Wednesday, November 28, 2012

More yumminess

This has got to be a record for me. I am actually sticking to the whole primal-eating thing and feeling great (well, as great as you can feel when you are in a constant state of sleep deprivation!) I am having the occasional naughty thing like a chocolate bar here and there or (GASP!) McDonalds (I didn't eat the bun though, just enjoyed those juicy juicy patties :P) but overall I am being terribly healthy. Most days consist of eggs and shrooms/zucchini etc for breakfast, salad for lunch and salad with a good bit of meat for dinner. I also bought a juicer so have been having fun experimenting with different flavours and getting more greens into my diet. I find it interesting that I am wanting 'bad' foods less and less, for example I am only having almond pancakes maybe once a week when previously I could have (but didn't!) happily eaten those delicious things every day of the week! My meals are more or less variations of what I posted last time with the occasional new addition like the delicious 'Hawaiian Chicken' I made last week. I seem to be snacking less too which should help lower my overall intake and although I decided not to cut potatoes from my diet, I have been eating far less because I just don't find myself craving their starchy goodness like I used to. I jumped on the scales at Mum's house the other weekend and won't be checking my weight again until the next time I am there which will be at Christmas but I am hoping to see a difference of at least a few kg. If I can lose weight the way I am eating at the moment, it will be a breeze getting to my goal weight because I could happily keep this up forever! Some of my yummies lately:

Hawaiian Chicken with avocado, mango and pinenut salsa

Zucchini scrambled eggs with fetta and pinenuts

Burger salad

Burrito Salad
The new girls are both laying now though the eggs are a little small - I am still having to buy some eggs to keep up with demand because Evie has become addicted to our scrambled eggs each morning (which is WAY better than the vegemite on toast she was having previously).

The garden is coming along nicely though not producing much as it is in that in-between-seasons rut. The winter stuff is going to seed and the summer stuff hasn't kicked off yet. I have lots of seedlings growing away out the back and can't wait to plant them out and watch them grow!

Bertha and Gertrude (having a dust bath in the background)

Meyer lemon coming back after the cold

Baby bath re-purposed - full of comfrey tea to soak transplants

My precious mulberry tree

Lots of stuff going to seed and calendula everywhere!

Not much on this side yet, waiting for seedlings to go in

Nice big rhubarb plant on the left, ruby chard on the right.

Reliiiiiiiigion (duck and cover!)

Just joking, nothing scary going on. Just some observations I made the other week when we got chatting at play group (Steiner/Waldorf) about religious celebrations. I was raised in a household with christian grandparents, great grandparents and mother - and an agnostic father, but he never discussed his beliefs or lack thereof with us kids. I never believed what we were being taught in Sunday School and after calling myself Pagan for a few years I am now just...nothing. Not quite atheist I suppose, more spiritualist. Or agnostic maybe? Whatever, it doesn't really matter. I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe and la-di-da-di-da we'll all live happily ever after.

Except it isn't that simple because we live in a world with other people, who celebrate in different ways and I have children who may one day decide that a particular religion is for them. Anyway, back to the original thought of this post - we were talking about the celebrations that are incorporated into Steiner education and the fact that most people don't have any issue with their children being taught about the celebrations of religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, even Islam and Judaism, yet when it comes to Christian myths and festivals there is an obvious discomfort, a tendency to be repulsed by the idea. My theory is that it is because most people in our society have been raised in a Christian society, if not household and therefore are very aware of all it's negatives and thus want to protect our children from it. We have grown up in many cases having this religion forced on us by parents and grandparents, family friends and even peers who seem to delight in telling us the myriad ways we will suffer for our numerous sins. We have seen that dark side of this religion first hand and thus want to protect our children.

But as an agnostic, is it fair for me to raise my children to be atheists? How is it more fair to indoctrinate them with non-religion that it would be to raise them as strict catholics? Either way, I am forcing MY belief system on to them. Therefore I think it is my responsibility to make sure that they are exposed to a variety of religions and faiths and are given the opportunity to decide for themselves what will help them lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.


