Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Motivation to write

I haven't had much of it(motivation) lately! I have been busy with Charlie and the family as usual, but I have also been reading other blogs, which have so many comments after their posts, and I don't get any, so I am wondering whether it is worth continuing.That sounds so silly when I read it back.I shouldn't be writing it for anyone else, it is really about keeping a record of life at home with Charlie, and the other children, though they are at school all day. But, it is so nice reading other blogs which have feedback, I think it'd be nice to get some from time to time.
Also, I haven't really had much to write about. Charlie was a bit sick last week, and that meant many hours spent cuddling him.I don't mind one little bit, that is what I am here for, but it does tend to stop me from doing anything else.

We did manage some time in the garden.Charlie loved it, exploring the bits of grass and dirt, but we had to pack it in quickly due to the very annoying midges which bite and make baby cry!

I also feel more motivated to get the sewing machine out(especially after reading the Soule Mama Blog -it is so inspirational).So I went to textile traders on the weekend and got some fabric to sew pyjama pants for Charlie.As yet I haven't had a chance. I know my time will come, so I am not fretting about it.

When the big kids are at home on the weekend I get more of a chance, because they can take Charlie if I am in the middle of something.

I have also been frequenting the op-shops, finding bits and pieces for Charlie.I have to go into town today, so might check out another oppie I haven't yet been to.It is always such fun.

Charlie is in the jolly jumper, getting a little frustrated, and there are nappies to hang up, so again, my time is up!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Getting back into handicrafts

Last weekend Freya and I spent some time together sewing. She was chuffed to have time with me and said"it is so nice having quality time with you mum".Makes it all worthwhile! She made this little bed with a mattress,pillows and quilt (note the co-sleeping mum and bub bears!). I made some covers for the big European pillows we use in the living room. I had this lovely brown and blue cotton that I had bought to make a maternity smock, which I never got around to, and it has made gorgeous covers.The blue matches the blue walls perfectly.
I also managed to make a little quilt for Charlie. Overall, we had a fruitful day, something I haven't had in a long time.

With the cooler weather I feel very inspired to knit. I bought this gorgeous green wool from The Wool Shack (http://www.thewoolshack.com/jo_sharp_yarns.htm?action=detail&title_replace=Jo+Sharp+Yarns&ID=794) in Asparagus. I am making the cutest little vest for Charlie from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms(http://www.thewoolshack.com/jo_sharp_yarns.htm?action=detail&title_replace=Jo+Sharp+Yarns&ID=794) also from the Wool Shack.It has been super quick to knit, I have nearly finished the back. I am feeling so inspired, I can't wait to make myself a jumper, and some little hats for Charlie.

More resourcefulness and stuff

It has been a mixed week, good and bad, a bit of worry thrown in and a bit of illness. But that's all over now.

On Tuesday my sister and I visited the nearby town of Denmark.It is such a pretty little place and it was fun to stroll around the shops and buy different things.I especially love their specialty food store "The Source" which sells little luxury items and organic food. I bought vanilla pods, 3 in a pack for $3.95. So cheap!!So I got 2 packs.We also took a little walk at William Bay(picture left).However it was a bit greyer and wetter than in this photo!

I also bought, with a lot of encouragement from my sister, an antique coffee grinder.Mike has wanted one for ages, so I got it for him and it seems to work very well.The real treat is that it is a "Puegeot", just like our car!

Charlie was a delight, so well behaved, slept all the way there and all the way home.What an angel.

Unfortunately I had a virus (pretty sure that is what it was) the following day. Luckily Guthrie was at home (he'd sprained his ankle the day before) to give me a hand with Charlie. Michael came home at lunch time, so I was able to go back to bed.Thank goodness for family carer's leave!

Lily stayed home the following day to give me a hand, then I had Freya home with me yesterday. I felt much better so we were able to go to town and have a bit of fun.We did a couple of "Op-shops"(thrift,2nd-hand stores), and for a total of $25 we got about 25 items! Some of them are very nice, and a couple I will resell on Ebay and hopefully make a little extra. Freya really enjoyed the shopping and I think it helps her appreciate the expense of buying things brand new, particularly clothing, which is so much cheaper at the "Oppy", and the condition can be almost new.The picture shows a few of the bits I got for Charlie.

Some of the bad news is that the Albany council turned down our application to change the boundary of our block, so that we can make the one we are selling a bit smaller and cheaper, hoping we could sell more quickly and keep the integrity of the bush by keeping the back part of the block, nearest our house.

Luckily that does not mean we cannot do what we want to do, the DPI has the last say, and Mike and Graig (our guy writing the submission) met with the planning people at DPI who have said there's still a chance if we get a study of the soil done, in terms of supporting the effluent waste. Honestly, it makes absolutely no difference if the block is smaller, but the council planted that seed of doubt which means we have to have an official study done, which will cost us another $1500-$2000! Crikey! We have already spent $4000 on this application! But we are not giving up, it will be worth the expense. Which leads to the next bit of negative news this week....

The bank...not so keen to help us out until we sell the block. We have equity, but without my income, we don't have a great capacity to make repayments. Of course that all changes once the block is sold...Alas, no nibbles there.

