Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Wow! What a few weeks it has been.

Mr Homespun was unable to work for several weeks due to a cave in at the mine he was working at. During that time off he developed numbness and loss of strength in his hands so it was off to the doctor's, then the neurologist's and finally the surgeon. As a result he had surgery to one hand a couple of weeks ago and will have surgery on the other sometime down the track. And of course, right when he had the surgery was when work was to go back.

In the meantime our long time wish of buying acreage was back on our minds, driving a large part of the region searching for the perfect property (something we do on and off but never find anything). We found a fantastic block in a sleepy little village not far from Miss 14's school and made an offer. Unfortunately the vendor wanted a ridiculous amount and wasn't prepared to budge. So we let it go.

And what happened three days later?

THE perfect property went on the market. It is even closer than the last one, twice the size, and already has a liveable house on it. And did I mention it was cheaper? No? Well what about three doors from Mr Homespun's sister (who also happens to be my bestie)?

So the last few weeks have been full of sleepless nights and appointments to try and secure it. Until finally just this week... it is all ours!

Now we are dreaming of big vegie gardens and orchards. More chooks. Cousins close by for the kids to play with. Extensions to the existing house and all that comes with that. Maybe a roadside stall later down the track.

What started as a far away dream all those years ago has come to fruition.

And we are terribly excited.



Wednesday, 27 November 2013

It's been a while, but I haven't had much to say. Lots of things going on as is the norm at this time of the year, with dance concerts and drama performances along with school exams. And lots of other things that I may share later down the track (don't want to jinx myself).

After many months with little to no rain the last few weeks have brought many downpours and storms. As a result the gardens are flourishing.

So in just 6 weeks our vegie garden has gone from this:

to this:

And the silverbeet in the photo now looks like this:

possibly the biggest silverbeet we have ever grown! Monstrous!

Love spring!



Sunday, 13 October 2013

I know I haven't been around much lately, but here's a little of what we have been up to:
  • Having the front lawn relaid - this meant digging up the old (which we got someone to do) and then shovelling 28 tonnes of dirt and spreading it out evenly, done with shovels and wheelbarrows. In just 2 days. Did I mention shovels? Yes? Well did I mention blisters?
  • School holidays - just the usual dentists appointments, trips to the cinemas and the odd One Direction concert (that last bit is whispered because if they hear me say it they might start screaming, yes I have a teen and a tween!).
  • Working (not much) on my Etsy shop and considering (a lot) whether to change to Zibbet after the recent announcements by Etsy. And after realising that Zibbet is an Australian company I am even more convinced that this could be the best option for me.
  • Getting the summer veges started in the greenhouse.
  • Buying new bedroom furniture for Miss 14 who is growing way too quickly in her mama's opinion.
  • And celebrating Mr Homespun's birthday and our wedding anniversary.
What have you been up to?


Life is so much better in stereo

Friday, 27 September 2013

Because now I can hear!! With my left ear that is. My right ear can hear just fine, but it's quite amazing how many sounds I can now hear that I couldn't before.

Admittedly I can't hear perfectly, we are still tweaking the settings and I'm not sure we will ever get it 'perfect', but it's still enough to put a smile on my face each morning when I pop it in.


91 hours

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Romeo spent last week resting and, well, not much else really. Except for a paralysis tick scare and subsequently another trip to the vet for some tick serum. On a side note did you know the tick serum is meant for dogs and can kill cats? Apparently there is nothing for cats, just another injection to help prevent the reactions common in cats.

The vet was worried because Romeo had hardly eaten since the previous vet visit and warned if he hadn't started eating normally by the next day he would need to be admitted to hospital. Thankfully the injection that prevents reactions to the tick serum also improves the appetite so Romeo had a lovely meal of chicken that night and a little the next morning, but very little on Friday night so we were prepared to have to take him back on Saturday.

Until he scampered.

Down a drain.

And didn't come back.

There were lots of tears, some from the girls but most from me. Lots of calling down the drain (what the neighbours thought of us, I don't know). And soon we were resigned to the idea that perhaps he took off because he knew his time was up. The vet had warned the internal damage may have been worse than originally suspected.

And then at 1 am on Wednesday morning came a noise outside. Not a Romeo sounding noise, but I had been up a gazillion times every night since he disappeared so I got up again expecting to be disappointed yet again.

