4 February 2008

Home alone

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I had another day at home alone yesterday ... pure bliss. Hanno and the boys went off to the one day cricket match, between Australia and India, in Brisbane. I watched the start of it, I think the end was washed out but I was too engrossed in my own day to take much notice. Just after they left, I took tea and a piece of orange cake out on the verandah and read Warm Earth magazine. In January the first of my regular articles appeared and part of the payment is three copies of the magazine. The magazine comes out every two months so I'll be giving away two magazines here to regular commenters each time I receive them.
After morning tea, during brief patches of sunshine, I started clipping back the shrubs in the front garden. Our front garden is like a jungle at the moment because the regular rain over the past couple of months has made it all grow like Topsy. I guess I spent an hour or two out there clipping away, listening to the whipbirds and kookaburras. I pulled out a few wild palms and pines that planted their own seeds and while it doesn't look too controlled - I like a wild garden - it does look cared for now.
It's a lovely place to spend some time. There were no neighbours around, no kids playing, it was just me with the dogs and the sound of the birds. Every so often I sat on our garden bench to take in the morning, the dogs came over for a cuddle, the air was warm and with the sun filtering through the pines, it gave me a feeling of genuine connection with the land we live on. I don't like to say the land we own because I think it owns us, and for all the time trees have grown here, and birds, snakes, insects and marsupials have lived here, our time, in comparison, is but a heartbeat and inconsequential in the bigger picture. But it is good to know that for the short time we spend here, we are surrounded and possessed by the beauty of it. We belong here and we will keep this land healthy and fertile for those who come after us.
After lunch I took a chair and my knitting into the back yard. I sat under the shade of a fig tree, and with the clicking of my needles and the gentle clucking of the chooks, I spent a lazy hour thinking, watching and appreciating. No amount of money can buy the feeling of contentment you feel when you're truly a home in your own space.
When the rain brought me back inside I watched a bit of the cricket then did some research for my next Warm Earth article. I started the document that will become the article, making several notes about important points I want to focus on. I'm writing about feeding chickens.
The rest of the afternoon went by too soon and before I knew it the dogs, cat and fish all needed to be fed. As darkness fell I warmed up a bowl of mushroom soup I made yesterday then sat down with my knitting to watch the cricket again. It had been washed out, so I got my dog eared copy of the Encyclopedia of Country Living and took it to bed with me to see what Carla had to say about feeding chooks. Hanno woke me up when he came home just before 11pm, but I quickly went back to sleep happy that he was back home safe and sound.
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • one stick celery, finely chopped
  • about 12 mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • vegetable stock - chopped onion, carrot, celery and parsley simmered in water, salt and pepper for an hour OR from good quality vegetable stock powder. You'll need 1½ - 2 litres.
  • chopped parsley
  • ½ cup sour cream
Add the onion, garlic and celery to the butter and olive oil in a pan and cook gently until transparent. Add the mushrooms and cook slowly for five minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover with vegetable stock, bring to the boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Just before serving add parsley and sour cream.
Today is the first of my three work days. We signed the lease on our new building last week so it's now full steam ahead with our relocation and all the preparation that goes with it. We move on February 29.
I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Thank you for taking the time to visit me and for all the helpful comments that remind me of our wonderful blog community.
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