Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday Garden Journal

It's been a wonderful start to the Garden Journal link in.  I do have one thing to ask, and that is that you please link back to the Thursday Garden Journal post so everyone contributing can share what is going on in their yard.  Your readers may like to join in too, and need to know where to link in!  Don't forget the button too and you can attach the link when your reader clicks on the picture!

Now that housekeeping is sorted.  It has been a relatively busy week in our yard.  The children and I spent many hours on the weekend yanking out overgrown plants, bracken, weeks and estranged ferns.  We have a green waste bin that the council collects - it is full each fortnight.  I think perhaps we will eventually just fill a retaining wall with so much growth, but I enjoy pottering away at it until then.

My sweet potato plants arrived in the mail.  I bought them on ebay, they came from Queensland and have transplanted wonderfully.  I even was given an extra plant.  I am so excited for these to take off.  We eat so many sweet potatoes!

We cleared the very edge of the crumbling retaining wall.  There is about a five metre drop off this flat level you can see.  Under all the overgrowth was some delicious soil.  So I am thinking for now I will just sow some grass seed.  Eventually the retaining wall will be extended out another two metres and lines with garden beds for vegetables.

This was an overgrown jungle, now looks nice and neat.

I am not sure of this variety of lemon, they are beautiful sweet little numbers.  We have two baskets full after pruning back the tree.  What to do with them.... lemon butter, lemonade, lemon slice... might bring them to the stall.

The clearing under the deck I have planted with hydrangea cuttings.  It is really a nothing space, and I thought would be divine on a hot summer night brimming with tealights and hydrangeas.

Do you wear gloves?  I had some rubber gloves on for a while, but my hands were all sweaty and I found a leach friend down one of them.  I must invest in some new leather ones.

What's been going on this week with you and your garden?  I had some serious inspiration (or perhaps envy) over some of your yards.  Tell me, join in, spread the gardening love!

Love Rach xx

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Yarn Along

I'm tired.  I didn't get everything done on my list, but it's amazing how one can get through the day.

The children seem tired with the return to school and the daily battles are not enjoyable.  Again it makes me wonder and dream and consider and negotiate inside my head about how could I, should I, would I - is it even possible to home-school.  It does not even seem like a common place Aussie thing to do.  All the wonderful American blogs I read - you inspiring Mum's (Mom's).... oh dear.

Joining in with Yarn Along, I am ever so slowly knitting Miss G Tea-leaves, and it is surprisingly easy thus far.  I am now reading a Lauraine Snelling book, 'Saturday Morning'.  The Last Sin Eater really did my head in, so we watched the movie instead and that was even difficult!

I'm off to bed once my little one arrives home from football training.  A day of catching up on study and my Mr DCT's last afternoon shift have taken it's toll.  Night night friends.

Love Rach xx

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tomorrow's to do list

Do you think I'll get it all done?  Am thinking perhaps not, but here it is anyway...

- morning school run
- drop off Alice (the terrarium variety)
- clean old house ready for real estate pics
- return emails for markets and placement
- start the university semester (it is already week 2)
- wash dishes, dry dishes, turn the dishes over
- normal motherly tasks
- coffee with friend
- make terrariums
- check Finders Keepers stall
- supervise and help children paint the school production backdrop
- pick my children up from school
- prepare dinner
- football training for Master S
- bedtime routine without the Mr DCT
- wash more dishes
- breath

Thinking everything in-between of the first three to the last seven will be accomplished, but I'll be tired!

What are your plans for tomorrow?

Rach xx

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Night

On a lighter note than this morning.  I love creating and designing new terrariums.  Today saw the making of my latest designs and I could not help but share them with you!

I love these laboratory Erlenmeyer Flask miniature gardens... and the red chair... a favorite!

And Alice arrived, only three of the little ladies, but I managed to order another ten.  I think these will be a favorite too!

We had some interesting discussion over dinner.  It amazes me how each of my children is so different.  Master J at the ago of 7 and 3 months is asking about when I was a little girl.  To learn that my Dad did not live with me when I was 7 seemed quite unfathomable to him.  Whereas I remember Miss G and Master S having quite a good grasp on my families dramatic twists.  Amidst our interesting dinner time discussion, the lemons picked yesterday were looking oh so pretty - I thought I'd share with you!

My kidlets are back to school tomorrow - they had an extra week off.  I won't know myself, but I think I will miss them.  Got me thinking about homeschooling again.  Do you home-school?  Have you ever considered it?

