...Homemade Rainbows...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

waiting for the fruits

It's really no surprise to me that with our Summer comes me waiting....waiting for cooler and kinder weather for my vegetable gardening to resume in full abundance....and for the bugs to vacate.
However Summer this year has turned out to be a little more productive in the backyard thanks to my fruit trees....if you are willing and able to wait that is.

To those interested in a Summer garden update from my place.... grab a cool drink or a hot chocolate depending on your hemisphere and come for a short wander amidst the green.....
We can start with our cumquat's, which survived last years onslaught of leaf miner and sooty mould thanks to my homemade white oil .

They have just treated my nose to their sweet smelling citrus blossoms.... how I love that intoxicating scent..... and now there are budding baby fruit all over.
I can almost smell the marmalade too that we will be spreading on our winter toast this year.

There are also Hawaiian guava's ripening on my little tree for the first time.... I can't wait to taste that pretty and sweet homegrown pink flesh.

Papaya's are in true abundance fattening by the day.
My mint should have bounced back just nicely from the heat by the time these fatties are ready. It's a perfect Summer flavour combination don't you agree?

The lady finger banana's are nicely bundled inside their blue and silver bag. Finally safe from visiting bats and any other marauders who might enjoy a fruity midnight snack. They too are slow to grow and ripen.....It's a patient process this waiting....

And why would my favourite figs be any faster than the rest....they seem to tease me the most..... especially when I brush through their leaves and the fragrance similar to their ripe bodies invades my nostrils and fires my desire to eat them now.

The immediate reward for my patience however, I console myself, are my aubergine fingers. They are ready for eating with many more still to come. Mmm chargrilled....stuffed....roasted.....baba ganoush?
And for balance because that's what I'm working on this year.....
And because everything is not always perfect in any garden......
I have had some disappointments, aside from waiting, along the way.

When I removed my cucumbers after many delicious harvests I inadvertently destroyed the home of some bugs....well quite a few bugs......who then found their way to my sugar baby vines. Needless to say I ended up with chewed stems and rotten fruit. No watermelons will be eaten here this year.

And it seems no capsicums either.... they are providing loads of fruit which are also rotting immediately before they start to colour..... a little mysterious and quite a bit disappointing. I think I may need to consult the books.

And in a final true lesson of balance.....my stunning passion fruit flower that had me so very excited recently about pending harvests and Summer Pavlova's drowning in pulp has remained at just one. Yes one and one only. A beautiful large and round golden passion fruit hanging where the flower blossomed while the rest of the vine continues to grow with amazing vigour. I think it will be THE best tasting passion fruit I've indulged in in a long time...maybe I will share it with you.

I must admit however that the best thing that comes from waiting for the fruits of your labour is that it makes everything taste all that much sweeter. And that is a good good thing.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

to while the days....

Things have changed for our little family this week.
My girl is off exploring new horizons and experiences.
It's been a bit quieter during my day here... and to be honest I'm a bit lost.
I've been watching the clock.... and I'm looking forward to the weekend already.
I think it's another lesson in balance for me.

I've decided in my "lostness" to this week just allow myself to while my days away....but despite my permission humorously it seems I can only while my days away with something to do.

So a planned trip was made, to the one person I know with all the goods and impressive stores of bits and pieces....enough to keep anyone who needs to while some time away very very busy - Mum.

I came home with all I needed to satisfy some serious crochet craving that, probably quite ridiculously, has been haunting me most of the Summer.

A simple refresher and I'm on my way today busily ch'ing, sc'ing, dc'ing, counting and then sometimes pulling it all back out again....but I still watch the clock of course.

And then soon tonight the silence will be gone. The girl will again fill the house with life and spirit and wildness, and Mama will dish out food and baths and stories and cuddles.... light candles and burn oils to imbue calm and peaceful dreams.

Then maybe just like last night I will then wearily look for sleep to find sweet gifts gently and thoughtfully placed by my bed.....reminding me why I'm watching the clock and trying to while these first new days away......

