Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lest We Forget

We celebrated Anzac Day yesterday in typical fashion by making Anzac biscuits. The normal version and a gluten free version based on Teresa Cutter’s Paleo Anzacs (no flaked almonds but lots of pepitas, sunflower seeds and linseeds). The GF ones were fabulous (or so I’m told – the drawback to a nut allergy is you cant try everything you cook).

But on a more serious note, Anzac Day is very important in our family as my great grandfather and both grandfathers were in WW1 and WW2. Little B has also shown a great interest in Anzac Day because of our recent visit to Great Grampy but also because they have been talking about it preschool.

He watched bits of the dawn service and the parade on tv while asking lots of typically child like mind bending questions (he didnt know men could be nurses?!?!). We also showed him all Great Great Grampy’s medals while on our holiday.

My great grandfather, Archie was one of the light horseman in WW1 and I was the only great grandchild he lived to see. I’m told he was typically a grumpy bollocks but surprised everyone by being interested, gentle and kind with his great granddaughter. I was too young to remember and he died when I was 4 but we have some great photos of me and ‘barbie’ being read books on his knee.

Both my grandfathers were in the airforce in WW2. Rod was a gunner and lost too many friends and saw too much – something he never quite got over when he returned home. Bruce was the youngest, trained in Canada and only saw the tale end of the war. It’s still something he’s proud of, doesn’t like to talk about in detail and he refuses to use any veteran affairs benefits as he feels like it would be “bludging”.

I’m a pacifist but I appreciate, remember and admire the young men who fought to protect our country in times past. And there is something quite emotional about hearing Little B talk about remembering the people who “went away to look after us”.

So Archie, Rod and Bruce...I salute you!! xx

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Slow Time

I read this interesting post by Sharon Astyk regarding Fast & Slow Time with great interest the other day. Little B is a slow time child. He likes routine and to take his time in evolving where we need to go so that he stops and smells and looks at the roses/rocks/snails/leaf boats as we go by ;-)

In our fast paced life of late it’s been easy to forget this. But I’ve discovered recently that the more we try to push Little B or rush him the more cranky and frustrated he gets. This makes for a bad case of the grumpy’s for everyone involved. I know that we all prefer a bit more peacefulness and ease in getting out and about.

So I sat back and thought about it all. Previous posts this year have shown that I felt like life was screaming by in an unpleasant rush/mess. The word I chose for this year is Enjoy and I have to say I’ve not been enjoying the rush or fast pace of life. I’ve really embraced the Christine’s Slow Living Diary and I’ve decided I need to take a leaf out of Little B’s slow time manifesto!! There’s been too much yes to outside stuff and too much of our own stuff falling down as a result.

I need to make of an effort. I need more slow time.

This last week I’ve been making time for reading, walking, gardening, cooking and embracing my inner housewife while Little B is at preschool. I love cooking and want to spend more time experimenting on new allergy friendly recipes. I want to get our vegie beds in some sort of reasonable shape for spring (I’m so loving having baby spinach at my beck and call in our mini garden).

So to start I resigned from one of my roles on the preschool committee when I continued to get anywhere up to 25 gung ho and demanding emails a week. I’ve decided to focus more on slow time and on making our home and our slow living lifestyle the greater priority.

I’m sure there will still be battles between slow and fast time but Mr B and I are going to make a concerted effort that slow wins more than fast…for this year at least!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Reusing Rubbish

One of the great things we did while renovating the house was thinking of ways to reuse materials. For the bathroom that meant reusing copper pipes. We’ve been reusing old gates and cyclone fencing in our yard to make entrance ways and the like.

But my favourite was reusing polystyrene for insulation. As any of you would know when you buy a new appliance these days, they come jam packed with rubbish, namely plastic and polystyrene. Now the plastic these days tends to be recyclable but what to do with all that polystyrene.

With winter coming and utility costs rising, we are intent on making this house as warm and snug as we can through insulation rather than heating sources.

We’d seen on shows like Grand Designs and in magazines like Sanctuary the tendency to use polystyrene for insulative effects. So any time we had to open our walls while renovating we would fill them back up with our excess polystyrene from the fridge, washing machine, microwave and oven. We would match up or cut to size and then stick to the plasterboard with pva glue.

We have already noticed it reduces the heat to Little B’s room which backs onto another room that gets the full Western afternoon sun. I also like the fact it can help with sound proofing. Mr B’s office has the most polystyrene in its walls and it blocks sound really well.

Next job is to work on under the house!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

After a busy last week of the school holidays we enjoyed the last day by entertaining extended family for lunch. And who could have asked for a more beautiful day!! We don’t get to catch up with Mr B’s brother and SIL as much as we’d like so we make the most of it when we can.

With 3 gluten free people coming, I cooked up my gluten free go to meal. A summer harvest frittata recipe courtesy of Jude Blereau. This looks and smells divine (I love the smell of basil) and makes use of any seasonal vegies you can find.

