Saturday, February 21, 2009


There is a sheoak in the park which is currently producing its fruits. This has meant that it is a magnet for the local birds. There were at least 26 white cockatoos in the tree when I went out early one morning this week. I have also seen pink and grey galahs, but not quite as many at once.

There are so many birds in this neighbourhood. It is a great delight to see them, and the more we look, the more we learn about what they feed on and where they go from week to week.

The good thing about the birds this week is that we are seeing more birds in our own garden. There has been a willy wagtail who has taken up residence, even venturing frequently under the patio to search for little bugs. He is too fast for me to take a picture, however!

We also have resident wattle birds and butcher birds. I take this as a good sign of some 'balance' emerging in the garden.

I have today fed the eggplant which has lots of leaves but no fruit, with some potash in the hope of encouraging the formation of fruit and flowers.

I have given the citrus a small feed, just to help them along and also fed the roses.

I had some trace elements to scatter around too. Apparently sandy soils like ours are often deficient in these things.

This week I need to get into planting some new things in the veggie patch. Given the hot weather to come, I am going to try more lettuce and some new beans.

Finally, picture of some new soft toys which came home to us this week:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Living Things

This was the view from my back garden this morning as I went out to do some tidying up in the veggie patch. The lemon scented gum was lit up by the early morning sun, and there was enough moisture in the air for the smell of the gum to be diffused throughout the garden.

The gum is in our neighbour's yard, and provides great shade for them and for us on the east.

The other trees are also 'borrowed' from the walkway behind our house. This is a very important space in our suburb, and used frequently by people walking their dogs, children going to school. joggers and so on.

I spent the morning tidying up the vegetable beds. I pulled out most of the cherry tomatoes which I was not convinced were living up to their promise. The fruit was tart and that is not what I am looking for in a cherry tomato!

I have pulled out the zucchini in the raised bed -lots of flowers but no zucchinis.

I have trimmed back the cucumber but I think it is probably finished.

The beds will be prepared for new plants.

I find I am learning a great deal at the moment, about how to provide us with food from the veggie patch on a regular basis. We have the glut-followed-by-famine thing happening at the moment. I think the key will be to learn to grow from seed, and to plant regularly in batches, not all at once, but that is going to take some organization to learn.

The lower picture is of the passionfruit vine, which has been growing apace. I am very pleased with its efforts.

Some things are not doing so well. The cape gooseberry is a bit sick, and I have two eggplants in different environments, and neither of them has any fruit.

Just gave everything a foliar feed. Have been pleased that the worms are still fat and healthy, and that I still have things out here in my garden which are still alive. This time last year that was not the case. So I am learning as we go!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cheer yourself up

Little things make me happy.

Green hydrangeas in a vase.

My Bush radio with a dial that says I can tune to Luxembourg! Reminds me of my English childhood. In my mind's eye I can see my brothers listening to 'pirate' radio in their bedroom.

Gingham tablecloth, beautifully embroidered, found at the op shop for a song. I love the fact that one woman somewhere made it for her home, and I rescued it for mine.

Music -always, and especially when it is live music.

Dancing -not in public! But it does feel good.

Gardening. Losing myself in the moment, noticing what has changed, what is responding to my attentions.

Cooking. I do find this relaxing.

Walking outdoors, especially at the beach.

Embroidered pictures in my laundry -more rescues!

Nearly all of these things make me happy and cost very little. Many require a bit of effort, which makes the reward even more satisfying.

Simple things that make me happy.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Promises to myself

Late last year I wrote on the Aussies Living Simply forum, a post about promises I wanted to make for myself this year. I wanted to make my promise public so that there could be no shirking from the commitments I wanted to make.

I have been reviewing these commitments, because we are already into February, and if I am going to keep these promises to myself, I am going to need to keep them in mind.

I have added some more, which I think will be companions.

I promise myself:

1. I will take my long service leave which is so overdue... I will do it for myself, to care for myself. I will take a trip, I will do a retreat, I will organise craft classes and learn new skills. Action so far: I have asked my work for the long service leave, have booked one retreat and have dates in the diary for visiting Melbourne with DH.

2. I will try as hard as I can to finish the mortgage payments completely so that I can take the pressure off myself if I need to get out of my present job into something kinder for me-less hours, less money but more life.. Action: I have been pleased with the extra payments we are making and we are on track. My job can be stressful, and I think I wrote this during one particularly difficult time, but sometimes it is quite rewarding. Nevertheless, I am keeping this n the list.

3. I will learn new ways of tackling conflict so that I don't get so damaged, and that includes learning to put boundaries around hurtful relationships. Action. I have been working on this one with my spiritual director, and I am booked in to some workshops too.

4. I will be braver than I was. Action: I have been taking some risks, doing some things I haven't done before. Mixed results, but I am not stopping yet.

5. I will let the day's troubles be sufficient for the day. No importing tomorrow's worries into today. Action: Unfortunately there have been quite a few worries which were able to fill up several days at a time. Still working on these.

5. I will put my energies into life giving things and walk away from the places where my gifts are wasted. No regrets, just the wrong place for me. Action: not making any decisions yet, pondering. Taking advice.

6. I will love more, laugh lots, and grow more fruit! Action: Planted passionfruit, cape gooseberries. Need a trellis for the grapes.

7. I will finish my Diploma of Business.

8. I will practice gratitude

That is it for now, but I intend to come back and update it.

Live so that when your children think of love, fairness and integrity, they think of you.