Friendship

Spending time at a friend's farm today.

Do you think friendships change as you get older? That the simple friendships of childhood are replaced by the more complicated friendships of adolescence, then the freer friendships of early adulthood are replaced by stronger friendships as a parent? 

I've always felt a little socially awkward. I have often felt like the odd one out. But often that didn't matter, as I had a twin sister who was and still is my best friend. But when she moved to another state it pushed me to make new friends. The most convenient friends were other school mums, until I started homeschooling. While three of those friendships remain strong, the rest have fallen away. And yet, my current friendships offer more than ever before. I've been trying to put my finger on whether it is a result of homeschooling and finding likeminded people? A sign of maturity - that one outgrows toxic relationships and learns how to be a good friend? A sign of contentment - that I am not aiming to prove anything and am happy to have people take me or leave me as I am - that has resulted in me finding a circle of friends that share my values and support me, love me and enjoy spending time with me? Or perhaps a little of all of these?

I have found that the truer I am able to be to myself, the more I am able to just 'be Christina', the more likely I am to find friends who appreciate me for me. 'Of course!' you might be thinking. But as a child, it felt natural to believe that if I changed then people would like me. When in fact, the more I allow myself to follow my passions, the more people seem to relate. 

Which is all to say. I am so grateful for the beautiful friends I have. Some I have had for fifteen years, and some for a year, but all of them are beautiful people whom I adore and love to spend time with.

Blooming


Whenever we travel we play the 'imagine if we lived here' game and daydream about what our home and lives would look like in our new surroundings. An apartment in the City. A shack by the beach. A cottage in the country. Would we settle in easily or have to contract or expand ourselves in our new spaces. What would be different? Better? Worse? It's a fun game to play, but it is always so nice to come home after our travels that such thoughts are quickly forgotten.

More and more often lately I have been having those 'imagine if we lived here' thoughts about buying more land away from suburbia. Even just two acres with a little dam and some native bush.  A wrap around balcony. An orchard. A huge veggie patch. A 'tree change'. Unfortunately, finances and commute time for my husband doesn't allow for such daydreams to come true at present. And were my husband's dreams to come true, they would not involve more land and animals, but rather a property that backed onto a golf course! 

Still, unfulfilled longings can be quite frustrating and I probably don't help myself with my choice of reading material! Lately, I have been reading 'A year in the Valley' by Jackie French, 'A wood of one's own' by Ruth Pavey and the visual candy of 'Country Style' magazine. All rather romantic tree change enablers. Also not helping my tree change longing is that a friend and her family have recently moved to their own 20-acre tree change close to the beach. Happy sigh. We spent an enriching and rejuvenating day with them recently exploring their land and breathing in their horses. It was wonderful.

To while away the time when I was sick in bed recently I spent some time (a lot of time) looking at real estate sites and trying to find the perfect acreage that would suit all our needs. I found it. I even drove past it, slowly. But the time for such things is not now. So what to do except bloom where I am planted? There was a time when I longed for the home and land we now have. A time when I was pregnant with our second child, pulling up the carpet in this house in an effort to get the renovations completed so we could move in. I'm so grateful for all we have. I get to do all the things I want to do - spending my days with my children, making and selling jewellery, writing, reading, drawing, crafting, gardening. And though I long for more space, more quiet, more nature and more animals, my cup is pretty full with all I have.

Constellations



1. Pink afternoon light, 2. designing our own constellations, 3. homeschool cat, 4. matching pictures, words and letters, 5. in bloom in the garden

Be careful what you wish for. After a busy week I mentioned to my husband one morning that I wanted a home day with the children, but that we had several things planned. My eldest woke up with tummy pains. Automatic home day!

