Friday, April 25, 2008

Simple living

Rhonda Jean of has asked all her readers to write about living a simple life.

Steve, myself and our two cats Toby and Lil Pud, live on a 675 square metre suburban block.

We're trying to live a simple life and are taking this journey one baby step at a time.

To start this journey I have taken most of the convenience out of our lives. When I cook/bake, I do it from scratch. I always used bottles packets and sachets to cook with thinking this was saving time and it tasted good. Then I started to look at what was in these convenience foods and I was astounded by what I found in them that wasn't healthy. I now have complete control over what we eat and what things we put into our bodies. I bake bread daily, (in a machine), I use the slow cooker at least 3 times a week, this is so convenient when you work full time plus some. I come home in the afternoon and dinner is not only cooked but the house smells wonderful.

We have also taken dining out every other day out of our lives, this took a bit of getting use to but I now prefer to stay in and cook for friends. If is far more peaceful and cheaper than a noisy restaurant.

A couple of years ago I discovered the farmers markets at Warwick Farm. I haven't bought fruit and vegetables anywhere else since if I can help it. The vegetables are so fresh and taste like they should, not like they have been in cold storage for weeks before they make the shelves. The carrots still have green tops on them and the sweet corn is so sweet and fresh.

We have turned going to the markets on Saturday Morning into a special outing that we look forward too, not a weekly chore. We have a nice coffee and something nice for breakfast.

I recycle, we have started growing our own vegetables, we collect water when it rains in 3, 200 lt drums, I dry my washing outside on the line, and now I think before I buy something new. I look in the op shops to see if I can recycle something from there, (have found some treasures).

I would love to have my own chooks but still talkingSteve into it. I'm sure I will get there eventually.

We will just continue to take baby steps towards simple living.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's a Cats Life

In my next life I want to be a cat. Not just any type of cat but a pampered spoilt cat who gets to lie around all day and do nothing much except think about where his next meal in coming from.
This is Toby getting ready for a day of snoozing on our bed, and on the new quilt my MIL made, he just loves our new quilt he thinks he owns it.

As soon as I had it on the bed he was up on it getting ready to have a snooze. This morning when I left for work he was curled up on the beanbag in the lounge room. I went home to get lunch and he popped his head out of the beanbag as if to say "Oh it's only you" then put the head back down and proceeded to go back to sleep.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Still Raining ... not complaining

It is still raining in Sydney Town, the morning temperatures are dropping as well. This morning it is a little cooler. This is my favourite time of the year, Autumn and winter. I just love both these seasons, I love Spring as well but not as much as Autumn and Winter. I'm not a fan of summer at all too hot, although, this summer was really mild quite bearable, bring on more summers like 2007/2008. It will be very interesting what type of winter we are going to have. I'm putting money on a very cold one.

Yesterday I planted celery, borage, spinach, rocket and some marigolds, the marigolds looks lovely in amongst all the green leaves of the veges. I also planted some cornflower seeds, these are to entice bees and other lovely bugs too our garden. The cabbages are coming along fine one of them is already starting to form a heart, it's so wonderful to watch. We are already starting to harvest some of the salad greens we have growing in the garden. They were just great on sandwiches last week.

We have a new grower at the local Farmers Market, he has the most wonderful tomatoes around, I have had a couple for brekky this morning with some lovely farm fresh scrambled eggs, it was divine. Now I'm working on Steve about some chickens, I would love to have some chooks so we could eat our own farm fresh eggs, we would then know what they are being fed as well. I will take some photos of our farmers market and post them here next week.

I really should post more often then I wouldn't have to ramble on like this.

The Pak choy and the Chinese cabbage we planted out last week have doubled in size. It won't belong before we are eating them, Mmmm I can taste those stirfries already.

