Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Priorities and pizza

Firstly let me apologise.  I have left my camera at a friends place, therefore had to take photos on the iPad.  I blogged between the computer and the iPad.  'Twas a very messy business and hence there are some very weirdly sized photos!  Lol!
Lately, as I wander around doing my daily tasks, I find myself thinking about the year ahead.  I want it to be a good year, a smooth year.  I want to make sure I accomplish all the things that matter to me. Now I just need to decide what these things will be.
So....... As I knead the sour dough in the kitchen, I wonder.... how large a priority should cooking from scratch be in the coming year? After all, it reduces my family's environmental impact and ensures we eat less added nasties and more wholesome food. Yep. Cooking from scratch is pretty important!
As I encourage the children to do their bit by hanging out the washing, I wonder about the year ahead.  I wonder how we will manage our time so that the house feels more organised this year. It is in January on most years that you will find me plotting and planning improvements to our daily lives. I don't set resolutions but find it impossible not to reassess how we are progressing as the new year races toward February.  More often than not, I'm on the computer printing out charts and routines....  How much importance should I place on an organised house this year?
I walk through the garden inspecting the growth. Yes. Improvements could be made here. I should have another batch of compost cooking and... did I water the plants with comfrey tea on the weekend? Oops, I don't think I've done it for a few weeks.  Well it looks like I should allocate a bit more time to the garden.  It's very important. Our veggie garden provides us with cheap food, it provides nutrition, ensures we are't ingesting chemicals as we munch and even improves our world a little as we put carbon back into the soil and improve the water retention of our little patch of ground.
Then out to the orchard to check on the chookies.  I love this job.  There is something so peaceful about the orchard and the chook pen.  As my walking slows and my mind relaxes I begin to think about the fact that this is the year that we were going to expand our flock.  More eggs, birds for meat and a second breed for the new orchard.  The birds are beneficial to our place as they scratch, keep the insects down and provide fertiliser and we sure like the added benefits of eggs, meat and enjoyment! 
And of course there's time with the kids to consider.  The time to have a cuddle with a little person first thing in the morning.  Once he has fully woken he considers himself to grown-up to cuddle his mum.  I love giving the kids a cuddle in the morning.  I love to read books to them for fun and just to have time to listen to their (always fascinating) conversations.
I also like to have time to let the children cook with me.  It takes longer to have a young helper but it is so good for them to feel useful and participate in a necessary daily task which is so crucial to our lives.  We all need to eat and I think it's wonderful for our children to learn good basic cooking skills.
Another year of home schooling looms and if I'm honest, while I love having the children with me and truly believe it is a wonderful and natural way for the children to learn, there is a little knot of worry.  When I'm thinking of fun things to do with the children for lessons this year, I feel very enthusiastic.  There are so many fun things for them to learn.  However there is just that little issue of organisation and how to fit our lives around their schooling.  We've been doing some major reorganising of cupboards, toys etc. in the hopes it will make the year easier.

I would like to have time for craft this year.  I'm knitting Buddy Boy a jumper at the moment and I would really love to sew the girls some pyjamas or dresses.  We'll see how the year goes.

 And for all this thinking as I go through my days, I still haven't decided on a game plan.  Every single thing I do is important to me.  My life is good.  Everything I do is full of meaning; it is gentle, it is thoughtful and it is creative.  However, trying to put it all in to practice without letting any of it slide has me running around imitating a chook with its head cut off!!  I crave a smooth and peaceful year with a little more routine than last year.  There are two weeks left before I need to finalise my thoughts on how this year will look.  I need to take all these thoughts and dreams, work out a priority order, collate them and then form some kind of a loose routine to follow.  Phew!!  Do you find yourself reassessing like this in January?

Now for that pizza......

Sour dough pizza

I'm assuming here that you are already proficient at cooking sour dough bread.  Make up and knead your loaf but instead of putting it into a tin to rise (like when you make bread) put the dough into an oiled bowl.  Leave to double in size.  When the dough has risen, knead again for a minute, then cut in half.  With a rolling pin roll each piece to fit a pizza tray.  One lot of bread dough is enough for two generous pizzas.  Spread with toppings.  Be as inventive as you can with this.  Pizza is a great way to use veggies from the garden, leftovers or unusual ingredients that are lurking in the fridge.
We had some spaghetti bolognaise left over so I added it to a tin of tomatoes in a saucepan and cooked it down a little.  This became our pizza sauce.  I grated cheese over it, added sliced capsicum, sliced salad onion from the garden and some fetta that's been floating in the freezer for a few weeks. Pop in the oven at 200c for about 20 minutes or until bottom is crisp and top nicely melted. It was delicious!  Truly, I promise!

Don't forget to let me know what unusual combinations you come up with.


Busy mum of 3 said...

Phew! When I started reading this post, I got the sinking feeling you were going to say you were doing away with blogging, you know to have more time for the other stuff, I'm glad your not!

I read a blog called flood proof mum, and she has a word that sums up what she wants her year to be, I've decided mine is "organise"! Says it all really!

Linda said...

Whoops! Sorry Busy Mum! This post was worse than I thought - I didn't realise I'd left all those photos floating at the bottom, fixed now.

Hmmm. Organise. I think you're feeling like me this year. Trouble is I'm not sure how I'm going to achieve 'organised'! I'll check out Flood Proof Mum to see if she has the answers for me. Lol!

Busy mum of 3 said...

Me either Linda, but I remember a midwife teaching me how to bath my first baby, and she said, there is no right or wrong way to do it, as long as the baby comes out a bit cleaner than when it went in!

I think the same applies to being organised!

As long as I'm a bit more organised at the end of the year than I was at the start, it's all good, no matter how I get there! LOL

Anonymous said...

check out the country blossom blog, she is a homeschool mum also with 3 kids. she seems to have great ideas for organising her childrens lessons and her life is super busy also you may find it helpful
have a great year
green Gran

Cheryl said...

PS Thought you might like to know, I'm venturing back into the blogoshere!

Kathy said...

I am like you in that at the beginning of the year I want to think about how we can make our lives more organized and meaningful. I don't have half your work load and mine,aren't home schooled however I do feel overwhelmed with the whole year starting off with homework after a long day at school. Decluttering and organize are my priorities this year. Good luck with it all. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

Evi said...

Oh yes Linda, I have EXACTLY the same thoughts and challenges every January! I still haven't worked out how to get it all done although every year I make loads of lists, rosters and routines. This year will be my easiest ever home education load with only two children to work with, so I'm hoping I can fit in some more gardening, more creativity and the possibility of some sort of business course for myself. Sounds too much already!!!
But however it all works out, I have learnt that the best way to get at least some of my intentions happening is to keep humour and a bit of leeway in my days!
All the very best for a happy 2014…Evi

Linda said...

Thanks for the tip Green Gran. I had a look and it's a great blog. I'll go back and have a proper read sometime this week. I think it will be very useful!

Woo Hoo Cheryl! I'll visit soon!!

Kathy, I used to hate that after school time. It was frantically busy! Good luck with your sorting.

Evi, that does sound like a big load. I was counting on you for the answers!! Humour? Must try that!

Linda said...

Hmmm. I couldn't link to your blog through your profile Cheryl!

rabidlittlehippy said...

We're embarking on our first year of homeschooling this year with 3 kids although only 1 is of school age. Jas is 5 but his little sister (4) wants to play homeschools as she calls it too. With a 2yo as well I am all but literally quaking in my boots (that is if I found time to don them this morning, unless you count my uggs ;) )