It already seems a long time ago now, but we did have a week away last month! It was just lovely to have a whole week to relax, be together, be outside, reflect, and refresh. We spent much glorious time outside, whether it was on the water, in the bush, on the beach, or in the back yard of the house we stayed in; it was great to get our fill of sun, fresh air, wind, and rain! Lovely to wake up with no alarm, and decide what to do for the day, or not. Many pleasant hours were spent exploring and fishing, the dogs had plenty of exercise, and so did the kids bikes. On the wetter days it was great to be by the fire with games or books. We have come home refreshed and relaxed, truly appreciative of our time away, ready for many things!
This time last year we went away for a week, and had so much work to come back to. While there is no shortage of work now, it feels like we have achieved so much, so many of the harder yards have been done. The bakery is up and running, the house slightly more finished, the farm fenced into six paddocks instead of one big one full of fallen down fences. Our cows and calves are in the paddocks. The vegie garden has been more productive this year, the chooks are over their moving humps and are laying flat out, trees are planted. While we are surrounded by things to do, we are also surrounded by things we have done. The life we have chosen to live is full and there is always plenty to do, but it is also about balance and being together. Working mainly from home can mean we are surrounded by our work, but this is something that brings us joy, most of the time. The kids are hands on around the place and love being able to head off down the paddocks with Greg to do jobs, or go to the oak trees for a swing in the branches, collect clay from the dam, or take the billy cart for a few turns.
What we are doing is by no means unique to us, and isn’t it great to be able to make it work, to do something that makes you happy while making a living? There are definitely quirks to it, like being able to watch the bull to make sure he’s doing his job properly while mixing the days doughs. Not quite a situation I’d ever thought I’d be in, fair to say. It’s quite easy to get sidetracked looking out the bakery windows, not generally by bulls, but often by the glorious skies in the mornings and evenings, the clouds that float low over the hills, eagles soaring, the horrible Indian mynas that have become too smart for the trap…..the kids kicking the footy or pretending to be chooks.
In between the wild winter weather that’s been keeping us entertained over the past couple of months, there’s also been some glorious calm days of blue skies and sunshine. I’ve been spending time in the vegie garden, turning over the weeds that have grown since the summer veg were pulled out, composting, and mulching with old hay. It’s a bit late perhaps, but hopefully in a few months it will all be rotted down sufficiently to plant out summer seedlings again. The first lot of broccoli has almost finished, so the chooks get the brassica plants, which they love. The last of the parsnips and carrots have been dug, but the kale is still going strong, and I’ve planted brown onion seed out; it’s just germinating now. A new lot of carrots to go in soon, along with parsnips and beetroot, and maybe some peas. Fresh podding peas are to me the most delicious of all fresh vegies, and to split open a pod of peas straight from the garden has always been special. The broad beans that Stella and I planted are coming along slowly, maybe we’ll get some beans in a couple of months, but the crimson flowered plants look amazing, and I always think broad bean plants smell fantastic anyway. The kids each have their own little plot, though they’re definitely more interested in the garden in the warmer months, when things like strawberries and cherry tomatoes and cucumbers are happening.
Rhubarb is one plant that produces all year round, and tonight we are having some stewed with Lemon Delicious Pudding…..yummy!