Monday, December 24, 2007

Oh Christmas tree.....

You Should Have a Pink Christmas Tree

For you, the holidays represent a time of friendship and sharing.
You're happy as long as you're spending time with the people you care about.

You are passionate about the holidays, and that start of the holiday season makes you very excited.
You sometimes go a bit overboard in your celebrations. You just can't help it!

Passionate, easily excited, sweet, giving, love, friendship, sensitive, caring

Your pink tree would look great with: More pink!

You should spend Christmas Eve watching: The Muppet Christmas Carol

What you should bake for Santa: Rice krispie treats with red and green food coloring


Sounds about right to me!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

And in the blink of an eye...

Bill left. Actually, the terror forced the issue, by opening the avairy when G was cleaning it out. But, Bill FLEW away, so I feel great knowing we rescued him.

In other news - did you know it's christmas eve tomorrow?? This past week has been utter chaos for me; and all of a sudden, we're at christmas eve. This weekend has been the most enjoyable (and stress free) for the past month.

We took Riley to a peadiatrician yesterday. Kinder have mentioned the lack of fine motor skills and their nessecity for 4yo kinder. They think he has a problem; I think he just doesn't like drawing. But hey, I couldn't NOT follow it up.

So, we're at the pead and I'm pretty quiet. I want to know what HE thinks; not vice versa. So, he evaluates Riley, asks a few questions and then tells me that HE doesn't feel that it's a huge problem - and just gave me some tips on how to promote these types of activities so that he might want to practice them. So, I was rather chuffed that my intuition was right. He's a behavioural specialist too, and comes recommended by heaps of people; so I'm relieved.

The terror is very lucky to have his mouth at all - Friday night they are running around like maniacs - the terror trips and smashed his face on the base of our bed. 4 teeth have gone through his lip. I panicked (I'm SO not good with blood, let alone mouth blood) - but he's fine. He has a HUGE fat lip though.

I feel as though I can take a big deep breath and RELAX. Finally. So I am enjoying it.

In the garden; we've had not much chance to get outside lately because it's been RAINING!!! OMG how much it has rained. I'm stoked because I put 2.5m of mulch down on the front garden, and dug in all these water holder things too; so they all would have got a big drink before we go away. My neighbour will water whilst we are away, but it's nice to know that nothing should die.

If I don't make it back here, I just want to say MERRY CHRISTMAS. Best wishes for 2008 - I hope it brings everything you want of it and more.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Meet our new friend




Bill. We found Bill on the side of the road. He seems perfectly fine, but does not seem to want to fly. Nothings broken and he's eating fine; but now I don't know what I should do with him.

I really think he was someones pet. He's almost tame, he's at home in a cage; he's already whistling and eating/drinking etc - he's only been here 2 days!!!

We'll see what the next few days bring and I will make some calls as to what we should be doing with him. I don't really want to give him back/let him go until I am sure he's going to be ok. There is no way I could just let him go if he can't fly.

In the garden I had a rather impressive picking....


As far as G's work goes - we're off to court. So the money that he should be getting for his entitlements is now considered some sort of savings type thing. We can't touch it, we may not even ever get it, but to get it, WE need to instigate legal proceedings. Yay for the legal system.

Christmas is only 7 more sleeps. I'm so excited. We're off to see the Myer Windows on Wednesday, and all the other Christmassy things the city has to offer. The kids will love it. I'm sure we will too.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Human Nature

Completely astounds me. I am at a loss to understand how some end up so bitter and twisted. I mean, I get it, but how does one go through life with such a sense of entitlement, arrogance and selfishness?

G is having a wonderful time with his work of late. I get so very angry at the injustice of it - I think that is why I have been feeling so fragile of late. I called a long term girlfriend on Monday afternoon sobbing for Australia - it certainly goes to show that everyone has a suprise or two up their sleeve.

I feel much better now; I think the swinging between happy, sad, angry (and boy, angry was there) and utterly helpless has worn me out. I feel things completely. I'm not ever just "a little" anything. I'm either so happy my head spins, or I am so angry that I can barely breathe. Feeling so many different emotions in such a short space of time is what is exhausting me.

It's all fixable; we are going to get what we should be getting without a doubt. If it's not sorted by Friday, we start court proceedings. And every hour that he doesn't get his entitlements - leads to more compensation by the courts.

But I am in the world of "you don't know who you're messing with" and "I'm just being a prick because I can" - and it's so not me. I am uncomfortable with the feelings I am feeling because of this person.

How does one get to a point in life where they are Amoral? Where that feeling in their gut when they are intentionally nasty doesn't make them feel the slightest bit ill? Or that they lay awake at night feeling badly for what was said/done?

Jenn darling, I am fine. Jules PM'ed me her number on Monday, and after reading the few PM's that I got; I just bawled. Having a good cry helped; I felt much better afterwards.

The cyst of hate that was growing inside me has burst and I feel 110% better for it. A day in the garden always helps too. And the fact that I have gotten snow peas from my seeds pleased me immeasurably.

Regardless of what happens; to let this incident ruin Christmas would just be wrong. So, onwards and upwards. Being right and doing the right thing HAS to stand for something - if that is not the case, I cannot believe it. If it's not, the world has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Curve balls

Life throws them at you nearly constantly. It is how you react to them that is the key. Generally, my life is pretty mundane - it is defined by days, not dates and with regular monotony, the same rules apply.

Yesterday was completely out there.

My father is an electrician and at present, we are in the throes of completing one of the biggest jobs we have ever done. Wonderful - I guess. If you care about that sort of thing.

Anyway. The job is scheduled for changeover on Saturday. Meaning the entire thing must be completed and finished. Which works great - except when the power authority loses paperwork and hasn't picked up what they NEED.

So, saving my father from a nervous breakdown, I trek off to geelong with 2 bits of wood (they really are important bits of wood apparently). Instead of preparing my munchkins breakfast, I am stuck in a traffic jam due to an accident.

But I got there, and got home and I felt I had saved the day. I decided that I was going to get all the things done that I needed to - as in write off Wednesday and have Thursday completely all mine. I haven't been in the garden for awhile, and after the torrent of rain we got on Monday, things really need tidying up.

We also had some friends around yesterday too, which was very nice. Dinner was simple; cold chicken and the last of the spinach from the garden. I don't know why it's gone to seed so quickly, but I aim to grab some seeds (if I can find them!!) for later in the year.

So, that will be my day today. A day spent pottering around, playing ball with the kids; with not one iota of committment.

I might even wrap some Christmas presents.

Enjoy your day.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

It's December...

My favorite time of year is upon us.

Many people that I know get stuck in the frenzy that is Christmas. Being an organised chick, I am pretty much already organised. Not so much because I have spent hours of shopping for useless things for people; but because I have seen things throughout the year that I just [i]know[/i] xxx will love; so I have purchased it then and there. Some, I have even made. Not many, but a few.

Now all that is involved is wrapping them and writing a message to them. I buy cards for every person we give gifts to (I also send out recycled ones), just to write a short note telling them how wonderful I think they are. Because, to me, that is what Christmas is about.

It's about long days and warm nights, catching up with friends over a leisurely lunch, dinner or even at the park. It's for watching the kids faces light up with delight when they see the Christmas decorations.

It's the excitement that comes with the postie each day felt by you and your kids. It's the end of another year; a time for new beginnings to be paved and a time for summarising your year.

It's about waking up on Christmas morning and seeing that small little face light up with both delight and pure shock, all at the same time. And not knowing quite what to do. Seeing loved ones and laughing, and reminding yourself that this is what life is supposed to be.

I hope you all have a wonderful lead up to Christmas. For me, it's just as delightful as the day itself.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Garden news

It's been a bit of a while since I updated on the garden. The tomatoes are growing a treat, and it won't be long before we have more tomatoes than we know what to do with. The snow peas are going beserk, and the broccoli is being eaten by some white moth type thing; but I've decided to let them eat it, as it's just far too hot for broccoli and now I know that it's a WINTER vegetable, and that it grows well, I'll sort that out in Autumn.



My beautiful day lily. At least, I think that is what it is. It has taken me TWO YEARS to see this flower. Last year, the terror broke the ONE stalk of flowers off; this year, there were two and G broke one stalk of 6 flowers. I'm only just talking to him. Aren't they beautiful??



