The final countdown.

Nothing like a post named after a classic 80’s song! As I listen to the lyrics it gets me thinking. We have only one planet. If we screw it up beyond its ability to support life what are we going to do? Venus, the moon, Mars and all the other theoretical colonisation planets and satellites are just that, theoretical only. Dreams of “maybe one day” but not even close to reality as far as I know. So, even if it isn’t the final countdown to blast off into outer space and planetary colonisation, it is the final countdown for the health of our planet. We, all of us, really need to change our thinking, focus on a sustainable lifestyle that doesn’t use up all our resources. If we use up all the oil resources today what will happen if we really do NEED it? And I mean must have it or face extinction level of need. Hmmm. I don’t think we’re verging on extinction of our species quite yet but it would be nice to know there is still some fossil fuels left in case of emergency.

Anyway, I digress. The final countdown in this instance referred to the countdown counter on the left of the page. Counting down until auction day. And we are not just into single digits either. We are into the final week! 6 sleeps! I feel like I used to feel when I was a child counting down until Christmas! And even our children are excited. Jasper keeps asking when we are moving to “Balland” and loves going in the “Balland house” as he calls it. Allegra is just as excited and talking about “Bee-And” often. And Martin and I are planning, discussing, working out and figuring in all we need to for the move and necessary repairs, renovations, additions and general logistics. You would think it was a sure thing the way we are planning.

I am ready and rearing to install my garden beds and have made several improvements to the plain 6 or 7 raised beds I had planned. I think I am now up to 10 beds and a pallet retaining wall planted with strawberries and herbs to surround it and keep out marauding children and chickens. The chicken pen has been mentally upgraded at least once too and we are knee deep in discussions of sheds, fences, paint, kitchen designs (I have never been in a position to plan an entire kitchen), wardrobes, floors and numerous other bits and bobs. It’s a good thing Ballan is an hours drive away as when we drive up and back on the weekends we have had a tonne of time to plan, discuss and work out what’s happening. Exciting times.

And in order to be ready to plant out as soon as the beds are ready and compost delivered, we planted some more seeds this morning. This time we tried a nifty variation on the milk cartons we have been using that came up in my Pinterest feed this morning. The link had referenced 2 other links which are here and here. And since I had about 10 milk and orange juice bottles waiting on the bench I figured it was a sign that we needed to sow some more seeds. This time we planted red cabbages, hyssop, more tomatoes (I FINALLY have one sprouting from the first planting too), some more radishes and some chives, the last 2 being the seeds given to Jasper for his birthday. He was really excited to see the radishes that had sprouted too. And I’m excited by the carpet of rocket seedlings which I sowed thickly as I didn’t expect much to happen with the seeds being so past their best before date (about 8 or 9 years I think). We will be rolling in rocket in a month or so I think. So excited to be seeing results in our improvised little nursery. 😀

Speaking of results, I am seeing bubbles in my sourdough starters too. I fed them both yesterday which means I made a paste of 1 1/2 cups of flour and 1 1/2 cups of filtered water (needs to be free of chlorine) and then add 1 1/2 cups of the original starter (or whichever quantities you use but keep them equal portions) so they are happy little wild yeasts. More feeding tonight and then again tomorrow and hopefully I can bake on Wednesday or Thursday. Excited much?!

It’s been such an exciting time in the lead up to the auction, the preparations, the learning, the reading (more on that next post) and discussions with like-minded friends like Corrie-Lyn over at Homesteading on a one dollar dream but I am so ready to get out there, get moved in and get homesteading!


A 4th birthday and the making of a jacket

My baby boy turns 4 today. Or, another way to look at it is, I became a mother 4 years ago today. At 2:03am on August 8th 2008 I first met a pair of crystal blue eyes attached to what was then my red headed baby boy. We’ve so far, managed to keep his birthday in line with our lifestyle choices too. His gifts have either been made from sustainable materials or have been second hand or upcycled (or all of the above).