But there he was, looking extremely scrawny and tired. Tears again but this time of relief.

So Romeo spent last night at the vet's, it appears with the accident, the tick and the running away his poor little kidneys are a little stressed. Understandably, I think.

Cheeky little bugger!


An unpleasant surprise

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

In all the excitement (of the bad kind) of Romeo's accident it's been easy to put something else that occurred on Monday to the back of my mind. And whilst I am still worried about Romeo, the other is starting to occupy my thoughts a little more. You see on Monday I also had a hearing test, knowing I have had difficulty hearing with my left ear for a few years due to otosclerosis. I also had a test around 3 years ago but wasn't too bothered by the results.

My bad.

Because it turns out that the 'hearing difficulty' is actually full on hearing loss.

Profound hearing loss.

Yep, I am almost totally deaf in the left ear. Anything quieter than a rock concert is beyond my ability to hear. So much so, that there was only one hearing aid that gives me any chance of keeping up with what will no doubt be a further deterioration in what little hearing I have left.

So next Monday I will go and try out the aid, and my fingers are tightly crossed that it works. I kind of thought of a hearing aid as my safety net, something that I would get later down the track when my hearing got really bad. Little did I know, I almost missed that completely.

The whole thing has left me quite shattered. Still, I'm sure it won't be long until my inner optimist kicks back in and I'll be back to my happy self.


One unhappy kitty...

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Sunday night Romeo wasn't home for dinner.

So I called.

And called.

And finally he turned up, limping and looking sorry for himself.

So off to the vet we went yesterday, only to find Mr Romeo had got himself hit by a car or some other trauma. He has a broken foot and bleeding around the lungs and heart. We picked him up yesterday afternoon, with a large cast on his leg. And he is seriously cheesed off.

According to the vet the bleeding will take care of itself. I certainly hope so.


Peas, glorious peas!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Or should that be, peas Sir, can I have some more?

As I mentioned in a previous post, this year I planted peas for the first time and they were, without a doubt, my most successful crop over (our somewhat pathetic attempt at) winter.

This bowl full is the result of what I picked over just two days, last Thursday and Saturday. And although you can't tell from the photo, this is my biggest mixing bowl! So yesterday we had a lovely pea and leek frittata for lunch, yum!

I will definitely be planting peas again next year.

And as planned I did some gardening over the weekend. Mr Homespun gave me a hand in turning over the soil and he received a helping hand from Lucy!


A bit of everything

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Monsieur Romeo

How quickly time flies when you are having fun, or going to work! Here's a quick rundown on what's been happening at Homespun Headquarters:

Miss 10 spent most of this week in Canberra returning yesterday evening to a Mum that missed her heaps!

Speaking of yesterday, when I jumped in my car after work the temperature gauge said the outside temp was 29 degrees, nothing special except that it STILL WINTER!!!!! Crazy. It makes me a little nervous thinking about what this summer will be like.

Last weekend I gave our small walk in wardrobe a much needed makeover. I took everything out, removed shelves (OK, Mr Homespun might've done that part), filled holes, sanded, painted and then put new shelving in (Mr Homespun helped with that part too). The result is amazing, even if I do say so myself. Unfortunately I still have the task of finding homes for all the things I took out that really don't belong in a wardrobe. Ugh!

I had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and received two new members to our family as a gift from my folks. I will post photos and introduce you to them soon.

That's about it. Now I'm off to spend a large chunk of the weekend in the backyard, preparing beds for spring plantings, cleaning out chook houses and perhaps some more work on the cubby (have I told you about the cubby? No? More on that later).

Hope you have a lovely weekend and a big Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.


Saturday, 24 August 2013

As mentioned in the previous post, we attended a wedding last weekend, and between the ceremony and reception Miss 14 had her last game of netball for the year so it was a very busy day to say the least (try getting a teenage girl ready for a wedding, undoing all your hard work so she can play sport, and then get her ready again!).

It was a lovely day, a bit windy and although I haven't enjoyed our very dry and warm winter (not enough rain), I was thankful it continued, a winter wedding day is not the time you want the weather to change!

The bride unfortunately was very sick on the day with a cold. Poor darling! But she looked gorgeous anyway! I swear that girl could put a hessian bag on and still look glamourous, so looking good in her wedding finery was not difficult for her. And young Mr B looked very handsome in his suit too.

