blog posts but I can see how trying to think of things to write or post about can end up being a chore rather than a delightful hobby. Your constant readers will always be here waiting for a new and happy blog post from you. Now your making movies at TAFE maybe you can do little movie blogs for us Hahahahahaha! No stress!!!!!
    Love you xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 12, 2015 @ 09:48:38

      Love you right back Pinkii. I will be still reading everyone elses blog posts in my RSS Feed Reader and will still be blogging, just maybe not every week. Takes a lot of stress off me that way 🙂

      Reply

  2. The Twisted Yarn
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 19:29:43

    Maybe you could combine the blogging with the movie-making and start vlogging?

    I’ll miss your regular glimpses into your joyful, colourful, creative life: please don’t vanish completely. So what’s the plan with the course? Is this a new career, or purely for enjoyment? Will there be a documentary about Serendipity Farm?

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 12, 2015 @ 09:52:34

      No vanishing and most probably a bit more on Facebook Ms Twisted as that doesn’t require planning and is instantaneous sharing. The course is part of us remaining off the unemployment line. We penniless student hippies need to work smarter and that’s the best way for middle aged people to get jobs in a state that is the equivalent of “Greece” or “Ireland” when it comes to unemployment lines. We are actually loving the course so far. Just checked out 3D computer animation and it is AMAZING. Gobsmackingly so and our thoughts are that “The Road To Serendipity” might be about to get itself a spanking new site and will evolve to the next level. I was running out of space on WordPress free platform so learning how to D.I.Y. works for us. I am not stopping, just taking the pressure off me to blog every week :). Vlogging sounds painfull… sounds like the noise you make when you have had a hard night on the booze and you are praying to the porcelain to me! 😉

      Reply

  3. quarteracrelifestyle
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 19:39:31

    What beautiful gifts you received Fran, that bunting of Marlene’s is massive and yes, you will be looking very hippyish! I know what you mean about blogging, sometimes there is just too much real time stuff that needs doing and blogging can become a chore if you feel you need to do it. I will also only be posting when I have something to say as opposed to feeling I have to post. Cute wee toy, I can see why you wouldn’t want to let the dogs destroy it lol. And yes, here’s to simple pleasures, what my life is about these days also. Enjoy your classes 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 12, 2015 @ 09:55:18

      Thanks Wendy. I know you get it as life often intrudes on time and we are now money poor AND time poor…something had to give so I am paring back my responsibilities and taking them from chores and putting them back in the “whenever you can/want to” basket which makes it a whole lot more pleasurable. I don’t want to stop blogging as I enjoy sharing what we do here with you all but by the end of a hard days travelling (100km a day) and having to do all of the household things early in the morning and late at night we are pretty wrecked. Hopefully we get used to it soon! 😉

      Reply

      • quarteracrelifestyle
        Feb 12, 2015 @ 13:17:13

        I can well imagine Fran, I do nearly 60 km and that is bad enough, roger doing about the same as you at present. Yes, something does have to give, we make nice connections here and nice to keep in touch but there are so many hours in a day. No, you probably won’t get used to it, you are re-entering “the grind” lol. Take care 🙂

  4. thecontentedcrafter
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 19:51:27

    This post started off so beautifully, full of the slow, languid, joys of tea in the early hours and ruminations on the joys of life, then with no segue at all moved into a frantic race to get up and at ’em and into school. School? Well, who knew – there you are learning the art of ‘making movies’…… and this followed by a confession of lost joy in blogging …………. It’s been quite a week!

    I only ever post when I have something to ‘show and tell’ 🙂 and my posts are never as long and involved as yours. I have oftentimes wondered how long it takes you to write each day, gather the photos and do all they require – and then to do it again exactly one week later and to do it for 5 years too! Wowsa!! If there is no joy you ought not be doing it, for sure. Write a post when you are ready and want to – we will still be here.

    It seemed to me that this summer has seen you get Serendipity Farm into a ship-shape condition to be proud of. The two of you have worked like Trojans, putting in those water tanks, building fences and making gardens and everything that goes with the planting out of a garden……….. so it seems the right time to branch off into some newish venture. It sounds like you are enjoying the latest class and doing it in a real live classroom too – the whole social aspect will be enjoyable [and maybe sometimes testing too] I’m sure. No doubt you two will be making movies about life on Serendipity instead of writing a blog – but you can still advertise it here 🙂

    I love your dragon and all Marlene’s bunting is phenomenal – what a gal!! I hope you will get a chance to hang it albeit briefly before summer is over. Sanctuary will look so pretty!

