This past week at home

9 May 2017
It's been a pretty busy week and on the weekend all beds were full here at the Hetzel house. Cups of tea were made, grandchildren were running around and simple home cooking was enjoyed but I was out of action for most of it.  On Friday night my nose started running like a tap, on Saturday morning I was sneezing and febrile, and Sunday I developed a cough and asthma. I think I'm almost over it now. I was really pleased Tricia was here because she cooked dinner for everyone and with Hanno's help, they provided scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast to a full house on Sunday morning.

On Sunday afternoon, Tricia went down to Brisbane for a few days to visit friends, our visitors went home and everything returned to normal. Tranquility descended on our home again. We had a bit of rain yesterday so that stopped me working in the garden but I did manage to sow sprouting broccoli and aquilegia (granny's bonnets) seeds. The aquilegia seeds were collected in Tricia's garden.

The garden was planted up on 17 April and it's growing like wildfire. Just three weeks after planting I've started feeding bok choy to the chickens. We're leaving them in their coop until about 9am now to avoid the early fox visits.  We also have frequent visits from a wedge-tail eagle looking for a quick meal, so the chooks aren't getting out to free range on the grass. I try to make up for that by giving them greens from the garden.  If we can keep that going, even when they aren't feeding on grass, the eggs we eat will continue to contain omega 3 oils.  Tomorrow I'll plant up another large tray of bok choy seeds to continue a regular supply for the chooks. Bok choy is the fastest growing of the greens. They germinate in a few days, start growing within a week and can be harvested about three weeks after that. I hope to harvest some silver beet (Swiss chard) next week and two small turnips for my vegetable soup on Thursday.

It gives me a good feeling when I can work out what we need here and then do a bit of work to provide it on a continuing basis. Home is such an interesting and productive place when you have active and meaningful projects to take you through each day.  I've been doing research on berries lately and as a result of that, I'm taking out the very prickly youngberry we've had growing in the backyard for a few years, and will build up our Heritage raspberries again. If I can weed, feed and mulch the raspberries this week, they'll produce fruit in late winter/early spring. Our lemons are growing like mad and are juicy and sweet.

Soon the oranges will be ready to pick and yesterday morning I noticed they'd changed to a vivid orange colour.  Now they just need a couple of weeks of cold weather to sweeten them up. Oh, how I love orange season.  Last year we transplanted another Washington naval orange into the vegetable garden and added a Lane's Late orange to extend our orange season. The Lane's Late will allow us to continue our harvest when the Washingtons end in late July and will continue right through till late August.  In a year or two we'll have plenty of eating oranges with more than enough for juice and marmalade. Thank you sweet citrus family.

Tricia will be back on Wednesday and will stay until the following Wednesday. No doubt we'll go out and sightsee but the majority of our time will be spent here at home where we all feel so comfortable.  We feel protected from the outside world here - the influences, dangers, pollution, the busyness and the business.  When all is said and done, it doesn't matter if you're odd or strange or if you're the same as everyone else, the good thing is you'll fit like a glove into your own home. By the way, I consider myself to be in the odd category. I used to be a mainstreamer but now I don't fit any type or pattern and when I go out, there is increasingly more that is unfamiliar to me that I have no desire to know anything about.  Such is life.

I finalised the forum recently and a few days ago made a donation of $280 to the McGrath Foundation. For those who don't know of the McGrath Foundation, it's a charity that supplies breast care nurses to various communities. The donation was made on behalf of all of us "In memory of Rose Marshall". I miss you, Rose.