Apr 20, 2012

Holiday break photo essay

Well, every holidays I get about two thirds through and I am filled with the dread of "unfinished school holiday projects"... Day 1 of the new term looms (though naturally this is a pretty flexible start date around here : ) and I feel like I haven't done enough, the girls are still too tired, the pile of "to-dos" is undone, the laundry has exploded, what exercise plan? blah blah blah. 

Then IT happens - you wake up one morning, and magically everyone is feeling good and relaxed. Board games come out, spontaneous performances occur, knitting projects are suddenly nearly completed and it is all going to be okay after all.

Since homeschooling, I have really come to appreciate these breaks - mental health breaks more than anything - where everyone just lets go of the rush of organised activities, and even mum gets to dig into the sewing and craft project pile and daydream. 

Phew. Holidays are just the right length aren't they (or is it that one just times the exhaustion and dullness to end in plenty of time to do good stuff at the end?).

I think we are going to make it!

Here is what our term break is looking like right now...

Beach hideouts to build with best buddies...
while Mike contemplates Uncanny Valley

(thanks Amber for this shot : )

making dragons with Ruth Park at Tweed Gallery.
Then recreating an old family favourite photo from 5 and a half years ago:

That is our dear cousin on the left in 2006 - with November running as always, July tiny on the right...

Times have changed! 

As have some old favourite pieces of clothing - re-crafted this holidays into bags (seen here with very funny faces 3.5 years ago), a long term project for mama (read: procrastination project)...and more ambitious than our t'shirt shopping bags inspired by "Sewing School"...

That old Veronica's jacket now a bag for Cub Scout camps and general use:

and the sweetest "made by Auntie" Hello Kitty dress has now been refashioned into a bag for July; shown here with some marbled eggs from Easter.

A couple of firsts - first games of netball, first ever Scrabble, first ever Connect 4...

and a lot of laughing - here is July with her cautionary tale "Do not chew the end of your red water-colour pencil" LOL

Next week we are back into the thick of it - I have even done a term plan (wow - must have been a relaxing break after all) he he. 
Ahem - ignore those fingers there, I guess she is wishing for world peace....

What did you do on your holidays?

Apr 12, 2012

Feeling weedy?

This is not going to be a "pretty" post...other than this first photo anyway. 

After months of rain and pressing my nose to the window wishing for Autumn sunshine, it became emotionally difficult even to don my leaky gumboots and squelch out to the vegetable garden. 

Weeds took over the paths once again, filled with burr-filled weed Cobbler's Peg (also known as the ironically named "Farmers' Friend"). Occasionally we would push our way through to harvest blackberries, pull carrots, find the random last potato, but boy was it sad down there.

I love to garden: I like the person I am when I am gardening - busy head full of plans of seasons and soil treatments, menu ideas prompting seed purchases, hands dirty and muscles aching happily.

I do not like to garden in the rain. I also know it is bad for wet clay soils to be dug or walked on, so there is a good "excuse" for taking outside time on our long driveway or around the house...and yet...

I feel guilty and lazy when I am not gardening : (

Sun at last
When the rain finally stopped 5 days ago, Mike and I were ready. We pulled weeds higher than he was (that is VERY tall), brought the chickens in to free range and turn soil over (while the girls dug to find weeds and grasshoppers to feed the chookies). Our huge grassed area was mown by the grass hero (Mike), edges whippersnipped, even the small tractor was un-bogged from the rainforest (it really has been wet - did I mention that?).

Things are looking up.
This is a work in progress, so another 3 days in the garden will have it all picture perfect if the weather holds. 

Feeling weedy?
But it got me thinking about other things and how weeds in your garden are a good metaphor for the way I feel at the moment. 

For example, I am still sorting through gut health and sorting supplements for the family - and when I go looking for information it is all very, well, weedy. Overwhelming useless stuff crowding out the good stuff. 

We have started planning a trip to Europe. More overcrowding of information. World wide weeds?

As usual, the solution is get your hands dirty
So, I am going to try and use my garden skills in the rest of the chaotic bits. Get some plans on paper, discuss ideas with Mike and only THEN research. Have the bed READY for seedlings before you buy them. Tackle one area at a time. Do it properly and beat the weedy blues.

Hope the sun is shining on you and your garden wherever you are right now.

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