Martin is from the UK originally and his family are still over there so rather than pay exorbitant postage fees and rack up carbon miles, Omi transfers some money for us to buy the children a gift. We decided to give him some tools from us which will help him in assisting us when we move to Ballan. He is now set up with a child sized metal wheelbarrow, rake, hoe and shovel and he already has some gardening gloves and will get other hand tools too when I find them. He also just opened a lovely gift from his Nanna – a set of dominos and a card arrived in the mail with some chives, sunflowers and radishes in there too. PERFECT for him to grow and the radishes will provide some nearly instant results too. Reckon I might see if we can grow 5 to an orange juice container. 🙂

Boring jacket

Other than that I made him a jacket. Well, upcycled his existing denim jacket is probably more precise. It was a great denim jacket that someone had clearly outgrown which I picked up for a few dollars some time back. It was however, bland and in need of some personalisation. So, since Jasper loves diggers and construction vehicles and such I added some decorations. And thanks to my friend Emma from Made Emwho made the buttons for Jasper’s birthday too. They absolutely make it all work.

And the back

Anyway, we’ve done some gardening today too – planted Rocket, Pyrethrum (a natural insecticide plant) and some Chamomile. Not sure how the Rocket will go as the seeds are well past their best before date but hey, waste not want not and if nothing sprouts I can use the soil for Jasper’s radishes. 🙂 Off to cook the requested pizza for dinner – could be interesting as I only have ham, salami, onion and cheese.

A morning in the garden

One of this things I am most aware of with our pending move and huge planned lifestyle changes is that I have not, to date, been much of a gardener. In fact I used to joke that if my thumbs were green then it was probably mould. I have all sorts of big intentions but severe creepy crawly phobias usually crippled my dreams.

In order to get past this I had some hypnotherapy earlier this year focussing mostly upon my severe phobia of millipedes. Those horrible little Portuguese imports (the wretched things aren’t even native!) could reduce me to a gibbering mess in seconds. Easing the vacuum hose to within an inch of one of those little black curls so I could dart back to safety before switching it on was amusing. Gardening was an episode in uproarious humour IF you happened to be watching me. I seem to get the gardening urge when I am full term pregnant, so envision LARGE tummy, dodgy non-functioning hips and then picture this as it scoots backwards at a rapid rate of knots spewing profanities and gibbering in fear. Not pretty. So, with our planned move to the country I decided enough was enough and I booked in for some hypnotherapy. I wouldn’t say I am deeply in love with those funny little trundle-bugs but coming across them I tend towards mild revulsion rather than sheer panic. Most other insects, invertebrates and other creepy crawlies fit into this list of yucky bugs too but I am now a lot better. I even held a worm in the palm of my gloved hand the other day. Something I have not done since I was 7 or younger.

Well today spent the morning gardening with my children. Jasper wanted to do digging, his favourite pass-time. Rather than just waste his energy I decided to get them to help me pot some plants I want to take when we move. I found some plastic pots, drilled some holes in some other plastic buckets and put some stones in the bottom. We then, with Allegra’s help too, dug up the soil into the pots. I then re-potted the rosemary bush I had grown from a cutting and struck another cutting from a branch that had cast roots, for my friend. We dug up the curry bush, re-potted a pot-bound parsley with some mint that had grown despite being thoroughly removed last year, and another pot of mint for my friend. I re-potted my terribly pot bound chives (don’t know if they will make it r not but worth a try) and also the pot-bound thyme. Watered them all in with water from the tank and they’re ready to go. The kids decided then they’d had enough digging so in we came for some lunch.

I came across a group of snails and a single millipede, both of which were moved out of my way with only a little fuss, so I would say I am no longer phobic (yay) and I know I can handle gardening when we move. And I have sorted out yet another part of the move too so I would consider that a highly profitable morning.

Now we are off for a walk to run some errands. Orik into the Ergo and the other 2 are going to walk. Here’s hoping they’re tired tonight and sleep.