27 October 2011

Opa, Jamie and bikkies

We have Kerry, Sunny and Jamie staying with us. Shhhhh, everyone is still sound asleep.  It's so good to have them here, to see how much Jamie is growing and how healthy and strong he is. He's crawling, eating solids and drinking from a sippy cup now. Later in the morning, I'm going to take him on another trip into the backyard to see the chooks and the garden. It's a real adventure for him and I love being with him while he takes it all in and makes some kind of sense of it.
Jamie and Opa. Jamie is wearing the very cute tiger suit Sharon sent. Thanks Sharon and Claude! Below, Jamie is testing out his new wheels in the kitchen.

It's been another busy week here. I had Tuesday and Wednesday at the Neighbourhood Centre working on various things and preparing for our first committee meeting next Monday. There are so many exciting programs and activities we're working on or planning; I'm excited just thinking about the possibilities and opportunities ahead of us. It's a great place to work - I have a venue in which to share my skills and present workshops, I get to exercise my brain and I am surrounded by people who share a vision for our community that is equitable and just.

We had a new sink installed in our kitchen here this week. Our old sink had no drainboard, which is useless for someone with no dishwasher, and there was always water on the bench. Hanno did most of the work so we kept the costs down, we just needed our local plumber to connect the new tap and hook up water filter tap again. We have two equal size sinks with the drains at the back so we can stand things in the sink without them sitting on the plug. As usual, we bought the best quality we could afford and hope that it will be with us for as long as we live in this house.  I've already made friends with it and see us organising and cleaning up after many family celebrations and ordinary meals in the future.

An interesting and delicious parcel of goodies in the mail this week.
Guess who did the taste test?
And this was what I found in the biscuit jar when I came home from work yesterday.

On Tuesday, a parcel arrived from Buena Vista Farm Bikkies. The lovely Fiona from Inner Pickle blog sent a pack of her homemade ginger biscuits and a pack of biscotti with almonds. Both delicious, and I was really pleased to read that they were made from all natural ingredients with no preservatives - and with eggs from Fiona's chooks. Thanks Fiona. It was quite a treat for us. I picked up the parcel on the way home from work on Tuesday, around 4.30pm. By 4.31, I think, Hanno had sampled his first biscuit. He gave it the thumbs up.

When everyone else is awake this morning, I'm going to measure Jamie and talk to Sunny about summer shorts and singlets. I have fabric waiting here for pants for Alex, and have some ideas for Jamie too. It looks like I'll be spending time sewing over the weekend. That's just what I need to clear my head. I hope to do some knitting too and if I work at it, I'll finish off the cotton cardigan I'm knitting for Alexander.  I hope your week is going smoothly.



  1. What a wonderful way to spend the day..outside and with your your grandson!!


  2. I found your blog a few months ago and feel I've gotten to know a new a friend. For too long, every other blog I've read about simple/sustainable living gave the impression that one must get to the backwoods off the grid and produce everything one eats, drink, wears, etc., from the surrounding countryside. That might be an exaggeration. Still, I like that you write about doing what you can where you are to care for yourself and your family. It's not about "all or nothing." Also, while you encourage people to do what they can, you tell us not to beat ourselves up over what we can't do. Thank you! Kathy D. (near St. Louis, MO, USA)

  3. Hanno looks just like a little boy with the cookie! It's interesting you mention the sink. When we were looking for a new kitchen (which we decided against for another 10 years!), the norm now is very much not to have a draining board and I was struggling to see how you'd deal with that.

  4. Oh, a houseful of loved ones is so grand! Enjoy your sweet Jamie :)

  5. What a cutey-pie Jamie is smiling in his tiger suit with his Opa. And hooray for your new double sink with draining board. And what a treat you received in the mail.

  6. How funny, I just learned what bikkies are the other day. We live in the US but my husband may be getting transferred to Brisbane in the next few months. He spent last week there getting to know the office and the job and came back with all kinds of interesting bits of knowledge....like bikkies. He couldn't figure out what his coworkers were talking about and then someone gave him a cookie aka biscuits.