Learning to love myself

For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with (low) self esteem and (very bad) body image which has impacted negatively on the rest of my life. In my teens it manifested itself as an eating disorder which, unfortunately, never became physically apparent to others. I say unfortunately, not because I WISH I had reached bone-thin anorexic proportions, but because if it had become obvious to other people, I may have received help sooner and it wouldn't have gone on so long!

Throughout my twenties the internal struggle has continued and it is only now, when I am closer to 30 than 25 (Oh gods that is a scary thought!) that I have been able to even begin to accept and truly LOVE my body. Ironically, this is probably the worst condition I have ever been in, physically. Two babies in as many years have taken their toll and left a ladder of stretchmarks marching across my softened belly. My previously substantial chest has expanded even further, in the process adding its own silvery lines to the artwork that these children have painted on my skin. And yet THAT is why I love it now more than ever. Because these days when I feel the softness of my belly, I remember how it felt only 2 months ago as my son wiggled and squirmed as he prepared to meet us. I trace the stretchmarks and remember the very first time I felt my firstborn move inside me - that tiny flutter of life which is now a whirlwind of 20-month-old energy, squealing delightedly at the bubbles I blow for her. When I see how my breasts have lost their perkiness, I recall the sadness I felt when my daughter weaned herself, and the love and satisfaction I get every time my son latches on to feed and the milk-drunk smiles I get to enjoy again. Yes, my body is softer, saggier (and somewhat bigger) than I would like it to be, but when I look at my two precious children, the products of this body, how can I do anything but love it?

I still wish I was thinner and more fit, but now it isn't just so I can look good (though rocking a bikini sure would be awesome). I want to be able to chase my children, play with them, live a long healthy life so that one day I can chase my grandchildren around and play games with them too! These days I want to nurture my body with healthy whole foods instead of punishing it and forcing it to endure crazy amounts of exercise to work off the KFC diner for two I inhaled as punishment for.. I don't know? wanting to eat? This body deserves so much more than that. I deserve so much more than that. And most of all, my children deserve more than that. How can I raise children who appreciate health and have good self esteem and a positive body image if they grow up with a mother who uses food as punishment or comfort and isn't willing to spend time and money (for real food) in order to look after herself?

I struggle each week to justify spending money on fresh meat and produce for my meals, but eating Primal is an essential part of loving and looking after my body, plus Evie is eating mostly primal now too which is fantastic. Now to get Troy off the soft drink, pasta and bread!!! Hopefully the summer garden this year will flourish and give us lots of organic fresh produce to eat so I don't have to spend as much at the shops!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Om nom nom...

This weeks meals have been pretty similar to last weeks, lots of scrambled eggs and salads. Here are a couple of the yummy dishes I have made:

Chard, tomatoes, bacon, shrooms and parsley.

Chicken meatballs with broccoli, haloumi and pinenuts, drizzled with lemon juice.

Tomato, cucumber, avocado, fetta, pinenuts and thinly sliced cold roast beef.

Chard, shrooms, chicken meatballs and vegie latkes.
We got two new chookies today (more to come when the next batch are ready!) who should start laying in about a month. Can't wait to have some fresh eggs again!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mmmmm yummy!

Below are my almost-paleo meals of this week. Snacks have been vege chips, potato chips, nuts, fruit and brie on cucumber rounds. The chips certainly aren't ideal but I need something crunchy to munch on in order to help deal with my carb cravings!

All the spinach and herbs used are from our garden, as were the parsnips (though they were tiny, despite having huge tops, and were rather fibrous - some I couldn't grate because of it!).


D: Beef patties, bacon, mushrooms, cucumber, tomato, avocado and cheese


B:  Scrambled eggs with mushrooms, tomato, parsley and a side of cheese (most of which Evie ate!)