And then what to cook for dessert? I turned to Donna Hay for inspiration for this gorgeous dessert – apple slice. I changed it to a pear slice, and made a gluten free and gluten version. All I can say is yum…I’ve never used Donna Hay recipes before but this did not disappoint.

It’s back into Term 2 tomorrow and hopefully this nice weather will last just a little bit longer. I don’t mind winter (who doesn’t like to snuggle and cocoon at home) but I’m not ready just yet for the arrival of constant cold and rain.

I’ve spent the last week thinking of ideas for kindy lunches (the pear slice was a trial run for a baked goodie), placing an order with Yalca fruit trees for some more fruit trees for our yard and booking in for some crochet classes. I’m not as comfortable crocheting as knitting and cant wait to sit with someone IRL to ask all my questions :-)

Sunday, April 8, 2012


We’ve just returned from an impromptu road trip to visit family in South Australia. We had amazing weather (29-32 degrees every day) and had an absolute ball…I feel like I’ve been away for weeks rather than only 7 days :-)

:: on arrival we made our way to the Adelaide Showgrounds farmers market where we picked up some divine Quark for Little B. It tastes great with jam, or maple syrup. We also got to shop for supplies as we always stay in self contained accommodation

:: then on to catch up with some new baby second cousins. I’ve forgotten how little and sweet newborn babies really are.

:: then what trip would be complete without a few days at the beach…sunset on the beach is such a blissful time of day

:: Little B fell in love with the bunk beds at the caravan park we stayed in and could be found sitting up on the top bunk resting and listening to The Wombles on audiobook on a few hot afternoons

:: We got to catch up with my grandparents which was the highlight of the trip (Little B adores Great Grammy and Great Grampy)

:: Then we spent a few days in Adelaide city where we checked out the Adelaide museum with more second cousins (the closest thing Litle B has to first cousins). Highlights included a giant squid set out in an old elevator shaft, the sparkly minerals and meteorites and some dinosaur bones.

:: And then we couldn’t leave empty handed and as an old South Australian girl born and bred, we shopped up at Haigh’s chocolates for Easter!! Yummy!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Slow Living Diary - March 2012

Once again, I am joining in with Christine from Slow Living Essentials for a monthly reflection of slow living

NOURISH: I finally hit my groove and got into cooking at the new house. I decided to start making my muesli in double or triple batches to save time – it’s a combo of The Thrifty Kitchen recipe and Jude Blereau’s Coming Home to Eat. Tombolas have been on high rotation for Mr B in an effort to fill up his hollow legs. That combined with a nut mix is making him feel fuller. I also used this recipe to make a batch of super healthy low GI Anzacs. I added in lots of seeds (sunflower, pepitas and linseeds as well). Started making our own mayonnaise to suit Little B's allergies to salicylates and egg.

PREPARE: I told myself last year, I’d make better use of pear season, so I’ve been trying to make more pear jam to get us through the year. I’ve made 4 months worth so far. I’ve also been searching out options to buying more of what we need in bulk i.e. 4kgs of oats at a time. 

REDUCE: Used our stockpile of gardening pots to start a temporary winter garden. Fossicked through the hard rubbish collection for some new bikes and parts, and a new mower. Used left over wood from an old outbuilding to make a balance beam for Little B’s physio (it’s just waiting to be painted).

GREEN: Our new solar panels went up onto the roof and our inverter went in yesterday. We spent lots of time finding and filling the gaps in the new place to a) stop drafts but also b) to stop the bl**dy millipedes getting inside…vomit, vomit!!)

GROW: Planted pak choy, peas, carrots, swede and spinach in our mini garden and at Granny B’s. Our cherry tomato and roma tomatoes are still producing and I haven’t had the heart to rip them out. Ate up and ripped out he last of our corn. Going to use them to the last minute I think

CREATE: Cut down a dress to make a new top. Decided on the last bits of binding for our bedroom quilt that Granny B and I have been working on for quite a while.

DISCOVER:  Have just discovered our local cultural and art centre. It has some great programs and interesting things on for children. Little B is very passionate about dramatic and creative play and we hope to nurture and encourage this through some classes as well as seeing different things like art and plays.

ENHANCE: Helped out on a stall at our local grassroots market. Started walking to or from kindy but not both (Little B’s not physically up to it but he adores walking and its much closer than we thought).

ENJOY: I very much enjoyed catching up with two great friends I hadn’t seen in a while – one for coffee and one for a play date (our kids as much as us *giggle*). There’s something that nourishes the soul about chatting to lovely ladies who know the ins and outs (and ups and downs) of your life!! I also really enjoyed helping out on a kindy excursion that took 24 littlies to a Thai restaurant – they had a ball and were perfectly behaved…totally impressed!!