I really needed a home day. Despite trying to slow down and live intentionally I always feel like I am trying to catch up on something. The groceries that I didn’t get to do one afternoon because my husband was working late and my children were too tired to drag around the shops. A mountain of laundry when we have had a few days out and about. A basket full of tomatoes waiting to be preserved. The daily necessities seem so time consuming at times that I wonder how we have much time for anything else. But then I write my notes in our natural learning journal, or I look back through the photos I have taken and I notice that between the dishes, laundry, groceries, cleaning and cooking, much was taking place. We have followed the children’s interest in constellations, visited the library, read several picture books and a non-fiction book,  listened to two audio books in the car (The BFG and Grimms Fairy Tales - I would recommend both), played games, taken nature walks and spent time with friends.

My to-do list remains unchecked, but I think I should write our other achievements on there anyway and tick them off. :)



A new family member


Introducing Miles, a reserved little chap who's had quite a tumultuous start to life, ending up at the pound, being rescued and fostered, and now coming to live with us in his forever home. He's wary of men, frightened of raised voices and spent the first few days mostly hiding under our bed. But this resilient little fellow is coming out of his shell now and everyone has fallen in love with him. He is a ridgeback cross, possibly kelpie, and is 8-12 months old. He doesn't bark or dig, is mostly not interested in the chickens and cat, but has nibbled his way through an electrical cable, a book, a skirt, and the edge of the sheet that overhung the bed... (He'll grow out of that, right?! We have brought him several dog toys!)

Still, a small price to pay for such a beautiful new family member.

-

Adopted through Precious Paws.

Farm Week


My six-year-old daughter dreams of growing up and owning a farm and horses. Emerson is all about her horse riding lessons, learning about animals and growing plants. She constructs stories with her plastic horse figurines and builds stables and barns on Minecraft. We read books about farmers, farms and animals, pot up seeds and seedlings, take holidays at farm stays. Recently we visited all the animals at the Mount Gravatt show and have our own menagerie of chickens, Golden Apple water snails and our darling old cat. She wants to start an animal club and spends her time drawing animal after animal. (How I adore children's drawings.)

This week, affectionately dubbed 'farm week', we dove deeper into Emerson's passion with two farm visits. (Should I mention that it is a shared passion and that I have no problem at all driving an hour to spend time on acreage surrounded by plants and animals?! No doubt you guessed that already!) At Chantilly farm, there was a pet piglet, hydroponic lettuce to plant, empty pots to fill, edible flower orders to be picked and goats to meet. Farmer Bec was full of joy and passion as she explained the ins and outs of the farm to the children.

Today we bottle fed baby goats at Naughty Little Kids farm, before being given the chance to milk a goat and watch a goat milk cheese making demonstration. The boy's highlight of the day was the gelato tasting, and we supported the farmers with our many purchases... :)

Emerson has informed me that she is interested in learning about pigs next, having her own veggie patch, and learning more about plants. Sounds perfect to me. xx

Nature Journaling

 
Golden Orb-weaving spider
Nephila plumipes
(female) 
The small red spider to the left is the male.

Sunrise 6:29 am
Sunset 5:16 pm
28 July 2018
Saturday
9 - 25' C
Springwood Conservation Park

I took a nature walk on my own today while the children were tucked up at home with coughs and runny noses. It was a nice change to be able to set my own pace, be quiet and listen to the birds and sit still and look for wildlife. I walked off the path and found a big rock to walk on. I heard a rustle in the leaf litter and spotted a goanna eating beneath a tree. I'm not sure what it was eating, but it seemed large, like it was choking. It rubbed its face on the bark of the tree and eventually licked its lips, had a sniff around and wandered off. It was so quiet I heard bird calls I didn't recognise. 

I kept walking and saw a water dragon sunning itself, the colours of its body a brilliant camouflage against the silvery lichen on the rocks. As I walked the loop up to the lookout I snapped off a few twigs and popped them in my backpack. I found a large flat rock at the highest point and sat down and made these sketches in pencil. I walked back to the car as the shadows grew longer and added pen and watercolour at the dining room table, looking up the names of these beautiful native Australian flowers.

Boronia pinnata
Qld silver wattle / Acacia podalyriifolia