Another first year flowering Hebe. Goodness they are pretty. And hardy too.

Last but not least; a beautiful flower I never even knew I had. It turned up right in the perfect place.



I will make a big effort to take some photos of the vegie patch over the weekend.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Much Ado about nothing

I've been thinking a great deal. Yes, if you knew me, you'd realise just how scary that is. But, there is so much to think about - about everything.

How do you know that you're taking the right path? Is it a guess? Is it a feeling in your gut that eats away at you until you have no choice but to follow it or die? Or is it something you decide once you've been down the path?

I don't know if I'm on the path I am meant to be on - and who decides where I'm *meant* to be anyway? If I'm not on the right path, but I'm overall content - do I stay on that path? Or do I risk everything; and I mean everything; and follow my heart and my gut?

Even if I were to risk everything - I don't know that I would even want to. I don't even know if that makes sense. But, I'd imagine that, if you were going to turn your life completely, irreversibly upside down; that you'd want to be desperately unhappy with your current one.

Or would you?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Once upon a time...

Well, I'm really glad I made a pact to post once a day..... ;)

The party was ace. There is no other word for it. Ace. It was a nice balmy evening, full of kids, friends and laughs. There was more than enough food, nothing was hard and all our friends were there.

I met one of G's old school friends for the first time on Saturday night. He is THE nicest person I've ever met. There is something to be said about the simplicity of country people - and no, I don't mean their IQ.

Just the fact that they are not after much. They want a happy life, with lots of friends, some kids, a wife and a place to call home. I think we can learn a heap from them.

He's been travelling the world for the last few years and had some amazing stories to tell. He ended up staying the night and him and G have made a firm promise to catch up more often.

Christmas is well and truly on it's way - I'm very pleased to note that I am just about finished the Christmas shopping. I love being organised at this time of year - mostly because I love enjoying this time; not running around like a lunatic buying things for people that they probably don't need because little thought was put into it! Obviously I have a couple of things left to do, but nothing major.

To all that asked, thank you for your comments. It's quite bizarre to realise that people are actively reading this - even though it was never set up that way. Sounds ridiculous because it's a blog - but every time I see a comment, I get that rush of *OMG someone is READINGGGG - is that a good thing or a bad thing??*

I think it's good.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I feel like a teenager. Saturday night we are having a party and I am so excited!! I can barely sleep I'm so excited.

It's a "no big deal" party. It's basically, just a celebration of our year, a catch up with friends, and, hopefully, a wonderful night. Nothing fancy, just family, a few friends, a spit & some salad.

It is probably the first time in many years where I feel like it's time for me to have some *fun*. Fun with no issues about what I look like, what I feel like, who is talking to who and what is happening - a fantastic night for me. As me.

The last time I felt this way was a long time ago. I feel like I have come a full circle; but have come to the beginning as an adult. Sounds silly, given I'm 29 years old, but it's true.

My kids are looking forward to it, and my husband can't wait. Our parents are kind of *yeah ok* about it all, but neither of us care; we're going to have a great time. They are all coming, of course, but are staying at my parents house with the grandkids in tow later on in the evening. That way I can let my hair down if I feel the need; and not wake up sick in the morning.

I don't anticipate feeling ill on Sunday - it's not that sort of *letting my hair down* feeling. It's about talking to people without any inhibitions, it's about being Shel. Me. As is, no holes barred anymore and happy.

It's terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. I can't wait.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Simplify

I'm just sitting here waiting for some bread rolls to come out of the oven, so I thought I'd just update quickly.

Things here are going well. Vegies are taking off and my stockpile is doing really well. I feel much happier, organised and just *peaceful* for lack of a better word.

Tonight I revealed something of myself that I feel a bit odd about. Whilst I am not ashamed or embarassed or anything like that - I just feel that is now officially in my past. And, believe it or not, it's a good feeling.

It doesn't seem to *matter* so mcuh anymore. Which, at the end of the day, feels really good. Like a big weight has been lifted.

Instead of it being some big secret, making it part of who I am feels more appropriate. Not in a sense of *Hi, I'm Shel and xxx* - but in a sense of what happened has built me into who I am today.

Simplifying. See? It doesn't just apply literally - it can apply emotionally too.

Night!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Being organised seems as though it's an inbuilt trait. Either you're organised, or you're not. I think that is little more than a furphy - I think that once you actually GET organised, staying organised is easy.

Over the last couple of days, I let the house get away a tad. Nothing out there, but enough for it to be a pain. It LOOKED awful. There were bits and pieces everywhere, scattered all over the house.

15 minutes. That is the time it took to have it back to normal. I think, because everything has a home, it's simply a matter of putting it there. There's no thinking or *I'll leave this until I find a home for it* - because everything HAS a preordained home. If I *do* get something new, it's in a home as soon as I get home.

Rhonda was talking about how this lifestyle takes over. And,as she described her post, it sounded like the path I was on. Obviously not THE same path, but similar mindsets in the beginning. And I think most people get to that point of *ENOUGH!!!* at some point - but simply don't know what to do next.

If I get to that point with say, a cupboard, I simply pull everything out. I give myself 15 minutes and right then and there decide that, for 15 minutes, nothing else matters. Well, if someone loses an eye, that's obviously up there; but essentially, my mind is on this one project.

Ask Questions. Do you REALLY NEED 18 spare sets of sheets? Why? do you very rarely wash? Are you a bed changing maniac? Or, is it just a collection of things that are too good to throw away?

In every case, there is a question to be answered. Do I use this? WILL I use this? Do I even really LIKE this?

Surrounding yourself with only things that make you smile is the first step in being organised. Once you are smiling at your surroundings, I feel it makes you want to KEEP smiling. And, I've gotta say - that self appreciating smug smile every morning when I walk into my kitchen is worth every cent. You can't buy organisation - but you can make it happen.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Perfect end to a perfect week.

Dinner with my husband, kids at grandparents, perfect balmy evening and a couple of the greatest longest friends one could hope for.

All in all, a wonderful end to a great week.

It's nice to relax and watch the world go by for a little while; particularly as things start gearing up for that crazy time of year.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Can I just say....

Ooops. So much for this posting every day thing. I figure, I don't write in my own journal every day, and I'd rather not bang on too much about nothing. I have changed NaBloPoMo to *try and post every day, but no biggie if you don't* month.

Yesterday we had a wonderful day. We woke up to a beautiful morning, so got organised early and got outside into the garden. G took the kids to the park next door while I went to the nursery and bought a few things to brighten up our decking area. I will take photos when the batteries are charged.

After we'd done all that, we headed off to a friend of ours annual Cup Day shindig. We had SUCH a lovely time catching up with people we hadn't seen for ages. By the time we got home, it was past dinner time, so we pretty much ate and went to sleep!

Today was more of a catch up round the house day. Because we're having this party, I have been writing list after list of stuff *I'd* like to have done before the party.

I get funny like that. *I* have this thing where everything has to be just right - before people come and trash it. And trash it they do; I have no issue with 18 4 year olds rumaging through every toy imaginable. But, for that small minute; I want *everything* to be done. I feel, that way, I can truly sit back and enjoy myself.

So today has been a day of sweeping paths, clearing out old leaves and trimming hedges etc. I think another day of this is on the cards, and I will be really pleased.

Photos tomorrow. ciao.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Harvest...

Here are some photos of my 3rd harvest of spinach and first harvest (ok, nearly the first, any previous strawberries didn't make it to the house..) of strawberries for the year;






My snow peas are growing wonderfully; it won't be long before I start having an influx of beans. Tomatoes are nearly ready for picking on one vine; the other is still at flowering. But I think we're going to have a bumper crop this year!

Dinner tonight was a winner; I have to say I was very impressed. Awhile ago, I'd bought some sausage mince on a ridiculous special and froze it. I made some sausage rolls with some of it, and this lot I was meant to make some meatloaf.

Didn't work out; I decided to chuck some stuff together to come up with my *sausage pie/casserole*. Kids LOVE it; and I have to say, it's pretty darn nice myself.