    Whatever you decide to do my dear, do it with all your heart and thoroughly enjoy yourself! I shall look out for you whenever you care to post, or whenever we bump into each other on mine or a mutual friends blog! Make great movies!! xoxo

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:04:30

      BIG hugs Ms Pauline for understanding. We feel a bit like we have been in a washing machine on the “wash and spin” cycle this week and we are tumbling out the other side at the end of each day exhausted, dazed and confused. The subject matter is a bit alien, our classes are run as if they are an actual design studio which takes a bit of getting used to and we now have to attend lectures in theatres, work in front of computers all day and learn all kinds of amazing but somewhat intimidating software programs to make our brains swell to the size of watermelons. The course is very exciting and we are learning how to make phone apps, real websites from scratch and how to create 3D artwork on computers as well as precursors for video games. How cool is that?! BUT after travelling for 100km every day, day after day, getting up and zooming around like a chook with my head cut off to accomplish everything that needs doing before we head off (and that’s even after I have already organised our lunches and everything else the day before!) walking the dogs, racing off, zooming back and then having to rush and cook dinner and prep everything for the next day and we just aren’t use to this yet. We will still see you on Facebook and most probably a bit more now. We aren’t at TAFE every day so we will still be here, I will still be reading my RSS Feed Reader blogs so all of my dear constant readers are safe in knowing that my comments won’t be going away any day soon (which may or may not be a good thing 😉 ). I have really loved blogging for the last (almost) 5 years but after 450+ posts, when accompanied by the new routine something had to give. I wanted a bit of flexibility to as and when I posted and I won’t be disappearing, just slowing down and posting when I have something decent to post about. It gives me a lot more leeway and as you have found, you have joy posting as what you have to say, you WANT to share rather than feeling that you have to.

      Reply

  5. The Snail of Happiness
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 20:07:03

    Reading your blog posts has been like getting a lovely long letter from a friend every single week ad they are something I have really enjoyed… but I want you to enjoy them too, so make the changes you need to achieve that.
    xxx

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:07:43

      Thank you for understanding Ms Snail. Still friends, still here, still going, just slower and a bit more sporadic and when I post, it will be because I have something I really REALLY want to tell you all and share. Thank you again for ‘Sanctuary’ he is absolutely adorable and I have put that little story about his pedigree up on my craft room wall above where he sits as a reminder that friends are near and far but they are always friends. I will keep reading and commenting on both your and Mr Snails blogs. I just won’t be doing a lot on mine at the moment. It’s actually getting to almost full on the WordPress richter scale and so I was going to have to find a new platform anyway. Looks like its a good time to put our digital media skills into action and we are learning how to self host this year as well as create new sites from scratch so perfect timing for a bit of a break methinks. Thank you, again, for understanding 🙂

      Reply

  6. brymnsons
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 20:21:48

    A power packed post Fran. Full of wonderful gifts, love the dragon and that gorgeous bunting, beautiful plants, going to try those chillies too, and a heartfelt confession. Sometimes we get in a rut and think we have to do what we always do. Well done on coming to a decision that will suit you much better 🙂 Not that I like it of course lol. Will miss rambling around your place via the blog x. Your course sounds so interesting. Good luck and hear from you when the moment takes you there xxx

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:09:51

      I will still be popping up in Facebook and most probably moreso now so you aren’t going to get away from me that easily Kymmy ;). The course is amazing but that 100km a day travel and full on days is taking a bit of getting used to. Even Stevie-boy is crashing early and crawling to bed. The other night he woke up on the sofa in the dark. He thought to himself “I don’t remember going to bed?!” The power had gone out. Thank goodness he had the presence of (half asleep) mind to turn off the telly for when the power came back on 😉

      Reply

  7. Plant Power UK
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 21:41:57

    Love your posts, but quite understand your need to step back! I wander in and out of blogging and I’m sure you will blog when the fancy takes you, and in the meantime enjoy your wonderful life on the farm and at college!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:11:47

