Friday, February 29, 2008

Shopping tote swappers

I am so glad that everyone is excited about the shopping tote swap. I hope that those who haven't yet signed up will go ahead and take the plunge-it is really a lot of fun!! I would also like to ask Deb of Homespun Living and Jayedee to please give us an e-mail address (don't forget to spell it out to keep the spam away). I am still receiving tea cosy photos and will start posting the "Partial

There are good times ahead

I am really pleased to see so many readers joining the tote bag swap. It's a way of connecting with others in this wonderful blog community and of having a bit of fun getting to know your swap partner. The end result of developing sewing skills, and then using your handmade tote bag, is the icing on the cake. If you have been too shy to join, or you're unsure of your sewing skills, give it a go.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Swapping helps develop your simple living skills

Graphic from allposters.comI'm pleased to see so many of you joining the tote bag swap. I think the swaps have three major benefits:they give you a simple project on which to practise or improve your knitting, crochet or sewing skills;they give you a practical homemade item to use; they connect you with a like-minded soul who also aspires to live simply.If you haven't yet joined one of the swaps

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Calling all swappers!!!

We are pleased to announce the new swap. After many wonderful suggestions and ideas Rhonda, Lorraine and I have decided to do a shopping tote swap. We think this a wonderful way to participate and encourage the three gift challenge. We also encourage everyone to use fabric and material that they already have in their stash or to refashion something into a shopping tote. If you are interested in

Here's to new beginnings

I'm not going to work today. Hanno and I are totally exhausted. With the help of the removalists, a few volunteers and various spouses, we moved. On the penultimate load I thought we might not get everything into the house but when we starting moving a few things to their permanent places, some chairs were rolled to other rooms and boxes stacked, slowly space opened up and when the last truck

Monday, February 25, 2008

This is a good place

I am often surprised and delighted by the generosity of people. As we worked away at the Centre yesterday, a woman, who I interviewed recently to work as a volunteer, came in to help us pack. She is an older lady and she worked harder than all of us. Another woman brought in packing boxes for us to use. Almost everything has been packed for our move now, we just have to pack up what is in the

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A beginning and an end

All systems go! This is the week we move our Neighbourhood Centre into another premises. It will be a tough few days but the payoff will be working in a beautiful old cottage in a garden setting. I'm not looking forward to the move at all, but I love the idea of the new space. The removalists come on Wednesday, we have these two days to finish packing and to get the new house ready for us. I'll

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Random thoughts on planting

Everyone develops their own way of gardening and raising vegetables in their own microclimate. Things I need to protect, you might casually throw over your shoulder into fertile ground and walk away. My easy crops might cause you angst and disappointment. It’s all in the soil and the climate. After you've been gardening for a few years, you'll know what works and what doesn't and you can develop

Passing it on

I'm a bit late with this but here it is. Melinda over at Elements in Time gave me this excellent blog award a couple of weeks ago. Thank you Melinda. If you need ideas, encouragement or inspiration, check out Melinda's blog. You won't be disappointed.I would like to pass on this award to my two favourite blogs Path to Freedom (Journal) and soulemama. Path to Freedom is much more than a blog -

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Two sides of the same wall

Two sides of the same wall. This is inside. This is outside, just on the left, past that red and white check curtain.I sometimes think I'm repeating myself here. Yesterday, as I wandered around the yard with the camera in my apron pocket, I thought there is not too much of our home that I haven't photographed for the whole world to see. Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing the right thing blogging

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Home alone - the sequel

No wonder I love Wyandotte chickens. Read this! It could be a description of me (LOL) but it is a description of Wyandotte chickens from the fabulous Henderson's Handy Dandy Chicken Chart:"well adaptable to confinement or free range; calm, industrious, usually docile, but can be aggressive; some are aloof, others friendly."We are getting more eggs to hatch. Helen emailed a few days ago to tell me

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Vegetable seeds, how to test viability

I've been slowly sorting through the vegetable seeds I have here - those saved from my own garden and those bought from places like Green Harvest and Eden Seeds. I now have a list of the vegetables we'll grow this season, I don't have all the seeds yet, and some of the seeds I have I'm not sure of. If you're not sure of your seeds, it's best to test the viability of them before you plant. There

Monday, February 18, 2008

Trouble with the fish

We have been having terrible trouble with our aquaponics system and the fish have been dying. About two weeks ago we noticed the water going a revolting shade of pea green. The fish were fine but something was happening with the water. When it started getting worse, we changed the water. We put the fish back into the clean water, the next day is was brown.Our aquaponics system is made up of two

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Tea Cosy Swap

Hello swappers- I just wanted to remind everyone that most of the tea cosies should be winging their way to their new homes this week. When you receive your parcel please let us know and e-mail a photo to me (Sharon) cdetroyes at yahoo dot com so in a bit I can post a "parade" of the tea cosies. The photos I have received so far are a reminder of what a creative and artistic blog "family" we

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Not the step-by-step guide to simple living

As I clicked away on the needles yesterday I tried to compose a blog post in my head that would help those much younger than me work towards their own version of a simple life. I would really like to visit each and every one of you and discuss various approaches to simplicity and help you all get started on this path. Needless to say I didn't compose that blog post and although I would love to

Friday, February 15, 2008

New knitting

It's almost Autumn, so for me, it's time to knit with wool instead of cotton. I went to the shops yesterday - yes, I know, it's scary out there - to buy a longer set of circular needles. I'm going to make a cowl for the cold days of winter. I have two balls of very soft 100% fine merino wool in my stash, all I needed was the needles.I took my camera to the store.Knitting is a really interesting

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Two great blogs + a great late addition