500g sausage mince (I used 1kg, but made two pies)
6 potatos (for one pie)
cup peas
cup carrots
cup broccolini
cup onion
cup whatever else you feel like
Gravy (2 tsp powder)
Tomato sauce (2 tblespoons)
Tobasco sauce (1 teaspoon)
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp margarine
Salt / pepper

Cut up sausage mince into thick slices whilst still in packet. Unwrap packet and cook slices in frypan until cooked. Remove and chop into smaller bite size pieces.
Cook onion in frypan.
Cook potatoes until done; add milk, margarine and salt and pepper. Mash until creamy.
Cook vegetables and once cooked, fold gently through mashed potato.

In casserole dish, put sausages, gravox and tomato sauce. Add sprinkle of water to help mix the gravy powder. On top of sausage, put mashed potato and vegetable mix. Sprinkle with cheese and cook in 200 degree oven for 1/2 hour.



It is, in my humble opinion, the PERFECT winter meal. Somethin we will be seeing a great deal more of in the winter. The kids loved it and it was nice for a change. AND the entire meal maybe cost me $5. The kg sausage mince was 2.00, so $1 for the meat per casserole/pie, 6 potatos per pie, and the carrot and vegies. So, at a guess, I'd say I fed our entire family for $5.

Simple living eat your heart out!! :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Well, I made up for yesterday anyway....

Had an excellent day today - we got a HEAP of beautiful steady rain today!! We got some last night, but for a whole DAY of rain; I honestly couldn't remember the last time that happened. So, I got out in it and turned all the mulch over in the front and backyards. I can already see it doing good for the garden, so I'm particularly glad I got off my butt and did that.

This afternoon was meant to be out helping a friend sort out her world; but she's going through some stuff right now and I think, needed some time out. So, instead I sat down and watched the beginning of a series of DVD's I'd gotten at one Christmas gone called 6 feet under.

I am ADDICTED!!! It's hillarious, and sensible, and sweet and...it's just great. Reminds me of another show I started watching called "my brothers and sisters" or something similar. But anyway, I got most of the Christmas cards done, so I'll do what I usually do and wait until I receive 5, and then send mine.

Christmas is most definately sneaking up this year. Although, I'm pleased to say that we're going to the farm for the week break; I'm kind of sad to say that it's only us, the kids and my parents for christmas lunch. I don't mind that at all, actually, it does have some appeal. However, since I have finally come out of this fog - I want to socialise. And have fun and be ME. This new me who is extrordinarily happy with herself, but never really realised it.

Anyway; this is the sort of entries you get if I am forced to post every day. Mindless indulgent ramblings.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Alcohol - Not to be undertaken lightly whilst trying to be productive.

There is a reason drinking should not be something undertaken lightly. If one does end up taking a bottle of red wine lightly, one tends to end up one rather ill person the next morning.

Talk about a complete right off of a day. I very rarely drink; and I'm positive that this writing off business is the reason why. I have done very little today apart from folding washing and forced myself out to pick up a few things.

Tomorrow will be a better, more productive day. The only reason this post even made it tonight was because I promised. I have undertaken NaBlPoMo or whatever it's called, and I feel obligated.

Night all - A big sleep and I'll be ready for the world again.

Friday, November 2, 2007

NaBloPoMo has commenced!!

So here we go. A post per day. Can I do it??

I was so sick yesterday afternoon. I feel much better today though; but I don't recall having such a bad headache for a long time.

My strawberries are going wonderfully; I'll have nearly a punnet shortly! I have only got 4 plants, so am deliriously happy with that. Tomatoes are also flowering everywhere; hopefully in the next few weeks, I'll be able to show you!

Not much else going on in my life - the stockpiling is going wonderfully. Whilst I was stockpiling to a degree (just a side effect of being organised I guess?) I never stockpiled to the extent I am now.

Shopping Day yesterday knocked off nearly $100 of my old, before I started, total, so it's definately helping.

Christmas is coming. I love Christmas, and all it entails. Except, this year, I am trying to not spend money willy nilly. I wish I had the ability to make something; but I'm almost positive that if my parents opened a made present from me, that they would laugh. So, instead, I have looked into useful things that they can USE.

We're going to have christmas morning just with us this year. Every other year, my family have raced up at 7am, to be there when the kids wake up. This year, we're going to their place, so we get to spend that magical time of christmas morning together.

A few more things left to organise, and then the Christmas festivities will commence!! We will have work functions, friend functions, then Christmas; then we're off to G's familys farm for a week. With his 4 brothers and their families. It's something I look forward to every year; just a simple week for all at the farm, and it's just glorious.

Hope everyone has a delightful Friday.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Daylight savings

I love daylight savings. Truly. I love the time that is all MINE after the kids have gone to bed and we still have light. That is my pottering about the garden time, and the longer the days, the more time I'm guaranteed.

However. You know, when daylight savings comes around and you have to forward your clock one hour? I find that, at some point, I really start missing a particular hour of the day. When I was working, it was around about 4pm (new time). I felt like it was only 3pm and I had so much more to do!!

These days; it's now. Just before daylight savings starts, dawn is a magical time that seems to last forever. The first lights of the day used to come on early; and I felt a whole day would pass just in that small time.

Now; I feel rushed. Like I'm missing that time. I know, as days go by and get longer, that my nights will become longer - but I feel saddened that these early mornings are gone for another year.

Not a big issue in the scheme of things; but I often wonder where people feel they lose that *hour*. Is it sleep? Is it that ratty time of day that you're already rushed? Or, is it the early morning, like me?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Organisation truly is the key.

I think I've taken to this simple living bizzo so well for a number of reasons. Firstly. I am not out to prove anything to anyone. I have no big agenda, no big chip on my shoulder etc - I *personally* feel that this decision; this concious decision to help our environment, is just the right one for me. My husband thinks I've turned into a hippy, but he's happy to accomodate me. My parents and my sister think I'm mad.

Anyway. Organisation is a HUGE part of this simple living. More than I ever realised.

Generally, on a normal day, this is my pantry;



Now. You probably won't believe me, but it is the case. Every night, before I go to bed, my house gets put back together. Why? Because everything has a place, and for life to be organised, everything has to be in that place.

I probably have a big problem with being organised. I get all titchy if I'm not aware of what is going on. Control freak much??

But, since starting this simple quest - being organised is just THE biggest factor. You can see everything in your pantry at first glance, you can see what you need, and what you have an abundance of.

A good example of this, is my linen cupboard. This morning, I opened the door to put a tea towel in there - I honestly could barely fit it. See, I had done a big "shove in there and we'll deal with that later" with the linen cupboard. Until I got to the point of not fitting anything else in. So, in 15 minutes (honestly, that was ALL it took); I ended up with this;




Scary huh? I got rid of NOTHING. Not one pillowcase. Nada. Just simple, easy organisation.

I cannot possibly see how anyone could remotely live a simple life if there is stuff everywhere. First step. Clean it out. Keep only things that make you smile, or bring back a memory you cherish. Whether that be a photo of your grandmother, or a statue you won in the spelling competition when you were 5. Work it out. Do you love it? Could someone else love it more??

Then, STICK TO THAT DECISION. Once every couple of months, every cupboard in the house gets a going over. I like to touch everything; just so I know what I have. However, I don't have a cupboard full of bits and bods. Everything in my cupboards (ok, ok, linen cupboard is excluded!! ;) ) is there for a purpose. I don't have 18 different sets of sheets. Why? I wash a set and put them back on the bed. If, on a bad day, i get caught and it rains - I simple use the one spare set that I have. I do have another set for the spare bed - so overall, I have 3 sheet sets. But why would I need more?

The kids have 2 spare sheet sets - so 3 each. Obviously I use them, with toilet training and vomit and foulness of two year old toddlers who love chasing earwigs, but do NOT like washing hands or face.

Get my point? Only have what you need and use what you need. Find a permanent home for all these things - and that is the hard bit!! Once you've found a home - it's just a matter of putting it back there every day.

Of a night, I ususally wonder around the house putting things back where they belong. My headphones are on, the house is quiet and I can just wander about in my own little world. It is one of my favorite times of day. Then, every morning; whether I be working, or staying home with the kids, or going to Queensland - the house always starts my day off looking like this;





And I always make my coffee with a self appreciating smile.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Live bigger for Less"

And that statement is, right there, the reason our world is the way it is. Mass production for cheap and nasty things that break in a week and end up as landfill. A million trillion litres of water are used in production, 18 trees are cut down - so we "can live bigger for less".

