Our pictorial week

11 April 2018
It's been a busy week so far. We're still painting, although not every day, and we probably have another couple of days of work with it. I've taken the opportunity to go through all my old magazines - some of my British Country Living mags are 20 years old! I've thrown out all of them and just kept a few pages of recipes and gardening information. We looked after Jamie for a few days while he's on school holidays and planted up garlic and sweet potatoes bought at Green Harvest and the seedings we bought at the market last weekend. Even after a week, the garden is looking good.  

For all the Gracie fans, here is a photo I took a day ago as she was enjoying a rest in the afternoon sun on her homemade tartan blanket.


In the kitchen, I did my menu plan and wrote up a shopping list, baked a five minute rye loaf, made yoghurt and yoghurt cheese, chopped lots of vegies for salads, made pumpkin soup, fried chicken and roasted some pork belly.  I've been sewing, mending and knitting and today, it's grocery shopping. A pretty normal week and I'm sure many of you have done something similar.  What's on your list for today?

The beginnings of a salad. The bottom layer was feathery fine shredded cabbage and the mustard seeds you can see were in pickling liquid in our bread and butter cucumbers. I used some of the liquid in the salad, added more herbs and mixed it all together.  It lasted us three days and got better every day.
We planted about 70 garlic cloves - Glen Large, and two purple flesh sweet potato called Hawaiian Sunshine.

The Japanese anemones flowered to remind me that gardens are not only for vegetables and herbs.  I've had these plants for 20 years and they don't flower every year. I take it as a good omen that I have this display now.


There is still work to do but the garden is starting to look good. We've already harvested bok choy and every day I'm adding more cayenne chillies to the freezer for a batch of chilli jam I have planned.

Here are the older girls lining up for day release.  Patrick always leads them out.  The young girls are in the second bedroom and only make an appearance when the old girls are out on the grass.
We finished our Green Harvest shopping and Hanno took Gracie on a walk up the hill to the coffee shop next door. We had a cup of tea there, a welcomed break in a busy morning, and then drove back down the mountain to home.

All our days are ordinary days now but they are the kind of days you dream about when you do what you choose and take your time. We're fortunate to be able to drive up to a place such as Green Harvest and know we're coming home with exactly the plants we want to grow. We don't stop for coffee much but when we both feel like it we do. Our days aren't governed by watches, we can stretch or condense time as we wish. Our main aim each day is to live true to our values, to keep doing what we do and to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. I can tick that as done this week.


36 comments

  1. You live in such a beautiful place! And that Gracie is such a cutie. Thank you for posting the pics.

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  2. Thank you Rhonda, it was so wonderful to open your post and see all that green grass, the flowering plants and the shot with the thunder heads building up. After 5 solid months of winter, and snow still on the ground, it seems like those things will never get here. This was an escape hatch to remember what it's like to wear shorts, feel humidity and smell flowers. Thanks to Gracie, Hanno and those lovely hens for showing the way out! Beth in MN

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  3. I always love to see your garden Rhonda. Thank you for sharing.

    XX

    Nil

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  4. A lovely week of contentment. You may be interested to know that here in Hawaii, while we eat a lot of those purple flesh sweet potatoes, we call them Okinawan sweet potatoes here. The sweet potatoes that the Polynesians grew...including the Hawaiians, tended to be a light yellow flesh sweet potato.

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  5. Thank you, now I know the plant I have been trying to name is a Japanese anemone. I have seen beautiful displays of these at the moment, swathes of pink and white. I managed to get a bit of root from a friends and am hoping it will grow.
    Everyday photos make me smile and Garcia's aerial tail is so cute.

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  6. This sounds wonderful Rhonda. The last week and a half has been like this for me with 4 kids home for school holidays. I'm not looking forward to school going back and the pace picking up. Have a great day, Mandi

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  7. How lovely that Gracie has a tartan blanket! Your "ordinary week" sounds lovely. I've had a similar week with our son on school holidays. Our days have been spent here at home and it's heavenly! I've been baking, sewing, knitting and gardening + doing a spot of decluttering and reorganising too. I also went through my old magazines and placed them into a set of wire drawers I have. Today, friends are coming to share a homemade morning tea and later on my son will host a friend for a sleepover. Simple fun! Have a lovely day Rhonda, Hanno & Gracie. Meg:)

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  8. That sky looks absolutely spectacular! It's wonderful that you are living in alignment with your values. Your blog always inspires me to put more time and care into my home. I'm making hummingbird nectar for the hummers and woodpeckers. I will plant some zucchini seedlings and herbs this afternoon. The weather is perfect right now for sitting out on the patio and knitting...love Gracie's blanket!