Love Rach xx


***NB: I have not posted much lately about my headspace - 
do not read any further if you want 
the airy fairy Squiggly blog***

A few years ago I was speaking to my psych about anger.  It is something I seem to not do well.  I didn't seem to outwardly express any anger... it all stayed bottled up.  Probably a little life experience in childhood contributing to this attribute many have said they admire.

I don't think there is much admirable about bottling up anything.  It just leads to other issues, which I seem to have plenty of.  I have thought for a good few years since my chats with Jane about whether or not I actually do get angry.  What happens to it - I don't yell or shout.  I find that very difficult to do - again that little girl from way back feels somewhat compelled to be the good girl.

Yesterday I discovered I do have anger - and I think I keep it hidden in a little box in my heart.  This box is wrapped tightly like a gift, but it is no gift.  It doesn't even explode really, I'm not sure what it does.  I don't like upsetting people, I like to please (hello little girl).  So saying no to people gives me the guilt's and I feel like a terrible friend.

Yesterday we spent four hours in the garden, pulling weeds, ripping out some horrible grass plant that has taken over the garden beds.  We had a couple of stubborn baby ferns.  Master S and Miss G taught me that if you kick them, sit on them and wobble them to the extreme they will eventually come out quite easily.

Yesterday I kicked and jumped on the ferns as instructed by my kids.  It was good fun really.  Then I found myself laughing and telling Miss G let's pretend we are kicking someone.... Where did that come from?  That little girl was definitely not there - perhaps my womanhood is escaping out of that little box.

**another note: I read another blog this week that blogging is cheaper than therapy - and I think I am experiencing this right now... answering my own life secrets as I type... 
they are showing themselves***

The people that came to my mind surprised me.  I didn't realise I was angry at them.  Both of them.  As I kicked these ferns with my red gumboots on... I was letting go of some anger.  Anger I didn't know I had.  It did feel good.  But I suppose I wonder why, how, we are taught as children to not do or be certain things and then we are undoing the knitting as adults.

I'm angry at my friends for seperating.  I'm angry at them for letting their children down.  I'm angry that my once were children's role models stuffed up big time.  I'm angry at them for being selfish.  There, I said it.  I thought I was just a bit pissed, but I've realised from my fern experience - I'm angry!

I know it is not good to be quick to anger - I feel I am not.  Mr DCT this morning however left me behind at home as I was taking too long getting ready and shouted through he front door "I'M GOING" in his very extremely rare booming voice.  I must have angered him.  Oops.

What about you?  Are you quick to anger?  Do you suppress it?  Are you passive like me?

Rach xx

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Garden Journal


I thought I'd give you a little tour of my front yard.  We are on 1.5 acres of land, most of it is bush.  This is a huge triangular garden bed that borders the driveway and house.  Once upon a time it seems to have been a maintained garden bed.  It is not now.  I have started removing the small undergrowth - with a plant to remove every bit of current foliage.  There is also a small pocket of flat land on the back side of the house.  These two parcels will be the parts of the garden I will 'manicure' and tend to as a vegetable, sensory, flower and fruit tree garden.  I really like the idea of incorporating a garden this way - and it seems it benefits disease and pest problems too.

These steps will be bordered by more of a rock wall and herbs.

My little plot I planted out last week had evidence of something eating my seedlings.  The box of fowlers jars I had by the front door ready for miniature gardens are doing a great job of mini-greenhouses for the minute instead!

I transplanted my Kale from a big pot at the old house - it seems to be flourishing in it's soil.

This is the end of the triangular bed, the steps are the top border, with it tapering down the driveway to this point.  I have a little mandarin tree that has been transplanted for the last time - and Master J's daffodil garden we dug up is underplanted.

This bird bath has followed us through nine homes - a wedding present from Aunty E.

And this is the entrance to the path that borders the triangular bed.  I love the bush, the tall trees surrounding us - but so looking forward to my spot of nurtured gardening!

How's your's this week?  Do show!

Rach xx

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yarn Along

Last year I knitted this skirt for young Miss H in a gorgeous super chunky Noro - the thing is - she grew!  The yarn is so delicious, I had to unravel it and start a couple of new little projects.  This week I finished a quick plain rectangular fingerless mitten for Miss H.  This is the pattern I made up:

Cast on 22 on 6mm needles.
Rib about 8 rows.
Stocking Stitch until measure about 10cm ( I added a couple of rib rows in too).
Purl three rows, cast off in purl.
Sew up the seam and leave a thumb opening.

I love this simple little pattern, much preferred to knitting a thumb in, the freedom of thumb dexterity is better I think.