L: Spinach, tomato, asparagus, parsley, mushrooms, bocconcini, avocado

D: Chicken and spinach loaf with baked potatoes


B: Scrambled eggs, mushrooms, beef patty, tomato, avocado, parsley

L: Chicken and spinach loaf, tomato, cucumber, avocado, coriander, lemon juice, garlic

D: Zucchetti ('spaghetti' made from zucchini) with carbonara sauce

B: Almond and banana pancakes (just almond flour, mashed banana and egg - delicious!)

L: Greek salad with beef patties

 D: No pic. Korma chicken with rice


B: Eggs, 'shrooms, tomato and parsley
L: Carrot and parsnip latkes. (Pic and recipe from Marks Daily Apple )

D: Leftover latkes, silverbeet, mushrooms, feta and chicken meatballs

Saturday, October 20, 2012

And then there were four!

Once again, life has gotten in the way of blogging and this little blog has fallen by the wayside. The last few months have been hectic, with my time spent running around after Evie in between trying to relax and grow a baby. Four weeks ago, our little man joined our family.

My 3 babies - Evie, Ethan and Zac

Ethan was a hefty 10lb 2oz! He has taken to the breast like a pro and is a happy little thing, although a few minor things have made me suspect he has a food sensitivity (or it could just be he is getting too much milk, too fast due to my epic supply!). Either way, it is good incentive for me to get off grains. I have tried to go Paleo/Primal plenty of times before but always fail for one reason or another but this time, having my son's health as an incentive, hopefully it will be easier. I am also part-way through reading the book 'Wheat Belly' by William Davis which is an interesting read and further supports the idea of eliminating grains (especially wheat) from my diet.

In order to chronicle my progress and keep myself inspired, I am going to be posting pics of my meals, which at the moment are not quite primal as I am including dairy and some potatoes and white rice while I transition in order to make the change easier and ensure my milk supply isn't adversely affected.

On the garden front, I have been busy the past few weeks getting everything tidied up and ready for spring. Now that I can actually reach the ground and get back up again, I have been weeding and transplanting and have started my seedlings for the summer planting. Increasing the production of home grown produce is also part of my strategy to support my diet and save money - less money spent on fresh veg, the more I have to spend on meat and nuts! We are still chickenless but I hope to remedy that soon. I miss the sound of my girls clucking away!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More links

An interesting short video on the monopoly that the 'big two' supermarkets have in Australia

The Beast File: Woolies and Coles

This is an article that everyone should read! It makes me feel sick that so much is wasted. If we are ever to achieve a more sustainable and ecological agriculture, we have to change the market first!

Food Waste

Astronaut by Ben Gleeson

Ben is a graduate of my course and I found this piece written by him on the blog of the EAAA, here:

It is such a gorgeous piece of writing I just had to share it. He puts into words beautifully something I have often felt in my life.


On holiday for a few days at Depot beach on the NSW south coast last summer, my family and I went for a walk over the headland to nearby North Durras. My kids raced ahead with their cousins and my partner lagged behind with her sister so that for a while I found myself alone in silence wandering in a small patch of eucalypt forest. The path was sandy, strewn with shed gum-leaves, and bordered with bracken and burrawang ferns. The closed canopy of the spotted gums was thirty to forty metres overhead and there was little understorey to speak of. The impression was of a tall leafy ceiling supported on wide poles enclosing a spacious, open, quiet and still chamber. It struck me that this space was composed entirely of living beings like me.

In its midst I knew myself a part of a living landscape; a small part, a visitor, in awe of my fellow life-forms and the abiding suchness of this place; the calm-quiet, the stillness. It was beautiful and I became aware of how keenly I felt its beauty. The place seemed barely aware of me yet I felt that, perhaps in a way, I could belong here as just a life-form among life-forms, existing, treading gently, and stepping silently among the other beings, a reverent observer and admirer. I kicked off my flip-flops to feel the sandy, leafy floor of the forest with my bare soles. I thought about wandering off the path and lying down somewhere hidden, to quietly stare at the sky through the leaves and imbibe this place for a time.