      Thanks for the vote of confidence. I won’t be stopping but I will be slowing down a bit and when I post it will be full of my excitement at finding something new that I just can’t wait to share. Life is very hectic and full on at the moment as we transition from home study to full time at TAFE but we will get used to it and once we get our heads around it things will get easier. I don’t think I could stop blogging, I think my muses would gang up on me and hijack my brain if I did 😉

      Reply

  8. teddyandtottie
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 22:54:46

    I reckon a lot of bloggers can totally relate to your sentiments here, Narfie! Blogging mojo ebbs and flows and you and Stevie Boy sound as though you have busy and exciting times ahead. Here’s to something different and a change of pace! All the very best with your TAFE classes, dog walking, gardening and happy, simple living. Whenever you feel is the right time to post, I’ll be right here to read. xoxoxox

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:14:11

      So glad you guys understand! I felt very guilty about stopping regular blogging. I love sharing what happens here but at the moment I am like a chook with my head cut off relearning all of those routines that “real people” have to do when they head out to work etc. We have been spoiled here for a long time, learning from home has been a privilege that we loved but now it’s back to 100km a day round trips and noses to the classroom grindstone. Thank goodness we don’t have to attend every day or my brain would have leaked out by now ;). I couldn’t stop my muses from posting if I wanted to. They would take over my brain and force me to talk about quantum physics till I returned 😉

      Reply

  9. aFrankAngle
    Feb 12, 2015 @ 00:25:28

    Just as we start to connect … poof … gonza … and this could make me Aussie-less once again. OK … there’s the selfish look.

    One has to do what one has to do. There is only so many hours a day, and so much to do (and some days are worse than others). Besides, you seem to have a lot on your plate.

    Blogging is about the joy, and if it becomes a chore, yep – time to step away. Then again, I’m a firm believer in blogging breaks are good.

    However, in this case, I sense you’ll return from time to time … and who knows in what form. 🙂 Thanks for the grins you’ve given me in our short time together.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:15:29

      I am laying low like Brer Rabbit on my own blog but I will be still avidly following and commenting on all of your blogs. You can’t get rid of me THAT easily Mr Frank (good try though…) You are stuck with me now ;). Best put that Aussie flag back up on the roof again…

      Reply

      • aFrankAngle
        Feb 12, 2015 @ 13:20:45

        Awesome! … Flag is back to flying.

      • narf77
        Feb 13, 2015 @ 05:21:18

        Shove a Liverpool flag up there as well next to the Aussie one as Stevie-boy likes the musical events 😉

      • aFrankAngle
        Feb 13, 2015 @ 05:37:05

        🙂 … Speaking of which, Life: The Musical has an epilogue in progress …. any song with lyrics about life that is important to you. Wide open … well, as long as the song hasn’t already been used.

      • narf77
        Feb 14, 2015 @ 05:53:51

        Sorry I haven’t visited for a few days Mr Frank, just learning to juggle our “at home” days and stuffing them full of things that we have to do. We will learn our new routines soon and I can settle back into my RSS Feed Reader. Going to knock it out over the next 2 days so expect a few narfish comments 🙂

      • aFrankAngle
        Feb 14, 2015 @ 08:20:58

        .. and that’s OK as adjusting to your new routine is understandable.

  10. insearchofitall
    Feb 12, 2015 @ 02:28:07

    I’m glad you liked the bunting. Pauline said it was to be used outside to keep birds of prey away from your yard and would need to be weather hardy so I used the oilcloth instead of a cotton fabric that would serve better indoors. I understand wanting to give up the blogging as it’s a time suck. Not just the writing but also reading others blogs and commenting and answering comments.

    When I was taking a writing class at the senior center I mentioned my blog to the instructor. She suggested I keep it under 500 words as most people have a short attention span. My last few have definitely run over but I only write every week or two. Like you, I have other things that need attending to.

    I had to agree with Pauline. I started out reading this so relaxed and enjoying your cup of tea ( we really feel as though we are there with you) and the next thing I know I was running out the door. Still catching my breath here.

    I hope you give it a rethink. Maybe shorter, less frequent but not complete abandonment. For me, it’s like visiting a friends home and garden to see what’s new and how you are doing. Almost like a pen pal with photos. We’d miss seeing Earl. But you know what is best for you.

