Blogging. Why Blog?

I’ve had a couple of people ask why blog, isnt it just like keeping a journal? And if it is like keeping a journal, surely it’s better to just keep a journal and have all this stuff private?

True and true.

I’m not sure why I started blogging. I just really wanted to blog. I really wanted to blog for years before I actually did blog. Now I have had 3 blogs all up and blogged for about four years. This has been my main one. I don’t make money. In the blogging world my blog is teeny tiny. I do it mostly for myself and I get a buzz when like minded people connect with me (there have been a few of those over the years).

I love the pressure to write well…or at least write a little better than my sloppy, emotional journal writing tends to be.

I love to share the things I am passionate about. I also find blogging about these things allows me to back off of my hobby horse in real life a little bit. It’s already out there so I don’t need to bark about it so much (I notice this when I haven’t been blogging for a little while!).

I am slightly concerned about anonymity etc. I’m not sure what to do about this. I’m backing off having the personal photos online, but at the same time there are some absolutely beautiful people online who share – guts and all – everything! Photos galore, they have huge followings and say the community is 99.9% fabulous.

There are lots of mummies online and I was/am one of those. I found that blogging absolutely saved me when I was in the middle of the baby brain blues. It was my outlet, my chance to have some adult thoughts. It may die off as life changes a little, and that’s okay.

The internet is a virtual neighbourhood. People come and go. And what a neighbourhood, hey! You might as well be in the defining feature of our age, the great WWW!

I’ve found my blogging change to focus on what I am actually passionate about, in fact I think I found what I was passionate about through blogging, things like the environment, beautiful photos, real life, philosophy, sustainability, backyard farming, health, healthy eating, naturopathy, the DIY movement (but with a sustainable edge – please!), repatching, rehashing, remaking and fixing.

Blogging has been a fantastic tool for sorting out my interests, it does take a little time, it has helped me be consistent with taking lots of photos all of the time of my family and our life, and we all know that if you don’t have a photo of it then it hasn’t really happened. And I love that I have recorded part of our lives through the years.

Blogging can be a great thing, there’s lots of positivity online and there are great movements (such as the slow food movement) which are gaining momentum and a sense of community through online platforms.

I’m grateful that I’ve been able to do this if even for a small section of my life. I love to find great, new blogs that are along similar lines to mine. Do share if you’re getting one going!

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In the Garden #3

Ah, I love to study, but freedom from the books is good when I can return to the blog and talk about all those things which are nearest and dearest to me.

Our garden is growing steadily. We are finding spare patches of land with not much grass or scraggly tufts of flora and enthusiastically throwing poo and straw down for our babies (plants) to gobble right up.

gardening-mess planting-seeds cucumber-seedlings tomato-plants tomato-seedlings tomato-seedlings radish-seedlings Raised-bed-garden

horse-poo-garden

This is poo. Plants loves this crap. The best is poo (of a grass fed animal) that has been left to compost (sealed in a bag in the hot sun) for a few weeks/months. This is our potato patch.horse-poo zucchini-plant

Our zucchini are suffering a little, there is an abundance of slugs and snails on this property. In my last patch slaters were the main problem, they would chop the seedlings off at the base, deadibones. The place before that we had a real rodent problem (they ate my corn seeds the day I planted them) and it was a hassle keeping the hens out of the garden beds. So every patch has its problems and I’ve heard gardening referred to constant problem solving. The way to solve slug and snail problems (without bait…I should explain that one…see next paragraph) is with chickens! Can’t wait til the ladies come!

 

The reason I don’t like to use snail bait or roundup or other such chemicals is because of the delicate balance of all of nature’s systems. Birds are the best solution to snails. Birds also need snails to live. So if I am poisoning snails the birds are eating the snails the birds are then dying or getting ill. The birds then disappear and snailtown booms! This is the way with all natural systems. If we humans are interfering in nature there will be repercussions (probably bad ones because we don’t know what the hell we’re doing most of the time!). The best thing to do is to work with nature.

bean-seedling

The sunflowers are our current great success. We’ve grown these everywhere we’ve lived (mostly). They are Henry’s favourite. I probably wouldn’t be growing these if it weren’t for him (preferring roses and more rambling plants myself), but they bring the native parrots into the garden and I like that.sunflower-plant  sunflower-plant sunflower-plant nasturtium-seedlings snowpeas

tomato-seedling

So this (above and immediately below) are our front garden beds. We face directly north, great position for sun loving plants like sunflowers and tomatoes, in the Southern hemisphere.plant-boxes eggplant-plant

I am attempting to propagate a couple of fig cuttings which I got from pruning our fig tree. I’ll see how we go with this. I just successfully propagated seven hydrangeas – I’m really quite proud of that, it’s been the first thing I’ve ever propagated! Yippee.Fig-cutting capsicum-plant

The potatoes are chitting in the shed. Chitting is the scientific word for sprouting taters.seed-potatoes

And here’s our hand powered mower. Being the true greenies we are it is satisfying to mow our rental property lawn with this baby. It actually works a treat! Clackety clack.Non-petrol-mower

Seed potatoes
Seed potatoes

And it is good to have this one home. At times we’ve talked about selling this, and while it is noisy and has broken down twice I’m actually quite fond of the beast and so is Henry, so currently we’re keeping it.

