The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple. ~Doris Janzen Longacre

The best way to bring a sustainable change in the world around me is by bringing the change in myself

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last Day of winter ... Spring is here

We're nearing the end of winter here in Sydney, still a few cold nights but the days are very nice. Sonday My friend Des and I started getting the veggie patch in shape for summer planting. Des has'nt have a patch atm cause they renting. I had bought a few seedings from Bunnings 6 beefsteak, 2 Roma 4 cherry tomatoes which Des planted in the half barrels, My vision of the expensive corragated raised beds.

All it is 200lt steeldrums cut in half and a split hose pipe around the top, but better still you can buy half drums that have the nice rolled edge on top. Drill a few holes for drainage Cost $20.00 A slap of paint if you worried about it rusting.

Anyway to get back to the garden, we planted beetroot, more tomatoes, sweetcorn,radishes, peas, cucumber, lemon grass and goose berries. Composted sheep poop and hay from last season's lambing had composted nicely and was ready to be used in the garden. Des prepared raised bed no 5 mixing old soil, compost and more top soil from the nursery, with the rotory hoe, this is where we planted the sweetcorn.

The hens are laying 6/8 eggs a day atm but that should improve as the pullets get a little older. Hen 13 Roosters 5 (not for long)One is getting fattened for the pot. 1 Broody silky with 3 orpington eggs. I have sold eggs to my fellow workmated and the egg money goes to buy chook food again. I am hoping for a few more orpington chooks this summer, maybe a few for the pot too.

We are expecting 3 suffork lambs anyday now, I let the girls in very late with Nelson, while the neighbours ram jumped the fence and forsure did the deed with the other two ewe's. Not happy cause that would be a mixed breed, let's just hope it boys. Daisy the goat is fully grown and is just the sweetest thing ever.

Well that's all news for now. And need I remind you to leave a comment for the give away, if you would like to take part.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

More holiday pics ... and give away details.

The weather was so great, a little snow on the mountain just outside Hobart which looked so nice. I would have taken a pic of it but this trip I was cameraless and Pina was using her mobile phone just as a backup expecting me to bring the camera. Well the blond one (daughter) borrowed it, for her trip to the USA. The old Canon stayed behind, we have got so spoilt with the digital one. Anyway I am amazed at the quality of the phone pics. We toured mostly south of Hobart, trying not to miss anything, Port Arthur was an amazing place to visit.

On the way back we stopped of at the Tassie Devil Park, just as the next bird display was about to start. Here I got roped in to play part of the tree, (Might be cause I was dressed in green)I did get upclose to my favorite bird, Tawny Frogmouth. A young mother T/Devil refused to showoff her little ones.

A tour to the Cadbury Factory was on top of the list. Here I bought a teatowel as part of my holiday giveaway. The whole process of making chocolate is explained, the cocoa pods are bigger than I expected with shades of yellow to bright red.. Most of our cocoa beans come from PNG, roasted in Singapore then ground into a fine powder,then shipped to Hobart. What a place to work at though, how could you resist taste testing them choccies. We did get to visit their onsite shop and bought a good supply. My favorite is still Crunchies and peppermint Freddos.

Now let me tell ya, there is no way you can see Tasmania properly in a week or even two. There is just to much to see and do. So we will be back next year.
Until nexttime

PS. I have a small give away, so leave me a comment even if your overseas, on any of the last 3 posts to join in the fun. Draw ends 2 weeks from today. Good Luck.

Cascades Female Factory 1828 - 1904

Convict bonnets become Roses of the Heart

Thousands of replica female convict bonnets being made across the country and beyond, will become a powerful visual symbol of reconciliation with Australia's convict origins.

900 Bonnets
I (Christina Henri)was searching for a way to communicate the grief experienced by convict women at their unjust treatment. I spent months experimenting with a variety of art investigations at the Female Factory Historic Site in South Hobart, Tasmania.
One day I was away from the Site at another historic establishment, Narryna Heritage Museum in Battery Point, and I stumbled across a large number of white boxes containing baby’s christening bonnets. I reflected on how colonial mothers in all levels of society had suffered from the loss of their young. For the upper classes though they had ways of dealing with their grief and building monuments to pay tribute to their loved ones. Convict women, on the other hand, were afforded no such avenues and given no consideration during their time of anguish.