    Reply

    • Born To Organize
      Feb 12, 2015 @ 06:09:17

      Marlene, your bunting is beautiful. I also considered using oil cloth (like minds and all that) but finally decided on a different route. That bunting is gorgeous.

      Reply

      • insearchofitall
        Feb 12, 2015 @ 08:45:48

        Thank you Alys. The oil cloth added to the heavy duck binding made it a real challenge to sew. I had planned to make it out of scrap fabric I have here but Pauline said it would need to be weather hearty so I decided to give the oil cloth a try. It was a first for me.

      • Born To Organize
        Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:27:36

        I’ve never worked with it either, but I saw several picnic totes and aprons made from oilcloth at a craft show a few years back and was impressed.

        You did an outstanding job.

      • narf77
        Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:48:10

        Outstanding job and I LOVE IT! It’s functional AND beautiful and perfect for Sanctuary and Serendipity Farm. I can’t begin to thank you enough for that gorgeous bunting Marlene, It was like sunshine coming out of that envelope and really made my day 🙂

    • narf77
      Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:40:04

      I won’t be finishing Marlene. I couldn’t do it to save myself but I just need a bit of distance between the need to post every week and my blog space is also almost full. I have been blogging for almost 5 years now and have 451 blog posts under my belt. I used to blog every single day for a year there and then went to twice a week and back to weekly. We are learning how to create blogs from scratch using WordPress.org this year and so I am going to use it as a chance to give “The Road to Serendipity” a brand new home all of it’s own that I am happy to call my own and that I will spend more time on as we get used to all of the craziness that has suddenly descended on our heads. We have been able to study from home for a long time now but now we have to go back to class (and that 100km round trip each day) life has become very hectic. We will get used to our new routine and I will start to put everything back together but at the moment I have had to gird my loins and relearn where and when to do everything that we had plenty of time to do before. Thank you so much for your lovely comment and for reading my posts and enjoying them 🙂

      Reply

  11. Born To Organize
    Feb 12, 2015 @ 06:08:22

    I share the sentiments of the others above. A beautiful start to the blog and your day, then your signing off. Blogging is a commitment of time and energy and shouldn’t be a chore. I’m sorry it’s become a burden.

    You’re fun and funny, industrious, clever and full of energy. Thanks for sharing your life with us. I’ve not been a follower for five years (and didn’t know you were at it so long) but for at least a year.

    I usually write between 300 and 500 words. It makes it manageable to write and more importantly for others to read. If you find yourself missing the blog world, perhaps you could come back with a tiny bit to share, say two or three pictures and a few words about your day.

    I’ll miss your posts. Be well.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:43:43

      Thank you for this lovely post Ms Alys. I won’t be giving up blogging, just having a well earned rest. I want to regroup and come back with most probably a new website as we are learning how to create them from scratch this year in our course along with LOTS more. I will keep blogging, just not in such a restrictive manner. You are right about small posts but that’s not how I roll. My words tumble out and I guess my dear constant readers have gotten used to me and my rambling, I imagine that’s why I don’t have a lot more followers, because my posts are quite long. I don’t mind, I just enjoy sharing my little patch of the globe as do all of my readers and fellow bloggers and I think that to maintain that joy, I need to back off a bit and have a little rest.

      Reply

      • Born To Organize
        Feb 18, 2015 @ 15:30:34

        If you enjoy sharing your little patch of the globe, then blogging is for you. Don’t worry about the number of followers: those that follow along love hearing from you and others will find you. Blog following can be a numbers game. It’s nice to have strangers from around the world look forward to hearing from you, don’t you think? That is gold.

        Enjoy your well deserved rest. I”m looking forward to seeing you implement all you’re learning into a new site. What fun!

      • narf77
        Feb 19, 2015 @ 02:30:08

        We have been learning about how to create 3D artwork and the program that we are using “Studio Max 3D” is awesome! We also discovered another program called “Mud room” and you can ‘sculpt’ all kinds of amazing creations from pre-loaded basic models using brushes. We are in awe of how interesting and promising this part of our new course is. I actually really enjoy sharing things with people who drop by to take a look at Serendipity Farm and love blogging so I was never going to stay away for long, I think I just need a bit of a rest and a new directional flow. It never does anyone any good to stagnate 😉

      • Born To Organize
        Feb 27, 2015 @ 09:26:46

        So true, so true. I’m on a wee vacation from Facebook and that too has been beneficial. I completely understand.