Poor Miss 10 was also unwell, the wedding ceremony was in the morning and the reception in the evening and she slept for almost 5 hours between the two. But she put on a brave face, and both of them scrubbed up well. This is them at the wedding:

and this is them last week (you can just see their henna tattoos)...

We have also had zone athletics carnivals, jury duty and heaps of work on. Mr Homespun was made redundant a few weeks ago and although he quickly found more work, it is unfortunately in Wollongong! So each Monday he packs up his stuff and we don't see him until Friday or Saturday. So that, along with my work, Miss 10's dance lessons, Miss 14's netball and training and both of them attending gymnastics, leaves me with very little time for anything else. Needless to say, the house is a bit of a mess and there's a lot of washing to catch up on.

So that's my plan this weekend, doesn't sound exciting but this is the first weekend in many months where we have no plans, so I will be puttering around, catching up and just generally being grateful to have us all together under the one roof for a few days.

Hope you have a lovely weekend too!
OK, so this post has been sitting in draft for a week so everything is a bit out of date, but here it is anyway...

How quickly the last couple of weeks have gone by. Last week we were even busier than usual and the next couple of weeks look to be the same.

I usually have one evening during the week where we have no plans, but even that was taken up last week with an Education Week assembly. Miss 10 received an award for her role as a 'Special Ed buddy'. Her local school has several classes for children with special needs and some of the year 5 kids give up their lunch and morning tea breaks to help assist these kids. We are very proud of her for doing this and for her award.

Next weekend we will be attending a wedding (yay!), my cousins's son is getting married, and the bride is from Bangladesh. So last weekend we attended a Gaye Holud ceremony for the happy couple. It was  loud and colourful and very interesting. The bride- and groom-to-be were painted with turmeric and fed by family and friends.

So we have since attended the wedding, I will post details later!


Tassie part 2

Monday, 29 July 2013

Following on from last week's post...

The Bay of Fires, which truly lived up to it's name, you can see the very heavy smoke in the background from burning off nearby...

The penguins that come in each night at Bicheno, it was a wet and horrendously cold evening so we didn't stick around long enough to get any more photos!

Oysters at Freycinet...

and then back to Hobart where the weather cam showed snow on Mt Wellington and the clouds looked promising, so we headed straight up there...

... for an enormous snow fight! The kids (and myself) hadn't seen snow before so there were snow angels and snow men and bloody cold hands! We were so incredibly lucky, we had heard the mountain had been closed off but it was still open when we got there however the snow quickly turned to ice and the road, which is incredibly steep and narrow, was closed the next day.

Then next morning it was off to the world famous Salamanca markets and then on to Port Arthur...

... which is no doubt one of the saddest places in the world.

But we also had some fun there, with the ghost tour that night. Port Arthur is home to the second most haunted house in Australia. Bloody scary!

Then it was back to Hobart and home again!

Heaps of fun had by all.


The sourdough starter

Friday, 26 July 2013

I started my sourdough starter a couple of weeks ago and quickly learnt what happens when you don't feed it everyday... it gets mouldy!

So I threw it away and started another, this time making sure I feed it every morning and after almost a week I am pleasantly surprised with the results. It smells very fruity and has lots of tiny bubbles, something I was sure wouldn't happen for a lot longer as it is winter here.

I have now reached the stage that always bothered me about sourdough starters, throwing most of it away each day. Argh! But this is also the stage where I am adding 100g of flour and 100ml of water to it every day, if I wasn't throwing some of it away it would fast take over the kitchen!

I have also been utilising this site to help me along the way. I didn't get the rye and spelt flours I originally planned simply because the supermarket I shop at doesn't have rye flour and their spelt flour is ridiculously expensive! So I am just using plain old plain flour. I have heard that if you use just one type of flour your sourdough has a sharper taste so I will eventually add different flours at some time, one of the things I love about sourdough starters is that they can stick around for years!

But only if you feed them...


Tassie Part 1

Thursday, 25 July 2013

I know I've been promising it for a while, but here's our Tassie holiday! This post is very heavy on the photos.

We went to Tassie with Mr Homespun's parents and his sister (and her family, minus one niece and one nephew) and we had a ball!

At Sydney airport, ready to go!

Our campers, ready to set off.