It was then the idea came to me to create an installation incorporating images of the beautiful christening bonnets arranged in such a way as to be a moving evocative memorial.
900 silk-screen images taken from photographs of the christening bonnets placed individually on A4 acetate sheets that hung in nine rows of one hundred images suspended from the ceiling by slender wooden bows.
From this concept followed ‘Departures and Arrivals’ (Tasmanian Bicentenary Project) an installation of cloth christening bonnets installed in the shape of a cross. I felt involving the community in the making of the bonnets added a layer of meaning to the artwork. The empathy of the bonnet makers added to the powerfully visual impact the rows of baby’s bonnets had on the viewer. Departures and Arrivals has been installed both indoors as well as outdoors.

They suffered very much at the hands of their captors and many were raped and had babies whilst incarcerated, the babies had to live in another room.. it is thought that the babies were probably not clothed or taken care of properly, for at least 1,100 babies died…the women were also punished for falling pregnant….

The concept came to artist Christina Henri, after she discovered some babies christening bonnets in white boxes at a Museum from the time… people from all over the world are ordering the bonnet pattern and making a bonnet……to be a part of the Roses from the Heart installation

Roses from the Heart ~~~
Gather them roses of yellow and red
Call out their names to start
and send them a rose from the heart
Gather their bonnets to wear on their heads
and send them a rose from the heart

A lot of the women who have sewn the bonnets, found a real connection with the life of a particular female convict, they went on to research about her and share the information with friends and family and they then embroidered her name and flowers onto the bonnet….as a sign of respect

On the show they had a ceremony in a church with a big old row boat up the front and all the ladies wore the bonnets as a sign of respect…then went forward in a beautiful procession, removing the bonnet and placing it in the boat….oh how beautiful…to honour these poor women…who had probably stolen just a morsel of bread to save themselves and loved ones from starvation, but sadly, such a small thing was considered a serious crime back then excerpt
Sew a bonnet and be part of history. 25,266 bonnets made with empathy for convict woman who endured much received so little recognition. Their economic and social contribution was enormous, yet the ‘stigma’ shrouding their existence always precluded discussion of their value.

Just a few comments ...
That is so beauitful, thanking you for sharing. I am not one descended from a convict but my heart goes out to them. ...........Sandy
.Karin Taylor replied
thank you sandy, i am uncertain whether we are descendants or not of a female convict, but we think we have a male convict…and perhaps a female aboriginal ancestor … as many in our family have brown eyes and some features that make us wonder :) x my heart goes out to them also :)
. barnsis
Well my mom wore a bonnet to work in the field and my father was a convict but we are not from down under so I guess I am still not qualified. } :>)
. WhiteDove Stud...
Thanks for sharing Karin, my hubby is descended from both male & female convicts (who married). What a powerful part of history you have shared here and what a beautiful, poignant concept/tribute to these women. If I had any sewing skills I would – sadly I have none lol.
. Trish Woodford
PS – we have the old trial transcripts and he was sent out to Australia for stealing a hankerchief and she for stealing a dress. Sad but true, all they would have endured for that!)
. bev langby

Thank you for sharing this interesting story. I’m not Australian but my heart bleedes for those women…
. Mui-Ling Teh

Thank you for sharing Karin-sama!!
Amazing story of the artist and Australian history.
. catherine walker

There's nothing I can add to this story, except please go visit this historic site when you ever in Tasmania, it left me a little angry to think women could be treated this way, no matter who they were. It is a very sad place.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Market and a little music

We follow the sounds of a bagpiper playing a beautiful quick song while keeping beat with his foot. This busker is a young man dressed more like an artist than a bagpiper, his blond hair framing his face. A backdrop of sandstone walls, a bakery with tables outside. We round the corner to find blue and white gazebos,down eitherside of the road, we decide to start rightside first making our way around all 300 hundred stalls.

Stallholders are selling their wares, homebaked goods, beautiful painted silk scarfs blowing in the slight breeze, pure homespun wool socks, beanies and scarfs in shades of creamy browns and greys and brightly coloured felt made into flowers to pin onto hats or cloths,baby slippers ... wooden bowls turned from local wood, honey and jams by the bottlesfull. We share a bowl of tempura mushrooms with sweet chilli sauce.