Friday, January 23, 2009

following the sun

We waited so long through our winter last year for Summer to unfold. It is hard to believe we are now undoubtedly bathing in the true thick and humid heat of Australia's mid-Summer.
Even if we didn't want to we have no choice but to follow the sun.

Along with the sun this Summer have come our most majestic and temporary budding guests. They have inspired the naming of our new backyard cottage. They have stood tall, proud and smiling like golden guards over the fruits and vegetables struggling to thrive in the heat below them.

Our Sunflowers.....borne of tiny seeds planted by tiny hands.

We have loved them as they have loved the sun.....inside and out.

Their vibrancy and size have inspired our imaginations and left us in wonder of nature's beauty and of how small we can quickly become. They have towered above us, twice or thrice the size of some of us in fact, with stems so prickly and strong. Once dried they make excellent garden stakes.

Sadly with no more seeds sown, the last of our lofty shoots have bid the garden, and us farewell. But not after providing so much joy and a magnificent lesson in life's cycles. We have not wasted anything of their time with us under the Summer sun.

All seedy goodness has been carefully extracted and yet they are still beautiful. Those caramel coloured prickly husks are a completely different feast for the eyes.
Despite how hot it is as we sit under the guava tree cracking and munching on sunflower seeds...sharing some with the chickens....you can't help but admire and love the sun this Summer just as the sunflowers did.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

sunflower cottage....

I finally finished a lot of painting and oiling in the garden last week.
And we've decided on a name.
It's been a long road to completion....I can't believe my task of painting and oiling took so long. *sigh* For those of you who I teased some months ago with the start of this project....you have been most patient......or you have forgotten.....either way I can now proudly announce.....

Sunflower Cottage is complete!

Would you like to come and visit?

Just ring the bell.....
And there is sure to be a couple of little people just waiting to show you around.

There is an internal slide right down to the vege patch......

And lots of decorative timber touches inside......

We could make you some herbal tea to drink from silver cups.......

Or you could just lay back, relax and chat.
It's a good place for that.
There is a built in timber lounge that is the perfect Mama size......

You may just like to stay a while......

We're pretty happy with our new little cottage here with it's birds eye view of the garden and ample space to play, create and dream......

Pretty clever Grandad isn't he....our Roger. We are very fortunate.

Monday, January 19, 2009

happiness is smelling the flowers

I've just discovered in the last few days that I have been nominated for two awards from two delightful and inspiring fellow bloggers.... I'm very touched and a little excited to join in....

The first award is a "Smell the Flowers" award given to me by Leanne at A Life Filled With Colour .

I am now entitled to nominate 5 other flower smellers to join in the fun and to have this sweet award also...however with no commitment necessary....
Have a look at these 5 charming blogs.....
Mama Craft
Four Leaves
Desert Juniper
The Glass Doorknob
The Rose Garden

My second award comes from the lovely Ladybug-Zen at her enchanting blog Collecting Leaves......and Other Little Experiences. It's the Tree of Happiness Award.

I need to list 6 things that give me happiness and again pass the award along to 6 others. It's hard to narrow down just 6 things so I will just list off 6 things that come to mind right now, this moment in time.....
1) The smell of lavender and bergamot oils burning on my bookshelf
2) The sound of doves cooing in the trees just outside our windows...and the gentle rustle of those tree branches and palm fronds moving in the breeze today
3) The taste of fresh honeydew melon
4) My blog....and the fires it lights and inspires and all it's treasured visitors who welcome me in return
5) My gorgeous sister who I never get to spend enough time with...well all my family who are always there for me and i love dearly...and read my blog too....Hi Mum ;)
6) The fact that Mia, who just like me, likes to sing to her own made up songs while she is lost in any task

Now again...obligation free....are 6 random blogs that make me smile to read.....
The Bird Bath
I Wanna Be Crafty
Bare Feet and a Free Spirit
Loopity Loo
Che and Fidel

Wow now that's a lot of linking.....and still not enough to include everyone....if you are blog surfing please look at all of them listed in my sidebar.....it's not easy just to pick some out.