I knitted myself a beanie with the same yarn, I can't remember the pattern, but it was in the round with a cast on of about 90 stitches I think.

I'm reading The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers, not sure how I like it yet... have just discovered there is a movie and thinking I might like to watch it rather than read this story.

Happy Yarn Along!

Rach xx

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The General Food Store

To say that the chef of a cafe or restaurant has ruined you is most likely a good thing in many ways.  A little while ago my favorite place to eat opened (probably over a year ago now).  I don't get there too often - I have a budget to maintain - about once a monthish perhaps.  Or maybe twice in a week for coffee...  All food is fresh local seasonal produce, everything made from scratch - even the marshmallows for your hot chocolate!

I love the simplicity, vintage crockery, water in brown beer bottles, food in jars neat in a row.

So I have to take my besties of course.  Most of them have been, but not this old time friend and my children's childhood besties.


But although Mummy loves this place to eat and the good real food that is served delights her soul and tummy and mind.  It just does not seem to cut the cake for my boys.  Organic chocolate syrup from the Yarra Valley is no match for x-brand.

Waiting and listening to the hum of voices, cutlery tinkering and the knowledge that there are no nuggets and chips can all be a bit much.  But we are handling it, Mummy loves this place, we'd better keep it together.

Dougie the chef is so nice, and his other helpers too - we can bring a plain bread with tasty cheese sandwich in and it was toasted for us.  None of this sourdough and swiss cheese business for us, just the smell of it last time was enough to put one little man in a panic.

That folkish jazz music Mum and Miss B like is all a bit tiresome too - or maybe it's just the knowledge that there are no nuggets and chips and we are little boys.

But wait, there is bacon.  Plain old bacon served on a plate with nothing else.  Just dandy.


Table space was quaint and tight - but just enough space by the window for these girls to have their own special time.  Delighting in reading the menu and choosing for themselves - the waitress treating them like they were not part of our entourage.   Albeit the girls checking with us if they had permission to spend.

How nice to be a big girl with your bestie.

Thanks Dougie and Belinda - although you have ruined me to eat anywhere else with such enjoyment - I'm quite content with that.

Rach xx

Friday, July 13, 2012

sewing mojo

Mr DCT fixed my sewing machine and although the new craft room is an absolute mess, the kitchen table was a great place to set up this afternoon.

Master S was at a friends, the other two had a pyjama and movie day.  The fabric I designed and have kept a secret until now arrived a couple of days ago - ready for work.  It took me a while to feel confident with the design process, and I think I may love the woolen blanket cushions best.  What do you think? Or maybe just even the plain Squiggly Rainbow fabirc?

I know some of my terrarium admirers put off making one there own as they are scared of killing them - which too much love will - they need neglect.  So I thought a bit of terrarium fabric creating was in order.

Hope you like!

Love Rach xx

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday Garden Journal #1

We have been here about a month now, it really feels like six.  The winter weather this week has been pretty great and I have gumboots (wellies) - so really I am set for some gardening.

At the old house I struggled building a barrier myself to prevent wombats and possums eating my seedlings and what little I did manage to grow.

The answer so far at our new abode is to pop my huge pot on the deck with winter greens.

Yesterday the children and a besties children helped me gather sticks and vine to build a little fence.

Wombat burrows were discovered the other day, together with a lovely little parcel of square shaped wombat poop near our front path.  It is inevitable and quite delightful that we will have these little visitors, however I don't want them to eat my vegies!

 So in the hope of keeping wombats off my patch - I will continue to research the cause!  Moving from the Mornington Peninsula to the Dandenong Ranges has been a huge learning curve in food and edible gardening.  The climate is very different, different soil and of course my wildlife friends.

I have just discovered Jackie French's website.  It is delightful to read of edible gardening in the bush.  I  have lots of learning to do.

I have planted artichoke, wild strawberries, spinach, rocket, mizuna, rainbow silverbeet, purple potatoes, lettuce and that was all for a cool climate July in our yard thus far.

We also have two new members to our chicken family, a lovely friend gave us two Isa Browns - so we are back to four chooklets in total now.  The children have named them Goldie and Chirpy Cherry (aka CC).

I have been inspired by a select few over the years;  Grandma being the main one, my old neighbor and fellow Vintage Shed stall holder, and a few of the new locals.  In this love of gardening, I think I am going to start a weekly Thursday garden journal.  I may even do a linky thing.... so spread the word bloggers - and link up with an Aussie Thursday Garden Journal each week!

Love Rach xx


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