    I dearly love reading your blog and hope we are able to make the move in the near future, all with a toddler and newborn in tow. Though we'll be bringing recipes for southern American-style biscuits with us too. :-) After only a week there, my husband felt like he'd found the place we were meant to live.

  7. What a lovely time you will both have with your grandson! I used to work with a family support service until i had the girls (similar to a neighbourhood centre)and we worked closely with our neighbourhood centre, it is very rewarding work they are so lucky to have you i am sure!
    Lovely column in the weekly this month too Rhonda
    Off to try and fight this flu, have a nice time with bubba.
    Jode x

  8. Sounds like a lot of fun having the family there. And I must tell you my son has the same exact set of wheels. He has since outgrown the need for it but he loved the noise the little car that goes back and forth made so much that he wore it out :0)

  9. I have never seen a sink that had the metal going all the way out to make a drain board. Amazing! That is a great idea.

  10. Hi Rhonda,
    I feel envious thinking of your quiet and peaceful (maybe not, with the small one around!) morning with your loved ones (while I slave away at my job) :-) But truly, how nice it must be for you and your husband to have your grandchild staying with you! I hope you enjoy every minute of their stay!

  11. Dear Rhonda, I am writing this as I couldn't find an answer anywhere else. I got some raw milk from a farm nearby (University farm here in Peradeniya) and want to make yoghurt tomorrow morning. I searched and searched the net of how to make raw milk safe but couldn't find a good answer. I do not want to make my family fall ill. Please help me. Thank you.

  12. Hello Rhonda. Just wanted to pop by and say that I woke up this morning to your voice on the radio chatting to Eion Cameron. Very nice to hear your voice and was a fantastic start to the day! :) Have a lovely Friday and weekend, Rhonda :)

  13. Hanno and the cookies made me laugh.
    Have fun sewing Rhonda.

  14. Hi Rhonda,
    Some of my dearest memories are of visiting and staying at my grandparents home. They were in charge of the agricultural estate on which they also lived. Whilst there one was surrounded by chickens and other poultry, goats, rabbits, cows, horses, pigs and acres of pastures, forests and streams to explore. Although they passed on over 24 years ago, how they lived are a constant source of inspiration in what I am doing now. They did not personally own much but they raised 12 children in a home rich in love and homegrown homemade goodness.
    The furniture that my grandfather made still stands proud and strong in my own home. Every my own little family sit down for a meal it is eaten on the table and chairs that he lovingly made. That I can place on that table something that I myself took the time to grow and make with my own hands is a strong affirmation to the lessons that they unwittingly taught me.
    Do not underestimate the impact you will have on generations to come. That little stroll in the garden with your grandson to see the chooks and veggies may be the beginning of all that he will become and love.
    Trinidad & Tobago

  15. What a beautifull sight Hanno and Jamie!! Here it's the other way around: a dark opa and blond, blue eyed granddaughters!!
    Today I prepared the cabbage rolls!
    I do have a question about growing lemons....as you know we are getting winter now and I have a lemontree in a big pot. There are hanging 11 lemons on it but.....it doesn't look very healthy. The leaves are pale green and I don't know where to put the plant inside the house. Could you help me with that? It is blooming and has enough light and water but I guess the temp is not okay. Would you please shine your light on it??? Gerry

  16. I'm sure your new stainless steel sinks and drainnage board will last - my maternal Grandmother got a stainless steel sink and bench top for her 25th wedding anniversary back in 1949 - it was still going strong when she needed to move from that home in 1980. Sadly Nanna died late in 1981 - however I have and so enjoy using her stainless steel mixing bowls which I use daily ,and am lucky to have my own stainless steel sink and bench top (for 21 years now.

    So lovely to see Opa with his Jamie!

  17. Lovely to see your grandson visiting. He looks as if he is having a ball. Look forward to seeing his new grand-mama made clothes. Love the new sink. Good quality tapware makes such a difference too I think. Particularly when your sink is your dishwasher (like ours). Those bikkies do look delicious. I've been enjoying the Inner Pickle blog since you mentioned it recently.


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