I'm glad we finished the week off with our little shopping spree(ironic after my conversation with the bank!) at the Op Shops, it felt good to buy a whole lot of stuff that we didn't really need, for not very much! Maybe that isn't really resourceful! But we did get clothes for Charlie, and it seems we never have enough of those.

Friday, March 13, 2009

On Being Resourceful

It has taken three days, but I have finally finished listing a whole lot of unwanted stuff on Ebay. The shoe at left is one of Charlie's which never fit his chubby "block" shaped feet! I actually got them in a bundle of clothing from ebay, so now someone else can have them.
I went through my wardrobe and found many pieces of clothing that I really don't wear very often, or I wore whilst pregnant, but don't want to anymore.
I realised during this culling that I buy too many clothes, and generally don't like them that much when I get them home. Deep down I know that the reason I buy too much is due to a deep seated dissatisfaction with my body. I would have thought I might have got my head together over that one by the age of 42. But, alas, I haven't, and wonder if I ever will. I know I am destined to be short and curvy, but in my head I still want to be tall and slim! It is stupid....I probably need counselling or shock treatment.In the mean time, I am culling! And it feels really good. I want to simplify, have less, and be happy.
I could just take everything to the thrift shop, help out a charity, but right now I am feeling acutely aware of the economic downturn, and if I can make a few dollars, if it means an extra week staying at home with Charlie, then it is worthwhile.
I'd like very much to get back into craft too, it has been a while. I had hoped to knit my way through my pregnancy, make cute little cardigans and beanies for Charlie, but my carpel tunnel syndrome put paid to that idea. Fortunately, since having the baby, the carpel town has gone! Yay! Now, if we could get Charlie to sleep in his cot in the evenings, instead of on me, I could do a bit of knitting. As the weather gets cooler, I start getting itchy fingers, looking forward to knitting and purling.
I want to make a grey scarf (I think I'll be wearing a lot of grey and black this winter, with bright coloured accents), but first I'd like to knit a couple of beanies for Charlie, he doesn't have any winter hats that fit.
Well, hopefully the ebay items will sell, otherwise I'll have to think about what I can do with them - cushions,patchwork,beanie?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Whole Hour or Two in the Garden

I Just had almost 2 hours in the garden! Almost unheard of since Charlie was born, so a real treat for me. I managed to get a new bed ready to plant out the Broccoletti seedlings I bought from the nursery on Thursday. I don't know much about them, so will google "broccoletti"(http://broccoletti.wordpress.com/) later and find out more. I also planted some red oak leaf lettuce, which look so pretty. Hopefully these ones won't be decimated by the chickens, now that they are confined to their yard. I did let them out on Friday afternoon, but it didn't last long as they were into the flower bed in a jiffy, and I just can't let them ruin it again. The tomato plants you can see in the photo are extremely lush and healthy.Since that picture was taken they have taken over the rest of the bed and the path! So I trimmed them back.They have been disappointing despite their lush growth because we just haven't had any fruit to eat.Before the tomatoes get a chance to colour up either the birds or king skinks eat the fruit! I have no idea what to do about it.Perhaps I could net the plants, at least that would stop the birds,and I don't think the skinks would be able to get the fruit that is higher up.Worth a try - I'd like to taste the fruit of my labour!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Another gorgeous day at the beach

I have just taken Charlie for a walk on the beach. I am still amazed, after 9 years, that I can walk on the most perfect beach, on a warm day and only encounter two swimmers and one cyclist. It is incredible, and wonderful for me!

Charlie fell asleep, so it was a lovely walk in peace and quiet, with a sweet breeze and the sun shining. I considered swimming, but didn't have my bathers, should have anyway because there was no one around!

The vegetarian moussaka was a success. It was full of veges, but the kids liked it! Yay. Usually eggplant (aubergine) is greeted with "Yuck!" from the kids.

Although it was yummy, it seemed to take ages to complete. Most of the time is spent frying the eggplant, zucchini and potato which has been sliced about 5mm thick. I used 6 small eggplant, sliced, salted and left for half an hour, then washed and dried before frying in olive oil. I used a medium sized zucchini and 4 medium potatoes. In future I will spray them with oil and bake them, and see how it works. It was just too time consuming standing at the fry-pan with Charlie having to be jiggled about by various family members, all the while crying because he only wants mama...very frustrating!

So, once you've fried up the vege, you make a tomato sauce: saute a chopped onion, 2 cloves of garlic and some thyme (about two Tblspn), then add a large (800gms) tin of tomatoes and a small tin(400gms) of rinsed haricot beans (lentils or other beans would be fine), let it simmer til it is thick. Layer up the veges, put some crumbled fetta cheese on top of that, then the sauce and finish with a Bechemel sauce. I make mine with two Tbsp of butter, melted, then add two Tbsp of flour ( I use gluten free and it works just fine), let that cook a little then gradually add the milk, about 2 cups (add more later if the sauce is too thick). Once it has thickened up, I'll grate in some nutmeg and add some parmesan cheese.If the bechemel is lumpy, I just use the whisk which seems to sort it out. Then I baked it in the oven for around40 mins ( a moderate oven) until it is starting to brown.

So, it was yummy. Today is another non-meat day( I am trying to eat vegetarian every second day for economy and health), so I'll have to find a recipe to make, something with ricotta cheese in it, or maybe pizza, as I have some bocconcini I'd like to use.We'll see how it goes today.