It's pathetic.

Onto other things.

MIL is down for the remainder of the week this week, and it will be nice having her around. She wants to see this Aldi place that I speak of. So, we'll go have a looksee today - I need a few odds and sods from there anyway.

The garden - is going well. Everything appears to be growing well and is loving the weather. I'm sure that it's not going to like it so much after 5 months of it. But, at the minute, it's incredibly nice being out in the garden.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy days

Slowly but surely, this blog builds up. Hopefully, one day it will be full of completely useless information for me to look back upon.

This weekend was very quiet, but very pleasant. Saturday was just me and the kids home - G had to work in the morning. So, I was up early and spent the morning just catching up with the household stuff. The afternoon was spent going through our filing cabinet and getting rid of old bits of paper.

Once I'd done that; I went right through everything again and organised it properly. By nature, I'm pretty organised anyway - but in this instance, I holpunched, I date filed and generally got that filing cabinet so organised it wouldn't know itself.

The aim of this, in my world, is to see where we are at a glance. Financially - I have all our telephone bills filed in date order, so at a glance, I can see just how good/bad/up/down the bill has been over the last 12 months. I feel more in control of our life like that, and if we do have a bad month; seeing all the *good* bills really shows me that this life is possible.

Today, we had a nice day. In the morning, we packed up the kids and went to a big wholesale nursery a bit of a way out. It was nice to look, but there wasn't much of what I was looking for. Specifically; a dwarf manderin. So, we kept going on our merry way and got some new knobs for the barbeque and then went to our local nursery.

I found my dwarf manderin; and I also got some geraniums. Geraniums have taken their sweet time in becoming something I wanted in my garden; until not so long ago, they were glorified weeds in my world. But, I have since seen some that have actually been looked after - and they can look AMAZING. So, I have tried them in pots and we'll see what happens. They are in the perfect spot; so hopefully I'll have some awesome looking flowers soon.

This afternoon was spent pottering in the garden. I just love spending a sunday arvo in the garden, and then having a roast dinner. We had roast chicken tonight and you just cannot beat a roast I don't think. Then, G got called out on a service call again - so now I have the house to myself. Kids are asleep and it's still probably about 25 degrees. So a beautiful night.

I've been thinking a great deal more about this whole simple life; and really; the more you start doing, the more you see what else you can do. Even 3 months ago, I couldn't imagine ever EVER getting down so low in our bills. It was just a given that we needed to spend xxx on food. Since I have completely ruined that theory of late; it cements the fact that I *was* a big consumer, and that I really never had one big thought about what I spent money on, OR what I got for that money.

In the last 3 months, we have saved so much money. Yes, it's a great thing; but up until I started this simple existence, we simply didn't do anything. Not because we couldn't *afford* it (because, in theory, we could well and truly afford it) - but there were so many leaks in our budget.

With that money that we have saved - we are having a party. Not a big one, not a formal one and not with many people - but we're celebrating. G turned 30 not so long ago and we didn't do anything for it; the terror is 2 shortly and my 30th is around the corner. We figure that we'll all have a great time - and it's a reward for all our hard work.

Obviously the party will be done simply - we're having a spit that G's brother has; and I will make some salads and some bread rolls - I will make a small cake for G and the terror - and that'll just about do it. It's not about the food (although there is very little that beats lamb cooked on a spit with salad and bread on the side) - it's about us enjoying ourselves. Catching up with friends we haven't seen all year - and having the kids spend time with all their favorite people all in one place.

I can't wait.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Early morning

How can people stay in bed and miss this delightful part of the day? That time, at the minute, between 4 & 5am.

I generally get up very early. Because of that, I am generally in bed rather early; which kind of makes me a bit of a loner. I don't tend to stay up all night - because I love this time of day so much. It's the time of day where I feel like I have the entire world to myself, then slowly, as daylight breaks, the time is shared with the birds.

It is the terrors second birthday soon. I have no idea what to get him. I don't really want to get him anything, because there is very little that child needs. He is getting his first bike for Christmas, and that, in all seriousness, is pretty much all he needs.

So, I'm thinking of getting him something little (as in REALLY little) and then putting money into his bank account. Other people do it for him - which I think is a GREAT idea. But, is it a great idea for a mother to do for her son? Is it a "I am just giving you money because it's easier" or "I am giving you money because I feel you need nothing and think that $50 into a bank account for you would be MUCH more beneficial than a stupid toy that will break in 5 minutes and you won't remember in 5 years".

For me, it's the latter. But, I'm positive my family will think that it's the former. Because, you see, their depth of love depends on stuff. A kid who has everything he could possibly want simply must be loved more than a child who has enough.

Really, with ideas like that, is there any wonder we're in the state we are? As a society?? Is there any wonder kids, who are given the world at an age that they can't grasp it fully, are off doing whatever - just so they can get some attention. So much could be solved and sorted, with just a little attention.

If the politicians actually paid attention to what those they are governing are saying, then a big sight of, even Australias, problems might be solved. But, instead, they spend six weeks saying they are going to change the world; and then the next 3 years backpeddling as to "why that hasn't happened yet".

If I were a politician, the only thing I would place my life on, is that I'd be honest. If we couldn't do it, then we couldn't do it. And I would simplify Australia. Simplify the whole ruddy lot - and I'd be my life that a big chunk of the country's problems would fade away.

We have to vote relatively soon. I'm actually pretty excited, if even a little scared. Whoever gets into government this time around, determines this country as a whole. Water, environment, climate change - this is the time to do something. In 3 years, it will be too late. The direction this country will take as a whole will be determined in the next 3 years.

I just hope that all concerned do the right thing. Wishful thinking?? I think so.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Reaping the rewards....

I'm sorry that it has taken me awhile to get back here; seriously, a week goes so FAST these days!! With sick kids and work and household stuff, it's Friday before I even blink!

This post is one about my achievements. I never did post a starting point; but suffice to say, it's never going up here now I have my results.

I have HALVED my phone bill. Well, by rights, I'm now getting billed for 1/3 of my previous bills - but hey, I'll go with half.

I have halved our gas bill. Again; by not doing a heck of a lot at all. A few small changes makes a HUGE difference.

Our shopping bill is substantially smaller. Still mastering that one, with my stockpiling etc - but overall, I have to give myself a B+ at least.

My vegies are doing great. We have that much baby spinach we don't know what to do with it all (but trust me, I'm using it!!) and I have made so much from scratch that our freezer is just about bursting. All from stuff we already had.

This whole simplifying thing really does show you just how little you need to live a thorough, healthy and fulfilling life. It has actually seriously astounded me. I never thought this was possible - let alone so empowering all at the same time.

Until I was married, I had never had a "home brand" product of anything. My parents still do have that "ick" factor - and I'm almost sure I can see their noses turning up at the fact we went to the local farmers market on the weekend. But, the irony is completely lost on them - we are probably eating FAR better than they ever have.

I just feel great. Spring is here, the kids are good and life is not far off perfect. We undertook the "lights out for a day" thing on Saturday - we actually did really well. Helps that I love candles and that we both love to play scrabble - a couple of red wines, the darlings in bed, a heap of candles and a game of scrabble - we both had a wonderful time. Although, it made us miss our camping.

A delightful blog I read regularly has put a bit of a taint on this, so far, delectable, can't get enough of blog world. It was rather sad to see Julie so upset - she is SUCH a positive influence for me, and I'm 100% sure, all that read her blog. To have someone put her down like that is just ridiculous.

Fact is, her, and others like her are trying. A far cry from so many others who deem our world to be "someone elses problem". I don't care if all you can manage is changing your toilet paper - get aware and do something. Rather than stand back and worry about what others are doing - look into your own backyard and see where you can improve. Because, I'd bet my life that there is something that can be improved upon.

I will finish this post with a couple of pictures of my garden. Let me preface these by saying that I am certainly no photographer - but I am just so proud that *I* grew all of these all by myself. 5 years ago - I'd have cacked myself laughing if someone had told me that I'd be finding so much pleasure in my garden. Or baking from scratch. Or simplifying my life. I never realised just how much satisfaction could be gained by having/using so little. I feel like *I* am in control of our destiny. And it feels great!!

