Friday, July 25, 2008

Quite Contrary

Yep...that's how my garden is growing right now.

The winter veges are on a super go slow. So far we have been living off spinach and silverbeet, but even they have slowed right down to a new leaf every now and then. Pak Choy has been a winner, well the ones that I bought as seedlings from the garden centre. All of my lovingly tended grown from seed brassicas are still teeny, weeny, but they are hanging on.

In the garden now...

Leeks, teeny
Brocolli, five with little heads growing and more still coming along.
Peas, flowering but I'm not expecting to see any fruit.
Carrots, teeny...and I have accidently weeded quite a few
Red cabbage, no sign of any heads yet
Kale, has disappeared, very strange
Brussel Sprouts, a couple of teeny plants grown from seed that may or may not come away, still hopeful.
Silverbeet, ordinary and rainbow varieties- enough to harvest for dinner most nights, but not flourishing.
Spinach, success. I plan to increase the number of plants as it grows so well, kids and I love it, J tolerates it.
New Zealand Spinach, starting to settle in.
Garlic, sprouted almost overnight
Shallots, ditto garlic

Sage, looking a bit worse for wear
Rosemary, groundcover, flowering and very pretty

Cranberries, newly planted, trying different spots and when I find a good one will buy more plants
Meyer lemon, holding in there through the frosts, planted a month or so agao
Tahitian Lime, ditto lemon tree
Strawberries, bare crowns now have first leaves, only seven plants, hopefully will flourish and I can divide for next season

To do List for August
Frame up and fill raised beds around greenhouse - lavendar and chamomile bushes
Frame up raised bed on North side of house, start building up for summer planting around existing planter boxes.
Move camellia and put in apple tree to espalier on fence - still decidng on variety
Put in three-five feijoa trees to grow as a screeinign hedge on NorthEast fence.
Dig out dead and old trees on driveway garden and ponder what to plant instead.

I am also very excited because my wonderful mum gave me a subscription to NZ Gardener for my birthday. Thanks mum!

10 years on

Dear J,
Today is our 10th wedding anniversary. What a wonderful journey it has been together so far.

We have travelled to four continents together. You didn't get angry when I piked out of visitng Tijuana. You came to a lyriad of museums and art galleries with me even though you were bored silly. We walked up the Eiffel tower cos it was cheaper and took a 1 pound flight from Amsterdam to London. We rode rollercoasters, and you threw up. We walked and talked and laughed and made memories.

We have made four amazingly beautiful kiddoes together...despite us, they are truly gorgeously spunky. You are the most wonderful daddy. You keep us all sane. You willingly change hideously foul nappies You let me have weekends off and keep the washing up todate while I'm gone. You make wooden models with our sons...and daughter. You persevere in affection with Miss A even when she screams at you to go away. You have done many, many night shifts while I have stayed asleep and warm in bed. You didn't leave when I went psycho after the twins were born.

We have moved from a place of security and comfort to a new town and life together , and it has been such a wonderful move for us. We have both faced challenges and stresses, but I am glad to have taken the risk and make this step of faith. You let me buy a little old rundown character house and never roll your eyes (in my presence anyaway) when I greet you after you get home from work with another list of jobs for you to do around the house.

We have tolerated each others annoying habits and quirks. You are much more patient than I am in this area. At least when I am knitting I can't slurp on my fingers eh?

We truly enjoy being together... when we get the chance to just be! I am so looking forward to our little retreat next week, sleeping in, being able to hold your hand rather than two little kids for a couple of days, talking about other stuff beside who threw what tantrum and who learned which new or naughty word.

I love you...more.

Monday, July 21, 2008

At the Library, the library...

there are lots of books from A to Z.

Everytime we go to the library we sing this song courtesy of Richard Scarry on DVD.

Today was an extra special library day because J was home and so we all went together. Extra special because I was actually able to get some books out for myself at leisure. Usually I spend most of the time corraling E23 months and shushing A and C.

My bounty of books today:

Keep Chickens - Barbara Kilarski Preparation for self sufficiency step the vege garden, next the chickadees.
The Chook Book - Jackie French ditto above
The Homeschooling Handbook - Mary Griffith Looks a bit American and schooly, but we'll see.
Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons - Travels in Sicily on a Vespa - Matthew Fort Travel and history with lots of italian slow food recipes thrown in...bellissimo!
The Therapeutic Garden - Donald Norfolk "The history of horticulutre and the ancient wisdom of the poets and philosophers."
Cow Parade New York - This one I got so the kids and I can peruse the (family friendly) bovines and then have a go at decorating out own cows...starting with black outlines on paper and ending up with papier mache models.
Softies - Therese Laskey I have had this on my Amazon wishlist forever, so grabbed it when I spied it on the library shelf. Now I can grab the good ideas without spending my $$$.
So Simple Slipcovers - Gail Abbott I want to try and slipcover my lounge suite without it looking like something from a student flat.

Marshmallow Models

We made marshmallow creatures.

Can you guess what they are?

And how long it took us to gobble them up?

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Life is fragile
Everybody breaks so easily
Life is fragile
No one is immune

In the long run
Everyone must take their turn
With this lesson we don't wanna take
But we all have to learn

And I'll stay here with you
Knowing that Jesus is here to carry us through
And all through the night
I'll stay by your side
Until the morning appears
And the sun and moon collide
He'll carry us through

Lyrics by Phil Joel

My heart has been heavy over the last couple of weeks.

A precious little boy who I was privileged to meet as a wee babe in Starship two years ago succumbed to cancer and died in his mother's arms.

A 6 year old classmate of a friend's daughter died suddenly and unexpectedly two days ago.

I have ben holding my babies close as I consider the terrible grief and pain that these and many families go through upon losing a child.

Life is fragile.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Winter Days


C3 is convinced winter hasn't arrived yet because we haven't seen snow. We plan to take a drive to the snow sometime over the next few weeks. Although if we had gone yesterday we could have saved some petrol as it was only half an hour away.

We have been filling our time with lots of drawing, modelling, Fraggle Rock watching and when the frost melts after lunch, gardening.

The children made a "tree garden' with "safari sunset" fronds from a leucadendrum (sp??) we dug out of the garden. They are very happy with a patch of bare dirt to drive the diggers through, "plant" random things and dig up earthworms.

Once this cold snap is past we will be busy int eh glasshouse sowing seed and preparing for the spring planting... cos Spring is just around the corner dont'cha know?