        Your course sounds fascinating. Its astounding what we can create with a computer these days. I’m excited to hear what you learn and share. Mud room…Ha! That made me smile.

      • narf77
        Feb 28, 2015 @ 05:00:16

        I am not on Facebook much these days, too busy studying but enjoying the process as well so that is a bonus. Have a good vacation from Facebook. It will soon be your spring (tomorrow) and you can start to think of gardening all over again 🙂

      • Born To Organize
        Feb 28, 2015 @ 09:55:59

        Thank you, Fran.

        The garden is starting without me. I’ve got tomato plants popping up in all sorts of inappropriate places (deep shade, gravel bed to name a few). It seems heartless to yank them out. What to do, what to do. I even see a few pumpkins trying to make a comeback, but I refuse to acknowledge them for fear the squash bugs will return and dash my hopes while grossing me out at the same time. Stay tuned!

  12. christiglover
    Feb 12, 2015 @ 07:11:35

    Lovely post, and I totally, completely, to-my-bones get it. About blogging and the “role” of blogger, or writer, and how when it becomes a role, it’s no longer feeding you but feeding the role. I love no longer having the deadline. And yes, I’ve thought about quitting it completely, especially since we’ve moved to Hawaii. What’s working now is once or twice a month, plus commenting on my beloved’s (you and Pauline) blogs to keep connected. It’s happening. For now. I like your idea of posting when the spirit moves. Going back to the classroom is not so unlike moving to Hawaii, methinks. 🙂 A moon shot. I love you guys. Aloha. xo

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:46:14

      I will most probably adjust our posts to once a fortnight and probably not on a mid week day as at the moment life is about as hectic as it can get trying to satisfy everyone and everything. It’s a bit of a steep learning curve and I am feeling a bit shell shocked. I don’t do change well and have to learn, and feel my way through it before I can come out of my shell and be happy with it. SO glad you understand, but then of course you would, you are my Hawaiian twin from Olalla 🙂 We love you both right back and great big slobbery kisses from both of the boys (especially Bezial) 🙂

      Reply

  13. mattb325
    Feb 12, 2015 @ 11:55:24

    Blogging is a joy; but it takes some time…from taking photos to editing them, to words and research, if there are competing interests and you’re only getting a few hours sleep, then something has to give!
    Good luck at TAFE 🙂

    Reply

  14. rabidlittlehippy
    Feb 12, 2015 @ 14:29:11

    You will be missed in the blogosphere even if you’re not leaving entirely. Keep us updated on your studies, Sanctuary, and all the rest of your wonderful life. I totally get it though. Time is precious and when you’re needing to spend 100kms worth of time each day driving, more of that time studying and even more of it catching up on the rest of the days tasks…
    Looking forward to your next and now unscheduled blog post. 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 13, 2015 @ 05:23:06

      Thank you Jess, life is manic at the moment. Past manic and into crazy. It seems a bit like our lives have been turned upside down and what we are living now is very different to a few weeks ago but thems the breaks and you do what you have to do to satisfy “the man”. That won’t stop me from doing what I love, it just means I am going to have to renegotiate it back into this new framework. 🙂

      Reply

  15. foodnstuff
    Feb 12, 2015 @ 18:08:06

    Enjoy a well deserved rest from the daily blog grind….reading, commenting, writing…I always wondered how you could keep it up. Obviously getting up a 3 am helps 😉

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 13, 2015 @ 05:24:06

      Cheers Bev, the 3am doesn’t bother me, the 100km round trip and the long days do. I sometimes think I am getting too old for this but then the alternative is worse so I keep at it ;).