My petunias - suprisingly this is their 3rd year. How I have done it (now realising that it is not a normal thing) is completely beyond me. You watch though, now that I am seriously *caring* for them - they'll die.


Sorry; no more pictures; I can't get them to load. I will try again soon.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Conclusion...

I went to the supermarket yesterday and I was rather pleasantly suprised at how little I needed. So, with the same amount I usually budget for, I bought a whole heap of stuff to stockpile.

Stuff like laundry powder (yeah, sorry, but I'm not *that* organised just yet!!) and cleaning stuff, toilet paper and toothpaste. I was STILL under budget, have a whole heap of stuff in the cupboards - and I'm almost positive that next weeks shop will be great!! Eventually, I can see me only needing to go to the fruit and veg shop once a week (that won't change!) - and I cannot WAIT!!

My vegie patch is going along very nicely - I picked some baby spinach to have with dinner the other night and it was really nice. I suprised myself actually; it all appears to be working well. I don't have an incredible up to date photo as G has taken the camera, but as an indication -




On another note, my "purely for looks garden" is making me smile every time I look at it. It is full of colour and life and, although it's not functional in any way, it is something I am so very proud of. It was my "first" attempt at any sort of gardening and it really shows just what can be acheived.

Not much else to say really; it's a day at home for all of us today; and it is a day that, every week, I really look forward to. It's a day for the kids to just bum around the house, spending time outside with me - and we all get to potter about in the sunshine. Today will be spent putting horse manure and old rotting straw on one of my garden beds that need a boost (It was originally intended for the vegies, but I decided it had enough manure for the minute and just put some sugar cane mulch over the top), and generally cleaning up after the wild winds of yesterday.

Enjoy your day - whatever it is you are doing!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Self indulgent schoolgirl crap?? Read on!!!

It's funny.

I always thought that I would marry an electrician. Don't ask me why, but I just always thought I would. So, when I married a fridgy, I did feel a bit odd for awhile. Like I'd chosen the wrong person. Not because of the person mind, but because I was that sure that "the one" would be an electrician.

Let me preface this by saying that I adore my life. I adore my husband, my kids and my overall patch of the world.

But. (there's always a 'but' isn't there??)

Once upon a time, many moons ago, one of my husbands best friends bailed me up and told me I was marrying the wrong person. Not very nice on the friends part, granted, but he had decided that *it was time to let me know how he felt* blah blah blah.

It is HE that has gone away with G this week. Somehow, I feel odd about that. I don't like the fact that he was in my world, and will remain in my husbands, for the entire week, without my husband really having a clue as to what happened all those years ago.

The thing is though, he is an electrician. Yeah, stupid, I know, but when G and I have "iss-ewes" I *do* wonder if I didn't end up on the wrong path. And imagine where I'd be with this other one; because, after all, he is the electrician that I'd always thought I'd end up with.

Schoolgirlish? most definately. In fact, I feel rather stupid putting it here, given all the other posts I have put up. But, I don't feel comfortable verbalising any of it - so you lot end up with it. Even though I know someone I actually KNOW and love reads this (hello you!!); I can't help but put this into words.

They just left, and I feel really odd that he was even here. He was in my driveway whilst my kids were asleep in their bed. He's going away with my husband for the week. I feel the same sense of oddness when he calls on our house phone. I, although I never would, feel like telling him that he has no right to be invading our little bubble. Because, that's what it feels like.

I'm very glad that he didn't come inside. But, that will probably happen when they get home. And, already, I don't like the fact that he'll be in our bubble again.

Anyway; onto more important matters.

I have created my little stockpiling cupboard. Today is shopping day. I can't wait to see what happens with both the organisation, AND the shopping bill. I shall keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stockpiling...

This week, since the kids aren't home, I decided to set myself a goal. I have, so far, been through the kids rooms and sorted through everything. The terror has up to date clothes in all his drawers - all his smaller ones are given to a darling friend of mine, and Mr 'Tudes nearly unworn stuff goes in. After doing this, I have written a list of of things (i.e. shoes/hats etc) that they will NEED. So, a perfect list for Christmas.

My family will buy a whole lot of rot - that's a given. But, my aim this year is to even START changing their philosophy of "the more stuff you have, the more loved you must be". So, even if mum gets the terror something completely outrageous and a hat - well, it's a start.

I worked out an area for stockpiling in the laundry. After reading Rhondas blog Down to Earth, and checking out my new favorite forum Aussies living simply - I realised that I kind of already stockpile. Because I am an organised girl by nature, I very rarely run out of things - and because I detest the supermarket, I make a mammoth effort to ensure I only go there once a week.

Sans kids, and because work was close, I thought I'd go and check out Aldi. We'd done it once before we had a clue, with 2 kids, no change for the trolley and no idea as to what we were doing. So, this time, when I went by myself, I had a very good look.

I got 99 cent bread. Pears for $1.99 (Safeways were $3.29). I got cheese, and have chucked it in the freezer (MIL does it, and it appears fine, so that's more of a science experiment really)...

So, I walked out of Aldis (using my green bags :) ) $80 worse off, but I got SO much stuff that I need a bigger area for stockpiling. Mostly stuff like flour, laundry soaker, chips (for G's lunch), UHT milk, sponges, juice....

Tonight I went to Safeway (woolys for everyone else) and found more specials that I could buy, afford in my weekly budget, and stockpile. Massive savings on coffee, tomato sauce etc...

Over the next week or so, I aim to get rid of my wedding dress. I have no idea where, or how, but that space can be used for the vacuum cleaner. And the vacuum cleaners home (which was a big purpose built cupboard with moveable shelves) will be my new stockpiling area.

I have one more *stockpiling* trip to make - we'll go to SPC/Ardmona on the weekend when we go up to G's farm. It sounds an awful lot, but I want to have stuff for both the house, and our camping trailer (which is also stocked, so all we need to pack are clothes) - and G is using it very shortly, so my stockpile will be reduced before I even *pile* it anywhere!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sliding doors...

Every so often, in the school holidays, Mr 'Tude and the terror go up to the farm for a week. And, during that week, I go back to working full time; up from 2 days per week.

It's certainly a sliding doors week, that's for sure.

In the beginning, I hated being at home. PND probably didn't help that too much, but I so missed work. I missed the drive, the conversations, the day to day *what's happening*.

But, as the years have gone on (Mr 'Tude is nearly 5), I have found that the pendulam has shifted - that I prefer staying home. Not all the time; but full time is not for me. (And by full time, I mean 7.00am till 4.30pm). I miss my kids, I miss my plants and I especially miss my dog.

I miss having that early early morning time to ponder the day and to work out just what is going to happen/change in the house of the wannabe hippies this week. I miss thinking about simplicity and how to acheive it (because, obviously, nothing is simple in the world of a company!!) in my own life.

I can't wait until Friday and I see the kids again - and I also spend a weekend with G's mum - the queen of simplicity.

Oh, and on a quick, happy note - my carrot and snowpeas are sprouting!! I was so very very proud!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Water bill.

I just want to record this, because I'm completely flabbergasted at it.

541 litres per day for our house. THAT'S HEAPS!!! We got down to 441 on our last bill - I was so proud I saved the bit telling you!!

So what has happened?? Maybe we started to get a bit lax because we HAVE had rain?? Dunno.

My new mission. Get my water bill down and work out where I am using WAY too much water.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Short and sweet this morning...

This is only a short and sweet entry.

Today; it begins.

After reading so many blogs around here of late, and realising just how much MORE I could do - I actually started feeling useless. As in "what the hell am I going to be able to do to make a difference?". Realistically, I realise that it has to start somewhere; but it is/was kind of hard to wrap my head around the fact that, I felt so *proud* of what I had already achieved.

Reading some of these wonderful ladies - in comparison, I've barely gotten out of bed!

This attitude stops here.

It doesn't matter if I'm not organised enough yet to have a stockpile of stuff. It doesn't matter if I don't have the ability to grow every thing I eat. It doesn't matter that, for all intents and purposes, we simply cannot live without any electricity. It doesn't matter that there are still products with ridiculous packaging on them still sitting in my cupboard.

What matters is that I have STARTED. I have STARTED the change. We no longer use plastic bags anymore; and I am now consious of using electricity. Many power points are now off at the power point - a far cry from even a month ago.