I imagined the lives of the first Australians here, wandering through this space in a small group, in silence or in comfortable conversation; walking on their way from one place to another they knew well. Moving often; carrying so little but feeling so at home; comfortable; familiar. I thought about wandering-off myself and living amongst this country; of stepping from one life into another and turning to a new existence of simplicity; of moving from place to place as I desired, without deadlines or appointments, or walls or roofs, where the only time that mattered was the time when I was hungry, when I would settle down, contentedly and eat..........when I would eat..........what.....?

I was loving this moment so much, feeling at home in this place of such beauty and calm – a place I wished to love as if I were owned by it– but when I thought of food, I suddenly knew myself to be vastly separated from it. I knew that I could never live as part of it; without the food we had back in our holiday cabin, I would not be here to witness the place at all. It struck me, if I cannot eat of this landscape, I could certainly never truly belong to it; never really connect; never share existence as a part of it.

I thought of the many people I have known that lived hidden away in the bush as I myself have done, enjoying its character, feeling a peace there but, I realised, always perched precariously, without ecological communion; without connection to the cycles and flows of the local ecosystems, without that intimate and sustaining relation to place.

I thought of an astronaut, immersed in a scene of great beauty, overwhelmed by the wondrousness and the stillness and the quiet but only floating by, never to belong; like a tourist whose roots are always firmly planted ‘back home’; like a scuba-diver, inserting themselves to witness and to admire but never belonging, knowing always that this life is not their life, knowing that they draw breath from the surface, from a distant, different, elsewhere.

I once heard the farmer, Joel Salatin, use the term ‘ecological umbilical’ in relation to our food and our food systems. This term sheds some light on the way that I felt at that time; in that forest of life where I knew I could not live. My ecological umbilical was back at the cabin, safely stored in our refrigerator, my lifeline to nourishment and existence, my conduit to sustenance, full of transported food, all grown in the elsewhere desolation of farming, where life occurs on sufferance and is plucked and pumped by means of economy to wherever we happen to stand.

I ponder my umbilical; I wonder, ‘to what am I connected?’ Where does my ecological umbilical lead? What is at the far end? What feeds it?

Clearly, it is not some beauteous natural cathedral-like landscape of ecological harmony and stillness that I am anchored to, it is a farm; or more correctly it is farms. It is farms that feed my umbilical; farms are where I connect to our biosphere. Farms are the source of my nutrients; farms are the source of the solar energy that lifts my arms, that warms and cools my body and that fires my thoughts. The roots of my existence are reaching into cultivated soil. At one time here, briefly there, my connection to the soil and the Earth is shallow and shifting and, I would say, tenuous; randomised by the roiling and impermanent nature of economic advantage and opportunity.

Surely it is natural for me to long to exist within a landscape as an aspect of it; sharing and living as one among the many life forms that compose it. How many years of evolution on this planet have led me here? How much genetic or instinctual knowledge of connected existence, of belonging, of intimate relation to our surroundings? The forest at Durras and I share an ancestor: that original simple spark of life that became the myriad profusion of interdependency that we now see; an interdependence that we can aesthetically feel and that we increasingly know with our rational learnings as well.

How do we bring this aesthetic and this rationalised knowledge to our farming? What would change if we cultivated our landscapes as if we belonged to them? Could we build their complexity? Could we guide the ebb and flow of energy and material so that our landscapes grew around us, both supporting and supported, each a part of the other?

Standing in the forest at Durras, like a suited astronaut – my lifeline trailing away behind me to some distant technological mother-ship– I long to step from the spacesuit and truly breath; to cast away the space-food and truly eat; to merge with the biotic landscape that surrounds me and start to truly live, just a small part of a small part of planet Earth, where I belong.