Spent Saturday night on my lonesome, Steve went to a Tuff Truck event with a mate that was being held at Singleton, I spent the night doing some sewing, I haven't had the sewing machine out for years so I'm trying to brush up on my skills. Sewing is a skill that I have let go over the years but to be self sufficient I will need this skill. I have been practicing with some undies, Bonds have stopped making the undies I love so I have to make my own, not ready for "cottontails" yet. Well I cut the pattern out, and thought these look huge, well they are, two people my size could fit into them, will need to do some pattern adjusting, another skill that I need to brush up on. Well the time has come to get ready for work. Tune in tomorrow..........

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Rain Glourious Rain

I just love the rain, there is such a feeling of cleanliness when it is raining. The Veges are just enjoying the nice soaking. It can stop for a bit now and let the water soak into the earth otherwise the plants will be floating away. All the water drums are filling up.

Here is the cabbage and broccoli enjoying the rain. Followed by the lemon tree and the snowpeas.

As I write the rest of this entry the sun has come out and it is a glorious day in Sydney. They are still forcasting rain for the rest of the week, This will be good and the plants should flourish and start to really take off.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Great Weekend

Have had a very busy weekend, Farmers market as usual on Saturday, it is our special Saturday morning outing now. Brekky, shopping then home. Went out to dinner with some friends on Saturday night it was great to catch up, haven't caught up since christmas.

Sunday we did some more garden work, planted more snowpeas, pak choy and chinese cabbage are now in the ground. Have started to have some lettuce leaves of our lettuces in our salad, they are so lovely and crunchy, this is just the start of eating from our own backyard. I know it is going to take patients but the wait will be worth it, lovely fresh produce from our own garden. Just have to keep Lil Pud one of our much loved cats out of the garden. I am trying Pepper at the moment.

The fingernails are starting to look a little worse for wear but that is a sacarfice I'm willing to make for our own fresh produce.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Cold Winds have arrived

The wind was really bad today. We moved the babies (seedling) in under cover so they wouldn't get blown over and destroy weeks of work. We now have pak choy, chinese cabbage more snowpeas a,d basil and dill ready to be planted out into the garden. The parsnips and turnips are now putting their heads up above the soil to see what the world is like. Will need to thin the parsnips out real soon.

Steve has planted some asparagus seeds today. We know they are going to take a long time from seed but we can't find a plant anywhere. We will just have to be patient with this one.

have spent a little more time reading about Peak Oil. I don't know what I believe, I still need to do more research. It is very scarey. I know the world Oil supply isn't finite so will eventually run out. I have started refreshing some of the skills that I have let go due to the easy life we are having at the moment, like sewing, knitting, baking, and gardening (never really been a gardener but I'm willing to learn all that I can). I am a avid reader so I have armed myself with all the books on organic gardening permaculture etc. thatI can find in the local library and am trying to devour them as fast as I can. we have been planning to buy property and move to the country for a couple of years, the time is just not right at the moment, we have other comittments, but when these committments are done we will be out of the big smoke for ever.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Silver Anniversary

Well today Steve and I have been married 25 years. Boy does time go fast. It doesn't seem like yesterday but it doesn't seem like 25 years either. Going out for dinner tonight to celebrate nice seafood buffet, on fly buy points wouldn't pay big money anymore not like we use to, and we already have these points so we may as well usethem.

Got a load of soil today (from Flowerpower) to start work on the new garden on the weekend. We are going to plant a small batch of winter vegetables at Steve's parents place and then prepare more beds for planting in the Spring. We are going to give "no dig gardening" a go, the soil is really poor so it needs alot of help. We will more than likely plant "green manure" to help it along and to add some nutrients to a garden bed that has been over gardened and nothing added back to it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Oh My Goodness (Peak Oil)

I have just started reading "Choosing Eden" by Adrienne Langman. This is a very thought provoking book. It has made me look at life into the future very differently. Now I know we have to change the way we are doing things and be prepared for when this happens. It's not a case of if it happens but when it happens and I think we all should be starting to make changes in our life that will make the transition into a world were oil is sooooo expensive and beyond the reach of the average person easier.

Lowering our debt is the first place to start. While we have big debt over our heads we aren't free to do what we want. There will be no more frivilous spending at "The Simple Green House" all the money that is spent from now on will be to prepare us for the not so smooth future.