We have buckets in every shower and I am known in my circle as *the water nazi*. I am TRYING. Which, when you look at it, is a big thing. The focus has shifted, and the practical parts of that focus has begun. Really, it's a big step.

The point - there is ALWAYS more to do. I am never going to *acheive* *sustainability* overnight - or even in a week. This is like losing weight. It is a LIFESTYLE choice. And, even then, there will be hundreds of ideas out here in blog land that I have never even considered. That doesn't make me stupid; it gives me an opportunity to LEARN.

I've made my choice and I know where I'd rather be - It's time to stop wallowing in all I *should* be doing and get out there and start *doing* it.

No kids this weekend - my *personal* goal is to create an area for my stockpile. Just an area. I have all the time in the world, and all the tools I require.

Will report back. But thank you, all of you - ultimately, your blogs are just SO amazingly inspiring; but sometimes, for a newbie, they can be rather overwhelming.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Swings & Roundabouts....

You know, it's weird. Once you make a change, how easily everything else falls into place.

Today, I had a big *karma* moment. (Ok, so maybe it's not so much karma, but it was cosmic and weird, so that word works for me).

I have probably referred earlier to the fact that *I* (mostly) got us into a bit of debt. Not a *lot* of debt by any stretch; but enough to be annoying. Slowly I was chipping away at it; it seemed to be my constant reminder of just how much CRAP I actually bought. It annoyed me, ate away at me, had me sighing with frustration with myself.

Anyway. This morning, I did the online banking. And, (this is the karmic part) the exact amount my credit card was in debt for - appeared in my NORMAL account. From the government for my child care rebate. Which, I thought I'd already received in my $300 odd dollar tax refund.

The exact amount I owed on my credit card?? Is that not THE most bizarre thing you've ever heard??

So, all day today, I have been thinking. I have been given a *clean slate* of sorts. And it feels wonderful.

Life is not about what you have. It's about how you use and truly value what you have. A new rug could not even come close to the value that a head of broccoli in my vegie patch would have for me about now. A piece of jewellry wouldn't even come close to us having enough rain to declare the drought *over* - but still having the sensibilities to realise how stupid we all were with water. Those things seem far FAR more valuable to me now.

And I feel wonderful for it.

On another note, Phantom of the opera. *sigh*. Absolutely astounding. I walked in there kicking myself for spending so much money on something so frivolous - but walked out knowing I'd spend the same amount next time it was out. It was amazing. So, very VERY glad I went.

Not much going on in the vegie patch - my petunias and bulbs are starting to flower, so my garden is a lovely place to be at the minute. I wish my seeds would shoot - but we'll just wait and see what happens.

A very nice weekend lined up for me - G is taking the kids to his parents farm for a week (it's the school holidays here) so that I can work full time at work whilst my sister takes holidays. Usually I only work 2 days a week - but my sister needs time off too - and I have to admit, I quite like going back into the "life before kids" for a week. By Friday, I'll be dying to see them, but I am quite looking forward to it.

So the weekend for me involves a shopping tour (I know, I know, totally against my whole *living simply* philosophy; but hey, it was booked ages ago, I need a new kettle (BADLY - this one is leaking everywhere) and G's grandmother is in LOVE with newmans chocolates - which is one place we're going. So, for me this year, it will be a lovely day out with a few friends, a wine at lunch and a lovely evening at home pottering about. Then an entire DAY of being in the garden on a perfect 22 degree Sunday.

Bliss over here this weekend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Animals (mostly)

I am fluey at the minute. Which is kinda nice, because I don't remember the last time I curled up on the couch with my boys and watched the world go by. It was truly lovely.

After they went to bed, I tortured myself by watching an RSPCA show. I get such a big mix of emotions that sometimes, I'm sure it's not conductive for me to watch it.

But how can people just abandon animals like that?? I have all sorts of words for them, but I'd rather not colour anyones vocabulary too much.

Straight after RSPCA there is some other show about people in hospital. I am very *meh* about people - I figure that, on a grand scale, we bought it all on ourselves. We know that we had a car accident/fell etc. These poor poor animals have absolutely NO idea why they are being left/what is happening at the vet etc...

G finds it ironic that I will be sitting down, either sobbing or cursing (depending on the story of course) - yet, as soon as this human show comes on, I just get up and continue on.

I know I should be more sympathetic - and on an individual level, I am. I am the first to a friends place with something cooked/done should they have had an injury - but as a collective whole; I sometimes feel that us humans deserve exactly what we get.

This poor little kelpie was abandoned last night. That completely throws me by itself. HOW can you pack up your life and leave your pet behind without a second thought?? And THEN come back, because, of course, it's all too hard to DO something about your lack of wanting an animal - so we'll just let him go??

The RSPCA do a wonderful job. Hugh worth can be a little eccentric at times I'll admit, but he's about the only person that has any sort of authority in the world that actually gives a crap about these animals we trap and keep as pets - and a lot of the time, they're not even treated like that.

Now you all know my other passion. Animals. All animals (with the exception of huntsman spiders; I have this horrible phobia of them and have called my neighbours at 1am in the morning to rid my bedroom of it when G was away...) mean more to me than many humans.

Remind me one day to tell you the story about me, 28 weeks pregnant, chasing a guy up the road with a BABY GOAT in a wheely bin threatening to shoot me.... You'll never believe it.

Have a lovely day everyone - I'm off to Phantom of the opera tonight. I know I'll like it and I bought the tickets in March - but these days I feel it's just a WASTE of time - given how much inspiration I have since found that has been sitting around me my entire life. But, it'll be a nice catch up with friends anyway.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Just as an aside...

You Are Sunrise

You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.
You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.
Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.
All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.

Short and sweet...

The baby market went pretty well. I got rid of most of my stuff and came home with nearly $160. So, better than a kick in the pants and I now have my worm farm. I set it up today and so far, it looks marvellous.

Today was just a pottering around the garden day doing not much of anything. Feeding things mostly, because we were due a decent rainfall this evening. So, out came the blood and bone, and sure enough; down came the rain.

I just wish my carrots and my snow peas would hurry up and shoot already - I know it's only been a week, but I haven't planted anything from seed before, and would be very pleased if it did kick off!!

Everything worked today. Although the terror is coming down with something - whether it be tonsilitis again or just teeth remains to be seen; but he is one of those "oh, the world is ending, I don't feeeeel well" kinda kids - just like his father. So it's kinda hard to differentiate between the world ending and a slight hiccup.

Have organised with my neighbour to go to the gardening Australia Expo down at Caufield on Saturday 6th October http://www.abcgardeningexpo.com.au/melbourne07.php

It will be a feast of learning about sustainable living full stop. It's pretty handy having a horticulturalist as a friend, but there is always more to learn. Josh Burns will be there, as will Graeme; so it will be very interesting to see what they have to say. It will also be nice to go with people who are as passionate (or interested might be a better word!!) as I am. I'm sure G would rather eat glass. I await that day with much anticipation.

Still want to have things....it's just a bit of a "hey, but we dont' NEEEEDDD that" mental correction. And it works. So far.

Friday, September 14, 2007

This is what I am coming from...

We got rid of Pay TV the other day. Not so much because we couldn't afford it (although, the money will be great!!), but moreso because, as I said in a previous entry, I wanted the kids to spend more time outside and doing things and being people; and less time watching consumerist rubbish and meaningless rot.

I will hasten to add that I have no issue with TV. I watch it, as does G and I have lots of DVD's etc for the kids. What I *do* want to stop doing, is paying $121 per MONTH for them to watch more of it.

So. Apparently I am *cough* depriving my children. Can you seriously believe that people?? Depriving my children by not letting them have Pay TV.

For some reason it made me really angry. My family are such ignorant people that it infuriates me. Bugger me, how is that even remotely right or normal? I even explained how I would much prefer them outside with me, doign things, playing with each other/together etc than watching telly. Can you believe that I was even given "oh, but how boring is that"?

This sounds like it should be coming from a 14 year old girl. But I'll tell you right now, that it's coming from a 54 year old man. That is scary. A whole generation of people have been sucked in by this whole stuff means you ARE something lifestyle. If you have the perfect hair, the perfect skin, the perfect house, the plasma....then you are obviously successful.

I could cry.

