Well, here it is, the first full non-holiday week of 2011 and I'm pleased to be back. ADDITION: I've just been told it's a public holiday today. I guess that is a true indication of how far we're removed from the commercial world. :- 0
I've had many emails asking about the floods. Hanno and I are fine. We live about one hour north of Brisbane in the huge state of Queensland. The floods are about another ten hour drive north of here. We have had a lot of rain, our creek is up and down like a yo-yo, but apart from cranky chooks and wet feet, all is fine here. Thank you all for your concern. Thank you also for all the good wishes you sent for Shane and Sarndra. They read my blog and it means a lot to them to know so many people want good things for them.
I am really pleased we've finally arrived in 2011. I'm looking forward to this year very much. There is so much that's new ahead. I can hardly wait to hold those two babies who will come into our lives this year. But aside from the big events, I'm thankful that Hanno and I still have the enthusiasm and desire to continue to live our quiet, slow and simple life. I look forward to many more ordinary days when it's just me in the kitchen, baking and cooking, just doing what enriches me. I'm hoping that this year will bring new opportunities, new things to learn about and more new friendships made along the way.
We didn't plant summer crops at the end of last year. The vegetable garden still produced lettuces, potatoes, corn and garlic but now with all the rain, the chick weed has grown everywhere, the usually ordered and green vegetable patches are empty or covered with weeds and under it all, the soil is resting for a couple of months. In a few weeks it will be time again to rip out those weeds and load up the garden beds with compost and manure and start planting for the year.
But now the first of the papayas are forming fruit, grapes and passionfruit are growing and I can walk outside any time and pick mint, thyme, sage and parsley. Just last night I quickly popped out to pick fresh mint for a homemade mint sauce for our roast leg of lamb. The rain has been really good for the oranges and it looks like we'll have plenty of them in winter this year. The same goes for the lemons - there is another good crop ripening now and if I juice those and freeze the juice, we'll have enough to keep us going till the next crop in June. I'm hoping the bananas come on soon. Fresh fruit and vegetable prices will be very expensive again this year due to the floods, so whatever we can produce here will stand us in good stead.
So what's ahead for us this year? Hanno will be working in the garden again soon and he continues to keep our home in good order with his maintenance program. He's currently working on the roof, but I'll have more about that another day. Like all of us, he's looking forward to the babies and being a grandpa for the first time. He'll probably travel down to visit my sister when she moves to her new home soon. No doubt she will have a couple of jobs she will need a hand with. And for me, it's more work on the book and more contact later in the year with the good people at Penguin, particularly my editor, Jo. I'll be sewing and knitting for tiny folk I'm yet to meet, I'll continue to find confirmation of my purpose in my home and I hope to continue learning all I can. 'Homemaker' is a term that encompasses so much and I know that if I step up and take control of the work needed here, and pepper that with what I want to do, it will continue to be a joy to wake up every day. So there are no new year's resolutions here, just the quiet hope that life continues to amaze and delight me. I hope it does the same for you. What are your plans for the year?