      Reply

  16. Littlesundog
    Feb 13, 2015 @ 01:55:44

    Here is another one of those “signs” for me. When I read your post I immediately felt a “knowing”… I think we can all relate to rolling with the emotions and feelings – the consequences of change in our lives. We cannot do it all. I’ve often wondered at your dedication to bi-weekly posts and amount of time you must spend organizing and creating. I have always been more haphazard with my blog posts. The yearn to be outside and in nature was always more of a pull for me. Things have shifted for me too lately. I am feeling the urge to write my book. And I want to follow Daisy more, perhaps studying the deer population and documenting via notes and photographs. I will be dropping much of the gardening that was time consuming, and stick to what is low maintenance. I have no idea how it will affect my blogging. I am proud of you for choosing to be free-spirited and know what it takes to care for self. I respect you for opening your heart to change and adventure… and I know that we will see you blossom and flourish! It is an exciting time! I am so happy for you Fran!! 😀

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 13, 2015 @ 05:30:58

      I can’t wait to read your book Lori! I won’t be dropping out of the blogosphere altogether and this hiatus is predominately “mine”. I will still be getting up at 3am and following all of your blogs avidly. That isn’t negotiable either, that’s what feeds my mind and my soul and keeps me invigorated in my mornings. My blog is just having a well deserved rest for a bit. I knew that most of you would understand 🙂

      Reply

  17. mommermom
    Feb 13, 2015 @ 04:37:22

    I have to agree with you 100%!! It s the simple pleasures we enjoy as we mature. Not that same rushing around but having (and appreciating) time to stop and smell the roses as they would say. Yea to simple pleasures!!

    Reply

  18. Chica Andaluza
    Feb 13, 2015 @ 06:10:14

    Oh miss narf, I so agree with you about the simple pleasures. And I think you are making a wise decisions. I too am blogging less, just sharing new and exciting things when the mood strikes me. We will still be here for you but will get just as much pleasure from knowing that you are out there living the life and enjoying it and not feeling obliged to write about it! Stay happy and we’ll see you when we see you 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 14, 2015 @ 05:55:45

      Cheers Ms Chica, I think when you post when you have something you really want to share, your posts are much more interesting and people get more out of them, plus you don’t feel tied to your blog. I get the feeling that is why many people just STOP. I didn’t want to stop, just have a bit of a mental rest. Thank you for understanding 🙂

      Reply

  19. Robbie
    Feb 13, 2015 @ 07:40:55

    oh NO!!! You can’t leave me:-( what will I do without my weekly visits to the Land of Serendipidity-you know I loved those children’s books! I understand, but darn:-( I have not been one of your readers of five years- I just found you this past year:-)

    I totally understand how you feel since I have been feeling that way at times + I don’t write + have as many photos as you. I finally worked out a happy medium. I just post what I can when I can. I know when the summer kicks in, I will not be around as much. You have to do what you need to stay in balance:-)

    My routine lately-to read Fran’s blog on Wednesday night around the time my dogs went outside. I did not last night since my internet was down. I read a book-hmmm..something I have not done much lately since I had a blog-so I totally get your need to take a break. It is a lot of work to do these posts.

    Your wisdom today hit home + you really do “get it”…GET what is important in life. You don’t need a profound life changing experience to get it -for after reading your post today-I see you “get it”….I am feeling that way-lately. These blogs can be a bit much to do at times. I feel badly if I miss a few people and miss their posts. I am not on as much anymore:-(

    I quit reading blogs that had a 1000 readers + if they never responded to a comment, what is the point. That is not a relationship it is me reading all about THEM. I like the bloggers, I have grown to know. They mean so much to me + I have to keep up to date with what is going on in their corner of the world. I love sipping my tea( I love tea like you!) and reading.

    I will “now” have to stop back each week and see when your post but I will keep visiting. I enjoy hearing all about your farm + growing + cooking-by the way
    I need some suggestions:-) I made a red lentil casserole and it said “goes well with gravy” what sort of gravy should I use? I noticed you were talking about it a bit on your post. Do you have a recipe of one that would go with red lentil bean casserole( it has onions in it). Any ideas? I know you would have the perfect recipe!
    I grow “rocoto pepper.” Is that the one that does not cross with sweet pepper? Also you mentioned it can be eaten ( less heat) when green? I saved seed and wanted one that I could save and would not add heat to my sweet peppers.
    Is yours the same. It grows in the shade,too:-) Black Seeds-mine has?

