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.
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!