Ben Gleeson

My first Uni residential - a lifechanging experience

Last week I left my little family behind with tears in my eyes, dreading a whole week away from them as I drove myself up to Orange for my first res school for uni. Waving goodbye to them, I could not possibly have foreseen the effect the next week would have on me. I can barely put into words what I experienced but I think 'life-changing' is definitely appropriate. Although I only had 4 days of classes, the opportunity to meet people who 'got' the way I think and feel about the world and who knew what I was talking about when I babbled on people like Joel Salatin and Peter Andrews was amazing.

Despite an intense eagerness to return to Troy and Evie, I felt a deep sadness as I left to head home, with likely another 12 months before I get to enjoy the experience again. Yet on top of the sadness I felt so energised and inspired. I know without a doubt that this course of study is taking me in the direction I want to go and allowing me to meet some amazing like-minded people along the way. There may not be many of us yet but I feel a renewed hope that in time, the world will begin to change and we will no longer be the minority.

In honour of this week and in order to keep my blog alive and perhaps encourage others to learn more about the important issues facing our civilisation, I plan on putting lots of links in here to videos, articles etc that I think are worthwhile reading or viewing. Prepare to be entertained, inspired and at times, sick to the stomach when we see what is currently normal in this world...

x Em

Thursday, April 5, 2012

So it turns out I am still in fact alive and well despite my 8 month absence from this blog. Evie turned 1 a month ago and is the most gorgeous little munchkin in the world (I'm not biased, I swear!). But here, I will let you judge for yourselves:

This year I started a degree in Ecological Agriculture (part time, distance ed) which I am really enjoying but has been quite challenging for my poor shrivelled brain cells. It has been made worse by a severe case of baby brain - not left over from having Evie, but from the current little bun in the oven who will be joining our family in late September. I'm not sure how I will handle uni with TWO little ones, but fingers crossed I will find a way to cope.

The garden continues to potter along despite continual neglect, though it made a nice show of itself in late spring when I ran my first Permaculture workshop here. I was more than a bit nervous running it but it seemed to go quite well and there was interest in more workshops so one day when I have time to scratch myself, I will look at doing some more.

That's it for now, be back sometime in the next year or so ;)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Where oh where did the last 5 months go?

Evie is just past 5 months. Where the hell did the time go? I can not believe how quickly she is growing up and changing. My little pixie is now rolling over and experimenting with solids (eating my food!) and getting more adorable every day.

Thanks to her presence things on the homesteading front have been a tad quiet. The winter garden is plodding along producing some spinach, lots of parsley and plenty of scallions but unfortunately I was late getting my seedlings started so they are all STILL sitting in their seedling trays at a grand inch and a half high. After months. Next year I definitely need a better greenhouse set up, perhaps something with an automatic mister as remembering to water them for days at a time probably hasn't helped things much.

We also had a bit of a setback the week prior to last when something, presumably a fox, took our three hens. The chooks hadn't been roosting in the hen house for ages, instead choosing to camp out near the back door and we had given up on trying to get them in. The past few nights they had finally been going back into the coop after months of only using it to lay but I had the door off to use as a compost sieve. I guess we had gotten a bit complacent and figured that if they had been safe for this long, there must not be any foxes around. When we went to feed them in the morning there was no sign of them. We finally found one in shreds up the back and never found any sign of the other two. I miss them so much :( We will get more soon, but this time I will be very careful about making sure they are locked up safe at night.

One happy event though was my recent trip to Jamberoo for the Joel Salatin workshop held by RegenAg. Evie and I travelled down on our own, staying the night before and after at my Dad's house nearby. The workshop was great with some very interesting ideas brought up and lots of new people to meet and talk to. Evie was amazing and quiet as a mouse almost the entire time. I was so proud of her! Although his ideas definitely couldn't just be transplanted here, it certainly gave me lots of food for thought and is more encouragement to think outside the box of traditional agriculture.

