unashamedly all about me.... Wendy
what I think.... what I feel.... my emotions... my gut feelings... what I eat... what I believe...what beliefs are changing... what I am doing....where I am going... what I am creating...recipes I love.... books I read.... poetry I write....things that rock my boat and interest me....and also the other way around...our conversation together...our learning together...our sharing together... WELCOME

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Six Impossible Things

"There's no use trying," Alice said.
"One can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice,"
said the Queen. "When I was your age,
I always did it for half-an-hour a day.
Why, sometimes I've believed
as many as six impossible things
before breakfast."
Lewis Carroll

Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes

 
I have finished reading the above book. I read it so fast but have taken the last week or so to let it sink in and think about what I have read. It truly is an interesting, thought provoking and educational read. I am not going to write my review. ( I just reread what I have written and it does seem like I have written a review LOL) It has all been said before and you can find that information on the net or by having a look at the book website below. I would just love it if more people read this book and became Radical Homemakers. There is no exact place to start and no exact place to finish. It is a changing of the mind. It can be started in so many little ways and I have found it so rewarding that sometimes I feel like doing a hop, skip and a jump because the weight on my shoulders lifts and I feel so rewarded and blessed.

For me this book just sums up all the things in my head that have been swirling around for so many years. I am not interested in arguments about feminist movements and such. All I know is that the new world of work and drudgery leads to nought. The pursuit of career and postition have never moved me the way that I live now. And yes I have climbed the wrong ladder many times and had to climb back down to get to the path I am treading now. As I read the blogs and books written by others on this journey I am so inspired. I don't bag myself out for not being able to spin my own wool or make my own cheese or grow all of my own food. What I do find is community. Funny how that community is not living beside me and is sometimes all the way over this planet but it is community. It is sharing and encouragement. So I give things a go and I add new skills to my homemaking and living resume. What my ancestors are not available to teach me now, I am ready to be taught. I find the inspiration and actual facts and teaching of these new skills via the blogs and books I read and via the many videos online that wonderful people take the time to film so I can watch and learn.

When the book discusses male and female roles and all the theory that goes with this, I find myself, my inner being never moving from it's belief. You see I like being in my home and I like looking after my man. I truly enjoy some of the most simple things in my life like hanging out fresh laundry on the clothsline, ironing and putting away my cloths ready to choose an outfit next time I open the cupboard door. I like a clean house, I like cooking a cake, I enjoy learning to sew and knit and garden.

And on the other hand I love the things my husband does for me. I do not mow the yard or chop down trees or build things out of wood. There is nothing wrong with a woman doing those things it is just that this is our relationship and our home and we have a lovely flowing relationship that works. He loves to be looked after and so do I. We compliment each other. We support each other. We encourage each other. Everyones home will look different but in the end someone has to do the little jobs and if each person is arguing over who's place it is in the home to do those things then it can only lead to discomfort and agression. We can count on each other to help the other if asked. For example if I ask for Mick to vacum the house, he will do it, not begrudgingly but with a helpful spirit. I get up and make his lunch each day and see him of to work. He takes interest in my projects and shows them of to people. He especially likes my food and never fails to tell everyone who will listen as to how he feels he never eats the same things twice.

For many years I went with what society seemed to place in front of me. Raising a family and working fulltime. I was always good at what ever job I had and would rise quite quickly through the management steps. I had some fun and learnt some skills but, and this is the big but, to what cost was all of this. I have no money to show for it and those skills I have chosen to keep reusing are the ones that have helped me in my life now. I am not one for regret but I will say that I have had many a moment where I wish that I could do it all over again and choose differently. I cannot get my children back to being young and doing things differently with them. Time is such a precious commodity and we try so hard to save time and do things quickly and effeciently but somewhere along the line we lose out so badly.

My Dad gave a speech at my wedding. He said few words and put a tear in everyones eye. He said that he wished with all of his heart that he could have back all of the times that he told me he was too busy for me to come crawl up on his lap for a cuddle and that it was just to late for so many things he wished he had done.

So to me this book is about those things that are so important. Recapturing family and family ties. Recapturing the home. Recapturing your life. Living within your means and making that threshold achievable. Being honest and realistic in what we actually need in our lives. It is about enjoying being different, really being proud about your life choices. It's about the fact that you are simply not alone in this journey as there are so many people doing the same thing and making the same choices.

Oh my goodness I can't stop writing. So much to say. I will put a few quotes from the book below.