I want you to all meet my lovely dog. His name is woofie. Well, it's not really, but that is what I call him. He is such an adorable dog.

We had his brother too, until early this year. He had a disease called SLO which, in itself, wasn't life threatening as such as it was life hindering. My poor baby at that time had already had kidney stones, 15 grass seeds (not at once obviously) and had 85% of his stomach removed due to him eating a banksia husk. He was only 7 years old. I couldn't bear to put him through bi-weekly chemo - for it to maybe not even work. So, bawling my eyes out and wondering whether I was making the right decision, we put him to sleep.

Now, Woofie is so clingy it's worrisome. He always *was* desperate to be near someone, but since his brother left, it had taken on a whole new ball game. I love him to pieces and I wish I could bring his brother back for him. But he's back eating now and he's starting to show signs of being the Woofie of old - so hopefully we're on the up and up. I hope so, I couldn't bear to lose both of them.

I also wanted to show you our greywater system for our bath water.

It hasn't been used much in Winter, as I have been bucketing water to use for the washing machine. It's only the kids bath water, and the water is still warm - so I'm, by rights, getting a warm water wash!! But in summer, it makes my watering job so much easier. All our excess / saved water gets chucked into the bath of an evening, and after the kids have gone to bed, I head outside and spend a half an hour watering what needs watering and checking all my plants.

I look forward to summer with both anticipation and trepidation this year. Will my garden get through another summer? I think it will, as it's pretty well thought out and planted; but I love my garden now and I couldn't bear to lose it.

My azaela is flowering and it is such a beautiful sight. I transplanted it before I had a clue about plants and gardening. Yet, it's been lucky enough to have been planted in precisely the right spot. It's looking marvellous and I am just so pleased with it.


Tomorrow I have a baby market that me and a couple of girlfriends have organised a stall at. It is the perfect opportunity to get rid of all of this excess toy rot that we definately do not need. G called on the way home from work to say that he had to work tomorrow and I was quite upset by it.
I'd had all the stuff ready to go into the car etc, and now I couldn't really get rid of any of it!! And it wasn't like I could ring my father and ask him to babysit his grandkids whilst I go and sell all their toys...imagine how deprived they would be then!!!!
So, my sister is coming over and will probably taken inventory of all that is now gone for my parents who will want to know what their darling grandchildren were left with. What did mummy leave at home for them???

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Enlightenment and other things

Firstly, thanks Julie for the lovely comments. I understand completely what you are saying; I just feel like a pretender sometimes. I've walked right out of this materialistic, me me me world that I have been bought up in, and into this, what feels like, a whole other realm. But, thank you, it means a lot to me.

I am slowly but surely changing my thought processes about things which is good. What is also good is that, living simply, saves money. Money that can be spent on life experiences. Such as travelling around Australia, going overseas with the kids - all sorts of things. But not *things* per se - experiences.

It's funny how, all of a sudden, the focus just shifts. It's not about things; it's about life. Sucking what you can out of it and putting back into the earth as much as you can. I feel much better as a person, and I feel less guilty about the way our society as a whole, is headed. I mean, I realise there is so much more that I can do, don't get me wrong. But, if I focus too hard on all the other things I should be doing, I'm scared I'll lose focus on the things I am doing.

Our pay TV went today. Not because we couldn't afford it, but, because, on principle, it is not something we need, nor is it something that enriches our life. I'd much prefer afternoons like this one - where G, Mr 'Tude and the terror were playing ball together whilst I attempted to rescue my Camellia. I will have to post a photo of it somewhere, but it certainly does appear to be dying a slow death. But that's a whole other topic.

This afternoon cost us nothing. We spent time together as a family and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Definately beats veging out in front of the TV.

That is what my focus is about. Enriching our life without harming (or, at the very least, as little as we can) the environment. I'm not perfect, nor will I ever be - but surely every little bit does help. And it's awesome to see my nearly 5 year old wanting to help me in the vegie patch and helping me bucket bathwater out onto the garden. It means far more to me than any monetary gain.

On a daily note, I did the grocery shopping WAY under my goal this week. Again, thinking simply saved money. I'm almost positive that it will work in all my day to day areas; because I'm thinking about lights on, water, gas, telephone...all the things that do cost money and do cost the environment.

I just feel so proud. Dumb I know, but I'm making a difference and, given where I've come from, I'm very proud.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Curious and curiouser....

I'm sorry to sound so utterly stupid - but I am lately, really understand how we ended up so financially screwed. Things. Plain and simple. Bits and bods and *oh but it's a bargain* and *oh but the kids would love it* and *oooh we need some time out to do something*...

All sound good don't they? But when they are in excess, they screw ones financial status. And leave your home full of stuff that you are desperate to just have GONE.

Today was a nice day. Me and the terror went swimming, and then off to get Mr 'Tude some new shoes. After searching through savers (my GOD that place was busy!!), Payless, Kmart and Target - can you believe that I found the cheapest pair at Target??? Bizarre, but it goes to show that it does pay to shop around.

Went to a girlfriends house for lunch - she is a lovely lovely girl, but she is still (as I like to call them)a *stuff hoarder*. We are going on a shopping tour together in a couple of weeks and already she's got the lists out and who wants what etc etc.

For the first time ever; I aim to get two things. A kettle and some chocolates for G's grandmother who adores this particular brand of chocolate. We'll see how it goes.

I also got some seeds today and planted some snow peas and some baby carrots. I've just about put the support up for the snow peas; I will finish that on Wednesday. Hopefully the garden will really kick off this year....

I went out for lunch yesterday with some adorable friends that I really don't see even CLOSE to enough of. As we were slovenly sprawled in the sunshine on the banks of the yarra, I wondered how it was possible for 5 such different people to click so darn well. We are all from such different walks of life, and it's truly a blessing to call these people my friends.

I am a shocker of a friend. I am the one who says she will call but never does, the friend that has the very best intentions, but not so much on the follow through. I have been horribly guilty in the past of losing friendships out of, basically, laziness. Another one of my goals is to rectify that.

Not much else to add today - am very tired, so might head off to bed with a gardening mag!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Eyes wide Open and it's scary!!!

Isn't it funny how, when you change your perception just a tad, that so much that you thought you knew was just oh so ridiculous and wrong??

I find it completely and ridiculously bizarre that I even considered spending $50 on a freaking step. Even more bizarre because I found an old milk crate at work and a bit of chipboard that will cover it perfectly. For nothing. And it was recycled. Bob the builder would think I'm wonderful.

Why don't we all do that? I mean, I'm more than realistic in the sense that (well me ATM anyway!!) we need to buy some things. But we most certainly do NOT need to buy all - especially not when perfectly good materials are sitting around at work doing nothing. (For those that care, I work for my father, and I did ask if I could take them...).

Tonight is a very quiet night - I'm buggered for some reason and tomorrow is shaping up to be another busy day. I want to get out into the backyard and give that some TLC and I want G to dig me a hole for this crepe murtle to go into. I'd dig it myself, but it's riggghhhttt near the water thing and I have this knack for digging and hitting things I shouldn't. So, I shall happily play little wifey on that one.

I have this urge to get a worm farm started. It's like I simply MUST get a worm farm and I simply MUST start reducing our waste. I mean, we're doing ok already, as our council is pretty good in that respect. We've been recycling food waste through our council for a good 2-3 years now, and so far so good. But, now I am a little more edumacated in the ways of both gardening and sustainability - why should I not use it myself??

Not much else to add - work was busy today which is great. On a better note - Mr 'Tude has FINALLY started wanting to use his fine motor skills.

Mr 'Tude has this thing going on, whereby, if he hasn't tried something before, it's simply *I caannn't* and he walks away. *I can't* refers to anything; whether it be undoing the velcro of his shoes, putting his jocks on, or even doing up his seatbelt. It is now time, now that he is interested in doing it all by himself, I simply must take advantage of it. So, he's been dressing himself and putting his shoes on and doing them up etc etc - and today, when I picked him up at kinder, I got the BEST suprise!!

Mr 'Tude drew a face. It even looked like a face. Talk about a proud mummy moment.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

It's funny. As soon as your mind clicks onto the fact that there is SOO much you are wasting; there seem to be endless possibilities for things.