I just have to tell you about my two favourite blogs - SouleMama and Path to Freedom. I've been reading Path to Freedom since forever and still marvel at their ability to produce a consistent supply of fruit and vegetables from their 1/5 acre suburban garden. If you're an aspiring gardener, or wanting some inspiration for your new season garden, look no further than here and here. I was pleased

Hanging laundry

I had to hang the laundry undercover yesterday as it was raining.There are a few things I do in my daily life that I think are unchanged since Adam was a boy. One of those things is hanging washing out to dry. Drying clothes outside is a chore that connects you to all your great grandmothers. We might have plastic pegs now but most of the other requirements are unchanged over hundreds of

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My scone recipe

I rarely follow recipes. I use them as a starting point and change it to suit our tastes. Scones need to be made in a similar way all the time though. I do add other things to my scones, mostly dates, but usually we have them like this.2 cups self raising flour OR plain/all purpose flour with one teaspoon of baking powder for each cupPinch salt1 tablespoon sugar30g butter chopped1 cup

The apology

After all the hoopla, I didn't watch the apology. When it was being said, I was driving to the Centre, when it was streamed from the internet during the morning tea, I was on the phone and dealing with clients. : - (The morning tea was a great success. About 30 people attended and everyone was moved by the speech and the coverage of the event. The Flexi students and teachers joined us and the

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sorry is the first step

Above is the Australian Aboriginal flag, created in 1971 by Harold Thomas. It's been a long time coming but this morning, the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, will apologise to the aboriginal people and the stolen generations, for the injustices and hurt caused by government policies of the past.There is a full story about it here, but for those of you who know little of our history it used

Monday, February 11, 2008

Spending - it matters

I'm bad. Here I am telling every one who will listen to stop spending on all those little bits and pieces that make your dollars disappear, and I go and buy lunch for myself when I was at work yesterday. I bought a cheese and salad multigrain roll and a piece of fruit cake from the lovely Swiss bakery in Maleny.It cost me $6.50! If I did that every day I worked it would cost almost $20 a week for

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's not easy being green

I had a lovely day yesterday working away quietly in my home. Hanno was up on the roof cleaning 10 years worth of dirt off with Jens' pressure cleaner hose and as he stayed up there most of the day, I think he enjoyed every minute of it. I started off my day watching the end of a DVD one of the ladies here sent me. It was the BBC program It's Not Easy Being Green - 2 DVDs, eight programs. It's

Friday, February 8, 2008

Organic fruit in the backyard

I felt the seasons change slightly yesterday. There was a nip in the air when I took the dogs outside early in the morning, and although it didn't stay cool for long, I know Autumn is not far away. Autumn is my favourite time of year. It's still warm in the daytime, cool at night and there is that wonderful change happening in the garden. Trees shift from green to gold and red, leaves fall,

Tea Cosy Swap

Hello swappers! We just wanted to remind all of you that today is the deadline for mailing your parcel to your swap buddy. Don't forget to let your buddy know that you have mailed it and also drop a quick e-mail to either Lorraine or myself (Sharon) so that we can keep track of everyone's parcel. When you receive your parcel please let one of us know and send a photo to me (Sharon) so we can

Thursday, February 7, 2008

An ordinary day at home

A wild storm was brewing when I drove up the mountain to my meeting late yesterday afternoon. I wish I had taken my camera to take a photo of it for you. The sky was solid dark grey and there was a long, straight, cigar-shaped, lighter grey fluffy cloud rolling over the mountain that just took my breath away. Loud thunder claps, a few lightning strikes and a huge downpour of rain and it was all

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Finding home

I was very busy at work this week. We're moving to a another building soon and I've been getting removalist quotes and finding out what we need to do to change our phone, internet and electricity, as well as going to the new building to work out where desks will be placed so our electrician can install new outlets. I've also been trying to get our financial records in order because our previous

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Needle work

I wrote yesterday about focusing on your home and the importance of seeing your work there with respect. One of the things that helped me refocus on my life at home was to do things that I really enjoyed and that helped me live up to my new values. I taught myself to knit and sew again. I had done these things earlier in life but put them aside thinking they were irrelevant when I could buy,

Monday, February 4, 2008

My heart's desire

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it took to kick start my simple life. I used to think it was to stop spending, but I realise now that was the consequence of something else I did. The big change was to focus on what I did at home and to make my home the most important place for me.We grow up with advertising, it's ubiquitous, Wherever you look, there will be an advertisement telling you

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Home alone

Clicking on these photos will enlarge them.I had another day at home alone yesterday ... pure bliss. Hanno and the boys went off to the one day cricket match, between Australia and India, in Brisbane. I watched the start of it, I think the end was washed out but I was too engrossed in my own day to take much notice. Just after they left, I took tea and a piece of orange cake out on the verandah

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Washing dishes

I'm the first to admit that I'm not consistent with my washing up methods. I swing between using the dishwasher and washing up in the sink. I do this because I can't make up my mind which is the best way. I believe the dishwasher does a better job of cleaning, but I think I do a better job of looking after my kitchen ware if I'm actually touching it and cleaning it myself.Of course there's also

Friday, February 1, 2008

Tea Cosy Swap

Hi swappers. Hope you are all having a wonderful week-end. Don't forget that the deadline to mail your parcel to your swap buddy is Feb. 8. Please let your swap buddy and either Lorraine or myself (Sharon) know when you post your parcel so we can keep track of everyone's tea cosy. When you receive your tea cosy please e-mail a photo of it to Sharon at: cdetroyes at yahoo dot com so that we

Buying quality ... and cotton

It's always seemed a good idea to me to buy the best quality I could afford whenever I purchase anything. That is even more important when you're trying to live well on less money. It might sound strange, because the quality items are usually more expensive, but you will find that investing a bit more in what you buy will pay you back with length of service. Part of our philosophy is to look