Tuesday, 16 June 2015


Ah yes... winter!  It has slowly become my favourite season.  As long as we have a fire burning in the slow combustion stove, I'm in heaven.

Occasionally Hubby gets behind with the wood and this is not a happy home at those times.  Let's not dwell on that!  He's played catchup and the wood fire is burning brightly.   It's the main reason I love winter so much.  The fire lends itself to stocks, porridge, kettles and warming soups.  There are also no bushfires to beware, no snakes where children play and a cosy environment in the house.  I'll let you have a little laugh at my best effort at photography in the dark.  I was trying really hard!  Honest!
We've been working hard outside recently.  We're really happy with how it's all going.  We have bought a drake for our lovely Matilda and they seem to be in love.  I really enjoy watching them wander around the yard together.  They make such lovely, gentle noises.  They are also *ahem* doing 'the do' so with a bit of luck we might see ducklings in Spring.
We have chickens growing inside under a heat lamp.  We are hoping to get a decent amount of eggs later in the year.  We've bought Isa Brown chooks because they lay so well.  The rest of my chooks are heritage dual breeds but they don't lay as many eggs as the Isa's.
Yesterday, Hubby and I summoned the courage to have another rooster dispatching session.  It was well and truly time.  We had five excess roosters for this purpose but were procrastinating because the process requires a huge amount of emotional energy for us.  In the meantime, we spent far more than we needed on feeding them unnecessarily.  We were pleased to find that it wasn't as hard as we expected and we are getting much faster at it each time we've had a day of dispatching.  I actually felt a real sense of achievement and am looking forward to the next time.

The cold weather makes it easy to work outside.  Yesterday I shovelled compost onto the garden without breaking a sweat!  How wonderful to work hard and then come inside to the warmth, the smell of stock simmering on the fire (chicken stock of course), and potter in the kitchen.  I've even picked up some knitting recently.  It just feels right at this time of year.  In spring, summer and autumn, I feel lazy and guilty if I stop and knit.  Life is just too busy in those seasons.
I certainly rug up for the outside hours.  I peeled off my layers in the bathroom one evening recently and was amazed at how many items of clothing I'd managed to get on my body.  The pile of clothes was HUGE!

I've been lucky enough to get a break from the children too.  My parents have had them to stay for two days.  I find rest is really important to me now that my children and I are always together.  As much as I love them, the constant responsibility and the neverending talking make me tired.  Feeling rested restores my energy.

The only downside of our current winter is the lack of rain.  If we don't get a reasonable amount in the next couple of days, I will need to order water.  With all the animals requiring water, as well as my family, it's hard to keep up.  We still have a shed waiting to be built on that mental list of jobs I carry wherever I go.  It will provide greater water catchment as well as a good workplace.  We also need to attend to a leak in our spare tank before we can catch more water.
So all in all, I feel good right now.  I feel like we are really on track with the farm, we're happy as a family with the way we are living and spending our time.  Our days begin and end with animal care. Sandwiched between these chores are home learning, then gardening or farm work, sometimes library visits or trips to buy animal feed.  Finally, soon after night falls, we sit and enjoy a meal together while the children entertain us with chatter and silliness and I bask in the satisfied glow of a day well lived.


Caro said...

Well done with those roosters Linda- I really admire you for that!

Chris said...

Thanks for sharing. I will admire your heater and feel warm, in the absence of our own lovely hearth. Glad you got some recuperating time. Winter is definitely the time to surrender to slow things. :)

Anne@ArtyGreen in Paradise said...

Yes there's nothing like the comfort of a home fire burning in Winter. That's a worry about the water though at this time of the year. You need those breaks from the kids so you can appreciate them all over again. Cheers.

Kathy said...

Always so fun to read about those who are slowing down and snuggling up at the same time we are peeling off layers and working outside in the heat, and letting the garden dictate our activity schedule! Sounds as though things are going well and it certainly looks that way! Enjoy, the crazy days will return-they always do! :)

Cheryl said...

That post almost makes me like winter :)
I know your life is busy but you sound so so happy....at that is more precious than anything.

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Going into summer here, so I got a bit of a shock from your post! I was earthing up potatoes yesterday in the heat and wished it was a winter job. Re. the cockerels, we are in exactly that situation at the moment. I'm feeding five young cockerels because we haven't got around to dispatching them (it gets more difficult for us to do each year for some reason) People ask "how could you?!" but they need to see how cruel cockerels can be to each other.
I know what you mean about knitting in the summer, I get around that by knitting when I finally sit down at night when it is too dark to do anything else.
Gill in the UK

narf7 said...

I can feel the warmth coming off your stove. We have "Brunhilda". She is an Aussie made wood burning stove that keeps us warm, cooks our food, heats our water and makes our house feel like a home all through our very long winter period here in Tassie. I love her more than almost anything in winter :). Steve (husband) just said that you sound like us. I crochet rather than knit but we appear to share a common ethos. We have to dispatch a rooster. We saw 3 dumped roosters on the side of the road the other day. They are still there 3 days later. Part of keeping animals means having to face up to unpleasant things like dispatching roosters. I am vegan but I hold the rooster so that Steve can dispatch it. It isn't kind to release animals that are domesticated into the bush because people can't face up to killing them. Living in the country certainly makes you aware of your responsibilities doesn't it. Thank you for another lovely post :)

Linda said...

Thanks Caro. As you know, it's been hard work but we're getting there.

Hi Chris, I hooe you're keeping snuggly regardless. Yes winter is the time for slowing.

Anne, we've had a bit of rain over the last day and more predicted. I'm hoping we can hold out!

Kathy, enjoy your gardening! As for the crazy days, la la la la - I'm not listening! I'm going to pretend life will stay this way forever!

Cheryl, how can you not love winter? Btw did you receive your leeks? If they don't get there soon, they'll be dying!

Gill, you're right! All the summer gardening jobs would be much better done in winter for comforts sake! I'm too tired to knit in the evenings. I don't know how you find so much energy!

Hi Narf, brunhilda sounds gorgeous. What type is she? How cruel to just dump roosters. The ultimate in self centredness.

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Linda I think you need to make fixing that tank to the top of your to do list. I am sure the cost of repairs will pay itself off quickly if you are buying water on a regular basis. Good on you for persevering with dispatching roosters. I too found that doing it more often made it easier.