We find a few stalls selling fresh veggies, fruit and flowers. The display is so inviting, we buy some asian greens and a bundle of sweet carrots to stirfry for our dinner with some leftover chicken.

The busker has moved on and now a group of young irish musicians are playing celtic/blue grass music. They're very good, a huge crowd is standing around listening to them play. (I had to buy a cd) We end the morning with bowls of soup and pied bread at the bakery.

Afternoon entertainment is a little bit of culture, we drove to a winery (Meadowbank Winery about 1/2hr outside Hobart) no not winetasting but music and song "A Little Light Music" by The Tasmanian Chorale, a group of 45 singers, from Bach to Billy Joel. A lot of winetasting was done that afternoon. Conducted by Stephanie Abercomby. After a nice afternoon we headed back to our resort.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tassie Get away ... Hobart

All booked and paid for before George's foot problem, so yep I am a little worried heading off on holiday and leaving him to fend for himself. And with three ewes about to lamb, it could not have come at a worst time. But I am going to take the time out and unwind, that's when we're not flat out sightseeing. It's very much winter in Tasmania still and I know it might even snow. How much can one see in 5 days? Pina My Japanese friend found cheap airfares on the internet, and she booked a little car for the few days, and the accommodation looks very stylish. I promise to get a few nice pics! 18/23rd August.

See ya soon

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Just another day at work

Taco The bird

Alby having his morning tea break

Taco hiding in his forest of leaves ... right next to where I work ... sadly I talk to a bird cause no one listens anyway!!

Clean all edges of burrs and any sharp edges, then net them and pack before they go off for hardening

Just cleaned and packed heaps of these brass plumbing fittings this week.

Stocktaking ... just another job palmed off on me

And finally Alby and Trent ... I have to put up with these two fellas everyday.

And quess what Tomorrow is Monday and another work day. So see ya soon

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Crazy Lady on the ride on

Crazy Lady on the ride-on. We only a few minutes walk
from the village, in the background.
I thought I would bring this post forward, It's a little about Lavender Hill when we first bought it (saves you all going back in time) We had this 5 year plan, 3 yrs are gone and still I don't see that we're getting to the stage that we could live there fulltime. For starters We still have a morgage and need to build our cottage and a small stone house, shed/garage/carport Then all the chook housing and sheep sheds need to be built. We are going to be off grid if I can get my way George wants power for a small engineering/wood working set up, but we will see ...

Somedays I can't believe how much work we have put into this place already. LavenderHill was so covered in lantana which is ready considered a weed and very hard to get rid of. We have dug out heaps of the stuff and even got my friend Mark the Dingoman to help remove the stuff, with his trusty Kango. Burnt heaps of it which is the only way to get rid of lantana. But new plants keep popping up and it's a continued fight with nature. I have heard the younger the plant are the more posionous it is to goats, that according to my friend Lynne who had a small herd/flock of goats.

Wow the grass was wild then, poor Toro no wonder she died. I killed her! Dear Husband George did slatch the worst of the grass first, then I ran over it with the ride-on. We got given the old thing but she lived at the repair shop, so you never knew if you going to finish cutting the lawn or not. Eventually it all got to much! So we hunted around for something better and here she is

A trusty John Deere, now you should see the Crazy Lady go like a bat out of hell. Even got a little trailer to make my life easier. No more pushing a wheelbarrow uphill. Mate She goes well! Finally we paid the bank the last payment in half the time, now she's all mine.
We got nearly 5 acres to cut, our place is 3 acres, plus the crown land in front of our place and then the verge/naturestrip. The fencing is really bad on the crownland and seeing we mow it and keep it clean, I think we intitled to graze our sheep there, we going to have to repair it.(Done)Just another job to get done before Christmas Holidays, when I bringing the sheep to LavenderHill to let the grass rest a little in Sydney. Ever heard of sheep going on holidays!!!!!(2009 I spent 5 weeks up there, George had to return to work earlier and Cobi spent 2 weeks with me)

Now the post and rail fence is slowly creeping it way round the property. It look great but George started this expensive fence and it's costing a fair bit to put up. Rose Cottage is going to be a cosy little holiday cabin for Nilo and Des to use when ever they want to. It's their cottage!! Cost is not important cause we using recycled or seconds building materials were possible. Des brings loads of unwanted stuff from work and comes up with wonderful ideas too, and we had bought/been given a far bit of building material over the last 3 years.