"But, like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in wonderland, many Radical Homemakers believe, and live, the impossible. They embrace a reality that is wildly different from conventional thinking, dubbed here, in the spirit of the Queen of Hearts, as the six "impossible" things:
  • Nobody cares what (or if) you drive.
  • Housing does not have to cost more than a single moderate income can afford (and even cost less)
  • Health can be achieved without making monthly payments to an insurance company.
  • Child care is not a fixed cost.
  • Education can be acquired and not bought.
  • Retirement is possible, regardless of income."
"Thoreau wrote that "my greatest skill has been to want but little." That sentiment is at the heart of mastering Radical Homemaking. One of the most important determinations a Radical Homemaking family can make in their lives is identifying the point at which they have enough. We are forever cajoled by our culture to pursue more - a higher income, bigger houses, better cars, more stuff. But all that comes at a cost even beyond the monetary price and impact on our environment. To aquire more, we must surrender more of our life energy to earn the means to buy it or maintain it."

Cheers,
Wendy

Monday, June 13, 2011

ORANGE MARMALADE AND AROUND THE HOUSE

Hi Everyone

I have added a new recipe to the Homemade Store Cupboard page. Orange Marmalade. I had none in the fridge so it was time to make my own. I am so pleased with this. I now have a large jar in the fridge to use now and another 2 in the pantry for later. I am the only one in the house that eats it so this days cooking was just for me. It is so sweet and orangy but not bitter like the ones in the shops. It is easy and worth giving it a go.

I also made a very yummy casserole tonight for dinner and the recipe has been added to the Homemade Cooking page. Oops no photo of this - I forgot.

It's funny that once you start blogging you take photos of things that are so everyday and mundane in so many ways. But blogging for me has made me aware of so many little things in my life. Makes me notice what I actually am doing each day. I really like that. It has also helped me not only meet and chat with strangers who then are not strangers any more but very importantly has helped me connect with friends I already have but don't see or catch up with very often. I like the fact that my friends and family can see what I am up to and learn a little bit more about me from my sharing my everyday life.

And that what life is isn't it. It is not meant to be, or ever is, a constant over the top, fabtabulous, exotic, amazing and thrilling day after day. It is actually quite ordinary and simple and so much pleasure can be had from this more constant part of our lives. As I was growing up - and I mean until I was about 47 - I spent so much time trying to capture those fabtabulous times that I missed out on enjoying so much of the ordinary. The way I see it now is that our lives are so much more the simple and ordinary that it makes much more sense just enjoying that and jumping at the chance when the amazing and out of ordinary arrives once in a while. It's like attending a suprise party once ina while or receivng an unexpected gift.

We had two big trees cut down that were a danger to our house. Below is a few photos. Now Mick is cutting them all up and piling up the wood to use when we have a night time fire to sit around. We do not have a fireplace at the moment so a fire outside is the next best thing. We have a friend who has a portable mill and Mick would like to see if we can afford to get him to come and cut the big lengths up into slabs to make a few more book shelves for in the house and also to use as the tops of the railing on our deck when we build it. We would like the deck railings to have a timber top all the way around and to be at bar stool height so the whole deck can be used for sitting at and having drinks and eating.





Cheers, Wendy

Friday, June 10, 2011

NEW PAGES ADDED WITH RECIPES AS REQUESTED

Hi there.

I have added a few pages on the side. There you will find the recipes for food and cleaning. As I make something else and discover how to make something myself instead of buying it from the supermarket I will add it to these pages.

Cheers,
Wendy

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Puppetji vs Yoga



I was introduced to Puppetji through facebook by Katherine from the blog lessonsfromthemonkimarried. How original and thought provoking and so spot on these little clips are. This one made me think about all of the things we complain we can't afford. All of the the things we complain about the price of. All of things we can provide for ourselves at home but choose to spend our well earned money elsewhere. Below is a list of the ones I could think of quite quickly. I am sure you could add to this list.

 - Buying store bought Honey and Soy Sauce - it is honey and soy sauce - make it yourself.
 - Obviously coffee is the one mentioned in this little video - 365 days a year at $4 a take away cup
= $1460.00 and 365 disposable cups being made, used once and becoming land fill.
 - Yoga classes as mentioned above but includes all type of gym and excercise classes. The fitness industry is made rich daily on people who pay for memberships that never attend. Thousands wasted and complained about and still nothing gained.
 - White Sauce, Cheese Sauce - so simply to make yourself and so expensive to purchase.
 - Pasta Bake Sauce - how to make the simplest meal  expensive.
 - Rice that is already cooked - come on - I mean rice that cooks in just 10 to 15 minutes.
 - Frozen vegetables - yuk.
 - Frozen chopped Onion - you have to kidding

Anyway I am sure you get the point.

Something to ponder about.

Today I made 6 bottles of Homemade BBQ Sauce. I baked a lovely batch of muffins using up the left over banana I found in my fridge. I made a jar of mayonaise for my mayonaise junky husband. Keeps in the fridge for a week but it won't last that long. Took me about 2 minutes to make. Got to love the food processor.

