Thursday, December 2, 2010

Summer(ish) Rain free things and welcome volunteers.

November has been unexpectedly busy with the business thriving and all kinds of chaos with childcare because we refuse to have our children attend a centre which has a policy forbidding communication with children other than your own beyond saying hello and threatens parents with instant banning of the whole family if this is not complied with and then finding the right centre only to have the places whisked away for other children who, due to Government policy  have the right to take places from any one in any centre they choose. the fact that we run our own business and will have to close at the busiest time of the year so we can look after the boys full time which will leave us up to our eyeballs in debt and unable to provide for our own children is apparently of no consequence.
All this chaos and thriving business (which might be doing much less well soon if we don't get this childcare sorted) and dance performances at the middle eastern dance festival and refinancing all our mortgages and business debts with another bank has meant that all my good intentions for Na No Wri Mo have fallen by the wayside(well not all of them I have written about 3000 words) but I am pleased I have done some as I do need all the practice I can get. I notice that since I have been on FAcebook my writing has seemed harder because it is just so easy to update my status or post a link rather lazily instead of writing a proper blog entry (shame Jess, shame)
We are getting wonderful growing weather here and all sorts of volunteer vegetables are popping their heads up, potatoes are everywhere, pumpkins(I suppose- they are definitely curcubits of some description)and what would seem to be a block of popping corn are all happily growing themselves. The weeds are enjoying the alternating hot dry days and cooler drizzly ones. Some more volunteers in the garlic are these poppies which although thriving do look rather like they might be pharmaceutical grade opium poppies. We are not sure but a farmer friend thinks they might be- this week they will open and then we can identify them for sure. I suppose that some previous tenant might have been trying his hand at growing some for recreational purposes(apparently the opium is lifethreateningly strong in the wrong hands- don't try it at home) and when I have moved some soil for my tyre garden the seeds have been jostled into life again...they look rather magnificent! (actually I vagued out writing this and returned a couple of days later the poppies have bloomed and are not opium ones but are gorgeous!). We are eating a bit out of our garden but because I developed a rather irrational fear of having a glut of anything we are more snacking on broad beans and peas than living off them. Ah well next year I know PLANT MORE PEAS!
A local body works(panel shop) is closing and we went to see if they had any car parts we needed and found their dumpster was full of treasures. After asking permission we now have the most splendid gate (for the soon to be constructed chicken run) and the neatest clothes airer which we needed as ours is rubbish.
Freecycle has been great for me too, I have got rid of lots of stuff and have dollhouses for my boys for Christmas( I have seen them playing happily and calmly with doll's houses for ages at day care so I want to bring some of that into our house) and water and milk kefir grains. 

 I have stocked up on layer pellets for the hens which were on special and now it costs us about $1.55 a week to feed our chickens and in return we get 14 eggs which seems like great deal to me! I keep reading about keeping your own chickens not being economical but so far ours are very cheap to keep. I have bought a 50 meter roll of wire mesh so we can have a little free range enclosure for them but apart from this extra mesh and the couple of dollars a week for layer pellets the girls have only cost $35(for three hens and  $20 of chicken wire) which much cheaper than paying close to $5 for free range eggs at the supermarket (which i didn't do- I always bought tiny free range eggs from the fruit shop -24 for $4 but they were nearly as small as bantam eggs!).
 I have discovered that the children love dipping things ( I had already discovered the magic of making things in patty form) so they are going to have a lot of dips for summer- hummus and other legume based dips are easy and tasty and healthy so I am happy with this revelation!


  1. I sympathise with the childcare problem. have you thought about getting an au pair or young person to look after your kids when it is very busy for you. they may be able to live in.I don't know how old your children are so this may not be feasable, but may be worth exploring;
    Good luck

  2. that might be a good option especially with all the students around here on Hols at the moment- thanks for your suggestion!