    Well, off to take the dogs out-it is 14 degrees out + the sun is out. I am getting where 14 degrees feels warm-LOL
    Happy Gardening:-)

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 14, 2015 @ 06:22:06

      The day you “get” when 14F is warm is the day you start to NEED summer Ms Robbie! ;). Thank you for understanding why I am dropping my posts back to as and when I feel like posting. I had started to just post images and captions and was starting to lose my joy in posting. I saw that as a danger sign as I am pretty bolshie about things like that. If I don’t want to do something it’s hard work to get me to do it and my blog and you all deserve better than half arsed posts with boring content. I love sharing and like you say, it’s harder in the summer when you are out in the garden but at the moment I am spread a bit thin until I learn the new routines that life has tossed into the arena. I will be back, and will post about what makes me smile, what I think will amuse and delight people and whenever I have something that I really want to share. Red lentil and bean casserole with gravy? How about this one that looks pretty good…

      http://vegweb.com/recipes/i-cant-believe-its-vegan-gravy

      And this one has just introduced me to what looks like a really good blog to follow that I wouldn’t have found if I hadn’t gone looking for a really good gravy for my friend 🙂

      http://umamigirl.com/2011/11/best-vegetarian-gravy-recipe.html

      Rocoto peppers are a most interesting perennial plant. They grow into a large bushy plant that fruits every year and the peppers (we call them chillies) start out green, turn black and then fiery red. They are mild when they are green, warmer when they are black and HOT when they are red so you can tell when you want to eat them by the colour. They keep growing right through winter and you can keep them in pots and bring them inside if you get hard winters. There is one down Hobart way (our capital city here in Tasmania) that is apparently as big as a medium sized tree so they must like the conditions here. I have 3 little seedlings growing in the ground and several more growing in the glasshouse so will grow them on a bit and give them to friends to overwinter in pots and then plant out next spring. Our winters here aren’t all that bad and so I felt safe to plant some directly into the ground here. I will have to lift (transplant) 2 of them and move them as if the reach a reasonably tall size where I planted them won’t be good! Here’s a link to an image of one of the plants to give you an idea…

      http://www.rocoto.com/overwintering/

      I will still be commenting on every post that you pen Ms Robbie, just not posting as much or as regularly about Serendipity Farm. There are some serious garden renovations on the way for us. This autumn we are going to break the jungle in front of the house, tame the blackberries and banana passionfruit that live down there and keep growing with impunity and open up a pathway between the house and the lower block like there used to be. We have 2 big palm trees down in this area and a large stand of tall bamboo but you wouldn’t know it as “everything else” has taken over. Time to take it all back and make this place really ours! My blogging mojo just needs a holiday. This new course is full on and my poor addled technophobic brain really needs to concentrate on it in order to not get trampled in the wake of all of the young “dudes” that are taking this course. I am the only female in the class! They are all an amazing bunch of kids and adults though and we are all getting along amazingly well. There is a most beautiful girl who drops in on occasion (haven’t seen her since the other day though) who was studying stem cell research at university and dropped out in order to start a business with her partner and who was going to take this course but I don’t think she is going to come back after seeing what we were going to be doing. This course is geared at boys and their toys but I think a little narfish injection might just blow out a few cobwebs don’t you? Besides, who else is going to make narf cakes and give nana wisdom to the youngun’s eh? ;). Seriously, it’s a big challenge mentally and physically but the excitement about what we are going to learn and how we can use it ourselves (start a nice spanking new “The Road to Serendipity” blog all of it’s own without any data restrictions like we have on WordPress.com and that I am just about to use up! Another reason why I am only blogging infrequently!) Life is just getting more and more interesting and when that happens, I just NEED to share so you can bet your bottom dollar (interesting saying…) that narf will be back sooner rather than later with something interesting to share 🙂

      Reply

      • Robbie
        Feb 14, 2015 @ 10:38:20

        I have to respond to this comment later tonight-chasing grand son number 2! I started to read your comment and burst out laughing-LOL- need to digest this in a bit-I will return after I chase the little man with small feet!!!

      • narf77
        Feb 14, 2015 @ 22:08:25

        Hopefully you caught him. You would have some SERIOUS ‘splainin’ to do if he got away! 😉

      • Robbie
        Feb 14, 2015 @ 15:54:42

        I am back. The little man is asleepZZZZZ. Thank goodness. I took the dogs out and now I can respond to your comment. Those are amazing gravyrecipes. PERFECT!!! ( my exclamation marks in a row is me jumping up and down-lol) I am going to copy them and put them in my recipe book. I knew you would come through-thank you so much!!!!
        What is the class you are taking called? It sounds really challenging. A tech geek class-LOL. You go girl! Whip those men in shapre-show them how a girl wears the “geek’label! Just teasing:-) I am eager to hear all about what you are learning.