I hope you keep smelling the flowers and finding your pieces of happiness to share..... I've enjoyed passing some of mine on....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

living in balance

I found this three days ago.

A stunning passionfruit flower.....finally in my garden.

I've waited close to two years for this little beauty. I've missed my homegrown passionfruit. My poor vines have struggled to get going in our new garden. Possums liked to chew the new shoots and well, chickens liked to scratch and dogs unfortunately liked to lift legs. But surviving all that over such a long period of time they have truly flourished and now own the fence with their beautiful lush greenness. And now it seems we will soon be enjoying some sweet and tart seedy fruit from their round pods. Red or yellow, I am not sure.....I cannot remember which vine is which so a surprise package it will be.

With this gorgeous flower on my mind for the last few days, I haven't been able to stop thinking about the long road that has led to my pure and simple excitement today, and the beauty that is the satisfaction that comes at the end of a long wait or something equally undesirable yet necessary.

Balance. Everywhere there is balance.
The achievement at the completion of the journey.
The seesawing pendulum that sways between happiness and sadness; despair and joy; desire and satisfaction, hunger and satiation; hard work and reward or waiting and receiving.

Balance allows us to taste life. Without contrary experience there is no worthy experience...there is no sweet without bitter...only mundane.

“Evermore in the world
is this marvelous balance
of beauty and disgust,
magnificence and rats”
::: Ralph Waldo Emerson:::

This year I am going to aim to live more consciously within the balance of my life. Instead of fighting it perhaps I will just feel it.....instead of trying to control it maybe I will just look for it where it is......being mindful that my path to the future comes directly from the path of my past.

Monday, January 12, 2009

slices of the weekend

I have had a very productive weekend...finally putting an end to my procrastination (we have a constant battle that procrastination and me) and committing to and painting this backyard project. I'm almost done....a little tired but almost done!

We also found time though for the other important things that just need to be done around here, like....

climbing trees.....

making some new green friends.....

creating a true visual feast by treating ourselves to new and beautiful fruit......

and finishing off a Sunday evening relaxing in a hot lavender bath with just a couple of small squares of sweet rose flavoured Turkish delight to melt on your tongue.....

Very important things.... I'm glad I managed to indulge all these simple slices of life during this weeks' end..... quite productive indeed.

Monday, January 5, 2009

and so it starts....

the January Birthdays.
It's a big month....all those Capricorns and Aquarians.
Two last week, two this week and another two yet to come....and that's just immediate family......seems friends like this month too.....

And so a relaxed, and quite stunning Sunday afternoon was had to kick it all off......
The celebrating continues.....not a bad thing at all.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

the new girls

It's pretty easy being the new girls in our house.
You get quite spoilt.... especially when it's been over a six month wait for your arrival!
We had some help, quite a while ago now, to make extensions in the backyard which resulted in this fabulous new palace for our two girls, Henrietta and Harriet, and in preparation for our "soon" to be expanding family of girls.
Well, after that six month wait on the adoption list I got to make that much anticipated drive to pick up our new two week old babies on the Saturday before Christmas.

I would like to introduce you, finally, to Prudence and Emmeline.

They are growing and changing so very quickly, as chicks do, so I wanted to share some of their earlier photo's while they are still mostly "chick-like". That cuteness, fluffiness and cheeping is all gone much too quickly and they are soon to fly the coop so to speak.

These little girls are pure bred Silver Laced Wyandottes, my new love....hence the long wait.....and so they are worth their weight in gold to me....but mostly because they are so darn cute.
They should look just like this when they are grown.... still very very beautiful birds.
For now, they still like to do all the things chooks like to do..... scratch for bugs, sun themselves....sticking together all the way.....but they get to sleep warm, cosy and safely inside in their straw bed once the sun starts to go down....the benefits of being so small.

Yes it's not too bad at all being the new girls here...