Monday, 2 March 2015

Monthly nine - February 2015

Ughhh!  I feel a bit like sleeping beauty!  I've just woken after a couple of days of solid sleep.  I've caught a doozy of a cold.  I'm delighted no one else in the house is showing signs of catching it!  I hope you've been faring better.

I'm excited to be welcoming Autumn again.  Not only does the calendar announce this wonderful season, the days are changing also.  There's moisture in the early morning air and the sun is noticeably swinging around to it's winter position.  The birdsong is changing.  It's happier and more gentle.  Trilling birds and warbling magpies.  I think they are enjoying the weather as much as I am!
It's now time for reminiscing.  February.  The final month of summer. What did you achieve under the nine categories?  Thanks go to Christine at Slow Living Essentials for this great link-up.  Please join in and tell us about your month.....

We've been eating a lot of pizzas lately.  It's the perfect time of year because there's always something in the garden.  Tomatoes and silver beet are the most common.  More often than not, I have some home-made goats cheese to add a flavour boost.  That reminds me, I must make some more!  I love having goats cheese on hand for cooking.
Crumbles have also been common.  All sorts of crumbles.  The standard apple crumble is yummy but we've had lots of fruit in the house over February.  We've enjoyed plum crumble, peach crumble and a couple made with a fruit medley (my favourite).  My children tell me I'm a GREAT cook when I make desserts!


I purchased tomatoes from an orchard and set about making passata.  To be honest, I'm not sure how well I went.....   I had empty champagne bottles to preserve them in.  Champagne bottles are thicker and stronger than beer bottles.  The caps, that I thought were champagne caps, turned out to be beer bottle caps instead.  They didn't want to go on very well.  Hubby later showed me where the champagne ones were hidden but there weren't many left.  Arggh!  I hadn't purchased more because I was so sure the beer bottle tops were champagne ones.

I made enough tomato sauce to last us the year too.  Same issue.  Now I'm not sure what to do.  Do I just open each bottle as I need them and carefully inspect or should I throw them all out *sob* and start again?  Oh well.  Every year, every mistake, I come closer to being experienced at preserving....


I'm giving this category firmly to Hubby with a pat on the back!  He extended the goat pens.  We now have four pens in the shed where previously we had two.  Hubby made use of some posts we bought a while back for the purpose of espaliering.   Every thing else he used was scrounged!  Right down to the catches and hinges.  Our pens are a hodge podge of second hand materials, bush poles etc. and they are perfect for their purpose.  I love sitting out there and admiring his work.  I think it was in January that I came across a swing seat by the side of the road with a 'free' sign on it.  We snapped it up and it now sits out in the dairy.  We often all hang out together at milking time and the seat is the perfect spot to sit.

Same old, same old for this category.  I desperately need to make more soap though.  I've also found my hair a bit like straw because we've been going to the swimming pool so regularly.  Our pool is due to close for the season this weekend.  I will miss frolicking around with the kids.  Oh.. and hankies!  Lots of hankies!!  Much better than tissues.


I'm mainly producing tomatoes and eggplants now.  I have silver beet and a few beetroots growing too.  The tomato plants are looking very sad but are still managing to produce enough tomatoes to keep us going.  I'm overdue to sow my winter seeds.  I'm thinking I might just buy seedlings in the next week or so.

Hmmmm....  I pulled out a rag rug that I began years ago.  I spent a couple of hours working on it, which I really enjoyed, but haven't got back to it again.  Hopefully I will find more time this month.  I find with looking after the animals and teaching the children, there isn't a lot of leisure time left.

I've been looking for free sites to teach me about photography.  I have a dilemma here.  While I love my camera, it is not an SLR.  I can change shutter speeds and whatever else it is that you need to change.  (Well, I could if I knew how!)  However, it seems from all I've read that I need an SLR to learn proper photography but I'm reluctant to go out and buy one in case I just can't master the skills.  I don't learn well by reading.  I like to be shown a skill and to be able to ask questions.  Therefore I'm also reluctant to use a paid course online in case I just don't 'get it'.  I'll keep tossing all of this around in my head but I feel I've nearly reached a point where I just HAVE to learn!!  It's on my mind a lot.

I've applied to join a group which will be making decisions on our little community swimming pool.  As you know, the pool means a lot to our family and over the next few months decisions will be made about its future.  Apparently it runs at a large loss and it appears that most things are valued in monetary terms these days!  Personally I don't think you can place a value on a resource that provides rural kids with good, clean fun and also connects the community.

