Friday, February 27, 2009


Home is ..where? Sure I love it here. I love being by the ocean and in this beautiful area with lots of green bushland around.

As I was driving home from the tie-dying event the other day, as I drove through lots of farmland, I got to wondering....."Can I honestly live happily on a farm?"

There are so many wonderful things about the whole farm concept. I can totally appreciate the beauty of the farm areas.

But the place where I feel truly full - by the ocean. Sitting on the beach, or being in the water, I experience timelessness. I feel oneness. I feel...home.

In my vision for the retreat / farm, I had always imagined that it would be on a little hill with the ocean (not a river or a pond) directly below it.

I can have both. Now that I realise that, I will no longer look inland for a good place for a farm, but will focus my search only on the coast.

making spaghetti 1

Take 2 cups of sifted, organic spelt flour, make a well in the middle and crack in 3 organic eggs, add 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp water and a big pinch of salt. Mix, knead for about 10-15 minutes then roll in the pasta machine, newly aquired from a garage sale (brand new, still in the box for 1/4 of what it costs at the store!):

making spaghetti 2

get the whole family involved! After rolling, put through the cutter roll to make spaghetti...

Roll and cut some more:

See how long you can make the spaghetti!

It helps if everyone wears their newly tie-dyed shirts while doing this process too! (I should have done some shirts for Cary...will have to get some more paint!)

After making the spaghetti, we let it dry by hanging it over the clothes drying rack. It was dry in about an hour. Boiled a large pot of water, added a little salt and oil and cooked the spaghetti for about 3 minutes. Served it up with a little organic pasta sauce and a huge salad. Soooo Good! So easy! What we made fed us all with enough leftover for another meal.

tie dying!

Wednesday we drove to the Northern Rivers Homeschoolers group who were having a tie-dying day at the hall where they usually meet.

I love these flags that my friend Anna had dyed:

Summer hand painting a canvas bag, AJ had just finished tie dying a t-shirt.

Nicholas loves the rope swing!

Here's the hall...the local community built it.

Inside the hall the kids were playing tennis cricket (or something that looked like that).

This group meets in a beautiful area, surrounded by green and lovely!

Summer painted the shirt on the left, Nicholas did the apron on the right.

Nicholas with some of the finished products. Beautiful! So inspiring to be surrounded by creative, lovely people.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

creek day with unschoolers, tomatoes, pigeons

Tuesday was a glorious day and we were thrilled that the Brisbane unschoolers group was coming to OUR creek for the day! For the first time ever, we were able to ride our bikes to a gathering. Summer and AJ played in the water all day and would have stayed until dark but Nicholas was having a bit of a struggle. He was maxed out and ready to go by about 4pm. It was probably a year since we had seen most of that group and Nicholas had forgotten them so he wasn't as comfortable with me chatting to people he couldn't remember. So I didn't get to chat as much as I would have liked, but we still had a lovely time.
Nicholas swimming - he taught himself to swim freestyle (crawl).
AJ & Nicholas

Summer on a surfboard

Looking out to the mouth of the creek where it meets the ocean. AJ in the middle, Summer to the right of him.


We moved our tomato plants to try and encourage more growth. As we did, we noticed the roots coming through the bottom of the boxes. Definitely not deep enough. Could be why they stopped growing. After moving them a little more into the sun and rain, we did seem to get a few more tiny tomatoes, though the leaves died off. Just as I was about to go out and check the toms, Cary noticed a magpie sitting on the stake, eating all the tomatoes! We had already gotten about a dozen, but were looking forward to more. Oh well.

When we moved into this house, we noticed a couple of pigeons hanging out near the front door as though they were used to being fed by the previous occupant. So we started feeding them. Now one of them will actually come right up to the front door and peck on the door. If we don't take any food out right away, it will walk it's way up the fly screen and perch on the door handle. So funny!

Friday, February 13, 2009


The touch of coolness in the morning air recently vanished and was replaced with very warm, humid weather. We got to a point where we put our air conditioner on in the house (we don't have it in the car) for just the second time this summer. That would bring our a/c total running time to under an hour. When we have put it on, it's just to cool the place down and take the edge off. We have had the ceiling fans on low or medium quite often, just to keep air moving when there is no breeze. But I think our next electricity bill will be fairly reasonable.

We have had fires to the south of us, with around 200 people dead and 7000 homeless. Friends of ours in those areas were all lucky to escape. So sad. I can't imagine. Floods to the north of us causing an increase in the cost of bananas (a main staple in my diet). Many large and small businesses and community groups around us are having fundraisers to help these people. It always warms the heart to see community pull together, it's a shame it takes a tragedy to make it so.