At the Salmon Ponds I spotted this and commented to Mr Homespun that it looked like the perfect spot for a...

platypus!!! We were all very excited to see this fella.

Then to Russell Falls...

then Nelson Falls.

We stayed in Strahan...

... visited Cradle Mountain...

and then we went to Beaconsfield, did the chairlift over Cataract Gorge, visited a cheese farm and a lavender farm, saw part of the Targa Rally (we had managed to miss it for the first few days and just when we thought we had avoided the road closes we crossed paths with it, ironically just outside of Targa!) and that was just the first few days!

More soon.


Today's kids

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Whilst weeding the vege garden on the weekend, I came across this plastic fork. When questioned Miss 14 advised me it was from a game of Masterchef they were playing in the backyard a while ago.

Today's version of mud pies, perhaps?


The winter garden

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Our vege garden has been a little neglected over the past few weeks, so this past weekend I got in and gave it a little TLC. A little weeding and planting some spinach plants given to me by Naomi.

I was very happy to see the first peas of the season. I haven't grown peas before, snow peas, but not peas for shelling.

Not so happy to see signs of chicken attack!


River Cottage Australia

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Are you a fan of River Cottage? I have been for many years, I love Hugh's passion and commitment to living as sustainably as he can. So when I heard there was to be an Australian version, I was very excited. Seeing the River Cottage principles with an Australian twist will no doubt inspire me to take on some of the ideas for around my own home. Especially the veggie garden, or veg garden as Hugh would call it.

The first episode aired last week and featured a sourdough starter, something I have had on my list of 'one day I'll get around to it'. It seemed remarkably easy so I have added the ingredients Paul used (whole wheat, spelt and rye flours) to this week's shopping list and hope to get it started in the next few days.


I did not receive anything for this post! I just love the show! Cheers.

Goodbye Tigger

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Yesterday we lost our cat Tigger. We are all devastated, even though we knew it was coming, she had been unwell for just over a month, but we did our best to make her comfortable in her last weeks. She was almost 15 years old, so that's not too bad an innings for a cat. But it also means that I have had her longer than I have had my kids, and they are finding it difficult as they don't have any memories of our home without her.

Tigger was a housewarming gift from two of my cousins (and best friends). She was tiny when she arrived, so tiny that my cousins didn't believe the seller when they said she was 6 weeks old. But she was and she remained a tiny cat even fully grown. We called her Tigger because she was orange and stripey (just like the real Tigger) and because we had just moved into our first home, 6 months pregnant with our first baby and were decorating the nursery with a classic Pooh theme.

Tigger had an accident when she was around 6 months old, we still aren't sure what happened, but it resulted in her having to have her tail amputated, something she never got over. Cat's have too much pride and are far too vain to ever get over losing their precious tail. We used to joke that she had been in a bad mood since that happened.

Goodbye my sweet, cranky, teeny tiny Tigger, we will miss you dreadfully.

Are you kidding me?

Monday, 1 July 2013

Downton Abbey (2010) Poster

It has been a wet and cold couple of weeks here at Homespun Headquarters so I have spent quite a few hours doing something I don't normally do - watching TV. I have recently bought the three seasons of Downton Abbey (what a brilliant show) and just this weekend finished Season 3 and without giving anything away for those who haven't watched it - Are you freaking kidding?????!!!!!

What the devil are they doing to us? I am utterly devastated by the final scenes.

Are you a fan? Are you as shattered as me?


World's worst housekeeper?

Friday, 21 June 2013

World's best procrastinator?

Most unorganised?

Worst blogger?

Ok, maybe I'm not up for those titles (except the last one, lol) but some days it sure feels like it, doesn't it? When the house is a mess, the kids are fighting and the cat has missed the litter tray again... Sometimes I feel like giving up and moving to Tahiti.

Except I can't. I would be bored and miss the chaos too much. But oh for a chance to see if I wouldn't...

The inconsistencies in my schedule sure have made themselves known now I am back at work everyday. How did I do it before? Oh, that's right, I was hopeless then too.

And I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only one who feels like this sometimes, am I? Please tell me I'm not... pretty please...

But right when you need her, that little angel on your shoulder starts whispering in your ear. You can do this, you just need a routine. Just carve a few minutes out of each day to plan, plan for today, plan for tomorrow, plan for next week. Be positive, make 'I love a clean house' your mantra instead of 'I hate housework'.