Anyway I got a new book from the library today. I am of to read. I have waited for a while to get my hands on this book and so far I am not disappointed. I will let you know what I discover and learn as I am sure you know I will. Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes

It has been such a cold day here and the night is going to be even more cold. Apparently it is the coldest on record for this time of year. So I am of to have a hot shower and rug up and curl up and read my book.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

ENRICH


My friend Kerry has participated in 1000 Homes Of Happiness and the word she chose was ENRICH. Below is a link to her post where she puts the little home on her daughters teachers desk. She acknowledges the enrichment that this teacher brings to her daughters life. It is a lovely post and got me thinking about all the things that enrich my life.

ENRICH by Kerry at Recipes In Richness

My Husband Mick
My Daughter Alexia
My Sons Jade and Brenden
My Mother and My Father
My wonderful Brother Andrew
My Grand Children - I will be be able to enrich their lives as much as they will enrich mine.
My grade 10 Art and History Teachers
Debbie, Carmen, Michelle, Toni
An old boss Leonie
Another old boss Richard
My first employer Neville
Then there are the books I read
The blogs I read
The art I view
The sewing machine, knitting needles and crochet hook
My Kitchen
My garden
The fresh air in the place I live
My friends in my community

Goodness me, this list could go on and on. Today I just want to say a huge heartfelt thankyou to all those who enrich my life and say how grateful I am.

Cheers,Wendy

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What's on my mind this past week....

THE ONE - STRAW REVOLUTION by Masanobu Fukuoka

Below is a few quotes from the above book. I really enjoyed this book and even though it is about farming it is also about so much more. I have seen references to this book many times and finally borrowed it from the library. I hope you do as well.

" I believe that if one fathoms deeply one's own neighborhood and the everyday world in which he lives, the greatest of worlds will be revealed."

"Extravagance of desire is the fundamental cause which has led the world into it's present predicament. Fast rather than slow, more rather than less - this flashy "developement" is linked directly to society's impending collapse. It has only served to seperate man from nature. Humanity must stop indulging the desire for material possessions and personal gain and move instead toward spiritual awareness."


".... Similarly, it would be well if people stopped troubling themselves about discovering the "true meaning of life;" we can never know the answers to great spiritual questions, but it's all right not to understand. We have been born and are living on the earth to face directly the reality of living. Living is no more than the result of being born. Whatever it is people eat to live, whatever people think they must eat to live, is nothing more than something they have thought up...."

"... When you no longer want to eat something tasty, you can taste the real flavour of whatever you are eating. It is easy to lay out the simple foods of a natuaral diet on the dining room table, but those who can truly enjoy such a feast are a few." - I think this is so true. We have come to believe in our western world of over indulgance that we are meant to eat all of these fancy dead foods we see prepared on the tv foodie shows. Even pick up the Sunday newspaper and there are recipes for strange fare. If I serve a bowl of brown rice and a bowl of vegs or a bean or lentil stew my friends - well most of them - would just cringe.

"Flavorful foods are not flavorful in themselves. Food is not delicious unless a person thinks it is."

Seems to me that lately I am being drawn to the same theme in books. The next one I read was JAYBER CROW by Wendell Berry. A fiction book with so much thought provoking ideas that it is impossible for me to explain. If you want to read a book that describes the demise of our farming and community spirit then read this book. Read about what we have lost and what so many people out there in the world are trying to recapture.

"The household poultry flocks began to dwindle away. So did the little household dairying enterprises of two to maybe half a dozen cows. The farm wives, who once had come to town with produce, bought their groceries, and gone home with money, now went to the store (maybe in some more distant town) with only money and went home withonly groceries.

The Economy no longer wanted the people of Port William to produce, for instance, eggs. It wanted them to eat eggs without producing them. Or, more properly speaking, it wanted them to buy eggs. It didn't care whether the eggs were eaten or not, so long as they were bought. It didn't care how fresh they were or how good they were, so long as they were bought. Perhaps, so long as they were paid for, The Economy was not much interested even in delivering the eggs."

Made me think of how many - just how many - things are now controlled by the government. We have given so many of our rights up in the false belief that we are compensated far in excess of what we have let out of our control. Not true. We are supposed to be safer for all of this intervention. I disagree. I also think that it is my responsibility to keep myself safe and not someones elses. How can someone else - some other entity - keep me safe when the bottom line of their decisions is money. And lots of it.

Made me think of how we here in my western world seem to just expect that all of the things we have given up control over should be available to us all of the time and at a price we think is resonable with no effort on our part. Funny how we forget that to have the money to purchase any of the many things we could produce ourselves, we work longer and longer hours.

I certainly don't see happy smily people everywhere I go. The happiest people I know are those content with their lot, have simple desires and needs and enjoy what they have. Usually they try and produce at least a little of what they need, be that food or clothing or bread. They start small and gradually add new skills to their lives. Skills that give them back some control and ownership for their lives and how they live.

Thanks for reading,
Wendy