Today the humidity has broken and it's been raining steadily all day. I'm in jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt which is nice for a change. The kitchen is calling me to bake cookies! It's been too warm to heat up the house any more by baking but today is a good day to stock up on some home baked treats.

A while back I was doing a lot of reading, trying to figure out what the natural diet of we humans should be. For 30 years I've been playing around with different diets, experimenting on myself. In that time, I have never found more passion in a group as what I have amongst those following a raw-food diet. So many people find such energy and enthusiasm for life and that style of eating that they want to tell everyone. Fantastic! It often comes with much inspiration and encouragement as well. However, amongst the groups of raw fooders there seems to be a lot of disagreement on the 'right' way to do raw. High fat vs low fat, high fruit vs low fruit, superfoods vs natural foods etc. It's exhausting! After trying to get back into all raw foods here, and getting side-tracked by all of the conflicting advice, I went back out on my own to figure things out.

Yes, the human ancestors started out as raw vegans, but in order to evolve and thrive and move to different areas, changes needed to be made which included eating animals and using fire to cook. (I wonder if this is when more aggressive behaviour began.)

There can be points made to justify any point of view as to why a person chooses a certain way of eating. So I had to reach a place where I was totally comfortable with how my family and I eat. Certainly lots of fruit and veges of the highest quality possible. We shop at local farmers markets from local growers who are organic or on their way there. Grains - I buy good quality flour and use different grains for variety. I make most of our own cookies, cakes, waffles and pies which we don't do a lot of when it's warmer outside. Except the waffles which are a standard Sunday morning thing. I'm going to start making our own pasta again soon. If I buy any packaged pasta or bread, it's from a quality wholegrain source. Fats - unsalted butter, olive oil, canola oil or coconut oil, the best quality I can. Milk - usually rice or soy though Cary likes full cream dairy. Protein - organic dry beans, homecooked, organic tofu and tempeh. And I made peace with the fact that Cary and the kids enjoy meat. So if they want it, they buy hormone free and organic if possible. Same with their eggs. For me, a low-fat, vegan diet with grains only several times a week seems to work the best. I love a hearty vege soup when it's cool out and I also enjoy lots of fresh foods. I'm more in touch with my body and it's needs and eat more instinctively rather than what I think I should eat due to the time of day or combination of food.

I'm working towards making most of our own basic foods like hummus, tomato sauce and nut butter etc and getting away from most processed foods.

Basically, my research led me to a greater understanding of why eating a diet of more whole-foods is important. And why I no longer get sucked in when shopping with the kids and they ask for a packet of cookies or something of minimal nutritional value. And I no longer feel any judgement towards anyone choosing to eat a particular way. Because that might work for them, and why did I feel that my way was the 'right' way anyway? That kind of attitude doesn't create harmony in my life or the world.

Speaking of harmony, some times it's hard to stay rooted in that. Subtle things take me away from that but I am getting much better at sourcing the cause of it. The biggest breakthrough though has been in realising that often it's my own connection to myself that is disrupted. For some reason, in that moment I am not living my Truth and once I get back on track with that, harmony is restored.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Summer (the season) is just racing by...schools are back in, the tourists have gone home, the beaches are quiet, the frangipani trees have less flowers on them and there is a hint of coolness in the air. I just adore this season and wish it would last much longer. I love the long lazy days of wearing few clothes and biking and swimming. I love strolling to the beach after dinner to play some more or climb on the rocks or kick a ball on the sand. I love the feeling of the sun on my bare skin, the waves crashing over me and the vibrant feeling that summer gives me.

The recent hot days though have been hard on the plants in our container gardens. The tomatoes are not doing well. One plant has produced edible fruit though it is very small. Perhaps the containers are not big enough, the soil not rich enough, the seeds not strong enough, or we just started too late. I've used a little organic seaweed concentrate to enrich the soil, but maybe I started that too late or it wasn't the right thing. Our first batch of lettuce seemed to grow without us doing much at all, and it was delish! We have two other containers with lettuce that seemed to have just stopped growing. I must do some more research.

This morning the children and I went for a long walk along the deserted beach. We collected shells and rocks and sticks. We'd stop to admire each item before adding it to our collection. Most of the shells the children chose were broken but they saw the beauty in them in their colour or shape or texture. A little reminder to me that all of us do not need to be perfect in order to be precious.