I am currently looking for some sort of step for our camping trailer. I am only short, so doing a massive jump up and down our bed just does NOT do it for me. So, I have been on a long term search for a step. Not just any step - one that was the right height and would also be as portable as possible.
Like this for example;$50 is about the best price I can find it for in the standard places I'd normally look. And, normally, I'd have absolutely no qualms about just getting it.

On thinking a little - my darling husband is going to make it. Out of some scrap chipboard I saw at work today. See?? another $50 saved, and one more plastic step that won't ever have to be made only to get rid of later.

My whole life ATM has been one big *duuuuhhhhh*. I feel quite ashamed actually; how could one be so DUMB??? But, I guess, I'm trying to change, so that has to be a good thing??

My best friends husband gave me a whole heap of red gum wood chips yesterday, which I have started using to mulch the front yard. He is an artist and makes stuff with wood. Nice stuff I must say too. So, obviously, he has lots of wood chips. And, given it's spring and we've no chance of getting past this drought this year; I need mulch. I will need to phosphur the soil - but for a reuse and a cash saver; I was darn happy!!

My vegie patch is coming along nicely; I'm pretty excited about it this year.

For some reason, it works. I have no idea how it works, or why it works; but it does. And, with my new found passion for sustainability and the whole reduce, reuse, recycle thing - I think this year will be good. So far I've only got the standard things - but I think I might even get a little adventurous!!
I also want to show off our camping trailer kitchen. Made entirely from bits and pieces at my work; I'm so proud of him. I cannot wait for our camping trip this year - I have a whole new look on life these days; and honestly, I couldn't be happier.


It's made out of offcuts of some metal stuff called Unistrut, an old BBQ that still worked, but the frame was broken, and bits of stainless steel lying around at work. There is another section that is still in the trailer - that is our pantry. The pink tub is our sink - that drawer pulls out and the tub is (obviously) removable.

Tomorrow is an entire day at home with the tinlids (except for food shopping early on) - and it's meant to be 18 degrees. Bliss!!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Tranquility

My garden is finally becoming somewhere I enjoy being. I have no *set up* and no *organisation* going on (yet); but it's just a place where I love to potter about.

This weekend was spent doing just that. Pottering. The kids love being outside - if I have my way, they'll not know what a Nintendo is until they are at LEAST 15.... but they love just being when they're outside.

We did the fathers day thing this morning - I went rather *simple* as is my mantra - I did some photos of the kids into some frames and got them both to do some painting. Next to their photo is their painting. Both G and their poppy loved them. The kids got poppy some chocolate, and G some boxer shorts, plus what they made at kinder / daycare.

I found this excellent plane at Flemington market the other day (I will take a photo at one point to show you) - made entirely out of cans. It's a bit of a novelty present, but I figure it fitted in well in my new *simple* way of thinking - and it gave G a smile.

He had a great day with the kids. It's finally now; through the fog of sick children and babies (which, whilst I love my own, I get SO much more out of toddlers!!!) that I realise how lucky I am. I have a husband who thinks the world of us, who would do anything for any of us, two boys who are healthy and happy - and a lovely little garden for pottering around in.

What more could a gal want??

I spent this afternoon in the sunshine with Mr 'Tude turning over my front yard mulch etc, whilst my husband watched his beloved Roos and the terror had a nap. It was a lovely afternoon and it's a nice feeling to know that I'm giving my son an interest in his surroundings. Hopefully the turning over and the left over bathwater will help brighten one of my azaleas up a tad. It's friend is about 1 foot away from it and is BOOMING - yet this one just looks not well. I fed him and pruned him (no hope of flowers this time) and gave him most of the bath water. Hopefully there'll be a change for the better in the next couple of days.

Mr 'Tude is very taken with my vegie patch. Every day we simply must go and visit and check to see whether anything has grown. Obviously, a day is a long time in the eyes of a 5 year old - but in the eyes of a 30 year old, it does tend to get a bit.... ambitious to think that A. they'll even GROW and B. will grow in a few days.

I've been trying to "think simply" this week. Just lots of little things are coming to me in all areas of my life. Instead of buying new, I'm starting to look at recycled. Given I come from a family of recycling gits who wondered why on earth one would play around with their rubbish and go to all that trouble of sorting... - I think I'm doing pretty well. We've been thinking about camping bunks for the kids and instead of just going out and getting them - I have/will get some off Ebay for the grand price of $30. So, I save money - AND I'm reusing something someone else no longer wants.

I'm in a big debate mode at the moment. The kids get their photos at daycare this week - but they are not there a day together. Their photo together is very important to me - it's about the only photo I can ever get of the two of them looking 3/4 happy. So, obviously, I would like it to happen. The way in which this could happen is to put the terror into daycare tomorrow if there is a spot. Sounds good - but OH the guilt!!

Otherwise, it'll be a HELL of a workout with the digital camera.

Friday, August 31, 2007

How does one lose GLASSES if one can not see without them?

I lost my glasses yesterday. Talk about stupid. I mean, I needed new ones anyway, and the lens popped out of them last week - but I have forgotten just how much I rely on glasses to get me around.

After racing to the Optometrist to get the ball rolling for a new pair, He put me in some contact lenses. Does feel rather weird having plastic in ones eye that is meant to be there - but I can see, and will be able to see until my glasses come back.

My vegies are going well - as in, they are not dead. Considering my 5 year old let my 2 year old in to jump all over them, this IS a big plus.

Spring has definately sprung here - one of the first hebes I ever planted is finally flowering! To me, that says that my garden is doing Ok. I just hope it lives through this summer. It was 25 degrees here yesterday and it is still officially winter.


Saving water is going to be a bigger issue this year - I'm very proud of the fact that we are using under the quota the water company says - but my aim is to entirely maintain the front and back gardens only using recycled water and tank water. Because I planted a couple of new plants over the weekend, I've had to water them a couple of times - but essentially, I would like to not rely on tap water at all.

After doing the supermarket shopping yesterday, I realised how much we DON'T need. So, I bought simply this week - which was great. I felt better for it, and I'm sure that the kids won't even notice the difference. And if they do - well it's a perfect time to start teaching them about the environment!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Seriously, I'm NOT weird.

I've been wondering mostly today why I have never gone to an op shop. I figure that part of me feels "ashamed" to go to the *gasp* OP SHOP; but I think another part also feels guilty.

Is it taking from people more unfortunate than you by shopping at Op shops? I kind of felt like I was...almost...stealing? from them. I paid $6 for a really cool pair of pants, I paid $4.75 for a great jacket type thing and $3 for a mickey mouse for Mr 'Tude. I will do photos soon - although I'm debating who exactly is going to give a crap what my new purchases look like... ;)

For all that care, Mr 'Tude is my nearly-5-year-old. He's had grommets this year and has gone from mr perfect to mr Tude - all in about 8 short months. I have him, and I have the Terror. He is a terror and is almost two.

Anyway. In principle, I can afford to spend $10 on a Mickey Mouse toy for Mr 'Tude. No problem. So, is it taking from the less fortunate by paying such a cheap price? Is there like some unwritten rule in society - "no one earning over xxx shall walk into an Opportunity shop as it is deemed to be theft"?

My family never were ones to really care much about the environment. Animals - well give my mother a cause in the name of an animal and she's there with bells on. But, for some reason, the care factor of environment has eluded them to date. How? Why?

I mean, even if you thought *oh fuck it, I'm not going to be here to see it, who gives a shit* of the whole global warming thing - surely you'd be even a little bit concerned?? I mean, it could happen soon. But not my parents. Completely oblivious. I love them dearly, but I wish they'd stop looking at each other like that when I tell them about my gardening efforts. I am not turning into some sort of *cough* hippy - I am trying to do my bit for the world.

Is this how religious people get frustrated? Like *hey, buddy, how can you WANT to go to hell?? I've seen what that place is like, and you don't wanna end up there* - and the drunk guy watching footy just says *hmphh* in response??

I want to look my kids in the eye and say 'I tried' when they ask why we sat back and watch the world go by...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ick. I hope you washed it!

Was the response I received from my sister when I told her, quite happily, that I went to an op shop.

Obviously my attempt at leaving a smaller carbon footprint for my kids is going to be a difficult one.

This is my first post in blogger land, I must admit that it feels completely liberating to say whatever the fuck you want in a diary entry.

I will be back.