        I was just curious. Do you get a degree in the end after you have gone to school for so long? It seems like you both are working your butts off.

        I totally get needing time off + I am thinking, I may do that in the summer, too. I find it so difficult to be growing + helping others. I have two meetings next week with people in our community to talk about “urban farming” in our town. It is something that came about in the past few weeks. It will be neat to get out and meet others in our community that are interested in growing food in the city.
        I dropped out of another committee last year:-( I felt they were wasting their grant money. I am eager to meet the people in these groups next week.

        Chasing the little man around every week is taking up my time ,too. I love it for he is my little buddie!
        Yesterday it was so cute. When he comes to visit, he takes all the kitchen scraps to the compost pile. His little footprints were next to mine in the snow. i have my little gardener in training. He turns 2 next June. He even goes to my plant room and uses my squirt bottle to water the little seedlings. Priceless!

        Oh, my oldest daughter will have her twins in a few weeks. I am so excited-a boy and girl! The family is getting larger:-)
        Well, don’t leave us too long-Fran-we miss you! I need to laugh + you always make me laugh!

      • narf77
        Feb 14, 2015 @ 22:10:18

        You know how they say that everyone has a purpose…I think mine is to make people laugh. I should have been a clown. If I keep drinking I will have the red nose and will be perfect for the job description! 😉

      • Robbie
        Feb 15, 2015 @ 14:46:54

        I’ll lend you my trike 🙂 To make others laugh is a gift!

      • narf77
        Feb 15, 2015 @ 18:24:17

        If I ride your trike I will succeed in making people laugh SO much they will crash their cars as they drive by. Might not be the desired outcome and I might be forced to ride in the velodrome to the amusement of the “real” bike riders. Bet I could beat them if I really tried! Plus I could honk your clown horn and scare them out of the way 😉

      • Robbie
        Feb 16, 2015 @ 09:51:25

        I may join you!!! 🙂 I will dust my big GREEN wig off and help you fight the BIG BAD CARS!!!
        I played a new game last night called ” What is yours like”-lol- FUN!!!
        If you see it-do play it:-) You will laugh + laugh + laugh:-)

      • narf77
        Feb 16, 2015 @ 18:24:07

        Nothing is as good as a laugh Robbie. I will take your word for it and go hunt it down 🙂

  20. Trackback: In Search of a Way to Spread the Love | insearchofitall
    • narf77
      Feb 14, 2015 @ 06:25:29

      Your bunting is spectacular Marlene and you can expect something in the mail soon as a very special thank you from Stevie-boy and I here at Serendipity Farm. We both hope that you like it :). Your bunting is bright, joyful, completely weather proof and delights my inner Gypsy no end. I am going to string up all of the bunting that you gorgeous people have sent to me inside Sanctuary and take a photo. Your bunting will stay in Sanctuary because it is the only bunting that will take a bit of “weathering” and will delight me every time I head up there to garden. Thank you so much for your gorgeous hard work, your thoughtfulness and for sending something so very beautiful to someone that you don’t know. Blogging makes strangers friends and you can meet some incredible friends here in the blogosphere 🙂

      Reply

  21. Namita
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 04:12:39

    Hello Fran,
    I often tell you that I read your blog posts only when I am relaxed and when I have ample time to savour them. The reason being that that there is so much dept and beauty in all that you write just simply. I see beauty in simplicity, I see life in simplicity, i see divinity in simplicity. I have always lived a simple life, with simple needs that are gratified by simple things. Simplicity makes life richer. it is the simplicity of your world that I feel connected to you. Sometimes the incidents that you relate look like a leaf from my life. Yes Fran, it is simplicity that keeps us sane and alive and makes this world so beautiful.
    Loved your garden pictures. We are also preparing for summers. We have to develop a patch for vegetables.
    Enjoy your simple life and keep inspiring us. Thanks love and best wishes!

    Reply

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