I've really enjoyed teaching my kids over the last month.  It was our first month of study for the year and I feel that (maybe?) we're finally developing a routine.  The children have been so cooperative with their work and seem to really enjoy using Reading Eggs and Skwirk.  I have found Skwirk has taken a lot of the pressure off me wondering what they should be learning next.

Pumpkin, in particular, has been enjoying writing stories and, while I was tucked up in bed, she read books to me.  There's nothing quite like listening to your children read!

I hope you can join in with the Monthly Nine.  I can't wait to read about your month!


Selina B said...

great post
love the new goat enclosure too, very resourceful!

thanx for sharing!

Cheryl said...

It really annoys me that public swimming pools are considered a liability these days. First and foremost they really are a public service whether they run at a loss or not.

So much money is wasted in so many other areas across councils (or is that just ours???) and for some reason when ever they cry poor the pools are the first thing to be affected!

I couldn't agree more the pools are there for the kids and families to give them something to do and somewhere to go!

Farmer Liz said...

I'll post and link mine on wednesday. You have so many interesting things going on, I don't want this comment to get too long, so I'll keep it brief! I was most interested in the rag rug, can you please post your method? I use crochet, but I like that tight weave you've achieved, looks lovely!

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

I really hope you can convince the council the pool is absolutely necessary. I suggest a petition old fashioned but they work. Drop a copy at the post office the library and all the businesses in town. If the schools use the pool get something in the school newsletter. In this day and age where kids are overweight more often than not I would thing a pool was an important community asset. If you now have the champagne caps I would reprocess the passata and tomato sauce. Better to invest the effort rather than loose the lot.
Love the rug and the new pens look great. I will get my post up tomorrow.

Linda said...

Thanks Selina. He's clever, isn't he!

Lol Cheryl! I wish you were part of the group! Sounds like you'd help me save the pool!

Liz, the rug is simply plaited and then sewn together. Look forward to your post.

Fiona, I agree that there are many reasons that the council should keep the pool open. It ties in with so many of their strategies around health, providing a good environment for at risk children etc. I'll see how the meetings transpire before implementing my plans B, C, D, E....... You never know. The outcome might be positive when they hear the community mood. Will enjoy reading your post today!

Kathy said...

I agree about the pool,depending on the size of the monetary 'loss' you might think about sponsorships, and renting out the pool for private parties in the evening, seems like there ought to be a way to keep such an important resource open. Love the rug, interested to see how it goes. Fall is one of my fave times of the year - enjoy!!

Cheryl said...

I've just linked up...hope it works??? Never done it before!

Suzie Simplelife said...

Hi Linda, love the rag rug..would love to know how you are creating tomatoes are also a bit late this year and scraggy looking...such a shame about your tomato sauce , fingers crossed they will be ok. Suzie x

Matt Grant said...

Pools make houses venerable. They exude class and elegance, as landmarks of a well-rounded home that provides leisure and relaxation, as well as shelter. Glad that you are a family that treasures the good old swimming pool. Thanks for sharing that, Linda! All the best!

Matt Grant @ Pool Service Perth

sustainablemum said...

So many wonderul things going on. It's seems odd doesn't it that slow living should equate to such busyness!

We have an outdoor pool in our village. It is open from the end of May to the end of August (it's too cold to open any more). The pool is entirely self funding and is really successful. A committee runs it, they raise money year round, they do get a little bit from the local parish council but most comes from fundraising, ticket sales and the shop which is staffed by volunteers. They pay a lifeguard. We use it nearly every day when it is open and it's usually busy with swimmers.

Linda said...

Katy, good new! We've had our first meeting. The pool will not close. We just need to is cuss ways to make it more efficient. So happy!

Suzie, will eventually get around to a rag rug post. So easy!

Matt Grant, yes we treasure the good old 'community' swimming pool.

Thanks for sharing your info Sustainablemum. Apparently ours used to be committee run before the council took it over. It's been interesting learning the pool's history.

Evi said...

Ahem, yeah, here I am, better late than never!!! I've been so bad at commenting or even reading here and am determined to 'focus' and pay a visit regularly to my fave blogs….or any blogs!
I'm so glad you are finding your groove with the home schooling - its a wonderful lifestyle but its also a hard task to take on. All the best, Linda, for your continued success. Hugs xx