Oh yeah, and the other thing - I finally finished my PDC so now I can hopefully start getting some clients to design for. I even have business cards and everything :D I just need to get enough confidence in my own skills to promote myself, instead of feeling like I am not worth people actually paying me for my services. Oh well, all in good time. For now I am loving being a mum and making the most of my life in this gorgeous town!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cooma Community Garden

One of the biggest challenges of growing food in this climate is the short growing season. Unlike much of Australia we have four distinct seasons with the best one for growing food, summer, being relatively short. Despite this, with careful planning and a protected location it is possible to extend the season and create beautiful productive gardens.

These pictures were taken a couple of months ago at the height of their productivity.

And this here was my addition to an art installation we did. I was pregnant at the time, thus the little pink egg representing Evie :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Announcing the Arrival of Evelyn Michelle

Our beautiful daughter arrived in this world one week ago, at 7.35pm on Tuesday 8th March. Labor was 12 hours and I am very pleased to say, completely drug free!!! She weighs 8lb1 (3660g) and is 50cm long. We just came home today and are both doing well, although I am incredibly tired! Very much looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight and not being disturbed by nurses/lunch ladies/cleaners etc!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Urban Homestead

So, I am far too pregnant and whale-like at the moment to bother with a proper post, although I will mention that the garden is growing fairly well despite massive neglect. The chooks have been taking turns going broody and moulting, so we are only getting one egg every day or two but hopefully this will pick up soon. Bubs is due in 3 weeks and I am eagerly awaiting her birth if only so I can pass her big boofheaded self over to her father while I..I dunno. Touch my toes, or sleep on my stomach or do one of those other things I haven't been able to do for ages now!

Anyway, the point of today's post is just a little bit of activism, to protest the absolute ridiculousness of the Dervaes family being, well, idiots. All respect for them is now completely gone! See Sonya's blog at for more information.

x Em

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Looking Backwards, Looking Forward

Despite never having been one to really get that excited about the whole NYE celebrations thing, I do tend to become rather reflective at this time of year, much like most people. This post is going to be more for my records than anything else, so feel free to skip it ;)

The past year has definitely been the most memorable of the 25 I have lived so far. We became engaged, then married and in between found out that we were going to become parents. I am sad that the wedding for me was rather overshadowed by the horrible morning sickness I was suffering but then, it was just A DAY and what matters more is every other day of our married life together.

The past year has also been a good one in terms of meeting new people and building friendships and networks in the local area and really settling in to life in Cooma (which we love more and more the longer we live here!)

On the personal achievements front...well I got my Aged Care cert - a requirement for work - which while incredibly easy and boring is still something to add to my resume. For me the most valuable part of it was getting my First Aid certificate again, having let my last one lapse by ah...a few years. Oops. The past few weeks has also seen me digging in and being close to finishing my PDC - it will be very nice to get the actual certificate given that with all my reading and designing previously I know I definitely have the required knowledge and skills! The next goal I am contemplating is to do a Horticulture certificate and work on my knowledge of specific plants - this is definitely my weak area!

On the health front I was starting to do well by increasing my exercise and eating better until bubs and the morning sickness hit! Thankfully as a result of that and my lack of appetite since (my diet these days mostly consists of fruit and milk! yum!) I have continued to lose weight throughout the pregnancy so I have a bit of a 'head start' on the weight loss for once bubs arrives.

So...on to this year. For the first time, I find myself struggling to identify solid goals because what with the little one on the way, I just can not plan anything nor predict what is to come. This year is going to see our life change in the most amazing ways!!! The only thing we CAN accurately predict of course is that there will be many, many sleepless and exhausted days and nights!