 

I feel like we’ve come full circle. This home reminds me very much of our home near Canberra before we moved to Young to renovate our bus. It’s been a rough and tough journey since that time. Lots of ups and downs. Moving here was like moving back home. It’s the same but different. Better in many ways (new friends, better house, lovely church, cheaper rent, actually better time with friends and family in Canberra as the time is more concentrated and precious), not as great in some other ways (miss Canberra culture a fair bit, and really miss the excellent Farmers Markets, also being far from work is a juggle).

 

All in all, I love the homelife.

Honda-GB-50

The bees, the business and the bus.

Hello! Hello!

I’m still here, just so you know.

Been busy as a bee buzzing, speaking of which I was getting very worried as I hadn’t seen their furry faces around our garden much all Spring and then suddenly last week the large acacia tree in our backyard sprung into a glory of pink blossoms and their comforting buzzing sound descended on our garden.

I JUST LOVE THE BEES.

(Do you know that they are in danger – worldwide? Three causes: 1) differences in climate: our climate is changing rapidly worldwide. Shifts are occurring everywhere. Wild weather increases. The drought really knocked our bees around in Australia over the last several years. 2) The Varroa Destructor Mite. Sounds ominous, like something Dark Vader would have come up with. Well, turns out he did. This thing is deadly to the bees. It has basically eradicated the European Honeybee from America. The only way to control it is through chemical means, I’m guessing the bees aren’t too happy about that. Finally 3) Neonicotinoid pesticides. I’ve only learned about this one recently, but all the bee fans are talking about it. Basically – watch what chemicals you put in your garden!)

Some people scoff at this kind of thing. I say to you: If you are living on this earth then you have a responsibility to look after it. That’s all.

So…lately we went to the Living Green Festival at Albert Hall in Canberra, raising questions of population and veganism. I’ll review that (loosely) soon.

Henry built a chicken coop and, yes, I did take some photos and I will go through these with you soon too.

We are gardening like crazy (and loving it even more crazy!). I’ll take some pics and run through these too. Henry is a bit of a gardening wiz, turns out (actually I already knew that), except that I have to defend all of my flowering (“useless”) plants.

I am loving life here in Young. I’ve landed on my feet and to me it’s just an example of God’s grace. We’ve sunk a lot of time and money into our bus project and were getting a little burnt out, but all is well and if we are content and doing well then I am happy to take it as it comes.

A sound house, a place to garden and contribute to creation and a bunch of good friends makes for a wholesome life.

Can’t wait to get back here on this blog. I have one last bit of uni assessment on Friday then I will be back in the business!

Good night to you all. Sleep tight.

Luke & Kersti #1

It’s taken me a little while to post these. This day I was really thrilled and also super disappointed. You’ll see why.

We were invited to Henry’s past flatmate’s engagement party. We hadn’t met Kersti, but by all accounts she was pretty swell so we were really glad to be going. The band was going to play and they all had to get well before 6.30pm or something. Henry was working that day and I arrived with the kids to pick him up at 4.30pm…but the gig dragged on…and on. This is fairly typical for the entertainment industry.

Henry’s band mate called him to hassle him about getting there…uuh, not gonna happen, sorry. I can’t remember what time we were finally on the road but at about 6.30pm we got a text: “It’s a surprise wedding! Hurry!” Or something along those lines. Henry and I spent the next ten minutes cursing the gods of late gigs and disorganisation until we arrived at one of the most amazing houses we’ve ever been in, built from scratch many years ago, in the hills around Canberra, which are a mostly undiscovered treasure.

Despite the fact that we missed the wedding! (Mega disappointment) we partied on and were the last to leave. It kind of blew my mind, the number of people there who I hadn’t seen for too, too long. I madly tried to catch up with everyone and meanwhile took a few snaps. I also dragged bride and groom aside and took some photos on the jetty. (Thanks for obliging me you guys!)

Super photogenic people + beautiful setting, you can’t really go wrong, can you?

Stay tuned because I’ll be doing a photoshoot with these guys soon. I can’t wait!

Wild and Free Kids

I am an advocate of children running wild and free through nature (it’s the hippie in me – thanks for that gene, mum!) and I love to watch my kids doing that too. I’m pretty happy that we managed to find this tangle of trees and plants just a hop, skip and jump away from our own home and the kids and I love to go and hang out there.

I’ve done this every year, take my children to do a photo shoot. As a mum it’s fantastic to do this, I am able to see and appreciate their incredibly fast growth year by year, sometimes us mums can miss this happening before our very eyes! And as a photographer I love to do this too. I can take as much time as I want, control the conditions (choose the day, timing and clothing…that’s as far as I can go actually!) and experiment (my kids are pretty patient with the posing!).

Here are the results. Such a privilege to watch children explore and create in their own worlds, they have such amazingly creative brains when they are young. Get your kids outside! Find a place to get muddy! I recommend it!

Blessings.