Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Last days of December '15

With Christmas postponed this year until Grandma and both children are with us on Friday, I've had a little extra time to finish Beau's viking costume. We declared a hand made Christmas earlier in the year, with the very best intentions but not quite enough time in the end to make it happen. Me thinks we ought to start NOW for next year. I would love to make the children a quilt each, and they alone may be a year in the making. Abuelo is making my gift -  a beautiful glasses case out of leather and felt. The kids have plenty of skills to offer - knitting, crochet, woodwork, copper shaping, baking, felting, drawing.... I will try to get organised with some regular craft sessions over the year.

In general I have so many ideas for our home life, that I need to  tackle them one by one, put some ideas in motion. One thing I am determined to do is change the way we shop - for food in particular. More and more I feel my heart sink when I enter the supermarket. I would like very much to never have to set foot in one again. I'm talking about the big chains particularly. Mostly I shop at our local organic store, whose owner and staff I have known for years, and the produce is fresh and lovingly tended. I am determined to reduce our consumerism to the most minimum amount of packaging. 

Of course the best part of all this is contemplating how to grow more, produce more on our 1/4 acre block. We have plenty of fruit that with netting, will give us a bigger harvest. Our vege garden is rockin' this summer and we have only just reached the end of our year's supply of honey. The salami will have lasted 6 months, so a double quantity should technically cover us and allow for gifting! We have lots of big jars of preserved olives left, and 4 new beautiful bantam chickens. The last team meeting out in the chook run should surely result a one for one egg count!


We borrowed our friends' dehydrator, which despite debatable energy issues, has allowed us to dry 50% of our apricots (the ones the birds and bats graciously left us!). The other half we preserved, thanks to the wonderful gift of not one but two Fowlers Kits, from a like-minded work mate. Given we have apples and pears and plums to come, a dehydrator would be a great investment. Where we shall store it all I do not know. Perhaps a second fridge. IS it worth the power cost? There are quite a few things to consider. Were this our place we could consider a cold larder under the house.

KNITTING - I haven't been knitting as much as I normally would this time of year. Really we have only just gone on holiday as of this week. I love knitting in Summer - for the obvious reason that everything is ready for where by winter! I finished another Milo vest for little Rosa, from a stash of wool that my sweet sister-in-law brought to me a few months ago.

READING - This beautiful book by Kara Rosenlund, which for a family who are deep in the search for a little plot of their own, is the perfect feast of inspiration. I also received My Brilliant Friend for Christmas, by Elena Ferrante and am already half way through, content in the knowledge that three more books follow in the story.

I don't do New Year resolutions because I'm a Sagittarian and it's my God-given right not to follow through, but there are a few things I would like to bring into 2016, like more writing and drawing which are good for my soul. On the cusp of the New Year I am mostly giving thanks for what has essentially been a very good one, and looking forward to the next.

Goodbye Old Friend



Here is my sweet pooch Flash, in his prime some years ago, when I imagined he would be with me forever. And so it has seemed as he forged ahead on his 19 and a half year adventure. Three weeks ago I had to make the decision to send him on his way, realizing that in the last few months I've kept him going more for myself than his own comfort. It was the hardest thing I've done and so sad to say goodbye - what a wonderful friend he has been. He's traveled the country on trains, planes, boats and automobiles; dined on the finest road kill between here and Perth; he has gotten me into trouble with housemates, shop keepers, goat farmers and random pedestrians; he's humped everything from woolly jumpers to outraged kelpies; he has fallen in and out of love; moved house too many times and hardly ever done what he was told; he has protected fiercely and loved devotedly. Some part of his white shaggy body is present in pretty much every photo from 1997 to last month. Happy journeys Flashy boy.