25 July 2011

The balance of work and rest

We had quite a few things to do on the weekend, but our work was balanced with relaxation and slow times. We got things done, we worked steadily, yet that balance gave us enough down time so that we worked through the weekend without feeling worn out or stressed. I had to organise my soap purchases and work out how much more soap I need to make. I planned to do that on Saturday morning but it was Sunday morning before I got around to it.  I had knitting in mind, I wanted to finish a little red woollen hat, so that called me to my chair a few times and I just left everything else undone. It didn't worry me, I knew I'd get through everything on my list; it was just rearranged a few times when my priorities changed.

I changed the bed linen and did a couple of loads of washing, sorted through some clothes, started writing my notes for Tuesday's fermenting workshop and did a bit of reading. Sunday afternoon came around with the winter shadows long in the yard, and instead of cooking up a stew or roast, I made a chicken salad. I was tempted by the mass of iceberg lettuce seedings I've grown for the garden. Hanno's planted a few but there are so many, I grabbed a handful, cut off the roots and after a good wash, and with radishes and tomatoes from the garden, it made our Sunday tea quite special. I still had a small amount of pikelet batter left over from morning tea, so I made some tiny pikelets for dessert and topped them with the strawberry jam I made last week and local cream. It's amazing how delicious a simple meal can be when freshness and seasonal food play a major role.

Another thing I needed to do was to re-pot and prune a large topiary fig. It's usually green and lush but I moved it a few months ago and it didn't like the place it was taken to, and dropped all its leaves. My job was to get Hanno to take it back to its old spot, to prune the top and the roots and to settle it back in its favourite location. As soon as it was moved, I did the necessary pruning, added new soil to the pot and watered it in with seaweed tea. If you've never used it before, seaweed concentrate is excellent for transplantation shock and is a must-have in the organic garden. Our cat decided she needed to sleep in the pruned roots, you can see her in the photo. The fig looks very sick and feeble now but by Christmas it will be back to being an attractive part of my potted garden.

Hanno was in the garden most of the weekend. He's continuing to cut down the camphor laurel tree and has friends coming in to take the wood for their fires. Sunday morning he went to a market in Caboolture to get some seedlings and planted them later in the afternoon. While we were standing there talking, three young peacocks - frequent wanderers in our neigbourhood from the local caravan park, landed in the chook yard and prepared to feast on the chook food. Those birds look so beautiful but they're a pest to have around because, left to their own devices, they'd easily clean out the chook rations in an afternoon.

Also over the weekend I spoke with family - Shane, Kerry and Tricia on the phone, and Jens and Cathy when they came for morning tea; as well as a couple of friends. Hanno and I have made arrangements to go to the Gold Coast again during the week to see everyone and the babies. It is so important to make time to see the people we love. It's not good enough to make excuses and put it off. These visits and phone calls help make us the family we are so they take priority over anything else we may do.

And now another week is starting for all of us and I'm beginning to think about Christmas - both gifts and food. I'll soon start thinking about making my Christmas cake so it has time to mature. If you're interested in doing something similar, Rose has started a Christmas cake thread at the forum and I think they're currently at the soaking fruit stage, so it's not too late to join in. I should write a list of the Christmas gifts I'd like to make this year. I prefer to do that early because now that money is a bit tight, I'll have the time to look around for the best price before buying - either for the gift itself or the materials to make it. 

The draw for the giveaway books will be on Wednesday so if you haven't entered your comment yet, now is the time. I hope you have a productive and enjoyable week. Don't forget to take time out to look after yourself; it's important.

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