Some generalised goals I do have however are:

to continue to improve my health by eating better and exercising more
to increase my knowledge of plants and the local environment
to continue to develop the garden and produce more of our own food
to be frugal and save us enough money as possible by making more things from scratch
to explore alternative employment options including starting my own small Permaculture business
to be the best wife and mother I can be and to cherish every moment with my husband and daughter :)

So here is to 2011, and all the exciting things to come!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Our Little Princess

We took a (rather uncomfortable) trip to Queanbeyan a week or so ago for the 20 week morphology scan. While I didn't enjoy the drive at all (every small bump in the road is noticeable when you have a full bladder in prep for an ultrasound) the result was well worth it. We got to see a very healthy and active bubba with everything where it should be. The most exciting part of course was confirming my gut feeling since we first found out we were expecting - that we are, indeed, having a little girl :D

She was spot on size-wise for dates and we were able to see all her little fingers and toes which was very reassuring.

And here she is!

Now we just have to survive the next 19 or so weeks to actually meet her and see her properly! At least I am past the halfway mark now but I am sure the rest of the pregnancy is going to drag as I get more and more excited.

On the news-other-than-baby front, not a whole lot to report. I have only just started a bunch of seeds but am hoping that they will 'catch up' quickly in the warmer weather. I am really struggling to keep on top of the wedding and bed preparation because I am still so tired from this gorgeous parasite. I got a big pile of bark mulch delivered yesterday though so will be using that and weed mat to try and tidy up out the front around the veggie beds to make it lower maintenance. Hopefully the weather will be nice over the weekend so I can get that done.

On the chookie and duckie front, all is well although we have decided to adopt out the quackers, as cute as they are. There is a local lady who has other poultry who is interested in giving them a home so that is good. She even has a dam so I am sure they will be happier with her :)

Well that is it for now. Off to work, if I can remove this grey kitten from draped over my arm!


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mr and Mrs

Last Friday was our wedding day and I am glad to say it all went well! The weather was absolutely perfect with warm sun and just a light breeze, the ceremony went well (although there was a bit of giggling on my part because I kept having tears run down my cheeks - blaming preggo hormones lol) and the reception was a success with plenty of yummo food and good company. The only downside to the day was a little bit of "morning" sickness on my part and a cold I am still trying to shake after 3 weeks! Thankfully we had a gap of a few hours between the ceremony and the reception so I was able to rest for a while.

On the baby front, all is going well. I am 16 weeks now and starting to actually look pregnant, not just fat! The morning sickness has finally eased in the past week. I havent been sick in days! YAY! Only a couple more weeks till our next scan when hopefully they will be able to tell if it is a boy or a girl.

The best thing about feeling better (and our week long honeymoon-at-home) is being able to get stuff done in the garden. I am sheet mulching one side of the front yard to put down potatoes and will start planting out a whole bunch of things shortly. I plan on growing lots of corn and spinachey things for the birds to keep them happy. The other side of the front just has some self sown stuff from last season so far. I am yet to plant anything else but that will start in the next few weeks.

Unfortunately the birds seem to be well aware that it is spring time - one of the ducks went clucky and was determined to sit on her nest up in the back junk pile where she had hidden her eggs. After a few days of taking her off the nest she has given up thankfully. One of the chooks however is far more determined! We keep taking her out of the nest box and leaving the lid and doors open so it is bright but she keeps going back. At least we are getting her off long enough that she is eating and drinking.

Well I am off to enjoy this perfect spring weather we have today!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Busy Growing...just not in the garden!

Troy and I are proud to announce that come March next year we are going to be a family!

I am currently about 11 weeks along and have been doing well with the exception of some rather unpleasant morning/all day sickness over the past few weeks. Thankfully it is starting to ease so I might soon be feeling well enough to get outside and get the garden ready for spring!

I had originally planned on doing a big garden out the back this season but now, keeping in mind how big I will be over summer and how hard bending will be, I have decided to stick to the same front area we used last year as well as the other half of the front yard which I will use for a no-dig potato bed. This will save me spending too much time weeding, plus will keep it safe from the vandals. And by vandals, I mean ducks, of course.