And she's right.

So I'm off to tackle the ironing pile, right after I clean up after the cat.


A Day Off

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

It has been crazy busy here at Homespun Headquarters, I have been at work every day since starting, but today I finally have a day off! Yay!

I have a massive list of things I need to catch up on, the vege patch has been terribly neglected so it will be one of the first things I tackle today. I have spent almost no time with the chickens, just occasionally ducking into the backyard for a quick hello and I'm off again, so they could do with some spoiling today too. Maybe a handful of sunflower seeds will have me back in their good books!

My Etsy store is going along okay too. I have had a handful of sales, which I am quite excited about, but I need to continue expanding the range, so perhaps a little trip to the local yarn store today is in order too.

And let's not talk about the housework that needs to be done!

Anyway, it is nearly time to wake Miss 14 up, so I must dash.


Flying chickens

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Of late, most morning and afternoons I am met with this sight...

Cheeky buggers!

It appears Australorps and Leghorns are somewhat flightier than Hyline Browns. Despite having their wings clipped, these girls and quite happy to fly onto to the top of the fence and then over.

They totally annihilated a batch of seedling I had planted so for the past few weeks I haven't planted anything, despite some beetroots more than ready to fly the greenhouse.

Apparently chooks are happy to fly onto anything solid, but won't fly onto anything that moves so this week Mr Homespun and I will be adding some fencing wire around the coop to try and discourage these naughty girls!


Hi ho, Hi ho...

Monday, 20 May 2013

Good grief, it's been nearly a month since I last posted! I still haven't posted about our trip to Tassie but it has been busy, busy, busy here at Homespun Headquarters because next week, after two years at home, I am returning to work. Heck, who am I kidding, I am a mother - I will be returning to paid employment, lol.

And this will be a good thing.

I think.

Because I am returning to my old job. Not at Borders, I would be elated if that were the case, but the job I had prior to that one. One which by the time I left I didn't like much any more.

So why am I going back to it? Well it had it's good bits too. The workplace was nice, most of the people were lovely (although some were just horrendous) and I made some lifelong friends there. And the pay will be good, because that damned bottom line has to make an appearance, doesn't it?

But even after a couple of weeks I'm still not sure whether this is a step in the right direction. When I think too long about it I get teary and snap at the kids (although that could be just hormonal too!). So I have decided to give myself until Christmas and if I'm still miserable about the whole thing I'll give it up.

I just have to tell Mr Homespun about that bit...


Lest We Forget

Thursday, 25 April 2013

This is the grave of my great (great, great) uncle Harold who lost his life in WWI in France. We visited his grave on our trip to France in 2011, it took a trip to Amiens by train and then a long taxi ride to find him in the small village of Sailly-au-Bois. He is the only Australian buried in that war cemetery. He was just 23 when he died, leaving a wife and child behind.

The Sailly au Bois War Cemetery

I obviously did not know him, but I still get very teary by the sacrifice he made. And because he is still such a long way from home. I'm not sure whether his widow was ever able to sit by his graveside, or whether he has had many visitors before us, but I know he at least has his comrades by his side.

Anzac Day always makes me miss my Pop, who is no longer with us and who fought in WWII, and how lucky we were that he and my Dad, who fought in Vietnam, came back home to us.

The Australian War Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux

Lest We Forget

Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

It is three years ago today, I did one of the best things I have ever done... got chickens!! Ha, bet you thought I was going to say something else, didn't you?

 Pearly enjoying the autumn sunshine

We have only one of the originals left, Pearl (aka Pearly Gates, or Bill's sister!), and a few new girls have joined us along the way.

Lucy having a sticky beak after I had cleaned out the coop

If you have thought about getting backyard chickens, do it! Chickens are great pets, they are quirky and full of personality, they are easy to look after and great fun.

Today's collection

And did I mention the eggs?

Happy anniversary girls, we are so glad you came to live with us.


I love going on holidays, but...

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

We are back from our lovely trip to Tasmania, and it is so good to be home. We all had a great, although very busy, trip through the Apple Isle, and here are a few snaps we took.

 Nelson Falls

 Cradle Mountain

 The Bay of Fires

 Snow fight on Mount Wellington

The penitentiary building at Port Arthur

I will do a more thorough post when I can scrape together a few minutes away from the washing machine!