11 February 2014

Ordinary days at home

It's been quiet here lately. Sunny and Jamie are over in Korea visiting Sunny's family. It's a wonderful opportunity for Jamie to spend time with his cousins, aunties, uncles, and Sunja, his beautiful Korean grandma. I want so many things for my grandsons, Jamie and Alex, and being at the heart of their families is just one of them. Hanno and I miss having Jamie here but we've been talking on the phone and have seen photos and videos. Hello Sunny, Jamie, Sunja and the rest of the family! We send our love to all of you.

 Jamie in Korea with his little snowman.

Hanno finished most of the chicken house renovations and although there is still some work to do on the exterior - painting the recycled corrugated iron and adding an enclosed run, the coop, roosts and new nesting boxes are all ready. I'm decorating the coop. I haven't yet decided if I'll put curtains on the nests but I probably will. There will also be fairy lights and bunting. :- ) One of the things I know Jamie would be excited about if he were here is that we're just about to get some new chickens. He would be right in the middle of that so when they arrive, I'll make sure I take plenty of photos of the girls, their new home, where they're sleeping and eating and drinking to send to him.  He has loved those chooks since he was tiny and from when he could walk, the first thing he did when he came to visit was feed the chooks bread and fruit.

In the meantime though, my days flow by in a gentle trickle. I have such a rich life, there is always something to do here. I haven't yet sewn the embroidered pocket on my new apron, I have the last bit of Johnathan's cardigan to finish, I want to knit a set of loose weave dish cloths and of course, in addition to my housework and writing, I have the on-going important work of raising seeds to be planted in our vegetable garden next month. This is all the gentle work of a simple home, the tasks change with the seasons but the work flows on, never ending.  I love that.  Working for the life I want at home is a creative and rewarding way to spend my time. You probably do something similar and feel the same about your home.

I started a new ebook recently. It's part of a series of six. I'm not sure of the title of the newest book yet but it's all about housekeeping, routines and green cleaning. Penguin expects the first book, The Simple Life - the pleasures and rewards of getting back to basics, to be published as a print book and ebook in late March. The ebooks will be on sale on Amazon and iTunes and all the usual places.

I wonder if I can pick your collective brains. In addition to that book, I've already written one on milk and making dairy products (various cheeses, yoghurt, ice cream etc) in the home kitchen using what is generally available, I've also written a kitchen garden ebook, and now the housekeeping one. My contract calls for six books in total so I wondered what other topics you'd like to see me write about. I was thinking one could be a book of my various food recipes, some published here, some new ones. Would that interest you? And one other topic - maybe baking - a step-by-step guide to various breads, fruit loaf, cakes, scones, crackers, biscuits. Something that will help you provide tasty and nutritious snacks for your family without going into those aisles at the supermarket. Give me some ideas of what you want. I thank you in advance for your help.

Although it's still summer, this February has been quite mild here, but not so for our friends down south and in the west. More homes have been lost in the bush fires and thousands of hectares of bushland burnt. That means lost habitat for our birds and wildlife. I hope the days of high temperatures will come to and end soon and we can all enjoy the start of autumn. I'm sure those of you in the snow are looking forward to sunshine, green grass and warm days. We've seen quite a few news reports this year of the heavy snow falls and floods in north America and Europe. It's been a tough season in many parts of the world. But soon the seasons will change again and we'll all get used to the changed conditions. In the meantime, stay safe everyone.
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