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 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 :)
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.
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
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
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!
Earl and Bezial in Sanctuary eating grass.
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 :)
Some of the scarlet runner beans that we have been harvesting from Sanctuary
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
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 ;)
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 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 ;)
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 ;)
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 ;)
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 :)
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
From narf, to you all…It’s “Nanoo, nanoo from me, and nanoo, nanoo from him” as always, I love a good mixed metaphor ;)