Monday, 22 April 2013


I was on a high as I dropped the kids at school this morning.  I think I practically skipped out of the gate on my way home.

I have a couple of reasons to feel so happily excited, not the least being that it is a wonderfully, grey drizzly day.  The first we've had for ages.  It's been so dry around here that we are back to the situation we were in at the end of the last drought!  But today it rains!!!!
Another cause of my bubbling excitement is knowing that in the next day or two we will have a new little person in the world!   You may recall I became involved in a mentoring program for young mum's.  Well my friend is going to have her baby very, very soon.  I can't wait to meet him!

I've been madly organising a gift that I hope she and her baby will like but that fits in with my principles for sustainable gift giving.  Today I received two little beanies that I ordered from Christine at Slow Living Essentials.  She made these for me as a custom order.  They are amazing and I can't recommend her store enough!  Just go to her blog and click the Sweet Peeps button in the side bar. 

So I am now prepared.  I have two handspun and knitted beanies and a stuffed rabbit that I made last week.

I stuffed the bunny with sheep wool and some dried lavender

Hubby and I had a wonderful weekend.  We went to an engagement party.  A lovely friend that I met at my permaculture design course (three and a half years ago) is engaged to a very nice man.  It was so refreshing to have open conversation with real people (as opposed to bloggy friends) about our lives and what we are trying to achieve here at our place.  I guess we come at climate change from two angles in our family.  We try to reduce our carbon footprint and we also try to prepare for an uncertain future.  It's a damn hard, slow process due to lack of planning before we built our home, still living in a consumerist world and because it takes time to change day to day living. 
At the party I chatted with another friend about some preparations I would like to make regarding health concerns.  I have an idea floating in my head about making a medicinal herb garden.  (Must get on to it)  He was telling me about a book he has which give many herbal and aromatherapy remedies that can be used if medical care is not accessible.  The book was written by the people who run the Doom and Bloom website.  I haven't really checked it out yet but I'm certainly interested in their book!  I need to listen to a couple of their podcasts.
I've been using some herbal and aromatherapy remedies with my children for years and I'm often amazed to find they can be more efficient than medication from the chemist.  I'm glad we spoke about health care on the weekend because it's brought my buried thoughts to the front of my mind.  I will be bringing out my herbal books soon and starting to do some research.
Now please don't think reducing our energy usage or preparing for times of trouble is a depressing subject.  Far from it!  Today's efforts at reducing our family's carbon footprint has meant making up a sour dough sponge and placing it in front of the fire.
Then I fed the chooks and geese, collected eggs and ground some wheat so that I could make the kids some muesli bars for school snacks.  I've saved any petrol being used to cart eggs from elsewhere, my wheat is also fairly local (it's certainly healthier than the dead flour in the supermarkets!) and I have produced no packaging.
I've washed up the bottles for the ginger beer that we will make later in the day.  I had a brekky of tomato and scrambled eggs on toast and went through my seeds to find some to plant this afternoon.  After a quick wipe down of the bathroom and a sweep of the kitchen floor, I sat to eat one of the freshly cooked bars and to write this post in front of the fire.
 This afternoon I will plant seeds and make the ginger beer and tomorrow a friend is coming over to see how I make bread and soap.  I'm really looking forward to working together with a friend.  Shhhh!  Don't tell her, but...... I may even see if she'll help me attack my mountain of folding while the bread rises.

So it's not really so scary, is it?  In the process of addressing climate change and peak oil today, I have created a warm and cosy atmosphere, my home smells delicious and I've enjoyed all my tasks.  The terms 'climate change' and 'peak oil' strike fear into so many people's hearts but the reality is that working towards any energy descent is a lovely way to spend your days.  Life feels more real and revolves around food and comfort, community and family.

Do you enjoy your journey towards energy descent and all that it entails? Or are you still just pondering where to start?  Or maybe like Richard at Abdallah House you are much further along the path.......  Richard and his family have a wonderfully sustainable lifestyle!


Dani said...

Linda - What you are doing, and achieving, is amazing. And WHAT an example you are giving to your children. The lifestyle you are exposing them to will remain with them forever, and will, I'm more than sure, dictate their futures on this planet in a very positive light.

Tracey said...

Yes, I enjoy our journey too. I love it every day, even though, as you say, it's hard work, especially when retrofitting it into your life (we are too).

I'm keen to hear about your wheat grinding. It's one of my thought bubbles that keeps coming up. Where do you buy your wheat (and how much does it cost? Cost is a factor) and what grinder do you use? Do you recommend it? I keep thinking of the idea of reducing the packaging and providing healthier bread, pasta and snacks, but I think I need advice from a real person....

Oh, and how nice is the rain?!?!

Kim said...

I really really enjoyed this post , Linda. I know the feeling of rain coming and wanting to get seedlings into the garden . Also love those beanies. I got some custom beanies from Christine done for the farm stay and they are just beautiful-I keep going in and picking them up wondering how she manages to do such beautiful handiwork with all the other things she does in the garden! I also want to know more about your wheat grinding - I grew spelt as an experiment and then gave it to the chooks and goats .

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Linda I often feel like I am a dee in the headlights or running on a treadmill where I can never get to the end and that I have not done enough. I also worry about when we move to NZ and how we will be starting from scratch, just a big 5 acre paddock with grass not even a tree. I know I do a lot but I always feel I should do more.

I have been so busy lately and have missed your blog, I am happy that I now have the time again.

Ali M said...

good post and a great reminder. Also I have bought from Slow living essentials and recommend to all....

Christine said...

Linda, you are SO inspiring!! I am really interested to hear more about your wheat grinding too. Also the herbal remedies..this has been something on my mind lately, although there seems to be so much to learn and it's a little daunting knowing just where to start. Definitely something to set time aside for in the future.
Relieved to hear the post was on time too! Do keep us updated on your friend - your bunny is TOO adorable!! Both mum and bub lucky to have a friend in you. :)

Linda said...

Dani, thank you. I agree that our kids learn by example. I can already see it in the older girls.

Tracey I can see by your blog how much you are enjoying your journey. Sorry for the delay in replying but I had already commented. Don't know where it went! I will post on the wheat mill because it's too long for a comment.

Kim I remember your beanie well! It's gorgeous. I've never tried any grains but wheat. I'll get adventurous one day! I like the idea of spelt but apparently it's hard to remove the husk if you home grow it.

Fiona I would imagine picking up and starting again would be quite stressful when you have a lifestyle that is so tied in with the place you are living. Still I am looking forward to watching you progress when you move. You have a lot of skills and knowledge behind you to use at the new place.

Ali, Doesn't Christine do a wonderful job! I loved my purchase!

Hi Christine, yes I was amazed at how quickly it arrived. It arrived Monday and a beautiful little boy arrived the following Tuesday!!! He's just gorgeous! Yes I should blog about some remedies. I've only got a couple but they're great!