The little escape artists manage to get out every time the wind blows (our gate doesn't latch) and of course as soon as they are free they waddle off down the street, across the road or into the neighbours yard... it is beginning to get frustrating having to herd them back in all the time. I wasn't too concerned when they stuck to our front yard but I worry about them crossing the road. They must be getting some good forage in their wanderings though because the girls are laying like crazy. Unfortunately due to the morning sickness I cant bear the thought/smell of eggs, especially the duck eggs so they are mostly going to waste. I have had a chat to the bloke at the health food store and he is happy to try and sell some of them for me so we will see how that goes.

The chookies are happy friendly little munchkins, also laying well. The only problem we are having is that Gerald, the drake, keeps hassling them. Apparently the two ducks arent enough to satisfy his manly needs. He doesn't seem to have done them any harm yet but I will be keeping a close eye out...

Oh yeah, and less than a month till our wedding. Woot!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Once again I have been absent for too long but I have a few good excuses. One is that my computer isn't working - am using T's laptop for now. The other is that our darling Ginger Ninja, Loki died and I haven't wanted to come on here and have to write about it. It happened two months ago and I still cant think about it without crying. He was our baby and we both loved him so very much.

As for the good things in life - well, wedding planning is going well but I am starting to get the panicky feeling like I havent done enough yet - we still have 3 months and 1 day to go but I am sure it will pass by before we know it.

The animals are all going well. We adopted a new kitten, Zac, from the RSPCA to try and fill the hole Loki left and to some extent he is succeeding. He is such a cute crazy ball of fluff and every bit as affectionate as Loki was (it must be a boy thing - my girl cats have all been snobs). The chookies are laying well and we got our first duck egg on monday, smack bang on midwinter as Mrs Duck Herder had said they would start laying. What smart ducks! Gerald, the drake, has grown up into a big handsome boy and is doing a good job of looking after the girls. The neighbors all like the birds and I have heard the bloke next to us quacking in response to them when he didnt realise I could hear him haha.

That is about it for now. Hope everyone is well.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Long Time Gone...

Finally, what everyone has been waiting for... piccies!

Well, here they are, the worlds cutest little vandals. They are well and truly settled in and getting along just fine with the cats. In fact, I think they take a little bit too much pleasure out of chasing Loki and watching him run away. Hehehe. Naughty ducks!

This was taken looking out the back door...they know where the food comes from!!!

The chooks are also going very well with one laying, and the other two not far behind. I think we will get our first eggs from them this week. In the meantime, we are loving the fresh delicious eggs from our one special girl... it doesnt get any fresher than cracking an egg into the fry pan, still warm from being laid!

Our very first egg on the left, next to a full sized egg from the shops.

The extension to the chook house went well and the ducks seem quite happy with their new abode. It took them a few days to get interested in it but I suspect the cooler weather helped encourage them to make the move away from their open-plan living area into the cosy new room!!!

The garden - that which is out the front, and therefore out of reach of clumsy duck feet and hungry bills - is still going fantastically giving me more tomatoes than I can eat, a tonne of spinach and a few other goodies, like butternut pumpkins. I will definately plant a tonne for tomatoes next year though as these have barely given me enough to can. I have put 4 jars up, preserving them in my brand new super duper electric Fowlers unit. SO much easier to use, and as a bonus there is no risk of breaking the new flat glass cooktop, unlike the old stove top preserver.

What else is news? Not much else going on... went up to Picton last weekend to my mums new place which is in a very pretty spot on a few acres. Had fun with the family and our niece and nephew and got a good bit of exercise carrying our 2 year old niece all the way up a very big steep hill and back down again!!! As well as being easter, it was also the first time I had seen the family since the engagement, PLUS it was my 25th birthday so there was much in the way of presents and feeling very spoilt. The drive was also much more tolerable, not having to go anywhere near the city and cutting a good hour and a half off the trip compared to where mum was previously living.

In closing I shall leave you with a very content Gabby, enjoying the sunshine and lush grass a few weeks ago :)

And Loki, knackered after a hard days work supervising me and guarding the birds!