Lavender Cottage is next and already we have wall studs, cladding, windows, wooden flooring, sliding glass door and a steel frame to build on. But no roof yet. I have changed my mind on where we were going to build it. So we need to do is move the caravan and clear that area before we can start with it. That's after Rose cottage get a bathroom and toilet, the septic tank which I have just bought needs to be carted up to Bellbrook and a hole needs to be dug for it, but I will look for someone with a backhoe locally.

So that's we were up too ...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Eggs for sale ...

The girls are finally laying again ... 7 black orpingtons, 2 austrolopes, 1 leghorn, 2 white silkies and a buff frizzle pekin. Today I collected 9 eggs, 7 from the orpingtons and 1 from the silkies. Meaning that 2 orpingtons girls are still to start laying. I have sold 2 dozen eggs and given 2 dozen away to friends. A small jar has the first egg money in, $9.00 to be exact, rather a proud moment for me. (Yeh I know)

According to my maths if I sell 4 dozen eggs a week that should buy me a bag of chook food, which normally lasts 3 weeks. $18.00 eggs x 3 weeks = $54.00 I think I am going to hatch another batch of chicks this year, if there is just 6 more hens hmmmm We're very lucky to have only got one rooster with last years chicks, and his future is not very good atm, Harry is starting to pick on him and that can only mean one thing "The POT" only he has still got a bit to grow. That's our Harry and he weighs a ton! Very good natured boy he is too.

So back too the young rooster who has just started to crow, he will need to go into a fattening cage by himself. My Grandma used to have small cages for roosters going to the pot, so that's on George's to do list. Any ideas how to fatten a rooster fast? I wanted to sell a trio of orpingtons to recoup some money, but decided the girls could make more money by laying eggs. and a nice homegrown chook could be very tasty and I can then practice dressing a chook too. Something I have never done before by myself, only memories helping my grandmother doing it, and that was more than 40 years ago.

Well were off to an BBQ today too meet Nilo and Des's Daughter, Son inlaw and Casey the baby, can't wait. So Here's wishing everyone a lovely day. And thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Planning a new enclosure for the sheep .... and planting a little feed for the sheep.

Wow with all this good rain and lots of sheep poo,it was time to do something about the yards, they needed to be rotory hoed and new seed planted. The area where the sheep are in the pic is were Des rotory hoed the soil. The seed mix consisted of native grass, jap seed, millet, oats, sunflower and two scoops of chook food.(no I am not expecting layer pellets to start growing but there are other seeds which is in the chook food) Now we just waiting for another downpour to settle the soil and seeds in. Des came over to help and had a great time working the rotory hoe. The soil looked so rich ... now it's grow seeds grow. A big thank you to Des!

Aunt Krissy asked in the last comments if we have a sheep shed. Last year was our first year of keeping sheep and chickens, we got a ram and 6 ewes (spur of the moment thing). Way too many for the space we have in Sydney, so they get feed a mix of pellets and other good stuff daily aswell. We had just renting part of a small holding with the landlord also living on the property. Before lambing season I had George and my son Neal build an enclosure for ewes and lambs. In hindsight I would have made it bigger with a yard around it and added another two bigger yards wrapped around them. This is what I have in mind for the new enclosure on our property at Lavender hill. There is also a piece of crown land next to our property, which we mow and this area we fenced off for our sheep to graze in. A little area with a ramp just high enough to load the stubbond sheep onto the trailer if they need to go anywhere. A bit like the old folk had for loading cattle.

Sheep shed this is how dark it is by the time we get home atm. Not a great fan of going to work in the dark and then coming home in the dark. Our days are so short still.

This is what the boys built for the sheep, it works well to keep the foxes at bay, nighttime they sleep inside, mornings they're let out. Why two gates ... just so we can rotates grazing a little. Nelson the ram lives in his own yard, next to the ewes, he intimidates them and me! I don't fancy a broken hip. I would like a storage area for feed and extra bails of hay and also a water tank. A nice big tree would be great too. No snow here so that is not a problem.