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  9. Today started with my weekly chiro and PT appointment. After I stopped at the Dollar store for some mailing envelopes, then on to a small bit of grocery shopping. We do our big shop at the end of the month but in the middle we replenish fresh veggies and fruits, milk, eggs and such. This afternoon we took a walk with the dog in between snow squalls. Now hubby is reading on the couch and I am catching up on blog reading. It is so nice to be able to do things at our own pace and not be ruled by the clock! Have a good week!

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  10. Thanks for the photo of Miss Gracie, Rhonda. Love her tartan rug! The mornings are getting cool here so I am enjoying that after the heat of summer. It is a lovely drive to Green Harvest. I wasn't driving when we went there a couple of years ago so was able to look at the scenery.

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  11. Lovely post - love your journey - great photos. g

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  12. A morning of housework is on the cards for me here today, along with a pantry tidy up. I like to listen to a podcast while I do the housework so I have something to look forward to. It was timely to read your blog this morning as a reminder to find some beauty in the everyday. Have a lovely week.

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  13. Hahaha, the young girls are in the second bedroom 😁. Gracie is lovely. Your garden is looking great. It's time for garlic planting here too. Enjoy your day.

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  14. Rhonda, I laughed when I read about your Country Living magazines. My oldest Country Living mag is 1984. I have them all for years and years. I no longer buy them as they are mostly ads anymore. I also have all the Country Home magazines which I have right up until they quit publishing them. They were a wonderful magazine with not much ads at all. My husband has moved them from Alaska to Tennessee (5,000 miles) to Arizona to Colorado to South Dakota. I still pull them down from time-to-time to look at and still get good ideas from them. Some things are definitely hard to part with, but as I still get good use out of them, I cannot let them go. We (as my husband and I both enjoy this magazine) also hoard Mother Earth News. They have fantastic gardening news and tips with every issue. If you've never read one, it is definitely worth your time. They have been around for years and years. Thanks for the picture of sweet little Gracie. Dogs are such a joy and comfort.

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  15. I love Gracie's tartan blanket, and the anemones are lovely. I never would have thought to put that combination of things in a salad, but it has my mouth watering. I'll have to broaden my salad horizons!

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  16. Oooh your veggie garden is looking good. I mostly plant seeds, and my little boxes of greens are also starting to look a good size now. I wish I could grow garlic here in the tropics, but I suppose I better just be grateful for what I can grow! those ordinary days are magic arent they?

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  17. Just wondering Rhonda...do you freeze your chillis straight off the Bush? I have quite a few coming on but there won't be enough to make my sweet chilli sauce. Over the next few weeks there should be though if I collect them up. Freezing sounds like a good option.
    Cassandra

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    1. Yes, straight off the bush. I give them a quick wash and dry and then straight into a ziplock bag.

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  18. Your garden looks lovely - as I live in a small apt. in a large city, I won't be doing any gardening but I greatly admire all that you accomplish.
    I have had a busy few days since last Friday but I am spending the next couple of days at home catching up on housework, laundry and ironing. I did grocery shopping this morning and will do more on Friday as I'm stocking up my pantry and freezer. I've been using things up over the past couple of months so it is time to replenish supplies.
    I've just come in from my volunteer evening (I help newcomers with their English) and I really enjoy it and I have dinner and a play with friends to look forward to on Friday night so a couple of days of staying at home won't be a hardship.
    Have a lovely weekend.

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  19. Oh, I love it! I’m regaining strength and health little by little and I have such a renewed appreciation for ordinary days. I’m still having some rough ones, but today was wonderful. The kids and I were able to bake braided bread, water the seeds in our cold frame, clean out the chicken barn and put down fresh straw for our flock. We also took all our baby chicks (and ducklings!) out of their brooders today to enjoy some fresh grass and sunshine.
    -Jaime

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  20. As a twenty-something woman in full time work, I yearn for a time where I can potter about at home without time constraints! I'm glad that you can enjoy this time in your life Rhonda.
    Lorna.

