Saturday, January 30, 2010

Strawberry picking

In my garden I have a whole bed, just for strawberrys, it's like 4meters by 4meters, but it's still not enough!. Every year I plant more, hoping one day I'll have enough for jam. But I never will, The more I have the more they eat. I can't blame the children really, who could resist a sweet, warm from the sun strawberry?

This year I gave in and went to a strawberry farm, The strawberrys are never like you grow yourself, but they were not too bad. So I made strawberry and rhubarb jam, straight strawberry jam, strawberry topping for the daily afterschool milkshakes, strawberry vinegar with the tops and this strawberry and custard pie for morning tea.


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Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of it's furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

-Jelaluddin Rumi.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


This is Andy, our shearer.

My Dad was a shearer, it's part of the job description of being a Farmer. His Dad was too. My Dad grew up in a tent by the side of the Murray River, his family were share-farmers, waiting for the day they had enough money to buy their own farm.

I think this is why us kids never went camping as children, Dad just didn't understand why we wanted to leave a comfortable bed, running water and a flushable toilet. He would say 'How is camping a holiday?'.

Back to shearing, My dad, his dad and brothers would travel the district, shearing in the most appalling conditions. It was my Grandfather Jim Willett who was instrumental in starting the shearer's union.

I wish my children could see their Pa shear our sheep, but Pa lives four hours away and in nearly 80years.

I wish my boys see their Pa like I see him.

They see a man who lives in town, I see a man who lives for the wide open spaces. They see a man who struggles to read a newspaper, I see a man who never missed his shot. They see a man who is stiff with the years, I see a man able to climb a tree in one bound.

But still the children are drawn to him, maybe they sense what he was about. I guess this is what they call the generation gap.

Not even in your dreams can you visit the house of tomorrow.

This wool is superfine merino, it is oh so soft!. Joey is wrapped up in the brown fleece.

Flynn made a bed on the white.

The children dragged their bag of fleece upstairs, declaring that they were sleeping in their fleece tonight.

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Gorgeous sliver/grey fleece.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Oh so protective this mama is, I'm surprised Joey was quick enough to pick one up. As soon as he put the chick down the hen checked her chick then flew at Joey and pecked his knee.

I think they are two roosters, and I won't tell you what happens to boys on our farm, least to say that girls have a lovely long life.
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010


This one's Joseph's.

Flynn did a tree.

Jim did a stable.

Nibble nibble like a mouse,
who's that nibbling at my house!.
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This year, the children drew their gingerbread house on paper first and then we made a template for each one

By the time it came to little Alice I was exhausted, so she just got some dough and did lots of shapes.

She didn't seem to mind.
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