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  21. Your sweet potato leaves look so different to mine, mine are a lot more rounded. Maybe its just the variety :) That salad looks so vibrant and inviting to eat. Seeing Gracie makes me want to get another dog, we lost our baby last year and I havent been able to bring myself to the idea of 'replacing' her yet, I miss my gardening buddy terribly.

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  22. Thanks for the picture of Gracie.
    Those purple fleshed sweet potatoes are credited with increasing longevity in Okinawa,Japan where there are lots of very elderly people living in good health. Okinawa is one of the Blue Zones around the planet - fascinating research done by Dan Buettner for National Geographic if anyone's interested.
    Hope the sweet potatoes help you and Hanno stay healthy and strong.

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  23. Gracie is so big! her own tartan blanket & chair! what a treat! looking beautiful as ever.
    i've been pottering around our own community gardens & helping with seed planting & mulching along with the watering; non of my own gardens are in a fit state yet to produce plus our market gardens cost nothing to water. we will have spinach, cauliflowers, carrots, kale, silverbeet, beetroots & a few others i can't remember. we also have sunchokes (jerusalem artichokes) growing which i tried for the first time, not bad, only had them roasted but they would make a nice mash too.
    your gardens are looking amazing as usual & so green!
    thanx for sharing
    selina from kilkivan qld

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  24. Your garden looks lovely. Perennial flowers are wonderful, a splash of beauty that just comes up each year with no thought required apart from some mulch and the odd division.

    11 years on and you are still leading by example. Thank you for all of the information that you have shared over the years.

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  25. I am really enjoying reading all your posts. your post today sounds so calming with time to do things slowly or however you need to do them. Gracie is a cutie!

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  26. Love your articles and wonderful pictures! Dumb question though: why is this a good time to start a garden for you when it's a good time for me, just a bit south of Canada, to start planting my vegetables too? Aren't you in the southern hemisphere?

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    1. It's too hot to grow a lot of vegetables here in summer. The best growing season for us is autumn and winter.

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  27. I’m slowly getting into the swing of not living by a clock or schedule, just retired at the first of the year. I do have set days that I do different house hold chores. But because they are done each week I can let a day go every once in a while. Like yesterday when my husband needed my help all day installing a tow hitch on the car. I pulled a frozen meal out of the freezer to defrost in the fridge, (a tip I learned from you) and out the door I went. At the end of the day when we both came in tired and cold from a long day in the wind and rain, we had a nice bowl of homemade soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.
    Thank you for sharing your daily life, your wisdom and your wonderful Gracie with us.

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  28. Thank you for sharing your life with us, Rhonda. You have given me a blueprint for our retirement years! Love Gracie's tartan blanket. Had to laugh at you and Cate keeping all those Country Home and Country Living mags for years. Thought I was the only one who did that; when I became frugal and stopped buying magazines, I had 20 years worth piled up. I gave half away before a cross-country move. Now whenever I need some quiet time, I make a pot of tea and pull out those old issues and enjoy.

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  29. You’re days sound blissful..... something I look forward to in my future. My days are filled with a combination of home tasks and work outside of the home. And although my days are quite full I’m happy with the current balance of things. And the blanket for Gracie is just perfect!
    Leiani - Perth Wa

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  30. Wonderful post today and enjoyed reading and looking at everything.
    But Gracie's photo is just the best !

    cheers, parsnip

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  31. I've got itchy garden fingers as l can't get into ours at the moment because of building work, but l am getting a lovely, sunny new kitchen-diner out of it so can't complain. Another 2 weeks and I'll be able to get out there and sow broad beans, mange tout and peas. You are an inspiration Rhonda. Leah, England.

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  32. Rhonda, I just love your pictures, your writing, and your way of life! I like how you mix work and relaxation, and it seems to be just the right balance. I’m still working on that!
    The cafe you are visiting is really cute too. I have a question about it...Why does it say “Licensed” Cafe? Is that a requirement? Just curious, as I’ve never seen a cafe or restaurant post the fact on their signage that they are licensed here in the states. Their license is normally displayed by the register.

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    1. Hi Kathy. Not all cafes here are licensed. If they are, they're licensed to sell alcohol.

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  33. Hi Rhonda. My daughter introduced me to your books and I've embraced your ideas enthusiastically. The spin offs that I never anticipated are that I'm happier, more relaxed, less commercially focused,and enjoying my life so much more than I've ever done. Having your blog and the Facebook entries keep me feeling supported and on track. Thank you.

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